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. President Biden just released 23 years of his tax returns (and Jill, Kamala, and Doug’s). The last guy still hasn’t released his.


  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Damn. Drop off the edge of the planet for 9 days and when I come back it’s all SNAFU.

  3. Teve says:

    Let’s see what the Trumpers on Gab are up to:

    Nicholas J. Fuentes
    Pretty soon Americans will be fleeing to Cuba and Russia as political refugees

    Nicholas J. Fuentes
    I’m not simply “anti-vax,” I am against all poison in air, food, water, and drugs too. They have contaminated all of that and I don’t trust big pharma not to contaminate my blood with their frankenstein vaccine.

    Oh. That seems healthy.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Pretty soon Americans will be fleeing to Cuba and Russia as political refugees


  5. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Well, there is this:


    Technically, of course, he didn’t release them himself. The NYT got them anyway.

  6. Teve says:


    Oklahoma Gov Kevin Stitt’s re-election campaign is now claiming that “Joe Biden’s radical liberal policies” are to blame for Chick-fil-A’s sauce shortage.

    It asks readers to donate to Stitt to “make sure Chick-Fil-A never has another sauce shortage.”

  7. Andrew Giuliani, Rudy’s son, is running for the GOP nomination for Governor of New York


  8. Teve says:

    In a massive study spanning 194 countries and accounting for billions of people, the World Health Organization (WHO) has compiled incredible evidence linking as many as 750,000 deaths per year to overwork.

    Here’s the scary part: The WHO defines “overwork” as spending more than 55 hours per week on the job. That makes it a very serious issue for employees in industries that experience crunch such as STEM and gaming, and for entrepreneurs who think the key to success is putting in long hours.

    Per the study:

    In 2016, 488 million people (95% uncertainty range: 472–503 million), or 8.9% (8.6–9.1) of the global population, were exposed to working long hours (≥55 hours/week). An estimated 745,194 deaths (705,786–784,601) and 23.3 million disability-adjusted life years (22.2–24.4) from ischemic heart disease and stroke combined were attributable to this exposure.
    The population-attributable fractions for deaths were 3.7% (3.4–4.0) for ischemic heart disease and 6.9% for stroke (6.4–7.5); for disability-adjusted life years they were 5.3% (4.9–5.6) for ischemic heart disease and 9.3% (8.7–9.9) for stroke.

    In other words: in 2016 alone, somewhere around 750,000 deaths caused by heart disease or stroke were directly linked to longer working hours.

    The scientists found ischemic heart disease and stroke were much more prevalent in workers who averaged more than 55 hours per week than for those who worked “normal” hours of 35-40 hours per week.

    That’s a fancy way of saying that crunch literally kills.

    Scientists have long warned of the potential dangers to physical and mental health related to overwork, but this is among the few long-term large-scale studies to demonstrate a direct link between these practices and death.

    Hot take: You either die a “hard worker” or live long enough to be passed up for promotion.

    It’s counterproductive anyway because studies have found that after 55 hours a week, you actually become less productive. When Elon Musk said that if you work 80 hours a week you can get twice as much done as someone who works 40 hours a week, he was full of shit.

  9. Scott says:

    On top of all the back and forth, drama, and just utter chaos described in this article is the clear fact that Trump was basically incredibly incompetent in management, organization, vision, and just about anything else. The ultimate fail upward personality.

    It is astounding to see it laid out like it is.

    Episode 9: Trump’s war with his generals

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Hard work never bothered me, I can watch it for hours.

    When Elon Musk said……. he was full of shit.

    No! Say it ain’t so!

  11. CSK says:

    I suppose the kindest thing you can say about Trump–and I hate saying anything kind about Trump–is that he quite literally had absolutely no idea of what he was doing. He operated on the assumption that being president was no different from being the proprietor of a shabby, corrupt, badly run real estate enterprise, and refused to learn otherwise..

    His cloud of unknowing was infinite.

  12. Jen says:

    During the final weeks of the Trump administration, the DOJ was focused on the big issues. Like unmasking the owner of the Devin Nunes’ parody account.

    This is embarrassing. Or it would be, if anyone connected to Trump or Barr was capable of shame.

  13. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: How was your trip?

  14. CSK says:

    Well, Trump always believed that everyone in government was his personal employee, at his beck and call, not an employee of the people of the United States. Remember all his references to “my generals”? His generals, as if he’d handpicked them and appointed them to their posts, to serve him.

  15. George says:


    It also depends upon your age — an amount of work that is safe and even fun when you’re in your twenties is neither when you’re in your 40’s.

    But I have to admit I’ve lost confidence in the WHO since they initially came out against masks, and resisted for a long time evidence showing Covid was passed airborne rather than solely by droplets — both stances cost many lives.

  16. Sleeping Dog says:


    Pretty soon Americans will be fleeing to Cuba and Russia as political refugees

    We can only hope and set up a go-fund-me page for their travel expenses.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Wet, very wet. One of snow, ice, sleet, or rain every day and more than once all of them. Still, it was good. I’d never spent much time in the Black Hills as an adult, so I got to see a number of things I have little to no memory of. Other than one night in the Badlands, we camped in Spearfish Canyon the whole time. Went to Crazy Horse, saw the Needles, watched my son top out Devil’s Tower (the one dry day we had and it rained that night). The only thing lacking was trout. 🙁 I couldn’t quite justify the $70+ cost of a non-resident SD fishing license for what would have been at best a few hours of wetting a line. C’est la vie.

    The drive back was a little adventurous, especially the part where I was driving thru a series of thunderstorms after the wiper motor burned out (people with wipers were slowed to 25 mph). We survived, tho I don’t think my wife has forgiven me yet.

    Hopefully, the next time we head that way we’ll get a little further west.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: More his generals, like slaves he had inherited.

  19. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s what I was wondering, we’ve had more rain/snow/sleet/hail this last week than we’ve had for a while! Good for the grass, though. 🙂

    If you ever make it over to this side of the state, holler and we’ll have a beer!

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Definitely will do. I’d love to spend a day or 3 wandering your spread.

    eta: forgot to mention the hail, we got some of that too.

  21. MarkedMan says:


    WHO … resisted for a long time evidence showing Covid was passed airborne rather than solely by droplets

    I agree this has caused problems, but I don’t think you can lay this at the feet of the WHO or the CDC directly. It’s been scientific consensus for decades. The transmissible disease contingent of medicine as a whole bears the responsibility.

    And while I think it’s a serious issue, we don’t actually know how much of an impact it had in this case or any of the thousands of other viruses over the years. Hospital protocols for virtually everything are based primarily on droplet transmission and focusses on surgical grade masks, not N95, frequent hand washing, frequent disinfecting of surfaces. And those protocols have been remarkably effective over the years. I don’t pretend to be an expert in this area by any means, but it seems obvious that the effects of overemphasis of droplets and discounting aerosolization is not yet obvious.

  22. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Speaking of trout, we have to drain our reservoir this fall to fix the dam. I haven’t found a way to save the fish yet, the best we’re gonna be able to do is scoop them out and transport them to another body of water, or have a giant fish fry. Maybe both. It’ll be interesting to see what’s on the bottom. The reservoir was first built in 1905 and hasn’t gone dry since, there could be some actual monster fish down there.

  23. JohnMcC says:

    @Jax: A universal and persistent rumor in the TVA impoundments is that at the base of the dam there are huge catfish. ‘Big enough to swallow a man!’ Usually accompanied by stories of divers who went to the bottom and came scrambling back after seeing the critters.

    You might asks Snopes to join you at the emptying of the lake.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: feverishly looking for calendar

  25. Kathy says:


    Have you checked it’s not Nessie’s summer home?

  26. MarkedMan says:

    After authorizing negotiations and reaching an agreement, McCarthy is repudiating the Insurrection investigation.

    Biden and the Dems need to stop this nonsense. Negotiating with Republicans is a waste of time. The goddamn Republican Minority Leader just repudiated his own negotiations. A Republican’s word is worth nothing.

  27. George says:


    I agree it was the scientific consensus wrt droplets vs airborne (though the consensus on masks seemed to be that they probably helped and definitely didn’t hurt, so there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for the WHO to have said otherwise). However, even when there was growing evidence against it (there was a letter signed by some 200 experts in the field arguing that airborne infection was a major risk so the 2 meter spacing was insufficient indoors) the WHO strongly argued against it. And that was hard to understand as anything but a political stance (ie helping to keep businesses open) — medically it made more sense (or so numerous experts were saying at the time) to err on the side of caution and say masks usage was a good idea, and airborne transmission was a real risk.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: After authorizing negotiations and reaching an agreement, McCarthy is repudiating the Insurrection investigation.

    Surprise, surprise, surprise.

  29. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    It disturbs me that Democrats are negotiating with Republicans on terms for a bi-partisan investigation into January 6th.
    I say indict those responsible: The former guy, Hawley, Cruz, Johnson, Mo Brooks, Giuliani, and the rest.
    THEN we can negotiate with the others…and see how fact they get in line.
    Having the criminals set the terms of the investigation makes zero sense.

  30. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @MarkedMan:

    McCarthy is desperate not to have to testify about that phone conversation he had with Trump during the insurrection.

  31. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Has Matt Gaetz been perp-walked yet?

  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Has the former guy given his DNA in the E. Jean. Carroll case, yet?

  33. CSK says:
  34. Jen says:


    Someone on here shared this piece from Wired yesterday. It’s a fascinating examination of the aerosol v. droplets issue and the science.

  35. Yesterday the Supreme Court further limited the circumstances under which police can conduct a search without a warrant.

    This is a good thing because previously the courts had made it much easier for cops to conduct warrantless searches. This is a good step forward toward restoring the ?Fourth Amendment.


  36. Critical Race Theory is the new socialism for conservatves. Much ado about nothing designed mostly to scare people.

    This is mostly just for Trump Cultists and the racists that have been a part of the Trump Cult since 2015.


  37. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    The vote was 9-0.

  38. gVOR08 says:

    To expose myself to other points of view I’ve been reading The American Conservative lately. And occasionally throwing a drive-by-liberal comment. Dreher is, of course, off on his society is doomed by the gays kick, but now he’s focused on transgenderism. He’s been in Hungary and did a Friedmanesque column on how cab drivers and baristas feel about transgenderism. A commenter suggested that it seemed odd they’d even mention it unless Dreher brought it up. Dreher replied,

    “Gender ideology” is the term they use here. It’s talked about a lot in the local media — according to the Orban critic I interviewed, because the state-aligned media want to keep people riled up. I think the state-aligned media SHOULD keep people riled up. Our non-state-aligned, monocultural media has for years not been able to shut up about the glories of transgenderism. Nobody on the Left sees that as a problem.

    It’s staring him in the face that this wouldn’t be much of a thing except that the right that has elevated it to a major issue, for political gain. “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

  39. Kathy says:


    Biden and the Dems need to stop this nonsense.

    You can’t govern with an opposition that is no longer interested in governing.

    The GOP has been reduced to the following:

    Flattering Trump
    Maintaining minority rule*
    Suppressing minority rights
    Cutting taxes for their donors
    Reducing regulations for their donors
    Appointing federal judges
    Opposing anything the Democrats want, even if it’s against their self-interest to do so.

    *This includes destroying democracy as needed.

  40. sam says:


    Rod Dreher is a professional hysteric.

  41. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: There’s probably a couple of PhD theses in Psychology just examining the psyche of Dreher. The man is consumed by sex. It seems to be all he thinks about, in excruciating detail. He seems to be terrified someone will make him gay or trans.

    Well, except for the times during the BLM protests when he made it clear that he is also terrified of brown people.

    The guy literally voted for Trump, despite recognizing him for all his real flaws and immorality, because the gays made him do it. They gave him no choice.

  42. Monala says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Cuba won’t want them, and they’d probably hate it. Huge black population that prides itself on its free healthcare? Now Russia maybe…

  43. Mu Yixiao says:


    That’s a great article.

    Stories like that are why I cringe when people say that “the science is settled” with regards to complex systems. There’s always something that’s either being taken for granted or hiding in the background waiting to knock us in the teeth.

    In the earliest days of the pandemic, Li convinced the administrators at the University of Hong Kong to spend most of its Covid-19 budget on upgrading the ventilation in buildings and buses rather than on things such as mass Covid testing of students.

    Shortly after I bought my house (built in 1920), I had the furnace (steam boiler) replaced. It was still the original boiler from 1920 (converted from coal to fuel-oil to natural gas), and it was a monster. Huge!

    One of the heating guys that I called in for an estimate looked at it and was very confused. “That’s twice the size it needs to be–even considering the age. Wait… When was this house built?” I replied: 1920. “Oh! That explains it. After the 1918 flu pandemic, they started building houses with furnaces twice as big as needed–and then opening the windows upstairs so that the “bad air” could escape.

  44. A new method of proper could lead to airplanes that can fly as fast as Mach 17


  45. Monala says:

    In the many Twitter discussions about the staffing shortages in the restaurant industry (something happening worldwide, btw, not just in the US), several have brought up the need to increase wages and if tipping is needed, making it automatic.

    This made me think of a restaurant that tried this in the early 2000s in Boston, Marchés in Copley Square. Based on a French concept, the restaurant always had long lines of customers waiting to dine.

    When you arrived, you were given a ticket, that you then took around to one or more stations—e.g., a steak station, stir fry station, waffle station, pasta station, etc. At whatever station(s) you chose, you selected your food and they prepared it right in front of you. It was like a sushi restaurant expanded for all kinds of cuisine. The station staff them stamped your ticket with the price of what you’d chosen. You’d pick a table and then eat. When you left, you handed your ticket to the cashier to pay. An automatic gratuity was charged for all diners, not just large parties.

    The food was amazing and it was a really fun, immersive experience. As I mentioned, it was always crowded. They were also known for paying living wages to their chefs and servers. Yet within a few years, they went out of business. I never understood why.

  46. flat earth luddite says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Or as Sheriff Bart said, “Anyone make a move and the ‘CLANG’ gets it…”

    Someone who has more than a white belt in Google-Fu can post a link… I can’t.

  47. CSK says:

    If you mean Marche Movenick in the Prudential Center, the Canadian parent company, Richtree Inc., was going bankrupt. They said Marche was losing money, and that they couldn’t afford to keep it open.

  48. CSK says:

    Marche Movenpick.

  49. Monala says:

    @Monala: doing a little Internet research, Marché Boston was owned by a Swiss, not French, company, Marché Movenpick. It recently filed for bankruptcy after many of their restaurants in Europe and Canada closed due to Covid. One article mentioned that attempts to expand into the US had failed in earlier years. So I guess the Boston restaurant was one of those failed attempts. I still don’t understand why. The only contemporary Boston articles about the 2004 closure said it shut down unexpectedly, with no plans to reopen.

  50. Monala says:

    @CSK: right, I just saw those articles. The bankruptcy is recent, Covid related. The Boston restaurant closed in 2004. That’s what I don’t understand.

  51. Kathy says:


    There have been many such attempts, including eliminating tips altogether, raising prices, and paying servers a regular hourly wage. Stephen Dubner did an episode of Freakonomics podcast on such a restaurant. Eventually it went back to tips.

    If we could find out why they tend to fail, we may find the menas to keep them going.

  52. @gVOR08: The entire piece is built on anecdotes and hysteria (and feeds right into white nationalism and the concerns about “culture” that often drive them).

    And color me shocked that he can find someone in Italy who would like their own Orban, given that neo-fascists are active and successful in Italian politics at the moment.

  53. JohnMcC says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That was really interesting; thanks! What a future for young Mr Rosata who got his BS in ’19 and now is the author of the publication!

  54. Scott says:

    @gVOR08: @sam: @MarkedMan:

    I actually followed Rod Dreher back in his BeliefNet days. He actually had interesting things to say. But as is pointed out, he has a lot of issues. With gays, with his family, his father, sister and onward. He needs a couch most of all.

  55. Scott says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Isn’t that the speed the UFOs have been flying at?

  56. CSK says:

    In the article I read, which was dated Oct. 2004, it said that Richtree was seeking bankruptcy protection from creditors and had to close the Boston Marche Movenpick because it was losing money.

  57. Orange eyed owl species that hasn’t been seen in a century spotted by scientists


  58. @Scott:

    Roughly but the UFOs that have been encountered by military pilots have also moved in directions that airplanes can’t really pull off and they’ve been a lot smaller than an airplane

  59. @gVOR08:

    Its Rod Dreher what did you expect?

  60. Mu Yixiao says:


    If we could find out why they tend to fail, we may find the means to keep them going.

    It’s because the full-time wait staff can make more money from tips than they can from a wage increase. When my sister had her restaurant (in a tiny Wisconsin town), I worked “for free”*. And made about $30-$40 per hour from tips on an average Friday night (fish-fry, $10/person menu cost).

    When DC created a law to pay servers $15/hr, the servers lobbied against it. DC repealed the law.

    *I could do that as a family member.

  61. Monala says:

    @CSK: ok, so there was an earlier bankruptcy. I wonder why the Boston restaurant was losing money, as popular as it was. Were their prices too low? In addition to the living wages, they had a huge menu and needed a lot of space for seating and all the food stations. I recall the prices not being cheap but not super expensive either—entrees averaged about $20, not $50 or $100. It wasn’t somewhere I could eat often, but when I did go there, it was affordable for me on my nonprofit salary (I also hadn’t yet had kids).

  62. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I can see that when a restaurant increases prices, then pays the same hourly wage to all servers. You’d make the same in an 8 hour shift with the place packed than with the place empty. So in addition you’ may get a shortage of people willing to work when it’s busy.

    But this shouldn’t be the case at restaurants that add a mandatory gratuity charge.

    There are confounding factors, too. Are the tips pooled or not? Do servers share tips with busboys and/or the back of the house? And there’s more.

  63. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Andrew Giuliani, Rudy’s son, is running for the GOP nomination for Governor of New York

    As one commentator I saw noted (paraphrasing): this is the perfect candidate if the GOP wanted to make sure the Democrats all rally around Cuomo in November.

  64. CSK says:

    I don’t know. It’s a puzzle. Even 20 years ago, the rents for a large commercial space in the Prudential Center must have been astronomical.

    AFAIK, running a successful restaurant long-term is a very, very tough business. And…public tastes change. Years ago, there were scads of French restaurants in my area. Now there’s…one. A terrific upscale Italian place was replaced by a sports bar. All of these places did good business, to my knowledge.

  65. Mikey says:

    Imagine being a criminal defendant and then your lawyer talks about you and your fellow defendants like this:

    Watkins, the “Q Shaman” Jacob Chansley’s attorney, said his client had Asperger’s syndrome and indicated that Chansley’s mental state — and the impact of Trump’s “propaganda” efforts — would play a role in his case.

    “A lot of these defendants — and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully — but they’re all fucking short-bus people,” Watkins told TPM. “These are people with brain damage, they’re fucking retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum.”

    “But they’re our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors, our coworkers — they’re part of our country. These aren’t bad people, they don’t have prior criminal history. Fuck, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since fucking Hitler.”

    Capitol Rioters’ ‘Trump Defense’ Comes Up Again And Again. Will It Make A Difference?

  66. Stormy Dragon says:

    Grain of salt because university press releases often oversell their discoveries, but solid-state lithium batteries have been one of those things that have been “almost here” for a while and if scientists have finally figured them out, this is a real game changer:

    Battery breakthrough for electric cars

    This battery technology could increase the lifetime of electric vehicles to that of the gasoline cars — 10 to 15 years — without the need to replace the battery. With its high current density, the battery could pave the way for electric vehicles that can fully charge within 10 to 20 minutes.

  67. Kathy says:


    But shouldn’t they be suing the pants off trump for legal fees and damages?

  68. sam says:


    I don’t know. It’s a puzzle. Even 20 years ago, the rents for a large commercial space in the Prudential Center must have been astronomical.

    Many years ago more than 20, a friend asked if I’d like to go brunch with her at the Sheraton in the Pru. I’d never heard of a “brunch” (it was a long time ago). We went. Believe me, I’ve never since seen so much food — and free Bloody Marys after 12 noon (Blue laws, you know). Price: $4.95. Some things about the good old days really were good.

  69. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “It’s because the full-time wait staff can make more money from tips than they can from a wage increase.”

    The trouble, though, is that only the wait staff gets the tips in most cases, which leaves the entire back of the house working for minimum wage. Danny Meyer, the great New York restaurateur, changed his establishments to no-tipping and raised prices, distributing the results among the entire staff. But even he will say the experiment hasn’t been one hundred percent succesful, and they’re still trying to figure it out.

  70. CSK says:

    When I was a little kid, I saw my father put a 20 dollar bill on the restaurant check to cover dinner for me, my mother, and siblings. My eyes popped. That struck me as an astronomical sum. It was a nice restaurant, too.

  71. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Mikey: I dunno. I know a lot of people who are spectrum, and they don’t seem more susceptible to conspiracy theories.

  72. Sleeping Dog says:


    Commercial real estate rents in Boston and particularly in the Copley Sq, Newbury St. and Back Bay are stupid expensive. What likely happened is the landlord saw the same success as you and jacked the rent when the lease was up. Restaurants being the grind that they are, likely led the owners to say, nah, I’ll do something else.

  73. Mu Yixiao says:


    But even he will say the experiment hasn’t been one hundred percent succesful, and they’re still trying to figure it out.

    They figured it out. They’re ending the “no-tipping” and going back to the old way.

  74. Kathy says:


    Thanks to high inflation (peaking at 150% at some point in the late 80s), I recall much bigger denominations in my teenage years than now, or writing checks denominated in millions. Then in 1993 the government removed 3 zeroes from the currency and things became near reasonable again.

    If we keep the 1,000 multiplier, then I can tell you the US dollar was worth 12.50 pesos in 1976, before the first great devaluation, and it’s now floating around 20,000. In 1993, it was 3,500.

    Psychologically, though, there’s something just wrong in bank notes denominated at 50,000 and even 100,000 units. Sure, today’s 200, 500 and 1,000 notes are higher denominations still, but the fewer zeroes make a difference in one’s head.

  75. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Saw a line this morning that Giuliani is counting on New Yorkers, not being tired of scandal.

  76. Sleeping Dog says:


    Often, restaurants have silent partners who provide the money and the operational capital. Often the arrangement is that the money bags can get out of the deal on fairly short notice, which leaves the operator hung out to dry. This happened a couple of years ago at a local sports bar, place did a very good business and the owner had been investing in improvements, including a cigar bar, at his investors insistence. The cigar bar was a miserable failure and not long after the investor decided to pullout. Fortunately for the operator, a couple of customers stepped into provide the operating capital.

  77. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    All the problems with energy production and storage will go away with cold fusion and as we know that is just around the corner.

  78. Mu Yixiao says:


    Thanks to high inflation (peaking at 150% at some point in the late 80s), I recall much bigger denominations in my teenage years than now

    I was in a market in Shanghai, and one of the stores was selling money. I could have bought a Billion dollar note (Zimbabwe) for something like $10. 🙂

  79. Mu Yixiao says:

    Today’s adventures in work:

    The owner’s son is on a multi-year training tour of the company. Right now he’s doing admin work for technical support (helping customers with the products). He spent all morning trying to send a dozen screws to Japan. 🙂

    I’m spending my afternoon gathering my weapons and preparing to do battle with the Marketing Department. They’re using an en-dash instead of an em-dash for sentence cal-outs–and this can not continue!

  80. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    It may have been overpriced.

    A few years back, a relative found a couple of hundred early 70s 50 peso notes. Remember the nominal value was divided by 1,000 in 1993. Ergo his find is worth 10 pesos at current value, or around $0.50

    The’re not rare, but these were in mint condition. Probably worth more as collectibles, if you sell them one at a time.

  81. Jen says:

    Actor Charles Grodin has died. I really enjoyed him in Midnight Run (and many others, that one was one of my favorite movies for a while, I thought it was hysterical).

  82. CSK says:

    Sad. I always liked him.

  83. Stormy Dragon says:


    o/~ Galaxy Glue, Galaxy Glue, what would we do without Galaxy Glue? o/~

  84. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It’s also possible that if the terms for the lease included a triple net structure, that a spike in property value, utilities cost, maintenance and insurance, or all of the above put the cost of the lease beyond the range of the return for the restaurant. I don’t know about Boston, but in Portland, Oregon, restaurants (and other types of businesses, as far as that goes) occasionally get priced out of their locations by rental costs. Especially if those locations are considered premium ones.

  85. CSK says:

    Back in the olden days when the studios expressed interest in making movies of my novels, I sometimes amused myself with imagining whom they might cast to play the male lead. Grodin was one name that came to my mind.

  86. dazedandconfused says:

    ANTIFA’s been around longer than many people suspect.


  87. DrDaveT says:


    The scientists found ischemic heart disease and stroke were much more prevalent in workers who averaged more than 55 hours per week than for those who worked “normal” hours of 35-40 hours per week.

    I’d have to read the study, to see how they controlled for endogeneity. People who average more than 55 hours per week and people who work 35-40 hours per week are not randomly selected from the general population; their underlying health and demographics are very different. It could even be a case of reverse causation — like concluding that doing rocket science every day makes you smart, or mowing lawns increases Spanish language fluency.

  88. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: That’s just because Mexico doesn’t have specific names for certain numerical quantities. For example “ship” is 10, “beck” is 100, “chun” is 1000, “man” is 10,000, and there’s a word for “million” and “billion” but I never needed to count that high. The basic counting stays the same, though: 50 is “oh-ship”–5 tens, 500–oh-beck, and so on to really big money. The advantage is that the orders of magnitude get disguised in ways that they don’t in decimal counting. 545,ooo is (as I recall) oh-ship sa beck oh chun (54 ten thousands (and) 5 thousands) and the numbers become less daunting for some reason (at least they did to me).

    On the other side, when Koreans I talked to (students and adults) talked numbers they frequently made orders of magnitude errors when moving from Korean counting to English speaking. “No Jenny, it’s not 50 thousand; it’s fifty million.”

  89. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: I used to have more respect for Dreher, but over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that deep down he’s just a flaming bigot and racist, but an odd one in that he wants desperately to be perceived as a reasonable and thoughtful person. He really needs that social acceptance and it seems to drive him mad that his underlying bigotry and racism lead so many people to conclude that he’s a bigot and a racist.

  90. Monala says:

    I found this article, Why Tips Won, about those restaurants that gave up on their no-tipping policies. Reasons cited:

    –Hard to keep front-of-house staff, who sometimes make less without the tips, and who find tipping immediately motivating;

    –Customers perceive the meals as more expensive, even though they’re paying the same amount at the end, so they spend less;

    –Customers feel empowered by tipping as a way to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and so dislike the lack of tipping.

    The article ends by adding that if sub-minimum wage laws go away, the whole question will be moot.

  91. grumpy realist says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: There’s also the possibility to use the “loss” from a vacant commercial place as a tax shelter. The local grapevine has it that the store on the corner of the block under our condo (vacant for over 10 years) has been demanding $7K/month in rent, which is one reason they don’t get anyone….

    Nice little tax shelter if you can pull it off.

  92. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    That damn 10,000s thing confused the hell out of me. I remember seeing a billboard outside the office that said “yi bai wan” of something. I knew the characters. One, One hundred, Ten thousand. It took me a good minute or more to wrap that in my head and realize that “one hundred ten thousand” = “one million”.

    Tangential to that: I lived in an area where the accent was a real bitch. 8 (ba) and 100 (bai) sounded the same, as did 4 (si) and 10 (shi). I had a vegetable vender rattle off a price and I couldn’t tell if it was 18 or 400. The worst was a C-store clerk saying “sh sh kwai” Um… is that forty? Fourteen? Four four? Ten ten?

    On the other side, teaching business people how we say numbers was fun. “Twenty three, six seventy four”. And that $1.20 and $120 are both “one twenty”. They didn’t like that at all. 😀

  93. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he won’t support Congressional Congressional investigation of the January 6th insurrection.

    What does he know that makes him afraid to find out what happened that day?


  94. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Just to reinforce that I’m not COMPLETELY innumerate, 545,000 should have been oh-ship sa MAN oh chun, not sa BECK. My bad. Then again it’s been 3 years since I’ve been in Korea and close to seven now since I lived there.

  95. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Don’t even get me started on accent. I flunked out after one term at Yonsei Korean Language Institute (which wasn’t actually all that unusual, but I got a job in between and didn’t have time to go back anyway). We had a joke about the Gyeongi-do (where Seoul is) accent that went in Gyeongi-do the 5 principal consonants in Korean are pronounced “tda,” “tda,” “tda,” “tda,” and “tda.”

  96. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Heh. I remember just before crossing the border, changing a few hundred US $s and becoming an instant millionaire. Good times.

  97. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: While I’m here, I just checked on Google Translate and the next designation beyond “man” is “eog.” But an eog is 100 million, so a billion is ship-eog–10 one hundred millions. I remember seeing an ad for an apartment is a not particularly prestigious neighborhood–though not a bad one–where the key money deposit was sa-ship-eog–4 billion won, ~4 million dollars. Yikes!

  98. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The city I was in the longest (Kunshan) is ~60% migrant. Trying to learn Chinese from immersion is like trying to pick up English by sitting in a room with a Russian, an Indian, a Nigerian, a Cajun, and a dock worker from the Bronx.

    You know it’s bad when you ask a Chinese friend what someone said and the reply is “I don’t know, they were speaking {local language}”

  99. Despite losing her leadership position Liz Cheney is continuing her fight with the Trump Cult.


  100. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: ” They’re ending the “no-tipping” and going back to the old way.”

    And if you read past the headline you discover that even though he’s doing this, he is very aware of the great problems tipping causes and is still looking for solutions.

  101. Many people facing trial for their role in the January 6th insurrection are trying to use Trump’s incitement as a defense.

    It won’t work.

    What this does, though, is prove the main charge against Trump in the second impeachment.


  102. JohnMcC says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Found your account of naming numbers in — may I presume? — Cantonese being a complex self-multiplication very interesting. May I ask, are the scientists and engineers doing the advanced design in China (thinking of their Mars mission) working in Cantonese? Do they use a distinct ‘scientific’ shorthand?

  103. Kathy says:


    well, it’s known that American scientists prefer the Metric System.

  104. @Kathy:

    That’s because it is the system used by scientists all over the world

  105. Mu Yixiao says:


    My experience was in Mandarin (Putong hua).

    I was working almost exclusively with factories (both the white collar and blue collar sides), and for anything to do with business or engineering, they’re operating the same as us. Math is math. It’s how we communicate that math in English that gets to be the issue.

    Everybody looks at $28,856.74 and understands exactly what it is.
    Everybody looks at 25.4 cm ± .02 and understands exactly what it is.

    It’s when they have to say it in English that things get complicated.

    A Mandarin speaker wouldn’t understand “twenty eight, eight fifty six, seventy four”. They’ve simply never heard it said that way. They would translate it very literally as “two ten-thousands, eight thousands, eight hundreds, ten fives, and six, [decimal divider] seven tens and four”.

  106. Mu Yixiao says:

    Calling back to last night:

    I’ve been watching “Irish people eat X”.

    1) It’s very fun.
    2) Justine? Will you marry me? 🙂

  107. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Many people facing trial for their role in the January 6th insurrection are trying to use Trump’s incitement as a defense.

    It’s basically trying to take the LEO qualified immunity catch-22 (“you can’t sue the police department because it’s not responsible for the actions of individual officers, and you can’t sue the individual officers because the department never told them not to do it”) and applying it to domestic terrorists, because they think they’re equivalent to the police.

  108. Teve says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I dunno. I know a lot of people who are spectrum, and they don’t seem more susceptible to conspiracy theories.

    A biologist friend of mine who is quite heavily on the spectrum is not just resistant to conspiracy theories, he has spent years of his life and thousands of dollars fighting creationism. (Which is a conspiracy theory. All the creationists at the major creationist blogs like Uncommon Descent are also Global Warming deniers, Anti-vaxxers, Hydrochloroquine enthusiasts, etc.)

  109. Mu Yixiao says:


    May I ask, are the scientists and engineers doing the advanced design in China (thinking of their Mars mission) working in Cantonese?

    Just to clarify: All financial and engineering documents are done in numbers. And everything that I encountered was done in metric–unless it specifically required Imperial measurements (e.g., 3/16″ hex-cap, 10-24 machine screw, or 16 oz bottle). For the bottles, it didn’t matter: Imperial and metric use the same blanks, and the designs for the molds can be done in metric. For other things, any manufacturer has “American” taps and dies. They just look at the label and use the one that matches.

  110. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    “you can’t sue the police department because it’s not responsible for the actions of individual officers, and you can’t sue the individual officers because the department never told them not to do it”

    Minor quibble: The second half of that statement is not how qualified immunity works. Individuals get immunity if there is not a previous court case establishing precedent that this action is not allowed. “Being told to” is not part of the equation.

  111. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    10-24 machine screw

    That takes me back. At least the ‘10’ increases with diameter. It’s not idiotic like wire gauges, where a 14 is way smaller than a 4. And 000 is much bigger than a 0.

  112. Mu Yixiao says:

    From the “Irish people try X” video:

    “And we’ve got himself, the colonel” (KFC)

    Could you get more Irish?! I’m fuckin’ lovin’ it! 😀

  113. steve says:

    “I’d have to read the study, to see how they controlled for endogeneity. People who average more than 55 hours per week and people who work 35-40 hours per week are not randomly selected from the general population; their underlying health and demographics are very different. ”

    I can tell you that at least some people who work more than 55 hours on a regular basis end up eating more food that is not especially good for you. Mostly fast food and pizza joints open late at night.


  114. Mu Yixiao says:


    I’d have to read the study, to see how they controlled for endogeneity.

    I’m more interested in geography.

    The article calls out programmers working on games (making it sound US-centric), but the the study says it’s global. That means that Japan is included–and their work culture is brutal. Does it also include farmers in poor countries? Military personnel who are deployed? Who does it define as a “worker”?

    Without context the conclusions are meaningless.

  115. Jax says:

    I’m certain that Susan Collins is “very concerned” right now.

    I feel like the world has turned a full 180 degrees, given that it’s Lachlan Markay on Axios breaking the story.