Welcome to March 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. Teve says:
  2. @Teve:

    I had always assumed that New Zealand was part of the Australian continent.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Republican predicts Trump won’t be party’s presidential nominee in 2024

    Senator Bill Cassidy points to seats lost in House and Senate during Trump presidency and says ‘if we idolize one person, we will lose’

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In reading Push to recall California governor Gavin Newsom gains steam – but who’s behind it? , I came across this:

    “We knew this was going to be big. We didn’t know it was going to be this big” said Randy Economy, a spokesperson and political adviser for the RecallGavin2020 campaign.

    Huh? I mean, really? What’s a Randy Economy look like? A Las Vegas red light district?

  5. CSK says:

    Ask his twin brother Horny.

  6. CSK says:
  7. sam says:

    Doug!!!! Glad to see you, pal.

  8. sam says:

    On a somber note. My four-year-old niece tested positive for Covid. It’s believed she contracted the virus at her day-care, which has closed with everybody in quarantine. Her mother says she just running a little fever and is otherwise fine. Things like this should, I think, give us pause re opening schools, for very young folks anyway. They get together and they’re like a bunch of little monkeys, all over each other. “We don’ need no stinkin’ masks”, etc,. etc.

  9. @sam:

    Hoping for a speedy recovery.

  10. CSK says:

    I’m very sorry to learn this. I hope the rest of your family stays well.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: Fingers crossed.

  12. James Joyner says:

    Just a note that the “bill” who has recently began posting here is indeed the same “bill” who posted for years (August 2012-June 2017).

  13. Scott says:

    Just read these two articles back to back and was struck by the juxtaposition:

    Deal meant to end war in Afghanistan seen to embolden Taliban

    The drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has encouraged the Taliban’s belief that they are closer than ever to victory, analysts and fighters said, one year after a deal was signed with the militant group meant to bring peace to the country.

    On Feb. 29, U.S. and Taliban representatives gathered in Doha, Qatar, to sign an agreement that would allow for the withdrawal of American troops in exchange for concessions by the militants.

    The concessions included opening peace talks with the government in Kabul and preventing extremist groups like al-Qaida from using the country to launch attacks on America and its allies.

    But a year later, a peaceful end to the bloodshed remains elusive, with the increasingly emboldened Taliban escalating their attacks on government forces, still maintaining ties with al-Qaida, and remaining unlikely to compromise in negotiations, a recent report to Congress said.

    The Things They Carried’ author Tim O’Brien on his life’s work, trauma & confronting mortality

    I just wish my country would be more careful about killing people and not so bellicose in our rhetoric.

    If you’re a farmer in Dubuque, Iowa, you’re not going to like it if al-Qaida or ISIS come and burn your houses down, pee in your wells or kill your children, even if by accident. Why should we expect others to?

    And yet, we do expect others to. Then we expect them to look at us as saviors and saintly and clean-handed. I can’t imagine any radical militias in Iraq or Afghanistan raising their hands up and surrendering just to accept their place in a democracy.

    It’s time to cut and run.

  14. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Cassidy is going to be one of the Trump Cult’s targets

  15. DrDaveT says:

    A timely report on the state of the US electrical grid from the National Academies.

  16. DrDaveT says:



    It is, but I still have to shake my head in disbelief at anyone who still thinks that “keeping taxes low, keeping regulation in bounds, adequately funding national defense, and […] skepticism in the face of proposals for sweeping overhauls” counts as “a coherent and defensible political perspective”.

    Translated out of euphemism, it is essentially “collecting inadequate revenue to fund public goods, permitting long-term harm for short-term profit, pouring money down a hole fighting unnecessary wars, and preserving structural injustice and wealth inequality at all costs.” That may be a coherent political perspective, but it is hardly defensible.

  17. @DrDaveT:


  18. CSK says:

    Of course, but what struck me was how neatly Edwards captured the timeline of the kind of transformation we’ve been discussing here for months.

  19. Kathy says:

    Over the weekend, the FDA approved emergency use authorization for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This is a virus vector. Its twin advantages are it can be stored in any refrigerator, and it require only one dose.

    It appears to be less efficacious than Pfizer’s and Moderna’s. However, efficacy is a tricky thing. Remember the phase 3 trials of all vaccines have bee rushed or abbreviated. Under normal conditions, you take a couple of years on phase 3. This allows you to review long term efficacy, and also how it evolves over time, and long term side effects (if any), and how contagious vaccinated people are (if at all), etc.

    Under normal conditions, you also don’t have over two million deaths worldwide, hence the urgency. So much of what is learned during phase 3 will be learned with the wide application of vaccines.

    Also over the weekend, SpaceX aborted its latest Falcon 9 launch with just over a minute to go on the countdown. This is far less dramatic than it seems. All sorts of things and processes get checked during a countdown, at specific times for each. Stopping with 90 seconds to go or so, merely means that was when a specific check for something took place. it doesn’t mean “you almost launched an unsafe rocket.”

    I recall one time a shuttle launch was aborted with 3 seconds to go, after the main engines had ignited.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Unless, of course, that person’s name is Bill Cassidy?

  21. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @James Joyner: I wonder which celebrity encouraged Bill’s black girlfriend to date him. You know–since teh blacks can’t do anything without athlete/celebrity encouragement.

  22. Jax says:
  23. Pete S says:

    I read that article too. I think Cassidy is confusing “I don’t want Trump to be our nominee” with “I don’t think Trump will be our nominee” . I don’t want to be working in my basement tomorrow because there is a pandemic on. That doesn’t mean I don’t expect to be right here tomorrow.

  24. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Scott: One of the greatest strengths & flaws of the American psyche is that we dream big. We tried to make Afghanistan something it never was. We had a good plan–but “human factors”.

    The only certain play for success we had is also the most morally and politically untenable–the ‘neutralization’ of the population of military aged males.

    There is no cutting and running (so to speak) from Afghanistan for the same reason there is no chance for peace as part of our withdrawal agreement: the predominate Tribal codes demand vengeance be satisfied. We will have to maintain some minor capability in-country or close that can mow the inevitable weeds that will spring up. We are already down to an amount of troops that are less than the number of students at a major urban High School. Keep it mind that the ratio of support people to shooters is about 9:1–so we don’t even have alot of shooters over there.

    I think we can get down to about 60% of that and we’ll have the right number of people to keep the worst of the worst contained —over there.

    Afghanistan is essentially an ungoverned space with a few areas of governance in the urban areas. Outside of that–its open to the higher payer to use as a beddown location to plan and launch attacks. Warlords and terrorist groups pay better than the Afghan gov’t so they will not be able to fully handle their own problems without someone’s help. Its talent management 101. Haiti could be a great country–but all its talent to run a country comes the the US or England and stays. Same dynamic in Afghanistan.

    Its going to be interersting to see how ISIS’s plans to renew the physical caliphate for that country is going to jive with the warlord tradition. Not that I would recommend doing anything about it–as long as it stayed within Afghanistan.

  25. grumpy realist says:

    @sam: Hope that your niece comes out of this okay and that no one else in the family catches it from her.

  26. sam says:

    Thanks, everybody.

  27. Teve says:
  28. Mister Bluster says:

    March is Women’s History Month.

    Mother of three. Homemaker. Wife. Member of the neighborhood ladies Bridge Club…Schizophrenia survivor. Spent the better part of the 15 years between the mid ’50s when she was diagnosed till 1970 locked up in State Hospitals before the drugs were developed and refined that would manage this vile disease. With the support of a loving husband and family who never abandoned her she lived 88 years. She won’t be in any of the history books but she was a success story nonetheless.
    Beulah E. Brown
    RIP mom.

  29. gVOR08 says:

    @Jax: The article you link, blaming Biden for the 100,000 deaths in the five weeks or so he’s been President, seems to me to illustrate a common conservative characteristic. They’re big on cum hoc, ergo propter hoc. It is, I think, a corollary to what Lakoff describes as thinking in terms of simple causation. They simply don’t think through the steps of complex causation that would lead them to realize nothing Biden could have done would have taken immediate effect. Reynolds’ view of religion as a gateway drug is another way of looking at this.

  30. Kathy says:

    I figure if the French can try and convict Sarkozy, then the Americans can do the same with trump.

    BTW, the US system is more punitive than the French, from what I hear.

  31. Jax says:

    @gVOR08: As well as completely ignoring all of the different ways the Trump Administration failed to act at critical points in the pandemic that COULD have made a difference.

    I mean, I KNEW they were gonna pull crap like this, it’s just so frustrating to see them whining about it already.

  32. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08: You are assuming that the argument is being made in good faith. It isn’t.

    At the most charitable, they are arguing that Trump cannot be blamed for 400,000 deaths on his watch, because it’s a global pandemic and who could do anything about that, and Democrats claims to the contrary are bad faith arguments so let’s make bad faith arguments in response.

    (Trump is responsible for about half the deaths, having pushed the anti-masking nonsense. I give him credit for half the “Biden deaths” as well.)

  33. Kathy says:


    From the moment of the first outbreak of the pandemic in the US, when trump refused to take it seriously, and instead denounced the whole thing s a hoax, I knew we were in for a really rough time.

    I had not expected his imitators to imitate him in this respect, as they had to have some regard for the well-being of their own people. I also never imagined things would get so bad. But then we didn’t know a year ago how contagious this thing is.

  34. CSK says:

    IIRC, on this day last year, we thought it was pretty much confined to cruise ships.

  35. CSK says:

    The essence of CPAC is captured by the image of a fat old crook covered in fake gold paint.

  36. Teve says:


    just seen a female CEO referred to as a “she-eo” and have vomited so hard my soul has left my body or should I say me she-oul has left my bod(she)y

  37. Scott says:

    @CSK: … and made in Mexico

  38. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    This resonates with me. My oldest friend has a schizophrenic stepson, and, now that she’s a widow (her husband was considerably older), she’s caring for him on her own. If the stepson hadn’t had her, and his father, he’d probably have been dead long ago.

    I admire you and your family. And your mother, for having survived this vile affliction. She must have been a strong woman, despite the schizophrenia.

  39. Teve says:

    @CSK: Jared dismissing it because it was in Democratic states deserves his arrest and charges, not that it’ll ever happen.

  40. sam says:
  41. CSK says:

    Jared has always reminded me of the guy who plays the arch-Nazi in WWII movies; he wears the same little smile the villain wears when he’s about to inflict some particularly horrible torture on a captive Jew.

    Ironically, Jared himself is a Jew, allegedly an observant one. It seems he never heeded the instruction in the Torah to walk in the way of God.

  42. Kathy says:


    I’ve two dates firm in my mind regarding the early days of the pandemic: March 2nd, and March 23rd. Those were days when I presented samples to a customer, and when I was in crowded places without any distancing or masks for the last times since.

    On March 2nd, there were no cases yet in Mexico, but things had already exploded in Asia and Europe. I held some small hope parts of the world might be spared (as happened with SARS, H1N1, and others). By March 23rd, cases here were on the rise, you couldn’t find hand sanitizer anywhere, social distancing was beginning to be a thing, and I already could see the federal government wasn’t exerting much effort on the matter.

    That day, too, I borrowed masks from the company’s meat packing plant (by federal regulations masks there are worn at all times when handling meat; this predates the pandemic by decades). I found it so uncomfortable, I hoped their use wouldn’t be needed on a regular basis. Anyway, I wore a mask while delivering the samples that day, because I hoped that might keep me safe if I were exposed, even though the odds of exposure were, as yet, very low.

  43. @Teve:

    On Facebook I learned that New Zealand is 1,000 miles from Australia. I assumed based globes and maps that much New Zealand was much closer to Australia than that

    The notion that New Zealand is part of mostly below sea level eighth continue makes sense once account for the distance.

  44. dazedandconfused says:

    Googling New Zealand right now turns up and interesting sail-boat race happening next week. 50 knot sailboats. Radical stuff.


  45. Jen says:

    I am taking this as good news, even though I’m certain it will cause an uproar in some quarters.

    This is not destruction of religious liberty, it is for the benefit of children. Via the NYT:

    Major Evangelical Adoption Agency Will Now Serve Gay Parents

  46. Jax says:

    @Kathy: March 23rd is a significant day in my memories, too….the day my kids were supposed to go back to school after spring break and they shut the school down for the rest of the year. I’m still homeschooling the teenager.

    This year, the 23rd is the day I get my second shot.

    I never, EVER would’ve guessed we’d be over 500,000 dead in the US alone in just one year.

  47. Mikey says:


    I never, EVER would’ve guessed we’d be over 500,000 dead in the US alone in just one year.

    I had no doubt about that. As soon as Trump started running his festering gob, I knew we’d lose hundreds of thousands. If it weren’t for the actions of many state governments, we’d have lost even more. Even though those actions were inconsistent and imperfect, they were better than the essentially nothing the Trump administration wanted to do. If we’d stuck to the Trump “plan,” we’d have lost a million. Maybe more.

  48. Jen says:


    I never, EVER would’ve guessed we’d be over 500,000 dead in the US alone in just one year.

    Sometime around April or May of last year, I got into a discussion with a conservative friend on Facebook. He was in the “no worse than the flu” camp. I told him I thought that we’d see 200,000 dead by the end of summer and likely 500,000 by the end of the year.

    I was accused of being a hysterical liberal spreading fear (ignoring the fact that I was basing that guess in part on numbers from the administration).

    The date that sticks in my mind is Friday, March 13, because we went out to dinner that night and then it was strict lock down after that for us.

  49. Jax says:

    On a completely different subject, do we have any experts on passports on here? I’m trying to get my kids’ passports squared away so we can hopefully go somewhere warm for Christmas this year (Assuming the pandemic is on the wane, of course).

    Major problem with the youngest, because she’s 11 it requires BOTH parents, or a notarized written consent from the non-present parent. He is not listed on her birth certificate, there is no court order as far as custody, I have absolutely no idea where he’s at, and I don’t intend to look for him because he is a paranoid delusional schizophrenic that was living on the streets the last I knew. There’s a child support order, but he hasn’t paid any support in over 5 years. As far as I know, the state can’t find him, either, they called ME asking if I knew how to find him.

    Should I just write all that out on the DS5525? They’re not actually gonna make me try to find him, are they? He’s batshit crazy.

  50. Jen says:

    @Jax: If the birth certificate lists you as the sole parent, that indicates you have sole legal authority and should pass muster according to the State Department’s own web page (number 7, first section of the table, third bullet point).

    This can be one of those times when your U.S. Senator’s office can be very helpful as well, if you run into any roadblocks.

  51. Jax says:

    @Jen: Excellent, I was hoping that was the case, I just wasn’t sure since there IS a child support order.

  52. Stormy Dragon says:


    The shuttles main engine were started ~6.6 seconds before launch so the computers could make sure they were all running properly before igniting the solid rocket boosters (once the SRBs ignite, you have to launch because there’s no way to stop them once they start).

  53. Kurtz says:


    keeping regulation in bounds

    There is a profound irony contained within this position. Conservatives rail against rewarding ‘bad behavior’ by collecting taxes and using it for a safety net. They don’t call it a moral hazard, because that term would require explanation for most people. That doesn’t win campaigns. But that is the argument regardless how it is phrased.

    But regulation prevents moral hazards and is a direct response to bad behavior. But explaining that during campaigns or on the floor of a legislative chamber does nothing, because it the response would be something like this.

    The safety net and regulation are interventions that safeguard the freedom of markets. Unfettered markets are 21st century feudalism–a paraphilia of modern lordship ennobled by their serfs.

  54. Kathy says:


    March 23rd is a significant day in my memories, too

    I think we may have discovered a nexus in the space-time continuum 😉

    Given the numbers of cases, and the notion that SARS-CoV-2 spread through touch and contaminated surfaces, I did not expect 500,000 deaths worldwide.

    Once it was clear it spread through the air, well, that made it much worse. Once we learned it spread from asymptomatic (and presymptomatic) cases, well, I hoped people would mask up and be careful.

    That hope was dashed sometime in April, when masks were declared mandatory at the office. That was the day my boss, other managers, and other executives, decided the rule did not apply to them. By a strange coincidence, half of them have come down with COVID.

  55. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..She must have been a strong woman, despite the schizophrenia.
    Thank you for the kind remarks.
    I was maybe 8 years old and my brother was 3 and my sister was a newborn when the disease began to manifest itself. I have memories of her before she got sick. My dad carpooled to work so when he left the car at home she would take me to the dentist or me and friends of hers on day trips to her favorite farm stand out in the country. Trucking me back and forth to Vacation Bible School in the summer was a regular circuit. As far as I knew at the time this was all the normal routine for middle class suburban wives in post WWII early ’50s white America.
    She actually got a part time bagging groceries at the local Jewel store that I worked at while I was in Jr. College but she slipped out of her medication regimen even though she knew it would mean a return to the hospital.
    We did get a lot of support from extended family over the years but ultimately it was my dad who stuck with her through the worst of it all. He made sure that she stayed on her medication and they were able to live a mostly normal life. They were married 60 years when he died.
    I can only wish the best for your friend and her stepson.

  56. Kathy says:

    On lighter topics, so to speak, I’ve been watching Blood of Zeus on Netflix.

    I first learned of this show last year, because I follow Claudia Christian on social media, and she plays Hera on the show. She also co-wrote an alternate history science fiction book, which I want to get around to someday, where the Roman civilizations till dominates in the future. So, I was pretty much going to see it.

    So far, it’s been relatively good. Too violent for my taste. Not so much that people, and demons, fight with swords and arrows and knives, and kill each other all the time. that was common in the ancient world, and more so in mythology (see how often Homer describes where and how a spear or arrow killed someone in the Iliad). But the rather graphic way it’s presented, complete with blood puddles under dead bodies. even if it’s animation.

    But it does make good use of Greek symbolism. the story line by episode 4 (8 eps per season, so halfway), is full blown Greek tragedy.

    Now, there is one thing, but ti’s a spoiler.

    You’ve bene warned

    The protagonist is named Heron, and is Zeus’ son. Zeus’ wife is named Hera. But recall another famous son of Zeus: Hercules. Only the original Greek name is closer to Herakles.

    See the pattern?

    It’s not clear who named Heron, whether Zeus, his mother, Electra (no, not that Electra), or both together. but the pattern does indicate Zeus is far more of an a-hole than most other Olympians.

  57. Kurtz says:


    I had never heard of that publication before. I clicked around, and found this.

    A blog post affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania that seems to be trying show that there is genuine virtue in virtue-signaling actually supports our point:

    “Virtue-signalers don’t really have any relevant moral opinions or behavioral dispositions. Their only goal is to register their affiliation with a certain socially sanctioned set of attitudes.”

    I recommend reading the blog post referenced in the I&I editorial. It’s hard to tell if the contextomy is intentional from a site like this. It seems as likely to me that they’re just not very smart.

  58. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    As far as I know, solid boosters were used for manned spaceflight only in the Shuttle. We saw what happened when one had a malfunction.

    I should say I was surprised when SpaceX went with liquid boosters on the Falcon Heavy. In a way it makes sense, as the boosters and the core are the same rockets. But I suppose the real reason was that it’s easier to recover a liquid-fuel booster the way SpaceX does than a solid-fuel one.

  59. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Thank you. My friend very, very seldom complains about Jimmy (the stepson), but it is a very tough row for her to hoe now that she’s alone. (She had to caretake her aged husband in his final years, too.) He’ll call her incessantly at three a.m. because “the voices” are telling him “terrible things.” No medication seems to work long term for him; he has several hospitalizations a year.

    It’s wonderful that your parents had so many mostly good years together. Your father sounds as if he was a true hero.

  60. Mister Bluster says:

    I discovered Frederick Frese several years ago when he appeared on Nightline.
    He died in 2018.
    I pass along these links to hopefully promote an understanding of the disease.
    Psychologist overcomes paranoid schizophrenia

  61. DrDaveT says:

    @Doug Mataconis:


    Did the embedded link (the words “timely report”) not work for you?


  62. Mikey says:


    Claudia Christian

    My wife and I are re-watching Babylon 5 (the re-master and upscale I commented about a few weeks back) and we were wondering if Claudia Christian was doing anything new. We’ll have to check out Blood Zeus.

    About 20 years ago we went to a sci-fi con and took my then-13 daughter, Ms. Christian was there and my daughter was so thrilled to meet her. And she was so nice to my daughter, just genuinely cool.

    We also met Richard Biggs and Jerry Doyle, both of whom have passed on. Biggs was a really cool guy, Doyle was nice as well but kind of intense.

    Jason Carter, who played Marcus, is FUNNY. Like, he could do stand-up.

    Other B5 cast we’ve met: Walter Koenig, Peter Jurasik, Patricia Tallman, Andrea Thompson, Robin Atkin Downes. And David Allen Brooks (Max from Crusade).

  63. Monala says:

    @Kathy: I have to admit to having a fondness for Nicolas Sarkozy for the last few years, ever since a childhood classmate shared an article about him that they found. You see, our French teacher (a Frenchman by birth) took a bunch of his American students from a predominantly black school on a trip to France. I recall us doing fundraisers for a year to be able to go.

    When we were there, however, many of the French people we encountered treated us badly, partly because we were American, and partly due to race. However, the mayor of the town warmly welcomed us, and condemned those who would make us feel less than welcome. I remember his speech. What I didn’t know at the time, until my friend shared an article about the incident, was that Nicolas Sarkozy was that mayor.

  64. Kathy says:

    Jason Carter, who played Marcus, is FUNNY. Like, he could do stand-up.

    I can believe it. He had several funny lines in the show.

    One exchange with Richard Biggs went like this:

    Franklin: There are three of them with guns against two of us with nothing. They’ll gun us down before we get half across the room.

    Marcus: All we need is one of them to leave the room. Then there will be only one man with the gun.

    Franklin: Excuse me, where I come from, one man from three leaves two.

    Marcus: Where I come from is a far more interesting place.

  65. Monala says:

    @Mister Bluster: Beautiful story about the resilience of both your parents (and how they passed that on to their kids).

  66. Mister Bluster says:

    @Monala:..Thank you.

  67. Kathy says:


    I’ve nothing against Sarkozy. I don’t even know if the conviction is justified. My only point was that trying and convicting a former national leader is not the end of a republic.

  68. Monala says:

    @Kathy: South Korea also has a former President in prison.

  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    It would have been a distraction over at the other post, but I find it really interesting that the Golden Trump statue in the picture at the CPAC post looks more like a Sugar Plum Fairy version of Nick Zano’s Steel character from Legends of Tomorrow than it does like Donald Trump.

    If it were me, I’d sue–probably irrespective of whether I was Zano or Trump.

  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: While I’m fine with anybody finding most any fault with Jared, criticizing him for not walking in the way of the Lord is something that I’m not going to criticize him for. It’s just a hard for a Jew to do as a Christian and I don’t want people to criticize me for my failures in that line–even though I deserve it.

  71. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Only half? [BLEEP]!!! You can’t rely on Karma for ANYTHING any more, can you?

  72. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I meant that for someone who purports to be an Orthodox Jew–one who’s supposed to follow strictly halakha and Jewish traditions, one of which is to “walk in the way of God”–he doesn’t appear to do so.

    There are multitudes of so-called devout Christians of whom I could say the same. I’d put Trump–who claims to be an evangelical–at the top of the list.

    The fact that you run yourself down is proof that you’re probably a pretty good person.

  73. Mimai says:

    @CSK: @Jax: (with humility as the newbie) Quick check on the language re schizophrenia. Person first language would better align with your good intentions.

  74. CSK says:

    Sorry; I don’t follow.

  75. Mimai says:

    @CSK: Sorry, I see how that could be opaque. What I mean is that referring to people as “schizophrenics” or using it as an adjective (eg, “schizophrenic stepson”) dehumanizes people. Better to keep the person primary (first person language) in these discussions (eg, stepson with schizophrenia). I don’t mean to scold or shame – you clearly have a good heart when it comes to such matters. It’s just that I have a highly tuned radar to such things.

  76. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    You can’t rely on Karma for ANYTHING any more, can you?

    I never do.

  77. Jax says:

    @Mimai: Are you in the psychiatric field? I kinda wondered based on the questions you’ve asked other commenters.

    I’d love to try to humanize my ex, but he refuses to seek help and it scares the crap out of me whenever he remembers he has a daughter. I actually have a restraining order and a termination of parental rights petition on hold with my lawyer should he show up in my life again.

  78. CSK says:

    In my second post, I referred referred to the stepson as Jimmy, because that’s his name. And he is her stepson. And he does have schizophrenia.

    Would “stepson with/suffering from schizophrenia” be a preferable locution?

  79. Mimai says:

    @Jax: Yes, that is one of the professional fields I live in. I’m truly sorry about your family situation. And I would never presume to tell you whether/how to manage that person.
    @CSK: Please know that my intent was not to call you out, nor was it to question how you feel about your friend or her son. Rather, it was to note that our language can be stigmatizing, dehumanizing, etc. even when we are not.

  80. Jax says:

    @Mimai: You’ve been an interesting new voice. Thank you for commenting.

  81. Teve says:

    “After 8 years of a black President, the choice was an insanely qualified woman, or a scrotum dipped in cheeto dust.”


  82. Kurtz says:

    @Jax: @Mimai:

    You’ve been an interesting new voice. Thank you for commenting.

    I concur. Happy this person has joined the conversation here.

  83. Mimai says:

    @Jax: Thank you, I’m happy to be here. It’s an interesting crowd.

    I concur

    How very tedious of you!

  84. Jax says:

    @Mimai: There’s no good emoji’s here, but I laughed at that, as well. 😉 Kurtz is rarely tedious.

  85. grumpy realist says:

    @Jax: Looks like if you are listed as the only parent on the birth certificate that a copy of that would be sufficient to prove you have sole parental authority. If you really wanted to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s it looks like you could get a court order as well specifically authorising you to apply for a passport for your child.

    Main thing I would suggest is track down the name of someone high up enough in the State Department so that when the lowly flunky at the bottom mindlessly processing your application has a snit-fit because “both parents’ signatures haven’t been submitted” you can get someone with authority to push things through.