Thursday Open Thread

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What's on your mind?

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  1. Looks like its LBedlefjldsjffissfldsjflsjdlfjsljflajsljnfpjwpaihnev[b[-hnafbu[- month again. Get ready for that tsunami of fake megacorpo rainbow vomit bs with everything from corn flakes to sneaker ads and products constantly screaming at you everywhere you go to assume the proper position on genitalia and sexual proclivity related issues.

    1. Helluva choice to go through life so angry at stuff you can’t control and don’t need to care about.

      1. Helluva choice to go through life so angry at stuff you can’t control and don’t need to care about.

        You mean…like what other people choose to post about?

    2. My son returns from his first day at summer camp, to announce that his friend from last year is now a boy. Thankfully the extent of her transitioning is just a short hair cut for now. We know the mother, the kid should have time to grow out of it without being surgically or chemically mutilated first.

      1. Brett, would you mind not throwing rainbow vomit bs towards Amos?

        He’s kinda. . . sensitive.

      2. Somehow body altering surgery is OK in this case based on what a minor says.

        And the parent who goes along with this is a good one?

        But a parent who would give their kids alcohol and cigarettes would have them taken away by child services.

        1. Well, I guess you could call a haircut “body-altering surgery.”

          1. If you cut your dick off, it grows back?

            And you say people who believe in the lizard people are crazy. 🙂

            1. Apparently if you don’t identify as either male or female, you can have surgery where you get both. Or neither, like a Ken doll.

            2. You don’t know till you try!

              1. Will it grow back longer?

            3. (“Thankfully the extent of her transitioning is just a short hair cut for now.”)

      3. I’m sure you’re teaching him all the right lessons about how to handle the situation, Brett, and that he won’t internalize any kind of harmful attitudes that will lead to years of self-hate and self-harm as he tries to become his own man.

        1. Sure, we’ve explained to him that it’s no big deal to humor her for now, as long as he remembers that she IS still a girl.

      4. She probably just wants to play with the boys without sleeping with them, i.e. do “boy” things.

        It’s also a hell of a lot safer way to explore relationships with boys.

    3. In the year I was born, consensual gay sex was a felony in all fifty states, and occasionally people actually did go to prison for it. Police harassment of people known to be gay, and gay establishments like bars and bookstores, was endemic. Being openly gay rendered one unemployable except at menial jobs. You could not serve in the military, work for the federal government, or, in some states, get professional licenses. My great uncle was denied a law license for being gay.

      Whatever complaints there may be about the over-reaching of the gay movement, it came about because it was harassed into existence by a country that was uniformly hostile to it and did everything it could to make the lives of gay people miserable. Do I think it occasionally goes too far? Of course. But it wouldn’t even exist at all if not for the mistreatment gays suffered at the hands of the larger society.

      So, if you don’t like how the culture wars have shaken out, well, your side started it.

      1. “your side started it.”

        A very cynical, and untrue statement. Consider the history of man, Krychek_2, going back 1,000, 2,000, 4,000 years. Acceptance of, tolerance for, intolerance of homosexuality has ebbed and flowed, and no “side” or party in modern politics is responsible for this. It’s also quite short-sighted to characterize this as an American (only) phenomenon.

        1. I don’t believe I characterized it as an American-only phenomenon; there were (and continue to be) lots of other countries that are hostile to gays. The fact remains, though, that there would be no gay rights movement were there not a history of anti-gay discrimination. It arose in response to fairly awful mistreatment.

          1. I’m sorry, you said “it came about because it was harassed into existence by a country that was uniformly hostile to it and did everything it could to make the lives of gay people miserable. ” What country were you talking about? I assumed it was the U.S.

            1. Any country that was harassing gay people brought about a gay rights movement. You think Canada, England, Australia, et al. don’t also have gay rights movements?

              1. You didn’t say “countries”. You said “country”. We all know you meant the United States, so just take the “L”.

                1. It’s an important point. When someone says “country” they’re implying that the situation is somehow unique to said “country”, which typically implies myopic/regionalistic thinking. And also, in this case, is used simply to score points in the Red Team/Blue Team game.

                  1. So if I talk about a country’s jury trial system, I’m claiming that no other country has jury trials? Not only is that stupid, but it’s a distraction (most likely deliberate) from my main point that homophobia birthed the gay rights movement. If you’d like to respond to that main point, feel free.

                    1. If you talk about a country’s jury trial system, everyone will assume you are talking about that specific country’s jury trial system, yes.

                      Don’t pretend to be so dense.

                    2. OK, so you don’t have a response to my main point. Thank you for sharing.

        2. He wasn’t saying that a modern party in modern politics is responsible for the great alleged ebb and flow of social attitudes across deep time, he’s saying a modern party in modern politics is responsible for the actual things they did which were intolerant, prejudiced and authoritarian.

          1. So you’re saying the Republicans are or were singularly intolerant, while the Democrats were not? What timeframe?

            1. I’m saying the Republicans were the ones bigging up the Gay Agenda as a bogeyman.

              1. Apparently you never heard of Ronald Reagan.
                Nor of the mASSgop — which *is* gay….

                1. Gee, Ed, this is the first time anybody claimed that Ronald Reagan was gay. I guess that explains why he kept calling Nancy “mommy”.

            2. I wouldn’t say the Republicans were “singularly” intolerant or that the Democrats were not. But once the initial dust started to settle, in general the Democrats became pro-gay and the Republicans anti-gay.

              However, my original comment wasn’t even directed toward political parties; when I said “your side” I meant the homophobic side.

              And by the way, nice way to take us off on a tangent that has very little to do with my initial point, which is that homophobia birthed the gay rights movement.

              1. The GOP was never more “anti-gay” than the Dems were. What the conservatives believe is that “pro-gay” shouldn’t mean special rights or changes to norms that have been around for millennia. The Dems DO mean that very thing.

                1. The Republican Party suddenly back to protecting NORMS!

                  1. We love our norms, don’t we folks?

                2. Right-wing bigots — who have gone from controlling the culture to cowering defensively in corners during my lifetime — are among my favorite culture war casualties.

                  Carry on, clingers . . . your betters will determine how far.

                  1. Ah, thanks for verifying you’re OK, there’d been some talk you’d disappeared.

                    Again, a reminder: You’re fantasizing about being our betters.

                    1. You seem intent on proving that it’s not a fantasy.

                  2. Please, Artie, it’s getting old. But let’s be honest: when conservatives had better control of the culture, the country was safer, more affluent, more productive, and noticeably smarter. You’re a walking, talking example of that. Back in the day, loons like you would have been laughed out of the room.

                    1. When was that, exactly? 1840’s? Roman Republic?

                    2. Do you have any actual data to support that?

                    3. Also, be interested in what people exactly you’re counting as ‘the country.’

                    4. ” Please, Artie, it’s getting old. ”

                      The point about the bigots switching positions in our culture — from calling the shots and being openly and proudly bigoted to being placed on the shrinking defensive, hiding their intolerance behind euphemisms and struggling to preserve a carve-out for bigotry from the mainstream of society — seems relatively fresh.

                3. Equal rights are not special rights, and just because something has been a norm for a long time doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Slavery and Jim Crow being obvious examples. You’re going to have to make a better argument than just that that’s the way we’ve always done it.

                  1. The problem, basically, is “equal rights” to what? To be left alone? Fine.

                    To force people to bake you cakes? Not fine.

                    1. I go back and forth on the bake shop case; my not-so-final answer is that I’m fine with living in a world in which gays can get married but nobody is required to bake them a cake. But I think it’s a close case and there are good arguments on the other side.

                      That said, does your concept of being left alone include the right to get married? Because if it doesn’t, then don’t be claiming you’re fine with equal rights.

                    2. (replying to Krychek_2)
                      re: “equal rights”
                      Some things just aren’t equal. Men and women are not interchangeable.

                    3. I’d say you’ve got the right to get ‘married’; Hold a ceremony, and call yourself married. Yeah, and go out and form a contract that makes you each other’s heirs and agents, and all the other little details that come by default as part of actual marriage. I’m not even that concerned about the government offering it as a package deal, rather than requiring you to put it together out of the pieces.

                      It’s not what the word means, but, hey, whatever floats your boat.

                      It wouldn’t have been a lot of skin off my nose if same sex marriage had been legalized by proper democratic means instead of by judicial fiat in the teeth of public resistance. But that’s not how it happened, and I wonder why we even bothered defeating the ERA, if every item in the parade of horribles that stopped it was going to be shoved down our throats by the judiciary regardless. Makes you weep for the death of democracy. Or makes me, anyway.

                      But if it weren’t for the ‘cake’ and the procedural outrage, not a big deal.

                      The problem was that the ‘cake’ was pretty much a given if you got the ‘marriage’, because of current trends in anti-discrimination law. The idea that somebody could have a right to make a decision, but other people weren’t obligated to play along with it, is going out of style in legal circles.

                      So it was perfectly predictable that if same sex ‘marrage’ was legalized, the cakes and the flowers and wedding photographers would get dragged in whether they liked it or not. No victory of the left is complete without forcing the losers to become complicit.

                      “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.” That’s become central to the left’s definition of victory.

                    4. Ed, whether men or women are interchangeable depends on what we’re talking about. For some things yes, for some things no. But I don’t see what that has to do with the choices people make about whom they wish to have relationships with. That’s up to them, and there’s a long list of factors that might enter into their decision.

                      Brett, we’re talking about two fundamental rights, so the fact that a majority (at least in some parts of the country) opposed it is irrelevant. Fundamental rights are fundamental rights. But marriage isn’t even the issue with respect to the cake.

                      Suppose the gay couple wasn’t getting married; suppose they were just going to live together without government approval. They decide to have a party to celebrate moving in together, and they want a cake for it. You think the baker would have been any more inclined to bake those cake? For that matter, the local gay community center is having an anniversary party and they want a cake for it; you think he’d have baked it?

                      No, the issue for the baker wasn’t marriage; it was sexual orientation. And we either have laws against sexual orientation discrimination or we do not. I think we should.

                    5. The law in the US is currently very clear: Refusing to bake a cake for somebody because they are gay would be illegal, as sex discrimination even where sexual orientation is not a protected class.

                      Thanks for sharing your ignorance.

                    6. “The problem, basically, is “equal rights” to what? To be left alone? Fine.

                      To force people to bake you cakes? Not fine.”

                      Imagine the nerve, walking into a BAKERY of all places, and expecting people inside to BAKE you something in exchange for money. Next thing you know, they’ll be expecting GROCERY STORES to accept money in exchange for groceries. There’s just no end to the horrible possible results of allowing people to patronize businesses of their choice.

                    7. “No, the issue for the baker wasn’t marriage; it was sexual orientation. And we either have laws against sexual orientation discrimination or we do not. I think we should.”

                      And I think we shouldn’t. I think we took a horrible, horrible wrong turn on anti-discrimination law, when we made the leap from equal rights, to requiring equal treatment in the private sector.

                      Freedom lives in the space between what people think we shouldn’t do, and what we’re prohibited from doing. In the space between what people think we should do, and what we’re mandated to do. It lives in that zone where we can’t be forced to live according to other’s preferences.

                      When we started applying anti-discrimination principles to private actions, we stopped expanding rights, and just started moving them around, instead. Every expansion of one person’s rights became a contraction of everybody else’s rights.

                      It was a terrible, terrible mistake, and it is a mistake with no limiting principle.

                    8. “‘No, the issue for the baker wasn’t marriage; it was sexual orientation. And we either have laws against sexual orientation discrimination or we do not. I think we should.’

                      And I think we shouldn’t. I think we took a horrible, horrible wrong turn on anti-discrimination law, when we made the leap from equal rights, to requiring equal treatment in the private sector.

                      The issue is the baker taking too much damn interest in what somebody does with their cake.
                      They walk into the bakery, they order the cake. The baker makes the cake, and the customer pays for it. This ends the baker’s interest in that particular cake.
                      Some religions don’t like to celebrate birthdays. Does this give someone a justification to refuse to make a cake if it might be used at a birthday party?

                4. What the conservatives believe is that “pro-gay” shouldn’t mean special rights or changes to norms that have been around for millennia.

                  Why shouldn’t there be changes to “changes to norms that have been around for millennia?”

                  Some of those norms, such as treating homosexuals as criminals, making it OK to deny them employment, housing, etc., even regarding crimes against them as sort of acceptable, are pretty nasty.

                  You can hide a lot of shit under that cover.

                5. “The GOP was never more “anti-gay” than the Dems were.”

                  Lying, delusional right-wing bigots are among my favorite culture war casualties.

                  I don’t mind that clingers continue to sink with the gay-bashing, misogynistic, racist, xenophobic ship — this means gun nuts and anti-abortion absolutists are going to submerge, too.

            3. So you’re saying that you can’t recognize the indisputable fact that right-wing politics has been openly hostile to anything other than heterosexuality?

              Imagine being so embarrassed by your political viewpoints that you can’t be bothered to even defend them in good faith.

              Pathetic, even for you.

        3. Is the “this” in “responsible for this” (1) “AmosArch doesn’t like that private companies say things he disagrees with” or (2) gay people getting systematically harassed by the government for centuries? I took Krychek’s point to be about proportionality.

          1. The lives of everyday gay people…..and many other groups is written about spottily through most of the historical record. Quite a jump to assume from that, that they were ‘systematically harassed by government for centuries’. As for the most other LLDFIDIOFJDLFJLDFJLDFL groups well they basically didn’t exist until a few years ago so I don’t see how they could have been harassed ‘for centuries’.

            Getting caught looking at a drawings of certain fictional japanese hentai characters today will get you in more trouble and have graver ramifications for your life than what you’d probably get during the US ‘persecutions’. Maybe we should help these guys out.

            1. “As for the most other LLDFIDIOFJDLFJLDFJLDFL groups well they basically didn’t exist until a few years ago so I don’t see how they could have been harassed ‘for centuries’.”

              Gay people is not the same thing as “LLDFIDIOFJDLFJLDFJLDFL groups”. Gay people were systematically harassed. These groups emerged to fight that harassment. When the state targets minority groups for harassment, it’s not surprising that those minority groups pool resources to defend themselves against a hostile majority.

              “Getting caught looking at a drawings of certain fictional japanese hentai characters today will get you in more trouble and have graver ramifications for your life than what you’d probably get during the US ‘persecutions’. Maybe we should help these guys out.”

              I don’t even know what to make of this gibberish. Be clearer about what sort of japanese hentai characters you’re talking about. If you don’t believe in US “persecutions” I don’t know what to tell you. In my lifetime human beings have been arrested for sodomy. Lawrence v. Texas was less than 20 years ago. This isn’t ancient history so I don’t know how you fucking missed it.

              1. not saying there was no harassment. Every group has been oppressed. But the harassment LFgfhhhbfdrg groups have undergone that we’re supposed to fall over and bow to is not among the most severe in the grand scale of things.

                For most of herstory, even during periods where homosexuality was highly institutionalized. They would typically occur in the context of a larger set of relationships ie a man would have a wife and family to carry on the genes and a male side piece. Not because of oppression but because that was the culture and even they couldn’t concieve or want another way. This sort of thing doesn’t lend itself to effective government persecution even when authorities cared which they usually didn’t and indeed we see no largescale systematic persecutions on the level of other groups such as jews or Christians.

                The idea of gays living separately in their own picket fences as a coherent group with distinct politics is a relatively recent phenomenon. But the need to be a victim is so strong weve taken bits and pieces of archaic ineffective laws (newsflash there were ineffective brutal laws for everything like stealing chickens) and anecdotes to invent this fantasy of roman legionaires to medieval pikemen chasing around loving oppressed gay couples ‘for centuries.’

                1. “But the harassment LFgfhhhbfdrg groups have undergone that we’re supposed to fall over and bow to is not among the most severe in the grand scale of things.”

                  Ignorant, gay-bashing clingers are among my favorite culture war casualties. Their bitter whimpers are part of the soundtrack of American improvement.

            2. “The lives of everyday gay people…..and many other groups is written about spottily through most of the historical record.”

              Systematic oppression will often have this effect.

      2. If you want to talk about oppression gays need to get in a very long line. Where is the Diocletian or French Revolution or Communist revolution scale persecutions in LKFDKDJFLjiofjewoifjwjpos history? There are these people called the Cham…one of countless throughout the ages. Used to have several countries for themselves. Completely obliterated to the point where barely anyone in the West even knows they ever existed. Who cries for them Argentina? And now out of all of these tragedies Matthew Shephard being killed in a drug deal and a hairy fat man in a pink tutu sneaking into the little girls room is what we’re supposed to have a national monthlong holiday of over?

        You like megacorps making a mockery of your cause for their own benefit? Must be more masochistic than I thought.

      3. ” Police harassment of people known to be gay, and gay establishments like bars and bookstores, was endemic. Being openly gay rendered one unemployable except at menial jobs. You could not serve in the military, work for the federal government, or, in some states, get professional licenses. My great uncle was denied a law license for being gay.”

        Kinda sounds like being a conservative today….

        1. “Kinda sounds like being a conservative today….”

          Well, if you didn’t want to stick your dirty little thoughts into another man’s anus, you wouldn’t have that problem would you?

          1. Besides the obvious disassociation with reality in claiming that conservatives can’t serve in the military.

      4. “In the year I was born, consensual gay sex was a felony in all fifty states, and occasionally people actually did go to prison for it”

        People who have sex differently than I do deserve to be harassed for it. and we also have to kill all the people who pray wrong.

    4. I am so sorry to read of your distress over this. Stay strong, keep the faith, and lean on friends and family if you need to. You’ll get thru this, I promise!

    5. I’d watch it with that alphabet soup, if I were you. You’re perilously close to summoning a Lovecraftian horror there, if you say that aloud.

      1. Like chanting from the dread book Necronomicon!

    6. “assume the proper position on genitalia and sexual proclivity related issues.”

      The proper position on genitalia and sexual proclivity of other people is that they’re none of your business unless and until you’ve been specifically invited to examine either one.

  2. Check out my latest blog post “Gettier and Garrison” on justified true beliefs and the Zapruder film: https://priorprobability.com/2021/06/10/gettier-and-garrison-justified-true-beliefs-and-jfk/

    1. I will. The intersection of Bayes and jurisprudence is not something that I had considered before.

      I parsed the title of your blog, then went to see if it was accurate. Thanks.

      1. Thanks for reading my stuff! I have also used Bayesian methods to solve “the blue bus” problem in evidence law; see here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2271870

  3. Continued progress of right-wing vote regulation schemes in the states have opened a critical question: Is voting some kind of privilege which government grants to those it deems worthy, or is it a sovereign power belonging to citizens who jointly control government? Given the role of popular sovereignty in American constitutionalism, what are the limits of state power to regulate voting?

    1. It’s for people eligible, like in every other democracy in the world. Here’s Wikipedia on voter ID: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_identification_laws

      ID is required almost everywhere and they all think it’s normal. It’s only a very small minority of people in the US (who like to complain endlessly about the US) who are against identifying and qualifying voters.

      1. Would that were the only issue.

        1. No, there’s also the issue of uniformity of voting rules, whether local elections administrators are entitled to do things differently than the rest of the state, perhaps with outside funding.

          Then there’s ballot harvesting, sending out unsolicited ballots, systematic failure to clean up voting rolls, exclusion of election observers…

          There are a LOT of issues out there.

          1. Funny how those issues get framed in a way that the laws passed primarily benefit Republicans.

            I’m all for secure, uniform voting rules, but let’s make it easy to vote rather than hard. The very fact that election day is on a Tuesday — a work day for most people — shows that the rules were written to make it harder for people to vote.

            1. If the Democrats are primarily the ones benefiting from breaking the rules, naturally Republicans will benefit from enforcing them.

              As I pointed out in a different thread, a lot of the vote easing things that were done locally were financed by huge amounts of money Zuckerberg laundered through a non-profit, the local jurisdictions that did them could never have afforded to otherwise.

              You can’t level up procedures that aren’t affordable if made uniform.

              That’s setting aside that some of the “easing” of voting difficulty blew enormous holes in ballot security.

              1. Well, Brett, I guess that depends on how important you think it is that people vote. You’re right that the legislature may not want to spend money on it, especially if it’s a GOP legislature and the results will benefit Democrats. But unlike you, I think voting is important enough to spend money on.

                1. “Spending money” is a straw man. It won’t be cheap to fix all of the holes that Dems made in the voting system, but I’m quite willing to let them raise my taxes, if in so doing, it will fix those holes once and for all.

                  1. So long as everyone who is qualified to vote has an easy time doing so, I’m fine with it.

                    1. You know, that’s a lot of hogwash. “Easy to vote” is the Democrat’s pivot from “disenfranchising blacks,” now that the latter has been countered as the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

                      First, define “easy.” Or easier. Is it not easy now? Would requiring photo ID categorically make it “not easy?” Will it be easy enough when you see it, but you can’t really define it?

                      More prog/dem B.S.

                    2. No, they are two different things.

                      ‘Easy to vote’ is the positive desire for how it should be – the change we would like to see.

                      ‘Disenfranchising blacks’ is pushing back on bad policy changes.

                      Asking for a bright line is a dodge. But to me, easy means no one decides not to vote because it’s not worth the difficulties. I think universal mail-in voting is a good start, though there will be outliers who may need additional accommodations.

                    3. Publius, it’s nice that you think you know my answers to those questions before I’ve even responded.

                      The problem is not so much ID as the shenanigans that frequently accompany the ID requirement. Like not being permitted to vote because your driver’s license says “John W. Smith” and your voter registration says “John William Smith.” Or one identifies you as William and the other identifies you as BIll. Or only accepting as ID types of ID that blacks are less likely to have. Do away with the shenaningans and you’ll find most Democratic opposition to it disappear.

                    4. Then why didn’t the Democrats focus on the “shenangans” instead of demanding that people be permitted to vote on the honor system, or with forms of ID that don’t actually prove who you are?

                      I mean, it was a clear approach: Just demand as a condition of voter ID laws that the ID be easy to get.

                    5. Brett, because the shenanigans establish that Republican election officials cannot be trusted. Do shenanigans long enough and often enough, and you stop being trusted.

                    6. “Asking for a bright line is a dodge.”

                      No it is not, not at all. It’s cynical to say something is necessary, in non-specific terms. It’s impossible to legislate, regulate, implement, or enforce without a specific, quantitative expression of what it is. This non-specific stuff, like “easy to vote,” “fair share of taxes,” and so on, is intentionally vague so as to be manipulative. “Easy” will never be achieved as long as Democrats are not getting what they want.

                      “But to me, easy means no one decides not to vote because it’s not worth the difficulties.”

                      How do you measure that? If you can’t measure it, you cannot achieve it.

                      “I think universal mail-in voting is a good start, though there will be outliers who may need additional accommodations.”

                      Fine, but there have to be safeguards to make sure that mail-in voting doesn’t allow for fraud.

                  2. “only accepting as ID types of ID that blacks are less likely to have”

                    What would those be?

                    1. “algorithm that may provide answers.”

                      Conclusive.

                      ” Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
                      Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
                      Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
                      Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
                      United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
                      United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
                      United States Passport (book or card)”

                      There is no barrier to blacks getting one of the above. The Election Identification Certificate is free even.

                    2. Well, you know, if people are too lazy, or too stupid to get proper ID to vote, then, well, they can’t vote. They also can’t buy booze, drive a car, get on a plane, open a bank account, rent an apartment, etc., etc. I’d say voting is the least of their problems. It’s not, however, my problem.

                      Don’t try to make the voting system the most fraud prone in the world on the basis of single-digit percentages of the population being socially non-functioning.

                2. The idea of “diminishing returns” is just beyond you, isn’t it?

                  1. You mean having conversations with you?

            2. So Krychek, what do you think about these rules?

              1) Rather than even have to go in person, we should have ballots hand delivered to us
              2) Having to mark the ballots is just too hard. We should have them filled in for us ahead of time. To make it easier to vote.
              3) Gosh…actually having to handle the ballots? It should be like autopay. We shouldn’t even need to see the ballots. They should be preselected for us, and we shouldn’t need to do anything at all with them. That would make it super-easy to vote.

              Easy to vote, right? You don’t even need to do anything!

              1. I see you’re back with your usual false alternative, in which there is no middle ground between two extremist positions. It’s either Christmas or the Fourth of July; there are no other alternatives.

                1. The problem is that the mean keeps moving, and only in one direction. So pointing out the extreme ought to be helpful so we can keep an eye out for more movement. Basically, I don’t want the “middle” to be just to the side of that extreme, but I believe if Dems get control, they’ll try to get it as close to that extreme as possible.

                  1. That’s not ‘an extreme’ that’s a Republican scaremongering fantasy. Also indicitative of how, psychologically, Republicans seem to think lots of people having easier and more convenient access to voting is the same as corruption, which probably needs some unpacking and self-reflection.

                    1. How? How is that just a fantasy? Has there been any other cultural topic that the left hasn’t tried to push to the margins?

                    2. It’s a fantasy because he made it up out of his own head. How is voting a ‘cultural’ topic? How is making it easier for people to vote ‘pushing it to the margins?’

                  2. What specific policies are you claiming to be extreme?

                2. The issue is, reasonable precautions suggested, ones that most other countries put in place, are always called “voter suppression” of some sort or another.

                  So, I just continued to make it as easy as possible. Now, if you think some of what is proposed makes it “too” easy to vote…well, that would be interesting.

                  Does what is proposed make it “too” easy to vote?

                  1. 2 and 3 don’t qualify as a person voting, but 1 is actually a good idea.

                    1. Sure it does. Consider it just “straight ticket voting”. Just put it on file.

                      “I always want to vote Democrat”.

                      Then every year, without even having to lift a finger, your vote will be cast for you for a straight ticket of Democrats in the general election. Just like autopay.

                    2. It’s not just like autopay, but there would be lots of potential problems. For example, when a voter dies, how long until the election department finds out that he’s dead and stops automatically casting his straight ticket ballot for him? If he moves away, or becomes mentally incompetent, same question.

                      At bare minimum, I think voting requires that a live person actually mark an actual ballot.

                    3. Krychek,

                      That’s crazy talk. You’re talking like a conservative. “Potential problems”….Wanting to keep track of people who “move away”…or “people who are dead.” I mean, think how much harder you’re making it for people to vote!

                      Seriously though, the objection you make almost match word for word for many of the objections conservatives made about voter registration rolls. That they needed to be updated for people who died or moved away. About the potential problems that may occur. Especially if you were shipping ballots to every registered voter.

                      And arguments to update the voter registration rolls in such a manner have been hit with multiple lawsuits, reporting that attempting to do just that is voter suppression. So, perhaps you see the problem, since you pointed it out yourself.

                    4. As I said to Publius above about the shenanigans that frequently accompany ID requirements, the issue for Democrats isn’t purging the rolls per se, it’s the shenanigans that frequently accompany purging the rolls. Like double standards for polling places that vote Democrat. Or lack of notification so people who were purged in error have the opportunity to object, rather than just show up at the polls to find they’re no longer registered.

                      Do away with the shenanigans and Democratic opposition will mostly go away with it.

                    5. “it’s the shenanigans”

                      Then just argue against the “shenanigans” (and while you’re at it, reject Zuckerberg-bucks that just or primarily target blue districts).

                      When you argue against commonsense provisions…Like removing dead people from the voter roles….it make you all look crooked.

                    6. Armchair Lawyer, see my response to Brett above. Do shenanigans long enough and you demonstrate that you simply can’t be trusted.

                3. I see you’re back with your usual false alternative, in which there is no middle ground between two extremist positions.

                  Your “position” has been that opposition to any measure that makes it “easier” to vote is “voter suppression”. He’s not presenting any “alternative” to that. He’s pointing out the absurdity of it. As usual, you’re demonstrating that you’re not bright enough to understand what you’re responding to.

                  1. Please show me where I said that I am opposed to any measure that makes it easier to vote? If you can’t find where I said that, maybe I’m not the one with the reading comprehension issue.

                    1. Please show me where I said that I am opposed to any measure that makes it easier to vote?

                      Given that I never claimed that you were opposed to any measure that makes it easier to vote, why would I need to point to where you allegedly said that you were?

                      maybe I’m not the one with the reading comprehension issue

                      Clearly you are.

                    2. See your comment directly above: “Your “position” has been that opposition to any measure that makes it “easier” to vote is “voter suppression”.”

                      So you can’t even go back and read what you wrote less than an hour earlier to refresh your memory.

                    3. Jesus tap-dancing Christ…you have got to be in the top 1% of dumbest SOBs on the planet.

                      Your “position” has been that opposition to any measure that makes it “easier” to vote is “voter suppression”.

                      Does NOT mean…

                      You are opposed to any measure that makes it easier to vote.

                      Stop eating those lead-based paint chips for a day or two, will ya’?

                    4. And you’ve got to be in the 1% most dishonest posters here. If you can’t be honest about what I’ve said, then we have nothing to talk about. Go find a house to haunt.

                    5. “Do shenanagins long enough”…

                      Like manipulating the vote?

                    6. What does ‘manipulating the vote’ mean?

                    7. If you can’t be honest about what I’ve said

                      LOL! Your illiteracy and just general stupidity do not constitute dishonesty on my part.

            3. “The very fact that election day is on a Tuesday — a work day for most people — shows that the rules were written to make it harder for people to vote.”

              I’m sorry, that is so stupid! That day was chosen by Congress in 1845. BTW, that’s 9 years before the formation of the Republican party. 🙂

              In addition, in 1845, far fewer people “worked” in the sense that I suspect you are thinking. Far more worked on farms, for example. People also weren’t commuting great distances, either, they lived (and voted) where they worked.

              1. I’m sorry, that is so stupid! Election days are selected by the states. For years Maine’s general election was in September even though the rest of the country voted in November; and in Louisiana, some elections are held on Saturday. There’s no reason any state, or all of them, couldn’t hold elections on the weekend.

                And whatever conditions may have been in 1845, there’s no reason the laws can’t be changed to reflect current reality.

                1. “Election days are selected by the states.”

                  Not for the selection of federal electors.

                2. Krychek – are you denying the facts about Tuesdays being the voting day and why it was chosen? Or do you just believe it should be changed? Just say so, if that’s what you think.

                  1. I think that having it on a Tuesday does not work as well as having it on the weekend, so whatever may have been the reason for making it that way in the first place is irrelevant. There should be early voting because no matter which day is chosen it will end up being inconvenient for some people. At least some early voting days should be on weekends. And the hours at all polling places should be long enough to ensure that whatever your schedule is, there will be a convenient time for you to vote.

                    And I fail to see how any of that would make voting fraud easier.

                  2. OK. It should be changed. Or rather, the voting period should be extended.

                    That’s an obvious no-brainer.

                    1. Bernard,
                      Extended? to September? That is absurd.
                      It is already too long, especially with the internet allowing instant polling every day until the election closes.

                3. And whatever conditions may have been in 1845, there’s no reason the laws can’t be changed to reflect current reality.

                  How does that lessen the stupidity of your claim that…

                  The very fact that election day is on a Tuesday — a work day for most people — shows that the rules were written to make it harder for people to vote.

                  …? Oh, that’s right…it doesn’t.

                  1. Wuz, is it true that when God created you, he realized he was out of brains so he used mashed potatoes instead?

                    Those two sentences are talking about two different things. Since they are talking about two different things, they naturally say different things. This is not a difficult concept to grasp.

                    I was not conceding the claim about 1845; I was saying that *even if* that claim is true, things are different now. I realize that by using multi-syllable words I may be confusing you, but try, just try, reading it to yourself once more.

                    1. Those two sentences are talking about two different things.

                      Uh….

                      “The very fact that election day is on a Tuesday — a work day for most people — shows that the rules were written to make it harder for people to vote.”

                      Remind the class when “the rules were written” with regard to election day being held on a Tuesday.

                      I realize that by using multi-syllable words I may be confusing you, but try, just try, reading it to yourself once more.

                      You remind me of the morbidly obese girl I knew in middle school who constantly called all of the normal-sized kids “fatso”.

                    2. And you remind me of the story about the two boys up on the Florida panhandle who were walking through a cemetery. They found a headstone that said “He is not dead, but sleeping.” One of them turned to the other and said “He ain’t foolin’ nobody but hisself.” And Wuz, neither are you.

                      The claim that the rule came from 1845 is just wrong; Maine for years had its general election in September. But since it’s a minor point, I chose not to take the bait of a thread hijack and instead focused on the broader point, which is that *even if* that claim is true, there’s no reason to keep the rule now that times have changed.

                      Do you honest not get that, or are you deliberately being an ass?

                    3. And by the way, Wuz, agree with me or disagree with me, I at least make substantive comments. You contribute nothing except to toss insults. I told you once that it’s my policy to return fire when fired upon; I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that you’re not even worth the ammunition.

                    4. I at least make substantive comments.

                      Ignorance-based bullshit and demonstrations of fundamental illiteracy do not constitute substantive commentary, no matter what you’ve deluded yourself into believing.

                    5. Like I said, you ain’t fooling nobody but yourself.

                    6. Like I said, you ain’t fooling nobody but yourself.

                      Unlike you, I’m not trying to fool anyone.

                      I paraphrased you.

                      You lying piece of shit.

              2. Where did people actually cast their votes in 1845? I thought most rural voters had to go to the county seat.

            4. Actually, the existence of those issues primarily benefit Democrats. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Republicans may think there is some unfairness there.

            5. K_2,
              Perhaps you believe that all election manipulation has disappeared.
              That was not the case in New England when I grew up, nor was it the case in Cook County when I was in graduate school.
              Even last year I was contact by a “polling service” 2 day after I had mailed by absentee ballot, wanting to know not only the quality of my voting experience but asking for whom I voted. That sharing information from the city/county would be illegal in many places. I consider it a corrupt practice.
              Vote harvesting is another corrupting practice.
              Consequently I believe in strict rules as are practiced in most democracies in developed countries. The extension of the voting period beyond 2 weeks is unnecessary and denies candidates the fullest time to inform the public.

              I have no interest in which political party finds election free-for-alls good or bad. I am interested in reducing all opportunities for corruption.

      2. Ben_, do not dodge my questions, please. They relate directly to your premise—who decides eligibility, and how, and by what power do those particular people make their decisions?

        1. The people who agree to be governed by the results of the vote set the terms of their agreement. When there’s broad disagreement on those terms the government loses its democratic legitimacy and the days are numbered for continuation of a peaceful civil society under that government.

      3. “ID is required almost everywhere and they all think it’s normal.”

        Bitter right-wing clingers pushing international law? Whatever happened to Republicans’ embrace of ‘American exceptionalism?’ These losers are flailing to the point at which they can’t even remember their own bigoted, archaic, silly bullshit.

      4. “ID is required almost everywhere and they all think it’s normal. It’s only a very small minority of people in the US ”

        Poll taxes are expressly forbidden in the US. Normally, this would quiet people who want to demand that people buy something from the government before they can vote, but Republicans are not smart enough to put the two halves together, so they keep repeating the lie that Republican leadership is only interested poll security when they set up such a system.

        Here’s the deal: If you think people need an ID to vote, fine. All you have to do is 1) provide every eligible voter with the ID you find sufficient. 2) make sure they get distributed well before election day rolls around. 3) don’t charge voters for it.

        Is that what you’re doing/advocating? No? Then what you ARE doing is partisan disenfranchisement until proven otherwise. And that’s why it doesn’t have support outside your party.

    2. People and citizens are the government Stephen….

      1. People and citizens are the government Stephen….

        Armchair Lawyer, no. In American constitutionalism, people and citizens have a dual role. Individually, they are subjects of government; jointly, they are sovereign, and rule the government. In neither instance are they identical with the government. If they were the government, you would have read about that in the Constitution. The Constitution is the sovereign Peope’s decree to set forth how their government will be constituted. Nothing in it says the citizens are the government.

    3. Stephen, the only “regulation” sought is to ensure that only those eligible to vote, vote, and that it is difficult to defraud the election process.

      The Democrats and progressives fight this tooth and nail, starting by throwing the race card, that this is an effort to intentionally disenfranchise black voters. It is not, and this feeble and offensive argument is old and tired.

      We have perhaps the least secure voting systems in the ‘civilized’ world, thanks mostly to Democrats and progressives.

      I have no faith in the elections systems, as is, and I’m sure many other Americans have arrived at this point, too. I used to marvel at how, living in NYC and knowing so many who were conservatives, the liberals and progressives, under the Democratic party banner, won all or most of the elections. Now I have come to the conclusion that it’s because they have long ago figured out how to manipulate the elections, as is done is banana republics and quasi-democratic totalitarian states.

      The only way to restore faith in elections and ensure fair and true election results is to enhance vetting of eligibility and anti-fraud measures.

      Drop boxes, ballot harvesting, mailing unsolicited ballots, endless or protracted absentee voting periods, etc., etc., all of the things put into place in 2020, often illegally, have all got to go. We need a voting system that’s at least as secure as our banking systems.

      We are tired of the monkey business!

      1. Why do you want to make it hard to vote? We should make it easy. Even easier.

        1) Rather than even have to go in person, we should have ballots hand delivered to us
        2) Having to mark the ballots is just too hard. We should have them filled in for us ahead of time. To make it easier to vote.
        3) Gosh…actually having to handle the ballots? It should be like autopay. We shouldn’t even need to see the ballots. They should be preselected for us, and we shouldn’t need to do anything at all with them. That would make it super-easy to vote.

        If you disagree with any of this, you’re trying to engage in vote suppression and make it harder to vote.

        1. When you need to strawman expanding the franchise that hard, you’re really telling on yourself.

          You do realize that polling indicates the result of more people voting is not at all clear, and very well help the GOP more than the Dems?
          https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-the-republican-push-to-restrict-voting-could-affect-our-elections/

          The wrong thing to do: Give legislatures unilateral ability to reject their elections’ results. That’s just indefensible.

          1. Now you’re just engaging in voter suppression.

            1. People who have faith in fairy tales but no faith in American elections — and want to make it more difficult for certain people to vote — should not expect to be respected in modern America.

              1. Good ol Rev.

                I’m going to make it super easy for you to vote. You won’t even have to see your ballot it’ll be so easy.
                Don’t ask to see it. That will make it harder for you to vote. Can’t be engaging in voter suppression.

            2. Nah, you’re just not an actual fan of the universal franchise.

              You one of those who only wants people paying taxes to vote? Maybe only landowners? Give everyone an IQ test perhaps?

              1. You got me. I just want US Citizens to vote in US elections. And just those 18 years of age and older. I’m a horrible bigot that way.

                1. We would seem to agree on that, except you equate lowering barriers to voting to the government voting for people. Which seems an odd thing to do, if you think a broad franchise is actually good.

          2. When you need to strawman

            ROFLMAO!!!

        2. Yet another example of why nobody should bother engaging with you.

      2. ThePublius : I have no faith in the elections systems, as is, and I’m sure many other Americans have arrived at this point, too.

        Sure.; That’s what your handlers told you to believe, so you do. Sheepdogs should have so easy a time handling their herd. After all, six months before the election, Trump says he’ll claim fraud if he loses. Three months before the election, Trump says he’ll claim fraud if he loses. One month before the election, he says he’ll claim fraud if he loses. Then the vote count goes against him and he says …. fraud.

        His supporters shriek in anguish, rail in fury, tear their hair in dismay, seethe in anger. What a bunch of dumbass gullible chumps.

        This latest round of voter harassment bills from the GOP now stretch back twenty years. That’s a long time in which one side was eager to produce evidence of fraud to justify their suppression tactics. But they produce nothing. Trump had an “Voting Fraud Commission”. It finds nothing. After this past election the Right make a frenzied effort to find fraud, any fraud. The results are a joke.

        So ThePublius believes our elections are corrupted by fraud? Hey, why not? He probably also believes in the Tooth Fairy – and on an equal evidentiary basis. If Trump told him to believe in the Tooth Fairy that’s a certainty…..

        1. If you think that elections have never been corrupted – never rigged, ballot boxes never stuffed, etc., etc., – then you are completely naive. What a rube!

          1. You see you you had to add in ‘never?’ Needing to add in a superlative qualifier like that is a clue you’re not arguing against the comment you’re replying to.

            1. “You see you you had to add in ‘never?’ Needing to add in a superlative qualifier like that is a clue you’re not arguing against the comment you’re replying to.”

              You think ThePublius was originally arguing that all elections are corrupted by fraud?

              1. If only there was a middle ground between never and always.

                1. S_0,
                  Up to the year 2000. Would that satisfy the “between.”

                2. There’s no middle ground between ThePublius’ two positions on this issue.

                  Position One starts off with him claiming he has no faith in the elections systems. According to ThePublius, Democrats have “long ago figured out how to manipulate the elections, as is done is banana republics and quasi-democratic totalitarian states”

                  So I point out he’s a conspiracy-addled freak; completely at odds with reality; living in a fevered dream world of his own making; at odds with all evidence, none of which supports his unhinged fantasy

                  So ThePublius retreats to Position Two: Election fraud has happened before. You can’t say it’s never occurred. There are examples if you root through history.

                  But that’s not what he said in the beginning, is it?

                3. “If only there was a middle ground between never and always.”

                  So we agree that our elections are sometimes corrupted by fraud? Not always, not never, but sometimes?

                  Great. It sounds like we should be discussing ways to make them more secure. Why don’t you guys want to do that?

                  1. We can agree that ‘have been’ and ‘are’ are different words.

                  2. TwelveInchPianist : “So we agree that our elections are sometimes corrupted by fraud? (etc)”

                    This game sounds fun!

                    So you, TwelveInchPianist, admit assault weapons are sometimes used to commit a crime? Great. It sounds like we should be discussing ways to make them more harder to buy. Why don’t you guys want to do that?

                    Note : TIP’s little rhetorical feint is, of course, pathetic. It can universally extended to justify anything and everything. I chose guns because gun nutness is a right-wingers most heart-felt religion. Poor God long ago accepted He’ll have to accept second place on that front.

            2. that is a clue you’re not arguing against the comment you’re replying to

              ROFLMAO!!!!

      3. “Stephen, the only “regulation” sought is to ensure that only those eligible to vote, vote, and that it is difficult to defraud the election process.”

        Your team needs to work on its talking points, since it’s obvious that many of the new regulations have nothing to do with this. How do any of the following types of changes improve election security:

        – Reduction of (in-person) early voting hours
        – Reduction of number of (in-person) polling places
        – Removing the option for drive through voting, where the requirements and mechanics are otherwise identical to voting inside a building
        – Prohibition on giving food or water to people in line

        None of these changes have anything to do with limiting voting to people who are eligible to do so–they’re pure impediments to access to the ballot box.

        1. – Reduction of (in-person) early voting hours
          – Reduction of number of (in-person) polling places
          – Removing the option for drive through voting, where the requirements and mechanics are otherwise identical to voting inside a building
          – Prohibition on giving food or water to people in line

          What were you just saying about regurgitating B.S. talking points?

          1. Oh, so your contention is that these things haven’t been included in at least one state’s new restrictions on voting?

            1. Reduction relative to some local Covid excused ’emergency’ election law violations? Sure, you’ll find that.

              Reduction relative to the legal status quo ante? Not so sure you can point to that.

              Really, what’s going on is that state legislatures watched the executive branch and local officials use Covid as an excuse to make all sorts of ad hoc changes to election administration, often in direct violation of the laws the legislature had enacted.

              Some of those changes the legislatures decided were worth adopting, at least in part. Some of them they rejected, and are trying to prevent repeats of.

              1. That’s not what the new rules do, Brett. They seem specifically focused on letting a legislature reject a slate of electors for any reason at all.

                That seems quite a separate cure from the issues you have.

                1. They seem specifically focused on letting a legislature reject a slate of electors for any reason at all.

                  That is bad, too bad it’s a strawman. Which one of these does that?

                  – Reduction of (in-person) early voting hours
                  – Reduction of number of (in-person) polling places
                  – Removing the option for drive through voting, where the requirements and mechanics are otherwise identical to voting inside a building
                  – Prohibition on giving food or water to people in line

                  1. The real goal is to make it harder for voters who don’t vote Republican to vote and have their votes counted. Pretending otherwise is a waste of everybody’s time.

      4. At least as secure as our banking system?

        You mean, the banking system where I can deposit a check anywhere by taking a picture on my phone? The banking system with a robust and pervasive ATM network allowing me to take out money just about anywhere, any time, including shady casino lobbies and bodega corners? The one where I can charge anything to my card or checking account online just by having some basic information handy – you know, with a three digit code being the only thing confirming I actually own the physical copy of the credit or debit card? That one?

        There’s absolutely no reason to not want voting to be secure, to confirm that the only votes being cast are validly cast by legal votes, etc. The problem is that Republicans have people like you believing that the only possible way to do that is by making voting more difficult – requiring being physically present during business hours, with government-issued ID itself contingent upon producing some other sets of official government records, subjected to the scrutiny of poll-watchers, having registered some weeks in advance, with layers and layers of ways to have your vote rejected or registration expunged. That’s just false.

        We can make drop boxes secure. We can make mail-in ballots secure. None of this is actually hard. We can make voting easy and secure.

        1. The banking system gets its security for those things by having great traceability, and by allowing roll-backs of improper behavior. You can deposit a check by phone because your bank knows who you are, and the law will come after you if you deposit a forged check. With voting, secrecy is a paramount virtue, and this conflicts with security through that kind of traceability.

          Are you willing to have your name and your voting record permanently part of public records in order to “make voting easy and secure”?

          1. You can actually make voting about as secure as banking, you just can’t do it while maximizing convenience. Voting in person with secure ID can be pretty secure. Voting by mail? Basically impossible for it to be secure.

            1. ” Voting by mail? Basically impossible for it to be secure.”

              Incorrect. If this is you showing off your engineering prowess, I don’t want to use any products you designed.

              The main limit on ballot security is our collective demand that ballots be secret. This is what prevents two-way authentication of ballot to voter and voter to ballot. If we chose to allow two-way authentication of ballots and voters, then you could implement all kinds of information security on the whole process.

      5. “Stephen, the only “regulation” sought is to ensure that only those eligible to vote, vote, and that it is difficult to defraud the election process. ”

        This is an obvious and transparent lie. That’s why people aren’t backing what you actually ARE trying to do, which is disenfranchise people who don’t vote for your party’s candidates.

    4. Unfortunately there are plenty that see voting a privilege they would reserve to those that think like themselves. They use voter security and uniformity to justify limiting the privilege.

      I have said that I have no quarrel with requiring IDs, but the ID requirement should be that required to achieve the purpose and nothing more. Any ID that meets the requirement to match a face with a name should be accepted at the polls. I accept that a more stringent ID is required to register, but not to match your face with name in a poll book.

      Uniformity is often cited with less populated areas as the model. I wonder how far could one take uniformity. What if we told rural voters in a town of 500 that they were required to stand at the polling place for 1 hour to insure uniformity with polls in the larger cities where people have to waiting in line to vote. Seems absurd but so does limiting voting time in large cities to those in smaller rural areas.

      1. It seems to me that resources scale with population and wealth, and cities tend to be wealthier. And voting precincts are generally equalized by population in most states, at least approximately.

        So, why exactly should the waits be longer in the cities than the rural areas? Mismanagement by urban governments that have seen one party control for over 50 years?

        I have, in fact, had to wait in line at my polling place for over an hour. In a thunderstorm. In a decidedly rural precinct. 1994, the turnout in my rural precinct came close to 100%, and the line went around the building several times.

        1. Your first assumption that polling sites are scaled is not necessarily correct. A small rural town has 500 voters, now for a city of half a million that would translate to 1000 voting sites in the city. So there has to be some accommodation for size. Mail in voting is one simple effective way to accomplish this. The fact is that the November 2020 election had both high turnout and high integrity and this speaks to the value of mail in balloting.

          1. And, what the hell is wrong with a thousand voting sites in a city? Back in Michigan, by law, a precinct could have no more than 2,999 active voters, or else it had to be split up. By that standard, NYC would have to have about 1800 precincts.

            Somehow Michigan survives having huge numbers of precincts, I suppose NYC is too poor to manage it?

            Really, it does come down to local mismanagement, doesn’t it?

            1. A polling site has to be staffed. You need a couple of site leaders, staffing for greeting, check-in, ballot distribution, possibly registration, tabulator tending. Some of the work tables need to be doubled up by law. You also need floater and generally two shifts worth of people. If you figure a dozen people per shift and 1000 sites that 24,000 people for staffing for a about 4 days as year.

              Traditionally manning polling places was old peoples work. Retired people. In 2020, the risk of Covid19 expose meant fewer old people. Lots of young people. Who by the way worked really hard and were then labeled criminals by the Republicans.

              1. Staffing polling places is a serious problem. Many, if not most, are understaffed, with curbstone elections commonly required at dawn simply to fill the mandatory positions.

              2. Again, states actually manage to pull this off with maximum precinct population standards. Are you saying that NYC is too poor to do what rural precincts in Michigan can?

                “Who by the way worked really hard and were then labeled criminals by the Republicans.”

                Only if they violated election laws. Which election workers are ideally situated to do, in the same way accountants are ideally situated to commit embezzlement. Seriously, when you’re talking election security, 90% needs to be pointed at the people running the election, nobody is in a better position to steal an election than them.

                1. The poll workers are running the elections. They are doing the leg work to check people in, to prepare absentee ballots to be counted and keeping tallies. What Republicans don’t want to say is that your neighbor who work the polls is a criminal. Yet they imply that by saying there was fraud. How do you get massive fraud without massive people involved?

            2. “what the hell is wrong with a thousand voting sites in a city?”

              Voters don’t want to pay for that.

      2. Any ID that meets the requirement to match a face with a name should be accepted at the polls.

        So…an utterly worthless ID then.

        1. No just that we should allow any form of ID that meets the needs for the task. At the polls an ID is required to match a face with a name. Just that simple. Remember the person is already registered and in the poll book. So why not accept student IDs or why not accept work IDs. You employer has checked you out has your SS number. Many employers in health care field are very careful about identifying there employees. You go to the ER and see nurse name and picture on the ID badge, do you think maybe they are not who they say they are? So why not let that nurse show their badge at the poll to show they are the name in the poll book.

          1. “So why not accept student IDs or why not accept work IDs.”

            It’s simple enough: Does the organization issuing the ID actually require decent proof you are who you say you are? Some student IDs will qualify, some will not. Some work IDs will qualify, some will not.

            Here are the requirements in South Carolina. Note that you can walk into any elections office or DMV and get the ID free with minimal proof. (I actually think they’re too lax in that regard, knowing the last four digits of somebody’s SS number hardly proves you’re them.)

            1. Well if as you say some student IDs and some work IDs are acceptable then why not accept those IDs? I have worked for employer that required criminal background checks. Why would a work ID from such an employer not be good enough?

            2. “Does the organization issuing the ID actually require decent proof you are who you say you are? Some student IDs will qualify”

              Back when I was an undergraduate, my student ID card had my Social Security Number on it. Later on, when my daughter attended the same university, they no longer used SSN as identifying numbers. I currently have a “Real ID” driver’s license. To get it, I had to provide a birth certificate to the DMV. But the DMV counter clerk didn’t even TRY to verify my footprint against the one on the birth certificate.

          2. At the polls an ID is required to match a face with a name. Just that simple.

            Well, no…that’s not the need for the task. The need is verify that the person voting is actually the person on the registration roll that they’re purporting to be. I can paste a photo of myself on a piece of paper on which I’ve also typed a name. That is in no way a reliable way of verifying that the name I typed is my own. That’s why the requirement is generally for state-issued IDs, because those IDs tend to use relatively standardized requirements and mechanisms that are pretty effective (though no process is perfect) at preventing ID fraud. There are no such standards for student IDs, employer IDs, etc. I would further point out that anyone who has any legitimate instance of one of those types of IDs would also have no trouble at all acquiring a state-issued ID, so that requirement isn’t going to prevent them from voting.

  4. Another week, another lawsuit against the Biden Administration for violating equal protection:

    https://www.hendersonvillestandard.com/news/state/tennessee-farmer-sues-usda-over-loan-forgiveness-program/article_de09e757-9958-5e66-b3ae-339e97bbf739.html

    This time it’s Tennessee farmer Robert Holman, who is unable to access a Federal loan forgiveness program because his skin color is not the preferred skin color of the Biden Administration.

    Lawsuits have now been filed by farmers in Wyoming, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Florida. An injunction was issued against the SBA last month for another skin color based loan forgiveness program for restaurants.

    1. Lawsuit filed isn’t really proof of much.

      But keep on with your crusade for the benighted white man in America. The racial spoils system worked great for centuries, lets lock in those gains!

      1. Sarcastro, I thought you were against discriminating against the mentally ill.:

        “Whiteness is a condition one first acquires and then one has-a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which “white” people have a particular susceptibility. The condition is foundational, generating characteristic ways of being in one’s body, in one’s mind, and in one’s world. Parasitic Whiteness renders its hosts’ appetites voracious, insatiable, and perverse.”

        1. Oh, damn, you found a shitty article the NY Post highlighted.

          Do you think I’m bound to agree with and defend it or something?

          1. “Do you think I’m bound to agree with and defend it or something?”

            Yes. Apparently he’s been teaching classes on the subject as well.

            1. Do you think my thesis is that there are no liberal idiot teachers in America?

              You’ve got a real problem with reading comprehension.

              1. So, what you’re saying is there really IS something to those laws banning state schools from teaching CRT, because there ARE liberal idiot teachers who’d teach what was being banned?

                1. This isn’t CRT.

                  And no, I don’t think a bad paper means lets regulate speech.

                  1. So, what you’re saying is that the idiot teacher SHOULD be permitted to teach this crap. On the taxpayer’s dime.

                    1. I don’t think it’s established that the teacher is teaching this.

                      But even if they are, the fix is not the blunt instrument of regulating educational speech.

                    2. “So, what you’re saying is that the idiot teacher SHOULD be permitted to teach this crap. On the taxpayer’s dime.”

                      You didn’t ask me, but I’m going to answer anyway. I think schools should be teaching students to think critically. To be skeptical towards any information source, specifically including the school itself, and it should do this even if the parents are NOT teaching critical thinking in the home.
                      “How do you know that?” is a valid question. Everywhere but in church.

      2. It’s proof that a couple of conservative legal foundations have chosen this area to pursue lawsuits. What isn’t clear, at least from the linked article, is if these rules being challenged are new with the Biden Administration, as Ben_ seems to be suggesting.

        1. The American Rescue Plan

          Took me almost no time at all to confirm that, yes, it is new with the Biden administration. Why, did it seem like something you’d expect of the Trump administration?

          1. Okay, fair enough, although I think all the snark around here is rubbing off on you. I gave up expecting anything out of the Trump Administration, or being surprised by things they said and did.

            And the part being challenged is one tiny part of a huge stimulus bill which was passed by both houses of Congress, so it really isn’t technically just a Biden Administration action.

            1. Well, no, plenty of members of Congress, mostly Democrats, are guilty of this, too.

      3. Yeah, I suppose the lawsuit could be dismissed on the basis that the policy was fictional. You want to bet that’s going to happen?

        Oh, wait. Seems the policy is real, they actually are explicitly discriminating on the basis of race.

      4. Are you denying that Biden’s farm aid is explicitly for black farmers only?

        1. Did I write that?

          But I’m game – I like these minority subsidies. Hardly the only subsidies out there. And dealing with existing and intentional inequities well within the lifetime of those receiving it.

          Have you bothered to read anything of those explaining why such a subsidy might be called for, or are you content to just get big mad without checking into it?

          1. Have you bothered to read anything of those explaining why such a subsidy might be called for…

            Of course, what victim of discrimination wouldn’t want to read all about why that discrimination is a great idea! I am sure Jews being “deported” from Germany would’ve felt better after reading Mein Kampf!

            1. Uh, this ain’t the Holocaust dude.

              1. Surely you can see that this country is only a short distance away from loading all the white folks up on boxcars to send them to the death camps. You’ve got armed government agents killing unarmed white folks in the streets already, and a large faction saying it only matters when they accidentally kill a black one.

                The tension is palpable. Ask Special Ed about it, he’ll back me up on this one. If the white man can’t catch a break in this country, it’ll turn violent for sure.

          2. “But I’m game – I like these minority subsidies. Hardly the only subsidies out there. And dealing with existing and intentional inequities well within the lifetime of those receiving it.”

            Meh. How about limiting subsidies to farmers who are natural persons, instead?

        2. I am denying that. Because it isn’t true.

          1. It’s also for some other races the Biden Administration prefers.

      5. It’s very telling that you think explicit, intentional racial discrimination by government is not facially wrong and injurious.

        Such discrimination also happens to be a constitutional rights violation. If we needed yet another indication that libs think constitutional rights of the wrong people don’t matter, we have one here.

        1. Oh, save it. Your reductive ‘if it’s not racially blind, it’s evil!’ is more about white grievance than it is about addressing social problems.

          You do realize that right after the Civil War, those who wrote the 14A created a racial subsidy system, right?

          1. Are you endorsing going back to pre-1900s jurisprudence? (Spoilers: no, it’s just more unprincipled double standard bullshit from people who only pretend to have standards for show.)

            If you want to pay black farmers, pay them yourself or hold a fundraiser. Government is supposed to govern for all Americans, not for one race of Americans against another race of Americans.

            1. Ben_, far more recently than a century ago this nation’s government systematically denied to black farmers federal aid that was extended to white farmers. What is wrong with targeting some aid to black farmers now, to make up for that history?

              1. It doesn’t target the specific individuals who were harmed. It just discriminates based on race.

                1. Exactly, and that’s the tell that reveals the people defending the policy are racists: They don’t think that matters. The specific individuals involved are just interchangeable instances of their racial groups, with no entitlement AT ALL to be treated as individuals.

                  1. People who are dead are beyond receiving justice for wrongs done to them. But their heirs are still alive.

                2. You are mixing up fixing a problem with a punishment.

                  1. Nope.

                    And of course you think throwing money at people is “fixing a problem”. How much money? When will it ever be “fixed”? When will you not be pushing some dramatic historical grievance and using it to excuse discrimination based on race?

                    1. “And of course you think throwing money at people is ‘fixing a problem’.”

                      If the problem is “in the past, we didn’t give you money like we should have”, then yes, the problem is fixed by saying “so, now we’re giving you money.” What do you think courts do with money damages?

                    2. It’s really nice having Pollock muted. Saves having to wade through the substance-free bullshit he posts.

                3. Ben_, that is all that happened with the original malign policy. It didn’t target individual black farmers for deprivation, it targeted them all, based on race. Are you fine with that? Are you fine with leaving it uncompensated?

                  1. The program doesn’t compensate them. It doesn’t seek to identify them individually so they can be compensated.

                    Nor are the requirements even notionally tied to anything in the past. Are the farmers getting loan forgiveness in any way related to whomever was a victim of whatever in the past? The program doesn’t ask and doesn’t care.

                    It just discriminates based on race.

            2. You’re into pre-1900s jurisprudence; I’m asking you to stick to your principles.

              Me, I don’t need to rely on originalism to think this is fine.

              But the point is that whatever method of Constitutional interpretation you rely on, you’ve not got a leg to stand on.

              Which is probably why you suddenly switched from ‘constitutional rights violation’ to ‘bad policy.

              1. No one switched to anything. It’s a constitutional rights violation. We will see that decision from the courts eventually.

    2. Yea that’s the new MO. Just pass blatantly unconstitutional crap and then force folks to eliminate by lawsuit.

      14A like most of the constitution is pretty simple. CRA is pretty simple. And it’s skin color neutral.

      1. Oh yea? Which part of the 14A prohibits the federal government from prioritizing grants of aid to certain racial groups? Which Section, specifically?

          1. Section 1 does not contain any prohibitions against federal action. It says “No State shall” and “nor shall any State…”

            1. You caught me. I’m not a lawyer.

              1. “You caught me. I’m not a lawyer.”

                … or very bright.

    3. The same men who drafted and adopted the equal protection clause turned right around and passed federal aid programs limited to black farmers. Whatever objection you may have to the Biden program, the fourteenth amendment – at least as it was originally understood – has nothing to do with it.

  5. There were several places that featured ranked choice voting in their primaries this month. What were the results?

    Did any first-place losers or second-place losers actually walk away with an election?

    1. This is what happened in Portland, ME:
      “Heading into the instant runoff, Nasreen Sheikh-Yousef, a progressive Democrat, led with 22.4 percent of the vote, followed by Steven Dimillo, a Republican businessman who had 21.1 percent. They were followed by Marpheen Chann (17 percent), Benjamin Grant (12.4 percent) and Catherine Buxton (11.2 percent).

      But, after a series of runoffs in which a computer redistributed votes based on voters’ rankings, City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said that final winners were Chann, Sheikh-Yousef, Buxton and Washburn. Washburn had only 4.2 percent, or 367, first-place votes heading into the runoff, but ended up beating DiMillo, who had 1,873 first-place votes.”

      1. Meaning DiMillio was likely the most chosen by Republicans to win, and the least chosen by everyone else in any other spot. Chann was few peoples’ first choice, but many preferred Chann as an alternative.

        1. Chann wasn’t the one who beat him, Washburn was. The guy who got 4% of 1st place votes.

          1. I totally misread. But they all beat him if I’m reading correctly now so just substitute all their names for “Chann.”

            1. They beat him because there were 8 democrats and 2 republicans, so conservative voters got to rank 1st and 2nd choice, while liberal voters got to rank 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. RCV basically makes it so the party/ideology with more candidates wins any race that doesn’t have an outright majority 1st choice. In single seat races in Maine it is almost always 1 republican and at least 2 dems/greens/socialists/liberal independents, so in practice the republican has to get a majority 1st choice to win, while a liberal could win with literally one 1st place vote. Same would be true in a state where you get multiple republican/libertarian/conservative independents and one democrat.

              1. You’re not actually given a ballot with only democratic candidates or only Republican candidates based on party affiliation, you know. And I’d like to see support for your assertion that gop voters in Maine only voted for gop candidates.

                But I hear you, the Republican didn’t win, so ranked choice voting is unfair.

                1. It is not unfair. It sucks.
                  Let cities pay for real runoff elections.

                2. Instant runoff voting has a lot of technical flaws that make it worse than almost every other ballot counting system, arguably including first-past-the-post.

              2. VT, you don’t understand how ranked choice voting works. In your example, if 26% of people ranked the two republicans 1 and 2, and 25% ranked them 2 and 1, one of the republicans would have won.

                If a democrat won, it’s because more people voted for a democrat than a republican. That’s how voting is supposed to work.

                You were obviously hoping that the Democratic vote would split 8 ways, so a Republican would win with a minority share. That’s what ranked choice is there to fix. So sorry that your preferred method of cheating won’t work anymore.

              3. “RCV basically makes it so the party/ideology with more candidates wins any race that doesn’t have an outright majority 1st choice.”

                This is a stupid claim. In your 8-2 scenario, the smaller party will have their 2 candidates ranked 1 and 2 by their party’s supporters, and the other candidates will all be ranked 3-10. The larger party’s candidates will be ranked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. splitting the 1 and 2 votes across more candidates, They’re going to lose unless there are ALSO 4 times as many voters supporting that side. If there ARE 4 times as many voters on that side, then that side SHOULD win, but if there are only 3.8 or 3.9x as many, the advantage goes to the smaller party. Absent ranked-choice, the advantage is even bigger.

      2. Ranked choice voting interacts oddly with multiple seat at large elections, it seems. I favor it, but think it should only be used for single seat districts.

        1. It interacts oddly in every election and shouldn’t be used ever. Approval voting achieves all the same non-partisan goals as RCV, without the deliberate partisan outcomes. And they are deliberate. During the referendum campaign in Maine supporters said the quite part out loud, claiming they wanted to pass RCV to prevent Republicans from being elected. It’s been pretty effective.

          1. In a single seat district, if a majority of the voters would prefer that the Republican not win, then the Republican should not win. It’s as simple as that.

            That they initially have trouble deciding which non-Republican to vote for instead doesn’t change that.

            I do prefer runoff elections, though.

            What I really can’t abide are jungle primaries. The general election is the only election that matters, constitutionally. Denying a party access to the general election ballot really renders the right to vote a joke.

            Remember, when we established democracy in America, you could vote for anyone you pleased, that was what it MEANT to have the right to vote. Restrictive ballot access only showed up when the government started pre-printing ballots, and seized on that as an opportunity to limit the franchise.

            1. Agree completely.

              But I do think to choose a voting system you first need to decide on theory of representation. Are we voting for people, or for parties? Do legislators represent their district, their party, or the particular people who voted for them?

              A lot of complaints seem to be based on the premise that we’re “really” voting on which party should control a legislature or Congress. I’m not. I’m voting on the list of names in front of me and the party names attached are just one factor out of many.

              1. Sure, I’m just saying that the general election ballot should be open to anyone who meets some minimum standard, say a trivial filing fee and meeting the qualifications for the office. And you have to allow write in votes for anyone the voter pleases.

                Otherwise you’re not providing the write to vote as it was understood at the time it was guaranteed. A right to vote for whoever you damned well pleased.

              2. I think people use party affiliation as a convenient way to explain ranked-choice voting. But that’s not the reason behind ranked-choice. If it were, there are better ways to accomplish that sort of voting system.

                Ranked-choice isn’t perfect (no voting system is perfect) but it is better than most-votes or runoff elections assuming the goal is to elect the person with the most support among the electorate.

              3. “Are we voting for people, or for parties?”

                I know that I’m more likely voting AGAINST parties, and I don’t know how common that is, but I suspect it’s very common.

            2. “What I really can’t abide are jungle primaries. The general election is the only election that matters, constitutionally. Denying a party access to the general election ballot really renders the right to vote a joke.”

              Just right!

              1. ” Denying a party access to the general election ballot”

                If the people don’t want the party to be represented, the people don’t want the party to be represented. That’s the danger of appealing to the base but not the general public.

  6. What are the cons going to do once Trump is no longer a player (e.g. heart attack, goes insane, etc.)?

    His political successes (whatever they may be), are ONLY a result of him being a megalomaniac and – bluntly – a bully.

    It’s certainly not because of his political acumen or tact.

    So, again, the question is, what are you going to do once he’s out of the picture?

    In the past generation, look at the milquetoast Presidents and candidates you’ve had (Bushes, Romney, McCain).

    Trump was and is clearly an outlier.

    Certainly no one (currently) can even come close to Trump’s cultist personality.

    Good luck and please don’t go into the abyss looking for your next leader.

    1. Actually, right now it’s looking like DeSantis is the current contender to replace Trump. As you’d know if you actually followed right-wing politics. Odds are Trump will make noises about running until the 2024 primary season, to draw the Democrats’ attention and scare off establishment candidates, then endorse DeSantis. Although there’s a chance it might be a joint ticket, with Trump stepping down after the election, just so he can tick that “got elected twice” box.

      For a number of reasons. First, Trump will be older than dirt by 2024, and especially towards the end of a second term, and knows it.

      Second, Millenia does not want to go through THAT again.

      Now, as to your aspersions against Trump…

      EVERYBODY with the gall to run for President is something of a megalomaniac. Just thinking you’re fit for the job, and could win the election, confirms THAT diagnosis.

      Trump was not ideal by any means, and most of his supporters did not think he was. Rather, he had the combination of traits necessary to bust through the party establishment’s lock on the nomination.

      You can talk about a cult of personality, but in Trump’s case the real cult was among the opponents, an anti-cult that treated him as a kind of political anti-Christ, uniquely bad.

      1. ‘but in Trump’s case the real cult was among the opponents’

        There’s a whole right-wing movement that believe he was sent by God to defeat a cabal of elite child abusing Satanists, whose members happened to mostly include everyone seen as an opponent of Trump. I’m not sure thinking Trump is a corrupt incompetent serial liar is quite in the same league.

        1. Not “God”. But for the first time in a long time, there’s a large group of Americans who actually had a politician who listened to them.

          1. I’d say they fell for a smooth-talking grifter but by no stretch of the imagination could you call his speech smooth.

            1. All the candidates who do well in primaries are smooth talking grifters, you hope that the winner won’t JUST be a smooth talking grifter. Trump was hired to be a wrecking ball, by a party base who were sick of one establishment pick after another. He could have done more wrecking, if you ask me; I was hoping he’d play Samson in the Temple when the party establishment started sabotaging him.

              You can’t understand the GOP if you don’t understand that there’s a civil war going on between the party’s voting base and the entrenched establishment, and has been since the late 90’s. Trump was just the latest and most successful effort to oust them.

              1. You certainly taught everyone not to trust people who hire wrecking balls when they don’t get their way.

                1. The whole POINT of voting is getting your way. If the base of a party can’t get their way out of the party, if voting repeatedly produces candidates who go on to do something other than what they ran on doing, something’s broken.

                  In the case of the GOP, it’s an entrenched establishment who don’t believe anything they’re telling the rubes, who have been running a bait and switch operation for decades. Only the rubes have gotten wise to them, and are trying to find somebody who will actually deliver the bridge they paid for.

                  Maybe the bridge can’t be delivered. Or maybe it’s just that the establishment doesn’t WANT to deliver it. How will they know if they can’t get people in office who aren’t running the bait and switch?

                  1. You get your way if enough people vote the same way as you. If they don’t, you don’t, or you have to reach a compromise with the representatives of the people who voted differently. Or you start a systemic campaign of voter suppression and and start refusing to accept the electoral victories of the other side. To get YOUR way.

                    1. Nige – you’re forgetting the base is the majority. He WAS giving those people their way. As for compromise – that’s all the base has been doing for years is compromising. We vote in a GOP rep or president who then goes and does way less than what he promises. Why should we sit back anymore?

                    2. Well, now we’ve seen what happens, yet again, when you get your way. No wonder you’ll be relying on voter supression and the electoral college going forward.

              2. Brett Bellmore : Trump was hired to be a wrecking ball

                OK, two questions :
                1. Of what?
                2. How?

                Because it’s not like Trump actually “drained the swamp”. His administration was the most corrupt in recent history, something that can be quantified by tallying the officials high&low who resigned in disgrace. And it’s not like Trump introduced any reforms in governance. Instead he fought the ones that existed tooth and nail.

                Of course I already know the answer. Brett’s “wrecking ball” shtick refers to one thing & one alone : President Troll’s brat child theatrics. Donald John Trump wiped his fat lard butt on the Office of the Presidency. Some people (our Brett included) felt their little hearts race with thrill at that spectacle. Such contempt for our country’s highest political position! It was better even than watching pro wrestling…..

                1. Now do Hunter. Phew hypocrisy

              3. RE: GOP civil war

                Hasn’t the cause of that war been the GOP’s decades-long duplicity relative to its base? Ever since Reagan, it has served big business and the wealthy while pitching platitudes like “trickle-down” to its base of largely poor white men. It has stoked culture wars that it never really cared about, just to keep its base frothy and afraid. The base internalized the rhetoric and now it wants its due.

            2. But he listened to them. As opposed to speaking at them.

              1. There was a whole pavlovian feedback loop going on there that was horrifying to behold.

                1. It’s just populism. And it does not have a good history of ending well.

                  1. Populism isn’t WHY things don’t end well, it’s a WAY things don’t end well. You only get populism because democracy was already dysfunctional.

                    1. According to whom? The party protected by antiquated structural advantages that gives them power disproportionatly larger than the number of people who vote for them? What have they got to be mad about? Not the current democratic system, that’s for sure.

                    2. According to the voters, who go in for populism because the democracy isn’t working.

                    3. I suppose it depends on what they want democracy to do, and what they’re willing to go with instead.

                    4. Ahh yes, the argument that Trump and the people that voted for him are a symptom, not the problem.

                      No agency for my people – all accountability on those other guys!

                    5. Brett Bellmore : You only get populism because democracy was already dysfunctional.

                      People who sell the romance that Trump arose from the downtrodden & forgotten Unheard-of-America need to get out more. They need a broader view — because the whole world is currently awash in Trumps. There’s one in India inciting religious mobs. The one in Turkey is dismantling a secular state. We have a Trump in Hungry who is Jew-baiting and one in Poland sabotaging democratic safeguards. Trumps wait in the wings in France and Germany, and they are a truly ugly bunch. And let’s not forget the granddaddy Trump of them all, Putin.

                      Each one has a different Others to feed to the mob and stoke its rage, but otherwise they’re remarkably similar. The only distinction with our Trump is he’s stupider & more incompetent than the rest. As for cause, my theory is simple : It’s a delayed reaction from the economic trauma of the Great Recession. There is precedence in history for a wave of Right-wing demagogies following world-wide economic calamity.

                2. Why is that “horrifying”? What about his policies, or what was talked about during that loop, was horrifying to you? Name an example.

                  1. The covid response.

                    1. This is a cop out. What would a Dem administration done differently, within the confines of the law? The federal government’s job is to recommend what should be done, NOT mandate it. That’s the state’s job, and Trump never once tried to overrule a single state. He may have stated that shutting down for long periods were wrong, but he never did anything legally to stop states from making those choices.

                      Thanks for this example. Because it’s proof that you believe in a narrative, and the facts mean nothing.

                    2. He was rubbish. Incompetent. All over the place. Constantly in denial, contradicting himself, one minute sucking up to China, the next minute on about the King Flu. One minute dismissing it, the next praising himself for sorting it out. He lied, he shifted blame, he generally flailed and fucked up all around him.

                    3. Nige : “He was rubbish. Incompetent. All over the place”

                      An excellent list that lacks only one thing – but it’s perhaps the most important of them all : He was bored.

                      The pandemic bored Trump. He didn’t want to bother with it; he didn’t want to think about it; he didn’t want to work at it. For a while he hoped it would spread in heavily populated Blue-America alone, so he could blame Democrats while asking nothing from his base, but that didn’t pan out. Then he tried getting excited by preforming at his daily presser, playing with his doctors like a child her dolls. But bleach and UV light killed that.

                      Mostly though, he was just bored with the subject.

                    4. Nige, can you stop throwing adjectives for a moment, and actually describe a policy you found objectionable?

              2. That’s absolutely delusional.

                1. It’s what the supporters of every populist have always said.

                  Parasocial relationships turn out to be a helluva drug.

            3. I see. When voters favor a candidate of your they were decisive. But if they choose someone you don’t like, then they “fell for” the guy

              1. The GOP lies to its voters much more than Democrats do, and Trump lied to his voters even more than that. So yeah I think “fell for” is appropriate in Trump’s case.

                Look at all these poor Trumpers heading to federal prison because he incited them with lies at a rally. They are certainly feeling conned.

          2. ” a large group of Americans who actually had a politician who listened to them ”

            Where large group = poorly educated racists, superstitious gay-bashers, disaffected clingers, obsolete misogynists, selfish xenophobes, science-disdaining hayseeds, White supremacists, fringe academics, often libertarian posers . . .

        2. Nige – how many people fit that “cabal” moniker? Quantify it, or admit you’re just tarring a bunch of people with a broad brush.

          1. I do not, personally, believe in the cabal that supporters of Trump claim to believe in, so that’s a rabbit hole you can go explore for yourself if you want it Quantified.

            1. So once again, it’s “never mind the facts; my mind is made up.” I’m detecting a pattern…

              1. Are you saying there isn’t a whole right-wing movement that believe he was sent by God to defeat a cabal of elite child abusing Satanists, whose members happened to mostly include everyone seen as an opponent of Trump?

                1. Oh, I’m sure there’s such a movement. Whether they’d all fit in a Holiday Inn with enough room for a Shriner’s convention left over, or the Shriners would need some overflow space, is another matter.

                  1. One recent study found that 15-20% of the population – that is, upwards of 60 million people – believe in QAnon. That’d be one hell of a Holiday Inn.

                    https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2021/05/27/poll–15-20–of-americans-believe-in-core-qanon-conspiracy-theories

                    1. I don’t believe the absolute number – people increasingly like to screw with pollsters.

                      But based on unique social media counts alone, we’re talking low millions.

                    2. Isn’t there a bit of space between believing in QAnon, and being a member of a cabal?

                    3. The Cabal is what QAnon fights, not QAnon itself!

                    4. Like S-0, I think the absolute numbers are fanciful.

              2. Bad news for you I Callahan – QAnon is a thing that exists, and has a buncha adherents.

      2. There’s a decent bit in the Atlantic about the “4 Americas”

        There’s a major demographic Democrats just forgot about, and who Trump spoke to. It’s why he won.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/07/george-packer-four-americas/619012/

        1. From the Atlantic article.

          Trump’s language was effective because it was attuned to American pop culture. It required no expert knowledge and had no code of hidden meanings. It gave rise almost spontaneously to memorable phrases: “Make America great again.” “Drain the swamp.” “Build the wall.” “Lock her up.” “Send her back.” It’s the way people talk when the inhibitors are off, and it’s available to anyone willing to join the mob. Trump didn’t try to shape his people ideologically with new words and concepts. He used the low language of talk radio, reality TV, social media, and sports bars, and to his listeners this language seemed far more honest and grounded in common sense than the mincing obscurities of “politically correct” experts. His populism brought Jersey Shore to national politics. The goal of his speeches was not to whip up mass hysteria but to get rid of shame. He leveled everyone down together.

          1. When was the last time politicians used complex slogans with big words? It’s simplicity he was selling, the illusion that he could cut through complexity and just make things happen. No wonder the latter part of his presidnecy was full of endless self-praise, apportioning of blame, avoidance of responsibility and losing, badly, and refusing to accept it. No wonder his supporters have to resort to paranoia and fantasy and magical thinking to keep him on the pedestal.

            1. Don’t forget unprecedented corruption an attempting to overrule our democratic processes.

              1. The most corrupt thing that happened in the Trump Adminstration is the FBI deciding to weaponize a fictional partisan financed dossier to remove Trump.

                Nothing Trump did was remotely as criminal as the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious which left corpses scattered all over the Southwest and Northern Mexico trying to manufacture a narrative to justify outlawing assault weapons.

                Mexico’s Attorney General said that there were at least 200 fatalities traced to guns purposely sent to Mexico by the ATF to fuel Mexico’s drug wars.

                1. “The most corrupt thing that happened in the Trump Adminstration is the FBI deciding to weaponize a fictional partisan financed dossier to remove Trump. ”

                  Unless you count the time the US President tried holding up already-approved aid to a foreign country to try to get that country to manufacture some dirt on an opposition political candidate’s son. That’s pretty corrupt.

                  Or there was the time we tried to avoid counting ballots to determine who our leader would be between 2020 and 2024. That’s plenty corrupt, too.

            2. “When was the last time politicians used complex slogans with big words? ”

              If you can’t reduce your policy to a bumper sticker or a three-word chant, you can’t be a Republican.

          2. In your view, which politicians *do* have shame and avoid “low language”?

            1. Clearly he means “Yes we can” and “Hope and Change” Obama.

              1. Trump’s slogan was “Oh, no, he didn’t!”

                1. Trump’s slogan was (and is) “me, me, me!”

          3. apedad – has it ever occurred to you that people actually feel that way? That maybe that’s why it was effective? You act as though people don’t really think that way, but since Trump delivered those words, a whole bunch of people fell under his spell and changed their minds.

            Honestly, do you really believe that?

            1. Of course people had these ideas and thoughts – well before Trump.

              No one changed their mind because of Trump.

              The Atlantic article sez what happened: The goal of his (Trump’s) speeches was . . . to get rid of shame.

              1. And a long standing goal of the left has been to demand that people feel shame for not being leftists. Somehow it’s only other people who should feel shame for their political views, never the left.

                1. Winners write the history books.

                  Your side (as you have acknowledged a couple times) is losing.

                2. “And a long standing goal of the left has been to demand that people feel shame for not being leftists.”

                  Poor blindered Brett, who can’t see that the other side of political debate (i.e., his current choice) has long been the more conformist side. “If you’re not 100% with us, you’re against us” is their rallying cry.

            2. “Honestly, do you really believe that?”

              Do you?

        2. Throughout his adult life, Trump has been hostile to Black people, contemptuous of women, vicious about immigrants from poor countries, and cruel toward the weak. He’s an equal-opportunity bigot. In his campaigns and in the White House, he aligned himself publicly with hard-core racists in a way that set him apart from every other president in memory, and the racists loved him for it. After the 2016 election, a great deal of journalism and social science was devoted to finding out whether Trump’s voters were mainly motivated by economic anxiety or racial resentment. There was evidence for both answers.

          Progressives, shocked by the readiness of half the country to support this hateful man, seized on racism as the single cause and set out to disprove every alternative. But this answer was far too satisfying. Racism is such an irreducible evil that it gave progressives commanding moral heights and relieved them of the burden to understand the grievances of their compatriots down in the lowlands, let alone do something about them. It put Trump voters beyond the pale. But racism alone couldn’t explain why white men were much more likely to vote for Trump than white women, or why the same was true of Black and Latino men and women. Or why the most reliable predictor for who was a Trump voter wasn’t race but the combination of race and education. Among white people, 38 percent of college graduates voted for Trump, compared with 64 percent without college degrees. This margin—the great gap between Smart America and Real America—was the decisive one. It made 2016 different from previous elections, and the trend only intensified in 2020.

          The issues Trump had campaigned on waxed and waned during his presidency. What remained was the dark energy he unleashed, binding him like a tribal leader to his people. Nothing was left of the optimistic pieties of Free America. Trump’s people still talked about freedom, but they meant blood and soil. Their nationalism was like the ethno-nationalisms on the rise in Europe and around the world. Trump abused every American institution—the FBI, the CIA, the armed forces, the courts, the press, the Constitution itself—and his people cheered. Nothing excited them like owning the libs. Nothing convinced them like Trump’s 30,000 lies.

          More than anything, Trump was a demagogue—a thoroughly American type, familiar to us from novels like All the King’s Men and movies like Citizen Kane. “Trump is a creature native to our own style of government and therefore much more difficult to protect ourselves against,” the Yale political theorist Bryan Garsten wrote. “He is a demagogue, a popular leader who feeds on the hatred of elites that grows naturally in democratic soil.” A demagogue can become a tyrant, but the people put him there—the people who want to be fed fantasies and lies, the people who set themselves apart from and above their compatriots. So the question isn’t who Trump was, but who we are.

          1. ‘seized on racism as the single cause’

            What a load of nonsense. His misogyny, his corruption, his authoritarianism, his bullying, his lying, his incompetence – all the features that made him attractive to people who voted for him, and how they all appealed to the id of the Republican Party, were endlessly examined. Except when we were being told off about the economic anxiety of poor well-off upper middle class whites who hadn’t gone to college and the righteous resentment of people who voted for a racist being labeled as racist and how unfair that was.

            1. Except there was no racism.

              1. He wanted to ban all Muslims from the country. Also his recorded remarks and behaviour from earlier in his life. But I admit his brute misogyny and its acceptance was always more shocking to me than the racism, which was just another facet of his unpleasant history and personality.

                1. False, he wanted to restrict travel form certain countries that supported Islamic terrorism

                  1. No, that’s what he settled on when it came to enacting policy. Not what he ran on.

                    1. I’m for banning terrorists no matter where they come from. So it’s a discussion worth having. 9/11 were Saudi’s or alleged allies so it’s a discussion worth having. It’s not racist if they are actually out to get you.

                    2. “I’m for banning terrorists no matter where they come from.”

                      Not many people taking the other side of that one. Where you go wrong is when you lump in all the NON-terrorists with the terrorists.

                2. This is so dishonest. He did NOT want to ban all Muslims from the country. I defy you to produce a link that shows that he did.

                  1. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/his-words-donald-trump-muslim-ban-deportations-n599901

                    ‘Just a few hours before a rally in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Donald Trump released a policy proposal online which called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” The 2015 policy proposed a blanket ban on Muslims based on what Trump called “hatred” of the West innate in Islam.’

                3. Is Islam a race? When did that happen?

                  1. Did someone tell you that Islam was a race? When did that happen?

              2. “Except there was no racism.” [in Donald Trump]

                This claim is contradicted by people closer to Trump than you were.

            2. FYI, those paragraphs were from the Atlantic article (darn no edit function).

          2. See, now I know you’re just trolling. Every one of the accusations you throw at Trump here can be countered with evidence to the contrary. For example: how does a man get an NAACP award when he is “hostile to black people”?

            No, these are just figments in your mind. You assume he’s that way because it fits a narrative that you strongly want to believe. And because there are so many of you who are infected with TDS, you surround yourselves with people who all agree with you, so therefore you MUST be right.

            1. This is from the Atlantic article.

            2. ” And because there are so many of you who are infected with TDS, you surround yourselves with people who all agree with you, so therefore you MUST be right.

              This statement is equally correct applied to Trump’s fans and critics.

          3. “he aligned himself publicly with hard-core racists in a way that set him apart from every other president in memory”

            I thought Nixon and Reagan deliberately appealed to racists – do you believe this, or are you walking it back? If you’re walking it back, when can we expect you to walk back your claims about Trump?

            1. Aligned is not the same as appealed to, just as dog whistles are not the same as bullhornes.

              1. I don’t recall hearing these distinctions when y’all were telling us how bad Nixon and Reagan were.

                Indeed, they even tried this stuff with Romney. Remember how, in an unprecedented act of norm-shattering, he gave that poor woman cancer?

                1. I can tell you for sure I was not yelling at how bad Nixon and Reagan were.

                  1. I do beg your pardon, I’m happy to retract any of the above insofar as I attempted to apply it to you.

                    1. PS – this is because I believe that in the context of this forum, you are the best source of information as to what you yourself think – I presume that’s better than trying to read minds through the computer screen, not that you would ever endorse such a thing.

                    2. I wasn’t born when they were a thing.

                      I think they were bad, Trump was a lot worse, and they are all part of a trajectory for the GOP that is not good.

          4. Explain how he increased his vote share among Blacks, Hispanics, and women from 2016 to 2020.

            There is no doubt Trump is a nativist, which I disapprove of, but in terms of being racist it baffles me how he, as a major Democratic doner, could have rubbed elbows for decades with Al Sharpton, Spike Lee, Jesse Jackson, etc., and nobody ever accused him of racism. Until he became a Republican President.

            1. “There is no doubt Trump is a nativist, which I disapprove of, but in terms of being racist it baffles me how he, as a major Democratic doner, could have rubbed elbows for decades with Al Sharpton, Spike Lee, Jesse Jackson, etc., and nobody ever accused him of racism. Until he became a Republican President.”

              It’s easy, all you have to do is ignore the times he was accused of racism. But you seem to have already figured out that dodge.

        3. “There’s a major demographic Democrats just forgot about, and who Trump spoke to. It’s why he won.”

          Except… he didn’t win.

      3. You can talk about a cult of personality, but in Trump’s case the real cult was among the opponents, an anti-cult that treated him as a kind of political anti-Christ, uniquely bad.

        Bullshit, Brett.

        There really is a cult of Trump. There is no other way to explain the blind loyalty he seems to command. I mean, at this point, with him out of office, there is no reason for conservatives to even prtend to like this loathesome, crooked, ignorant, man. Yet they still worship.

        DeSantis? Really?

        1. Yes, DeSantis. Really. Obviously he’s not going to get your vote, nobody Republicans would like would get your vote.

          1. I was hoping we’d see Rand Paul come out of the ashes, but DeSantis has the balls to punch back at the media, which is a requirement as a R these days. Every day that goes by he looks more and more obviously correct.

          2. DeSantis is no Trump. Trump has charisma, which is required in a demagogue.

        2. bernard,
          With cults of personality people of both minds get to play the game.
          To the radical left, Trump was the Devil, to the radical right he was the Savior

          1. “To the radical left, Trump was the Devil, to the radical right he was the Savior”
            To non-partisan Americans, he was just a grifter working a con.

            1. … at our expense.

      4. DeSantis is just the flavor of the week, as anyone who followed right-wing politics with an objective eye would understand. You’re forgetting there are a ton of ambitious fascists who are ready to take up the Trumpist mantle. They’re just waiting for the right opportunity.

        Trump is staying involved in the “campaign” out of simple grift. It’s not some n-dimensional, team-playing gambit. It allows him to channel money from fundraising events for other candidates – i.e., his “approved” candidates – into his own murky schemes. The idea that he might bow out graciously is absurd on its face. He won’t bow out unless and until he’s developed some kind of plausible, face-saving explanation for why he doesn’t want to do it. Which would be kind of hard to square with what he’s out there saying, right now.

        Or are you not paying attention to right-wing politics?

        1. “You’re forgetting there are a ton of ambitious fascists…”

          Kind of a contradictory message a lot of these ambitious fascists like De Santis, Noem, Abbott, Ducey have:
          Go out and live your lives, use your own judgement, Government isn’t your boss.

          Quite a contrast from Cuomo, Newsome, Whitmer, Murphy, etc.

          1. DeSantis was praising his legislature’s attempt to seize property without recompense to the current owner. That’s not really a pro-liberty position to take, even in Florida.

        2. ” He won’t bow out unless and until he’s developed some kind of plausible, face-saving explanation for why he doesn’t want to do it. ”

          Being convicted, say.

      5. I would take a long look at Kristi Noem; she is another contender.

    2. His policies were correct: defend the border, drain the swamp, less regulation, more freedom to make individual choices, etc. This “con” will vote for anyone who fits the above bill, and will NOT vote for anyone who doesn’t, GOP or Dem.

      1. “His policies were correct: defend the border, drain the swamp, less regulation, more freedom to make individual choices, etc.”

        None of these things was achieved under Trump, and that doesn’t seem to bother you. You got conned.

    3. “What are the cons going to do once Trump is no longer a player”

      They’re going to insist that he REALLY WON and BY A LANDSLIDE.

      But the rest of us are under no obligation to pay them any mind.

  7. Any thoughts on the recent Pro Publica piece on the tax rates of the super wealthy?

    I’m not going to lie. I thought they were low. But not necessarily THAT low. Here’s one item that struck me in particular.

    Normal people are page a wage. That wage is taxed as income taxes. OK.

    Now my impression with the super wealthy is that they had a lot of investment income, sure. And unrealized taxes weren’t taxed. Sure. But they still had to live off something. And that money they used to live off of…whether it was from wages they paid themselves, or stocks they sold off, or dividends they received were taxed. All of which would’ve been fair. But that’s not really what’s going on in many of the cases.

    Instead, the super wealthy are borrowing against their assets to fund their lifestyle. Which avoids the tax code entirely, and even gives a tax deduction. Let’s give you an example.

    Big superwealthy person owns their own company. They own stock, which goes up in value. Unrealized gains are in excess of $100 million a year. Fine. They want $1 million a year to fund their lifestyle. “Normally”, they’d sell off $1 Million in stock, be hit with capital gains, and have ~$800,000 left.

    Instead, what they do is get a personal loan for $1 million from the Bank, secured by their unrealized gains, at a low interest rate (<5%). Because it's a loan, they don't pay a cent in taxes. And in some cases, can actually deduct the interest from future taxes. It makes it so they almost entirely avoid income taxes.

    Just increasing the income tax rate won't hit they folks in the least. So, what can we do to make things more "fair"…?

    1. What can we do?

      Ironically, the most direct solution is to lower the tax rate at the high end enough that such games aren’t worth playing.

      This specific game? It will go away with the low interest rates, as hyperinflation sets in. (Paradoxically, it’s encouraged in the present by anticipated higher inflation, as taking out loans at a fixed interest rate looks really smart if you anticipate much higher inflation before you’d have them paid off.) And the wealthy know it, that’s why the hyper-wealthy are presently investing in assets with genuine value, such as farm land.

      Really, I question why we should have such ‘progressive’ taxation. Are the wealthy incurring extra expenses such that government needs to extract more taxes from them to break even? Not really. It’s more Willie Sutton’s line: “Because that’s where the money is.”

      But progressive taxation has really nasty effects, and gives government ugly incentives.

      When the same total amount of income yields more revenue if concentrated in fewer hands, why would the government not pursue policies that exacerbate income inequality? Rationally, you’d expect it to.

      Further, as you concentrate paying for government in a smaller fraction of the population, government spending becomes more of a vote winner, independent of whether the spending is cost effective, because most of the voters will not see the cost. So progressive taxation relaxes spending constraints.

      Indeed, isn’t that why the left favors it? Because they want big government, and big government is only possible in a democracy if most of the voters don’t have to pay for it?

      1. Here’s the problem. You can’t really lower the tax rate enough. Even if you dropped it down to 20% at the maximum bracket, it would still be worth avoiding

        What can we do? There are two potential options.
        1. The living expenses tax.
        If your combined assets are above $50 Million you are required for you to make a reasonable assessment of your living expenses and costs for the year. If your income tax paid doesn’t equal 25% of those living expenses, you need to make up the difference.

        2. Taxing unrealized capital gains.
        If your total assets are above $50 million, you’re required to pay tax (5%) on unrealized capital gains.

        1. How about the, “government expenses you generate” tax?

          I realize paying for what you get, and getting what you pay for, is somewhat of a bourgeoisie notion, but it at least rationally matches taxes to the reason taxes are levied.

          Stop looking at the wealthy as a piggy bank, and groping around for a hammer. Start asking, why is the government spending such insane amounts of money, such that even a decade ago it would have shocked people? Why not lower spending, instead of looking for ways to extract more taxes?

          1. “government expenses you generate”

            Sure. Problem is, many of the super wealthy aren’t paying any of these expenses. Zero income tax.

          2. “Stop looking at the wealthy as a piggy bank, and groping around for a hammer.”

            If I was doing that, then they’d probably object less to paying taxes to pay for police protection.

        2. If your total assets are above $50 million, you’re required to pay tax (5%) on unrealized capital gains.

          So when they have capital losses in a year is Uncle Sam going to write them a check?

          1. They can carry them forward. Like they do anyway.

            1. They can carry them forward. Like they do anyway.

              So tell me how that would work if I’m taxed at 5% of an unrealized capital gain in one year, then the next year that capital investment loses most of its value and I sell it at a loss that exceeds the previous year’s gain. Then in subsequent years I have no further capital gains at all to offset with that year’s loss. I’ve paid taxes on a theoretical profit that I never made, and never will make. Will .gov refund that tax?

        3. “The living expenses tax.”
          Those are called sales taxes or value added taxes. Then those who consume pay on how much they consume. Until unrealized gains are not real money yet; they are a wet dream for Sanders and Warren

          1. Unrealized gains are real enough to borrow against. That’s how Mr. Musk managed to get a nice personal big loan…by pledging shares of Tesla as collateral

            We all pay sales taxes. But some of us also pay income taxes. The super rich…don’t appear to.

            1. “We all pay sales taxes.”

              Or at least we would, if we all bought all our goods in places that have sales taxes. One of the things I miss about my fairly recent move is that I used to live in a state where the price on the little sticker was how much it cost to take an item out of a store.

              1. Do the arithmetic in your head James. It is not that hard.
                Or perhaps you like that tax hidden in the sticker as it is in Europe?

        4. “Here’s the problem. You can’t really lower the tax rate enough. Even if you dropped it down to 20% at the maximum bracket, it would still be worth avoiding

          What can we do? There are two potential options.”

          You missed one:
          Make avoiding the tax more expensive than paying the tax.

      2. “Really, I question why we should have such ‘progressive’ taxation.

        Me too. Taxation should be a means to fund government services and of course this being a libertarian site all should be for the minimal amount of government right? Ha but I’ll go on.

        But truly the fairest tax is a head tax. Wealthy people do not consume more government services. They don’t consume welfare for example.

        Take the budget and divide it by people. That is the tax bill.

        1. ““Really, I question why we should have such ‘progressive’ taxation.”

          Arguably, on a per dollar basis, wealthy people benefit more than poor people from certain government services. Let’s give you an example.

          Joe six pack owns a house. His tax dollars go towards the fire department to protect it from fire.

          Ben Big Bucks owns a mansion. And a stable. And a factory. And 10,000 acres of wild land. His tax dollars also go towards the fire department to protect his property.

          Who “consumes” more government services in terms of fire protection?

          1. Bad example we’re talking about income taxes. Fire departments are local and property taxes pay for them. That’s based on the value of the house/property not income.

            1. “Fire departments are local and property taxes ”

              In some places. Many times fire departments rely on state or federal level grants…funded by income taxes. And you can see how a government service may be consumed more by the rich.

              Police departments, same issue.

              If you want to abstract further, the armed forces, at their core, are designed to protect America (and American property) from foreign invasion. Arguably “rich” people have far more to lose than poor people. So, they in turn benefit more from the protection.

              1. I’d like to keep the discussion to Federal income taxes otherwise it gets too tangled.

                Police and fire departments should not be the federal government’s responsibility. That premise of a “limited” federal government should be step one.

                I don’t see local fore and police in the constitution’s description of the federal government’s duties?

                1. “Federal income taxes otherwise it gets too tangled.”
                  -Fair enough

                  If the Feds grant local fire departments money, doesn’t that count? Which they did, about $700 million worth in FY2019.

                  Or if you really want to think about it, think about the armed forces. To a certain extent, they are protecting American assets. Who has more assets? The rich? Or the poor?

                2. “Police and fire departments should not be the federal government’s responsibility. That premise of a “limited” federal government should be step one.”

                  Who should be paying to suppress fires on federal forestlands, if not the federal government? The answer can’t be local fire departments, they get their funding from property taxes which the federal government does not pay.

          2. But Ben Big Bucks has a sprinkler system in his mansion and factory, and practices responsible burn management on his land. And Joe Six Pack has a pile of oily rags in the corner of his garage.

            I’ll go with the idea that Ben Big Bucks consumes more government services in total. But actually a lower quantity in proportion to his income, not a higher quantity.

            Progressive taxation really does come down to Sutton’s, “Because that’s where the money is.”

            1. But then you get back to the original point. In PRACTICE for a certain class of super-rich people, it’s not actually progressive taxation. If anything, it’s regressive. And they are paying a far, far, lower share of their “income,” (down to 0%) than a normal person.

              So, what, if anything, should be done about it?

              1. As long as they’re paying property taxes, and their businesses they’re deriving the income are paying taxes, and they pay sales tax on things they buy, why do I care?

                If I had my druthers, I’d repeal the 16th amendment.

                1. “why do I care?”

                  Because they’re avoiding a large number of taxes that people like you and me are paying. Effectively, that means that we’re paying MORE so that super-rich people like them are paying less.

                  Think about this. You’re paying your property taxes. And your business taxes. And your sales taxes. And on top of that, you’re paying income taxes which can top out at up to 50% of income. All of that income is lost to the government. You can’t invest any of it.

                  Meanwhile, they’re paying property, business, and sales taxes. But many of them aren’t paying a dime in income taxes. Instead, they’re reinvesting it in their businesses, so they continue to get richer and more powerful, something you aren’t able to do. Meanwhile they’re arguing to INCREASE the income tax rate, full in the knowledge that they won’t be paying any of it.

                  1. “Effectively, that means that we’re paying MORE so that super-rich people like them are paying less.”

                    That would only be true if there was a balanced budget and tax rates floated automatically.

                    1. I get it. The budget isn’t balanced.

                      That being said, there’s ideally at least SOME correlation between tax revenue and government spending. And it the government brings in more from Ben Big Bucks, it’s less from Joe Six Pack.

                    2. “That would only be true if there was a balanced budget and tax rates floated automatically.”

                      Or, if the rich guys could afford to buy an entire political party to cut the rich guys’ tax rates every time they won control of the government.

            2. Why assume Ben Big Bucks is responsible and Joe Six Pack isn’t?

              1. Because, (This will come as a surprise to you.) being careless doesn’t usually go along with being wealthy, unless maybe your dad is a well connected politician and you’re serving as a cutout for his bribes.

                1. ” being careless doesn’t usually go along with being wealthy, unless maybe your dad is a well connected politician and you’re serving as a cutout for his bribes.”

                  Or, if you yourself are a politician who claims to not be a politician among many, many other lies.
                  What many people do not want to admit is that there is a significant degree of luck in amassing wealth. Not just among Powerball winners, either. Bill Gates built his fortune out of being in the right place and time when IBM decided not to use CP/M-86 as the operating system for the PC as they had originally intended. Bill was in position to buy an operating system from someone else and turn around and offer it to IBM. Bill’s business at that time made and sold software development tools, not operating systems. On the other hand, Bill does deserve credit for calculating, correctly, that selling IBM a non-exclusive license for the OS would later enable him to sell it again, and again, to IBM’s competitors and eventually, directly to consumers. But without the luck of having Digital Research piss off the suits at IBM AND Bill knowing where he could buy a nearly-completed operating system, Bill’s insight would have had no value.

                  1. So it is all because Bill Gates is a billion times luckier than you.
                    Let us know, how many businesses have you started and run successfully? Then we will know how seriously to take your comment.

            3. “I’ll go with the idea that Ben Big Bucks consumes more government services in total. But actually a lower quantity in proportion to his income, not a higher quantity.”

              Consider the fact that having a stable society is more valuable to the rich folk than the poor one.
              Sure, if you have a society where the poor periodically rise up and line up all the rich people against the wall, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the poor people will be any better off afterwards (and there is considerable experience that suggests they will not be), there’s no denying that the rich people buried in the unmarked trench grave are definitely worse off.
              Taxes are the price you pay to not have peasant uprisings, or foreign invasions, or other disruptions to enjoying your wealth. The more wealth you have, the more value you’re getting from stable society, so the more value you should be putting into keeping society stable.
              Some of the wealthiest people of the last century were the drug lords and cartel leaders who distributed illegal drugs to the US. They weren’t paying income taxes, but they had to pay to keep their wealth… they fortified their homes, employed guards, and distributed money to the community so that when the yanquis came looking for them, they had enough warning to hide themselves and their ill-gotten money away.

        2. So, to be clear – you think that people who receive welfare should also be among the ones paying for it?

          How, uh, is that supposed to work?

        3. “But truly the fairest tax is a head tax. Wealthy people do not consume more government services. They don’t consume welfare for example. ”

          Your premise is deeply flawed, which leads you to a stupid conclusion.

      3. “When the same total amount of income yields more revenue if concentrated in fewer hands, why would the government not pursue policies that exacerbate income inequality? Rationally, you’d expect it to.”

        How naïve are you? It’s rational for you expect that in so far as you think government is rational. Do you think government is rational?

        But sure, all those Bernie Bros who want to kill all the billionaires are really secretly pro-billionaire.

    2. Short answer here is that American Tax code is far too complicated. Remember that IRS is the collector and not the writer of the code. Congress has written this code so complex that also no one even knows what its in the code. Average people use preparers or tax software and rich people use tax lawyers. What is worse is that Congress now uses the tax code as tool for many programs.

      Here are a few suggestions;
      – Income tax is for collecting taxes not for legislating, eliminate if possible all deduction and all credits.
      – Income is simply all the money that comes in to you in a year, wages, interest, dividends, and capital gains. Same rate for all.
      – Progressive taxation so everyone pays something. Poor pay some but a small amount. Middle class pay more and wealthy pay more again.

      1. ” Income is simply all the money that comes in to you in a year, wages, interest, dividends, and capital gains. Same rate for all.”

        Realized capital gains? Or unrealized capital gains too?

        1. Only realized. Not unrealized. Maybe next year the unrealized gains on that property are reversed and they become losses?

          1. That runs into the same problem we see now.

            For a certain class of super rich people, they get personal loans instead of income. These personal loans have the very large unrealized capital gains the of the super rich as collateral. This allows them to live well, while not paying a dime in income tax.

            1. That’s easy enough to deal with, if you want: Treat loans as income, and payments on principle as a deduction from income. Poof, the whole dodge goes away.

              1. That might work. How exactly does it go into the tax code?

                1. The same way anything else gets in the tax code. Legislation.

                  1. Wording here is important. What’s the wording?

                    1. The wording is that you treat personal loans as income and then you add a deduction for repayments of the loan’s principal.

                    2. Unfortunately, wording that simple runs into a few major issues. Remember we’re considering personal loans that have collateral.

                      The biggest one is mortgages in the general population. Mortgages are a form of personal loan with collateral.

                      If you take your average family, hitting them with an additional $200,000 worth of “income” they need to pay taxes on, in the same year they are putting down a sizable down payment on a home, is rather detrimental. Congrads, you just bought your first home and used up all your savings on a down deposit…now pay Uncle Sam another $50K in taxes. Car loans run into similar issues.

                      You’re going to need some sort of wording that doesn’t hit the general public, and just the Ben Big Bucks people.

                    3. @AL,

                      At least some of the personal loans we’re discussing are also secured by collateral. (For example, in the article you linked, Oracle’s CEO had a line of credit secured by $10B in shares.) The fact that a loan is secured should not really affect whether or not it is treated as income. I’d let the borrower use a loss of collateral as a deduction (if they defaulted, for example).

                      “If you take your average family, hitting them with an additional $200,000 worth of “income” they need to pay taxes on, in the same year they are putting down a sizable down payment on a home, is rather detrimental.”

                      Of course. Tax burdens are detrimental on anybody who has to pay them. The tax would be prospective, though, so it wouldn’t hit anybody unless they bought a house. This new tax would have a profound effect on the value of homes, since it would decrease the purchase price of new homes by approximately the tax burden imposed on borrowers. I don’t see that as a problem, or at least if it’s a problem, the government should be agnostic. But this entire discussion is about how to shift tax regimes, so I think you raise a great point. If we want to treat mortgage borrowers as a special interest class exempt from the general policy, that’s easy enough to do. I would note that the tax code already treats home owners as a special class because it allows them to use certain portions of their mortgage payments to offset their income taxes.

                      If you’re trying to limit it to the fantastically rich, that’s rather easy, too. Make it applicable only to aggregate of borrowed money above $X.

                    4. AL,
                      Why do you assume that the wording is impossible if the drafyted have more that 5 minutes and have competent advaisors AND want the plan to work.
                      Aye, there’s the rub. The legislators have to want the plan to work cleanly without loophole fro them selves or rich buddies.

                    5. NT,

                      Like I said, I think you need to change the wording to hit the super-rich. The question is how you quantitate the super rich. Since they can effectively hide their income, you need to use a separate measure.

                      Just broadly doing it, as initially proposed (just tax personal loans) doesn’t work politically. You’re not going to drop housing prices by amount….you’re just going to price people out of the market with excessive taxation.

                      That’s why the wording on it is important.

                    6. @AL,

                      I think you’re probably right that taxing mortgage loans as income is not politically feasible. I don’t think you’re right that it will “price people out of the market with excessive taxation.” Taxes are already factored in to sales prices. If the asset comes with a large tax burden for the vast majority of potential buyers who have to finance the sale, the amount they’re willing to spend will decrease in rough proportion to the increased tax burden. That will be bad for sellers, but people will still trade money for real estate. In my lifetime interests rates have been as high as 12% and as low as today. I can probably go borrow money for a house tomorrow at 2-3%. People still bought and sold homes in the 80s. Their value was just depressed by the relatively high interest rate. The same is true for tax burdens, including existing property tax burdens (which devalues real estate in rough proportion to the tax).

                    7. The whole “pricing people out of the market” is not how it would work I don’t think. House prices would not come down and people would still get mortgages. The mortgage would just have to be larger, to cover the tax.

                      Lenders would be ok with that because the payments would be pre-tax, so the risk nets out approximately the same. If the loan is foreclosed, the lender is left holding more of the bag, but I’m not sure how much impact that would have… slightly higher interest rates?

                    8. Randal and NT,

                      It’s not quite the same as just an interest rate difference. And it’s harder for the banks to just “make up the difference”. The reason for that is, that tax payment isn’t collateral.

                      Let’s take the case of a $200,000 house. Let’s assume the purchasers have 10% down ($20K). Then you have a mortgage (Case A). Compare this with a mortgage + the personal loan for the tax payment (Case B). Call that tax payment ~33% of the $180,000 loan, or $60,000.

                      In case A, if the borrowers default, the bank still has a house that is “worth” $200,000 to sell. That more than covers the loan of $180,000. (Yes, there are transaction costs and so on).

                      In case B, if the borrowers default, the bank has a house worth $200,000, but a loan of $240,000…

                      In Case B, if the borrowers default

                    9. That’s what I meant by “holding more of the bag.” Even with a 20% down payment, my experience has been that lenders don’t necessarily expect the collateral to cover the entire loan in case of default for various reasons. (Market downturn, resale costs / taxes, depreciation.) And you can get loans with less than 20% down… by paying more interest.

      2. “Progressive taxation so everyone pays something. Poor pay some but a small amount. Middle class pay more and wealthy pay more again.”

        There are people who legit had no income. So there’s someone who isn’t paying income tax under your “everyone pays something” scheme.

        1. Even those people pay sales tax, property tax (or rents with that consideration folded in).

    3. Why do you care what anyone else has or makes or pays? You don’t pay more when they pay less. You don’t pay less when they pay more.

      1. Not quite.

        In theory, if other people pay more, then that means there’s most revenue. Then they could lower my tax bill and maintain a balanced budget.

        1. What if you just pay more and I lower my tax bill?

          1. It’s always an option to donate to the US Treasury.

            Strangely enough though, not that common.

          2. “What if you just pay more and I lower my tax bill?”

            You can lower your income tax bill via the simple expedient of not generating any income. This will also cause a reduction in your sales tax bill, because you won’t be buying as much as you did when you had income. You can cut your property tax bill to zero by selling off your property, too.
            Another popular way of reducing your tax bill is to go down to the beach, swim out to sea and don’t come back.

            1. Wow! What a brilliantly useless comment.

        2. That theory does not correlate with reality at all.

          1. Of course it does. Spending will be met by revenue generation. What fantasy world do you live in?

            1. No, spending is not closely related to revenue generation. At least not at the Federal level. I live in this world.

              Also, spending isn’t what is being talked about. The contention is that if one person’s taxes are higher, another person’s will be lower. In actual fact, two individuals’ taxation are not related in that way.

              If you would like to cite some recent examples where extra taxes were paid and that directly led to tax cuts on others, please cite them here.

              1. “No, spending is not closely related to revenue generation. At least not at the Federal level. I live in this world.”

                I’m sure it’s just a massive coincidence that revenue and outlay growth since forever have correlated.

                The tax burden must meet expenditures eventually. It may not be that two individual taxpayers’ burdens are “directly” related in that way. But where taxes go matters because if taxes come from X, the demand that they come from -X will decrease. If the fantastically rich don’t meet $6.5T in outlays, someone else is going to have to do so.

                1. That’s a cool theory. It should be revealing that you can’t cite a single example where the supposed relationship holds.

                  Can anyone cite even one example where someone paid more and that led to others’ taxes being cut? I don’t think anyone will be able to.

                  1. Since my friend buying more gas than me does not lead to an increase in the price of gas, the demand for gas is irrelevant to the price.

                    1. Sure, whatever. Cite an example if it’s so incontrovertibly true.

                      There are multiple other parties involved that act to make it false. Someone pays more in tax, some government official decides he needs to get higher pay. So no taxes are cut as a result of someone paying more.

                      It’s possible that someone paying more might, in some very rare case, cause someone else to pay less. But that’s an extreme outlier event, not something to ever be expected.

                    2. ” the demand for gas is irrelevant to the price.”

                      Way back in high school, you probably took a class in economics. In that class, they would have taught you the way supply and demand interact in a perfect market to influence price. If you’d stayed on the subject at a good university, you’d have also learned how they interact in non-perfect markets.

                      Replace gas for a different product, say, dog poop. There is no demand for dog poop. How much can you get for it per barrel/bushel?

        3. “Then they could lower my tax bill and maintain a balanced budget.”
          You “tooth fairy” is not going to lower your tax bill.
          The budget is not going to balanced again in your lifetime or that of your kids.
          But dream on.

    4. Um. Are you sure about this?

      Because, you know, at some point the loan has to be paid back. And then what?

        1. I do want to emphasize here though, the answer is not a higher income tax rate. These people are avoiding the income tax almost entirely. And thus a higher income tax rate won’t really touch them. It’s no surprise that many call for higher income taxes…because they won’t be hit.

          An ALTERNATE way to tax them is needed. Whether it be taxing personal loans, taxing unrealized gains, or some other method. Ideally kicking in at a high asset level (>$50 million). Because of how they’ve structured their income, using an income level will not work.

          1. “taxing unrealized gains, or some other method. Ideally kicking in at a high asset level (>$50 million).”

            C’mon, a tax on unrealized gains would never stay at a “high asset level”. Once the concept is accepted, the temptation for the poilticians will be too great.

            Do you own a house? Besides the local property tax, do you want to pay federal taxes on your unrealized gains?

            How about your 401k or your mutual fund?

            1. “Do you want to pay federal taxes on your unrealized gains?”
              Not particularly. That being said….

              My unrealized gains represent a percentage of my wages every year. Call it 20% in a good year.

              Ben Big Bucks has unrealized gains that are multiples of his wages. Several thousand percent, or more.

              Why should Ben Big Bucks pay zero income taxes, when I’m shelling out 30% of my income in taxes? How is that fair?

              1. I paid very close to 100% of my total engineering salary in taxes for 2020.

                1. I paid more than 100% of my total engineering salary in taxes.

                  1. That is because you’re no engineer … and it shows.

          2. Just tax expenditures, instead of income. After all, if you’re not spending money, you’re not benefiting from it. If you’re mad about people being well off, you should care about their spending, right?

            And it’s not like rich people have Scrouge McDuck money pools. They invest the money in productive enterprises that advance the economy. (And, not incidentally, tend to pay taxes…)

            Like I said, I’d rather we just got rid of the income tax altogether.

            1. I’m not mad about people being well off (and this, BTW, is beyond well off).

              If I make $100K a year, and pay 30K in taxes, that’s fine

              When they make $100 Million a year and pay zero in income taxes…that’s irritating.

              When they make $100 Million a year, pay zero in income taxes, and argue income taxes should go up…that makes me mad. And I think something should be done.

              1. “When they make $100 Million a year, pay zero in income taxes, and argue income taxes should go up…that makes me mad.”

                But I’m guessing you’re just fine with people who make $100 million/year, pay no income taxes, and argue that income taxes should go down.

            2. ” it’s not like rich people have Scrouge McDuck money pools. They invest the money in productive enterprises that advance the economy.”

              That’s an interesting theory. How does it work out in real life? For every Warren Buffett there’s a Donald Trump. Buffett owns profitable businesses such as Dairy Queen. How did Trump University advance the economy?

              Not liking people with unearned wealth is not the same thing as not liking all people with wealth. Mr. Bezos gets to take his trip into almost-space next month because he made enough money running his businesses to spend it on frivolity if he wants to. There’ll still be enough left for food and gas and yacht payments.

          3. “I do want to emphasize here though, the answer is not a higher income tax rate. These people are avoiding the income tax almost entirely. And thus a higher income tax rate won’t really touch them. It’s no surprise that many call for higher income taxes…because they won’t be hit.”

            Take away the accounting tricks that are used to shield income. This provides a net boost to the economy, because money currently diverted to tax-avoidance accountants and tax attorneys can be used for productive purposes instead.

          4. “An ALTERNATE way to tax them is needed.”

            I want you to Google the term “AMT tax” and see what you find.

            1. That is gone. Hooray!

      1. Not necessarily. Assuming the borrower stays super rich, the bank doesn’t care about the principal, as long as it stays below certain thresholds. You would basically set up a revolving credit facility with minimal principal payments. And the borrower can time asset sales tax-advantageously to generate any needed cash, and minimize the tax impact.

      2. They sell stuff to pay it back, and then use the loan repayment to offset the tax burden from the realized gains on the sold stuff, somehow.

    5. “And in some cases, can actually deduct the interest from future taxes.”

      How? Real estate loans secured by a mortgage are the only personal loans to my knowledge that have a deduction and that is capped.

      1. It’s a more emotional story with fictional embellishments about deductions.

        1. Why shouldn’t people making investments get to deduct the cost of those investments from the return? That’s what the article mentions.

          If you buy a house for 900K and sell it for 950K, should you be taxed on 950K ? Or should you only be taxed on the 50K gains? What if you invested another 40K in improvements? Why shouldn’t you get to deduct your costs to determine your gains?

          Anyone engaged in economic activity at scale generates huge income and tax payments either directly or indirectly.

    6. Get rid of the stepped up basis at death. Boom, no more incentive to borrow.

      1. To compensate though, we would then have to get rid of the estate tax. Which, frankly, is a joke. Anyone who has enough money to be affected by the estate tax has enough money to hire some good accountants to put his money in trusts and not pay any of it.
        One point though, allowing some ways of tax avoidance (like stepped up basis for inheritance, and more specifically, 1031 exchanges) does keep more money flowing around the system instead of being locked up in some rich guy’s literal treasure house. I don’t think this justifies the stepped-up basis for inheritance, but 1031 exchanges sound good-.

      2. The incentive to borrow is that you expect the stock to appreciate faster than the 3% interest rate you pay to borrow against it.

        You can pay 3% interest and use the principle of the loan to buy, for example, Verizon stock. VZ has a dividend yield of more than 4%.

        These guys are putting their assets in a Trust so the step up basis on death is not a big factor.

    7. What we could do is require anyone that owns more than a billion dollars in current market cap of a publicly traded company has to dispose of at least 2% of their stock annually. It’s somewhat similar to mandatory withdrawal from a 401k. It wouldn’t prevent them from re-aquiring shares. And you could make it apply to all classes of stock proportionally, so Zuckerberg has to sell his voting shares of Facebook too.

      That way you don’t have the problem with taxing unrealized gains.

      1. Forced divestiture? Nothing authoritarian about that. What if the person who buys 2% of the Trump Organization doesn’t want to sell it back?

        1. First of all I said publicly traded, the Trump Organization is privately held. And of course that option would be available to anyone else that didn’t want to be subjected to the 2% rule, don’t take your corporation public.

          I put a 2% divestiture proposal out there because I think it’s less onerous, but more fair than a wealth tax which taxes gains that may never be realized.

      2. Nice, Kazinski. Cause the stock price to tank.

        1. If selling 2% of the holdings which is quite likely less than 1/10% of the entire market cap over a year causes the stock to crater I would be very surprised.

          Selling 2% on one day could be a problem. They could waive the wash sale rule on mandated sales to allow them to buy it back at market price.

      3. It wouldn’t generate significant revenue.

  8. The “Thursday Open Thread” really should be moved to Saturday or Sunday, so that people take a sabbatical from politics and conspiracies.

    I mean, what if nothing is on my mind? Can I post that on Thursday? Some of you take yourself too seriously, we need a day when nothing is on your mind. Its good for the creative process.

    Also, for those not dealing with cicadas: Dogs love cicadas, mine have eaten a ton. Also cicada dog farts are especially nasty,

    1. “Cicada dog farts” sounds like the name of a rock band.

      1. All random combinations of three words sound like the name of a rock band.

        1. “All random combinations of three words sound like the name of a rock band.”

          No They Don’t.

          OK, that’s not a RANDOM combination of three words, but rather a specifically chosen combination of three words.

  9. I love how liberals are responding to any criticism about CRT with the line, “critical race theory is complex….you need to have a background in it to really understand it….all those critics out there of it just don’t get it at all because there is no way you could ever understand CRT just by reading about it…”

    Yeah, so let me get this. CRT is so complex that you need to have your phd from a fancy school to completely understand it, but nonetheless, we need to indoctrinate our kids with the theory starting from an early age? OK, makes a lot of sense.

    1. Jimmy – agreed. CRT really isn’t that complex. Sure, you can pick historical examples that fit the narrative, and teach those and pass out masters degrees in the subject for those who read that tripe for 5 years. But that doesn’t mean the concept is difficult.

      1. It’s only difficult for people who don’t want to hear it.

    2. It’s actually quite easily understood. But I’ve seen people try to explain CRT to you in as simple terms as they could muster. You don’t want to understand or you’re incapable. And I honestly think it’s 50/50 either way. You’re just looking for any opportunity to argue about it and spill your racist bile into the internet.

      1. Oh, horseshit.

        You’re a perfect example of what Jimmy was talking about. You don’t understand it, because you’re racist.

        WTF kind of argument is that?

        One’s color defines where they are in a system that is assumed to be corrupt. And there is no escaping it unless the system itself is torn down (what it’ll be replaced with is never really explaines).

        That’s CRT in a nutshell. How am I wrong, or if I’m right, how is the above not a simple concept?

        1. That is one of the CRT arguments. If you don’t agree with it then you are racist.

          1. You get called a racist whenever leftists say anything about any topic anyway.

        2. One’s color defines where they are in a system that is assumed to be corrupt. And there is no escaping it unless the system itself is torn down (what it’ll be replaced with is never really explaines).

          1) Plenty of work is going into showing that the system is corrupt
          2) It is not a core of CRT that the system be ‘torn down.’

          I continue to sound like a supporter of CRT on here. I’m not – I think it’s useful, but not universally correct. But until people use it as something more than a ‘wake up white people!’ bloody shirt, I’ll keep correcting their extremist takes on what it’s saying.

          1. I would repeat my challenge: Accept laws banning the teaching of racist or anti-American doctrines in the public schools. If CRT is neither racist nor anti-American, what do its advocates have to fear?

            1. Because it’s not true, perhaps?

              1. You’re worried about false accusations of racism? Welcome to the rest of the world.

                But in other contexts, you wouldn’t call for legalizing racism for fear of false charges of racism.

                Would you?

            2. ‘racist or anti-American’ is a quintessential void for vagueness restriction.

              1. Not with the government regulating its own speech (and carrying out the hostile-environment ban)

                In any case, I was summarizing the specific proposals.

                Here are the things which, according to an Oklahoma bill, should not be taught in public school:

                https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/04/oklahoma-house-advances-bill-to-ban-critical-race-theory-in-classrooms/

                “a. one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,”

                Should that ever be taught, or never?

                “b. an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously”

                Should that ever be taught, or never?

                “c. an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex,”

                Should that ever be taught, or never?

                “d. members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex,”

                Should that ever be taught, or never?

                “e. an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex,”

                Should that ever be taught, or never?

                “f. an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex,”

                Should that ever be taught, or never?

                “g. any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex”

                Should that ever be taught, or never?

                “h. meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.”

                Should that ever be taught, or never?

                If CRT doesn’t teach any of these things, then why worry? “Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung” (sp?).

                If any of those things *should* be taught, how can you teach it without creating an illegal hostile environment contrary to federal civil-rights laws?

                1. 1) You do realize your argument is more or less ‘if you don’t say bad things, you won’t be censored.’ Which is authoritarian as hell.

                  2) The devil is in the implementation, as I said. A lot of these are ambiguous at best, and more likely too vague to enforce:

                  The ones that jumped out at me as traps for the unwary:

                  c) seems to include affirmative action according to some, so that’s inconsistent with current policy.

                  d) is absolutely bullshit – the idea that you cannot teach anything that isn’t colorblindness is viewpoint discrimination on an issue that is an area of current debate.

                  f) is true, but of course those who think AA is punishment have an in there.

                  h) one wonder whether they mean the concept or the current institution of the meritocracy.

                  1. “You do realize your argument is more or less ‘if you don’t say bad things, you won’t be censored.’”

                    No, in fact, I don’t realize that at all.

                    This bill, if passed, would be the Oklahoma government telling itself not to say certain things. It would be the government censoring itself.

                    Are you discussing the authoritarian implications of government-run education? How would teaching racism in the government schools be any more authoritarian than *not* teaching racism? Indeed, history indicates that government-endorsed and -sponsored racism is *more* authoritarian than if the government *doesn’t* sponsor or endorse racism.

                    Let’s go through the provisions of the bill on which you commented (traps for teh unwary!)

                    TEACHING BANNED BY THE BILL: “c. an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex,”

                    SARCASTRO COMMENT: “c) seems to include affirmative action according to some, so that’s inconsistent with current policy.”

                    MY REPLY: Jim Crow used to be “current policy.” I’m glad the authors of the bill are willing to call out racism when they see it.

                    TEACHING BANNED BY THE BILL: “d. members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex,”

                    SARCASTRO COMMENT: “is absolutely bullshit – the idea that you cannot teach anything that isn’t colorblindness is viewpoint discrimination on an issue that is an area of current debate.”

                    MY REPLY: Again, this is a bill where the government regulates its own speech, so “viewpoint discrimination” is a given. From your indignation, I’m guessing that whatever CRT is, “colorblindness” isn’t part of it, so the bill seems to score a hit. Not that I agree with the bill regarding sex discrimination – this is feminist PC bullcrap which taken literally would forbid the teaching of chivalry or proper relations between the two sexes.

                    TEACHING BANNED BY THE BILL: “f. an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex,”

                    SARCASTRO COMMENT: is true, but of course those who think AA is punishment have an in there.

                    MY REPLY: OK, I guess I don’t understand your point. Affirmative action, i. e., racial preferences for the “right” groups, is racist, whether you want to call it punishment or not. Original sin applies to the human species, it’s not race-specific.

                    TEACHING BANNED BY THE BILL: “h. meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.”

                    SARCASTRO COMMENT: “one wonder whether they mean the concept or the current institution of the meritocracy.”

                    MY REPLY: You’re an original intent person? If you think the wording is unclear, suggest an amendment.

                    1. Correction: “How would *not* teaching racism in the government schools be any more authoritarian than teaching racism?”

                    2. Yeah, it’s authoritarian to forbid teachers talk about stuff – especially stuff that’s currently being debated! It’s legal, but authoritarian.

                      Jim Crow used to be “current policy.” I’m glad the authors of the bill are willing to call out racism when they see it
                      Legislating that you are the winner of a current debate is authoritarian.

                      this is a bill where the government regulates its own speech, so “viewpoint discrimination” is a given
                      Which is why regulations restricting government speech should be disfavored.

                      the bill seems to score a hit
                      What do you think laws are supposed to do, anyway?

                      This was a pretty eye-opening comment from you, I must say.

                    3. “This was a pretty eye-opening comment from you, I must say.”

                      What’s eye-opening is that to you, it’s somehow authoritarian for the government to *avoid* teaching racism to pupils and students in its own institutions.

                      Some people might be more inclined to think that a government which officially promotes racism may be more authoritarian than a government which strives to avoid doing so.

                    4. “What do you think laws are supposed to do, anyway?”

                      Promote the common good, of course.

                      Eg, by keeping racist propaganda out of government-run schools. As opposed to putting such propaganda in the schools, which would undermine the common good.

                      What do *you* think laws are for, if keeping racist propaganda out of public schools isn’t a legitimate objective?

                      Based on your objections, you don’t foreclose the possibility of public schools teaching that “an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race” and that “members of one race…cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race…”

                      The fact that the likes of you support this is reason enough to support something like the Oklahoma bill (minus the PC stuff about sex).

                    5. “Yeah, it’s authoritarian to forbid teachers talk about stuff – especially stuff that’s currently being debated! It’s legal, but authoritarian.”

                      I don’t think they can actually say teachers can’t talk about it. But they can say it cannot be part of the curriculum, can’t test for it, say the students answer is wrong, etc.

                      If the curriculum requires the teaching America is great because it’s a melting pot and anyone can get ahead, then the teacher has to teach that curriculum, even if they are allowed to express personal disagreement.

                  2. d) is absolutely bullshit – the idea that you cannot teach anything that isn’t colorblindness is viewpoint discrimination on an issue that is an area of current debate.

                    We are talking here about what is taught in public schools as truth. Nobody is preventing teachers from advocating outside the classroom that colorblindness is a flawed policy. In the classroom they can teach that that viewpoint is one among many in the current societal debate, but teachers do not have a license to teach that viewpoint in the classroom as truth. Or do you disagree?

                    1. This bill seems concerned with a lot more than facts.

                    2. “teachers do not have a license to teach that viewpoint in the classroom as truth.”

                      You seem certain about this. Why is that?
                      I mean, teachers do not have a license to teach that their own religion is the One True Religion because the 14th amendment incorporates the 1st amendment’s prohibition of establishing religion.
                      Which part of the Constitution limits teaching viewpoints on race relations in classrooms?

                    3. There is as much license to teach CR in classrooms as there is license to teach any other racist ideology as truth there. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and anti-colorblindness is by definition discrimination on the basis of race.

                    4. If you beg the question, you can create all sorts of false equivalences.

                      And if you ignore Supreme Court interpretations of the CRA, you can create a really reductive understanding of the law of race.

        3. ” You don’t understand it, because you’re racist.

          WTF kind of argument is that?”

          The kind that applies to you, because you want it that way.

      2. See? Disagree with or criticize CRT, get called a racist. After being told you’re incapable of understanding. It’s you, OtisAH, who is spilling racist bile.

        1. I’m still trying to figure out if OtisAH was being satirical.

        2. Oh please, you don’t “disagree” with CRT. You don’t even have the faintest what it is.

          1. See? You just don’t understand, OtisAH is your intellectual better.

    3. Sure. There’s nothing wrong with teaching college kids that CRT is an ideology that many people subscribe to, like Marxism, pacifism, Christianity, Islam, etc.

      But it shouldn’t be taught as truth, and teaching the concepts to younger children is like teaching Marxism in the guise of financial competence training.

      1. It isn’t. And it’s been explained to you many, many times, too.

        1. Now you’re just wrong. It most certainly IS being taught as truth, and there are numerous examples of it.

          1. Schools don’t want to give up the material, which is telling, but that which is available for public inspection does show that the angle CRT is being taught is that it is a lens through which everything experienced in life ought to be viewed. So basically it is being communicated like it is a universal truth.

            The bridge that was probably too far for these folks though is finally embracing the mainstreaming of “hate whitey.” In the past diversity attempts have always downplayed the hating white people part, but now it is front and center in CRT. And these same people are astonished that white people, especially after buying a whole generation of “equality” rhetoric, are not willing to swallow it.

            1. One of the many problems is that CRT proponents call it a “lens”, but it’s not. Race is a lens. You can look at a situation or an occurrence with an eye toward looking at what the races of the participants were/are. There might be something valuable in applying such a lens in that situation, there might not. Nothing wrong with that. CRT isn’t a lens, it’s a bias that views events with a pre-conceived notion of what the underlying “why” is that doesn’t allow challenging that notion. Instead of asking questions, it provides pre-packaged answers.

          2. CRT is mostly a legal theory, it’d be pretty advanced children to get into it.

            But maybe you’re right. I read Zinn in HS, after all.
            But if you are, I’d ask that you give some of these many, many examples.

            1. Sarcastro: CRT is mostly a legal theory

              OtisAH: CRT is a field of study that seeks holistic understanding of American history

              You idiots can’t even agree between yourselves which bullshit claim to peddle.

              1. Absolutely, the ability to reduce your positions to bumper stickers or three-word chants helps immeasurably in reaching the simple.

                1. Absolutely, the ability to reduce your positions to bumper stickers or three-word chants helps immeasurably in reaching the simple.

                  Well, if anyone would know about being simple it would be you.

            2. “Plenty of work is going into showing that the system is corrupt”
              Building up a sweat does not confer an aura of truth.

              “CRT is mostly a legal theory”
              C’mon. It is an budding ersatz religion, with an elite vanguard, just like other political mass movements and could only become a legal theory in a CRT theocracy

              1. It’s an area of scholarship, it’s really not doing any of the stuff you’re talking about. I think you’re conflating the academic with the activist.

            3. How did I know? = I read Zinn in HS, after all.

              🙂

              1. Reading and adopting are two *very* different things.

                1. I read echoes of Zinn in your comments, Sarcastr0. That is fine, it helps me understand more fully your ideological frame of reference.

                  1. I hope you’re just joking, because I certainly reject Zinn as anything like a healthy basis for an ideology or historical understanding.

                    People’s History is a perspective that is important to take into account when thinking about history and policy.

                    Just like conservativism and CRT.

          3. See, I could waste my time explaining that CRT is a field of study that seeks holistic understanding of American history.

            I could try to explain that large swaths of American history have been shined up, suppressed, or ignored entirely and that CRT seeks to expand our understanding of where we came from and how we got where we are by including those swaths.

            I could explain that without an honest evaluation of how we got here we can never move forward.

            I could even mention that due to recent laws passed in Texas, the actual teaching of Texas history and its original constitution under the “1836 project” will get teachers arrested.

            But I would be wasting my time doing that. (See also: pig-wrestling; playing chess with pigeons). So if I’m going to waste my time here, tossing selective derision and turd bombs around for my own entertainment suits me just fine.

            1. Then why don’t you just go away, rather than waste your time with idiots?

              1. Because laughing at and mocking idiots gives me joy. Why do you come here? You’ve never written anything worth reading, so what gives?

                1. You’ve never written anything worth reading, so what gives?”

                  Interestingly, neither have you.

                  1. Great comeback, Potsie!

                  2. “You’ve never written anything worth reading, so what gives?”

                    Interestingly, neither have you.”

                    We can’t all reach your heights. or lack thereof.

                    1. Coming from you, that’s a compliment.

            2. “holistic understanding”

              No we know its all racist BS.

              1. Duh

                “Now” should be the first word.

        2. It is not always taught as truth. But there are too many examples of it to ignore.

          1. You don’t get to cite ‘too many examples’ without giving some examples.

            1. Oh Christ on a cracker. Do you really need me to? Fine. Latest example.

              1. Yeah, you say plenty of examples you need to give them. This should not be controversial – reputation or ‘everybody knows’ on partisan issues doesn’t cut it.

                This does seem ridiculous, but it’s not probative of your thesis that CRT is being taught as truth to kids:

                1) This is not CRT. Not all screwed up racial nonsense is CRT.
                2) I was thinking policies or curricula, not unsupported anecdotes.

                Not trying to change the goalposts, but finding white people complaining an institution they are part of has become too pro-minority is going to be easy, whether it’s legit or not. Surely you can find a declaration against interest or actual materials or some such.

                1. You are incorrect, it’s exactly CRT. Take this from her letter, for example:
                  “The school’s ideology requires students to see themselves not as individuals, but as representatives of a group, forcing them to adopt the status of privilege or victimhood. They must locate themselves within the oppressor or oppressed group, or some intersectional middle where they must reckon with being part-oppressor and part-victim. ”

                  This is textbook CRT, and it’s not that they are being taught ABOUT it, they are being indoctrinated into it. That’s why so many parents are revolting against it (in Virginia, for example), and states are making laws against it.

                2. but finding white people complaining

                  Can you really write that without feeling disgusted with yourself?

                  Look, bottom line is that the racialization of everything is bad. Really bad. It’s undoing decades of progress. And the root of much of that is CRT thinking that has spread and conquered institutions of learning.

                  I’m not in the business of cataloging every piece of evidence I’ve seen. But I’ve seen a lot. A disturbing amount. A lot of serious thinkers write far better than I do and are scared shitless about this stuff. I’m looking forward to McWhorter’s book this fall. In the meantime, if you haven’t delved into all of the examples on the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism website, I suggest you start there. Particularly the “News” (their newsletter) section which captures numerous examples of diversity efforts, almost all rooted in CRT thinking, going off the rails.

                  1. Look, bottom line is that the racialization of everything is bad. Really bad. It’s undoing decades of progress.

                    Hard disagree. We got into where we are with centuries of racializing everything. You cannot deal with it by ignoring race.

                    1. There’s a light year’s difference between ignoring it and adopting a set of principles and strategies that allow you to move past it. You can’t possibly believe that CRT is a accepts as a goal a post-racial society. It does, in fact, the exact opposite.

                      Ignoring race. Simply put, that’s absurd. Never once did I claim that. Nothing on the FAIR site is remotely close to that. You invented that goalpost.

                      It’s clear that you’re deeply attached to the concept of race.
                      And it certainly seems that, without any evidence of efficacy, you accept that the tools and the ideas rooted in CRT are going to further MLK’s goals. That’s nonsense. Furthermore, I’ll continue to argue not only is it nonsense, it is the antithesis of those goals.

                      And that’s the problem.

                    2. I guess I don’t see what the difference is between racializing and not ignoring race?

                      CRT doesn’t have a well-defined end-goal. Because it’s not a universal policy prescription, it’s a branch of sociology which is mostly descriptive.

                      Don’t invoke MLK to attack CRT.

              2. BTW, I do think you’re pretty cool as a commenter – it may be a low bar, but engaging with CRT as it is (mostly), and providing examples where asked makes great fodder for substantive debate/discussion!

                1. That is some classic Sarcastro hand waving. Couple that with the “CRT is so complex you will never fully understand it” and we are all left awestruck by the magnificence that is calling everything and everyone racist.

                  1. “Why can’t I do and say racist things without people calling me racist?”
                    –the complaint of the modern Conservative

    4. Judging people by the color of their skin is racist. A famous guy once said we shouldn’t do that and judge by the content of character. He was right and he’s honored by a national holiday these days,

      CRT judges by skin color and therefore is racist. Blah blah blah history whatever.

      You are not responsible for what your ancestors did. Charlie Manson’s kids are not responsible for what Charlie did.

      No one alive today was a slave or was a slave owner. Full stop move on.

      1. “Judging people by the color of their skin is racist.”

        Usually. What’s racist is generalizing from skin color to other unrelated traits. Some traits are not unrelated. If you’re interested in, say, sickle-cell disease, it has a correlation to skin-color. Focusing on dark-skinned people descended from African sources when researching sickle-cell disease is not racist.

        “You are not responsible for what your ancestors did.”

        Meh. The assets they gained were and are inheritable. So too, can debts be.

        1. Usually. What’s racist is generalizing from skin color to other unrelated traits. Some traits are not unrelated. If you’re interested in, say, sickle-cell disease, it has a correlation to skin-color. Focusing on dark-skinned people descended from African sources when researching sickle-cell disease is not racist.

          Duh.

  10. So NYT editorial board member Mara Gay says that trucks with American flags are racist and disturbing, and the NYT defends her by falsely claiming that her words were taken out of context.

    So much for journalism.

    1. I think they just left out that she views the American flag as a symbol of hate because of…..reasons…..so in claiming that her quote was taken out of context they just didn’t include the context because that also made her look really bad.

      1. I view BLM flags as a symbol of hate. If you read their charter and especially their original charter before it got scrubbed they do stand for a lot racist hateful stuff.

        But it is free speech so just like the Confederate flag

        1. “I view BLM flags as a symbol of hate.”

          Then you are stupid.

    2. There a reason you didn’t share the quote?
      Oh.
      “I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a dear friend, and I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with expletives against Joe Biden, Trump flags, and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing.”

      Gay added that she thought “the message” those people she saw were trying to send was, “This is my country. This is not your country. I own this.”

      Sounds like you’re wrong again.

      1. Who exactly is “your” in that context?

        1. People who don’t hate Joe Biden or love Trump.

          The context makes it pretty clear she’s talking about people wrapping negative partisanship in the American flag – ie. the “Real America” trope you even see here sometimes.

          But AL loves him some tendentious readings.

          1. TiP rather. AL has other issues.

          2. You mean I’m not supposed to look at the color of Mara Gay’s skin and it’s not a Dog Whistle for “people who look like me/POC”?

            Well, how convenient is that. Everything is racialized except when it’s not. American flags are Dog Whistles. But “your” is not referring to some marginalized oppressed group.

            The worst part is…I really want to believe you. And this is exactly why CRT is so evil.

            1. I had no idea what race she was.

              You can bring that in if you want, but then it’s pretty hard to argue yours the only reading, seems to me.

              1. “I had no idea what race she was.”

                Sure, sure. You read about it but saw no picture.

                Classic gaslito.

              2. One minute before you wrote that you wrote:

                finding white people

                I don’t want to bring race in. But I no longer expect members of the media to speak in race neutral ways. And I have no particular reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. Particularly when people have been doing the “Team America, Fuck Yeah!” thing for, I don’t know, FOREVER, and now it’s cast as “me against you”. No shit. It’s always me against you. That’s what patriotism is (which, BTW, I despise, because tribalism). So what always matters is who the “you” are.

              3. If she wants to be coy about who the “you” are, and let everyone come to their own conclusions…whatever. Another reason why Twitter is awful.

                1. I don’t think you should telepathy either though.

          3. “The context makes it pretty clear she’s talking about people wrapping negative partisanship in the American flag – ie. the “Real America” trope you even see here sometimes.”

            She’s talking about people who have dozens of American flags on their truck. She didn’t cite any other evidence of negative partisanship or anybody claiming, “I own this” by doing anything other than displaying the American flag.

            So it looks like I’m right and you’re wrong again.

            1. What in the world are you talking about, she didn’t cite any evidence of partisanship? In the same sentence as the American flags bit: “I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with expletives against Joe Biden, Trump flags…”

              You want to disaggregate the American flags clause from the rest of the sentence it’s in! That’s some extreme out-of-context taking.

              1. “You want to disaggregate the American flags clause from the rest of the sentence it’s in! That’s some extreme out-of-context taking.”

                I didn’t disaggregate it, she did.

                “…pickup trucks with expletives against Joe Biden, Trump flags, and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing.”

                Now, being disturbed that people support a different candidate than you do is bad enough, but claiming, without evidence, that people who display dozens of American flags are claiming that only white people belong in the country is just nuts.

              2. To be honest, Sarcastr0, she didn’t say expletives, that quote was “fixed” by people protecting her. She said “explicatives” – a made up word. Find the audio and listen.

              3. That’s not what she meant, you don’t care about context, and you take a nutsy interpretation of what she said as proof she’s nut.

                Vintage TiP these days.

                ThePublius: who cares if she didn’t say a word right?

                1. If Trump said a word incorrectly, or made up a word, we’d never hear the end of it. Like covfefe, for example.

                  It’s important, because a made-up word like that is an indication of an intellectual deficit or defect.

                  1. Rest assured, most on the left have issues with Trump well beyond covfefe.
                    That was funny, though.

                    But yeah, there’s some elitist nonsense about a lot of Trump’s speaking style and it was not a good look.

                    But you? You didn’t offer this for humor. Just as some kind of extremely weak-sauce attack.

                  2. “It’s important, because a made-up word like that is an indication of an intellectual deficit or defect.”)

                    No, it isn’t. Lots of people mispronounce words because they learned the word by reading it rather than hearing it. This does often provide a handy way of telling a long-time local from a recent arrival (because the long-timers know how to pronounce local place names) , it doesn’t tell you anything about their intellect.

              4. “That’s not what she meant, you don’t care about context, and you take a nutsy interpretation of what she said as proof she’s nut.”

                It’s exactly what she meant, her words were unambiguous in context, and you are again gaslighting.

                1. You require her to be talking about American Flags only, not in the context of the other flags she was talking about.
                  You also require her to be dogwhistling about her race.

                  NYT says you’re wrong. I say you’re wrong.

                  Nah, you’re sure you’re right. So right that other interpretations are gaslighting.

                  You’ve moved to the self-reinforcing level of crazy.

                  1. Seriously Sarcastr0? It’s not that hard to read.

                    and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing.

                    1. You have to cut off the beginning of her sentence to interpret it like that.

                      Yeah, wrapping yourself in the American flag as part and parcel with a community that’s screaming Trumpland is appropriating America for your own partisan nonsense, and excluding others from it.

                    2. “Yeah, wrapping yourself in the American flag as part and parcel with a community that’s screaming Trumpland is appropriating America for your own partisan nonsense, and excluding others from it.”

                      Sigh. All political events have flags, Sarcastro. It takes a special kind of partisanship to claim that flying the American Flag is sinister when the other side does it.

                    3. “Sigh. All political events have flags, Sarcastro. It takes a special kind of partisanship to claim that flying the American Flag is sinister when the other side does it.”

                      What does the flag of “real America” look like?

                    4. What does the flag of “real America” look like?

                      Since Sarcastr0 brought it up, why don’t you ask him?

                      What a silly strawman.

                    5. So you don’t know, either?

                  2. “You require her to be talking about American Flags only”

                    I’m requiring her to do what? She’s the one that said she was talking about American Flags only, or in her words, “just dozens of American flags”.

                    Yes, she saw other trucks on Long Island with different flags and her reaction to those was dumb as well, but her comments about the trucks with American Flags were nuts.

                    1. The rest of the sentence puts the lie to your only.

                      You’re artificially separating out the story she was telling in order to put her words in a false light.

                    2. “You’re artificially separating out the story she was telling in order to put her words in a false light.”

                      No, you’re gaslighting. She’s the one separating out cases where there were just dozens of American Flags.

                    3. It is one element of a list, chief. You read a list together, for context.

                      Yes, some people only displayed a while crapload of American flags. Which by itself would only be weird. But in the context of what other people were displaying, it sent a message to the author.

                      You ignore the above interpretation by eliding all the context. And you can’t stop doing it, despite my repeating the issue with ignoring the rest of that sentence!

                    4. Seriously Sarcastr0… It’s not that hard to read.

                      and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing.

                    5. “But in the context of what other people were displaying, it sent a message to the author.”

                      Lol. Because other people on Long Island were displaying Trump flags, that makes the American Flag racist? Do you even listen to yourself?

                      “Yes, some people only displayed a whole crapload of American flags. Which by itself would only be weird.”

                      I think I see the problem. You share Ms. Gay’s nutty view of the American Flag.

                    6. “It’s not that hard to read.”

                      It gets even easier when you just skip over the part(s) that don’t fit the conclusion you want to get to.

                    7. “It gets even easier when you just skip over the part(s) that don’t fit the conclusion you want to get to.”

                      And still easier when there are no such parts.

              5. and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing

                Learn how to read, you moron.

                1. Do a better job of reading before lecturing others to learn how to read, lackwit.

                  1. Do a better job of reading before lecturing others to learn how to read, lackwit.

                    I eagerly await your creative interpretation of the exact quote provided…you childish, dishonest piece of shit.

      2. The message that she was communicating was that “loving your country” is “disturbing” because she hates this country and therefore does not understand how anyone could proudly display a symbol of it for anything positive. This is what you get when you raise an entire generation under the thumb of identity politics. The only “acceptable” status to her for a view of America as a nation is to hate it. That is why she is disturbed by people who do not hold this view. And you know what it disturbs me that this person is partially in charge of our “media.”

        1. So your annoying, irrational nationalism is fine, but someone else’s annoying identity politics is bad? Y’all are cut from the same cloth.

        2. Wow you are dumb Jimmy. She found the inherently contradictory messages of patriotism and “Fuck Biden” disturbing, which it is, especially in the context of the ongoing coup attempts by that very political movement.

    3. Are we sure it was dozens of flags? Might have been one or 1000, Gay ain’t too good at math.

      “Somebody tweeted recently that actually with the money he spent he could have given every American a million dollars,” Gay said Thursday evening on Williams’s show.

      “When I read it tonight on social media, it kind of all became clear,” Williams concurred.

      In her tweet, Rivas wrote: “Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. The U.S. population is 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million and still have money left over.”

      The tweet was displayed by MSNBC as Williams and Gay offered commentary — seemingly unaware of the avalanche of corrections on Twitter.

      “It’s an incredible way of putting it,” Williams said.

      Gay, dubbing Bloomberg a “billionaire with good intentions,” added: “It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true. It’s disturbing. It does suggest what we’re talking about here: there is too much money in politics.”

      1. We all know math is racist and knowing how to perform mathematical operations is a hallmark of white supremacy so does that surprise you that a dozen and hundreds don’t seem to add up?

        1. “We all know math is racist and knowing how to perform mathematical operations is a hallmark of white supremacy”

          And the whites show their supremacy by not being as good at it as the Asians are.

          1. Well we have been also told that Asians are adopting White Supremacist Thinking to get ahead.

            1. You should stop listening to whoever fed you that crap, or listen better so you could hear what they actually said. My guess is the second one.

    4. TIP, why are you choosing to be offended by these words?

      Perhaps you should follow Brett’s advice, and shrug it off and move on.

      “We chose whether to be offended, hurt by words. That’s the blunt truth of the matter.

      We used to encourage people to be tough, shrug it off, move on. Today, we give them every incentive to walk around a bundle of bare nerves, with a hair trigger on their offense.

      It’s not good for society, but it empowers certain social movements, so it’s encouraged and excused.”

      Next time, be a man and move on, it’ll be good society.

  11. The “Divided Argument” podcast Will Baude pointed to a few days ago is quite good. It took me a couple of them before I remembered why Dan Epps’ voice was so familiar. He used to do the late lamented “First Mondays” podcast with Ian Samuel. That was a great podcast also. Are there any other current legal and/or constitutional podcasts any of you would recommend?

    1. Oh man yeah that was a good podcast. Is that the one where it was good until they brought on a co-host who was on a constant lefty crusade and kept insulting people? Or am I thinking of another one?

      1. I can’t really remember what happened after Samuel had his “difficulties” at IU. I vaguely remember them bringing on another person, which might be what you are referring to. But I’m glad Epps is back, I enjoy listening to him. And Baude certainly isn’t on a lefty crusade!

  12. Honest question @Eugene: where do you find the time to write all these essays on the blog? Is there so much free time in the life of a law professor, or do you just go without sleep?

    1. ” where do you find the time to write all these essays on the blog?”

      Being a professor is a fairly cush job. You go to class a few times per week, to talk about a subject that you know fairly well. You often give lectures that are mostly the same as they were the last time you gave them. (Law is one area where there are or at least can be changes, but they don’t actually happen very often.) For most of the faculty, the real business of the university is research. The way research is measured is by publishing results. In say, the sciences, the scientists do their experiment and then publish the results of the experiment in an academic journal. Other scientists can then learn what results were obtained without necessarily repeating the experiment themselves (although repeating other peoples’ experiments is part of the process). In law, the academic journals are the various law reviews. Law professors publish papers in the journals, so that other lawyers can learn the results of the professors’ scholarship without having to do the research themselves. Of course, gaining publication credit is easier if you do your own publishing. Not everyone is convinced that anyone cares what the professors write about. Although sometimes judges do cite to them, it’s not at all clear if they consulted the law review to guide the decision, or made the decision and then searched for support, citing only the sources that supported the outcome they wanted.

  13. Have you seen Jill Biden’s tweet, “prepping for the G7?” What the hell is she doing at POTUS’ desk on Air Force One, reviewing G7 material? Where’s Joe?

    Who’s really running this country?

    1. Hey, if Edith Wilson could do it…

    2. I was flabbergasted that she had the audacity to tweet that out herself, with that caption. She’s proclaiming publicly that she’s prepping for the G7. Who elected her?

      1. I suspect that she has her own work while at the summit. Remember she is part of the team and likely has assignments. Get to know or reestablish connections with other leaders wives, ect. You know that diplomacy is multidimensional bringing the first ladies together also brings the leaders together.

        1. She was sitting at Joe’s desk with his jacket draped behind her.

          1. So? Joe strikes me as an easy going guy, particularly where family is concerned. One of his grandkids sits down at the President’s desk in the Oval Office you think he chases them off or do you think he says ” you look good there, I hope some day you are sitting there for real”. Jeez lighten up.

            1. You are in complete denial.

      2. ” Who elected her?”

        Frankly, she WON that election. By a landslide.

    3. Had Melania read the briefing at least someone in the group would have known what was going on.

    4. “Who’s really running this country?”

      The Deep State, duh.

      1. What ever that is?

        1. That’s when a politician puts people into important government positions, and they remain loyal to the person who put them in a position of power rather than to the country or the person running the country now.
          This sort of things is why Presidents aren’t allowed to nominate Supreme Court Justices during the last six months of their term in office.

  14. A week in which the underworld tumbled to (1) the fact that bitcoin is the opposite of untraceable, and (peculiar) speedy attempts to off-ramp to the U.S. dollar will likely involve entities susceptible to subpoena; and (2) a device can be trusted only as much as the dry-goods delivery catalogue from which it is purchased.

    “One more dollar, and I’m on my way…” (Gillian Welch)

    Mr. D.

  15. This has been my go to conservative law blog for years. Balkinization is my liberal law blog. I’m looking for a new conservative law blog that’s less sensational/reactionary in tone. I don’t enjoy seeing folks talk about mass executions and the coming race wars in the comments. My primary interest is administrative law. You folks have any recommendations?

    1. Well, you certainly can’t complain about the comments at Balkinization anymore, that’s for sure. If the comments here bother you, why don’t you just pretend it’s Balkinization, and not read them?

    2. Have you read Prawfsblawg at all? I enjoy reading Howard Wasserman’s stuff. I believe that’s the blog the late Dan Markel founded.

    3. ” I don’t enjoy seeing folks talk about mass executions and the coming race wars in the comments. ”

      1. where did you see that?
      2. just don’t come here = problem solved.

      1. “1. where did you see that?”

        It’s a theme Special Ed likes to return to from time to time, when he gets annoyed at being demonstrated to be wrong about something (again).

        It’s very reminiciscent of the grade school playground, where there was always a kid who kept saying “Oh, yeah? You wouldn’t say that to me if my big brother was around…” Special Ed’s “big brother” is the Great White Folks Uprising which will come when all the other white folks get tired Special Ed getting pushed around for being weak. The details change slightly from month to month, but not the core element of how the darned leftists are going to be sorry for all the wrongs they’ve heaped upon him and his weaksauce ilk.

  16. THE VOLOKH CONSPIRACY

    This White, male, movement conservative,
    “often libertarian” blog has operated for
    ONE (1) DAY
    without publishing (as it regularly
    does) a vile racial slur and for
    TWO (2) YEARS
    without imposing partisan,
    viewpoint-controlled censorship
    (so far as may be
    determined, at least).

    Carry on, Conspirators!

  17. Informal poll: when, if ever, is it appropriate to vote an elderly persons ballot for them? I would have thought the answer is a solid never but have found many people who either explicitly or implicitly think it’s OK.

    Here are some scenarios:
    1. A man declining into Alzheimer’s explicitly tells his spouse it’s OK to vote his ballot and what his preferences are.
    2. Same thing, but it wasn’t explicit and the spouse is making a good faith effort.
    3. Grandson believes grandma has become confused by fake news and votes what she should have wanted if she wasn’t confused.
    4. A nursing home worker sees elderly people too far gone to vote but thinks she knows what they would have wanted and fills in their ballots accordingly.
    5. A paid political worker goes to a nursing home and engages in the same thing as the nursing home worker in (4).
    6. A paid political worker skips the unnecessary visit and just gets the ballots mailed directly to himself.

    I could maybe accept (1). At most. But I’ve heard people admitting to (2)-(3). And people who support legal ballot harvesting at nursing homes are effectively condoning (4)-(6).

    1. Never!

      My sister in law “helped” with the absentee ballot for her mom with dementia in 2016. She had her vote for Clinton despite my mother in law hating [I mean hating!!!!] Clinton since 1992.

      1. BfO, I agree with you.

        The most charitable construction I can put on it is that some people have a different idea about why it’s important. You (I assume) and I think it’s strictly about making a majority or plurality collective decision. Others seem to think voting is about affirming that people “count”, that they’re valued as individuals with dignity, that we’re all members of society and in this together, etc.

        If you take that point of view, then of course people with Alzheimer’s should be valued and affirmed and have dignity. And it also follows from that reasoning that it’s better that invalid votes get counted than one citizen be denied their value and their dignity. Even if the numerical effect of the invalid votes is to cancel valid ones, it’s worth it because the dignity comes from voting even if you lose.

        I’m trying to steelman here. If someone who supports ballot harvesting or correcting Fox News Grandad can explain their motives better I’d like to here it.

          1. Hear it is:
            “Ballot harvesting” is equally available to all sides in elections, so the net effect is likely to be negligible. Older people tend to fear change, so discarding their franchise simply because they have difficulty reaching polling places is unfair and likely to increase their fear that the young folks are taking over.

            1. Ballot harvesting is a pernicious practice with a strong opportunity for coercion and undue influence. It undermines voting as a private practice.

              The fact that all parties can cheat does not make cheating acceptable. Your argument is just a form of whataboutism

              1. Ballot harvesting means that someone goes out to where the voter is, and collects their ballot to make sure it gets to the election office on time. It is not cheating. I used to live in Oregon, where ballots are mail-in. The elections office maintained lists of people who’d turned in ballots, and parties could get those lists and call any of their members that hadn’t yet turned in a ballot. Other interests could also get those lists and use them to conduct push-polling on people who hadn’t yet turned in a ballot. I used to fill out my ballot as soon as I got it and then hand-deliver it to the elections office as soon as they’d take it, to cut down on the electioneering.

                “The fact that all parties can cheat does not make cheating acceptable. Your argument is just a form of whataboutism”

                My argument is NOT just a form of whataboutism, and nor does it include any claim that cheating is acceptable nor even that all parties cheat. That you consider making sure your party members have remembered to vote is “cheating” says everything anyone needs to know about you.

    2. “Informal poll: when, if ever, is it appropriate to vote an elderly persons ballot for them? I would have thought the answer is a solid never but have found many people who either explicitly or implicitly think it’s OK.”

      When it’s clear who they intended vote for (or against), but they are unable to follow the specific voting method offered by the state. (for example, if the voting method requires manually punching holes into a physical ballot, then helping someone who lacks the physical dexterity to mark their ballot without damaging it.)

      1. That’s a very reasonable position. I would say some protective conditions would be that the elderly person has to be physically present and able to somehow communicate, and that the person rendering assistance has to have some pre-existing relationship with the elderly person – family member, guardian, power of attorney, caregiver selected by the elderly person.

        The specific practice I’m against is sending either paid politiqueras or campaign volunteers go into a nursing home seeking seriously disabled voters to help. Even if they go in sincerely intending to follow the elderly person’s wishes the temptation to hear what they want to in an incoherent ramble is too high.

      2. “vote an elderly persons ballot for them”
        Always a pernicious practice.
        If assistance is needed, it should only per provided by manifestly neutral means. Such as ballots in Braille. We live in a high tech society. The state can provide needed assistance for the disabled in a way that the voter’s preferences remain secret and free of even the appearance of influence when the vote is cast.

        1. “Fill in the bubble next to the name of the person you want to vote for.”, even in Braille, still leaves some need for assistance, and “punch out the chad that corresponds to your choice” is even worse.
          Picture a worst-case scenario. A person with ALS so bad that they need a computer to speak for them (Hint: think Stephen Hawking except, obviously, a US citizen able to vote in our elections.) If the person cannot hold a pencil, they cannot fill in the bubble. Now consider a quadriplegic, or a stroke victim learning to walk again. Maybe somebody’s scheduled their LASIK surgery a couple of days before ballots came out, and they can’t read with their glasses any more, and can’t read without them yet, either. Braille won’t help that person.

    3. It would be acceptable to help someone who is vision impaired read the ballot. It would also be acceptable to help someone with palsy or other physical disability mark their ballot for them.

      I have also attempted to assist relatives by telling to get their head out of their asses before they vote without much success.

      1. “I have also attempted to assist relatives by telling to get their head out of their asses before they vote without much success.”

        Presumably, you also reject such help from others.

  18. “Joe Biden branded ‘senile’ by Tory MP who tells US to ‘remember who their allies are’ & back UK in sausage war with EU”

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15222877/joe-biden-uk-in-sausage-war-eu/

    1. An unnamed lawmaker from Johnson’s Conservative party regurgitated Trumpist attacks on Biden on Thursday, telling Politico, “America should remember who their allies are… Unfortunately [Biden is] so senile that he probably won’t remember what we tell him anyway. Unless an aide is listening I’m not sure he’s going to remember for very long.”

      1. While this unnamed Tory lawmaker is lecturing the US President on “who their (our) allies are…”, perhaps someone should offer a history lesson that covers the period of 1776-1781. or mentions the phrase 54-40 or fight!

        1. Yea, and all that history since then, including WWI, WWII, etc., is meaningless, right?

          Point is, foreigners perceive Biden as senile, which no U.S. media outlet has the balls say.

          1. “Point is, foreigners perceive Biden as senile, which no U.S. media outlet has the balls say.”

            Point is, stupid people perceive Biden as senile, which no U.S. media outlet has any reason to care about.

        2. your objection expired 200 years ago.

          1. Not quite. The Pig War of 1859 was not completely resolved until 1871, which is less than 200 years ago.

            You were only off by 50 years.

            1. Oops. My mistake. The border dispute that led to the Pig War wasn’t actually settled until 1872. In 1871 they sent it out for international mediation, and the following year the border was finally settled. the San Juan Islands are part of Washington, not British Columbia.

  19. People are freaking out because CNN re-hired Toobin. Yeesh, just change the channel if the starts jerking off.

    I can’t believe they made him talk about it.

    1. CNN is just 24/7 jerking off, anyway, who cares?

      1. The vanquished, stale-thinking misfits always resent the successful, progressive mainstream.

        1. Yeah like Woodrow Wilson.

          1. Gave him a stroke!

    2. They ought to hire a hot babe that likes masturbating on camera too, for equity of course.

      1. Only Fox News is allowed to hire hot babes.

      2. “They ought to hire a hot babe that likes masturbating on camera too”

        You obviously have an Internet connection available. Did you know it can be used to access porn?

  20. I’m surprised none of the VC bloggers posted about this:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/05/us/california-assault-weapons-ban.html
    Good for Californians!

    1. Yes, indeed. But…let’s see if the government actually follows the law. I honestly doubt they will.

  21. My biggest issue is a personal one. Washington courts are ignoring their own rulings, federal law, and SCOTUS to make a veteran pay a former spouse for loss of retirement income due to being awarded VA disability.

    Due to this I cannot afford an attorney and am forced to do this pro se.

    1. How does being awarded VA disability cause a loss of retirement income?

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