Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s Saturday, September 26, 2020, and National Pancake Day (didn’t we just have one?). It’s also International Rabbit Day, Fish Amnesty Day, National Better Breakfast Day, National Dumpling Day, Lumberjack Day (created as an excuse to eat pancakes and waffles), Johnny Appleseed Day (his birthday; his achievements are also celebrated on March 11, the day he died), Astronomy Day, and National Good Neighbor Day.  Won’t you be my neighbor?

News of the Day: Trump’s candidate for the RBG replacement is Amy Coney Barrett. She’s a hard right-winger, a devout Catholic, and a pro-lifer. Bye, bye to Americans’ right to an abortion: it was nice having that for a few decades. Bye, bye to gun control as well. Barrett is only 48, so she’s got three or more decades to wreak havoc on our democracy.

In a related story, the New York Times reports that President Obama met with Ginsburg in 2013, when she’d already had cancer twice and the Senate was still Democratic. Apparently Obama was to hint to her that perhaps she should retire so he could appoint a (presumably healthier and younger) liberal Justice in case the Senate became Republican in the next year. (Patrick Leahy had met with her earlier with the same intention—and the same result). Ginsburg made it clear that she was staying. Now it looks like a bad decision on her part, but of course we didn’t know about Trump then, and RBG was fiercely dedicated. But the result is that we’re screwed well and good.

Here’s Tom Friedman on the GOP as “America’s political brothel.” He’s scared of a “second Civil War” after the election:

The New York Times has an article and an interactive map of Covid-19 cases on U.S. colleges campuses. The news is grim:

A New York Times survey of more than 1,600 American colleges and universities — including every four-year public institution and every private college that competes in N.C.A.A. sports — has revealed at least 130,000 cases and at least 70 deaths since the pandemic began. Most of the cases have been announced since students returned to campus for the fall term. Most of the deaths were reported in the spring and involved college employees, not students.

The University of Chicago reports 55 cases, but students have just now returned to campus, and every day I see students violating our campus regulations about mask-wearing and social-distancing. As far as I can see, the University has no viable enforcement mechanism, but is largely counting on voluntary compliance by students—not a good idea.

The Washington Post has a very useful guide to etiquette during the pandemic, covering not just mask-wearing and sneezing, but whether to use cash, riding elevators, behavior during Zoom calls, dining in and out, tipping, weddings, and sundry other activities.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 203,575, an increase of about 800 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands 988,538, an increase of about 6,000 deaths from yesterday. And we’re approaching a million deaths worldwide., which is likely to happen within three days.  

Stuff that happened on September 26 includes:

  • 46 BC – Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to Venus Genetrix, fulfilling a vow he made at the Battle of Pharsalus.
  • 1580 – Francis Drake finishes his circumnavigation of the Earth.
  • 1687 – Morean War: The Parthenon in Athens, used as a gunpowder depot by the Ottoman garrison, is partially destroyed after being bombarded during the Siege of the Acropolis by Venetian forces.
  • 1789 – George Washington appoints Thomas Jefferson the first United States Secretary of State.
  • 1905 – Albert Einstein publishes the third of his Annus Mirabilis papers, introducing the special theory of relativity.

Here’s that paper, with the title (translated) “On the electrodynamics of moving bodies”:

  • 1933 – As gangster Machine Gun Kelly surrenders to the FBI, he shouts out, “Don’t shoot, G-Men!”, which becomes a nickname for FBI agents.

Here’s Kelly on his way to trial for kidnapping (he got life in jail and died there). According to Wikipedia, the trial was historic:

The kidnapping of [Charles] Urschel and the two trials that resulted were historic in several ways. They were:

  1. the first federal criminal trials in the United States in which film cameras were allowed;

  2. the first kidnapping trials after the passage of the Lindbergh Law, which made kidnapping a federal crime;

  3. the first major case solved by J. Edgar Hoover‘s FBI; and

  4. the first prosecution in which defendants were transported by airplane.

(From Wikipedia): George “Machine Gun” Kelly is led from Shelby County Jail en route to Memphis Airport and Oklahoma City for his trial for the kidnapping of Charles F. Urschel, October 2, 1933.

  • 1942 – Holocaust: Senior SS official August Frank issues a memorandum detailing how Jews should be “evacuated”.
  • 1953 – Rationing of sugar in the United Kingdom ends

It was eight years after the war before sugar rationing ended.!That shows how strapped the UK had been by the war.

  • 1960 – In Chicago, the first televised debate takes place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy.
  • 1969 – Abbey Road, the last recorded album by The Beatles, is released.
  • 1981 – Nolan Ryan sets a Major League record by throwing his fifth no-hitter.

Here’s the last out of that fifth no-hitter, which he surpassed by throwing two more. The second-place pitcher, Sandy Koufax, had four, but that included one perfect game (nobody gets to first base).

  • 1984 – The United Kingdom and China agree to a transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, to take place in 1997.
  • 2008 – Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy becomes first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing across the English Channel.

Here’s a report on Rossy’s Channel flight, which took 13 minutestotal in the execution and 8 years in the planning:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1774 – Johnny Appleseed, American gardener and environmentalist (d. 1845)
  • 1791 – Théodore Géricault, French painter and lithographer (d. 1824)
  • 1849 – Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist and physician, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1936)
  • 1874 – Lewis Hine, American photographer and activist (d. 1940)
  • 1888 – T. S. Eliot, English poet, playwright, critic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1965)
  • 1898 – George Gershwin, American pianist and composer (d. 1937)
  • 1914 – Jack LaLanne, American fitness expert (d. 2011)

Here’s LaLanne, who was supposed to be immortal, singing his show’s theme song at two ages. I used to watch the show and know this song by heart:

  • 1925 – Marty Robbins, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and race car driver (d. 1982)
  • 1948 – Olivia Newton-John, English-Australian singer-songwriter and actress
  • 1972 – Beto O’Rourke, American politician
  • 1981 – Serena Williams, American tennis player

Those who popped their cork on September 26 include:

  • 1820 – Daniel Boone, American hunter and explorer (b. 1734)
  • 1868 – August Ferdinand Möbius, German mathematician and astronomer (b. 1790)

The Möbius strip was independently discovered by John Listing a few months before Möbius did.

  • 1937 – Bessie Smith, American singer and actress (b. 1894)
  • 1945 – Béla Bartók, Hungarian pianist and composer (b. 1881)
  • 2008 – Paul Newman, American actor, director, producer, and businessman (b. 1925)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is bargaining, trying, of course, to get noms:

A: Get down from the table, we are going to eat.
Hili: Fill my bowl and I may get down.
In Polish:
Ja: Zejdź ze stołu, bo będziemy jedli.
Hili: Napełnij moją miseczkę, to może zejd
And here’s Szaron playing with little Kulka:

A Twitter exchange sent by Bruce:

A salacious cat meme from Nicole:

From Jesus of the Day, the annual Halloween cat cartoon:I tweeted!

From Simon. The cat ponders a question that’s always on my mind.

Tweets from Matthew. Sarah Cooper returns at last! I am not sure who the woman was involved in this exchange with Trump:

Below: what a lovely gesture! Farouq’s crime? According to Newsweek:

The boy was convicted in a Sharia court in Kano State in northwest Nigeria after being accused of using foul language towards Allah. The same court sentenced Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a studio assistant, to death for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammed on August 10.

He’s 13!

The greatest debate response ever:

But is it carrying a cow as a payload?

A triple tail twist!

Cuttlefish are stupendous; this one even walks on the bottom on its tentacles:

108 Comments

  1. Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    “Trump” calls the interviewer Leslie, so that is probably your friend Leslie Stahl.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    “… and National Pancake Day (didn’t we just have one?).“

    Hey, speak for yourself man, I had a whole stack!*

    *inaccurate claim only to make a joke

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The second-place pitcher, Sandy Koufax [has four no-hitters].

    At the time, Koufax was tied for the record with three other pitchers with three no-hitters, most recently the Indians’ Bob Feller. Feller also pitched a dozen one-hitters, a major-league record he shares with Nolan Ryan.

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Cool Möbius fact!

  5. bendzela
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    You guys are the experts: Amirite?

  6. Linda Calhoun
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    New Mexico’s total new virus cases for the last five days: 67, 110, 200, 234, 263.

    People are starting to be stupid and careless again.

    Too bad they don’t understand that they need to keep after it a little longer than just beginning to get results. And, we’re coming up on the colder weather, when we can’t be outside as much.

    L

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I am not sure who the woman was involved in this exchange with Trump …

    I think that’s Lesley Stahl, longtime reporter for your favorite tv show, 60 Minutes.

  8. Historian
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    If Roe v. Wade is overturned (which now seems very likely), the right to have an abortion will be determined by the individual states. The Business Insider discusses in depth what may happen if Roe is overturned. In some states abortion will automatically be outlawed. In other states, severe restrictions will be in place with the likelihood that a complete ban would not be far away. Women in these states would not to travel to states that abortion would still be allowed. I would like to see a billionaire pay for such travel.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/abortion-access-in-america-maps-charts-if-roe-falls-2018-8#in-2017-89-of-us-counties-had-no-known-abortion-providers-with-38-of-us-women-ages-15-44-living-in-those-counties-4

    Obamacare will almost certainly be gone. Not only would about 20 million people be denied insurance, but insurance companies could deny coverage for those with pre-conditions. Also, people would no longer have the right to put children up to age 26 on their policies. Does the Trump cult know or care about this? I doubt it. Trump’s appeal to his cult is cultural, specifically he plays to white grievance. Scholars have termed this phenomenon “status anxiety.” When groups of people perceive that their status in society versus other groups is being challenged, and not only economically, they instinctively resist. They become susceptible to the appeals of demagogues, who promise to restore real or imagined past glory. Trump has instinctively grasped this and has transformed his followers into zealots whose fervor matches the highly religious (there is often an overlap between the two groups). And this is why democracy is threatened.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      “Scholars have termed this phenomenon “status anxiety.” ”

      I’ve heard or read that term in parenting popular literature – I distinctly recall a parent who seemed to exude anxiety about their kids – and understandably.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        “Status anxiety” was the leitmotif running through the writing — fiction and non-fiction — of the late Tom Wolfe.

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Interesting! I didn’t notice at the time I read his stuff!… the RIGHT stuff… LOL didn’t mean to make a pun …

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      The demise of Obamacare seems a fait accompli at this point. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals case that struck it down, California v. Texas, is set for oral argument one week after the presidential election. Even if Chief Justice Roberts sees his way clear to vote to uphold the ACA again, the resultant 4-4 tie means that the Fifth Circuit opinion will be permitted to stand. (And, if Donald Trump succeeds in getting his third SCOTUS nominee confirmed to the Court in time to participate in that case, the Supreme Court will undoubtedly invalidate Obamacare outright.)

      Even though the Trump administration has filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in support of the Fifth Circuit’s decision striking down Obamacare, Trump, realizing how unpopular abandoning the ACA’s protection for pre-existing conditions will be, signed an executive order this week purportedly protecting pre-existing condition coverage, but which is of no actual legal force or effect. And neither Donald Trump nor congressional Republicans (who voted dozens of times over the last decade to repeal Obamacare) have any plan at all to replace the ACA (even though Trump promised during the 2016 campaign to replace it with better, universal coverage at a tiny fraction of the cost).

      As for abortion rights, with the confirmation of Trump’s first two SCOTUS appointees, and the resulting anticipation that Roe v. Wade would be struck down, several red states went on legislative orgies of passing evermore onerous statutes that make abortion all but unattainable. As it stands today, 90% of US counties are without a single abortion provider, and six red states are down to a single statewide abortion provider, several of them barely able to keep their doors open, which already makes abortion unavailable for many women of limited means.

    • Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I just read an Economist article that abortion by pill taken at home is going to take over. Of course, the conservatives will outlaw it but they’ll find it much harder to enforce. Plus, since it takes place inside a home and doesn’t involve a doctor or medical facilities, it becomes more a privacy and “but my rights” issue. My guess is that abortion will be much less of an issue in a few years.

      https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/09/19/abortion-by-pill-is-becoming-more-widespread-in-america

      • yazikus
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        I think fear, that even more than Roe v. Wade, they’re going to go back to Griswold v. Connecticut.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Were SCOTUS to change its mind and say there is no “right to privacy” inherent in the Bill of Rights, Griswold falls right along with Roe.

    • Blue
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      in re ‘ status anxiety ‘ / white grievance,
      ” It is only when power is threatened
      that … … power responds. ”

      = Ms Lacy Crawford, Notes on a Silencing:
      a Memoir, y2020, p 380.
      https://tinyurl.com/y3r3udsw

      Blue

  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Oh wow – I think it was in that “Tiger Mom” book – Amy Chua….

  10. Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I will be your neighbor! 🙂

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I’ve never been a huge fan of journalism’s reigning mustache, Tom Friedman, having passed my share of snide comments over the years regarding his inapt metaphors, formulaic writing, and stodgy prose.

    But that conversation of his with Anderson Cooper is sobering and, it seems to me, right on the money, both as to Donald Trump’s plans to delegitimize an election he seems increasingly certain to lose at the ballot box, and as to the meretricious state of today’s Republican Party.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      The part I do not get is the “second civil war” business. Chaos, fighting in the streets, large demonstrations yes, but that is not a civil war. If he thinks it’s going to get to that we need to have some states actually leave the union. Just like last time they also need to take over federal military sites and steal everything they can get their hands on. During the first civil war canons and guns were just about it, weapons wise. Is the enemy going to steal the airplanes? And all the high tech weapons in the military or do they have a plan to take over the military? How would that work?

      • Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Brother against brother, not so much a geographic civil war but maybe rural vs cities.

    • Historian
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Timothy Snyder is a Yale historian and noted authority on Nazi Germany. He has written a rather small book entitled “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.” Chapter 2 is entitled “Defend Institutions.” He notes:

      “We tend to assume that institutions will automatically maintain themselves against even the most direct attacks. This was the very mistake that some German Jews made about Hitler and the Nazis after they formed a government.”

      He goes on:

      “This mistake is to believe that rulers who come to power through institutions cannot change or destroy those very institutions – even when that is exactly what they have announced they will do.”

      Trump wants to destroy the electoral process. He makes no bones about it. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank argues that we are now witnessing a slow motion Reichstag fire. Just as Hitler could not destroy democracy alone, neither can Trump. Both required enablers and the support of a large proportion of the population (but not necessarily a majority). So, yes, this election is the most important since 1860, and its aftermath may be just as cataclysmic.

      https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?cd=9&ct=clnk&gl=us&hl=en&q=cache%3AqBndjy53kvYJ%3Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fopinions%2F2020%2F09%2F25%2Fthis-is-not-drill-reichstag-is-burning%2F%20

      • merilee
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        That book of Snyder’s is excellent. I have him Bloodlands out on my “read me soonish” pile.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Prof. Snyder’s book sounds like it covers some of the same ground as the recent book by Russian foreign policy expert, and Putin critic, Masha Gessen, Surviving Autocracy, a précis of which she’s published in The New York Review of Books under the title “Autocracy: Rules for Survival.”

        I think you and I have both been saying for some time now that the post-election, lame-duck period would be ugly and dangerous, Historian, but recent events lead me to believe that it may well turn out to be worse than I originally feared.

        • Historian
          Posted September 26, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          We have been saying the same thing. At least in 1860, the secessionists did not question the legitimacy of Lincoln’s election.

          Yes, Gessen and Snyder’s views do seem to overlap. They are experts in the nature of autocracy. Their warnings must not be ignored.

  12. Steve Pollard
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Rationing of meat and some other foodstuffs continued in the UK until July 1954.

  13. Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    the New York Times reports that President Obama met with Ginsburg in 2013, when she’d already had cancer twice and the Senate was still Democratic. Apparently Obama was to hint to her that perhaps she should retire so he could appoint a (presumably healthier and younger) liberal Justice in case the Senate became Republican in the next year. … Ginsburg made it clear that she was staying. Now it looks like a bad decision on her part, but of course we didn’t know about Trump then

    RBG was 80 in 2013. I don’t think there’s really any excuse not to have foreseen a situation like the one you are now in – especially if she was a cancer survivor twice over – even without Trump. She should have retired. Obama should have put massive pressure on her to retire. Everybody should have put massive pressure on her to retire.

    If the Dems take back the senate and presidency, one of the first things they must do is persuade Stephen Breyer (82) to retire, so you don’t end up with a 7-2 split.

    • Historian
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      I have to agree with you. Her decision to stay on the Court was selfish and upon it the road the country takes in the coming years and decades may rest upon it.

      • flayman
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        You’re blaming Ruth Bader Ginsburg for choosing to keep working instead of allowing her position to be filled by a Democrat? And because she’d already been sick? Calling her selfish? That’s shameful. Did you happen to know that RBG was very close to Antonin Scalia despite their vastly differing ideologies? The two were close friends who shared mutual respect and enjoyed each other’s company. Can you imagine Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi hanging out and going fishing together? The Supreme Court is, for the most part, thankfully detached from the hyper-partisan reality of American politics. A justice is appointed for life, and they have the right to serve until death or incapacity. Please do not sully her memory by suggesting that this was selfish behavior.

        • Historian
          Posted September 26, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          The fact that Ginsburg was friendly with Scalia is totally irrelevant to the discussion. Many justices have retired rather than die on the bench. There is nothing unusual about this. If the justices were shielded from hyper-partisanship there wouldn’t be a big ado about who is appointed. As a result of her dying in office when she did raises the distinct possibility that millions of lives will be affected in ways that would not be the case if she had retired when Obama could Have chosen a replacement. I think she made a big mistake, but that is not sullying her memory. But, of course, you may think she was perfect in everything

          • flayman
            Posted September 26, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            I certainly don’t think she was perfect in everything. I disagreed with some of her dissenting opinions. But serving on the Supreme Court is an honor that comes with a lifetime appointment. Justices retire because they want to retire, and that choice should also be respected. Had she chosen to retire then we would have missed out on her valuable contributions to jurisprudence, but if she was ready to move on then who can argue? She didn’t want to retire. You want to frame that as a political mistake arising out of selfishness. That is sullying her memory. To be honest, it makes me quite angry. Not the least because at the time the only concern was that it might become more difficult (not impossible) to confirm an appointment. Right at this moment she is lying in state, the first woman and the first Jewish person to be granted that honor in the history of the United States. In my opinion her close friendship with Scalia says all I could hope to say and more.

    • Filippo
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      “Obama should have put massive pressure on her to retire. Everybody should have put massive pressure on her to retire.”

      What is the likelihood that sufficient pressure could have been put on that most noble of human primates, Mitch McConnell, to give Bader-Ginsburg’s prospective replacement any more consideration and respect than he gave Merrick Garland?

    • Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      In light of what we know now, the Gorsuch steal and RBG dying just before the election, it would be better for us now had RGB been ready to retire back in 2013. But she wasn’t. And I for one am thankful for her long tenure and extraordinary jurisprudence. She was truly a great Justice.

      • Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes it was time for her to retire. She was 80 and a cancer survivor. In any normal job she would have been retired for 10 or 15 years already.

        • Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          Unless you are in a job with a compulsory retirement age, it is up to the individual to decide. Not others. I do not think it fair or right to expect RGB to fall on her sword for the possible good of others. I assumed it would be the right-wing to find a way to besmirch RGB, not the liberals.

          • flayman
            Posted September 27, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

            Well said.

          • Posted September 27, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            She was 80 and she was already ill. It wouldn’t be “falling on her sword” it would be retiring.

            • flayman
              Posted September 27, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

              And that would be her choice, right? And we should respect her choice not to retire, right? And we should refrain from assigning blame to a great Supreme Court justice for simply wanting to carry on with her important work instead of allowing a friendly President to take advantage of a legislative window in which he might have an easier time getting a replacement nominee confirmed. Right.

              • Posted September 27, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

                What important work did she achieve during the last seven years that could not have been done by another younger Supreme Court Justice?

              • flayman
                Posted September 27, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

                Liberal justices are not all the same and none have been as influential and persuasive as RBG. She has influenced several of her colleagues over the years and caused them to shift. Kennedy is an example. She brought experience, wit, fire, and humility. You can’t clone her with some younger justice as though they roll off an assembly line. Like Brandeis, she has been mosr influential in her dissents. I suggest you go and look at some since 2013 and also before.

              • Posted September 28, 2020 at 3:16 am | Permalink

                Yes, but what important work has she done over the last seven years that couldn’t have been done by a younger Democratic justice?

              • flayman
                Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:38 am | Permalink

                Your question misses the point entirely. She was unique. You can’t replace her like a light bulb. Her experience gave her wisdom that can’t be taught. She has been at the forefront of the fight against gender discrimination since the start of women’s liberation. It took her years to find her voice on the Supreme Court and it does generally take a new justice years before they feel comfortable issuing bold opinions. I can’t point to any single ruling that stands out in the last 7 years, but I know that every Supreme Court opinion is a negotiation. She may well have influenced the majority’s Bostock opinion which she joined. She was highly respected by her colleagues in the conservative wing so she could have arguments with them that would tend to be constructive. It’s not quantifiable. If you still don’t understand then I doubt I’ll ever be able to make you see.

              • Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:50 am | Permalink

                No, my question does not miss the point. In fact it gets right to the point. The point is would she have been better off retiring at 80 instead of carrying on for another seven years with the possible danger of dying during a Republican presidency.

                I say yes because she was old even then and holding down an important job and fighting cancer at the same time is a tall order at any age even without the consideration of dying and being replaced by a right winger.

                You say no because she was irreplaceable but you can’t point to any example from the period under discussion where she was irreplaceable. And now she will be replaced – by somebody who thinks abortion is always wrong.

                We’ve long since broken Da Roolz, so this will be my last post in this thread unless you manage to answer my question.

              • flayman
                Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:11 am | Permalink

                No, you would have been better off in this moment had she retired at 80. And a lot of Democrats right now are also thinking that. But that’s not the same thing. And you can look back in hindsight and question whether she actually made a difference in the intervening years, but without foresight that information cannot be brought to bear on a decision to keep working. Supreme Court negotiations are not published so that information is not available. Oral arguments are on the record and she has certainly played a part there as well.

                It is unfortunate that she will not get her wish to be replaced by a different President, but she is not to blame for that. We were blessed by her long tenure regardless of whether any of the decisions in the last 7 years would have gone differently without her. She didn’t write Obergefell, but I can practically guarantee that she influenced it.

                Here are some examples which a quick Google search afforded me of notable decisions that she either played an important role in or offered an important dissent. More than one of them is in 2013 or later:

                https://www.teenvogue.com/story/ruth-bader-ginsburg-supreme-court-rulings-to-know-about

                Here’s another: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/5-of-ruth-bader-ginsburgs-most-powerful-supreme-court-opinions

                You can’t just assume another liberal justice would have had the same effect. It doesn’t work like that. Many conservatives have been angered by some of the rulings of Gorsuch, especially in Bostock. You don’t actually know how a justice is going to perform until they are seated. Scalia was confirmed by 98 votes to 0 in 1986. He was at the time thought to be fairly moderate and it was hoped he could build consensus in the court. That turned out to be wildly untrue. It was the same with Ginsberg: 96-3. She was thought to be a moderate consensus builder. She ended up the most liberal judge on the court.

              • Filippo
                Posted September 27, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

                “What important work did she achieve during the last seven years that could not have been done by another younger Supreme Court Justice?”

                Would you say it’s time for a constitutional amendment specifying a maximum age limit to qualify for office, not just supreme court justices but also presidents/vp’s and members of Congress?

              • Posted September 28, 2020 at 3:14 am | Permalink

                Absolutely.

                I’m on record on this site and elsewhere as saying exactly that – mostly when the Dems choice for presidential candidate looked to be between two almost octogenarians. I’m still troubled by Biden’s age but, at least he’s to a younger VP candidate.

                I would set the age limit to 70 on the day of taking office for the president and VP and 70 – or perhaps 75 – for a supreme court justice. It then seems reasonable to have a limit for congress members too.

              • flayman
                Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:52 am | Permalink

                “Absolutely”

                What difference does a qualifying upper age limit make to the retirement of a justice? RBG was 60 when she was confirmed. She just happened to stay in the job for the next 27 years. She would have probably always remained until her death because she enjoyed her work and it wasn’t her wish to retire. Longevity obviously is highly variable. Mental incapacity is disqualifying while on the job. Apart from that you want people with experience in these roles and an upper age limit is unnecessarily discriminatory, especially absent a mandatory retirement age. Nor should medical history be disqualifying.

              • Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:55 am | Permalink

                People suffer cognitive decline in their old age. It’s a fact of life. And whilst experience is a valuable commodity, so are fresh ideas.

              • Filippo
                Posted September 29, 2020 at 12:06 am | Permalink

                “And whilst experience is a valuable commodity, so are fresh ideas.”

                Which apparently can only possibly come from a younger person.

              • Posted September 29, 2020 at 1:18 am | Permalink

                Most scientists and mathematicians do their best work in their twenties and thirties, so I’d say yes, as a rule they do.

              • Filippo
                Posted September 29, 2020 at 1:26 am | Permalink

                “Most scientists and mathematicians do their best work in their twenties and thirties, so I’d say yes, as a rule they do.”

                So be it that that is the rule. But there are (not so rare?)exceptions, like Verdi creating his operas “Aida” and “Falstaff” in his more golden years.

              • Posted September 29, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

                How old was Verdi when he wrote Falstaff? Was he 87?

              • flayman
                Posted September 29, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

                This argument is silly when viewed in light of its context within the proposition of a maximum age qualification for the Supreme Court. Longevity and ability are highly individual. Some people continue to be brilliant well into their 80s and 90s. The Queen of England is 94 and she hasn’t lost a speck of her cognitive ability. You may say she doesn’t do much, but you’d be wrong.

                The musician Les Paul played regularly and was only slightly inhibited by arthritis at the time of his death aged 94. He remained sharp as a tack.

                Ruth Bader Ginsberg also retained her fierce intellect to her dying day. When a person loses their marbles then of course they should retire. For the Supreme Court it is disqualifying on the spot.

                What does this have to do with a mandatory maximum age qualification? She was 60. The Senate can make up their minds whether a nominee is too old and feeble. Your beef is really just that an older person is likely to die sooner. Anyone could get hit by a bus.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted September 29, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

                This exchange is tiresome.

                Pereira is making no strong claims. In general, mathematicians especially have acknowledged his claim about age but again there is no strong claim.

                I understood Pereira’s comment as referring to the refreshing effect new personnel can have in an organization. It is not a strong claim.

                Please give this up. It was from Saturday and it is almost halfway through Tuesday.

              • Filippo
                Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

                “This exchange is tiresome.”

                It must be even more tiresome to seek it out to read it and respond to it.

              • Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

                You can’t judge the cognitive abilities of these celebrities from a distance. I’m sure they’ve all lost a step or two. Next you’ll be telling us they’ll live forever.

              • Posted September 30, 2020 at 2:04 am | Permalink

                Well you were the one who brought up the argument about Verdi.

                You are the one arguing from the specific to the general, not me.

                You accept age and/or term limits for many offices in the government. Do you think the existing age and term limits for the president should be dropped? If not, why not? After all, what if you get a president whose faculties remain as sharp as a tack, why should he be forced to step down after eight years?

              • flayman
                Posted September 30, 2020 at 3:26 am | Permalink

                A) I agree with whomever said this exchange is tiresome.

                B) I didn’t bring up the point about Verdi. That was someone else.

                C) There is no upper age limit on President. There is only a lower age limit.

                D) Term limits are not designed to keep leaders from becoming too old. They are designed to keep them from becoming too entrenched and difficult to remove through a democratic challenge.

                E) I’ve now said all that I intend to say and I’m walking away from this topic.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

                The claim is that only math and (hard)science skill fades not musical composition. Anyway justice is not a hard science, it’s an art.

  14. Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The University of Chicago reports 55 cases, but students have just now returned to campus, and every day I see students violating our campus regulations about mask-wearing and social-distancing. As far as I can see, the University has no viable enforcement mechanism, but is largely counting on voluntary compliance by students—not a good idea.

    If the inevitable happens, you could do what Manchester Metropolitan University did. 1,700 students in two halls have been told they can’t leave their accommodation for two weeks after 124 of them tested positive for coronavirus.

    • George
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      If you told most UofC students they would have to remain in the library for two weeks, they would be thrilled.

      • Posted September 26, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        These MMU students won’t be allowed to go to the library. They’ll have to stay in their rooms. Also I expect UofC has a much better library.

      • Posted September 26, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        LOL! You know them too well!

  15. boudiccadylis
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    The age questioning cat appears to me to have more immediate concerns when seeing its eye and ear actions. There is a live owl just behind observing.

    Glad those stoats are not in my backyard. I’d never do anything but be entertained by stoats.

  16. john reynolds
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    “this but SCIENCE IS SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED. Like literally socially constructed. It’s the consensus view of the available evidence by a relatively small club of people who chose their own successor”

    The conclusions pre scientific method people had about the motions of the planets was sociology.

    The conclusions people came to using the scientific method of the motion of the planets was science.

  17. Posted September 26, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    On the “Science is socially constructed” tweet, it is worth taking a look at the comments. Many push back. While many agree with the tweet, I don’t see this particular idea gaining much traction. People’s lives depend too much on modern science and technology to let that BS go too far. On the other hand, Critical Race Theory is something that has already gained a lot of traction.

  18. rickflick
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I remember I was in high school when I read an account of Einstein’s Special Theory. I was astonished. Who wouldn’t be? The taste of it, like some masterpiece of an epic poem stayed with me for weeks, and is still there.

  19. George
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Marty Robbins always brings a smile to my face. Breaking Bad fans will remember his biggest hit, El Paso, from the opening of the series finale, Felina. It closes with Badfinger’s Baby Blue. The title is taken from the femme fatale of El Paso, Feleena. BB misspelled her name so that it would be an anagram of finale.

    I became familiar with Robbins because of the Grateful Dead. El Paso (along with Robbins’ Big Iron) was in the band’s repertoire of cowboy songs (Mama Tried, Me & My Uncle, Big River, Mexicali Blues, et al). The first time I saw the band on July 25, 1974 (the day before my 18th birthday) at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, they played El Paso. They also played Dark Star – quite a contrast.

    BB only used a snippet of El Paso. A fan put together this video with the entire song and scenes from the show.

    • merilee
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      BB was such a great series.

    • Max Blancke
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      My wife is kind of cruel. She knows that I tend to remember song lyrics.
      When our kids were little, she would sometimes sing “Out in the West Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl…. Daddy finish!”
      And she would leave the room. Of course the kids expected me to finish the song.

  20. jimroberts
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    “1953 – Rationing of sugar in the United Kingdom ends”
    I remember that day. I was with some friends, and one of them pointed out that we could buy sweets, if we had any money.

    • George
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      My parents left the UK in January 1955. My mother said there was still rationing when they left.

  21. flayman
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Posting this again as it didn’t seem to go through:

    I think that people are getting a little too worked up over the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. I’m not one to point out liberal media bias, but there does seem to be an amplifying echo chamber happening here. I’ve looked at some of her rulings and writings that have been complained of and they are not as bad as has been made out. Here are some examples stated perhaps more neutrally than in most reports: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-barrett-rulings-factbox/factbox-notable-legal-opinions-of-u-s-supreme-court-nominee-amy-coney-barrett-idUSKCN26G37S

    People point to her anti-abortion dissents. There are two mentioned here. In both cases the ruling of the lower court was overturned by the Supreme Court. So her appointment to the Supreme Court would have made no difference. Yes, she will be replacing the court’s most liberal judge, but after Bostock I’m still betting Gorsuch will be a dark horse. Roberts has also been somewhat on the move. I think it will balance out.

    The gun control ruling that people are pointing to is practically nothing. She dissented on stripping a felon of his 2nd amendment rights because his felony (mail fraud) is non-violent. She writes:

    “History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous.”

    Most of the objections I’m seeing seem to be based on her writings as a law professor and the particulars of her religious practice. My wife makes the charge of misogyny against her because her religious group (really a collection of hard core Catholics) places women in an inferior position to men. As though that hasn’t always been the case in the Catholic Church. Any female priests yet? She has been critical of rulings legalizing certain portions of the Affordable Care Act. But she hasn’t actually ruled on the Affordable Care Act.

    She’s made statements about Roe v Wade, saying that she doubts the Court will ever overturn the core of it. Critics say that this was prior to Trump and certainly prior to her own possible involvement. But that doesn’t mean she will vote to overturn Roe v Wade. Look at this article in Boston Globe: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/09/25/opinion/judge-amy-coney-barretts-nuanced-views-roe-v-wade-may-trip-up-democrats/

    Apparently her views are a bit more nuanced. She says “The fundamental element, that the woman has a right to choose abortion, will probably stand. The controversy right now is about funding. It’s a question of whether abortions will be publicly or privately funded.”

    Oh and she’s an originalist. But then so is Gorsuch, and he still managed to come up with Bostock. Even if it turns out that she would support overturning Roe v Wade, what I’ve seen suggests to me that Gorsuch wouldn’t and nor would I expect Roberts to. Kavanaugh might. It’s hard to know. But if I’m right, that’s still 5-4 in support of the core of Roe v Wade. If I’m wrong it will be 5-4 the other way. It would not be 6-3. But 5-4 is bad enough. Here’s a factcheck on criticisms of Kavanaugh in relation to Roe v Wade which suggests it may not be as bad as all that: https://www.factcheck.org/2018/09/kavanaugh-files-abortion-rights/

    I’m sure Coney Barrett’s positions will be thoroughly explored in the confirmation hearings, which are going to happen without a doubt. There’s nothing Democrats can do to stop it. If they are not careful, Democrats’ staunch outright opposition to her nomination and confirmation could backfire.

    • Posted September 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      I wish I had your confidence. The hearings are going to be rushed through and I doubt that “her positions will be thoroughly explored.” The result is preordained anyway, and there’s nothing she could say that could cost her the nomination.

      • flayman
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        It’s better to get it out of the way now. If there’s a Supreme Court vacancy looming over this election then it increases Trump’s chances of winning because Reps who don’t like him will nevertheless feel reluctant to let support a Democratic ticket.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        There’s been a distinct tendency, by nominees from both parties, ever since the Bork hearings (RBG being the lone exception) for nominees to dodge questions regarding their positions on controversial issues, on the basis that it would be improper for them to express their opinion and thereby pre-judge issues that might someday come before the Court.

        This approach is utter BS, of course, inasmuch as justices who write opinions setting out their views very explicitly at length on controversial issues are not thereby disqualified from hearing later cases presenting related issues. But this issue-dodging approach does increase the odds of a nominee’s Being confirmed, by giving the opposition party less ammunition.

        • rickflick
          Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          They always have some paper trail, be it long or short. Probably not hard to guess how they feel about most things.

    • Posted September 26, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      I think there’s a GOP effort underway to put words in Dem mouths in order to come out strongly against their attack on ACB’s faith.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      ““History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous.””

      Only religion could bring a highly educated victim to say something so anodyne and meaningless, and given the consequences, malevolent. It is religion that goads the victim to practice such wish thinking through repetition, and to take pride when the fantasy is met with alarm bells from those who have to suffer from the consequences.

      • flayman
        Posted September 27, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

        Really? Only religion? What is so wrong about this statement? It’s only objectionable if your aim is to remove guns from the hands of as many people as possible. That’s not the role of the courts. If that is truly the progressive aim then gun owners are right to fear for their 2nd amendment rights. And I’m not saying that I disagree. I live in Britain where guns are illegal except for rifles for hunting. We have far fewer gun related deaths. Even the cops mostly don’t carry. But in a land where gun ownership is permitted (as a basic right) then why should a non violent ex-convict be automatically barred?

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted September 27, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          “Really? Only religion? “

          Yes. It is evident that the repetition of words over and over, over years, to a glossy sheen, has given the victim a belief that they are true, and here it is on display in the context of a court case.

          “What is so wrong about this statement?”

          Precisely – the sample of anodyne writing shows an excuse to assert the magical properties of the second amendment at the expense of some other case entirely.

          Religion can not be compartmentalized, and it’s clear in that writing.

          • flayman
            Posted September 27, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            There is nothing religious at all in that statement. It is perfectly rational and reasonable. I don’t understand at all your references to victims here. Who is the victim? Is she the victim? Victim of what?

            • ThyroidPlanet
              Posted September 27, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

              “There is nothing religious at all in that statement.”

              The composition of the words – the use of writing words as a means to express thinking – is the product of religion. The practice of repeating words over and over, as a substitute for knowing what is true, is apparent.

              • flayman
                Posted September 27, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

                I am finding this to and fro very puzzling. Let’s look again at the text of the statement:

                “History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous.”

                I don’t see any repetition. If you are saying that the use of writing words as a means to express thinking is the product of religion, then I can’t see how anyone is immune. If you disagree with the above statement, then fine. But it is nothing more than a logically formed expression of an opinion which is reasonable. The opinion is that a law banning convicted felons from gun ownership that captures non violent offenders is a constitutional overreach. Religion has nothing to do with it. Can we please stop now?

              • flayman
                Posted September 27, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

                I am finding this to and fro very puzzling. Let’s look again at the text of the statement:

                “History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous.”

                I don’t see any repetition. If you are saying that the use of writing words as a means to express thinking is the product of religion, then I can’t see how anyone is immune. If you disagree with the above statement, then fine. But it is nothing more than a logically formed expression of an opinion which is reasonable. The opinion is that a law banning convicted felons from gun ownership that captures non violent offenders is a constitutional overreach. Religion has nothing to do with it. Can we please stop now?

              • Filippo
                Posted September 27, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

                “The composition of the words – the use of writing words as a means to express thinking – is the product of religion. The practice of repeating words over and over, as a substitute for knowing what is true, is apparent.”

                I gather that religion is at least in part responsible for “messaging,” “being on message,” and “branding,” among other such locutions, in politics, business, journalism advertising, and mass pop culture.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted September 27, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

                Fine point I’d like to clarify- I wrote :

                “ is the product of religion”

                what I mean is *the sample of Mrs. Barrett’s writing* is the product of *religious thinking* – it was produced by the same thought patterns as found in religious wish thinking, rationalization, etc.

            • ThyroidPlanet
              Posted September 27, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

              “Who is the victim?”

              Homo sapiens.

              “Victim of what?”

              Religion.

              • flayman
                Posted September 27, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

                May I remind you that it is the freedom of religion wrapped up in the First Amendment which allows American atheists like you and me to go about our atheist lives free from persecution. The debates about where freedom of religion ends are centered around differences of opinion as to where to place the balance with other rights that are in tension.

                A registrar thinks that her freedom of religion should mean that she can refuse to perform same sex marriages. But she swore an oath of public office and her crisis of conscience should prompt a resignation.

                A baker of wedding cakes believes that his religious objection to same sex marriage should allow him to refuse to take a commission. On that matter, I actually agree and I strongly disagree with Ginsburg’s dissent. I found myself agreeing most with Thomas’ concurring opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop. The process of working with a client to come up with a cake that fits the personalities of the couple and their commitment to each other is a performance. A person cannot be compelled to perform a speech act. It would be like trying to hire a band or some other performance artist to play at a wedding or some other function. The artist is free to turn down the booking for their own personal reasons.

                The corollary of freedom of religion, freedom from religion, does not extend as far as restrictions on the manifestations of religious belief unless that’s the only practical way to ensure the rights of others.

  22. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Is the selection of Amy Coney Barrett in part because of her three-part name?

    Because Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a name for herself in a way no other justice has – she has a “household name”. Thus, the Fantasyland entertainer President sees a need to counter the legacy in the most superficial, but most noticeable of ways – the speaking out loud, or reading, of the name. The abbreviation would be ACB.

    • Posted September 27, 2020 at 12:12 am | Permalink

      Isn’t it just what people often do when they have common first and last names? There are bound to be lots of Ruth Ginsburgs and Amy Barretts around.

    • Filippo
      Posted September 27, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      “Is the selection of Amy Coney Barrett in part because of her three-part name?”

      Could be.

      Could be she simply doesn’t want to totally sweep her maiden name under the rug.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted September 27, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        My question wasn’t about the personal preferences of any one person who uses three distinct names a Ruth Bader Ginsburg did. My question was about the decision to place a certain judge on the Supreme Court because the sound of their name has a distinct rhythm and sound to it that recalls the rhythm and sound of the precise justice being replaced – Ruth Bader Ginsburg – whose name shares the same rhythm, (though off by one beat).

        Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s name has a similar rhythm and “household” nature to it, that a two names don’t.

        • Filippo
          Posted September 27, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          ” . . . because the sound of their name has a distinct rhythm and sound . . . .”

          Perhaps some intrepid reporter will extract that information from Donald John Trump.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted September 27, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

            His name is better known as Donald J. Trump. That’s similar but distinct I think from three full names. Middle initial has, in my view, more of a professional nature to it – not the first choice of an entertainer – but clearly there are exceptions.

            • Filippo
              Posted September 27, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

              “His name is better known as Donald J. Trump.”

              No doubt that is true, to the extent that people know his middle name/initial.

              “Middle initial has, in my view, more of a professional nature to it . . . .”

              In your view, where along the spectrum of more professional-sounding rendering of names reside the first two (sometimes three) names expressed as initials? (E.g., C.S. Lewis, P.D. James, J.K. Rowling, X.J. Kennedy, T.H. Huxley, J.B.S. Haldane, V.S. Naipaul, Willard V.O. Quine, H.P. Lovecraft, H.L. Mencken.)

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted September 27, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

                “In your view, ”

                How would that change my point that the superficial impression of the rhythmic sound of the name Amy Coney Barrett is very close to that of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the nomination of Barrett to the Supreme Court might have been made based on that?

                Remember that the President is keenly aware of perception and name-brand. It is a speculation at most.

  23. Don
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    That is the Flamboyant Cuttlefish. What a great name.

  24. flayman
    Posted September 27, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Been trying to post something as a reply. Tried twice but it hasn’t gone in, so I’m going to post it separately. This is with regard to Any Coney Barrett’s positions on crucial policies:

    Even Coney Barrett’s so-called swipe at the Affordable Care Act is not as it has been described. See pages 80-84 here under V.JUDICIAL RESTRAINT: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2330&context=law_faculty_scholarship

    She begins by restating the opinion of the author of a book that she is reviewing, one of which she takes a mostly critical view. It’s a far cry from saying that she would strike down the ACA in its entirety as Biden and Democratic voices in Congress are trumpeting today. She does goes on to say that Roberts’ approach in general and to this case in particular goes against textualist principals and she clearly favors Scalia’s interpretation of the text. To this extent she see’s Roberts’ intervention as a fudge. Roberts is at a basic level a practical judge.

    The essay is actually quite interesting and enlightening. I provides a useful explanation of what is meant by Republican vs Democratic, an argument going back to the Federalist Papers and the opposing views on Jefferson and Hamilton respectively. It also sheds light on the history of originalism.

    • Posted September 27, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      It’s reasonable for the Dems to exaggerate the significance of Trump’s loading the Supreme Court with conservatives. Sure, they know that the ACA might not be struck down. Same with Roe v. Wade. It’s a crap shoot and the Republicans are loading the dice. The Dems are trying to energize their voters by reminding them that, even if they don’t like Biden, they still should get out and vote for him because of the Supreme Court.

      • flayman
        Posted September 27, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Of course it is, but it’s also reasonable and recommended for citizens to do a bit of research and to acknowledge that these distortions are happening. There’s no need to panic. Another reason I want to get someone on the bench now is that it will be very bad to have a reduced court deciding some election case. In fact, should the unlikely happen and his pick is not confirmed, Trump can use a recess appointment to fill the vacancy with whomever he wants, and they serve until the start of the next Congressional session. He could put some partisan hack like Ted Cruz in there or Judge Jeanine Pirro. They would be casting a vote in some sort of Biden v Trump. I shudder.

        • Posted September 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          I disagree. The fewer Republicans we have on the Supreme Court, the more likely it becomes that Biden wins the presidency and Trump goes home or to jail. Nothing else matters.

          • flayman
            Posted September 27, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            And I disagree with that for another very important reason, which I’ve already stated somewhere else. A vacancy hanging over this election makes Republicans who dislike Trump less comfortable voting for Biden, thereby increasing Trump’s chances of victory. And if he gets in again and retains control of the Senate, not only is that bad in and of itself but we’ll also probably get someone worse on the bench.


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