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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The far-right Epoch Times media company was at the center of a fraudulent money-laundering and cryptocurrency scam involving tens of millions of dollars, the justice department said on Monday as it announced the indictment of its chief financial officer Bill Guan.

    The 61-year-old executive “conspired with others to participate in a sprawling, transnational scheme to launder at least approximately $67m of illegally obtained funds”, according to a statement from the US attorney’s office of the southern district of New York. Proceeds went to the company, it said, and for the personal enrichment of individuals including Guan, who faces up to 70 years in prison on one count of conspiring to commit money laundering and two counts of bank fraud.
    …………………….
    “Under Guan’s management, members of the team and others used cryptocurrency to knowingly purchase tens of millions of dollars in crime proceeds, including proceeds of fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits, that had been loaded onto tens of thousands of prepaid debit cards,” the statement said.

    The proceeds were then allegedly “laundered” through a certain cryptocurrency platform and turned into digital currency at 70 to 80 cents on the dollar, prosecutors said. Team members then used stolen personal identification information to open accounts and funnel the profits there, and subsequently into accounts held in their own names.

    Guan, of Secaucus, New Jersey, lied to investigators about the source of the money when they started looking into an extraordinary 410% increase in the Epoch Times’ annual revenue from approximately $15m to about $62m, the statement further alleges.
    ………………………
    In October of last year, NBC News reported an even larger increase in the Epoch Times revenue base, of 685% over two years.

    Why does it seem like everything on the right is a grift?

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Opinion piece n the Guardian: Don’t blame voters for a far right surge in Europe. Blame the far right’s mainstream copycats

    You’re not too bright, are you Matthijs Rooduijn? The far right is giving the voters what they want: Somebody to blame.

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Why does it seem like everything on the right is a grift?

    I mean, because it is?

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Joshua D. Zimmerman
    @jzimme6084

    Gotta love New York. Here, after the guilty verdict, a NY deli is offering this new sandwich

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Oh c’mon… That’s too obvious!

    s// just in case anybody doesn’t get it.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Uncle Chad
    @GIGACHAD2021

    THE ONLY SONG THAT MATTERS TODAY:

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  7. Scott says:

    I pay attention to most things military but I hadn’t heard about this combat action:

    A combat controller earned a secret Air Force Cross for battle with Russian mercenaries

    An Air Force combat controller dodged bullets, artillery shells and even direct fire from enemy tanks as he coordinated U.S. firepower against an oncoming battalion of Russian and Syrian tanks and fighters in early 2018. By the end of the four-hour shoot-out, the Air Force commando had directed airstrike and artillery that wiped out hundreds of Russian and Syrian soldiers and vehicles, while an isolated post of about 40 U.S. special ops troops suffered no casualties. The Air Force confirmed last week that the commando was awarded the Air Force Cross — a valor award second only to the Medal of Honor — in September 2020 for his actions in the Battle of Khasham, an engagement widely covered for its heavy death toll but whose details remain murky.

    The Battle of Khasham saw roughly 500 troops supporting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, including members of the Kremlin-aligned Wagner Group mercenary company, attack American special operations forces, only to suffer heavy casualties as the soldiers, a quick response force and major air support repelled the assault.

    As for the end results, no American service member was wounded or killed. One SDF member was injured, the U.S. Army said at the time. The same could not be said for the pro-Assad forces. The actual total has never been fully confirmed, with the U.S., Syria, Russia and outside investigators all reporting different casualty figures. It’s believed that up to 300 Syrian and Wagner Group fighters were killed.

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  8. Kathy says:

    Apologies for reposting this. It’s only because I posted it late last night:

    Video of lawyers explaining Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer’s NY state trial.

    Little I didn’t know, but succinctly presented and with more references to documentary evidence than you get in most other media. At around 22:40, there’s a critique of Orangefuhrer’s lawyers.

    I don’t expect this would work with any of our trolls. But if I find a similar video with animation of talking animals and/or using sock puppets, I’ll link to it.

    I need to add that the complaint that the prosecution didn’t call some witnesses is the epitome is idiocy. One, it’s not the prosecution’s job to help the defense make their case (amazed that this needs to be pointed out). You may as well complain the Chiefs did not pass the ball to the 49ers. Two, the defense in a criminal trial has subpoena powers, and could have called any of these essential witnesses the prosecution was mean enough not to call on the defense’s behalf.

    So, Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer was found guilty because:

    a) he committed crimes
    b) he’s a lousy client who
    c) had lousy lawyers

    Oh, and in criminal trials, there are no do-overs.

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  9. Kingdaddy says:
  10. Paul L. says:

    @Kathy:
    Legal Eagle Devin predicted that Disney would trounce Desantis in court. But said nothing about Disney settling the case.
    Of course, you would not know that as lefty blogs like OutsidetheBeltway embargoed that story when Disney lost.
    https://crooksandliars.com/2022/04/disney-fights-back

    Oh, and in criminal trials, there are no do-overs.

    Really? Central Park 5?
    https://innocenceproject.org/petitions/new-yorkers-challenging-wrongful-convictions/

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  11. Kathy says:

    I caught a bit of Men in Black 3 the other day on TV, specifically when M sends Will Smith to get the time jump thingy, while the Earth is being invaded by aliens.

    Right there I thought: why doesn’t M send like a big effing squad of agents, instead of one lone agent, if the mission is sooooooooooo vital?

    Yes, I know. Then it wouldn’t be a vehicle for the star of the movie.

    But then, the aliens were also at this level of stupid. In the 60s they had to stop the macguffin. And they also sent one single agent, Boris, even though the mission was soooooooooo important.

    BTW, if they do MIB 4, the secret to defeating the evil alien who wants to take out the Earth this time, should be to slap him hard.

    Unless they recast the J character.

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  12. Paul L. says:

    What I learned from the Legal Eagle Devin Stone video
    Cost $630,000 ($70,000 + $35,000*16) to pay a garden tool $100,000 to keep her [***] mouth shut.
    I hope that Trump deducted the full amount from his taxes.

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  13. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: There’s also the meme of “the solitary individual who can singlehandedly accomplish what legions can’t” that dates back probably pre-Scarlet Pimpernel and recurs periodically as various costumed superheroes and more mundane heroes like Agent J and

    Bond, James Bond.

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  14. just nutha says:

    @Paul L.: You can’t deduct the cost of garden tools from your taxes unless you use them in your business. But I’m relieved to see that you’ve figured out that Trump shouldn’t have charged a potential business expense to his Presidential campaign.

    Baby steps. Baby steps.

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  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    Hey, since you’ve dropped by, what is your reaction to Trump’s claim that he never said, ‘Lock her up.’

    Here’s your opportunity to demonstrate some tiny shred of honesty. Trump lied. Right?

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  16. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    Yeah, but it gets old fast.

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  17. Paul L. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Trump said “Lock her up”. He was false and misleading.
    Now defend Biden’s false and misleading quote.

    “And I might add: The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn’t buy a cannon.”

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  18. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: It goes even a step further: these Trumper-trumpers are calling attention to the fact that the defense CHOSE not to call those witnesses, which implies that their testimony would have hurt Trump’s case.

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  19. Paul L. says:

    @just nutha:
    You can deduct a legal expense for a NDA resulting from a business expense such as food, entertainment and lodging when you were on a business and brand promotion trip.
    Where was the $630,000 on the Trump campaign SEC disclosure forms?
    What testimony from Karen McDougal could have exonerated Trump?
    I love @Kathy: believes that the defense has to prove innocent instead of the prosecutor/government has to prove guilt.

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  20. steve says:

    Thx for the video Kathy. Best explanation I have seen especially as it uses the transcripts from the trial. I had not known that Trump’s lawyers agreed that i allowing the 3 avenues to the felony was actually the norm and it was the Trump lawyers asking for an exception. Also god explanation of how they arrived at paying Cohen $420,000 with Trump’s people noting Cohen needed to be paid more than $130,000 to account for taxes. If it was just going to be an expense they could directly reimburse him the $130k. However, if they wanted to keep it secret they had to call it income so they had to increase the amount he was paid to make him whole.

    Steve

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  21. SenyorDave says:

    Headline of the day:
    Donald Trump Is Banned from 37 Countries as Convicted Felon, Including Major Allies Like Canada and U.K.

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  22. ptfe says:

    @Paul L.: Seriously, dude, wtf is wrong with you?

    Tell me why you so desperately want Donald Trump to be Your Boy. What does he bring to the table? Do you think he would give you a nickel if you were homeless on the street? Do you think he would bat an eye at stepping on your face to further his own career? Do you think he actually respects his millions of near-destitute supporters willing to shell out every spare penny to support his campaign? Why are you captured by a grifter? He claimed to be a billionaire, then literally begged for money to defend himself in court, raked in cash to do that – and still lost! Would you believe any other stranger who did this?

    His various petty crimes are well-documented, and his list of “near-miss” major crimes is extensive. He is persistently nearly in trouble with the law because of reprehensible behavior – why do you admire him? Why are you defending him? Why are you convinced that these petty crimes (usually washed by burying them under administrative paperwork that just takes too much time and effort to untangle) and almost-actionable large-scale crimes (and sometimes actionable, such as his illegal racist rental policies and his fake university) are unrelated to actionable large-scale crimes?

    What is it about a shallow, sad old man with verbal diarrhea that so entrances you that you’ll spill this much ink over a conviction that probably won’t even land him in prison? Why are you so upset by 12 jurors deciding that Trump actually did break the law not once, not twice, but at least 34 times, and convinced that you, oh great outside observer, know The Truth and that is that Trump is innocent as a babe in the cradle? Why don’t you spend this much time and effort attempting to exonerate convicted murderers whose lives are now lived behind bars? (The Innocence Project has a ton of backlogged cases, unfortunately.)

    What will Trump do for you that no similar person can?

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  23. Paul L. says:

    @ptfe:

    What will Trump do for you that no similar person can?

    Trump upsets the people I hate.
    I don’t like Trump’s actions on Red Flag laws and Covid but Biden is far worst.
    Funny, Biden had to reopen the country to avoid the backlash

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  24. SenyorDave says:

    @Paul L.: Who are the people you hate?

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  25. ptfe says:

    @Paul L.: So let me just clarify this:

    1. You hate your fellow Americans.
    2. That hate is enough to lead you to support someone, no matter what else they do.
    3. You dislike (at least some of) the policies of that person.
    4. But because “the alternative is worse on those policies” you will live with that person who similarly hates your fellow Americans.
    5. And therefore you must……..defend him when he steps in his own shit and try to lick his boots clean?

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  26. Scott says:

    @SenyorDave: More important: Why?

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  27. ptfe says:

    @ptfe: Let me put it even more succinctly: if the only redeeming feature of Donald Trump is that he “upsets the people [you] hate”, why does it matter if he breaks the law? Why do you even feel the need to defend him? He’s still doing the thing you love, right? Heck, even more so! His bad behavior that so riles up the Left is in the news! Is defending him…satisfying in some way? Gratifying? Do you think he needs you to sit online and spend hundreds of hours staring at transcripts to defend him in the court of public opinion? Why isn’t he doing that himself?

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  28. Paul L. says:

    @SenyorDave:
    Democrats/Commies who want to disarm and silence anyone who disagrees with them for US Dekulakization.
    I forgot to mention I dislike Trump’s love of the law enforcement caste.

    And therefore you must……..defend him when he steps in his own shit and try to lick his boots clean?

    I suspect this is projection from a paid political operative.
    I hope Republicans uses the same legal theory as DA Bragg to prosecute the Clinton campaign, Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS for the Steele dossier.

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  29. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    Trump upsets the people I hate.

    Trump upsets women, gays, people of color, educated whites, sensible conservatives, supporters of democracy, patriots, suburban moms, and decent people of all backgrounds.

    I’m fine having rightwingers declare they have no principles and do not care about policy — that their cult like devotion to rapist, pedophile, and convicted felon Trump is based solely on their bigotry, racism, sexism, and homophobia.

    This is why the intellectually and morally bankrupt Rethuglikkklan Party keeps losing elections. MAGA openly admits it has nothing to offer but hate. Sad!

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  30. SenyorDave says:

    @Paul L.: I can’t tell if you are serious, or you’re just fucking around. The entire Republican party has rallied around Trump and many have said that he is above the law. And you don’t see that as a major problem?
    You’re too busy supporting him because he supposedly hates the right people. I say supposedly because he will “hate” any group of people if he thinks it will get him more support.

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  31. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    I hope that Trump deducted the full amount from his taxes.

    Me too, as this illegal act would result in more desperate meltdowns and multi-day tantruming from folks like you, when Convicted Felon Trump receives another guilty verdict.

    The fear of Trump Republicans is palpable. Their tears taste delicious.

    Lock! Him! Up!
    Lock! Him! Up!
    Lock! Him! Up!
    Lol

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  32. DK says:

    @SenyorDave:

    I can’t tell if you are serious, or you’re just fucking around.

    MAGA conservatives are tantruming, seeing Trump’s convicted felon status shift a sliver of voters away from their pedo king. In a close election, that could be devastating for Republicans.

    That’s the reason for the unhinged rage posting. It’s just impotent fear and desperation, on top of their usual diminished brainpower. These folks ain’t the sharpest tools in the shed; many are super dumb.

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  33. becca says:

    I’m willing to bet Paulie lives on a disability check (nothing wrong with that) or possibly an insurance payout due to a serious accident involving devastating brain trauma.
    I am not joking.

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  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    That was indeed a false statement. Simple common sense dictated that people couldn’t own cannon.

    Now, shall we go on to more of the very long list of Trump lies? Let’s start with the 2020 election. Thus far Trump has produced zero evidence to support his lie that the election was stolen. So do you agree that Trump has lied about this hundreds of times?

    Trump upsets the people I hate.

    Tells everything we need to know about you as a human being. Well, that plus your obsession with men falsely accused of sex crimes.

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  35. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    I hope Republicans uses the same legal theory as DA Bragg to prosecute the Clinton campaign, Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS for the Steele dossier.

    Sussmann acquitted on charge brought by special counsel Durham

    Womp womp. Keep the flailing MAGA tears coming lololol

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  36. Kathy says:

    @ptfe:

    You should ask his psychiatrist.

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  37. Kingdaddy says:

    Paul, I’m worried for you. You’re inventing enemies where there are none. You say that you hate…

    Democrats/Commies who want to disarm and silence anyone who disagrees with them for US Dekulakization.

    I have no idea what “Dekulakization” means to you. (Though I do know what the term “kulak” meant, in the context of Soviet history.) I do know that Democrats and Commies are not the same, and adding a slash between those two nouns does not magically conjoin them, Democrats fought the Cold War against communism across the globe during the Cold War. Democrats stand against the remnants of communism today, as well as against Russian neo-imperialism. And no one, repeat, no one, on this site has ever said that they were a Marxist, Leninist, Stalinist, Maoist, or any other flavor of communist. Nor can you read that into their statements. You have no enemies here, no one embargoing the news, no one defending silencing people with unpopular opinions, no one silencing you.

    What you do see here is concern about how you seem to be marinated in some fairly extreme, unsubstantiated, and frequently indecipherable opinions. If you want to talk about how college campuses may be less tolerant to dissenting viewpoints than they should be, fine, let’s discuss. If you want to talk about how Chinese propaganda and misinformation may be affecting people in the United States, great, let’s do that. Those are all serious issues that deserve to be discussed in a serious fashion. But that’s not what you’re doing.

    I appreciate your honesty in explaining why you support Trump, because he stands against the people you hate. Unfortunately, hate is not merely a poor starting point for principled discussion. When you combine that hate with a willingness to ally with unscrupulous, corrupt, mendacious, and cruel people, because they’re willing to attack your presumed enemies with meat cleavers, it leads to very bad destinations. The first stop is the destruction of the very open society and rule of law that you apparently value, as has happened in places like Nicaragua, Iran, Russia, and many others. The last stop — not always reached, but it’s hard to say for sure when it won’t be — is the guillotine, the firing squad, the terror famine, the gulag, and the gas chamber. Again, the very things you say you fear.

    So, from one human being to another: Please take a break from what you’re doing. Assuming that you do want to have a serious discussion about serious issues, you’ll be surprised, if you take a different path to discussing what concerns you, how many people here won’t dismiss you as a troll. I appreciate that you are willing to engage with people here, since it means you haven’t retreated into a complete informational bubble.

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  38. Paul L. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Cannons were and still can be privately owned.
    Let’s start with the 2020 election.
    Biden lied that 51 intelligence officials proved the the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation.
    @Kathy:
    Feminist Lawyer states 3 crimes that CONVICTED FELON ORANGEFUHRER RRRREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!1! with not charged with.
    First, and most obvious, is tax fraud,
    Cohen filed a false tax return claiming that he’d earned $420,000 for work performed, when he was actually being reimbursed
    The second crime was a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act, or FECA,
    The third predicate was a violation of New York Election Law Section 17-152

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  39. CSK says:

    “Trump hates the people I hate” is the very essence of MAGA thinking. It’s all you need to know about them.

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  40. Paul L. says:

    “Dekulakization” means to you.

    Kill the Rich and their Capitalist supporters.

    no one, on this site has ever said that they were a Marxist, Leninist, Stalinist, Maoist, or any other flavor of communist.

    How about Gustopher and the Democrat support of Antifa.
    Ted Kennedy’s Soviet Gambit

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  41. CSK says:

    Michael Whatley, chair of the RNC, says he is making contingency plans if Trump has to accept the nomination in jail.

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  42. Matt says:

    @Scott: Probably because Russian forces including wagnar got wrecked and they didn’t want to talk about it. Especially after Russia told the USA they had no forces there just prior to the US forces wrecking shit.

    The USA didn’t want to talk about it because it would remind/inform the voting public of US military being present in Syria.

    This and some other engagements have been brought up in certain areas when discussing how the USA would handle Russia/wagnar in a war. Usually it’s connected to comparisons to how Ukraine is doing.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    That was indeed a false statement. Simple common sense dictated that people couldn’t own cannon.

    Private citizens did and still do own cannons. Biden was factually wrong. Not sure why he had to make such an easily avoidable error.

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  43. @Paul L.:

    Of course, you would not know that as lefty blogs like OutsidetheBeltway embargoed that story when Disney lost.

    For the record, we don’t “embargo” anything.

    Every contributor has a full-time job and we all provide this service free of charge.

    Finite time and finite space mean we don’t (and can’t) cover everything.

    If readers feel a specific topic should be covered, they are free to start their own blog.

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  44. Matt says:

    @Paul L.: So yeah +40 years ago Ted Kennedy made a questionable proposal. Meanwhile Ronald Reagan was actively supporting genocide in Guatemala. The people Reagan was supporting in El Salvador weren’t much better. Then came the illegal weapon sales to Iran and the support given to the terrorist Contras in Nicaragua. The contra affair heavily involved Honduras as the Contras with the help of the US military used the country as a base of operations for their terrorist attacks.

    Notice how the “migrant caravans” originated in… El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Gee golly it’s almost like the USA’s short sighted intervention policies ended up creating problems we had to deal with in the future….

    I find it interesting that you characterize the settlement as a loss. Disney still has the option to unpause some of the lawsuits and they got their man Mateer to replace Garcia (a vocal critic of Disney and a very big problem). Seems like both sides ended up winning based on what we’ve seen of the settlement details. Time will tell how this ends up though.

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  45. mattbernius says:

    The Disney case was not one I was follow. That said, I think it’s dangerous to call settlements wins or losses in many cases. And looking at the details surrounding this one it doesn’t really seem like a loss for Disney:

    On March 27, 2024, Disney settled its pending state court lawsuits with DeSantis. Per the agreement, Disney put the appeal of their federal lawsuit on hold while negotiations regarding a new development agreement with Florida play out. However, no alterations to Disney’s appeal of the federal lawsuit were made.[5][6][7] The settlement came a day after DeSantis replaced two Disney critics on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District with two Disney supporters[8][9] and two weeks after The Parental Rights in Education Act was largely overturned by a court.[10][11]

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_v._DeSantis

    That outcomes seems far more favorable to Disney than, say the Settlement in Dominion v. Fox.

    In the end both sides walked away with things that they wanted in this case.

    On March 27, Disney and DeSantis reached a settlement in the case, allowing DeSantis more control over Disney’s operations in Florida while allowing Disney to negotiate a new development agreement with the state.[5]

    BTW, did we even write about the initial suit?

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  46. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    See, that’s the logical inference. But given the quality of Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer’s legal representation overall, who the hell can even begin to tell?

    @steve:

    There’s a lot that’s happened at the request of his lawyers, or because of his lawyers’ actions, that Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer later whines and bitches about. Like the bench trial for fraud, because his lawyers did not request a jury trial. And now the sentencing date, when his lawyers requested a mid to late July date.

    One lat thing. The payment to cohen were made in 2017. By then Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer sat at the oval office, and could afford not to keep the reimbursement a secret. Yet, well, we saw what happened.

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  47. MarkedMan says:

    Perhaps one good thing may come of the Hunter Biden trial: if we can set the precedent that anyone who lies about using drugs on a gun registration form should be convicted of a felony, and therefore prevented from ever owning or possessing a gun again. I’m just thinking about how marijuana was a Schedule 1 drug until a couple of weeks ago. We could put the vast majority of gun owners behind bars.

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  48. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:

    The Disney case was not one I was follow. That said, I think it’s dangerous to call settlements wins or losses in many cases.

    Sorry, contributing from a hike… Dangerous isn’t the right word. Short sighted or mistake.

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  49. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:

    The Disney case was not one I was follow. That said, I think it’s dangerous to call settlements wins or losses in many cases.

    Sorry, contributing from a hike… Dangerous isn’t the right word. Short sighted or mistake.

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  50. DK says:

    India’s Modi claims victory as he heads for reduced majority (BBC)

    Mr Modi’s BJP-led alliance is leading in more than 290 of 543 seats up for grabs, well short of their target of 400.

    The Congress and other allied opposition parties have surprised observers, and are now expected to win more than 230…

    The results give the lie to a slew of exit polls at the weekend that showed the BJP-led NDA alliance on course for a super majority of two-thirds of parliament, which would have allowed it to make changes to the constitution…

    This is a setback for the party and means – for the first time – Mr Modi would have to rely on smaller parties in the NDA to push through its agenda.

    …An average 66% of voters took part in the election, official figures showed. It was the biggest such exercise the world has ever seen, with nearly a billion registered voters – about one in eight of the global population.

    Democracy ftw.

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  51. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:

    The Disney case was not one I was follow. That said, I think it’s dangerous to call settlements wins or losses in many cases.

    Sorry, contributing from a hike… Dangerous isn’t the right word. Short sighted or mistake would be more accurate. Most settlements are compromises.

    @Matt:

    Private citizens did and still do own cannons. Biden was factually wrong. Not sure why he had to make such an easily avoidable error.

    People speaking off the dome often get stuff wrong. And speechwriters are not known for fact checking. Which annoys subject matter experts (like you are on this topic) to no end.

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  52. ptfe says:

    @Paul L.: I guess I’m still lost. What does Trump bring to the table that no other person does? This basically establishes what makes him “worth defending”. Shit, Elon Musk upsets lefties! Why aren’t you boot-licking that guy, who doesn’t seem to be doing anything illegal but is just a generally lousy human being? Surely there are politicians who are that Right-Libertarian-asshole combo you love so much but aren’t laundering money through shell corporations or screwing the workers who build his buildings or selling fake degrees online or paying Boy Scout dues with funds from a charity or bragging about sexual harassment and abuse.

    Instead you’re busy wasting your time – like seriously wasting your time – so you can shine the bust of a guy whose history is as a scumbag con artist. Like, go back through Trump’s life: he’s a bad human being who has done a bunch of marginally illegal and actually illegal shit, and probably legal shit that you would be blowing up about if a Rich Guy pulled it on you. “Yeah but he pisses off the right people!” But then…he’s busy kissing the ass of law enforcement just like the rest of the Republicans while spouting off nonsense about how he and only he is being persecuted. So why would you support any of them? You say that “Biden is worse!” but…like…Trump obviously isn’t going to change, and there’s a huge faction on the Left that agrees with you about LE overreach. You’ll be hard-pressed to find fellow travelers supporting Republicans who aren’t just complaining about the FBI but would gladly give their local police free rein to shoot civilians for sneezing the wrong way.

    Your actions here make no sense. You’re spending your precious time on this planet sifting through transcripts to find Things You Think Are Exonerating for a guy you don’t really agree with, a guy who doesn’t know you, a guy who would step on your grandmother if it put a dollar in his pocket.

    It’s entirely irrational, just a colossal waste of your time so you can jerk off to getting a rise out of, like, moderately-well-known author Michael Reynolds. I mean, maybe update your “heroes” list to exclude people who make you feel like you have to spend time defending them even when you know they’re shitty?

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  53. becca says:

    India’s election indicate Modi underperformed his polling. His party won, but many reporters are saying his harsh rhetoric about Muslims and others put a good number of voters off him. Apparently, his “brash style of branding” has lost some sheen. He may have to share power.
    Hopefully, this is a global trend.

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  54. becca says:

    @becca: I see DK beat me to it.

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  55. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Paul L.:

    I hope Republicans uses the same legal theory as DA Bragg to prosecute the Clinton campaign

    And what legal theory would that be that requires no evidence?

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  56. dazedandconfused says:

    @Scott:

    Nobody likes to talk about Diel ex Zor much. It’s a tricky situation about the one place in Syria that produces oil…and close to Iraq it be…so in the chaos of civil wars raging in both places we sit on it with tactic (but shaky) acceptance of that condition by all parties. Occasionally some outfits get a notion they might want to take that oil though. Civil wars breed somewhat independent ideas in the heads of fighters sometimes, particularly the ilk of Russian mercs it seems. They had to get the piss slapped out of them a couple of times trying that, might have been more but only twice I am aware of. Slow learners, I guess. So it goes…

    Here’s an article I found that describes the odd situation that continues to exist even now.

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  57. Paul L. says:

    @mattbernius:

    it’s Short sighted or mistake to call settlements wins or losses in many cases.

    Yes,
    A lawyer claimed that any settlement over $25,000 with Qualified Immunity proves the cops were wrong.
    The City of Glendale has settled a years-long federal lawsuit against police officers who made up a blinker violation, unlawfully threatened a passenger with jail, and then tasered him nearly a dozen times. The terms of the city’s settlement with Johnny Wheatcroft and his children are confidential.
    Pima County, the towns of Sahuarita, Marana, and Oro Valley, approved a combined settlement of $3.4 million to Jose Guerena’s widow, with Pima County contributing $2.35 million, Sahuarita, $260,000, Marana, $720,000, and Oro Valley, $100,000.
    Alex Wubbels, the nurse who was arrested for refusing to let a police officer draw blood from an unconscious patient, has settled with Salt Lake City and the University of Utah for $500,000.
    John J. McKenna will at least be compensated for his injuries in the form of a $2 million settlement from Prince George’s County .
    The insurer for the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office agreed Wednesday to a $6 million settlement with six families who had charged the office with a pattern of excessive use of force, according to Raleigh-based attorney Robert Zaytoun, who represents the plaintiffs.
    The lawsuit was filed by the family of John David Livingston – shot and killed by a Harnett County deputy in November 2015 – and five others who alleged excessive use of force by the department.
    Reporter accepts $80,000 to settle lawsuit over arrest at DeWine derailment news conference.
    Sorry I don’t believe the approved propaganda from Wikipedia for the Disney case.

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  58. mattbernius says:

    @Paul L.:

    Sorry I don’t believe the approved propaganda from Wikipedia for the Disney case.

    Thanks for being honest Paul.

    This is ultimately the problem with you Paul, you don’t believe anything you disagree with. Science or legal citations be damned.

    You choose not to share base reality with the rest of us. The only truth you subscribe to is you know better.

    I think we all need to remember that when entering into good faith discussions.

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  59. Paul L. says:

    @ptfe:

    What does Trump bring to the table that no other person does?

    Maybe FBI/DOJ/FISA disbandment or reform. I want to believe he will order the DOJ to turn over the subpoenaed by Congress ATF Fast and Furious, IRS Targeting of Tea party groups and Crossfire Hurricane documents that he used to blackmail old man Mueller to not indict and convict him.

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  60. mattbernius says:

    For those with more curiosity, here is reporting on the settlement. For the record, it does look like if yoou has to declare a winner, DeSantis arguable finishes slightly ahead:
    https://apnews.com/article/disney-florida-ron-desantis-settlement-91040178ad4708939e621dd57bc5e494

    It’s great to see the glee that some anti-police folks take over DeSantis (who has greatly increased tough on crime policing and prosecution powers during his tenure… Including creating new special police units) winning on things like this extension of state power over private organizations… I thought eating capitalists was what the opposition did.

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  61. Paul L. says:

    @mattbernius:
    Come on Matt. Here is a citation for you
    Former Wikipedia CEO and NPR’s CEO Katherine Maher on ‘the truth’:
    “Our reverence for the Truth might be a distraction that’s getting in the way of finding common ground and getting things done.”

    Science or legal citations be damned.

    I can post the district court decisions for Turner v. Driver and Fields v. City of Philadelphia as legal citations. Or the Science citation that stress causes ulcers. They are still wrong.

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  62. Paul L. says:

    @mattbernius:
    I remember the predictions that Disney was going to steamroll Desantis in court.
    I don’t like that Desantis signed the protect bad cops from transparency law SB182.
    But I hope New York adopts it and brings back Stop and Frisk and the 50-a law.

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  63. mattbernius says:

    Also it works be great if for transparency sale settlement details in all cases were always public.

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  64. just nutha says:

    @Kingdaddy: “…no one silencing you.”

    Technically, that may not be completely accurate given that just yesterday, I suggested that it wouldn’t be an abuse of the hosts’ power to make him come back as a different sock puppet pseudo-identity than Paul L. Some might go so far as to say I advocated banning him, and such people would not be wrong.

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  65. just nutha says:

    @Kingdaddy: “Assuming that you want to have a serious discussion…”

    I think he’s pretty clear that he doesn’t want that at all. He’s just here for the chance to hate and be obnoxious.

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  66. just nutha says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Or mention said topic here to see if others will join the conversation.

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  67. becca says:

    I watched Merrick Garland indulge Jim Jordan and co on the House judiciary committee.
    I haven’t always been happy with Garland, but today he impressed me with his steadiness and consistency.
    And incredible control. The GOP could not have been more transparent in their trump groveling. It was embarrassing, like watching B movie goons trying to seem sophisticated and serious. I guess they were trying to channel trump himself.
    And MTG crawled out from under the boulder Jasmine Crockett dropped on her bleach blond head to totally enshit herself during the Dr Fauci inquisition yesterday.
    As coach used to say in Letterkenny, it was fuckin’ embarrassing.

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  68. mattbernius says:

    @Paul L.:
    Call: when did Steven, James, or I make that prediction.

    And beyond that, finding a single quote is a shitty way to prove a point.

    But that’s your style. Like when you called global warming a hoax. And predicted that Mann would lose all of his lawsuits.

    Or tried to interpret law only to be told by multiple lawyers you were wrong and still refused to believe it.

    Seriously, you never accept or acknowledge anything that contradicts facts.as you have already done in this thread. Just gish gallop on.

    Thanks for another crappy interaction. One day I swear I will learn.

    Keep on voting for and celebrating pro police
    Candidates. It’s so cute how you simp for them.

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  69. mattbernius says:

    @Paul L.:
    Call: when did Steven, James, or I make that prediction.

    And beyond that, finding a single quote is a shitty way to prove a point.

    But that’s your style. Like when you called global warming a hoax. And predicted that Mann would lose all of his lawsuits.

    Or tried to interpret law only to be told by multiple lawyers you were wrong and still refused to believe it.

    Seriously, you never accept or acknowledge anything that contradicts facts.as you have already done in this thread. Just gish gallop on.

    Thanks for another crappy interaction. One day I swear I will learn.

    Keep on voting for and celebrating pro police
    Candidates. It’s so cute how you simp for them.

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  70. anjin-san says:

    @Paul L.:

    Trump upsets the people I hate.

    ♪ ♫ ♬ But if you want money for people with minds that hate, all I can tell you is brother, you have to wait… ♪ ♫ ♬

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  71. JohnSF says:

    @just nutha:
    Can’t speak to the US, but in the UK its pretty well known that His Majesty’s Revenue tend to get decidedly peeved if you claim personal expenditure as deductible business expenses.
    Soggy and hard to light, as they say.

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  72. JohnSF says:

    @ptfe:

    What does Trump bring to the table that no other person does?

    Covfefe?

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  73. JohnSF says:

    @Scott:
    A widely reported tale in the military world, apparently.
    First heard it from a Army Air Corps chap I know.
    Who said the main point was that the Russian air force in Syria, and the Syrian/Russian air defences, were very prudently nowhere in evidence. Seems they’d been told rather bluntly that if they stepped in, they’d get stepped on.

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  74. DK says:

    @becca:

    Apparently, his “brash style of branding” has lost some sheen. He may have to share power.
    Hopefully, this is a global trend.

    Per usual when incumbents struggle, the base reason is that India is struggling economically, with high unemployment and increasing post-pandemic income inequality. Modi’s divisiveness is the adjacent reason; he’s seen as overly-preoccupied with the culture war instead.

    We see again that while pocketbook issues and security issues are not the only issues that matter, but they’d better among the ruling party’s most visible priorities. Being an extremist jerk who fans the flames of bigotry will only get you so far and may even backfire, when you offer no serious fiscal solutions or prosperity planning.

    Republicans keep finding this out, too, yet they keep doubling down on emptiness and hate.

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  75. DK says:

    @just nutha:

    Some might go so far as to say I advocated banning him, and such people would not be wrong.

    He wouldn’t be silenced as he could talk elsewhere, with no added burden or duress.

    Private citizens in private spaces have near-unlimited authority to exercise their right to freedom of association, by curating guests.

    If I say something vile standing in your living room, and you kick me out in response, I haven’t been silenced. I am still free to talk. Just not to you, on your property.

    The angry incels, washed-up comedians, and Twitter betas crying about “being silenced” think they have a right to any audience, anywhere of their choosing. They do not.

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  76. Paul L. says:

    @mattbernius:

    And predicted that Mann would lose all of his lawsuits.

    I did? Maybe I was wrong and should not have listened to Popehat. Now I know better about NY and DC juries. Let us see how the Mann/Steyn case turns out on appeal in 15 or so years.

    Also it works be great if for transparency sale settlement details in all cases were always public.

    Let me fix that for you.
    Also it works be great if for transparency all details in all court cases were always public, and all trials were recorded and available for free to the public.
    Got to dream.

    Keep on voting for and celebrating pro police Candidates. It’s so cute how you simp for them.

    Please name some anti police/pro police transparency and accountability Candidates?
    https://www.congress.gov/event/118th-congress/joint-event/LC70396/text

    F*ck cops
    Mr. Krishnamoorthi (D). Correct. I find these deeply offensive
    as somebody who believes very much in protecting law
    enforcement, not attacking them. Mr. Wilcox, what is your
    reaction to this particular tweet by Mr. Larosiere?
    Mr. Wilcox. I find the words offensive. I think it is an
    attack on law enforcement. And to the subject of this hearing,
    we need to be supporting agencies like ATF who are doing the
    work on the frontlines, not threatening to abolish or defund
    them.
    I was amused the Governor of Utah had to have a disclaimer condemning bad cops in his speech praising and licking the boots of law enforcement.

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  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Paul? Take your meds.

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  78. Kathy says:

    @mattbernius:

    The troll gets very upset when someone makes a wrong prediction. He’s worse than dark matter die-hards criticizing Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND), and testing theory predictions is how the usefulness and validity of a theory is determined.

    Well, that must be a terrible affliction. Most predictions are plain wrong, because, as far as I’ve ben able to ascertain, no one can know the future ahead of time. that’s why it’s called “the future” and not “the past.”

    So here are some:

    Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer will be named Time Magazine’s first ever Convict of the Year. Despite fierce competition from Convicted Felons Holmes, Bankman-Fried, Chauvin, Navarro, Banon, and many others, none have generated as much of an influence on the news or in the lives of so many.

    On 11th July 2024, Judge Merchan will undoubtedly sentence Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer to four years in prison for each count, totaling 136 years. However, he will also make the sentences concurrent.

    Boeing will announce it has secretly developed the B797 mid-market airliner. It will be called the Boeing Midliner, and enter service before the end of the year. It’s a twin aisle narrow body (2-2-2) configuration in economy, made entirely of composites, and it will feature the GE CFM open fan engine (also secretly developed). the range is estimated at a maximum of 10,000 km for the B797-100 (250 passengers) and 9,000 km for the B797-200 (300 pax).

    Xlon Xuxk will ride in Starship’s fifth test flight all the way to Mars and back. Diamonds will be found on Mars, which will come as no surprise to conspiracy theorists who’ve been claiming to have claimed this all along.

    Convicted Felon Orangefuhrer will bite a dog.

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  79. Paul L. says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    No SSRI or antidepressants in my house.
    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db377.htm
    I’ll ask for them next doctor visit. Will saying I am a Trump supporter get me them? Odd that the Doctor can’t see how bat guano crazy I am. I wonder how Cara Santa Maria, Liz Plank and I’ll bet Amanda Marcotte got them.

    No one wants to push back on my MuellerSheWrote level conspiracy theory that Trump used ATF Fast and Furious, IRS Targeting of Tea party groups and Crossfire Hurricane documents to blackmail old man Mueller to not indict and convict him? Will that get me antidepressants?

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  80. Gustopher says:

    @Paul L.:

    How about Gustopher and the Democrat support of Antifa.

    I strongly favor groups like PNW Nazi Watch* that photograph the various Proud Boys and NeoNazis, identify them, track their escalating behavior, and report back to Oregon parole boards when Tiny Toes the Light-Brown White Supremacist leaves the state and brandishes weapons.

    I believe they were also the ones who filmed Tiny Toes being “assaulted” in Portland by a crack in the sidewalk that he tripped over, and then shot himself in the foot, becoming “Nine Toes.” He claimed he was assaulted by Antifa.

    Is PNW Nazi Watch Antifa? Is the sidewalk Antifa? Either way, I think they do good work.

    The Pacific Northwest has a bit of a Nazi problem. They need to be named and shamed. And offered opportunities to trip and literally shoot themselves in the foot.

    *: was that the name? They were kicked off Twitter by the new owner for being like Libs of TikTok (which the new owner likes), but targeting Nazis (who the new owner also likes). Might have been hate watch. And I more passively favor them than support them, which is why I don’t remember their name.

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  81. MarkedMan says:

    If someone admits that he only comes here to fling his poo about because it riles up the inhabitants, believe them.

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  82. just nutha says:

    @JohnSF: FTR, I was only noting the conditions under which such a claim might be made and noting that either way, linking your political campaign to such a payment was ill advised.

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  83. Gustopher says:

    @Paul L.: Have you considered a new fandom?

    Owl House is over, but Disney+ has a new Percy Jackson series.

    And I hear things about Hazbin Hotel, if you want something a bit edgier.

    Animorphs?

    I’d say go out and touch grass, but I’m not sure what the grass has done to deserve that.

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  84. DK says:

    @Paul L.: Cara Santa Maria! Liz Plank! Amanda Marcotte! MuellerSheWrote! ATF Fast and Furious! IRS Targeting! Tea party! Crossfire Hurricane! CRT! DEI! Woke! Antifa! Communist! Blah blah blah! [Insert Rethuglikkklan Bubble Buzzword Here!] Ahhhhgggllhhhh!

    By meds, I think they were thinking less of antidepressants, more of antipsychotics. But maybe it would help to just go outside and touch grass instead of spending all day frying your few remaining brain cells with Twitter addiction.

    Odd that the Doctor can’t see how bat guano crazy I am.

    Then try showing Doctor your online posts with bizarre, incoherent ranting about MuellerSheWrote this and ATF that. Should clue them in on the psychotic break you’re having over rapist pedo Trump becoming a convicted felon.

    MAGA meltdown…hilarious and satisfying.

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  85. Paul L. says:

    @Gustopher:
    Hazbin Hotel was amusing pro-satan propaganda.
    Libs of TikTok mostly reposts videos by the alphabet rainbow cult. She doesn’t need to do the real hard work to stalk and rat on them to the cops.

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  86. just nutha says:

    @DK: My comment was in the interest of clarity. I didn’t want Paul L. coming back with a “oh yeah, well what about when cracker said ‘X’ just yesterday?”

    Additionally, while I concede your larger points, I will also note that I was in fact advocating silencing him on a quasi-public forum. I should proudly own my stands. What else is a cracker to do?

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  87. JohnSF says:

    @just nutha:
    Indeed.
    The really funny thing is that if Trump had just paid Daniels out of his own pocket, it would never have been a problem.
    Neither tax accounting or campaign expenses would ever have been involved, and he’d have been scot free.
    But no, he had to get complicated about it.

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  88. Gustopher says:

    @Paul L.:

    Hazbin Hotel was amusing

    There’s song and dance and cosplay — you could really connect with that fandom if you wanted. I don’t know whether there’s a lot of extended media, but that didn’t stop the Hamilton crowd having a good time for years.

    I think it would be good for you.

    A healthier fandom than your current one. Less anger, more joy.

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  89. mattbernius says:

    One final note, it sucks to go through life with so much hate. And to let that hate guide your ideology.

    Hurt people hurt people. I wish you eventually can find a way to healing Paul.

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  90. JohnSF says:

    @Paul L.:

    “… pro-satan propaganda.”

    Wut?
    If you think that is such, you really need to get out a bit more.
    The amusing thing about “vulgar Satanism” is that it’s mostly an American thing, because it’s seen as “so transgressive and rebellious” in an US “Christian” suburban cultural environment.
    US heavy metal “satanists” vs UK Black Sabbath, for whom it was always just a joke.
    The serious Luciferians/pagans (two rather different categories) are a whole different thing altogether.
    Hazbin Hotel ain’t their thing, trust me.
    Doesn’t make them necessarily nice people, btw.
    Or necessarily evil, either,
    Or not delusional, same as most religious types, whether traditional or self-referential.
    General CoE view: “satanists” are a mixture of innocents, fools, and the odd psycho or two.

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  91. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    If readers feel a specific topic should be covered, they are free to start their own blog.

    I know that I’ve suggested banning El Paul in the past, so this might seem inconsistent, but how about giving him front page access? I think what he needs is more space to stretch his wings, and develop his thoughts.

    You have stated that you wanted a wide range of thoughts, and he does have a wide range of thoughts. Sort of.

    He seems constrained by the comment format, often being limited to “but what about Hunter Biden’s pet moose, Generalissimo, eating small children?”, but with more space he could tell us all about how the moose snorted cocaine in Ukraine, in the rain, with a Great Dane, and to what gain.

    Rather than hijacking conversations, he could start his own conversations. Wouldn’t that be nice? And perhaps he will let us all know more about Hazbin Hotel.

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  92. JohnSF says:

    …how about giving him front page access? I think what he needs is more space to stretch his wings, and develop his thoughts.

    Let the games begin!

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  93. Jax says:

    Paul has his own blog, or he used to, and it’s exactly what you’d expect. Guessing he’s not getting much engagement, so he comes to fling poo here.

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  94. Beth says:

    @Gustopher:

    OMG!!! You haven’t watched Hazbin Hotel?!?!? no! Bad Gus! First off, Keith David is a national treasure*. His line, “I swear to Fuck, if you say dicks one more time!” has become a staple at my house (when the kids aren’t around). My partner and I also communicate in Charlie and Vaggie gifs. Charlie is definitely in my “Women characters I aspire to be”. Which also includes Leia and Jyn from Star Wars, the latest animated Harley Quinn, Alexis Rose, and Keely & Rebecca from Ted Lasso. Make what you will from that list, lol.

    Also, while it seems like you and I (and a couple others) are probably the most leftist here, I’m confident enough to guess that neither of us (or them) are communists. Who is an actual communist these days? With one exception, the only people I know that profess to be actual communists in my life are actual morons.

    @JohnSF:

    Hey, I consider myself a pagan and would like to think I’m a nice person, at least most of the time. Nice person, nightmare with commas, but nice person, most of the time. It also strikes me that, personally, Lucifer isn’t a particularly compelling deity. Too masculine for my tastes. I prefer my deities more feminine and much, much more chaotic. I’ve got a nice plan to ask them for some help fighting ghosts this weekend.

    @mattbernius: You’re a mensch. I appreciate how you tried to engage with the turd in the punchbowl. But at the end of the day, he’s still just a turd in the punchbowl. He does make me feel better about my own writing. At least I can type out a couple of coherent thoughts most of the time.

    *He’s on the list of people I so desperately want to be decent that I refuse to find out in case they suck.

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  95. mattbernius says:

    @Gustopher:

    A healthier fandom than your current one. Less anger, more joy.

    This is such good advice for everyone. In fact, I may hijack tomorrow’s open thread with it.

    (Apologies for all the weird duplicate posts all… Coverage in the mountains has been spotty)

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  96. mattbernius says:

    @Gustopher:

    A healthier fandom than your current one. Less anger, more joy.

    This is such good advice for everyone. In fact, I may hijack tomorrow’s open thread with it.

    (Apologies for all the weird duplicate posts all… Coverage in the mountains has been spotty)

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  97. Kathy says:

    @Beth:

    OMG!!! You haven’t watched Hazbin Hotel

    Up until a few moments ago, I’d no idea it even existed. And you’d think I would, as it ticks my box of afterlife mythologies.

    I appreciate how you tried to engage with the turd in the punchbowl.

    What punch bowl?

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  98. JohnSF says:

    @Beth:
    The thing about Lucifer is, it depends on your reference point.
    I recall an SF story where an a time traveling AI angel from the future comes back to meet, and save, Alan Turing, and gets into a convo with C.S. Lewis (trust me, it works, lol)

    “You suppose me to be a Satanist? Do you seriously think I would side with the LOSERS?”

    As for less masculine deities, I’ve always had a regard for Athena.
    When it comes to paganism, I prefer the Classical/Celtic to the Nordic variants. 🙂

    I know quite a few hindu believers: polytheism is pretty normal in Birmingham.

    Chaotic deities are all very well, but if they change their liturgy every week it gets a bit much. 🙂

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  99. Beth says:

    @Kathy:

    omg. I can’t decide if you will like it or really hate it. It’s got a great afterlife mythology. Our turd friend her reminds me of how they portray Adam. It’s also very, very queer. I highly recommend it.

    @JohnSF:

    I consider it a major failure of my imagination that I ended up as Elizabeth and not Athena or Nyx. On the other hand, across two different friend groups I know at least 4-5 Nyxs and at least 3 Athenas.

    When it comes to paganism, I prefer the Classical/Celtic to the Nordic variants

    What I would really love is some decently accurate books about pre-christian British religious practices. If you have any suggestions I would love them. Also, just for clarity I’m using “British” intentionally. I know that it’s way more complicated than that. My lineage is English (Peterborough) and Welsh (Cardiff, I believe but am not sure right now). It would be my preference to have a culturally appropriate non-christian religious practice. As far as I’m concerned, Christianity is fine, it’s just a colonizer religion with colonizer deity.

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  100. wr says:

    @Paul L.: “No one wants to push back on my MuellerSheWrote level conspiracy theory that Trump used ATF Fast and Furious, IRS Targeting of Tea party groups and Crossfire Hurricane documents to blackmail old man Mueller to not indict and convict him?”

    Dude, when you have to beg people to get upset about the bullshit you’re spewing, it’s over. No one takes anything you say seriously — you’ve already admitted too many times that you only want to piss off the people you hate. Whatever idiot claim you make now you’ll replace with another one in five minutes, and everyone knows that.

    Change your name or find another site to troll. There’s nothing for you here anymore.

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  101. Gustopher says:

    @Beth:

    I consider it a major failure of my imagination that I ended up as Elizabeth and not Athena or Nyx. On the other hand, across two different friend groups I know at least 4-5 Nyxs and at least 3 Athenas.

    You can change your name, even now. Just tell everyone that you’ve come to realize that the name Beth is not the right type of fabulous. For most of my life I was known by some boring name, until I shifted to the quintessential dog/sidekick name, Gus.

    You could keep Beth as a work name — it’s handy when someone says “Hi, Name” to immediately peg where you know someone from by virtue of what they call you.

    I don’t think you want to be yet another Nyx though. I can’t tell you what a good name is these days, as my preference would be antiquated names that were popular in the 1920s or so, and I suspect Edith is not your style. Arson? No, that’s more of a man’s name.

    Anyway, if you have any real regret about Beth, just change it.

    As far as Hazbin goes, it’s on my radar, but I’ve been in a more earnest than edgy phase of late, so I think if I watch it now I won’t be giving it a fair shot.

    There’s a new season of a Superman cartoon dropping/dropped, and that seems like what I want — the fantasy that someone will use their abilities to do good, and to inspire others to do good.

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  102. Beth says:

    @Gustopher:

    I double checked with my partner, she said “it goes out of its way to be edgy, but the earnestness follows in its wake.”

    But it is big on inspiring people to do good and be better. With lots of swearing.

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  103. just nutha says:

    @Jax: He has/had his own blog? [Dick Martin voice] I didn’t know that.

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  104. Joe says:

    @Gustopher and for Beth: “Lucretia” is the name, shortened to “Lucy.” Check out Blood, Sweat & Tears, Lucretia MacEvil.

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  105. JohnSF says:

    @Beth:

    “…accurate books about pre-christian British religious practices.”

    It seems there’s not much known about the details.
    It’s overlain by too much, and there’s been a lot of rather iffy speculative “re-imagining” (to be charitable; “making it up” if less so)
    A reasonable starter is “A History of Pagan Europe”, by Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick.
    If the Roman accounts are to be credited, which seems likely, most Celtic and Teutonic paganism was rather charming; but some of it was very unpleasant indeed.

    British and English is very different in this context. Ironically I’ve had Welsh people argue (though not very seriously, lol) that Norse/Teutonic type paganism is a “colonizer religion”, on the basis that they were the beliefs of the English and Viking invaders into a Romano-Celtic Britain that had been largely Christian, by peaceful conversion, for centuries.

    It was about a century after the English settlements began that they started being Christianized, and then more by European missionaries than by the Welsh, or Irish, for various reasons.

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