Tuesday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. EddieInCA says:

    Indica is my friend.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Quite the marketing ploy by these entrepreneurs: Frosted Flakes.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Danny DeVito and Barry Sonnenfeld: how we made Get Shorty

    Heh, re Gene Hackman:

    BS: Gene Hackman [as Harry Zimm] never tried to be funny. He was scary as hell to work with – he’s very intimidating and suffers no fools. After the New York premiere he pulled me aside and said: “I wanted you to know, the entire time I was working with you I didn’t think you had a fucking clue what you were doing.” I said: “OK, thanks Gene.” He said: “That’s not my point.” I said: “Oh there’s more?” He said: “I’m so mad at myself because if I had realised you knew what you were doing, I could’ve done so much better!”

    DD: Barry wanted Gene Hackman to play Harry Zimm. It just so happened that his agent was my agent so I called him up. But there was a night scene in the movie and he said he didn’t work at night. I said: “It’s only one scene. We’ll do it real quick and get you out by midnight.” He said “No, I don’t work at night.” It was a dealbreaker. Barry insisted it had to be a night scene, and I eventually convinced Gene to do it but he said: “You only get one night.”

    During that night shoot I was hanging out with Hackman a lot because I didn’t want him to get squirrelly and leave. I think we went over midnight but he was a good guy and stuck it out. Several weeks later, I went to the editing room with Barry. I said: “Where’s the night scene?” He says: “Oh, it didn’t work so I cut it out.” I said: “You motherfucker …”

  4. Teve says:

    Seen on the Internet:

    So it turns out Ted Cruz does understand people crossing the border to escape inhospitable living conditions

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Dare mighty things’: hidden message found on Nasa Mars rover parachute

    Internet sleuths claim to have decoded a hidden message displayed on the parachute that helped Nasa’s Perseverance Rover land safely on Mars last week. They claim that the phrase “Dare mighty things” – used as a motto by Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – was encoded on the parachute using a pattern representing letters as binary computer code.

    Reddit users and social media posters on Twitter noticed that the red-and-white pattern on the parachute looked deliberate, and arrived at the result by using the red to represent the figure one, and the white to represent zero.

  6. Scott says:

    A little reminder that the Saudis are not our friends and never have been our friends.

    Lawsuit blames Saudi Arabia for deadly 2019 attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola

    The suit centers on the Dec. 6, 2019, shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in which Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani shot and killed three U.S. sailors. It comes nine months after U.S. officials revealed that Alshamrani, a Saudi Air Force officer, had communicated with al-Qaida operatives about planning and tactics in the weeks leading up to the attack and that he had been radicalized abroad before coming to the U.S. to participate in a military training program.

    “Al-Shamrani was a Trojan Horse sent by his country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its proxy, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, for flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, under the auspices of a program tied to billions of dollars in military arms sales from the United States to the Kingdom,” the lawsuit states. “Little did the American people know that such an arrangement would soon devolve into a horrific, Faustian bargain.”

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hidden in a shoebox: vintage Edinburgh shots that were nearly lost – in pictures
    Robert Blomfield’s stunning pictures of the Scottish capital were locked away for decades. Now his family want to share his talent with the world

  8. Teve says:

    Jesus, three Newsmax people last night attacked Biden for his dog looking ragged. Champ looks ragged because Champ is 12 years old and German Shepherds have an average lifespan of 11. 83-year-old humans look pretty ragged too.

  9. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: i watched the gorgeous and inspiring 3 minute video of the landing and wondered if that red and white was maybe like a pattern for image calibration.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Funny. I think Champ looks rather regal.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: From the article:

    The challenge had been set by Nasa itself. While the pattern has a scientific purpose – it allows mission control to see the angle the parachute has deployed at and whether it has got twisted – during a live stream discussing the landing, one Nasa commentator said: “Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find. So we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work.”

  12. Teve says:


    and whether it has got twisted

    Oh, that explains why it was asymmetrical.

  13. Kylopod says:


    Jesus, three Newsmax people last night attacked Biden for his dog looking ragged.

    I’ll give ’em one thing: it doesn’t come close to the the time Daily Caller attacked the Obama dogs because they were…black.

    It goes along with a point I’ve been making for years: The right will attack any Dem in power. But the way they attacked Obama was what was telling.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    Something that came up in the Trump Tax Returns thread made me want to plant a stake in the ground: I predict that within a year senior Trump officials, perhaps including family members, will either be indicted on illegally steering Covid PPE, ventilators, vaccines, etc, or at least there will be a circle of indictments around them.

  15. Kathy says:

    IN Pale Blue Dot, Sagan raises an issue I’d never thought about.

    We know one of these days Earth will be struck by an asteroid or comet large enough to cause some serious damage to life and human civilization. We also know it’s possible to detect such a threat in time and prevent it.

    While nuclear explosives may be used, it’s more likely we’ll resort to some means of propulsion to alter the impactor’s trajectory so it misses Earth, especially if we have enough time (we may have decades or months, depending on when the threat is discovered).

    Well and good. but Sagan worries the ability to steer an impactor away, implies the ability to move one so it impacts Earth.

    This has been done in science fiction many times. The aliens in Niven’s “Footfall” do it, so did the Centauri in Babylon 5. I just never thought someone living on Earth would want to smash the Earth with an asteroid. That’s like setting your house on fire after you trap yourself inside it.

  16. Jen says:

    Just checked Twitter and both Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson were trending. Curious as to why, I clicked. Apparently 11 GOP senators, completely devoid of any sense of irony, are calling on Pres. Biden to withdraw the name of Xavier Becerra for HHS because he lacks any notable experience for the role.

    I honestly am at a loss. How anyone–literally anyone, much less senators who voted for Trump’s nominees–can point to “lack of experience”…it boggles the mind.

  17. Teve says:

    @Kathy: id say that within our lifetimes that’s a looooooooooooow probability event.

  18. CSK says:

    Didn’t Carson say something along the lines of “What am I supposed to do?” when he was appointed head of HUD?

  19. Neil Hudelson says:




    It’s a central plot point in The Expanse series. To your point, the people who aim the asteroids at Earth no longer live on Earth, and bare a hatred to anyone who grew up in a ‘gravity well.’

    I love the series, and the book that explores the asteroid attack is pretty riveting, but I was disappointed that the authors immediately moved the central characters off-planet. I want a book that just explores how the survivors pick up the pieces and/or decide to move on.

  20. Kathy says:



    The way politicians allocate money, it’s low odds they’ll spend a penny for something that will happen after their term in office.

  21. Teve says:

    @CSK: “just smile for the cameras, Token.”

  22. Neil Hudelson says:


    Supposedly Hackman’s behavior on “The Royal Tenenbaums” because so increasingly aggressive and physically confrontational towards Wes Anderson that Bill Murray would be on set anytime Hackman was in order to police his behavior.

    In classic Murray style, he dressed as a cowboy sheriff when he was on police duty.

  23. Teve says:

    @Neil Hudelson: A good for Murray
    B fuck is wrong with Hackman?

    Looks like Anderson did 6 films after Tenenbaums, zero of them featuring Hackman.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Lauren Underwood Is the Future

    Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) has witnessed Underwood’s ability to connect with voters firsthand. “We did a series of events together where we would sit down at a local shop, and a dozen to two dozen people would come in. It was a very intimate setting, and I was just really impressed by how she was out in the community at a very granular level, talking to people one-on-one,” Duckworth says. “She’s very down-to-earth, very matter of fact, and she really connects with people.”

    Underwood doesn’t try to woo voters by claiming she believes in things she doesn’t; she levels with them. “I like to flip it on its head,” she explains. “People are like, Oh, you vote whatever percentage with your party. And I’m like, Well, would you have rather I voted against the Violence Against Women Act to change a percentage? Do you want us not to be in the Paris Climate Agreement? Because let’s talk to my farmers about climate change—they will tell you how it impacts their businesses and their families. So then people are like, ‘No, no, you’re right, you’re right. Just do the right thing.”


    Her opponent’s challenge won’t be successful, but still, such things have a way of making a person feel like they don’t belong. “I feel like I’m in an institution that was not built for me—that my presence is disruptive in so many ways,” Underwood says. “Within a subset of our party there’s this really warm embrace of my candidacy and my service and these ideas that I have envisioned for our country, but at work, it sometimes feels very different. That’s the difference between politics and policymaking—there’s always this tension. Even after this election, I thought we would have more young women of color coming and there weren’t. It’s tough.”

    A really good profile. I wish she was my Rep.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I recall reading that he was a real pain in the ass on “The Royal Tenenbaums” set. Hadn’t heard that Bill was appointed his caretaker. Not surprised at all that he would take to it in such a way.

  26. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Sagan implies an Earth-based conflict resulting in one side driving an impactor on the Earth. This made little sense to me.

    But then so did a “limited” nuclear exchange. Or how Asimov put it “We can’t have a nuclear war just to see if we kill off all humanity or only half.”

  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    The orange one will be at CPAC next week and we know that it will be a grievance fest and how the election was stolen yada yada, and those horrible, disloyal Rs that voted against him during impeachment. Yes, the cult will lap this up, but for how long? He never offered an agenda to follow for reelection and the only 2016 promise that he fulfilled was with regard to immigration.

    How long will R voters wallow in his grievance, while at the same time having him offer nothing to assuage the grievance of the cult members.

  28. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Trump “owns the libtards.” Nothing else matters.

  29. Kathy says:


    This won’t work as well for the Orange Ass as it did between 2015 and 2020. It’s one thing to pay attention to a candidate winning primaries, then to the party’s candidate, then the usurper of the Oval Office. But now he’s back to being just a loud ignoramus without even a public platform.

    His cult will eat it up, to be sure, but most of us won’t even hear about it.

  30. Loviatar says:

    Manu Raju

    Manchin says he had “real nice conversation” tonight with Neera Tanden. But he said that he is still opposed. I asked why he is opposed to Tanden now over her tweets but backed Trump nominee Ric Grenell as ambassador to Germany, Manchin said: “The timing — more than anything.”

    WTF does that even mean?

  31. CSK says:
  32. Loviatar says:

    David Nir

    Every on-the-record quote in this piece attacking the obvious racism and sexism being levied at Biden’s nominees is from women and people of color. We need to hear from more prominent white men calling this out, too

    ‘A double standard going on’: Democrats accuse GOP and Manchin of bias on Biden nominations

  33. CSK says:

    I buggered up the address. It’s the lead piece at http://www.thebulwark.com, by Charlie Sykes.

  34. Sleeping Dog says:


    cept he doesn’t

  35. Kingdaddy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: A good podcast episode about The Royal Tenenbaums, with a lot of details about Gene Hackman: https://www.theringer.com/2021/1/12/22221357/the-royal-tenenbaums-with-chris-ryan-and-andy-greenwald

  36. Joe says:

    I just never thought someone living on Earth would want to smash the Earth with an asteroid. That’s like setting your house on fire after you trap yourself inside it.

    I have 74 million examples for you, Kathy, if by Earth you mean your own country.

  37. Teve says:


    Manchin says he had “real nice conversation” tonight with Neera Tanden. But he said that he is still opposed. I asked why he is opposed to Tanden now over her tweets but backed Trump nominee Ric Grenell as ambassador to Germany, Manchin said: “The timing — more than anything.”

    WTF does that even mean

    it means “she’s not a Real Merican, you know. I mean, loook

    FYI according to a scatterplot I saw, Manchin’s voting record is more conservative than three Republicans.

  38. ptfe says:

    @Kathy: The idea of crashing an asteroid into a planet is a huge physics problem, though, not as trivial as sending a rover to Mars (which is already not trivial!) You can send a spacecraft from Earth to Mars by equipping it with actuators big enough to move the object around, and you can calculate exactly how much thrust and torque you need at specific times to get the job done. Space is, it turns out, a pretty easy place for dynamics when you can measure everything on the ground beforehand and calculate to the second when specific events should occur. You can put margin around anomalies, but you need everything to go exactly right at very specific times to get the thing where it needs to go.

    But throw some wheels and chemical propellants on non-uniform object of unknown moment of inertia like an asteroid, and you’ll have a much more difficult time. I mean, sure, you get the large mass without the launch cost, but you also have to know the object really well or get to know the object really well. And you need to change the motion of the object entirely with a huge velocity shift in order to send it where you want.

    Asteroids are also notorious for doing weird long-term attitude maneuvers that you would have to control. They heat differentially and they flex; they emit radiation and they spin; they lose bits and the central mass changes its rotation rate. Some of this happens with satellites, too, but you control it by making the thermal environment more benign or more predictable. That means directing an asteroid to a particular place takes a really intimate understanding of the asteroid itself.

    That means you would need to plan this even years in advance, and you would need to control the body continuously through the trip.

    What if you get caught? Well, it doesn’t take a huge change to the incoming asteroid to make it uncontrollable: attach a deployable sail and you’ve got a constant solar pressure that thrusters suddenly have to fight for months on end just to keep it moving to the needed trajectory. Or attach a big wheel and you can spin the asteroid up beyond the capacity of the attacker to recover it in any reasonable amount of time. Or attach a couple torque rods to exploit ambient magnetic fields (the sun’s magnetic field is pretty damn strong) to frustrate efforts to control the object.

    All this is to say that a competent spacefaring group looking to destroy a planet could get the ball rolling, but it’s not going to be a surprise attack. A competent spacefaring group on the receiver planet could just as readily identify this kind of attempt and would have available remedies that would likely foil it.

  39. Teve says:

    December 2038. Senator Mitch JR announces that Republicans don’t believe the science on asteroid 2038AC2 is settled, and they believe BigAstrophysics is paying scientists to scare the public, so they will be filibustering the NUDGE ACT. “The Real Solution to the so-called asteroid problem is more Capital Gains taxes…

  40. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Oh, I know Trump doesn’t “own the libtards.” But his fans think he does. Or tell themselves he does. And…”He fights!”

  41. Kylopod says:


    FYI according to a scatterplot I saw, Manchin’s voting record is more conservative than three Republicans.

    I’d be interested to see that analysis.

    Throughout Trump’s presidency I followed 538’s tracker for the Trump-friendliness of Congress members (i.e. how often they voted for Trump-supported initiatives). It consistently found that the most-Trump friendly Dem Senator (almost always Manchin) had a consistently lower score than the least Trump-friendly R Senators (which tended to be Romney or Collins).

    I just checked the rankings now, and it places the new Republican Senator from Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis, below Manchin and Sinema. Given that she only served under Trump for a few weeks, I’d take this ranking with a grain of salt. Trust me, I followed the rankings throughout Trump’s presidency and there was never a moment when a single Dem Senator ranked higher than a single Repub Senator. There was a bit of overlap in the House–but not the Senate.


    I realize “Trump-friendliness” isn’t the same as ranking their conservatism or liberalism, but it is an indication of the level of polarization today.

  42. Owen says:

    @MarkedMan: The September 17 Vanity Fair article seemed to imply some questionable dealing, I am sure there is more to come.

    I think this article was previously linked by someone here.

  43. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod: We have to avoid identity traps that Conservatives have fallen into. Just because Trump is associated with something–doesn’t make it bad. His involvement should trigger close scrutiny and further analysis should determine if its indeed bad.

    Trump proved the business cycle could be inflated longer than the Fed usually lets it inflate with marginal risk of inflation. He actually flipped the “last hired-first fired” paradigm for blacks and other minorities on its head–allowing them enough time on the job to buy houses, start business etc.

    Did he do this because he’s a great guy? Of course not–Trump is the worst of humanity. But his pride and ego about building the best economy “eva” happened to improve the lot of many people’s financial situation. Had his gamble failed–and we did have runaway inflation he wouldn’t have gave a damn about the people most harmed. But it didn’t–so because Trump did it doesn’t change that it was indeed positive.

    Now that we have adults running the store again–this practice needs to be repeated with the appropriate guard rails in place to make sure its sustainable and there isn’t an ocean cliff at the end of business cycle.

  44. Teve says:

    All this is to say that a competent spacefaring group looking to destroy a planet could get the ball rolling, but it’s not going to be a surprise attack.

    (Bursts into room) Nobody Expects The Hugo Drax!

  45. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: yeah, I didn’t frame it as Objective Truth because it was just one analysis here.

  46. Kylopod says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    We have to avoid identity traps that Conservatives have fallen into. Just because Trump is associated with something–doesn’t make it bad.

    I realize that. But let’s face it: rankings on how often a Congressperson votes with Trump tracks pretty closely with liberal vs. conservative scales. It isn’t the same–but it’s closely related.

    Also, some of the scales purporting to measure a Congress member’s conservatism or liberalism are just this superficial. Remember the 2008 Republican talking point that Obama was ranked the “most liberal Senator”? This was based on a National Journal ranking from 2007. Obama had ranked 10th most liberal in 2006 and 18th in 2005. In 2007, he missed about a third of the votes due in part to his being busy with his presidential campaign. That dilutes the accuracy of the ranking. It was for that very reason that NJ didn’t even bother to provide a ranking for McCain, who missed half the votes that year.

    In any case, if you examine NJ’s methodology, you find it’s based entirely on how often a Congress member votes for Democratic or Republican policy initiatives. There is literally no ideological analysis at all. In the same list from 2007, the left-wing Dennis Kucinich was rated one of the most “conservative” Dems in the House. This was because he tended to vote against Dem proposals on the grounds that they weren’t progressive enough. So at best, all it revealed about Obama was that the year he launched his presidential campaign, he stuck to the party line more than other Dem Senators. It did not in any way prove he was the most left-wing Senator.

    There are better ways of measuring a Congressperson’s voting record–for instance, the rankings regularly released by Americans for Democratic Action (a liberal group) and the American Conservative Union.

  47. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    WTF does that even mean

    1. See Teve’s comment.
    2. He gains nothing personally by voting yes, but may gain an ephemeral future benefit by saying “nay”. Or is that “neigh?”

    Your pick.

  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    By coincidence I’m working on exactly that, albeit for middle grade audiences.

  49. Teve says:

    DJAFFAR: They could not be more wrong. In real life, contrary to the Hollywood tale, kids are more likely to achieve the American dream in Denmark than in America. America is not a beacon to the world on how to run an economy. Scandinavia has a much more impressive economic record than the US and is much more innovative. Sorry, my American friends — we’re not just fairer than you. We’re doing better by being so.

    ANAND: In America, wealthy individuals and businesses lobby for a threadbare safety net to pay less in taxes. But this creates a complication. It puts the onus on companies to figure out healthcare for their employees, to make these awful life-or-death decisions about pensions and maternity leave and the like. And what I often hear from friends who are in business in Europe is how much easier it is to do business when you’re not making all these societal decisions about your employees’ well-being and health and life and children as part of your operation.

    DJAFFAR: Absolutely. And that’s just part of it. Social stability, low crime, a well-educated population, and great infrastructure are good for business. As we put it, the right thing to do is also the smart thing to do. We could also put it this way: the mean way to run an economy is also the dumb way to run an economy.

    ANAND: Should billionaires exist?

    DJAFFAR: In a well-regulated, well-managed, and thriving economy without monopolies, they wouldn’t. Wealth is like manure: spread it, and it makes everything grow; pile it up, and it stinks.

  50. wr says:

    End of an era most people thought ended decades ago… Lawrence Ferlinghetti dead at 101.

  51. CSK says:

    Oh, boy…I carted A Coney Island of the Mind around with me in high school, as I’m sure previous and subsequent generations of disaffected teenagers did.

    City Lights was the first paperback bookstore in the U.S.


  52. Michael Reynolds says:

    The ABA (Booksellers, not the lawyers) doesn’t have a lot of heroes, but Ferlinghetti was one. 101, though, wow. I guess poetry is good for you.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Loviatar: That he doesn’t want to admit that his objection is pure, unadulterated misogyny?This may provide him the necessary cover, though.

  54. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    He said the secret of his longevity was having exactly one beer every day. No more, no less.

    Elizabeth McCracken on Twitter: “Rest in peace, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, responsible for, among other things, the moment in my 10th grade class when a girl doing a presentation on him turned to Mrs. Hubbard & asked, ‘Hey, what does cunnilingual mean?'”

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:


    “The timing — more than anything.”

    “She’s not male enough yet.”?
    “She’s not white enough yet.”?
    “She doesn’t know her place yet.”?

  56. Teve says:

    “well, if you hate Ted Cruz, this was a pretty fun week. And if you like Ted Cruz, then you’re Ted Cruz.“

    -Colin Jost

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: “Rest in peace, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, responsible for, among other things, the moment in my 10th grade class when a girl doing a presentation on him turned to Mrs. Hubbard & asked, ‘Hey, what does cunnilingual mean.’”

    HA! I’m guessing the answer was something along the lines of “Uh uh ih uh ih uh uh….”

  58. Teve says:

    @CSK: that’s pretty much the optimal amount according to current medical knowledge.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: “And what I often hear from friends who are in business in Europe is how much easier it is to do business when you’re not making all these societal decisions about your employees’ well-being and health and life and children as part of your operation.”

    On the other hand, this is the great secret strength of American business models for capturing surplus capital. In America, the company doesn’t have to make any decisions about the well-being, health, and life of their employees or the children. If bad outcomes happen, it’s the fault off the employees not taking adequate care to provide for their families. And even in the rare cases where juries or regulators find fault, various provisions of award arbitration and elements in bankruptcy permit the enterprising CEO to escape with HIS share of the capital capture intact a significant portion of the time. It’s really apples and oranges. (And who doesn’t like apples better? 😉 )

  60. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Joe Manchin is a 73-year-old from West GD Virginia and the only two nominations he’s holdng up are the only two women of color. Karl Childers could figure out what was going on there.

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: My bad. I zoned on the name of the cabinet candidate in question and the article is what may provide him cover for the OTHER candidate for which he has hesitancy.

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My students stopped asking such questions–at least for the purpose of causing embarrassment or disrupting class–when they discovered that I would answer them.

  63. Kurtz says:


    I’ve been meaning to listen to that. Glad it’s good. Moving it to the top of my queue.

  64. Kathy says:


    Thanks. that’s more detail than I knew about. There may also be outgassing pockets, especially in older comets.

    I wonder, though, how detectable an initial boost would be if no one is looking in the direction of the asteroid or comet being moved. This would also depend on what kind of engine is used (chemical, ion, nuclear*), how long it boosts, and how much thrust it develops.

    There are also deep space probes to worry about. Remember when Shoemaker-Levy-9 struck Jupiter? It’s well-known the Galileo probe was in a position to observe. it’s less well-known Voyager 2 also made some observation (yes, it was very far away by then).

    *I wanted to add solar sail, but that’s really unlikely for such a large mass.

  65. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I’d have answered it, too. Takes the wind right out of a potential troublemaker’s sails.

  66. Monala says:
  67. Teve says:


    A $15 minimum wage would hurt the people most in need of jobs.

    How do I know?

    At 15, I was on my own, working 3 jobs & paying the bills. Thankfully the government hadn’t made it too expensive for those businesses to give me an opportunity to work.

    Another conservative so, so close to having a breakthrough.

    By the way the idea that if the minimum wage were raised all the low-paying jobs would go away is nonsense. Minimum wage in Australia is US $12.60 an hour. They have 970 McDonald’s.

  68. Teve says:

    @Monala: dang. Well, when you have an idea, and the best people only thought of it recently, that’s something to be proud of.

  69. Kathy says:


    Not to engage in “can you top this?”, but in The Simpsons ep where a comet is headed towards Springfield (preposterous), a bill to save the town is defeated in Congress when someone adds an amendment to fund “the perverted arts.”

  70. Teve says:

    @Monala: wow, that was well done

    “The voters sent us to Washington to stand up for individual liberty, not big government,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said at a press conference. “Obama’s plan would take away citizens’ fundamental freedoms, forcing each of us into hastily built concrete bunkers and empowering the federal government to ration our access to food, water, and potassium iodide tablets while underground.”

    “We believe that the decisions of how to deal with the massive asteroid are best left to the individual,” King added.

    Repealing the act, which opponents have branded ‘Obamastroid,’ has been the cornerstone of the GOP agenda since the law’s passage last August. Throughout the 2010 elections, Republican candidates claimed that the Democrats’ plan to smash the space rock and shield citizens from its fragments was “a classic example of the federal government needlessly interfering in the lives of everyday Americans.”

    “This law is a job killer,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who argued the tax increases required to save the human species from annihilation would impose unbearably high costs on businesses. “If we sit back and do nothing, Obamastroid will result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, which we simply can’t afford in this economy.”

    “And consider how much money this program will add to our already bloated deficit,” Foxx continued. “Is this the legacy we want to leave our children?



  71. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’m wasting time before I have to go do an interview by watching YouTube videos. Right now I’m watching a classical flutist listening to Jethro Tull for the first time.

    She sounds Scandawegian. She pronounce Jethro Tull as “Yetroo Tool”. Her reactions are great.

    “His technique is flawless!”
    “Wait! What was THAT?”
    “What is he doing??”

    For what it’s worth, I got to this video from “2 Cellos” playing AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”. 🙂

    If you like Cello, I highly recommend Zoe Keating. The link is a piece that was on Elementary. She does all the playing herself using layering (recording all the parts separately and then putting them together).

  72. Mu Yixiao says:

    Also: Bela Fleck doing classical on the banjo.

    I lost my copy of this album. I need to grab it again.

  73. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Thinking of layering a friend told me 20 years ago that Billy Corgan was so arrogant and didn’t think his bandmates were good enough to record their album that he played every instrument himself on every track and then they just layered it all.

  74. Mu Yixiao says:


    My brother put out an album like that. But in addition to his own stuff, he’s a top-rated studio musician (who plays everything), so it was just a fun project for him.

  75. Mu Yixiao says:

    This one is fun (Thunderstruck on percussion), though I think the arrangement is off in several areas.

    You have to wait for it to happen.

  76. Teve says:

    I just wanted my family back

    An epidemic of conspiracy theories,
    fanned by social media and self-serving
    politicians, is tearing families apart.

  77. Mu Yixiao says:

    Last one for the night:

    I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just say “18 year old Polish Guitarist makes Simon Cowell say “Amazing!””

  78. Kurtz says:


    I had not previously read that VF article.

    Not much about the White House response to the COVID-19 pandemic went according to plan, but the Trump administration did succeed in one venture: stockpiling ventilators. Even if congressional investigators later found that a deal struck by trade adviser Peter Navarro to buy 43,000 ventilators from a Dutch company cost the U.S. Treasury half a billion dollars more than it should have.

    Peter Navarro is such a good economist that he knows everything about everything but economics.

  79. Jax says:

    Easy peasy on my COVID shot. I got there a few minutes early, 5 cars ahead of me, slow but steady stream behind me, in and out in 20 minutes with the 15 minute “observation” time. Didn’t even feel the needle going in! No soreness yet. The wind’s been blowing a steady 32 mph all day (I almost couldn’t make it to town, thank goodness for 4WD!), kudos to all the workers who had to stand out there in it!

    The check-in nurse said they’ve got more vaccine than people willing to take it (they didn’t get a shipment this week but had enough from last week to cover all scheduled appointments for this week) and they’re going to open it up to even more groups next week. Maybe Kathy and Ozark should be my “long-lost cousins who came to help for calving season”! 😉

  80. CSK says:

    You can’t get one here in Massachusetts. Even people under 75 with two co-morbidities can’t sign up for a shot. If there are any available slots, they vanish instantly.

  81. flat earth luddite says:

    Since we still have no real idea of when Covid shots are available here in the Beaver State (teachers… no make that seniors… no make that seniors in nursing homes… oh wait we forgot the prisoners… make that teachers… SQUIRREL!) , I decided to go ahead and get the replacement recommended pneumococcal and shingles vaccines today. Apparently the new ones are a big improvement over what I got in 2011 at the start of chemotherapy, and my oncologist tells me I’m at extreme risk on shingles as a cancer survivor. Anyway, there’s a mandatory 2 week wait after these two shots, so that’ll give the Authorities a little more time to figure out where I fit in. Good luck everyone, stay well!

  82. Jax says:

    @CSK: The “people willing to take it” part is kinda worrisome for me, but….it’s a county the size of Rhode Island, with only 6,000 people living in it, and winter is coming to a close. Everybody’s gonna get outside, soon. Less chance for “infection by idiot”.

    Ironically enough, my youngest daughter’s been in school for 5 weeks now (her mental health was deteriorating quickly with homeschooling, she NEEDS to be in school), and she finally came down with a cold over the weekend. She says she can still smell her own farts, so she’s pretty sure it’s not the Rona. 😉

    I love her sense of humor, she cracks me up on the daily!!!

  83. Mimai says:

    @Teve: New research on human-to-dog years. It’s a natural log, making Champ closer to 70. Your point about newsmax still stands.

  84. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: 40-something years ago, I worked for a produce wholesaler that had Wendy’s for a customer. One day the manager of the downtown store came in to pick up a will call order and asked me if I knew of anybody who needed a job or more hours than they were working downtown. When I asked, he said that his store was extremely short of staff and he couldn’t find people to work at it. Reason: Even in 1980-whatever, minimum wage didn’t pay enough to make it feasible to come to downtown Seattle to work and home office would neither allow him to raise his base wage, nor hire people with “no permanent address.”

    Those days will be back soon enough in Seattle, even with the minimum wage at $15/hour. I have a retirement income that’s more than $15/hour is annually, and I can’t afford to live in Seattle city. Metro Seattle may be even worse, I haven’t checked in a while.

  85. Teve says:

    @Mimai: I briefly thought about looking up that log calculation but frankly I’m lazy and it wasn’t worth the effort. The return on investment wasn’t there 😛

  86. Mimai says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker

    The minimum wage is a tricky issue. The research is mixed on the job supply/demand effects…of course, research is only one consideration. Regardless of where one stands, I don’t think it’s accurate to say that one side’s perspective is “that if the minimum wage were raised all the low-paying jobs would go away.” Though it is accurate to label such an idea “nonsense.”

  87. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite: I think you’re being too hard on your state. I just saw on the news last night that a little over 500,000 people have gotten shots and roughly half of that number have gotten both doses. uspopulation2o2o.com gives the total population as roughly 4.5 million. A little over 10% of the population has been vaccinated. Not bad for a bunch of Demonrats. The not being able to decide who to shot is part of the whole “this is going to go away like a bad dream with the warmer weather” schtick left over from the previous administration’s dithering. (And not enough vaccine supplies to make all of what your wife wants to have happen possible.)

  88. Mimai says:

    @Teve: A keen investment sensibility!

  89. DrDaveT says:


    Lawrence Ferlinghetti dead at 101.

    I have felt for a while now that “I am waiting…” is as topical now as it was then. Probably my favorite beat poem.

    I am waiting for my case to come up
    and I am waiting
    for a rebirth of wonder
    and I am waiting for someone
    to really discover America
    and wail
    and I am waiting
    for the discovery
    of a new symbolic western frontier
    and I am waiting
    for the American Eagle
    to really spread its wings
    and straighten up and fly right
    and I am waiting
    for the Age of Anxiety
    to drop dead
    and I am waiting
    for the war to be fought
    which will make the world safe
    for anarchy
    and I am waiting
    for the final withering away
    of all governments
    and I am perpetually awaiting
    a rebirth of wonder

    I am waiting for the Second Coming
    and I am waiting
    for a religious revival
    to sweep thru the state of Arizona
    and I am waiting
    for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
    and I am waiting
    for them to prove
    that God is really American
    and I am waiting
    to see God on television
    piped onto church altars
    if only they can find
    the right channel
    to tune in on
    and I am waiting
    for the Last Supper to be served again
    with a strange new appetizer
    and I am perpetually awaiting
    a rebirth of wonder

    I am waiting for my number to be called
    and I am waiting
    for the Salvation Army to take over
    and I am waiting
    for the meek to be blessed
    and inherit the earth
    without taxes
    and I am waiting
    for forests and animals
    to reclaim the earth as theirs
    and I am waiting
    for a way to be devised
    to destroy all nationalisms
    without killing anybody
    and I am waiting
    for linnets and planets to fall like rain
    and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
    to lie down together again
    in a new rebirth of wonder

    I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
    and I am anxiously waiting
    for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
    by an obscure general practitioner
    and I am waiting
    for the storms of life
    to be over
    and I am waiting
    to set sail for happiness
    and I am waiting
    for a reconstructed Mayflower
    to reach America
    with its picture story and tv rights
    sold in advance to the natives
    and I am waiting
    for the lost music to sound again
    in the Lost Continent
    in a new rebirth of wonder

    I am waiting for the day
    that maketh all things clear
    and I am awaiting retribution
    for what America did
    to Tom Sawyer
    and I am waiting
    for Alice in Wonderland
    to retransmit to me
    her total dream of innocence
    and I am waiting
    for Childe Roland to come
    to the final darkest tower
    and I am waiting
    for Aphrodite
    to grow live arms
    at a final disarmament conference
    in a new rebirth of wonder

    I am waiting
    to get some intimations
    of immortality
    by recollecting my early childhood
    and I am waiting
    for the green mornings to come again
    youth’s dumb green fields come back again
    and I am waiting
    for some strains of unpremeditated art
    to shake my typewriter
    and I am waiting to write
    the great indelible poem
    and I am waiting
    for the last long careless rapture
    and I am perpetually waiting
    for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
    to catch each other up at last
    and embrace
    and I am awaiting
    perpetually and forever
    a renaissance of wonder

  90. Mimai says:

    @DrDaveT: Great taste! I’ve always loved this bit in particular (the sentiment, the sequence of words…just perfect):
    I am waiting
    to get some intimations
    of immortality
    by recollecting my early childhood
    and I am waiting
    for the green mornings to come again
    youth’s dumb green fields come back again

  91. Thomm says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I have seen that vid. I think she might be Danish…just struck me that way for some reason

  92. Kathy says:


    I may just take you up on that. As of today, Mexico is on track to vaccinate 75% of the population in 3.4 years. Ok. part of it is most vaccine doses are going to wealthier countries. But there’s a lot of incompetence down here as well.

    On that vein, though, China and Russia are making hay sending vaccine doses to several lower income countries. I can’t say that’s entirely rational for Russia, seeing their big caseload of COVID. For China it makes better sense.

  93. Thomm says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Tash sultana and jack garrett are masters at layering. Both have great stuff out and do the “one man band” thing.

  94. Thomm says:

    @Teve: isn’t that basically the GOP covid response tho?

  95. Teve says:

    @Thomm: there was a Republican senator yesterday, probably Ron Johnson, who straight up said, the Democrats aren’t giving us anything in this bill so why should we vote for it?

    You’re not supposed to admit that you’re a psychopath with absolutely no empathy.

  96. Teve says:

    @Kathy I decided that I haven’t learned any new cooking lately and I wanted to learn a new recipe this week and I’ve settled on Birria de Res. But there’s a ton of varying recipes online. Any suggestions?

  97. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I was a little shocked at no ID, no residency, if you took the time the make the appointment online and can provide a random address during the signup process and take the phone call to confirm, you’re in.

    But then again, a shot in the arm is a shot in the arm and it’s for the global good.

  98. Thomm says:

    @Teve: oh. Quick update about the caddy thing for my ex fellow car scum. Started on Monday and spent the day playing with the cars to learn about them and today might have made a good prospect for and ct5 off the service drive. Legally can’t sell a car until my liscence transfers, but I can greet, test drive, etc…just can’t negotiate. When I explained my situation to him, he was worried if he came back too soon, I would get screwed and I pointed out that there are just three of us and if we didn’t work something out with stuff like that, that would probably lead to bad stuff down the road and the three of us are placed there because we are professionals in the first place and would still love to take him on a test drive (wife had escalade in for service and he had his grand daughter with him, so not a good time to do it today), even if it wouldn’t result in me getting credit. And as a previously serial bmw owner show home how this is like how they used to be since he mentioned that he was considering a 5 for his next ride soon and was stunned at the price difference and what you got. Seriously though….caddy is an amazing value in the segment. No sales talk, just truth. The CTs really impressed me as a sports sedan guy. The only car that I am “meh” on is the xt5. Only makes sense decked out, otherwise it is trying too hard to be zippy like the xt4 and sports cush like the xt6. Can’t keep escalades in stock, so I have no seat time with them yet. Only one on the lot had been sold and bad things happen when a sold car gets messed with

    *Edit* holy shit that is a run-on paragraph, and I am no where near the writer that nabokov was to pull off that nonsense. Just gonna leave it, but….sorry”

  99. Kathy says:


    Sorry. I know I’ve never made it. I’m not sure I’ve ever had it.

    I often find too many recipes for one dish, though. I’ll look at a few, bypassing the comments on the recipe, and make a quick mental comparison of the ingredients, especially what I like and also what I can get. Then decide mostly on that basis.

    Often I’ll take one and make changes to it, too. I was hesitant at first, but then I reminded myself: the food’s already dead. you can’t hurt it any more.

  100. Thomm says:

    @Kathy: good theory on cooking. I did something like that recently by adding chopped collared greens to my mother’s pasta fagioli recipe as a lark. Glad I did. Think mustard greens might be better to try next time though.

  101. Jax says:

    @Thomm: As somebody who has never cooked mustard or collard greens, what is the difference between the two? I might someday venture out into civilization and find some!

  102. Thomm says:

    @Jax: mustard are more peppery to me.

  103. Teve says:

    @Kathy: I finally got fed up. I used to Google search for recipes, but cooking sites are the shittiest experiences on the Internet. The average cooking site has a banner ad an auto play ad and three pop-ups and then an ad in between every fucking paragraph. The last straw was when I went to leave a site and I had to close 2 pop-ups to get off the site. I don’t know what kind of business model annoying the living shit out of people is but I’ve had it and from now on I’m not Google searching recipes I’m going to serious eats and America’s test kitchen and if it’s not there then I’ll find it on YouTube. I’m never going to another random cooking site again. Oh and here’s the thing, I was getting all that shit with a powerful ad blocker running. I shutter to think what unprotected people are getting.

    The general recipes that I was finding for Birria de Res were that it was basically a beef consommé soup with shredded beef and onions and chilies. That got me to realize that I had all the ingredients for a great chili in the cupboard and I was definitely going to make that tomorrow. 😛

  104. Teve says:


  105. Teve says:

    GD 10 refreshes won’t let me fix that voice recognition error.

  106. Teve says:

    Anybody else also getting randomly appearing and disappearing formatting buttons?

  107. Kathy says:


    Not randomly. They disappear after I post a reply. I can post again, but the buttons are gone.

    Ok, they reappear if I refresh the page.

  108. Teve says:

    @Kathy: thanks that is what’s happening. I wonder if the ‘your comment posted’ JavaScript is interfering with the formatting button JavaScript

  109. Jax says:


    Sometimes, but only every once in a while. There was one weekend where I had an Edit button all weekend long, and then I pissed off the plugin Gods, so now I only get it on every third Tuesday in a blue moon.

    OMFG, on refresh, I have an Edit button…. 😉 😐

  110. CSK says:

    Collard greens should be simmered with a ham hock or salt pork.