Tuesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This… is truly disturbing:

    Geosciencing
    Blue heart


    Volcano
    @FaultsNFolds
    Courtesy of joedinn

    Satan, paedophiles and death Oh My!!
    Rolling on the floor laughing
    Face with medical mask
    Anti-mask Florida town-hall meeting. #trump #dumptrump #trump2020 #fyp #wearamask #florida #murica

    I have tears of laughter running down my face. What hath Sarah Cooper wrought?????

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  2. sam says:

    Very trivial, but totally absorbing, lit’ry factoid of the day: in Gaiman and Pratchett’s Good Omens, any cassette tape (this was back in the day) left in a car for more than one week was turned into a Queen tape.

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  3. Kathy says:

    If King Donald the Toddler wants his vast and superior knowledge of the novel coronavirus to be accepted, to prove that it’s just the sniffles and 99% of cases are harmless and how low the mortality rate is, then he should get infected with SARS-CoV-2 and provide the most beautiful demonstration of his great scientific acumen the world has ever seen!

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  4. Kathy says:

    A reminder that it’s not just Trump the Weakling who’s mishandled the pandemic. Our own King Manuel Andres the Last has proven completely ineffectual, more concerned about austerity than results. Do you know officially there have been under one million tests since this thing started? That’s nothing in a country of 128 million.

    There are others, too numerous to list. Just look at the numbers in the various COVID-19 trackers. Look at the graphs for daily cases. Some countries, like the UK, started out badly, but then improved. Others simply have been on an upward trajectory non-stop.

    I can say what went wrong in mexico. Lack of testing aside, the lockdown was optional. While many people did shelter in place, many others didn’t. This meant continuing spread. It may have slowed down a bit, but curve never as much as bent.

    To be fair, there are lots of people who simply had to keep working. Mexico is a poor country, after all. But there was little to no relief offered by Manuel Andres, nor much by state and local governments. There was some, but nowhere near enough.

    Masks are being worn, but hardly by all. And among those who do wear them, many never or rarely cover their nose. About the only good thing is there is no rush to reopen the schools.

    This is going to get much worse very quickly. You will see millions of cases, if there aren’t millions already. With so little testing and with asymptomatic cases, it’s anyone’s guess how far above the 300k infections we really are.

    A vaccine cannot get here soon enough.

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  5. DrDaveT says:

    I genuinely wonder how the anti-mask crowd feel about “Typhoid” Mary Mallon. Is she a martyr to them? Or do they not see the analogy? (Or have they never heard of her…)

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  6. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT:
    I suspect most of them have no idea who she was, though they might have heard the name. I’m more curious to know how they’re dealing with the fact that Donald is now promoting mask wearing as patriotic.

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  7. Jen says:

    Mary Mallon infected 53 people, three of whom died. She was essentially jailed for the rest of her life because she refused to comply with public health orders.

    There are examples of super-spreaders of covid who have infected 70+ people. Mallon looks like an amateur in comparison.

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  8. Kathy says:

    On other things, I saw a show on Amazon Prime called “Dispatches From Elsewhere.”

    Briefly, it’s weird verging on bizarre. Rather unique, IMO, and I’m not sure I got what it was about.

    But what struck me was that one of the main characters, Simone, was a trans woman, and this wasn’t made into a big deal. We’re not even told, or shown, she’s transgender until the second episode, and she never tells any of the other main characters, or the secondary ones, about it, though there are a couple of references with incidental characters.

    In the eighth episode, she does tell one of the main characters, in a very casual way, and he has no visible reaction, even though (spoiler alert!) they were on a date and he is in love with her.

    This is rather contrary to my own experiences, as well as those of other transgender people I know. But a very positive mainstream portrayal of a transgender woman. This kind of thing is how winning the “culture war” looks like.

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  9. sam says:
  10. de stijl says:

    @sam:

    If said cassette had Under Pressure as one of the tracks, totally down for that.

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  11. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Jen:
    The Wiki entry for Mallon is interesting and informative.

    What stands out to me is 1) her personal belief that she was not an carrier, 2) after agreeing to not engage in cooking as a job, she went back to it anyway, 3) her second and final isolation was predicated on her unwillingness to prevent the spread.

    All of which reminds me of those people today that are medical deniers.

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  12. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Glad to see I am not the only Sarah Cooper fan here. She is remarkably talented. Gestures, body sense, facial contortions.

    If all y’all have not seen Cooper recreating Trump’s words, it is fantastic and revealing.

    Check her out. Don’t be a putz.

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  13. JohnSF says:

    In Britain:
    Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee report into Russian political interference in the UK published (at last)
    Key finding: government failed to investigate interference in elections and referendum.
    ISC requests:

    UK intelligence and security community should produce an analogous assessment of potential Russian interference in the EU referendum and that an unclassified summary of it be published.

    Government response: NO

    We have seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU referendum.
    The intelligence and security agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments …
    We keep such assessments under review…
    …the government will always consider the most appropriate use of any intelligence…
    … including whether it is appropriate to make this public. Given this long standing approach, a retrospective assessment of the EU referendum is not necessary.

    In other words, they’re getting away with it, the government will do nothing, the Conservative Party will shrug it’s shoulders, and the country will just have to put up with it.

    And not one thing will be done about one of the main sources of rot near the core of British politics; that the City of London is increasingly becoming the epicentre of a global klepto-finance system.

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: She is pure genius.

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  15. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Love that show.

    Love Simone. She is so wounded and guarded in one aspect of her life and then so open to pursuing the riddle. I won’t spoil, but her arc is stunningly beautiful.

    Segal did really well. I’m glad the the Geeks and Freaks alums did so well later. It heartens me greatly.

    Lindley is great. Sally Field is fantastic. Andre 3000 rocks it hard.

    Great show. Highly recommend.

    Kathy, you might be interested in Lodge 49. Check it.

    Btw, Hey, Ya is song of this century until dethroned. Shake it ssh sshake it

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  16. sam says:
  17. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Sarah Cooper is hilarious.

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  18. JohnSF says:

    One article on some aspects of the role of Britain in laundering Russian money.
    And it’s not just Russian, of course. A large amount of misdirected money from around the world flows through London.
    A lot of so called “tax havens”activity in current or former British Overseas Territories (e.g. British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Bahamas) is these days run from the City rather than locally.

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  19. CSK says:

    @sam:
    There’s nothing like a video of a dog eating a burrito.

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  20. Kathy says:

    @Kathy:

    Feels weird replying to myself….

    I’m working on a few stories involving transgender women. In some, the transgender aspect matters intrinsically. That is, the plot would be different, or non-existent, if the woman involved wasn’t transgender. In others it doesn’t matter or not much.

    For example, take “Ours,” (spoilers ahead), which I’ve talked a bit about before. The gist is that Marina Brook, a trans woman who recently lost her husband, winds up in a parallel universe where 1) her husband’s parallel self is alive and 2) Marina’s parallel self is a cisgender woman.

    Typically in parallel universe situations, the differences are big and profound (see Star Trek, but also Stargate SG1 or The Librarians). Here the differences are small and personal. in the case of Marina, one gene out of place in her paternal X chromosome (the gene shouldn’t be there).

    Another story, “The Third Necropolis,” involves a trans woman, Caroline Mertz*, who is a history enthusiast (I wonder where I got that idea), as well as a tissue engineer (details on request) and ship’s cook. She gets a chance to be the first person to explore an alien artifact, because as a student of history, she’s the closest thing the ship has to an archaeologist.

    The story would be exactly the same if Caroline were cisgender, or for that matter if she were a trans man, or a gay man, or a straight man, or a hermaphroditic alien (distinct from the ones who made the artifact), or even perhaps an android or the ship’s AI.

    The point is to have a positive portrayal of a trans woman.

    In both cases, though, I make it clear the character is transgender very early on. That’s to combat what I call “The Crying Game” effect, which sort of dictates a big reveal or surprise or plot twist.

    * I named her after Caroline Cossey, a transgender pioneer and activist, and Barbara Mertz, an Egyptologist who made the field rather popular among scholarly circles in the US.

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  21. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy:

    a tissue engineer (details on request) and ship’s cook

    “Well, the bad news is that your new liver didn’t come out right. The good news is I know what we’re all eating for dinner tonight.”

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  22. Teve says:

    Kara Swisher: “ What’s the Lincoln project’s policies?”

    Steve Schmitt: “The Lincoln Project is not about policy. We’re not Heritage or Brookings. We’re a submarine roaming the seas and we are out to destroy Donald Trump.”

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  23. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Barbara Mertz was a friend of mine. Toward the end of her life, an interviewer asked her if she had any regrets, and she replied: “Yes. That I didn’t drink more gin.”

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  24. de stijl says:

    @sam:

    I needed that.

    Thanks!

    Such a polite doggo! Most would have swallowed it in two bites. That is a good girl or boy you could invite to a sit down proper dinner party and not have to excuse the manners of your guest.

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  25. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Wow, what a small world.

    I’ve read three of her books, “Red Land, Black land,” “Temple, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs,” and one of her Amelia Peabody mysteries.

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  26. CSK says:

    Well, Trump will be resuming his coronavirus briefings/campaign rallies at five this afternoon. Are we taking bets on how long it will take him to get off the subject of the virus and onto a) bragging about what a wonderful job he’s doing and b) whining about how unfairly he’s being treated? Five minutes? Two minutes?

    By the way, Anthony Fauci was apparently unaware that the briefings would resume today.

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  27. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    🙂 Close enough.

    I actually have something like that in mind for a sprawling novel, which I may write if I ever figure out an ending.

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  28. MarkedMan says:

    Politico was founded by WaPo staffers and like that paper (at least until 2016) definitely has more than a whiff of tuning its coverage so as not to offend anyone, even if it means reporting of the “Democrats say 2+2 is 4, Republicans differ”, variety. Politico was rabidly anti-Clinton in 2016, heavily promoting her supposed corruption (which, like photos of UFO’s and Big Foot, always remains blearily out of reach), and going all in on “But her emails” (the “scandal” in which, like every single one of her predecessors as SoS in the preceding 20+years and their senior staff, she used her personal email account to handle non-classified subjects).

    So it was no surprise when I saw this magazine length “investigation” of Joe Biden’s political corruption. If you read through the whole thing you find that:
    – There was a Delaware business man who sought political favors by raising money for a variety of candidates, including Biden
    – He got caught illegally reimbursing people for their donations, was charged, convicted and went to jail
    – In attempt to get a lighter sentence, he agreed to wear a wire and speak to six Biden campaign officials and try to get them to discuss criminal activities
    – Not one of these attempts bore any fruit
    – He admits that no one in the Biden campaign told him to conduct these illegal activities, that no one would talk to him about such activities, but insists that they knew what he was doing. Psychic abilities?

    And Politico just spent a lot of reporter time and column inches on this nothing burger. I wonder why?

    Next up at Politico: Joe Biden claims he was the inspiration for the main character in “Love Story”; he didn’t deserve his three Purple Hearts; and for god’s sake, WHAT ABOUT HIS EMAILS!!!

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  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Sounds interesting and I’ll definitely add it to the list. Jason Segal is an amazingly creative individual. Here’s the summary:

    “Dispatches From Elsewhere” is an anthology series from creator and star Jason Segal. The story centers around four ordinary people – Peter, Simone, Janice, and Fredwynn — who are brought together by chance after they all respond to a flyer. Feeling as though something is missing in their lives, the characters are drawn into a game that unfolds in a serpentine series of events, taking them from parades to shareholders’ meetings. As they piece together the puzzle to find a path forward, they come to delve deeper into a mind-boggling mystery hiding just behind the facade of everyday life and their eyes are opened to a world of possibility, whimsy and wonder. The 10-episode series features an ensemble cast including Sally Field, Richard E. Grant, André Benjamin, and Eve Lindley.

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  30. de stijl says:

    Bothsiderism is a bane.

    Journalists want to be seen as objective so they buy into these distractions to buy favor from folk who will never, ever grant it to them.

    Please investigate and report on actual malfeasance and corruption. I beg you to. Of whatever party. If you implicate folks I voted for, good. I want to know that and am glad that it was brought to light.

    D: It’s near dinner time. How about pasta and sausage?
    R: I want anthrax and a hubcap.

    MSM: Parties Differ On Dinner Menu

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  31. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Barbara was amazing: a true Renaissance woman. She received her Ph.D. in Egyptology in 1952, and none of her professors assumed she’d do anything but have kids. She proved them wrong.

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  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    The gist is that Marina Brook, a trans woman who recently lost her husband, winds up in a parallel universe where 1) her husband’s parallel self is alive and 2) Marina’s parallel self is a cisgender woman.

    This sounds like an interesting concept. One of my sore points in typical science fiction is the need to go big, or rather, BIG!!!! I find the exploration of modern social themes by extrapolating them and putting them into different circumstances to be the most appealing part of SciFi. And I’m 100% in agreement with Ken Kesey (“One Flew Over the Cuck00’s Nest”) who said that “Write what you know” is terrible advice, which I take to mean that you have to get outside your immediate frame of reference and explore things that are different than what you know.

    An idea I’ve had for a while involves a future where CRISPR is only the beginning. The color of your skin, the texture of your hair, the color of your eyes are all personal choices, and ones that can change in a few weeks. I find it fascinating to imagine the interaction of say, a 35 year old with two young kids and 65 year old parents, when the 35 year old decides to lighten or darken her skin. And extrapolate it another generation, when you can have body tattoos crafted by changing your skin color to every shade, from mahogany red, to ebony black, to golden tan to pearly white. In that second generation will there be “purebl00ds” who are insistently black or white or any other ethnic group by genetics, regardless of how they got there, and who are “canceling” those who insist only family origins matter, and vice versa? Who is more “black”, someone who is is genetically ebony black skin but was Han Chinese until 21, or a historically and socially black person who is so light skinned most people mistake her for white? And what about three or four generations down the line when family origins fade into mist? Who will be the most militant and what about?

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  33. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Dispatches From Elsewhere is odd. Designed to be.

    It is built around a real world event that actually happened – a social media game / riddle.

    Segal initially seems like a tabula rasa, but he isn’t. That Simone is a trans woman is initially treated as incidental. Not even remarked on in the first episode. She just is.

    It is good story telling, and quite interesting. I really enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

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  34. sam says:

    WSJ Journalists Ask Publisher for Clearer Distinction Between News and Opinion Content :

    A group of journalists at The Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones staffers sent a letter on Tuesday to the paper’s new publisher, Almar Latour, calling for a clearer differentiation between news and opinion content online, citing concerns about the Opinion section’s accuracy and transparency.

    The letter, signed by more than 280 reporters, editors and other employees says, “Opinion’s lack of fact-checking and transparency, and its apparent disregard for evidence, undermine our readers’ trust and our ability to gain credibility with sources.”

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  35. Teve says:

    @Teve: my apologies, that was Rick Wilson not Steve Schmidt. Rick then went on to say About people accusing the Lincoln project of making money off of it,

    ‘we’ve burned our boats. The smartest thing for me to have done in 2016 would’ve been to shut up. I would’ve made a lot more money. But I grew a soul, and there’s no Republican party for me anymore. There is no Burkean conservative movement in America anymore. The party has been so thoroughly and utterly compromised by Donald Trump…if Donald Trump and Mike Pence got eaten by wolves tomorrow and somebody said hey Rick help reconstitute the republican party, I’d say no, because the next Republican in 2024 is just going to be Donald Trump Junior, or Tom cotton, or Josh Hawley, or Tucker Carlson… Trump is a terrifying figure but he’d be an apocalyptically terrifying figure if he didn’t have ADD and was actually organized and could think about a project for longer than 15 minutes… Tom Cotton or Tucker Carlson should scare the shit out of people.

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  36. de stijl says:

    @sam:

    Shorter: the op-ed writers are making shit up. Reporters say Please stop! You are damaging our credibility.

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  37. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:

    ‘we’ve burned our boats. The smartest thing for me to have done in 2016 would’ve been to shut up. I would’ve made a lot more money. But I grew a soul, and there’s no Republican party for me anymore.

    I seriously have trouble with these lamentations from prominent Ex-Republicans. For me, it just looks like an attempt to avoid responsibility for creating the conditions for Trump’s rise in the first place.

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  38. inhumans99 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Actually, as naive as I can be at times my reaction to the story was that yup…folks have already looked into the supposedly corrupt Joe Biden (Trump vacillates between calling him corrupt/sleepy, yes?) but it was proven to be a nothingburger.

    In fact, I think this article makes some of the folks who are investigating Joe/Hunter Biden on Trump’s behalf a bit nervous because there is no there…well, there, Clinton really did provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for Republicans to get someone like Trump seated at the head of the table and unfortunately, I have to admit to their credit they made the best of this opportunity.

    People (even some Conservatives) keep telling Republicans that Biden is not Clinton and no one cares about Hunter Biden but the GOP keeps ignoring and just plows forward with trying to take down Biden the same way they did Clinton, but again my take on this article is more glass half-full in that it shows that there is not much to hang your hat on if you are trying to make the “corrupt” label stick to him.

    If anything, this article makes you go hmmm…Biden survived a year long investigation by the FBI who had a man on the inside that was wire tapped up and all they ended up with was more evidence against the very guy they sent into the campaign to dig up dirt on Biden!

    If I were on the investigation committee looking into Biden right now I would be very unhappy with this article as it just illustrates how much of an uphill battle it will be for the GOP to tarnish Biden. It really shows that they are wasting their time as they try to make Trump happy.

    I really think they will learn too late that Biden really is not Clinton.

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  39. sam says:

    Shameless.

    Senate Republican leaders, undeterred by the scathing criticism leveled against them for blocking President Barack Obama’s election-year Supreme Court nominee in 2016, are signaling that they are prepared to confirm a nominee by President Donald Trump even if that vacancy occurred after this year’s election.

    The push comes despite ample apprehension from influential Republicans that the GOP could pay a political price for treating a nominee under Trump differently than they did under Obama. It also comes as Democrats are increasingly worried about the fragile health of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 87-year-old liberal jurist who recently made public a new bout with cancer, and the possibility of other retirements.

    “We will,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Republican leader, when asked if the Senate would fill a vacancy, even during the lame-duck session after the presidential election. “That would be part of this year. We would move on it.”

    Thune’s comments appear to break sharply with his comments in 2016, when then-President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

    “The American people deserve to have their voices heard on the nomination of the next Supreme Court justice, who could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court for a generation,” Thune said in a statement in March 2016. “Since the next presidential election is already underway, the next president should make this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.” [Source]

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  40. de stijl says:

    @sam:

    Notorious RBG has stamina.

    She got this.

    It cracks me up she had to have a staffer explain to her Notorious RBG and her first question is “Who is Wu Tang Clan?” So adorable. I love her.

    Pour some out for ODB. Protect your neck y’all.

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  41. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..By the way, Anthony Fauci was apparently unaware that the briefings would resume today.

    From an interview this morning (Tue. July,21 2020) on NPR’s Morning Edition.

    Rachel Martin: Daily White House corona virus briefings are scheduled to start again as early as today. Is that going to help rebuild or build for the first time public trust in the federal government’s management of the pandemic?
    Dr. Fauci: Well I hope so. I mean certainly it has the potential to do that…I believe it was announced yesterday that they will resume…
    RM: Will you be there?
    Dr. F: I don’t know. That’s up to the White House…

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  42. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    In that case, don’t read the spoilers that follow:

    I mean it.

    @de stijl:

    I don’t quite know what to make of Dispatches even now, but I think Segel’s intent is akin to what young Clara says at some point near the end: it’s not about the show, it’s about the relationships between the characters in that show.

    It fits, IMO, because in the end all four characters undergo a professional and/or personal shift in their lives.

    I may watch the whole thing again a year from now.

    I don’t think three will be a second season, either. Rather I don’t see how there can be one. Oh, the narrative offers more than a few possibilities, like the four helping Lee in a second iteration of the game. But that was not what the show was about.

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  43. Monala says:

    @inhumans99: Reminds me of the investigations into Rod Blagojevich back in 2008-9, and how some people wanted to tie him to Obama. The closest they came was hearing Blagojevich complaining on tape about Obama being a Boy Scout.

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  44. Jen says:

    @Kurtz:

    For me, it just looks like an attempt to avoid responsibility for creating the conditions for Trump’s rise in the first place.

    This is such an interesting bit of psychology, at least to me. As a refresher, I used to work in Republican politics (back in the early-to-mid 90s). I was young, my first jobs were volunteer opportunities right out of college, which led to paying positions at the state party level where I worked on quite a few campaigns.

    I met quite a few grassroots-level Republicans, and quickly started to notice a big difference in the way that professional campaign-type Republicans thought/acted from grassroots-level workers. There was a disconnect, and it was obvious to me. The professional campaigners–people like Rick Wilson–were so focused on the numbers and getting to 50+1% (basically, cobbling together the numbers to win a race) that they weren’t paying attention to how loony the base was getting.

    There’s an element of “that’s just a small portion of the electorate, most Republicans are like me” magical thinking involved. This is a long way of saying–they didn’t pay attention to this happening and STILL do not understand the role they played in bringing the party to this point.

    I have had shouting matches with my own father over this; I keep pointing out that I SAW THIS HAPPENING and he’s still like “no, you’re wrong, that’s only a small part of the party.”

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  45. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    It does seem like a one off.

    It would be shady to stretch that out too far and lose the charm.

    One of the brilliant things that US producers have picked up on is the British experience is that one shot shows are a legitimate things.

    AMC kinda gets it. FX kinda gets it. The Killing and The Bridge others I have forgotten. Legion was two seasons but was designed as a limited run. God bless Aubrey Plaza.

    Arguably mr. robot should have been one season.

    Limited run series are a thing to support.

    It looks like Hulu and Amazon are going down that route with their original shows.

    I see that as a really good thing.

    Concise storytelling.

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  46. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    The early 1990s was when Pat Buchanan started becoming more and more of a voice, wasn’t it? I’ve always traced a direct line from him to Sarah Palin to Donald Trump.

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  47. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    One of my sore points in typical science fiction is the need to go big, or rather, BIG!!!! I find the exploration of modern social themes by extrapolating them and putting them into different circumstances to be the most appealing part of SciFi.

    Well, thanks.

    There is a time to go BIG!, and a time not to.

    There’s a notion I’m toying with, where two estranged lovers wind up thousands of years in the future. I need something really BIG to be taking place on Earth at that time. So I’d put in things like a space elevator/orbital tower, gigantic space stations, buildings kilometers high, etc. But the thing to grab the reader, IMO, is the sky with two moons, both of which are smaller than the regular Moon.

    What happens is they’re bringing in Europa to replace the Moon. Why? Well, Europa has water and can be made to hold an atmosphere for a few millennia.Meanwhile the Moon will be taken to Venus to speed up its rotation and aid in removing 90% or so of its toxic atmosphere.

    They just have to balance both natural satellites for a while in order not to upset the Earth’s spin and tilt, or the tides. So while Europa approaches, the Moon recedes, and for a few decades there will be two moons varying in size in the sky.

    That’s BIG!! 🙂

    But that’s just background. the story is about the two lovers trying to make a new life in a new world they didn’t chose.

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  48. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Kim Stanley Robinson did a lot of what you are proposing in his Mars trilogy.

    Space elevator. Space elevator comes crashing down encircling the planet twice+ with the cable catastrophically descending.

    Monkeying with moons’ orbits. Capturing ice asteroids and flinging them into the nascent atmosphere to increase the moisture available.

    Hollowing out Phobos (or Deimos) as a really big hab. One of the two, anyway.

    An issue in SFF is there is high probability that someone already had that idea before. If the story is on the lovers and the world stuff just happens as background then no worries.

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  49. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Sally Field was the star. She goddamned nailed it. So heartbreaking with her chin up and push on.

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  50. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Fans of Babylon 5 were really obnoxious pointing out the 5 seasons of the series told one story (arguably 4 season). Looking back, the 25 or so eps per season hurt the story telling, as they required some filler now and then (Gray 17 should have stayed missing).

    But these days that is becoming the norm in streaming media. Take star Trek Discovery. the first two seasons tell separate stories of the same ship and crew, in ten packed episodes. In season one, so did Picard. The Good Place had more episodes and seasons, and I understand some people found it less funny as it went along, but the story and characters were interesting, and then they were done.

    This reminds me of the miniseries networks used to air in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, only better and more widespread.

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  51. de stijl says:

    Series have to invent new conflict to continue. Sometimes that works if the core (and corps) is strong. Sometimes it is cool to hang with your buds.

    Most stories have an end in mind from the very beginning and couch all of the proceedings to service that.

    Episodic, character driven shows can sorta ignore that – what happens this week?

    Story driven shows have different path.

    BTVS split the two – one week Xander joins the swim team. Next week mom dies in perhaps the best hour of television ever.

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  52. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    An issue in SFF is there is high probability that someone already had that idea before.

    Absolutely.

    If I had a nickel for every story that ends in a surprise reveal that the planet was Earth(!), I’d be able to play a lot of nickel video poker 🙂

    Ditto with planetary engineering. Asimov was moving pieces of Saturn’s rings to Mars in The Martian Way. Niven moved the Earth to orbit Jupiter to keep it habitable when the Sun got too big because someone crashed a planet in it in A World Out of Time. I’m sure there’s lots more.

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  53. Mu Yixiao says:

    Trump Signs “Memorandum” Altering How the Census Counts People.

    Almost certainly unconstitutional, since the mandate is to “count the whole number of people”*, and yet another childish bit of BS.

    One thing in the article did bring up an interesting philosophical point:

    It cites one states [sic] where there are an estimated 2.2 million undocumented migrants constituting more than six percent of the state’s population. Counting the migrants “for the purpose of apportionment could result in the allocation of two or three more congressional seats than would otherwise be allocated,” according to the memo

    .

    A frequent argument I see here for abolishing the electoral college is that it gives disproportionate representation in the House to smaller states. I think it’s reasonable to assume that urban (blue) districts have more immigrants–and therefore more illegal immigrants–than rural (red) districts.

    What are your feelings about the states in which those districts reside gaining more House seats based on non-citizens who are here illegally?

    I honestly don’t have an opinion yet. I’ve never thought about this before and I haven’t had time to digest even the basics. But I think it’s an interesting question.

    Just to be clear: I think Trump is 100% wrong in this.


    * The 4/5 clause has since been overridden, so don’t bother bringing that up.

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  54. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    The early 1990s was when Pat Buchanan started becoming more and more of a voice, wasn’t it? I’ve always traced a direct line from him to Sarah Palin to Donald Trump.

    I see Trumpism as part of a long line that probably began with Wallace in the ’60s, and even in the ’90s there are some other important parts of the puzzle such as Gingrich. Buchanan I mainly think of as Trump’s ideological precursor. He didn’t really have much of Trump’s personality (in fact he’s reported to be likable in personal encounters), but much of what he espoused back then was very similar to what Trump espouses now: a nativist racism that blamed the country’s economic problems on (mostly nonwhite) foreigners he claimed were being propped up by the country’s lax immigration laws and free-trade policies. His rhetoric did have a religious dimension that Trump’s lacks–he leaned heavily on opposition to abortion and gays–though given Trump’s (admittedly transactional) relationship with evangelicals and his assault on LGBT rights, there’s more of a resemblance even here than might first seem apparent. Buchanan helped popularize the phrase “culture war” during his speech at the ’92 convention.

    In any case, he was the most prominent figure at the time to straddle the boundary between mainstream conservatism and white nationalism. That was pretty unusual at the time apart from a few Southern holdovers like Jesse Helms and Trent Lott. Buchanan, in contrast, was this DC insider who had worked for several presidents (though he had been one of the architects of the Southern Strategy) and held a respectable position within the mainstream media. Quite similar to Tucker Carlson today, he had direct connections with white nationalists and echoed many of their themes in his own rhetoric, but he tried to package it in a way that could be construed as acceptable in the mainstream. He pretty much explained the strategy outright when discussing David Duke: he implored other Republicans to “take a hard look at Duke’s portfolio of winning issues, and expropriate those not in conflict with GOP principles.”

    He was viewed as somewhat of an oddball at the time, since there was hardly anyone else quite like him. Many conservatives supported his insurgent presidential campaign in ’92 as a protest against Bush’s tax heresies, but in ’96 Limbaugh tried to excommunicate him from the movement due to his anti-trade views. (Limbaugh’s remarks provoked a backlash from portions of his audience, and I think he took it to heart–explaining why he unhesitatingly embraced Trump in 2015 even though Trump’s views were more heterodox than Buchanan’s.) Weirdly enough, when both Buchanan and Trump ran for the Reform Party nomination in 2000, Trump attacked Buchanan as a nativist bigot. Buchanan must not have taken it personally, for he became a staunch Trump supporter in 2016.

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  55. Kingdaddy says:

    @de stijl: There’s a great boardgame, Terraforming Mars, with space elevators, ice asteroids, arctic bacteria, and a bajillion other ways to turn the Red Planet more Earth-like. We’ve played it a lot during the current weirdness.

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  56. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Is your father a New England or northeastern Republican? Because they really are a different breed from southern and midwestern Republicans, not nearly as loony as the latter two.

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  57. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I agree with virtually all of this, but I would emphasize that Buchanan, like Trump, appealed more blatantly to “the poorly educated” than did Gingrich, who after all was a book-writing college professor with a Ph.D. even if he was beloved of Rush Limbaugh.

    You recall Buchanan’s 1996 “peasants with pitchforks” speech. What was that but a rallying cry to “the poorly educated”?

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  58. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Dr. Fauci says he was not invited to today’s briefing, according to CNBC.

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  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kurtz:

    For me, it just looks like an attempt to avoid responsibility for creating the conditions for Trump’s rise in the first place.

    Exactly!!!!! Because

    if Donald Trump and Mike Pence got eaten by wolves tomorrow and somebody said hey Rick help reconstitute the republican party, I’d say no, because the next Republican in 2024 is just going to be Donald Trump Junior, or Tom cotton, or Josh Hawley, or Tucker Carlson

    Conservatism is broken. Hopelessly irretrievable. And it had mostly evolved into support for an aristocracy after Burke to begin with.

    “Thune’s comments appear to break sharply with his comments in 2016, ” which is surprising because… ?

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  60. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    but I would emphasize that Buchanan, like Trump, appealed more blatantly to “the poorly educated” than did Gingrich

    Yeah, but that sort of thing wasn’t exactly new: remember Wallace’s “pointy-headed professors who can’t even park a bike”? And whoever Buchanan tried to pander to, he still talked like an intellectual. Can you imagine Trump using the word “expropriate”?

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  61. de stijl says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Def based on the Mars trilogy.

    Are there Reds and Greens? Reds are for keeping Mars pure, Greens want to terraform. It is the major conflict.

    There are no board gaming clubs in town I know about except one on the southern edge.

    I envy you having a set.

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  62. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I wasn’t implying it was new. The thing about Wallace, though, was that he was regarded as a joke pretty much outside his own purview–certainly he was in the northeast, where people held their noses when they spoke his name. But by the time we arrived at the Age of Trump, vulgarity, bigotry, and ignorance were far more widely acceptable. Not just acceptable, but celebrated.

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  63. Jen says:

    @CSK:

    The early 1990s was when Pat Buchanan started becoming more and more of a voice, wasn’t it? I’ve always traced a direct line from him to Sarah Palin to Donald Trump.

    There were a few factors that I think sort of bled together at exactly the same time. One, Buchanan’s populism blended with Catholicism on the abortion issue started bringing in a lot of money. It was fairly easy to split the vote in working-class Catholic Democratic districts on the abortion issue. Two, Rush Limbaugh was gaining prominence. Three, Fox News, same–so, an echo chamber. Four, the three “money-bombs-Jesus” legs of the party started to get more exaggerated. Five, soft money started really flowing, especially from the Christian Coalition.

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  64. Jen says:

    @CSK: He was born in the Midwest, but is a USMA grad. Not a New England Republican, so much as a throwback who thinks George Will and similar are “standard” Republicans (they are not). He didn’t see the party change around him, he’s in his 80s and it’s hard to convince him of anything. 😉

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  65. MarkedMan says:

    @inhumans99:

    If anything, this article makes you go hmmm…Biden survived a year long investigation by the FBI who had a man on the inside that was wire tapped up and all they ended up with was more evidence against the very guy they sent into the campaign to dig up dirt on Biden!

    Sure. And John Kerry really was a triple Purple Heart awardee and every investigation showed that he behaved honorably. And a moments googling shows that Al Gore’s ex-college roommate, The actual author of the book, is the source for the claim that Gore was the inspiration for the main character. And Hillary Clinton has been investigated like no other politician. Literally investigated in every facet of her life, multiple times. She was investigated for Benghazi, what, 7 times? Or was it 11? She was investigated by a highly political special prosecutor and his successors for 6 years, unlimited budget, unlimited subpoena power, no oversight, hundreds of staff members, and the only thing unearthed during that time against either of the Clintons was her husbands affair. The Clinton charity was investigated endlessly by Republicans. On and on and on and on. Nothing. Not a single thing. Not one. Yet even you, a person that is positively disposed towards Democrats and pretty darn well informed about current affairs believe she was corrupt. I mean, if there were all those investigations there must have been something there, right?

    Given Kerry, Gore and Clinton, how can you possibly believe that the average person reading a headline about Biden being investigated and an ex-donor wearing a wire tap is going to come away saying, “Well, they didn’t find anything wrong”?

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  66. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    That’s BIG!!

    That’s big in a cool and interesting way! Not BIG! in that it turns out in chapter 7 there is a secret alien race that is going to destroy all of humanity and only one person can stop them!!!!

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  67. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Oh, a George Romney kind of guy? 🙂

    ETA: I’m listening to Trump now. All bragging.

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  68. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: It all boils down to the VCR. Before it became common place, you couldn’t have a TV show where if you missed a few episodes you couldn’t get back on track.

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  69. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I think it’s reasonable to assume that urban (blue) districts have more immigrants

    I’ve always wondered about this. Farms are full of The undocumented. Meat packing plants. Feed lots. When I look at the ratio, I wonder how many rural counties in the US are 50% undocumented during the growing season and harvest?

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  70. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Not BIG! in that it turns out in chapter 7 there is a secret alien race that is going to destroy all of humanity and only one person can stop them!!!!

    Well, no. That’s in chapter 8 😉

    The Earth is about to be destroyed and only one person can stop them (or a small group of people), is cliche. One nice thing about the original MIB movie, is when K says “There’s always a warship, or an intergalactic death ray, about to destroy the Earth.” Because next, and in the two movies that followed, it’s up to K and J to save the Earth from destruction each time.

    To be original, one would need to allow the Earth, or the Universe, to be destroyed.

    A planet may be destroyed, but it’s never Earth, or the planet with the rebel base (twice!)

    It all boils down to the VCR. Before it became common place, you couldn’t have a TV show where if you missed a few episodes you couldn’t get back on track.

    I’ll buy that. and naturally you can’t miss any eps on a streaming service.

    Now here’s the inevitable “but.” But there were reruns in the summer. Also, mid-90s, cable TV in Mexico had to stop carrying American network affiliates. this nearly killed my interest in TV at all. then we got channels which would show current US series, not dubbed (I can’t watch anything dubbed).

    These channels re-ran the week’s episode of almost all their series during the weekend. Of course, by then the VCR wasn’t just established, but already showing signs of being superseded by DVD and digital recording.

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  71. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Exactamundo! I just wish the people stumping for a return to a monarchy (with people ‘just like them’ in charge, of course) would just admit it. Please. Personally, I’m so tired of the amateur quality of this cast/performance in the theater of the absurd.

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  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @MarkedMan: There are more than a few undocumented here in my neck of the woods. How many I could not say as they keep pretty close to themselves, but I have come across a few… “groups” for lack of better terms and the grocery stores keep a good stock of Latino food stuffs. The kind of food a gringo wouldn’t know what to do with.

    Mu, there are a couple of good reasons for counting the undocumented. #1, they pay taxes, sales, personal property, real estate, and if they are working above board, income, both state, Federal, and SS/Medicare.
    #2 They use resources, all the same resources you and your neighbors do, and these things cost money, some of which comes from the Feds.

    The only reason not to count them is they can’t vote.

    The census is not just about apportioning representation but also about apportioning resources.

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  73. flat earth luddite says:

    1700 pages? One thousand seven hundred freaking pages?

    Suspect in Death of NJ Judge’s Son Eyed in California Murder
    “The only problem with a life lived too long under Feminazi rule is that a man ends up with so many enemies he can’t even the score with all of them.” Roy Den Hollander in a 1,700-page book he self-published online last year.

    Not going to put this one on my Kindle Unlimited. Nope, even though I’m morbidly curious about “Feminazi Rule” is.

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  74. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’ve always wondered about this. Farms are full of The undocumented. Meat packing plants. Feed lots. When I look at the ratio, I wonder how many rural counties in the US are 50% undocumented during the growing season and harvest?

    If a single state can have 2.2M undocumented immigrants, it’s not going to be a rural state. That’s more than the total population of 22 states and DC. All of those states are either mid-western farming states or New England (which can’t exactly be described as “urban”).

    The 6% in quoted is, of course, impossible anywhere except California (it requires a population of 36.6M or more, of which only CA qualifies).

    In Rural areas, the migrant workers tend not to stick around very long (hence the term “migrant”). They move with the planting and harvesting seasons–mostly harvest, as most planting can be done mechanically. They’re only going to be in an area for a couple weeks at most. They’re probably only in the country for a month or two.

    Long-term illegals are going to be in the cities where they can work in restaurants and industry year-round, or in large suburbs where they can work landscaping (and that’s only in the summer). Tomato-pickers aren’t going to hang around paying rent for 11 months so they can get paid minimum wage for a month.

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  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I had a lot of stuff to get done today. Whooowee… The next 2 threads sure blew up. Wish I’d been around to at least leave a comment on the last one but now it just feels kinds pointless. Probably just as well.

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  76. Mu Yixiao says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Mu, there are a couple of good reasons for counting the undocumented

    I’m in full agreement. I think they should be counted. That’s not the question.

    The question is: Does the addition of illegal immigrants* to the tally in urban states bother people in the same way that the disproportionate apportionment for rural states does?


    * As someone who has lived in a foreign country, and had to go through all the red tape to do so legally (far more than what is required by the US), they are “illegal immigrants”. I disagree with the laws in this area and think that most of them should be entirely revoked, but… they are currently the laws, and anyone not following them is engaged in illegal actions–regardless of how right they may be morally.

    “Undocumented” sounds like the forest rangers weren’t able to tag them to study their migration patterns.

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  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    MO Guv Vows To Pardon Gun Couple After Prosecutor Slaps Them With Criminal Charges

    The absolute epitome of white privilege. Go ahead, break the law, point loaded firearms at people who aren’t threatening you at all, get charged, lose at trial, get pardoned. No harm no foul.

    Why? Because. they. are. white.

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  78. Teve says:

    @flat earth luddite: there’s a creationist who writes manifesto at the rate of 10,000+ words per day. His handle is BornAgain77. Everybody calls him BatShit77.

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  79. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Dr. Fauci says he was not invited to today’s briefing, according to CNBC.

    Somehow I am not surprised.

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  80. inhumans99 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Honestly, Markedman, I feel the way I do about this “story” because quite frankly it does not have the snap, crackle, and pop of Benghazi or emails. With Benghazi it was oh noes…Clinton could have sent in a quick reaction force instead she let brave men and women be over-run and die, that resonates with the base (hell, even some Liberals looked at her askance after that incident).

    With the emails that fell right into the lap of the GOP claiming they are strong on National Security while Clinton let top secret data get hacked…again, that resonated with the base and had quite a few liberals shaking our heads over how Clinton walked into that trap.

    A story about about a disgruntled ex-“friend” of Biden’s revealing how politicians are well…political, it has no zing and even with a bunch of Trump surrogates trying to rile up the base over this story it is going to be tough to get them to chant Lock Him up over this story vs Lock Her Up in relation to the Benghazi and Email probes.

    That really is why I believe that this is going to be like the Tara Reade story…something people try to make a thing out-of but not likely to do much in the way of denting Biden’s numbers in the polls.

    Put it this way, this will not lead to James Comey announcing what, maybe less than 2 weeks away from the actual election, that because of some new information he had fall into his lap he needed to re-open some of the investigations into Clinton. That was just lethal to Clinton’s re-elections chances and to this day folks like Kevin Drum are smarting over how they believe Comey handed the White House over to Donald Trump (and from Comey’s words since the incident it seems with hindsight he realizes that perhaps what he did was not the smartest thing in the world especially on the eve of a Presidential Election).

    Without an excuse to give the Trump admin version of James Comey an excuse to re-open the case against Biden days before the election (timing is everything) Trump will continue to circle the drain.

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  81. inhumans99 says:

    Okay, mods feel free to delete my post that is in moderation as I copied my post before trying to post and will now try again.

    @MarkedMan:

    Honestly, Markedman, I feel the way I do about this “story” because quite frankly it does not have the snap, crackle, and pop of Benghazi or emails. With Benghazi it was oh noes…Clinton could have sent in a quick reaction force instead she let brave men and women be over-run and die, that resonates with the base (hell, even some Liberals looked at her askance after that incident).

    With the emails that fell right into the lap of the GOP claiming they are strong on National Security while Clinton let top secret data get hacked…again, that resonated with the base and had quite a few liberals shaking our heads over how Clinton walked into that trap.

    A story about a disgruntled ex-“friend” of Biden’s revealing how politicians are well…political, it has no zing and even with a bunch of Trump surrogates trying to rile up the base over this story it is going to be tough to get them to chant Lock Him up over this story vs Lock Her Up in relation to the Benghazi and Email probes.

    That really is why I believe that this is going to be like the Tara Reade story…something people try to make a thing out-of but not likely to do much in the way of denting Biden’s numbers in the polls.

    Put it this way, this will not lead to James Comey announcing what, maybe less than 2 weeks away from the actual election, that because of some new information he had fall into his lap he needed to re-open some of the investigations into Clinton. That was just lethal to Clinton’s re-election chances and to this day folks like Kevin Drum are smarting over how they believe Comey handed the White House over to Donald Trump (and from Comey’s words since the incident it seems with hindsight he realizes that perhaps what he did was not the smartest thing in the world especially on the eve of a Presidential Election).

    Without an excuse to give the Trump admin version of James Comey an excuse to re-open the case against Biden days before the election (timing is everything) Trump will continue to circle the drain.

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  82. Kathy says:

    You know what would be neat in the presidential debates? If a panelist were to ask trump the questions on the cognitive tests he claims to have aced.

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  83. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Does the addition of illegal immigrants* to the tally in urban states bother people in the same way that the disproportionate apportionment for rural states does?

    And my answer is, “We don’t even have the data to say what is actually happening.” because as I stated, there is a not insignificant population of undocumented here. How much? I don’t know, but not counting them in a rural area such as the the one I live in could definitely impact people here negatively.

    As to this:

    they are currently the laws, and anyone not following them is engaged in illegal actions–regardless of how right they may be morally.

    I know people who speed all the time, people who engage in tax evasion every April. People who have work done on their houses without getting the proper permits. People who engage in insurance fraud. Etc etc. Are these people “illegal citizens”?

    I think “undocumented” is a far more accurate description of someone who has at most committed a misdemeanor*.

    *coming into this country undocumented is a misdemeanor the first time. IIRC the 2nd time it’s a felony, which is ridiculous to me. That’s like saying “your first speeding ticket is a misdemeanor, your second time doing exactly the same thing you are going to the big house.”

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  84. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Because Missouri law permits them to do what they did and because the DA is recklessly charging based on political considerations (read her history – she’s a certifiable looney tune whack job).

    The MO Attorney General has already filed to intervene in the matter, so it’s doubtful that it even gets to trial.

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  85. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: You know, if you asked me what day of the week it was, it’s a 50/50 I’d get it wrong. The date? Hell’s bells I don’t need to know the date. Those tests are every bit as much bullshit as IQ tests. They are based on societal norms. One IQ test I took asked, “Which handle do you turn for the hot water?” I have lived in several apartments where the hot water was on the right.

    The clock question? I’d draw a digital clock just to fuck with them.

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  86. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Missouri law allows me to assault people for no reason at all? The things I learn here.

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  87. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    You know what would be neat in the presidential debates? If a panelist were to ask trump the questions on the cognitive tests he claims to have aced.

    I’ve been having a fantasy over the past few days of Trump bringing up the test during a debate, and Biden replying “That’s like bragging about being a tic-tac-toe champion.”

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  88. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Undocumented is an attempt to rebrand illegal trespassers into innocuous victims deserving of sympathy. It’s semantics being deployed in support of an agenda. The most precise term for them is indeed “illegal aliens”. They are foreign aliens who are present in the US illegally, who should therefore be deported.

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    IIRC the 2nd time it’s a felony, which is ridiculous to me. That’s like saying “your first speeding ticket is a misdemeanor, your second time doing exactly the same thing you are going to the big house.

    The first offense is a misdemeanor precisely because US policy doesn’t want to incarcerate illegal aliens on their first attempt. That would require the expenditure of taxpayer dollars to support trespassers, when it’s just as productive to give them a suspended sentence, process them through immigration court for deportation, and send them back.

    On the second offense, they have demonstrated that they do not intend to respect US law and learned nothing from their prior attempt, therefore it’s more appropriate to charge them with a felony as repeat offenders. If we want to really be assholes, we’ll revert their prior suspended sentence to active and make them serve that consecutively with whatever sentence they’re given for the second violation. In reality, the tendency is to seek to move to deportation as quickly as possible.

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  89. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Misssouri law permits the use of or the threat of use of force to protect private property, including deadly force if the citizen using it feels that they are under deadly threat. (note that the law doesn’t require that they actually are under threat, just that they reasonably believe themselves to be).

    Someone trespassing on private property, as these protestors indeed were, are automatically presumed by MO law to have demonstrated ill intent and regarded as a threat. It’s one of the broadest SYG/CD laws in the country, in that MO extends the castle doctrine far beyond the confines of the home to any privately owned property / anywhere the person using force legitimately has a right to be. The prosecutor grossly overreached and now the AG / Gov are (rightly) smacking her down for it.

    As I said, she’s a loon. You really should read her history.

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  90. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    You mean “the really hard questions” at the end of the test? Such as what day, month, and year is it?

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  91. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    To be original, one would need to allow the Earth, or the Universe, to be destroyed.

    See, “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

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  92. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I jaywalk every day. I check the street left and right before I do so, but even so jaywalking is still illegal.

    When on an open freeway I go 10% above posted speed limit where prudent. Don’t want to freak out the state patrol. Stay in my lane.

    Pay my taxes fair. Don’t even try to fudge. The IRS is a beast when riled…

    Were I black, jaywalking is now fraught. Going 72 in a 70 gets you pulled over.

    I asked a friend of mine about his DWB experiences and it was scary. Anyone who denies white privilege is a fool.

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  93. MarkedMan says:

    @inhumans99: I’m not sure if in your answer you were just trying to give the average Joe’s reaction, in which case you proved my point, or if you are serious in your description of Clinton’s actions.

    Clinton could have sent in a quick reaction force instead she let brave men and women be over-run and die

    Just what it is that you think Secretaries of State do? What is this quick reaction force that answers to the SoS?

    while Clinton let top secret data get hacked

    No top secret data. No hacking.

    Like I said, if you were just saying that was the way the Republican’s spun things, then it just proves my point about the damage such irresponsible (or deliberate) stories do.

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  94. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    In my kitchen hot is right. In the bathroom it is left. Took me months to hammer that into my brain. In the shower left.

    Shoddy worksmanship. A skilled plumber would murderize whoever did my pipes.

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  95. CSK says:

    Trump said during the briefing q and a today that he’d met Ghislaine Maxwell “numerous times over the years,” and–twice–that he “wished her well.”

    You think she might ask him to be a character witness?

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  96. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    (note that the law doesn’t require that they actually are under threat, just that they reasonably believe themselves to be).

    Which is complete horseshit. And you dawg damned well know it, but you will defend it because it is “the law”. I’ll just point out that it is rich white people’s law and note that I never would have felt safe doing the same back in the day because I was just poor white trash.

    I do have a question tho. Have you ever practiced law in Misery? Jus’ askin’ ’cause I was told many times by lawyer friends I have to never take advice on Misery law from a NY lawyer.

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  97. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Apparently the CBP have one deployed in Portland now.

    Actually there is an absolute guarantee that the State Dept. have troops.

    A guy I knew went from one Christmas a 1st Lt in the Army to next Christmas being a Lance Corporal in the USMC after nine months at Monterrey learning Russian.

    You don’t need to “ace” a cognitive test to figure out what his job was.

    His dad was clueless. It was pretty adorable.

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  98. de stijl says:

    I vaguely know what day it is. The date? No clue. It does not matter.

    The joys of being retired.

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  99. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: I generally remember what day it is, though I had one moment last year when I didn’t. I was unemployed and it was the day after Fourth of July, and the holiday combined with my lack of a regular work schedule caused me to think it was Thursday when it was Friday. I was also sleeping irregularly, having binged the latest season of Stranger Things.

    It may be true that as you get older you’re likelier to have these moments, but I do think going to work or school keeps a person focused on it.

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  100. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    They are foreign aliens who are present in the US illegally, who should therefore be deported.

    I don’t think that reflects the reality. In truth huge portions of our economy depend on them and we have done absolutely nothing to change that. And although technically it is against the law to hire illegal aliens you almost never hear of a prosecution. During the coverage of the recent outbreaks in meat packing plants they were reporting numbers like 20-40% undocumented. You think the feds don’t read the papers? But do you think the feds are going to start an investigation? Ditto for a recent article on the companies that provide cleanup workers for flooded areas. In that case every front line worker interviewed was undocumented. Every company involved was named. Do you think that article is going to cause a federal investigation? Do you think Congress is going to pass a single line of legislation to make it easier to prosecute business owners? Do you think they are going to call law enforcement officials and demand to know why they aren’t putting Purdue executives behind bars? If we started prosecuting farmers and other business owners for hiring the undocumented the job market would dry up in a month. We should do it!

    It’s a total sham. The hounding of the undocumented has been primarily done at the behest of employers to keep their workers afraid and compliant. If we went after the employers with one tenth the effort we went after the workers then US citizen would be getting those jobs, and they would be demanding health care and better pay and decent facilities. I’m all for it.

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    6
  101. Monala says:

    A new talking point on the right is that now that Trump is saying to wear masks, the media and Democrats are going to suddenly be against them. They’re saying it shows Trump’s brilliance, because he’s calling our bluff.

    I wish I knew one of these folks in person. I’d place a bet.

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    1
  102. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    Where is this happening? Over at lucianne.com and a couple of the other Trump-centric sites, they seem to be ignoring his 180 on masks, given that they’ve invested so much time in being anti-maskers themselves. They have to pretend he didn’t say this.

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  103. Monala says:

    @CSK: Twitter. Here’s an example.

    Seems like some Qanon folks are confused and discouraged by this development.

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  104. An Interested Party says:

    @inhumans99: Obviously there are strong reasons why, of all the Democratic primary presidential candidates, Trump is most afraid of Biden…

    @sam: Surely that doesn’t surprise you…

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  105. Monala says:

    @Monala: @CSK: Here’s a thread:

    Replying to
    @DeAnna4Congress
    Since hes saying wear a mask the democrats will advise against them. Whatever he says they want the opposite. This virus is going to be obsolete to them. Hes playing poker and he holds the winning hand. Tick tock waiting for Pelosi to have a news conference.

    Nathan Fleury
    @NathanFleury15
    ·
    2h
    Cant wait to see if democrats change mind about the mask ;p

    Eulia
    @EuliaBounn
    ·
    2h
    Replying to
    @DeAnna4Congress
    He seemed a bit too sympathetic with Maxwell. I’m wonder what game is he playing with the mask thing. They’re stupid and I bet he would not support it If he had to wear one for 8 hrs. Maybe for “in person voting”?

    High Treason
    @HighTreason1
    ·
    2h
    Replying to
    @DeAnna4Congress
    A success, he has sent the left into a spin.

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  106. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The question is: Does the addition of illegal immigrants* to the tally in urban states bother people in the same way that the disproportionate apportionment for rural states does?

    Speaking only for me personally, no. I think all people should get equal representation. I’m OK with actual citizens getting extra privileges (e.g. voting, serving in the government, etc.), but I feel like each individual person should get equal representation. How those representatives weigh the illegality against the personhood is their call, but having some blocks of people get more representation per capita than others really grates on me.

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  107. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    It must be exhausting to be a Trumpkin. One has to flip the script every five minutes.

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  108. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    “Undocumented” sounds like the forest rangers weren’t able to tag them to study their migration patterns.

    I had to laugh at that one, partly because I work with some people who were doing exactly that — using the mathematics usually applied to animal migration studies to estimate illegal crossings. Instead of physical tagging it used recorded biometric data in a database, but the math was the same.

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  109. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But the Earth’s destruction was undone in “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.”

    To be fair, though, the Universe did end in “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.”

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  110. Teve says:

    @Monala: they seem like very smart people.

    ReplyReply
  111. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    That, and the idiot pride he takes in it.

    ReplyReply
  112. Kurtz says:

    @Jen:

    Thanks for the insight.

    ReplyReply
  113. Monala says:

    @Teve: Twitter announced tonight that they will be deleting Qanon accounts. It made me curious, so I checked the link I posted earlier today. It’s gone!

    ReplyReply

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