Tuesday’s Forum

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FILED UNDER: Open 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

Comments

  1. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Been on the road driving through rural Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida recently. Still no appreciable presence of Trump yard swag…but more than 2 months ago. Florida has, by far more, Trump spirit than Alabama or Mississippi— which I found to be surprising.

    Of course, not a Biden swag sighting at all but that’s not to be expected in these places.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I have noticed a considerable decrease in trump paraphernalia around here too. Only 2 or 3 houses within my normal wanderings have trump flags and I have not seen a MAGA hat in years. Cars with trump stickers are few and far between as well.

    Assuming they vote in Nov. I am sure it will still be for trump but it would appear to me that the shine is off the turd. Which I hope will translate into a depressed turnout here.

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Spent some time traveling around South Central PA this weekend. Saw one Trump flag, but 3-4 Confederate Flags. Which is, of course, the Jeopardy answer to the question, “How we say we are total racists without saying, ‘we are total racists'”

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Confederate Flags aren’t exactly uncommon around here, but I don’t see near as many as I did 2 or 3 decades ago.

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  5. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It’s always jarring to me to see one in a Northern state. What is the message, exactly?

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  6. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: Missouri is an interesting place. The southern part of the state–Bootheel, Ozarks–feel very much a part of the south. This is probably unsurprising as those areas border Arkansas and Kentucky. St. Louis and KC have very different personalities too.

    And PS–I’m in New Hampshire and see Confederate flags. Not many, but it’s WEIRD.

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  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: New Hampshire is the only Northeast state my wife and I have checked off of our retirement list. Beautiful state and a lot of nice people but too many crazies seem to have moved in.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: What is the message, exactly?

    I’m a loser?

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  9. steve says:

    We seem to have fewer signs also. Went to our granddaughter’s Fun night at school, elementary, and there was that one guy in full MAGA regalia with the hat and a T-shirt and pants that depicted Trump as a muscular stud jumping into a wrestling ring. Just didnt seem like the right venue for something like that but what do I know. (For cooking session with them tonight we are making banana bars. They really like to bake. Fish tacos too.)

    Steve

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  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    That is simply the old joke, what is Missouri if you remove StL and KC? Arkansas

    @MarkedMan:

    Jen and I resemble that remark. Yuck, yuck, yuck…

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  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    Lovely.

    A year-long joint investigation by The Washington Post, Lighthouse Reports and a consortium of international media outlets shows how the European Union and individual European nations are supporting and financing aggressive operations by governments in North Africa to detain tens of thousands of migrants each year and dump them in remote areas, often barren deserts.

    This is the future of climate change. Europeans will pay repressive North African nations to stop immigrants. Cheaper than mounting more patrols in the Mediterranean, I suppose. Better or worse than Brits flying immigrants to Rwanda and dumping them?

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  12. Bill Jempty says:

    In 3 days, Dear Wife and I depart for Australia. Not surprisingly, DW is getting cold feet. She worries about health.

    I’m fine, my stamina is good. As long as I got 1 or 2 rest periods a day, I won’t break down in any way.

    For the Sydney part, we’ll be staying with DW’s cousin. For some other parts of my itinerary, we will be meeting up with people who will tour us around some as I gather information for my book*. I am looking forward to the trip. Health permitting, DW and I will go to Japan next year to visit her brother and for me to do more book research.

    If you’re wondering, a neighbor will be taking in our cat while we’re gone. Some of my strat-o-matic baseball will make the trip. I need to enjoy my down time.

    DW is probably going to quit her job at year end. She is increasingly frustrated with her boss and has arthritis that bothers her. We’ll take advantage of open enrollment for healthcare at the end of the year and she’ll say adios to working at our church.

    Not having to safeguard my health insurance anymore, I’ll post links to my books I can imagine the reviews now.

    “That’s the crappiest thing I ever read.” Gustopher on my dung beetle book.
    “Oi Vei.” Marked Man after reading my conversion to Judaism book.
    “Bill, give yourself a mulligan and try again.” Ozark Hillbilly on my golf book.
    “I have never read anything in such bad taste before.” CSK on my cannibal book.

    Dear Wife and I leave for Miami Airport early Friday afternoon. My participation around here will be limited for 4 weeks. Remember what I said a few days ago. Since when was the world sane.

    *- My unfinished Yakuza epic. Most of which is centered around Yokohama but has important scenes in Australia. My main character has a Australian boyfriend who she eventually marries.

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  13. Mister Bluster says:

    I was joy riding in southern Missouri when I stopped on the shoulder of the road and activated the 4 way flashers. I got out and opened the trunk when I noticed a local police car had pulled up behind me. He got out and asked me if I needed any help.
    “I’m looking for an Arkansas map in my trunk. I might drive that way.”
    “They don’t have any roads in Arkansas!” he said.
    Police humor…

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  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Bill Jempty:
    All such travel is part of your work as an author and should be tax deductible. If you can get away with it.

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  15. Bill Jempty says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    All such travel is part of your work as an author and should be tax deductible. If you can get away with it.

    Michael,

    I’m going to try.

    My Yakuza epic while unfinished is the best thing I’ve written. Leeanne*, who has edited it and other works of mine, says it is the best story anyone has ever written in my genre. I want to get the details right and finally complete this work of mine.

    *- She’s a published author and sometime editor. LA doesn’t always like my work. She loves my yakuza book plus my golf and lone plane crash survivor ones. As for my best seller, LA says “@#45!”,

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  16. becca says:

    This has been something of a super bloom spring on the lake. The weeds around Memphis have always impressed me. Delicate pale pink poppies growing in sidewalk cracks, orange bugle vines growing on fences, stars of Bethlehem sprouting in yards, etc.
    But up here weeds that never flowered in my time up here decided to bloom all over. Who knew? The lower yard we don’t mow except for a path, is full of surprises. Wild cosmos and clematis. Boring bushes with thorns that I have tried to kill unsuccessfully, transformed. Sadie and I walk past a new wild flower just about every morning.
    Oh, and when the wisteria and honeysuckle bloomed the scent was everywhere. Really lovely.

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  17. Scott says:

    @Jim Brown 32: @OzarkHillbilly: Same with rural Texas. If there is a Trump flag or banner it is an old one. Also the occasional Trump as Christian savior banner.

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  18. CSK says:

    @Jen: @MarkedMan:

    I saw my first Trump sign here in Mass. last Friday. Near the NH border.

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  19. Kathy says:

    Today at the election interference trial, the defense rested.

    I thought that was what Lardass had been doing through the whole trial.

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  20. inhumans99 says:

    Yesterday folks were talking about Red lobster and I was too shy to jump in and say that I have eaten at RL quite a bit. I of course have $150 in Gift cards that I wanted to use for a dinner with my sister when I visit her and my mom in Los Angeles this weekend but I am now nervous that I can still get in under the wire and use them before they are worthless.

    My parents could cook dishes like lasagna, beef stroganoff, enchiladas, etc. like no one’s business, so incredibly great, but we also grew up in our family going to RL and Olive Garden as an occasional treat so no one in my family looks down on these types of eateries. I love that my Sicilian mother can care less that OG is to real quality Italian cuisine as McDonald’s is to a gourmet burger, lol.

    My Dad was a fan, and the first thing we did after visiting him at his final resting place in July of last year (Eternal Valley in Newhall, CA) was eat lunch at the nearby RL, well the second thing after we had a good cry in the car and recomposed ourselves.

    Everyone keeps running with the unlimited shrimp promo is what was the straw that broke the camel’s back narrative but anyone who was paying attention is aware that it was a real estate scheme that triggered the need for this restaurant chain to declare bankruptcy, the promo (which I did not take advantage of) did not help, but it seems like bankruptcy was going to happen sooner than later even if the shrimp promo never happened.

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  21. MarkedMan says:

    @inhumans99:

    so no one in my family looks down on these types of eateries

    While I didn’t like the food at Red Lobster (never trust a seafood restaurant that deep fries everything in batter!) I don’t look down on it. And I used to go to Olive Garden fairly often back in the day and liked it. Nowadays I try to support local and as I live within walking distance of around 100 restaurants that’s pretty easy! But I’m happy for anyone who finds a restaurant/band/town/etc they like, even if it’s not my thing. I fear too many of us (and I’m including myself here) spend way too much time complaining about the things we don’t like and not nearly enough times celebrating the things we do.

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  22. CSK says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    Very funny, Bill. 😀

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  23. just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: My recollection of how history of the War of Northern Aggression ( 😉 ) was taught held that Missouri was not aligned with the Union per se but was more of a neutral. I’m also reminded that the area I just moved from’s founder had been a high-ranking personage in the Missouri Klan, and had moved himself and his business from Missouri to Washington to found a city to be the last refuge for white folk from the onslaught of the Great Migration.

    Doesn’t sound like a very Northern state to me.

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  24. inhumans99 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    More emphasis on celebrating the good in one’s life is always welcome in my book.

    Sticking with food news, on my Alexa there was a story about a food truck receiving a Michelin Star, these trucks have come a long ways from the days when I and many others referred to them as a roach coach, oftentimes a truck that offered up some tasty vittles, but were still mostly known as a roach coach.

    I forget the context, but times have changed and someone in my family chastised me for using the term even though I was trying to be funny.

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  25. EddieInCA says:

    @inhumans99:

    but we also grew up in our family going to RL and Olive Garden as an occasional treat so no one in my family looks down on these types of eateries.

    We were really poor growing up, so Red Lobster and Olive Garden were considered “upscale”. The restaurant we would go to as our “fancy” restaurant was Sizzler. I still love Sizzler to this day. Never went to Red Lobster because i”m allergic to Lobster, Shrimp, Crab, Clams, etc.

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  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I fear too many of us (and I’m including myself here) spend way too much time complaining about the things we don’t like and not nearly enough times celebrating the things we do.

    Back when I was writing restaurant review columns I wrote as many positive as negative reviews. Guess which ones the readers loved.

    Bitching is a constitutional right. (One of the amendments, I’m pretty sure).

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  27. Kathy says:

    I saw turkey parts (breast, thigh and leg) for sale at the supermarket last weekend. I’d already purchased beef for a stew, so turkey was out. but if they still have them this week, I’d like to try cooking some.

    Now, my problem with turkey is that it’s all too often rather dry. Caveat, we don’t make gravy to go along with it. Also, the skin tends not to be crispy enough.

    So, I’m thinking about cooking it just barely to temp in the oven, then transferring it to the multi pot for broiling to brown and crisp the skin. The parts would go in the oven in a baking dish, with parboiled potato wedges underneath (I get great results using potatoes this way with roast chicken). I’d then retrieve the juices and make gravy in a saucepan on the stove.

    The question then would be what to do for a side dish. A little voice at the back of my head says mushroom and barley risotto, as though cooking the turkey were not enough work.

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  28. CSK says:

    Well, surprise, surprise, Trump will NOT be taking the stand in his hush money trial. Apparently his lawyers were able to persuade him it would be disastrous if he did so.

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  29. Jon says:

    @Kathy: Creamed parsnips.

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  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:

    Apparently his lawyers were able to persuade him it would be disastrous if he did so.

    I doubt the lawyers had to try very hard. Trump never intended to testify. He’d have had to stay awake.

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  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: I got pulled over by a cop in southern MO (Deputy sheriff iirc) on my way for some caving down in Arkansas. After he ascertained I was no threat to society (I forget why he pulled me over but I didn’t get a ticket) he handed me back my driver’s license and insurance card. Then he asked where I was headed.

    “Arkansas.” I replied.

    “On purpose????” he said with great incredulity.

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  32. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The MAGA justifications for Trump not taking the stand are, as you may well imagine, a laff-riot.

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  33. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    You don’t get the eleven-dementional chess play. Lardass can then use the fact his lawyers advised him not to testify as grounds for appeal (no he can’t, that’s why it’s a dementional play). Because if he had testified, the Mexican* judge would have been so moved, he would have performed a traditional self-evisceration right there on the courtroom to atone for his malfeasance.

    @Jon:

    I don’t think you can find that in Mexico.

    I’m more inclined now to a mix of beans, rice, tomato sauce, and balsamic onions.

    *I know he isn’t, and neither is the tradition alluded to.

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  34. Joe says:

    Trump will NOT be taking the stand in his hush money trial.

    @CSK: That information came to me from the NYT with the header “Breaking News” and I thought, news to who?

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  35. Beth says:

    @CSK:

    I’m absolutely shocked that they didn’t put anyone else on in defense. That seems bad to me, especially since the guy they did put on seemed nuts.

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  36. CSK says:

    @Beth:

    My question would be: Who?

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  37. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @Joe: @Beth:

    Well, Donny Junior just said that his Daddy didn’t testify because the jurors are a bunch of clowns. His word.

    That should go over really well with the jurors.

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  38. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: According to TPM, they wanted to put on an Election Law specialist to give his interpretation of Election Law. The Judge made it clear that it is a judge’s responsibility to instruct the jury on the applicable law and how to interpret it, and not the defendant via an expert witness. He told Trump’s attorneys they would only be able to query that witness on a very few things, so they elected not to call him.

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  39. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Now how would an “election law specialist” help the defense in a falsification of business records case????

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  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Well, Donny Junior just said that his Daddy didn’t testify because the jurors are a bunch of clowns. His word.

    That should go over really well with the jurors.

    Is this something that the jury will be aware of before they deliberate?
    Somehow I doubt that the prosecution can include this in the summation.

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  41. Kathy says:

    @Beth:

    I wondered about that.

    There has been extensive reporting on the news about the testimony, but less about the documents entered into evidence (except for emails and texts). I’m guessing the NY prosecutors are neither idiots nor naive, so the natural assumption is they think they’ve made their case. And that great deal of it is in the documentary evidence.

    Guessing on Lardass’ representation is dicier. so I make no assumptions about their case. But hopefully it means they have no defense that would stand up in court.

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  42. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I misspoke. It was an expert on campaign finance law. But I still don’t know what he would have said, even after reading Joyce Vance’s explainer.

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  43. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Well, the jurors aren’t sequestered, so the chances are pretty fair they’ll learn somehow that Junior called them clowns.

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  44. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Since, according to Vance, the expert in question doesn’t believe in any restraints on campaign financing, I assume he would have testified that what Trump did was entirely legal and aboveboard.

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  45. JKB says:

    Judge gives NYC prosecutors a week to find a crime to fit the fact they entered into evidence. Summations are expected next Tuesday when government will have to name the crime and the elements before jury deliberates on what they’ve been put through

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  46. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    Oh, then I’m glad I can help, because the crime is falsifying records in order to conceal the truth from voters and thus win an election. Didn’t even take me a minute, let alone a week.

    Your cult leader, VonShitzhispants, is a criminal. He committed a crime so he could lie to voters and win an election. And you know it. But in your sick little world any crime is justified so long as it results in a win. Right? Why not just admit that’s true? Because everyone here knows it, everyone knows you’re a hypocrite and a liar.

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  47. Beth says:

    @JKB:

    Do you realize that if the Prosecution’s case was that bad, he would have summarily dismissed it at the end of proofs? Like, it’s rare, but it happens.

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  48. CSK says:

    @Beth:

    Oh, no. No, no, no. Judge Merchan is a total Democrat Satanist Communist dupe being paid by the Deep State, of which his daughter is a major operative, to frame the completely innocent Trump as per the instructions of the Globalists.

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  49. Tony W says:

    @inhumans99:

    Eternal Valley in Newhall, CA

    Small world – this is where my mother is buried as well. However, she preferred Marie Calendar to Red Lobster. The one over by Magic Mountain.

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  50. Tony W says:

    @Kathy: I wonder how turkey would do under sous vide?

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  51. Tony W says:

    @CSK: My response to the MAGA whining about Trump not testifying is simply to point out that he sure has a whole lot to say when he is not under oath!

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  52. Kathy says:

    And this is why you should keep your seat belt fastened at all times during a flight.

    Maybe the seat belt sign should be changed. Most people think it means you can unfasten it until the sign is put back on. What it actually means if you can unfasten it if you need to leave your seat.

    There’s some warning for most turbulence, and the crew will turn the sign back on. This gives passengers out of their seats time to get back, and to fasten their seat belts again.

    Sometimes turbulence can come without warning. In that case, you’ll be safest if your seat belt is fastened. If you were out of your seat, you’ll likely get hurt. Minor injury is the most common result, even in bad turbulence. The case linked to was exceptional. But it’s still a good idea to minimize time away from the seat, which is harder on longer flights.

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  53. CSK says:

    @Tony W:

    Indeed he does, none of it worth a listen, unless you have an inordinate fondness for gibberish.

    Biden came to Boston today for campaign events. I had no idea till I saw it on the local news.

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  54. Tony W says:

    Idea for a new MAGA bumper sticker: “Real unified Reich leaders wear diapers!”

    Thoughts?

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  55. Kathy says:

    @Tony W:

    I did consider that. The Ninja multi pot can do sous vide. I decided not to for two reason: 1) I’ve never done it before, and if/when I do I should start with something less complicated. 2) The fat and juices rendered from the turkey should flavor the potatoes under it nicely. maybe this works in sous vide, but see the first point.

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  56. CSK says:

    @Tony W:

    Well, since plenty of MAGA men are already parading around wearing Trump diapers over their pants, why not?

    It sort of reminds me of those Tea Party idiots who pranced around with Lipton tea bags stapled to the brims of their tricorn hats.

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  57. LexinLA says:

    https://www.ktbs.com/news/louisiana-to-ban-ranked-choice-voting/article_ead0a406-17aa-11ef-93da-f75a2eacbfb3.html

    Well this tracks.
    Goes really well with the Ten Commandments thing.

    Dr. T., I saw this and the first thing I thought about was that I would love to hear your take on this.
    And apparently it’s a recent thing to ban this in “Republican-controlled states”.

    This is my shocked face.

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  58. Kathy says:

    @Tony W:

    “Weal Widdle Weich Weaders Wear Nappies!!11!!”

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  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: You’re not seeing the bigger picture, Beth. In BizarroTrumpworld, the fact that the Prosecution’s case wasn’t summarily dismissed (and with prejudice at that!) is the proof that the judge is in the bag and the trial is a show trial.

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  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: For your future reference:Money Quote:

    The only issue with sous vide turkey is the skin. Because no matter what you do, it’ll end up pale and limp, which goes against just about everything Thanksgiving stands for.

    The article offers a solution, but it seems too contrarian, even for me.

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  61. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Sous vide isn’t really about cooking so much as getting things ready for the actual cooking (I’m using “cooking” very unscientifically here). Last night I made a small steak that was still quite thick. I sous vide’d it at 130 degrees F for an hour, which barely changed the color, but it meant that when I charred it a few minutes on a side it was perfectly cooked throughout. Restaurants take it a step farther. They have separate sous vide setups for steaks at rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, or well. I’ve even seen more gradations which were just shown as colors on the menu. In their case the steak is raised to the final interior temperature and can stay that way for hours. Then when they get the order, they select the right one and then just char it for 30 seconds on a side.

    For a really big piece of meat like a turkey breast it lets you get most of the way to done before putting it in the oven. Then the amount of heat transferred through the outer layers to bring the interior all the way up to final temp is dramatically less, which means the outer part is still moist and not too overcooked. You can broil for a short time to get the color right.

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  62. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I can get golden brown skin when I cook chicken in the oven, but not crispy, not even with the broiler. I had thought to put it in the multi pot, as it has a broiler function related to the air fryer. I’ve had good results crisping other things with it.

    @MarkedMan:

    I’ve heard of such techniques, especially with steak. I don’t cook steak, so…

    I expect I’ll try it someday because the pot can do it, but I’m not in a rush to do so. You’ll know when I am, because I’ll likely post my ideas about it here, and milk the membership for tips and tricks 🙂

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  63. JohnSF says:

    Russia trying it on?
    Russia has decided to move the state border in the Baltic Sea near Lithuania and Finland
    And everyone in Europe anticipates the State Department, NSC, and Berlin, doing another iteration of the scared rabbit chorus dance:
    “must de-escalate, diplomacy is the way out, reasonable negotiations with a rational counter-party” yadda, yadda.

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  64. JKB says:

    As one Democrat said privately, “Is [Biden] just trying to lose Pennsylvania?

    The Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin. EEOC attorney Debra M. Lawrence wrote that criminal background checks “cause a disparate impact because of race or other protected classifications.”

    […]

    Logic says EEOC’s underlying assumptions are that nonwhites are criminals. That’s absurd and insulting.

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