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Everything posted by TrackerNeil

  1. I've been listening to The Bulwark podcast, and so I have heard from some rational conservatives. I certainly disagree with much of what I hear there, but I don't think it's bonkers. There's a long league between Reasonable Disagreement and Nuttery.
  2. In non-January 6 news, the Washington Post fired Felicia Sonmez yesterday, which I guess concludes WeigelGate. Personally, I think that a bit too much of life is conducted online. I never put anything on the Internet I wouldn't want to see on a billboard.
  3. If I am not mistaken, McConnell used to be pro-choice, too. The guy is Littlefinger, maneuvering ruthlessly and without principle to gain and wield power. EDITED TO ADD: Although I don't think he's nearly as clever as Petyr Baelish. McConnell is good at throwing up barriers, but he's not great at advancing agendas.
  4. I agree, except I thank Joe Manchin for voting for all of Joe Biden's judges.
  5. I think that's probably right, but the problem with playing chicken is that when your opponent is willing to crash the car, you always lose. Republicans have proven repeatedly that they are willing to sacrifice long-term gains in order to satisfy the Trumpanzees and the God Squad and the other troglodytes that comprise their constituency. So I think it is entirely plausible to think that, if a national abortion ban arrives at a GOP-controlled Senate, Republicans would nuke the filibuster to send it to the desk of a Republican president. Maybe I'm being Chicken Little here, but when I saw Republicans come within a single vote of stripping health insurance from millions of Americans, I realized that there's nothing that party won't dare.
  6. We'll see, I suppose. For myself, I assume that Republicans politicians will do anything, particularly the things they have said they'd do. The GOP is no longer a normal political party, and does not respond to normal political incentives.
  7. And the party has run on stopping abortion for more than thirty years. I don't see why McConnell would feel obligated to take down the ACA but free to ignore pro-lifers' demands to illegalize abortion at the national level--particularly when he is currently saying that is a possibility.
  8. I'm not saying McConnell would want to do that, but he didn't really want "skinny repeal" of the ACA, either. But he voted for that, and never whipped the votes against it. The GOP is no longer a normal political party, and I no longer assume its members will respond to normal political incentives.
  9. If anything kills the filibuster, it might be Republicans, over a national abortion ban.
  10. Texas really is bonkers lately, with its abortion ban and this absurd notion of what qualifies as child abuse. Given that Missouri is trying to illegalize leaving the state for an abortion, the Lone Star State isn't the only one of the fifty going nuts. I'm guessing it's the conservative super-majority on the Supreme Court that's prompting this deluge of terrible state action. Even if some of this stuff gets struck down, too much probably will get through. Time for Democrats to do what Republicans have been doing for years: pack that court.
  11. Hello all. Those of us "old-timers" will remember Lillith of Tarth, a/k/a Leila Monaghan, and I am heartbroken to report that she passed away this morning of the cancer with which she had struggled for so long. I can't bear to say much more right now, except that she gave me good advice, and that she went out on a limb for me when no one else would.
  12. Ten years ago, Senate Democrats might have put up with Republican chicanery, but I think they're wiser now. They'll get that nominee out of committee if they have to use a prybar. I know we're not supposed to criticize Saint Ruth, but she shoulda quit in 2014. Hanging on for the next Democratic president, at 81, was bonkers, and ended up hurting the causes she championed.
  13. I think the filibuster's days are numbered. I am not saying that number is 12 or even 112, but given that 48 of 50 Democrats are on board to narrow the practice--ten years ago you probably couldn't have found 25--I think it would not be wise to bet on the filibuster (as it is currently) seeing 2030.
  14. I couldn't disagree more. The episode when... hit really hard. Star Trek has always been bad with gay characters--when it had them at all--but this was almost shocking.
  15. October is long over--coming late to this thread--but one of the very best horror novels I have ever read is Devolution, by Max Brooks. I enjoyed World War Z, sure, but I tore through Devolution in two days and then immediately read it again. (Admittedly, this is during the pre-vaxx pandemic, so I didn't have a lot to do, but, still.) It's told in the we-found-this-diary style, but that never gets in the way of storytelling. I am really hard to scare--as a kid I watched "The Exorcist" without blinking and then slept peacefully after--but Devolution creeped me out. Highly recommend.
  16. Remember when GWB was dismissing US attorneys for not following the Republican playbook? I thought that was bad, but now we've got arguments that a sitting president has no duty to stop a mob intent on overthrowing the government. With every day, conservatives make the unthinkable ever more thinkable.
  17. Right, and that's not a contest he's likely to win. I think sometimes we on the left forget how lucky we are to have Manchin. Sure, he's annoying, and I don't know what he's getting out of protecting the filibuster, but we're not likely to get a better senator from West Virginia. I'd rather have him than Rand Paul II, which is what the Mountain State would likely deliver.
  18. I think it would be weird for Manchin to change parties. He votes with Democrats almost always, so I don't think he inclines towards the GOP, and he'd lose his seniority in any case. Besides, party-switchers don't exactly have a track record of electoral success. So I can't see any benefit to Manchin changing sides.
  19. This cannot be overstated. The transformation of the GOP from a political party into a proto-fascist, white-supremacist gang of troglodytes makes terrible laws not only possible but likely. Everyone in the party is trying to be Righter Than Thou, which these days means trying to out-Trump Trump. I grew up in the 80s with the ever-present fear of nuclear annihilation, survived the AIDS crisis, and made it through the madness of 9/11 hysteria, but I have never been more pessimistic about the future of this nation.
  20. And the crew never, ever mentions it again, which I suppose is what you would do. But, still...
  21. I podcasted that episode, possibly the most absurd in the entire franchise, live, and it was a hoot. I even made sure everyone in the audience had a photo of Tuvix, to ensure they knew what that hideous space-goblin looked like. Janeway's only mistake was not spacing him right off.
  22. Hey, thanks! We're back at work on the fourth novel in the series. The pandemic wrecked my creativity, but now my imagination is recovering.
  23. Especially since Sauron spends the entire trilogy losing.
  24. Not promoting my work here, but that of Babyraven, whom some may remember from the board in the old days. As part of a film class, she produced a short documentary, and I was honored to have my podcast be part of it. I am sure that Babyraven would appreciate any likes/comments you throw her way--she did a good job!
  25. Thanks for the shout-out--always appreciated!

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