TSN Open Mic for the week of 1/23/2023


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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96 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    Posted shamlessly from before, the latest internet fraud: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/21/business/jpmorgan-chase-charlie-javice-fraud.html

    Frank was supposed to be a company that did something or other to simplify the college financial aid process and help people save. JP Morgan purchased the company for 175 million based partially on its alleged 5 million customers. It turns out everything was a lie.

    1. Frank only had 300K customers, not 5 million;

    2. Frank founder Charlie Javice hired a data science instructor/professor to create the illusion of 5 million customers. She carelessly used her work e-mail. JP Morgan has the e-mails in its possession.

    3. Charlie Javice was featured on a few 40 under 40 lists and subject to puff pieces which took her spiel at face value and did not question it. She talks about her her mother with a masters cried over student loan and aid forms. Ms. Javice also told the press that she was considering going to university in Canada because of the cost but was able to go to Wharton because of help from family, loans, and scholarships. Simple digging would have revealed that she grew up in Westchester, attended tony private schools, has a dad who runs a hedge fund, and that Wharton was loan free since 2008. So family help is a polite euphemism for “mommy and daddy paid the tuition bill.”

    4. Frank also listed a bunch of online courses that it stole from other places that its customers could allegedly take for college credit.

    All in all failure all around.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      My favorite tidbit about this is that one of the things that gave it away was that the list contained 1,048,576 entries. This is one of those numbers that is meaningless to the vast majority of people out there but there are a number of crazy people who see that number and immediately recognize it and know that something nutty would be going on for that number to just show up organically.Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    On the lighter side, a look at the origins of California Cuisine: https://www.eater.com/23560806/california-cuisine-history-great-chefs-pbs-showReport

  3. Philip H says:

    For the second time, the DoJ has won seditious conspiracy convictions against participants in January 6th. For the first time their lawyers point to Trump as part of their defense.


  4. Jaybird says:

    Now it’s Pence.


    • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yes and? We established a long time ago that the classification system is leaky. Especially at that level.

      But notice what didn’t happen here – a year’s worth of denials and misdirection resulting in a warrant being needed. This was voluntary and in full cooperation. Just like Biden. One of these things is STILL not like the others.Report

      • Jippo in reply to Philip H says:

        It’s like you don’t understand that these are preplanned problems.
        Biden’s bleeding badly because of this, and Pence decided it was better for himself to bleed a little now rather than later.

        One of these things is still not like the others.Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Jippo says:

          If you think Pence voluntarily took this hit so that Biden could look better, you have got more than a light touch of the cray-cray going on.Report

          • Jippo in reply to Burt Likko says:

            If someone puts a sword above your head, and you cut it down proactively, it has nothing to do with TheBidens. It does not make theBidens look good.

            TheBidens are in trouble, mainly because of our constitution. This was predictable from the moment they stepped into office.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m willing to give Pence the same benefit of the doubt I afforded to Biden. I’m not willing to give that benefit of the bargain to Trump, on the basis of the sheer volume of documents found and the amount of bullshit, obfuscation, and rigamarole Trump vomited upon the process which in any context is good evidence of consciousness of guilt.

      With that said, it does seem like we ought to be asking how it can be that so many former high public officials seem to have stray classified documents in their possession after they leave office, even if they do the right thing and turn them back in upon discovery. There is something amiss about how those documents are being handled and that probably does transcend any particular individual and certainly transcends partisanship.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I’d be interested in merely knowing the genre of classified information.

        If it’s stuff like “medical records”, I’d say “I don’t care”. If it’s stuff like the ship specs that get leaked out to that World Of Warships mobile game forums, then I’d say “maybe we should pick up some books to throw”.

        But without knowing the genre, we’re stuck saying stuff like “it’s okay that Carter, Pence, and Biden did it but Trump!”Report

  5. Jippo says:

    In further chronicles of “How to lose a war you’re not even fighting,” Germany is sending Leopard tanks and America is sending Abrams tanks to the Ukraine.

    90 Seconds to Midnight, say the Nuclear Scientists — and I’d put it closer. Russia has a very, very good bead on “how to cause nuclear winter” — and the fatalism to actually do it.Report

  6. Chip Daniels says:

    Headline in LA Times:
    California reeling from back-to-back shootings that killed 24: ‘Too much bloodshed’

    Speakinng on behalf of all 39 million Californians, Nope.

    We aren’t “reeling”. We aren’t even “shocked”. And why should we be?

    Would any of you here find it shocking if a mass spree shooting were to happen in your state?

    This is a “Day in America ending in Y” event.

    Apparently we don’t have one of those monocultural high trust societies like *checks notes* Belfast, Northern Ireland.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    In this mixed up crazy world of ours, Andrew Sullivan somehow thinks that Ron DeSantis is the one that can bring the youths to the GOP by enacting the tones and policies of Barack Obama and YIMBYism. Charlie “I used to be the Wisconsin Rush Limbaugh” Sykes correctly responds, “Sully, what are you smoking? Stop it.”


    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Ron DeSantis is the Dan Quayle of Nick Gillespies.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        What states are DeSantis likely to win that Trump lost, unless Joe Biden (or whoever the Democratic candidate is) self-destructs?Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to CJColucci says:

          Maybe Georgia? It is still the reddest of the states that went from Trump to Biden. I can almost sort of see him winning Wisconsin too if the stars align just right. Other than that, not much. Arizona might be a squeaker.

          BTW, it should be clear that Trump is still the overwhelming favorite for the 2024 nomination. The trillion dollar question is whether Trump can make 2024 into more of a 2016 situation. My inclination is that he cannot but others (possibly more traumatized than me) on the left state they think he can.Report

  8. Philip H says:

    In a state where 80% of the population favors Medicaid Expansion, the mostly male and GOP state Legislature say nope.

    A wide majority of Mississippians across partisan and demographic lines supports expanding Medicaid to provide health coverage for the working poor, according to a newly released Mississippi Today/Siena College poll.

    The poll showed 80% of respondents — including 70% of Republicans — either strongly agree or somewhat agree the state should “accept federal funds to expand Medicaid.”

    The numbers appear to show a continued shift of voter sentiment in what has long been a partisan battle. Mississippi’s elected Republican governors and other leaders for the last decade have blocked Medicaid expansion via the Affordable Care Act and the billions in federal dollars that would have come with it. This resistance continues even as struggling hospitals and more citizens in the poorest, unhealthiest state cry for help.


    Gunn has also referenced his long-standing opposition to broader Medicaid expansion in defense of his decision to block the postpartum extension. That topic, long contentious in Mississippi and in other Republican-controlled states, is rife with its own distracting narratives, and health experts have implored lawmakers to keep the two separate issues separate. But that hasn’t stopped Gunn from playing that political card at every turn.

    Looking around the House chamber, it quickly becomes apparent how Gunn could comfortably justify his decision to kill a bill that most directly affects Mississippi women and why there hasn’t been an uprising of lawmakers pleading with him to change his mind. In the chamber Gunn leads, just 15 members out of 120 current members (13%) are women. Just three of the 47 House committees of which Gunn appoints leaders are chaired by women.


    This is the glorious future that awaits when the GOP cements power nationally.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H says:

      What is the expression? Talk is cheap.

      People say the same things over and over to pollsters again and again. Yet a lot of people still vote the Republicans over and over again despite the GOP refusing to expand medicaid or a bunch of other things.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Oh I agree, and around here it has a significant racial undertone.

        But my point still stands – the GOP sees no need to take care of the less fortunate.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

          I think it’s a hair more complicated than that. They make distinctions between the deserving less fortunate and the undeserving less fortunate.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

            They call most poor black and white Americans undeserving because being poor is cast as a moral choice. They still rail against lazy welfare cheats who refuse to work, even though its been a heavily enforced federal requirement since 1996. The less fortunate are not worthy of economic support in their eyes.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

              Periodically, I find it useful to link to this post from useful idiot Kevin Drum writing in the Russia-sympathetic Mother Jones:

              So who does the WWC take out its anger on? Largely, the answer is the poor. In particular, the undeserving poor. Liberals may hate this distinction, but it doesn’t matter if we hate it. Lots of ordinary people make this distinction as a matter of simple common sense, and the WWC makes it more than any. That’s because they’re closer to it. For them, the poor aren’t merely a set of statistics or a cause to be championed. They’re the folks next door who don’t do a lick of work but somehow keep getting government checks paid for by their tax dollars. For a lot of members of the WWC, this is personal in a way it just isn’t for the kind of people who read this blog.

              It’s pointless to argue that this perception is wrong. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. But it’s there. And although it’s bound up with plenty of other grievances—many of them frankly racial, but also cultural, religious, and geographic1—at its core you have a group of people who are struggling and need help, but instead feel like they simply get taxed and taxed for the benefit of someone else. Always someone else. If this were you, you wouldn’t vote for Democrats either.

              The entire essay is pretty good, but those are the two nut grafs.Report

  9. James K says:

    I would have brought this up last week if I wasn’t recovering from having my wisdom teeth out, but Jacinda Ardern has resigned as Prime Minister of New Zealand. The Labour caucus elected Chris Hipkins (previously Minister of Health) over the weekend, and he has swron in about half an hour ago.


    This isn’t in response to an specific scandal, the official word is that its burnout, which is plausible given the last 3 years. But her popularity has been declining over the last year (her favorability dropped into the negative in polls that released shortly after she announced her resignation), and there’s an election in October, so this may also be getting out of the way before election season starts.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to James K says:

      The Land of the Long White Cloud is worse off for it. By all measures readily apparent to me, Arden was more than competent at her job, and during an amazingly difficult time to be in charge of a government.Report

      • James K in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Her public support’s been waning for a while now. She handled COVID in 2020 very well, but our vaccine rollout was one of the slowest in the developed world. As it stands today, bivalent boosters are still not available in New Zealand, and fourth doses are only available to those 50 and over.

        And now we have a lot of non-COVID problems to deal with, and Labour have handled those, less well.Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    George Santos apparently won a twitter argument against a contestant on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.


  11. Philip H says:

    Where are my First Amendment defenders at?

    A similar game is being played with the “vetting” language. Book ban supporters can claim they’re not banning books because, in theory, books can be “vetted” and restored to the shelves. Of course, this is how all book bans throughout time have worked. They rarely, if ever, cover all the books all the time. But even when books are finally released to potential readers under a “ban first, ask questions later” system, the message is sent: Books are presumed inherently dangerous. Instead of being glad that a child is reading a book, the system treats every child with a book as suspicious. Policies like this have a ripple effect, recasting reading not as a social good but a threat to be strictly regulated.


    • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

      This fits hand in glove with the wave of bills criminalizing trans people, everything from school sports to medical treatment, as well as the ban on teaching the history of race in America.

      The bigotry is out of the closet so to speak, and no longer hiding behind the “bad DEI” nonsense we were told at the outset.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

      I can’t find the supposed quote from the article:

      “He’s banned the teaching of Black history classes on the grounds that lessons on people like Frederick Douglass or Rosa Parks, for instance, ‘have no educational value.'”

      It appears to be a reference to the FL Department of Education letter that states that the proposed AP curriculum “significantly lacks educational value”. Florida requires coursework on Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks currently. They oppose the proposed AP curriculum that includes things like queer theory.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

        How do you feel about government entities removing books from classrooms – all books – until they get “vetted?” How do you feel about teachers being forced by government officials to tell kids NOT to bring books from home to read because the teacher might get arrested and prosecuted? How do you feel about teachers – trained professionals in what kids need educationally at each age – being told that sometimes decades of curating books for their classrooms is a threat to students, parents, and the public?

        That’s the issue, not some disagreement about which curriculum requires what. Nice attempt at misdirecting though.Report

        • KenB in reply to Philip H says:

          How would you feel if the teacher was bringing in right-wing books for his/her classroom bookshelf? Wouldn’t you then want some oversight?Report

          • Chris in reply to KenB says:

            As someone who believes that kids are capable of thinking, it wouldn’t bother me. Hell, I grew up with conservative books and lessons (we even read 2 of Rand ‘s novels, in high school), I managed to grow up without becoming a ghoul. I trust my child to be able to do so as well.Report

            • KenB in reply to Chris says:

              Sure, this is basically my opinion too — we dealt with this as parents raising our kids as ethical vegetarians, and in general I wouldn’t expect every classroom to be sanitized for my child’s beliefs. I do think the right wing exaggerates the threat and this rule is unnecessary, but at the same time I think people like Philip are exaggerating in the other direction and not taking a few seconds to imagine how they would react if the cultural directions were reversed.Report

              • Philip H in reply to KenB says:

                I live in a red state where the curriculum is already somewhat white washed. I grew up in another red state, where my public highschool taught the Civil War as the War of Northern Aggression into the 1980’s. I’m more then passingly familiar with how this turns out.

                And in Florida – in the article underlying Marcotte’s op-ed, there are now vague laws that prevent teachers from teaching things that make people uncomfortable – such as teaching that the southern states seceeded to keep slavery intact. NNo, the law doesn’t say that, but because its so vague and because the state is run by far-right politicians, good people, well meaning people, are going to sanitize the schools. As is being reported in multiple Florida counties. Which means that, defacto, right wing ideas and books are winning.Report

              • KenB in reply to Philip H says:

                I think we just come at this from different perspectives — the difference between arguing whether the Yankees or the Red Sox are the better team vs. discussing how best to update the rules to make for a fair game for both teams.Report

              • Philip H in reply to KenB says:

                One way to make and keep the rules fair is to allow teachers to choose books for their students. Since they are professionals and know what students at all levels need.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to KenB says:

                This is some terrible both sidesism. The only side making judgements about books is the right.Report

              • KenB in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                I regret entering into this into the first place — usually I have better discipline. But in for a penny, in for a pound. I wasn’t doing “both sideism” if I understand what you mean by that. I was accusing Philip (and Chip and now I guess you) of professing a principle that you don’t actually believe. Your support of teachers, education, and books lasts just as long as you feel they’re on your side. If a story were to come out about a controversy where, say, a MAGA teacher in Connecticut had a book in his classroom promoting conversion therapy, I think you’d be out there with your torch and pitchfork demanding that this not be allowed.

                I could certainly be wrong, but I feel that the fact you’ve been avoiding answering my hypothetical is pretty good evidence. Of course it’s fine to want to promote the the progressive values you believe in, but why not be honest about your motivations and not pretend it’s due to some abstract principle?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to KenB says:

                This just the charge of hypocrisy, but it’s rooted in a logical fallacy.

                The fallacy here is that it is inconsistent to demand free speech protection for LGBTQ themed books but not say, conversion therapy books.

                There is nothing wrong with creating boundaries around protected speech which allow some ideas to be protected and others not.
                That’s why pornography, libel, and other forms of expression may be suppressed, depending on the circumstances.

                The circumstances are the key here which requires a consistent principle.

                The consistent principle is that the community has a powerful compelling interest in being inclusive of inherent identities as possible.
                So a book that encourages tolerance deserves free speech protection, while a book that encourages forcible conversion doesn’t.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to KenB says:

                We have no real world examples of what you hypothesize, and plenty of the opposite. Why deal in hypotheticals?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                I think when Philip argues that right-wing government officials shouldn’t choose books, but teacher should, he’s falling into this behaviour. Unless he’s recently turned against centralized government.Report

              • InMD in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                The public school district I’m in recommends (apparently children’s) books at the preK-1 level that include made up concepts like ‘cisgender’ or that people can be ‘boys, girls, both or neither,’ plus lessons about drag queens. Basically weird, anti scientific religious beliefs. They’re also fighting a court battle against parents to maintain guidance permitting school teachers and admins to lie to parents about ‘gender transition’ of children.

                So it isn’t a hypothetical.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

                This is called “giving away the game”.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No. It’s called expecting good, secular public services, and for public employees not to take license with other peoples’ children in matters outside of their business, authority, and competence.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

                Pre-K schools regularly show men and women holding hands, or households with daddies and mommies and babies.

                Showing a household with two mommies or two men holding hands is, what?
                Inappropriate? Pornographic?Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’m not sure operating from the background premise of how human reproduction actually works is an apples to apples. But it’s also kind of besides the point. I’d be annoyed by a children’s book that said ‘boys play with trucks and girls have tea parties’ as if it were an essential truth about the world. And annoyed doesn’t begin to express how I’d feel if someone brought in their religiously themed children’s books to talk about the nature of the soul, which is really what this stuff is.

                In any case, I think public schools do best when they are very conscientious about respecting boundaries, especially with the youngest children. None of that is an attack on the freedom of adults to live and love however they want.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

                Taking your words literally, this means no Christmas pageants or Easter Bunny egg hunts.

                But your introduction of the phrase “as if it were an essential truth about the world” is the point.

                For generations, books have shown boys playing with trucks and girls playing with dolls, overseen by mommy and daddy.

                Is this an example of framing this as “if it were an essential truth”?

                If we literally just photoshopped in a mommy instead of a daddy, or changed the artwork to be children of ambiguous gender, how would this change things?

                The distinction is what we saw with same sex couples in media.
                Everyone thought they were being tolerant and liberal by having a wacky gay side character, but the underlying premise was that the character could never be in a couple nor be shown kissing.

                Because in this view, anything LGBTQ is essentially “adult” or “sexual”, while cishet is not.

                A mommy and daddy is wholesome and asexual, but two mommies is inherently sexual and adult themed and inappropriate for children.

                So this framing makes it impossible to present any book that DOESNT present cis heterosexuality as “the essential truth of the world”.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                That’s certainly some interesting popular media criticism but I’m not sure what it has to do with the topic.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to KenB says:

            “I’ve been censored for promoting conservative ideas!”
            “God, you’ve been censored for promoting free enterprise?”
            “Hah ha, not that idea.”

            “Oh, for promoting a strong defense?”
            “Heh, not that one.”

            “Oh, for promoting prudent government spending?”
            “No, not that one either.”

            “So what conservative ideas are being censored?”
            “Oh, you know the ones.”Report

            • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              I’m not on the Florida bandwagon with this but I think it’s worth mentioning last time we debated this the specific book in question included instructions on how underage people can arrange hookups using grindr. I think people can reasonably decide that content is not age appropriate for a public school library.Report

          • Philip H in reply to KenB says:

            That’s the point though isn’t it? The books that will pass vetting are the books the right wing approves of. Prior to that it was books the teachers felt would enhance their curricula and speak to the actual students in front of them. Which is what classroom libraries should do. As Chip notes, “Classic” conservative ideas aren’t actually harmful to children. But that’s not what will be left at the end of this.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

              You’re just substituting one setter of standards for another. It’s not even clear who’s in charge of vetting the material from Marcotte’s article, so why should we assume that they’ll do better or worse than the teachers? The link from article says that the material will have to be:

              1. Free of pornography and material prohibited under s. 847.012.

              2. Suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material presented.

              3. Appropriate for the grade level and age group for which the materials are used or made available

              That doesn’t sound outrageous.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                And yet both Manatee and Duval Counties, at the direction of the State Department of Education, have told all their teachers to make all books inaccessible to students until school librarians can vet them against nebulous standards where the state has said to err on the side of caution regard what’s appropriate and what’s not. As if classroom teachers – trained education professionals – can not and have not already made such decisions. And the counties – at the direction of the state – have told teachers that failure to do this will result in felony prosecution.

                This is state sponsored censorship.

                How do you feel about the state of Florida violating the First Amendment to the US Constitution by censoring books in classrooms?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                How did Alachua County interpret and implement the policy? Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, and Dixie? Those are the ones that the article doesn’t mention that come before Duval alphabetically. There are 24 counties between Duval and Manatee, and 27 after Manatee. Do you trust Amanda Marcotte enough to say that she’d definitely tell you if different counties are handling it in different ways?Report

        • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

          Not a misdirection. That’s just what jumped off the page at me. You know, first find out if the author is lying. As for the subject at hand, it doesn’t sound like all counties are reacting the same way, so I’d guess there’s room for interpretation. If the regulation is too sweeping, then it wouldn’t be the first poorly-written state reg, but I’d hope it gets changed. But I’m not going to assume that Marcotte’s slant on the story is accurate. I mean, the idea that the governor doesn’t want children reading, that should take any further consideration of her analysis off the table.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

            From the original reporting:

            In an interview with Popular Information, Chapman said that the policy was put into place last week in response to HB 1467, which was signed into law by DeSantis last March. That law established that teachers could not be trusted to select books appropriate for their students. Instead, the law requires:

            Each book made available to students through a school district library media center or included in a recommended or assigned school or grade-level reading list must be selected by a school district employee who holds a valid educational media specialist certificate, regardless of whether the book is purchased, donated, or otherwise made available to students.

            In Florida, school librarians are called “media specialists” and hold media specialist certificates. A rule passed by the Florida Department of Education last week states that a “library media center” includes any books made available to students, including in classrooms. This means that classroom libraries that are curated by teachers, not librarians, are now illegal.

            Chapman says that school principals in Manatee County were told Wednesday that any staff member violating these rules by providing materials “harmful to minors” could be prosecuted for “a felony of the third degree.” Therefore, teachers must make their classroom libraries inaccessible to students until they can establish that each book has been approved by a librarian.

            Seems quite clear that state agencies – working for the governor to implement laws he signed, don’t want students reading. Unless they are reading the state sanctioned stuff.

            Chapman said he was not aware of teachers being told specifically to prohibit students from bringing books from home but, as a policy, “all materials we use in a classroom are all state approved.”

            Which means that school librarians now have to police student brought books. Or face felony prosecution. And again, the laws and their interpretation is so overbroad you could drive a tank truck three Prime delivery trucks and an entire Kia dealership through them:

            The teacher training approved by the Florida Department of Education, however, does not inform librarians that the Parental Rights in Education Act and Stop WOKE ACT do not apply to library books. Rather, librarians are told: “There is some overlap between the selection criteria for instructional and library materials.” One slide says that library books and instructional materials cannot include “unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination..

            A subsequent slide provides a list of “unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination,” which includes information about “sexual orientation or gender identity.” It also includes a variety of topics related to race, including “Critical Race Theory” and material that might make someone feel “guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress” as a result of their race. The training instructs librarians to “err on the side of caution.” ”

            The Governor doesn’t kids reading books he doesn’t approve of. That government censorship in action.

            I’ll ask again – how do you feel about the government of the state of Florida violating the First amendment and censoring books?Report

            • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

              “…Ron DeSantis, is aggressive with book bans because he would just prefer it if kids didn’t read books at all.”

              That statement is an indictment of the intelligence of its author, as well as that of the reader who accepts it. I understand why you tried to broaden it to something non-laughable, but you didn’t cast the net broadly enough. You got to: “Seems quite clear that state agencies – working for the governor to implement laws he signed, don’t want students reading. Unless they are reading the state sanctioned stuff.” But that’s still not there. You’d have to say that the state doesn’t approve of things that the state doesn’t approve of, and by that point it becomes obvious that the accusation is meaningless.

              And you conclude that “The Governor doesn’t kids reading books he doesn’t approve of. That government censorship in action.” Neither of those are sentences though.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                How do you feel that the State of Florida has censored classroom books in violation of the First Amendment?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                Please demonstrate that this policy violates the First Amendment.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                The State Department of Education in Florida has issued binding regulations to local school districts whish are resulting in the removal or denial of access to ALL books previously available to students, subject to a vague and likely highly political vetting process – which is being carried out under the threat of criminal prosecution. Given that reading, and access to printed words is a foundational concept in speech, this is censorship in violation of the First Amendment.

                How do you feel about state agencies violating the First amendment by barring access to books in schools?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                You haven’t demonstrated that this violates the First Amendment, though.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                All speech is presumptive covered by the First Amendment unless it falls under one of the unprotected classes established by court ruling.

                DeSantis has the burden of proof, not the teachers.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

                I welcome our OT lawyers to speak to this, but as far as I can tell, the closest Supreme Court case is Pico (1982), which is ambiguous.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                While we’re at it maybe they can explain the difference between “vetting” and “imprimatur”.Report

  12. Saul Degraw says:

    The California Bar seeks to disbar John Eastman for his role in Jan 6 and other instances against Constitution: https://www.calbar.ca.gov/About-Us/News/News-Releases/attorney-john-eastman-charged-with-multiple-disciplinary-counts-by-the-state-bar-of-californiaReport

  13. Pinky says:

    Kemp declares state of emergency, calls in National Guard, in response to what everyone but the mainstream media calls antifa terrorists.


    • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

      So impatient developers sent local and state police to clear a privately built training center for police. These cops killed a protestor because … deadlines. Some bad apples decide to use the cover of the following protests to engage in property crimes. And we get a militarized response and all the protestors being called terrorists. Got it.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

        Those cops killed a protestor who SHOT ONE OF THEM. but they did it just for deadlines, I’m sure.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

          According to reports, they went in to clear what had been peaceful protestors because the protest was holding up construction. On a training facility being built for the local and state police by a private developer.

          So yes, the initial shooting was very much dictated by deadlines.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

            OK, so construction project, protesters, cops clearing, protester SHOOTS A COP, protester killed. And you’re saying that the protester getting killed was the result of deadlines.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

              The private developer had deadlines that were being interfered with by protestors. Cops wouldn’t have been shot had the developer not called them.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                Which of these events would you consider an unusual escalation? Which would you consider to be the turning point?
                – construction project
                – protests
                – deadline
                – police called in
                – protester SHOOTS A COPReport

              • Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

                I’m picturing you building a time machine to go back and tell people that Atlanta will be set on fire if they don’t listen to you – please, for the city’s sake, don’t set a deadline!Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                The escalation was going to clear out the protestors. The cop wouldn’t have been shot, the protestor wouldn’t have been shot and no further protests would have occurred.

                Nice to see that you’d prefer to look at the whether the cops in the initial shooting were justified rather then whether Kemp is going over the top to militarize a response to protests that could have been avoided with a different response posture to the initial protests.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Pinky says:

                If only Brandon Tsay had been on the scene.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                Are you saying it’s Tsay’s fault for not being there? That’s (arguably) a slightly worse take than Philip’s.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Pinky says:

                Heh. Unarmed guy disarms guy with a rifle. I’m going to take it on good faith that you missed my point.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                It’s possible for an unarmed man to defeat someone with a gun. I don’t know the specifics of either incident, but it’ll come down to distance and luck, and if the former isn’t right, no amount of the latter will be enough. You don’t want to be too close with a gun or too far without one. The one thing you can be sure of is that someone who shot at you is willing to kill you and likely others. There’s no shame at that point in seeking to minimize innocent lives lost.Report

  14. Chip Daniels says:

    The headline here is “Red States Have Higher Murder Rates Than Blue States” but the real story is “Poor and Uneducated Places Have More Murder Than Rich Well Educated Places”:

    Which aligns with centuries of evidence about the interrelated effects of poverty, education, culture and crime.

    Over the course of the full 21 years between 2000 and 2020, the Red State murder rate was still 12% higher than the Blue State murder rate, even when murders in the largest cities in those red states were removed. And the murder rate was still higher in 18 of 21 years.

    Between 2010 and 2020, even after removing New Orleans and Jackson, Louisiana and Mississippi continued to hold the number one and two spots for highest murder rates. Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee were still consistently in the top 10 after removing their largest city.

    In 2020, the states with the highest murder rates stayed roughly the same after making this change: Mississippi in first, then Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, Maryland, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Georgia.


    Crime is never as simple as having One Weird Trick explanatory variable, but the common and consistent factors are always poverty, education, fracturing of community solidarity and family. This holds true across time and around the world.
    In America, this is exacerbated by easy access to weapons designed to kill easily and rapidly.Report

    • Jesse in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      I mean, the moderate conservatives will try to hem and haw and talk about blue cities in red states to dogwhistle, but your more “based” conservatives will be honest with you – it’s all the non-white people in those states. Only they’d say something different than non-white, and start talking about genetics.Report

  15. Philip H says:

    Charlie Sykes has concluded that the GOP is no longer conservative:

    Think of this as the Everything Everywhere All at Once Political Move of the Year, uniting all the strains of the pre-Trumpist, Trumpist, and post-Trumpist right: the dead-end demagoguery, performative outrage, and nihilistic radicalism that will fire up the base and launch a thousand small-dollar fund-raising appeals.

    What it is not: anything remotely close to “conservatism.”

    Indeed, it’s hard to imagine anything less conservative than defaulting on the debt you are obligated to pay and shutting down the government you are entrusted to run. The GOP is, after all, a party that claims to stand for financial rectitude, personal responsibility, and fealty to the Constitution.


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