Wednesday’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. Lost in Quebec says:

    Some news from Dr. Taylor’s neck of the woods-

    Former Troy football player sues ex-teammate and coaches

    TROY, Ala. — A former Troy University football player has filed a lawsuit against an ex-teammate and three coaches, saying he was abused while on the team, including being sexually assaulted with a pool cue.

    The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Montgomery, names former Troy punter Jack Dawson; special teams coordinators Brian Blackmon and Dayne Brown; and Jamaal Smith, the director of player development.

    The Associated Press is not using the name of the player who sued because it typically does not name alleged victims of sexual assault.

    The suit contends that the plaintiff was bullied because of the perception that he was homosexual.

    The player was lying on his stomach on the floor of the players’ lounge watching a football game on his phone when he felt “excruciating pain” as a pool cue was shoved into his anus, the suit contends. A video circulated on social media showing the assault, which occurred as others watched and laughed, it says.

    Unfortunately these kind of assaults, and coaches and or players standing by and doing nothing is becoming too common.

  2. Kylopod says:

    Democrats just won the special election in NY-19, after polls had pointed to a Republican win. The Dem also outperformed Biden’s 2020 margin in the district. Dems have now so far outperformed Biden in all four of the special elections for House seats since the Dobbs decision.

  3. CSK says:
  4. CSK says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Former Louisville detective Kelly Goodlett pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy on Tuesday for her role in the infamous police shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed in her home, offering the first criminal conviction in a case that ignited nationwide protests over racial justice and police brutality.

    Goodlett, one of four white former police officers charged in the case, admitted to helping another officer to falsify a search warrant of Taylor’s apartment and writing a false report to cover that up. She faces up to five years in prison.
    Goodlett, who resigned from Louisville police after she was charged, was the only one of the four who was not indicted by federal grand jurors on 4 August but instead charged through what is known as a bill of information. That, along with this guilty plea, offers a strong sign that she has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in other cases.

  6. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: This makes me cautiously optimistic. Special elections do seem to act as a leading indicator for upcoming elections. My political experience started in the period immediately following the election of Bill Clinton. Republicans in Missouri won seat after seat that had previously been held by Democrats (in special elections), which led to the US House flipping in 1994.

  7. charon says:


    If not now, when?

    Nixon got off, Reagan got off, many others. Now Trump is even worse.

    Time to stop cowering in the face of the “heckler’s veto.” It’s time to confront, else it will just keep getting worse.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Ok this is pretty funny.

    Texas passed a law *requiring* schools to display any donated ‘In God We Trust’ poster: they are breaking the law if someone donates a poster and they don’t display it. So an activist is donating those posters but in Arabic.

    That’s some grade A trolling there.

    what kind of dog is this

    absolutely the best thing you’ll see all day, month, year, century

    If that doesn’t make you smile, you are broken.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I’m with Goldberg. “The far right is constantly threatening violence if it doesn’t get its way. Does anyone truly believe that giving in to its blackmail will make it less aggressive?”

    It is long past time to call their bluff and to put in prison for a very long time the few who aren’t.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Yes, it will play out as she fears. But she doesn’t balance this against the alternative: conceding that the ability to raise a mob allows a criminal to get away with anything. That de facto exception to the law will cause much worse and longer term damage then prosecuting Trump.

  11. gVOR08 says:


    Nixon got off, Reagan got off, many others.

    Don’t forget W and torture. This business of not prosecuting seems to have a considerable partisan bias.

    Also W’s invasion of a country that was no threat to us, itself a crime, but he may have lied and bullied enough legal cover out of the UN to get away with that.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Throughout the Covid pandemic, nurses around the US have faced deteriorating working conditions and challenges, from safety concerns to increasing workloads that have stemmed from understaffing as nurses have quit their jobs or retired early.

    Those nurses who are still on the job at many hospitals say they have been expected to do more with fewer resources, an issue that nurses say is causing retention crises and jeopardizing patient safety and care.

    Now nurses at 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities area (Minneapolis-St Paul) and Duluth, Minnesota, that are negotiating new union contracts with their respective hospitals have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike.
    Ali Marcanti, a nurse for seven years at Allina Health in St Paul, Minnesota, criticized hospitals’ talking points throughout the pandemic of praising nurses as healthcare heroes while refusing to address staffing issues in contract negotiations.

    “Negotiations, in our eyes have been our employers’ opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, and instead of pithy statements, like ‘you’re a hero’, actually give us some substantial improvements to our work environment that make us actually want to continue working for Allina,” said Marcanti.

    A spokesperson for Essentia Health said: “We are disappointed by the vote because we believe no one wins in a strike – and we have a shared responsibility to provide quality care to the patients and communities we are privileged to serve. Should it become necessary, we have contingency plans to ensure we can continue to care for our patients in the event of an MNA strike.”

    Ah yes, a shared responsibility… But as the article notes,

    A survey conducted by the union in March 2022 of 748 nurses in Minnesota who left their jobs during the pandemic cited poor management and short-staffing as driving factors in leaving their positions. As nurses have left the bedside, adverse health events in hospitals increased by 33% from 2020 to 2021.

    Put your money where your mouth is

  13. CSK says:

    @charon: @OzarkHillbilly: @gVOR08:

    I can’t disagree. You’re all correct.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: Funny how they all had (R) after their names. But you know, Bill Clinton lied about an extramarital affair and Hillary had 3 emails* with classified material on her private server.

    *which iirc were only classified after they had been sent to her and the info was publicly available elsewhere.

  15. Scott says:

    A pretty good summary of the Ukrainian-Russian War to date.

    Six months on, the Russia-Ukraine war mapped out

  16. charon says:


    The only legitimate concern is worry that that could increase the chances of GOP victory in 2024. That does not worry me as do not see that helping the GOP much, also I see Trump as unelectable and DeSantis etc. etc. as unproven, so not enough of aa concern to give in to.

    (Trump has personality disorders and is decompensating, whether his other symptoms are unusually rapid normal aging or something more is arguable, I think something more).

  17. Scott says:

    If only I had known…

    Air Force may temporarily allow beards, in the name of research

    Many airmen’s dearest wish may soon come true if the Air Force greenlights a pilot program allowing some men to grow beards.

    The idea would let participating airmen sport well-kept beards no longer than one-quarter inch, first reported Monday. That matches the length allowed for people who are medically exempt from the requirement to be clean-shaven.

    So far, the Air Force has banned beards for all except those who have five-year medical waivers for pseudofolliculitis barbae, or chronic razor bumps, or religious waivers for those for whom beards are central to their observance, like Sikhs, Jews, Muslims and Norse Heathens. Religious exemptions to the rule allow for beards up to 2 inches long.

  18. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: If you’re in a situation that’s too complicated to game out, do what’s right, hope for the best, and plan for the worst.

    Seems to me a lot of people, well a lot of national pundits, are afraid of Proud Boys under their beds. If we’re going to have a cammo boy insurrection, better to do it now rather than later. They’ll only get better organized and better financed as time passes and right now we have a D president.

  19. Jen says:

    Rolling Stone is reporting that Trump is *demanding* his lawyers get “his” top secret documents back.

    This is really so strange, and not a logical play for the “FBI planted those/I didn’t realize what I had” nonsense he was spouting off earlier. I’m beginning to think that he did something while in office that he thinks he can bury or hide.

    Also, his crack legal team (/s) is getting lessons in Florida law. Wow, just…wow. They have no idea what they are doing.

  20. CSK says:

    You’ll enjoy this: “Critics call BS on the ‘let Trump walk to save democracy crowd.'”

  21. gVOR08 says:


    and Norse Heathens (in the Air Force)

    . I hadn’t read that before I made my crack @gVOR08: about Proud Boys under the bed. There are some.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:
  23. Scott says:

    @gVOR08: Totally tangential but did you know there are some 78 Emblems of Belief that can be placed on headstones in Veterans Cemeteries. Including Hammer of Thor.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    We’ve all heard of bulls and bears on Wall street, but this Israeli bank took it literally.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Several critics of the question in Lowry’s headline—”Can You Tell Me What Would Happen if the FBI Were Investigating a Democrat?”

    Sometimes I wish I could reach through the internet and slap people upside the head.

    HEY ASSHOLE, didn’t we just go through exactly that in 2016??? Or did you just have your head so far up your own ass you never saw or heard any of it?

  26. CSK says:

    Yeah, I know. The MAGAs will never, ever believe that while Democrats get away with murder on a regular basis, RINOs just stand idly by and do nothing to stop it.

    It’s all a giant Uniparty conspiracy against their savior, Trump.

    I honestly don’t know how far they’d go if Trump were arrested, as he should be.

  27. Kathy says:

    When you see prosecution of former heads of state in places like France, Brazil, Israel. etc., the charges always involve actions involving the abuse of power for personal gain, most often some form of corruption. Almost never policies enacted or laws enforced.

    We know Benito tried to stage a coup on multiple fronts. That’s not policy. we know he interfered with the electoral process in at least one state. Again, not policy. We know he stole government documents, including hundreds of classified and sensitive ones. Also not policy. We know he engaged in obstruction of justice. Very much not policy.

    This is what we know. There may be more we don’t know about.

    If this doesn’t merit prosecution, then nothing does. Then nothing will keep the next would-be dictator from doing any of the above, or worse, at any time in the future.

  28. CSK says:

    The National Archives says Trump took 700 pages of classified documents from the White House.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: There may be more we don’t know about.

    I can guarantee there are more we don’t know about. Here’s one you missed: Trying to blackmail a foreign govt into fabricating dirt against a political opponent.

  30. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Kathy:
    Jared Kushner says he is absolutely NOT the mole who tipped off the FBI about the classified docs at Mar-a-Lago.

  31. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08: A while back I saw a video on “America’s last whites-only church.” (I have a hard time believing this is literally accurate, but let that pass.) I assumed it was going to be about a Christian church, but it turned out to be Nordic neo-pagan. I know that sort of thing has been popular among white supremacists for a long time (some of the original Nazis like Himmler were into it), but not all Nordic neo-pagans are white supremacists, and in this story they interviewed several adherents who were horrified by this one church.

    I have to admit, though, that I did not know that people in this religion, whatever their views on race, commonly refer to themselves as “heathens.” It’s an interesting example of reclaiming a pejorative term and making it one’s official name.

  32. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: Yeah, I did unfairly lump all Nordic Pagans in with white supremacist. On the other hand, I can’t help but suspect, except for the cammo boys, most of them are in it for the lulz, like the FSM people. I also suspect that this may have been the last officially all white church, but I suspect there are sill a lot of de facto all white “Christian” churches.

  33. Sleeping Dog says:


    Several observers have noted that the filing appears to have been dictated by TFG and signed by the attorney’s, who have given up their professional reputations for ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    And their judge shopping for a trump appointed judge didn’t go well.

  34. JohnSF says:


    “…neo-pagans …refer to themselves as “heathens.”

    As an irrelevant aside:
    It’s an interesting tell that late Classical/early Mediaeval Christianity was predominantly an urban based faith, that both “pagan” and “heathen” are derived from meaning “inhabitant of the countryside.”
    No importance really, just an interesting contrast to the modern world.
    Perhaps an indicator that rural areas both are and always were the most resistant to social change?

  35. JohnSF says:


    If this doesn’t merit prosecution, then nothing does.

    I would agree.
    Bending political rules to achieve a disputed policy is very different from criminal activity aimed at subverting the political system itself.

    I’d argue that on that basis, Reagan and Bush 2 stayed on the tolerable side of the line; Nixon arguably crossed it; and Trump not only plainly did so, but flaunted it publicly, and induced a large number of his partisans to join or support his corruption.

    A polity with a legal system that does not bind holders of, or aspirants to, high office, to observe the constitutional norms, is dangerously close to collapse.

  36. Sleeping Dog says:

    California to Ban the Sale of New Gasoline Cars

    WASHINGTON — California is expected to put into effect on Thursday its sweeping plan to prohibit the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, a groundbreaking move that could have major effects on the effort to fight climate change and accelerate a global transition toward electric vehicles.

    “This is huge,” said Margo Oge, an electric vehicles expert who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s transportation emissions program under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “California will now be the only government in the world that mandates zero-emission vehicles. It is unique.”

    The rule, issued by the California Air Resources Board, will require that 100 percent of all new cars sold in the state by 2035 be free of the fossil fuel emissions chiefly responsible for warming the planet, up from 12 percent today. It sets interim targets requiring that 35 percent of new passenger vehicles sold in the state by 2026 produce zero emissions. That would climb to 68 percent by 2030.

    This will be interesting. Particularly curious as to what happens if the marketplace fails to meet the interim targets?

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Reagan and Bush 2 stayed on the tolerable side of the line

    Iran Contra:

    * Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Defense, was indicted on two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice on 16 June 1992.[102] Weinberger received a pardon from George H. W. Bush on 24 December 1992, before he was tried.[103]
    * Robert C. McFarlane, National Security Adviser, convicted of withholding evidence, but after a plea bargain was given only two years of probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush.[104]
    * Elliott Abrams, Assistant Secretary of State, convicted of withholding evidence, but after a plea bargain was given only two years probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush.[105]
    * Alan D. Fiers, Chief of the CIA’s Central American Task Force, convicted of withholding evidence and sentenced to one year probation. Later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush.
    * Clair George, Chief of Covert Ops-CIA, convicted on two charges of perjury, but pardoned by President George H. W. Bush before sentencing.[106]
    * Oliver North, member of the National Security Council was indicted on 16 charges.[107] A jury convicted him of accepting an illegal gratuity, obstruction of a Congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents. The convictions were overturned on appeal because his Fifth Amendment rights may have been violated by use of his immunized public testimony[108] and because the judge had incorrectly explained the crime of destruction of documents to the jury.[109]
    * Fawn Hall, Oliver North’s secretary, was given immunity from prosecution on charges of conspiracy and destroying documents in exchange for her testimony.[110]
    * Jonathan Scott Royster, Liaison to Oliver North, was given immunity from prosecution on charges of conspiracy and destroying documents in exchange for his testimony.[111]
    * National Security Advisor John Poindexter was convicted of five counts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury, defrauding the government, and the alteration and destruction of evidence. A panel of the D.C. Circuit overturned the convictions on 15 November 1991 for the same reason the court had overturned Oliver North’s, and by the same 2 to 1 vote.[112] The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.[113]
    * Duane Clarridge. An ex-CIA senior official, he was indicted in November 1991 on seven counts of perjury and false statements relating to a November 1985 shipment to Iran. Pardoned before trial by President George H. W. Bush.[114][115]
    * Richard V. Secord. Former Air Force major general, who was involved in arms transfers to Iran and diversion of funds to Contras, he pleaded guilty in November 1989 to making false statements to Congress and was sentenced to two years of probation. As part of his plea bargain, Secord agreed to provide further truthful testimony in exchange for the dismissal of remaining criminal charges against him.[116][19]
    * Albert Hakim. A businessman, he pleaded guilty in November 1989 to supplementing the salary of North by buying a $13,800 fence for North with money from “the Enterprise,” which was a set of foreign companies Hakim used in Iran–Contra. In addition, Swiss company Lake Resources Inc., used for storing money from arms sales to Iran to give to the Contras, plead guilty to stealing government property.[117] Hakim was given two years of probation and a $5,000 fine, while Lake Resources Inc. was ordered to dissolve.[116][118]
    * Thomas G. Clines. A former CIA clandestine service officer. According to Special Prosecutor Walsh, he earned nearly $883,000 helping retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard V. Secord and Albert Hakim carry out the secret operations of “the Enterprise”. He was indicted for concealing the full amount of his Enterprise profits for the 1985 and 1986 tax years, and for failing to declare his foreign financial accounts. He was convicted and served 16 months in prison, the only Iran-Contra defendant to have served a prison sentence.[119]

    True enough that Reagan was never actually indicted, but

    The plan was discussed with President Reagan on 18 July 1985 and again on 6 August 1985.[34] Shultz at the latter meeting warned Reagan that “we were just falling into the arms-for-hostages business and we shouldn’t do it.”[34]

    Maybe his senility impaired him to such an extent he could not be responsible. Maybe there were enough layers of plausible deniability to protect him. But that’s a rogues gallery up above that strayed way over the line of criminality.

  38. Kylopod says:


    I also suspect that this may have been the last officially all white church, but I suspect there are sill a lot of de facto all white “Christian” churches.

    That’s occurred to me. But I know there are overtly white-supremacist Christian churches out there–the ones that call themselves Christian Identity and which teach that nonwhites are “mud people” who weren’t descended from Adam and Eve. This is in contrast to the relatively more mainstream groups with histories of racism (e.g. the Mormons, the Southern Baptists), or those who teach the slightly less extreme Curse of Ham myth, which at least doesn’t deny the common ancestry of all humans.

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Particularly curious as to what happens if the marketplace fails to meet the interim targets?

    IIRC California had the most stringent pollution standards on cars way back when and manufacturers had no problem meeting those standards, and again iirc they just started making all cars to those standards*. I would expect the same with this. CA is a big market and lot of money will be lost by anyone who doesn’t meet that demand.

    * a waaaay back when during the stone age I had a small p/u that had a tag on the engine block saying it had been built to meet CA standards. I’ve had a lot of trucks since then, some of them newer, but none had the same sticker.

  40. Mu Yixiao says:


    IIRC California had the most stringent pollution standards on cars way back when and manufacturers had no problem meeting those standards, and again iirc they just started making all cars to those standards

    That’s a lot easier when it’s a matter of tweaking the design on existing cars. It’s completely different when you’re talking about an entirely different type of vehicle.

    A quick google says that CA has 14.2M cars. If you assume that there’s a 10% annual turnover, that’s 1.4M cars per year. The current output for the entire US is 6.6M in 2021. Output is increasing rapidly, but it may not be physically possible to match the demand (especially as other cities/states are looking at the same type of mandates).

    And, of course, there’s the issue of charging infrastructure.

    It’s a laudable goal to shoot for, but these hard deadlines often run head-first into the real world.

  41. CSK says:

    Wait. If every word in the Bible is literally true, and Adam and Eve were the first humans, then who were the forebears of “the mud people”?

  42. Beth says:


    Regan was such a scumbag. If we would have run him and Nixon out of town when we had a chance we wouldn’t be in this situation with the Insane Republican Clown Posse. F…’n politics, how do they work*

    Apologies to Insane Clown Posse who are actually a net benefit to society and saints compared to Regan.

  43. JohnSF says:


    (Reagan’s actions)…. strayed way over the line of criminality.


    But it was not criminality aimed at securing his unlawful continuity in power.

    That’s the crucial difference from Trump, and why Trump must be prosecuted if grounds can be found for establishing legal guilt. (The moral guilt is plain enough; but beside the judicial point)

    Even Nixon, who was at best covering up, more likely conniving at, illegal activities aimed at securing his re-election, was not attempting to overturn an election after the fact.

    That is where Trump’s actions were particularly culpable.

    I would argue that placing the actions of other Presidents on par with those of Trump diminishes the outrages that he committed and attempted.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Meh… I’m an “allergies” person, not a “pets” person. I roll my eyes at the “viral cats” videos, too.

  45. JohnSF says:

    Currently trying to work up a joke involving Jews, Muslims and the Curse of Ham.

  46. Kathy says:


    IMO, the legal problem with the Iran Contra affair was the end-run of Congress. Effectively Reagan was spending money on the Contras without Congressional authorization, no matter where the money came from.

    No one was indicted for that. All charges were related to attempts to cover up what they were doing.

    We’re back to the emoluments clause problem. the Constitution forbids it, but since there’s no law nor legal precedent in the matter, whoever is in the oval office can do as they want in that respect.

    No one’s run off with the Reagan playbook and attempted to raise money overseas to finance policy priorities, yet.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: Isn’t 1/4 inch about the length of Don Johnson’s “beard” from Miami Vice?

  48. JohnSF says:


    …then who were the forebears of “the mud people”?

    Oh, that’s easy-peasy.
    (Assuming you are mad/stupid/desperate)
    The nephilim.

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: It’s a laudable goal to shoot for, but these hard deadlines often run head-first into the real world.

    And when they do, adjustments are made.

  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: If every word in the Bible is literally true,

    Which Bible tho? There’s only 67 versions of it.

  51. JohnSF says:


    Jared Kushner says he is absolutely NOT the mole who tipped off the FBI about the classified docs at Mar-a-Lago.

    So, it was Jared, then.

  52. Beth says:


    I would argue that placing the actions of other Presidents on par with those of Trump diminishes the outrages that he committed and attempted.

    I think that’s a bit of present bias. Nixon for sure would have tried something if he thought he could get away with it. The only thing that stopped him was everyone was united against him. Regan was just senile, he probably would have done something too. Remember:

    “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

    It’s not like Nixon and Regan were running around with people that wouldn’t do a coup in a heartbeat.


    No one’s run off with the Reagan playbook and attempted to raise money overseas to finance policy priorities, yet.

    That we know of. Yet.

  53. CSK says:

    He’s certainly a hot contender for the title.

  54. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: There’s actually a long history of Christianity and other Abrahamic faiths teaching about humans who were not descended from Adam and Eve, even though it conflicts with the simplest reading of the story.

    And here’s a run-down of so-called Christian Identity beliefs:

    Adherents believe that whites of European descent can be traced back to the “Lost Tribes of Israel.” Many consider Jews to be the Satanic offspring of Eve and the Serpent, while non-whites are “mud peoples” created before Adam and Eve. Its virulent racist and anti-Semitic beliefs are usually accompanied by extreme anti-government sentiments. Despite its small size, Christian Identity influences virtually all white supremacist and extreme anti-government movements. It has also informed criminal behavior ranging from hate crimes to acts of terrorism.

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Our system never envisioned that people who were not “us” (as in the kind of people you invite to a constitutional convention) would ever be able to run for office, let alone win. In some ways, I think that the Founders not only believed that the constitution would be significantly revised a generation or three down the line; they were counting on it. The “big mistake” may have been making amendments possible but hard to enact. That feature may have make kicking the can down the road a more workable proposition. (“We might as well keep what we’ve got; it’s not completely broken.”)

  56. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: Failing to prosecute creates a moral hazard.

    The rich and powerful already get off far more lightly than the plebeians because of their access to the best lawyers money can buy (although, Trump seems to have run out).

    The law, in its infinite grace forbids both the rich and poor from sleeping under bridges, fermenting insurrection, and stealing classified documents.

  57. CSK says:

    Thanks. There was a tradition in early medieval Scotland that the Scots were one of the ten lost tribes.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: IF the marketplace fails to meet the interim targets?

  59. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: There are tons of examples over the years of various people identifying or being identified as being from one or more of the Lost Tribes. If you read the link, Christian Identity itself grew out of British Israelism, which apparently was not anti-Semitic or racist (at least not overtly).

  60. Gustopher says:


    No one’s run off with the Reagan playbook and attempted to raise money overseas to finance policy priorities, yet.

    Clinton Foundation!

    Ok, seriously though, I think if you were to look at the various NGOs, you would find a rotating collection of miscreants in the Board of Directors, who are also tightly involved in governing, and that the lines end up being blurred beyond recognition.

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: But what you said was,

    Bending political rules to achieve a disputed policy is very different from criminal activity aimed at subverting the political system itself.

    The Reagan administration’s policy towards Nicaragua produced a major clash between the executive and legislative branches as Congress sought to limit, if not curb altogether, the ability of the White House to support the Contras.[18] Direct U.S. funding of the Contras insurgency was made illegal through the Boland Amendment, the name given to three U.S. legislative amendments between 1982 and 1984 aimed at limiting U.S. government assistance to Contra militants. By 1984, funding for the Contras had run out; and, in October of that year, a total ban came into effect. The second Boland Amendment, in effect from 3 October 1984 to 3 December 1985, stated:

    During the fiscal year 1985 no funds available to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense or any other agency or entity of the United States involved in intelligence activities may be obligated or expended for the purpose of or which may have the effect of supporting directly or indirectly military or paramilitary operations in Nicaragua by any nation, organization, group, movement, or individual.[18]

    In violation of the Boland Amendment, senior officials of the Reagan administration continued to secretly arm and train the Contras and provide arms to Iran, an operation they called “the Enterprise”.[19][20] Given the Contras’ heavy dependence on U.S. military and financial support, the second Boland Amendment threatened to break the Contra movement, and led to President Reagan ordering in 1984 that the National Security Council (NSC) “keep the Contras together ‘body and soul'”, no matter what Congress voted for.[18]

    That is pretty plainly a “subversion of the political system.”

    Now, you are narrowing it down to “criminality aimed at securing his unlawful continuity in power.”

    OK fine, but that’s moving the goal posts. And I’ve got to say that even if Nixon himself was not involved in the planning of the Watergate break-in, his administration definitely engaged in “criminality aimed at securing his unlawful continuity in power.”

    You seem to think it makes a difference that the criminal actions of Watergate occurred before the election as opposed to trump’s subversions occurring after the election. To me, that is a distinction without a difference.

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Also different when you’re talking about cars that sell on the used market for over $20k. But I realize that many of our readership and commentariat can’t even imagine the idea that a person who doesn’t have $2ok would ever be able to buy a car. (They also seem to be a little evian about where people who buy cheap used cars would charge an electric one if they became affordable for those of “modest” income.)

  63. CSK says:

    I know it is. But we have to be prepared for the possible consequences. Trump supporters are unhinged.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: fermenting insurrection,

    I like my insurrections barrel aged.

  65. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: Curiously, since mud people and God’s people can breed and have fertile offspring, they are of the same biological species.

    I think it says a lot about Satan’s attention to detail that he got his creation so close to God’s. Well, done, Satan!

    Adherents believe that whites of European descent can be traced back to the “Lost Tribes of Israel.”

    Neanderthals. Adam and Eve were Neanderthals, and the mud people out of Africa have replaced them, except for 3% of Divine DNA.

    I think this might even explain original sin, and why you need to accept Jesus into your heart rather than simply relying upon God’s infinite grace for his creation. People are barely his creation at this point.

    Also, God is a cuckold, but that doesn’t serve my goal of slowly converting White Supremacists to Neanderthal Supremacists.

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: The most I’ve ever paid for a vehicle is $10,000 and I know I can go out find many for less than $5,000.

  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: People make all sorts of…
    … interesting (???)
    [yeah, that’ll work] interpretations of Genesis 6: 1 and 2.

    1Now when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they took as wives whomever they chose.

  68. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I can’t imagine that CA is going to be able to meet those targets.

    One problem they are going to have to contend with is the way the EV market is currently working out. It’s heavily weighted to higher-end vehicles. The *average* cost of a new EV is $66K. To get to their targets by 2035, there’d need to be an enormous shift in the lower end of the market, because most people are not going to be able to afford a $66K vehicle, especially if supplies can’t keep up (spoiler, they won’t unless there’s a significant and unexpected change in the design of EVs, due to rare earth metals used in batteries).

    Setting that aside, CA will also need to contend with a large drop in gas tax revenue and distortion of the used vehicle market, along with the charging infrastructure issue mentioned, along with grid capacity for all of the increased electric demand this will cause.

    Maybe there’s something I’m not seeing, but you are correct: this isn’t the same as adjusting features in an existing technology.

  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: “(Assuming you are mad/stupid/desperate)”

    Hey now! WATCH IT! This is legitimate theology you’re casting aspersions about. Guys in seminary dorm rooms have been having drunken debates about these topics since before there were kegs!

  70. Beth says:
  71. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: My mistake. I was confusing the California edict with the one presented in Washington, which, assuming it was reported accurately, was going to ban the sale of ALL automobiles with ICEs by 2035 or so. Literacy matters! Even when you’re a cracker.

  72. Beth says:


    It’s probably better from a compliance perspective to set strict standards, years out, and then adjust as necessary than to set wishy washy standards and let the car companies fail to meet them and get extensions. 15 years is a long time for the technology to mature and start to seep down into the cheaper cars. I would bet if CA didn’t show them the stick up front, the car companies would ignore it.

  73. Mu Yixiao says:

    Today at work:

    My cube-neighbor had her laptop freak out. IT gave her the only loaner left. It randomly shut down on her. From 07:30 – 13:00, she was able to type one e-mail. That’s it.

    Our tech support team (normally staffed at 12) is now staffed at 8 because people left and the new hires aren’t fully trained yet. Of that 8, one is on paternity leave, one is out with COVID. The remaining 6 have a backlog of 20 calls (10 is normally very high), and a 1:40 wait time.

    Oh… and we found out (the hard way) that at 20 calls in the queue the phone system craps out and says “Nope. I won’t let you in.”


  74. dazedandconfused says:


    If you’re going to include the Curse of Ham, may it also include William Shatner…

  75. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Industry at large has been pushing the line that individual consumers are responsible for maintaining the environment, reducing pollution, reducing, emissions, etc. This doesn’t work and can never work.

    For a practical demonstration consider COVID. Individuals were pretty much responsible for protecting themselves and others. This didn’t work, as millions of corpses can attest.

    But in a pandemic, individuals have to be responsible. there’s only so much the government can do. And even when there’s more, as in China, results are mixed.

    Therefore industry has to be made responsible.

  76. Mu Yixiao says:


    I would bet if CA didn’t show them the stick up front, the car companies would ignore it.

    The car companies are moving forward with electric pretty quickly without government sticks. They see where the market forces are leading, and want to get in on it. However, unlike Tesla–which has been electric from day one–existing manufacturers are having to unlearn a century of habits and technology, retool their factories, retrain their workers, and develop entirely new supply chains. They’re working on it, but inertia is a bitch.

  77. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: Not only not funded by Congress but, IIRC, expressly forbidden by Congress
    @JohnSF: While I agree that Trump’s treason ( in a vernacular sense, not legal) is worse than Nixon, Reagan, and W’s crimes, if he’s convicted it will probably be for more mundane charges of theft of government property including classified information, soliciting election fraud, obstruction, and financial crimes. If the principle is that ex-presidents are not above the law, we shouldn’t be parsing degrees of crime. We should should have prosecuted Nixon, Reagan, and W. Bush. That we didn’t , for various dubious reasons, is no reason no to start now.

    At one time, W couldn’t leave the country for fear some zealous prosecutor would try to send him to The Hague. That still the case?

  78. Mu Yixiao says:


    Industry at large has been pushing the line that individual consumers are responsible for maintaining the environment, reducing pollution, reducing, emissions, etc. This doesn’t work and can never work.

    Industry has been pushing “green” products pretty heavily in the past few years. They know that more and more people want these products. Look at EVs:

    In 2019, 2.2 million electric cars 1 were sold, representing just 2.5% of global car sales. In 2020, the overall car market contracted but electric car sales bucked the trend, rising to 3 million and representing 4.1% of total car sales. In 2021, electric car sales more than doubled to 6.6 million, representing close to 9% of the global car market and more than tripling their market share from two years earlier. All the net growth in global car sales in 2021 came from electric cars.

    Without government mandates.

  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, I paid $20k for my car when I returned from Korea, but I paid cash and could afford to believing that it would probably be the last car I ever purchase. But it’s not an electric, and if I have to replace it with one, which appears to be the goal in WASHINGTON (where I live) but not in CALIFORNIA (about which I misread/misinterpreted the news item), I won’t be likely to be able to unless the market in electric vehicles tanks precipitously. But yeah, if you don’t need an electric, inexpensive used cars are available.

    On the other hand, in 2035, I’ll be 83 and with any luck at all have shuffled off this mortal coil.

  80. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    A quick google says that CA has 14.2M cars. If you assume that there’s a 10% annual turnover, that’s 1.4M cars per year. The current output for the entire US is 6.6M in 2021.

    Ooops! I googled to quickly. 6.6M cars is the GLOBAL output for 2021.

  81. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: All things considered, doesn’t seem weird to me.

  82. Stormy Dragon says:


    No Five Fingered Hand of Eris? I am disappoint…

  83. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  84. Stormy Dragon says:


    I assumed it was going to be about a Christian church, but it turned out to be Nordic neo-pagan. I know that sort of thing has been popular among white supremacists for a long time (some of the original Nazis like Himmler were into it), but not all Nordic neo-pagans are white supremacists, and in this story they interviewed several adherents who were horrified by this one church.

    Heimmdahl in particular is popular with white supremacists. Part of the reason Marvel cast Idris Elba as Heimmdahl in the Thor movies was to explicitly avoid the character attracting an inconvenient fanbase.

  85. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’m not a Christian (go Neo-Pagans!) so I was surprised when I recognized that quote. Then the Jimmy Cliff came in and I remembered where I heard it. That was a great album.

    Also, RIGHT!

  86. Gustopher says:

    So, I have a plan for a small grift.

    The Turner Diaries is banned on the Amazon Kindle store, because it is racist shit they don’t want to be associated with. Fair. More than fair, good.

    Joseph Mallord William Turner, the great Romantic painter, kept a diary, which is in the public domain as he has been dead for about two hundreds years.

    Would it be wrong to publish the JMW Turner Diaries on Kindle to try to get a few bucks from White Supremacists?

    I’d have to put together an ambiguous cover, and a blurb (“Turner saw a world of Light and Color in conflict…”), and the White Supremacists are an easily angered and violent lot, but a couple bucks is a couple bucks…

  87. Sleeping Dog says:


    My question isn’t can the state force the mfg to build EVs, but what if consumer demand isn’t there?

  88. Kathy says:


    You should definitely go for it.

  89. Scott says:

    My wife will be happy. Her Mothers Against Greg Abbott yard sign has arrived.

  90. CSK says:

    I love this idea.

  91. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Another excellent point.

    Consumer demand for EVs is heavily influenced by range anxiety. It’s a top concern and one of the factors that has kept people from purchasing EVs (it is, in fact, one of my issues with EVs, as my husband is a “take the road less traveled” guy, and that’s NOT where they are going to build charging stations).

    It’s impossible to predict the future, but it’s hard for me to see how these targets will be met.

    1) Cost. EVs cost a lot of money right now. People with low incomes depend on the used car market, and if EV production doesn’t ramp up FAST, the ripple effect is going to be widespread, affecting surrounding states (and, given CA’s size, maybe even nationally). Speaking of ramping up production…
    2) Rare earth minerals are a problem. They are mined in places with a fair amount of political…challenges. Mining here in the US is one way around that, but environmentalists are not going to like what mining cobalt does (not to mention location and availability, etc.) This is going to be an increasing hurdle.
    3) California’s grid is not ready to handle this, it can barely handle normal population growth with standard demand.

    I applaud the thinking, I really do, but I predict problems.

  92. Scott says:

    @Jen: I really think this is a case where the marketplace will really work. The demand will be there and the demand for quality EVs will be there. I also think the demand will come sooner than even the experts predict.

    It’s happening in renewable power generation, prices are declining and production is up. Faster than predicted, I believe.

  93. Jen says:

    @Scott: Again, alas, we run up against the rare earth minerals problem. EVs need batteries, and current batteries require cobalt and lithium. Both are rare and becoming more so.

    Renewable power is an interesting example because it’s struggling right now. There’s an ongoing problem with importing solar products from China (which makes most of our supply), and supply chain and labor problems are also factors.

    It’s going to take time for these problems and delays to work through, but the problem with China could cause real problems, because that ban has been in place for over a year.

  94. Kathy says:


    My thinking is that one disteems demand entirely, and simply does not allow gasoline cars to be sold in California anymore.

    If it were that simple.

  95. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Jen: The point you make about rare earth metals is valid. Other than that, though, there’s no reason that an EV shouldn’t be cheaper than a combustion engine vehicle. They are much, much simpler. Which means the maintenance bills will be much less, too, and less likely to break down. Having had to endure my timing chain breaking while on the freeway in the middle of nowhere, I rejoice at the fact an EV has no timing chain. No alternator to break, as they often do. No points to get condensation on. No oil to change.

    The reason Musk started at the high end is that it was easier to sell. Put in all the luxury features and it would be easy to outperform vehicles at a comparable price. With those sales you finance further development, which should drive costs down. If there’s one thing established automakers are good at, it’s driving costs down, so that’s likely to happen.

    I mean, yeah, the batteries are a question mark. The whole thing is a bit of a moon shot, but I’m not sorry they are trying it.

  96. Stormy Dragon says:


    4. Time: EV’s are convenient if you have a garage where you can install a charger and let it charge overnight. But most people don’t have a garage. This makes charging a real pain in the butt as charging takes much longer than refueling. I suspect the real “killer ap” for EVs is going to be whoever finally figures out how to industrialize solid state batteries that will support the charging voltages needed to charge EVs in minutes instead of hours

  97. Jen says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Agreed. We’ve talked about getting an EV (Volvo is the leading contender) but the idea of sitting at a highway rest stop on a long trip, waiting for a battery to charge just is not appealing at all.

    We’d be fine for short local trips, installing a charger in the garage would be no problem (and we know how fortunate we are that that isn’t even an issue for us).

    All the time I lived in apartments as a single working adult though…I can’t see how all of that infrastructure is going to be built up and installed. The landlords will just add the installation costs onto rent, and the one apartment that had on-street parking? I can’t fathom the competition for space…

    Maybe it would spark an investment in public transportation.

  98. Jen says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Other than that, though, there’s no reason that an EV shouldn’t be cheaper than a combustion engine vehicle.

    Agreed, but right now the market is distorted towards the luxury models (for a bunch of reasons, including supply/demand). In order to drive down the price, supplies are going to have to increase rather dramatically. That’s where we run into the battery problem.

    There’s a lot of competition for those rare earth minerals, including for renewable energy storage. In order to have renewable power on-demand, we need battery storage there too.

  99. JohnSF says:

    By “subverting the political system itself” I meant such fundamental things as falsifying election results, engineering and encouraging the rejection of legitimate election results, baseless claims of electoral fraud, attempting to intimidate electors and returning or certifying officials, attempting to replace electors with partisan placemen, attempting to block the acceptance of electoral results by congress, encouraging a mob to storm the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow an election.

    Direct, blatant, overt assaults on the bedrock democratic process itself.

    I would argue that such things go way beyond political and legal disputes over executive versus legislative powers.
    They may be important; but Trump’s actions around the election and Jan 6 were the closest the United States has seen to Mussolini’s March on Rome, or the Franco Revolt, or the Curragh Mutiny.

  100. JohnSF says:


    …my goal of slowly converting White Supremacists to Neanderthal Supremacists.

    I recall an “amusing” interaction I had years back with British racist twerp asserting the biological superiority of Europeans adapted to the ice ages.

    I proceeded to agree with him, point him at lots of info about such adaptations of paleolithic Europeans, which impressed him greatly.
    Then concluded by pointing out that said Europeans were the Neanderthals.

    He was not amused.
    I was, though. 🙂
    “Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to troll I go….”

  101. JohnSF says:


    At one time, W couldn’t leave the country for fear some zealous prosecutor would try to send him to The Hague. That still the case?

    (Recycling an old note on this topic)

    IMO, and that of most diplomatic correspondents, as opposed to columnists who were letting the desires guide their judgements, there was very little chance of Bush (or Blair) being rendered to the Hague at all, let alone being found guilty.
    A couple of Hague prosecutors conducted preliminary investigations, and concluded that evidence was insufficient to warrant prosecution or further investigation.

    For all the argumentation on the matter, there is very little doubt that Iraq had violated the cease fire agreement of 1991.
    That had been the justification for the “Desert Fox” airstrike campaign of 1998.
    The violations continued after 1998, and the US was therefore entitled to regard the ceasefire as void, and restart the war on its own terms.
    (The “weapons of mass destruction” argumentation that tends to get jumped on at this point may have been significant arguments at the time, but it’s really not relevant as legal grounds)

    None of this means that the invasion was strategically wise from the US point of view, still less that it was planned or executed effectively.
    But that does not render the action illegal.

    And this was not just because of the US denial of jurisdiction; the UK is emphatically within jurisdiction, and the prosecutors determined there was no reasonable case against Blair either.

    Torture at Abu Ghraib might be covered; and that would not directly implicate Blair.
    But the counter would be that those were not actions sanctioned by the national command authority, and were treated as crimes by the US military.
    To overcome that hurdle would need evidence the perpetrators were acting under instructions.
    Which I assume would have been brought up in their defence.
    And again this is likely why the Hague prosecutors decided there was no realistic chance of the Court allowing prosecution to proceed, let alone of a guilty verdict.

    The other question that is sometimes raised is that of responsibility for the Iraqi civilians killed during the occupation.
    And the obvious defence would be that those deaths were primarily the responsibility of those who actually did the killing: other Iraqis.
    It might be argued that the US failed to act to prevent civil violence, but that would be a bit of a stretch, unless the US could be proven negligent in it’s duties as a occupying Power.
    That would be very hard to do, unless the US forces had just sat in camps during the occupation.

    And this formal responsibility would end when effective self-government was restored; arguably June 28, 2004.

    If you were relying on the Hague ICC, even if the US were to sign up and make it retroactive (fat chance) you would almost certainly be disappointed.
    As I said before, UK is subject to ICC, and no one has been prosecuted, much to the discontent of some campaigners.

  102. JohnSF says:

    Your best bet, depending on your usual drive distance, might be a PHEV aka “plug in hybrid”.
    One of the best selling types in the UK.
    Can be charged overnight, pure electric range of 20 to 40 miles, with a petrol engine for when the batteries run out (depending on make/model, the petrol engine may also power the electric motor, and/or be capable of topping up the battery charge).
    They are now about 17% of new car registrations; total EV’s 12 months to July 2022 c. 50% (though that includes the “mild hybrids”)
    Second hand ones on the market now from around £10k.

    I’m definitely considering getting one when I replace my current one; probably a SEAT
    And there are, I think, a lot on the market here that are not available in the US.

    Over here, the big beasts are starting to eat up Tesla’s lunch.
    Like a herd of elephants, the big players like VAG or Stellantis Group may take time to get up to speed; but you don’t want to get in their way once they are moving.

    Tesla is IIRC still the largest single EV seller; but it’s already been passed by others in combined totals.
    Most market analysts are confident VAG will overhaul it as the single biggest within the next five years.

  103. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: If I make it to 2030, I will be surprised and my sons will be sorry.

  104. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: While I was out in my shop, it occurred to me that we are working from different definitions of “politics”. As such we are talking past each other. My apologies.

  105. Jay L Gischer says:

    There are several new battery technologies in the works. My neighbor the chemist bent my ear about his favorite, I think it was sulfur ions or something. Sulphur is not exactly rare.

    It’s a question mark, but there are good odds that it will be solved.

    Power grid issues are issues, but CA has 13 years to solve those issues, build plants, upgrade, and so on. Optimistic, yes. Impossible, no.

  106. Jen says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Oh, agreed. Sodium is another battery technology that they are trying to develop. To be clear, I’m supportive. I’m also a realist.

    13 years is not terribly long though, when one considers that it can take a decade or more to site and build transmission lines even under the best of circumstances, and that many power plans get sidelined for a wide range of reasons. It’s an incredibly aggressive proposal.

  107. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Every evening around the world trillions of zooplankton, many smaller than a grain of rice, hover hundreds of feet below the surface of the sea, waiting for their signal. Scientists long considered these tiny animals to be drifters, passive specks suspended in the ocean, moved by the whims of tides and currents. And yet, just before the sun disappears, the swarms begin to rise on a clandestine journey to the surface.

    As they climb, clusters of other zooplankton join in: copepods, salps, krill and fish larvae. The multitudes remain near the surface at night, but just as the first beams of morning light begin to cascade across the sea, they are already turning back down to the deep. As sunset and sunrise slide from east to west every 24 hours—across the Pacific Ocean, then the Indian, the Southern and the Atlantic—swarm after swarm make the same upward journey, retreating as daylight returns.

    Humans are mostly unaware of this daily aquatic movement, known as diel vertical migration, but it’s the largest routine migration of life on Earth…….

    Cool shit.

  108. Kathy says:

    Interesting, and novel, take on a military parade in Ukraine.

  109. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Agreed, but right now the market is distorted towards the luxury models (for a bunch of reasons, including supply/demand).

    Okay. But even a Chevy Bolt (on the platform the Spark is built on–$27,200-31,700) is almost twice as much as a Spark ($13,600-18,1oo). Luxury models have an even bigger order of magnitude increase, but base models aren’t going to be more competitive.