Thursday Open Thread

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  1. I wrote up a review of Tyler Cowen’s “Love Letter to Big Business”:

  2. The recent posts about Jackson and FDR got me thinking of all the other times I’ve seen the same group of people cursing one while fawning over the other. Two guesses as to which way it happens more often

    Both were involved in great events that shaped the nation. Both of them also arguably were involved in ruining the living situations of a lot of people (FDR did a number on a lot more than just the Japanese). Yet one has this completely eclipse all the other tons of consequential things they’ve done to the point where this misdeed is all some people remember them for and their name is now mud but the other continues to be adored and hailed as a hero to this day by most except a minority to this day. What kinda sense does that make? Why does one get a break while the other doesn’t?

    1. Can you give some context to each president’s actions that might illustrate what you’re trying to prove?

      1. I’m just wondering why one is lionized when it looks like he screwed over just as much if not more people unnecessarily. Maybe the guys who are treating it differently should be the ones giving context.

        1. People are still alive who existed under FDR, even the current president and house majority leader [born in FDR’s second term!]. Everybody who lived under Jackson is long, long dead.

        2. It’s because FDR made huge strides in advancing socialism and big centralized government in the US. So communists and and leftists in the US will lionize him. For example they’ll pretend that he helped fix the depression when he only worsened and prolonged it.

          1. For example they’ll pretend that he helped fix the depression when he only worsened and prolonged it.

            You might want to read someone other than Amity Shlaes before you go throwing around crap like that.

    2. Because the winners write the history books.

      1. Zinn is not a winner by any stretch of the imagination.

    3. Japanese interment during a war with Japan is pretty bad, but maybe < mass slavery and Indian removal?

      1. Wasn’t the Holocaust kinda doubleunplusgood?

        1. FDR is not responsible for the Holocaust Crazy Eddie.

  3. Just your occasional reminder that “insurrection” is completely fine, in the eyes of the media, as long as you are a liberal.

    If you are a working class stiff who lives in a run down rental home in the South and spent the wrong 15 minutes in the Capitol building doing nothing but roaming around, that gets you a bunch of months in jail.

    1. The federal government is sending a loud and clear message. We will arrest and prosecute you based purely on your ideology. And nobody cares. After being given permission to cease holding the government to account now that Our GuyTM is in office all we want to do is watch Jimmah Kimmel pull faces on TV.

      1. Not so much that nobody cares, but nobody who matters cares. The impotent fury of those who do care is actually a plus, for the people doing this.

        You saw that dynamic during the Clinton administration, where they made no effort to pretend innocence, and were content with just escaping legal consequences. For instance, ‘finding’ the Rose law firm billing records a couple days after the statute of limitations expired. Why find them at all, why not burn them?

        Because they actually wanted their enemies to know they’d had them all the while, and were deliberately refusing to comply with the subpoena. They were baiting their enemies.

        Same thing here: Your enemies knowing you’re doing it is half the fun.

        1. And, a WhiteWater deep dive, the conspiracy theorists chef’s kiss.

    2. Fun fact: although the folks in Seattle were in a place called “Capitol Hill”, they weren’t actually occupying the capitol building or attempting to prevent anyone from finalizing the result of an election they didn’t like.

      1. Don’t bother.

        They keep trying to make the same false analogies to defend Jan 06 over and over again.
        They’ve lost, they know it, and the best they can do is declare yet again that people find their arguments laughable is just more oppression. (Even as they still think about political violence a lot).

        1. I agree. the prog protests are not like Jan 6th at all.

          The former actually knows how to live up the the title of ‘insurrection’ by killing a healthy amount of people for starters.

          1. Your choice of metric is convenient, and wrong.

            The protests never killed anyone, and the insurrection is bad not because of the blood spilled, but because of the blood they attempted to spill.

            1. “The protests never killed anyone,”

              Body found in wreckage of pawnshop burned during George Floyd unrest

              Wikipedia claims the George Floyd protests resulted in 25 deaths as of October 31, 2020.

            2. “but because of the blood they attempted to spill.”

              Which was none.

            3. Whose blood was it, that they attempted to spill?

              1. Congresspeople’s, and the Vice President’s.

                But you knew that.

                1. So “attempt” is now the latest word you’d prefer to lose both its well-understood dictionary definition and legal meaning.

                  Pro tip: There are a good number of criminal statutes that can be brought to bear against people who “attempt to spill the blood of Congresspeople and the Vice President” — many of them even quite cleverly include the word “attempted.” Instead, people are basically being charged with entering the Holy of Holies. Quite the disconnect.

                  1. Say ‘aimed’ if it makes you feel better.

                    1. I’ll say, “Would have done things completely differently if they had intended that.”

                    2. Brett, you assume they had a plan.

                      But their plan (as seen on social media via charging documents) seemed to be get into the capitol and do violence to halt the process until Trump and the military would show up to sweep aside all the evil Dems and their machinations.

                      It’s a bad plan. It’s also super dangerous.

                    3. Yeah, he’s of course assuming competence and good planning for his comrades.

      2. Burning down a police precinct and preventing emergency services — including ambulances — from reaching an area, especially with an armed “warlord” running an impromptu police/extortion scheme, with this situation extending for several weeks, is far more effective an insurrection than anything that happened so far in 2021.

        1. I think conservatives make this mistake (not seeing that the main reason Jan. 6th gets labeled an ‘insurrection’ is because it was an attempt to stop the national peaceful transfer of power) is because they don’t care about/actually disdain democratic values.

          1. Thinking the Jan. 6 actions would have stopped the peaceful transfer of power shows that you either don’t know how the government works, or don’t have much faith that it will work as designed.

            1. Defendants have admitted they aimed to stop the certification, and Trump has said he wanted what they wanted.


              1. That Trump wanted the same thing as the defendants is not evidence that Trump had any involvement in Defendants actions outside of defendant’s delusional minds.

                1. I didn’t say it was evidence he was involved, I said he said he wanted what they wanted.

                  1. Yeah, on some level I suppose that’s true. Some very general sense.

                    So, I follow up your link, and Trump was NOT saying he wanted the same thing as the defendants. He wanted the same thing as the protesters.

                    Are we having trouble remembering that almost all the protesters didn’t riot?

                    1. Trump, the non-rioting protestors and the rioting protestors all wanted the same thing: to steal the election.

                    2. I didn’t say Trump wanted them to riot (though his response to it indicates he wasn’t much upset by it), but that he wanted what the rioters wanted (the certification stopped).

                    3. Well, yeah, and I’ll fault him for that. IMO, the last point for contesting the election outcome was December 14th, when the EC voted. Congress counting the votes was a purely ministerial act, not discretionary.

                      Republicans appreciate Trump’s willingness to fight, but he demonstrates that virtue is subject to diminishing returns. At some point you have to recognize that you lost.

                      Refusing to admit he lost actually got in the way of the important part, exposing election irregularities, and making sure that the next election would be better, more legally run. Judges were refusing to examine all sorts of cases on the merits because they weren’t willing to ‘go there’ on the remedies.

                      But, it remains that, in 2016, some Democrats contested Trump’s EC win, in Congress. They didn’t get as far as Republicans did in 2020, but the did breach the norm, which Trump then stomped all over.

                      But not without cause did he do that stomping. I was saying this before the election: You don’t make ad hoc changes to election administration when political polarization is this high, when there’s no trust between the parties. 2020 should have been strictly by the book in every single way.

                      But, no, Democrats had to tweak every detail in their favor they could, and to hell with the law. You sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind. Don’t do that again!

                    4. The party of personal responsibility, folks!

                    5. The party that won’t accept responsibility for everybody thinking they cheated when they violated election laws on a wholesale basis is yours.

                      I’ll say it again: We are as polarized, and distrustful as at any point prior to the Civil war. Now is not the time to be making ad hoc and transparently self-serving changes to election laws. It’s the time to crank election security up to 11, obey every letter of the law, and hope like hell people actually believe the outcome wasn’t rigged.

                      If you can’t bring yourselves to do that, you’ve got nobody else to blame when people think the next election was stolen.

                    6. “Yes my friends acted terribly, but only because yours acted badly, so it’s your friends fault!”

                    7. Fuck you, Brett.

                      The election wasn’t rigged, and you know it.

                      Whose responsibility is it to fix the perception that it was? It;s the goddamn Republicans’ responsibility. But they won’t do it, because they are a bunch of spineless Trump ass-kissers.

                      Let McConnell, McCarthy, et al say what they know. Trump lost. I don’t know if that will fix it – lots of Trumpists are too far gone – but stop telling Democrats they have to do this and that, and go along with voter suppression schemes, to convince the deluded Trumpists that the election was legitimate.

                      They don’t have to.

                    8. No, fuck you, and I mean that sincerely. Multiple states had election laws violated, using Covid as an excuse. Violated in ways that were well known to favor Democrats. Sure, you got tame judges to give you permission slips, but you were still violating the rules the legislature had enacted.

                      You think you can use Covid as an excuse to do anything you want, and once having done it, call any attempt to return to prior practice “vote suppression”. Even if the prior practice was more liberal than what you’re doing in your own states like NY!

                      You can think that all you like, and it won’t stop people who don’t agree with you from seeing it as you rigging an election.

                      If you didn’t want people thinking you’d rigged the election, you should have agreed to conduct it by the book. You didn’t, because all you cared about was winning, not whether the losers thought you’d won honestly. But if you want civic peace, you NEED the losers to think you won honestly.

                    9. The thing is, Brett, you don’t get to say what was violated; there’s a whole judicial infrastructure that does that.

                      Lots of Dems thought Gore got robbed. They wrote books about it. They also accepted that while Bush may not have been their President, he was the President.

                      You’re already more of a grownup than many of the righties on this thread, but I would urge you to take the final step and realize that there were no irregularities to uncover – the revelations are *written in open court opinions* which means no matter how passionately you think it’s true, it’s not going to carry the day. Your side failed to convince, and in a Republic that’s the ballgame.

                      Unless you want to storm the Capitol in a violent protest, that is.

                    10. “use Covid as an excuse”

                      Well, as ‘excuses’ go a pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans is a pretty darn good one. But of course you see conspiracy there instead. You’re Brett.

                    11. “The thing is, Brett, you don’t get to say what was violated; there’s a whole judicial infrastructure that does that.”

                      Sarcastr0, judges DID say that laws were violated. Then they said go ahead and keep violating them because Covid or reasons or some other BS.

                      But you’re a smart guy. You know that. Too bad you’re not as honest as you are smart.

              2. They wanted to protest and expose the fraudulent stealing of an election they believed was happening.

                1. They wanted to stop the certification based on laughable assertions.

                2. IOW, They were gullible fools, like you, who let themselves be goaded into insurrection by a bunch of liars – not the least of which was Trump himself.

                  1. No, he’s also lying. They didn’t want to expose anything; they wanted to purge. Violently. and thought Trump would back them up.

            2. Well, for sure we can all agree they were mostly idiots, but it turns out that usually what matters is your intent, not whether you were particularly likely to succeed. See for example this lady who was prosecuted for trying to barge into the White House to see Trump, despite the fact that she was actually at the Treasury Building:


              1. Thanks for bringing this case up JB.

                So, here we have a case of clear trespassing, as someone jumps a locked fence, charges a building, with the intent of entering the White House, which would interfere with official business. Caught at gunpoint by the secret service. Clearly “bad stuff” on the same level with a protestor who enters the Capitol. Perhaps less so, there’s a difference between jumping a locked fence and entering through a door help open. Regardless.

                The sentence here? Well, the person had previous crimes, and everything combined said 4-10 months, supposedly. But…the judge decided that time served…7 days….was enough, and released her.

                THAT is about the level of sentence the Capitol protestors should get.

                That they’re being locked up, for months, in solitary confinement, without a trial or bail….that’s abusive, and treats them like political prisoners. Which is wrong.

                1. It’s cute that you think your description of their status is accurate across all 500+ cases.

                  Oh, and delusional, just like your comparison.

                  Someone wanting to see Trump is not in the same universe as people trying to find Pence and Pelosi to hang them, and to prevent the certification of our election results so that Trump would unlawfully keep the Presidency.

                  1. It’s accurate for some of them.

                    If the cops just kill “some” of the protestors, do you argue “It’s OK, because at least they didn’t kill all of them”….

                    1. “It’s accurate for some of them”

                      So when you said below that all that occurred was people taking selfies you were being dishonest or stupid?

                    2. “It’s accurate for some of them”


                      Some people have been let loose on bail. Others haven’t. The one’s that haven’t….are analogous to just shooting “some” of the protesters.

                    3. You’re extremely bad at analogies.

                      “THAT is about the level of sentence the Capitol protestors should get.

                      That they’re being locked up, for months, in solitary confinement, without a trial or bail….that’s abusive, and treats them like political prisoners.”

                      Maybe next time don’t make blanket statements which aren’t actually true.

                  2. Being locked in solitary confinement for long periods is a human rights abuse. Wake up, Jason

                    1. Such ambiguity…. What are “long periods?”

                      Sounds like a few things should happen here.

                      1) Prove it’s happening.
                      2) Prove it’s a violation of US law or SCOTUS precedent.
                      3) Offer to act as counsel for the suspects for whom you can prove 1 and 2, since clearly the ‘experts’ here know more than their current non-Armchair lawyers.

                  3. “trying to find Pence and Pelosi to hang them”

                    See, this is one reason I don’t take your complaints seriously, nobody wanted to hang anyone.

                    1. nobody wanted to hang anyone.

                      You could have fooled me. When you start screaming “Hang Mike Pence,” and put up a gallows intended for the purpose, any reasonable person is going to assume you in fact want to hang Mike Pence.

                      Wave your hands all you want.

                    2. So I take it you two believe that the fine Americans who wheeled a guillotine in front of the White House, put a Trump mannequin in it, and yelled “chop off his head” really wanted to do so and thus should have been put away for life?

                    3. If they had then rushed the White House chanting the same thing?

                    4. Ah, “rushed.” Is that the word we use now when there’s a crowd of people and some of them end up in a building? Sorta like how y’all throw around military-sounding words like “breached” when you really mean “opened the door and walked inside.”

                    5. “and some of them end up in a building”

                      Yeah, they just ‘ended up’ in the prohibited places. Teleported, most likely!

                      We’ve all seen and can bring up the videos of the rioters *literally* rushing (climbing walls, smashing windows, pulling doors open, etc.,) into the buildings. You’re making a joke of yourself.

                    6. Here’s some officers ‘opening the doors’ while Brian’s comrades ‘walk inside.’


                      Trump makes people this pathetic folks.

                    7. Here’s some of Brian’s comrades simply ‘walking inside,’ though much more vertically than usual…



                    8. There’s footage in here of Brian’s comrades simply ‘walking inside….’ via broken windows.


                    9. Very impressive cutting and pasting of the cherries you choose to pluck from the mostly peaceful protest, but not particularly responsive to my point.

                      A few days ago, we were treated to a media blitz about Paul Hodgkins “breaching the Senate chamber”.

                      Post THAT video.

                    10. Ah, so now Brian has dug deep into his thimble of integrity to at least move his goal posts from “some of them end up in a building” to it was a “mostly peaceful protest!”

                      You know how “some of them end[ed] up in a building” (which they were prohibited from being in)? By scaling walls, smashing and entering windows, smashing their way through police protected doors, etc. Interesting how Brian at first didn’t mention these methods of how they ‘end[ed] up’ in those buildings, isn’t it, which eerily looks exactly like many of them…*rushed* (or stormed, or breached) in the *most literal sense* for which we have video proof!

                      And by interesting I mean embarrassing.

                    11. Goalposts were the gratuitous use of military sounding words like “breached” to characterize acts not even close.

                      You responded with a bunch of random cutty-pastey confetti.

                      I reminded you of the most recent abuse of “breached,” and invited you to back it up.

                      You flapped your lips.


          2. Yeah a bunch of drunken unarmed suburban yahoo protestors is totally a real serious threat to the election. If Pelosi zigged instead of zagged we had like a 50% chance that Fuhrer Trump would still be in office. Because like everybody agrees, including Leftists whenever they do it. Standing in a government building simply screaming and running around is like this super secret Dark Magic spell totally going to hypnotize the bureaucratic, political, and military machinery of the United States to give up and put your candidate of choice back in. Tots more serious than all the actual deaths and destruction from Leftists that continues to this day.

            Lol you guys are completely unhinged and delusional.

            1. That the insurrection was stupid doesn’t change it’s goals, it was to stop the certification (why do you think they came at that day and time?). It’s why they chanted ‘Hang Pence,’ because he wouldn’t stop the certification.

              1. Alright fine. If Jan 6th should be taken as a serious full Civil War level ‘insurrection’ like you guys insist than the seriousness of all the BLM protests which actually killed people and destroyed property including the government should correspondingly rise in seriousness as well. I mean, its not like its hard to find a prog who will gladly state that they want to overthrow the old order or reverse some measure or politician that was installed by the established ‘democratic’ process.

                So I guess its one ‘insurrection’ we started vs hundreds and counting from you guys. Oh you think death and revolt are funny now?

                1. Again, what gets it focused on is that it actually did disrupt the federal transfer of power by breaching the federal capitol. Now, I don’t think that equates it with the Civil War, certainly, but it’s not a slightly disorderly tour group either.

                  1. Insurrection is not defined as an attempt to “disrupt the federal transfer of power by breaching the federal capitol”, and never has been. It is “a violent uprising against an authority or government”, and any number of much more violent attacks on federal, state and local governments during Antifa’s rioting were more successful examples.

                    1. A violent uprising against an authority or government that involved the breaching of the federal capitol and stopping of the peaceful transfer of the highest federal office is unprecedented in our nation’s history of attempted insurrections.

                    2. Queen, I’m cool with agreeing they were both technically ‘insurrections’, if you’re willing to admit that last year’s ‘insurrections’ were on a vastly larger and more violently destructive scale.

                      If you’re going with that ‘mostly peaceful’ crap, we’ve got nothing to talk about.

                      I will say that I was utterly shocked at how poor the capitol buildings security was. If that had been Antifa or BLM invading the capitol, it would have ended a smoking ruin.

                      I guess that’s what happened: Everybody was still stuck in “Right wing protesters are reliably polite and law abiding” mode, and so they assumed that all they had to worry about was the grounds keepers not having anything to do the next day due to the marchers cleaning up after themselves. They hadn’t quite absorbed that some elements of the right were starting to copy the left’s tactics.

                      But, still, Capitol security was absolutely pathetic, if that crowd had actually had genuinely malign intentions, the result would have been horrific.

                    3. It is “a violent uprising against an authority or government”

                      Which is exactly what Jan. 6 was.

                    4. Bernard,

                      A violent uprising where…no one was killed. Except the protestors? By the police?

                      You could argue instead it was the use of police power to shoot down unarmed protestors. Which is more accurate.

                    5. “last year’s ‘insurrections’ were on a vastly larger and more violently destructive scale.”

                      It’s this kind of thing that leads me to again conclude that many if not most conservatives simply don’t grasp or disdain democratic values. Brett really doesn’t seem to be able to understand what’s at stake outside of property values or injuries.

                      Let me illustrate with an example. Scenario one a group of protesters flips cars at the two ends of a street and lights them afire and claim the street is ‘theirs’ (or ‘the people’s’). Scenario two, with, say, an impeachment vote going on which has come down to the vote of one lawmaker who has announced they are on the way to cast the deciding vote, a group of protestors surround the lawmaker’s car and cut the tires. I don’t think Brett can get how the second might warrant more attention/concern even though the value of the two flipped cars is much > than the value of the tires.

                      Also, not every protest is an insurrection. I think there’s an argument the Seattle situation could count, but not every BLM protest (or, for that matter, right wing occupations like the Bundy one) count. For example, the Colfax massacre was an insurrection attempt, the Tulsa massacre was iirc not.

                    6. And I’m beginning to suspect you’re simply innumerate, or perhaps living in a media bubble fantasy world.

                      Over $2B in property damage. Dozens dead. Multiple cases of arson of occupied buildings. Organized, systematic looting. Significant areas of cities turned into dystopian hellholes run by warlords, with police and emergency services blocked, and the inhabitants living in terror.

                      That’s your, “a group of protesters flips cars at the two ends of a street and lights them afire and claim the street is ‘theirs’ ”

                      Say, how many cars got flipped and set on fire on January 6th? None, I believe?

                    7. Brett, your metrics continue to be the wrong ones. At this point, I’ve got to believe deliberately.

                      People are all up about the 6th because of what it intended to do, and where and how it intended to do it.

                      This has been made very clear to you. You can continue to argue with your preferred and convenient metrics, but you won’t convince anyone until you can convince them not to be concerned about what the insurrectionists attempted.

                    8. No, Sarcastro, it IS the right metric, you just don’t like my pointing out that YOUR side’s riots were vastly more violent and destructive, because it doesn’t help your case for treating January 6 as more serious than… all of 2020.

                    9. In a debate about how conservatives like Brett can’t/won’t attach value to democratic principles Brett keeps coming back to….non-democratic principles at stake in Seattle.

                      I feel like I should pay the guy for doing my work for me!

                    10. If the 1/6 attackers had succeeded, the lawful government of the U.S. would’ve been violently overthrown. (Or, violently prevented from taking power as scheduled.) That sounds an awful lot like an insurrection.

                    11. The only thing you seem to be able to take seriously is anything that threatens your hold on power,

                      Well, the “hold on power” was come by legitimately, via an honest election, so maybe those threats, which is what they were, merit being taken seriously.

                      You won’t, of course, because yoi won’t accept that your guys actually lost the election.

                  2. I said “Brett really doesn’t seem to be able to understand what’s at stake outside of property values or injuries.”

                    And Brett ‘responds’ by…citing property damage and injuries…

                    I mean, he really doesn’t get or disdains democratic principles and stakes.

                    “how many cars got flipped and set on fire on January 6th”

                    Good lord, that was an *analogy* to demonstrate that you can have two situations, one with more property damage but less democratic stakes and one vice versa and the second be worse.

                    1. You don’t take property damage seriously enough, and injuries, and attempted murder by arson, and successful murder by arson.

                      The only thing you seem to be able to take seriously is anything that threatens your hold on power, not trivialities like PEOPLE BEING KILLED.

                    2. “You don’t take property damage seriously enough, and injuries, and attempted murder by arson, and successful murder by arson.”

                      I take them very seriously. What happened in Seattle was unacceptable and wrong, I’ve not said otherwise. I’m simply indicating you don’t know/disdain democratic principles. You simply can’t/won’t acknowledge what they are and that they were at stake on Jan. 6th.

                      To wit: “The only thing you seem to be able to take seriously is anything that threatens your hold on power”

                      You can only see this as a ‘which team is in power’ thing. You can’t/acknowledge that democratic values, such as the people being able to select their leaders, is as a neutral principle important. And so, like most conservatives, you seem/feign confusion and outrage ‘why so much focus on Jan. 6th when there was more property damage and injuries in Seattle?’

                    3. “You can only see this as a ‘which team is in power’ thing. You can’t/acknowledge that democratic values, such as the people being able to select their leaders, is as a neutral principle important. And so, like most conservatives, you seem/feign confusion and outrage ‘why so much focus on Jan. 6th when there was more property damage and injuries in Seattle?’”

                      The reason there was so much property damage/injuries/death in Seattle was because the government that people elected was unable to function. I’m not sure why you think that one situation was so different from the other.

                    4. You don’t get to declare the Seattle government unable to function because they elected not to go in guns blazing.

                    5. ” I’m not sure why you think that one situation was so different from the other.”

                      Well, other than Sarcastro’s point, there’s the idea that Jan. 6 was a national thing involving trying to…overturn the highest elected office in the land. You know, that whole democratic values thing I’ve been going on that y’all keep not getting…

            2. AmosArch : Lol you guys are completely unhinged and delusional.

              Someone is, to be sure. The person holding the power of President spent two months trying to sabotage national election results. He pressured local election officials in Michigan and Arizona to ignore the legal duties of their office. He asked the Georgia Secretary of State to “find him” phantom new votes, even providing the exact number of what he required.

              He asked the Justice Department to announce a voting fraud “investigation” that didn’t exist as an excuse to block state certification. He filed scores of junk lawsuits – and still rages to this day that judges & justices didn’t put loyalty to him over their legal duty. (Kavanaugh is a particular target of his petulant anger) He asked the Vice President to block the congressional election vote without any constitutional basis – and then criticized Pence while a mob rioted thru the Capitol building screaming for the veep’s blood.

              He ran a two month campaign of agitprop as relentlessly & aggressively dishonest as anything seen from Tass or Pravda of Soviet days. It was only when everything else failed that he sicced a mob on Congress – and then smugly watched the result on TV, stiffing the calls on Congressmen pleading he take action to call off the riot.

              How can you be so unhinged and delusional, AmosArch, that you can ignore all that ?!?

              1. These clingers are losing their grip.

                The commenters are become more alienated, more nihilistic, more agitated, more bitter.

                The Conspirators are become more disaffected, more nakedly partisan, less principled.

                In some ways, this is unfortunate. Some conservatives have some worthy contributions to make in our public debates.

                But to the extent it signals the continuing decline of right-wing influence in modern America (and the practical consequences with respect to issues tied to the Republican Party, including abortion, guns, and religions), this is a sign of more progress.

            3. Have you ever uttered an argument in your life that wasn’t an absurd fallacy?

          3. I think leftists make this mistake (confusing a several-hour impromptu and disorderly tour of the Capitol with an effort to overthrow the US government) because they really want to overthrow the US government, and project that desire onto everyone else. Nyah nyah nyah.

            1. ” a several-hour impromptu and disorderly tour of the Capitol”

              Lol. These are serious people!

              Trump was clear about his goal of the ‘march,’ and then later insurrection defendants have been clear about the goal of their riot, to stop the certification (peaceful transfer of power).

            2. “tour of the Capitol.”

              What fucking idiocy.

              You, like Amos, Brett, Michael P., and JtD, are simply delusional.

              1. Or gaslighting.

                1. These are the carefully cultivated and curated commenters at the Conspiracy.

                  And this apparently is the best right-wing legal academia can do these days.

                  I am content.

          4. “I think conservatives make this mistake (not seeing that the main reason Jan. 6th gets labeled an ‘insurrection’ is because it was an attempt to stop the national peaceful transfer of power)”

            Wasn’t the activity in Seattle an attempt to set up an autonomous zone not subject to the authority of the government? That’s not an insurrection?

            1. I think that can fairly said to be an insurrection (likewise the Bundy stuff), but of course not as nationally concerning as breaching the capitol in an attempt to stop the transfer of federal of power at the highest level.

              1. An attempt that had no chance of succeeding. The Seattle activity, OTHO, prevented the cops from accessing the scene of a murder.

                1. A scenario for you:

                  A man jumps the White House fence the night before federal elections with the aim of kidnapping and killing the President running for re-election, hoping to deliver the contest to his preferred candidate. He’s quickly subdued.

                  A man cuts down a utility poll to fall in the road blocking entrance to a community because he hates the local government, as a result deputies trying to get to the scene of a murder in the neighborhood are denied prompt access.

                  You can’t see how one would get more attention and concern nationally than two?

                  1. Sure. But in one case you have a few guys that were quickly subdued, vs. a mob that burned down the local police station and kept authorities out for weeks, prevented murder investigations, etc.

                    You’re certainly entitled to your opinion about which should get more attention, but the answer certainly isn’t obvious and there certainly isn’t any call to accuse one side or the other of lacking democratic values.

                    1. Given that motivation for one action was to steal an election, I think the accusation of lacking democratic values is much more appropriate for the former case.

                    2. “there certainly isn’t any call to accuse one side or the other of lacking democratic values”

                      Uh, you’re own comment here gives no weight at all to democratic principles or stakes…

                      “a few guys”

                      Way to put your credibility in the dumpster here. About 500 people have been *charged* alone. ‘Few’ indeed.

                    3. “Uh, you’re own comment here gives no weight at all to democratic principles or stakes…”

                      Nor does yours. Don’t forget, the guys in Seattle successfully ousted the democratically elected government for several weeks. How does that square with your democratic principles?

                    4. “Don’t forget, the guys in Seattle successfully ousted the democratically elected government for several weeks. ”

                      I’ve addressed this. First, not all occupations or protests or riots are ‘insurrections’ that challenge/threaten democratic values in the way that trying to overturn an elected office is (the Tulsa massacre was awful but not an insurrection, the Colfax massacre was, and guess what, the former had more bloodshed and property damage!). Second, there’s the whole ‘most powerful elected office in the land’ thing. The Seattle thugs weren’t trying to remove and replace the elected mayor, they were saying a part of the city was out of his control. That’s bad, but < Jan. 6.

                2. The Seattle activity, OTHO, prevented the cops from accessing the scene of a murder.

                  Which, whatever it was, was not a violent attempt to overturn an election.

                  And what if it was? Then the best case you’ve got is that both were insurrections, one against a municipal government the other against the United States.

                  1. It wouldn’t have overturned the election, and it really wasn’t even violent for the most part. Except for the cops shooting the protestors.

                    1. it really wasn’t even violent for the most part. Except for the cops shooting the protestors.

                      One was shot, trying to break in to the Capitol.

                      Not Violent? Bullshit. Attacking people with flagpoles isn’t violent? You’re just a lying POS, and always were.

                    2. Why hasn’t the investigation of the Ashley Babbit shooting been released yet?

                      If it were a WHITE cop shooting a BLACK woman, it would have been. Yet this, reportedly, was a Black cop with a bad record.

                  2. “Which, whatever it was, was not a violent attempt to overturn an election.”

                    What election resulted in the government being ousted from that section of Seattle?

                    1. Attempting to compare attaching the peaceful transfer of power of the President of the US and not letting the police into a couple of blocks of the US really shows how dumb your argument is.

          5. I think liberals make this mistake because they are disingenuous and fully steeped in bad faith.

        2. As it is written, “By their fruits, you will know them.”

      3. Yeah, you can always make the details specific enough to deny that something is comparable. Yes, the Chaz idiots violently took over a section of a city and ejected police and emergency services, and then ran it for weeks like a Mad Max dystopia, but that’s not insurrection as such, just high spirits. I mean, who hasn’t done that?

        And, sure, federal buildings were attacked, with serious efforts to set them on fire while occupied. $2B in property damage, and dozens dead. Again, just high spirits.

        But selfies? That’s grim, dude.

        1. Sure, Brett, it was just selfies that has people worked up. That’s all that went on there, after all.

          This kind of thing demonstrates the paucity of conservative arguments on this.

          1. Yep….that’s all that went on. Besides the police shooting an unarmed protestor. Maybe because she was white, while the cop was black, no one cared.

            1. When I take selfies I don’t smash windows, trespass with the intent of stopping the business which I’m trespassing against, yell about hanging people, and attack people there, but I guess YMMV.

              1. So, you’re saying the cops are justified in shooting unarmed protestors? As long as they’re white protestors?

                1. Yes, that’s exactly what she’s saying. Great reading.

                2. I was mocking your silly claim that ‘all that went on’ was selfie-taking.

                  1. Sorry, it was also apparent that they were “protesting”…since they were protestors.

                    Did they deserve to be shot and killed? Yes or no?

                    1. No, you deal with your mess first. Were all the people charged in the Jan. 6 event just taking selfies?

                    2. I’ll take that as a “yes.” You think they should’ve been shot and killed. Nice.

                    3. Your reasoning is as laughable as your initial claim.

                      Do you defend your initial claim? You actually contradict it upthread. So in which post were you being dishonest and/or stupid, when you contradicted it or when you made it?

                    4. It’s only contradicted if you deliberately misread it. Which you did.

            2. “Selfies,” “tourists.”

              You guys are actually insane, in the sense of having lost all touch with reality.

              1. So no actual argument or any reasoning then

            3. I care, you fraud of a man. I care because Babitt was as much a victim as anyone else that day. I care because a lying President sent her there to embrace death. I care because there are people I know on the right who I love, that are just as gullible as Ms. Babbitt, and they are at risk because people like you egg them on. You clearly see things through the eyes of racial prejudice. You, Armchair Lawyer, are more answerable for her death than the officer who fired the shot whatever his color. You do not work for the good of the people. You work to promote bitterness and provoke conflict. You strive to support a would-be dictator who would never strive for you, because you think he hates the same people that you do. You stand alongside the dregs of our society and call them patriotic. They are no such thing, and neither are you. Armchair Lawyer my ass. You’re just a stubborn misfit who won’t admit error and who chooses to blame others instead of taking any responsibility. I hope justice prevails for the Capitol occupiers, and for you who enabled them. Ten years sounds about right.

      4. “they weren’t actually occupying the capitol building or attempting to prevent anyone from finalizing the result of an election they didn’t like.”

        No, that was the protesters who came into the Capitol to protest Congress’ certification of Trump’s victory, and interrupted the proceedings with shouting and such.

        And it was the protesters who crowded into the Capitol to protest Kavanaugh and interrupt his confirmation, assaulting members of Congress and spittle-flecked screaming in their faces, all with the full support of the media, and leftist celebrities and politicians.

        Hundreds were arrested, but of course none of them were jailed and beaten half to death, prosecuted with absurd charges, encouraged to be there and take actions in the first place by undercover FBI agents, and so on.

    3. “gets you a bunch of months in jail.”

      I love how conservatives have suddenly discovered the longstanding and widespread problem of pre-trial detention in this country, sort of like how during the impeachments they suddenly discovered the importance of the rights of the accused and due process. The concerns are, of course, only for those actors they’re sympathetic to, but hey, maybe that’s a start?

      1. You might have something remotely approaching a point if the politics of the people protesting did not make such a huge difference in the way they are treated. Leftist rioters are released without bail so they can burn, loot and murder again, and charges from both before and after that release are dismissed “in the interest of justice”. Conservative protesters, including those who do nothing more violent than taking selfies, are quickly tried and sent to federal prisons.

        1. “those who do nothing more violent than taking selfies, are quickly tried and sent to federal prisons”

          Citation (and note, if they ‘took selfies’ at the forefront of a trespassing and disruptive mob then that’s not just ‘taking selfies’)?

          As to differences in prosecutorial efforts maybe you have something there. I know some ‘BLM’ protestors have gotten some stiff punishment ( ) while many have had charges dismissed after arrests. Even if there is differential efforts here though a likely explanation is less the politics and more the visibility (the national scale and context, the federal Presidential election). That’s commonly what drives those efforts.

        2. Is there anyone currently in jail who stands accused only of trespassing on January 6th? The stories I’ve seen of people being denied bail all have to do with folks that assaulted police officers or the like.

          Similarly, while a lot of BLM protestors were released and/or had charges dropped, that generally does not apply to those who actually committed violent crimes as opposed to just failing to disperse or trespassing.

          1. Well, one issue I think is that anyone who was ‘just’ trespassing was arguably also obstructing an official proceeding (and a pretty darned important one!), so that charge is going to be there as well.

            1. If they were just in the rotunda, how were they trespassing?

              1. Unlawfully and knowingly entered and remained in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so.

                1. Rotunda is an open area.

                  1. Read the statement of facts, they all have to show how they were in violation of this law.

                2. QA — was it posted?

                  I’ve always seen the plastic signs when the Fed Govt wants to restrict access to something, and there aren’t any around the capitol.

                  Methinks that an intrepid lawyer is going to point that out…

                  Remember that the statute says “knowingly.”

                  1. I think we can safely say you don’t know what you’re talking about.

                    The statement of facts lay out the basis for the ‘trespass’ charges and defendants are already pleading guilty.

                    Guess they just needed Crazy Eddie representing them!

            2. Sure, we can rephrase my question as “is there anyone still in jail from events on January 6th who aren’t accused of personally engaging in a felony involving physical harm to other people?”

              1. See my post below.

          2. Absolutely,

            Take a look at the Capitol Breach Cases.

            Take a look at Karl Dresch (Originally arrested 1/15, still in jail, still no trial)
            Take a look at Samuel Camargo (Originally arrested 1/20, still in jail, still no trial).

            Look at the actual case they have have with the statement of facts and indictments. There’s no actual violence there. No hint of actually assaulting police officers. And they’ve been kept in jail, without a trial, for more than 1/2 a year.

            It’s wrong. It’s what you do to political prisoners. If you can’t see this, and understand why it’s so bad, I don’t know how to help you.


            1. Dresch is a convicted felon.
              Camargo bragged about taking something during the riot and then returned to DC for the inauguration after a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

              1. So, if someone’s been convicted of a crime, no matter how minor, at any point in their past….It’s OK to hold them without bail for months?

                So, if someone says they “took” something….that’s grounds for denying bail? For 6 months. Without a trial….

                1. AL, you continue to describe our screwed up pretrial detention system and mistake it for something special against your people.

                  It’s not. You’re just paying attention now.

                  1. You keep saying this. Yet you can’t provide a single example like it. It’s “so common”… Really? It’s so common for people to be tried for simple criminal trespass to be held, without bail, for 6 months?

                    If it is…find a case.


                      Plenty of lobbying groups on criminal justice reform you can look up.

                      If you cared.

                    2. Not a case…

                      I asked for JUST ONE CASE that matched the facts, since it’s “so common.”

                      Come on…

                2. ” been convicted of a crime, no matter how minor”

                  As I said, it was a felony. You’re either being profoundly dishonest or stupid here.

                  1. Ah yes, the extremely bad crime of….reckless driving.

                    Like I said…no matter how minor.

                    1. He fled police at speeds exceeding 140 mph in an inter-state escape attempt.

                      Oh, and he (a convicted felon) had guns seized from his home in January.

                    2. Like I said. Reckless driving. Years ago.

                      So, just to be absolutely clear here…. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, ANY FELONY, no matter how long ago, no matter the lack of violence….and then you criminally tresspass, years or decades later…

                      You think the cops should be able to jail you, without bail, for 6 months or more. Is that your stance? It sounds like it is.

                    3. “the extremely bad crime of….reckless driving”

                      At this point we have to assume dishonesty over and above stupidity.

                      He was charged with fleeing from police and driving while intoxicated. He pled to a felony count of fleeing and eluding an officer.

                    4. Queenie….it’s reckless driving. It’s not violent. And you’re missing the point.

                      You think it’s grounds…a very minor felony like this…years ago…for denying bail to someone

                    5. Fleeing and eluding an officer is not the same thing as reckless driving, so you’re being dishonest/stupid again.

                      I mean, importantly, do you really not see how a felony conviction of fleeing and eluding might be a weighty factor in a pre-trial release decision? Think a minute about what those decisions usually weigh. Jesus.

                    6. I’ll take this softball Queenie.

                      What is, because he already tried to evade law enforcement once, and put the public at risk the last time he did so.

                      Armchair Gaslighter sounds like a mini-Trump. “A very minor felony.” LOL.

                    7. Queenie….

                      No. There are two standards to deny bail.

                      1. The person is a flight risk (IE…they’d leave the country)
                      2. They’re a danger to the community (IE, they’d kill someone).

                      Trying to “avoid police” 6+ years ago, doesn’t make someone a flight risk in terms of bail. It just doesn’t. Many criminals run from the cops when they try to be arrested. You would deny them all bail?

                      I really want you to think about this. That was a minor felony. It was what…2 years in jail? Maybe 3?. It was non-violent. And it was over 6 years ago. And now the person is CHARGED with criminal trespassing.

                      Do you REALLY think it’s OK to throw someone in jail, for 6 months, WITHOUT A TRIAL, on “Criminal Trespassing” charges because they had a minor non-violent felony in their past? Do you REALLY think that is legitimate?

                    8. Lol, he’s literally been convicted of a felony for fleeing! You’re in absurd town now.

                    9. Sigh…

                      I’ll say it again. Fleeing from the cops doesn’t make some a “flight risk” for purposes of bail.

                      Under your definition, you’d deny almost everyone bail, because they ran from the cops. Which is absurd.

                    10. Look at where you’ve argued yourself. A history of felonious fleeing from authorities can’t justify a conclusion that a person would…flee from authorities.

                      “Under your definition, you’d deny almost everyone bail, because they ran from the cops. Which is absurd.”

                      What is absurd is your silly premise that ‘almost everyone’ has committed felony fleeing fleeing and eluding.

                    11. Queenie,

                      Google “Flight risk” to understand why you’re wrong.

                    12. A history of fleeing, and in a dangerous manner, can of course be a factor in considering propensity for future fleeing and dangerous behavior. I can’t believe I have to write this more than once (or at all), but, Trump.

                3. Whatever happened to the part in the constitution about a speedy trial, along with the excessive bail part?

                  1. As always, it’s hilarious to see RWNJ’s ask these questions. It’s like the brothel’s madam exclaiming ‘whatever happened to monogamy’ when she finds her husband at a rival’s club.

            2. I just hope you’re as sympathetic to the other hundreds of thousands of people around the country bring held pending trial on flimsier charges / justification. Would love to see some bipartisan legislative attention given to this issue!

              1. Randal…Find one…just one…example of someone being held for 6 months, without bail, on tresspassing charges like these. Just one.

                1. First, your narrow tailoring reveals you.

                  Second, you’ve never heard of criminal trespass before? Or do you think such cases generally go to trial in less than 6 months?

                  1. Sarcastro, I challenge to find the following.

                    1. A case of non-violent criminal trespass, where
                    2. The person was kept, without bail, in jail for more than 6 months.

                    Just find a single case like that, which isn’t the 1/6 protests. Just one. Since you think it’s “so common”.

                    1. This stuff isn’t reported on for your usual indigent criminals. You know this.

                      So stop trying to make rhetorical owns, it just makes you look more ignorant.

                    2. So, despite it being “so common”, you can’t find a SINGLE ACTUAL CASE that matches the facts? Because it’s just “not reported on”.

                      That’s some sad sack there. You argue something is “so common” but can’t find an actual example of it?

                    3. “This stuff isn’t reported on for your usual indigent criminals. You know this.”

                      Are you sure you’re not confusing being denied bail with being unable to make bail? Indigent criminals usually experience the latter issue.

                    4. Luckily the link I provided discusses both:


                    5. “being unable to make bail? ”

                      Because AL likely doesn’t care about *those* people.

                2. Are you kidding? There are literally one bazillion. This country is on a pretrial detention bender.


                  Read this for a wonkier assessment:


                  1. So, that’s an interesting story. A few notes.

                    1. Looks like you’re comparing ARSON to trespassing. The two aren’t quite the same.
                    2. Interestingly, despite the more severe charges, the judge ordered Densmore released…ironically citing the “political motivations” as a factor. He was released in less than 3 months.

                    So…you have a protestor. With far more severe charges. But released far faster on bail. Because of the politics?

                    What point are you trying to make?

                    1. But, you looked at least, so that gets props. It’s better than Sarcastro.

                    2. Dude, overcharging someone, just to ensure they don’t get bail, makes it worse! “Federal prosecutors have not claimed that Densmore actually set the fire.” I think the only reason the MAGA crew isn’t getting overcharged in the same way is that the spotlight on the Jan 6 cases is causing the prosecutors to be very deliberate and tread lightly. If only the BLM protesters were so lucky.

                      Also, there’s more than one example in that article. One’s just a guy who wrote generically pro-violence Facebook posts. If we applied that bar to the MAGA crowd, half of them would be in jail right now, Trump included.

                      I mean, you’re just wrong that the MAGA guys are being treated worse than everyone else. I agree they’re being treated unfairly, but probably less unfairly than the average person. Our criminal justice system is intensely brutal. The left has been talking about it for years. Welcome to the party!

                    3. Like I said, props for looking.

                      As for Waller, if you look at his actual arrest, that’s for arson too. Not just “facebook posts”

                      As for charging or overcharging people….I think both groups are potentially being charged with everything that can reasonably be sustained. Some of the of “crimes” for the 1/6 protests are amazing in their obscurity. “Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building” being one of the most common ones.

                      But again, 6 months+ of pretrial detention, and the BEST crime they can find is basically trespassing? Not arson or something destruction, but “trespassing”? It’s absurd to a whole new level. It goes far, far, beyond the Floyd protests.

                      But if you can find a case in the Floyd protests where someone was held for 6 months without a trial on trespassing charges, I’m willing to listen.

                    4. Keep reading… I was talking about Hawkins, not Waller. The part starting with “Federal prosecutors have also sought pretrial detention for those facing lesser charges…”

                      And no, an arson charge cannot be reasonably sustained here. It’s a phenomenon (fittingly) called “trumped-up charges” and it’s something that the Jan 6 guys are (thankfully) not being faced with.

              2. I am just as sympathetic to those others. I think the only justifiable reason for any bail at all is if someone is a flight risk. I would also like to see someone who is charged with a crime and found not guilty of the most serious charge to be automatically not guilty of any lesser charges to stop prosecutors from over charging. And if someone is found not guilty their legal expenses should be paid out of the prosecutor’s budget.

            3. Seeing the right discover our criminal justice system is actually pretty unfair, but for them to assume it’s actually specific oppression of them, is quite a sight.

              1. The oppression in this case goes FAR FAR beyond what is normal.

                The fact the left DEFENDS it is embarrassing for them, and speaks to their dictatorial tendencies to punish political enemies.

                1. Haha, no this is normal criminal justice operation for anyone who has been paying attention.

                  Sucks, don’t it? Maybe we should reform it, eh?

                  You think the left is defending this, or are you mistaking their insistence on no special pleading for Trump’s attempted insurrectionists?

                  1. “Haha, no this is normal criminal justice operation”

                    No, it’s not. Find a single case of criminal trespass, which denies bail and keeps a person in jail for 6 months, besides these. Just one.

                    1. Actually, dude, burden is on you. You’re the one claiming this is extraordinary.

                      Prove it.

                    2. You’re trying to back out of this Sarcastro…

                      You said it was “so common.” So, find an example.

                      You’ve got nothing here….

                    3. Which of these people in this conversation seems to believe in principles? Does justice — or more specifically avoiding intentional injustice — seem to matter to one of them and not seem to matter much to the other one?

                    4. Justice seems to matter to Sarcastr0.

                      Justice only seems to matter to Armchair when it involves people who share his political sympathies. Not only that but he’s trying to use the imagined disparate treatment of the Jan 6 perpetrators to score political points. For Armchair, it’s all about some Deep State conspiracy to oppress right wingers, rather than an acknowledgement that this is what you get after four decades of “tough on crime” posturing.

                    5. Sarcastr0 cares enough to say “Haha… Sucks, don’t it”. That’s Sarcastr0’s principles on display.

                    6. As usual, Ben presents things dishonestly. Sarcastro’s laughter is aimed at AL not recognizing that this is a *general* problem. But you can see how Ben would miss this, general problems sans partisanship are for Ben like Homer’s ‘Bees are on the what, now?’

            4. Fair enough. I agree those two probably shouldn’t be in jail, but the seem like outliers in the overall pattern. (As others have noted, this same sentiment applies to MANY people being held without bail in the US, though–it’s hardly limited to January 6th participants.)

              1. So, jb,

                1. I didn’t do an exhaustive search. There are others.

                2. You make the comments about “many people being held without bail”. It’s a misleading argument….because these cases are especially extreme, so extreme they really belong in a new category. These cases are extreme because if the extreme length of the pre-trial detention, and the minimal level of charges.

                Randal above brings in the example of a protestor in Floyd riots in Las Vegas. He was kept in pretrial detention. His charges were not trespassing, however, but arson. And he was ordered released by a judge, after less than 3 months. Ironically “because of politics.” The same type of case here, but not arson, instead trespassing…the judge denies bail.

                So, is extensive pretrial detention bad? Sure. But arguing that obscures the insane level that is going on with the January 6th protests. It’s like arguing when George Floyd died, “Lots of African Americans die, we should just focus on African American violence, that’s the real issue.” It avoids the uniquely punative use of pretrial detention here, supported by the justice system and judges.

                1. I mentioned this above, but just to make sure the context isn’t lost… the example I cited involved trumped-up charges. The prosecutors didn’t claim that he committed arson, but charged it anyway. I think that makes it a worse abuse than the Jan 6 cases, where at least the charges seem appropriate.

                  1. If the prosecutors are charging him with arson, they need to have some justification for it. You can’t randomly charge people with crimes.

                    1. That’s precious.

                2. “You make the comments about “many people being held without bail”. It’s a misleading argument….because these cases are especially extreme, so extreme they really belong in a new category. These cases are extreme because if the extreme length of the pre-trial detention, and the minimal level of charges.”

                  LOL. I guess you think nothing bad ever happens until it happens to a Republican, but considering that the bail system is so egregious that even some notable conservatives have come out against it, you’d think you’d know better.

                  Before NYC passed cash bail reform, the city found that over 400 people were current in Rikers and had been awaiting trial for over two years, and a few had been waiting over six years. Kalief Browder was in jail for three years for stealing a backpack (at age 16), and the prosecutors eventually released him without even bothering taking him to trial after he refused various plea offers.

                  You’re absolutely right that this sort of behavior is coercive, but in some sort of profoundly confused and self-absorbed world if you think this is new and being selectively targeted to a handful of people who you have political alliance with.

                  1. Shorter: being denied bail is the same as being granted bail because … reasons. Some things worked out badly for someone once so we can ignore it this time and laugh at people who don’t want yet another injustice to (continue to) occur.

                    1. No, we rightly laugh at bad faith actors such as yourself who only care about general problems when they impact your ‘side.’ Hypocrites never care about the problem/principle, they just want special treatment in their particular case.

                  2. And when you come back someday and say “but what about this new injustice that’s occurring”, instead of taking you seriously and caring about the injustice, people are going to remember when you had your chance to care about (or at least acknowledge) this injustice and they’re going to dismiss whatever you’re talking about.

                    The new Kalief Browder you say? I remember when it was people held a half year without trial or bail for trespassing and you didn’t give a shit.

              2. I’ll note one other item to be considered.

                Extensive pretrial detention like this is coercive. There’s the very real risk the “jail time” for these crimes will equal the time already served. Or be less than it.

                So, if you take someone who’s been in jail for 6 months or a year, with a trespassing charge. Tell them “Plead guilty, and we’ll let you off for time served…because you’ve been in jail a year…or don’t…and we have to keep holding you.” What do you think they pick?

                It’s an easy way to get guilty pleas, isn’t it?

                1. This I agree with 100%. Just posting this again, it (very extensively) lays out a case for pretrial detention reform, and this is one of the top problems with the current system.


                  “Pretrial detainees account for two-thirds of jail inmates and 95% of the growth in the jail population over the last 20 years.” Yes, two thirds of jail inmates are technically innocent.

                  1. “Pretrial detention causally increases a defendant’s chance of conviction, as well as the likely sentence length. The increase in convictions is primarily an increase in guilty pleas among defendants who otherwise would have had their charges dropped. The plea-inducing effect of detention undermines the legitimacy of the criminal justice system itself—especially if some of those convicted are innocent.”

    4. “Just your occasional reminder that “insurrection” is completely…”

      Man has this topic become tiresome. There has to be something else going on that we could argue endlessly about. Should the Phillies bring in some more pitching before the trade deadline, or just call this season a lost cause?

  4. Anyone surprised that a few Republican whores were put forth as potential members of the House panel? (Not me.) Anyone surprised that Pelosi vetoed them? (I was.)

    Anyone think that if Pelosi *had* accepted them, Republicans would not have cried “Biased, unfair, invalid!” just as loudly in re this panel? (There are lots of Dem and Rep House and Senate members I dislike. But Ted Cruz and Jim Jordan are in a class all by themselves. [Anthony Weiner was in the same category, before he was drummed out of Congress.] )

    1. whore = anyone who disagrees with my opinion.

      1. C’mon Amos, don’t be intentionally dumb. There are literally hundreds of Dems in Congress I disagree with. And a few hundred Rep’s as well. Jim Jordan is a whore. An intellectual and moral whore. [As is Lindsay Graham, for that matter. But I digress.]

        You really want to stake your own credibility on a defense of Jim Jordan? Jim Jordan?!?!!!!??? Really???

        1. You sound Very Concerned about someone else’s credibility when you should maybe try to re-establish your own, having lost it long ago.

        2. Jim ‘I didn’t see nuthing’ Jordan.

        3. santamonica811 : An intellectual and moral whore.

          That’s actually too kind a description of Jim Jordan. Sure he’s a whore with gutter morals – but he has plenty of company in that, particularly on his side of the aisle. Unfortunately he’s also a braying clown – something I imagine Pelosi found equally unacceptable.

          A whore with the temperament & maturity of a brat child two-year old isn’t someone you’d want on an investigative committee. Of course today’s Right reveres Trump solely for his entertainment value as President Troll, so from their perspective Jordan’s character flaws are a feature, not a bug.

          1. Jordan is right up there in the race for most disgusting member of Congress. He’s smug, stupid, dishonest, and an utter jackass, not to mention an enabler of sexual abuse.

            Plus, someone needs to make him put on a jacket.

    2. “Anyone surprised that a few Republican whores were put forth as potential members of the House panel? ”

      McCarthy made a mistake appointing anyone. Fortunately, Pelosi bailed him out.

      Not that it matters. Its strictly a Beltway issue.

      1. Here’s a headline from Jonathan Chait that pretty much describes the GOP stance :

        “Imagine a 9/11 Commission if the Hijackers had Allies in Congress”

        Given the debased state of today’s Right (Jim Jordan embodying that devolution), is something like that really so hard to imagine?

    3. Look, the Democrats want to call it a ‘bipartisan’ panel. But you can’t really say it’s meaningfully bipartisan, if the only members of the opposing party permitted are those who agree with the party in power. Bipartisanship is supposed to open up the range of viewpoints, and the Democrats aren’t allowing anybody on the panel who doesn’t share their hatred of Trump.

      1. “Democrats aren’t allowing anybody on the panel who doesn’t share their hatred of Trump”


        But it doesn’t matter, it will be a bust like both impeachments and every hearing since Watergate.

      2. No. They are not allowing anyone whose aim i sto disrupt the proceedings. Pelosi only objected to two of McCarthy’s nominations, and rightly so.

        Look, Brett. Surely even you understand that Jim Jordan is a complete jackass who would do nothing to help the committee’s work, and a great deal to damage it.

        Besides, the Republicans had an opportunity for a wonderfully bipartisan commission, and rejected it. They don’t want an honest investigation, any more than you do. They want to shout about antifa and false flags – whatever happen3ed to that BS that you were touting – and “tourists,” all to keep anyone from knowing what happened.

        Fuck off.

        1. “all to keep anyone from knowing what happened”

          Everybody knows what happened. Protest that turned into a riot that was over in a few hours and had no effect on anything.

          1. Everybody knows that. What we don’t know are two things: which pols were pouring fuel on the fire and how exactly (including Trump but especially members of Congress), and why Capitol security was so bad (even I knew, weeks in advance, just based on Twitter, that Jan 6 was going to be violent).

            Republicans really don’t want to know the answers, especially to the first question. Otherwise they would have gone for the truly bipartisan, independent panel, which would have had the best chance of answering those questions.

            1. “Republicans really don’t want to know the answers”

              We don’t care what the answers are.

              1. Just like better Americans do not care about right-wingers’ opinions.

                Culture war losers don’t get to make decisions. They get to comply with others’ preferences. And to whine about it.

          2. “Protest that turned into a riot that was over in a few hours and had no effect on anything.”

            If ‘everybody’ knows that then those who want to deny or deflect from it don’t belong on a committee investigating it.

            1. “those who want to deny or deflect from it don’t belong on a committee investigating it.”


        2. bernard11 : They don’t want an honest investigation, any more than you do

          There’s at least one thing that McCarthy, Brett & Bob all want to keep off the historical record: Trump’s actions during the 06Jan riots. For McCarthy it’s embarrassingly personal. given he was one of the few who got Trump on the phone during the mayhem – only to have DJT respond to his request for help with lies & indifference. If you’ve made the decision to toady to a cretin – like McCarthy has – it’s humiliating to have facts like that in the public record.

          And embarrassing for our Bretts, Bobs, and Jimmys as well. It’s now known that Trump smugly cheered during the early riots and refused multiple calls from people pleading for help. Only when he realized the violence was a “bad look” for him did Trump reluctantly change his tune. Our own lickspittles in this forum avoid facing these facts by their cult mantra of “fake news”. Public testimony is the very last thing they want to see.

          1. “There’s at least one thing that McCarthy, Brett & Bob all want to keep off the historical record: Trump’s actions during the 06Jan riots.”

            No, because I think the things he did are exculpatory, such as directing people to protest peacefully.

            ” It’s now known that Trump smugly cheered during the early riots and refused multiple calls from people pleading for help.”

            That confirms my suspicions. You’re living in a media bubble fantasy, where the early fraudulent reporting based on ‘anonymous sources’ is still in your mind accurate. A world where Congress isn’t in charge of Capitol security, where offers of NG help weren’t turned down, where Trump ‘said’ all sorts of mad things that nobody has ever had a scrap of evidence were ever uttered.

            1. Exactly like I said : You fear public testimony on Trump’s actions during the riots. I suspect you’ll find tearing off that little fig leaf of denial is gonna be painful.

              There was a recent post about DJT trashing SCOTUS justices who rejected his bullshit election lawsuits, particular Kavanaugh. Right on cue you launched into your standard denial mechanism: It was all ‘anonymous sources’ you could safely ignore. And how long did that pretense last, Brett? The exactly same Trump quotes are now sourced to a on-the-record face-to-face interview between Michael Wolff and Donald Trump. I betting there’s audio. What do you think?

              Meanwhile, Trump said he only appointed General Mark Milley as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because James Mattis recommend against it. He said this :

              “He got his job only because the world’s most overrated general, James Mattis, could not stand him, had no respect for him, and would not recommend him. The fact that Mattis didn’t like him, just like Obama didn’t like him and actually fired Milley, was a good thing, not a bad thing. I often act counter to people’s advice who I don’t respect.”

              Of course Trump appointed Mattis as well. Who knows? Perhaps he did so because Milley opposed THAT nomination! Now, all this was in in a statement released by our brat-child ex-president. But if it had been simple reporting you – Brett – would have rushed here to claim it was fake news. After all, Trump would never say something so irrational and bizarre – right? You be on-site telling us all it’s part of the anti-Trump conspiracy.

              Of course you would. It’s the only excuse you have….

          2. “historical record”

            Appeals to history are for losers.

            “Public testimony is the very last thing they want to see.”

            Or, maybe, we don’t care. Even if everything you assert is fact, not a single person’s opinion about Trump is going to change.

            Dems and lib approved members like Cheney can have all the public testimony they want.

            1. Well, yeah Bob. I could see how that might be possible with someone as shameless as you. You really don’t care if everything you believe is morally bankrupt, do you? But I think you’ll find many of your fellow bootlickers have more delicate temperaments. They’ll have a little harder time sneering at accounts of our buffoon ex-president guffawing thru the riots and mayhem.

              And that’s only the beginning. Remember : Trump was already bleeding independent support going into the last election. He was already a drag on the overall GOP. He already cost Republicans the Senate with his brat-child behavior. Think everyone else is as willing as you to ignore his repulsive antics ?!?

      3. ” Bipartisanship is supposed to open up the range of viewpoints, and the Democrats aren’t allowing anybody on the panel who doesn’t share their hatred of Trump.”

        I’m pretty sure “bipartisan” means “members of two parties”, just as it always has. It has never meant that every viewpoint is represented. Particularly, when some crime or wrongdoing is being investigated, usually people who hold the viewpoint that the illegal act was actually good and should be encouraged are not asked to participate. For instance, no supporters of al-Qaeda sat on the 9/11 Commission, and I don’t think anyone saw that omission as a breach of norms.

        1. Then why aren’t Republican bills that get a couple of Democratic votes scored as “bipartisan”.

          Look, there are nominal parties, and real parties. One of the eye opening things I found out when researching the use of proxies by Congress last year, is that only seven Republicans assigned proxies for votes.

          Six of those seven assigned their proxies to Democrats.

          But I suppose you’d consider a ‘Republican’ who’d prefer that a Democrat exercise their proxy when they’re absent to really be Republicans. I’d count them as Democrats, myself.

          1. You will bend over backwards to make an excuse for literally everything except for why you refuse to recognize reality.


  5. Originalism Deep Dive Ep 2/6: Some Counterarguments, and odds and ends.

    1. 1. Originalism doesn’t really describe our actual constitutional experience. Core features of our long-held civic identity do not square with the text nor the original intent.
      e.g. President/agencies/states can’t establish religion or restrict speech, despite the text.
      e.g. No right to vote for nonprotected classes
      e.g. the Equal Protection Clause does not apply to the Federal government
      Even taking incorporation as originalist with a sufficiently sophisticated understanding of founders’ intent, there is legit a gap in some places – reverse incorporation of EPC against the Feds, and the right to vote for e.g. the poor are not something originalism requires.
      2 responses:
      A. This is still better than current nonoriginalist practice, which also doesn’t provide a single doctrine to describe our experience.
      i) Common law Constitutional practice may describe, e.g. P&I clause abandoned, but doesn’t describe overruling cases as wrong when decided, nor things like the Electoral College which most agree we’re stuck with, but under common law we could abandon.
      B. Theory is never going to map directly on to practice completely – ought needn’t be identical to is.

      1. “e.g. No right to vote for nonprotected classes”

        When the constitution specifically spells out several grounds on which the states (and the U. S. ) *cannot* discriminate against voters, then in those cases not expressly mentioned, the assumption should be that the states remain free to set their own standards. What’s so awful about that? The big kinds of voter discrimination – race, sex, age, poll tax payment – are dealt with expressly, why is it so urgent for the courts to add new categories?

        “e.g. the Equal Protection Clause does not apply to the Federal government”

        True, though the voting-rights clauses do (see above).

        If the federal government is held to its delegated powers, there will be less occasion to discriminate, and as for discrimination within those power, a constitutional amendment can do the incorporating.

        1. Poor people cannot vote would be pretty bad; on the order of racial discrimination.

          Current law has the EPC reverse-incorporated against the Feds. Do you not think that’s important? Less occasion to discriminate, unless you look at general welfare spending. Do you think it’d be constitutional for the Feds to declare only black people can get social security from now on?

          1. “Current law has the EPC reverse-incorporated against the Feds. Do you not think that’s important?”

            No. Especially with strict scrutiny so easy to pass. The feds discriminate based on race all the time.

            1. There’s a lot more to EPC against the Feds than affirmative action, my myopic friend.

          2. “Do you think it’d be constitutional for the Feds to declare only black people can get social security from now on?”

            If we’re going by original intent, Social Security should have been adopted through a constitutional amendment – an amendment specifying that it’s an insurance program, not an open-ended spending program.

            1. And as long as we’re amending the Constitution, we could ban the feds from racial discrimination.

              As best as I can guess, the only opponents of such an amendment would be the backers of “affirmative action” racial preferences.

              1. If you’re trying to make an argument, don’t call non-originalist takes on the Constitution Amending the Constitution – it begs the question.

                It’s not just AA, Check out Bolling v. Sharpe.

                1. You posed a challenge to “originalists” – how to deal with a law banning non-black people from getting Social Security?

                  My reply – constitutional amendments. One to put Social Security on a proper, constitutional basis, the other to ban federal racism.

                  Readers can judge for themselves whether I’m begging the question, or…consider the possibility that I’m *answering* your question.

                  Obviously, your answer to the question is that the Supreme Court should find the problematic laws unconstitutional, which *from your point of view* would obviate the need of a constitutional amendment.

                2. “It’s not just AA”

                  No, my guess was that “the only opponents of such an amendment would be the backers of “affirmative action” racial preferences.”

            2. Open-ended spending programs are Constitutional under General Welfare.

              1. It seems that *someone* is begging the question.

                1. I’ve heard commerce clause takes aplenty, but, uh, I’ve not heard people challenge the GWC. It’s what the text indicates.

                    1. That is news to me.

                      It’s also still quite a novel take in this day and age.
                      I’m quite comfortable assuming the GWC allowing spending is good law.

                    2. “It’s also still quite a novel take in this day and age.”

                      Madison said that expanding the spending power beyond Art. I Sec. 8 takes a constitutional amendment, and that remains quite salient. To Madison, it meant that an amendment was needed – and indeed desirable – to empower the feds to make internal improvements (roads and canals). As it happened, Congress and the courts followed a different path, allowing spending for pretty much any purpose so long as you intone words about benefiting the whole country.

                      Modern circumstances illustrate all the more clearly the need to define in one or more amendments the needed extra powers of the federal government, not just grab the power (and the money). Eg, an amendment could have provided for setting up a *real* social insurance program. And so on.

          3. “Poor people cannot vote would be pretty bad; on the order of racial discrimination.”

            And the Supreme Court adopted, in effect, its own constitutional amendment to get rid of the last vestiges of means-tested voting.

            And to make sure the poor used their powers responsibly, the Supremes also limit the kind of things the poor can vote for.

            1. To what are you referring?

              Everyone is limited on what they can vote for, that’s what the Bill of Rights is for.

              1. Yes, to protect gay marriage. Obviously.

                1. That’s EPC. Try and keep up.

                  1. Have your forgotten the incorporation of the EPC against the feds via the Fifth Amendment? So yes, it’s so clearly in the Bill of Rights that you’d be a bigot to suggest otherwise.

                    1. Quite a stretch to call reverse incorporation part of the Bill of Rights, but not quite as silly as I though.

                    2. Well, I’m just the messenger conveying the existence of the silliness.

    2. 2. Language choice. Constitution says he for President, etc.
      But mere assumption by the Founders is not intent; assumption of how it will be does not count as a rule of how it will be.
      Which has implications for, e.g. DC statehood. No specific intent indicated.

    3. 3. Originalist practice has actually been dominant historically since maybe 1830, and departed during the Civil War, and then we were originalist again until the Warren Court.
      Judicial Review. There is a debate; the antifederalist bring up judicial review to indict the Constitution. Federalists counter that this is OK; judges will follow the Constitution. Marbury was actually not the first judicial review case, just the first that the President didn’t like.

    4. 4. International practice – originalism is not required. Lots of countries are explicitly non-originalist, and have turned out well.
      See, e.g. Israeli’s practice, which is explicitly anti-originalist
      Originalism has a skepticism of elites that’s somewhat unique; originalism captures this.
      But the parade of horribles of abandoning originalism is the Warren Court – ending segregation, etc.
      Hypothetical: Warren Court makes wealth a suspect classification. Believable, but would not have gone well.

      1. “Israeli’s practice, which is explicitly anti-originalist”

        Look, I’m not Israeli, or Jewish, I just have a bunch of Jewish friends and I occasionally browse the Times of Israel to figure out what the hell they are talking about … but from what I can tell the Jewish legal system does not appear to be doing so great.

        I actually don’t think putting the legislature in charge of amending the constitution via basic laws is a bad idea, it has merits, but the courts seem explicitly partisan and one sided, even the left there wants some reform, and it takes sides in highly divisive issues that aren’t very helpful.

        1. The other guy in the discussion is a specialist in comparative law. I take him at his word.

    5. 5. Originalism is a choice. What is the morality of choosing to privilege the views of the Founders? We have more in common with a current Canadian than some 1700s guy. And yet we don’t let Canadians influence our law, but only listen to the second. (Really we should look to 1860s, since most of this is 14th reforms)
      Also it is a choice that stacks the deck against women and minorities, who were not in the room.
      And it requires radical change
      But see, originalism properly understood has actually been long American practice. [This makes originalism seem motivated as a reaction to Warren more than a desire for philosophical clarity – Sarc]

      1. “stacks the deck against women and minorities”

        14th Amendment, 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment

        Women, minorities hardest hit.

        1. I’m not sure if you understand the point – regardless of later amendments, choosing not to consider the thinking of anyone but the white dudes from a time that was pretty bigoted is going to have an effect, even if only of not giving voice to the voiceless in the arena of Constitutional interpretation. (Though there’s plenty of analysis that originalism does more than that).

          You can have all the black or women judges you want, but if the only thing they can look at for any cases based on the original bill of rights is the writings and intents of people who didn’t think of them as full people, that means something, no?

          Now, I’m not sure I buy this argument – I’m a functionalist, so these discussions of privileging a certain voice without a more robust functionional case to back it up don’t do much for me. Though add in the ends a lot of originalists argue (get rid of CRA, no rights for immigrants, no more choice for women), and then it’s part of a larger case I sure do think has something important to say.

          1. Today’s hot take: The Constitution as amended is actually supposed to mean the same as when it was unamended!

            1. Actually, the Constitution has different parts and clauses, many independent from the rest!

              Also, when the latest you’ve got is privileging the population 100 years ago, you don’t have the best argument for the Constitution being a document of modern ideals.

              1. This privileging argument doesn’t really work. When we don’t let judges change the meaning of the Constitution, we’re not privileging white guys a 100 years ago, we’re refraining from privileging judges.

                You think public opinion has changed, propose an amendment, and see if it passes. Claiming you don’t need to do that because the public already agrees with you, is like claiming you don’t need to hold an election because the public agrees with you. It’s basically self-refuting.

                Yeah, I know: You’re going to say Article V doesn’t work, it’s too hard. Yeah, it’s too hard if you want unpopular amendments. That’s the real truth.

                1. You’re going to say Article V doesn’t work, it’s too hard. Yeah, it’s too hard if you want unpopular amendments. That’s the real truth.

                  Oh bullshit. You could have an Amendment with 70-80% support that wouldn’t have a chance.

                  Stop with the ultra-sophomoric arguments.

              2. “you don’t have the best argument for the Constitution being a document of modern ideals.”

                I’m not sure what you mean by modern ideals. Eugenics? It’s true that the original constitution didn’t seem to contemplate forcible eugenic sterilization, but the Supreme Court with a living-constitutionalist approach got around that objection – until some Austrian guy gave eugenics a bad name.

                1. What in the original Constitution forbade forced eugenic sterilization? Currently it’s the evil ‘living Constitutionalist’ idea of bodily integrity ‘found’ under the substantive due process clause that does so, but what in the original Constitution did that?

                  1. “What in the original Constitution forbade forced eugenic sterilization? Currently it’s the evil ‘living Constitutionalist’ idea of bodily integrity ‘found’ under the substantive due process clause that does so, but what in the original Constitution did that?”

                    What’s your argument that the Constitution, as currently interpreted, prevents forced eugenic sterilization?

                    1. You don’t think the finding in Buck v. Bell has been repudiated?

                    2. I already pointed to what prevents that today, see my second sentence.

                    3. You’re both long on assertion, short on citation. AFAIK Buck v. Bell is still good law.

                    4. Not being formally overturned is not the same as good law.

                      You would not have good luck citing it for it’s holding.

        2. Remember Scalia arguing that the 19th Amendment proved that the 14th wasn’t supposed to give equal rights to women, despite the generic term ‘citizens’ and ‘persons?’ I think that’s at least part of what Sarcastro is pointing out.

          1. But the 19th Amendment is still in place, no?

            1. The point is, if you’re going to point to how the 14th protected women from a certain originalist point of view you run into this problem, that even though explicitly neutral language is used, women arguably were left out because of the predominant ‘original’ views of the time.

              1. The Fourteenth Amendment specifically refers to “the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age” when discussing representation. That is anything but “explicitly neutral language”.

                1. Here’s the neutral bit: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

                  It’s the part most of the Supreme Court cases are about!

                  1. It sounds like your solution to resolving the tension between those two parts of the same amendment is to assume one part was originally intended as mere surplusage.

                    1. Or that different parts have different functions, and thus should not be used to read anything into the text of a separate part.

                      Is your thesis that the 14th, as originally written, was intended to apply to women? Do you know the political role of women in the 1860s?

                    2. “Is your thesis that the 14th, as originally written, was intended to apply to women?”

                      Well, given that in section 2 they felt that they needed to specify “white citizens” when they wanted to exclude women, I’d say that it’s pretty clear that they intended “citizen” in section 1 to apply to women.

                      And has anyone suggested that women born or naturalized in the US weren’t citizens?

                    3. So the Supreme Court just dropped the ball from the passing of the 14A until the 1970s, then.

                      Was it sexism that made them go all non-originalist for so long, ignoring the intent of the enlightened 1860s?

                    4. “Was it sexism that made them go all non-originalist for so long, ignoring the intent of the enlightened 1860s?”

                      Not sure what you’re talking about, Sarcastro. Nobody thought that women had to be treated the same as men, but that doesn’t appear to be what you’re claiming.

                    5. The point is that if you’re originalist, you have a hard time with invalidating any kind of sexual discrimination at all under EPC.

                    6. “The point is that if you’re originalist, you have a hard time with invalidating any kind of sexual discrimination at all under EPC.”

                      The point is that if the people that wrote the EPC didn’t want to invalidate sexual discrimination, and an elected government wants to engage in sexual discrimination, there’s no way for a judge to prevent it? Why would we want a judge to prevent it unilaterally?

                    7. if the people that wrote the EPC didn’t want to invalidate sexual discrimination, and an elected government wants to engage in sexual discrimination, there’s no way for a judge to prevent it? Why would we want a judge to prevent it unilaterally?

                      It wouldn’t be unilateral, and you’re begging the question about originalism.

                      Which brings us back to the contention in the podcast – If originalism requires rolling back our sexual discrimination jurisprudence, that’s something to note regarding the choice to use that style of jurisprudence.

                2. Fair enough on Sec. 2, I was, as Sarcastro notes, talking about Sec. 1 which generates so much case law. See Bradwell v. Illinois as to how original intent understandings can disadvantage women under the explicitly gender neutral language involved there.

                  1. I hear they’ve been trying to pass an amendment to require that women be treated equally under the constitution.

                    1. That’s kind of my point, under originalist readings of the 14th it often doesn’t treat women equally despite the plainly gender-neutral language (again, see Bradwell).

                    2. …What’s your thesis here, TiP?

                    3. Sure, so pass the ERA. Is your argument against originalism that amending the constitution is too hard?

                    4. My argument against originalism is that to the extent it relies on original expectations about how provisions are to be applied it favors ‘conservative’ (historical) interpretations even when they defy the explicit text of the provisions. So a provision on its face promising a gender neutral right to equal protection of the laws isn’t applied to a law barring women from the state bar.

                    5. “So a provision on its face promising a gender neutral right to equal protection of the laws isn’t applied to a law barring women from the state bar.”

                      It doesn’t provide a gender-neutral right to equal protection, any more than it provide 60-year olds the right to serve in the military or 5-year olds the right to drink.

                    6. On its face it doesn’t qualify for age either, you’re correct. But that’s the point: the language itself says one thing. You say, well, it can’t really mean that (just like ‘shall not be infringed’ can’t mean no gun control laws at all) because that would be absurd. But then you have to interpret what it does mean, and with originalism that often means you use the way the ratifiers thought it might apply which is often informed by their prejudices which we reject today (note: and you couldn’t really amend things, what, would you have to pass the same exact language now to change the applications to how we think about age, gender, etc., applications today)?

      2. Originalism is a choice, when you’re a judge. Not embezzling is a choice, when you’re an accountant.

        1. Begging the question and then charging bad faith to anyone who disagrees with that begging is also a choice…

          1. From an originalist standpoint, living constitutionalism IS the judicial counterpart to embezzlement by accountants.

            My point here is that saying something is a “choice” only implies that you’re able to do otherwise, not that doing otherwise would be in any way moral.

            1. The delegitimizing of all other thinking about the Constitution is actually not required for originalism.

            2. “My point here is that saying something is a “choice” only implies that you’re able to do otherwise, not that doing otherwise would be in any way moral.”

              Sure, which is why you used embezzlement, a crime, as any choice that differs from yours.

              1. No, there are plenty of choices different from mine that aren’t crimes, or even immoral. Not putting anchovies on pizza, for instance.

                But this is pretty central to what the job of a judge is, and living constitutionalists have decided the job of a judge is to do precisely what judges aren’t supposed to be doing according to the traditional conception of the judiciary, the conception that labeled them “the least dangerous branch”.

                It’s become central to the left’s approach to taking power, that they treat every ministerial role as an opportunity to usurp control over policy, take it away from the people who are actually supposed to be making it. Living constitutionalism is just another example of that.

                1. The question at issue is what the job of a judge is, you’re begging that question and then saying anyone who doesn’t beg it as you do is making an immoral choice in that.

                2. Brett, your version of “living constitutionalism” is just a straw man you can then beat up on without ever coming to terms with arguments actually being made by anyone.

            3. And from other standpoints, originalism is the judicial counterpart to embezzlement by accountants.

              Here is an idea whose meaning changes with the whims of the right, and the current version of which is not honored even by its supposed adherents when inconvenient, and you claim it’s some kind of gold standard of constitutional interpretation.

              I’ll tell you what it is. It’s a marketing term. It was adopted when “strict constructionism” fell out of favor because of its association with segregation, just like “states’ rights” was replaced by “federalism.”

              1. Well, we can agree on this much, I think: The left and the right’s views of what government is supposed to be doing, how it is supposed to be doing it, how the Constitution and laws can be changed, and so on, in an ever growing list, are not merely different.

                They’re now disjoint.

                Each side’s view of what must be done, on an expanding list of topics, is the other side’s view of what must NOT be done.

                1. No, Brett, they are not disjoint. That’s you, not the world.

                  Many people can handle the ide of originalism as a choice. Even conservatives in academia!
                  This podcast is a fine example of an originalist and a non-originalist just talking about it.

                  I’ve got plenty of conservative friends. You and this blog are more a partisan exception than the rule. That’s part of the fun, but don’t assume it’s universally shared.

                2. That was a weird response to bernard, Brett.

                  bernard: The right should live up to its own claims on Originalism.

                  Brett: The right should do the opposite of what the left says.

                  So… the position of the right should be to not live up to its own claims on Originalism?

                  I have noticed the right increasingly taking your view, Brett, that the best course of action is the opposite of whatever the left says (“owning the libs”). This is not a symmetric situation… it has resulted in the left completely defining the agenda (the left pursues its agenda, and the right tries to frustrate that agenda… even when it’s in power, see e.g. Obamacare, among many). While flattering to us on the left, I would still prefer a more competitive marketplace of ideas.

                3. I should also mention, I agree with bernard that Originalism is much more a brand than an actual principal. I don’t know of a single judge who actually consistently applies (any form of) Originalism in their analyses.

        2. Originalism and originalists . . . still less popular than, less influential than, roughly as important as, about as consistent as, and likely to have the same relevant lifespan as Kim Kardashian.

          But originalism is a few months older than Kim Kardashian, so it has that going for it . . . which is nice.

    6. 6. Originalism as a mercenary practice – offering a rationalization for policy outcomes supporters want. E.g. Bush v. Gore, which is not originalist and Scalia and Thomas dutifully went along.
      Alito is not the same as Thomas or Gorsuch. Because Alito is barely originalist.
      And when have liberals ever signed on to something whose precedent they didn’t like? Kagan does so, but *never as the deciding vote*
      Originalism isn’t always conservative – Justice Hugo Black used originalist arguments for incorporation
      If you just don’t like the status quo, originalism addresses that. After leaving the status quo, originalism controls the direction. You may see some conservatives abandoning it.
      Also see part 6 if the podcast, which is dedicated to the political element.
      Originalist Congresspeople are picking and choosing when to be originalist. Originalism being used to rationalize makes it hypocritical for originalists to argue that all nonoriginalists’ arguments are rationalizing.
      Scalia sez: this is true of all methods of Constitutional analysis. Originalism isn’t going to be completely followed, but acts as a bulwark against judicial activism.

  6. If I own multiple CZs, how much of a hipster am I, really?

    1. I would think hipsters would carry older chromed S&W revolvers, preferably snub nosed and possibly engraved.

      1. Damn, I have those too. I must be an extra special hipster.

        I must go akimbo!

  7. Has anyone else followed some of the news related to NFL teams vaccination rates? Only 7 teams were 85%+ vaccinated, the average rate is 73%, meaning they would merely be a decently scoring US state (and behind the national average among seniors) and two teams are under 50%.

    The NFL is more heavily Democrat leaning than any US state amongst with most estimates being D+25 or higher. This, plus the fact that its a competitive advantage, and there are huge monetary incentives to be vaxxed, means vaccine skepticism is a far different phenomena than how it is normally portrayed in the media.

    1. Is there a citation to the NFL being more heavily Democrat leaning than any US state?

    2. I don’t know what data you’re looking at but no state has a 73% vax rate.

      The highest state with fully vax’d people is Vermont at 67%.

      So actually it looks like the NFL is doing pretty good compared to states.

      1. Yes, but the NFL has huge financial advantages give to following the “You will vaccinate” rule. It is actually very surprising that the vax rate is not above 90%

      2. The 73% rate is just for the first jab (in the NFL), and when I was looking it up the source I had for VT was 75%, so IDK why there is a difference.

        But, like Don Nico said, that its under 90% is frankly amazing. If you are not vaccinated this year and get covid as an NFL player you can lose game checks. Even at modest NFL salaries you are talking about losing $55k in the short term (and more in the long term because you are going to be a worse player on a worse team because you guys aren’t allowed in close proximity).

    3. Allutz : “…vaccine skepticism is a far different phenomena than how it is normally portrayed in the media”

      1. The top twenty states most vaccinated are all reliably Blue. (I decided to draw the line at Wisconsin, which can be a bit wobbly)

      2. The bottom twenty-five states least vaccinated are all reliably Red, though Nevada is an outlier and North Carolina can go both ways.

      With facts that stark & clear, blaming the media seems a little desperate. About a year ago I suggested anti-vax nonsense was equal-opportunity dumbness, spread evenly across ideological lines. But today’s Right seems to see STUPID as an Olympic-style event and is determined to sweep the metals.

      1. (I had a sudden thought & looked back at the list. Yep; Georgia is near the bottom of the vaccinated list and I accounted it as a Red state. Pure force of habit…..)

      2. grb,
        I would not pay attention to that. In the next several months, all covid-naive people who are unvaccinated with get the disease.
        The delta variant is breaking through sufficiently that we can expect many “asymptomatic” cases among the vaccinated. These people will be the disease vectors.

        The problem will resolve itself.

      3. All of the ones at the top are mostly northern and white as well. Places like Alabama (last) is not only southern, it has one of the largest black populations as well.

        1. Plenty of the states at the very bottom per vaccination rates are also lily-white: Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, West Virginia, and the Dakotas. I don’t think blaming poor vaccination performance on blacks fares better than claiming it’s fake news.

          Sometimes what’s obvious is obvious for a reason. Anti-vaccination numbers track almost perfectly by political preference. Per Gallup, about half of Republicans don’t plan to get vaccinated: 46%, compared with 31% of independents and 6% of Democrats. That’s why Fox News regularly hawks the anti-vax line: They’re selling the product their audience wants.

          Meanwhile: Two days ago United States Senator Tommy Tuberville said conservatives might be willing to get vaccinated if Biden praises Trump more. That’s probably the über example of Right-wing Stupid on this issue: Part cult-of-personality. Part childish snit. Part civic irresponsibility. I think it was at the same hearing where Rand Paul continued the Right’s truly bizarre fatwa against Fauci.

          And then there was the recent interview where Trump said he refused to wear masks to look strong…..

      4. There is another factor that is not talked about and I haven’t drilled down too deeply. But in my city 65% of whites are vaccinated but only 37% of blacks are. The city is 60% black. Vaccinations are available at most chain drugstores simply by walking in. They are available at most hospitals and health department offices by simply showing up. Uber will take you to get vaccinated for free. Yet the media constantly points out the political difference but not the racial one – except to say more backs than whites are dying or in the hospital. In more rural areas of my home state the vaccination rates for blacks and whites are similar.

    4. Not sure why it matters. The characteristics of professional athletes are the same characteristics that limit the chances Covid will be dangerous.

      If everyone were to decide to just stop panicking then the NFL could just forget about Covid now that the players are 70% vaccinated and a very low risk has become a close to zero risk.

  8. Texas Senate votes to drop requirements about civil rights movement, white supremacy, etc., from ‘anti-CRT’ bill

    Cal, you repeatedly pointed to these provisions in your defense of the bill. Who was playing who, the Texas GOP playing you or you playing us?

    1. Right, teaching them is no longer mandatory, per the bill. The bill had originally had a long list of highly specific mandated topics, and it got taken out. Probably after somebody figured out that even a brief survey of all of them would have consumed the entire school year…

      Texas Senate bill 3

      Since those topics were not formerly mandated by law, and the new version of the bill doesn’t prohibit teaching them, what’s your beef? That the bill still prohibits teaching that a particular race is superior or inferior to all others?

      1. People defending the bill did so by often saying the charge it would lead to diminished coverage of racially controversial moments/figures in our history is rebutted by pointing to the fact that the original bill mandated teaching many racially controversial moments/figures. Looks like the TX legislature has swept that leg.

        1. Yes, so many of them that it would have been impractical.

          You’re complaining that it left teachers with some choices about what to teach, after telling them they couldn’t teach racial hatred.

          1. This is non-responsive to my point and just re-states yours.

            People defended the bill on the grounds that if couldn’t be seen as a whitewash of racial controversy in our history/polity because it mandated teaching many things in that area. That leg has been swept now. Teachers are free to ignore all those things and then mandated not to dabble in ‘CRT.’

            1. So? It’s sounds like that’s no longer a reason the bill can’t be seen as a whitewash of history. But that doesn’t imply that the bill should be seen that way.

              1. It certainly, as you concede, makes it less fortified against that charge.

  9. Biden tells struggling restaurant owner to pay higher wages.

    But, you know, inflation is transitory.

    smh, not with boneheaded advice like that.

    1. Inflation hawkery in service of some kind of anti-market anti-labor plan.

      If you don’t have the workers you want, raise your wages. That’s how markets work!

      1. “That’s how markets work!”

        I sometimes wonder whether you are a moron or just argue in bad faith.

        The federal and state governments have poured trillions of dollars into the economy, including vast sums which encourage workers to stay home and collect unemployment. I know someone whose business had picked up after being devastated by the lockdowns, and his biggest problem now is that he cannot get labor to fill the jobs they did before.

        That is not “how markets work.” That’s how markets work when the Leviathan of government interferes on a massive level.

        Now were you unaware of this fact, or just decided to ignore that inconvenient fact?

        1. You can blame who you want, but raising wages when you can’t get enough workers is indeed fundamentally how markets work.

          Will it be inflationary? Maybe (as noted last week, inflation is not a simple F=ma thing as applied to real economies), but the way to stop it is not for businesses to avoid raising wages to get the workers they need.

          Economists on the right have been crying hyperinflation since like 2009. Excuse me if I don’t consider them the be-all of authority these days.

          1. So you simply avoid the inconvenient facts. Got it. I know a few district judges that do the same, so you are in good company.

            1. What facts? Do you think economic predictions are facts? Because I’ve got news for you about the predictiveness of that science in the current juncture.

              Best we got is Keynes. Sometimes. To some extent. Beyond that, it’s all Hayekian humility.

              1. “You can blame who you want, but raising wages when you can’t get enough workers is indeed fundamentally how markets work.”

                True enough, but you still ignore the inconvenient fact (for you) about the low labor participation rate (far below where it was 18 months ago).

                There really is no labor shortage.

                1. You can argue about the cause, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

          2. S_0,
            You do remember the Carter years in which rates oover 10% were seen. If can happen again.
            Look at the new child tax credit scheme of Mr Biden – a giveaway of 1 to 1.5 trillion. It really is hard to believe this won’t have an inflationary effect.
            Also as long as a person is getting 80% of a wage while doing zero, business won’t get workers at present wage levels. It’s just another scam to raise the national minimum wage without a law on-point.

            Yes, I believe in the dishonesty of all politicians in Congress and the White House.

            1. It sure can, but coming in and doomsaying about it, and blaming Democratic policies, is not very convincing.

              1. doomsaying about it, and blaming Democratic policies, i

                When Democratic policies are to blame, when Democrats are smashing through massive deficit spending bills despite economists all saying it’s a bad idea….

                Well, that’s just truth.

                1. Making a prediction in economics is itself sketchy. Making a prediction that is also a partisan attack is more so.

                  1. (rolls eyes)….

                    “Predictions in economics are sketchy”…


                    1. …You think economics is really good at predictions, AL?!

                    2. I think the only real prediction is that you’ll back out of any claims you make, rather than admit to being wrong.

                  2. Predictions, not so well, except that the Fed does it all the time.
                    I do think that economist are quite good at identifying perverse incentives.
                    The present subsidy structure plus fears of the Delta wave plus anti-vax nonsense are likely to keep perverse incentives going into the 2022 campaign season.
                    Will that be attempting to buy votes?

                  3. What claims did I make?

      2. “If you don’t have the workers you want, raise your wages. That’s how markets work!”

        Conveniently leaving out the part where the government takes your money and uses it to pay workers not to work for you. That’s not how markets work, Sarcastro.

        1. Markets still exist even with taxes and stimulus.

          1. I know, right? After decades of corporate welfare, tax incentives, subsidies, bailouts, no-bid contracts and loopholes, suddenly the right gets worried about the purity of the market when the subsidies are going to someone else.

          2. Markets still exist when trade is outlawed, too. We just call them black markets. Writing off massive anti-market action by government simply because “markets still exist” is classic Sarcastr0.

            1. dwb68 isn’t arguing this is anti-market. Whatever that means.

              You want to worship the market and call all regulations thereof Communism or something, that’s a whole ‘nother silly conversation.

    2. You might have a point except that the employment participation rate is not back to Jan 2020 high. Not even close.

      There is no worker shortage relative to 18 months ago. Its manufactured by perverse government incentives not to work.

      If we continue to see high wage inflation and shortages, at this new much lower level of worker participation, stagflation is here to stay.

      1. But you know, ignore all the warnings and engage in denialism. Its your funeral.

      2. I’m not sure you’re right about the way the incentive is working.

        I also don’t think it matters for how to run a business.

        If we continue to see high wage inflation and shortages, at this new much lower level of worker participation, stagflation is here to stay.
        Big if.

        1. Sure. Explain to me how paying people not to work does not incentivize people not to work.

          Also explain to me how keeping people out of the labor force, with incentives not to work, does not actually keep people out of the labor force.

          Biden’s comment, ironically, was right: businesses need to raise wages to get people back to work. They need to raise them beyond the government work disincentives.

          Its inflationary, by construction. Technically its stag inflationary because government transfers that keep people out of the labor force destroy growth.

          1. …What do you think my thesis is?

            Sure government support disincentivizes (though by no means completely) work under that rate.

            My thesis is that your inflationary fears are more partisan than supported. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but I’ve been hearing your exact same argument for over a decade now, and so far inflation has not been an issue.

            Maybe the wolf is coming, but that boy crying about it has lost any authority on the issue me.

            1. I don’t see how inflation fears can be properly called unsupported, given that we now have inflation numbers through June, and they’re going up fast.

              Now, it might be that inflation numbers for July are going to drop back to something like zero, but my grocery bill says that looks unlikely.

              1. 1. He’s saying stagflation.
                2. He’s declaring it’s not transient.
                3. He’s blaming a particular policy for it.

                He’s also waiving his hand at a bunch of stuff
                1. Ignoring base effects (June 2021 is compared to June 2020, which…was a weird time)
                2. He’s ignoring how sector-focused inflation is right now. Food us up only 0.7% but suddenly (used cars, household furnishings and apparel far outstrip everything else. Food is up only 0.7%!)
                3. He acknowledges that this is from supply chain issues, but then wants to argue the effects will be long-term.

                In other words, he’s got a lot of assumptions and elisions in his analysis that makes it look very outcome-oriented.

        2. “I also don’t think it matters for how to run a business.”

          How would you possibly know? You are just a tax eater.

          Just about every business in the US is looking for workers.

          1. Ad hominem is a shameful tactic, Bob.

            Just about every business in the US is looking for workers.
            Is that true beyond the lower-wage retail and service sectors?

          2. I am glad to see Bob from Ohio take that position, because it indicates he is to defer to me on legal issues. I had a better job the day I left law school than Bob will ever have, made partner at a firm that would never hire Bob as an associate, and have earned more practicing law in a month than Bob makes in a year.

            Or perhaps Bob from Ohio wishes to reconsider his swipe at Sarcastro.

            1. “I am glad to see Bob from Ohio take that position, because it indicates he is to defer to me on legal issues. I had a better job the day I left law school than Bob will ever have, made partner at a firm that would never hire Bob as an associate, and have earned more practicing law in a month than Bob makes in a year.”

              Or you’re a dog.

              1. Or mental patient?

              2. One can be certain that everything you’ve quoted, like all of it’s boastful claims, never occurred. It really makes for a sad spectacle for a purported adult, the need to impress with tales of wealth, power and influence. The likelihood of a canine learning to type is higher.

                1. I wasn’t referring so much to my relatively commonplace trajectory — big-firm partners are plentiful — as to the poor position from which Bob from Ohio attempted to discredit another comment and commenter.

    3. You know it’s a show, right? He’s just pandering, saying words his people want to hear.

      You started to think but what if these aren’t completely empty, meaningless noises. That’s where the misunderstanding began.

      1. Fair enough. But I also correlate words with actions, and the actions of the Senate don’t lead me to think anything else. I think that through reconciliation, all these perverse incentives will be continued.

        When even my liberal friend who runs a small business is complaining about the inability to find workers due to the perverse incentives, there is a clear problem.

      2. Living in a world where the other side operates in complete bad faith and seems a really empty place to be.

        1. Versus believing Joe thinks big thoughts and has a broad and deep understanding of economics and business…

        2. Indeed it is for people on both sides.

          1. No argument. I may be to the left of people on this thread, but I am well aware there’s a fringe on the left just as silly, albeit not as powerful in their party as the far right currently is within the GOP.

    4. If restaurants need workers and can’t attract them at the current wage, what advice would you give them instead? Is the idea we need to bring back slavery or set a maximum wage or something?

      1. Stop helicopter dropping “free” money.

        1. That’s about to happen anyway. Next idea?

          1. We’ll see what happens once it does.

          2. Actually, I think they’re planning at least one more money airdrop, shortly before next year’s elections.

            My basis for this is this stupid advance payment of the child care credit, which is being pushed out to anyone who claimed it on their taxes and doesn’t opt out. (And opting out is NOT easy.)

            It’s not extra money, it’s just an advance on your tax refund, assuming you were going to get one. If you take it and don’t adjust your withholding, you’ll get socked with a huge tax bill next year. If you take it and DO adjust your withholding, the net result is bupkis, so what’s the point?

            I think the point IS to have a huge number of people do their taxes next year, and find to their horror they have a huge bill instead of a small refund. Which is intended to create political pressure to send out one more round of checks, just before the midterms.

            It makes no sense otherwise.

  10. Since this is an open thread, here is a non-legal, and what should be non-political, observation.

    The country and much of the world engage in massive lockdowns during COVID. There was a significant price paid for that, both in terms of economics, health and mental stress. I would like to see a study of the benefits vs. the costs of the lockdown, with an eye to determining whether they were worth it, or whether they could be done more intelligently in future pandemics.

    I realize that in our highly politicized world an honest study is near impossible, but I thought I would put the idea out there.

    1. I absolutely would as well, particularly with the prospective eye you specify.

      I also know social scientists enough to know we’ll get a bunch of studies on that front. I’d wager 2023ish is when the good ones will start coming out.

      1. I agree = we should have that study done

        O/T: I appreciate your efforts on Originalism

    2. These kinds of studies have been done, are being done and will be done. You’re not going to see most of them until there’s more distance from the events as data has to be collected, analyzed, etc., but of course they’re out there.

    3. Even in a non-politicized world, an honest study would be impossible. Think about it, how exactly do you quantify life expectancy? The present value of future earnings? Well the poor make less, so by definition their lives would be worth less.

      In reality, there is not a single answer, rather a whole distribution of answers to “was it worth it.” Some people were paid more not to work, hung out with their friends anyway. Some people took long vacations in an rv. For others, remote work turned out to be great. Of course, there is also the downside of the loneliness for elderly.

      The beauty of a Democracy is that it aggregates all those millions of answers into a point estimate of “should we do it again?”

      1. Yeah, tell that to idiot legislators who pass even-odd license plate fill up laws during gas shortages in spite of unending streams of mathematicians testifying it makes the lines worse not shorter and drain on gas stations worse, not less.

        If you are told you can’t get gas tomorrow you’re more likely to go top off today, etc.

        1. You’re right, that’s dumb.

          But it’s fallacious to use the fact that the government did a dumb thing as proof this other thing the government is doing is also dumb.

          1. Tuskegee Airmen was a government run medical study…..

            The libs like to remind us of this all the time, when the politics are convenient to their argument….

            1. Ha ha. I think you are confusing two separate things that both have the name Tuskegee in their name. The airmen weren’t the same poor black folk who had their syphilis untreated for decades as patients of the Tuskegee Institute.

              1. “I think you are confusing two separate things that both have the name Tuskegee in their name.”

                Is he? The President says it was the Tuskegee Airmen .


                1. At least someone got the nuance….

                  1. “I meant to do that.”

                2. Well, I suppose that’s one step better than Trump, who probably never heard of either one. Progress!

      2. I appreciate that at some point there is a value judgment that is beyond any scientific or social scientific study. But that does not mean that there cannot be an objective study of certain things. Such as:

        (1) How many lives really were saved by the lockdown? Did different lockdown strategies result in different levels of life saving? How many more would have been lost had there been no lockdowns?
        (2) How many lives were lost due to the lockdown, for example because of foregone medical care for the seriously ill? How many were lost because of suicide and mental stress? How much life expectancy reduction has there been because of economic stresses and the pathologies that creates?
        There are many other objective questions that can be asked.

        Yes, ultimately, the question is how much you value each life. As I said here before, if, hypothetically, you could have eliminated all COVID19 deaths at the price of 50% unemployment, would that be worth it? That is not a question of science but of values.

        1. BL,

          Your two questions would truly be worth understanding in depth. I am skeptical that any government funded study would come up with an honest answer. (i’d say the same if the Cato institute did the study). There is just two much of a conflict of interest.

          You might be interested to read “COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink” Frontiers in Public Health | February 2021 | Volume 9 | Article 625778. I’m not endorsing one way or the other but it is an honest attempt to deal with your questions

          1. I am skeptical that any government funded study would come up with an honest answer. (i’d say the same if the Cato institute did the study). There is just two much of a conflict of interest.

            I disagree. Grants are insulated from outcome-oriented issues like that.

            1. But such a cost-benefit study would by its very nature be outcome oriented, unless you and I have different ideas about the meaning of that word—which is quite possible.

              Moreover, the government is deeply invested in the “right” answer, i.e., lockdowns were the cost effective choice. The chances of conflicts of interest are just too large for my taste, even though I agree that an honest in-depth study would be very valuable before the next pandemic.

              I’ll grant this as an experimentalist.. Let’s see an a large scale, multi-institution proposal with all relevant disciplines included among the senior investigators and then we can make a judgment on how biases will be dealt satisfactoralywith in the study

              1. I guess I didn’t understand that this would be one giant study. Because cost-benefit isn’t a study, it’s an analysis that should draw on a lot of studies.

                I don’t know as well about government-commissioned analyses, but they’re also insulated from their outcomes being disfavored.

            2. “Grants are insulated from outcome-oriented issues like that.”

              No one believes that nonsense.

              1. Bob from Ohio : No one believes that nonsense.

                Certainly not anyone from today’s thoroughly post-modern Right. That’s how you end-up with the most grotesque liar in American political history as your cult deity….

        2. The only way to truly know the answer to 1 and 2 is randomized controlled trials, that also controls for a lot of other variables. It’s entirely possible (likely even) that lock-downs had a different effect in places like Italy, with a lot of multi-generational households, than say Florida.

          You can do a lot of “ecological,” epidemiological, and/or event-based statistical studies, but again, correlation is not causation (fundamentally ecological and epidemiological statistical studies detect correlations). These studies are prone to cherry picking, confirmation bias, and are often not robust to specification of the granularity. For example do you include the USA is a world study, or each state, since many states in the USA are larger than many European countries and had peculiar rules. Even within states, different counties had different policies on masks and seating.

          Unless its a randomized controlled trial, critics are going to say “correlation is not causation,” “confirmation bias,” and “cherry picking.” And they might not be wrong.

          Until they start assigning people randomly to a group with restrictions, the answer may be unknowable.

          1. Speaking of randomly, I’ve been totally frustrated by how little actual random testing of people for Covid was done.

            “Case” numbers are horribly, unavoidably, contaminated by the decisions about how many people to test, and who to test. Random population testing is the gold standard for determining what is actually happening on the ground.

            1. Randomized controlled trials are very very expensive.

              COVID vaccines had a comparatively large population. Look into your other medicine bottles, odds are those were approved with a lot fewer people in the trials, by an order of magnitude or two.

              1. Expect randomized control experiments at this point of the pandemic is wishful thinking. In fact such trials may even be unethical

              2. I’m not proposing random “trials”, I’m suggesting random “testing” for Covid.

                Pick people at random, and test them for Covid. Pay them if you must to get a high response rate. This gives you accurate data on population prevalence, uncontaminated by selection criteria. You can say with confidence, “X percent of the population have/have had Covid.” You know if rates are going up or down.

                The “case” numbers are crap. They’re hopelessly contaminated by self-selection and changes in selection criteria. They can’t be used to tell how things are changing, because any changes you see could be changes in who’s getting the tests.

                A tenth of a percent of the population randomly tested would tell you more than 10% of the population non-randomly tested.

                Not the slightest ethical issues with what I’m proposing.

            2. Consent issues spring to mind.

            3. Brett,
              One can side step this question by comparing results in counries with similar ethnic mixes and that range from, more than than 3 tests per person to less than 0.01 tests per person

    4. This is a really great suggestion. I suspect that there will be lots of studies, some with agenda and some without. The best broad studies will likely come from academia. Hopefully businesses and government will then use those for studies on how to proceed in future pandemics. There has been a lot of criticism about the handling of the pandemic and I myself have provided some. I appreciate those who were trying to make decisions as the situation developed. I hope that studies could help them. I accept there is little that can be done for the incompetent and the best we can do is avoid them in the future.

    5. To even imagine that the lockdowns were “worth it” is completely irrational.

      1. King of rationality right here.

        1. Explain to me the logic of closing down gyms, churches, and garden stores while leaving open fast food joints and liquor stores.

    6. Scott Alexander did a pretty thorough write-up of the topic:

      The basic conclusion is that evidence weakly suggests that lockdowns help, but are probably not the most efficacious intervention, and are very likely not the most cost-effective unless you have a capacity emergency. But all of that is pretty tenuous, and peer-reviewed studies disagree on all of those questions.

  11. Marvel’s latest offering, Black Widow, is poorly performing.

    Why? Some potential answers:

    1. Sexism (action movies with women leads might be a harder sell [but see, for example, the Alien franchise])
    2. Simultaneous release in theaters and streaming (discussed in the linked article)
    3. The delays involved in the film’s release
    4. The premise of the story, set as a flashback between Civil War and Endgame it’s easy to assume it has little consequence to the overall ‘MCU’
    5. People are just tired of Marvel movies, everything post-Endgame is anti-climatic
    6. My personal favorite, it came out while Loki was airing for ‘free’ on Disney (Black Widow streaming requires the Disney service PLUS a whopping 30 bucks), and Loki actually on its face seemed much more central to the overall future MCU
    7. Insert yours here

    1. I can’t buy the sexism claim. Captain Marvel did tremendously, and this on top of some improvident mouthings by the star about how men were awful, on top of this supposed generic sexism concern.

      1. Maybe it just isn’t so good. I love to see these movies on the big screen, and am trepedatious about going back at the moment. This combined with no big buzz (compare vs. what developed for Guardians of the Galaxies) and the hit or miss roll of the dice is about 50 50.

        So, nope. And I am not gonna subscribe either.

    2. Sexism is a dumb claim, Captain Marvel did pretty well (despite the fact that … it wasn’t a very good movie. And I think many reviewers would back me up on that).

      Probably just tired of Marvel movies. Black Widow seems extremely standard fare. Like what makes it different from every other Marvel movie so far? In terms of universe relevance, the character is dead.

      And I dont like Marvel for exactly this reason, way to many cookie cutter movies that don’t do anything interesting besides world building.

      For example, I’m not a strong feminist but the Harley Quinn Birds of Prey movie from last year (the actual name was super long and I dont remember it) was fantastic. If you want to do a female film, great, but make it interesting.

      Also Loki and Wandavision were excellent because they actually tried to do interesting and risky things with cinematography and story. I dont know if Black Widow does, but the ads don’t tell me they do. I get the, Marvel + Russian spy movie, and I’ve seen a lot of both.

      1. “Black Widow seems extremely standard fare.”

        Every action movie and tv show now has a pretty 105 pound women who can beat all the boys, no matter how big or strong or well trained. People can only suspend so much belief.

        1. Well, it’s mostly about women beating up other women.

          And the MCU isn’t particularly grounded in reality.

    3. 7. Black Widow is a lame character and the trailer was even lamer.

      The only reason she doesn’t get memed as hard as Hawkeye is because she was hot.

      1. She was an interesting character in the comics, but they really inflated her importance in the movies relative to her significance in the comics.

    4. No investment. The character is already dead. The movie doesn’t go anywhere ultimately.

    5. I’m not going to see it because I’m sick of Marvel movies, even as I’m digging their less formulaic TV offerings.

  12. So apparently this is a thing all throughout Massachusetts, but … like, if you think traffic lights are better, use traffic lights, if you think roundabouts are better. use roundabouts. There are pros and cons for each.

    But Jesus Christ, don’t put the two together! Its everywhere in this state and it is so confusing. Half the time the driver behind me expects me to ignore the traffic light and just enter right, and honks repeatedly until I do. You must stop, defeating the point of roundabouts, and you cant continue straight, defeating the point of traffic lights!

    Also funny how the definition of “lots of traffic” here means “occasionally actually following the speed limit once in a while”. Like I’m from NJ, this is nothing.

    The one positive about driving here I would mention is that MA has a middle lane entirely devoted to making left turns across oncoming traffic, and its wonderful. In NJ you just make an illegal left turn, but here it is explicitly sanctioned, you don’t block the traffic behind you, and you don’t have to make weird U turns.

    1. AC, that is why in Boston you can have a traffic jam with one car.
      Just remember, if you make eye contact with the other drive, you lose.

    2. The roundabouts aren’t being built to make the traffic flow better. They’re being built to throw obstacles in the way of traffic. They call it “traffic calming”.

      I find them nightmarish, but that’s probably because there was maybe one traffic circle in the entire country when I learned to drive, so they weren’t taught.

    3. The worst are the “roundabouts” in Berkeley.

      Take a normal intersection at a small, residential street. Replace it with a roundabout. Then do the same to the next intersection in 100 yards. Then repeat…. Ugg.

      Roundabouts are supposed to improve traffic flow.

      1. They’re meant to slow traffic flow. From some perspectives that’s an improvement, from others it is the opposite.

        But they’re not being built because they’re easy to navigate. They’re being built because they’re NOT easy to navigate. Their function is similar to speed bumps.

      2. Those are the “traffic calming” roundabouts that Brett is talking about. They’re meant to make you slow down in a somewhat less annoying and yet more effective way than a speed bump.

        These are distinct from the large roundabouts at major intersections that Aladdin’s Carpet is talking about. (And yes, roundabouts with traffic lights are super super dumb.)

      3. “The worst are the “roundabouts” in Berkeley. ”
        Those are not roundabouts; they are blockades, part of the Berkeley rat maze.

      4. Italy has been replacing intersections with light by roundabouts in many parts of the country. My experience is that the work quite well.

  13. In light of the DHS decision to keep our border with Canada closed at least until Aug 21, I have a couple questions: 1) Since Canada has decided to allow, starting Aug 9, fully vaccinated Americans (I am one) to enter on non-essential business, am I now a prisoner in my own country? 2) Under what legal authority is this policy justified?

  14. “am I now a prisoner in my own country?”
    Kind of.

    1. If people don’t start paying more attention, soon you won’t even be able to call it your “own country”….

  15. Federal Judge Rules Against West Virginia’s ‘Save Women’s Sports Bill’: Transgender Girl Must Be Allowed to Try Out for Girls’ Team

    Discuss. . . .

    1. Given that Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board is binding precedent in the Fourth Circuit, and the plaintiff is prepubescent and taking puberty-blocking drugs, it’s strikes me the judge got it correct.

      1. Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board is binding precedent in the Fourth Circuit

        And the judge is fully on-board with that precedent.

      2. Is it just that the law isn’t narrowly tailored enough? I understand the judge’s argument…that the individual in question never really developed into a male in a way that would create obvious athletic advantages over females. But I don’t know how you codify that into law.

        1. This was an as-applied challenge and as applied to this plaintiff, the judge held the law is not substantially related to the state’s goal in providing equal athletic opportunities to girls. The law remains on the books and might be constitutional as applied to other cases.

        2. There are people thinking pretty hard about how to get this balance right: how to allow transgender girls/women to participate in sports without an unfair advantage. It seems very likely possible to create some rules that do this, but it’s not helped by Republicans knee-jerk attempts to just ban trans kids from competing.

          (As an aside: it seems quite rare for trans girls who have gone through puberty and are not on testosterone-blocking regimens to actually compete at a high level in girls’ sports, so it’s not really clear that it’s worth it for us to need to create a lot of laws or rules here. Don’t we have bigger problems than the occasional unfair outcome in a high school sports event? They happen all the time for other reasons and legislators don’t go crazy trying to fix it.)

          1. “transgender girls/women”

            Also known as boys/men

            1. Thanks for making my about Republicans generally being uninterested in actually addressing the problem.

              1. Boys shouldn’t be on girl’s teams. Problem addressed.

                You want us to “address” it by conceding the main point, that a boy can be a girl because he feels like it.

                1. Gender Dysphoria is a thing.

                  Over-diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria is also a thing.

                  Don’t let the spike in illegitimate socialized Transgenderism blind you to the actuality of individuals who truly suffer from Gender Dysphoria. And don’t assume a one-sized fits all way to address Gender Dysphoria.

                  1. “truly suffer from Gender Dysphoria”

                    A tiny figure.

                    Letting them pretend is not going to help them.

                    1. Non-zero is non-zero.

                      The problem we have today is that an accommodation that should exist for a tiny portion of society is being extended to a larger portion. It’s not clear though that the answer is removing the accommodation altogether. Both mandating and removing the accommodation are likely wrong. That’s what makes this problem hard.

                      It’s not make easier by saying legitimate sufferers are “pretending”.

                    2. The problem is that the accommodation, pretending that a male is a female, or visa versa, is illegitimate.

                      First, it’s illegitimate, because we are compelling other people to lie in order to humor these people. We’re destroying women’s sports, making wholesale changes to society. All for the alleged comfort of a tiny minority.

                      But, secondly, it’s illegitimate because it really does not help them.

                      We don’t offer bariatric surgery to anorexics, no matter how genuine their belief is that they’re morbidly obese. Losing weight doesn’t resolve their problem!

                      Surgery doesn’t resolve dysphorias. The suicide rate for the gender dysphoric continues to be much higher after ‘transition’, while the treatment itself carries a significant burden of adverse medical consequences.

                      “It’s not make easier by saying legitimate sufferers are “pretending”.”

                      Sure, some of them are genuinely delusional.

                    3. Did you read the actual facts of the case? The child is 11. The transition was pre-puberty.

                      And beyond that, “pretending” assumes some sort of rigidity to gender roles where non really exists.

                      If you don’t want to take gender dysmorphia seriously, then fine, there’s not much more to debate here. But as soon as one does take it seriously, there is a legitimate accommodation issue. The problem today is simply an over-diagnosis/over-subscription of something that truly is particularly rare. And one side wants to ignore the over-diagnosis while the other side wants to ignore the legitimate diagnosis.

                    4. I do take gender dysphoria seriously, where ‘taking it seriously’ means recognizing that it is a mental illness. A neural birth defect, probably.

                      Look, in terms of biological sex, almost everybody IS either male or female, period. XX or XY. That’s just a fact. You don’t deny that humans are bipedal with opposed thumbs just because of the occasional birth defect, do you? That would be stupid.

                      And gender aligns with sex in most cases. The exceptions are generally cases where gender isn’t exclusive, (Bisexuality) not fixed with the opposite sign.

                      “The child is 11. The transition was pre-puberty.”

                      That makes it a thousand times worse. A child of 11 who hasn’t undergone puberty doesn’t HAVE a gender (As opposed to sex.) to be dysphoric about. Aside from anatomy, they’re largely neuter. Then puberty comes, and in the space of a few years they develop their gender, almost always the one that matches their chromosomes.

                      Most cases of ‘gender dysphoria’ in prepubescent children resolve on their own in just a few years. Subjecting such a child to medical treatments that will have irreversible effects on the basis of what amounts to a childhood fantasy or fad is severe child abuse, Munchhausen by proxy.

                2. Bob,
                  I do hope that you agree that anyone can be on a boys team.

          2. Jb,
            The judge seems to have been careful to tailor his opinion narrowly to the case of the prepubescent kid. Until that condition changes the judgment looks fair to me
            However, postponed puberty indefinitely certainly seems to be child abuse. Eventually, some irreversible decisions will have to be made on behalf the the child. At that point one enters into the larger issue of who can compete on a restricted team. The open team should accept tryouts from persons of ll sexes and gender-identities.

  16. My thesis is that your inflationary fears are more partisan than supported. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but I’ve been hearing your exact same argument for over a decade now, and so far inflation has not been an issue.

    ->>Inflation is here as measured by the core CPI.

    Housing alone makes up 40% of the core CPI.

    Then add transportation/autos

    More than half the the household budget is going up (over two years, not just one) at double digit rates.

    “Hearing” an argument and paying attention to actual evidence are two different things.

    But sure, its only transitory. Pay no attention to the consumer polls that say they are feeling it.

    1. I mean ” its only transitory” sarcastically. As in nothing to see here move along.

    2. You picked the 2 markets (housing and autos) that are currently *well* above the norm for inflation, and we know why as well – supply chain issues.

      Don’t pretend transitory inflation in certain sectors is nationwide stagflation. That’s just disingenuous.

      1. I picked the two markets that combined are the bulk of the household budget!

        1. Housing is ~30-40% of the typical household budget, transportation 15-20%, and food 10-15%. I did not pick these categories randomly to prove a point, I picked them because thats where people feel inflation the hardest.

      2. Also- You should note.

        Inflation (esp housing inflation) tends to benefit people who own hard assets, i.e. single family homeowners. It tends to hurt renters, whose rent goes up faster than their wages. In fact, since my house is mortgaged, I get a triple benefit – my home value appreciates, by mortgage depreciates in real terms, and wages go up.

        In point of fact, I am well hedged for inflation. I own my home and have $ stashed in my 401k.

        The lower and middle class that the Dems pretend to represent, renters, not so much.

        So when I say I am worried about inflation, it is in fact against self interest

        1. My personal experience has been that, when upholding contracts as a general matter threatens an ‘important’ business, let alone an entire industry, contracts start being unilaterally altered with the approval of the judiciary. (In my case, it was a reduction of the guaranteed rate of return on a universal life policy purchased in 1980 at the peak of the inflation rate.)

          I fully anticipate that if serious inflation kicks in, double digit, say, we’re going to see an awful lot of fixed rate mortgages turn out to be adjustable rate after all.

          1. Won’t happen. This didn’t happen in the 80s.

            Banks generally hedge their net interest margin. If anything, appreciating home prices will make the credit of the underlying (existing) loans look better because the Loan to value look better.

            People who own houses now will be the big beneficiaries.

            Heck, I own my cars too and I am pretty sure I could sell two for more than I purchased them for a few years ago!

            Of course, if you are a young single 20 something socialist barrista who rents and uses Uber, sucks to be you.

            1. what will in fact happen is that banks/lenders will get loose with 2nd mortgages and let people cash in the equity.

      3. ” transitory inflation”
        That is a very big assumption.
        But in the Bay Area (and elsewhere) people are being priced out of the housing market anywhere close to economic centers.
        Of course Gov. Newsom and the one-party legislature did not help matters by raising the gasoline tax by 0.50 a gallon because those poor folks that have to live far from SF and San Jose now have excess cash they need to get rid of.

        1. It’s not a big assumption if we know the cause. Certainly no bigger than that it’s permanent.

          And dwb68 is claiming *stagflation* is coming. With some confidence.

          Which continues to be a claim one cannot make with certainty and not be ridiculous.

          1. To be precise, I am claiming that if the same or worse-as-COVID work disincentives get put in the budget reconciliation bill, we will see stagflation, yes.

            1. Making confident if-then statements about the national economy remains ridiculous.

              Maybe some day we’ll get there, but not today.

              Also, as I’ve said, I’ve heard that song for the past decade from austerity mavens who no longer have much to stand on after their silence during Trump.

              1. Coming from someone who believes in climate predictions 30 years from now, I will take your criticism with a big grain of mute.

                Its not like I am way out on a limb. Mainstream left-leaning economists like Summers are also worried.

            2. dwb68, don’t worry. Stagflation was mainly a policy mistake by economists. They mistook collusion (foreign and domestic) to drive up the price of gas, for an actual gas shortage followed by inflation. Then they ruined the economy with interest rate hikes which couldn’t affect the collusion even a little.

              The only kind of inflation which interest hikes can help with is the kind where too many people have too much money pursuing too few goods. It will take a revolution in tax policy before that combination appears once again in the U.S. Don’t hold your breath.

  17. A discussion of pro bono representation in the Bill O’Reilly thread precipitates this observation for the lawyers in the audience:

    I encourage you to consider charging all or nearly all pro bono clients . . . a reduced rate, but something.

    In most cases (excluding, for example, representation of children in Family Division matters; work for genuinely destitute people; endeavors that may generate fee awards), I began many years ago to charge a small amount ($20 or $40 an hour) to clients that I formerly would have charged nothing.

    The reason: A small charge seems to make clients substantially better consumers of legal services. Fewer ‘I sat on some gum on the bus, my pants are ruined, and I want you to do something about it this minute’ calls. More apparent inclination to take advice more seriously. Fewer ’emergency’ interruptions that turn out to be mundane. The better communication (work performed, results, time devoted, regular contact) associated with regular bills.

    It is easy to use an even gentler touch on billsets where warranted (especially if one no longer has fiduciary duties to partners); no one complains about a bill that requests a fraction of the amount contemplated by the engagement letter.

    This is one of the best points of advice I received from a senior lawyer when I was younger. Another: Terminate your relationship with a client every year or so. The appropriate choice will be readily evident: the client who inflicts 70 percent of your headaches while constituting 3 percent of your practice, the client who hears ‘there’s a slight chance that could work, but I do not recommend it,’ takes the chance, then blames you when probability is vindicated; the client who refuses to respect your advice, sabotages your work with dishonesty, or can not be trusted.

    Tell that client ‘you deserve someone you can have a better relationship with,’ or ‘I do not want to continue to charge you for advice you ignore.’ Help that client find another lawyer (without effecting ‘the foist’.

    I have never regretted it. I hope those clients were better off without me, too.

  18. So when we get full Critical Race Theory, do we also get the additional features and benefits of that system that are now on full display in South Africa? Those being failed government, looting, riots, murders, crime, and endless social chaos? If so, I’m looking forward to our new rainbow nation.

    1. No need to wait, you could just visit Chicago or Baltimore

    2. Why would ‘critical race theory’ lead to failed government, looting, riots, murders, crime and endless social chaos, Jimmy?

      1. Our taste of it last summer seemed to produce a lot of that looting, crime, and chaos. I imagine it only gets better the more ingrained it gets into the system.

        1. Lol, classic Jimmy.

        2. A Republican presidency?

  19. Because “conspiracy theory” is now the new liberal short hand for dismissive hand waving, I’m sure people will scream that at this. But, it is getting increasingly harder for the media and Biden’s handlers to cover up the fact that he is losing it.

    1. Clearly his lizard person handlers are slipping.

    2. Dismissive hand waving is the proper course in some circumstances.

  20. I will vote to allow Puerto Rico into the United States, as long as we also let Cuba and Czechoslovakia in as well:

    “????Hot News ???? Czech Senate just approved the “2A-ish” amendment to our constitution. Since the other body of the Czech Parliament – the Chamber of Deputies already approved it couple of months ago now it only needs a signature of our president. This is more or less a formality as from the very beginning he has been in favour so it seems we actually will have another protective measurement against the EU gun grabbers in place. Applause should go to LIGA LIBE – Petice proti nesmyslným zákazům legálních obranných prostředků who did an amazing job pushing this thru.”

    1. Clarification: Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 Jan 1993.

    2. ” I will vote to allow Puerto Rico into the United States, as long as we also let Cuba and Czechoslovakia in as well: ”

      The only votes that will be relevant in that context will be those of a House majority (Democrats, perhaps exclusively), a Senate majority (Democrats, perhaps exclusively) and a (Democratic) president.

    3. I hate to break it to you, but Puerto Rico is already in the United States. They managed it without your permission, apparently.

      1. United “States”

        Not united territories.

        and unless I missed it, PR is not a State yet.

        1. Patience, grasshopper. It will happen soon enough. With the Douglass Commonwealth and perhaps the Pacific Islands.


          1. Progress = Banana Republic

            1. Progress is an improving, modern America, shaped — as has become the American way — against the wishes and works of conservatives.

        2. “United “States”
          Not united territories.
          and unless I missed it, PR is not a State yet.”

          Puerto Ricans are United States citizens, exactly the same as you, except they don’t have representation in Congress. So Puerto Rico is in the United States of America, full stop. Whether or not it becomes a state is entirely a different matter.

  21. The same people who are upset about a lack of election uniformity in certain states vociferously oppose federal election uniformity. What’s up with that?

    1. Racism and fascism, of course.

    2. I don’t think you understand the concerns about election law beyond what the media tells you to think…..

      1. ‘Stolen election’ kooks and ‘election fraud’ cranks are among my favorite culture war casualties. They deserve to lose and to be mocked.

    3. The same people who claim to be upset about election shenanigans vociferously demand federal laws to make election shenanigans almost obligatory. What’s up with that?

      1. HB 1 has been opposed on the grounds, among others for sure, that it’s ‘federalizing elections.’ It’s interesting no one wants to answer why it’s important that election laws be uniform in each state but not across states.

        1. As usual, you miss the point, apparently intentionally. You framing of the issue is biased, and ignores that Democrats actively opposed election uniformity last year by any metric one can imagine: uniformity with laws, uniformity within states, uniformity between states. HB 1’s problems are not so much that it federalizes elections as much as that it federalizes easy fraud.

          1. My framing? Sorry, but I’m simply repeating the framing many Republicans have used.

        2. My grounds for objecting to HB 1 are that,

          1) To the extend the policies in it are constitutional, they are often bad policies. Legalizing ballot harvesting, for instance. HB 1 tries to take the variations in ballot security among the states, and equalize down to the worst case for each policy.

          2) But to a good extent, the policies in it, such as the campaign finance portions, aren’t constitutional.

          3) A few of the things in it are actually good policy, and would pass in a bipartisan manner if put forward as single purpose bills.

  22. CNN is reporting that COVID patients in virus-ravaged backwaters are requesting vaccinations when they reach a hospital (and that medical professionals do not knowingly administer vaccine to infected persons).

    In other words, this is a situation in which you literally can’t cure stupidity.

    1. You do know that story is fake, right? Much like the nurse who faked the story last year about “rural” people dying of Covid who told her in their last breath that is must be something else because Covid isn’t real.

      1. It doesn’t sound fake. Lethally reckless, virus-flouting dullards are spreading infection in rural and southern communities. When respiratory reality reaches an unvaccinated dope, that dope suddenly recognizes the wisdom of vaccination and rethinks belligerent ignorance. Sounds like a predictable course. What might be remarkable would be yahoos clinging to stupidity after It put them in hospitals.

      2. That story doesn’t even sound remotely real.

        It’s amazing that some people can’t see the obvious when they’re being told a melodramatic story that so perfectly and precisely fits their biases.

        1. You don’t figure a vaccine-rejecting, virus-flouting person might ‘get religion’ when his lungs begin to fail him? How gullible and stupid would one need to be to continue to swallow the right-wing nonsense about the pandemic after his lungs begin to fill with fluid?

  23. _subject = [‘crime’,’inflation’,’critical race theory’,’Marxism’,’socialism’,’border crisis’]

    excuses = []
    actions =[]
    for s in _subject:
    excuses.addItem( [[‘Move along nothing to see here’],[‘That was a clerical error’]])


    1. Could someone translate from Asperger-incel-clinger to English? There must be at least one alt-righter here familiar with standard English.

    2. More excuses/comebacks needed:

      – “But Trump!”
      – “So you’re against any government at all then”
      – “That wasn’t reported in the NY Times or Wapo so it can be ignored no matter how true it is or how many people are hurt.”
      – “Doing anything differently might not lead to a perfect utopia for all, therefore all other courses of action are bad, even the ones that obviously would be better than current policy.”
      – “No one else has any idea what to do either. And even when it’s proven that they do we’re going to keep insisting that they don’t”
      – “you must believe in white supremacy”
      – “You’re a Russian asset I guess”

      This robot can be a CNN contributor if you give it some credentials and craft a backstory for it.

  24. Are “Anti-BDS” laws a violation of the First Amendment? States codifying a prohibition on doing business with companies based purely on the company’s viewpoint seems to be a pretty clear violation of the company’s rights.

    1. I agree with you but I’ll tell you what EV and others will say: “The laws aren’t based on a company’s viewpoint, they’re based on its actions (doing business or not doing business with Israel), and the First Amendment (nor 14th) doesn’t reach actions.”

      1. So long as the anti-BDS law applies to conduct (not doing business with Israel) rather than speech (supporting boycotts of Israel without participating in them), I think the law is constitutional.

      2. Aren’t my actions generally dictated by my viewpoints?

        I’ll stand for the National Anthem, but I refuse to remove my hat, place my hand over my heart, or sing along, because I think our country is not representative in reality of what we’re supposed to be.

        Those actions – or lack thereof, are clearly protected by the First Amendment, because they are expressive of a viewpoint.

        I think anyone arguing that a company refusing to do business with Israel (action) because they don’t approve of Israel’s behavior (viewpoint) isn’t similarly expressive is being disingenuous.

        1. Those are examples of expressive conduct which are evaluated under intermediate scrutiny per United States v. O’Brien (1968). If a boycott of Israel is expressive conduct, then it calls into question whether refusing to serve a same-sex marriage is also expressive conduct.

          1. Is “Israel” a protected class?

            1. No. But, I know of no precedent that says a statute which creates a protected classification is afforded a different standard of First Amendment review.

    2. Does that argument also prove that other anti-discrimination laws, at least as applied to private entities, are also unconstitutional? Forcing a company to do business regardless of its viewpoint seems rather more direct an inconvenient of such rights.

      1. Iirc EV and some others have made* this argument at least for ‘expressive’ businesses.

        * Don’t know if he’s changed this too in his current discovery of his inner Chomsky in the service of Trump

        1. Eugene’s argument was limited to businesses that engage in expression traditionally protected by the First Amendment such as photography or writing, but not other businesses such as the cake decorator or sandwich artist.

      2. I think that’s an apples and oranges problem. The “Anti-BDS” laws are prohibiting the government from doing business with a company based on that company’s viewpoint. Clearly not “viewpoint neutral” in scope.

        The laws to which you are referring are laws preventing private businesses within the United States from discriminating based on protected classes towards other private individuals. As far as I know, those individuals are also US citizens, or generally speaking, within her sovereign territory.

        These companies are also not refusing to do business with Jews (I apologize if that’s somehow not a PC term anymore. I don’t know every word that’s now considered pejorative. I have nothing against Jewish people.), they are refusing to do business with the government of Israel. I imagine that any Jewish person who would walk into their place of business in the US would be served without issue.

    3. The laws are bad policy in my opinion, but the way they are usually implemented (the state won’t contract with the business) are maybe not a First Amendment violation. The state necessarily gives contracts to a small minority of businesses and not to most others, so the company is not being denied something to which they would otherwise entitled.

      I’d say it’s somewhat like a public library declining to buy a particular book. You can’t really call that censorship or a 1st violation, since most books published will not be bought. Even if the underlying intent might be hostile.

      1. Denying a contract on the basis of something the government could not do directly likely violates the unconstitutional conditions doctrine.

        1. Not an expert, but isn’t that true only if the denial is not “coercive”. Certainly federal grants to states and contracts to companies are conditioned on things the feds have no authority to do directly, e.g. drinking ages for states, drug testing policies for companies, etc.

          1. BTW, not saying any of that is good, it’s not. But I thought that was the current state of things.

          2. In South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987), the Court held that not only was coercion not permitted, but the condition had to be related to the federal interest in the program. So, Congress could condition highway funding to a drinking age, but presumably it couldn’t condition transportation funding.

            In United States v. American Library Association (2003), the Court held Congress could condition funding for public library internet access on the libraries installing software that blocked pornography. Even if the First Amendment directly barred Congress from such a requirement, Congress may insist that public funds are spent for specific purposes. But presumably, Congress could not condition funding for literacy programs unrelated to the internet.

            Applying those rulings to anti-BDS laws, the government likely can condition funding which in some way advances its interest in Israel. But, a condition on funding unrelated to Israel would likely run into trouble.

            1. Oops, I didn’t mean to say transportation funding, but rather housing funding.

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