Thursday Open Thread


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  1. Rush Limbaugh died. (emojis) sad face, prayers

    20(?) people have died in Texas and 10s (100s?) of thousands don’t have electricity, face food shortages, in need of basic life necessities, etc., because of the cold. (emojis) sad face, sad face, sad face, prayers, prayers, prayers

    Approx. 3,000 people have died e̲v̲e̲r̲y̲ ̲s̲i̲n̲g̲l̲e̲ ̲d̲a̲y̲ ̲f̲o̲r̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲ ̲p̲a̲s̲t̲ ̲(̲6̲?̲)̲ ̲m̲o̲n̲t̲h̲s because of COVID. Meh.

    1. Maybe not because of covid, but with covid.

    2. Weird, it’s almost like celebrities are more likely to make headlines. Every b-list celebrity seems to have enough fans that their deaths are a “big deal”. Why should Rush be different? Just because you don’t like him?

    3. Rush Limbaugh died. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.

      And imagine if the right said the stuff about the death of Ginsburg that the left is saying about the death of Limbaugh.

      I think that says something about the left….

      1. You are absolutely right.

        It definitely says something about the left.

      2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion for for people. It is worth remembering in her career as a lawyer she represented a broad group of people looking for help. She was a woman who over came obstacles like prejudice and like taking care of a sick husband. She was a inspiration to many with her exercise. She was extremely civil and shared a great friendship with people she disagreed with on the law.

        Who did Limbaugh ever try to help but himself? What obstacles did he ever overcome? As far as I can see he was blessed. His radio career started in a station his father owned. Was Limbaugh ever civil, not to my knowledge. Limbaugh got what he wanted in life, attention. Those seeking attention in life often get little but criticism after death.

        The Bible tells us the humble shall be exalted and the exalted will be humbled. This will be the way for RS and RGB.

        1. Judges shouldn’t be “a champion for the people”. That’s not their job, and if they think it is, they’re in the wrong line of work.

          Despite my ideological differences with Ginsburg, and belief that she was wrong to hold onto the seat well after she was no longer up to the job, my understanding is that she was indeed a nice person.

          1. They swear an oath to the Constitution which states its purpose as furthering the General Welfare.

            1. “They swear an oath to the Constitution which states its purpose as furthering the General Welfare.”

              Some people prefer the Rick Perry formulation: ‘Better some poor people freeze than we give in to this “we’re all in this together” stuff, which is really just Democrat communism and elitist socialism.’

          2. I think that RGB was much more of a champion when she was a lawyer.

        2. “His radio career started in a station his father owned.”

          Most 16-year-olds get hired because of who their fathers are, particularly in small towns. Big deal. It didn’t prevent him from getting fired from his first three “real” jobs in radio….

          “Was Limbaugh ever civil, not to my knowledge.”

          Bullshyte. Everyone who knew him personally said nothing but good things about him. Unlike many of the rich and famous, he was a decent man.

          1. “Most 16-year-olds get hired because of who their fathers are, particularly in small towns.”

            Things white men assume are general.

            1. Some white men maybe. Those with money, probably. But certainly not any of the white men I know.

              I also grew up in a small town, and I can assure that you few people received their first job because of their fathers.

              1. I grew up in a small town and that was more common in my experience.

                But, anecdotes aside, there’s a fair amount of research establishing the networking advantages of whites in general (think about it, how could it be otherwise?).

                1. Especially when one considers Hispanic professional and Asians as white.

                  1. I’d be interested in any studies on the integration, or lack thereof, of Asians into old boys’ networks.

                    1. I’ve personally seen it, but FERPA precludes my mentioning the details.

              2. I also grew up in a small town, and I can assure that you that a good number of people received their first job because of their fathers.

              3. A friend of mines brother-in-law is a retired CEO of one of the largest banks in the world. When his son asked him for help in landing a job his father would not help and told him he would have to get the job on his own just like he did.

                1. Yes, as to management jobs.

                  But when he was 16 and wanted a job mowing the bank’s lawn, tell me that who his father was didn’t matter….

            2. Queen Amalthea — my Black, female, neighbor got a job at the UN because of who *her* father was. Be careful about such generalizations….

            3. My father died when I was 2, somehow I got ahead anyway. My mother went back to school and became a teacher.

              But somehow I got ahead anyway.

            4. Because a Hispanic guy who owns a small auto body shop never or a gardening service never hires a relative – it just never happens.

          2. Everyone who knew him personally said nothing but good things about him. Unlike many of the rich and famous, he was a decent man.

            How many people do you know who knew him personally?

            Even if he was nice to his friends, that is totally irrelevant to his behavior in his public role, which was uniformly nasty and dishonest.

            Limbaugh was a toxic, destructive, presence in American life.

            1. Limbaugh told the truth, and defended the downtrodden against the kind of vicious lies the left tells. Naturally they don’t see value in that.

              1. Limbaugh wouldn’t have known the truth if it bit him in the ass.

                And he didn’t give two shits about the downtrodden.

                1. Bullshyte. We would have seen through that….

          3. “Unlike many of the rich and famous, he was a decent man.”

            That explains all of the marriages, the misogyny, the racism, the vivid hypocrisy on drugs, the gay-bashing, the big bag of contraband boner pills, the divorces, the shameful chickenhawkery, the birtherism, the xenophobia, the right-wing ignorance, the Ted Cruz endorsement . . .

            Thank goodness he did not reproduce.

            Carry on, clingers. But only to the degree your betters permit.

            1. He’ll certainly be remembered more fondly and by far more people, than your pathetic demise will ever be noted.

              Carry on weasel.

              1. I expect a big turnout for David Duke, DonP.

                I am content with the assurance that people like you will continue to get stomped into political and cultural irrelevance by people like me in the American culture war. That’s what makes conservatives so cranky, desperate, and disaffected.

                Open wider, DonP.

            2. Divorce is like abortion, enough said?
              The drug addiction was because of pain and he was rescued by Vioxx, which I still consider to be a miracle drug. A miracle drug that the left is denying us….

              While I will not wish it on anyone, were you to experience chronic pain, you’d have a very different attitude towards how he attempted to deal with it — and I’m not sure he actually was “addicted” as the pain sensors will grab the opiate first, hence preventing addiction.

              Kirkland, this is beyond your basic level of being an A-hole — if your rabid leftist political views are abated by a scintilla of human decency (which I’m inclined to doubt), you need to back off here…

          4. Bullshyte. Everyone who knew him personally said nothing but good things about him. Unlike many of the rich and famous, he was a decent man.

            It does seem to be true that people who knew him personally said good things about him. But I refer you to Popehat’s rule of goats: it doesn’t matter whether you claim to be fucking goats ironically; if you do it, you’re still a goatfucker.

            It doesn’t matter what Limbaugh was like privately; he spent hours every day publicly being a jackass troll. Doing that makes one a jackass troll.

            Was he talented? Absolutely. Was he influential? Obviously. Was he entertaining? Well, YMMV, but sometimes, of course. But was he often an asshole, often trolling, trying to pwn the liberals before that was a phrase? Indisputably.

        3. His radio career started in a station his father owned.

          No. He did work at a radio station owned by his father when he was 16, but that was not his “radio career.” That was a part-time job for a high schooler. His radio career had nothing to do with his father.

          1. And his career was opposed by parents who didn’t want him to drop out of college…

        4. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion of making sure that as few black and brown people were born as possible.

          Not my kind of hero …

        5. “Who did Limbaugh ever try to help but himself? What obstacles did he ever overcome?”

          His drug addiction.

      3. You seriously think the right didn’t say nasty things about Ginsburg? Which cave were you holed up in?

        1. The mainstream right didn’t.

          1. Do you draw a similar distinction between the left and the mainstream left?

            You seem to have this chip on your shoulder about how badly behaved the left but not the right is. But the claim that the right didn’t dance on Ginsburg’s grave is just silly. Spend 30 seconds on google.

            1. I’m talking Huffington Post and Network TV — that’s mainstream left.

              1. And what did the mainstream right have to say about Ginsburg’s death?

                Please note, I’m not disputing that there have been some very nasty comments from the left about Limbaugh’s death. What I’m disputing is the claim that the right was any more charitable to Ginsburg.

                1. The only thing I saw was mention that she had joined Scalia — and the two of them had been friends.

                  Donald Trump said “she was an amazing woman who lived an amazing life” and that he “was saddened” by her passing.

                  1. And what did Limbaugh himself have to say about rape victims, victims of mosque shootings, Sandra Fluke, Michael J. Fox, and, oh yes, Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Do you remember that he used to announce on his show the names of gay people who had died of AIDS, and then play celebratory bells and whistles?

                    I myself do not believe in dancing on people’s graves. But since Limbaugh himself did it, maybe he’s not an appropriate object of sympathy when it’s done to him.

                  2. “Donald Trump said “she was an amazing woman who lived an amazing life” and that he “was saddened” by her passing.”

                    And given his sterling reputation for always telling 100% truth, you can be sure he meant every word, too.

              2. Those are the very liars who have caused the media to betray, and lose, most Americans’ trust, thus destroying the mainstream.

          2. Lots of grave dancing, including by Blackman.

      4. Just another dead doper.

        — Rush Limbaugh

    4. Eh, parasocial relationships are a thing that exists.

    5. Rush Limbough touched my life. Some idiot in Texas who decided to run a gasoline-powered generator inside his house — in spite of THREE warning labels — and died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, not so much….

      And folks, you can’t heat a house with a fireplace — it sends more warm air up the chimney than it generates. That’s why Ben Franklin invented something known as a “stove.”

      1. Show me where on the doll Rush Limbaugh touched you…

        1. Why are you cutting the doll’s head open?!?

      2. “Rush Limbough touched my life.”

        Not strongly enough for you to learn how to spell his name, though.

    6. Hmm, Limbaugh claimed to be against LGBT rights, yet his grave will soon be a gender-neutral public restroom. Curious!

      1. Should his grave be desecrated, there will be violence.

        I’d argue justifiable violence.

        Have you schmucks no decency? Do you not understand that we don’t desecrate graves — anyone’s grave — in thus country????

        1. “Should his grave be desecrated, there will be violence.”

          Everybody run! It’s zombie Rush!

    7. Usually 8000 people die a day. Most of the COVID deaths are with COVID, not from COVID. For example, guy gets shot in the head, or crashes a motorcycle, is heard coughing. That counts as a COVID death. The deaths are fraudulent. The majority of excess deaths are from patients with cancer and heart disease that could have been saved but for the Democrat shutdown of outpatient care. These deaths are a mass murder to further the interests of the tech billionaires in the Democrat’s shutdown of the economy.

      1. “The deaths are fraudulent.”

        Those are crisis actors!

  2. Good morning. Pray for those who are without power, as in Texas, that this resolves quickly.

    1. Makes sense. That’s what they did the last time they had a massive drought too:

      1. I recall a story, probably apocryphal, about a drought where the governor called for the citizenry to gather in a football stadium to pray for rain.

        Thousands gathered, but only one, a small boy, brought an umbrella.

        “Oh ye of little faith!”

    2. Running low on deenz, beans, rice, and .22LR ammo.
      Send help (no Yankees pls)!

      1. Actually, if the ice brought down a significant number of poles, it’s going to take Yankees to get the power back on. You might even get some Canadian linemen down there before this is done — the utilities have a mutual aid agreement.

        That’s part of why it took so long for Puerto Rico to get power back after the hurricane — they wouldn’t let American utility workers drive trucks on the island. (If PR were a state, they would be *required* to…)

        1. That’s part of why it took so long for Puerto Rico to get power back after the hurricane — they wouldn’t let American utility workers drive trucks on the island. (If PR were a state, they would be *required* to…)

          Do you have any source for this? Sounds wildly improbable to me.

          1. The refusal of PR to accept a US CDL license is well documented beyond even this — they wouldn’t even accept US Army licenses and that’s why all the 40′ boxes of water and everything else was stuck in the ports.

            All the PR drivers were at home trying to help their families recover from the hurricane, and hence none of these supplies got to the people who needed them. And you can look that up…

            1. I didn’t ask you to repeat your claims. I asked for evidence.

              The problem, Ed, is that you make a lot of shit up, so any time you make a statement of fact I don’t believe it without independent confirmation.

                “Guidance: Since Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories are not included in the definition of a State in section 12016 of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA) (49 U.S.C. §31301(13)), they must be considered foreign countries for purposes of the CDL requirements. Under part 383, a person domiciled in a foreign country is not required to surrender his or her foreign license in order to obtain a nonresident CDL. There are two reasons for permitting this dual licensing to a person domiciled in Puerto Rico: (a) There is no reciprocal agreement with Puerto Rico recognizing its Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) testing and licensing standards as equivalent to the standards in part 383 and, (b) the nonresident CDL may not be recognized as a valid license to drive in Puerto Rico.”

        2. Does the mutual aid agreement apply to Texas and its independent grid? I thought the point of the independent grid was to avoid participating in such things?

          1. No, it’s a different form of mutual aid — an agreement that “we’ll hire your guys on overtime if we need them, you’ll deal with the paperwork, and we’ll cut a check to you when this is all over.”

            It’s a really good deal for the young linemen willing to work the 12 on and 12 off shifts for a week or two — young guys trying to buy a house and such — and that’s who the other utilities send down. If they are really ambitious, they’ll work a 16 on/8 off shift….

            They’ll sens a truck and whatever they can put onto it and/or it can tow, with the understanding that they will be reimbursed for that as well, should it be used.

            And the thing is that you might be the one requesting help next year…

        3. Imagine the nerve. Not letting people drive to the island.

        4. “You might even get some Canadian linemen down there before this is done”

          Wichita linemen are a lot closer.

    3. “Pray for those who are without power,”

      Or, much better, apply some reason to the situation.

      Choose reason. Every time. Be an adult.

      Or, at least try.

      1. Kirkland, I would be dead were it not for Divine Intervention.

        Just sayin…

        1. What the hell was He thinking? Go into the light, Ed!

  3. We’re about a year into the Covid “emergency” where the courts have abdicated their responsibility to enforce the alleged inalienable civil rights guaranteed by the constitution.

    1. Not totally abdicated, no, but to too great an extent, certainly.

    2. Plenty of decisions I hate and think hurt America and Americans. But it’s only the right that goes in for the ‘Supreme Court is acting illegitimately.’

      If you want to make an argument, make an argument. But this is just signaling.
      You and Brett disagreeing with the courts doesn’t mean they’ve abdicated anything.

      1. “But it’s only the right that goes in for the ‘Supreme Court is acting illegitimately.’”

        Citizens United?

        1. Certainly I accept both results. I even think Heller was fine as a decision. But just for fun – no judgment, got any more guesses about my personally least favorite decisions that aren’t the usual anticannon?

          Liberals talk about the consequences of those cases, and how they were very bad but you don’t see anything like calling the court illegitimate.

          Closest you could come there was Bush v. Gore. And even then, precious few said Bush was never the Real President.

          1. You claimed it was only the right that went in for claiming the Supreme court rules illegitimately. I think Heller and Citizens United are proof to the contrary, whatever you thought about them.

            I mean, heck, the Democrats even introduced a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens united!

            1. …Do you know what illegitimate means? It does not mean the response is to use Constitutionally contemplated protocols to address the issue.

            2. Big difference between claiming a decision is wrong and claiming it’s “illegitimate,” whatever that even means in that context.

              And your complaint about a Constitutional amendment makes no sense at all.

              If the court makes a ruling I don’t like on a Constitutional question, isn’t proposing an amendment exactly the appropriate response? That sort of acknowledges the legitimacy of the decision, I think, and seeks to overturn it by Constitutional means.

              1. “Big difference between claiming a decision is wrong and claiming it’s “illegitimate,” whatever that even means in that context. ”

                That’s easy: It means wrong.

                1. I think it means something worse than “wrong,” maybe made in bad faith or the like.

                  I don’t think either Heller or CU fall into that category. The closest I can think of might be Rucho – the gerrymandering case – and while I think it was embarrassingly bad it probably doesn’t quite make the cut.

                  Had they gone the other way on the census case that would have qualified.

                2. “That’s easy: It means wrong.”
                  No, it doesn’t, Brett. It means “wrong, on purpose.”

              2. Official website of Senate Democrats: “During First Day Of Dangerous And Illegitimate Supreme Court Hearing, Senate Democrats To Focus On Impact Of A Justice Barrett Striking Down ACA”

                Chuck Schumer: “I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell you Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

                Nancy Pelosi: “The president is installing an illegitimate Supreme Court justice just one week before the election,”

                Jacobin Mag: “The Courts Were Always Bad. Now They’re Fundamentally Illegitimate. For too long, progressives have accepted without question the legitimacy of the courts. That needs to change now.”

                1. The only one here actually doing what wreckinball is the Jacobin link. And yeah, they suck.

            3. Brett, I realize you’re incapable of reasoning across party lines, so let me help by stating it in phrases that could be spoken by anyone of any political persuasion.

              Scenario one: “I do not think the court decided my case correctly, and am appealing.”

              Scenario two: “I do not accept this court’s authority, it is illegitimate.”

              Extending this to SCOTUS is left as an exercise, etc.

          2. Bush didn’t crow about winning-by-cheating on the cover of the next week’s TIME Magazine, either! Biden’s people did.

            1. Condolences on your illiteracy.

              1. Black people voting is kind of like cheating.

                1. They must have been cheating, that’s the only way they could have gotten around all the obstacles Republicans put in their way.

                2. DEAD Black people voting *is* cheating…

                  1. Pretending they’re dead so you can discard their vote is cheating.

          3. This comes awfully close to the Sarcastro line:

            “Vice President Joe Biden, appearing Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” argued Obama “didn’t question the integrity of the court. He questioned the judgment of it.”

            I think Cornyn is right here, repaying the Supreme Courts courtesy in attending the State of the Union by abusing them when they’re a captive audience:
            Calling out the Supreme Court when they’re sitting right there … was a little over the top.
            –Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas

        2. I agree with Brett here, the left really was upset over Citizens (warranted in my opinion). Obama called out the Court at his state of the nation address.

          1. He called the decision bad, he did not say the Court abrogated it’s responsibility.

            1. Obama called out SCOTUS in his SOTU and congressional Democrats played the cheering mob on cue (the Fourth Estate focused on criticizing Justice Alito’s response). Obama was more artful than Trump but it was still the sleazy act of demagogue.

      2. Sarcastr0….I’ll take you up on the argument. Sorry, but what about religious free exercise rights that have been suppressed by executive order, in the name of an ’emergency’ that has now extended for a year? It took multiple decisions from SCOTUS to begin to set things right, and even at that, governors flout the decisions.

        If you want to destroy a country, destroy those who have religious beliefs. That is one lesson I take away from history. The suppression of religious beliefs eventually leads to degradation and dissolution.

        1. First, this is vastly better, more interesting, and frankly better for the country than “Not My SCOTUS!” nonsense.

          The law of exigency is a long accepted justification for excepting the usual substance and procedural requirements. Except for holding same things equal under the law; no exigency lets you be arbitrary. That’s why you see that being plead a lot. And while I tend to disagree with some of the parallels being drawn, these are subtle fact-based questions and reasonable minds may differ.

          As to the length of the emergency, it’s hard to argue that the emergency is not still very much manifest. This allows exceptions to substantive rules to continue (free association, etc). However, the exceptions to the procedural rules (who can make these decisions) becomes attenuated as there is more and more time to align things with the usual order of things. Though I’m not seeing that plead yet, I don’t see why not.

          But you in particular want more. You want an overruling of Smith. I don’t, though I the status quo ante was not some theocratic hellscape, it seems that recently many people’s political/policy preferences are being backfilled into religious beliefs (obviously not your particular issue with assemblies on this one). This is too clever by half; carving out infinite exceptions like that seems a recipe for disunion even more so than your claim of persecution is.

          And I do take issue with your claim of persecution. I know that gatherings are sincerely vital to your faith, and I think good policy is to give that no small weight. But your beliefs are not being suppressed. Acts can be vital to a person of faith, but that does not give free license to conflate act with belief.
          This melodrama – the invocations of the Holocaust, of the inquisition, of pogroms, and of general persecution for beliefs, this is turning faith into a partisan issue. It’s not really – it will never be. There are plenty of liberals of faith in this country.
          But if you want faith-based needs to fall by the wayside and become just another partisan cudgel, this is the way to do it.

          1. Well Sarcastr0, let’s unpack a few things here. The ‘not my SCOTUS’ argument is utter bullshit. I pay no attention to it.

            Except for holding same things equal under the law; no exigency lets you be arbitrary. — The problem here is that governor’s did in fact act in arbitrary ways that did not treat free exercise equally. You conceded that, I think.

            As to the length of the emergency, it’s hard to argue that the emergency is not still very much manifest. — Really? Let’s review the definition of an emergency. It is a temporary, time-bound and discrete event. The Covid Craziness we have today contorts this understanding. When does ’emergency’ end?

            I know that gatherings are sincerely vital to your faith, and I think good policy is to give that no small weight. But your beliefs are not being suppressed. Acts can be vital to a person of faith, but that does not give free license to conflate act with belief. — In this, you are just wrong. You cannot divorce belief from action, Sarcastr0. To formally mourn the dead, we must gather in-person in a minyan to say Kaddish. When you suppress the act, and many governor’s did, you suppress belief. The two go hand-in-hand. To use a Christian example, how do you give extreme unction for the dying (somewhat similar to Vidui for Jews) in a hospital?

            I am not sure that Smith actually needs to go. Perhaps there are judicial interpretations and clarifications of what Justice Scalia wrote that can be applied to the present circumstance.

            Also, on a personal note: I want to apologize to you. I was unduly harsh with you in a previous blog post this week. That was wrong, and I was wrong. Something a blog poster wrote this week has really resonated with me: We have to keep the lines of communication open is what he wrote. It makes a lot of sense. Especially today.

            1. Based on your past posts, I think the heart of your argument is a desire to overrule Smith, or at least neuter it with something along the lines of Kavanaugh’s “most-favored nation” standard, having nothing to do with COVID-19. And although I agree that the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 do not justify ignoring Lukumi, they also do not justify altering Smith.

              1. I don’t think that Justice Kavenaugh’s assertion is incompatible with Smith, is it?

                1. Because virtually every law has exemptions, the most-favored nation standard results in every law being judged under strict scrutiny which is the de facto end of Smith. For example, Title VII exempts businesses with fewer than 15 employees from anti-discrimination requirements. The most-favored nation standard would then apply strict scrutiny to an employer who has a religious objection to hiring a Jew, woman or gay person.

                  1. Ok….but is MFN incompatible with Smith?

                    For enumerated rights like free expression, I don’t think we should suppress them without strict scrutiny being applied.

                    1. If it de facto overrules Smith, it is incompatible.

            2. governor’s did in fact act in arbitrary ways that did not treat free exercise equally
              I don’t think that’s established. Courts have gone both ways on this issue.
              As Josh R noted, you don’t want faith-based activities treated *equally* you want a carveout for them in particular beyond secular stuff. I think that’s good policy, but no Constitutionally mandated.

              As for COVID no longer being an emergency, I won’t get into semantics; lets think more about the function of exigency. Certainly the legal necessity is still present. The alternative is to say it isn’t and then fundamentally remake our system with Covid as the new normal, and neither of us wants that.

              You cannot divorce belief from action, Sarcastr0
              This depends on the faith. There have been sectarian wars over this issue, in fact. But bottom line, this flies in the face of our law as established in 1990. Maybe we render unto Caesar too much, but it’s really hard to address an argument that is just ‘my faith says not letting me do what it insists is oppressing my faith.’

              You and I get hot with one another Commenter, but rest assured I can tell you are one of the ones here for reasoning with your fellows.

              1. As a general rule, I think it is bad policy to have a religious carveout beyond what is required byLukumi. So long as religious conduct isn’t be targeted, why should it be treated differently than secular conduct? I’m open to carveouts in specific cases, but am curious why you think it is good policy as a general rule (which sounds like support for RFRAs, which I oppose)?

                1. I think religious activities being held as more important than going to a restaurant or gym is a pretty good distinction to make.

                  If nothing else, the rituals of faith are more likely to be central to a person’s self-identity than eating out or working out.

                  1. Do you support RFRA? Does RFRA give an employer with a religious objection to hiring gay people an exemption from Title VII?

              2. Uh, you cannot characterize Governor Newsome’s or Cuomo’s actions vis a vis free exercise restrictions as anything other than arbitrary. SCOTUS properly called them both out for that, and stopped them from continuing it. Even Justice Breyer had issues with their behavior, for Pete’s sake.

                No, let’s stay with emergency. You’re moving a goalpost. The declarations by governors state emergency, not exigency. We no longer have an emergency. That aside, I am sure you know that just because you can do something, does not mean you should.

                You’re not addressing the issue: action and belief go together. You cannot suppress one, and not suppress the other. When it comes to free exercise, you don’t get to pick and choose, Sarcastr0.

                1. I certainly can call them not arbitrary. I think the Supreme Court was wrong on that as a factual matter; I was not convinced that like things were not being treated like.

                  I’m not moving the goalpost on what’s an emergency. Legally the state of emergency is about necessity and exigency.

                  You have an issue with the common definition of emergency; I allow that’s an arguable point. But legally, the exigency is recognized by the emergency order.

                  I believe for you action and belief go together. That’s an area of contention within both the Christian and Jewish faiths.
                  But for you these things are the same.
                  But consider the implications of a policy based on that understanding. This isn’t like back when Yoder was the law. Now every law will get interrogated against each person’s idiosyncratic faith. You cannot have a society where everyone has their own version of the law.

                  Which is why I think these carveouts for should be made as a matter of policy, not as a matter of Constitutional mandate. Thus you can have your beliefs recognized without tearing down every regulatory and legal scheme to get there.

                  1. Sarcastr0, I will think about what you wrote. But I cannot think of a single religious faith in America where action and belief are divorced from each other. Even Unitarians put faith into action. 🙂

                    1. Faith not Acts is a bit of an area of contention in Christianity.

                      Exigency changing what actions faith requires is pretty widespread across Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Up to and including seeming assimilation in all but spirit.

                    2. Faith not Acts is a bit of an area of contention in Christianity.

                      Not so much in Judaism, I think.

                    3. Indeed, bernard. I’ve even had some of my Jewish friends posit acts not faith, which is a bit of a brain twister for me.

                      But I was speaking to But I cannot think of a single religious faith in America where action and belief are divorced from each other.

                    4. It is a matter of controversy with Catholics and Orthodox on the action end and Calvinists, congregationalists and highly reformed on the fiath end.

                    5. I’ve even had some of my Jewish friends posit acts not faith, which is a bit of a brain twister for me.


                      That’s because Jews are not so hung up on salvation. Views of the afterlife differ, but I doubt many Jewish theologians would argue that lack of faith, in itself, matters very much.

                      That said, I’m no scholar, and could easily be misinterpreting things. I’d welcome clarification from those more learned than I in these matters.

                    6. bernard11 (and Sarcastr0)…The way I have heard it:

                      Deeds, not creeds, is what matters in this life.

          2. “First, this is vastly better, more interesting, and frankly better for the country than “Not My SCOTUS!” nonsense.”

            Hopefully, that’ll fade now that the rule that Democratic Presidents aren’t allowed to nominate Supreme Court Justices is established.

        2. “If you want to destroy a country, destroy those who have religious beliefs.”

          Choose reason. Every time.

          Choose reason. Especially over sacred ignorance and dogmatic intolerance.

          Choose reason. Every time. Most especially if you are older than 12 or so. By then, childhood indoctrination fades as an excuse for gullibility, ignorance, backwardness, and bigotry. By adulthood — this includes ostensible adulthood — it is no excuse, not even in the most desolate backwater one may find.

          Choose reason. Every time. And education, progress, tolerance, freedom, modernity, science, and inclusiveness. Avoid superstition, ignorance, bigotry, backwardness, authoritarianism, insularity, and pining for good old day that never existed. Not 50 years ago. Not 150 years ago. Not 2,000 years ago.

          Choose reason. Every time. Be an adult.

          Or, at least, please try.

          Thank you.

          1. Arthur….I’ll pray for you. 🙂

          2. Choosing religion is not automatically dogma or unreason.

            Ceasing to argue and merely chanting a slogan is.

            1. Reason vs. superstition.

              Education vs. ignorance.

              Tolerance vs. bigotry.

              Progress vs. backwardness.

              Freedom vs. authoritarianism.

              Science vs. dogma.

              Modernity vs. pining for illusory good old days.

              Inclusiveness vs. insularity.

              May the better ideas win.

            2. “Choosing religion is not automatically dogma or unreason.”

              It’s not automatic, but it’s highly correlated.

      3. “But it’s only the right that goes in for the ‘Supreme Court is acting illegitimately.’”

        Bush v. Gore?

        Heck, I’d say that they acted illegitimately in developing the QI doctrine that is responsible for much of the recent civil unrest.

        1. You reach for illegitimacy far too quickly.

          I address BvG above.

      4. I have noticed a tendency by people on both sides to think that the Constitution means whatever their political preferences are. For example, most people who think abortion should be legal also think the Constitution forbids banning it, and most people who think abortion should not be legal also think the Constitution permits banning it. It’s not that usual to have someone say that they think the Constitution is on the other side of whatever their personal opinion of abortion is.

        And if you disagreed with the Covid restrictions, you probably thought the “courts have abdicated their responsibility to enforce the alleged inalienable civil rights guaranteed by the constitution.” People on the other side aren’t as convinced that the rights claimed were in fact constitutional rights.

        1. Oh I can say the Court got it wrong. But that’s not the same as the Court is illegitimate, or abdicating it’s Constitutional duty.

          Shelby County is an awful, awful decision. Facially incorrect, and with clearly bad effects we’ve been seeing for a while now. Does it mean the Court has stopped being an arbiter of the Constitution? It does not.
          The right has been working hard to eschew the humility required to realize your own idiosyncratic constitution does not apply in society generally. It’s making them disaffected in a way I only see on the terminally online leftists that can’t stop talking about Praxis. Except on the right, it’s all the way up through Congress nowadays.

          1. Conservatives have worked too hard on arranging a right-wing Supreme Court to let Democrats prevent race-targeting Republican voter suppression.

          2. They don’t have a constitutional duty to get it right? Just to rule any old way?

            I don’t think the Court is “illegitimate” in the sense that 9 random people getting together and purporting to constitute themselves as a supreme court would be. I think they’re behaving illegitimately at times, in the sense that they’re failing to do their duty to uphold the Constitution even where they happen not to like it. Ruling on things other than actual legal merits.

            1. They don’t have a constitutional duty to agree with me.

              Or you.

      5. Surely if the left is refusing to accept the legitimacy of multiple duly appointed and confirmed Justices that is, by inference, calling into question the legitimacy of the court and any decisions it may make.

        For example, the Google search:

        illegitimate justice

        will give you plenty of examples including this one that begins:

        Three illegitimate Supreme Court appointments, the second worse than the first, and the third worse than the second, and several more illegitimate lower court appointments by an illegitimate president.

        1. “Surely if the left is refusing to accept the legitimacy of multiple duly appointed and confirmed Justices that is, by inference, calling into question the legitimacy of the court and any decisions it may make.”


  4. There’s talk at CNet that the 10th Starship prototype might launch as early as tomorrow. But I see no TFR listed for the area, (Except for the low altitude one permitting engine testing.) and it would probably be bad PR to suck down a thousand tons of natural gas in Texas right now for a rocket test.

    SpaceX is proof that American industry is still capable of some fantastic things, if regulators don’t get in the way. Makes me wish I was 40 years younger, and just starting my career as an engineer.

    1. SpaceX is a wonderful story. The important thing here (and its forgotten by too many organizations) is that getting stuff DONE is ultimately more important than a whole lot of PR and pumping yourself up, but then going nowhere as several other companies have done.

      1. We’ve been transitioning from a free market capitalism economy to a crony capitalism economy, in which investing in politicians will often have a better rate of return than investing in factories and engineering talent.

        One of the reasons that the internet became such a big thing is that the regulators hadn’t yet taken over the software field, so the barriers to entry were practically nonexistent. You can see in what happened to Gab and Parler that the big players are attempting to recreate such barriers to entry by collusive action.

        The remarkable thing about SpaceX was their success at partially reversing that transition in at least one industry, which has resulted not just in SpaceX being successful, but a bunch of other private launch companies forming to exploit the opportunity.

        I wonder what other industries could be driven back into a free market model against the tide?

        1. Sadly, many of the other public launch companies are long on PR and short on actual successes

          1. Blue Horizon is the real deal, but unlike SpaceX’s “Build stuff and see how it breaks” approach, they’re concentrating on the NASA “Obsessively attempt to cover every angle so it works the first time” approach. A much more expensive and slower approach to engineering rockets, but if you’ve got Bezos funding you, it’s pretty certain to get you there eventually.

            SpaceX was, at one point, one launch failure away from bankruptcy, so it isn’t as though their approach has no downsides. But it is faster, and they’re accumulating real world experience at a ferocious rate.

            The two companies reflect their founders’ goals: Musk’s Mars vision really does demand the use of methane as a fuel, while Bezos’ Moon oriented plans favor hydrogen, as the Moon is notoriously carbon poor.

            Virgin Galactic is more of a hobby and PR company; Their trips “to space” are a bit of a joke, (Sure, over the Karman line, but nowhere near making orbit.) and their orbital capacity is limited to fairly tiny payloads. They might make it as a niche market company, though.

            I was sad to see what happened with Bigelow; Covid was apparently the last straw for them.

            I think the smaller launch companies are going nowhere, too much scaling advantage with larger rockets.

            1. I don’t know about Blue Origin. They’ve been in business more than 20 years. Yet they don’t have a single successful orbital launch. Several suborbital launches, but not a single true orbital launch. In over 20 years. That’s a big flaw in my book.

              SpaceX was actually started after Blue Origin (2002). And they made orbit in 2008. Just 6 years. But Blue Origin has had more than 20 years, and still nothing. Because of that, in a lot of ways, Blue Origin is more of a Virgin Galactic type company in my book.

              1. Three words: Three Mile Island.

                All it is going to take is a spectacular crash of a Space X rocket near a populated area for this to all be shut down the way nuke power was after Three Mile Island…

                1. At present they’re still launching over the ocean, and I expect that to be the case for some time to come.

                  But, yes, at some point there’s going to be a serious rocket crash with casualties for people who aren’t members of the crew, and modern rocketry better be very well established before that happens.

                  1. There’s ongoing efforts to launch from what once was Loring AFB in Limestone, ME — the very top of the state. You’ve got much of Atlantic Canada (NB & NS) to the east of that — not to mention *every* airplane bound for Europe (they turn East off Nova Scotia).

                    1. “(they turn East off Nova Scotia).” It looks that way, if you are a flat earther.

                    2. ““(they turn East off Nova Scotia).” It looks that way, if you are a flat earther.”

                      No, they actually turn SSW…

                      Reality is that the “highway” — five lanes wide and five lanes high — routes them off Nova Scotia *and* places the planes in the path of anything launched out of Loring.

                      Great circles or circle your anus, it doesn’t matter — flaming debris coming down from above would totally mess up a Europe-bound flight were it to fall on it….

              2. No, like I said, they’re just following the NASA “get everything right before launching” model, which is very slow. Also, they started out as an engine supplier for others, and only later moved into building their own complete rockets.

                But the Blue Origin hardware is solid, and very capable. Virgin Galactic is a joke compared to them.

                I have no doubt that they’ll be putting stuff in orbit this year or next. Especially now that Bezos has retired to take direct personal control of the launch company.

                They’ve just lacked SpaceX’s urgency, due to having a bottomless supply of money. That can actually be a curse.

                I doubt they’ll ever take first place, but they should be secure as a second source for government programs that aren’t allowed to be totally reliant on one launch company.

                1. Brett….you might be right about Blue Origin. But they have not actually produced jack-shit. Color me skeptical. At least with SpaceX, they have something (multiple somethings) to point to.

                  1. No, they’ve produced plenty of working hardware with the necessary performance, they just haven’t bothered putting it together into an orbital configuration. They almost certainly will this year or next, if they don’t I might agree with you that they’re not serious.

                    To be clear, I don’t like their “we’re not in a race” approach. They damned well are in a race, they’re just walking instead of running. They’ll get there eventually, but they’re not getting anywhere first.

                    1. They’ll get there eventually, but they’re not getting anywhere first.

                      In this case, getting there first may be overrated.

                    2. I figure that so long as SpaceX is still climbing the learning curve, being second place means not really mattering. Once rocketry reaches some kind of plateau of performance/cost effectiveness, being second will mean less.

                      But right now SpaceX isn’t a lazy hare taking breaks while the tortoise lumbers along. It’s a manic hare running flat out. Blue Horizon isn’t just going to be second place, they’re going to be dropping behind, unless Bezos gives them a serious kick in the rear when he takes direct control.

                      I really think what’s going to happen is that SpaceX is going to lower the cost to orbit to the point where the traffic to orbit increases enough to make non-rocketry approaches feasible. There are a number of concepts for launching to space from Earth’s surface that aren’t rockets, and promise to be much cheaper for kg, but they all share the problem that they’re very infrastructure intensive, and so can only be cost effective at high traffic levels.

                      I think the next major innovation will probably be rotovators, rotating orbital skyhooks, (They don’t need anything more exotic than Spectra.) that can catch a payload high in the upper atmosphere, and fling it into orbit. Your ground stage for that sort of thing can be just a high performance airplane.

                      That won’t totally obsolete rockets, but it will replace them for the getting into orbit part of the trip, except for special applications.

                2. If you’re using NASA as a comparison, Blue Origin’s timelines are too long, even for that.

                  Remember, NASA started in 1958, and was on the moon in 10 years. Blue Origin can’t even get to orbit in 20 years. They keep pushing back their first orbital flight…First they said 2018. Then 2019. Now 2021.

                  Are they going to blow the 2021 deadline too?

                  1. I’m talking modern NASA, not Apollo program NASA. For all practical purposes, two different organizations.

                    1. In NASA’s defense, the Apollo Era happened because of humongous budgets – massively larger than anything they’ve seen since. The space agency was allowed to throw money at the problem. After any failure they could write-off the misstep & throw more money in a new direction.

                      As for Space X, I’m guessing their entire Starship system is still several years away from being a reliable man-rated option. Just the environmental systems alone should cause huge technical problems at their eventual scale. Another thing to remember is Starship can’t function effectively without in-orbit refueling, which is something that’s barely been attempted, and to a very limited degree. They’ve earned a massive amount of respect & goodwill for their Falcon & Dragon systems, but people are probably overestimating where Starship is.

                      Blue Origin is the complete contrast to Space X. While the latter is conducting spectacular tests with field-welded hardware on a spit of land in Texas, the former is building factories, launch towers & control centers. Space X definitely seems to have the higher ceiling (particularly because New Armstrong seems to be nothing but a slogan), but I expect the distance between the companies will tighten up considerable over the short term.

                    2. Re Brett,

                      Even Modern NASA is faster. They retired the space shuttle in 2011, and got back into manned orbit well before 2031.

                      re GBR:

                      SpaceX is leaps ahead of Blue Origin. They already have factories, launch sites, control crews, and more. Not to mention a successful record of dozens of orbital launches and launching people into space. Blue Origin’s New Glenn is basically their version of the Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy…except New Glenn still isn’t ready, more than 10 years after the first Falcon 9 commercial launch.

                      I’m guessing Blue Origin crashes and burns soon

                    3. “As for Space X, I’m guessing their entire Starship system is still several years away from being a reliable man-rated option.”

                      Oh, absolutely. It will start out carrying cargo, mostly SpaceX’s own satellites, and will only carry people once it has a good track record. Same as Falcon, you wouldn’t have launched people on the early Falcon rockets.

                      I would say that Starship can function for bringing cargo into LEO without refueling. It needs refueling to reach destinations beyond LEO, but can make mucho money just flying to LEO.

                      In orbit refueling is simply something that we have to learn to do, to get anything significant done outside of Earth orbit. Without it you’re limited to occasional stunts.

                    4. Definitely Starship can function in-orbit without refueling; it’s only Space-X’s plans for the Moon, Mars and other BLEO stuff that require it. As for the difficult of in-orbit refueling, my sense has always been it’s much more complicated than a technically-challenged person like myself would guess.

                      (Space-X is a wonderful enterprise & fascinating to follow, but I have to confess its fanboys sometimes have a fingernails-on-blackboard effect on me)

                      Meanwhile, Perseverance on Mars!

            2. I’m glad to see someone confirm my hunch about Blue Origin’s NASA-like risk-aversion. Is it because of the people they hired, the choice of the Space Coast for its headquarters, or something else? I am reminded of a few quotes I read about the derision that NASA and USAF folks had for Felix Baugardner’s record setting free-fall a few years back, essentially claiming that Red Bull had no chance of pulling it off because they hadn’t spent three times as long and ten times as much money.

        2. ou can see in what happened to Gab and Parler that the big players are attempting to recreate such barriers to entry by collusive action.

          You can’t, but you do you, Brett.

      2. ” The important thing here (and its forgotten by too many organizations) is that getting stuff DONE is ultimately more important than a whole lot of PR and pumping yourself up”

        The Challenger 7 would like to discuss something with you. Shooting them up into the sky is only “getting something done” if you can bring them back down again,after.

    2. Big fan of SpaceX. Like the comment.

      1. You’re a big fan of the taxpayer subsidizing a private corporation? Shouldn’t you be kvetching about how the federal government lets private corporations drill on public lands for oil reserves?

        1. Look, private subsidized is sometimes better than fully federalized efforts. SpaceX embodies something important about the human spirit.

        2. The government buying services from a private corporation is not the same thing as a subsidy. Especially when the service is more reliable, and its price lower, than when the government was building and operating its own space vessels.

          1. The government has been buying its space vehicles for far longer than SpaceX has existed. What SpaceX does that is different is to reuse as much as possible.

  5. Rush Limbough could have been elected President in 2008 and maybe 2012 if he’d wanted to be. He was more significant than any President.

    1. True, he could have been. (If all Obama voters had been prevented at gun point from voting.)

      1. He would have had a solid base of support on the right, and clearly had the gift of gab, and was media savvy. But you don’t run for President unless you’ve got that thirst for power, too, and there’s no evidence he had it.

        1. If the 2020 presidential election taught us anything it surely taught us that you don’t win elections if you anger independents and the base of the other guy more than you energise your own base.

          1. I would say that the 2020 presidential election taught us that you don’t win an election if the economy tanks right before, even if it clearly isn’t your fault.

            It took the Covid recession and a media pile on and his October surprise being censored to lose him that election, and he still came within 40K votes of pulling it off. If not for Covid we’d be in his second term right now.

            1. I think Covid helped Trump in many ways. Anyone who disliked the restrictions found a friend in him.

              1. Had there not been COVID, Trump would have won handily. The economy was roaring before then. That is what carries most elections in the U.S.

                1. Usually, but Trump is, by his and his fan’s own admissions, an unusual cat. Many people blamed the bad economy on Covid overreaction and found Trump more appealing.

                2. You underestimate America’s aversion toward bigotry. There are increasingly more modern, decent people than vestigial bigots and clingers in America. That is why Republicans are becoming uncompetitive in national elections.

                  1. Trump’s loss was not related to that aversion. Had he just put Fauci out in front at every moment. Urged the public to listen to the physicians, and showed a modicum of sympathy toward those who became ill he could have won handily. Instead, his narcissism and ill will fueld the most spectacular flame out in American history.

                3. Bored Lawyer : Had there not been COVID, Trump would have won handily

                  Perhaps; I can’t say Trump wouldn’t have won with absolute certainty. But “handily” is out of the question; that’s pure fantasy alone.

                  Here’s the thing you must consider with Trump : He had a full-bore red-hot economy & an economic catastrophe caused by pandemic. Yet his approval numbers barely budged from one to another. Most of the people who were going to vote for or against such a (insert virulent Trump insult here) were going to do so regardless of whether he cured cancer or shot random strangers on Fifth Avenue.

                  1. I don’t know, I think the polls weren’t really measuring preferences, so much as party affiliation; Hating (or loving!) Trump had become nothing more than a way to identify your political alignment, it was practically unthinkable for a Democrat to admit to liking Trump, or, to a somewhat lesser extent, for a Republican to admit to disliking him.

                    I think we would have seen some divergence between the polls and the voting, if things had just gone on unchanged.

                    But the economic collapse caused by some states’ response to Covid, (The virus itself wouldn’t have done diddly to the economy if we’d just ignored it, it’s not like it was the black death, or even the Spanish flu.) shifted votes, not just public stances. It became easy for people who were posing as enemies of Trump to become the real thing.

                    Well, that’s my theory, anyway. Not like we can re-run the election without Covid to see if it’s right.

                    1. A few points :

                      (1) The reaction to Trump went way beyond typical party affiliations
                      (2) True; the economy could have easily survived 2X or 3X the deaths
                      (3) Trump’s blazingly obvious indifference to the pandemic hurt him
                      (4) If DJT had his way we’d have rerun the election until he won.

            2. I think Covid was a gift to Trump.

              Had he responded to it intelligently – even semi-intelligently – there would have been a big “rally-around-the-flag” reaction and he would have won easily.

              Instead he refused to take it seriously, made mask-wearing a partisan issue rather than a unifying one, and made an idiot of himself when talking to the press.

              Was he unlucky that Covid came along? In part, but he had three years of good luck before that. Presidents get crises.

              1. His indifference to the pandemic was clear to see & pretty damn astounding. Most presidents (or human beings, for that matter) would have pretended concern or empathy at least. Trump could barely be bothered.

                I still think much of his early reaction to covid was based on his assumption the disease would stay concentrated in highly-populated and very-blue areas. Given that, why should Trump support sacrifice or unpopular restrictions? The suffering could be just be blamed on regional Democrats.

                I concede this is a deeply cynical view of Trump as national leader and human being. But given what a pathological turd he is, it’s still highly likely.

                1. I fully agree with you and Bernard.
                  He lost despite Covid because he is such a bad human being.

                  1. I always welcome yer agreement!

            3. Brett Bellmore : “It took the Covid recession and a media pile on and his October surprise being censored….”

              Two Points :

              1. I’m pleased to see Brett concede the October Surprise bit. If even the most loyal of cultists can’t swallow the “blind Trump fanatic computer repairman & forgotten laptop” bullshit, maybe there’s hope for objective truth yet.

              2. That said, Brett’s larger point is still out the wrong end of the bull. I’ve asked this before & ask it now : The mainstream media reported these things about the laptop : (a) That Hunter may have gotten a meet with daddy for a business associate, (b) That Hunter may have considered cutting his father in on a business deal that went nowhere – after the latter was out of office & a private citizen, (c) That Joe may not have been completely ignorant of Hunter’s business.

              That was rigorously reported in the newspapers and radio/TV news. So, Brett, what is missing from that list? What was “censored” (your word)?

              1. To a large extent the reason the “October Surprise” didn’t get more coverage was that Giuliani refused to let news organizations examine the emails or hard drive to authenticate them.

                That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the legitimacy of the whole story.

                1. Of course that’s true, and added to the fish-like stink coming off the story. But where I’d really like Brett’s input is this : Even accepting everything said by Giuliani, NY Post, etc – what on the laptop was not fully reported in the media?

                  How was Brett cheated of his “October Surprise”?
                  What does he claim was concealed from the voters?
                  Name the facts “censored”

                  He’s now made the same statement multiple times in the recent past. He says it’s a major reason for Trump’s loss. If that’s not just more of Brett’s empty talk, he ought to be able to answer those questions.

                  We were often told there’d be more laptop “developments”. With a leering sneer, Giuliani promised kiddy porn. None ever materialized. Tucker Carlson claimed the UPSP was trying to prevent a “shocking new” laptop scandal via postal delay. But the mailman delivered in the end, Tucker didn’t. So what does Brett say was hidden?

                  1. The major reason Trump lost was because he is Trump. Biden had the advantage of NOT being Trump, which carried him to victory. Turns out pissing people off isn’t a good political strategy, even if you’re REALLY good at it.

                    Rudy wasn’t able to cover his tracks with the smoking gun, er, laptop well enough to change anything.

          2. Not without cheating, no. But Biden claims to have done just that.

            1. Did you consider for a moment how ridiculous this seems?

              Read the article, jgalt. You may be surprised at what it says!

              If it does indicate cheating, feel free to bring quotes establishing such.

        2. “you don’t run for President unless you’ve got that thirst for power, too, and there’s no evidence he had it.”

          What you mean is that he already had power the way he wanted it, safe on the sideline with no need to actually solve any problems. Some people actually expect politicians to solve problems.

      2. Obama wasn’t running against the strongest of candidates…

        1. A centrist war hero with decades of name recognition and a massive pre-existing support among independents? Sure, I can see why you’d say that.

          1. A centralist war hero who literally quit campaigning 40 days before the election!

            The last war hero who got elected President was Eisenhower — and do not forget James Stockdale (also war hero, also POW) who had run with Perot 16 years earlier — neither he nor McCain never really returned from the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”

            1. As someone who voted for McCain you’re talking out of your ass. The guy was super popular for a long time. Bush’s taint killed him, in any other year he’d have won. Bush’s legacy was tough on the GOP, today it’s hard to find anyone who says they liked him.*

              *I think Bush was a totally decent guy btw.

              1. I miss having the chance to vote for a maverick who ends up caving every single time the Democrats hold the line firmly. Maybe Mittens will live up to the ideal GOP politician, Maverick War Hawk and bottom of the class graduate John McCain!

                1. ” If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

                  And other ideas foreign to the Rabbi.

              2. It is unlikely that any Republican could have won that year, but McCain might have come close and averted a ruinous downhill slide for the Republican party had he followed hi instincts and insisted on Joe Lieberman as a running mate.

                1. Or he would have tanked even worse when Republican voters told him, “We didn’t become Republicans to elect Democrats to office.” and concentrated their efforts down ticket.

                  But, yes, it was his instinct to pick a Democrat as his VP. That really does say things about him.

                  1. The cinder block he chose to anchor himself to didn’t help him swim any better. McCain would have been better off choosing Tina Fey.

              1. Kennedy doesn’t count, he beat Nixon, who was about as popular as Ted Cruz is.

    2. Limbaugh’s preferred candidates couldn’t be elected then, and he had more problems than them.

      1. Who? Newt Gingrich or Donald Trump?

        Do not underestimate the role Limbough had in the 1994 midterm elections and the totally-unexpected GOP sweep. And some of us believe that Donald Trump actually won last fall’s election….

        1. Yeah, you’re crazy, like those that believe in Bigfoot.

          Trump lost. He barely won the first time. By his own admission there were structural decks stacked against him. His election fraud claims were outright laughable (I was ahead at first then I was behind, FRAUD!). Don’t be a mark.

        2. “Do not underestimate the role Limbough had in the 1994 midterm elections”

          His job was to stand on the sideline while other people did all the work. You can make a lot of money doing that if you’re a football coach, or a total whore willing to say just about anything for money. Limbaugh wasn’t a football coach.

    3. I very much doubt he could have done better than McCain and Romney.

      I think he would have lost in a landslide either time.

        1. No. Like Goldwater did.

          WTF does Reagan have to do with it?

          Conservative candidates win sometimes and lose sometimes. That Reagan won doesn’t mean Limbaugh would have.

          1. “WTF does Reagan have to do with it?”

            Remember when the Conservatives actually had a popular candidate? Reagan actually got centrists’ votes. Teaming up with the terrorists really worked out well for him.

      1. Romney’s fatal issue was that he couldn’t run against Obamacare because he wrote it. Anyone else at all that the GOP might have nominated would have had a chance in 2012. Obama wasn’t that popular in spite of all his secret funding.

        1. If the GOPe could have swung it, they would have nominated another McCain/Romney in 2016, and Clinton would have won. The party establishment never got over being pissed off about Trump taking the nomination over their opposition.

          1. “If the GOPe could have swung it, they would have nominated another McCain/Romney in 2016”

            They let EVERYBODY have a turn as frontrunner in 2016, and the voters didn’t like ANYBODY they had. Had the D’s put up an actually popular candidate back then, that person would still be in office now.

  6. Should Cuomo be criminally prosecuted for his role in the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing nursing homes to take COVID-19 positive patients, then covering up the large number of deaths that resulted?

    1. The cover-up at least was illegal, not just bad policy, but you might have some difficulty pinning it on Cuomo.

      I can’t see a federal prosecution, it would harsh the narrative that all Covid deaths were Trump’s fault. Then again, he’s safely defeated, so they might not care anymore.

      1. the election ins over and now people like Cuomo will be discarded as they are no longer useful and are actually a drag on their objectives,

        1. True. All things must be opposed to Trump, up to and including running sob stories about the al quaeda leader he killed.

          They may have felt it worthy to pull out all the stops against him, but the behavior was often disgusting and dangerous (massive use of government investigative power against a political opponent.)

          1. You’re fucking kidding me. Any President who doesn’t release his tax returns is begging, demanding intense scrutiny. That’s for starters. Come on. This is conflict of interest 101.

            1. Should Senators or Representatives be allowed to purchase Tesla stock before announcing proposed legislation to federally subsidize electric vehicles?

              1. The only subsidy for electric vehicles is that they don’t have to pay the federal gas tax. Neither do bicyclists.

        2. See , for example, New York state’s lawsuit against Amazon (i.e. Jeff Bezos) after he pimped relentlessly for the Democrats in the Washington Post.

          I do love it, though, when the liberals eat their own.

          1. Principles, how do they work?

      2. They’ve got at least one state legislator who claims Cuomo personally called him up, and threatened to “destroy him” unless the legislator released a statement that helped cover up the excess number of deaths.

        1. OK, maybe not so much difficulty, then.

          Apparently there’s a federal law that might actually criminalize the policy of forcing nursing homes to accept people with Covid. Which would explain why they were willing to act illegally to conceal the number of deaths; It wasn’t just bad PR they were worried about.

          1. There are four other governors who did the same damned thing.

            Phailing Phil Murphy, Diktator of the People’s Republic of NJ, is one of them. He belongs in a prison.

    2. Cuomo is looking at some serious legal liability from Medicare — the Feds frown on being lied to, and doctors are currently in prison for far less.

      1. Is that your professional opinion as a HIPPA expert?

        1. He’s an expert on whatever strikes his fancy, at least in HIS mind.

    3. Yes. He should have gone on trial for murder within two weeks of giving the order, and I said so at the time.

      1. He would have been acquitted of murder. You have to charge appropriately, if you want to win.

  7. Though little reported in the MSM, Biden’s answer about China and its human rights abuses at the recent “townhall” was eye-popping:

    Here are some excerpts, courtesy of the NY Post:

    “If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home,” Biden began. “So the central — well, vastly overstated — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”

    “I point out to him no American president can be sustained as a president, if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States,” the US president continued. “And so the idea that I am not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan — trying to end the one China policy by making it forceful … [Xi] gets it.”

    “Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow,” he continued.

    I am sure the apologists are already working overtime to explain this away as a stutter, or gaffe, or something.

    But seriously? Different cultural norms? For GENOCIDE?

    I am sure the defendants at Nuremberg, now burning in hell, are wondering why their lawyers did not think of that defense.
    I am beginning to think the real answer is that Biden is not a senile old man, he just plays one on TV.

    1. I had to give up on the idea that Biden was already senile after the debates. He didn’t debate like a senile guy. Maybe a little brain damaged from the bleeds, but not senile.

      I think his genial manner tends to cause people not to notice that he really is pretty awful on human rights.

      1. Pretty awful in general…

      2. You should be kind of upset with the folks that sold you that horseshit. It was plainly a Swift Boat kind of thing to try to head off an obvious criticism of Trump (“sure, he rambles like crazy but did you know Joe is senile?”)

        1. You should be upset with the folks that sold you the Russian collusion story, among other frauds. Are you?

          1. I have to say I don’t recall the story being focused on ‘collusion,’ that was Trump’s oft-muttered phrase. The idea I read was Russia wanted to push Trump and did and the Trump campaign had different levels of ‘ok, that’s fine with us’. Which was of course true.

            1. Also, Trump literally invited that when he hired Manafort. Everyone knowledgable about Russia matters had heard he was a tool of Russia. Google Applebaum’s article about that early on.

          2. Brett Bellmore : You should be upset with the folks that sold you the Russian collusion story

            I’m still trying to understand what the Cult is saying with their “Russian Collusion Hoax” shtick. I doubt they can even put it in coherent words themselves. It’s just something to say, void of meaning. So let’s review the facts one last time. Concerns over the relationship between the Russian state and Trump/Trump associates were based on three things :

            (1) The active campaign by Russian Intelligence to help Trump’s campaign.

            This is 100% true and extensively documented. The GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee & Mueller both provide comprehensive reports that prove Russia wanted Trump president.

            (2) The unusual & frequently bizarre connections between Trump/Trump associates and the Russian state.

            This is 100% true and extensively documented. The GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee & Mueller both provide comprehensive reports listing many troubling examples. Trump’s campaign manager was deeply in debt to figures tied to Russian intelligence & gave secret briefings to someone U.S. intelligence considered a Russian spy. Trump’s attorney & fixer was sneaking into Moscow during the campaign to secretly negotiate a massive business deal with Kremlin officials. Trump lied about this repeatedly on the campaign trail. Trump’s son was told by an intermediary that the Russian government wanted to secretly help his daddy’s campaign. He responded in writing with glee. There are many more facts of this type in the Senate report & Mueller’s investigation.

            (3) That there was active coordination between the (real) Russian assistance to Trump and his campaign thru those (real) troubling connections.

            This was never proved by either the Senate or Mueller.

            So Is that it, Brett? Is that your “hoax” ?!? Does all your talk boil down to that one tiny point?

            1. The Russians got what they wanted without having to actually work with Trump They were smart enough to know that if Trump got involved, he’d screw it up, so they went ahead and ran their operation to get him elected without him.

    2. “If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home,” Biden began. “So the central — well, vastly overstated — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China.”

      See, this is a common thing I see everywhere, but it more effects CCP propaganda to alter its own history than actual history. It justifies authoritarian rule by holding authoritarian dynasties in high regard, ignoring that the Han dynasty was strongly not authoritarian.

      And it judtifies Chinas treatment of its neighbors.

    3. There are no acceptable cultural norms that state I get to be dictator. If there are, the cultural norms are wrong, and must be changed.

      It’s related to the idiotic idea that dictatorships are the local population exercising self-determination.

      No matter the cultural or philosophical argument, you lording over everyone else against their will is wrong.

    4. I am beginning to think the real answer is that Biden is not a senile old man, he just plays one on TV.

      You start with a disingenuous take on pretty ordinary diplomatic discussions, and you end with conspiratorial twaddle.

      1. No, actually, I got to wondering if he was playing it up, just so Trump would underestimate him for the debates.

        1. You’re assuming Trump made any attempt to prepare for debates. That doesn’t sound like the way he operates.

      2. The “disingenuous take” is one that many had.

        If you read what Biden is saying honestly, he is signaling to Xi that while he (Biden) will certainly protest various human rights abuses by the CCP, Xi should not take it seriously. It is all for domestic consumption.

        Sorry, this is a major moral embarassment to this new administration. One that cannot be swept aside because “But Trump was a boor/clown/fascist.”

        1. Sure, if I read it honestly, I agree with you and the right-wing blogosphere. Oy.

          But to add a bit more than just ‘no U!’ You are purposefully ignoring the context of how diplomatic speech is. I’m hardly an expert, but it doesn’t take a lot of experience reading these things to recognize that there’s a bit more going on than your bullheaded take.

          Sorry, this is a major moral embarrassment to this new administration.
          The right is itching for a fight. You should realize that, and check nonright sources before you come in hot. And, similarly, I should do the same with like Rachel Maddow’s no doubt more sanguine take on such things.

          1. I don’t need to link to any sources. I linked to a video of the actual clip. And listened to all of it. Novel concept, I know, examine the facts first-hand, and come to your own conclusion.

            When you listen to his answer in its entirety, it is a rambling mess. And it was not diplomatic talk, it was an answer to a “Town Hall” run by CNN for the American people. He was trying to paper over the fact that he is getting cozy with a genocidal regime. Genocide, as in a crime against humanity that the hung Nazis for perpetrating.

            It is a moral embarassment. And Trump and his administration were only slightly better on this.

            That Rachel Maddow and her ilk are trying to excuse it away only shows how compromised they are. I don’t need either their take, nor that of the right wing blogosphere to come to my own conclusion.

            1. Your understanding of the context is lacking, but you clearly don’t care. It’s too good an outrage to bother educating yourself.

              This is not getting cozy with a genocidal regime, but you’re pretty excited to be able to type it, no doubt.

              Whatever, dude. Take your nationalist paranoia to Free Republic.

              1. Thanks for all the psychobabble. No analysis whatsoever of the facts. Usual ad hominem crap I expect from most here.

            2. “I don’t need to link to any sources. I linked to a video of the actual clip. And listened to all of it. Novel concept, I know, examine the facts first-hand, and come to your own conclusion. ”

              Sure, sure, “listen to the clip, then apply partisan spin to it” is exclusive to you. You invented it and nobody else has ever done anything like it.

              Here, I’ll give it a try. It sounds like Biden doesn’t think he can do anything about how the Chinese government treats its minorities (Not because he’s cozy with the Chicoms but because they’ve successfully infiltrated out manufacturing streams, and our own house with regard to treating minorities is not fully in order) sounds like his official policy will be to address our own problems before looking for other peoples’ to stick our noses into.

    5. But seriously? Different cultural norms? For GENOCIDE?

      No, not seriously. That’s not even remotely what he said.

      1. What was SAID matters not. What matters is what was HEARD.

  8. Yesterday President Trump was on the air to talk about the death of Russ Limbaugh. It quickly went down hill into his whiny grievances about how he was treated. Lawsuits have started against the former President and I suspect that the more he whines the more people will be inclined to file suits. I am looking forward to the day he is deposed and asked about the election. I want to hear his answer under oath.

    1. You misspelt “Donald Trump”. He’s not president anymore.

      1. People still retain their title after they leave. People still refer to “president obama” or “president clinton”. This is seen more often with governors and senators.

        Now if you think that general rule should not apply to Trump, by all means, but you the one trying to make an exception here.

        1. People don’t “retain” their “title”. They’re still called by their old job as a courtesy.

          And no, I’m not suggesting we should make an exception for Trump. I think that it’s a bad convention all around, and that Trump is the obvious illustration of why.

          (In fact, I’m not even particularly sold on calling the incumbent by their job title, exactly because it has a tendency of causing people to treat the office holder as if they held some kind of noble title. Americans bend over backwards for their president and senators way too much as it is.)

          1. Martinned, when I was a small town newspaper editor, we had a recurring problem. We had a former brigadier in town who got used to be called, “General.” He got elected to the town council. We decided he didn’t get that title in our coverage. We got complaints. Thought it over, and announced in our pages that when he was leading troops on maneuvers he would be called, “General,” but otherwise not.

        2. The protocol in public life has been that you retain the title of the highest office you were elected to. If that’s governor of Rhode Island, and you later end up Secretary of State, you get called Governor So-and-So afterward, not Mr. Secretary. Knowing that doesn’t mean plenty of exceptions don’t happen.

        3. ” People still refer to ‘president obama’ or ‘president clinton’.”

          That’s so you can tell them apart, the one that was President and the one that wasn’t (for the Clintons), and the one that was President and the one that hasn’t been President yet (for the Obamas).

    2. They used to say of Obama that he was the proverbial bride at every wedding, and corpse at every funeral. Trumps’ got more than a bit of that going on, too, I think it’s endemic among politicians. (It was originally said of Theodore Roosevelt, by his daughter.)

      1. Yeah, Obama’s self involvement was just like Trump.


        1. Yes, pretty much. Maybe you’re blanking on how bad it was.

          ““I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.””

          Inside the Beltway: Obama references himself 467 times in one speech

          Trump’s big problem wasn’t so much narcissism, as it was braggadocio. But every President has a high opinion of themselves, they wouldn’t have run otherwise.

          1. I alone can fix it

          2. I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong.

            There’s lots more.

            It’s amazing to me that Trump defenders trot out the ‘just like every politician’ defense. Much more honest would be ‘yeah, he’s a different breed, but we needed someone like that now.’

            1. They flip between those as convenient.

              1. They like to claim that he wasn’t a politician. He wasn’t. When politicians lie, they lie by putting a positive spin on something that is true. Trump couldn’t be bothered to find out what the truth was, he just went directly to “say whatever they want to hear”. That’s why he kept saying he won in a landslide, his fans didn’t want to hear “you backed a loser, guys”.

          3. Do you not recognize self-conscious deprecation?
            Something Trump has never been able to do.

            And, of course, the dumbass blind stat of how many times Obama uses “I” or “Me” is not probative of anything, other than your own extreme confirmation bias.

            1. Right, right, what he actually said is no indication of how he thought… LOL!

            2. Neither is Trump’s mannerism. He’s a New Yorker, so he talks like one.

              1. I’m from New York. No he doesn’t.

          4. You are wrong about Trump, he is a narcissist and it borders on pathological. Bragging is not the same thing. Trump wants attention and he seems to care little for the type of attention he get. Most people want good attention, people with problems want attention, good or bad.

            Yesterday he was asked about Rush Limbaugh’s death. A normal person would have acknowledge that death and spoke of the deceased. Trump turned the attention almost immediately to himself. This is abnormal. If you were talking to person like this at a funeral or wake, you would walk away quickly.

            1. Have you forgotten Obama’s speech at Elijah Cummings’ funeral? Apparently the most important thing about Cummings’ life was that he’d inspired Obama.

              1. You need to go back over and listen to that speech because it is a lot different than you think. I just reviewed it and it was pretty much talking about Elijah Cummings from start to finish.

                Saying someone inspired you is a lot different than kicking the deceased aside to whine about your grievances.

            2. Yes, Trump reminds me of the old joke: after someone has monopolized the conversation for an hour, he turns to his companion and says, “But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think about me?”

            3. ” borders on pathological”
              You should say over the border. The man is a borderline personality and narcissist to boot

              1. He’s like Beck in the sense that he’s a loser, baby, but unlike Beck in that Beck knows where it’s at (with 2 turntables and a microphone). Also, I believe that Beck can walk down an inclined plane unassisted, although I haven’t personally seen it.

        2. No, one had a veneer of academic sophistication, the other presented like a crude carnival barker. But they were both arrogant and self-absorbed.

          There is an old joke you may or may not appreciate, but I’ll repeat it here anyway.

          The dogs once held a convention. Said one dog, “you know, it is really embarassing. When two dogs meet on the street, they each shove their noses into the other’s rear end and sniff. That’s so degrading. The wolves are noble. When they meet, they meet nose-to-nose. That is much more respectable.”

          The dogs all barked their agreement, and resolved to from now on meet nose-to-nose.

          The next day, two dogs saw each other on the street. One began to approach his nose to his friend’s. The other one said, “you want to pretend to be a wolf. But I know you are nothing but a dog. So you can stick your nose in my rear.”

        3. Progressives were upset at Obama after he took office because he didn’t even attempt to deliver on half of what he had promised them. Every interaction they had with him was reportedly one of “I’m your only option, you can’t work with anyone else, and I’ll get to it when I’m good and ready.” Gay marriage was the most important in the progressives’ minds but Obama wouldn’t do shit on it because he knew better.

          1. ” Gay marriage was the most important in the progressives’ minds”

            Is the category “things no progressive ever said”?

  9. Last week, I wrote about my trusty KitchenAid stand mixer, and attachments. Really loved the feedback I got (thanks!). This week, let me address my second favorite kitchen appliance, the Instant Pot Duo. This bad boy revolutionized my work in the kitchen.

    I have been playing with the multi-stage cooking, and have had mixed results. For instance, when I make some Indian dishes, like butter chicken, I find the saute function very, very useful. Then dump in the chicken (cut into big (not small!) pieces, and pressure cook that baby about 20 minutes. Then add in the sauce ingredients, and simmer. Clean up is a snap. One pot.

    Last night, I made boneless leg of lamb. I was a skeptic. But you know what, the meat is tender AF! It is moist, and you could cut it with a fork (and butter knife). Cook time was 90 minutes (as opposed to 210 minutes in the oven at 325 degrees). If time is a concern, you can use Instant Pot….but truthfully, I think I like the roasted version more.

    Boneless leg of lamb – This is easy AF
    Sliver 5-6 cloves of garlic, then insert slivers into leg of lamb all around.
    0.75 cups red wine
    3 TBSP of rosemary (fresh is better….double if fresh)
    1 TSP basil
    1 TSP ground pepper (fresh ground is much better)

    Dump in ingredients
    Lay the boneless leg of lamb into metal sleeve
    Cook high pressure for 90 minutes
    Do the natural release
    Rest on plate for 5 minutes, carve and eat. Enjoy!

    There is a Youtube channel, Six Sisters, that has unbelievably great recipes. There is this other oriental lady (Lisa?) who has a bunch of great ‘dump and go’ recipes as well. For the ‘Moms’ out there who post here, all I will say is that Instant Pot can be your best friend.

    My questions for the VC conspirators.
    1. Have you made yogurt, and if so, how did it go?
    2. Have you proofed bread?
    3. What is your favorite Instant Pot recipe?
    4. Do you have multiple silicon seals?

    I also have a Fagor pressure cooker. It is adequate, but it is not the Instant Pot. It is non-stick, so you cannot use plastic or metal utensils.

    In short, Instant Pot is the Freaking BOMB!

    1. 1. Yes, it’s actually quite easy. The flavor and texture are just a little bit different from commercial yogurt, though, even if you’re using commercial yogurt to supply the starting culture. More like a flan than creamy. Generally I’d throw a tablespoon of marmalade in the bottom of the cup before adding the milk.

      Used to have a stand alone yogurt maker, with really nice glass yogurt cups. Haven’t seen anything like that on the market lately.

      2. That, too. I find, regrettably, that the “warm” setting on my oven is just too hot for bread proofing. I usually use the warm setting for a couple minutes, then rely on the oven light to keep the temperature from dropping. But I’ve been thinking of building a proofing box to get better results, and free up the oven.

      You might want to get an Inkbird controller, lets you turn a crock pot into a sou vide cooker or yogurt maker.

    2. I got an Instant Pot for Xmas, it is indeed the bomb. Have you made buttered new potatoes in it? If not look it up, fantastic.

      1. I will do that!

    3. I have made yogurt in my Instant Pot several times. The first few times went swimmingly – great stuff and the nice thing is you can let it drain to the consistency you like.

      The last two attempts went bad, though. The yogurt never set, even though I think I did everything the same. Trying to figure out what I did wrong.

      I did put fresh starter in the non-yogurt and put it back in, and it set, and tasted OK, but had a grainy texture. I don’t trust most internet food sites, but some suggest that this graininess is caused by stirring in the starter. Seems unlikely to me. What do you think?

      1. Make some kefir and then cook up some borscht.

        1. I very much dislike borscht, and beets in general.

          My parents were fond of it, but learned to make only enough for the two of them.

          1. I never liked it until I had it in Moscow. Vodka chasers make it palatable.

      2. You might have gotten some initial setting the first go-round. If you stir partway through the fermentation after it starts setting you can get that, I think because you disrupt the structure that’s developing.

        1. Not what I did.

          When I opened the pot and was the yogurt hadn’t set I put in a new bunch of starter, which I did stir a tiny bit at that time, but I left it alone there after.

      3. bernard11….Sounds like the ‘original sin’ was not enough starter.

        When you say ‘grainy’ do you mean it had clumps? Clumpy = not sufficiently incorporated. It can also be from overheating early in the process. The ‘patch’ to fix to grainy is an immersion blender; that much I know.

        And KitchenAid makes a kickass immersion blender. 🙂

        (yeah, I am totally biased to KitchenAid) 🙂

        1. No. By “grainy” I mean sort of a gritty texture.

          1. Yeah, off the top of my head, the starter was not incorporated. I think the immersion blender would fix it.

    4. Is that the kind the Boston bombers used? (ducks)

    5. I have never had good luck with roast meat. Everything else goes well but roast meat ends up needing a lot of time more than suggested before it ends up tender.

      1. gormadoc….put it in for longer, but cover it for the first 90% of cooking. Then uncover for the last 10% (or at least 15 minutes) to brown and make more ‘toasty’.

        1. I’ll try that, thanks.

    6. In 2012 I bought a 42 foot catamaran and basically lived and cruised on it till COVID-19 limited travel.

      Cooking on a boat has some real limitations and some real upsides as well; like all you can eat lobster every night of the week in season. Since my boat has a big solar array and a big house battery bank I wind up dumping power after 10:30AM most sunny days. So it is easy for me to break out the InstaPot and run it. I also have a nice big solar oven, but it requires more attention to keep the temperature steady.

      What I often wind up doing is taking the interior pot out of the InstaPot and putting in a product called WonderBag. It is a third world product used where fuel is limited, basically it is a well insulated bag that keeps pots hot for hours after the heat source is removed. If you google WonderBag you can get the details but basically it not only saves fuel it also makes cooking a no brainer. It works kinda like a slow cooker but you basically fire it and forget it till it is time to eat.

      Since COVID-19 has been limiting my cruising I am now living on dirt and love the access to a much bigger fridge in my condo along with the ability to go to the super market on a regular basis (I have gone over three months when cruising with no access to any store). But when I am not living on dirt a lot of my meals include rice, beans, and canned foods, along with what I am able to harvest from the ocean; and a large array of spices and condiments.

      Since a lot of my cruising is in warm climes I also prepare a lot of meals that don’t include using any type of heat source. One of my favorite cookbooks, available on Amazon, is “The Storm Gourmet: A Guide to Creating Extraordinary Meals Without Electricity” by Daphne Nikolopoulos.

      As an aside for you yogurt fanboys the easiest way I have found to make it is in a WonderBag. You need to control the temperature well for the first five minutes heating up the milk in a pot, but after that you just put it in a WonderBag and let it sit overnight.

  10. Bear with me. I’d like to buy a swingset. Where can I buy a good swing set. I need a swing set with a slide.

    Now the waiting game.

    1. We, and all the people I know, order a wood one from the Amish. They last long. (They do have some plastic parts, like the slide. I guess the Amish are a bit flexible.)

      1. As I understand it, the Amish are allowed to purchase stuff from the outside. One Amish dairy farm could use refrigeration (required by Maine law) as long as the milk company (and not they) were paying the electric bill. So the milk company wrote a special contract where the electric bill was deducted from what they paid for the milk they bought, and everyone was happy.

          1. According to Edison, AC was (back when he was alive) He had an elephant electrocuted using AC to demonstrate how dangerous it was (to be an elephant near Edison when he wanted to make a point.)

    2. Lowe’s and Home Depot and Costco all carry good sets.

      I’d agree with the Amish as well if you live near such an area.

      The most important thing is installation. You do NOT want to install yourself.

      1. “You do NOT want to install yourself.”

        Depending on your skill. If you have the kit, it’s not quite as challenging as Ikea furniture.

  11. Trump’s supporters often claimed that the MSM treats conservatives harshly and their favorites with kid gloves, and yet here we have CNN aggressively fact-checking Biden.

    1. Get back to us when they start running a cumulative count of all his falsehoods and misstatements, like WAPO did for Trump.

      1. According to the Internet Archive WaPo didn’t launch their Trump “false and misleading claims” database until May 18, 2017 when by their count he had passed the 500 mark. If Biden repeats that performance and they don’t do the same for him then you will have something real to complain about.

        1. Well, except that their “false and misleading claims” are quite often a joke.

          “I don’t like the implications of that” doesn’t make a claim false.

          For instance, they dinged this:
          “After years of federal contracts going to foreign bidders, we are ensuring that government agencies enforce “Buy American” rules and give preference to American companies — and that American companies hire American workers.”

          Because Trump has a history of doing outsourcing on his own projects. How does that make anything he said false or misleading? Maybe hypocritical that he exploited a law he thinks is a bad idea.

          “Finally, NATO countries are starting to pay billions of dollars more since I have made clear that the United States expects all of its allies to pay their fair share.”

          Their complaint? That Nato countries had previously pledged to spend the money. Who the hell cares what they’d “pledged” to do? They weren’t actually doing it until Trump tightened the screws.

          “We have already achieved an unprecedented 73% reduction in illegal crossings on our southern border.”

          They admit the number is right, but complain there was no guarantee it would last. But that doesn’t change that it was true.

          Are they going to treat everything Biden says similarly? Probably not.

          1. “Finally, NATO countries are starting to pay billions of dollars more since I have made clear that the United States expects all of its allies to pay their fair share.”

            Their complaint? That Nato countries had previously pledged to spend the money. Who the hell cares what they’d “pledged” to do? They weren’t actually doing it until Trump tightened the screws.

            Well, no, that’s not right. For two reasons: first, because the countries weren’t “paying” more. Trump kept misunderstanding a very basic concept: the issue was about increasing defense spending in their budgets, not about paying more money to NATO (or us).

            Second, no, you’re wrong. I know it may not seem this way because Donald Trump doesn’t fulfill his financial obligations, but when other people say “I’m going to spend more money on X,” that means they’re going to do it. You don’t get credit for them doing something that they were already going to do. (Trump didn’t “tighten screws.” He whined, ranted, and tweeted.)

            1. That not the correct framing to the NATO issue. The problem is and has been for a long time that European members of NATO were expecting the US to provide defense for them that they weren’t willing to provide themselves. In the immediate post war period with the Soviet Army on their borders that was understandable as they rebuilt their economies, but as their economies became stronger they failed to pick up their shared responsibility of mutual defense instead relying on the US . As recently as the Libyan adventure our European allies were unable to conduct combat operation without US support, not withstanding that the combined economies of the EU are larger than the US economy.

              I may be mistaken by I think neutral Sweden that hasn’t fought a war in 300 years spends as big share of its GDP on defense than our NATO allies.

      2. “Get back to us when they start running a cumulative count of all his falsehoods and misstatements, like WAPO did for Trump.”

        Right after it becomes necessary, because of how frequently the total changes.

    2. The ‘MSM is mean to us’ is just a well worn victimization narrative that the current right is addicted to. They’re playing the refs. Note when they create their own journalistic/academic institutions they have not even a veneer of fair play and objectivism.

      1. But it says “fair and balanced” right on the label.

    3. I didn’t mind them fact checking Trump, the fact is that he did tell a lot of whoppers, though generally about stupid stuff like the size of his crowds.

      I really disliked their doing it so badly.

      100 days of Trump claims

      “Throughout President Trump’s first 100 days, the Fact Checker team tracked false and misleading claims made by the president since Jan. 20. ”

      ““We are going to pursue a complete renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement: We’ve lost nearly a third of our manufacturing jobs in the 23 years since that terrible deal was approved.””

      It was a promise, he fulfilled it, and he was right about the scale of the job losses. Why is it in a list of lies and misrepresentations?

      This sort of thing happened all the time. If he said it was a nice day, they’d find someplace 500 miles away where it was raining, and record it as a lie.

      1. I don’t speak for the WaPo people, but I can see an argument for calling that one false or misleading.

        “complete renegotiation” is false. NAFTA 2 is substantially very similar to NAFTA, and many of the changes that were made were late additions by House Democrats rather than Trump’s negotiators.

        “nearly a third” in 23 years is true but misleading to imply that NAFTA was responsible for those losses.

        1. There’s no case at all for calling it “false”, he renegotiated the treaty, and his numbers were spot on.

          This isn’t “fact” checking, it’s “implications” checking, or “do we like it” checking.

          1. No, “renegotiation” isn’t the same as “complete renegotiation”.

            But I will give you this: Those statements were made in advance of the negotiations, and labeling them false is docking Trump because he failed to predict the future. In fact, his assertion that he would pursue a complete renegotiation isn’t refuted by the fact that he failed to achieve one.

            And that is why my original comment was about CNN fact checking rather than Washington Post fact checking. Do you have complaints about CNN too?

            1. I don’t spend enough time in airports to have a strong opinion about CNN.

              OK, seriously, CNN isn’t as bad. WaPo lost their freaking minds when Trump won.

      2. It was a promise, he fulfilled it, and he was right about the scale of the job losses. Why is it in a list of lies and misrepresentations?

        Because he didn’t fulfill it and wasn’t right about the “job losses.” He didn’t “pursue a complete renegotiation.” He made a few socialist-oriented cosmetic changes and renamed it.

    4. and yet here we have CNN aggressively fact-checking Biden

      Read that this morning. The word “aggressively” is an interesting choice for the stream of “well, he said X and that wasn’t right, but we think he just misspoke and meant Y, or we talked to someone at the White House or some academic talking head and they said he really meant Y,” and so on.

      Let’s see when they start calling it “lies” and keeping score.

      1. “fact check” was a convenient label for “propaganda follows”…

    5. That is what you consider “aggressive”?

      1. It’s aggressive when you’re talking about the media even noticing a Democrat got something wrong.

        When they decide he got it wrong deliberately, that would be super-hyper aggressive.

  12. After enjoying some sausage and cheesy grits yesterday my question now is: is there a better regional cuisine than Southern? I think not.

    1. Southwest Tex-Mex is very tough to beat (when done right).

      1. Honestly it doesn’t even have to be done right to be good.

        1. There is nothing like a cold brew, and seriously hot Tex-Mex on a hot summer evening. Life is good when those things come together.

          1. Are you sure you’re not just being nostalgic for hot summer evenings because it’s currently icy hellscape?

    2. New England does okay, and delivers great variety, but it kind of scatters the dishes into sub-regions. A Maine clambake on the rocks at the shoreline doesn’t have a counterpart anywhere that I know of. Pizza along Long Island Sound is the nation’s best, famously so in New Haven. Italian food in Boston’s North End has been a standout forever. Plenty of good seafood everywhere, of course, but usually a little too much on the North Atlantic white fish side for my taste. But local striped bass in season is special. I would skip all the others for Macoun apples just-picked off a hundred-year-old tree in Stow, MA, and eaten with still-warm cider donuts. Not really a cuisine, I suppose—just my favorite eating opportunity of the year, year after year.

      1. Best seafood ever was standing in the melting spring snow eating shrimp that had just come out of the cooker, shrimp that had been caught the day before and had spent the night overboard in a crate tied to the mooring.

      2. I absolutely love Macoun apples.

        The fairly short season is disappointing, but maybe contributes to their excellence.

        New England seafood is fine, but not quite up to that available on the Gulf, IMO.

        1. Bernard11, overall, I agree with you about the Gulf seafood. I would much rather eat snapper, weakfish (AKA sea trout*), or pompano, than eat swordfish, cod, or haddock. Striper and Halibut are another matter altogether.

          *About the sea trout. I lived in the Rockies for years. I became accustomed to catching and eating giant pink-fleshed rainbow trout and cutthroat trout, so fat that cooking them left a pool of grease in the pan like cooking bacon. Then I visited North Carolina.

          On the outer banks I went into a seafood restaurant, and spied, “Trout,” on the menu.

          Not in North Carolina, thought I. I asked the waiter, “What’s up, you can’t have real trout around here, so what is this?”

          He replied, “Them’s sea trout. Freshwater trout ain’t edible.”

          I took the challenge, and ordered the, “Trout.” He almost had a point. The dish was terrific. Afterwards, I sometimes caught sea trout myself, and they were good, but they never measured up to the memory. Maybe the cooking had something to do with it. Or maybe my amusement at the remark just added flavor to the dish.

          1. Yes, sea trout here on the banks is excellent. Right now rockfish is running, and boy is it good! And I’d put the fresh shrimp here up against any shrimp in the world. Can’t get a really good crab cake here though.

            1. In Chesapeake Bay, rockfish is what we call striper in New England. Same where you are, or is your rockfish something else?

              1. Yes, same here, I believe it’s the same fish. Striped Bass.

          2. Stephan,
            You’re dead wrong about swordfish and cod. Maybe you never have them fresh off the boat or at least top of the catch.

            1. Don Nico, nah, it’s genetics, my genetics. Some folks smell and taste things that others don’t, and I’m one of them. It took me a long time to notice where I stood. I was mystified how anyone ate fish like cod or swordfish. The smell of fresh-caught cod cooking seemed so rank to me, I couldn’t figure out how anyone choked the stuff down.

              If you have ever smelled really old bad fish that’s turned, that’s what a lot of perfectly fine seafood restaurants smell like to me, the moment I step in. The same with meticulously clean seafood counters at places like Whole Foods. I get a whiff of fish stink when I step in at the far end of the store. Nobody who comes in with me smells it at all, even right at the counter, where I usually won’t even approach.

              I just thought I hated all fish, until at about age 21 I discovered some species didn’t affect me that way. The problem ones tend to be cold-water, white-fleshed fish from the Atlantic, (cod, haddock, hake, pollock) and some of the oily ones, like swordfish. For some reason, fresh bluefish isn’t a problem. Fresh tuna is fine. And halibut, which seems like it might be cod-like, is instead a reliable delight. Striped bass are great too.

              Most warmer water fish are fine. It’s still kind of mysterious. I think there may be other people like me, but I have never met anyone who is as averse to getting close to a fish counter as I am.

          3. After Miami (where I grew up as a kid) went to hell with the invasion of the cocaine cowboys my family moved to the Keys. My Dad was a medical doctor so we always had lots of options for fresh seafood. The thing was the only thing my Mom would allow me to bring into her kitchen was Hogfish and lobster (I was never able to harvest enough stone crab to make a meal for the family). At times I would take the boat to Cay Sal or the blue water past the Gulf Stream and I could also bring a tuna to her.

            Back in the 1960s it was still legal to harvest sea turtles and my mom could make the best chicken fried sea turtle steaks. But the key to all this was how fresh it was. If you have not caught a tuna, hung it by the tail and bled it off the stern davits and had fresh sushi you don’t know what fresh fish is.

            For the record the key to the best tasting fish is to harvest and kill it as quickly as possible and quickly bled it. “The Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing” by Scott Bannerot and Wendy Bannerot available on Amazon explains not just how to catch fish but what to do with them after you catch them.

            1. Yup. When I was a kid we had a cottage by Lake St. Claire, and kept a hose running into a barrel. Anybody caught a fish, they tossed it in the barrel, and we had a fish fry when mom decided there were enough there.

              Half hour from live in the barrel to the dinner table!

              I’ve eaten at a few restaurants that got it down to a couple hours, but even then there was a noticeable change in the flavor.

          4. We love pomano on the grill, when it’s available. Got a guy who buys it at the dock and drives up from the coast on Saturdays, to sell it at the local flea market.

            I don’t know a better fish for grilling whole.

            1. I still don’t get peeps who don’t cook the fish whole. The best meat on any fish is the cheeks. One of my favorite seafood places serves a grouper throat dinner. The thing is you never get everything served at once, they only have the throats as they clean the fish so you may get three or four plates of a few throats delivered to your table during the course of the meal.

              As with a lot of things local knowledge is the key.

      3. “A Maine clambake on the rocks at the shoreline doesn’t have a counterpart anywhere that I know of.”

        Pop out to the Pacific Northwest. Plenty of clams to bake, though admittedly the lobsters ARE mite harder to catch. The locals tend to substitute Dungeness crab instead, and if you’re near Puget Sound, they’ll teach you what a geoduck is. (right after they teach you how to pronounce it.) Plus, every corner has it’s own microbrewery (if you’re interested in that) and Oregon even has a spare county dedicated to growing wine grapes (plus 35 more dedicated to growing something else.)

    3. I sure do love some chitlins seasoned with hot sauce and MSG salt.
      Happy Black History Month, wypipo.

    4. If you like seafood nothing beats a good catch off the Northeast freshly prepared the same day.

      Midwest has some of the best steaks you will ever set your eyes on if you get them fresh from the butcher.

      I never thought a potato could taste as good as it ever did in Idaho when I stayed with a farmer who cooked them the same day they were harvested from the field.

      Never really found anything regional in the Northwest. I’m sure they have something, just my travels never took me into local country enough to find it.

      1. Are those Rocky Mountain “oysters” Kosher?

      2. I don’t disagree, but come on, can you beat Southern biscuits and gravy? I admit as a Southerner I’m biased, but I don’t think any other region can match in this area.

        1. Only breakfast that’s better than biscuits and sausage gravy, is sausage gravy on a chicken fried steak.

          1. Good chicken-fried steak is hard/impossible to come by here in NE.

          2. Lord, Brett, you’re making me hungry!

        2. Absolutely.neat that. Sausage gravy is nasty thickened grease,

          1. That was absolutely not. The biscuits I’ll go along with. “Gravy” is “un altra cosa.”

            1. I don’t get what’s “all that” with the biscuits. You can get anything you want on a biscuit for breakfast, and Bojangles insists on putting one in the bag with every meal, and they aren’t even useful as hockey pucks because the ponds don’t freeze over.

          2. Basically all gravy is thickened grease. But it’s not nasty thickened grease, if you make it right.

      3. I once bit into a ripe cherry straight off the tree, that had somehow been missed by birds. One of very few epiphanal food moments, the raw burst of flawless cherry flavor.

        1. As a grade-school-age child we had a big cherry tree in the backyard. Our nemesis wasn’t the birds, it was the stupid tent caterpillars. But yet, good, old fun times, sitting up in a cherry tree, spitting cherry pits at your little sister down on the ground.

      4. Northwest? Gooey-ducks. (Geoduck clams—sort of staggering, Google them). Eat them with the morels you gather.

        1. You can get yourself shot, mushroom-prospecting.

      5. “Never really found anything regional in the Northwest.”

        Get some Oregon strawberries. Sweeter than the ones your grocery store carries, but the harvest season is only about 3 weeks long. Oregon blackberries are pretty sweet, too.

    5. “…is there a better regional cuisine than Southern? I think not…”

      I agree only if that includes barbecue. The best I ever had was Q39 in Kansas City. A religious experience.

      1. Nashville Hot chicken is pretty good, too. Had it a couple years back while visiting there, and I just can’t make chicken that good at home, and I’ve tried.

        1. I’ve heard about that. Definitely want to try it.

    6. Louisiana Creole and Cajun are two.

  13. The media is doing a good job covering for California and all of its regulation that seem to have done nothing to stop the spread of Covid by using the boogey man of “dergulation” to blame all the woes of Texas right now. That is some grade A gaslighting.

    1. It’s almost as though Covid is not the same as extreme weather.

      You don’t think much, do you?

      1. That is some good gaslighting Sarc. We all know the media’s theme here “government regulation is awesome!!!!”

        1. You really need to turn your “word of the day” calendar to a new page, you’ve gotten all the usage out of that “gaslighting” page you’re gonna get.

    2. Jimmy, that’s an odd comment for a few reasons.

      After a cold snap in 2011 federal regulators warned Texas that it should winterize its electrical system, but that would have required state-level action. I don’t see how you can claim bogeyman when deregulation left it up to market forces,and market forces clearly didn’t get the job done.

      Texas has had more COVID deaths per capita than California.

      It is a brash move to accuse others of gaslighting when you are attacking regulation with the same broad brushstrokes you accuse them of using against deregulation.

      1. Deciding not to performing infrastructure work is not “deregulation” unless your view of “regulation” is mandating companies invest dollars into infrastructure as a matter of due course (which is dumb to think that would fix all of our problems and not just result in tons of waste).

        It is easy to play Monday Morning Quarterback when your power grid is currently on the fritz for a once in a generation type event. Not so easy to do if the state auditor general just put out a report about how utilities that had to invest millions of unnecessary dollars into infrastructure pissed it all away on fraud and waste which is the other side of the coin.

        1. The power crisis in Texas is due to a shortfall in generation capacity with 185 generating plants offline. Generation is the part of the system that was deregulated, allowing many small providers to compete in as cutthroat a manner as the market allows, and to fail to prepare for once in a decade events if it would be unprofitable.

          There is a movement now to pin them blame on ERCOT who manages the infrastructure, i.e. the transmission part of the system that connects generators to distributors (local utilities). They were forced to act and became the public face of the failure when all those generators went offline but they were only the messenger, the failure wasn’t with the part they are responsible for.

        2. “It is easy to play Monday Morning Quarterback when your power grid is currently on the fritz for a once in a generation type event. Not so easy to do if the state auditor general just put out a report about how utilities that had to invest millions of unnecessary dollars into infrastructure pissed it all away on fraud and waste”

          Wasn’t Enron originally a Texas corporation? (They had ot re-incorporate in Oregon when they wanted to buy PGE).
          Then, of course, Enron was forced into bankruptcy by over-regulation.

      2. My guess is that PG&E was warned about the likelyhood of its UNinsulated power lines blowing down and starting a fire in the UNcleared brush under the lines — and they didn’t do it, either.

        And California is a highly regulated state….

        1. PG&E didn’t choose to forego maintenance. The PUC forced them to by not letting them charge enough to pay for it. Do the math.

      3. Market forces aren’t market forces with millions required for environmental studies before you can spade the first clod of sod. Market forces aren’t market forces when government keeps screaming they’re gonna put coal out of business, so nobody builds coal plants anymore because the investment will be wasted if the screaming pols have their way. (See also the Clinton admin in the late 1990s with the gas price spikes, screaming at the lack of refineries…that they had been threatening to make redundant if they got their way.)

        1. This was a failure of the natural gas system of Texas, put into place by Texas, and blaming the federal government for Texas policies is a pretty blindly ideological take.

          1. Mitigate now.
            But Texas should not use dumbass anti-federal posturing to insulate itself from internal accountability later.

          2. There were a number of things going on.

            1) Windmills taken out of service by the weather, partly compensated by windmills elsewhere being more productive.
            2) Natural gas turbines having to compete with heating demand.
            3) Coal plants being inadequately winterized.
            4) One nuke plant being inadequately winterized.

            Without the subsidies and mandates, #1 wouldn’t have been an issue, because no sane utility would have been relying on windmills in the first place. They’re not really very reliable, they have a lousy duty cycle making the power quite expensive once you count the need to have a more reliable plant sitting idle as backup.

            The windmills also contributed to #3 and #4, because the reliable plants were underfunded due to the requirement to use the unreliable wind, which had driven up the utilities’ cost per KWH, but without any particular compensating rate increases. Without being forced to spend money on uneconomic wind power, they’d have had the money to winterize the fossil fuel and nuke plants. (Whether they would have spent the money on that if they’d had it is, of course, a separate issue.)

            #2 was bad planning, in retrospect, driven by the relatively low cost of natural gas and the easy permitting of the turbines.

            But I’d say that a root cause of at least part of the problem was the push to use unreliable, expensive ‘renewable’ power.

            1. Brett, we’ve got quite a few wind turbines now, along the coast of New England. My own small town, on a narrow coastal peninsula—swept repeatedly by northeasters every winter—reliably got a plurality of its power from two big wind turbines. Apparently, the kind of weather those turbines operated through routinely would have killed everyone in Texas three times over. One year, during a 3-weeks stretch, we got four successive near-zero blizzards, with snow accumulations averaging about 30 inches each—not, my god, it’s up to my shoe soles, whatever will I do. (In fairness, during the highest winds they shut the turbines down, but they always go back online when the wind pipes down. Hurricane force gusts are common in northeasters. Those turbines don’t fail because of the gusts, or because of the snow, or because of the cold.) Nevertheless, we did have too many extended outages more recently. They were all attributable to failure to maintain one stretch of high tension right-of-way through a few miles of woods.

              1. Stephen, how much large scale energy storage does the NE coast have? Enough to sustain the region for how many days?
                Remember that the availability of wind power is <30%. That turbines have to be feathered when wind speeds exceed 30 knots.

                Brett, what is the comment on weatherizing plants of various kinds? Since the "boiler is only a small fraction of the size of the balance of plant, the nature of the "boiler is almost irrelevant.

                1. Don Nico, the feds say Boston is the most consistently windy large city in the U.S. On the coast, if it’s cold and clear, we get strong northwesterly winds. If it’s warm and clear, we get strong southwesterly winds. If it’s stormy, we get northeasterly winds, which sometimes are too strong to make use of. In late summer and early autumn, sometimes there are morning calms, followed by easterly sea breezes until sunset. Those tend to reverse at night. All along the shoreline, there tends to be a reliable bit of breeze just crossing the shore, even when it’s flat calm a hundred yards out. A photographer looking for reflective water can get pretty frustrated.

                  I hear wind is less reliable elsewhere. I do think complaints about reliability of wind power tend to be politicized, for reasons I don’t understand. Too many ostensibly engineering-oriented critics don’t seem motivated to analyze or develop solutions. I wonder about that. The wind is usually blowing somewhere; electric grids send power where it’s needed. Why won’t Texas connect to the national grid? If everyone had electric cars, that would aggregate to large-scale storage, nicely distributed. During the April part of the Covid-19 shutdown, day-after-day we got pristine skies I didn’t know the Northeast was capable of. It was almost like being in the Rockies.

                  1. Power company statistics are not politicized. They have been gathered and studied world wide, worldwide and especially in the Eu. Even in the straits between Denmark and Sweden where winds are quite presistent, availability is in that range. Besides knowing average winds you also need to know mean time between servicing and length of servicing periods to get the true numbers to compare agains gas turbine electricity and nuclear generation. There are some relatively consistent areas, but over any sizeable region wind and solar both have availability of ~30%

                  2. ” The wind is usually blowing somewhere; electric grids send power where it’s needed. Why won’t Texas connect to the national grid?”

                    Sure, make things run better in good times, at the cost of enabling outages to be continent wide instead of state-wide.

                    Look, if they’d forgotten building windmills, they’d have had enough of a budget to handle the whole load with winterized conventional plants. The conventional plants were carrying most of the load anyway, their production barely flagged at all, the real problem was that they lost the wind and the weather problems kept them from ramping the conventional power up enough to replace it, especially with demand spiking.

                    If all the money had gone into conventional plants, they’d have been fine.

                  3. To put it simply, in order to not have blackouts, the grid has to have enough excess capacity to handle peak demand under worst case conditions, including routine plant maintenance.

                    If you’re getting 25% of your power from wind, which can vanish at any moment, that 25% can’t count towards that excess capacity, because you can’t rely on it being available when you need it. So you end up needing 25% MORE excess capacity.

                    That’s why wind can basically never be economical outside of unusual locations where the wind is nearly constant: Because every KW of wind production has to be backed up by something else in order to rule out blackouts, wind will ALWAYS cost as much as whatever that backup power source is, PLUS the cost of the windmills.

                    Texas, by requiring utilities to use wind, had required them to have 25% more power production capacity on the same budget. Accomplishing this involved not winterizing…

                    1. Batteries are a thing that exist.

                    2. Yeah, they’re an expensive thing that exists. They actually represent more expensive backup for windmills than a nuke plant would.

                      Let’s say you get down to $200 per KWH cost on the batteries. Optimistic, but not totally unrealistic. And pretend they last as long as the windmills are supposed to, but don’t.

                      A KW of windmill with 30% duty cycle would, if you optimistically assumed that it produced 30% of every day, 17 hours of storage, or $3400 worth of batteries.

                      How much does a utility scale windmill cost per kw of nameplate power? About $1,300. Total system cost, $4,700, not $1,300. The requirement for storage increases the cost by 3-4 times!

                      And that’s under the entirely unrealistic assumption that your windmill will only be idle for a maximum of 17 hours before resuming function. The wind can be idle for days or weeks!

                      The levelized cost of a nuclear plant is about $4,000 per kw, including interest costs. (Interest costs were NOT included in the above figures.) And for that you get availability regardless of weather of about 97%, with the down time able to be scheduled.

                      Wind plus batteries, wind plus ANYTHING, isn’t economically competitive.

                    3. If you’re speculating about future tech infrastructure, you need to include advances in battery tech that address the issues you’re talking about.

                      I’d guess the optimal answer is an energy infrastructure vastly more mixed than we have – less fossil fuel, more renewables and nuclear, but the fossils have their place, including mitigating rare strains on the system.

                    4. The wind not blowing or the sun going down at night are hardly rare strains on the system.

                      I will grant that solar power has some utility in a well managed power grid, because it peaks during the day, which is also when electricity consumption tends to peak. The two peaks aren’t perfectly or reliably aligned, but a few percent solar on the grid reduces the degree to which baseline plants have to be throttled.

                      The wind blowing and power consumption are totally uncorrelated, which means the variability of wind power isn’t helping things AT ALL. It’s all downside. Every watt of wind reduces the efficiency of the grid by requiring backup by some other more dispatchable power source, which you could just skip the windmill and use directly.

                      Outside of rare places where the wind blows pretty much all the time, wind power is simply not viable without market distorting subsidies. That’s why it got abandoned in the first place!

                    5. Nighttime and ordinary weather patterns are well within the capability of renewable sources already, partially due to existing energy storage tech.

                      You seem to be arguing there is a fundamental structural issue with renewable energy due to the cyclical nature of the source. That’s a solved problem for all but the most extreme cycles.

                      They will never be as energy dense as hydrocarbons, but renewables are hardly nonviable, and they lack the externalities in both extraction and consumption.

            2. Yeah, Texas is not to blame at all. FFS, this is how you get more of these screw-ups.

              Alaska has plenty of windmills and does fine – seems like an across the board failure to me.

              This was not due to Texas overemphasizing wind power – look at the proportion of their infrastructure and you can see on it’s face that that’s a silly notion. Just because the governor says it doesn’t mean it’s true.

              The data has yet to come out to confirm, but privatization encouraging minimal margins. Fine for most things; not so much for the things required to live.

              1. Sarcast0, more generally, engineering for maximum efficiency— whether mechanical efficiency or economic efficiency—tends to push systems’ performance closer to margins of failure. The family sedan is a hell of a lot less efficient than an Indy 500 car, but way more reliable.

        2. ” Market forces aren’t market forces when government keeps screaming they’re gonna put coal out of business”

          It isn’t government that’s putting coal out of business, it ‘s your precious market forces saying “build natural-gas plants, natural gas is so C-H-E-A-P! and easy to deliver

    3. Jimmy — Both CA & TX have an electric utility that failed to prepare for extreme (but expected) weather — PG&E didn’t prepare for high wind and EPICO didn’t prepare for ice. Both were warned by Federal authorities — and still failed to do so.

      The irony is that CA is probably the most regulated state and TX the least — and the exact same thing (failure to prepare) happened in both states! Ten years ago, the Feds issued a 300+ page report warning about EPICO not being prepared for ice — and it still wasn’t. But clearing brush under powerlines and replacing old poles so they don’t blow down is also a basic thing….

      1. Systems fail. It is inevitable. What one needs to be concerned about is the plan when a system fails.

        I’ve got friends who live more toward the south in “hurricane alley” who are doing much better compared to their neighbors up north. The main reasoning is they are prepped for the eventuality of a hurricane. Those further to the north usually aren’t hit directly by these so have less planning in place.

        Seriously folks, it isn’t crazy to have two weeks of emergency supplies on hand, checked annually, and have a plan in place.

        1. If you’re inland, when the hurricane comes it’s just a big rainstorm. The coast just got an exciting visit from an EF-3 tornado this week.
          Yesterday, the local TV news in Raleigh went wall-to-wall with coverage of our big ice storm, which didn’t happen here. They’d just got all the schools open again and they had to take a day off for the ice that didn’t come. Apparently there was a tiny bit up in Virginia, but the freezing rain we were told to expect turned out to be the boring old wet kind.

      2. Dr. Ed, that’s not irony. That’s quarterly earnings.

  14. Any other hunters out there? I love duck hunting, I hate deer hunting. Opinions?

    How can we get more young persons into hunting, and, hopefully, corresponding conservation?

    1. Deer can be a good “bang for your buck” type hunt if you want a freezer full of various venison treats and don’t mind the (usual) sitting in the cold for a few days.

      Never gone duck hunting, but geese was fun. Only did it once though. Would say it was a more “social” experience than deer hunting.

      It isn’t hunting per se, but if you have a few families interested try buying a a prize steer at a county fair. The price per pound in terms of meat is a good deal in the end but you will need a chest freezer to hold it all.

      Hunting among youth was having a bit of a resurgence in the 2000’s, but faded. Maybe as more people are migrating out of the cities interest with kick up a bit though.

      1. It’s probably idiosyncratic to my experience. My duck hunting has always been social and productive, whereas deer hunting was isolated and less so.

        I wonder if hunting could be promoted among the young with the ethical angle, it’s far more ethical, if you care about that sort of thing, to hunt and kill and eat a duck than to buy a farmed duck in a store. Maybe that’s just me.

        1. Deer hunting can get sort of boring because of the isolation aspect.

          If you environmental “impact” is something that is of concern, hunting is far more efficient. It saves money, reduces waste, and provides a superior product. If collective impact is more your thing it means less car accidents (in high deer population areas…which if you ever hit a deer you will appreciate…) and better maintenance of the overall food chain.

          1. Agreed heartily on both points.

          2. I actually found sitting alone in a hide, out in the woods, peaceful. Of course, it helped that the woods were my backyard, I could walk home any time I got bored.

    2. Queen, decades ago, when I lived in Idaho, the hunting season stretched from late August into January. I did some deer hunting, and some elk hunting, but never shot an elk. All the elk I saw were too far from the road. No way to get the meat out but horses, and I didn’t have horses. I mostly went after upland birds—chukars, Hungarian partridges, some pheasants, some sage grouse, some spruce grouse. Chukars most of all. I loved the rocky, hilly country they lived in. I stayed in great shape chasing chukars around.

      Got rid of my shotguns and rifles when I moved east. You can hunt here along the coast, but I wouldn’t feel right doing it with so many people around. And you sure don’t want to try to eat a sea duck. People do shoot geese, black ducks, and mallards—and even shoot the sea ducks, but that strikes me as a waste. I know they can’t be eating the sea ducks. The customary recipe is to nail the duck to a cedar plank, season it this way and that way, stuff it with crab meat or something, then roast it over a fire. After which you throw the duck away and eat the plank.

      I do all my wildlife shooting with a camera now. I taught my son to do that. He has some great eagles in flight to his credit. Superb mockingbirds too.

      1. When I lived up in Michigan, I used to hunt in my backyard, as I lived on substantial acreage in the country. Then 2008 came, and I had to move to an apartment down South, and a few years back finally got a house in the suburbs. (I wanted back into the country, but my wife wanted closer to shopping.)

        I’m at a total loss about how to find someplace to hunt, when you don’t own it. At most I do some fishing now, because it isn’t hard to find places to fish. Miss the hunting, though.

    3. “How can we get more young persons into hunting”

      Teach gun safety in high school.


      1. The demonization of guns is one reason why hunting is not a popular among younger people. They lack a simple understanding of the nature of these tools. Some simple familiarization with the proper function of them would help a lot especially in rural/suburban communities. There is nothing inherently wrong with teaching a youth how to shoot a .22 rifle and up until 20 years ago was a regular part of the physical education component in many jurisdictions.

        1. Not via school, but I learned as a very young kid with three types of .22, pump, semi and single bolt, and a 410. Great fun.

        2. Jimmy, I first shot a .22 during a course taught by the NRA, when I was a first-year Cub Scout. Must have been about 1954. That was a different NRA, of course. I still use standards they taught me to critique today’s NRA, and the kinds of gun nuts it caters to. You are mistaken to attribute demonization of guns to gun critics like me. Crazy gun nuts are demonizing themselves, and today’s NRA had been encouraging it, but got into trouble, of course. The leadership has been bad for a long time.

          1. Funny thing is I didn’t even mention the NRA….

          2. Not going to defend the NRA’s leadership.

            The only reason the NRA got into fighting gun control is that there was a membership revolt at their annual meeting in Cincinnati, back in ’77. Prior to that, the NRA had been making preparations to become a historical society managing a firearms museum, no joke. The membership forced them to start fighting gun control.

            Well, I was at the member convention in Philly where the empire struck back, the Cincinnati reforms were overturned, and the NRA ceased being a real membership based organization. Corruption at that point was practically certain, they had to be somewhat corrupt even to decide a counter-revolution was warranted.

            They revolted against the membership because they wanted to compromise on gun control, and the membership didn’t. And they couldn’t get away with compromise so long as the members had the power to reclaim control over the organization.

            It’s kind of funny: The NRA is actually very prone to compromise, the gun control movement paints the leadership as fanatics, and that positive PR, (From the perspective of gun owners.) is the only thing that kept the NRA going.

            Well, looks like they got into too deep of water to bail themselves out. The membership kept telling them to move out of NY, God knows why they refused.

    4. As a life time NRA member I shoot more paper and steel than anything else. Compete in several different disciplines including precision rifle. I am shooting sub MOA at the 100, 200, and 300 yard range with both my .308 and Creedmoor. Problem for me is that if I harvest a deer, or more likely a hog, the freezer in my fridge in the condo is no where big enough to store the meat. I do have access to a big industrial freezer at the marina/seafood wholesale company where I keep my boat and currently have two shoulders (gave two shoulders to the owners of the seafood wholesale company), four hams, and around 40 pounds of sausage there from my last hunt.

      My post above about fresh seafood goes for meat as well. There is a huge difference between the stuff you buy at the supermarket filled with antibiotics and steroids and the stuff you harvest in the wild.

    5. “How can we get more young persons into hunting, and, hopefully, corresponding conservation?”

      shoot the dog when he pops out of the brush laughing at you for missing both ducks. Light-gun games don’t work with flat-panel TVs, so this whole generation may be lost as far as duck-hunting is concerned.

      Meanwhile, the Oregon Ducks were successfully hunted at Reser Stadium last November in the “Not the Civil War and stop calling it that” football game.

  15. Ignoring Glenn Greenwald’s apologia for the MAGA riot (, what civil rights need to be curtailed to ensure a secure American democracy? Should a public Truth and Reconciliation style committee be formed to investigate former MAGA supporters so they can be socially shunned, financially deprived, and generally ostracised from polite society?

    1. what civil rights need to be curtailed to ensure a secure American democracy?

      1. freedom of speech
      2. right to keep & bear arms
      3. freedom from unreasonable searches/seizures
      4. due process
      Then, in the words of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, we shall have peace.

      1. (5) Missed property rights

      2. “Then, in the words of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, we shall have peace.”

        Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve created.

    2. Good new piece by Glenn Greenwald.

  16. What’s a ‘wedge issue’ for you? A position your usual side takes that you don’t, and strongly?

    I tend to vote Republican but I can’t stand the Cult of Trump (living where I do makes that easier). But I think his America First approach is, to me, an obviously right one. I really liked his innaugural address comments on this, and some of his later China positions. Others?

    1. As a progressive libertarian Democrat, the growing anti-Semitism on the left is very disturbing. Israel is NOT an apartheid, fascist state! It is a multicultural, liberal democracy for the benefit of the Jewish people and a few others who aren’t real Israelis though.

    2. There are some conservatives that thing “pro life” should rule the day, every day. I get it, think the issue is important, but some form of “Roe” is probably settled at least for another generation. If people want to bang that drum, fine by me, but it ain’t on my top ten list of things to do.

      Work visa immigration is an area I am split as well. I’ve worked in industries that rely heavily on H1B’s and it can be a mixed bag. I would sure love to hire American first, but for many of these jobs the non-visa applicant pool is pretty lacking. Sure I’ve seen management hire visa workers for all the wrong reasons and there is even the odd abuse, it happens with anything else, but overall seems to fill gaps. There are plenty of immigration issues to tackle but work visas I don’t think is on the top of that list by far.

      1. Good to hear the curry cubes are driving Silicon Valley innovation.

    3. I think Pence moderated Trump.

      1. Why would you think that? (Beyond your normal inability to perceive reality, I mean?)

    4. This is a good, fun question.

      I am not for restrictions on the possession of handguns, though I am for registration.

      I don’t like UBI. Work brings belonging.

      1. “Work brings belonging.”

        It also produces the things we consume.

        1. Not so much nowadays, at least in the US.

          1. OK, it produces things we exchange for things we like to consume.

      2. What purpose does the registration serve, if you’re not going to have the restrictions?

        1. Makes it easier to trace the gun to the bad guy.

          1. In rare instances, I suppose. At least it’s theoretically possible.

            Since some states do have gun registration, do you have any numbers on how often it actually solves a crime? Not “is used in a case where the crime was solved”, but actually materially contributes to solving it?

            The problem is, gun registration also makes bad things easier, too.

            1. Tracing the weapon used in a crime helps catch criminals.

              I’m sure I could find some anecdotes, but given how guns work across state lines in America, stats are going to be too dirty to be of any use.

              1. I am sure the first thing a criminal does when he obtains a gun is register it knowing it will make it easier for the LEOs to catch him.

                Kinda like if drugs are illegal only criminals will have drugs, if guns are illegal only criminals will have guns.

                1. Registration regimes aren’t voluntary; they cannot just be casually evaded.

                  1. Oh? Then maybe they should register meth, problem solved.

                    Did you really write that seriously? Because it’s a remarkably goofy thing to say.

                    Sure, registration regimes aren’t voluntary. There’s even a fairly high compliance rate by legal gun dealers who are subject to regular audits. Once the gun has left that gun store, the registration regime is basically unenforceable, and subject to widespread, and yes, casual, evasion.

                  2. Guns are not consumables.

                    It’s pretty crazy to argue that being able to track murder weapons won’t help solve murder cases.

                    1. It’s pretty crazy that you’re arguing that gun registration can’t be casually evaded, when there’s already an existing black market in firearms.

                      I think what’s going on here is that you’re doing what I call benefit/benefit analysis. That’s something you’ll see when all the costs of a proposal fall on a disfavored group: The costs get treated as benefits, and so it really doesn’t matter how minor the nominal benefits are, the proposal automatically looks good.

                      You see the same thing going on when pro-lifers evaluate regulations on abortion: It doesn’t matter how many abortion patients a regulation might benefit, because the cost in terms of discouraged abortions is also a benefit.

                      You don’t really care how seldom gun registration would materially contribute to solving a crime, because the costs it imposes on gun owners are also a benefit from your perspective.

                    2. Black markets rarely make up the entire set of a thing.

                      You’re taking a very extreme position – that there will be no effect appreciable.
                      And you’re acting like I’m the one taking an extreme position – that this will solve all crime.

                      Your slippery slope speculation is just that – not worth building policy on.

              2. Supposedly, tracing the weapon used in a crime helps catch criminals. Now, got any evidence that happens significantly often in the real world?

                First off, you can’t even trace a gun unless you have it in hand, so if the criminal doesn’t drop the gun at the scene of the crime, registration means squat. Yeah, yeah, I know, that happens all the time, in the movies. How common is it in real crimes?

                Second, registration, at best, tells you the last legal owner. If the criminal bought and registered the gun, AND dropped it at the scene of the crime, (Why would he do that with a registered gun?) you might have something.

                If he stole it from the real owner, or it’s a black market gun? Forget it.

                So it’s pretty clear that gun registration can only, under ideal circumstances, even help solve a crime, in a small minority of cases: The ones where the gun is registered to the criminal, and he leaves it to be found.

                The real truth is that the purpose of gun registration is gun confiscation. The only way confiscating guns is remotely practical is if you know who owns them. And that, of course, is why gun owners oppose gun registration.

                And why gun controllers advocate it…

                1. “First off, you can’t even trace a gun unless you have it in hand, so if the criminal doesn’t drop the gun at the scene of the crime, registration means squat. Yeah, yeah, I know, that happens all the time, in the movies. How common is it in real crimes?”

                  Not common at all. Criminals are stupid, so they keep the gun, and eventually get caught with it, allowing cops to match the gun the criminal was caught with to the bullets he left at the crime scene.

      3. “I am not for restrictions on the possession of handguns, though I am for registration.”

        I am for restrictions for some users (the ones who consistently show a lack of responsibility, specifically.) People who do act like responsible adults should have whatever weapon they find useful and desireable, but this treatment should be limited to people who show they can handle it responsibly. I’m for taking away the cars of people who keep getting caught driving while impaired, too.

    5. I’m fairly conservative on some things, but I’m a fire breathing advocate for drug legalization.

      No, not just pot, ALL drugs. Heroin, meth, fentanyl, anabolic steroids, you name it. If people want to drill holes in their heads and pour in battery acid, I say let them.

      It’s not that I don’t care about the fate of the idiots doing it. I just care more about the people who aren’t idiots, and trying to ban drugs has horrible collateral damage, in terms of reduced civil liberties and increased crime rates. Partially legalizing a few weaker drugs doesn’t eliminate that collateral damage. It would take full relegalization, restoring things to the way they were before the war on drugs began.

      This is not a popular view in Republican politics, obviously.

        1. Not seeing the connection.

      1. Leaving people to make their own decisions about what, if anything, they want to poison themselves with doesn’t mean you can’t come down on the suppliers who use deception to build their client bases. So I say bust the people putting “extra” stuff in the drugs they sell, like the ones who put PCP into the maryjane they sell, and the pharmaceutical executives who claimed that OxyContin was a safe, non-addictive alternative to opioids already in use when Oxy was introduced to the market.

    6. “What’s a ‘wedge issue’ for you? A position your usual side takes that you don’t, and strongly?”

      Immigration and Criminal Justice.

      1. “What’s a ‘wedge issue’ for you? A position your usual side takes that you don’t, and strongly?”

        I don’t have a side. I want a system that works and I want politicians who can see the problems and at least try to do something about them instead of flying to somewhere warm and making excuses about how it was the kids who wanted to go. Especially if it has been your position all along that there is no climate change and that’s why nothing needed to change.

  17. Has anyone ever mixed chocolate milk with coffee because they were out of creamer? I am thinking about performing an experiment.

    1. Careful, you just might invent the mocha latte.

      1. >mocha latte
        I’m not from New Jersey. I don’t speak your foreign language.

        1. Try Seattle. It turns out there’s a whole ecosystem of $4 coffee drinks.

  18. This ice storm — which extends beyond Texas — is going to cause a major recession. FEDEX appears to have crashed.

    Seriously — an auto supply company was supposed to get me a hose — from their own Massachusetts warehouse — two days ago and this morning told me that they had no idea when they would be able to do that. So I’m gonna by one from their competitor’s brick & mortar store — no big deal.

    But multiply this out into all of the “just in time” stuff that ain’t arriving and we are going to have a major recession. From this alone….

    1. I’d ordered something from Amazon. It was supposed to have arrived a couple days ago, looks like it’s going to arrive today.

      It was “delayed in transit” for a couple days before it was listed as “shipped”. I had a laugh over that.

  19. Just learned that vaccine distribution here in MA is going to be a mess. Yesterday, Governor Charlie Baker announced that people like me would today come eligible for vaccination. He said the new cohort numbered about 1 million, and that there were going to be 78,000 vaccinations available. If you qualify, just go online and sign up at 8 am today. Ha, Ha. I doubt they got 10 people scheduled before the site crashed. Probably it crashed way before 8 am. Folks in Massachusetts know a footrace when they see one. Seems like someone should have told the Gov that wasn’t going to go so well.

    1. I don’t know why states are advertising registration this way. Maybe MA is choosing the order based on first-come-first-serve (I doubt it) but I know my state isn’t, but they still try to open up registration to everybody at one time. Why not explain that to primary care doctors, get the priority groups registered through them, and then open up for those who don’t have doctors? Some people will sign up twice but most won’t, and it might still be a heavy load but far more manageable than everybody all at once.

      1. In MA, its a mixed up mess. State run mass vaccination sites. Fenway Park. Gillette Stadium. Other places you never heard of. Town run sites. Pharmacy run sites. Supermarket sites. Some sites serve all comers who qualify by cohort (state decides cohorts, on an ongoing basis). Some sites serve only local residents. Hospitals were apparently doing a good job sorting it all out, but mysteriously, the state seems to have told the hospitals to stop. I got an email from Mass General basically saying, forget waiting for us, we’re out of business. So when the governor yesterday announced my cohort was newly eligible as of this morning, I was keen to get in line online. But I told my wife, “This is silly, it’s gonna crash in an instant.” It did.

      2. ” Some people will sign up twice but most won’t”

        Actually, I live in a state that allows people to sign up for vaccinations in whatever county they want to, so some people rushed to sign up in every county. We have 100 counties.

    2. Haven’t you heard? Baker’s going to resign and run the new Tufts/Pilgrim health plan…

      1. He’s going to need a job come 2022. Any hopes he had of keeping his current one are shot.

    3. Here’s what I don’t get – In my state if you work in (one of many examples) a grocery store you rocket to the top of the list….but how do they know? And if they arrest you for going to the head of the line, then you’d go to the head of the line since you’d be in Jail – do they then let you out since you’re now entitled to the shot?

      1. Here the grocery stores are working directly with the state to work out vaccination, the workers don’t have to do that themselves.

    4. You just learned it?

      It’s been a mess from the beginning, and getting worse.

      No effort to match eligibility with available appointments, so people are spending hours clicking around, usually fruitlessly, to find appointments, which disappear in seconds.

      No central registration.

      No way to check availability without checking each vaccination site individually, often having to fill out a 2-3 page form before being told there were no appointments at that vaccination site.

      Need to reenter data each time, instead of just entering it once and being given an ID to use.


      Giant clusterfuck that keeps getting worse.

      1. bernard11, I sort of knew. But because at age 74 with complications I still hadn’t become eligible, I averted my eyes and hoped Mass General would come through for me. Now I’m adrift with everyone else.

        1. Mass General Brigham is basically only vaccinating staff.

        2. ” But because at age 74 with complications I still hadn’t become eligible, I averted my eyes and hoped Mass General would come through for me.”

          It reminds me of being at the airport, where everybody gets to pre-board except me.

          I’m only 54, and my state recently decided to squeeze teachers into the line in front of everybody else (which seems fair, seeing as the general assembly just passed a bill requiring all the school districts to allow in-person education for every kid whose parent(s) wants them OUT of the HOUSE.)

      2. It’s a major embarassment.

        I know people in Israel in their 40s, not healthcare workers or anything like that, who already got their second shot two weeks ago.

        It’s mostly Trump’s fault. Although Biden and Harris have not seemed to do much since coming to office almost a month ago, other than flap their gums and blame Trump.

        1. How is it Trump’s fault? He was supplying the vaccine to the states, it was the states’ job to get it into people’s arms.

          Some did a good job, some screwed up. But that was on them.

          1. ” He was supplying the vaccine to the states”

            In the sense that the states didn’t have any, sure, they were fully supplied. And the Trump administration didn’t buy enough in the first place.

      3. In CA, Alameda County set up a registration site. I registered myself, wide and son a month ago. I have not heard a peep since. Fortunately Kaiser has been actively reaching out to its members and although their system ihas been slow due to lack of sufficient vaccines, at least it is not hopelessly confusing.
        Newsom did the state no favor by disregarding CDC advice, and adding 6 million persons to Tier 1 but getting no additional vaccines.

        1. How is adding people to tier one and getting no additional vaccine doses worse than NOT adding anyone to tier one and not getting any additional doses?

    5. VA sent me a text Sunday to call up the local VA clinic to schedule a shot. Called them Monday and the first appointment was Thursday. Had a bud drive me to the clinic since he had an appointment the same day. Got there went inside and was told to go outside and drive to the other entrance which was closed and I would get the shot while I stayed in the car. My bud was already with his doc so I had no access to a car; instead I walked a hundred yards to the line of cars and was told to go to the alcove where the were giving shots and bumped to the head of the line. Turns out you have to wait 15 minutes after the shot inside the alcove to check for adverse reactions. Not sure if it was from the shot or what but I went to bed that night with minor soreness in my shoulder and slept for 15 hours. Other than that it was no big deal.

  20. NOVA Lawyer and rilldrive earned prizes in the fantasy election contest. I hope they respond to this message to arrange delivery of their prizes.

  21. Today, Interactive Brokers CEO admits that without the buying restrictions, $GME would have gone up in to the thousands

    I believe it was Adler who wrote a post excoriating Josh Hawley, and accusing him intentionally lying, for suggesting that anything was untoward about the GME situation. But it’s highly reasonable to suspect that there may indeed have been something untoward about the GME situation.

    The biggest bad fact here is that RobinHood and Citadel are partners. RobinHood makes a large portion of its money from Citadel, one of the very hedge funds that stood to lose billions from GME’s rise due to short positions that exceeded available shares. Citadel pays RobinHood to handle the RobinHood retail traders “order flow” making Citadel privy to nonpublic information about retail trade direction and volumes etc.

    1. it’s highly reasonable to suspect that there may indeed have been something untoward about the GME situation.

      You provide no evidence. RobinHood has pointed to the requirement it was following. If you think they are lying, you will need to bring more than an association.

      1. I didn’t say they were lying. The DTCC (a private company) did indeed decide to suddenly raise capital requirements for its member brokers, at a time when those brokers were at risk of suffering major losses along with the hedge funds. RobinHood and a few others then decided to shut down buy orders. These actions saved the parties involved from a lot of potential losses.

        Is this the requirement you are referring to, or were you referring to something different?

        “On Jan. 28, after days of turbulence, the DTCC demanded significantly more collateral from member brokers on their GameStop trades. A spokesman for the DTCC wouldn’t specify how much it required from particular firms but said that by the end of the day, industrywide collateral requirements jumped to $33.5 billion, up from $26 billion.”

      2. The interview by Interactive Brokers CEO, among other such interviews and statements, basically say “We were at risk of losing a lot of money, maybe even going bankrupt, and causing a chain reaction among our finance friends as a result of the risks we all undertook in our business, but we are too big and important to fail so we had to change things up a bit in the middle of the play.”

        1. The basic problem is the float; It lets them make money on other people’s money under normal circumstances, but under highly unusual circumstances like were going on with Gamestock, it exposes them to practically unlimited losses.

          At one time the float was technically necessary due to communications limitations. That time ended 2-3 decades ago. Now it’s just kept around so that they can profit using other people’s money before doing with it what they were given it to do.

          Abolish the float, and the risks they experienced vanish.

          1. The thing is, some people still buy and hold stock. When they do that, they want actual certificates printed and delivered to them. The fact that many people keep their stock holdings in brokered accounts doesn’t eliminate the need to have time to print and deliber certificates to those people who still hold certificates. The main problem with switching to all computer-record stock holding is that whoever’s building and maintaining the database has to be better and smarter than every black-hat who ever black-hatted on the Internet. Some people just aren’t ready to trust that much, and the ones that do invest in cybercurrencies, not stocks.

    2. What the Hedge funds with short positions in GameStop but not any GameStop stock should have done is buy enough shares as soon as the price started rising and it was obvious that a short squeeze was on, to make good on their short positions, then do nothing. by waiting to buy shares, they doubled down on their bet that the stock was coming back down before they had to honor their shorts, which result you might have gotten from normal market jostling but you won’t get in a short squeeze. Once they have enough stock in hand to cover their shorts, they don’t have to care what the market does, squeeze or no.

  22. Joe Biden has reportedly authorized MORE money for the Wuhan Flu lab in China. What? Why? Anyone know if, as with Obama, this is still for gain of function studies that were outlawed in the US?

    Joe Biden has also decided to give the WHO $200 million by the end of the month. Idiots.

    1. You can’t see why we might want to study coronaviruses these days?

      1. Some people are just reflexively anti-science and anti-reason.

        I try to look at the bright side: My children and grandchildren get to compete economically with these half-educated, superstitious, obsolete clingers.

        1. “reflexively”

          The lack of self-awareness is remarkable.

          Knee, meet jerk.

          1. Hello, jerk.

      2. You can’t see why we might want to study coronaviruses . . . with someone other than the Chinese Communist Party? In some place other than the ground zero Wuhan Flu lab?

        Do you know why gain of function studies were banned?

        1. He is looking at things through snark-colored glasses.

        2. Not to mention that the CCP are, charitably, challenged when it comes to respecting human dignity. The Chinese use their prisoners for spare parts, often for cash from desperate Westerners. The idea of funding medical research by the Chinese ought to give pause to anyone not affected by partisan rancor.

          If the Administration wanted to give funds to, say, the UK, Australia or Israel to study COVID, that would be a different story.

          1. Yeah, we don’t make policy based on your dumbass fan fiction about what’s secretly going on.

            They publish their results; that includes their methods.

            1. Sarcastro, are you under the impression it’s fiction that China harvests organs from political prisoners?

              China forcefully harvests organs from detainees, tribunal concludes

              This isn’t like collaborating with the UK or Australia. It’s like collaborating with Nazi Germany. China is an evil on that scale.

              1. No, I think it’s fiction that has anything to do with basic research.

                1. What it’s got to do with it, is that we can send money for basic research to countries that aren’t run by genocidal monsters.

                  1. You think they’re just going to pocket the money?

                    There is no profit allowed from grants.

                    Again, we had research collaborations with the USSR. Basic research isn’t a particularly nationalistic practice, even if you want to make it so.

                  2. “What it’s got to do with it, is that we can send money for basic research to countries that aren’t run by genocidal monsters.”

                    MAybe send money to smart people who can do the research, regardless of how their government works. That’s how we wound up with so many Nazi rocket scientists in the 50’s, despite having had a 20-year head start as the home nation of Robert Goddard.

                    1. You may have noticed we didn’t pay them to do rocket research, in Germany, during the 1940’s.

                      China is a strategic foe, a totalitarian state, and is conducting a genocide at the moment. If that doesn’t put them beyond the pale for financial help, what would?

                    2. “You may have noticed we didn’t pay them to do rocket research, in Germany, during the 1940’s.”

                      We didn’t pay Americans to do rocket research in America in the 1920’s or 1930’s either, despite having Robert Goddard here the whole time.

            2. “They publish their results; that includes their methods.”

              This is beyond satire. It’s self-satire.

              1. You think Chinese researchers will be secretly infecting prisoners with superCOVID based on this collaboration?

                Like, what scenario are you implying here?

                1. No, their germ warfare labs aren’t as good as ours, which is why Reagan was able to order a virus that would afflict sexually-active young people, particularly gay ones when heneeded a way to punish the young people, particularly the gay ones, for not voting for him and his pals.

        3. Do you have any evidence your scare link about banned research is what’s being funded, ML?

          What risk are you on fire about? This is not applied research, after all.
          We also had collaborations with the USSR scientists, was that a moral horror?

          1. To some extent, yes, it was.

            1. Your understanding of international relations is not what anyone does.
              You rarely shun a country completely, particularly when it comes to the generally nonthreatening arena of basic research.

              We worked with South Africa under Apartheid as well. We collaborate with Iran and other ME countries on a particle collider.

              You want it to be simple. It’s not simple.

              1. “You want it to be simple. It’s not simple.”

                Brett supports the simple party. (No not that one, the OTHER one.)

      3. And yet China is actively restricting what information the WHO will be given. That is hardly science, friends.

        1. That is also hardly relevant to ML’s knee-jerk post.

  23. If evidence of life is detected on Mars, how much explaining will the Lord God of the Bible owe the gullible, and how much of the Bible will require ‘amendment?’

    1. To start with, we’d have to delete those passages of the Bible which say, “verily, there is no life on Mars.”

      And C. S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet would have to be moved from the fiction shelf to the nonfiction shelf.

      1. And it would revive interest in the philosophy and theology of Jacques Martiain.

      2. “To start with, we’d have to delete those passages of the Bible which say, ‘verily, there is no life on Mars.'”

        Shouldn’t be so hard, after Copernicus and Galileo forced them to take out the stuff about the Earth not moving.

    2. I once read that when Soviet cosmonauts first went up to space, they said that they did not see any angels flying around, so they knew the Bible was fake.

      When your view of religion is that of a 5-year-old, then it is easy to believe it refuted.

      1. That’s not very respectful towards your fellow Americans…

        1. Only one fellow American. And some Soviets.

          Anything further is your expansion.

  24. Anyone wearing a nice watch today?

    1. Garmin Descent MK2. Crazy expensive but it does CCR calculations for starters.

  25. The media is doing a great job covering a non-story about Cruz taking his daughters to an already scheduled trip in Mexico. That is some great journalism there lamestream media. BLM riot is Time Square with ten injured cops? No mention. AOC lying her face off about being “almost murdered” during capitol hill event? Nothing. Jew hatin’ comments from “the squad”….Why cover that? Ted Cruz gets on a plane, well, hold the presses, that requires us to put national news coverage live in front of his house.

    1. No, it doesn’t matter much. But also you have your facts wrong about almost everything in your post – it’s pretty impressive.

      1. Perhaps you should explain what he got wrong, then?

        Thirty people arrested and ten officers injured in violent clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and NYPD outside City Hall at the end of a march to commemorate MLK day

        Now, granted, not all the cops were injured in Times Square, but is that something you want to rest your case on?

        And AOC wasn’t even in the same building as the rioters, you do know that, right?

        1. Yeah, I will rest my case on that, since it’s part and parcel of the ‘nothing he posted was true’ part.

          AOC didn’t lie that she was almost murdered, and she didn’t lie that she was in the Capitol.

          Brett, don’t stoop to defend Jimmy’s lies. He’s a liar. You’re often wrong, but you’re not a liar.

          1. Brett just proved that nothing I posted was a lie (thanks!).

            No one was “almost murdered” especially AOC at the capitol hill event. The only person who was actually murdered was a peaceful tourist.

            If you want some prime examples of what certain squad members think of the jews well just do an internet search. It is all right there in its glory.

            Sarc is just trying to deflect from his usual gaslighting.

            1. Israel != Jews.

              I don’t love the comments, but you’re still lying

            1. Almost had me murdered != was almost murdered.

              You like parsing language, why didn’t you parse that?

              I know the answer.

              1. You are the one splitting hairs now. We all get it though. You are trying to defend the indefensible. You want to go with what is the definition of “is” now. Or maybe you just need to stop with the lying yourself….

                1. No, you’re pretending AOC lied. She did not lie.

                  You know she didn’t, but you’re fine with pushing that inaccuracy, because you’re a liar.

                  1. So then who almost murdered AOC? Being “almost murdered” requires something more then just a general feeling of being uneasy or in the proximity (like a 1/4 mile away in a completely different building packed full of security) to an event. Was someone in her office, threatening her with bodily harm, holding a weapon?

                    1. Nah. The threat may have been localized in retrospect, but it’s not like Cruz knew where the fire he was helping to light would drift.

                    2. So why don’t you say “no I’ve got nothing” instead of this BS blubbering?

                    3. LOL, pathetic. I showed you lied, and Brett came riding to your defense, and you still have to retreat away from substance.

                      You’re bad at this.

                    4. You did nothing of the sort. You accused of me of presenting falsehoods which was your own lie and then you proceeded to double down. Instead of just ‘fessing up that you were wrong in the first place. But keep on with the delusions…

                    5. “So why don’t you say ‘no I’ve got nothing’ instead of this BS blubbering?”

                      Apparently, you don’t do this because you think you’re winning the argument. That seems to go with your inability to perceive reality.

        2. “And AOC wasn’t even in the same building as the rioters, you do know that, right?”

          Rioters don’t have to stay in one building and one building only, you know that, right?

          1. If you are going to make grandiose statements about being “almost murdered” then, yes, I do think you need to have any actual situation to where you were reasonably in fear of your life. A bunch of tourists taking selfies.

            1. Having a mob roaming around looking for “traitors” to kill, knowing that they think you’re a “traitor” seems like a reasonable reason to have fear. If you find out they’re also baying for their OWN leadership, too, how should you feel about that?

          2. You don’t think anything, Jimmy; you’re just trying to defend your nonsense hyperbole above by trying to pretend it’s now about your judgment.

            It’s not. Your facts were wrong. Not that you care.

            1. My facts were point on which is why you attack them so much. AOC was not “almost murdered” and her statement was just bluster and hyperbole of the highest degree. And the media NEVER covers BLM riots. But, got a cheap swing at a Republican US Senator and they will go “all in” with that reporting.

              So either try again or just stick to the gaslighting…

              1. Turn the fucking page on your “word of the day” calendar. The “gaslighting” page was weeks ago!

                1. And you’re still not even using the word correctly.

    2. “The media is doing a great job covering a non-story about Cruz taking his daughters to an already scheduled trip in Mexico.”

      Yeah, they “just happened” to want to go to Cancun while Texas was freezing in the dark. How much of an apologist do you have to be to be offended by news coverage of a rat fleeing a sinking, er, freezing ship?

      1. Eh I might care a bit more if the media didn’t run interference for just about any liberal who engaged in similar poor behavior (including violating the same lockdown orders they issues). Since that is the yard stick we use to measure these things now, Cruz is just background noise in comparison. And I’m not sure what a US Senator is going to do during a statewide emergency anyhow.

        1. Eh, you lied about Cruz, but you don’t care because the Libs are bad.

          Not actual libs, just ones you kinda gesture at.

          Look at AOC and freaking Beto to see what you can do in an statewide emergency with a national profile.

          1. How did I lie about Cruz? All I said was that was some great biased reporting on a non-story.

            Seems to me that AOC and Beta aren’t doing much of anything but filling the airwaves full of their usual tribble.

            1. You know Cruz is already married, right? He’s not going to see your generous offer to fellate him and decide to leave his wife for you, you poor deluded fool.

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