Welcome to December Forum

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


  1. Rick DeMent says:

    Well, being December and all, I would just like to pop in to tell our hosts how much I value their work and writing on this site. I am as guilty as anyone of being overly critical and combative at times, but this is the place I go to read well thought out and sober analysis of the seminal issues of the day. So … thank you!

    And here is something that no one asked for, but we all probably really need.

    Cocaine Bear

  2. Jax says:

    Hahahaha…..Newt Gingrich has a piece up about how Republicans need to stop understimating Joe Biden. I refuse to give him the satisfaction of linking to it here, but you’ll all probably see it on Memeorandum, anyways. It’s something else. He almost made it to admitting Republican policies aren’t that popular, but not quite.

  3. CSK says:

    And, if you needed further confirmation that Trump will destroy the Republican Party, here it is:


  4. BugManDan says:
  5. Kylopod says:

    @Jax: I’ve followed Newt throughout his career, and I definitely think he leans more toward opportunist than true-believer. He has always had these occasional moments where he briefly drops the loonie-right act and says something sensible and rational.

    But it also feels like he hasn’t actually learned anything. His own political career was destroyed in part because of an expected red wave that failed to materialize, which ended up being (mostly correctly) blamed on him, due to his ill-advised impeachment against a sitting Democratic president (and the eventual revelation that he was carrying on his own extramarital liaison at the same time). That memory apparently has not stopped him from going all-in on the Hunter-laptop stuff (he recently called Biden “the most corrupt president in US history”).

  6. BugManDan says:

    @BugManDan: If a bill is passed forcing the unions to accept the deal, what is the consequences of still striking?

  7. Kathy says:


    The sick leave bill is separate from the bill to force the contract. No way Republiqans vote to cost any wealthy corporation money.

    That’s why it wasn’t bundled with the rest. It’s a poison pill for the GQP.

    My question sis this: can a federal law mandate paid sick leave nation-wide? And, if so, why isn’t there one already?

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BugManDan: The house did add 7 days of sick leave, so hopefully that satisfies the unions and can still get through the senate.

    That is actually in a separate bill which good on them for doing it, but it will need the vote of 10 GOP to overcome a GOP filibuster in the Senate. As I understand it, the hope is that it can be gotten thru under reconciliation rules but I don’t know how all that works or if it even applies here.

    Without the risk of a rail strike I don’t know if the votes are there. TBH, I think the risk of a rail strike just might motivate the GOP even more to vote against it. You know, crash the economy, putting millions out of work and guaranteeing a GOP red wave election in ’24.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BugManDan: People go to jail? The unions go under court supervision? A lot of people lose their jobs and get replaced?

    Don’t know the particulars of the law but I suspect these tools and more, all of which have been used before for other reasons, can all be put into play.

  10. Jen says:

    I think if they are going to prevent a strike, the very least they can do is give the railworkers the 7 days of paid sick leave.

    I’ve heard a number of bullsh!t arguments from the side of the businesses, such as “the rail workers have been okay with this in the past” (so what?), and “other businesses use combined paid time off” (again, so what? these are far more physical jobs than sitting in an office, also, because of the new efficiency scheduling, you have to schedule your time off, which is sort of hard to do when YOU ARE SICK, because getting sick is almost always unscheduled).

    Bottom line, I support the prevention of a strike, but only if the workers are getting what they would if they were permitted to strike.

  11. @Rick DeMent: First, many thanks for the kinds words.

    Second, that is quite the cast for a film that I thought might be a joke when I saw the poster in a social media post yesterday.

  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    Thanks for that. Very interesting. Sobering.

  13. Rick DeMent says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I know right, there are some decent actors in that movie including Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Ray Liotta, and the always brilliant Margo Martindale.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Elon Musk has said he has “resolved” a misunderstanding with Apple over his claim that Twitter was being threatened with removal from the iPhone maker’s app store.

    The new Twitter owner tweeted on Wednesday that he had had a “good conversation” with Apple CEO Tim Cook and that Apple had “never considered” removing the social media platform from its app store.

    So elon had his little tantrum and it was all much ado about nothing? Hmmm… he fired all the maids and butlers that used to work at twitter, I wonder who is going to clean up the mess of toys he threw on the floor and food at the wall?

  15. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: @Rick DeMent:

    I listened to the WTF ep with Elizabeth Banks a few weeks ago. She directed it, and it sounds like a really creative, original movie of the type Hollywood tends not to make anymore. I did not watch her remake of Charlies Angels, but Pitch Perfect II was a a well-made comedy. This could be her breakout film as a director.

  16. @Neil Hudelson: Good to know.

  17. Michael Cain says:


    As I understand it, the hope is that it can be gotten thru under reconciliation rules but I don’t know how all that works or if it even applies here.

    Reconciliation bills are limited to three topics: federal revenue (eg, taxes), federal spending on existing programs, and the debt limit. Substantive legislation is not allowed. “Railroads must give their unionized workers up to seven days of unscheduled sick leave every year” is substantive and will never get past the parliamentarian.

  18. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You’re welcome. The following is a great line from a piece that has many of them:

    “Complete and utter inperviousness to shame is one of Trump’s superpowers.”

  19. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Reconciliation bills are limited to three topics: federal revenue (eg, taxes), federal spending on existing programs, and the debt limit. Substantive legislation is not allowed. “Railroads must give their unionized workers up to seven days of unscheduled sick leave every year” is substantive and will never get past the parliamentarian.

    That isn’t a bad description, but I would quarrel slightly with your use of the word “substantive.” Quite a lot can be passed using reconciliation, since so much of federal government policy involves decisions about how funds are allocated. You can’t create a new government program or agency through reconciliation, but you can undermine one, which is one of the reasons why reconciliation benefits Republicans more than Democrats. Republicans have used it for their tax cuts and for things like eliminating the Obamacare’s individual mandate, where they technically left it on the books but set the penalty for not buying insurance to zero. Dems used it for their Covid relief package. They also used it in the passage of Obamacare, though that’s complicated and has led to a popular misconception that the law was “passed through reconciliation,” which isn’t quite accurate. (To briefly summarize: Dems passed the majority of elements of the law through a Senate bill with 60 votes to overcome a filibuster; that bill would not have been allowed under reconciliation because it made significant regulatory changes. But after the Dems unexpectedly lost their 60-seat majority when Scott Brown won his seat in a special election, they passed a separate bill through reconciliation that made some tweaks to the first bill, just so they could make it palatable to enough House Democrats to pass the Senate bill in the House.)

  20. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Cain:

    The Parliametarian is only an obstacle for Democrats. Last time one ruled against Republicans, the Republicans fired them and got a new one who said it was okay.

  21. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon: That isn’t exactly true. The GOP did that during Bush’s presidency, but they declined to do so during Trump’s even when the parliamentarian was rejecting some of the things they proposed, which played a role in the collapse of the Obamacare repeal attempts. Trump was screaming on Twitter about the need to nuke the filibuster, and some other Republicans like Ted Cruz were suggesting just ignoring the parliamentarian. McConnell didn’t do any of that, and he accepted the parliamentarian’s rulings. I think he believed he could get most of what he wanted through reconciliation, so he didn’t see a point in undermining the filibuster. Of course, he unhesitatingly ended the filibuster for SCOTUS appointments so he could get Gorsuch (and eventually Kavanagh and Barrett) through.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: Thanx, even to my ignorant ear it sounded off. I probably misread something somewhere or just as likely conflated 2 different stories.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:
  24. Kathy says:


    Hmmm… he fired all the maids and butlers that used to work at twitter, I wonder who is going to clean up the mess of toys he threw on the floor and food at the wall?

    The government.

    Elon is too big to fail.

    “Government Bad. Government take money from Elon. DON’T LOOK AT MONEY MY LEFT HAND TAKING! Government bad!”

  25. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: ” You know, crash the economy, putting millions out of work and guaranteeing a GOP red wave election in ’24.”

    You mean crash the economy just as the Republicans take over the House and prove incapable of doing anything about it? I can actually imagine them thinking this will work to their advantage…

  26. grumpy realist says:

    I’m still morbidly following the car crash called Twitter as run by Elon Musk.

    Am wondering if Musk is crazy enough to assume that he could set up a company where everyone in the world needs to pay Elon $8/month in order to have a Twitter account and control what was being posted under their name.

    I also suspect that there’s going to be a huge stinkin’ scandal Very Soon Now when someone signs up under someone else’s (famous) name and sh*tpost and Elon’s “verifiers” won’t have caught it.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @wr: “Biden did that.”

    I love the fact that all those Biden “I did that.” stickers have suddenly disappeared from all the gas pumps.

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    The house did add 7 days of sick leave, so hopefully that satisfies the unions and can still get through the senate.

    I wonder if that addition was related to all the lefty progs in the House who keep seeking perfect failure instead of imperfect success?

  29. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I wonder if those “Biden Did That” stickers are still available. I might want to put up a few. Drove past Walmart this morning, they were under $3. Maybe also a couple of “Let’s Go Brandon” stickers. I don’t expect my neighbors are drawing any conclusions about Arabs and oil companies from the rapid fall in prices after the election.

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: “You mean crash the economy just as the Republicans take over the House and prove incapable of doing anything about it? I can actually imagine them thinking this will work to their advantage…”

    On the other side of the coin though, the possibility of them deciding to try bat-shirt crazy stuff that the Democrats can’t possibly go along with and then blaming “Democratic obstructionism and THE SQUAD AND AOC (!!!!!!!)” is pretty strong. Beyond the fact that it’s a go to move for them, the public is stupid enough to buy into it. Lounsbery will post about the vices of perfect failure ruining the chance of imperfect success, and I shudder to think of how the “reach out to the moderates” people will react.

  31. charon says:

    I found a really curious piece over at Martin Longman’s place. It’s paywalled though.

    It will be hard to post only excerpts and yet have it to make sense, but I’ll try:


    You’ll have to bear with me a bit before I get to why you should pay attention to what just happened in the Alaska state Senate. Let’s just say that it might serve as an interesting model for settling some chaos that might soon erupt in the U.S. House of Representatives.


    The biggest threat to McCarthy is coming from the far right, and Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Ralph Norman of South Carolina are already firm ‘no to McCarthy’ votes. That already puts the outcome of the contest on a razor’s edge. Yet, if McCarthy getting the gavel in in question, it’s doubtful that the House GOP caucus would rally around a far right alternative. They are some Republican moderates, believe it or not, and their majority is built on several seats they won in New York in districts that voted for Joe Biden. If McCarthy fails, it could signal a larger problem where the Republicans cannot coalesce around anyone at all.

    The last time the election for Speaker wasn’t settled on the first ballot was in 1923, although it was a regular occurrence before the Civil War.

    There have only been 14 instances in congressional history where it took more than two ballots for a nominee to get a majority. The first 13 happened before the Civil War.

    We may see the fifteenth instance in January, and that’s where the recent news from Alaska comes in.

    Seventeen of Alaska’s 20 state senators and senator-elects have banded together to form a bipartisan majority coalition that members promise will be moderate and consensus-focused.

    Read that carefully. With only 20 members, the Alaska Senate is the smallest state legislative body in the country, and it’s now split between 17 majority and 3 minority members. The actual partisan split of the Senate is 13 Republicans, 6 Democrats, and one Democrat (Lyman Hoffman) who traditionally caucuses with Republicans. But the majority caucus is made up 10 Republicans, and all seven Democrats, with 3 hard right Republicans left in the minority. The leadership and committee chairs are also split between Republicans and Democrats.

    Cathy Giessel, a Republican from South Anchorage, will be the majority leader; Sen. Bill Wielechowski, a Democrat from East Anchorage, will be chairman of the Rules Committee, which determines with the president which bills are voted upon…The powerful budget-writing Finance Committee will have three co-chairs, he said: Republican Sen. Bert Stedman of Sitka, overseeing the operating budget; Democratic Sen. Lyman Hoffman of Bethel, handling the capital budget; and Democratic Sen. Donny Olson of Golovin, managing other bills.

    The situation with the Alaska Senate isn’t unprecedented, as it also was “led by a bipartisan caucus from 2007 to 2012.” The reason the majority of Republican senators are willing to cede power to Democrats is that it’s impossible to govern the state if they have to rely only on their own party’s votes.


    I’ll admit that such an arrangement is hard to picture, but it’s not impossible. The starting point is McCarthy failing to secure the Speaker’s gavel on the first ballot. This happened in 1855-56 and it ultimately took 133 ballots for the House to settle on a leader. This is what can happen when there are irreconcilable differences within a party, and that could be the case here between vulnerable GOP members serving in blue districts and hard right GOP members who insist on a Speaker who will commit to their unreasonable demands, including to hold the country’s credit hostage risking a global economic depression.


    What might the deal look like?

    I think it would look a lot like the Alaska Senate. There would be a Republican Speaker and Republicans would chair key committees. A Republican could run the Rules Committee to keep the Democratic majority from running roughshod over the more numerous Republicans. A Republican could run the Budget Committee for the same reason. The Appropriations subcommittees could be divided up, giving the moderate Republicans still more say over how money is spent. Perhaps some powerful committees, like Ways & Means, would have co-chairs from each party. Yet, the Democrats would make up the vast majority of the majority coalition and this would be reflected in their overall dominance of committee seats and chairs, and also necessitate that they hold the bulk of leadership positions below the Speaker. The agenda would be limited by prior agreement, and possibly focus on a just a few critical issues, like raising the debt ceiling, avoiding government shutdowns, and maintaining support for Ukraine.

    My advice is that people start working on this kind of deal now rather than trying to put it together on the fly during endless failed votes for Speaker in January.

    Ironically, the credible possibility of such a coalition might help McCarthy secure victory on the first ballot. The Freedom Caucus doesn’t want to lose its chance chair committees and conduct hundreds of bogus investigations. Are they willing to risk all that just to deny McCarthy his gavel?

    Yet, if they’re obstinate enough, there is an alternative that will allow the country to pay its bills, keep the government operating and maintain its leadership of the coalition against Russian aggression and fascism. Alaska is a very conservative state, but they’ve learned it’s better not to let the far right hijack everything because it just leads to ruin. The whole country can follow their example.

  32. CSK says:

    Apparently, Kanye West and Nick Fuentes were guests of Alex Jones on Infowars today, and Ye took the opportunity to sing the praises of Hitler and the Nazis.

    Even Jones was taken aback.

  33. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Here’s a quote from the interview:

    “I think most Jews are great people,” Jones said. “But I agree there’s a Jewish mafia.”

    For those who may not know, “Jewish mafia” is a phrase Jones has been using for years.

  34. JohnSF says:

    Meanwhile Thierry Breton attempts to draw Musk’s attention to the annoying little legal requirements of conducting a media operation in the EU.

    Twitter will have to significantly increase efforts to “pass the grade”, implying that the platform was in danger of non-compliance with the act.
    “I welcome Elon Musk’s statements of intent to get Twitter 2.0 ready for the DSA,” said Breton. “I am pleased to hear that he has read it carefully and considers it as a sensible approach to implement on a worldwide basis. But let’s also be clear that there is still huge work ahead, as Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech.”
    …Twitter would have to “tackle disinformation with resolve” and limit targeted advertising, including banning profiling of child users for advertising purposes.

  35. wr says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: ” the possibility of them deciding to try bat-shirt crazy stuff that the Democrats can’t possibly go along with and then blaming “Democratic obstructionism and THE SQUAD AND AOC (!!!!!!!)” is pretty strong. Beyond the fact that it’s a go to move for them, the public is stupid enough to buy into it. Lounsbery ”

    Well, sure, the Lounsburys of the world will always buy into it, because what the Rs will try to do to fix the economy is to kill Social Security and Medicare and people like Lounsbury — or people like the person Lounsbury poses as, whichever the case may be — hate entitlements and the people who receive them. And so of course they assume they actually represent the “real Americans” as well as the vast majority of voters, when they are really a tiny (and corrupt and decadent) minority.

  36. CSK says:


    I didn’t know that. Actually, I’ve never heard Jones’s show nor looked at his website. What I know is what I’ve read about him.

  37. Kathy says:


    Even Jones was taken aback.

    “I find that hard to believe.”

  38. Kathy says:

    Do you ever have one of those days there’s so much work, you can’t do your job until you clear all the other stuff first?

    I’m looking at a longish Sunday work time just to keep up.

  39. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Well the “Jewish mafia” thing has been reported in articles before. Here’s one example:

    “They run Uber, they run the health care, they’re going to scam you, they’re going to hurt you,” he said, per Media Matters. Jones listed a series of prominent people with Jewish backgrounds he believed to be working with this mafia — Rahm Emanuel, Madeleine Albright, George Soros — and accused them of being part of a “global, corporate combine” in alliance with the Japanese, Communists, and other evil factions.

    “I guess I better do some exposés on the Jewish mafia,” Jones said. He described Emanuel as “a guy foaming at the mouth with knives at Cabinet meetings, basically threatening the president, totally crazed. Who’s got his fingers in everything, screwing us over.”

    But, Jones insisted, “I’m not against Jews.” Just the Jewish Mafia, whatever that is.

    The thing is, this kind of behavior shouldn’t surprise anyone. While anti-Semitism actually isn’t that common on Jones’s show, the kind of wingnut conspiracy theorizing that this segment represents very much is.

    Here’s another:

    “I mean, quite frankly, I’ve been to these events, a lot of the KKK guys with their hats off look like they’re from the cast of ‘Seinfeld.’ Literally they’re just Jewish actors. Nothing against Jews in general, but they are leftist Jews that want to create this clash and they go dress up as Nazis. I have footage in Austin — we’re going to find it somewhere here at the office — where it literally looks like cast of ‘Seinfeld’ or like Howard Stern in a Nazi outfit. They all look like Howard Stern. They almost got like little curly hair down, and they’re just up there heiling Hitler. You can tell they are totally uncomfortable, they are totally scared, and it’s all just meant to create the clash.”

  40. Scott says:

    @JohnSF: Wasn’t Twitter Blue or Gray or whatever supposed to have rolled out on 29 Nov? Was that pushed back?

  41. Kathy says:


    It’s astonishing that in a country which includes such characters as Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, this stain of a person needs to make up a Jewish mafia.

  42. JohnSF says:


    …rolled out on 29 Nov

    Not a scooby, to be honest.
    I’m not following all the gory details, just occasionally checking the news and sniggering.
    Currently taking bets on TTETIAS (“time till Elon turns into a snake”) even though IT NEVER HELPS!

  43. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: The funny thing is that actual Jewish mobsters don’t get brought up much in anti-Semitic propaganda. My guess is that they make Jews seem too cool.

  44. CSK says:


    Oh, I have no trouble whatsoever believing you. But, as I say, even Jones seemed taken aback by the level of Ye’s vituperation. Brad Reed at Rawstory had a reaction very similar to mine:


  45. Scott says:

    The warfare will never end:

    From Politico:

    ‘DECEMBER TO REMEMBER’ — As the presumptive new chair of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. JAMES COMER (R-Ky.) is poised to lead next year’s House investigations into HUNTER BIDEN. And because he is relatively unknown to most Americans, Comer beat out speaker nominee KEVIN McCARTHY and firebrand Rep. JIM JORDAN, the Ohio Republican expected to lead the Judiciary Committee, as the first target of an outside brigade of opposition researchers recently formed to push back on the GOP-led probes, Heidi Przybyla shares with Playbook.

    The Congressional Integrity Project says it “will be educating the public about Rep. Comer’s record, asking questions, and calling out his political stunts” — in the form of dispatches they aim to unleash every day of the month (weekends and Christmas excepted). Today is Day One, as detailed in their memo


  46. Sleeping Dog says:


    I believe that Musk is going to ignore Barton and force the EU into an action. The question is, will the EU have the gumption to shut twitter down in Europe. It’s a reasonable gamble on Musk’s part.

  47. Kathy says:


    There’s some level of admiration in the US for the mob for some reason. Exhibit A, the large number of movies about famous mobsters. The Untouchables is atypical in that the protagonist is Elliot Ness rather than Al Capone.

    Maybe because they supplied booze during prohibition.

  48. Gustopher says:


    So elon had his little tantrum and it was all much ado about nothing?

    I assume the Muskrat is just lying, and will start claiming that Apple reneged on a deal if/when Twitter gets booted from the App Store for allowing hate speech.

    A week or so ago he claimed that he had a deal with the woke leaders of antifa or whatever to not go after advertisers, and that various advertisers pulling out was evidence the deal was being broken. At least Apple is a namable entity rather than the mysterious deal with woke leaders.

  49. MarkedMan says:


    Trump will destroy the Republican Party

    Anything is possible, but that isn’t how he has responded to his myriad failures in the past. Sure, he lashes out and trashes his former partners… for a while. But then he disappears into the wilderness and when he comes back out it’s as if the airline/casino/football league/etc never existed. Seriously, when was the last time you heard Trump mention anything he failed at?

  50. Sleeping Dog says:


    In his mind, he’s never failed.

  51. CSK says:

    But he wouldn’t see destroying the Republican Party as a failure on his part. He would be giving them what they deserve for denying him. He lives for revenge.

  52. CSK says:


    Delete. Repeat.

  53. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I’m not sure how the legalities might work out.
    I assume the Commission would start proceedings under DSA.
    But the interesting thing is how that might interact with national prosecutors proceedings, both re GDPR regulations and DSA.
    Not to mention Irish employment law:

    Twitter has reinstated senior Irish executive Sinéad McSweeney
    Last week Ms McSweeney … secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing the social networking giant from terminating her employment.

    In the words of Tim O’Connor:

    Orban, Bitcoin, Musk: the EU definitely decided today was “… And Find Out” Day.

    Also Tim:

    Deep in the bowels of the Berlaymont, the blast-doors of a hutch swing open…

    I hope everyone gets the joke from the gif 🙂 Made me laugh.

  54. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Point is that perhaps even more than the US system the EU Commission is a remorselessly legalistic.

    Listen, and understand. That Terminator Commission prosecutor is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead fined into compliance or bankruptcy.

    Another EU saying: “Troika always wins.”

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Even worse. It’s a corporatist Jewish mafia. When did conservatives start worrying about what corporations do?

  56. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I agree. And that’s why I think the actual history of Jews in organized crime isn’t really the source of anti-Semitism that one might expect it to be. Italian-Americans get shit for it, but it’s never been the angle that most anti-Semites grasp onto. Instead, they talk about Rothschilds and the bankers and the Hollywood moguls. And I do think that’s in part because the gangsters are too glamorous. The Jews that are part of the evil cabal secretly controlling the world have never been glamorous, They’re the ugly, putrid, cowardly nerd villains that the gigachads could beat the shit out of, but who survive because of their scheming and bribery and nefarious influence in all facets of society.

  57. Kathy says:

    And just like that, Judge Cannon’s clear path to become Chief Justice of the Best Court Ever in a future, gods forbid Benito administration goes up in smoke.

    Now she’s just a loser.

    TL;DR the special master review of the stolen classified documents seized in Mar A Lardo has been halted by the 11th circuit court of appeals.

  58. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Even worse. It’s a corporatist Jewish mafia. When did conservatives start worrying about what corporations do?

    A while back I was reading a book that was supposedly a history of capitalism in the West, but as I got into the book, I was surprised that a significant amount of attention was paid to the history of anti-Semitism in Europe. Because that’s kind of where the whole stereotype arose in the first place: Jews who were locked out of many professions and forbidden to own land started to gravitate toward banking. Christians, who believed usury was a sin, would employ Jews for that purpose. Important early thinkers in the development of capitalism such as Voltaire were heavily anti-Semitic, and the way they incorporated that into their beliefs was that they used Jews as the scapegoat for all the problems with capitalism they didn’t want to own up to. Capitalism was this great source of economic opportunity. But all the negative consequences–the greed, the exploitation, the inequality–that was all on the Jews.

    This may all sound incredibly esoteric, but I’ve been amazed to discover in the years since I read that book how current this type of thinking still is. The other day Tim Pool had the three stooges on (Kanye, Fuentes, and Milo), and Kanye got mad and walked out in mid-interview, despite the fact that Pool gave one of the most smarmy and weak-ass responses to Kanye’s anti-Semitism that I have seen in the past few weeks.

    The thing is, Pool’s show in the past has not been above pushing anti-Semitic tropes. He’s just a little more coded about it than Kanye. I saw this segment where he was discussing the show Squid Game (which I haven’t seen) and the creator’s public statements that he intended the show as a critique of capitalism. Pool responded that the show unwittingly revealed the problems with communism, and one of his co-hosts agreed and said the problems that leftists identify aren’t problems with capitalism itself, but with powerful, sinister people like the Rothschilds.

    Similarly, in many of Kanye’s recent interviews he vacillates between talking about the Jews controlling everything and bragging about his own great wealth. It’s clear he loves capitalism until it causes him problems, and he needs someone to blame those problems on. That type of thinking is actually pretty widespread among conservatives, whether Jews are the villains or not–there’s always some group that’s causing the things they don’t like in the business world–the more mainstream right-wingers just call it wokeness. They don’t talk about the Jewish mafia, but they do talk about the alphabet mafia. At the same time, they’re still pushing for tax breaks and deregulation. They know where the bottom line always rests.

  59. de stijl says:


  60. Mister Bluster says:

    11th Circuit Court of Appeals
    “The law is clear. We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant,” the three-judge panel wrote in a 21-page opinion. “Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our case law limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations. And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations.”

    “Trump can appeal the ruling to either the full bench of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, but both prospects are seen as a long-shot.”
    bedrock I like it.
    Is that the same as boilerplate?

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: My step son in law is a bit of a RWNJ (nice guy, we go fishing, we talk about gardening… Politics? Hell no!) I espied a small stack of Biden “I did that!” stickers on their countertop last spring. I thought about stealing a few (OK ok, all of them) but didn’t. If I didn’t love my wife as much as I do (her daughter is married to him) I’d ask him what he thinks of the price of gasoline now.

  62. Kathy says:


    I almost mentioned the connection of Jews in European banking.

    Reading about ancient history, there’s mention now and then of Jewish communities in Rome and in Egypt, and presumably others existed elsewhere. There’s never much mention of what they did for a living. In Rome, land was eventually owned mostly by the nobility (Patricians) through much of the empire. This leads naturally to feudalism. So Jews probably didn’t own land in Rome. they surely did in Judea when it was a Roman province, though.

    Egypt’s land was also mostly owned by nobles, but also by the priests of Amun and other gods. But some small landholders did exist. But then, Egypt has a massively long recorded history of over two thousand years. So things changed.

  63. Sleeping Dog says:


    Sort of like the Delaware Chancery courts, which is why Musk relented and bought twitter. They weren’t going to put up with his BS.

  64. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: From my understanding, connection between Jews and the money business emerged in the late Middle Ages, coinciding with the collapse of feudalism and rise of capitalism.

    There are a few possible antecedents to the stereotype, such as Judas selling Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver. But I don’t think that at the time that was incorporated into a larger narrative of Jews being greedy.

  65. steve says:

    Jewish mafia? They come and put half a bagel in your bed when they are mad at you?


  66. MarkedMan says:


    He lives for revenge

    I’m second to none in my contempt for Trump, but I just don’t think history bears this out. If the past is a guide and he loses the nom he will angrily trash the nominee and those he blames in his rancid little brain. But he will eventually retreat and internally disassociate himself from anything having to do with failure.

    The only thing that prevents me from putting my own money down on this is that it will be such a huge failure in everyone’s eyes that the press will never lose interest and forget about him for a while, which was always what enabled him in the past. Still, continuously talking about his failures has never been Trump’s MO in the past, however viciously he blamed his partners at the time.

  67. CSK says:


    No, no. Trump wouldn’t see it as a failure on his part. He’d see himself as the victim of ingrates. He even said he was a victim the night he announced his candidacy.

  68. wr says:

    @de stijl: “Test”

    Congratulations — you passed!