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March 05, 2024

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Probably should have put this (via LGM) up

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2024/03/supreme-court-metadata-sotomayor-trump-dissent.html

It's always amusing to try to read the tea leaves, and try to discern what went on between the justices in generating their rulings (and concurrences or dissents). But, unless one of them speaks out (and they don't), it's as much about the speculator's views as anything real.

To me, the relevant point is that, in the end, the justices agreed, unanimously, that the Colorado Supreme Court got it wrong. As routinely happens with concurring opinions, the reasoning as the why they came to that conclusion varied. But they did agree on that point.

Another take from Ruth Marcus (a long time Court observer) ar the Washington Post.

Thanks for putting this up, lj. I'm off to babysit and don't have time to read right now, but Dahlia Lithwick is always good. (Coney Barrett, on the other hand..,)

Today's picture from the Webb telescope is a great example of the thing that has impressed me most about it. No matter which direction they point it, the sky is absolutely full of galaxies.

Great pic, Michael.

I wonder what all the other critters in the vast universe are getting up to today.... ;-)

The new e-mtb has arrived. Lots of stuff to adjust to get it ready to ride. Lots of learning curve to overcome. My first: electric bike; full suspension mountain bike; bike with tubeless tires; bike with 29" wheels.

With any luck I'll get it adjusted and charged up, and get to ride it a few times before the country devolves into anarchy, or fascism, or whatever stygian mix of the two we are being steered towards.

In the mean time, I have e-bike ordinances to break.

Clearly, I am on the side of anarchy.

Be reasonably safe, nous. (Doing things on a mountain bike is inherently unsafe to a certain degree.)

Thanks, Michael. I usually try to err on the side of caution. A lot of years of old school mtb where I was the entire suspension left me with a healthy respect for limits.

Will be taking it nice and easy on the switchbacks until I get the adjustment to the weight and longer wheelbase sorted out. It's only about 8 lbs heavier than my regular bike, so that shouldn't throw the braking off too much.

That, and I try really hard to remain conscious of the fact that these are all mixed-use trails. I want to be part of the argument FOR mtb riders on mixed trails, not one of the jerks who scares hikers in blind corners.

I have a Timber! bell I'm going to be swapping over to the new bike. I'd prefer the quiet of an empty trail, but I do want the others on the trail to know that I'm coming so no one gets startled.

I'm on the trail for the solitude, not for the thrill.

Two rather uplifting things, at least to me, in this essentially (because of the SCOTUS stuff) depressing thread:

Michael's Webb telescope pic, and nous's

I'm on the trail for the solitude, not for the thrill.

Looks like Haley is out - the comet nikkied, so to speak.
I had expected her to stay in in the hope that the courts would take care of His Orangeness and she would be the last one standing.
Sigh of relief on the Dem side. To beat her would have been more difficult even taking into account the Right's sexism and racism working against her.

I found this rather interesting

For the mean wealth per adult, in the US, it was 551,350, which was a decrease from 2022 of –27,700. However, for the median wealth per adult, the US had 107,740 which was an increase of 14,460. Moreover, the US showed the highest increase on the list, with only the following countries showing an increase
Norway 143,890 6,860
Singapore 99,490 5,790
Qatar 90,260 3,740
Spain 107,510 170

and Norway and Singapore had larger increases in the mean wealth per adult (39,440 and 22,590 respectively)

(figures in US dollars)

https://www.ubs.com/global/en/family-office-uhnw/reports/global-wealth-report-2023.html

I long for the days when people used to say "It's the economy, stupid."

I've seen a meme going around about what a gallon of gas cost and what the interest rate was on a 30-year mortgage on election day 2020, just to remind us how good things were before Biden took office.

Forget that interest rates were being held at historical lows to prop up the economy and that demand for gasoline was way down, both because we were in the thick of the COVID pandemic. COVID-19 for president?

Now we have higher interest rates to combat inflation because the economy was overheating. And inflation is a worldwide phenomenon, not something specific to the US. In fact, the US has lower inflation than the vast majority of countries. (Everyone likes maps, right?)

https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/PCPIPCH@WEO/WEOWORLD/VEN

Is worldwide inflation Joe Biden's fault?

Unemployment remains historically low. (Funny they didn't mention what unemployment was on election day 2020 - almost 7%, again because of COVID.) The stock market is doing reasonably well generally. Gas prices have bounced around, but considering a gallon of gas cost more in the spring of 2008 than it does now, how bad can it be? (Not that the president has much control over the price of gas. I'm just going by the logic of the economic critics of Joe Biden.)

Whatever. They swallow what they're fed.

Like DeSantis, Haley has "suspended" her campaign, because who can tell when TFG is going to stroke out, or deliquesce into a puddle of incoherently babbling slime?


Like DeSantis, Haley has "suspended" her campaign, because who can tell when TFG is going to stroke out, or deliquesce into a puddle of incoherently babbling slime?

Unlike DeSantis, she has actually beaten Trump. Yesterday, in Vermont.

It's not a huge delegate haul. But it's more than anybody else has accomplished. Although whether that pragmatic detail would weigh in her favor, or against her, at the convention (should Trump stroke out before then) is debatable.

Like DeSantis, Haley has "suspended" her campaign, because who can tell when TFG is going to stroke out, or deliquesce into a puddle of incoherently babbling slime?

IIRC, if you formally end your campaign, you're no longer able to accept contributions, are on a relatively tight schedule to dispose of existing funds, and restarting means repeating a bunch of paperwork. If you only suspend your campaign, none of those are problems (at least for a while).

In a universe as vast as Hubble and JWST have revealed, the odds are pretty good that somewhere in it there would exist a planet with Flat Earthers, Young Earth Creationists, and MAGAts on it. You'd think the odds are also good that we'd be living on a different planet. Alas, no. We share a planet with Nine Wise Souls who "agreed, unanimously, that the Colorado Supreme Court got it wrong."

He, Trump is an insurrectionist just as plainly as I am an immigrant. Per the SCOTUS ruling, could the Secretary of State of our little Commonwealth, alone or with the backing of the MA Supreme Court, keep me off our presidential ballot?

I do not choose to run, mind you. I just want to know how anyone on this benighted planet can still pretend the current SCOTUS is anything but a laughingstock.

--TP

In a universe as vast as Hubble and JWST have revealed, the odds are pretty good that somewhere in it there would exist a planet with Flat Earthers, Young Earth Creationists, and MAGAts on it.

To be pedantic, there are different levels of infinity. In an infinitely large universe, there's still an infinitely small chance that more than one such thing would exist.

"To me, the relevant point is that, in the end, the justices agreed, unanimously, that the Colorado Supreme Court got it wrong."

I disagree.
The important bit of the decision was the 5/4 opinion - pulled out of their backsides - that s3 of the 14th Amendment isn't self-executing.

They could, on the same basis, say that it's also up to Congress whether or not the 22nd Amendment should be enforced.
Which if Trump were re-elected, might become a live issue.

I just want to know how anyone on this benighted planet can still pretend the current SCOTUS is anything but a laughingstock.

Pretty easy, actually. All you have to do is live in an "information" bubble, where objective reality makes only cameo appearances. As a fair number of our fellow citizens do. They think everybody (that they know) agrees that the radical 6 are doing God's Work. Who would laugh at that?

The way that I view that USSC decision is that (at least) 5 of the justices have just "given aid and comfort" to an insurrection, and they should get immediately removed.

Legally, constitutionally, kinetically, all of above.

I think that's a stretch. I don't doubt that several of the Justices were supporters of the attempted insurrection. But this decision, in itself, doesn't prove that beyond a reasonable doubt. It might be supporting evidence at most. We need to be aware that our existing views of them (and all their works) can color how we perceive anything and everything they do.

Just to be clear, I think the Court (and the country) will be vastly improved when they are gone. But if we are going to go the impeachment and removal route, we need quite a bit more than this decision to make the case.

wj: But if we are going to go the impeachment and removal route, we need quite a bit more than this decision to make the case.

"Make the case" to whom?

This is sadly reminiscent of arguments over He, Trump's two(!) impeachments. The constitutional fact is that 218 Representatives can impeach and 67 Senators can remove an "officer" of the US. They can do it for their own damn reasons; there's no absolute, objective, graven-in-stone definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors".

In principle, though less and less in practice, Representatives and Senators are answerable to their constituents, so I suppose it's "the electorate" you need to "make the case" to. There is a large segment of the electorate for whom Orange Jesus can do no wrong, and His black-robed lickspittles are above reproach as long as they side with Him. There is also a large segment of the electorate -- dare I call them "independents"? -- to whom one could "make the case". But it wouldn't do any good if they are "independent" enough to be indifferent between autocracy and "socialism". Or plain facts and legalistic niceties, for that matter.

Anyway, I repeat the factual question from my earlier comment:

He, Trump is an insurrectionist just as plainly as I am an immigrant. Per the SCOTUS ruling, could the Secretary of State of our little Commonwealth, alone or with the backing of the MA Supreme Court, keep me off our presidential ballot?
As a non-lawyer, I'm curious.

--TP

The constitutional fact is that 218 Representatives can impeach and 67 Senators can remove an "officer" of the US. They can do it for their own damn reasons; there's no absolute, objective, graven-in-stone definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors".

Quite. But the fact that they don't need a valid reason does not absolve us of the duty to provide one. Just as the fact that some jurors may make a decision not based on the evidence** doesn't relieve the DA of the duty to have a case.

He, Trump is an insurrectionist just as plainly as I am an immigrant. Per the SCOTUS ruling, could the Secretary of State of our little Commonwealth, alone or with the backing of the MA Supreme Court, keep me off our presidential ballot?

Briefly: Yes.

Because whether there even was an insurrection, let alone whether the accused participated in it, is not, in fact, as plain as whether or not you are an immigrant. In Trump's case, there isn't much doubt in my mind that there was and he did. But the procedure for removing someone from the ballot for insurrection must be set up to deal with how to establish whether there was an insurrection, and how to find that someone did participate in it. Whereas, in the case of an immigrant there would be immigration paperwork; no need for a process to decide if it happened.

** I was a juror on a case a few years ago where one of the jurors said "I know policemen. If he [the defendant] was arrested, he must be guilty of something!" Except, he wasn't guilty of the charge, and the jury eventually found him Not Guilty.

wj: CO did it the right way.

There was a case in the CO courts, with testimony & evidence, FROM BOTH SIDES of the question, that determined "yes, Trump is an insurrectionist".

Appealed, up to the CO Supreme court, to hammer out law problems, then to the CO SoS to remove Trump from the ballot.

Same as "too young", "non-citizen", "not a resident". State courts handle the evidence and sort it out.

The Deplorable faction of the USSC gave aid and comfort to insurrectionists, and they should have THEIR NOSES RUBBED IN IT.

To add to Snarki's comment, one of the CO courts asked to transfer the case to the local federal court as there was clearly a Constitutional issue. The federal court declined to accept the case. So the question the CO supreme court was addressing was given the insurrection finding in state court did the SoS have the authority under Colorado law to remove Trump from the ballot. There were reasonable arguments on both sides -- the opinion was quite lengthy. The decision was 4-3 that the SoS both had the authority and was obligated to remove Trump.

By all means call me frivolous, when the fate of America's democracy hangs in the balance, but I could not help smiling at the inimitable Marina Hyde on Rupert Murdoch's latest engagement:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/mar/08/congratulations-rupert-murdoch-lets-hope-this-love-match-lasts-longer-than-talktv

I am spoilt for choice in deciding which deliciously malicious bit to quote, but the following will do. (I don't think I am particularly malicious, but after all, it's not as if he isn't heavily implicated in the aforesaid threat to democracy.)

And clearly, the next Mrs Murdoch has already pulled off a superior tactical manoeuvre to his last fiancee, who was scheduled to marry him at the less optimal age of 92. God forbid this engagement falls apart too, but if it does, current rate of acquisition would suggest a next fiancee could pick up Murdoch at the even more desirable vintage of 94. Wife number seven or eight would expect to hit sometime around the 100 mark. In some ways, the dream.

I doubt wj is ignorant of, or indifferent to, the fact that a CO state court examined the evidence for and against the claim that He, Trump engaged in insurrection. So:

I apply to get on the presidential ballot in MA; the SoS rejects me for not meeting the "native born" requirement; I file suit in MA court against the SoS; the court looks at the evidence and rules the SoS did the right thing. (The evidence might be as simple as a copy of my Naturalization Certificate, but I bet the court would in fact look at it.) Now:

Maybe any sane person would say: "Tony, the difference between you and He, Trump is that the evidence against you is irrefutable, so the MA court got it right". That would simply amount to saying: "The evidence that He, Trump engaged in insurrection is not irrefutable". But note that the SCOTUS did NOT rule on that basis.

No, the SCOTUS ruled that MA has no more right to keep me off the ballot than CO had; SCOTUS ruled on "constitutional" and not evidential grounds.

So the sane person might conclude "Well, Tony, the real difference between you and He, Trump is that He (and Yertl, of course) shoved 3 so-called Justices on to the SCOTUS and you didn't".

But no sane person would say such a thing, right? I mean, it would amount to accusing the Nine Wise Souls of committing a misdemeanor, and a pretty high one at that.

--TP

This book White Rural Rage: The Threat to American Democracy echoes many discussions we have had here in the past about the electoral college, the fact that white rural R voters are voting against their own interests etc:

https://wapo.st/3Tu3U6r


Instead, by key measures, the authors write, rural White voters pose a quadruple threat to democracy: They are more likely than average Americans, or even average White Americans, to have racist and xenophobic tendencies, to accept violence in pursuit of their beliefs, to believe conspiracy theories, and to nurture antidemocratic ideas.

Not all rural White Americans hold these attitudes, Schaller and Waldman concede. But they “are overrepresented across all four of these threats,” and that’s what animates their status as what the authors call the “essential minority.”

Also, they vote Republican. This confounds the authors, because “there is no demographic group in America as loyal to one political party as rural Whites are to the GOP that gets less out of the deal.” By less, they mean policy prescriptions — stuff that might better their lives. What these voters do get from Republicans, the authors argue, is someone to stoke their rage — to fuel its flame from a bottomless stack of cultural kindling. Republicans long ago figured out that it is really the blue yonder that makes rural White voters see red. Exacerbate the villainy in that city-country divide, and you have yourself some dependable voters.

Enter the Pied Piper of dark traits, “a walking repudiation of every value rural Americans claim to hold.” He’s a truth-challenged billionaire from Queens, true, but he’s got no truck with “shithole” countries, Mexican judges, traitorous generals, Soros-backed “animals” and radical-left thugs who live like vermin. What’s not to like? Or better yet, this being a Christian nation, worship?

Don't let confirmation bias keep you from reading White Rural Rage and reviews of it with a critical eye. Here are some arguments against some of the assertions made in the book.

"The overarching argument of White Rural Rage is that ruralness can be equated with racism, xenophobia, conspiracism, and anti-democratic beliefs. But rigorous scholarship shows that rural identity is not reducible to these beliefs, which are vastly more numerous outside rural communities than within them. To get to a conclusion so at odds with the scholarly consensus, Schaller and Waldman repeatedly commit academic malpractice."
The Truth About 'Rural Rage': Our research was cited in a new book on “white rural rage.” But the authors got the research wrong.

I doubt wj is ignorant of, or indifferent to, the fact that a CO state court examined the evidence for and against the claim that He, Trump engaged in insurrection.

The challenge I see is this. If you are not a "natural born citizen", it doesn't matter which state you are filing to run in. That is, there is no realistic possibility of dispute that would result different outcomes from one state to another. In the case of "insurrection", there is a far larger possibility that different jurisdictions will reach different conclusions as to whether one even happened.

But having different states rule differently on eligibility is a problem. IANAL, but I can see only two ways to deal with it:

  1. Have the Congress spell out what the criteria are for labeling something an insurrection under the 14th Amendment, or
  2. Have the Supreme Court become a tryer of fact each time the issue arises. And invent a definition of insurrection in order to do so.
The first hasn't been done. Although I won't be surprised if a future Congress tries to address the question. But there is a question, in my non-legal mind, whether second is a feasible solution. The Supreme Court does, extremely rarely, look at issues of fact. But it really isn't set up to do so.

No, the SCOTUS ruled that MA has no more right to keep me off the ballot than CO had; SCOTUS ruled on "constitutional" and not evidential grounds.

SCOTUS ruled that states cannot keep candidates off the ballot using the 14th Amendment, Section 3. They didn't say anything about the Article 2 requirements that apply to you.

From the Reason article Charles cites:

Indeed, as we have painstakingly demonstrated in our own work, rural resentment involves perceptions of geographic inequity. Many rural people see inequity in who politicians pay attention to, which communities get resources and which don't, and in how different types of communities are portrayed in the media.

This actually rings true to me.

Not sure Trump is gonna make life any better for them, though. And a pox on all who stoke and exploit folks' sense of "geographic inequity" for their own political (and other) advantage.

Many rural people see inequity in who politicians pay attention to, which communities get resources and which don't, and in how different types of communities are portrayed in the media.

One has to wonder if they will even notice that Biden has actually paid attention, and put stuff in his signature programs to benefit them.

russell -- interesting, the piece at Charles's link about GftNC's link (I read both articles for once) brought you to mind, because I had a hunch you would see some nuances there.

No doubt everyone involved has an axe to grind, but the "White Rural Rage" thing reminds me of "White Fragility" in the axe-grinding department: i.e., not really helpful in the end. (Not that the end can be seen, or the trade-offs measured.)

One of the professors in Charles's link is at Colby, right up the road from me (broadly speaking). Makes me curious about what he's up to in general.

As best a non-lawyer can parse the decision, the Supreme Court ruled that because the 14th amendment states that Congress can pass legislation as required to enforce, therefore ONLY Congress can enforce Article 3, buttressed with the magic sauce of Precedent. The 3 sane justices concurred but only saying that a patchwork of state enforcement would cause "chaos". Why Article II of the Constitution is irrelevant in all of this I have no idea.

while one might hope that criteria such as "natural born citizen", and "resident in the US for X years" are objective facts that can be decided once and for all, there could be real disputes ("The birth certificate is forged! The fonts and kerning are all wrong!") even with hardcopy documents, and even moreso when it involves "testimony" (who lived where for how long? midwife sez baby was born *just* this side of the Rio Grande?) and how credible it might be.

Hasn't happened yet (well McCain's birth situation was close), but Trump makes a habit of violating seven norms before breakfast, and here we are.

@Snarki -- case in point, although not exactly the same question: my great-grandfather came to the US from Italy in the early 20th century. A year or two later, his wife (under her maiden name) and 6 kids, including my grandfather (age about 9 at that time) came over intending to join him in Ohio, which they did. I have screenshots of the ship manifest from the Ellis Island dot org website.

I also have, courtesy of a second cousin, photocopies of my grandfather's citizenship application from about twenty years later, which gives all the same information except (IIRC) it lists his arrival as one year off from the year given on the ship manifest.

Which is the true fact? One or the other, or maybe neither....

I assume the ship's record is the accurate one, but it was quite a quest to find it, because not only was my great-grandmother listed under her maiden name, her maiden name was mangled (misspelled) when some volunteer (bless 'em) transcribed it into the database. It took me a very long time to find it.

That same grandfather died in the night that separated 1957 from 1958. His obit gives one year and his gravestone gives the other.

Slippery guy.

Slippery "facts."

Why Article II of the Constitution is irrelevant in all of this I have no idea.

When the SCOTUS takes a case, they say what questions they'll be addressing. It is not uncommon for them to restrict the scope of a case, sometimes drastically. In this case, Article II was irrelevant because the Court said they were addressing states' authority to apply the 14th Amendment, Section 3.

Space, the final frontier. In an article today on the technical problems on Voyager1, the following prompted a memory.

Voyager 1 and its twin, each 40,000 years away from the next closest star, will arguably remain on an indefinite mission.

“If Voyager should sometime in its distant future encounter beings from some other civilization in space, it bears a message,” Dr. Sagan said in a 1980 interview.

Each spacecraft carries a gold-plated phonograph record loaded with an array of sound recordings and images representing humanity’s richness, its diverse cultures and life on Earth.

“A gift across the cosmic ocean from one island of civilization to another,” Dr. Sagan said.

And the memory is of a letter I loved, sent to Chuck Berry by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan:

Dear Chuck Berry,

When they tell you your music will live forever, you can usually be sure they're exaggerating. But Johnny B. Goode is on the Voyager interstellar records attached to NASA's Voyager spacecraft--now two billion miles from Earth and bound for the stars. These records will last a billion years or more.

Happy 60th birthday with our admiration for the music you have given to this world...

Go, Johnny, go.

Ann Druyan

Carl Sagan

And, as a kind of coda, Wikipedia tells me (I had to track down who said it):

In a Saturday Night Live segment ("Next Week in Review") in episode 64 of the show's third season (originally aired 1978), Steve Martin's character, a psychic named Cocuwa, announced that extraterrestrials had responded to the record with the four words "Send more Chuck Berry".

Snarki is quite correct: the facts in a "natural-born citizen" case could conceivably be in dispute. Trial courts are charged with deciding what "the facts" are. Trial courts in different states could conceivably disagree on "the facts", and thus rule in opposite ways on disqualification. Yikes: conflict in the lower courts! What's a poor Supreme to do?

Well, obviously, dodge the factual question and rule that Article 2, Section 1 is not for the States to enforce. Just like Amendment 14, Section 3. Or maybe not. It depends. "But on what?", Cheez Whiz wants to know. So do I.

The CO courts found as a matter of fact that He, Trump engaged in insurrection. The Supremes essentially said "It doesn't matter to us what the facts are; we only rule on questions of law, and only on those questions of law that we choose to rule on". And of course The Law is what the Supremes say it is, right? Also, they are not bound by their own precedents. So Article 2, Section 1 can be "self-enforcing" but Amendment 14, Section 3 can be NOT-self-enforcing, say the Supremes. Because "chaos", you see.

The AL court ruled that frozen embryos are "persons". A court in CO or MA could easily rule that frozen embryos are NOT "persons". Who wants to bet that such a conflict, implicating the 5th Amendment, in the lower courts will never come before these particular Supremes? Who'll take a stab at how the current crop of "Justices" will avoid "chaos" in that event?

The Supremes, all of them, may be right about one thing: no matter how fickle they get, we ordinary yokels will always remain divided enough to NOT throw them out and start over.

--TP

My 2¢ on the White Rural Rage counter arguments in Reason: as someone who grew up in one of those rural areas and has heard the arguments put forth there for years, yes, there is very much a sense of geographic inequity that fuels the sense of grievance. I also agree that the people in rural communities are not necessarily fueled by racial animus aimed at any particular person.

But I also know from years of casual conversation with my rural classmates that the urban/rural identity is very much racially marked in the heads of those who express rage at the geographical inequity.

And don't even start with the argument that all of the southern border invasion language that is also fueling the inequity narrative is not racially marked to its very core.

So I don't buy the idea that rural areas are actually less racist than urban or suburban areas. I just think that the way that racism is expressed has a layer of politely impersonal denial covering up the ugliness.

So, yeah, I'd like to see some scholarly reviews of White Rural Rage to sort through what parts of the research are solid and what parts might be problematic. The problem with those scholarly reviews will be that they generally don't come out until several months past the publication date, and by that point the popular opinion has already been fought through and divided into camps.

So I don't buy the idea that rural areas are actually less racist than urban or suburban areas. I just think that the way that racism is expressed has a layer of politely impersonal denial covering up the ugliness.

I agree with this, and on the quick read I did, I thought the rebuttal people were skating over a kind of vague assertion that there was "less racism" because rural areas are so sparsely populated than cities that there are simply fewer people there. If I had time to look, I'm pretty sure I'd find that both sides are cherry-picking data and doing a similar kind of begging of questions ...

Another angle on it is that so many rural areas (like a lot of the state I live in) are so overwhelmingly white that there's not much to trigger an overt show of racism. I remember after a kids' track meet maybe thirty years ago overhearing a dad mutter to his wife, "I can't believe the [] won" about an adopted Black kid in our town. It was revealing, and depressing. He knew enough not to say it so people in general could hear it, but he still felt it, and said it.

Another angle on it is that so many rural areas (like a lot of the state I live in) are so overwhelmingly white that there's not much to trigger an overt show of racism.

When I was an undergraduate, one of my friends was from far outstate Nebraska. From time to time I'd go with him for a weekend to visit. My hair was long enough to almost get me in trouble a couple of times. There's always some way to split things into "us" and "them".

The Supremes, all of them, may be right about one thing: no matter how fickle they get, we ordinary yokels will always remain divided enough to NOT throw them out and start over.

My countdown is now at 33 years until the convention to partition the country is called. I still think the breaking point will be trying to deal with climate change.

My countdown is now at 33 years until the convention to partition the country is called. I still think the breaking point will be trying to deal with climate change.

Agree about the climate change thing, but think that our lives will have already become far too interesting for my liking well before it comes down to an actual partition.

One of the common threads in research about climate effects and human migration is the idea of climate change as a threat/ vulnerability multiplier (which side of the slash you are on depending on whether one is looking at the problem through a national security or a human rights lens). It's not necessarily that climate change by itself is going to tip us over the edge, it's that the effects of climate change are going to increase the challenge of dealing with every other existing source of conflict.

The southern border of the US is a prime example. A lot of what is forcing Central Americans to leave their home countries is economic and political dysfunction, and high levels of violence, but the desertification of the rural agricultural areas acts to drive urbanization, and that desperation pushes the economic and political dysfunction to crisis levels.

Reversing the climate effects would relieve a lot of the pressure of urbanization by making the rural areas habitable again, but those humanitarian concerns get drowned out by the security concerns and we spend all our collective attention on the threat signal side, which just amplifies the desperation.

Is racial prejudice Nature or Nurture? Never mind. I bet there's a rural/urban divide on that question.

I'd rather ask about this bit in the Reason piece:

Many rural people see inequity in who politicians pay attention to, which communities get resources and which don't, and in how different types of communities are portrayed in the media. This is not racial prejudice by another name.
What's "many"? Or "rural" for that matter? But let that pass too. What I really want to know is:

What "resources" do rural communities want? Farm subsidies? More schools, hospitals, roads, broadband access? Material stuff like that can be provided, financed by us urbanites. What we can't do is improve the lives of rural people while simultaneously leaving them the hell alone. If "Fix it but don't change anything" is the demand, what's a "politician" to do?

As far as "portrayed in the media" goes, would ordering CBS to bring back Mayberry RFD help?

--TP

Bring back Hee-Haw and 8-track tapes?

Well, if they've got broadband internet, I'm pretty sure you can stream Hee-Haw 24/7.

Who do politicians and "Big Media" pay attention to? The Extremely Rich.

Who do politicians and "Big Media" pay attention to? The Extremely Rich.

Who are perfectly happy to let all the other groups fight amongst themselves for the scraps. In fact, who make sure that all the other groups think it's each other taking all the goodies. Thus it has ever been and probably ever shall be.

What "resources" do rural communities want? Farm subsidies? More schools, hospitals, roads, broadband access? Material stuff like that can be provided, financed by us urbanites.

A world where their children remain in the local town, if not on the ranch/farm. Rather than moving to some city in search of greater economic opportunity. (Or, unacknowledged, more freedom to be themselves.) That would keep the local population up, and the local economy reasonably healthy. (Farm subsidies wouldn't hurt, but aren't really what's needed.) Keep the local economy humming, and the population up, and things like schools, hospitals, roads, etc. mostly take care of themselves.

To some extent, broadband access and remote working could help keep the kids around. But the draw of the outside world is strong. Cities have been drawing people from rural areas approximately as long as there have been cities. Mostly what's different today is that families, even rural families, are smaller. So the same numbers of kids leaving means there's pretty much nobody remaining. (OK, that's an exaggeration. Somewhat.)

In short, the "resource" they really want is people. Especially, people like the ones already there. But even "others" (if they are not so big a fraction of the influx as to radically, and especially rapidly, change the local culture) will be accepted.

Maddow transcript as wj bait.

I mean, listen. I have always felt like — you know, I’m a liberal and as liberal as they come and always have been. But I’ve always felt like I had more in common with people who care about what happens to the country than people who don’t care, who are checked out, who don’t think it matters. Even if you have radically different ideas. There is nothing in which I agree with on Liz Cheney. If we both fish, I hate the way she fishes [laughter]. It’s absolutely everything. But if you care about the future of our country, that is grounds for us to work together. I do think we have to recognize after Super Tuesday, after Mitch McConnell today, no with Nikki Haley out of the race, and now with the Republican appointees on the courts doing what they have done at the highest court in the land, I really think we need to get clear about the fact the project of the Republican Party is to install a strong man form of government in the United States and get rid of democracy. And that is the project of electing Donald Trump. That is what the Republican Party is for now. And so if you have been part of the Republican Party, you have to recognize that that’s now the new project of your party. You may need to leave that party now in order to work with the rest of Americans who disagree with you on a lot of different things, but want our country to stay a democracy. We are just in that extreme a place.

Terrific Maddow interview, Janie. I'd be surprised if wj disagrees with much, if any, of it.

Farm subsidies wouldn't hurt, but aren't really what's needed.

But subsidies and other forms of agricultural market interventions by the government do hurt. Farmers and consumers both would be better off if they were phased out and completely eliminated.

Charles (Mr Two-sides-of-the-same-coin), on the other hand....

@GftNC -- just teasing him about how the water's nice, he ought to join us over here in the sane party. :-)

JanieM: just teasing him about how the water's nice, he ought to join us over here in the sane party.

Consider that it's been upwards of a quarter century since I voted for a Republican for President. Or much of anything at the statewide level or above.** Even though I feel I'm rather to the right of the Democratic Party -- although the Democratic tent has been getting bigger as the GOP has sunk into insanity.

I confess I get very tired of the "there are absolutely no decent people in the Republican Party, and haven't been since Teddy Roosevelt (or, frequently, since Lincoln)" litany. I look at, for example, my Congressman. He's a Democrat now, and was when he was our Assemblyman. But before that, as a county supervisor and as a city councilman, he was a Republican.

With California's top-two primary system, party registration only matters for 1) presidential primaries, and 2) which party's fundraising mailings you get deluged with. (The latter, regardless of party, go straight to the recycling anyway.) I suppose I could reregister as an Independent. But then, I wouldn't have been able to vote against TIFG last week.

** As noted, I'm voting against my Democratic Assembly member. Which, per force, will mean voting for a Republican. The California legislature being how it is, there's just not that much damage he can do. And it would put the kibosh on her career.

subsidies and other forms of agricultural market interventions by the government do hurt. Farmers and consumers both would be better off if they were phased out and completely eliminated.

Not exactly seeing how farmers would be better off. Nor, for that matter, how it would do anything but raise the prices consumers pay. Granted, it might be better for the economy overall. But missing the specific benefits you claim.

Not exactly seeing how farmers would be better off.

Some of the negative impacts of subsidies.

"There's something maddening about the belief that food production would be more abundant and efficient—and the results healthier and less expensive—with even more subsidies for relatively well-off farmers and agribusinesses. Indeed, there is lots of evidence that farm subsidies stifle innovation, make producers less competitive, reduce incentives to boost efficiency and consume less water and fewer pesticides, and shift the focus from farming crops to chasing subsidies. As a result, many farmers end up doing less with more, and people end up paying more for less.

Adding insult to injury, farm subsidies often lead to overproduction, which in theory should reduce the price of farm products and reduce farmers' profits. That is, if the government did not appease this powerful lobby by buying its excess production. In other words, taxpayers pay for subsidies or loan guarantees, and then for the resulting production surplus, and then for storage."
Farm Subsidies and Food Stamps Won't Fix High Grocery Prices. Innovation Will.: With government meddling, many farmers end up doing less with more, and people end up paying more for less.

Plus unsubsidized food crops may cost more because fewer farmers are producing them than there might be because they're drawn to subsidized crops.

Sugar costs more because sugar cane growers are protected against imports of sugar. Which results in most things being sweetened with high fructose corn syrup from subsidized corn. And it may be even less healthy than sugar.

synchronicity rules. Was just reading about the 'rural purge'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rural_purge
and
Rube Tube: CBS and Rural Comedy in the Sixties by Sarah Erskine is an interesting take on it all.

The notion that flits in and out of my head from time to time is that Trump's election and insurrection was simply a delayed reaction to Obama's election.

I read the review and the Reason piece (which reminds me of the Woody Allen bit)
https://youtu.be/vTSmbMm7MDg?si=NPJxOUUI1cVr6Dcr&t=121

and while I'm not going to go back, I get the impression that there is an idea that one can measure racism and divide it up to discrete units. How many microaggressions (a word I don't like because for something to be aggressive, I feel like the actor has to know it, but the key about a microaggression is often that the person doesn't know they are doing it) equals one racist epithet?

I get the impression that there is an idea that one can measure racism and divide it up to discrete units.

There did seem to be a vague notion like that, but I think I half-consciously translated it into #s of people: rural areas are sparsely populated, cities are dense, so if there's racism in both, there's "more" in cities because there are more people to be racist there.

Plus -- I haven't read the book, only the book review, so I don't want to make too much of what a reviewer said about the book. There's always the whole "lies, damned lies" problem with anything based on statistics, and that can accompany both deliberate obfuscation and unconscious misunderstanding.

As for microaggressions -- I don't like that word either. For one thing, the term seems to me to be mostly a fancy label for the fact that "people are assholes, news at 11."

More seriously, I've had the experience of making a new friend and being told I'm interpersonally aggressive -- and painfully realizing that what the other person receives as mistreatment from me arises as part of *my* reaction to things that hit me as *their* mistreatment of me. Sarcasm, teasing, different standards of behavior in discussions, family culture, ethnic culture, social class -- all kinds of things feed into this, and it can be incredibly hard to see in oneself. Years and years of therapy.....

This is why the whole "white fragility" and "callout culture" seem to me to be so wrongheaded. People don't change easily; most people (in my experience) change less readily when badgered and shamed.

Eh, I've said all this before....

...and argued the other side before as well. There are no easy answers in this muddle.

Interesting thoughts on tribalism here.

I chased this down because the over-estimator / under-estimator research mentioned in the podcast was talked about in a class I took long ago on diversity, in the peace studies program at UMaine.

And then it turns out that Tajfel, the researcher whose work on tribalism is mentioned in the link in my previous comment, had his own tribal affiliations:

In 2019, evidence emerged documenting that Tajfel displayed inappropriate conduct toward female members of his lab.[18] Tajfel regularly directed unwanted sexual attention to female colleagues.[19][18] In his own research, he was uninterested in applying social identity theory to gender.[18] As a consequence, the prestigious Tajfel Award will be renamed by the European Society for Social Psychology.[20]

From Wikipedia.

Sugar costs more because sugar cane growers are protected against imports of sugar.

I see a serious difference between a tariff or an import ban on one hand, and a subsidy on the other. Precisely because one lets producers charge higher prices, and the other essentially lets them charge lower prices without production becoming uneconomical.

The notion that flits in and out of my head from time to time is that Trump's election and insurrection was simply a delayed reaction to Obama's election.

I wasn't aware that there was any real doubt that it was, at minimum, a major factor.

People don't change easily; most people (in my experience) change less readily when badgered and shamed.

And also react more strongly as the amount of change in a short period of time increases.

Thus one other part (and, I know, only one part) of Trump's success was that following the first black President with the first woman President was just too much change too fast for some people. Irrespective of the merits, or shortcomings, of the individuals involved.

The February just past was the warmest on record, the ninth record-setting month in a row. February sea surface temperatures broke the record set in August last year. Winter grass fires have been burning up and down the American Great Plains, including a million-acre fire in the Texas Panhandle.

Crikey, this looks like something AI is actually very good at:

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/10/science/ai-learning-biology.html?unlocked_article_code=1.b00.5wdV.DJyrJWsA42gK&smid=url-share

Dr. Theodoris pulled data from 106 published human studies, which collectively included 30 million cells, and fed it all into a program called GeneFormer.

The model gained a deep understanding of how our genes behave in different cells. It predicted, for example, that shutting down a gene called TEAD4 in a certain type of heart cell would severely disrupt it. When her team put the prediction to the test in real cells called cardiomyocytes, the beating of the heart cells grew weaker.

In another test, she and her colleagues showed GeneFormer heart cells from people with defective heartbeat rhythms as well as from healthy people. “Then we said, Now tell us what changes we need to happen to the unhealthy cells to make them healthy,” said Dr. Theodoris, who now works at the University of California, San Francisco.

GeneFormer recommended reducing the activity of four genes that had never before been linked to heart disease. Dr. Theodoris’s team followed the model’s advice, knocking down each of the four genes. In two out of the four cases, the treatment improved how the cells contracted.

"machine learning" (not really AI) has been a hot topic in a lot of scientific fields, but its results always have to be tested, rather than just accepted.

Oh, thanks Snarki. I thought it was AI because it came up with findings, theories etc that humans had never thought of, but I bow to your superior knowledge, and, in fact, the superior scientific and computer-related knowledge of just about everyone here!

Back to the Article 3 topic:

https://terikanefield.com/the-outrage-machine-strikes-again-14th-amendment-section-3/

I've read a bit of Teri Kanefield now and then -- lawyer, a good explainer. This is a long piece and the last of a set of long essays that I have NOT read; have only skimmed this one so far.

Confirms my distrust of pundits, maybe that's why I like it even though it's depressing.

***** On the subject of the first essay in the set, here's the version I like the best:

To foreigners, a Yankee is an American.
To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner.
To northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner.
To easterners, a Yankee is an New Englander.
To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.

And what, may I ask, is wrong with that?

Who said anything was wrong with it? ;-)

I get the whole witling down of where the Yankees are until the pie thing. Is there something to that or is it just a silly way of demonstrating that you can always make the box smaller?

P.S. I just read through a couple of Kanefield's pieces (not of pie!). Good stuff (says me).

hsh -- I suspect there's some inside joke to the pie thing, but if it goes beyond eating dessert for breakfast, I don't know what it is.

It's a new england thing.

Regarding Article 14 section 3: it seems to me entirely reasonable to hold that candidates for federal office should not be removed from the ballot by states piecemeal. It seems to me entirely absurd to hold that the section has no force in the absence of enabling legislation by congress: that's contrary to the section's statement that "Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability".

As usual, the far-right Justices (with Barrett, to her slight credit, offering a very mild objection) don't care about what the Constitution actually says. only about whether they can twist it to their political ends.

I did eat a slice of apple pie for breakfast Sunday morning. That's what I felt like eating and it was there! (It was also the last one and I didn't want one of my kids to beat me to it.)

I put a slice of cheese on top in an attempt to make it classy. South Jersey Yankee?

"Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability".

This would be the exception proving the rule, no?

in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.

I wonder if it matters if the pie is leftover slices of the pizza from yesterday's dinner....

Although that could be a California thing.

Although that could be a California thing.

Or anyone who never got over being a STEM graduate student.

Or anyone who never got over being a STEM graduate student.

Busted!

I wonder if it matters if the pie is leftover slices of the pizza...

I'm curious to know in what parts of the USA a 'pie' can be a 'pizza'.

"Pizza pie" was a common phrase when/where I grew up, in an Italian-American immigrant community in Ohio.

I think a pizza can be a pie, but an apple pie is never a pizza. ;-)

Our pizza was never deep-dish or thick crust....

My grandparents came from Naples and environs, as did most of the people in that community.

For Pro Bono. :-)

Pro Bono: Regarding Article 14 section 3: it seems to me entirely reasonable to hold that candidates for federal office should not be removed from the ballot by states piecemeal.

Candidates have been known to qualify for the presidential ballot in some states and not others in the past. AFAIK, that's been due to state rules about signatures on petitions to get on the ballot. Why hasn't such inconsistency made SCOTUS clutch its pearls before this?

The current SCOTUS needs a pie filter.

--TP

"The current SCOTUS needs a pie filter"

Pi Day is coming, for those of us who are irrationally inclined.

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