Dr. Lynn Vavreck, Professor of Political Science at UCLA, and contributing columnist to The Upshot at The New York Times, sits down with Jon Favreau to talk about 2022 midterms. After 2020, Lynn and her colleagues interviewed over 500,000 voters, leading them to conclude that our politics aren’t just polarized, but calcified. She argues that calcification has placed our politics on a knife’s edge, raising the stakes of every election, and that 2022 was the biggest case of calcification we’ve seen yet.
I was getting the impression that the media have settled on a Trump-Biden match up in over 500 days from now, and wondered what the list of potential candidates looked like at this time (plus or minus a few weeks) during previous election cycles at this time. So I made some lists.
Barack Obama; Hillary Clilnton; Mitt Romney; Jim Gilmore; Tommyh Thompson; John McCain; Sam Brownback; Bill Richardson; Duncan Hunter; Ron Paul; Chris Dodd; Tom Tancredo’ Mike Gravel; Joe Biden; Mike Huckabee
Jon Huntsman; Michel Bachmann; Herman Cain; Tim Pawlenty; Mitt Romney; Garyh Johnson; Ron Paul;
Vermin Supreme; Pogo Mochello Allen-Reese; Hillary Clinton; Rick Perryh; John Kasich; Marco Rubio; Donald Trump;
Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kristen Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, Pete Buttigieg, Donald Trump, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker; Steve Bullock; Julian Castro; Bill De Blasio; John Delaney; Mike Gravel; John Kickenlooper; Jay Inslee; Seth Moulton; Beto O’Rourke; Tim Ryhan; Eric Salwell;
Donald Trump; Ron DeSantis; Nikki Haley; Mike Pence; Ryan Binkley; Larry Elder; Asa Hutchinson; Perry Johnson; Vivek Ramaswamy; Tim Scott; Kristi Noem; Mike Rogers; Chris Sununu; Greg Abbott; Chris Christie; Joe Biden; Robert Kennedy
I’ll leave it to you to search for meaning in this.
Subtitle: Before you fix the problem, correctly identify the victim and the perpetrator.
I was just watching testimony in the House Education Committee, Minnesota Legislature, supporting a bill that would require some sort of financial literacy in schools. A long list of benefits was suggested, including fewer individuals succumbing to the effects of bad decisions about personal finance, and a healthier economy. This initiative was even touted as a life and death matter, since suicide is known to be linked at times to financial disasters that may have been avoided or lessened when a person is better able to handle their own finances and avoid depressing, troubling, personal disaster.
All these points are true and I do think that things would be better if students came out of high school with better financial literacy under their graduation caps than they might otherwise.
However, I don’t support this bill for several reasons. This bill is one in a continuous stream of bills our legislature introduces, one or two a year, in which a societal ill is linked in the minds of a few legislators to an inadequacy in our school system, which of course, we can fix by simply telling the teachers to get on the ball and make these newly molded citizens to be less flawed than they obviously are. These bills do not take into account several important facts, which almost always apply, regardless of the issue being addressed, such as financial literacy, critical thinking, civics and so on.
1) Chances are we already do what the bill is asking for. In this case, testimony demonstrated that FACS classes exist, and include financial literacy. So, the net improvement in all the things proposed by the legislation would be much less than suggested, because we have already done 80% or more of what can be done.
2) Schools sometimes ignore legislation of this type, because they simply can’t do what is required, and there is no mechanism for enforcement. Nobody is going to close a school down because some students graduated without civics.
3) (To integrate numbers 1 and 2 above) the schools least likely to actually implement the proposed changes are also the ones that are not doing this if this bill becomes a law. Basically, schools already want to teach financial literacy (or civics or what have you), but there is a reason a given school can’t, usually having to do with being underfunded. A law of this type will not close the above hinted 20% gap. The effect of the bill will be virtually nothing.
4) The plate effect. This is a plate:
This is a teacher’s plate:
So, where you gonna put this extra new thing you think teachers were not doing?
5) Teaching something in school does not guarantee that the specific thing that was learned is now a functional arrow in each student’s respective quiver. We teach kids how to learn, how to approach problems, how to think, by teaching teaching them a bunch of stuff to know. Then, over time, the stuff they know (at the time of the test) fades away, leaving a better person, but not necessarily a person who can recall that specific knowledge. Every one of those legislators would fail almost every one of the High School (or College) tests they took way back when, were they given the test right now. But we still regard them as educated individuals.
6) This other thing that makes this so unfair: Financial troubles are not the fault of the students (or the teachers). They are the fault of the corporations that control the finances. Fix that, legislators.
And now it is time for an instructive parable.
I was in financial trouble just now. I was suddenly knocked back on my financial heels by a $500 bill that came out of nowhere. Here’s what happened, in temporal order:
1) I had emergency eye surgery. It was covered by a health insurance plan.
2) Following an unfortunate divorce, I continued to have the same exact insurance. Same company, same primary payer, same exact level of coverage. Every single thing about this insurance was identical. IDENTICAL I TELL YOU! Except for one tiny little ting thing. The policy number changed.
3) I had a required follow-up appointment following this surgery. That appointment cost $500. Eye doctors are expensive.
4) The insurance company refused to pay the bill.
5) The insurance company sent me a notice that they figured out that I was being covered by a different insurance company, so that other company should pay the bill. It included a form that I could fill out saying either who that company was, or I could check a box indicating that I did not have another insurance policy. I did not have another insurance policy. I checked the box and mailed it back to them.
6) The insurance company sent me a notice that they figured out that I was being covered by a different insurance company, so that other company should pay the bill. It included a form that I could fill out saying either who that company was, or I could check a box indicating that I did not have another insurance policy. I did not have another insurance policy. I checked the box and mailed it back to them.
(Note: Yes, 5 and 6 are the same thing. They did it twice! I think each of these two letters originated from each of the two policy numbers. In other words, Company A, my insurance company, thought Company A, itself, was the other insurance company.)
7) Meanwhile, the health care provider had been me increasingly wrought notices that I must pay the bill or else.
8) Finally, my heath care provider sent me a note suggesting that I call my insurance company at the number on the insurance company’s insurance coverage card.
8b) The card has no number on it, but since I took a “business machines” class in high school last century, I knew how to get a phone number and was able to call them anyway.
9) I called. They looked up my account. The person on the phone intoned a paragraph of words no one would ever understand, not even a lawyer in the insurance industry. Eventually she translated for me: The problem was solved internally and I had no reason to call after all. The bill would be covered.
HOLY MOTHERFUCKNIG CHRIST PEOPLE !!!!!! The insurance company and health care providers probably spent a couple of hundred bucks on these useless paperwork shenanigans. I spent close to an hour messing around, which is below the average amount of hapless consumer time spent on this sort of thing. So, nearly HALF OF THE COST OF MY FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT can be attributed to the inability of a huge insurance company to handle a change in an account number.
All insurance companies should be forced to take a financial literacy in high school.
People don’t have financial woes because they did not learn about interest rates in high school. They have financial woes because usury interest rates are allowed by our representative government. People don’t get ripped off by charlatans or sold bad mortgages because they did not take a financial literacy class in high school. These things happen to them because of regulatory creep, allowed by our elected representatives. People don’t live hand to mouth, barely, and have their finances fall apart over the littlest thing because they did not take financial literacy in high school. These thing happen because our minimum wage standard is laughable, our tax burden is unfairly distributed, and there is very little done in our society to develop job security. These are all failures of our legislative bodies. People don’t have health care related financial disaster because they did not take a financial literacy class in high school. This happens to them because our legislative bodies can’t modernize our health delivery system
Stop blaming the teachers, stop blaming the schools, stop blaming the kids. They are the victims, not the perpetrators of all that cause personal financial disaster.
We Minnesota DFLers* love Senator Lindsey Port. She is the amazing senator representing Minnesota Senate District 55, which by coincidence is where I was for most of the day today being judgmental at high school students.** That is a tough district for a DFLer to represent, but she is so well respected by the people of Savage and Burnsville (Go Lakers!) that she wins handily.
So today, I heard DFL Party Chair Ken Martin giving the You Betha award to “all of the DFL women in the Senate who maintained composure while the extremist white men in the Republican party explained to them how abortion works, for 11 hours, except of course Lindsey Port.” Or words to that effect. (Listen to the original here.)
Why was Senator Port exempted from the Straight Face award? Have a look.
Every now and then a person of privilege, who has done something seriously wrong, gets popped and spends some time in prison. They pay fines all the time, and spend piles of money on lawyers, so “justice” is served against those offenders, but that justice is milquetoast at best. For the most part, the privileged are above the law. Worst case scenario: drug and rape numerous women over several years, and spend three years in prison for it (Bill Cosby).
You know this is true, and you know why it is true. It is true because the system was designed by the privileged to put the privileged above the law. Duh. Of course.
I say this to help you become a happier person. Trump will never see the inside of a prison cell, or if so, such a stint will be a short one. He can’t be imprisoned because he will avoid, delay, and appeal, until each of his legal problems goes away, or he dies, whichever comes first. It will be a combination of both, almost certainly. During this period, the “Justice” Department, and various state Attorneys General, will chug along making sure the rest of us see justice, while a much smaller number of individuals, Trump included, stay free, live free, and die free, no matter what offense they do.
There are exceptions. Sometimes a person of privilege fucks up some other people of privilege, and those offenders can go to jail forever. Bernie Madoff went to prison forever, for taking 36 billion dollars from a wide range of people. I assume some of his victims were individuals of power. Plus, he failed to pay billions in taxes. That is a world apart from anything Trump ever did, as far as messing up the privileged goes. Minnesota’s Denny Hecker went to prison forever, well, for 10 years, for defrauding a third of the suburban middle class of Minnesota. So of course he’s brought to justice. But he is one of dozens (hundreds?) of similarly crooked people selling and trading and conniving who are all free, and who will will remain free. By and large, a working class stiff, especially if a person of color, can get months or years in prison for voting in the wrong place, putting their kid in the wrong school, jay-walking across the street, or sneezing too loud, and that is a good day for such an individual, because at least they were not blasted to kingdom come by the cops. A thousand people will be shot or maimed by cops, a million bilked by scammers, and tens of millions ripped off by landlords, for every privileged person who truly gets justice. Trump will never get justice.
So how does this make you a happier person? Because I’m giving you permission to stop worrying about Trump. Worry about other things. Worry about clean elections, clean cars, clean energy, clean water, and clean air, and forget about our filthy, stinking “system of justice.” Respect each other, respect our collective activism, respect our occasional successes, and and feel good about all that. Accept the fact that Trump will die an old man with no friends at his golf course in Florida, and don’t worry about what he gets or does not get in the way of justice. He is above the law, more than any individual has been, but not that much more, and he is not alone. Just learn to stop worrying, and love the injustice, as it were. You and I have better things to do.
I do grow weary when justice commenters, many of whom I adore and am addicted to listening to, come back to that old line: “No one is above the law.” Sorry, Arlene, Rachel, Chuck, Jill, Heather, Kimberly, Barb, Joanne, Neal. Just stop saying “Nobody is above the law” when talking about Trump. It makes me sad when you say that. He is above the law. You need to reconcile that and learn to live with it.
On this morning’s “Weekend Edition” report on Monday’s expected US House January 6th referral of former President Trump for criminal charges, NPR’s national political correspondent Mara Liasson repeatedly referred to Trump’s effort to “Stop the Steal” as though there was a “steal” to stop.
“… when the former president encouraged his supporters to go up to congress to stop the steal, he was trying to stop congress from doing it’s official duty…”
“… according to the committee, not just sending his supporters up to stop the steal, but also to …”
Most of the rest of the words used by Liasson were appropriate, placing Trump’s actions in a framework that clearly indicated they were wrong. But the term “stop the steal” was not used in radio-scare-quotes, or with any ironic contextual verbiage. The term was used as though it was fact, that there was a “steal,” and Trump was trying to stop it.
You may think I’m nitpicking here, but I’m not. A statement that implies that Trump’s engineering of a violent insurrection was in any way appropriate or routine should burn in someone’s ears and nauseate in someone’s mouth. I hate to Godwin the discussion, but imagine saying something like “Hitler was well known for his efforts to address the Jewish Problem,” or words to that effect, and imagine saying that two or three times while summarizing Hitler’s biography. One would not do that. With reference to Trump’s efforts to overthrow democracy and reverse the legal outcome of a legitimate election, one should also not do that.
It was a mistake by Liasson that was allowed because she lives in a particular linguistic environment engendered by the specific journalistic culture of NPR in which all efforts are made to maintain the sense of balance, of false balance, regardless of the issues being discussed. This religious adherence to false balance is part of the reason that Trump’s insurrection could happen to begin with. The right wing rhetoric of Fox News and Infowars has gotten somewhere over recent decades because it took off from a platform of presumed equivalence and legitimacy of all perspectives. NPR maintains the “Overton window” in just the right position that the view out that window includes equal parts QAnon and Bernie Sanders.
After reporter Liasson made this mistake twice, NPR reporter Ayesha Rascoe provided a corrective. “And we should say ‘Stop the Steal’ is Trump’s term, that was what he was trying to do.” Liasson acceded to this correction and restated with reference to Trump trying to stop a free and fair election.
Liasson has been with NPR since 1985, and is part of the old guard there. She is one of the journalists involved in proving NPR to be an out-front, excellent, and fair reporting agency, back in the day. But over the years, I think she was also part of the NPR squad responsible for a rightward shift in reporting style and bias, which I’ve always assumed was the the result of bullying of the news agency by right wing elements in Congress.
Ayesha Roscoe is a relative newcomer, having joined NPR only four or five years ago. She is well known for her coverage of the Deepwater spill and the Fukushima disaster, and she covered the Obama White House for Reuters. Perhaps this impressive diversity of journalistic service immunized her from the NPR rightward slide that has caused many of us to withdraw perennial financial report from the organization.
Or, perhaps, as a newcomer correcting veteran Liasson, Roscoe will be put in her proper place in some quiet, back room manner. I hope not.
I hope Ayesha Roscoe is the future of NPR, and not just a thorn in the side of a bad journalistic culture. I’m watching, and at some later time, I’ll reconsider my boycott of support of NPR and it’s coven of whataboutist false-equivalencers.
Crank up prices, bilk customers, get rich, and strike fear in the heart of voters nation-wide; price fixing and gouging is good business. I don’t know why industrialists and business owners in all areas and at all times love Republicans, but they do, and they did cause the inflation bubble of 2022, in order to skew the election red. Didn’t work this time.
The MAGA Republican Party is a terrorist organization, but one that has infiltrated enough of the Justice Department, State Department, and Congress to not allow our country to classify it correctly as such. Hopefully in a few days, enough voters will realize this that they won’t be allowed to take over our country.
It will be a very sad day if we wake up on November 9th and realize that Americans have chosen to end democracy.
An unusually upbeat (in a sense) day in our local paper, just before the election.
Star Tribune headline tells us that the MAGA extremist running for Governor has a tax plan that would ruin the economy. Tope headline of the paper.
Lower down on the same page: Jan 6 panel subpoenas Trump, with a pic of Bannon being shuffled off after sentencing. Trump has a November deadline.
Still on front cover:
Iran, China intelligence among seized documents
Calls for (MAGA Extremist) Sviggum to resign (from UMN regents) intensify (after he says that what may be the whitest of our campuses in Minnesota is too diverse! He refuses to resign, by the way, so this is going to be an interesting fight.)
Biden Touts Falling Deficits
Inside the paper:
Emmett Till statue unveiled
Good news for Ethiopian refugees
First woman (Eve?) PM of Italy
Page A5: Bannnon gets 4 months
PA Man gets 34 months for attacks on press, cops, on Jan 6
Seized (Trump) document describes Iran nuke program
Today’s Strib editorial excoriates MAGA republicans for being insane, mentions litter boxes and bat-boy myths.
There is new polling, extensive and high quality polling, that seems to make clear one small problem we have in the United States.
Nobody really gives a hoot about key issues such as abortion rights or democracy. People will get mad, there will be demonstrations, but when large percentages of Democrats (yes, I said Democrats) tell us that they prioritize gas prices over democracy, and polls show, as they do, that if the election were held today, Republicans would take over the US House and possibly the Senate, then we have to admit that we are a Republican nation, a nation not in favor of freedoms or democracy. We are an anti-abortion nation, a back ally nation, a nation where we are ready and seemingly even happy to let a right wing fascist government control our lives.
I see it day to day. I see people who in the past helped Democratic candidates not showing up, not donating money, letting someone else do it. But there is no “someone else.” When Democrats lose this rare two-year trifecta on November 8th, and a Republican House is sworn in come January, we will begin a two or four year long deconstruction of this country. Enough election deniers will be in the power positions in key states that the republican party will be able to “elect” (but not really elect) whomever their party puts up for 2024, probably Donald Trump. There is a good chance that at the same time Trump is sworn in, a Democratic house will be sworn in, but with only the slimmest majority. Then two years after that, Democrats will stay home again, and there will be a Republican (Trump) in the White House, a Republican Senate (with McConnell in charge), and a Republican House with who knows which monster in charge.
The only pertinent details will be which of the old men who are bent on turning us in to a fascist country die of natural causes earlier than their plans ideally require. But that is just a detail. Others are eager to step in.
I partly blame the left. We removed the possibility of empathy as part of our way of being when we shouted down anyone who claimed it, in our rush to blame our allies for everything that our enemies are actually doing. We threw out half our good messaging when it failed to come from a repressed group, even if it was about repression. We developed and deployed abysmally bad messaging and wore it as a chip on our shoulder, a guaranteed recipe for losing any argument. We let our identity politics undermine our pro equity efforts. Then, after doing that for about a decade, we stopped showing up. We explicitly put “self care” as our number one priority, then forgot to move to number two after a suitable recovery peirod.
I thought 2016’s election was depressing, but that was just the beginning of the end. The elections of 2022 and 2024 will be the actual end, and we are letting it happen. Making it happen. Choosing for it to happen. When the Republicans take the majority, we will simply have to admit that this is a MAGA Republican country. We are a democracy that is about to vote out democracy, democratically.
This is my third or fourth missive declaring our failures, but in the previous ones, I also asked for help, asked for people to step up. I now see that as too unlikely. Nobody stepped up, and the polls show that nobody will.
When I was a kid, I got in trouble (a couple of times, but there was this one time…) In truth, I had done nothing wrong, but I got caught up in a drug deal I had nothing to do with. The damaging evidence was planted by the police (I witnessed that and reported it to my public defense lawyer, who told me that’s how it works). In public, the judge was judgmental and stern, but reasonably well behaved. But there was a moment where I was sentenced, unofficially, to get a stern talking to by him in his chambers, instead of a severe actual sentence. In his chambers, he was a pompous ass. He stood to pace in his opulent office while lecturing me, and decided to re-tie his perfectly tied shoe. When he lifted his foot up to the seat of a chair, his robe fell open, and exposed … the handgun strapped to his leg. What an ass.
A couple of other times, such as in an unemployment dispute for example, the judge was an ass. In my life I learned that low level judges tend to be assholes. Perhaps that is my bad luck and not truly representative, but my experience shapes my opinion. I’ve never had the pleasure of standing in court, or in chambers, before a higher level judge. Maybe the higher level judges are not assholes, who knows.
When the right wing Trump/McConnell stacked supreme court ruined the Constitution and started America on its retraction of human rights long held and hard fought for, a lot of people were surprised. I think everyone expected the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, but I’m not sure most people expected them to lay out a road map for the retraction of most personal rights, which would be a necessary condition for the deployment of a full-on fascist government led in two years from now by Donald Trump, the real estate robber baron. (With the Proud Boys as his palace guard and Q-Anon as his brown shirts.) But I wasn’t that surprised, because I already knew that the judicial branch at the lowest levels had more assholes than the Russian Army.
Why do we revere our judicial branch? Our criminal justice system is unjust and has been for the entire history of this country. The judicial branch has been run by judges this entire time. Seems to me like this makes judges, by and large, even those with nice personalities, essentially assholes.
The most widely disseminated and widely listened to opinions about how judges are worthy of praise, trustworthy, important centers of civilization, etc, come from lawyers. Lawyers are self selected, then further culled by law school, many if not most spend almost no time in the presence of judges, so there is a great deal of further selection among them that do. Those litigators are a subset of people further subsetted, further subsetted, further subsetted, to work with, appreciate, and live by virtue of the existence of … judges. So of course lawyers say of judges what fish mongers may say of fish. Meanwhile there are fish that are complete assholes, and there are judges that are complete assholes. More, percentage-wise, judges than fish, I would judge.
The Republican Revolution is the takeover of our legislative branches by assholes. Started with Gingrich, continuing today, and with Trump, likely joined soon enough by the Executive branch. If and when Trump wins the presidency in a couple of years, and the Senate and House go Extremist Asshat, like is about to happen according to some polling, the executive branch and the legislative branch will join the judicial branch to become a trifecta of imperfection, a triumvirate of terror, a trinity of self-centered fascist demagogues.
One could argue that the judicial branch has been most of the way there all along, and this has been one of America’s best kept secrets. The transition of judges to moderators of a Gestapo-state will require the removal of those remaining judges who still believe in democracy, but judges take care of their own, and they will figure out a way to do that.
Keep this in mind: The courtroom is the opposite of a democracy. A courtroom is ruled with an iron fist. In their own courtroom, each judge has the final word, and can choose whom to give voice, and can choose what they may say and not say. Find a definition of fascism and apply it to a courtroom. It will fit nicely. The lawyers, observers, others, who work in that context and extoll the virtues of judges as fair, thoughtful, whatever, are to this fascism what the fish is to the water: they don’t realize that part of their world exists, so they don’t point it out, they don’t criticize it.
The judicial branch will be the first of three, not the third of three, branches of our government to turn full on Mussolini.
Attempts at police reform, or more accurately, policing reform, are stalled by right wing tactics that paint any sort of critical examination as pro-crime, and centrists and “persuadable” tend to buy what the right wingers are selling. This pattern is common in many areas of progressive change. Then, along comes some other aspect of reality and bam, upside the head, anti reformers! Change happens anyway.
One area of reform is to curb the cowboy in the cop and limit high speed, high risk chases, which often have negative side effects. Like the one in St Ann MO, where a chase of a car with expired tags led to the permeant disablement of Brent Cox, who happened to be in a nearby car that was slammed into by the errant driver. When asked to limit dangerous overdone car chases, the chief told the press they would drag his car chases out of his cold dead hands. Well, not really. He said “St. Ann will chase you until the wheels fall off.”
Then the insurance agency stepped in and put him down. From reporting in the Washington Post (this is Washington Post Day on Greg Laden’s Blog, by the way): “….an otherwise silent stakeholder stepped in. The St. Louis Area Insurance Trust risk pool — which provided liability coverage to the city of St. Ann and the police department — threatened to cancel coverage if the department didn’t impose restrictions on its use of police chases. City officials shopped around for alternative coverage but soon learned that costs would nearly double if they did not agree to their insurer’s demands.”
Sometimes reform is just the natural organic thing that happens in a free market. Rarely, but savor the moment when it does.
The New York Time Is Biased
I had two headlines in my morning email:
“White House reaches tentative agreement to avert national rail strike”
“Railroad unions and companies reach a tentative deal to avoid a strike”
The former from Wapo, the latter from the NYT. Leave it to the NYT to understate Biden. They have a reason. Everybody loves a close horse race, so keep the horse race close and the value of your add space rises. I only subscribe to the NYT because when I told them to bugger off a few months ago they bribed me by offering a super cheap subscription (like a dollar a month or something crazy) so I kept it. You should try that! Just call to cancel and they’ll give you a great deal.
The Wisdom of Linsey Graham …
At first I was only getting snippets and I was confused. Lindsay Graham will ban abortion in 15 weeks. So hurry up and get yours. No, no, Lindsay Graham will ban abortion FOR 15 weeks. Like a moratorium? No, no, Lindsay Graham will ban abortions AT 15 weeks. For reference, that is 15 out of 40.
The truth is more like this: Lindsay Graham got drunk again.
One of the most common terms that comes to my mind when I think of Lindsay Graham, other than “lush”, is “bone-headed.” This morning, I was pleased and amused to wake up and find Ruth Marcus saying (in Wapo, not in my apartment), “Graham’s move might be politically bone-headed, coming less than two months before a midterm election in which voters already appear angered and energized by the court’s action. But it is just the opening salvo.” Nice.
Ruth’s main point: “… it is not hard to imagine a moment when Republicans have the power to proceed [with such a ban], and use it.” But on the ground, in this year and at this time, the MAGA-trumps “…rattled by midterm polling, scurried to distance themselves from Graham’s proposal and talk up states’ rights.”
So to complete the sentence at the head of this comment: “The Wisdom of Linsey Graham … is drunk”
Ken Star Is Dead
I will not here speak poorly of the dead. I did that on Facebook and it was pretty satisfying. That is all, have a nice day.
The greatest threat to the integrity of pro sports is the unchecked, immoral owner. He slithers across all of these leagues, rich and toxic and indestructible, profiting from sports’ charm without upholding their virtue. You can expose his misdeeds, shame him and force him to answer to people who are supposed to have real power. He will escape, though. And those like him will multiply.
A few interesting things about the Queen’s death (long live the King)
They made the coffin 30 years ago.
In 1901, the horses carting Queen Victoria’s gun carriage (that’s what they use to parade the coffin around) broke free, so some British Sailors pulled Victoria’s cart for a while. Therefore, at some point during the ceremony, Royal Navy sailors will likely drag the carriage by foot for a while. This is how ancient traditions start.
You know what a plinth is. Well, a catafalque is a wooden plinth for a royal coffin. Now you know that too.
The queen’s Royal Sovereign’s Scepter is three feet long, bears one of the world’s most famous diamonds, and has a core of Unicorn tail hair taken from the same Unicorn as the Scepter wielded by the royal house of Freedonia.*
The Royal Orb … well, there is a royal orb. What the heck? It’s actual name is Globus cruciger, and it is really old, from back in the Age of Orbs I suppose.
The state hearse is a Land Rover. Therefore it will break down during the ceremony and the cost of repair will exceed the Royal Funerary Budget so the Queen’s coffin (did I mention the coffin was made 30 years ago) will have to be dragged the last few blocks.
MAGA Extremist Don Bolduc’s win in NH is an example of circumstances that will lead to the the Democratic Party picking up, rather than losing, seats across the Congressional races. This race is for the Senate, but this most current (and last for the season) example of a primary illustrates a phenomenon being played out in both Senate and House races across the country.
Not only will the Democrats pick up seats in the Senate, but they will add, not lose, seats in the House.
By conventional wisdom the Dems will lose House seats (or not, but usually lose in a midterm year) based on the “Generic Ballot” which over the last several months, as is the case in most midterm election years, has the Generic Republican beating the Generic Democrat in Congress. The Senate is a little tricker because how the Senate seats go is more subject to local (state level) conditions, incumbents have more sticking power in some cases, and there are few enough seats contested in a given year that the effects of the Generic Ballot can be statistically swamped by those other factors.
The reason why the Generic Ballot does not work this year even in the house is because it assumes there are two parties, but there are actually three this year: 1) the Democratic Party (same as before, and more unified than in most years, and now including most Independents); 2) the much reduced in size Regular Republicans plus Independents not absorbed by the Democratic Party; and 3) MAGA Extremists.
When something like this happens:
“Election-denier Bolduc wins GOP Senate nomination in N.H. Contested GOP races divided party leaders, exposed differing positions on the 2020 election, and pit far-right candidates against more moderate rivals”
That makes the distinction between those three parties come into play.
Here is what will happen in this and many other races in the general election. All the Democrats will vote for the Democrat. The Independents absorbed by the Democrats will stay loyal to their new affiliation. Many of the Independents that went Red and the Regular Republicans will not vote for the Republican, with many may not voting at all in this race, a few voting for the Democrat. The MAGA Extremists will all vote for the Republican election-denier, if they can pull their heads out of their butts long enough to find the polling place. But there are not actually THAT many MAGA Extremists.
This is happening in races across the country. In many, perhaps most of these races, the Republican will still win because these races are happening in the stinking hell-holes known as Red Districts and Red States. But some are happening where the Red-Blue gap is X wide, normally, and the percent of the electorate either swayed or kept home is enough to close that gap. I’m not sure at this point what those numbers are, and local conditions will also matter a lot. For example, a candidate that, independently of being a MAGA Extremists, is an unmitigated ass, may get fewer votes just because of their losing personality. And, I’m pretty sure that will apply to most or all of the newly involved MAGA Extremists.
This last point applies to Bolduc. He has alienated himself from the mainstream Republican Party, which is wide and broad in New Hampshire, through a series of dumb-ass actions since 2002. He has made the claim that Covid-19 vaccines contain microchips. He accused former Governor Sununu as being a “Chinese Communist Sympathizer,” when we all know that if Sununu ever had a sympathy for anything (he doesn’t) it would be with Putin and the Oligarchy not the Chinese Reds.
On top of all this, note that at this moment, the Generic Ballot has shifted from its usual direction of the party in the White House, and the democrats are winning it. At this moment.