Tuesday’s Forum

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:

    A confrontation in which the jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold said a woman tackled his 14-year-old son in a New York hotel lobby as she falsely accused the teen of stealing her phone is under investigation, prosecutors said.

    Harrold posted a widely viewed video of the confrontation that took place at the Arlo hotel on Saturday. He alleged the unidentified woman scratched him and tackled and grabbed his son, Keyon Harrold Jr, who is black, at the lower Manhattan hotel where the pair were staying.

    “He’s the sweetest, most genuine kid you could ask for,” Harrold said in an interview Monday evening. “I was just appalled at how he was treated.”

    The video shows an agitated woman demanding her phone be returned while a hotel manager tries to settle the situation. At one point, the woman appears to rush forward and says: “I’m not letting him walk away with my phone!”

    Harrold said that the hotel has confirmed to him that the phone was returned by an Uber driver shortly afterward.

    Way to go, Karen.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hiding Covid-19: How the Trump Administration Suppresses Photography of the Pandemic

    As Covid-19 tore through the United States in the spring, a senior official in the Trump administration quietly reinforced a set of guidelines that prevented journalists from getting inside all but a handful of hospitals at the front line of the pandemic. The guidelines, citing the medical privacy law known as HIPAA, suggested a nearly impossible standard: Before letting journalists inside Covid-19 wards, hospitals needed prior permission from not only the specific patients the journalists would interview, but also other patients whose names or identities would be accessible.

    The onerous guidelines were issued on May 5 by Roger Severino, who worked at the conservative Heritage Foundation before Donald Trump appointed him to direct the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS. The guidelines made it extremely difficult for hospitals to give photographers the opportunity to collect visual evidence of the pandemic’s severity. By tightening the circulation of disturbing images, the guidelines fulfilled, intentionally or not, a key Trump administration goal: keeping public attention away from the death toll, which has surpassed 300,000 souls.

    “The last thing hospital patients this administration needs during the Covid-19 crisis is film crews walking around the beds of dying people shooting B-roll,” Severino said dismissively in a short press release accompanying the guidelines.

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  3. ImProPer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Fortunately the father got quite a bit of it on video. Shouldn’t take a Civil rights attorney to get the DA to file charges against the woman.
    Definitely going to be a pr nightmare for the hotel, it was definitely one of those spontaneous events that tend to require hindsight to deal with property. Kudos to the father and his son for showing restraint.

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  4. Jen says:

    @ImProPer: They have to show restraint, or SOMEHOW, it ends up being their fault.

    It’s so depressing that Black Americans have to be ready to film interactions like this. So depressing.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Saudi rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul sentenced to almost six years in jail

    Loujain al-Hathloul, the Saudi women’s rights activist detained three years ago by the Saudi government, has been sentenced to five years and eight months in jail after being found guilty of spying with foreign parties and conspiring against the kingdom.

    But the court suspended two years and 10 months of her sentence, and backdated the start of her jail term to May 2018, meaning she only has three months left to serve.
    ……………………………….
    The Saudi kingdom has repeatedly denied that she was arrested for campaigning for women’s right to drive, a right that was granted in 2018, but instead for mounting a campaign to undermine the royal family. The case underlines how little political dissent is allowed within the kingdom.

    The original charge sheet included meeting British and other European diplomats, as well as applying for a job at the United Nations, and using her arrest in her CV. She was also accused of speaking to foreign press agencies and international human rights groups.

    Other charges included joining a group on the messaging app Telegram, where she discussed human rights and a new constitution, liaising with the human rights defender Khaled al-Omair and receiving daily expenses of €50 from foreign organisations when attending international conferences to speak about women in Saudi Arabia.
    ……………………………………………………..
    Hathloul’s sister, Lina, wrote in a tweet that although the ruling meant her sister could be released in March 2021, she was also subject to a five-year travel ban. She said that both her sister and the prosecutor could appeal.

    The suspension of Hathloul’s jail term is also dependent on her not repeating any of the offences over the next three years, a condition that would put a block on her freedom of speech, presuming she is required to stay in Saudi Arabia.

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  6. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    By tightening the circulation of disturbing images, the guidelines fulfilled, intentionally or not, a key Trump administration goal: keeping public attention away from the death toll, which has surpassed 300,000 souls.

    Oh, it was intentional, there’s no doubt. Another way to minimize the pandemic and consequently increase the number of dead people.

    But hey, look at the Dow! Look at the trillions of dollars that have flowed to the 1%!

    I wish I believed in Hell, because I’d gain some comfort knowing all these motherfuckers would burn.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @ImProPer: @Jen: Restraint is rarely required of white folks in these confrontations.

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  8. Mikey says:

    Looks like a bunch of fascist scum will have to find a new hotel for January 6th.

    Hotel Harrington announces it will be closed during planned Jan. Pro-Trump demonstration

    Hotel Harrington announced that its hotel will be closed on the dates of a planned Pro-Trump demonstration in January.

    The hotel says it will be closed on January 4, 5, and 6 “for the safety of visitors and employees.”

    It adds that refunds will be made available for any pre-paid reservations.

    Harry’s has served as a gathering spot for President Trump’s base.

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  9. ImProPer says:

    @Jen:
    @OzarkHillbilly

    It is depressing, and we as a country seem to be in a quagmire, for now the ubiquity of cameras seem to be of some assistance in sorting things out.

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  10. CSK says:

    @Mikey:
    Well, they can always seek accommodations at the Trump International, for only $3135 per night on Jan. 5-6.

    By the way…that $3135? It’s the starting price.

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  11. Teve says:

    Biden will invoke Defense Production Act to boost Covid vaccine production, advisor says

    PUBLISHED MON, DEC 28 20209:41 AM MON, DEC 28 20202:17 PM EST

    President-elect Joe Biden plans to invoke the Defense Production Act after he takes office next month to boost production of coronavirus vaccines, a member of his Covid-19 advisory team said Monday.

    “You will see him invoking the Defense Production Act,” Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board, said during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “The idea there is to make sure the personal protective equipment, the test capacity and the raw materials for the vaccines are produced in adequate supply.”

    The wartime production law, which allows the president to compel companies to prioritize manufacturing for national security, could help the U.S. secure components and specialized products that manufacturers need to produce the Covid vaccines. Biden’s team has been weighing whether to invoke the law for vaccine production, NBC News reported last week.

    The New York Times reported last week that Pfizer, which manufactures one of the two Covid vaccines approved for emergency use in the U.S., began asking the Trump administration in September to help the pharmaceutical giant obtain some supplies needed for production but was disappointed by a lack of response.

    Representatives for the White House did not return CNBC’s request for comment.

    For weeks, the U.S. had been negotiating with Pfizer to secure additional vaccine doses on top of the original 100 million doses that the U.S. had locked in. Last week, Pfizer said it had struck a deal to supply an additional 100 million doses to the U.S by July.

    The Times, citing people familiar with the negotiations, reported that as part of the deal, the U.S. government agreed to invoke the Defense Production Act to “help Pfizer get better access to around nine specialized products it needs to make the vaccine.”

    Representatives for Pfizer did not return CNBC’s request for comment.

    A representative for the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement to CNBC that the Trump administration has already invoked the Defense Production Act 18 times in relation to vaccine production.

    “Efforts to expand the manufacturing capacity across the nation’s pharmaceutical production base include: enhancing plants and production lines with specialty tooling and staff; optimizing the supply chain of raw materials; investing in production of supplies such as glass vials and syringes; and scaling up fill/finish lines,” the spokesperson said.

    Through Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. government has invested in six companies’ efforts to bring a Covid vaccine to market, but only two have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer’s and Moderna’s. One concern of invoking the Defense Production Act for Pfizer is that it will favor the manufacturer over others, giving Pfizer unfair access to necessary vaccine components.

    Gounder did not explain how or whether Biden intends to equitably use the law. Her comments come as she and other Biden advisors cast doubt on the vaccination timeline laid out by President Donald Trump and his health officials.

    Fewer than 2 million people have received the vaccine as of Saturday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s far below the administration’s previously stated goal of vaccinating 20 million people before the end of the month, though Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of health, has said there are delays between the states and the CDC data.

    Trump’s coronavirus vaccine czar, Moncef Slaoui, told reporters during a press briefing on Wednesday that the ramp-up of immunizations was going slower than expected.

    “We’re here to help the states to accelerate appropriately,” he said, adding the goal of 20 million vaccinations is “unlikely to be met.”

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I told you he was a SOCIALIST!!!!!!

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  13. Mister Bluster says:

    Apparently some Melon Head Citizens think that the Nashville boming was a missile strike from China.
    These nitwits need to ask why President Puke hasn’t asked Congress to start
    World War One Hundred and Twelve.

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  14. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: fired from where?

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  15. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..$3135 per night

    Trump wants the $2000 checks to go out so his Toady’s can spend it on a room at his place.

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  16. KM says:

    @ImProPer :

    it was definitely one of those spontaneous events that tend to require hindsight to deal with property.

    Not really – it doesn’t take a lot of hindsight to realize he never asked her to prove her accusation. From second one, it was all about appeasing and calming her by taking her word for granted. This had an obvious a two-second solution anyone not in placate mode could see – call her damn number. Every manager everywhere has a phone so staff can get a hold of them (not to mention he’s def got a personal phone on him) so WTF didn’t he just go “let’s prove it’s your phone and call your number”.

    Right off the bat, he accepted her premise – her phone was “stolen”. Not “missing”, not “lost” – stolen and that particular phone just happens to be hers. Never questions how she knows that or asks her for proof when it’s incredibly easy to prove that’s her phone by knowing it’s damn number. Homescreens can be changed and so can cases (the things she talked about in vid) but the number? A thief wouldn’t know that but she should. Quick, easy, obvious….. that is, if you are thinking and not letting the walk-in crazy lady harass your customers.

    I wonder though – the phone showed up mere minutes later from an Uber driver. How did the driver know to take it there, that she would be there since she checked out THREE DAYS ago? Why is she soooo sure that’s her phone? Want to bet she *did* use the locate function, reached out and demanded it be brought to the hotel…. because she planned to do this stunt to cause them trouble but go the wrong people involved instead? She’s awful quick to get the manager involved, going so far as to caress his should when coyly whispering “get it back for me” in his ear. I feel like Mr. Harrold and son got caught up in planned Karen moment from this petty woman but she was too stupid to realize they weren’t her driver.

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  17. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    The cute part is that the price of a room goes down to $400-500 per night on the days immediately preceding and succeeding Jan. 5-6. Trump really knows how to fleece the rubes.

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  18. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    From their super-secret, constantly moving, hypersonic, suborbital subterrene, everyone knows is permanently stationed under the water of the Great Salt Lake.

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  19. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    After Jan 20, those rooms will be going for $120/night + tax and maybe they’ll offering them to the working girls and rent-boys by the hour.

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  20. Kathy says:

    SpaceX is again hinting at suborbital point-to-point travel, now using only the Starship upper stage. The idea is to launch people, and cargo, as one would launch a nuclear warhead on an ICBM, to a far away destination in a rather short amount of time.

    This is not a crazy idea. Expensive, to be sure, and plagued with technical problems, but not crazy. You could do Tokyo-NYC in under three hours, with a few minutes weightless transit above the atmosphere.

    Other companies are getting in on it, including Virgin Galactic (which deserves a post of its own). Maybe Bezos will realize this is a better idea for the New Shepard rocket, rather than just jaunts to nowhere for a few minutes weightless extra-atmospheric fun.

    The real problems, aside from guaranteeing safety on the rates of commercial airlines, is noise. Rockets are not loud, they are LOUD. And returning from the suborbital trajectory at high mach speeds causes sonic booms. One idea is to launch and land on ocean platforms, so as to have the real loud noises over the oceans only.

    If it can be done economically, or at least economically enough for the wealthy (see Concorde), and absent some faster means of transportation, or close to as fast like a hypersonic airliner, it can easily happen.

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  21. Teve says:

    Trump has some kinda post-campaign (?) video that implies he won the Nobel Peace Prize?

    https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1343712268777889792?s=21

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  22. Teve says:

    @Kathy: and each passenger would have merely the carbon footprint of a small deciduous forrest.

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  23. CSK says:

    Ivanka is said to be considering running for the senate from Florida or for the governorship of Florida. Probably the former, since you have to be a resident of Florida for seven years before you try to govern it.

    @Teve:
    He wants us to miss him when he’s gone.

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  24. wr says:

    @CSK: “The cute part is that the price of a room goes down to $400-500 per night on the days immediately preceding and succeeding Jan. 5-6.”

    That’s pretty standard in the hotel business. Rates go up with demand, and when there’s a big event they can charge a lot more for a room. I stay at the Omni in Rancho Mirage for Coachella — or at least I did, and hope to again some day — and the room prices shoot up during the festival. Imagine what happens during the Superbowl…

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  25. CSK says:

    @wr:
    Oh, I know. But it just seems so typical of Trump.

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  26. CSK says:

    According to the Gallup Poll, Trump is the most admired man, with 18% of the vote.

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  27. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Try not to laugh.

    SpaceX is developing a system for making methane (CH4) with atmospheric CO2 and added hydrogen. The idea is to make fuel on Mars for the return trip to Earth.

    So they are claiming they can fuel Starship this way, and thus be carbon neutral.

    As I said, try not to laugh.

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  28. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This would have been her last day on Earth if she touched by son.

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  29. Northerner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Unless they’re poor. Rich whites falsely accusing poor whites of theft goes back thousands of years. One of the great cons conservatives have managed is convincing poor whites they have more in common with rich whites than with poor blacks.

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  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Northerner: I am surrounded by poor whites who openly* carry guns everywhere they go, but if a black man tried that he’d probably be shot on the spot by some righteous patriot and it would be declared justifiable homicide.

    *In Misery the carrying of a firearm, either concealed or openly, is legal and no permit is required. If you’re white anyway.

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  31. Jim Brown 32 says:

    I know people here are looking for answers on why Trump increased his black & brown support and its really quite simple– Trump extended the business cycle so that people that were typically caught up in the last hired/first fired circle of frustration–i.e black & brown people– actually got a couple of extra years to get over the hump and buy a house, start a business, etc.

    Now, everybody sees that the whole Fed approach to guarding against inflation was exhibit number 1 of institutional racism and class warfare. After all, who but the holders of massive amounts of capital would have the most to lose if their dollars became a little less valuable?

    Normally the punchbowl gets taken away just when working class people are just getting some confidence to put some money into appreciating assets–but I give Trump credit for telling the Fed to leave the punchbowl alone. If any Biden Admin lurkers are on today—the old man should take note.

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  32. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: He needs to do if for the the 5-min rapid tests. There ought to be tests coming out of peoples ears. Granted–they are only ~85% accurate–but that’s better than the guesswork we are doing now.

    I still believe most people don’t want to give Covid to other people–if the tests were plentiful and inexpensive—people (and other small business would use them)

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  33. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    Probably the former, since you have to be a resident of Florida for seven years before you try to govern it.

    DeSantis lived here for seven years, but he’s never made any attempt to govern.

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  34. Teve says:

    @Kathy: such a system could be neutral-ish, but would take Huuuuge energy inputs. Presumably giant solar plants in Arizona.

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  35. Teve says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Normally the punchbowl gets taken away just when working class people are just getting some confidence to put some money into appreciating assets–but I give Trump credit for telling the Fed to leave the punchbowl alone. If any Biden Admin lurkers are on today—the old man should take note.

    A Lot of liberal economists have been bitching for Years that the Fed was senselessly aggressive in fighting inflation, at the expense of growth. Krugman brings it up all the time. And I do want Diamond Joe to listen to them.

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  36. inhumans99 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Yes, this. The thing that might have me most shaking my head about how badly the Trump admin bungled things is why can’t I go right now to Amazon and place another order for a new batch of Covid tests.

    I would test myself in the privacy of my home on a daily basis if the Trump admin made it easy peasy to purchase a test. If a family member can order blood sugar test strips (or whatever someone uses to check their blood if they have Type 2 Diabetes) from Amazon then we absolutely should be able to do the same for Covid tests.

    It is a national shame that we did such a shit job ramping up production of test kits that could be self-administered in the privacy of one’s home. We are headed towards a full year after we started to take the pandemic seriously (or at least some of us thought we were starting to get serious about the pandemic back around March of this year) and I still cannot get a test without going through hoops, that is so far beyond ridiculous.

    Another profound disappointment is that many businesses did not band together to push for easily obtainable testing kits. After all, the sooner employees can safely go back to the office, the sooner that billionaires like that Paychex dude can chill out on the beach lighting up Cuban cigars with $100 bills.

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  37. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    Saw an article on this yesterday. There are about 300000 people who can nominate individuals for Nobel Prizes, a couple of RW legislators nominated Trump, one from Sweden and another from Germany. But to put it in context, there are over 300 nominees for this years peace prize.

    Trump’s delusions either has him believing he won or it’s another scam to fleece the rubes.

    Cause you know, Obama won one is fake news.

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  38. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: some of Trump’s supporters actually believe he has won one or more Nobel Peace Prizes.

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  39. Teve says:

    “You love your president, and your president gets honored,” Trump told the crowd in Fayetteville. “I’m not being honored, you’re being honored, with the Nobel Peace Prize for Israel, what we did with Israel.”

    Trump Implies At Rally That He’s Already Won The Nobel Peace Prize

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  40. Kylopod says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I know people here are looking for answers on why Trump increased his black & brown support and its really quite simple

    While I’m not dismissing your explanation necessarily, I think the very question in some ways helps lose sight of the larger picture. In the modern age, Dems always win roughly 90% of the AA vote. That’s been consistently true for decades, and that didn’t change this year. Sure, there are shifts around the margins–it can be as low as 88% or as high as 95%–but is there any other commonly identified demographic category that votes so overwhelmingly and consistently for one party? A lot of liberals imagine that an open racist like Trump should have shrunk the already small percentage of AA Republicans, but that may be the wrong way of looking at it. Republican racism, which has existed for decades, is a large part of the reason for why AA are so overwhelmingly Democratic in the first place. So it’s kind of maxed out. The small percentage who voted Republican prior to 2016 had obviously found a way to make peace with a party that the vast majority considered too racist to support. So, to begin with, this relatively small group isn’t viewing things the same way the majority of AA are.

    People also overlook the fact that Obama inspired an unusually high level of AA support, so after he was gone there was a kind of reversion to the mean. Trump in 2016 actually got the smallest share of the AA vote ever for a Republican not running against Barack Obama. The fact that it grew from there shouldn’t be too surprising, especially when you consider the overall dropoff in the third-party vote.

    Also, it’s too simplistic to say that Biden’s victory rested on his improvement among whites relative to Clinton in 2016. Even though Trump did apparently (assuming the exit polls are accurate) get a relatively higher percentage of the AA and Latino vote than four years ago, there was also much higher turnout from those groups, and since they were Democratic-leaning groups to begin with, that means it gave Biden a net increase in votes compared with 2016. (I’ve calculated this myself.) This may not have been true in every state (particularly Florida), but it was true overall and definitely contributed to his wins in states like AZ and GA.

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  41. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    He’s actually implied that he has and none of the rumor sources in the bubble are contradicting him.

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  42. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Trump’s delusions either has him believing he won or it’s another scam to fleece the rubes.

    Do you think he’s so far gone he thinks he remembers a trip to Sweden to receive the Prize, the coverage in the press, etc.?

    Far more likely, IMO, is his propensity to exaggerate common actions and events into something he alone is capable of. So in his world, and that of his supporters, a nomination for a Nobel Prize is a rare, incredibly valuable thing that is almost the same as winning the actual Prize.

    Like no one had ever raised the pay for the military in decades, or no one had ever called the families of soldiers killed in action, etc.

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  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    Trump has never let a little thing like truth and accuracy get in the way of a boast.

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  44. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Teve:

    It’s not even the Peace Prize medal. It’s the medal for the prize in literature, physics, chemistry, or physiology and medicine.

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  45. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    The key word being “ish,” which isn’t even a word.

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  46. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Most likely he has no idea that he’d go to Sweden to claim the prize.

    Far more likely, IMO, is his propensity to exaggerate common actions and events into something he alone is capable of. So in his world, and that of his supporters, a nomination for a Nobel Prize is a rare, incredibly valuable thing that is almost the same as winning the actual Prize.

    Delusions – exaggerations, both are on the same side of the falsehood, truth continuum. After all he won the election.

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  47. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Teve:

    Using DPA on vaccines is a two edged sword: if it’s being used to increase total production, that’s a good thing. If it’s being used in an attempt to divert vaccines to the US that were already contracted to other countries because we didn’t buy more production when we had the chance, it’s going to be penny wise, pound foolish.

    The devil will be in the details.

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  48. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: i read there are nine inputs that pfizer is having trouble sourcing. Beyond that I don’t know.

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  49. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: The Great Recession was caused by the “savings glut”. There was surplus money sloshing around, leading the banksters to come up with schemes to pretend to guarantee higher than market rates of return. The Great Recession wiped out piles of money, yet since then the Fed has struggled, and failed, to drive inflation UP to their target of 2%. Aggregate demand isn’t high enough to drive inflation. Why, because rich people have all the money. I see little commentary on it, but it feels like the game has changed. Much of economic thinking assumes available capital is the choke point in the economy, but I’m not sure that’s any longer true.

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  50. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    The idea is to launch people, and cargo, as one would launch a nuclear warhead on an ICBM, to a far away destination in a rather short amount of time.

    Rocket launches in the US disrupt air travel significantly because an extensive area downrange of the launch is a no-fly zone for about three hours. Whoever is responsible for the launch typically has to give days if not weeks of advance notice. That’s got to be a problem.

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  51. ImProPer says:

    @KM:

    “Not really – it doesn’t take a lot of hindsight to realize he never asked her to prove her accusation. From second one, it was all about appeasing and calming her by taking her word for granted.”

    I agree with you, it doesn’t take a lot. What a difference even a second can make in a drama like this, can make. The 14 year old, deserves a lot of credit, and the father, I definitely admire his restraint. The manager, was pretty feckless
    and could use some tips like the ones you laid out for sure. As for the instigator, I hope she feels not only the weight of the DA, but also gets sued by the parents. It definitely appears she is going to get her 15 minutes of notoriety. Making a speculative guess, I see her as the type, when not disrespecting and attacking a 14 year old, AA kid, playing the intoxicating role of SJW.

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  52. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Sleeping Dog: The best description of Trump I’ve seen is that “Donald Trump was born on third base and thinks he invented baseball.”
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/romney-gets-trumped

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  53. ImProPer says:

    Darn it. The edit button was working this morning.

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  54. Michael Reynolds says:

    We were promised 20 million inoculations by end of this month. We got two. 10%. Distribution is utterly chaotic.

    Someone do please explain to me how it’s smart to leave the federal government out of things and rely on the states.

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  55. Teve says:

    @Michael Cain: I tried to find some explanation of how rocket launches disrupt air traffic but because of the word disrupt I got a lot of irrelevant links. Could you explain this a bit? Is it chemicals? Temperature? Birds?

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  56. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Yup, that’s our Donald. A legend in his own mind.

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  57. JohnMcC says:

    @gVOR08: I bet you are aware of the “modern monetary theory” boomlet. If not, something for you to look at. There’s serious economists who agree with you.

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  58. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:
    @Teve:

    The not-so-remote chance the rocket will blow up and shower innocent airliners with flaming hot, high-speed debris. Plus the more remote chance of a mid-air collision with the rocket, or the discarded first stage, or the discarded boosters, or the returning first stage.

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  59. JohnMcC says:

    @Michael Reynolds: The lack of a role for the Federal Gov’t and a wide responsibility for State Gov’ts is the Hoover method of fighting the Great Depression. The ‘conservative movement’ has been telling themselves for decades that the New Deal actually caused the majority of the suffering during that period and that Hoover’s administration was on the verge of setting things right.

    We are witnessing the results of that bad idea. What do you bet they’ll ‘prove’ to themselves that Trump really had the U.S. on the edge of an amazing recovery and that Mr Biden came along an screwed it up.

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  60. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I don’t know what the chances are of a hull loss accident with rockets. I think the Shuttle wound up at one per 75 missions, which is insanely high for design expected to fly 50 times per year.

    Loss rate in airliners is one per a whole lot of thousands of flights. There are years with zero such losses. And the chances of surviving an airliner accident are not as low as one might think.

    So, yeah, that’s a major concern.

    But one must look at suborbital travel as a mid-term future aspiration. Something your children may get to see.

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  61. Michael Cain says:

    @Teve: Rockets blow up from time to time. Rockets are blown up from time to time if the guidance system goes crazy. Even when things go properly, some of the parts are intended to break up and fall into the ocean. Jet engines that inhale rocket debris also tend to blow up. From memory, so suspect, the downrange no-fly zone for a Falcon 9 is relatively narrow but extends almost 600 nautical miles out to sea. Falcon Heavy is a bit wider and extends almost 1300 NM.

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  62. ImProPer says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    “I know people here are looking for answers on why Trump increased his black & brown support and its really quite simple– Trump extended the business cycle so that people that were typically caught up in the last hired/first fired circle of frustration–i.e black & brown people– actually got a couple of extra years to get over the hump and buy a house, start a business, etc.”

    Accidental or not, one of the rare positives I hope we get out of the last four years, is a demand side economy, with Republican forced buy in. Got to give the devil his due, Trump has sure made it hard to sell Supply-Side snake oil any time soon.

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  63. Teve says:

    @Kathy: Grazie!

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  64. Teve says:

    @Michael Cain: thanks!

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  65. flat earth luddite says:

    Mitch McConnell blocks vote on $2000 additional relief… could one of my links to this be released from durance vile? Pretty please? With a dollop of whipped cream? And sprinkles?

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  66. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    The idea is to launch people, and cargo, as one would launch a nuclear warhead on an ICBM, to a far away destination in a rather short amount of time.

    This is not a crazy idea.

    Yes, it is, for precisely the reason you just provided: namely, it is indistinguishable from an ICBM launch.

    What could possibly go wrong?

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  67. DrDaveT says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    There are about 300000 people who can nominate individuals for Nobel [Peace] Prizes

    At least one of them is an OP at this site.

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  68. Kathy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    NASA’s first two manned launches, Shepard and Grissom, were suborbital flights atop rockets.

    So, it’s been done.

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  69. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    So, it’s been done.

    Sorry to be so contrary today, but no — it hasn’t. Neither Mercury astronaut landed anywhere near a continent; it was easy to distinguish their flight paths from one an attacking ICBM would take. And neither actually “landed”, for that matter — uncontrolled splashdown is a far cry from controlled terrestrial landing at your destination.

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  70. Sleeping Dog says:

    @DrDaveT:

    “I didn’t know that.” He says in his best Tommy Smother’s voice.

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  71. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy:

    It’s imaginable but not a viable business plan yet. Even with the re-usable parts payload cost is still running around $2,500 per pound. $500,000.00 per passenger IF you can find enough people wanting to go to and from the same places at the same time to max payload capacity. Heck of a lot more per pound with some seats empty, operating like an Uber-from-hell. Just two people? They split the entire $57 million tab.

    https://www.airspacemag.com/space/is-spacex-changing-the-rocket-equation-132285884/#:~:text=All%20very%20impressive.,%242%2C500%20per%20pound%20to%20orbit.

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  72. Sleeping Dog says:

    Brutal

    You can’t see Nothing coming, but you can see Ron, broadcasting from its nerve center, mask hung ineptly, eyebrows arched like a dog that shit on the rug, face red and puffy like every press conference is a field sobriety test he’s bombing in real time. The man is a fading echo of something more substantial. As we wait for the individual pandemic horror that becomes, for each of us, the eponymous one, DeSantis is all we have.

    Ron DeSantis always wanted to make something of himself. What a pity. From working-class beginnings in Dunedin, Florida, DeSantis began his journey to restoring anti-elitist, real-world values by going to Eli Yale’s Finishing School for Fancy Boys when they needed a baseball player, then Harvard Law School. At both, he drank deep of the rarified intellectualism that produced George W. Bush, the commitments to ethics and service that drive Mike Pompeo, and the American heartland experience so uniquely embodied by Ted Cruz. Later, he served as a JAG officer in the Navy, the same crucible that forged Lindsey Graham.
    ————————-
    He won the governorship by a margin of 30,000 votes. Assuming every Florida Covid-19 death was a DeSantis supporter, he only has about 10,000 more to last him the next two years.

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  73. Gustopher says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about Pol Pot lately, and the disastrous agrarian revolution in Cambodia targeting anyone with glasses because they are an intellectual. It didn’t work out well, and not just for the optometrists.

    Every time some right wing nut pulls up the by-county election results and claims that we are a deep red country with tiny flecks of blue in the cities, and starts talking about tyranny, I think that with the right push, that could be a Khmer Rouge foot soldier or a minor leader.

    The Proud Boys and their ilk, gathering outside Portland to do a Trump Train with their pickup trucks and brandishing weapons as a show of force inside the liberal enclave of Portland… they’re just standing by, waiting for orders.

    They may not be communists trying to impose agrarian collectives on everyone, but it’s the same rural vs. urban divide. Anyway, that’s my cheery thought for the day, Pol Pot.

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  74. flat earth luddite says:

    @Gustopher:

    The Proud Boys and their ilk, gathering outside Portland to do a Trump Train with their pickup trucks and brandishing weapons as a show of force inside the liberal enclave of Portland… they’re just standing by, waiting for orders.

    Yes, but I take cold comfort in what happened to the ruralistas known as the James/Younger Gang when they made a road trip to Northfield, MN. These Proudish White-ish dudes get to any major Merkin inner city I know of, they’re gonna be badly outgunned…and outnumbered.

    Of course, I’m the rotten guy gonna be watching that particular floor show, enjoying my cigar, giggling and cackling…

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  75. Kathy says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    Not quite. that’s the price for an orbital flight. This requires much higher speeds, which means a larger booster and much more fuel. Suborbital doesn’t need to go much above Mach 5 or so, not the Mach 23+ of an orbital flight. This means a smaller rocket and less fuel.

    It would still cost millions to launch, but not tens of millions.

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  76. CSK says:

    According to Chris Cillizza, Trump is quite unhappy with the renovations Melania has had done to his quarters at Mar-a-Lago, and some (dark wood and white marble) have been removed.

    Club attendance is way down, but the Trumps will still be holding their annual New Year’s Eve bash. Be funny if no one came but the Trump spawn.

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  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: My guess would be that the room rate will drop precipitously sometime in early February, but maybe Trump isn’t a good enough businessman to set rates effectively. Hard for me to know–I always book the Travelocity Mystery Rate room if I can.

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  78. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Maybe he IS a good enough businessman to set room rates effectively. We’ll know in about a week. 😉

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  79. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I think that Trump jacked up the dues from $100,000 per year to $200,000 once he became president.

    Before 2016, Woody Allen, Jay Leno, and James Taylor were guests at the New Year’s Eve bash. I suppose they’ll be giving it a wide berth this year.

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  80. Michael Cain says:

    @dazedandconfused: Musk is focused in on exactly one part of the problem (since he has only one tool): “inexpensive” suborbital hop. He hasn’t begun to think about all the related problems that will have to be solved. Enough launch sites, close enough to population centers (so not only is reliability a big thing, as Kathy has suggested, but so is NOISE). Something equivalent to air traffic control, even if it’s just scheduling. Sure, the “vicinity of NYC” to the “vicinity of Hong Kong” is a 60-minute hop, but if there’s three hours of travel and process on each end it’s still a seven hour trip. If I were going to guess, I would guess that some sort of high-mach air breather is much more likely to be successful.

    (Actually, if I were going to guess, I’d guess that there’s a lot less NYC to Hong Kong travel that far in the future, and a lot more telepresence and 3D fabrication.)

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  81. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I have to give his agency credit for keeping me wondering why they chose the music they did until the end of the commercial. Sadly for them, the payoff line made me burst out laughing. I don’t think that’s what they were going for.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tviyAIS9c_U (In case no one can remember what add they ripped off.)

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  82. grumpy realist says:

    Virgin Galactic has a terminal and a landing strip down in New Mexico. It’s WAAAAY out in the middle of nowhere.

    Somehow I just know this is going to end up like Japanese domestic air flights: the flight time from one airport to another is ridiculously low, but whatever you gain on the air flight you lose getting from the airport to wherever you want to go, because the airports are built way-out-in-the-hell-of-nowhere. (or in the case of Osaka, on an artificial island gradually sinking into the sea. Um.)

    Might as well take the Shinkansen. At least you get the local bento boxes being offered for sale on the train.

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  83. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    At both, he drank deep of the rarified intellectualism that produced George W. Bush, the commitments to ethics and service that drive Mike Pompeo, and the American heartland experience so uniquely embodied by Ted Cruz.

    Ouch.

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  84. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:

    Much of economic thinking assumes available capital is the choke point in the economy, but I’m not sure that’s any longer true.

    Quite a few commentators have noted that vast amounts of capital are being ploughed not int new enterprises or production capacity, but into “debt leverage” of existing corporations.
    This boosts returns, can be very lucrative for the debt issuing and management entities, and can even (temporarily at least) benefit consumers by enabling said corporations to price agressively to gain market share.

    I do suspect though it may be a sub-optimal way of using capital, and is pursued because it benefits incumbents and create additional, high-return, revenue streams for holders of relatively liquid finance.

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  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I’m hearing that a little differently–more on the order of “it’s an honor even to be nominated” (a reach considering we’re talking Trump, but still…). In that case, the question is whether Trump has even been nominated. A quick perusal from Google says the answer is “yes”–unless it’s “no,” of course. Anybody know definitively?

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  86. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Too late to change the company’s name to AeroSpaceX 🙂

    Actually it’s called “Space Exploration Technologies.”

    Anyway, there are indeed many other issues. Take weather. Rocket launches are delayed due to weather all the time. So are regular airline flights, but you can count on later flights, or on rerouting through a different hub.

    Also, an offshore platform sounds good, but how big, what would it cost, and how many rockets could you keep in one? Just to name a few questions. If you build a platform near NYC, you’ll want to do flights to Europe and South America as well as Asia. So you can’t just keep one rocket ready to launch at a time. You’ll want many.

    reliability is key, IMO. If suborbitals were as reliable and safe as airliners, then you could build and operate suborbital ports not too far away from cities, at least where there’s room for such, to keep the noise away from most people. More important, they could ascend over land. Not if they have a 1 in 100 chance of blowing up after takeoff.

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  87. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I could be wrong, but my understanding of this situation is that the delay is at the Federal distribution level. In general, the Fed would be the go to agency, but we’re dealing with a Trump-run Fed government–not an ideal situation at all. The next question is how long it will take a Biden administration to resolve the chaos of the status quo.

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  88. JohnSF says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    …who but the holders of massive amounts of capital would have the most to lose if their dollars became a little less valuable?

    The thing is, assuming you can easily get the accelerated inflation genie back in the bottle.
    There a quite a lot of contra-indicating cases from economic history.
    Sure, stifling growth just out of fear of a 2% inflation rate is overdoing it.

    But if inflation does take off, the people who lose out aren’t, usually, the very (or even moderately) rich, who generally have the means to shift out of “nearly-money” assets “bonds, shares, etc) into “inherent value” assets (farmland, factories, mines etc.)

    See the relative impact of inflation in the 70’s in the US and UK, Germany in the 1920’s, Argentina, etc. In almost every case it’s the little people with money (or “near money”) savings that get shafted; the really wealthy come out of it just fine, thanks.

    Inflation’s a bit like fire; a controlled one is nice to warm things up with; but you really don’t want to risk setting your house alight to heat the living room.

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  89. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..an offshore platform sounds good, but how big, what would it cost, and how many rockets could you keep in one?
    Fifty Years Ago

    An airport in the lake
    How Mayor Richard J. Daley’s ambitious plan failed to take flight
    The initial report by the Hanza Engineering Company, a Chicago firm renowned for designing dams and other large-scale hydrological projects, considered a site due east of 35th Street, with the Stevenson Expressway four miles across the lake to the island airport. But in its 1970 report to the city, Hanza settled on a site whose center would be 8.5 miles due east of 55th Street. Hanza envisioned that barges would create a circular dike five miles in diameter, dumping tons of sand or rock-fill into the lake. Over a three-month period, all the water within this circle would be pumped out. After the diked enclosure had been fortified with rock quarried from below the lake bed, the terminals, hangars, and runways would be constructed. A causeway would connect the airport to the mainland. The entire airport would be the antithesis of an artificial island, with planes flying into a space that had been the very bottom of the lake.

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  90. dazedandconfused says:

    @Michael Cain:

    A lot of people have thought that idea , use a rocket to get it to altitude but still be in enough atmosphere to use some wing. A little fuel goes a long way up there. The problem has always been how to power anything in air that thin. Turbines run into practically unsolvable issues at those altitudes. People have tried all kinds of stuff, ram-jetting, et al. There was some creation leaving smoke rings a few years back, theory goes it as a pulse-jet attempt. Hasn’t been seen since so it’s a fair assumption that didn’t go real real well.

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  91. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: I gotta side with Kathy on this. The topic was “suborbital launches” and both Grissom and Shepard were such. As far as nuclear launches go, outside of NK, what nuclear power would launch a single warhead? Announcing ahead of time the when where how of it lying only about the what and why?

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  92. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnMcC: I’m aware of Modern Monetary Theory, but never quite felt I had a handle on it. Some vague idea of policy prescriptions, but not just what the theory difference is. I haven’t found a straightforward New Keynesian believe X but MMT thinks they’re wrong because Y.

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  93. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Aside from North Korea, India, Pakistan, and possibly Israel*, the other nuclear powers own submarine launched ballistic missiles. the general patrol areas of these submarines are known. If wither one wanted to launch one missile (not necessarily with one warhead), they’d station their missile sub in the area known to be used by one of the others and launch form there.

    But if suborbital travel were to become a thing, the launch sites and schedules would be widely publicized on the internet. Blue Origin has launched suborbital test rockets, including New Shepard.

    *I think there was a West Wing ep where they find Israel operating a missile submarine, but I don’t think that’s a reliable source for non-fictional purposes.

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  94. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:
    Another interesting question is “what is the difference between MMT and supply side economics?”

    Well, one claims that its favoured policies might increase deficits, but as those policies would foster economic growth, that would more than suffice to balance out debt incurred.
    And the other claims…

    I’m always a bit suspicious of something that sounds a little too good to be true.
    And like drunks with lamposts, politicians often value economic ideas for support rather than illumination.

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  95. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    IIRC it’s often thought Israel may very well have submarine launched nukes, on the Dolphin-class subs, but cruise missiles not ballistic, with c. 1500km range i.e. just about enough, maybe, to hit Tehran from just offshore Haifa.

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  96. ImProPer says:

    @JohnSF:

    “But if inflation does take off, the people who lose out aren’t, usually, the very (or even moderately) rich, who generally have the means to shift out of “nearly-money” assets “bonds, shares, etc) into “inherent value” assets (farmland, factories, mines etc.)”

    I would predict basically the same for deflation as well. Just a reversal of the asset shifting. Having said that, the young, and those of modest means, tend to suffer far less under inflationary policies. Now as for runaway-inflation , I’ve only been around for 57 years and don’t have any experience with it. The 70s were the only time we got close, and don’t recall it being particularly hellish. I do recall however, Paul Volcker, quickly taming it with monetary policy.

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  97. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    It’s not easy to mistake a cruise missile for an ICBM. Cruise missiles fly low.

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  98. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:
    Best short, clear, balanced intro to MMT I know of is this by Dylan Matthews at Vox.

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  99. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    True.
    Just sayin’ my semi-irrelevant tuppenceworth. 🙂
    But also relevant-ish; these days if you wanted to do a sneak attack against a major Power, a first wave of cruise missiles would probably be better than a solo ballistic.

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  100. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’m holding out until Trump steaks are made of Trumps.

    Cuck L’Orange. It’s what’s for dinner.

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  101. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher:

    I’m holding out until Trump steaks are made of Trumps.

    ObAddamsFamily: “Are they made with real Girl Scout?”

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  102. JohnSF says:

    @ImProPer:
    Ah, you sweet young thing! 🙂
    (Ahead of you by about 5)

    IIRC the US had only about four years of double-digit inflation.
    The UK had about nine, peaking at around 25%. Trust me, that was bad. Really bad.
    Some people saw effectively half their savings wiped out.
    And again, the really rich who could shift into physical assets often cleaned up at the expense of the less well off who sold them at a discount.

    The US has generally post-1918 found these things easier to manage by being the global reserve currency: as a lot of commodities are dollar denominated the pain of price shifts tend to hit the US rather lass than other countries whose currencies are inflating (i.e. depreciating) relative to the dollar as well as relative to a historic base.

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  103. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Trump is going to be shocked by the number non-renewals of memberships at Mar-a-Lago and the fact that A,B,&C list celebrates will avoid him like the plague. He’ll be stuck with the likes of Ted Nugent and Scott Baio, plus the clan members who he loathes.

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  104. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    It’s so gratifying to know that he’ll continue to be scorned by the people whom he desperately wants to impress.

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  105. JohnSF says:

    @ImProPer:
    That said, concur that for genral economic health for the largest number of people, inflation in the range 1% to 3% seems optimum.

    Thinks: as you say

    “…basically the same for deflation as well. Just a reversal of the asset shifting.”

    I wonder. Perhaps “concealed deflation” explains, in part, the relative preference in recent years for investments in non-physically productive asset forms: non-farm land/residential property, financial instruments, etc?
    Why take risks to produce wealth, if you can just sit back and watch your relative wealth rise?

    The perennial problem of the debt-slavery trap in pre-modern economies comes back?

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  106. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    Mexico reached hyperinflation of around 150% or so in the late 80s. Though this was “mild” by Latina American standards (see Argentina and Brazil), it was pretty bad. I recall 100,000 peso notes. By 1993 or so, three zeroes were taken off the currency.

    Not that things have gone swimmingly since then. the peso was at 3.5 per dollar in 1993, now it stands at around 20.

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  107. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Well, yes. he strikes me as an angry man, not a happy one.

    Given the low bar he’s expected not to clear, he might impress those who scorn him simply by apologizing, even obliquely and one-thousandth-heartedly, for one small aspect of his failed would-be reign.

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  108. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    But if suborbital travel were to become a thing, the launch sites and schedules would be widely publicized on the internet.

    Indeed. Including dealing with, “Well, Thursday morning’s launch is scrubbed because there are no paying customers that could load within the window.” And when someone shows up an hour before the scheduled time, but after the launch has been scrubbed, and the booking agent says Saturday, the customer stuffs the cargo on an old beat-up 747 and accepts twelve hours not three.

    We have a wonderful historical lesson. US railroads failed — really, just count the Chapter 11 bankruptcies that have been allowed — because they decided they were in the railroad business, not the scheduled passenger and cargo delivery business. When a full-length train can be assembled, your boxcar will go. If it happens to be scheduled through Chicago, well, that 50 miles will take 48 hours. It remains to be seen if today’s US railroads can survive the demise of coal-burning power plants, and the corresponding enormous cargoes that can be plus-or-minus several days on delivery.

    Three-hour suborbital transport only matters if you have an “always” launch window.

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  109. Northerner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Its not mutually exclusive to have laws and customs that simultaneously discriminate against people of color (Blacks and Native Americans especially) and against poor whites.

    In America police kill about 500 white men a year. Care to guess how many of them are poor vs how many of them are millionaires? I suspect poor whites are killed by police at a far higher rate than rich whites.

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  110. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Three-hour suborbital transport only matters if you have an “always” launch window.

    Yeah, that’s the hard part, isn’t it?

    Recently a KLM flight to Brazil turned back to Amsterdam past the Azores due to a cracked windshield. They could have proceeded safely, as the crack was on the outside windshield, with the inner one intact. But then who knows how long repairs would take in Brazil. The airline scrambled to get a replacement aircraft, so the passengers arrived with a delay of 14 hours (after flying for nearly a whole day).

    This is rare. By far, most flights get to their destination reasonably on time. a hypersonic suborbital flight would be worth it only due to the time savings. A few hours vs 7 to 20 hours flying is a BIG difference. perhaps something like the foredoomed X-30 National AeroSpace Plane might be a better idea, if the technology is ever there.

    IMO, reliable ramjet engines, and even the scramjet, seem more likely developments than a safe, reliable rocket booster.

    I think if Concorde had succeeded commercially, we would have seen a lot more development in high speed passenger transport by now. Not perhaps a hypersonic passenger plane, but surely common Mach 2.5-3 planes all over the place (which might have scrapped the ozone layer entirely, BTW).

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  111. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Not a chance. He’s been trying to muscle his way into the haute mond since 1975. He’ll never make it. Once a churl, always a churl.

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  112. ImProPer says:

    @JohnSF:

    “IIRC the US had only about four years of double-digit inflation.”

    This sounds pretty accurate, I remember being 18 and new in the workforce, when the interest rates hit double digits, 20ish percent, I seem to recall. I was living in the San Francisco Bay area, a union apprentice in the building trades.
    I remember going from working a good job to long term unemployment in a blink of an eye.
    A sobering statistic, is that most trades today, pay nearly an identical wage, as they did in 1980.

    “The US has generally post-1918 found these things easier to manage by being the global reserve currency: as a lot of commodities are dollar denominated the pain of price shifts tend to hit the US rather lass than other countries whose currencies are inflating (i.e. depreciating) relative to the dollar as well as relative to a historic base.”

    But according to the great orange one, we were being taken for suckers by the rest of the world.

    “Why take risks to produce wealth, if you can just sit back and watch your relative wealth rise?”

    Great question, and why, as ignorant as I am, I don’t have much faith in the government being able to bribe the wealthy to abandon their fabulous lives and employ us little people with jobs.

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  113. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    I think if Concorde had succeeded commercially, we would have seen a lot more development in high speed passenger transport by now. Not perhaps a hypersonic passenger plane, but surely common Mach 2.5-3 planes all over the place

    There seem to be a ton of little companies with enough money to put into building at least a prototype of those in business-jet sizes. I suspect this tells us a lot about the market. That is, there are a small number of people who are willing to pay ridiculous sums for NY to LA in two hours, and back after the meeting. I understand the attraction for those wealthy enough that the price simply doesn’t matter. At the end of my tech career I had to fly fairly often from Denver to somewhere on the West Coast in the morning, spend four-to-six hours with the technology folks at some company or another, then fly back to Denver. On a few occasions, I went as the tech expert to a meeting of C-level folks and got to tag along on the corporate jet. For those one-day trips, the corporate jet was enormously better than commercial.

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  114. Teve says:

    Louisiana congressman-elect dies of Covid

    Luke Letlow was to have been sworn in Sunday.

    Louisiana Republican Luke Letlow won his seat in a runoff election Dec. 5. | AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte

    By MELANIE ZANONA
    12/29/2020 09:51 PM EST
    Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R-La.) has died from coronavirus, multiple sources confirmed Tuesday evening. He was 41.

    Letlow, who announced on Dec. 18 that he tested positive for Covid-19, had been in the intensive care unit at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport.

    “The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time,” the family said in a statement to the Monroe News-Star.
    Letlow, who served as chief of staff to former Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.) before being elected to fill that seat, was supposed to be sworn into Congress on Sunday. He is the first member or member-elect of Congress to die from the coronavirus.

    Letlow leaves behind a wife and two small children.

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  115. JohnSF says:

    @ImProPer:
    What worries me is if a rentier/financialised/oligopolistic system becomes entrenched at the same time as physical growth is tending to slow due to product maturation and saturation and the impact of environmental limits on “cheap” industry:
    Is iPhone y really that much better than iPhone x?
    Do you really need a new kitchen appliance?
    etc etc

    Plus the impact of AI on information processing, services and possibly robotics.

    If we need a new economic model to handle very different circumstances, the one thing we don’t want gumming up the works is a dominant class of propertied debt-holders along the lines of the senatorial class of ancient Rome, or other “static society” elites.

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  116. ImProPer says:

    @JohnSF:

    I concur. To date, Democracy has kept us shielded pretty well from the short comings of hereditary power, but is struggling with the success of it’s economic machine. As witnessed by recent history, the only elites interested in seizing power, tend to have Caligula type traits, rather than say an Augustus. The thinkers among them, seem to be as disinclined to lead, as generation x.

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