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July 21, 2022


Then again, Kim Jong-un was described as a normal, shy guy who liked basketball at school in der Schweiz.

Hey, man. It’s not like I went to Harvard.

I'm not saying this TPM piece I got from hilzoy's twitter isn't interesting, but I have a semantic question. This is the second time in about a week that I have seen the word "guttural" used to mean something like "gut-feeling-based" - I can't remember where the last one was. Now, my understanding is that this is not the meaning of "guttural". Have any of you seen it used this way before? Is it becoming an alternative meaning, like "refute" for "reject" or "deny"? Tell me it isn't so....

What hides from most almost in plain sight is that Trump now rarely discusses any political agenda – even in the broadest, most guttural and least policy-oriented sense of the term. There is no agenda other than revenge and payback for the injustices and injuries he personally suffered in his first term: the Democrats, the RINOs, Mueller, the impeachments, the “fake news”, what he memorably calls “Russia, Russia, Russia“, “Big Tech”. Remember that “fake news” wasn’t part of Trump’s 2016 campaign argot.


I thought of guttural as deep deep base, like a growl. For a gut-feeling thing, I’d probably go with “visceral”. Janie & nous are the ones to ask, tho.

Hey, man. It’s not like I went to Yalevard. ;-)

Maybe I've been watching too many spy movies.

And the trouble with those is they miss all the times that the guys in the field get messed over because the folks in charge have trouble adjusting their preconceptions, or their unrelated experience, to reality on the ground.** Plus, the ability to gather intel doesn't necessarily correlate with expertise in taking effective acton in the field.

My sense is that our CIA is pretty good at info gathering. Less good at analysis, especially when the situation is fluid. And pretty poor at taking action successfully, especially at the macro level.

** And that doesn't count cases where morons (like Trump) endanger them in an effort to seem knowledgeable when they are nothing of the kind.

I thought of guttural as deep deep base, like a growl.

I thought it was more about being spoken in the back of the throat. But not anything related to gutters.

Janie & nous are the ones to ask, tho.

Calling our language consultants....

My sense is that our CIA is pretty good at info gathering. Less good at analysis

Agreed. I think the WMDs in Iraq, or lack thereof, was probably pretty solid. The politically-enhanced analysis, however…

I was going to say people are dumb, but that's mean and it's not what makes a bright guy (I think he's pretty smart) like Josh Marshall make a dumb usage mistake.

But sheesh. Don't use big pretentious words unless you know what the hell they mean.

(Same phenomenon as over-correction for who/whom, IMHO.)

There are dozens of these floating around -- distain, for instance, is very common, and I don't believe for an instant (smiling at wj) that spell-check put it there, because it's archaic. ... Pause ... Then again, Microsoft Word's spell-check doesn't flag it, so go figure.

But the way this stuff works, in 10 years "distain" will probably have displaced "disdain" and "guttural" will have added a meaning, because (as I've said before, and this is my theory and i'm sticking to it) language change happens because people want to do what the cool kids do. And to a lot of people, Josh Marshall is pretty cool. Widely read, at least....

Oh, and "who" and its variations will have disappeared from the language.

"Silly" once meant "holy".....

Enough blathering for now. It's too hot for thinking.

Fingernails on a blackboard:

May I help who's next?

Your call will be taken in the order it was received.

From the blurb on the water machine in my grocery store: Among other wonderful qualities, the water is “high in purity”. !!

Subject line from an email I just got from one of the biggest investment outfits in the world: "How likely are the odds of a recession?"

I've probably got hundreds of these squirreled away. But I've got an engagement, so off I go.

Thanks, Janie. I think twice in a week is a sign it's already happening with "guttural". It's not in the online dictionaries yet, unlike say "refute", but I wonder how long it will take to get there.

"Silly" once meant "holy".....

I don't think I knew that.

And "nice" apparently once meant wanton or dissolute, and (much later of course, and probably encountered by some of us) exact, or scrupulous, or precise, or fussy.

"Please pre-pay ahead of time"

"Silly" as "holy" I think is maybe as far back as Chaucer, or maybe Shakespeare.

The word's considerable sense development moved from "happy" to "blessed" to "pious," to "innocent" (c. 1200), to "harmless," to "pitiable" (late 13c.), "weak" (c. 1300), to "feeble in mind, lacking in reason, foolish" (1570s). Further tendency toward "stunned, dazed as by a blow" (1886) in knocked silly, etc. Silly season in journalism slang is from 1861 (August and September, when newspapers compensate for a lack of hard news by filling up with trivial stories). Silly Putty trademark claims use from July 1949.


I don't think I knew that.

Yeah, but ya kinda did, tho.


"Please pre-pay ahead of time"

At the ATM machine.

Only if it was the other way round, Pete.

And "nice" apparently once meant wanton or dissolute, and (much later of course, and probably encountered by some of us) exact, or scrupulous, or precise, or fussy.

I'm aware that 'nice' is related to Latin 'nescio'. If I use it in writing I mean "precise". In speech, it's a term of general approbation.

I'm aware that 'nice' is related to Latin 'nescio'. If I use it in writing I mean "precise".

I've only ever encountered "nice" to mean anything like "precise" in the context of various kids of (physical) construction. As in, "a nice fit"

Only if it was the other way round

Imma go commutative property on this one.

FYI - "guttural" is from the Latin "guttur" = "throat.' It's properly used as an adjective describe sounds made in the throat (as in various German and Yiddish spirants).

If people are looking for a Latin term for coming from the gut, why not just "visceral"?

why not just "visceral"?

Because it's not pretentious or edgy enough?


Substituting the fancier word for the simpler one gets you here:

Hundreds of crews from U.S. states and Canada are assisting the company fix damage from the storm.


My theory on that one is that the reporter used the nice, totally valid word "help," and the copy editor wanted the fancier word and substituted "assist," but forgot to check the rest of the sentence to see if it fit.

This is my theory because this has happened to me.....

And how long will it be before the word "use" goes out of "use" in the sense in which people are almost 100% of the time substituting "utilize" these days, apparently because it sounds so much more sophisticated?

Why not go all the way and make that 'utiliarize'?

Someone agrees with me!

Someone agrees with me!

I'd have two go with #5:
Utilize means to get a result effectively; use doesn’t carry the “effective” connotation.

For example, you can (sometimes) use a claw hammer as a wrench. But you can't possibly utilize it as one.

I see this sort of use of portmanteau a lot in my first-year writing classes. It's a product of the timed writing exams and a fairly limited vocabulary, and the need - driven into them from middle school on - to not be repetitive or to use too simple words.

So they go with faux amis based upon the language that they hear on streaming media in order to stretch their vocab. They really are becoming more of an oral culture than a literary culture. But they are also not like the pre-modern orality because they have less need of memorization thanks to the repeatability of recorded media.

why not just "visceral"?

Because it's not pretentious or edgy enough?

Visceral would be more precise (because guts etc=viscera), but I think it has a somewhat different feel. And I don't think guttural is being used to sound edgy or cool (although I could easily be wrong), and it's not longer or more sophisticated-sounding or more latinate, I think it's because it sounds like it's to do with a gut-feeling. So, one of the faux amis nous talks about (I'd never heard this in French, my Italian teacher years ago just used to say "false friends"), in a time of more of an oral culture than a literary culture. I hadn't thought about it that way because, as Janie notes, Josh Marshall is clearly a smart guy, but it's an explanation that makes sense to me.

Visceral would be more precise (because guts etc=viscera), but I think it has a somewhat different feel.

My sense is the common usage is, if you will, more superficial. "I have a visceral objection" being pretty much interchangeable with "It makes my skin crawl."

On the intersection of food, class, language, and the darn French.

"With regards to government, business or cultural authorities, on the other hand, we’ve come to our distrust of Orwell’s longer words honestly. We’ve learned that, just like those turncoats of a thousand years ago, too often sugar-coated words and fancy diction are a means of hiding intentions or even outright lying to us.

So the next time you get a corporate email about “a solution-oriented approach to empowering our brand positioning” or hear a government flunkie cynically state that “inflation has risen, largely reflecting transitory factors, overall financial conditions remain accommodative,” you have history, learning, and a thousand years of experience on your side if you find yourself asking, “Where’s the beef?”"
Where’s the beef?: Why we're suspicious of fancy language

Business-speak: who wouldn't want to be a "thought leader"?

who wouldn't want to be a "thought leader"?

Someone disinterested in being a leader, period. (Raises hand.)

I had various opportunities, over my career, to go into management and lead. Always preferred to stay technical and actually do things. Usually solo.

My sense is that the folks in management frequently have trouble grasping that others might not share their passion for rising thru the ranks. They see some (most?) employees as incapable of doing so, for one reason or another. But disinterested seems to be hard to wrap their heads around.

wj -- I totally get that. One of my best MIT friends would have said the same thing -- he eventually quit working for a company and just freelanced on some fascinating projects. Management types who don't get that are blinkered about a number of things, including 1) not everyone is like them; and 2) not everyone has the same skillset (which is just a subset of #1).

My brother was a maintenance guy at a small college campus. He could fix anything -- plumbing, electrical, the plows he cleared the snow with ... They tried to put him in charge of maintenance, but he wanted nothing to do with it. As a fun side note, he rewired the campus for computers and internet access five times in the 30 or so years he worked there.

Someone disinterested in being a leader, period.

Uninterested! Janie recently posted her bugbears, this is an absolutely major one of mine. We really lose something when we lose the true meaning of disinterested. Impartial is not exactly the same, it seems to me.

Per Oxford dictionary:
disinterested: 2. having or feeling no interest in something.
So, not the primary meaning, but not incorrect either.

Also, Merriam Webster notes:

Today, disinterested is most commonly used to mean “not biased; free from selfish motives," while uninterested is commonly used to mean "not interested." Yet when these words entered the language, uninterested meant "not biased; free from selfish motives" and disinterested meant "not interested."
So perhaps I am merely living in the past.

It seems to have undergone a complete flip from the (very) original meaning. But there's no question that, until very recently (i.e. last 20/30 years) its settled meaning in educated usage was "without an interest to declare, unbiased". I had to look it up to confirm this to someone in about 1997, an occasion branded on my memory for various reasons! But now, and if as you say even in the Oxford dictionary, it seems to have gone the way of refute and the dodo. Damn. I know language changes, but these things are a loss. We have words for deny, and reject, but I can't think of a one-word equivalent for refute (disprove by logic). And uninterested was good enough for your meaning, but we have to lose the concept of the disinterested arbiter, e.g.

Hell and damnation.

It's not clear to me that the "without an interest to declare" meaning is lost, even if the word is now used to mean "uninterested" a lot of the time. Without thinking too hard about it, I suspect that in a lot of cases, context will make clear which meaning is intended.

I was going to cite Bryan Garner, who is very long-winded about it if I start chasing down all his related commentary. And I don't have time for that today. (Or probably ever.)

But GftNC, Garner's usage book is an extensive, meticulous, and entertaining resource for someone who loves words and is interested in usage.

This is the edition I have -- I searched Abe for UK sellers. There's a newer version called "Modern English Usage," with an even newer edition coming out soon, but I haven't been paying attention since I lost the opportunity to go look at books in Harvard Square when I retired, and present purposes I'm content to relly on the 2009 edition.

But for one thing, Garner's assessments of the progress of words toward standard usage status would obviously have changed since 2009, so if you want the latest info, then a used and old copy might not be for you. In that case, here's Amazon's page for the pre-order of the upcoming edition.

typos, sorry......

Amazon UK page.

Janie, great (if expensive) resource! Thank you for the recommendation.

Have just looked at the 2016 edition online. On my current bugbear:

disinterested; uninterested. Given the overlapping nouns (see disinterest), writers have found it difficult to keep the past-participial adjectives entirely separate, and many have given up the fight to preserve the distinction between them.

But the distinction is still best recognized and followed because disinterested captures a nuance that no other word quite does. Many influential writers have urged the preservation of its traditional sense. The typically understated A.R. Orage rhapsodized over the word: “No word in the English language is more difficult [than disinterestedness] to define or better worth attempting to define. Somewhere or other in its capacious folds it contains all the ideas of ethics even, I should say, of religion . . . . I venture to say that whoever has understood the meaning of ‘disinterestedness’ is not far off understanding the goal of human culture.” Readers and Writers (1917–1921) 29 (1922;
repr. 1969).

Even I wouldn't have gone that far! Although I like it.

A disinterested observer is not merely “impartial” but has nothing to gain from taking a stand on the issue in question.

Who wants to lament “comprise” being used for “compose”?

It's a mute point by now.

Note that "moot" has gone from "something for discussion at a mass gathering" to "no longer needing any discussion because the situation has changed."

Wait, I thought it was a gathering of Ents.

An instructor in grad school used the phrase "mooted about" in a memo in reference to matters that had been discussed at a grad student meeting.

As in, "XXX had been mooted about at a ZZZ meeting."

That was over 30 years ago now.

I thought it was a gathering of Ents.

Well, sure. Ents. Or Anglo Saxons.** Etc. Basically any polity's mass meeting to hash out the question of the day.

** Tolkien, after all, being a Professor of Anglo Saxon before he was a novelist. Used a lot of bits from that expertise in his writings.

It was a joke....

I did get that it was a joke. Honest!

I wasn't sure :-)

My daughter's college, which isn't too far from where I live, did a whole weekend of Tolkien stuff once, and I went to a couple of the talks. One was by a professor who taught at both (?) the places Tolkien had taught -- joked about having followed him (though he was of a younger generation) -- and in the same department. He also studied Tolkien. He was fun.

Speaking of fun…


Well played, sir.

I'm glad Gov Newsom is publicizing this.

But he's such an empty suit that I can't help but suspect that someone else (probably in the legislature, rather than around Newsom) came up with the idea initially and got the bill written. Good that Newsom got on the bandwagon. Just don't mistake him for the composer of the march or the band director.

Crap, on reflection it was “bruited about” not mooted about.

On another topic, I'm in my last day of isolation after having tested positive for COVID this past Thursday. My wife tested positive the Monday prior, a week ago yesterday. We both had our second boosters in mid May, but still contracted COVID just over 2 months later.

So, ...be careful!

We're both fine, so no need for well wishes or prayers to the FSM.

We expect that she got it one of the days she worked at the local library because of the timing and because one of the people she worked with tested positive at almost exactly the same time thereafter.

The timing for exposure, becoming infectious, and showing symptoms was very much in line with everything I've read from the CDC. She worked on a Tuesday, started feeling a little sick on Sunday (5 days later - average incubation 5.6 days), and tested positive on Monday as symptoms worsened. They say you're most infectious 1 to 2 days before symptoms arise. I started feeling sick on Thursday, 4 days after she did, which would be in line with exposure on the prior Friday or Saturday (5 or 6 days earlier), her most infectious days before she knew she had it or started isolating.

Hers was a bit worse than mine. She had an online appointment with a doctor who prescribed her albuterol and recommended decongestant and expectorant. I only took expectorant. I might have taken decongestant if it weren't for hypertension, but it wasn't that bad for me without it.

We both had 101-point-something fevers that didn't last very long, passing on their own without fever-reducers. Neither of us was all that achy or fatigued once the very short fevers passed. Coughing was mostly voluntary to expel congestion, not in the kind of fits I've heard people have experienced where they can't catch a breath for a bit.

For us, it was mostly an inconvenience, something I chalk up to being fully vaccinated. Thank you, mRNA technology! I'm sorry so many people have been distrustful of you....

Anyhow, it ain't over 'til it's over. It might not be as deadly as it once was, but it's still spreading, and some people are still dying because of it. Stay safe.

Thanks for the report, hsh. I'm glad you and your wife didn't get it too badly and that you're recovering.

What you say about the timing is interesting -- I didn't realize 5 days was the average incubation, I thought it was a little shorter than that. Good to know, although I hope I never have to find out.

This article has some interesting speculation about susceptibility. No conclusions, but a reminder of how complicated things are. I'm in no way relying on tenuous preliminary possibilities, but it would be funny to find out that my perpetual lifelong stuffiness from various mild allergies has a silver lining.

For us, it was mostly an inconvenience, something I chalk up to being fully vaccinated. Thank you, mRNA technology! I'm sorry so many people have been distrustful of you....

Your experience sounds very much like ours, back at the beginning of May. Very mild symptoms (we also had both boosters), mostly an inconvenience while isolating.

But I note that apparently neither vaccination nor having had covid are proof against the "omicron variant" currently spreading across the country -- although they do reduce the severity of the symptoms. Tough on the enthusiasts for "herd immunity" as the right/best solution.

And people generally appear to have decided that covid is basically over, so they can drop all the stuff we had been doing to curtail the spread. I'm therefore expecting another big uptick in cases, especially among the antivaxxers. I hope I may be forgiven for hoping that, if one of them gets hit, it will be before they vote this fall.

I'm therefore expecting another big uptick in cases

There's already a big uptick in cases.

I quit tracking numbers, or even looking at them, in the spring -- not because I thought it was over but because I decided it was never going to be over, at some level, and my energy would be better spent elsewhere.

Off to town today, well masked even if no one else is. :-(

My recent COVID experience was about the same. Light fever for a few days, feeling slightly dizzy, dry cough. My father started coughing a bit earlier and my mother went completely without. Not clear who of us brought it home (me from school, he from hospital, she from church?). I got a one-sided colourfully sliming sinusitis afterwards as a bonus but that's something that very often occurs when I get sick with anything. Rinsing the nose with saline solution is usally all that's needed to deal with that.

My father died (at age 81) one week ago but not in connection with COVID. He was already negative again before he went to hospital for the last time. Old age and numerous other ailments were completely sufficient and it seems he simply and peacefully stopped living between two routine visits by the nurse in the morning (20 minutes before my mother arrived for her daily visit).

Condolences, Hartmut, but it sounds as if it was as OK as it can possibly be. I wish you a long life.

I’m sorry to hear that, Hartmut. My dad would be 81 if he were still living, so our fathers were contemporaries.

Sorry about your dad, Hartmut. And yes, "peacefully stopped living" sounds like a good way to go, when the time comes. We always wished that for my mom, and though she did more or less go that way, it was only after she'd spent 6 months in a nursing home that she had desperately not wanted to go to.

Ah well.

Thank you, everyone!

just chiming in for a minute to add my condolences to Hartmut on the passing of his father. no matter how long a life they live, or how peaceful their passing, they leave a big hole when they go.

glad, however, that it was a peaceful passing.

also wishing speedy recoveries to everyone dealing with That Damned Virus. stay safe everybody!

Woah - J D Vance. It shows how little he knows about the effects of domestic violence on children, among much else he knows little about.

Vance told a crowd at Pacifica Christian High School in Southern California that he believes that “one of the great tricks” that “the sexual revolution pulled on the American populace” is the idea that ending marriages that are “unhappy” or “maybe even violent” is sometimes best for the long term.

“And maybe it worked out for the moms and dads, though I’m skeptical. But it really didn’t work out for the kids of those marriages,” Vance said. “And that’s what I think all of us should be honest about, is we’ve run this experiment in real time. And what we have is a lot of very, very real family dysfunction that’s making our kids unhappy.”

“I think it’s easy but also probably true to blame the sexual revolution of the 1960s. My grandparents had an incredibly chaotic marriage in a lot of ways, but they never got divorced, right?” Vance told the Pacifica Christian audience. “They were together to the end, till death do us part. That was a really important thing to my grandmother and my grandfather. That was clearly not true by the 70s or 80s,” he said.

Vance said that when people stopped thinking of marriage as “sacred,” and as just a basic contract, “a lot of kids suffered.”

Here's the video:


J D Vance. It shows how little he knows about the effects of domestic violence on children, among much else he knows little about

Actually, the way I read this is that he objects to divorce, period. Not just for couples with children, but for anyone and under any circumstances. How that could fail to be a big vote winner, on can only guess....

Yes, he objects to divorce, period. Even including in violent marriages. It's a bit like laws against abortion even in cases of rape and incest - so extreme as to alienate otherwise sympathetic people.

Whether it's straight-out manipulative dishonesty or complete siloed blinkered-ness, the notion that not dissolving a violent marriage doesn't end up with "a lot of kids suffer[ing]" is obviously preposterous.

With Vance I'm guessing dishonesty and complete cynicism, but I do wonder whether he's so siloed that he doesn't know how this is going to come across to a lot of people. (At least, how I HOPE it is going to come across to (I hope) a lot of people.)

It's easy to figure out what Vance thought he was doing. This is, after all, Pacifica Christian High School - an elite, private, Great Books, Christian high school. Don't know that he was thinking about a wider audience when he made those comments.

Don't know that he was thinking about a wider audience when he made those comments.

He made those comments in September 2021. He had declared himself a candidate for the Senate on the first of July. He's an attention whore, as I suppose you more or less have to be to run for the Senate. I decline to believe he didn't think a wider audience would hear them, or want a wider audience to hear them.

Like wj and Janie, though, I can't help thinking if this sort of thing is properly publicised by the Dems it will do them a lot of good. Under extreme threat: abortion, contraception, gay rights and divorce. That's a lot of people to scare or piss off.

Yes. I'm sure that Vance wanted that soundbite to get out to the right people. I don't think he thought about how it could be weaponized against him. I think he believes he is more clever, and his voters are not clever enough to see how this is a problem.

I hope it is weaponized against him.

I hope the cynical shallowness of it and the lack of empathy it shows both get put front and center to show how little he thinks of the actual people he seeks to represent.

I hope it is weaponized against him.

Kind of reminds me of a Missouri Senate candidate a few years back, who claimed that victims of “legitimate rape” very rarely get pregnant. (How rape is ever legitimate rather boggles the mind, even now.)

(How rape is ever legitimate rather boggles the mind, even now.)

He's just implying that women who claim to get pregnant after rape were not actually raped, but are just looking for an excuse to abort the child after a bad case of sexual buyers remorse. It's the Old Testament standard whereby a woman who was raped in a city was put to death because she didn't make enough noise to reveal the crime as it was happening and thereby stop it.

In their mind if a woman gets pregnant she is always the one to blame because it wouldn't have happened if she was not in some way complicit.

Sick puppies. So full of hate and disdain for women.

nous, I get all that. But it boggles my mind anyway.

Yeah, that legit boggles, but that was about what the "legitimate" there was meant to signify.

They are legitimate bastards.

After a brief but necessary mourning period, I'm back, much to your chagrin, to regain my lofty swale and make all y'all smartypantses dumber.

First off, it's not "would have", Janie. It's "would of" here in the lower 47.

I understand "disinterest" to be somewhat negative, dismissive almost."Impartial" connotes recognition but dispassion. But I don't really care.

I haven't come across it in the wild, but "utilarize" hit me right in the visceral.

I posted before reading all the way through.

I am so sorry, Hartmut. My deepest condolences.

Was going to reply to nous's comment about sick puppies, but decided to make a post of it instead. See front page.

So let me walk thru this.

  • Manchin was negotiating on the Inflation Reduction Act.
    (Includes climate change and drug price controls.)
  • McConnell announced that he wouldn't let semiconductor bill come to a vote unless the inflation/climate/drug price bill was dead.
  • Manchin rejected the inflation etc. bill that was written to his specifications.
  • The semiconductor bill passed the Senate.
  • Manchin announces that the inflation etc. bill is ready to go.
From here, it looks like McConnell got played. Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

This isn't a very sexy story, so I didn't want to put it in the active thread.

Meet the Neo-Confederate 9/11 Truther Maryland GOP Voters Picked for Attorney General


I guess the good news is that this clown will very likely lose in the general election. The bad news is that one of the major parties is batsh*t (if that's news at all).

The bad news is that one of the major parties is batsh*t (if that's news at all).

It might be a bit more accurate to say that a plurality** of one of the major parties is crazy. And that sufficient numbers of the other members are willing, for whatever reason, to indulge that insanity to get crazy nominees.

** It might be a majority, of course. But the data is not sufficient to prove that.

Well, Rusty Bowers seems to have changed his tune. After his devastating testimony to the Committee he still said if Trump was the R nominee he would vote for him. No longer, apparently. I wonder what took him so long?


Ooops, there's a second part:


It might be a bit more accurate to say that a plurality** of one of the major parties is crazy. And that sufficient numbers of the other members are willing, for whatever reason, to indulge that insanity to get crazy nominees.

It doesn't matter what percentage of Republicans, whether office-holders or voters, are crazy. The results define the party as a whole. The party, as a whole, is batsh*t because it all too frequently barfs up these yahoos as candidates.

Crazy/not crazy -- one is in the majority and one isn't, unless they're split 50-50. "Plurality" has no meaning here.

It doesn't matter what percentage of Republicans, whether office-holders or voters, are crazy.

Actually, it does matter. The bigger fraction of the party that are actually crazy, the smaller the prospects for saving the nation. If the whole party is crazy (as stated), then the prospects are dire. If it's merely a very motivated 20% (i.e. maybe 10% of the total population), then it's quite possible to kick them to the curb.

Granted, it would require the bulk of Republican politician to grow a spine -- which might be problematic, especially in the short run. But at least there's a chance.

This is what comes from being an optimist: one tries to find a possibility for a good, or at minimum least bad outcome. Which, currently, are better than they were under the previous administration, but still nothing to write home about.

"Plurality" has no meaning here.

Sure it does. A plurality can determine who wins a primary, whenever (as is hardly uncommon) there are more than two candidates. That's how you end up with Republican majorities in state legislatures who appear determined to pass bills which a majority (not just a majority of the total population, but a majority of their own party members) oppose.

That's not what hsh was talking about. He made a specific statement about the party as a whole, which I think is an important consideration separate from any specific election. If you want to change the subject to particular elections, fine. But that's a different topic.

Regardless of specific elections, to have half of one of the two major parties in this country batshit crazy is a disaster.

to have half of one of the two major parties in this country batshit crazy is a disaster.

Totally agree. But that disaster is already here. To my mind, the question is what, if anything, can we do going forward in order to retrieve the situation?

What we can do going forward to retrieve the situation is, unfortunately for all involved, currently being shaped by the demands of the prisoner's dilemma. Both parties are forced to respond to the situation as if the batshit party is empowered to carry through on its batshit because it will, if given the chance, carry through.

Either your secret plurality steps up on its own to stop the batshit or we continue on our merry way, because we cannot afford not to treat the threat as real any longer. These last four years have shown this.

what, if anything, can we do going forward in order to retrieve the situation?

lock the mf'er up, along with his enablers and minions.

and it would help if news sources gave up on the whole "both sides" BS.

it would help if news sources gave up on the whole "both sides" BS.

Amen. Although, sadly, the one "news" source which has done so is just a propaganda arm for the crazies.

If you remember that "audit" of the 2020 election returns, you may recall that it found that an estimate that 282 dead people submitted ballots. Way, way too few to change the election results, of course, but the report recommended that “the Attorney General further investigate this finding to confirm the validity of this finding.”

Well the Arizona Attorney General dutifully did so. His finding: of the 282 supposedly deceased voters, exactly 1 (one!) was actually dead. All the rest were surprised to hear that they were considered dead by anybody.

Gotta love those auditors. Even more massively incompetent than we thought. It's so . . . Trumpian.

Pretty sure that Hawley is some manner of toadshit here, but the specific motivation is probably grist for interesting speculation:


U.S. resources are not unlimited. Already we spend the better part of a trillion dollars a year on defense. And our manpower is already stretched thin across the globe. The United States must prioritize the defense resources we have for the China effort, while there is still time. Until our European allies make the necessary commitments to their own national defense, we must not put more American lives at risk in Europe while allowing China’s power to grow unchecked.

(His logic for why adding Sweden and Finland weakens NATO rather than strengthening it smells particularly dubious.)

What is (a) toadshit? Google does not elucidate.

His logic for why adding Sweden and Finland weakens NATO rather than strengthening it smells particularly dubious.

It smells of massive ignorance.
- Item, Finland will be the first NATO member which has fought the Russians (technically, the USSR) to a standstill.
- Item, Sweden not only has a kickass military, they have a military infrastructure better than most existing NATO members. (They make first class SAMs, anti-tank missiles, ships (including subs), and combat air craft.)

And that's not to mention the improvement in NATO's geographic position vis-à-vis Russia. Which is why Russia was so upset at them joining. From Putin's perspective, them joining NATO is the biggest disaster of the whole Ukrainian invasion. (Troops, after all, can be replaced. As, eventually, can military hardware. But geography, not so much.)

"Toadshit" is pretty much just a variant on 'dogshit," "bullshit," or the like as a descriptor - from one of my wife's novels (where the people in question who used it were subterranean and dealt with cave toads as a nuisance species). Common usage as in "I don't know what sort of motherless toadshit you are trying to pull here, but..."

Thanks, nous!

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