Steven L. Taylor
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
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).
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One for Kathy, on the “comeback” of the double decker Airbus A380. It’s more nuanced than the headline suggests, but interesting nonetheless.
I woke up Tuesday morning with a sore throat. I took one of my home antigen tests and came out negative. Later in the day, I went to one of the Covid testing sites in my neighborhood (in NYC they’ve got these vans everywhere where you can just go up and get a test any time you want during the day) where I got a PCR as well as another rapid. The second rapid is negative; the PCR results should take a couple of days. Given the high amount of false negatives on all these tests, I’m going to continue taking home tests every day and I may go back for another PCR in a few days, if the results from the first one haven’t come back yet or if they’re negative. If I’m negative on all these tests, I’ll feel reasonably confident that I don’t have Covid.
This marks the first time I have experienced any clear symptoms of illness–any illness–since contracting Covid back in the Spring of 2020, not counting the symptoms I experienced after the three vaccination shots, and also not counting my chronic congestion symptoms I’ve had regularly for years due to allergy.
That’s an awfully long time for me to go without getting sick with anything. Before 2020, I felt “under the weather” every few months or so. It’s been so long since I’ve had those experiences, I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like.
Why I’m apparently getting sick less often than I used to is interesting to me. I’ve been working from home since 2020, and it’s the first full-time job I’ve had done entirely at home. Previously, I had to go to public indoor places regularly. Additionally, I now wear N95 masks just about everywhere. I think these two factors are why I’ve avoided even mild sickness for so long.
I’d like to say, “I remember when…” but the truth is I had forgotten about Muggsy and his storied career. I blame it on the fact that I’m not much of a basketball fan.
Muggsy Bogues and Larry Bird. I think everybody in the league loved him.
@Kylopod: Hope you feel better quickly.
My wife and I, too, have not had so much as a sniffle since 2020.
I think masks are going to become a permanent part of our life in some way or another. Asian countries did this decades ago while we scoffed at them.
They were correct.
I really don’t know what A380 operators did during the past two years. Many US airlines used the paycheck protection money to pay for early retirement of their most senior cockpit and cabin crews, leaving them shirt staffed now that travel has recovered.
Worldwide, many airlines did retire older planes, and some of their larger planes as well, Lufthansa isn’t just mulling bringing the A380 back, but also the A340.
I hope it isn’t COVID, but in any case it may be a good idea to see a doctor and be in a position to get Paxlovid.
Pre-pandemic, I took care to prevent cold and flu. Mostly by using hand sanitizer often, and staying away from people with symptoms. Just the same, I caught cold at least once a year, sometimes more than that (coincidentally my last was in early March 2020, just as the trump virus was beginning to wreak havoc across the world).
Since then, nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even sniffles. I credit masks, and shall continue wearing them during cold and flus seasons, as well as any time anyone at home or the office shows any symptoms at all.
This is good:
Something to keep an eye on.
Why is Lithuania risking Russia’s wrath over Kaliningrad?
Anyone up for some recent alternate history?
Suppose Pence did go along with the Eastman theory of coup, what happens then?
I’ve no idea and offer no scenarios. but I’ll relate something from shop class* in my first year of junior high school:
The teacher set grades weekly, which she wrote down on a list next to the name of each student. At the end of the month, each student sat with her for a minute to see their weekly grades and get the average for the monthly grade, which would be the one on the report card.
One month my grades were 10, 9, 10, and 10. The average? 7. Why? because the teacher was pissed off at something I’d done that day (I don’t remember what it was) and she had all the authority. I didn’t protest, nor threatened to take it up with the principal. I just stood calmly and said in an even voice “F**k your mother.”
She threw me out of the class for the rest of that day (win for me), and nothing more came off it.
*It was literally basket weaving. No, really. We wove wicker baskets and other objects the whole term.
Just gonna go ahead and brag for a moment.
This weekend we bought our “forever home.” After about a year and a half of tours, open houses, meetings with home builders, and failed bids, we saw a notice while on the way to Ohio for a wedding. It was a beautiful Victorian on half an acre of mature trees and a creek running along its border, 20 minutes from downtown Indy. Its barn–also built in 1906–has been beautifully maintained, with power and plumbing already set up and ready to be finished into a guest home…all priced about $150,000 cheaper than anything we’ve looked at for the last year and a half.
We got the notice we won while we were more than a bit tipsy and stoned at 9 pm while riding the carousel at the Toledo zoo (I was on the gorilla, she the giraffe). It was a beautiful night.
That sounds absolutely amazing. Victorians are gorgeous homes. My home town is filled with them, and I wish I could have afforded one.
Indiana Wants Me
It’s lovely. Congratulations, and much happiness therein.
@CSK: IANAL, but, re Pence, if you sit in on the planning for a robbery, chicken out of participating, but don’t inform the authorities of the planned robbery, are you not indictable as an accessory to said robbery?
Congrats Neil to you and yours. Victorians are lovely old piles, just need a couple of rockers on the
porchveranda to wile away a day.
Oh… just learn to accept one thing about your new home*: “Ain’t a straight line in the entire damn house!” 😀
* Said as the owner of a 1920 craftsman bungalow.
Damn, this Biden guy is influencing the world economy while suffering from dementia and falling off bicycles!!!
And a barn?!?
To my trained eye it looks like a great old place with good bones and GREAT detailing.
Some of the spaces, like the kitchen, are funky-in-a-good-way but still very functional.
Good question. I suppose Pence’s defense would be that he disapproved of the planned coup all along. I don’t know if that would work, though.
I doubt Pence will suffer any consequences from this. Number one, if the Jan. 6 committee subpoenas him and he shows up and testifies satisfactorily, they won’t want to punish him. Number two is that his political career is over, the worst punishment he could suffer anyway. The MAGAs hate his guts.
Yesterday I had an interesting discussion with my son, who is an avid League of Legends gamer and also spends a lot of time in various discussion groups for the game. He had an entire taxonomy for the types of trolls on there and was quite fascinated with them and how much reaction they could generate. We talked about a particular type, someone who would affect unswerving admiration of and loyalty to a particular, usually pretty lame or recently nerfed, character and heap scorn on all the others, despite getting basically everything wrong about the capabilities and history of both their character and the ones they were disparaging. When he started he was annoyed at their ability to derail otherwise interesting threads, but now he just considers them skilled players of the meta game, and more or less tracks their wins and losses.
I should start doing the same here.
@gVOR08: @CSK: I am also not a lawyer , but I do have recent experience on a jury for a case that had no business being at trial given the DNA and video evidence. Yet we almost hung on all but 1 of the 5 counts. We deliberated for a week and ended up convicting on 4 and hanging on 1. What I learned:
-meeting all elements of a crime to convict requires significantly more specificity and detail than I imagined. It is far harder to meet that burden of proof than someone being obviously guilty
-some people are remarkably obtuse
-even non-obtuse people have remarkably variable thresholds for “reasonable doubt”
-even the thinnest of plausible excuses is enough for a juror to decide that reasonable doubt exists, and if that person’s concerns are not addressed a conviction will not happen. Addressing those concerns is both time and emotion intensive.
From this n=1 experience I suspect that Pence could easily say that there was always harebrained schemes floating around and he thought this wasn’t real either or some other BS that would be just plausible enough to get him off. Not even factoring in the MAGA aversion to reality of someone in the jury. As Prof Taylor said in another thread, the only thing worse than not prosecuting at all would be failure to convict.
So they’re the tripwire that will trigger the claymore?
Hope air support is on tap. Stay safe, troops, and good luck.
Thanks. The prosecution generally wants to bring as airtight a case as possible.
I understand how hard it is to convict “white collar” crimes, and how bad it would be to let Benito be exonerated, but IMO it would be worse to not even try.
Now, to paraphrase Londo Mollari, it doesn’t matter what he goes down for, so long as he goes down. Fraud, sedition, inciting violence, attempt to defraud, electoral fraud*, whatever. Charge him with all aplicable counts, even those that won’t stick, and if it takes multiple trials then it does.
The point is to make every attempt. Not to give up before even trying.
*It would be sweet to convict him on that count.
And shifting gears from one reprehensible humanoid to another:
I’ll admit to being torn. On one hand, he’s again revealed to be a vile lizard in a human skin. OTOH, I’m uncomfortable prosecuting (even civilly) for something that happened 45-50 years ago. On the third hand, $500k ain’t even gonna cover her costs to the lawyers.*.
But most importantly, who the fwk lets a 14, 15, or 16 year old into the fwking Playboy Mansion????? In the fwking mid-70s??? Cracker and I were in college then, and there wasn’t enough booze or blow to get either of us to go anywhere near that kind of jailbait!!!
*I know, I know, the lawyers were likely on contingent fee, but trust me, no way the costs were much under the majority of the award she got.
I remember him well. One of the most entertaining guys to watch because his quickness was unmatchable by normal sized players, and those fire-plug tough legs, low CG, and lightening quickness made him extremely difficult to post up and back down. Where he picked up his man was usually about as close as his guy got to the basket. Yeah, everybody shot over him, but, amazingly, few dunked on him as there was no way to turn the corner on someone with feet twice as fast as yours. A constant threat to steal the ball, opposing players got in the habit of holding the ball until they knew where Mugsy was on the court. Slowed breaks.
All ballers love and and know heart when they see it, so he was much respected by his peers.
So, two more people at my department are out with COVID.
BTW, when begging off social engagements on account of COVID risks, I used to be told “everyone attending is vaccinated.” Now I’m told “We’re all going to get eventually.”
I’m a lousy fatalist.
Missouri AG Eric Schmitt has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, with “major evidence” provided by…The Gateway Pundit.
When your legal case rests on evidence furnished by The Gateway Pundit, I don’t think you have much of a shot at winning.
I have been called for jury duty more times than I can remember. I even sat on a Grand Jury once.
One time during voir dire for a petit jury after the Judge had instructed us to mention if we knew him or anyone else involved in the case I mentioned that I had worked as a driver for the Judge’s father’s Yellow Cab business twenty years earlier and I knew that I had seen the Judge at the garage. The Judge, who had been scribbling notes sat up and looked straight at me. During a break he came right over to me in the hallway still in his robe and shook my hand. “I have great memories of hanging out with the drivers at that cab stand.” he said. I never had to sit for any of his trials.
Another time I was selected as one of twelve. We must have sat in the jury box for a good hour waiting for the trial to start when the judge emerged and told us the defendant and the plaintiff had settled and we could all go home.
The only trial I actually sat through was criminal gun possession. The prosecutor presented his case and when it was time for the defense to present it’s case the Public Defender stood up and said: “The defense rests.”
We actually did deliberate for a time. At least long enough to get pizza for lunch. One of the jurors thought that the defendant might have been framed. When we pointed out that the defense could have presented evidence but did not the juror voted to convict.
@Erik: @Mister Bluster: I have a perfect record. Every jury I’ve ever been asked to serve on has sent me home before the trial started. There’s something about telling the attorney that your job is “teaching college students how to write argument” that sends a chill to their very core.
Or maybe it’s that I live in a small Red-county town that doesn’t want any “uppity elites” messin’ wit’ de jury. Either way is fine by me.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
The one time I got from the pool to the box, the defense attorney took one look at me and the form I’d filled out, and screamed “challenge” at the top of her lungs. The prosecutor looked heartbroken.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: I was quite surprised that I stayed in the pool. The defense tried to get me dismissed on hardship grounds (5 week trial and I don’t get paid if I don’t work) but the judge wasn’t having it. I figured he would dismiss me after that with a peremptory challenge, especially given my background that includes DNA sequence analysis and medical forensic investigation training. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the prosecutor didn’t want to roll dice on me either since I said that of course I think police officers are capable of lying. I found out later that the judge had limited the peremptory challenges for each side to only 3.
It was an interesting experience. Not one that I am anxious to repeat, frankly. I hope my fate never rests with a jury. It has to be the stupidest way to determine guilt, except for all the other ways.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
I had one once where the Plaintiff’s attorney asked if anyone knew any of the parties or their attorneys. I raised my hand. When asked who, I looked at him and said “you”. He did a double take. He had forgotten about the recent, contentious, real estate deal we had together. That was a waste of a morning.
An amusing one from the otherside. We were doing a Federal civil rights trial. I figured that watching Fox news was a good indicator of someone being conservative and therefore more likely to favor the cops we were suing. So we got rid of everyone who watched Fox new.
The attorney for the City was a sharp guy and quickly figured out what we were doing. He got rid of everyone that got their news from NPR. It took the Judge a little while longer to figure out what we were all doing and give us a dirty look. I think we all got away with it since we were relatively efficient about it.
During a break all the attorneys had a laugh and one of those Spiderman pointing at Spiderman moments.
I didn’t know that YouTube could was working on technology to send chopped onions through my computer.
@Beth: Yeah. It’s always the waste of a morning. And there’s not even a good place to get coffee near our courthouse, so I have no place to go but home after I’m thrown out in the first round of cuts. 🙁
I just wish that they’d figure out what district I’m in….have been called in for jury duty all over Chicago. In all cases it was a day spent waiting around for everyone to settle and getting paid the munificent sum of $16.74 cents.
(That’s daily, by the way–not by hour. The whole freakin’ DAY.)
@Mu Yixiao: Thanks. That was great! Though, I’m not surprised that Alan had never had steamed egg before. Not many eggs–or anything else–to go around in those days. My older students used to tell me that eating soups made of tree bark or field grass was not just for the poor–people simply ran out of food as winter wore on.
@grumpy realist: At the school where I worked, full-time faculty were (still are I assume) allowed to reimburse the school with their jury per diem in return for receiving their regular pay. Adjunct faculty, such as myself, were required to reimburse the school for the cost of hiring a substitute, but were allowed to keep the per diem.
That looks really nice.
Funny thing is, it looks to be almost exactly the value of my house at current exchange rates.
Which indicates how expensive UK housing is (though prob. no more than in more pricey real estate areas of US).
Seeing a mine is a lot smaller,semi-detached (it’s a Brit thing) and in a rather scruffier area. 🙁
And not such nice floors; and lower ceilings; and (much) smaller outdoor area, and…
What, jealous, me?
(Also: We really need to sort out our broken housing market in the UK; it’s become a massive capital diversion engine on the entire economy)
OTOH, you’ll have horrid freezing winters! (JohnSF cheers up!)
Seriously, it looks fab. 🙂
I feel like I’ve seen a hundred articles on the difficulty and risk of prosecuting TFG. Why do I never see anything on the risk of not prosecuting? We are, after all, living in the world created by pardoning Nixon.
The idea that the sitting prez cannot be prosecuted isn’t in the Constitution, or even legislation. It is an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel which IIRC was requested during Watergate. I recall seeing a story that the guy who wrote it, as is common for lawyers asked for an opinion, asked the AG how he wanted it to come out. It’s mostly based on the idea a man like TFG who spent his time golfing and watching TV couldn’t be distracted from his indispensable work. Now we’ve gone beyond this BS opinion and made it a matter of precedent and custom that an ex-prez is also immune from prosecution.
This immunity isn’t required by law or common sense. It’s really an expression of conservative philosophy, deference to authority. It’s Wilhoitt’s observation that conservatives feel the law should protect some people but not bind them. It’s of a piece with the Unitary Executive. And it’s supported by others who see themselves as part of the same class and institutions like NYT and WAPO that see themselves as the voice of this class.
The same immunity will extend to prez and eventually ex-prez Cotton or DeSantis or Hawley. They will know they’re above the law, especially with AG Cruz on the job. The idea of what the next GOP prez might do, knowing he’s above the law, terrifies me. Does no one in the pundit class share this fear?
I’ve been called for jury duty 3 times in 40 years in Oregon. Never made it past initial questions. Something about being a paralegal whose FIL was a retired cop made everyone blanch. If that hadn’t worked, I could have offered to pull out the “Well, I am a convicted felon, does that make a difference” card. Never got that far, though. Kind of wish it had – I know most of the attorneys and judges, and I’d have loved to watch heads explode.
Meanwhile, in Ukraine:
Panzerhaubitze 2000 155mm SPG now coming on the line.
UK artillery guy: “They are first-class killing machines.”
@Flat Earth Luddite:
I would take a felon over a lawyer on a jury every time. One is erratic, unpredictable and knows everything, the other is a felon.
Yes, exactly that.
I suppose there’s the fear that if an AG in a Democratic administration goes after Benito, then the next GOP AG will go after Biden.
IMO, the Republicans may try to go after Biden regardless. Now, Biden is a nice guy, and I’ve no reason to suppose he’s not mostly a good person who’s committed his share of blunders. Even so, if the price of containing the next authoritarian from causing too much damage is to sacrifice Biden, then we, and Biden, should ask whether that’s a price worth paying or not.
The other thing is that time is short. Given El Cheeto’s penchant for delay, and the shysters who work for him, if he were indicted now, a trial and verdict by January 2025 is far from assured. Should Biden or another Democrat not win in 2024, there’s every reason to believe proceedings would not go on under a GOP administration, even if it’s not Benito’s.
And that is if the Republicans don’t take Congress and manage to gum up the works from there, like refusing to raise the debt limit while the prosecution moves forwards.
I feel like I’m watching a very long ep of Air Crash Investigations where I already know how the accident took place. I keep seeing what needs to be done to avoid it, but I can’t do anything about it and meantime events inch closer and closer to disaster.
And a drone or two hit a refinery inside Russia.
This is good if the Ukrainian armed forces did it, and even better if they did not.
In the early days in my career, the question never came up. I never tried to work for the DA or courts, except as a temp on assignment (I’m Flat, and I’m your Kelly Girl™) was a common phrase I used in the early 80’s). There were a couple of attorneys who I suspected knew my background. The one who did, said to me, “No, I trust you. You weren’t dishonest, and I know you learned your lesson.” Of course, everyone seemed to like that I could type >120wpm, knew shorthand, was an expert on all their software. That, and the fact that I could research case law, draft pleadings, and run their offices made me useful throughout my working life.*
The fact that 40+ years later my family still faces restrictions on travel, living, and employment is chafing my keester, but that’s another issue.
*OTOH, my low boredom threshold and inability to play nicely with the other children, were frequently the cause for my departure from an office.
Having seen part VI of Kenobi, I give the limited series a Meh +.
The + is for Leia and Reva, who stole the plot but, alas, did not manage to run away with it. I would like to see further stories of both of them
@Kathy: concur. But at least it gave me the opportunity to reinforce the rule “always always finish your enemies” with my kids
I believe the memo was written to say “Sure, indict Spiro Agnew, he’s just a worthless VP” and that all of the arguments for why the president could not be indicted were made to contrast with the Vice President — it was less about blocking the indictment of the President, and more about clearing the way for the indictment of the Vice President. That is if my shaky memory of Rachel Maddow’s Bag Man podcast holds true.
Remember, there were two entirely separate scandals at once.
@Kathy: I thought it was a bit better than Meh+. I basically liked everything but Kenobi himself. That’s a problem in a show about Kenobi, but there was a lot else there that was great.
And Kenobi himself was fine-ish. I just don’t think Ewan McGregor does “broken” well, and the character arc depends on believing where he started.
The ending wasn’t what I wanted, but it was probably too much to hope for a hastily rewritten ending featuring Obi-wan and Reva as a couple, just to piss of the racist fans.
Also, people have to stop leaving other people for dead. It never works.
@Neil Hudelson: Congrats! That place looks awesome!