Wednesday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Florida is a study in abnormal psychology, useful in signaling the … hidden derangements of the national mood.”

    Fortune magazine- 1948

    source, just for you Bill.

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  2. Bill says:
  3. Bill says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Oh sweetie…let’s look at the definition of democracy, shall we?

    Nobody you fornicating piece of trash moron calls me sweetie not even my wife.

    Too much dumbing down and what do you get? President Donald Trump.

    Indeed…like arguing that we are a republic and not a democracy, when we obviously have elements of both…

    Call me dumb or a troll for saying unpopular things. I’m going to say one last thing then probably say good riddance to people who too often treat me like crap. The United States Constitution guaranteed the states a Republican form of government, not a democracy. People vote on referendums that’s democracy but our governing is mostly done by representatives elected by the public. That’s a Republic.

    Now you can have your board and hear people who just kiss your backside.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Edward Colston statue replaced by sculpture of Black Lives Matter protester

    The statue of slave trader Edward Colston was replaced in Bristol on Wednesday morning – with a sculpture of one of the protesters whose anger brought him down.

    The figure of Jen Reid, who was photographed standing on the plinth with her fist raised after the 17th century merchant was toppled by Black Lives Matter demonstrators last month, was erected at dawn by a team directed by the artist Marc Quinn.

    Arriving in two lorries before 5am, a team of 10 people worked quickly to install the figure of Reid, who said she had been secretly working with Quinn on the idea for weeks. It came as a complete surprise to the authorities, who are yet to announce their plans for the location.
    ………………………..
    Sanna Bertilsson, who was cycling past, did a double take as she saw the figure and stopped to look. “I didn’t know they were replacing it,” she said. “It’s absolutely beautiful.” Told that it had been put up without permission, she said: “I’d better get a picture before they take it down.”

    By 8am a crowd of commuters and passersby was gathered to take pictures and discuss the statue, but there was still no sign of the council or police. The only council presence had been a roadsweeper, whose driver stopped to take a picture before continuing on his shift.
    …………………………………
    The new black resin and steel figure – entitled A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020 – was transported from Quinn’s studio on Tuesday and stored overnight outside the city. It was put in place by a group Quinn described as “a professional outfit I’ve known a long time” using a hydraulic crane truck parked next to the plinth.

    The team carried out the same surveys and health and safety checks it would have gone through on a more conventional work, Quinn said, adding that it had been installed in such a way that it would be “extremely difficult to move”.

    “But it is ultimately moveable,” he added. “This is not a permanent artwork.”
    ………………
    After the Colston statue came down, Bristol mayor Marvin Rees said he could not condone criminal damage but regarded the action as a “piece of historical poetry”. In June he told the Guardian he wanted a “citywide conversation” on the subject.

    Quinn echoed Rees’s view, calling the removal of the Colston statue “an amazing act of poetic justice”. He added: “Bristol will eventually work out something to put on, or to do with, the plinth.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Business of Drugs: inside the economics of America’s longest war

    A half-century into America’s ‘war on drugs’, a new Netflix series uses dollars, cents and economic incentives to ask: is prohibition worth it?

    Looks interesting.

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  6. Scott says:

    Just for Dr Joyner to start his day:

    Ex-Trump Adviser Seb Gorka Appointed to National Security Education Board

    Sebastian Gorka, who served as the Deputy Assistant to President Donald Trump in 2017, is expected to be appointed to the National Security Education Board (NSEB) according to information released by the White House on Tuesday.

    Gorka’s position on the 14-member NSEB the Board allows him to help run the National Security Education Program (NSEP). Established in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, the NSEP was designed to create a network of U.S. citizens who understand foreign language and culture in order to work with international citizens and governments.

    The board is comprised of 8 federal officials and 6 civilians, often with backgrounds in leadership roles at colleges or universities. According to Gorka’s biography, he received a doctorate in Political Science in 2007 from Corvinus University in Budapest.

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  7. mattBernius says:

    @Scott:

    he received a doctorate in Political Science in 2007 from Corvinus University in Budapest

    It took me three passes to stop reading that as “Coronavirus University.”

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattBernius: Same here.

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  9. Scott says:

    I know it is kind of pointless but…

    Peter Navarro blasts Fauci in op-ed

    Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump‘s top trade adviser, blasted Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday, claiming that the nation’s top infectious disease expert and the public face of the White House‘s coronavirus response has been consistently wrong while advising on how to contain the disease.

    And just who is Peter Navarro and why is he qualified to have an opinion on public health matters? He is an economist. “Navarro’s views on trade are significantly outside the mainstream of economic thought, and are widely considered fringe and misguided by other economists.”

    Just about everyone brought into this Administration, including the President, it seems as though they have all failed upward.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: The latest from the Lincoln Project: Fauci.

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  11. grumpy realist says:

    @Scott: They’re like the people who became attached to Himmler’s Ahnenerbe. A bunch of crackpots drifting in and out of German archeological establishments who had ideas about Aryan superiority and were eager to support the Nazi regime in exchange for academic power and sufficient cash to explore their theories.

    There were also quite a few “real” archeologists who were willing to take the money for research and tried to dance on the line where they would do “real work” and “real articles”, but…just wouldn’t say anything against the crackpots and tried to work within the system.

    There’s a reason why so little was talked about when it came to Nazi archeology for a long time–it has been highly embarrassing to the existing establishment how many of their eminence grises had danced with the devil. It’s only with their deaths that there has been discussion of the work they did under the Nazis.

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  12. Kurtz says:

    @Scott:

    And just who is Peter Navarro and why is he qualified to have an opinion on public health matters? He is an economist.

    Don’t be silly, economists are qualified at everything, obviously.

    Don’t know if police shoot unarmed black people more often than they do white people? Ask an economist.

    Want to know the moral status of a system? Ask an economist.

    Want to know the dollar value of a person? Ask an economist.

    Don’t know if any action is rational? Ask an economist.

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  13. Kurtz says:

    @Bill:

    Please don’t leave, Bill.

    ETA: Also, I take it you’re not a fan of exotic dancers.

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  14. Kurtz says:

    Mehdi Hassan on Ivanka Trump’s Find Something New Initiative™.

    This is a woman who was born with a silver shovel in her mouth [and] has never had to find a new job in her entire life. She set up a business using her dad’s brand name. She works in the White House because her dad hired her.

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  15. sam says:

    A thought: When Donald Trump speaks extemporaneously, it’s as if he were reciting passages from some Groucho Marxian version of Finnegan’s Wake.

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  16. mattbernius says:

    @Scott:
    The White House comes office is now claiming Navarro’s editorial was not approved and he didn’t go through the proper channels.

    Any bets as to how long it takes for PoTUS to undercut that walkback?

    Not to mention that in any other administration, that would be a firing offense.

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  17. Kylopod says:

    @Scott:

    “Navarro’s views on trade are significantly outside the mainstream of economic thought, and are widely considered fringe and misguided by other economists.”

    It reminds me a little of Pat Choate. That was Ross Perot’s running mate in the 1996 election. While he didn’t make quite as big a splash as Perot’s previous pick James Stockdale, he was another one of those rare economists in the modern age who embraced protectionism.

    I will never forget an infomercial I saw promoting Choate at the time. A black man appears on screen and talks about how the two proudest moments in his life were meeting Dr. Martin Luther King and meeting Pat Choate. I am absolutely not making this up.

    I tend to think the parallels some people draw between Perot and Trump are overstated, but I do admit there are more than a few.

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  18. grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: They both appeal to the disaffected and both insist that there are “simple answers” to what are, in fact, very complex issues.

    There’s a subset of Americans who really really hate being shown that “the devil is in the details.” Sort of like the Brexiters, who refuse to believe that trade between the U.K. and the E.U. isn’t just as simple as “go WTO”. Now they’re trying to insist that the PA they signed can be renegotiated because there’s no FTA attached.

    I wonder if they’ve ever realised that the more they try to weasel their way out of the PA, the less incentive the rest of the world has to sign anything with the U.K. as it just demonstrates its unwillingness to stick to an agreement.

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  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    CNBC:
    Biden over Trump by:
    NC – 1
    FL – 7
    PA – 8
    MI – 6
    WI – 6
    AZ – 6

    And Trump over Biden by just 2 in Texas.

    It’s gonna be another Trump Meltdown day.

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  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Yesterday’s Rose Garden “press conference” was nothing but an unhinged political rally.
    Someone needs to pursue all these Hatch Act violations…my taxes should not pay for his political wet-dreams.

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  21. @Bill:

    The United States Constitution guaranteed the states a Republican form of government

    Which means, specifically, having no king or aristocracy.

    Moreover, Madison explicitly defined a “republican” in the multiple places in the Federalist papers in way that is how one would represent “representative democracy.”

    Again: The “A Republic, not a Democracy” Library

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  22. @Bill:

    People vote on referendums that’s democracy but our governing is mostly done by representatives elected by the public. That’s a Republic.

    I hit post too quickly.

    What you have defined above is a representative democracy–which both the US and the UK are these days, although we are a republic and they are a constitutional monarchy (also true in Japan, and Spain and a number of other places).

    (BTW–I have only seen part of this convo and don’t know what the clearly contentious part of it is–I am just commenting on the issue, which is obviously a major theme for me).

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  23. @Kurtz:

    Don’t be silly, economists are qualified at everything, obviously.

    It is known.

    (And doubly so for Navarro).

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  24. @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I have mixed feelings on this–insofar as I am not so sure that it isn’t in the public interest to have his ranting widely covered and in a way in which he can’t blame interviewers or networks for not representing him accurately.

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  25. Teve says:

    I used to know a librarian who had a masters degree in political science, and we would go for long walks when he was on his lunch break around the college, and nothing made him madder than some local lecturing him about how we are a republic not a democracy.

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  26. To carry over from yesterday’s forum.

    @An Interested Party:

    I do wonder, though, about these people who use the phrase “we’re a republic, not a democracy”, what is the point they are trying to make?

    I think a lot of people say because they have heard it for years and it sticks in their heads. (And they know that the word “republican” is in the constitution and “democracy” isn’t or they have casually read the Federalist Papers and didn’t understand why Madison made the democracy/republican distinction).

    Many say it to hand-wave away (in a way they think sounds smart) the undemocratic nature of the Senate and the EC (and I have seen some think it describes federalism). They think being a “republic” is some alchemy from the Founders that creates a special kind of representational mix of large and small states.

    I could live with it if they (and I don’t mean Bill) have the cajones to straight-up say that, like the Framers, they don’t want government to work in the interest of the majority, but instead want a government that privileges and empowers a minority to thwart majority will. And, moreover, they like it because they happen to be in the minority that the system privileges. At least be honest about it and set aside the sophistry.

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  27. grumpy realist says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Have you read Brian Tierney’s book on the history of the development of constitutional concepts? It’s fascinating. A lot of it goes back to the arguments over the authority of the Pope and how to get rid of a heretical one. Then there was the fights over the Benedictine order and property law.

    (Actually, as far as I can tell, our Founding Fathers didn’t go back all that way, since most of the arguments had been repurposed by Melanchthon and others for legitimacy arguments about one’s right to rebel against one’s ruler, a.k.a. the religious squabbles in proto-Germany states. There were a LOT of cases where the populace would be Protestant/Catholic and the new ruler was of the other persuasion. Melanchthon et al. also swiped a lot of arguments from Bartolus di Sassoferrato, a jurist who was much earlier and who wrote De Tyrannis. And so it goes…)

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  28. @grumpy realist: I am unfamiliar, but sounds like something worth checking out.

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  29. Kathy says:

    There’s a simplistic notion that democracy means unlimited and unchecked majority rule. Their catch phrase seems to be that 50.01% can vote to enslave the other 49.99%

    I know of no civilization that has ever had such a system.

    I won’t go into the etymologies of the terms democracy or republic. If the US does not now exist under the system the framers of the Constitution intended (if they ever did), we can be sure terms from 2500 years ago are not very current, either.

    To make matters worse, different countries may use the same terms in different ways. How many Communist countries were Republics? pretty much all of them. East Germany was the German Democratic Republic, to boot.

    A good, quick, working definition of democracy is: a political system where the sovereign authority ultimately resides in the people.

    So, where does the legitimacy of American officials ultimately lie?

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  30. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It’s gonna be another Trump Meltdown day.

    Well, his niece is hawking her book.

    And, let me check… Ok. This is also one of those days that end in “y”.

    So the odds look good for a meltdown.

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  31. @Kathy:

    There’s a simplistic notion that democracy means unlimited and unchecked majority rule. Their catch phrase seems to be that 50.01% can vote to enslave the other 49.99%

    I know of no civilization that has ever had such a system.

    Indeed. I have repeatedly tried to tell people this in conversations. I specifically recall being interviewed by a talk radio host out of Florida on this exact topic and pointed out that protection of minorities (broadly defined) is an essential part of modern democratic governance. He was surprised (and I think doubted me) that protections for things like free speech are common (if not universal) in other constitutions.

    we can be sure terms from 2500 years ago are not very current, either.

    Indeed. Part of the democracy v. republic debate has part of its origins in the fact that democracy is a Greek term and Republic a Latin one.

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  32. @Teve:

    nothing made him madder than some local lecturing him about how we are a republic not a democracy.

    I think that, ultimately, the frustration emerges when a person who basically only knows a slogan and has some feelings thinks that that makes them just as much an expert on this subject as, well, an actual expert.

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  33. gVOR09 says:

    @grumpy realist: I see inAmazon that Tierney has been prolific. Which book(s) are you recommending?

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  34. CSK says:

    This is from Trump’s press conference yesterday. Perhaps someone could translate it for me:

    “We have great agreements where when Biden and Obama used to bring killers out, they would say don’t bring them back to our country, we don’t want them. Well, we have to, we don’t want them. They wouldn’t take them. Now with us, they take them. Someday, I’ll tell you why. Someday, I’ll tell you why. But they take them and they take them very gladly.”

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  35. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Part of the democracy v. republic debate has part of its origins in the fact that democracy is a Greek term and Republic a Latin one.

    The linguist Geoffrey Nunberg has suggested that part of the reason for the Framers’ avoidance of the word “democracy” is that it had an association with the French.

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  36. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Not that democracy, republic, or monarchy are guarantees of anything. For example, Greek women were far less free than Roman women, who were far less free than Egyptian women.

    Greek states were democracies, Rome was a republic, and Egypt a monarchy.

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  37. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I’ve seen computer-generated text that’s more coherent.

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  38. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Greek states were democracies, Rome was a republic, and Egypt a monarchy.

    Ironically, I don’t think the original “democracy” in Athens would be considered a democracy by today’s definition. I think it was actually a form of oligarchy.

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  39. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Sometimes I think that Trump and Cult45 share a language that’s secret from the rest of us.

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  40. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Well…I heard a reference to TAC yesterday and decided to check it out for the first-time in a couple of years. I didn’t even make it through 2 paragraphs of the OpEd on the NYT editor that quit–a little too sophomoric for my tastes. The neighborhood over there really went down over the years….

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  41. Teve says:

    Melanchthon

    That is probably the ugliest word I’ve ever heard. It is disagreeable to my mouth.

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  42. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Have you tried using the dictionary of demented and incoherent gibberish?

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  43. @Kylopod:

    Ironically, I don’t think the original “democracy” in Athens would be considered a democracy by today’s definition.

    It certainly would not be.

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  44. sam says:

    Heh:

    Anthony Scaramucci
    @Scaramucci
    ·
    1h
    According to my calculations @kanyewest’s presidential aspirations lasted one full Scaramucci

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  45. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    No; I’ve neglected to mine that vein of critical inquiry. It just astonishes me that the cultists can claim to understand perfectly what he’s saying.

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  46. sam says:

    @CSK:

    Well, he does speak fluent Moron.

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  47. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Also in other news– I just finished adding a few headlines to my blog and saw that Tuberville beat Sessions in the Alabama primary. Of course, Trump takes full credit. Here’s to hoping he’s a formidable boat anchor around Coach Tubeville’s neck.

    All those years he went into the homes of Black families to recruit kids to play at Auburn (my favorite of the Alabama football teams) and he’s embracing Trump. Screw him—

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  48. Kathy says:

    Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is heading into phase 3 trials starting on the last week of July. That’s when the vaccine is tested for effectiveness. it’s given to thousands of people, and infections are recorded. Early data from phase 1 shows production of antibodies.

    This is good news, but there are caveats. First, we need to know whether it’s effective or not, and how effective it is. Second, side effects so far have been rather mild, mostly muscle pain, chills, and headaches; but we need to see what happens in a broader population.

    Last and perhaps more important, the vaccine consists of two doses, given 28 days apart. If the vaccine works, this needs to be made perfectly clear. If reopening has driven cases way up, I don’t want to see what happens when people with one dose think they are fully protected, and the subsequent perception that “vaccines don’t work.”

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  49. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..It just astonishes me that the cultists can claim to understand perfectly what he’s saying.

    Apparently Gary Larson has done research on this matter in the past.

    Might have something to do with his return.

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  50. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    I’m pretty sure the average dog has a better command of any human language than does Trump.

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  51. Scott says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Here is the kind of man Tommy Tuberville is:

    Tuberville left recruits at dinner

    A community college offensive lineman being recruited by Texas Tech got a close view of head coach Tommy Tuberville’s hasty departure over the weekend.

    In the midst of the conversation at the table, he asked the coaches how long they expected to be at Tech (if they were not fired), he said.

    “I asked Coach (Charlie) Weis at KU and Coach (Dana) Holgorsen at West Virginia (the same question), just so I know my relationship with them,” Danzey said. “(Tuberville) was just telling me he coached at Miami and Auburn, he coached 10 years and recruited Ray Lewis and kind of blew the question off I didn’t even realize.”

    He added: “The waitress brought our food out, and we thought (Tuberville) went to the bathroom, but he never came back to dinner. Then next thing I know, the next day, he made an announcement that he’s going to Cincinnati.”

    Plus he wasn’t a very good coach at Texas Tech.

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  52. CSK says:

    Kanye West has decided NOT to run for the presidency on the Birthday Party ticket. On any ticket, for that matter. He says he doesn’t support Biden or Trump.

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  53. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @sam: Damn! I wish I could come up with a metaphor as neat as that.

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  54. senyordave says:

    @sam: According to my calculations @kanyewest’s presidential aspirations lasted one full Scaramucci

    That’s a great line, I hope Scaramucci actually said that.

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  55. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: The weirdest thing about Kanye’s flirtation with Trump and his putative presidential run is that I don’t believe I’ve ever heard him articulate a position on any issue. When he donned that MAGA hat, he seemed to be saying he was doing it just because it pissed people off. As incredible as it may sound, he’s even more superficial than Trump, who may be a con artist who doesn’t actually believe in anything but himself, but at least he’s said things about immigration, trade, taxes, health care, and so on. Kanye doesn’t even clear that bare threshold. It was literally a presidential bid about nothing.

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  56. PJ says:

    @Kylopod:

    It was literally a presidential bid about nothing.

    No. He has a new album.

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  57. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I don’t think West ever had any positions to articulate. Some people have speculated that this whole presidential flirtation was just to publicize his latest album, which I think is called God’s Country.

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  58. CSK says:

    Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more baroque: Ghislaine Maxwell is secretly married, but won’t furnish the name of her spouse, prosecutors say.

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  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I could live with it if they (and I don’t mean Bill) have the cajones to straight-up say that, like the Framers, they don’t want government to work in the interest of the majority, but instead want a government that privileges and empowers a minority to thwart majority will. And, moreover, they like it because they happen to be in the minority that the system privileges.

    In fairness to those to whom you are referring in the above, how many of them actually know that they are in the minority let alone would admit it?

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  60. @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    In fairness to those to whom you are referring in the above, how many of them actually know that they are in the minority let alone would admit it?

    Most do not, without a doubt.

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  61. inhumans99 says:

    Jeebus…James puts up a post asking folks to treat each other with respect a few days back and then in a matter of a few short days a regular in the comments section on this blog calls another person a sweetie and is just condescending as all gets out. Bill, if you are lurking you are indeed owed an apology.

    The kicker is that another person on this board was insulted over a back and forth between whether or not we are a Republic or a Democracy or a bit of both, you know who you are…was it really worth being rude to another member to try and make your point?

    I assumed we were all mature well-educated grown-ups on this board…can we at least hum a few bars and fake it?

    We should be talking to each other on this site not over each other, fair enough?

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  62. DrDaveT says:

    On a totally different note, the Air Force’s head of acquisition set the fox among the chickens but good the other day, speculating about whether the US would need to nationalize the advanced aviation industry if it continues to consolidate.

    I haven’t checked to see what Lockheed Martin’s stock did the next day…

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  63. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    To carry over from yesterday’s forum.

    @An Interested Party: “I do wonder, though, about these people who use the phrase ‘we’re a republic, not a democracy’, what is the point they are trying to make?”

    I always thought the only point of it around here was to troll you.

    @Bill: We love you, you have your terms wrong, and I have no idea why An Interested Party is being such an asshole about it. I get the point you’re trying to make — we are not a pure democracy, and even as a representative democracy we have a lot of problems and impurities — and you’re right. And I still have no idea why An Interested Party is being such an asshole.

    Stress from the world falling apart, I assume? They’re usually not an asshole.

    (Apologies to Dr. Joyner for violating his “don’t use profanities directed towards another commenter’ edict, but… I don’t know another word for deliberately pushing someone’s buttons after they’re already angry)

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  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I got nuthin’. Veritable acres of intellectual scrubland there. 🙁 ETA: Multiple sectionsfull. (Sectionfulls??)

    My God! Even Sarah Palin was more lucid than that. Yikes!

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  65. Kathy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I’ve been concerned about consolidation in commercial aviation for years. Whereas at one time Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, and General Dynamics (Convair) produced airliners, today only Boeing does.

    In Europe this took the form of a consortium, Airbus, but the result is the same.

    Things do change. Boeing was very much a bit player until the jet age, while Lockheed was nearly king until then as well.

    But wouldn’t nationalizing an industry simply consolidate it all under one Pentagon roof? They may as well expropriate it and give it to Boeing.

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  66. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Gustopher:

    Stress from the world falling apart, I assume? They’re usually not an asshole.

    While I have not gathered data to support such a notion, I think that tracks. I think both here in the comments section, and in the real world, we’ve seen a pattern:
    March/April: Lockdown begins. More goodwill abounds than normal, and we are gentler with each other.
    May/June: This shit’s getting pretty tough. Sorry, I think I’ve been a bit snippier than lately.
    July: Oh really? I put the toilet paper roll on the wrong way?! THERE’S NOT AN OBJECTIVE ‘WRONG’ OR ‘RIGHT’ WAY TO PUT ON FRIGGIN TOILET PAPER ROLL AND YOUR MOTHER IS A WHORE.

    I think this whole pandemic/lockdown/swift crumbling of our nation is getting to us.

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  67. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yes, Palin was more lucid than Trump. Sometimes–not often–I wonder if he saw how well word salad worked for her with a certain group and decided to adopt and adapt the technique to his own needs.
    @Neil Hudelson:
    I think you’re on the money with this. People are getting more and more irritable as the pandemic goes on. I’ve been noticing it in the comments section here for weeks now. People blow up at things that wouldn’t have bothered them last year.

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  68. Kathy says:

    SARS-CoV-2 continues its karmic streak, as Oklahoma’s governor tests positive.

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  69. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Setting aside Greek democracy being very different from modern forms, a lot of Classical Greek states were outside that category even at the time. Probably most, though I’ve never seen (and proabably aren’t and can’t be) exact figures.
    Oligarchies and tyrannies were very common.
    And if the “northern tier” of Macedon, Epirus etc. are included, or the later Hellenistic states, monarchies get quite a look in too.

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  70. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You realize this whole discussion boils down to an argument about the definition of “republic”. As an academic you have a rigorous and narrow definition. But there are other popular definitions. You and Bill are not arguing about what form of governance the US has, as I think you are both well aware of the actual mechanics. You are arguing about the definition of a word, or rather, whether a word can have multiple meaning or not. .

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  71. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    English is…interpretive (well, all languages are, but I would argue English more than average). Words have multiple valid dictionary definitions as well as multiple colloquial usages, which means they mean different things to different people. Both a strength and a weakness of the language.

    And that’s before you get into advertising and politics, where words are frequently deliberately misleading. For example, “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” (official name of what we call North Korea).

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  72. Monala says:

    Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinPacific · Jul 14
    What the Times did to @bariweiss is unconscionable. It’s not civil, It’s not in the reader’s interest, and the well-documented culture of extreme harassment will, I hope, now come to light. This is the biggest media story in years.
    3:51 PM · Jul 14, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
    2.7K Retweets and comments 14.7K Likes

    Karen Attiah@KarenAttiah
    Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was literally murdered and dismembered in a consulate by Saudi Arabia, a US ally.

    People really need to get a freaking grip.

    Karen Attiah@KarenAttiah
    Replying to @KarenAttiah
    I also didn’t see this sort of energy when police were arresting, tear gassing and rubber bullet-ing journalists in the streets of America over the last several weeks. Face with rolling eyes

    Karen Attiah@KarenAttiah
    And.

    Black and PoC journalists around the country are literally having a #MeToo moment of reckoning with their media organizations.

    But Bari Weiss resigning is the “biggest media story in years.”

    I’m so, so tired.

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  73. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    There were so many Greek city-states, at various periods and in various regions, that “Greek” has become a shorthand for “Athens and other democracies.”

    At that, the Roman Republic was far more democratic than many of the Greek democracies.

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  74. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    But wouldn’t nationalizing an industry simply consolidate it all under one Pentagon roof? They may as well expropriate it and give it to Boeing.

    That wouldn’t be much different than the current system. There is a (roughly) fixed amount of aerospace defense work to go around. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrup Grumman have sized themselves to comfortably split it among them. There is no chance of a major system development going to any other company, and no real price competition among the three for individual projects. If Lockheed wins an F-35 contract, Boeing will get a P-8 and a KC-46 and a V-22, and NG will get a B-21.

    At the same time, defense contracts are very highly regulated. There are defense-specific laws regarding HR practices, maximum compensation, profit, overhead, etc. etc. I would claim that the defense aerospace cartel is already effectively a regulated public utility, except that no one wants to admit it.

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  75. MarkedMan says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Re: The American Conservative. I think you can’t get away from the fact that the founding editor was Patrick Buchanan and he still posts there with some frequency. Buchanan is an incredibly racist person, using phrases more commonly seen in Ron and Rand Paul’s old newsletter, more polished but equally toxic versions of things like “Mud People” for people of color and “International Bankers” for all Jews.

    Back in the late 80’s while in the Peace Corps in West Africa I used to get my news from short wave radio. There was English language VOA and BBC and some others. And then there were some fringier broadcasts that I would occasionally pick up, people with a shoestring budget but a whole lot of opinions and drive broadcasting from the US or Mexico. Some of these people were simply nuts. Like the Paul newsletter, if you didn’t know about it you wouldn’t usually find it. People in the US, even in those pre WWW days, didn’t generally listen to short wave radio.

    One time I stumbled across one of these bozos, a crazy ranting racist. Mud People, Jewish Cabal, Christian Dominionism, the whole package. He was interviewing Pat Buchanan. Now, Buchanan never said those words themselves, but he was enthusiastic and approving throughout.

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  76. Kurtz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I could live with it if they (and I don’t mean Bill) have the cajones to straight-up say that, like the Framers, they don’t want government to work in the interest of the majority, but instead want a government that privileges and empowers a minority to thwart majority will. And, moreover, they like it because they happen to be in the minority that the system privileges. At least be honest about it and set aside the sophistry.

    Co-sign. Second. Whatever.

    For some people who do this, it seems like a defense-mechanism so that they don’t have to think about whether they deserve what they have and/or they aren’t as smart as they think they are. Guarneri comes to mind here.

    For others, they fear that government will encroach on the things they value highly.

    For elected officials, they know they can’t get elected with that argument.

    For laissez faire ideologues, politics is an outdated form of economics, and Democratic forms of it are nearly as dangerous as monarchy.

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  77. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    You realize this whole discussion boils down to an argument about the definition of “republic”.

    To be pedantic, I think the dispute is actually over the definition of “democracy”. Bill sounds like he is asserting that only direct popular democracy qualifies as democracy at all, and that “representative democracy” is an oxymoron.

    But I agree with you that there is no substantive disagreement here about whether the US is a Republic, how the US system works, or what the potential failure modes of representative democracy are.

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  78. Kurtz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I think that, ultimately, the frustration emerges when a person who basically only knows a slogan and has some feelings thinks that that makes them just as much an expert on this subject as, well, an actual expert.

    The only qualification for expert these days seems to be by assertion. Reminds me of Smooth Jimmy Apollo.

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  79. Kathy says:

    The way countries like the US, Mexico, Brazil, and others are handling the pandemic, makes me feel like I’m on the Titanic after it struck the iceberg, and some loudmouthed idiots are ordering people to perforate the hull to let the water out.

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  80. Jax says:

    Guys and gals, I’m having a real moment here. One of the most vociferous opponents of masks and loudest yellers of “Democratic Hoax!” on my Facebook friends list just announced that they were quarantining after having been in direct contact for several days with someone who tested positive for COVID yesterday.

    It suddenly became very, very real to them. How many more will it take before it’s real to all of them? I certainly don’t wish them any harm, but I am glad they are now taking it seriously, masks included.

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  81. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Steven and Bill and Interested Party ……. Please just stop this sniping. It’s boring and not informative.

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  82. @MarkedMan:

    You realize this whole discussion boils down to an argument about the definition of “republic”.

    Indeed, I understand this is about definitions. And not just of “republic” but of “democracy” as well. (It also an argument about history and philosophy, as well as about power).

    And I further understand that all of this can come across as some pointy-head pontificating on minutia.

    I would counter that it matters whether a person has Covid-19, the flu, or a sinus infection, even if it is not immediately obvious to a layperson upon casual observation of similar symptoms.

    Words matter. Concepts matter. Sloppiness with words and concepts can have significant and serious consequences.

    I sincerely believe that understanding what is and is not wrong with US government is really, really important. And, further, I figure if folks are going to come to a political blog written primarily by political scientists they have to expect a certain amount of insistence on precision (even to the point of pedantry, I will admit) on relevant topics–especially when an argument emerges around a well-known specific area of interest and expertise of one of the main authors.

    This is fair, no?

    And while I am sure I occasionally (hopefully only occasionally!) come across as either arrogant, grumpy, or even OCD about some of this stuff, I do try to be reasonable and respectful, even when I am stubbornly adhering to my positions.

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  83. @Bob@Youngstown:

    Please just stop this sniping.

    What am I sniping about?

    Please give me an example of me sniping.

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  84. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Translation: I am the greatest.

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  85. sam says:

    Sarah Cooper@sarahcpr
    ·
    3h
    White House releases guidance on how to stay COVID-free:

    1. Don’t get tested

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  86. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Whoa…have you seen the numbers from the Texas Democratic run-offs?
    2012 – 236,305
    2014 – 200,992
    2018 – 432, 180
    2020 – 995, 735
    I think Texas is in play.
    Trump is up, but within the MOE.
    Cornyn is probably clenching parts he didn’t know he had.

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  87. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR09: @Steven L. Taylor:

    I have a French translation of the book in question but it should have the original title somewhere….ah yes, here it is:

    Religion, Law, and the Growth of Constitutional Thought (1150-1650)

    It’s a damn hard book to get one’s hands on, unfortunately. Let me check abebooks…there are a few copies, but you will be paying 30$ and up. I think it’s scarce because it’s a publication based on a series of lectures Tierney gave at the University of Belfast as one of the Wiles Lectures back in 1979. It’s broad-sweeping and extremely precise in its topic at the same time, and unless you are interested in tracing out the historical roots of certain political concepts (such as constitutionalism) you won’t have run into it. Like everything that Tierney writes, it’s a delight to read.

    Enjoy.

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  88. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Scott:

    He’s polling ahead of Jones by 8 to 12 points at present (depending on which polls you trust). Barring some sort of cataclysmic event, he’ll be the next senator from the State of Alabama.

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  89. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy:

    A good, quick, working definition of democracy is: a political system where the sovereign authority ultimately resides in the people.

    So, where does the legitimacy of American officials ultimately lie?

    Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? Which American officials, and which people? It’s very skewed, and we have a President elected with less than a plurality, and the Senate is dominated by the empty states.

    We’re sort of like a democracy, and the long term trend has been more democracy until recently. We are quite definitely a republic.

    So, just to troll our beloved Dr. Taylor, I think a reasonable case can be made that we are “A Republic, Not A Democracy” — but that’s not a good thing. (I would say that we are a republic and a broken democracy…)

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  90. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    If only the people he wants to believe that believed it.

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  91. Michael Reynolds says:

    Now let’s debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

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  92. Neil Hudelson says:

    I just want to clarify that, objectively, there is one correct way to replace the toilet paper roll: over-topsy.

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  93. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    If Lockheed wins an F-35 contract, Boeing will get a P-8 and a KC-46 and a V-22, and NG will get a B-21.

    It’s interesting as well the degree to which all three of them cooperate (or cross-pollinate) now. Lockheed is the primary contractor for the 35, but NG builds the center fuselage section and the radar. Boeing and Lockheed are partners in United Launch. Fighter planes tend to come equipped with NG radar systems no matter who builds them. Boeing and Lockheed partnered on the F-22 and it flew with NG built radar. The environment is set up now to preserve those three as prime defense aviation contractors, with little room for anybody else to squeeze in. Certainly not Airbus.

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  94. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Given that it’s Alabama, I suppose having been nothing but a football coach (and codefendant in a securities fraud case) qualifies you for almost anything as a second career.

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  95. Gustopher says:

    @Bill: The first time I clicked that link, the site was broken. I am so glad I tried again.

    Thank you.

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  96. Gustopher says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I just want to clarify that, objectively, there is one correct way to replace the toilet paper roll: over-topsy.

    My cat agrees.

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  97. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    He’s a football coach and a a Republican. I’d imagine that in Alabama that’s qualification enough to be canonized.

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  98. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    And, further, I figure if folks are going to come to a political blog written primarily by political scientists they have to expect a certain amount of insistence on precision (even to the point of pedantry, I will admit) on relevant topics

    As someone who has a tendency toward being pedantic, I should mention that there are colloquial usages I notice but don’t usually make a big deal about, mostly because I don’t see them as all that important. For example, it’s common in political discussions to hear people referring to a caucus as a primary. I’ve probably done it myself on occasion. It comes from the way we describe the entire process of having a series of elective contests to choose a nominee as “the primary” or “primary season,” even though a caucus is not technically a primary by the strict definition, and there are important differences between the two.

    There’s also the common practice of using the term “Congress” to refer only to the House of Representatives and not the Senate. Or the distinction between third-party candidate and independent candidate (something virtually no one pays any attention to, since it’s pretty irrelevant most of the time–though someone at OTB once did knock me over this distinction). Usages like these aren’t necessarily a sign of ignorance–they’re more a matter of habit and common convention. If I feel myself leaning toward corrective mode, I have to consider whether I’m making any point of substance.

    The problem with the “republic not democracy” claim is that it usually goes beyond being a semantic point and masks poorly thought out beliefs about the American system. It typically is a way of putting the Framers on a pedestal and acting like the elements of our system that make its outcomes less representative of the American people were part of some grand, idealized scheme to prevent mob rule, and that that’s why it’s a republic rather than a democracy. Furthermore, the implicit definition of “republic” here is hopelessly vague, meaning little more than “whatever the Framers thought necessary to prevent mob rule,” yet it’s masquerading as a precise and technically accurate definition.

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  99. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Now let’s debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    I see you are familiar with all internet traditions.

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  100. HarvardLaw92 says:

    In other news, Ivanka Trump manages to both violate the Hatch Act, and be condescending (out-of0work Americans should just find something new to do), in one day …

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  101. @Kylopod:

    The problem with the “republic not democracy” claim is that it usually goes beyond being a semantic point and masks poorly thought out beliefs about the American system.

    Exactly.

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  102. @Gustopher:

    So, just to troll our beloved Dr. Taylor, I think a reasonable case can be made that we are “A Republic, Not A Democracy” — but that’s not a good thing. (I would say that we are a republic and a broken democracy…)

    Actually, that parenthetical is pretty much my position.

    Part of the reason I push back so hard on “a republic, not a democracy” is that it obscures, often, the ability to then talk cogently about the problems with our democracy.

    If a person thinks, for example, that the answer to the problem of the EC is that “we have a republic, not a democracy” then it becomes rather difficult to get them to even understand the problem.

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  103. @HarvardLaw92: As I just posted, in fact, Tuberville is almost certainly the next Senator from the state of Alabama.

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  104. Monala says:

    @Gustopher: take it from a parent and pet owner: the way to stop pulling down toilet paper off the roll is to squeeze the inner tube flat.

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  105. mattbernius says:

    @Kylopod:

    It typically is a way of putting the Framers on a pedestal and acting like the elements of our system that make its outcomes less representative of the American people were part of some grand, idealized scheme to prevent mob rule, and that that’s why it’s a republic rather than a democracy.

    And, typically by “mob rule” they mean “urban areas” (emphasis on “urban”) and “liberal strongholds.”

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  106. DrDaveT says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The environment is set up now to preserve those three as prime defense aviation contractors, with little room for anybody else to squeeze in. Certainly not Airbus.

    Also, the gap between commercial systems and military systems has never been wider. There are very few “dual use” technologies any more — even Boeing has firewalled their defense systems divisions from their commercial divisions, and the “commercial” airframes used in platforms like the P-8 and the KC-46 aren’t nearly as similar to the 737 and 767 as Congress would like to believe.

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  107. Kathy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Well, you just have to look at the long service record of the B767 on one hand, and the major pains Boeing is having getting the KC-46 to perform.

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  108. Monala says:

    @Kathy: Herman Cain is also still hospitalized with Covid after 12 days.

    Link

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  109. Kathy says:

    Moving on, and because I got some good feedback last time, here’s another premise in under 30 seconds:

    In the midst of a major political crisis, with civil war looming (not on Earth),a police officer finds a transgender woman who has lost her memory, including the fact that she’s transgender.

    It’s a love story.

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  110. Kathy says:

    Good news, everyone! A recent Monmouth Poll puts Biden well ahead of the current occupant of the Oval office in Pennsylvania.

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  111. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: To me, the phenomenon you’re describing looks like a version of another similar one. Years ago, there was a contract for a military plane (I think it may have been the B-1 bomber, but I’m not sure anymore) for which it had been determined that there was little utility. But as I recall, no one was willing to predict that the project would, or even could, be scrapped because components for the plane were being built in something on the order of 380 Congressional Districts.

    I expect that I am recalling one out of many similar situations, maybe even a composite of several. When you’re old, you’ve seem so much of this crap that it all blurs together sometimes.

    @Gustopher: Still doesn’t work for me. 🙁 But that’s okay; I’ll look for it another way.

    Re: Your cat and over-topsy–is that over topsy rolling toward the wall or the center of the room?

    @Monala: 😀

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  112. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Just read your reply to Marked Man, which was probably not yet posted when I made my comment. Sniping was probably too strong a term, I apologize.
    I’m appreciative that you acknowledge that you can be (sometimes) arrogant and/or OCD on certain subjects.
    My sense is that the democracy/republic debate has been explored on OTB enough over the past few days, that I just wish it could be given a rest.

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  113. Jax says:

    I see no valid reason hospitals should send their data to the Trump Administration instead of the CDC. The only reasons I can think of for that are nefarious reasons. 😐

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  114. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Jax:
    My first thought was, easy peasy, just add another party (HHS) to the distribution list. Insistence that only the HHS gets this info is clearly suspicious .

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  115. Moosebreath says:

    @CSK:

    “Given that it’s Alabama, I suppose having been nothing but a football coach (and codefendant in a securities fraud case) qualifies you for almost anything as a second career.”

    Not just Alabama. There was a period in the 90’s when the Pennsylvania Republican Party kept trying to persuade Joe Paterno to run for state-wide office.

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  116. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bill: As I said, found it another place. Lots of stuff to contemplate here–the name of the beer being “Yellow Belly” (apparently not from the brewery in Wexford) being most interesting to me.

    The object in question.

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  117. flat earth luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’d like to congratulate drugs for winning the War on Drugs

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  118. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Re: Your cat and over-topsy–is that over topsy rolling toward the wall or the center of the room?

    I assume it has the hanging paper towards the center of the room, as that looks much nicer and is the only way one should do it, barring special circumstances.

    @Monala:

    take it from a parent and pet owner: the way to stop pulling down toilet paper off the roll is to squeeze the inner tube flat.

    It depends on the determination of the beast in question. Pork Chop is very determined, as she is something of a pork chop. Tortoise shell cats have their special ways.

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  119. JohnSF says:

    A little piece of news from the UK, which may amuse connoisseurs of its political ironies.

    The Commons Intelligence and Security Committee was pending a new chair.
    Govt. had ensured that it was packed with “reliable” MP’s (5 Con to 3 Lab and 1 SNP).
    No. 10’s protestations that the choice was for the committee members being believed by nobody vaguely sentient, it was expected that Chris Grayling MP would take the chair.

    Universally known as “Failing Grayling” and a strong contender, in a competitive field, for the most stupid, incompetent and generally useless minister of recent decades.

    In a LOL-worthy plot twist, he even failed at this.
    The opposition members very secretly arranged a pact with Conservative MP Julian Lewis to offer him their votes.
    Lewis is an “ERG-ist” Brexiteer on the right of the party; but also has a rep. as serious about security issues, and possibly unhappy about the governments blatant post-election committee packing.

    The fury of No.10’s response of expelling Lewis from the Party demonstrates both their intolerance of opposition, and a tendency to over-react without thinking things through.

    Lewis was 68 and highly unlikely to stand again.
    And now is even more likely to be disobliging toward the Johnson/Cummings/Gove triumvirate.

    The release of the report into Russian political interference in the referendum (and the degree of redaction?) may display the unwisdom of this response.

    IMHO the report is unlikely to be a really damaging blow.
    If any clear Russian state links were found they are likely to have been with the UKIP Leave.EU rather than Conservatives VoteLeave.
    But if the report extends a bit wider, to oligarchs, private donations, and the City, there is a lot of potential for “embarrassment” at least.

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  120. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It’s also an imperial stout. So, it’s a very dark beer.

    There’s a lot of very odd, very mixed messages going on with that beer. Black beer in a klan outfit with “yellow belly” written across it. By Swedes. Served in a bar in Connecticut.

    The number of people who had to have seen this, and not reacted with “WTF?” is kind of amazing. An entire supply chain of oblivious people, and like one guy who really gets it and was somehow successfully stifling his laughter.

    I know racist imagery isn’t supposed to be funny, but I can’t stop laughing. It’s so over the top racist by people who tried to do the exact opposite.

    (If it was brewed by Confederate Beers of America, or something, I would not find it nearly as funny.)

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  121. flat earth luddite says:

    Dr. Taylor, any chance my alter-egos comments about the effort to create a “greater Idaho” could come out of the corner and play with the nice East Coast kiddos? He promises to be good and not kick dirt. He just wants everyone to realize that we’re at least as crazy as the rest of the country.

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  122. flat earth luddite says:

    Time to reopen the schools? Not when we have empty jail beds available:

    When her Michigan school closed because of the pandemic, 15-year-old Grace initially did fine with her online schoolwork. But eventually, she struggled with the transition, with sleeping in, and with getting her homework done. That might sound like a common problem affecting lots of teens and families these days, but ProPublica reports that this situation has a disturbing twist. Grace’s failure to do her homework landed her in front of a judge, who sent the girl out of the courtroom in handcuffs and straight to a juvenile detention center—even as such facilities were being encouraged to send children home out of safety concerns.

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  123. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    To me, the phenomenon you’re describing looks like a version of another similar one. Years ago, there was a contract for a military plane (I think it may have been the B-1 bomber, but I’m not sure anymore) for which it had been determined that there was little utility. But as I recall, no one was willing to predict that the project would, or even could, be scrapped because components for the plane were being built in something on the order of 380 Congressional Districts.

    Pretty sure you’re correct about it being the B-1B. By the time they finished revising the design, it was barely more capable than a B-52 outfitted with the same electronics, but cost about 4 times as much to procure. I seem to recall that the spreading of subcontracts over as many districts as possible was the Air Force’s doing (they wanted their snazzy new but basically useless plane and arranged things to get it), making it very popular on the Hill.

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  124. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @flat earth luddite: And did they ever.

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  125. Kathy says:

    Good news. Justice Ginsburg has been discharged from the hospital, and seems to be doing well.

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  126. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: Anyone who lets Boeing bid on an aerospace contact of any sort until they demonstrate that they’ve reworked their real-time software development organization from top to bottom is insane. This is a company who, during the final test of what was supposed to be a human-rated capsule, was conducting a source code review to answer the question, “Why did it end up in that orbit instead of where it was supposed to be?” while the capsule was in orbit and uncovered another error that would probably have crashed the capsule when it attempted reentry. I have an acquaintance who did real-time software for Boeing who started looking for another firm after a high-ranking official said at an official company function, “Boeing is not, and will never be, a software company.”

    SpaceX finds relatively minor hardware problems during testing. Their software, OTOH, appears to be first rate.

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  127. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: By all appearances, Kanye West is seriously mentally ill. The odds of him locking himself in his apartment for the next 40 years, wearing Kleenex boxes for shoes, and sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber are probably 50/50…

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  128. An Interested Party says:

    I don’t know another word for deliberately pushing someone’s buttons after they’re already angry

    Actually, I didn’t push his buttons after he was already angry, rather, the way I addressed him in my response made him angry…I didn’t interact with him after that…the point remains that it is silly to call our form of government a republic and not a democracy, as we do have elements of both…I don’t know why this is the particular hill on which Bill wishes to die on…in the end, it is more complicated than a simple expression, as Dr. Taylor has made clear on numerous occasions…

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  129. Bill says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Actually, I didn’t push his buttons after he was already angry, rather, the way I addressed him in my response made him angry…I didn’t interact with him after that…the point remains that it is silly to call our form of government a republic and not a democracy, as we do have elements of both…I don’t know why this is the particular hill on which Bill wishes to die on…in the end, it is more complicated than a simple expression, as Dr. Taylor has made clear on numerous occasions…

    What a useless piece of moronic crap and scum bag you are. Where is your apology, Shithead? Your use of sweetie towards me shows you to be nothing but a worthless low life with less brain matter than my cat. Any opinions coming out of your mouth should be weighed against your behavior. Your behavior is inexcusable, scumbag.

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  130. An Interested Party says:

    @Bill: Whoa, such vitriol…just for using the word “sweetie”? You should calm down…don’t you have health problems? Seems to me that this kind of anger won’t help that at all…

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  131. Mister Bluster says:

    @Neil Hudelson:..I just want to clarify that, objectively, there is one correct way to replace the toilet paper roll: over-topsy.

    For some…

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  132. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Many believe Boeing has been decaying since it acquire McDonnell Douglass. Some say it’s that the acquired management style took over the company.

    I can’t say, but Boeing seems little like the company that bet itself on the B-747 fifty years ago.

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  133. @Bill: Look, I understand why you wouldn’t like “sweetie” but you have paid him back several times over in terms of insults at this point. Could we please dial it back?

    @An Interested Party: Some de-escalation might be in order, yes?

    Could we please take a step back and a deep breath?

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  134. An Interested Party says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: No problem…

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  135. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: Boeing today seems too much like the company that bet itself on the 747. It was a decade after the 747 — a bit over 40 years ago — that I was the poor systems schmuck at Bell Laboratories that had to go around and give my talk to the project managers. “It’s a software world,” I told them. “In the future, your projects will not be late or fail because the hardware doesn’t work, they will fail because the software is f**ked.” Airliners were, of course, farther behind the hardware/software curve than telecom gear. But it was inevitable even then that getting the software right was going to be the problem in the future. Not long after I started giving that talk — and trust me, I was not a popular person — Bell Labs fired a senior vice president. His replacement was the one who had to stand up in front of the trade press and announce that the software for that very large project was f**ked and there would be a one-year slip in the delivery schedule.

    At some point, Boeing should have announced that the 737 MAX software was crap. At some point, Boeing should have announced that the Starliner software was crap. Or even better, a Boeing that was software-driven should have set their schedules based on getting that software right.

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  136. Monala says:

    Rush Limbaugh, yesterday:

    This isn’t who we are, folks, this cowering and fearful and almost giving up in the face of this enemy, COVID-19. We’ve not ever done anything like this before. So much of the way we are dealing with this is unprecedented — and it’s un-American.

    You’ve heard of the Donner Party? Maybe some of you haven’t. The Donner Party, the Donner family and a bunch of travelers trying to get to California over the Sierra Nevada mountain range. They made the mistake of trying to make the trip in the middle of winter. We’re talking the Lake Tahoe region. They get to the peak. It was so bad that they had to turn to cannibalism to survive. That’s what’s noteworthy about the Donner Party. If you read the diaries written by the leaders of the Donner Party, the only reference to how cold it was, was one sentence: “It was a particularly tough winter.”

    It’s just what was. They didn’t complain about it, because there was nothing they could do. They had to adapt. This is what’s missing. There seems to be no concept of adaptation. There seems to be no understanding in the Millennial generation that we can adapt to this, and that we’re going to have to.

    So we have to adapt to Covid-19 by turning to cannibalism! I know, I know, some rightwinger will protest, “That’s not what he said! He didn’t say you have to become cannibals!” But Limbaugh is complaining about the common-sense steps to fight Covid, such as mask-wearing and social distancing, and calling people doing that fearful and cowering. So if that’s not how we adapt to Covid, what is? Just wait until it gets so bad, til we’re starving because all our agriculture workers have gotten sick and our supply chains have broken down, that the only thing left is cannibalism?

    Link

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  137. CSK says:

    Trump has demoted Brad Parscale and promoted Bill Slepien to campaign manager. Parscale will remain as senior advisor and will lead “data and digital strategies.”

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  138. Kathy says:

    @Monala:

    So he’s saying taking sensible precautions to stay safe is unamerican? Or is it caring enough for others to tray to prevent mass casualties?

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  139. Monala says:

    @Kathy: Yeah, makes no sense.

    One commenter on Twitter noted: “The donner party got lost because their leader didn’t know what he was doing, and looking for a shortcut that didn’t exist. If that’s not an apt comparison I don’t know what is. Also they failed miserably and had to be rescued.”

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  140. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    If you’ve read about the many problems on the 787, from battery fires to finicky engines, it seems Boeing is also plagued by hardware problems.

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  141. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    barring special circumstances.

    Such as having pets or children and getting tired of rerolling a roll of it back onto the spool?

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  142. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Does Kim K-West stay with him or is the fact that she throws him under the bus the precipitating incident?

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  143. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @An Interested Party: NOW you’re goading him and proving yourself to be everything he perceives you to be. Sad. Pathetic. Low Energy. Low Life. Low Character. Bigly.

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  144. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @An Interested Party: You’re like the kids I see in middle school. Finally backing down when somebody tells you to instead of figuring it out. The excuse for them is that they’re not adults yet. What’s yours?

    @Kathy: Caring about others IS unamerican; just ask Ayn Rand.

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  145. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’ve read Ayn Rand (who hasn’t?) She spoke of putting others above self, which has some merit (though not as much as she thought), not about caring about others.

    What she missed, or at any rate failed to emphasize enough, is the importance of cooperation among individuals, and the importance of relationships to human happiness.

    Not to mention what she didn’t know about science would have filled a very big library. I still laugh about John Galt’s engine powered by cosmic rays. He may as well built lunar panels to generate power.

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  146. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    I’ve read Ayn Rand (who hasn’t?)

    Who hasn’t? Quite a few fortunate folks.

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  147. An Interested Party says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I do so hope that you feel better now that you got that off your chest…

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  148. Thomm says:

    @Monala: But he deserved his medal of freedom since he made James and Steven laugh as undergrads.

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  149. Kurtz says:

    @Monala:

    Thanks for the link. A snippet of the comments:

    Just Bob says:

    Rush, you ignorant slut.
    Nobody, except maybe you, “gets to the peak” of a mountain if they’re trying to get through the mountains. They follow the least peak-like route possible.
    It’s called a pass, idiot.

    Alonzo Quixano replies:

    They even had the pass named after them.
    Donner Pass

    Old Harry queries Mr. Quixano:

    Is it good on any trip through the mountains, 24/7 and 365 days a year, or are there exclusions?

    Splendid. Thank you.

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  150. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Cain:

    It was a decade after the 747 — a bit over 40 years ago — that I was the poor systems schmuck at Bell Laboratories that had to go around and give my talk to the project managers. “It’s a software world,” I told them. “In the future, your projects will not be late or fail because the hardware doesn’t work, they will fail because the software is f**ked.”

    I admire your prescience. It wasn’t until ~2009 that Lockheed Space Systems figured out what you had already figured out, and decided that in the future they would treat space systems as software systems with fancy peripherals, rather than as hardware systems with supporting software. And they were ahead of the curve…

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  151. DrDaveT says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I do so hope that you feel better now that you got that off your chest…

    Sweetie, he was so right.

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  152. An Interested Party says:

    @DrDaveT: *BLUSH* I’m touched…

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  153. Gustopher says:

    @Bill: Bill, are you alright? I mean, I guess that’s a stupid question because basically no one is alright right now, but some people are really, really not alright these days. You were gone for a bit recently, and people were worried about you*, especially knowing your medical problems, and I hope nothing terrible happened.

    This anger isn’t your usual manner. Is there anything anyone can do to help?

    @An Interested Party: You’re being a patronizing git when it’s clear that you’ve really hurt someone. Assuming you didn’t realize you were going too far yesterday, by now you do.

    Part of being an adult is knowing that sometimes you hurt people without intending to, and that even if you feel like you did nothing wrong you can choose not to keep doing it. It’s true. That’s one of the differences that separates humans from Republicans.

    An advanced lesson is that you can even sincerely apologize for hurting someone and feel bad for having done so and show compassion while still thinking you did nothing objectively wrong.

    In The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh offers the following story that the Buddha told, and which I always remember:

    A young couple and their two-year-old child were trying to cross the desert, and they ran out of food. After deep reflection, the parents realized that in order to survive they had to kill their son and eat his flesh. They calculated that if they ate such and such a proportion of their baby’s flesh each day and carried the rest on their shoulders to dry, it would last the rest of the journey. But with every morsel of their baby’s flesh they ate, the young couple cried and cried.

    It’s not a relevant story, but I will always remember it.

    ——
    *: I hope Doug is ok. If he just said the hell with everything and decided to just refuse to come out or interact with the world or something… he totally picked the right year for that breakdown.

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  154. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    @Kylopod:

    Who hasn’t

    Me.
    Read a bit of Atlas W@nked, many many years ago.
    Bored.
    Stopped.
    Never bothered since; life’s too short.

    I don’t have figures, but I’d guess Rand was markedly less read in the UK than in the US.
    I can’t recall anyone else I knew who did from my teens/twenties, and I knew a lot of bookish types.

    I get the impression that UK interest is rather higher than it used to be.
    Another example of the post-Thatcher cultural influence of the US on the UK right?
    But still way less a “thing” than in America.

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  155. @Thomm:

    But he deserved his medal of freedom since he made James and Steven laugh as undergrads.

    Why in the world are you dragging us into this?

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  156. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: Supplier problems are a different thing. Boeing buys engines and battery packs and bolts ’em on/in. Flight control software is something they do themselves.

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