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. Bill says:
  2. Bill says:
  3. CSK says:

    Spencer Davis has died. He was 81.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This’ll make you smile:

    Reuters
    @Reuters

    People in a Moscow park were treated to a skateboard performance by a French bulldog named Nord Boss
    Skateboard

    2
  5. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Bill:
    Sloppy understanding of terminology:
    Persons suspected of infection exposure are quarantined.
    Persons who are infected are isolated.

    Symptomatic persons are infected.

    1
  6. CSK says:

    Trump claims he has a tape of his interview with Lesley Stahl, which he stomped out of before its conclusion. He’s threatening to release this tape in advance of the 60 Minutes airing of the interview this coming Sunday night.

    3
  7. Teve says:

    The Hill:

    Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden has a massive cash-on-hand advantage over President Trump heading into the final sprint to Election Day.

    According to new filings with the Federal Election Commission, Biden entered October with over $177 million in the bank, compared with $63.1 million for the president, marking a sharp reversal from earlier in the cycle when Trump’s cash advantage seemed insurmountable.

    The cash-on-hand totals, which do not incorporate funds from joint fundraising committees, come after a September in which both campaigns raised impressive hauls, though Biden still significantly outraised Trump last month. The former vice president broke his own record when he raked in $383 million, while Trump raised $247.8 million. The month before, Biden raised a then-record of $364.5 million, compared with $210 million for the president.

    3
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Least surprising news of the year: Florida accused of sowing confusion with last-minute voting changes

    Florida’s top election official is facing accusations of voter suppression after two last-minute moves critics say will lead to intimidation and confusion.

    Alarm bells went off last week after the office of Florida’s secretary of state, Laurel Lee, abruptly notified election officials the state was beginning to flag voters for potential removal from the voter rolls if they owed money related to a felony conviction. In a second letter, the state offered an extremely restrictive view on how localities needed to operate ballot drop boxes, which voters are increasingly turning to this year amid United States Postal Service delays.

    Both notices threaten confusion and chaos in one of the most important swing states in the 2020 election. Mail-in voting started weeks ago and in-person early voting started on Monday. Polls show an extremely tight race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Florida, a state where elections are routinely decided by just thousands of votes.

  9. Teve says:

    “Wait till these Trump kids find out there’s no money in the will. THAT’s a show I would watch.”

    -Jimmy Kimmel

    13
  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    Look out, Tom Friedman is back on his globalization, pace of change hobby horse again.

    Because the pace of technological change, digitization and globalization just keeps accelerating, two things are happening at once: the world is being knit together more tightly than ever — sure, the globalization of goods and people has been slowed by the pandemic and politics, but the globalization of services has soared — and “the half-life of skills is steadily shrinking,” said Kumar, meaning that whatever skill you possess today is being made obsolete faster and faster.

    Your children can expect to change jobs and professions multiple times in their lifetimes, which means their career path will no longer follow a simple “learn-to-work’’ trajectory, as Heather E. McGowan, co-author of “The Adaptation Advantage,” likes to say, but rather a path of “work-learn-work-learn-work-learn.”

    Emphasis added.

    Sorry, I don’t buy it, people aren’t computers that can be reprogrammed and set to do a different task, more likely they will be tossed aside and depending on the society, left to rot.

    8
  11. Teve says:

    Steve Schmidt: A defeated republican party will be even crazier

    https://youtu.be/0htDFxLDfXw

    2
  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    White House looks at cutting Covid funds, newborn screenings in ‘anarchist’ cities

    The White House is considering slashing millions of dollars for coronavirus relief, HIV treatment, screenings for newborns and other programs in Democratic-led cities that President Donald Trump has deemed “anarchist jurisdictions,” according to documents obtained by POLITICO.

    New York, Portland, Ore., Washington, D.C., and Seattle could lose funding for a wide swath of programs that serve their poorest, sickest residents after the president moved last month to restrict funding, escalating his political battle against liberal cities he’s sought to use as a campaign foil.

    The Department of Health and Human Services has identified federal grants covering those services, which are among the nearly 200 health programs that could be in line for cuts as part of a sweeping government-wide directive the administration is advancing during the final weeks of the presidential campaign and amid an intensifying pandemic Trump has downplayed.

    Trump in a Sept. 2 order called on federal agencies to curtail funding to jurisdictions that “disempower” police departments and promote “lawlessness.” The memo argued that the cities haven’t done enough to quash riots stemming from this summer’s protests over systemic racism and police violence.

    The HHS list offers the most detailed picture yet of the administration’s efforts to quickly comply with the Trump directive and the potentially large cuts facing these cities even as the pandemic strains local budgets. It isn’t immediately clear what criteria the budget office will use to evaluate the grants — or how or when cuts may be made.

    2
  13. sam says:

    This site is absolutely addictive. You’ve been warned.

    1
  14. Teve says:

    @danielradosh

    The weird part is that the thing Obama allegedly did in Spygate was… get the Justice Dept. to take action against his opponent before Election Day. The thing Trump is now publicly demanding himself.

    10
  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Trump’s broadsides against science put GOP governors in a bind

    Republican governors are pleading for basic public health precautions as their states face a new wave of coronavirus cases, even as President Donald Trump downplays the pandemic’s severity and tells people to move on with their lives.

    The clashing messages come as large swaths of the country experience uncontrolled spread that state officials fear could swamp their already strapped health systems. They’re putting out calls for volunteers to help staff hospitals, placing new limits on public gatherings and urging, or in some cases mandating, the wearing of masks.
    ……………………….
    The push by Republican governors whose states are in danger of being overrun by a new wave of infections and hospitalizations reflects the disconnect between politicians who are fighting the virus’ real effects on the ground and Trump’s reelection campaign, which is trying to project optimism that the country is turning the corner on infections, even though the statistics don’t back him up.
    …………………………….
    But with less than two weeks until the election, the president has insisted that coronavirus concerns are exaggerated, called the government’s leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci an “idiot” and a “disaster” and relied more heavily on Scott Atlas — a coronavirus task force member who backs protecting vulnerable populations while loosening nearly all Covid-related restrictions and letting the virus spread unfettered among healthy people.
    ……………………….
    Trump’s message — delivered at closely packed, largely mask-free rallies — has left local health experts begging his campaign to skip their state.

    4
  16. Mikey says:

    @Teve: If there’s one overriding principle (to the extent principles exist for Republicans) it’s that the rules don’t apply to them, even the rules they create themselves.

    Remember the wise words of Wilhoit: conservatism demands there must be an in-group the law protects but does not bind, and out-groups the law binds but does not protect.

    So for the modern GOP, there’s no actual incongruity in Trump demanding for himself an action they would call illegal if done by a Democrat.

    4
  17. Teve says:

    Via msnbc:

    “I’ve been a doctor for 34 years and I have never seen the amount of suffering I have seen in a short period of time. I have never seen in my career a time where an entire ward … is filled up with patients with the same disease.’ -Dr. Paul Casey, Bellin Hospital, Wisconsin

    2
  18. Barry says:

    @Teve: Honestly, I can’t recall A right-wing accusation which was not pure Freudian projection.

    4
  19. Mikey says:

    Remember that separating children from their parents was an overt and intentional policy of the Trump administration. Yet another stain on our nation, placed there by the worst President in our history and his craven enablers.

    Parents Of 545 Children Separated At U.S.-Mexico Border Still Can’t Be Found

    6
  20. MarkedMan says:

    Yesterday (2 days ago?) in a discussion about recent Supreme Court decisions allowing Republicans to suppress votes, I asked James if he regretted his comment on the 2013 ruling overturning pre-clearance, in which I recalled him saying that times had changed and the South of the past was no longer the South of today and they wouldn’t suppress by race. He replied that wasn’t what his argument was about, that he was more focused on the need to treat all States the same. I finally went back and checked and, while he did express what I thought he did (excerpted below), he is correct that in the body of his post and in his replies to comments in the thread he was mostly focused on other issues. So bottom line, James’ recollection was better than mine.

    But nor can there be any doubt that the South, including the nine states in question—Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia—has changed radically over these past 48 years. Virginia, where I was born and have lived the last eleven years, has elected a black governor and twice voted for a black president since 1965.
    So, Justice Roberts gets it right in noting the ”fundamental principle of equal sovereignty” among the States which subjects “disparate treatment of States” by Congress to a very heavy burden of proof. As he notes, “The Court nonetheless upheld the Act, concluding that such an ‘uncommon exercise of congressional power’ could be justified by ‘exceptional conditions.’” The extant history in 1965 constituted an exceptional condition. It’s much harder to argue that it exists in 2013. And Roberts is also right that “The Fifteenth Amendment is not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future. To serve that purpose, Congress—if it is to divide the States—must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions.”

    2
  21. MarkedMan says:

    When reviewing that thread I mentioned above, I realized it took place before the admins here were more free with the ban hammer. And, oh my god, what a mess that thread was. It was dominated by people we would now call Trumpers. Whether they didn’t have the intellectual capacity to understand the replies to their comments and respond coherently or they just had no interest in doing so is beside the point. They offered nothing useful to the discussion and made the place into a cess pool.

    1
  22. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Trump is really trying to exact revenge against New York for being spurned by the upper crust there, isn’t he? It’s so pathetically obvious what he’s doing.

    2
  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Pope Francis sets off bomb in Amy Coney Barret’s head:

    Pope Francis, in a new documentary, has called for the creation of civil union laws for same-sex couples, in what amounts to his clearest support to date for the issue.

    7
  24. Kathy says:

    Donnie the One True Patriot pays more taxes to China than to the US.

    5
  25. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Of course the greater irony is that even as a former President, Trump will not be accorded the respect and access that previous office holders have received. He won’t be accepted into Manhattan society, the wealthy and business tycoons that swelled the membership ranks of Mar-a-Lago will shrink and even if they pay the dues for a few years, you won’t find them there. Bookings in the hotels and resorts will drop, why book the national sales meeting at the Doral, when there are a dozen other properties that are nicer. The Washington hotel will likely will go bankrupt with no foreign officials and businesses booking there.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    9
  26. CSK says:

    TPM is reporting that Donald Trump said this last night in Erie, PA.:

    “…[B]efore the plague came in, I had it made. I wasn’t coming to Erie. I mean I have to be honest. There was no way I was coming. I didn’t have to. And then we got hit by the plague, and I had to go back to work. Hello, Erie. Can I please have your vote?”

    The crowd cheered and applauded him. They’re as stupid and crazy as he is.

    I emphasized the part about going back to work, because how many presidents brag about being lazy? And his imbecile fan club eats it up.

    10
  27. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @CSK:
    Oh – I wish he would. By all accounts that I’ve read he melted down in the face of tough questions.
    He won’t though…unless it’s heavily edited to be mis-leading.
    He followed that up by telling his audience in Erie, PA that he didn’t want to be there, and that he wouldn’t have come if he wasn’t losing.
    Frankly I can’t wait to see Thursday nights debate. I am counting on his ongoing meltdown to accelerate.

    1
  28. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    He’s like the waif on the sidewalk with his nose pressed against against the window, gazing enviously at the beautiful people cavorting within.

    2
  29. Teve says:

    ”we just don’t know what’s happening in our bodies”. Covid long-haulers are still suffering

    Given that the Trump administration will have been in charge of this for the first 12 months, I believe it’s going to become endemic in America and at some point we will all get it.

    2
  30. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Biden’s first act right after inauguration is to rescind Trump’s security clearance.

    This brings up a thought: what’s tos top trump from selling any secret information he knows, or just giving it away by bragging about it?

    The White House occupant may have the privilege to disclose classified information with impunity, but a former occupant does not.

    6
  31. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    A doctor told me that last March.

  32. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    We can only hope that not too much top secret info was accorded him. Mattis, Kelly, McMaster, Tillerson, Cohn, et al were all referring to him as an imbecile pretty early on during his administration. They knew he was blabbing to the Russians; he himself said so.

    5
  33. Scott says:

    This made me laugh.

    Lawyers spurn Trump campaign in individual donations, including from Jones Day

    Lawyers at Jones Day, which has earned millions as outside counsel to U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, have donated nearly $90,000 to the campaign committee of Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden. Contributions to the Trump campaign by Jones Day lawyers totaled just $50, records show.

    2
  34. dmichael says:

    @MarkedMan: Your discussion ignores a fundamental issue relating to appellate review: Except in very limited circumstances, an appellate court does not revisit the factual findings of the decision maker below. Congress made its findings when reauthorizing this Act by an overwhelming majority and Johnnie Roberts (he of the “balls and strikes”) decided with his conservative brethren to ignore that principle and make their own findings which have now been shown to be completing false. See Republican vote suppression.

    1
  35. Teve says:

    @Scott: The Trump reelection effort this year has raised something like $1.5 billion, and going into October they had $60 million left. I want it to be revealed that the Trump Crime Family and associates stole most of it. That would keep me laughing through inauguration day. 😛

    4
  36. Jen says:

    @Scott: The funniest thing about that is that the legal obligation to report is $200. The donations didn’t even hit the threshold where they’re required to be reported. (Most federal campaigns make it a policy to report any and all donations, so that it has been reported isn’t unusual. Still, funny.)

    1
  37. Mikey says:

    @Teve: COVID-19 will probably become endemic the way the seasonal flu is, with a similarly periodic vaccine (maybe not annually, but not one-dose permanent, either).

    We’ve only truly eradicated one disease with a vaccine, smallpox. But we have gotten pretty close with polio and measles, although progress with the latter has been stymied somewhat by the moron anti-vaxxers. Still, I remain optimistic COVID-19 will not be what it is today even as soon as a year from now.

    2
  38. MarkedMan says:

    @dmichael: I’m not sure what you are referring to? My post was limited to the arguments made at the time and James and my different recollections as to what they were. I wasn’t trying to revisit the arguments.

  39. JohnSF says:

    Article looking at the UK governments poor response to Coronavirus.
    Has a broader application than just the UK and just the pandemic on the psycho-political thought habits of modern “conservatives”.

    2
  40. Jen says:

    Speaking of the $200 limits, Sen. Lindsey Graham has his knickers in a twist over ActBlue’s fundraising.

    2
  41. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Well disseminating classified information in and of itself is a felony, if he were to sell it, it is possible that the charges could be raised to espionage. We know now, that if he did sell secrets, he’d brag about it to someone.

    A benefit of his not paying attention to the PDB is he probably doesn’t have any useful information to sell.

    2
  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    The irony of Graham’s whine is that after McCain-Feingold was gutted, Dems advocated monthly reports on all campaign donations, to parties, candidates and PACs. Rs shot that down, though that had been their position prior to the passage of McCain-Feingold.

    Idiot.

    7
  43. @Teve: I think it’s readily apparent where most of the money went: It either went to high-ranking campaign officials (some of whom are Trump family members, I would think) or to pay Trump’s impeachment lawyers. This isn’t a “crime” exactly, I’m guessing it’s legal. But not what the people who contributed that money expected, for sure.

  44. Teve says:

    “A huge reason that our politics is not so extremely polarised and so far out there is because we no longer have Murdoch-owned press in New Zealand, and it’s never taken a foothold.” -Jacinda Ardern

    11
  45. Teve says:

    @Mikey: and Rinderpest!

  46. BugManDan says:

    If an ex-president is sent to prison, does that effect his government salary, secret service attachment, etc?

    1
  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Gawd I despise that whiny little fck.

    2
  48. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Pope Francis, in a new documentary, has called for the creation of civil union laws for same-sex couples, in what amounts to his clearest support to date for the issue.”

    Have you ever heard of the Rad Trad Catholic who doesn’t think that they are more Catholic than the Pope?

    Neither have I.

    2
  49. Teve says:

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    @sollenbergerRC

    SCOOP: Meadows spent $2650 in campaign funds on “printed materials” at Ann Hand jewelers the day he officially resigned from Congress. Here’s his wife wearing a necklace at the Republican convention in August, similar in design to a customizable item on Ann Hand’s website.

    They’re just dumb crooks from stem to stern 😛 😛 😛 😛
    https://twitter.com/sollenbergerrc/status/1318914342956519424?s=21

    2
  50. Kathy says:

    I advocate never feeding the troll, because I’ve yet to discover a way to metaphorically feed the troll poison.

    Any ideas?

  51. Jen says:

    @Teve: How the heck did they think they were going to get away with that? Who buys printed campaign materials at a jewelry store? (Also, sidebar, that is an ugly necklace.)

    2
  52. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Jen:

    How the heck did they think they were going to get away with that?

    Because there is no one to hold them to account. I mean…who? Bill Barr? That’s funny.

    1
  53. Jen says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: SIGH. Fair point.

    Using campaign donations after you resign from Congress is illegal. Spending it on weird patriotic jewelry for your wife: still illegal.

    This isn’t hard. You donate those contributions to candidates or you try and return what you can. Meadows knows that. This is blatant and if the FEC had any teeth at all, he should be fined.

    3
  54. Paine says:

    @CSK: Yep. Trump is at the “insult supporters to their face to make sure they applaud and cheer” phase of cult-building.

    2
  55. Teve says:

    @Jen: It’s felony misuse of campaign funds. You can go to jail for five years per count.

    3
  56. Paine says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Given his age I don’t think DJT is long for this world regardless of what happens in a few weeks. But I do hope and pray that the entire Trump brood is banned from polite society for the remainder of their lives. Let them be minor celebs in the CPAC/Breitbart/Fox world but the rest of us should treat them with complete and absolute disdain.

    2
  57. Jen says:

    @Teve: Yes, but only if someone goes after him. Who will do so? That’s why I’m well into “I guess I’d be happy with a fine” territory.

    These people are all such crooks and liars and I just want SOMETHING to happen. Anything.

    1
  58. sam says:
  59. CSK says:

    @Paine:
    The thing is, they seem to love it. As I noted, they cheered and applauded when he said that about Erie.

    I suppose they dismiss the nasty, stupid things he says as just his sense of humor, but, as I’ve also noted, he has no sense of humor. He does take sadistic glee in cruelty, but I don’t consider that to be humor.

    4
  60. CSK says:

    @sam:
    Oh, that’s just the Trump campaign playing 64-“dimensianal” chess.

    3
  61. Mikey says:

    @Paine: @CSK: This comment from Reddit lays out pretty well how being a Republican is essentially the same as being in an abusive relationship:

    If you’re a Republican, this is how you’ve been treated. Groomed. Abused.

    1 – You’ve been told that nobody else understands you like they do. For years. “Those other people, they just don’t get it. Their ways are different and that’s just not you. They don’t understand, but we know where you’re coming from…”

    2 – Now that they’ve established that they’re one of your kind of people in your mind, everyone else gets badmouthed. It’s just the two of you literally against the entire world. And they’ll do it so much that things that aren’t epithets get used as words to hate everyone else by.

    3 – They’ll tell you that, if you left them, things would be simultaneously the worst thing possible AND that all other relationships are just the same as the one you’re in (even though you can see other people online talking about how what you’re in is the only bad relationship relationship like this and all you have to do is leave them). “Both sides are the same but I’m better” – eventually, you don’t know up from down in what constitutes a healthy or a toxic relationship. Hell, they’ll even show examples of the shit you’re in now to say, “if you leave me and go for the other guy, it’ll be like this [very bad scenario that’s happening RIGHT NOW] so be scared and shit.”

    4 – You’re told what to cut out of your life. Music, interests, TV shows, certain movies, even frothy coffee gets badmouthed and cut out because “you don’t want to be a ‘latte drinker’ now do you?” (there’s one of those things I mentioned in #2, using things that aren’t epithets as one to control you).

    5 – They take your money, claim they’ll be great with it, and then spend it on their friends and run up the bills. They’ll give you crumbs once in a while. Maybe every few years they’ll treat you to a little something nice (that’s worth a fraction of what they spent when they were out with their friends). And while they’re terrible with the finances, for years, they’ll be saying how everything is hunky-dory financially with them at the reins. You will be told you’ve never had it so good but the fear of one bad bill wiping you out financially will be like the Sword Of Damocles over your head 24/7/365.

    6 – every problem gets kicked down the road. The problem crops up in the New Year but it wasn’t even mentioned in January. “It’s going to go away” in February, and anyone that mentions it is just saying fake stuff, baby. Still nothing done in March, but any mention of it is “you’re just finding faults with me”. Then when April comes and it’s clear what the shit storm looks like, they blame everyone else for saying it wasn’t going to be a big deal. As the months roll on it becomes a shell game where ignoring the problem / blaming others for the problem / trying to draw attention from the problem gets switched around without stop. Even if it comes out that they knew the problem could literally kill other people, tear them apart because of gross negligence, they will not stray from this strategy. Sounds familiar, huh.

    7 – like in any abusive relationship, you’re beaten down. You repeat the words in the way they taught you. You repeat the answers. You repeat the words you’re told are insults. Even though you know of situations where you’ve come out worse for the way the relationship is, you defend the abuser. First with a fake air of calm, then with a seething rage. And when people offer you a way out, you go right back to the abuse.

    8 – the relationship is so twisted, you so believe everything you’re told about what’s real and what’s not, they will literally put you in situations that could kill you. And you say you’re doing it willingly, proudly, but the fact is you’re a shell of the idealistic person you used to be. You just got in with the wrong crowd, but it’s too late to get out now because people might think less of you. Which is all part of what you were told in #1. Only they understand you…

    8
  62. Teve says:

    @weareoversight

    We obtained nearly 400 pages of Mike Pompeo’s personal emails from his time as CIA director.

    These records reveal a problematic amount of official business conducted over private email and show Pompeo fielding questionable investigation requests.

    more at the thread

    3
  63. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Paine:

    Given that Fred Trump lived to 88-ish, though with dementia, so the Former Reality Show Host, could be with us for a while. Whatever that term, may he suffer social ostracism.

    I’d also postulate that the FRSH is at a pretty high risk of suicide.

    1
  64. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    The White House occupant may have the privilege to disclose classified information with impunity, but a former occupant does not.

    Exactly this. Donald J. Trump does not have a security clearance, and has never been subject to the normal review process. While it is traditional to give limited-time clearances to some high-level officials when they leave so they can be consulted, there’s no requirement to do so. Trump will never pass without revealing a whole bunch about his finances and dealings with Russia and China that he doesn’t want anyone to see.

    2
  65. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    I advocate never feeding the troll, because I’ve yet to discover a way to metaphorically feed the troll poison.

    There’s actually one way to do that. It’s by trolling the troll. Call it counter-trolling.

    That’s what I did during the encounter I mentioned the other day, when I went to the imdb Fight Club forum and ran across a hornet’s nest of wannabe Durdenites (though I’m still not 100% convinced they weren’t all the same individual–ironically). I believe I really got under their skin, judging from the degree to which they went into hyper-mode against me.

    It was probably a waste of time, but I admit I got a certain smug satisfaction out of it.

    3
  66. Mister Bluster says:

    The wife of a friend of mine died the recently. My friend enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam war and ended up serving his entire hitch in West Germany. While he was there he met a local girl and they fell in love. For whatever reason after his service ended he returned home to a tiny central Illinois town alone. Just a few months later there was a knock on the door. It was his West German teenage girlfriend Helga. No. She wasn’t pregnant. She was in love. She had come to get her man.
    They returned to West Germany together where they raised three beautiful children.
    His job offered him an opportunity to work in South Carolina. The family relocated there for a few years where the youngest child was born but they returned to what was by then The Federal republic of Germany where the family still resides.
    I was looking for a tribute to Spencer Davis when I found this. It made me remember her.
    RIP Helga. I’m glad I got to know you.

    2
  67. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Unlike his son Donald, Fred doesn’t appear to have been a walking bag of lard. As you know, obesity can come with a host of health problems: diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. He does take a statin, but given how awful his diet is, it may be of minimal help.

    1
  68. Mikey says:

    Holy shit. And…ewwwww.

    The reputation of Rudy Giuliani could be set for a further blow with the release of highly embarrassing footage in Sacha Baron Cohen’s follow-up to Borat.

    In the film, released on Friday, the former New York mayor and current personal attorney to Donald Trump is seen reaching into his trousers and apparently touching his genitals while reclining on a bed in the presence of the actor playing Borat’s daughter, who is posing as a TV journalist.

    Following an obsequious interview for a fake conservative news programme, the pair retreat at her suggestion for a drink to the bedroom of a hotel suite, which is rigged with concealed cameras.

    After she removes his microphone, Giuliani, 76, can be seen lying back on the bed, fiddling with his untucked shirt and reaching into his trousers. They are then interrupted by Borat who runs in and says: “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

    Rudy Giuliani faces questions after compromising scene in new Borat film

    6
  69. Kylopod says:

    @Mikey: I soooo love SBC’s exposing of politicians (metaphorically speaking), like that Georgia guy who had to resign. But so far he hasn’t caught any big fish.

  70. Monala says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: Are the behaviors and actions expected in isolation vs. quarantine the same? Or is there a material difference in how one would act when they’re in isolation vs. quarantine?

  71. Monala says:

    House GOP wants to investigate Joe Biden’s use of chartered Amtrak train on campaign trail

    In a letter to Amtrak CEO William Flynn, four Republican representatives argued that charter trains like the one Biden paid for to tour Rust Belt states are not part of Amtrak’s “primary objective” and floated the idea that Biden’s charter “redirected Amtrak’s scarce resources during a time of record losses, employee layoffs, and service cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The letter did not provide evidence of these allegations.

  72. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Monala:

    House GOP wants to investigate Joe Biden’s use of chartered Amtrak train on campaign trail

    The Biden Team’s response to this is perfect…

    “Anyone can charter a train with Amtrak. Last time we checked, no one can charter the White House South Lawn for a political convention”

    13
  73. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:
    @Sleeping Dog:
    @CSK:

    The thing is he could go live on TV and announce secrets for sale to the highest bidder, then do a live broadcast of his debriefing in Pyongyang, and his supporters would say it’s a witch hunt to even investigate him for that, and what about Hillary’s emails?

    I expect he will lose support among the Republican party at large, aside from the never-trump faction, unlike Reagan or others before him. I say this because there are other things Donnie Pessimus will lose once he’s out of office, like his exaggerated claims of executive privilege.

    Given the results of the Mueller probe and the Senate investigation on Russian interference, it’s clear there’s a need to thoroughly investigate Trump, both for any help he may have given te Russians, and for obstruction later on. He should have nothing left to hide behind, nor any exclusive means for avoiding scrutiny.

    My worry is that Biden won’t have the nerve or will, or even the desire, to do so. It’s something to press him on later.

    Yes, the pandemic comes first. And beyond that there are many other issues that need fixing, like deficits, wage stagnation, working conditions, taxes, etc. But making an example out of Trump is even more important for the future well-being of the country, and of the world (no one wants to see a violently divided country fight it out when there’s a nuclear arsenal available).

  74. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    This is pretty damn cool. I’m sure our friend Doug is loving this. I hope he is well.
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/oct/21/nasa-osiris-rex-spacecraft-lands-on-asteroid-bennu-in-mission-to-collect-dust

    3
  75. Kathy says:

    @Monala:

    Let them.

    They can start by looking at Amtrak’s home page under Charter Your Own Private Train.

  76. Scott says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I have been surprised the Biden campaign hasn’t demanded the use of the White House for a campaign event like Trump did. At the very least, it would be quality trolling.

    3
  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: “redirected Amtrak’s scarce resources during a time of record losses, employee layoffs, and service cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    In other words, he kept people employed during a time when they otherwise would have been on the unemployment roles. And payed for it.

    Another Biden for President ad produced by the GOP.

    8
  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: But making an example out of Trump…

    Is something Biden should stay far far away from. Maybe some state AGs should do it, or an independent commission, or special prosecutor, but Biden? No fucking way.

    1
  79. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Look, at this point, who is Trump going to get to work for him but morons?

    2
  80. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Not Biden personally. he should suggest to his AG to look into the matter. We know Mueller shied away from looking too hard at trump, in particular of interviewing him or having him submit to a grand jury.

    As I recall, Reagan testified remotely in at least one Iran-Contra procedure at court, even if he wasn’t the subject of an investigation. You’d think prosecutors interviewed him beforehand.

    1
  81. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: My local claim to fame: A good friend worked on this and was sending us updates from the engineers party watching the landing. As close as I’m ever likely to get to space exploration myself…

  82. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: I may be overoptimistic, but in, I think, the recent town hall Biden said he wouldn’t order DOJ to investigate Trump, but he seemed to me to be carefully avoiding saying he’d tell anyone not to.

  83. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: he should suggest to his AG to look into the matter.

    No, he shouldn’t. He needs to stay far far away from it. Even the appearance of political influence in such an investigation would be it’s death knell.

    Remember when Obama first learned about the investigation Russian links to the trump campaign? He was told by investigators that it was being done. He then replied that everything should be absolutely done by the book. He directed nothing and nobody to do anything other than follow the law.

    That’s why all the GOP led congressional investigations into the matter kept falling flat on their faces. There was no there there, no matter what kind of shenanigans Devin Nunes or Ron Johnson, or (insert you GOP congress critter here) got up to or insinuations they might make.

    Biden absolutely has to follow the Obama playbook on this and stay far far away from it.

    ETA: Whoop whoop!!! a working edit function, first time today.

    3
  84. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    (Prosecution of Trump) Is something Biden should stay far far away from. Maybe some state AGs should do it, or an independent commission, or special prosecutor, but Biden? No fucking way.

    I agree Biden should keep his distance. but I don’t see a need for a commission or special prosecutor. Deal with them as routine criminal matters. I’d like to know why Trumpsky has been so cozy with Russia, but I can live with leaving that to history if we, for instance, investigate Jared for profiteering on PPE and jail him if he has. Are there prison terms associated with Hatch Act violations?

  85. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: If in the course of an investigation of any # of trump associates, say Meadows for his illegal campaign fund raids, an FBI agent comes across a direct link to the trumps (say a disbursement to one of Ivanka’s many consulting groups) and he runs it up the FBI chain of command and an order comes back down that yes he can follow up on it but to be damn careful to cross his t’s and dot his i’s, without ever going near Joe’s desk, yes.

    He is not supposed to influence investigations in either direction.

    2
  86. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Scott:

    I have been surprised the Biden campaign hasn’t demanded the use of the White House for a campaign event like Trump did.

    They should demand the use of the WH lawn for their VICTORY PARTY!!!

    1
  87. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: I’m not saying how such a thing should be investigated, only pointing out that there are a # of avenues for more or less insulating an investigation from politic al interference or the appearance of political interference. I say more or less because Mueller allowed politics to keep his investigation from looking into trump finances.

  88. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I see absolutely no issue with Biden telling his AG: “as regards Trump and his family and cabinet officials, I want you to do everything by the book.”

    1
  89. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: If you can’t see the problem with him asking for an investigation into a political opponent, even one “done by the book”, even one as crooked as trump, I’m not sure I can help you.

    1
  90. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: As the song goes, “there is nothing to it [musical theme break] all you gotta do is do it.”

    1
  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Sorry, I don’t buy it, people aren’t computers that can be reprogrammed and set to do a different task, more likely they will be tossed aside and depending on the society, left to rot.

    You say that like it’s some kind of a bad thing. It’s merely the market working its magic to bring prosperity to me (the rest of) us.

    1
  92. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Within the past hour, Trump has released what appear to be stills from the tape on his Twitter feed.

  93. Teve says:

    With 13 days left to go, my anxiety about the election has faded. Biden is going to beat Trump’s ass.

    good Kevin Drum post

  94. JohnSF says:

    Regarding investigation into Trump, his family and his associates, as I’ve suggested before, the people with a real interest in this are ambitious Republicans.

    They will doubtless try to avoid being seen holding the knife; but if you were a Republican pol. with ambitions re. the presidency, how appealing would “Don Jr 2024” sound to you? (Or Ivanka 2028?)

  95. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mikey: I was going to note an old saying from my childhood (which also happens to apply to the ACB hearings, strangely enough)

    That was then… this is now

    It was used as a theme for a book, a movie, and a hit song. A kind of a pop culture trifecta.

    1
  96. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Of course he does. He can’t evade them there.

    1
  97. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Sorry, I don’t buy it, people aren’t computers that can be reprogrammed and set to do a different task, more likely they will be tossed aside and depending on the society, left to rot.

    It was a good 20 years ago or so when I read that the average (young) person can expect to have 8 careers in their life. Not eight jobs, but eight careers. The days of having one job for 40 years are long gone.

    I’m in my mid 50s. If I’m very conservative with the numbers, I’ve had [counts on his fingers and toes…. ] at least nine.

    In my current position (“ad hoc admin”), I’m doing work in the following departments:

    * Assembly
    * Finance
    * Sales
    * Customer Service
    * Logistics
    * Technical Support

    I’ve a good friend who spent ~20 years at a factory as the security guard. When they went all-electronic on their security, they moved him to maintenance. Within a year or two he was in R&D where he designs valves used in high-tech fire suppression systems and US Navy nuclear submarines*.

    That “reprogramming” you refer to is more commonly known by a different word: Learning.

    The farmers I graduated with–35 years ago–needed to know basic agriculture and how to fix an engine (a carbureted engine). Now, those same farmers are reprogramming their combines; using RFID to track their herds and kan-ban to track and order supplies; scouring over satellite imagery to calculate the best plowing patterns; and following the Nikkei, Euronext, BSE, and SSE to plan their next crops.

    Are we going to turn assembly line workers into C++ coders in a 6-week course? Of course not.

    But we absolutely have the ability to teach and train workers in fading industries the skills they need to find and secure jobs in other industries. And those workers have the ability to learn–if they want to.


    * And slurpy machines.

    5
  98. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Even if that were revealed, the big joke would be how little of it all the Trump Crime Family actually got. Most of it has probably gone to the associates. He’s like the sheriff in a county near Seattle who had been on the payroll of a drug cartel for 25 years–to the tune of a grand total of a few thousand dollars.

    Apparently, it was a discount grift.

  99. Mu Yixiao says:

    @CSK:

    I find it somewhat unlikely that 60 Minutes would give Trump a copy of the interview tapes (plural–there’s more than one camera).

    There are issues of journalistic integrity, copyright, and marketing in play that just make it… unlikely.

    1
  100. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: he probably agreed to it thinking he was going to make Lambo money, then he started getting pittances but realized he didn’t want to try hardball negotiations with six cholos carrying submachine guns and a chainsaw 😀

    2
  101. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Rs shot that down, though that had been their position prior to the passage of McCain-Feingold. [emphasis added]

    What’s that saying…”[something] opposed to what liberals want, updated daily…”?

    1
  102. Teve says:

    @JohnSF: guess who has been quietly visiting New Hampshire? I’ll give you a hint, his name rhymes with Rom Gotton.

    1
  103. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Cleek’s Law: Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today, updated daily.

    2
  104. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I don’t want to engage in a fight of what should or should not be done. I’ll just say there are many ways in which an obvious criminal who has been unsatisfactorily and incompletely investigated, can be targeted for a more comprehensive, exhaustive investigation. And surely someone with Biden’s experience should be able to figure it out, without giving orders to the AG.

    Hell, he should be smart enough to be able to deplore the fact the DOJ is investigating his former rival, even as he regrets he can’t interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation for political reasons.

    Ordinarily, I’d say not to investigate a former president. This doesn’t apply to Trump, who has very clearly committed obstruction, and who is known for violating laws against fraud, self-dealing, etc, etc. Letting it slide would be as bad as Ford pardoning Nixon. We know the consequences of that.

    The only objection I can see that makes sense, to me, is the Sulla principle. Sulla broke all norms and many laws in order to restore the Roman Republic and to reform it in various ways to keep it safe. He succeeded in the first objective, but not in the second. Because what he also showed was how to grab absolute power and make it stick, and how to coerce the Senate into granting him legitimacy.

    Biden’s would be breaking no laws in prosecuting Trump. If there is a norm against prosecuting a former president, it’s because none before have abused the office this badly, nor engaged in criminal activities as part of their electoral strategy, except Nixon (and see what happened to him).

    1
  105. charon says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The White House made its own tapes of the interview, supposedly for archival purposes. Trump has control of those, not the CBS tapes.

    1
  106. Jen says:

    The stills that Trump has posted to Twitter make no sense. What does he think they reveal? At least one is Kayleigh McEnany handing Leslie Stahl a huge, 5″ thick book and Trump has tweeted something like “Stahl didn’t realize how much we’ve done on healthcare!,” implying the book is…what? Full of secret plans?

    There’s a series of four pictures and one of them has Stahl opening the book. The pages are BLANK.

    I have no idea wtf Trump thinks he’s proving, but can’t we retire the folders full of blank paper/Trump signing blank paper/large book with blank pages shtick, please?

    3
  107. Just nutha ignint cracker- says:

    @Paine: Have they ever been part of *polite society* up to now? Not being part of it myself, I have no way of knowing, but would suspect that they probably haven’t really been either.

    For example, who are the Trumps’ (any of them) friends/acquaintances?

  108. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    Out of the blue and into the black
    You pay for this, but they give you that
    And once you’re gone, you can’t come back
    When you’re out of the blue and into the black

    The king is gone but he’s not forgotten (Tommy Cotton, Tommy Cotton)
    Is this the story of Tommy Cotton? (Tommy Cotton, Tommy Cotton)
    It’s better to burn out ’cause rust never sleeps
    The king is gone but he’s not forgotten

  109. Jen says:

    Well, it appears Philip Bump and I are of like minds on this topic.

  110. charon says:

    @Jen:

    Trump thinks he is still doing reality TV, it’s all about the images.

    3
  111. Mu Yixiao says:

    @charon:

    CBS allowed that?

    Wow.

  112. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    I think he’s claiming he made his own tape. I know 60 Minuteswouldn’t give him one. I’ve been on it, and Dateline, and Good Morning America.

    3
  113. Joe says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    As the song goes, “there is nothing to it [musical theme break] all you gotta do is doddley-do it.”

    FTFY, or perhaps I am thinking of a different song.

  114. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Now that I’m retired and the markets plus social security, I really should go all Gordon Gekko or perhaps even Randian and say screw the middle class and those workers. Let them scrape by hunting for food from dumpsters. Let the wealth accrue to the stockholders! But I won’t.

    Redistribute wealth!!

  115. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    the big joke would be how little of it all the Trump Crime Family actually got.

    I don’t remember the precise context but back in the day when Trump still had some of his fathers money to burn through a Manhattan business tycoon was talking about why people wouldn’t do business with him. As I remember it went like this, “It isn’t just that he tries to rip everyone off at the table and views every transaction as a win/lose one time deal, it’s also that he’s so lazy and oblivious that he leaves most of the money on the table. He burns a relationship forever to take $100K from someone when he could easily have made millions from the same deal by simply doing normal business.”

    4
  116. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The goal of automation is to reduce the workforce, Mu. The assumption there will be “other” jobs for everybody is based on faith and faith alone.

    Kurt Vonnegut may be proved prescient. See “Player Piano”.

    1
  117. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I didn’t think this was unusual anymore, at least as far as audio goes. I’ve definitely heard people talking about making their own recording and I vaguely remember a reporter getting tripped up by it.

    Television may be different, but would a reporter have the cojones to say “I want to interview you and record you but no, you can’t make your own tape.”?

  118. Kylopod says:

    It shouldn’t be hard to figure this out. The Stahl showdown is just the classic “point a gun at one’s own head and pretend to have the upper hand” except it isn’t a black guy awesomely trolling a group of rednecks, it’s a bleached old con artist trying to convince his mob of followers he hasn’t just been utterly humiliated.

    1
  119. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    When I was teaching Chinese businessmen how to negotiate with Americans, this was something I had to “politely explain”.

    Every culture has a metaphor for business. For Japan (especially in the 80s) it was a sword duel*: defeat the enemy and take what they had. For Germany, it’s clockwork: work together in precision to achieve a goal. For America it’s poker: play a good game, get the pot, and invite the other guy back for another game.

    In China it’s “a game of thieves”: use whatever skills and resources you have to get everything you can before the other guy finds out. The sliest fox wins.

    The problem is that Trump isn’t sly.

    * Japanese industry took “The Book of Five Rings” by Myomoto Musashi as their guidebook. It was written by the greatest Samurai warrior and described how to defeat an opponent using methods corresponding to the five elements: earth, wind, fire, water, void.

    1
  120. MarkedMan says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    The assumption there will be “other” jobs for everybody is based on faith and faith alone.

    We have long ago passed the point where everyone needs to work sunrise to sunset, 6-7 days a week just to provide shelter and food to everyone. Yet we still have a system that is almost entirely based on that need.

    1
  121. MarkedMan says:

    Arrgh. No edit

    What I meant to say above is “Yet we still have a system that is almost entirely based structures and institutions developed for an economy based on that need.”

    1
  122. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Ivanka was born in 1981; she doesn’t need to defer to Donnie Jr. in running for office.

    1
  123. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Could be, but even so it averaged out to about $10/month or something. That’s just sad. Trump-level sad. Bigly sad. Pathetic. Low energy. Very sad.

    1
  124. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: It reminds me of the Romney gaff about “binders full of women.”

    2
  125. Mu Yixiao says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    The goal of automation is to reduce the workforce, Mu. The assumption there will be “other” jobs for everybody is based on faith and faith alone.

    Without a workforce that’s earning money, there’s nobody to buy the stuff the robots are making.

    And the goal of automation is not to “reduce the workforce”. It’s to become more efficient.

    I had a long conversation with one of the planners in our metal shop the other day. In the forming shop, they have 2 robots and 4 manual machines. He’d like to get rid of one of the robots and replace it with 2 workers (along with retiring old machines from multiple vendors and replacing them with a few from the same vendor).

    A robot requires programming. If you’re only producing one item for years, a robot is more efficient. If you’re continually rotating small runs, adding new products, and/or running custom parts, a human will be far more efficient–and cost far less.

    Here’s something that everyone forgets:

    Humans don’t consume electricity, require replacement parts and regular maintenance, and depend upon multiple skilled engineers to keep them operational.

    At my job, I get copies of all the repair requests for our automated lines. It takes a lot of man-hours and a lot of expensive parts to keep a robot working.

    2
  126. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @CSK:
    CBS may have given the WH a line-out feed which they then recorded.
    If the WH releases anything I guarantee it will be heavily edited, and in a mis-leading fashion…a la Project Veritas.

    1
  127. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yeah. Just thought of Don Jr first.
    Of course, there’s Eric.
    Jared.
    Lara.
    Options, options, we got options…
    (Shame Melania can’t run, LOL)

    1
  128. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: “Don’t laugh! You’re next, you know!”

    1
  129. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    IMO, CBS could do worse than make its unedited footage available for free on their website and YouTube. But this would work only if they release it before Trump does (if he does, which is the BIG variable when dealing with Jell-O in human form).

    1
  130. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Television may be different, but would a reporter have the cojones to say “I want to interview you and record you but no, you can’t make your own tape.”?

    Did you miss the part where it was 60 Minutes?

    I expect them to have the cojones to say “This is exactly what’s going to happen–or we’ll go digging on our own and publish anything and everything that we feel the public need to know”.

    I can’t imagine that CBS and 60 Minutes would agree to letting anyone make their own recording of an interview.

    1
  131. Jen says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Yes, but for the fact that Romney had actually pulled together the resumes of multiple dozens of women he was considering for administration positions.

    The gaffe, in Romney’s case, was using the phrase “binders full of women.” Trump keeps re-using this stupid empty pages thing, and keeps getting caught doing it…he looks like a total idiot.

    Which, I suppose, he can’t do anything about. Still, you’d think that at some point his handlers would realize that it isn’t working and, you know, stop.

    4
  132. MarkedMan says:

    My (theoretical) example for the changes in the economy is based on picking asparagus. 20 years ago I was in an asparagus producing area and someone showed me why “it would never be automated”. Basically, asparagus growth intermingles mature spears with new sprouts making it difficult to separate what’s ready to pick from what isn’t. So asparagus picking remains (up to the last time I looked into it) in the hands of primarily low paid migrant labor. However, if we kicked out all the non-citizens we wouldn’t start employing locals to do the work at 2-3 times the labor rate plus having to treat them decently. Instead, we easily have the technology today to make an asparagus picker. My guess is that it would be 3-4 years from market.

    This is true in many many areas. The only reason to keep human hands in the mix is a combination of inertia and the availability of extremely cheap labor.

    You can see the effect of this already in the reversal of the rule of economies of scale. As an example, for more than a century beer production was increasingly concentrated in larger and larger companies employing fewer and fewer people per truckload of beer distributed. By the time we got to the 70’s there were many many towns that did not have a local beer brewer and, despite revenues going up, employment was going down. Today all the employment growth is in the small, inefficient breweries. Same is true for coffee roasters. For bakeries. And so on.

    I don’t have any answers, just an observation.

  133. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Tangential to the whole robots/workers question:Amazon’s warehouses have more costly workplace injury claims than meatpacking or logging, Washington state says and their L & I insurance rate is going up. Fun times.

    1
  134. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    There’s the well-known reluctance to provide a living wage for no work in return, or to raise wages enough so the work could be divided among many more employees (say 4-hour workdays, or 3-day work weeks).

    There’s also the sense that people with no jobs would go stir-crazy or become violent or something. I guess that’s possible, seeing as how much people’s identities can be tied to their work or career. But we could at least try to prepare people for other kinds of life, or to engage in other kinds of work.

    Consider that hobbies like playing video games are now, in part, spectator sports with paying audiences. it’s possible some other kind of hobbies could morph into something like a career, even if there were no money to be made off it (provided some sort of UBI).

    We’re not at the point where most labor is obsolete, but we can see it from here.

  135. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    @Kathy:

    If the WH releases anything I guarantee it will be heavily edited, and in a mis-leading fashion

    All said, I don’t think the WH will release anything because according to many accounts Trump was stinking the place up.
    CBS may release an unedited version, or likely a transcript, to protect themselves from claims of biased editing.

    1
  136. Kylopod says:

    @Jen:

    Trump keeps re-using this stupid empty pages thing, and keeps getting caught doing it…he looks like a total idiot.

    One of the most telling things is the way he always refers to the 1917 flu. He’s done this numerous times (there are videos documenting it). If he’d done it just once, and then stated the correct year thereafter, literally nobody would have cared. But he just keeps on making this relatively trivial error over and over and over. Either he doesn’t listen to his handlers when they correct him, or they don’t bother to correct him because they know he won’t listen, or they’re afraid of being fired. Maybe all the above. Whatever the reason, you simply cannot get him to stop repeating the same mistakes, big or small, because he never sees them as mistakes. Imagine President Ford doubling down on Poland not under Soviet domination, or Bill Clinton not inhaling, or Obama in 57 states. That’s what we have here with Trump.

    3
  137. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Were you in Hadley, Mass., the self-proclaimed “Asparagus Capital of the World”?

  138. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Now, those same farmers are reprogramming their combines;

    There have been several law suits about this and as of now, the law is they aren’t even allowed to turn a screw on their fancy dancy computerized machines. (don’t ask me too much about the legal reasoning but it’s something along the lines of they don’t own the computers or the software) Nebraska came real close in the past year or 2 in changing that but but Big AG dumped a whole lot of money on the NE lege and that was the end of that.

    2
  139. JohnSF says:

    @MarkedMan:
    In Japan: asparagus picking robot.

    I found this trying to find a link to a UK story; unable to locate it so far.
    Anyway, I live not far from one of the major asparagus (and other fruit/soft veg horticulure) areas in England, the Vale of Evesham.
    They have serious concerns about labour shortages due to Brexit interfering with the experienced migrant farm workers from Eastern Europe.
    So are trialing a lot of more automated systems; including asparagus pickers.
    One such reported on local news.

    Ah, found it! (Whole site looks full of interest on this topic)

  140. Teve says:

    K-Drummy-Drum:

    There is a strange belief among political consultants that if you express optimism you are likely to make people complacent. Hey, my guy is going to win, so I guess there’s no point in doing any more phone banking. But this is ridiculous. It’s a fundamental of human nature that people like to back winners. If you promise them that they’re part of a history-making landslide that will rid the country of its worst president ever, the result will be more energy, not less. What’s more, it’s actually true that Biden is expanding his lead:

    (Graph)

    I don’t have a crystal ball, but it’s a mistake to let the trauma of 2016 color everything. Right now, nothing is going Trump’s way. His attempted smear of Hunter Biden has mostly just aroused disgust. His rallies are feeble replays of 2016. He personally hosted an infamous superspreader event at the White House and still refuses to take COVID-19 seriously. He’s losing the support of women in droves. His attack on Biden as a pawn of AOC and the extremist wing of the Democratic Party is so absurd that people just laugh at it. Senate Republicans have all but abandoned him as a sure loser. He’s behind in national polling by an astonishing ten percentage points.

    So could Biden win in a landslide? Sure he could. In fact, I’d guess that with a big last-minute push it’s close to a certainty.

    POSTSCRIPT: Just remember: 2016 was a fluke, not a harbinger of the future. Trump is a buffoon and after four years in office most of the country knows it.

  141. Mu Yixiao says:

    Non-political topic.

    I started working at my current company 11 months ago. They give quarterly bonuses based on profits. Because of COVID, sales have been down and this is the first quarter they’ve been able to offer bonuses.

    I got a very modest bonus (not complaining; it’s a bonus). I decided to add to my stable of Wusthof knives (my mother has bought a few for me over the past few Christmases).

    $20 for a steel? Damn straight!
    $48 for a 5″ boning knife? After 1.5 years working for a butcher, I don’t know how I lived without one.

    Then I looked at shipping.

    The steel is free. For the boning knife:

    Oct 27-30: $0
    Oct 23-28: $33 … on a $48 item.

    Ummm…. WTF?

    2
  142. mattbernius says:

    White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reported spending almost $75,000 through his campaign and leadership PAC this year after announcing he would not run for re-election last December, with many expenses appearing to be for personal use, according to a report by Salon. Using campaign funds for personal use is illegal according to the Federal Election Commission. The expenses include gourmet cupcakes, a cell phone bill, grocery purchases, lavish meals and thousands of dollars at a Washington jeweler for “printed materials” on the day he officially resigned from Congress. Meadows’ campaign spent $60,000 from January to June before it was converted to the Freedom First PAC, which has since spent over $14,000. In that time, the campaign fund raised $600 and Meadows’ PAC raised no money at all.

    Jordan Libowitz of the D.C. watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and Washington said the disclosure “raises serious questions” about the purpose of that spending.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/mark-meadows-campaign-spent-dollar75k-on-cupcakes-jewelry-after-he-quit-congress-says-report

  143. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod:

    One of the most telling things is the way he always refers to the 1917 flu. He’s done this numerous times (there are videos documenting it). If he’d done it just once, and then stated the correct year thereafter, literally nobody would have cared. But he just keeps on making this relatively trivial error over and over and over

    My nephew cannot remember that Columbus arrived in America in 1492. He keeps saying 1493.

    I assume it had something to do with teaching him the following rhyme at an early age: In fourteen-hundred and ninety-three, Columbus sailed across the sea

    For the rest of his life he has been cursed with this. All because an uncle thought it would be funny to teach him something wrong, but which sounds more believable than In fourteen-hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

    “Sailed the ocean blue?” What does that even mean? It’s gibberish, I tell you. It’s the type of gibberish that sounds like something a bored uncle would make up. He remembers both rhymes, but not which one is correct.

    I like to think he will get more use out of the story of this than he ever would from knowing the actual year.

    I also told him that unicorns went extinct in the 1800s.

    1
  144. Michael Cain says:

    @CSK: My company once sent me on a three-day deep look at a technology one of the VPs wanted to invest in. It was somewhere in California. The city may not called itself the “Asparagus Capital” but they were having a week-long asparagus festival. The hotel kitchen did various things with asparagus all three nights I was there, all of it good.

    1
  145. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Holy shit. What startles me about that is that logging is the deadliest job in America.

  146. Gustopher says:

    @mattbernius:

    thousands of dollars at a Washington jeweler for “printed materials” on the day he officially resigned from Congress

    “engraving”. The word he was looking for was “engraving”.

    It’s pretty easy to spend a few thousand dollars at a jewelers for “printed materials” that way.

    1
  147. Michael Cain says:

    @Gustopher:

    “Sailed the ocean blue?” What does that even mean? It’s gibberish, I tell you.

    Best not say that around naval analysts. “Blue-water navy” is very much a thing, meaning ships that can operate for extended periods in the open ocean. As Columbus did, in those little tiny ships.

    1
  148. Joe says:

    Which, I suppose, he can’t do anything about. Still, you’d think that at some point his handlers would realize that it isn’t working and, you know, stop.

    I looked at one of the “blank page” photos, Jen, and I am not at all convinced that it’s not just the glare of the light that makes it look blank. But I would assume CBS would take the binder with them (and the WH would expect them to) and report on what it’s actual contents are. If they are truly blank pages, I would expect to hear that from CBS. Hell, it could be 4 years of the Congressional Record, but it’s clearly intended as a cheap visual prop, not a real argument on substance.

    1
  149. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: well, to be fair, Clinton not inhaling wasn’t a mistake, it was a lie. 😀

    2
  150. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: You are an evil evil man. I love it.

    1
  151. Teve says:

    Not that I blame Clinton for that lie. Five years before he said that lie, Douglas Ginsberg’s supreme court nomination was destroyed because he smoked weed in the 60s and 70s. I’d have lied too.

  152. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Maybe he’d prefer the wine-dark sea?

    2
  153. CSK says:

    Borat’s new movie features Rudy Giuliani in a way that’s not going to make Giuliani happy:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/how-rudy-giuliani-got-caught-redhanded-with-borats-daughter?ref=home

    1
  154. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: i’ve got a boning knife, an 8” chef’s knife, and a paring knife. And those are the only knives i ever need. The boning knife and paring knife are high-quality, but for chef’s knives I prefer cheap stamped ones because they’re light and thin.

  155. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    There is a significant business in the mid-west in the repowering and renovation of pre computer tractors.

  156. Teve says:

    Ocean blue, choir invisible, does anybody know why there are some terms in English where the adjective comes after the noun?

    I don’t suppose it’s a holdover from German, where the adjective typically comes after the noun.

  157. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I see your point, but my experience has been quite different. Here’s an illustrative case:

    Years ago I worked on equipment that was installed on the lines that put together catalogs or magazines. This was during the heyday of the catalog marketing craze and when people still subscribed to multiple magazines so the volumes were tremendous. This highly automated equipment is incredibly finicky, susceptible to small changes in humidity, fold thickness, paper surface, ink makeup, etc. As you pointed out, it takes highly trained technicians just to keep it running, and expensive engineers to design and improve. (Of course, it only takes a couple of horny teenagers to make a human.) But at the end of all that the 8-10 people actually working the machine were capable of producing tens of thousands of books per hour, properly addressed, and bundled for every individual mail carrier in the United States and sorted in the order they walked their route. (This is not an exaggeration – it’s literally how you get the cheapest mailing rate.). One day I was installing new equipment at a gigantic Houston printer/binder. My hotel was reached through the warehouse section and out past the back parking lot and I had a code to the back door. Late one night I was coming in to train the third shift and came across a startling sight: There was a huge space in the back of the warehouse cleared out with three or four strange assembly lines in it. Basically they consisted of a few sets of pulleys with ropes on them, and about 50 people sitting in chairs with boxes of tent folds next to them. A woman at the top would pull the rope forward, and everyone in the chairs would drop their fold on the stack. Pull forward, drop it on the next stack. At the end people would pull them off and bring them to some others who were stapling them, and other people would then bring those books to the trimmers, and then the addressers and then the sorters and so forth. Other people were bringing boxes full of folds to the people in the chairs. In the midst of all this commotion was the Plant Manager, a real VIP, and not usually someone I saw during 3rd shift. “What’s up?” I asked. He explained that this paper/ink combination could just not go through the automated machines and they kept these rigs around for just such an occasion. This was how they did things 100 years ago, and they only had to pull it out a few times a year. They lost their shirt whenever it happened because, well, 10 times the number of people at maybe a 50th of the production volume.

    In high volume production you simply can’t go backwards.

    1
  158. Teve says:

    @Michael Cain:

    “Blue-water navy”

    I’ve always wondered if there was a term that refers to the non-blue water navies.

  159. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Last comment for the night.

    The only reason to keep human hands in the mix is a combination of inertia and the availability of extremely cheap labor.

    Those are the least of the reasons to keep human hands in the mix.

    Humans not only have manual skills, they have knowledge, memory, understanding, and intuition.

    Robots only “know” what they are explicitly told. AI is slightly better, but it still only operates within the constraints of what it has been told–it’s just more fuzzy in the decision making.

    AI can’t “figure out” anything. AI can’t make a “judgement call”.

    AI can’t ask “Who’s this batch for?” and then call the buyer and negotiate a 2% discount because of a slight defect rather than either a) pissing off the customer or b) tossing the entire batch at a loss.

    AI can’t see a pattern of “within tolerance errors” and decide to talk to a previous step in manufacturing to figure out where and why the error is happening–much less come up with a way to fix it.

    AI and robots can’t immediately adapt to changing situations. They can’t intuit when something needs to be tweaked. A machine operator can see that a batch of sheet metal is a bit stiff and needs a gentle push when shaping it. A robot would need to be recalibrated and reporgrammed (something that could take hours).

    AI and robots are great for pumping out cheap shit with a tolerance of “fuck it, good enough”.

    If you want real quality you need people.

    1
  160. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: This was in the NW, in the Columbia river valley. The other “crop that couldn’t be automated” there was hop picking. I hope they’ve automated that because I heard there were deaths every year. I’m not sure of the exact cause, but the hop trellises supported many hundreds of pounds of leaves, vines and hops on tall flimsy wire and wood frames and my imagination turns gruesome thinking about how a collapse could cause a death.

    1
  161. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    Maybe he’d prefer the wine-dark sea?

    There is a fabulous discussion of the (non-)use of color terms in Homer in Guy Deutscher’s book Through the Language Glass.

    1
  162. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: Hah! I’ve used asparagus picking to illustrate that point for years! I guess it’s finally obsolete.

    Japan makes sense. Island. Aging population. Creepy ideas about racial purity that makes it very difficult for foreigners of any type to work there but especially those that come from low pay countries.

  163. Mikey says:

    @Teve:

    I’ve always wondered if there was a term that refers to the non-blue water navies.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown-water_navy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green-water_navy

    3
  164. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve:

    Ocean blue, choir invisible, does anybody know why there are some terms in English where the adjective comes after the noun?

    Many of them are quotations, primarily from poetry, that have fossilized as idioms.
    For example, “choir invisible” is from a poem by George Eliot. The inversion of adjective and noun was needed to make the poem scan.

    2
  165. Teve says:

    @Mikey: thanks!

  166. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I don’t want to engage in a fight of what should or should not be done.

    There’s no fight Kathy. We are disagreeing.

    Biden’s would be breaking no laws in prosecuting Trump.

    Strictly speaking, the President can’t prosecute anyone. That’s what the Attorney General (and the prosecutors below him in the DOJ) do. The president can set policy and priorities, but he is not supposed to interfere in investigations or prosecutions. That’s what got Nixon kicked out.

    I’ll just say there are many ways in which an obvious criminal who has been unsatisfactorily and incompletely investigated, can be targeted for a more comprehensive, exhaustive investigation.

    And a good AG will do this without involving the President. (in the case of Obama and the W era war crimes, I’m pretty sure Obama set the policy that those were really low on the priority scale. Biden could set different priorities)

    And surely someone with Biden’s experience should be able to figure it out, without giving orders to the AG.

    And there you have it.

    Hell, he should be smart enough to be able to deplore the fact the DOJ is investigating his former rival, even as he regrets he can’t interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation for political reasons.

    If they are smart, he won’t even “know” of it before indictments are handed down, at which point he can then deplore the necessity of it (and as you well know, the president has the pardon power which he can use for any reason)

    Ordinarily, I’d say not to investigate a former president.

    I have no problem with investigating a former president, I have a problem with a current president being involved in the investigation.

    Look, it may be a fiction that presidents don’t involve themselves in investigations or prosecutions, but it’s an important fiction. Banana republics do that. We do not. Or at least that is the lie we tell ourselves and it is important that those in power continue to give obeisance to that lie, at least to the extent of doing everything they can to ensure the appearance of it as truth.

    We are in uncharted waters here. The trump admin is as close to an ongoing criminal conspiracy as I have seen in my 62 years and read of since… I don’t know, Teapot Dome? Was that even in the same ball park? We need to proceed very carefully if we do not want to see political prosecutions become the new normal.

    1
  167. Kylopod says:

    @Teve:

    well, to be fair, Clinton not inhaling wasn’t a mistake, it was a lie.

    It was both. If he’d said outright he never smoked a joint, that would have been a lie, but it wouldn’t have provoked anywhere near the mockery of his actual statement. His statement was doubly dumb because it wasn’t true and because he was making a lame attempt to split the difference (which was a bad habit of his).

  168. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Yes there is. I am thinking of buying one if for no other reason than to box blade my drive. I really have very little need of one otherwise. (but it would be handy from time to time)

  169. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: though a fairly literate person, I know absolutely nothing about poetry, which I am in the process of correcting, and literally today the post office delivered Making Your Own Days to me. It was recommended by an English lit professor friend. Looking forward to exploring this whole new world.

  170. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    You’re talking about web presses for the catalogs, and an array of post-print tasks (fold, stitch, trim, etc,)

    Been there, did that.

    For background: My dad was a pressman who worked his way up to plant manager for 2 plants. I grew up knowing all about printing. I’ve been a (digital) pressman and a bindery bitch. I’ve also worked in a printshop where I was the only worker in the bindery doing 50K+ mailings packaged to carrier-route sorting.

    I know exactly what you’re talking about.

    The situation you’re describing is idiotic.

    He explained that this paper/ink combination could just not go through the automated machines and they kept these rigs around for just such an occasion.

    Bullshit. Pure unmitigated bullshit.

    Ink would have zero impact on bindery work*. And any paper that can go through the web presses can go through the bindery equipment. The presses are far more finicky than anything in the bindery.

    *Unless it was some super-special ink–which wouldn’t be used on a catalog.

  171. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I don’t disagree with any of that so… not really a fight. My original point is that economies of scale rely on producing millions of identical products, while the trend in employment growth has been in the semi-custom market.

    If you look at some colonial era antique furniture pieces they use what is called a “full blind dovetail”. This is an extremely difficult joint requiring a master craftsman and results in the two boards seeming to come together with no joinery whatsoever. But now that we can mass produce furniture that looks like that, there is a market for expensive furniture with obvious joinery, especially joinery that is blatantly hand done.

    40 years ago I wanted to buy my Miller High Life in a bottle and have it taste exactly the same no matter where I brought it. Today I walk down to my neighborhood brew pub and buy Checkerspot Juniperous (a revelation!) brewed in only that one location and still varying very slightly from batch to batch. They probably have 5% of the employees of the local Bud brewery to make, what, 0.05% of the volume?

  172. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I was reading this and nodding my head in agreement while waiting for the other shoe to drop. And you almost got there when you said,

    AI and robots are great for pumping out cheap shit with a tolerance of “fuck it, good enough”.
    If you want real quality you need people.

    The fact is corporate America doesn’t want real quality, they want profits. And for that, “fuck it, good enough” does just fine.

    1
  173. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m going to assume you were just spitting in the wind there when you called what I said “Bullshit” because that would just be R&I. In any case, it happened. I was there. I saw it. I talked to the Plant Manager.

    And if you think any combination of ink and paper that can be handled on a web press can easily feed into a saddle stitcher in folded form, well, that flies in the face of what I saw those poor bastards dealing with on a daily basis. With further thought, I will allow that slight variations on the folder would probably also cause problems, but nonetheless, on some days and with some batches they just jammed over and over and these poor guys earned their money. And I was there for 7 weeks. (Don’t ask. A nightmare).

    Just to prove my point, the high end saddle stitchers had elaborate systems to compensate for a jam resulting in a bad booklet. The equipment I was installing addressed the mags from a list in mail walk-sort order. If a booklet was ruined because of a jam, a makeup book would be run and if it couldn’t get into the end of the correct bundle*, the bundler would set that entire bundle aside and the makeup book would shoot out the side and be added to it. Trust me, the expense of adding that to our equipment and the saddle stitcher itself wouldn’t be worth it if jamming was rare occurrence.

    *Not worth going into but the walk-sort discount allowed for a certain number of out of sequence catalogs provided they were place on top of the bundle.

  174. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve:

    though a fairly literate person, I know absolutely nothing about poetry, which I am in the process of correcting

    I got into it by accident. My mother was an English teacher, and there were these collections of poetry just sitting there on the shelves. One day I got sufficiently bored after school to start browsing one…

    There are no poets that I can claim to always enjoy, but some of my favorite poems are by people like John Donne, Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Peter Viereck, e e cummings, Langston Hughes, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael Chitwood, Scott Cairns, Sylvia Plath, …

    Here’s a nice topical poem by Scott Cairns:

    Possible Answers to Prayer

    Your petitions—though they continue to bear
    just the one signature—have been duly recorded.
    Your anxieties—despite their constant,

    relatively narrow scope and inadvertent
    entertainment value—nonetheless serve
    to bring your person vividly to mind.

    Your repentance—all but obscured beneath
    a burgeoning, yellow fog of frankly more
    conspicuous resentment—is sufficient.

    Your intermittent concern for the sick,
    the suffering, the needy poor is sometimes
    recognizable to me, if not to them.

    Your angers, your zeal, your lipsmackingly
    righteous indignation toward the many
    whose habits and sympathies offend you—

    these must burn away before you’ll apprehend
    how near I am, with what fervor I adore
    precisely these, the several who rouse your passions.

    2
  175. Michael Cain says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    There is a significant business in the mid-west in the repowering and renovation of pre computer tractors.

    My nephew in rural Kansas is pretty much a genius at keeping old farm equipment running properly and has a rapidly growing service business. He says that there’s also a substantial underground economy in decoding tractor ROMs and modifying them to squeeze more power out. He won’t touch them because John Deere et al actively go after people who do that. The only political topic that he and I agree on is “right to repair.”

  176. Bill says:

    @Teve:

    well, to be fair, Clinton not inhaling wasn’t a mistake, it was a lie.

    Clinton was just repeating what he learned from F Troop.

    3
  177. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    AI and robots are great for pumping out cheap shit with a tolerance of “fuck it, good enough”.

    Wow. I’d love to sit down and have a beer with you and figure out what you were working for this to be your takeaway. (Seriously.) I can’t imagine any way for a human being to assemble, say, an iPhone with the precision required. Or for that matter, to grind the tiny lenses in its camera, or attach the wires to the wire pads, or connect the IC’s to the boards or, well, virtually every assembly and fabricatio step. I think that if you made the equipment that allowed a human to do that you would just end up with a robot that required a human to rub it to get it going.

    3
  178. Kylopod says:

    @Bill: Hey, I never knew about that before! All these years, did any pundit in America point it out? It gets less than 20 hits on Google!

  179. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: i’m a slightly modified Paul Giamatti. I am not drinking any Fucking IPAs!

  180. Mikey says:

    @Teve:

    I am not drinking any Fucking IPAs!

    Ugh, IPA. Probably the worst beer fad imaginable. Let’s take a beverage meant to be full-bodied and hearty and make it thin, watery, and intolerably bitter!

    3
  181. Flat earth luddite says:

    @Kylopod:
    @Teve:
    Non political (no one in their right mind would ever elect me!) but I had a job interview in the post-Clinton years where I was asked about my ganja use. I replied that “it was the 70s, of course I inhaled!” He just signed, mumbled something about ‘you guys’ and moved on to offer me the job.

    1
  182. Kathy says:

    @DrDaveT:

    There’s wide disagreement on what Homer meant by that. Apparently the original ancient Greek translates literally as wince-face sea, or wine-faced sea, which makes no sense to us moderns.

  183. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve:

    i’m a slightly modified Paul Giamatti. I am not drinking any Fucking IPAs!

    I was very grateful to that film — the price of good merlot plummeted…

    I mostly share your opinion of IPAs, though I will drink one now and then. It does seem a terrible waste of American brewing energy and creativity, though, to waste it all on over-hopped dishwater. What’s even worse is that the over-hopping trend has corrupted other kinds of beers as well — I’ve been served Imperial Stouts that were noticeably hoppy, which ought to be a felony.

    3
  184. Bill says:

    @Kylopod:

    All these years, did any pundit in America point it out?

    Nobody so far as I know. I guess there has never been a Washington pundit who grew up watching sitcom repeats on WPIX Channel 11 in New York. The days of I dream of Jeannie*, Gilligan’s Island, Abbot and Costello movies every Sunday morning and F Troop. Hogan’s Heroes was on Channel 5. Get Smart I forget what channel had it.

    *- I never watched much of Jeannie’s counterpart, Samantha on Bewitched and even less of Sitcoms like Andy Griffith and The Beverly Hillbillies.

  185. Mikey says:
  186. Mikey says:

    @Flat earth luddite: Considering the preservative properties of the hops, this makes sense.

  187. Flat earth luddite says:

    See above edit?

  188. Michael Cain says:

    When I drink any of the over-hopped beers, I am reminded of a story a history prof once told about the days when the Catholic church was first spreading into what would eventually be Germany. The new German priests asked if it was okay if they kept drinking beer. The pope asked for a sample. Imagine a cask of beer going by oxcart over the Alps and down to Rome, and the condition it would be in when it arrived. Supposedly the Pope took a sip, spit it back into the cup, and said that if the German priests wished to do this additional penance, it was okay with him.

    1
  189. Teve says:

    @Mikey:

    Ugh, IPA. Probably the worst beer fad imaginable

    i know! Why couldn’t the fad be Belgian white beers, or Brown Ales or Anything else.

    1
  190. Teve says:

    Amanda Mull is a Georgia girl who now lives in Brooklyn and wrote fashion journalism for about a decade and now does lifestyle pieces for the Atlantic. She is just about my favorite thing on Twitter.

    @AmandaMull

    I have located a person who has not heard about Rudy Giuliani and Borat OR Horny Fort Bragg!! I get to be the bearer of ALL THAT NEWS. I am a being of pure light

    2
  191. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    A friend has 2, with all the accessories, but he also has 1500 acres of corn. His are 1980’s vintage so they look similar in size to contemporary. He does have an old FarmAll and Ford as lawn decorations.

  192. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Look, it may be a fiction that presidents don’t involve themselves in investigations or prosecutions, but it’s an important fiction. Banana republics do that. We do not.

    Oh, ok. We’re agreed on that.

    Still, federal prosecutions are not left to the AG, but, as you point out, they conform with the policies set by the administration. I suppose, and see nothing untoward, to set priorities for the DOJ as well.

    So Biden can, with perfect adherence to the norms, set a policy to investigate malfeasance within the executive branch as regards foreign interference in elections, and also general misuse or abuse of cabinet offices in prior administrations (where the statutes of limitations have not expired).

    I see no problems at all.

  193. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Cain:

    “right to repair.”

    If Dems want an issue to help them make inroads to red states, this is it. Dems promoting right to repair will be a conversation opener with rural folks.

    3
  194. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I could not agree more.

    1
  195. Mikey says:

    Apparently Trump wants a Comey-style October Surprise and Director Wray isn’t providing one, so Trump wants to fire him.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-wray-biden-barr/2020/10/21/6ce69f02-13b0-11eb-ad6f-36c93e6e94fb_story.html

  196. Teve says:

    @kurteichenwald

    I finally dug a little bit into the “Hunter Biden email” story because I could not figure out what the supposed scandal was. Let’s assume the “smoking gun” email is real. The “scandal” is even more ridiculous than it seems, and depends on the endless stupidity of Trumpers….
    …so, again, presume the Hunter “smoking gun” email is real. According to that, Hunter introduced Vadym Pozharskyi to Joe. I had *no* idea Pozharskyi was who the introduction was supposed to be with, and I literally laughed out loud when I saw it. Who is Pozharskyi? And is…/2
    …the conservative media so stupid they don’t even know???

    Let’s begin: They year before the email, Pozharskyi became the national coordinator for a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) project in Ukraine. This was a MAJOR economic development program…/3
    …in Ukraine. So major, in fact, that the real surprise is apparently Biden DIDNT meet with Pozharskyi, since Ukraine and its economic development were part of his portfolio.

    Is that all? NOPE! The year before the email, Pozharskyi also joined the UN Environmental Program as…
    …a consultant.

    Is that it? No! There’s more! Pozharskyi was also Executive chairman of the International Forum on Energy Security for the Future. Now this where it gets fun. That group was founded by Prince Albert II of Monaco, as well as the former president of Poland…
    …and Burisma itself. AH! BURISMA! SCANDAL!

    Nope. It was after this that the former president of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski’s (who set up IFESF through his Amicus Europae Foundation) and Pozharskyi were asked to join Burisma as directors. Along with Cofer Black, USA head…
    …of CIA counterterrorism under GW Bush & strong Republican. AND that was when Hunter Biden, who worked with Boies Schiller – a top American law firm that represented Burisma – joined the board of Burisma as *lawyers from law firms representing overseas corporation often do*…

    …So, let’s recite the scandal (again, assuming the email is real):

    Hunter Biden offered to introduce to his father – who was responsible for Ukraine – to the national coordinator for a UN’s Industrial Development Organization project in Ukraine who was executive chairman of…
    …the International Forum on Energy Security for the Future and a consultant to the United Nations Environmental Program. And Hunter likely met Pozharskyi as a director – one of many, including the former president of Poland and America’s former counterterrorism chief at CIA…
    …but let’s keep going. The WAS NEVER a Burisma investigation. It. Is. Fiction. It would be as if you said that Bill Gates was being investigated for taking bribes through his foundation, which means Microsoft is under investigation. It never happened….
    …there WAS an investigation of Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, but it had nothing to do with Burisma. It was about him, personally, allegedly taking foreign bribes while in the government as Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources in Ukraine. And guess what?…
    …that investigation, which began in *Britain* was killed by a British court because of obstruction by (drum roll please) Viktor Shokin, the Ukraine prosecutor now held up as a hero by the GOP. The same Shokin who protected enormous number of corporate kleptocrats in Ukraine…
    …and which undermined Ukraine economic development. As a result,these groups demanded Shokin be fired (which is supposedly the big scandal done to protect Burisma, which wasn’t under investigation):
    The International Monetary Fund
    The European Union.
    The USA (through Biden…
    …playing out official policy of the Obama Administration)
    Western Institutional Investors
    Canada (without economic pressure, since it was working with the IMF on that)

    …and in Ukraine:
    100 members of Parliament
    The deputy Prosecutor General (Shokin’s deputy)….
    …Ukranian Bar Association
    Protesters in the street

    …and on and on and on. So my bet is, the email could well be real because, duh. Why wouldn’t Biden meet such a person? And what possible benefit would come to Hunter, who was already on the board of this company NOT under…
    …investigation.

    The Russians know us well. Conservatives are both facile liars and fucking morons. They dont know what was going on in Ukraine (or are lying about it) they dont know who these people are (ditto) but they know “scandal!”

    Stupid people are easy to fool.
    end

    5
  197. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: My guess would be “coastal” in the sense of the US Coast Guard being a different organization with a different function than the blue water US Navy. I might be wrong, however.

  198. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mikey: I see that, as usual, I didn’t read far enough.

    1
  199. a country lawyer says:

    @Teve: brown water navy

  200. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: by the definitions given up above, I think the Coast Guard would kinda qualify as a green water Navy. (Minus most of the boom-boom)

    1
  201. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: She could ask me, too. I read the posts about both but still don’t understand (or care about) either one. (Note: I didn’t connect to any links in either comment, see previous parenthetical.)

  202. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: This hits upon one of my most treasured things: concepts obvious to one culture but not to another. It turns out the ancient Greeks had no concept of “blue” as a color. And it turns out they weren’t unusual. Wrap your head around that!

    1
  203. MarkedMan says:

    @DrDaveT: I will not bore you with the difference between East Coast and West Coast IPAs, nor the huge impact the hops themselves have (Simcoe vs. Citra, for example), nor dwell on the variations of hazy style IPA. All I’ll say is don’t assume that IPA implies a flavor or bitterness profile in the US. It does mean it is hop-forward but doesn’t say anything about the type of hops or how they are added. IPA may be more defined in the UK where it originated, but all I can say is “Thank god I live in the USA”

  204. Teve says:

    @AhmedBaba_

    Joy Reid just said Trump obsesses over President Obama like the Joker fixates on Batman and idk if I’ve ever heard a more accurate analogy in my life lol.

    2
  205. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I know of enough weird psychological effects not to take this as a serious quirk, but this passage has me baffled (emphasis added):

    Egyptians, who were the only culture that could produce blue dyes, were the first ancient civilisation to have a word for the colour blue.

    Once this product spread, other civilisations picked up on the colour, which doesn’t readily appear in nature.

    Could no one see the sky?

    3
  206. Kiki says:

    @Jen: If only the FEC was staffed with the proper number of commissioners.

    1
  207. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    All I’ll say is don’t assume that IPA implies a flavor or bitterness profile in the US.

    I have actually tasted quite a few IPAs, and I’m aware of the difference between original India Pale Ales and the US variants. I quite like some IPAs; my disgust is mostly generated by the fact that 84% of the beermaking energy in the US is currently going to make a style of beer that deserves to be about 7% of the portfolio. But then I drink wee heavies in August, so take that with as much salt as you like.

    1
  208. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    Could no one see the sky?

    The idea that the “blue” of the sky and the “blue” of azurite are just shades of the same color is cultural, not biophysical. In Russian, they are denoted by two unrelated color terms. In many cultures, the blue of the sky and the green of leaves are described by the same color term.

    Again, you really need to read Through the Language Glass if you are interested in these questions.

    1
  209. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It turns out the ancient Greeks had no concept of “blue” as a color.

    Well, sort of.

    There are patterns to how various cultures parse color. Everybody distinguishes light from dark; there are languages that have only those two color terms. If there are three color terms, the third one almost always separates “red” from light and dark. After that, the next step is invariably to split off a term for yellow/blue/green from red and light and dark. (If your translation of the Iliad includes the phrase “green as honey”, it’s because the translator didn’t realize that the term /chloros/ that eventually came to mean “green” in later Greek still meant yellow/green/blue in Homeric times.)

    As noted above, the best expert discussion of this that I have ever seen is in the book Through the Language Glass by the linguist Guy Deutscher.

  210. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    @DrDaveT:
    When I did a module in late16th/early17th centuries poetry (many years ago) this topic cropped up, briefly.
    There appear to be two, somewhat related explanations:

    The language was still in transition from Middle English, which tended to be more flexible in word order than Modern English; and in turn less free than Old English, where inflection rather than word order was the basis.

    Secondly, a lot of recorded poetry was either from or for an upper class environment, or after such a pattern.
    This is thought to have had a lingering effect of Anglo-Norman French, the medieval language of the aristocracy, where adjective after noun was usual.
    So that pattern had a “courtly” or formal or archaic feel to it. So it became a common poetic device.

    But also, because of the language transition thing, it didn’t stand out quite as much as it does to us, and so was fair play for fitting to rhyme or metre.

    1
  211. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    Thanks for that.
    I was aware of the whole Zlochevsky thing.
    But I never looked at Pozharskyi’s background, just assumed he was simply a Burisma executive employee. Doh!

    1
  212. JohnSF says:

    re. IPA, I like them but…
    I’ve tried a couple of American IPA’s and they seemed way over-hopped.
    UK bitter varies a lot and IPA is really just a variant of that; the IBU scale of bitter is generally around 25 to 50; IPA 40 to 120.
    I’d say anything over about 75 is likely too damn much.

    Apparently some of the very early IPA did have very high IBU levels; but that was because they were using it primarly as a preservative for pale ales to be shipped to India.

    Though the IBU scale is not the only thing in play; dark roast malts, residual sugar, high alcohol can all make a a given IBU taste less “bitter”.

  213. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Teve: Yeah, there was the “brown-water navy” in Vietnam. John Kerry and one of my cousins both served in it.