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. Bill Jempty says:

    The shovels have come out

    Media outlets seek release of Fulton prosecutor’s divorce filings

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and 14 other news outlets are asking a Cobb County judge to unseal court records in a divorce case involving one of the top prosecutors of the Fulton County election interference probe.

    The media organizations argued in a Tuesday court filing that the divorce proceedings involving special prosecutor Nathan Wade and wife Joycelyn are of major public interest given the former’s job helping oversee the historic racketeering case involving former President Donald Trump, onetime White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and 13 others.

    “The public interest in this matter cannot be overstated,” the group wrote.

    The outlets, represented by AJC attorneys Tom Clyde and Lesli Gaither, said that the Georgia Supreme Court recognizes a “sweeping presumption of access” to court records, including cases involving family matters that could be embarrassing or result in an invasion of privacy.

    “The Court has reiterated time and again that open judicial records and proceedings are an integral part of our democratic form of government,” the Atlanta attorneys argued.

    Last week, Ashleigh Merchant, an attorney for defendant and former Trump campaign operative Mike Roman, alleged that Wade was already in a romantic relationship with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis when he was hired in late 2021. Since then, Merchant argued, Wade has taken Willis on vacations using money he was paid by her office, raising the possibility that the DA has inappropriately benefitted financially from the Trump case.

    Also from the AJC

    Analysis: Lack of Willis response lets critics make hay in Trump probe

    It’s been a week since a defendant brought forward explosive allegations that Fulton County’s district attorney had hired a romantic partner as a lead prosecutor in the Donald Trump election interference case and that she may have inappropriately benefited from it financially.

    The absence of a formal response from Fani Willis has left a vacuum that’s allowed her biggest critics, including Trump, to run wild with unchecked claims about the veteran prosecutor, her decision-making and the validity of the case.

    It’s given journalists new reason to scrutinize the employment records and divorce filings of Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor who is allegedly dating Willis, according to the filing on behalf of defendant Michael Roman.

    It’s even prompted paparazzi to stake out Wade’s office, selling grainy photos of the attorney gripping his handgun to a New York tabloid.

    Some of that would have undoubtedly been unavoidable in today’s simmering political climate. But perhaps more critically, Willis’ silence has provided an opening for Georgia’s most powerful Republicans, some of whom had previously offered a cautious defense of Willis’ conduct, to change their tune — and open the door to a more formal rebuke.

    Gov. Brian Kemp recently called the allegations against the DA “deeply troubling” and asked for evidence to be presented quickly so Georgians could have confidence in the probe. And House Speaker Jon Burns told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview that an oversight board created by a Republican-backed law to sanction “rogue” prosecutors should have the final say.

    “If they decide to make that decision,” Burns said, “that’s fine with me.”

    Both Kemp and Burns had previously condemned efforts from within their own party to weaponize state law against Willis.

    A Willis spokesman previously said the DA would respond to Roman’s allegations – which did not include evidence but suggested that at least some proof was sealed in Wade’s ongoing divorce proceedings – in a formal court filing but offered no timetable for doing so.

    During a hearing on Friday, Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the case, offered Wade and other members of the DA’s team the chance to respond, but they declined. McAfee said he would eventually schedule a hearing on the matter but that he’d wait for Willis to weigh in formally. Roman is seeking to have the charges against him dismissed and for Willis and the entire Fulton DA’s office removed from the case.

    Willis broke her silence about some of Roman’s claims during an impassioned speech at Atlanta’s Big Bethel AME Church on Sunday. Without naming Wade directly, the Democrat called him a legal “superstar” who was more than qualified to lead the case. She said the attacks were racially motivated because they targeted Wade, who is Black, but not two other white attorneys she hired as special prosecutors.

    “First thing they say, ‘Oh, she’s gonna play the race card now,’” Willis said. “But no God, isn’t it them that’s playing the race card when they only question one? Isn’t it them playing the race card when they constantly think I need someone from some other jurisdiction in some other state to tell me how to do a job I’ve been doing almost 30 years?”

    I don’t know about anyone else but Willis defensiveness is bothersome to me. Let me point out that many non-Georgians were outraged when prosecutor favoritism was possibly shown (and probably did take place) here.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill Jempty: Let the feeding frenzy begin.

  3. Bill Jempty says:

    Some local courthouse goings on.

    Around 15-20 years ago, homeowners and or their attorneys who worked for them on foreclosure cases were complaining that the judge hearing these cases in Palm Beach County owned mortgage company stock. Without conceding anything, Judge Sasser was moved to other judicial matters.

    I didn’t have any dealings with this judge during my own foreclosure battle.

    Her sucsessor, Judge Diana Lewis, I was frequently in court with. She was the judge when my lender’s motion for summary judgment was denied*. The interesting thing was Lewis being voted off the bench because of her judicial temperament mostly. Conflicts of interest are fine down here, being ill mannered in court isn’t?

    BTW both Judge Lewis and Judge Sasser have since passed away.

    *- The lender’s local attorney was totally unprepared. She also tried to pull a fast one after losing in court, by having Judge Lewis sign an incorrect court order. Fortunately for me, I had a court reporter there that day. A new and correct order was signed.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:
  5. MarkedMan says:

    It’s a sad day, but the death spiral of the Baltimore Sun has begun. I (and I assume many others) just cancelled my long term subscription due to the new owner, a lying right wing nutjob sleazebag. A little taste of his first meeting with his new employees:

    In a tense, three-hour meeting with staff Tuesday afternoon, new Baltimore Sun owner David Smith told employees he has only read the paper four times in the past few months, insulted the quality of their journalism and encouraged them to emulate a TV station owned by his broadcasting company.

    Smith, whose acquisition of the paper from the investment firm Alden Global Capital was announced publicly Monday evening, told staff he had not read newspapers for decades

    Smith seemed to try and pit reporters against each other, asking them to rank who was the best in the newsroom. Several times throughout the meeting, he said he has “no idea what you do.”

    Smith repeatedly talked about increasing profits — at one point telling reporters to “go make me some money”

    Fortunately, the new paper in town, The Baltimore Banner, is doing amazingly well.

  6. Kathy says:

    Would you buy the notion that a race of sentient machines could work diligently on a single problem for one hundred billion years? Also that they’re willing to keep working on it?

    Ok. Some more info. They can work that long on the problem, because the problem they are trying to solve hasn’t happened yet. Specifically, they were directed by their makers to figure out a way to preserve life, especially intelligent beings, as the universe winds down and eventually comes to an end (or rather when maximum entropy is reached). So, part of working on the problem is observing how the universe evolves over time.

  7. Mr. Prosser says:

    I live beside the Colorado River in western Colorado close to the Utah border. All you readers who live downstream from me can take heart that the weather system that slammed the country brought snow to the Rockies. “Snowpack in the Colorado River headwaters basin on Tuesday stood at 96% of normal for Jan. 16, with the Yampa/White/ Little Snake river basins at 94% and the Gunnison River Basin also at 94%, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.” Maybe status quo for the lower basin states for this year.

  8. Stormy Dragon says:


    Fortunately, the new paper in town, The Baltimore Banner, is doing amazingly well.

    Is there a fine site carrying The Banner to the world?

  9. KM says:


    Thank you so, so, so much to everyone who contributed to my GoFundMe! One day in and I’m already 1/8th of the way there! I might make it to my goal – I was vaguely ambitious about it and was willing to accept what came but now I might actually make it to the stated amount!

    This really is a wonderful little corner of the internet and I’m so happy I found it all those years ago. Interesting things to read, good discourse and great posters who turn out to be excellent folks IRL too 🙂

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I love the RFT, they sucked me down into a rabbit hole of misbehaving teachers in our state.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: I did not see it yesterday, just now contributed my 2 bits worth.

    eta: I passed it on over at Balloon Juice. Just copy pasted your blurb and gave a link.

  12. gVOR10 says:

    Thomas Edsall has a piece at NYT (gift link) on Trump and Evangelicals. He starts with the infamous God Made Trump video and notes that the leader of the “independent’ group that produced it, “characterizes himself as Christian and a man of faith, but says he has never read the Bible and does not attend church.”

    Edsall extensively quotes David P. Gushee, “a professor of Christian ethics”,

    If people wanted to make him out to be savior, anointed one and agent of God, he would not object. It enhanced their attention and loyalty and his power over and in this group. Lacking any inner spiritual or moral compass that would seek to deflect overinflated or even idolatrous claims about himself, he instead reposted their artwork and videos and so on. Anyone truly serious about the Christian faith would deflect claims to being a savior or anointed one, but he did not have such brakes operating. I do not suppose that he actually believed himself to be any of these things, but others did, and it helped him, and it fed his ego, so why stand in the way?

    Edsall quotes a poli sci professor, Jim Guth, an expert on the role of religion in politics,

    “White evangelicals,” Guth found, “are invariably the most populist: more likely to favor strong leadership (even when that means breaking the rules), to distrust government, to see the country on the ‘wrong’ track, and to think that the majority should always rule (and minorities adapt).”

    I heard talking heads on caucus night creating a sub-demographic, evangelicals who don’t go to church. The idea was that such people were motivated by white Christian nationalism rather than religion. I think it’s a distinction without a difference. It’s conventional wisdom that people vote on perceived tribal affiliation. For church going and not, their religion is mostly a tribal marker. What we’re seeing is a desperate rear guard action by evangelical white Christians as the country moves away from them. They will fail, but how long will this last and how much damage can they do on the way out?

  13. KM says:

    Thank you!

    I’m not really online besides here and a Twitter account I don’t really use much so thanks for the boost. There really is a science and methodology to this I was unware of before I started. Like trying to run a bake sale for charity but on a massive scale.

  14. Kathy says:

    Returning to the subject from a few days ago, on the cooking of beans in an instant pot, I’ve been doing some reading. Lots of recipes call for using dry beans, not soaked for several hours beforehand. Some, in fact, stress not soaking your beans for “best”* results.

    Maybe the under cooked beans then are a matter of not cooking them long enough, or maybe not using enough water. Recipes that give directions for both dry and soaked beans, claim soaked ones require less time to cook (typically 20-25 minutes vs 35-40 minutes).

    I still think swirling the pressure vessel while at high pressure is not a good idea.

    All this is because I will likely make bean soup this weekend, and will use fresh beans. The reason, mostly, is to use a variety of beans in smaller amounts than available canned, or simply not available canned. Also some barley, lentils, and peas.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: When my brother committed suicide earlier this year, John Cole and WaterGirl offered to do a fundraiser to help my sister in law out. It went to $13K in just a few hours. It was a big help to Renee.

  16. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Here’s a link to The Baltimore Banner. and here is one to an article they just published about the Sun’s new owner.

    Subscribed on day one and also throw some extra in the kitty. They are much better than the sun for Baltimore and surroundings news, as good for Maryland news, and don’t have any national stuff, which is fine because that’s not what I need from a localewspaper.

  17. CSK says:


    I’m so happy for you.

  18. becca says:

    @Kathy: I never soak dry beans, but pre-boil them for a few minutes in a lot of water, let cool down to about room, drain and proceed from there. Some beans or legumes cook faster. White navy beans take longer than most. Limas and lentils soften quickly.
    My dad made pots of heavily seasoned pinto beans in a pressure cooker. I remember picking beans off the ceiling when the pot blew up. Luckily, no one was at the stove when it happened. I do not and never will own a pressure cooker as I am scarred for life after that experience.

  19. Neil Hudelson says:

    I often scan recent OTB open threads when looking for a new book, as you lot are an erudite cartload of monkeys. I just put in a request to my local library to find a copy of “A Man With One of Those Faces,” recommended by someone on here, and I was reminded of just how wonderful public libraries are. A true blessing. With one simple request a government employee will ping state and nationwide networks of book lenders, find my book, have it shipped to their building, and then alert me with an genuinely enthusiastic email telling me my tome of knowledge or entertainment is waiting, all for the cost of nothing. When I go to pick it up they’ll have stickers for my kids, recommendations of other books I would like, and an application for their free summer kids camps and adult classes. Again, for free, and with a smile on their face.

    What a place.

  20. Mister Bluster says:

    A friend of mine was late for our get together at the local pub one night. (she was always late.)
    “Sorry I’m late.” she said.
    “Ya know how eggs explode when you forget that they are on the stove and all the water boils out of the pot?”
    It was not the first time she had done this.

  21. Stormy Dragon says:


    I was trying to play off the chorus from a song in Newsies, but apparently my inner musical theater geek was too obscure to make that work =3

  22. Kathy says:


    I’ve never used a pressure cooker before. I’m excited and scared half to death. I know and have seen all too well what even relatively small pressure differentials can do. I dare use an instant pot because, unlike stove top steel cookers, these newfangled electronic ones are supposed to have safeguards built in.

    The point of pressure cookers is they allow water to be heated above the regular boiling point. This is a well-known phenomenon for those of us who grew up in a high altitude city. Water boils at 100 C at sea level. In Mexico City, about 2200 meters above sea level, water boils at 92 C.

    Anyway, when I make beans, I let them soak overnight and then cook them on the stove, under no pressure, for a really long time. Lentils only need soaking for an hour or so.

    I’ve this notion of slow cooking beans with some kind of bone-in beef or pork and a sauce. But that’s still in the pre-planning stages.

  23. CSK says:


    Thanks very much for the link.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Hah! Way over my head. I’d be a fan of musical theater if it wasn’t for the singing or dancing. I just thought you had awkwardly phrased a request for a link!

  25. KM says:

    My condolences for your loss. I probably said so at the time but you can never have too many hugs or people telling you they care about you and what happens.

    As for the fundraiser, that’s amazing! It’s good to be reminded in these times that people are good at heart. We forget because we see all the bad in the world on the news but there’s still so much good in humanity if you look. It’s terrible that crowdfunding as a concept needs to exist but so lovely to see if works because people care 🙂

  26. Jax says:

    @KM: If I ever win big on the lottery, I’m setting aside a large chunk of it to just go through all the medical GoFundMe’s and help people with their medical bills.

  27. Kathy says:

    Looks like the EU wants to seriously tackle some forms of greenwashing.

    Good for them, especially as regards carbon offsets. But why a a 2 year lead time?

  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    Didn’t see the link yesterday, kicked in a few bucks today.


    When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[a] who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

    2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

    5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.

    Evangelicals will have read this story dozens of times. Yet still they dance around their Orange Calf. What’s the point of reading the Bible when you can’t make even the most obvious connection to your own behavior?

  29. Jay L Gischer says:

    I just read a bit on another website about a person who barely reads CNN because it’s “too conservative” but who has swallowed some right-wing propaganda because it was forwarded from an apparently strong pro-Gaza Twitter account.

    So, the takeaway message for me is that ideology is not a good indicator of credibility. And which ideology it is doesn’t matter, I’m sorry to say.

  30. Jay L Gischer says:

    Just a gentle pushback on some things being said here:

    There is an ongoing schism within American Evangelicalism. The schism is between those people who want their churches to be more political – from the pulpit, no less – and those who resist that, saying that the Gospel is timeless, and churches should not be involved in politics. The second group contains people who think, even though they don’t always say it, that the first group is betraying the principles that Jesus himself taught.

    This has been reported. I’ve seen several stories about it. It is a slow-motion train wreck. Trump is wrecking the Church, just like he wrecks everyone who helps him.

    I’m not sure about what’s happening in Catholicism, but I’m aware that Pope Francis has repeatedly said that the Church should focus less on politics and more on pastoral care.

  31. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    To be fair, and legalistically pedantic, they’re enshrining an ass, not a calf; one shrouded in gold-colored foil, not made of solid gold. Maybe their God(s) finds this unoffensive.

  32. becca says:

    @Kathy: I have slow-cooked many a ham bone with beans. Oxtails, too. One ham bone seasons a lot of beans, so I always use a big pot and freeze a lot.
    I come from a long line of Appalachian country folk who raised their own food and cooked everything in bacon grease and lard. Churned butter was for the table, not the stove. Beans, especially pinto and white beans, were a staple. I cook beans the way my grandmothers did. My father was all fancy with his pressure cooker. Makes me so nostalgic thinking about it. Beans, greens and corn bread are my Holy triad.

  33. Beth says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    all for the cost of nothing.

    This is one of my pet peeves and I haven’t figured out a good way to, hopefully politely, point out it’s very wrong. The government hasn’t enslaved a bunch of people and made some of them build libraries and the rest staff them. There was a cost. The government paid for the books and stickers; it didn’t just take them. The government is forgoing a ton of tax revenue on the land the library is on. Just because you (writ large) didn’t pay anything, it doesn’t mean it was free.

    I think this framing causes problems. Someone is paying (rightly) for that library and it’s wonders.

    @Mister Bluster:

    I once blew up a microwave with an egg. It wasn’t a kaboom kaboom, but it did blow the door off.

  34. steve says:

    I have a jar of bacon grease in the fridge, beef fat too. Growing up we used to keep it next to the stove and not in the fridge but it makes my wife feel better. I occasionally make biscuits with bacon and onion gravy instead of sausage gravy so nice to have around. When I do ham and beans I usually soak but if I forget I just cook longer. I dont think there is much difference but my favorite has actually become split peas with a smoked ham hock and at the end I top it with thin slices of fried, crisp Kielbasa or ring bologna if we can find it. Add cornbread with good butter and it’s heavenly.

    becca- Savory or sweet cornbread? I grew up with savory but found a recipe 20 years ago for a sweet cornbread the family just loves. Have made it many times for large groups and it always goes over well.


  35. Mister Bluster says:


    The last time I saw my friend was before microwaves were affordable.
    I’m not sure that it would be safe to be in her kitchen now if she has one.

  36. becca says:

    @steve:semi-sweet cornbread , made with bacon grease. What an incredible crust. Always had a plate of onions, sliced or green, on the table. We called it relish, along with homemade chow-chow, recipes varying through family strains.
    Does anyone remember the awfulness that was the congealed salad? Lime or lemon jello with shredded carrots, celery and cabbage suspended in an unnatural state? A culinary blasphemy…

  37. Beth says:


    I saw a great meme the other day that basically said, “I want the drugs housewives got that caused them to put ham in jello and have sex with the mailman.”

  38. CSK says:


    I remember it all too well. Ghastly.

  39. Kathy says:


    Jello is a self contained dessert. You can mix it to other fluids before letting it set, you can also add a topping on it*, but one should never mix any solids in it. Not fruit, nor, in the name of all that is sacred, meat or vegetables.

    *I’ve seen people put whipped cream on top of jello for some reason. Sometimes I sprinkle Kahlua on my coffee jello.

    One time I added some shredded coconut to a vanilla-coconut jello attempt. It added texture that felt wrong, and no detectable flavor.

  40. becca says:

    @Kathy: Coffee jello? My first reaction was Yuck! but further reflection says H-mm? Is this prepackaged or homemade? Intriguing. Is this available outside Mexico? I do have gelatin and coffee…
    I had an aunt (who was mean and crazy) who added miracle whip to jello along with the vegetables and forced us to eat “at least a bite”. She looked and cackled like a witch, I swear.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @becca: I always liked congealed salad–both fruit and vegetable. I particularly liked the bi-level ones with the top layer enhanced with whipped cream cheese. But we didn’t put cabbage in–only carrots and celery. Sometimes we added raisins or chopped olives. Mmmmm…

    ETA: Yeah, I guess some people used Miracle Whip or mayonnaise to make the pastel layer. I had an egg allergy, so we never did.

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: DawgDamned Commie pinko fags. Downright unAmerican!

  43. gVOR10 says:

    At LGM Scott Lemieux quotes a paywalled WSJ piece on Boeings quality problems,

    A Boeing aerospace engineer presented a controversial white paper in 2001 at an internal technical symposium. The engineer, John Hart-Smith, warned colleagues of the risks of the subcontracting strategy, especially if Boeing outsourced too much work and didn’t provide sufficient on-site quality and technical support to its suppliers.

    “The performance of the prime manufacturer can never exceed the capabilities of the least proficient of the suppliers,” Hart-Smith wrote. “These costs do not vanish merely because the work itself is out-of-sight.”

    Two decades later, Boeing is reckoning with the fallout from its outsourcing strategy.

    They do seem to be learning the hard way that the cost of quality is lower than the cost of poor quality. Their reputation has taken such a hit that recent stories about two planes bumping at a gate made sure to mention they were both Boeings, although aircraft design and quality can hardly be involved.

  44. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    To get the taste of the Lutheran coffee klatsches out of my memory, I present chapter 436 of things you don’t say to a judge.

    Donald Trump was threatened with expulsion from his Manhattan civil trial Wednesday after he repeatedly ignored a warning to keep quiet while writer E. Jean Carroll testified that he shattered her reputation after she accused him of sexual abuse.

    Judge Lewis A. Kaplan told the former president that his right to be present at the trial will be revoked if he remains disruptive. After an initial warning, Carroll’s lawyer said Trump could still be heard making remarks to his lawyers, including “it is a witch hunt” and “it really is a con job.”

    “Mr. Trump, I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial,” Kaplan said in an exchange after the jury was excused for lunch, adding: “I understand you’re probably eager for me to do that.”

    “I would love it,” the Republican presidential front-runner shot back, shrugging as he sat between lawyers Alina Habba and Michael Madaio at the defense table.

    As everyone here knows, IANAL, but my mercy Maude, just no no no!

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: My condolences for your loss.

    It wasn’t a shock, more of a “Well, that figures.” moment, tho it hit me a lot harder than I was aware of at first. I will refresh your link again in tomorrow’s AM thread over there. They have good hearts.

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: John Pavlovitz. I’m an atheist, but I love reading JP. He’s a reminder that labels are blunt tools.

  47. Kathy says:


    What works best after many attempts, is mixing milk-based vanilla jello on a pot with milk (duh) and instant coffee. Brewed coffee, even concentrated, doesn’t homogenize well.

    BTW, it’s milk soluble gelatin, not pudding.

    A good alternative is plain milk, unflavored gelatin, coffee, and vanilla extract.

    It wasn’t my idea. A restaurant nearby had it as a dessert, made with unflavored gelatin and brewed coffee. It was rather nasty. I thought it would work well with milk, and IMO it did.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @becca: Beans, greens and corn bread are my Holy triad.

    Heh, same here. Unfortunately my Spanish born and raised wife does not like greens. I miss poke salat.

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @becca: Does anyone remember the awfulness that was the congealed salad?

    Oh dawg, you just had to bring that up….

  50. Kathy says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    IMO, the judge is not handling Lardass quite right. He should not exclude him from the trial, but rather tell him to stand in a corner with his back to the courtroom.

  51. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    At one point in my senior spear carrier (paralegal) days to a well known, very abrasive attorney, on their third rebuke from the judge in open court (“M. Smith, your voice is annoying to the Devil himself”), and after getting their buttocks handed to them repeatedly (by the judge AND opposing counsel), we were driving back from court. The attorney turned and said to me, “Well, that went pretty darned well, didn’t it?”

    I’d say I can’t imagine the AAR at the law firm after this debacle, but I’ve lived through them. If I were on the jury, I’d be bounced for pointing and laughing loudly.

  52. Kathy says:


    The timing is intriguing. It would be a couple of years before the 787 concept was finalized, when Boeing still held on to the Sonic Cruiser and 747-8. The 787 had a lot more subcontractors than prior Boeing designs. Largely it was a cost cutting measure (what isn’t these days?).

    But the MAX’s big problem was the MCAS, implemented to keep handling commonality with the prior 737 line, the 737 Next Generation. That arose from enlarging a regional jet way too much*. And above all, from not including the MCAS in the documentation given to airlines for operations and pilot training.

    The smaller issues, like popping door plugs and loose rudder assemblies, are a quality issue.

    *Some design elements tend to persist through time. I’ve read the noses of the 727 and 737, retained the exact design and dimensions of that of the 707. Also that all Airbus widebodies still have the nose of the A300.

    BTW, the original design of the 737 would have had the engines at the tail, like the DC9 eventually did. Had Boeing kept that design, there’s no way they’d have ever reached the MAX stage. Granted the DC9 also grew, but mostly in length. The last iteration, ironically, entered service after the merger of McDonnell-Douglass and Boeing, so it was named Boeing 717.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Just finished that book a month or so back. (But I don’t think I recommended it here.) Bunny McGarry may be my favorite recent discovery as a character, and the author has a touch with humor. My favorite line (from another book, and I did share this before) comes in McGarry’s observation that the Gardai don’t as much fight crime as “clean up after it.” Edgy sense of humor.

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: It’s clear to me that you haven’t been in an American elementary school classroom in a while. Kids sent to stand in the corner simply scream and throw tantrums until ejected from the classroom these days.

    I still like the picture of him needing to sit through the testimony only able to go “mrfr frrf frfr mrf frm frf.”

    ETA: And only communicating with his counsel by writing notes. That’d be interesting, I think–a guy who doesn’t read writing notes.

  55. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It’s clear to me that you haven’t been in an American elementary school classroom in a while.

    That would be my whole life. Good guess.

    I’ve only seen disruptive kids sent to stand in the corner in cartoons and movies.

  56. dazedandconfused says:


    The hatch blowout is shaping up more and more to be an assembly/QC issue.

    While everyone in the press is waiting for the NTSB and the FAA to publish official reports, Alaska Airlines’s mechanics all but certainly have their preliminary, strictly candid opinions and have viewed the parts. Alaska Airlines had a sit down with Boeing for anther candid conversation about QC a few days ago. I doubt the subject matter was a coinkydink.

    The tea leaves:

  57. DrDaveT says:


    Would you buy the notion that a race of sentient machines could work diligently on a single problem for one hundred billion years?

    And AC said: [spoiler]


  58. DrDaveT says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    All you readers who live downstream from me can take heart that the weather system that slammed the country brought snow to the Rockies.

    I assume that by “downstream from me” you mean “in California”?

    Who has jurisdiction to undo that particular egregious misappropriation of resources?

  59. Grumpy realist says:

    @becca: Coffee jello is a standard summer snack in Japan. Usually the jello cubes themselves are made with jello and coffee only, no sugar. Heaped up in a bowl and served with sugar syrup and heavy cream.

  60. Kathy says:


    Yeah, but we never knew what AC thought or felt.