Tuesday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ever stuck: Suez container ship’s cousin runs aground in US harbor

    A year to the month after the Ever Given blocked the Suez canal for a week – prompting global fascination and countless memes – the container ship’s cousin has run aground in the Chesapeake Bay.

    Officials are now scrambling to refloat that container ship, ironically named the Ever Forward, after it got stuck on Sunday night as it tried to head from the Port of Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, Bloomberg reported.

    Irony is dead… in the water.

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  2. sam says:

    How Life as a Trucker Devolved Into a Dystopian Nightmare

    For decades, truckers have quit at alarming rates, leading to a chronic shortage. The turnover rate was at a staggering 91 percent in 2019, which means that for every 100 people who signed up to drive, 91 walked out the door.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Seeing as Tate Reeves just signed into Mississippi law a measure “to limit how race can be discussed in classrooms,” I wonder if it would be germain to mention in class the fact that Mississippi did not ratify the 13th Amendment until 1995?.

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  4. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I would have to lead on civics discussion on the law and discuss what you’re not allowed to discuss under the law.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Insidious and seductive’: Uber funds new lobbying group to deny rights for gig workers

    “If I want to work 20 minutes a week, or 30 hours, I can do that,” says a worker in a mysterious new TV ad. “When I need a day off to study for a big exam, I can do that,” says another.

    The ad isn’t for a jobs site or any one employer. It’s been made by a new lobbying group called Flex, which calls itself the “voice of the app-based economy”, and is backed by gig work mainstays including Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart.

    Flex seeks to defend the business models of these companies, which use workers labeled as independent contractors, amid a renewed push in Washington to pass labor laws that would defend those workers’ right to unionize and strike. Joe Biden made a renewed call in his State of the Union address for the passage of the Pro Act, which would expand the federal definition of employees to include many gig workers.
    …………………
    “Independence works, ’cause I’m the boss around here,” says Ian W, handily repeating Flex’s tagline verbatim.

    But workers and labor advocates are already pushing back against Flex’s narrative. Nicole Moore, a Los Angeles-based rideshare driver, told the Guardian that gig economy apps are designed to control workers who usually don’t have the means to say no.

    Moore described a daily frustration that she and other drivers face: apps like Uber and Lyft don’t give her the details of a ride, such as its distance, expected time, and pay, until after she’s accepted it – at which point she has little choice but to follow through, even if it loses her money.

    “I find out that it’s going to take me 45 minutes to go five miles, and I’m going to get about $5 for the ride. My only choice then is to either basically do volunteer work by accepting the ride, or canceling it. And we are disciplined, and threatened with being terminated, if we cancel it.

    “So don’t call me an independent contractor, because that’s not what we are.”

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hit the post button when I meant to hit the quote button and now the edit function is stuck on my Mississippi comment.
    sigh…. And here I thought Monday was over.

    Anyway, wanted to add this in too:

    “We eat all the costs of operating a billion-dollar company’s fleet,” the rideshare worker added. “The flexibility they’re protecting is their own flexibility.”

    That, in a nut shell, is their indefensible business model and they will spend almost any amount of money to defend it. Indentured servitude isn’t dead, it just has a new name.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Amy Maxmen, PhD
    @amymaxmen

    Florida’s excess death rate was *4 times* higher than MA & 3x higher than NY, Aug-Dec 2021.

    Fascinating paper @JAMA_current
    on how life expectancy & health in some states is plummeting as state leaders adopt positions that are bad for health. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/

    Where does Ron DeSantis go for his congratulations?

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  8. Scott says:

    Abbotts’s been taking a bit of a pounding for his abuse of the Texas Guard for political stunts. So naturally, he has to have a scapegoat.

    One thing I learned during this mess was that a Texas Guard member on State orders vs Federal orders get a whole lot less benefits which, of course, has led to a lot of bitching about the long deployments.

    Texas Guard’s top general replaced amid border mission troubles

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday he has replaced Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris as leader of the Texas Military Department after months of criticism that her handling of his highly touted border mission had led to deplorable living conditions for troops.

    An investigation co-published by The Texas Tribune and Military Times found that many of the issues plaguing the mission were not only byproducts of the mission’s hasty expansion, but also similar to problems faced during the department’s last major state deployment, during Hurricane Harvey.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ruffini
    @EenaRuffini

    Zelensky wrote a letter to the family of the american documentarian killed in Ukraine.

    I wonder how many letters Putin has written?

    No I don’t.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From Polish, Czech and Slovenian prime ministers travel to Kyiv, comes this hopeful tidbit:

    While earlier negotiations focused on humanitarian issues, the latest talks aim to achieve a ceasefire, securing Russian troop withdrawals and establishing security guarantees for Ukraine. The Russian delegate Leonid Slutsky had suggested draft agreements may not be far off.

    Maybe they found Putin an off ramp after all.

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  11. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    That’s a wonderful letter.

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The four protesters who occupied the home of a Russian oligarch in London’s Belgravia have ended their demonstration and have been arrested by police.

    The squatters, who said they were opposed to Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and wanted to open the mansion up for Ukrainian refugees, got into the property owned by Oleg Deripaska around 1am on Monday morning.

    Dozens of police including officers from the Territorial Support Group and a climbing team spent hours trying to persuade them to come down from a balcony at the front of the building.

    The group refused police negotiators’ repeated attempts to “collect” them from the balcony using a crane, saying that they wanted to be treated in the same way as the prime minister. Referencing the “partygate” inquiry, they said they wanted to be sent a questionnaire to ascertain whether they had done anything wrong rather than being arrested.

    But on Monday evening they left the balcony.

    A spokesperson for Westminster police said: “The four people protesting on the balcony of a building in Belgrave Square have come down and been arrested. A police presence will remain at the scene.”

    Touche’.

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  13. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    “…sent a questionnaire..”

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, tops the British sense of humor.

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  14. CSK says:

    A member of the Russian parliaments wants to take back Alaska. Do they realize they’ll also get Sarah Palin as part of the deal?

    You can read about it here, from The Daily Beast via Raw Story.

    http://www.rawstory.com/russia-alaska-uclear-strike/

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  15. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    Except possibly the Met Police capacity for being a total self-awareness free zone.

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  16. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    Well, I defer to your judgment, as your expertise in this area, because you’re a Brit, is doubtless superior to mine. In my years of living in Scotland and England, I never had any dealing with the police.

    I do suspect that most of those cops were probably on the side of the balcony squatters, though.

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  17. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:

    I do suspect that most of those cops were probably on the side of the balcony squatters, though.

    Quite likely a lot of the ordinary coppers are.
    But the Met senior officers need a clear out.
    And also the fact that Met has dual lines of control: from the Mayor of London and from the Home Secretary (ie central govt minister).
    The seniors are notorious for listening foremost to the Home Office rather than London elected pols.

    And I have a cynical suspicion that the word coming down from Marsham Street is aimed at indicating to the non-Russian kleptos:
    “We may have to sanction the Russians, right now, you know how it is. But don’t worry, property will always be protected. Back to business as usual once all this blows over.”

    Possibly I’m just in a bad mood today.

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  18. sam says:

    @CSK:

    “A member of the Russian parliaments wants to take back Alaska.”

    That’s only one piece of the Trump-level delusion in that guy’s mind.

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  19. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Oil prices down. Inflation easing.
    Day 19 of Putin’s two day invasion of Ukraine.
    Japan just froze the assets of Russian oligarchs.
    Silver linings.

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  20. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    That would totally screw up Seattle-based Alaska Airlines.

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  21. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Perhaps they Russians could rename it “Alaskaflot.”

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  22. sam says:

    Wheat Exporter Russia Begs China for Food

    Among the assistance Russia requested was pre-packaged, non-perishable military food kits, known in the US as “meal, ready-to-eat,” or MREs, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The request underscores the basic logistical challenges that military analysts and officials say have stymied Russian progress in Ukraine — and raises questions about the fundamental readiness of the Russian military.

    I daresay.

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    From War on the Rocks:

    Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine has shocked the world, but one country is paying particularly close attention: Taiwan, another democracy threatened by a powerful, proximate, and authoritarian neighbor. To be sure, Putin’s decision to invade a neighbor may not tell us much about Xi Jinping’s willingness to do the same. Nevertheless, stomach-churning images from Ukraine make clear that wars of conquest are not an artifact of the past.

    Thankfully, Taiwan is taking notice. Lawmakers and military officials are considering a return to conscription, and even a two-year term of obligated service. Public opinion polls continue to suggest an uptick in the Taiwanese people’s willingness to fight. Most important of all, some citizens are starting to vote with their feet, volunteering to join grassroots civil defense organizations. These are unquestionably positive developments. Just as the Russian military and political leadership are learning the high cost of conquering an unwilling nation, deterrence is enhanced to the degree that the Taiwanese people show the world they are willing to fight.

    If Taiwan does actually start to take defense seriously, Xi can blame one man: Tsar Vlad the Shirtless.

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  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    Probably 70% of the humor I consume – jokes and witty repartee as consumer items, OK – is British. WILTY, Cats does Countdown, Graham Norton, old Peep Shows, David Mitchell’s Shakespeare series, Mock the Week, HIGNFY, and the great Taskmaster. I’d even include Bake-Off.
    We’re going over in Spring and were able to get tickets to Bill Bailey. British comedy is so much better that I think Frankie Boyle is one of the funniest guys around and I can’t even understand half of his act. Dude has a serious Glaswegian accent.

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  25. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Just in time for the lockdown in China to foul supply lines and shoot up prices again.

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  26. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Xi has enough problems sat home to keep him occupied, I should think:
    1. The Chinese economy is tanking.
    2. The housing market is awful.
    3. An entire province has been locked down because of Covid.
    4. Tech investors are fleeing.
    5. Inflation.
    6. Pressure to support sanctions against Russia.

    I may have missed something.

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  27. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Oh, God, Glaswegian is impossible to comprehend. The first time I heard it I thought it was Chinese.

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  28. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    David Mitchell’s Shakespeare series

    Whoa, I had not heard of this until now. And I thank you.

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  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Probably 70% of the humor I consume – jokes and witty repartee as consumer items, OK – is British.

    Glad you have a rich resource. For me, it’s a real mixed bag. Some of the stuff is fantastic, but I find some of the humor just too mean-spirited. I think that’s the reason that one of the greatest physical comedians of all time, Rowan Atkinson, hasn’t enjoyed nearly the level of success in the US as in the UK and Europe. His Mr. Bean is usually not the hapless everyman that has to, say, get a giant sofa on top of an original Cooper Mini, but all too often is also an insufferable jerk. Taskmaster is great, but I liked it better after I realized it is actually Alex’s show and Greg very much works for him and not the other way around. Before I realized that the “boss constantly humiliating the underling” thing grated on my nerves.

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  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Our biggest problem are IC’s and those come from Taiwan and Korea, not China, so we may dodge the bullet there. Although, as we have learned, some of our circuit boards are subcontracted out and do come from China. We are actively, but slowly, shifting completely over to North American suppliers wherever possible.

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  31. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    A great deal of Brit humor is based on “taking the piss out of” people who have pretensions to being
    “upper class,” hence a show such as Keeping Up Appearances, the humor of which derived from Hyacinth Bouquet’s (Bucket’s) ridiculous attempts to maintain a genteel facade.

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  32. Kathy says:

    There are three related developments in aviation.

    First, Russian airlines have suspended all international flights. This is because their planes are subject to repossession by leasing companies (who actually own them) if they are outside of Russia (What? No, Belarus is a Russian satrapy).

    Second, Bermuda has suspended all airworthiness certification of Russian commercial jets. That’s because Bermudan authorities can’t certify the jets are maintained and operated properly. This matters because a majority of Russian operated commercial planes are registered in Bermuda.

    Third, Vlad the Butcher issued a diktat allowing Russian airlines to mess up lease payments and/or register in Russia, or something along those lines. It doesn’t really matter. Eventually this crisis will pass and if the lessors don’t get paid, they will repossess the planes, and the airlines will find it nearly impossible to lease planes in the future.

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  33. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve been seeing a lot of comments, here and elsewhere, that talk about China as if it was still 1995 and China was a technological backwater full of starving peasants anxious to work for a pittance, and who made products in dirty factories that were immediately shipped overseas because their own people couldn’t afford them. That is not China in 2022 in any way, shape or form. It has been years since China was the low wage leader, and it’s internal markets are huge. Just to give an example, about ten years ago I was looking at a chart that showed the value of tourism in China over the previous 25 years. It had a line for foreign tourism and another for domestic. The foreign tourist line grew at an impressive rate. What didn’t become apparent until maybe 2000 was that domestic tourism was growing at an even more impressive rate. If I am remembering correctly, in the ten years prior it had grown from a fraction of foreign tourist value to ten times foreign tourist value.

    The point is that China has an incredibly big and robust internal economy. Sure, transferring production from there to other countries would have an effect, but that’s already happening. And it’s not just the foreign companies doing it. When was the last time you heard about Foxcon opening a new facility in China rather than some other country?

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  34. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: An article about Foxconn’s recent strategy of moving production out of China.

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  35. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    That is not China in 2022 in any way, shape or form.

    I would disagree. Yes, the east coast and ShenZhen megalopolis are wealthy areas, but you get further west than Beijing, and things drop off very fast. Kunshan, where I spent half my time in China, is 60% migrant. Those migrants are dirt-poor people coming from the west of China to work in factories and send money back home (or save up and take it all with them).

    Their kids are going to schools without electricity, living in homes without running water. I’ve seen them.

    Yes, Shanghai is amazingly rich and the residents are becoming more middle, upper-middle, and even upper class. But a whole lot of that country is still dirt-poor and happy to have a factory job.

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  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m not claiming that China has the development of the US, or even Portugal. But there are hundreds of millions of Chinese who buy TV’s and cars, go to restaurants and take in a movie or a concert. They hire tutors for their children or take adult education classes themselves. This isn’t the Chinese economy of 1995.

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  37. Kathy says:

    It struck me that Holmes and Theranos kind of engaged in practices akin to cargo cult religions. That is, they reproduced the externalities in order to get the same results. At that, Holmes went after the externalities of tech companies, when Theranos wasn’t even a tech company.

    In the latest ep of The Dropout, one of the Walgreen’s people, Dr. Jay, kind of practices reverse cargo cult. He’s impressed by the security, the secrecy, the reluctance to be shown the Theranos labs, that he convinces himself they do have something revolutionary.

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @sam: I’ve elsewhere seen speculation that they need food from China because their ration stocks have been sold on the black market. Supposedly an equivalent of our MRE with two days’ food would go for the equivalent of one USD. A fish rots from the head. If you’re a mid or low level purchasing agent or warehouse manager in a kleptocracy, of course you sell your inventory out the back door and buy the cheapest Chinese tires to pocket the savings. I wonder if they’re also finding some surprise deficiencies in fuel inventories, and even munitions.

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  39. Scott says:

    Useful Idiot or Fellow Traveler. You decide.

    How a 27-Year-Old Texan Became the Face of Russia’s American TV Network As It Imploded

    RT America had to fold when it was kicked off the air after the Ukraine invasion. But Rachel Blevins is still broadcasting Kremlin propaganda.

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  40. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Yeah, Xi isn’t having a good year so far. But on the other hand he’s got Putin at the door hat in hand. He must be thinking to himself this is even better than when the Americans elected Trump.

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  41. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    Upstart Crow. It’s very funny. I particularly enjoy David Mitchell doing a Shakespeare-era rant about public transportation that mirrors the rants you hear from contemporary Brits.

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  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Frankie Boyle:

    “Not only will America go to your country and kill all your people, they’ll come back twenty years later and make a movie about how killing your people made their soldiers feel sad.”

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  43. Jen says:

    My husband is British, and despite being raised in the US has a very British sense of humor.

    I tend towards British humor myself and long have. (I do love Upstart Crow, Fawlty Towers, etc.) Rowan Atkinson’s spy movies (Johnny English) are hysterical IMHO.

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  44. JohnSF says:

    @sam:
    @gVOR08:
    Some comments I’ve seen indicate this maty not be about food for the troops right now but replenishing stocks that have been drawn down, and Russia doesn’t have capacity to replace quickly.
    (Certainly not going to be buying them from Europe)

    There are other reports of serious logistic and electronics issues due to corruption, but this might not be quite the thing some are making it out to be.
    (Or maybe it is: I’m suspending judgements on lots of stories at the moment; lots of noise in the information.)

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  45. Just nutha says:

    @CSK: Don’t kid yourself. Sarah Palin is not going to agree to live under Putin’s rule. Russia would be getting the state back for free. (Not that that factor makes such a deal a bad idea.)

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  46. sam says:

    The four protesters who occupied the home of a Russian oligarch in London’s Belgravia have ended their demonstration and have been arrested by police.

    When I read that, I thought of this movie, script by and starring Alec Guinness: The Horse’s Mouth.

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  47. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    Your husband is one of the most droll people person that I know. He makes me smile whenever I’m around him. 🙂

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  48. CSK says:

    @Just nutha:
    Every time I see (or write) the words “Sarah Palin” I get the mental image of a perpetually discontented late-middle-aged woman in a grubby, fraying bathrobe sitting in front of the television watching bride shows and eating Crunchwrap Supremes, the packaging in which they come littering the floor around her.

    Lo how the mediocre have fallen.

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  49. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    Coincidentally, Mike Duncan recently covered the civil war after the October Revolution. He mentions a lot of the aid sent by Britain, France, the US, etc. to the White armies, was sold on the black market, bought largely by the Red Army.

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  50. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @JohnSF:

    But don’t worry, property will always be protected. Back to business as usual once all this blows over.

    Doesn’t sound like you’re having a bad mood day, just like you’ve tapped into my standard world view.

    Many local police departments in the US have the line “to Protect and Serve” proudly emblazoned on the doors. Years ago, I saw one that was “enhanced” with several adhesive $$$ signs stuck to the door.

    “To Protect and Serve…$$$”
    Same as it ever was.

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  51. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: You should drop by and see him sometime. He’s started at your former place of employ.

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  52. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Yep, part of the fun of Taskmaster is that Greg’s insults of Alex were written by Alex. Also British comedians are much more like a repertoire group, they’ve all worked together for years, so a lot of the piss-taking is almost fraternal.

    Also, want to mention James Acaster who is funnier and more original than anyone in US comedy – as smart as Bo Burnham without the self-importance and angst.

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  53. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    I’ll do that!

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  54. Kathy says:

    It seems Russia has imposed sanctions on Joe Biden and officials in his administration.

    Jen Psaki had this to say (sorry, no link):

    When asked about the sanctions at today’s press briefing, Psaki responded, “I would first note that President Biden is a junior, so they may have sanctioned his dad, may he rest in peace.”

    Tomorrow I expect Russian officials will find accounts in Biden’s name at some bank in Moscow, totaling 10 billion rubles.

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  55. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: That woman is a national treasure…

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  56. Mu Yixiao says:

    Senate passes bill to make DST permanent

    The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the nation. The Sunshine Protection Act still has to face a vote in the House, but if eventually passed would mean an end to changing the clocks twice a year — and a potential end to depressing early afternoon darkness during winter.

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  57. senyordave says:

    A headline that should surprise no one:
    Elon Musk Shares Transphobic Meme Following Report of Grimes Dating Chelsea Manning
    If he wasn’t a multi-billionaire Elon Musk might be a Trump-supporting whiny asshole bigot.
    Oh yeah, he might be that anyway.

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  58. Jon says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I feel like you should have cross-posted this to the ‘The Senate is Passing Legislation!’ post 😉

    Also, w00t.

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  59. BugManDan says:

    @Jen: I never got into Mr. Bean, but I love Blackadder. And while not English, Father Ted is brilliant.

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  60. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I wonder if that’s a good thing. I’ve asked why keep moving the clocks back and forth, and not simply settling on DST. I’m always told because then sunrise would be awfully late in the day in winter.

    I think it was tried for one or two years in the 70s. How did that work out?

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  61. Scott says:

    @Kathy: Funny you should ask:

    The US Tried Permanent Daylight Saving Time in the ’70s. People Hated It

    The sun rose at 8:27 AM on January 7, 1974. Children in the Washington area had left for school in the dark that morning, thanks to a new national experiment during a wrenching energy crisis: most of the US went to year-round daylight saving time beginning on January 6. “It was jet black” outside when her daughter was supposed to leave for school, Florence Bauer of Springfield told the Washington Post. “Some of the children took flashlights with them.”

    The change would benefit Americans in the long run, predicted Steve Grossman of the Department of Transportation. Yes, accidents in the morning darkness may become more common, he said, but longer daylight hours could mean eliminating the hazards of evening commutes: “stress, anxiety, and many drivers have had a couple of drinks,” as he told the Post. Outside the capital, others vowed defiance: Robert Yost, the mayor of St. Francis, Kansas said his town’s council “felt it was time to put our foot down and stop this monkey business.”

    As was discussed yesterday, I think it depends on which side of the time zone you live in.

    Personally, I hated trying to get my kids to bed with the sun still up.

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  62. Jen says:

    @Kathy: That’s what I’m going to dislike most, if this manages to pass the House and actually get signed into law. It means it will be dark until around 8:30-8:45 a.m. here in the winter.

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  63. Jay L Gischer says:

    @senyordave: You know, there’s a whole running gag about a trans woman (played by Eric Idle) who is a member of the Judean People’s Front in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. It comes off to me now as pretty transphobic. The comedic angle is “boy do these people get bogged down in petty details”. Does that reflect the current beliefs and attitudes of Eric Idle and Co?

    Mind you, the Python’s would often cross-dress but often that was because they needed a character and didn’t know a woman who could play it. Kids in the Hall did it a lot, too, and were even better at it. Frequently the cross-dressing was not the joke in the least.

    So, the joke tweeted by Musk is kind of a problem, but its a problem that bothers me less than the stuff in Life of Brian. In neither case does it prompt me to blanket condemnation and boycott of the work of the people in question.

    I continue to hold that there are no more than half a dozen people on the planet who have done more to fight climate change than Elon Musk. And yes, he intended Tesla to do that. He and his employees are on a mission. In fact, working there kind of won’t work unless you believe in the mission.

    I understand how badly he comes off on the internet. I remember one friend I have out here in Silicon Valley. This man, in person, is polite and kind. He is very generous with his Google-made fortune. He supports causes that most Democrats would praise.

    AND, he comes across as super abrasive and kind of conservative/libertarian on the internet. He doesn’t really know how to communicate who he is on the medium. I think Musk is like that, and unlike most billionaires, he doesn’t hire a PR guy to make tweets for him.

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  64. Kathy says:

    It’s currently 4:37 in the afternoon just a week prior to Spring, and the sky got so dark with clouds it looks almost as if it were night. Lots of thunder but no rain yet.

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  65. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I continue to hold that there are no more than half a dozen people on the planet who have done more to fight climate change than Elon Musk. And yes, he intended Tesla to do that.

    I agree.

    The problem is doing such things tends to give people a big sense of moral licensing. That can lead to more than appearing as a giant douche on the internet.

    BTW, it’s raining now, and the minute drops started to fall the sky grew lighter.

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  66. Gustopher says:

    @Scott:

    The change would benefit Americans in the long run, predicted Steve Grossman of the Department of Transportation. Yes, accidents in the morning darkness may become more common, he said, but longer daylight hours could mean eliminating the hazards of evening commutes: “stress, anxiety, and many drivers have had a couple of drinks,”

    At least the drunk drivers will have a bit more daylight. Also, will no one think of the people still drunk from the night before?

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  67. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    Kathy’s first law: there is a downside to everything.

    In many histories of the Industrial Revolution, or the period, much is made of a change where people’s working lives begin to be ruled by the clock. For instance, you got up at, say 5:00 every morning regardless of whether the Sun was up or not. Since you had to get up that early, you went to bed at a set time, too, whether the Sun had gone down or not.

    In astronomy there’s a measure called mean solar day. That’s how long it takes the Sun to reach the same point in the sky. it’s almost 24 hours (23:59 and some seconds, I believe). the thing is the Sun drifts with the seasons, rising to slightly different heights above the horizon, and not rising nor setting at the exactly the same time each day.

    So we have two times: solar time and clock time. The former is fluid, the latter is rigid. the former also varies a lot with latitude, while the latter is unaffected (ok, ok, except for minor relativistic effects that are too small to notice).

    Think of a clock set to solar time. It would adjust time every day a little, so sunrise is fixed. Sunset perforce would be fluid, to account for longer daylight periods in the summer and shorter ones in winter, but it would be closer to a solar regimen than a clock one.

    The problem comes with the variations in daylight hours due to latitude. In Mexico City it gets dark by 8 in the Summer with DST. Farther north, sunset can be as late as 10 pm (very far north solar time simply makes no sense).

    This would be ok if the world were not so interconnected as it is now. Imagine time zones split not just in longitude but in latitude as well.

    So either we accept changing the time in our clocks twice a year, or we choose permanent DST and later sunrise in winter, or permanent standard time and shorter daylight in summer.

    If the permanent DST bill passes, we can experiment a little, as it seems Arizona and Hawaii would be exempt and on permanent standard time.

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  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: “We may have to sanction the Russians, right now, you know how it is. But don’t worry, property will always be protected. Back to business as usual once all this blows over.”

    Same as it ever was.

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  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Thank you.

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  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “Fuck all the construction workers.”

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  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I’m always told because then sunrise would be awfully late in the day in winter…. How did that work out?

    I’ll tell you how it works out. It sucks donkey dick.

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  72. Mister Bluster says:

    @Scott:..I hated trying to get my kids to bed with the sun still up…

    Way back in the ’50s my dad would get us in bed before the summer sun went down. He wanted us sleeping before the Ice Cream truck came around.

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  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: Also, will no one think of the people still drunk from the night before?

    Every work morn I thought of the people still drunk from the night before, as I walked across the job site parking lot banging on windows to wake up the carpenters who couldn’t drive home the night before.

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  74. Jax says:

    Oh man….even National Review is turning on Trump. I won’t grace them with a link, but this was funny.

    And please don’t tell me that the GOP should choose Trump again because “he fights.” The Republican Party now has a whole host of other candidates who “fight,” and none of them come with Trump’s baggage, his torpidness, his ill-discipline, his self-indulgence, his abject disregard for our constitutional order, or his pathological, unyielding, surrealistic dishonesty. What, pray tell, did Donald Trump say as president that Ron DeSantis wouldn’t have? What law did he sign that Greg Abbott would have vetoed? Which of the judicial picks that the Federalist Society prepared for him would have been rejected by Tim Scott or Marco Rubio or Kim Reynolds? Trump’s apologists tend to cast him as an unfortunate package deal: You want the policy, you get the lunacy, too. But that isn’t true anymore — if it ever was. Embrace the glorious future, in which you are no longer obliged to tie the agenda you favor to a hand grenade.

    Cue the mean…..public statement, I guess that somebody will put on Twitter for him.

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  75. senyordave says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Elon Musk did that yesterday. I have no idea how the members of Monty Python feel regarding the trans community based on a 43 year old movie, but I have a pretty good idea that Elon Musk feels comfortable re-tweeting some nasty shit about trans people.

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  76. CSK says:

    @Jax:
    Actually, the National Review has been pretty much opposed to Trump all along. A few of the writers look kindly on him, but most hold their noses when you mention his name.

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  77. Jax says:

    @CSK: I wonder how long it took for Trump to look up all the long words they used to call him a fat, ugly liar. 😛

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