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Ep 837[Ep 838] Totally Socko [2:16:55]
Recorded: Sat, 2023-Jul-01 UTC
Published: Mon, 2023-Jul-03 01:58 UTC
Ep 839

On this week's Curmudgeon's Corner Sam and Ivan have as their main topics Russia and SCOTUS. On Russia a followup on the short lived rebellion and the possible ramifications for what comes next. On SCOTUS a run down on the major cases decided in the last week of the term. Before that, the fun stuff, like talking about tipping, and of course another movie review.

  • (0:00:51-0:36:33) But First
    • Time is Moving
    • Tipping Prompts
    • Movie: The Stranger (1946)
  • (0:37:09-1:03:20) Russia
    • Situation Report
    • Just a Turf War?
    • Impact on Putin
    • Instability is Bad
    • What Next?
  • (1:04:24-2:16:24) SCOTUS
    • Independent Legislature Theory
    • Redistricting Cases
    • Affirmative Action
    • Religious Work Exemptions
    • LGBTQ Discrimination
    • School Loans

Automated Transcript


Hello, Mr. Boo. Hello.


So. What do you want to do?

Okay. So, um, but first Russia and then SCOTUS and, uh, that's probably a whole show right there, right?

Uh, yes, I believe so.


Then I guess it's time to go.

Welcome to Curmudgeon's Corner for Saturday, July 1st, 2023.

It is 3 0 3 UTC, which means, uh, for both me and Yvonne, it is actually still Friday, June 30th, cause we're in the U S and it's just after 8 PM for me.

And just after 11 PM for Yvonne. So hello, Yvonne. Hello.

So we are officially in the halfway point to 2024.

Halfway of the way from 2022 to 2024. Yes.


I mean, this is like the middle of halfway through the year.

Yeah, it is very exciting.

Is it? No.

You know, in fact, it's it's kind of like one of those things where, oh, my God, it's been another six months already.

It's another half a year for real.

How fast, you know, time is just moving way too fast. It's like I just turned around and it's been like another long period of time.


And, and I know, you know, this is part of getting older and all this kind of stuff, but it's just like, it goes by so fast sometimes. Yeah.

It, uh, yeah.

I mean, the longterm things go by fast sometimes like, you know, I can be in a meeting and it can feel like is going forever.

Forever, even though it's only like an hour long or something, but, Oh my God.

Geez. The other day, I mean, you know, some of these meetings, uh, that I think you go online and it, you know, it's very difficult to communicate certain information.

In a way that is.

Keeps, you know, that is entertaining, keeps people's attention. It's very hard to do.


Yeah. I mean, look at how much money Apple spends to now that they don't have Steve Jobs to do their little presentation, very gifted.

Okay. At doing that. Okay. At basically producing a show.

Yes, because that's what they're doing now. They're like, look, none of us here could do what the hell he did.

So we got to get some Hollywood producers in here to make this thing look, you know, really good, because we're just going to fuck it up.

Yes, and people wondered for a while, like, hey, after the pandemic is over, are they going to go back to doing it live in person on a stage?

Uh, no, no, no, they did not, not that they don't have people coming there to do that, but they're doing the presentation in a way that's far more polished and, you know, produced in a way that, you know, they're going through it.

It's like, look, are we putting people to sleep for the most part, they're doing a pretty good job of not putting people to sleep.

It's well-presented. Bye.

You know, how do we start talking about this?

Oh, because we're tired.

Oh, we're tired. Oh, because time goes so fast. And then I mentioned meetings go slow, right.

Even though the months seem to just like, you know, I have in my head, the little thing that they always did in like old cartoons and stuff of like the, the one day calendars, like flipping with all the pages coming off as the days go by. And then suddenly it's months later. Yeah.

Did you ever have one of those? Like, I mean, you know, back what Dilbert was.

I didn't know that the guy that wrote it was a complete fucking asshole.

You know, I have one of those like Dilbert calendars.

I didn't know. I don't know that I had a Dilbert one, but I certainly had, I'm sure I had a far side one. I had a variety of those kinds of calendars and people would give them to me for Christmas and stuff.

And you know, we don't get those anymore. Those were really cool.

Like a far side calendars was hilarious. Well, see the thing you like pull a page.

Well, you can still go and get those kinds of things if you want, but see the problem I had with those is that like, I would get them, I might flip through them, but I would never use them as intended, taking a page off every day.

Oh no, I'm pretty sure that I had something that was on my desk that every day I would go take off a page and like, oh look, the new joke.

Yeah, no, I would never do that. I would find them unopened five years later.

And then I would go through them and be like, Oh, that you'd read a like, like a book. Yeah.

And, and, you know, they have ones for various cartoon series.

They have one with like cat of the day or like space picture of the day.

They've got all kinds, you know, but.

So our agenda for today, we're going to do our, but first, amazingly enough, it was not what we just talked about.

And then we're going to do a segment following up on the craziness in Russia that was breaking as we were recording last week and sort of you think things happened really quickly and then there still might be stuff going on but we don't know as much and then we're going to talk about the Supreme Court SCOTUS there are a whole bunch of rulings this week I've got I've got five bullet points on my cheat sheet here of different kinds of things that they did that we should probably we talk about and, um, yeah, so that's the plan.

So Yvonne, you know, my, but first is going to be a movie.

Do you want me to go first or would you like to, I'll go first before we get to another movie.

Okay. So, uh, I, I was reading recently how a lot of people are getting very agitated. you.

With the fact that, um, a lot of places now that didn't use to, uh, give you prompts to tip people now give you prompts to tip, especially now that they're like a lot of this stuff is electronic, there'll be the little thing that comes up that, you know, and pre-filled for 15, 20, 25% and stuff like that. No, no, no, no, no, no.

But these are ones that you, you could opt here. I'm talking about like Starbucks and places.

That's exactly what I'm talking about. You get the little screen.

There's not pre-filled at anything. You pick a number.

Oh, well, they give you, I mean, they give you my Starbucks at my Starbucks that now that I'm going into work, I go through the drive-thru like several times a week, um, they, they hand you a little thing and you can't, you can pick your own number, but they do have little boxes that you can just one. Oh yeah.

They have. Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah, but it's not preset like if you just like ignore it, that it.

Oh, no, no, no.

But it hits you.

But they say, hey, here's the thing. Yeah. Click on one of the buttons or pick your own.

And and like they are prompting you for it now inside the Starbucks.

They, of course, had the little tip jar. And on the app, if you pay using Starbucks points or the Starbucks credit or whatever, they'll they'll like give you a little alert like a few minutes after you leave, prompting prompting you to do the tip on the app later.

Okay. So. So. But your point is this is in lots more places.

Like it's in a lot of other places.

Well, Starbucks didn't used to have this. I mean, this is very recent.

Yeah. Well, they know it's been in the app for a few years, but the, the, and they've had at the store and they've had an actual tip jar in the store. Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. But, but at the store in the checkout for money, look, I don't know what you're saying that it's been for years on your app.

It's been years.

No, well, years, year like like five years.

No, no.

It's been like no, no.

OK, at least three more.

What a bet. Yes. You want to bet?


You want to make a bet on this one? Because I tip everybody. OK, all right.

And you're trying to tell me that I could tip at Starbucks on the app.

What I fucking the reason I'm bringing this up is because so many people are bitching about having the tip.

And I'm the kind of fucking always went out of their way to tip everybody.

And I'm telling you that that fucking app did not have that rolled out nationally for you to be able to tell. Of course, I have no way years ago before the pandemic.

That's bullshit that has been rolled out recently.

Okay. In less than the last two years.

And I'm going to Google it because when I Google it, I find a change to their tipping system at at the end of 2022, but the tipping system existed.

I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I, A change to it in 2022.

Yes, but that did not exist in the app before that.

No, no, no.

You're wrong.

Oh, no, absolutely. I've been tipping on the fucking app for years.

Okay, you want to bet? Yes, yes, absolutely.

You have been able to tip in the Starbucks app.

Okay, let's look this up. Okay, so you're saying, okay, that this is true. Okay.

So I have, I have, I have someone on Reddit talking about three years ago, answering somebody who asked, is there a way to tip and someone answering and saying, yes, go back and order, look on the order on the app.

You should be able to leave a tip.

Um, blah, blah, blah. That was three years ago. Um, how to tip on, let me look, uh, 2000.


2014. Here you go.

Get in 2014. I mean, in 2000, that was rolled out. No, no, no.

The question is, now my question is, that's why I said national.

Let me read you what I said.

This is an article from 2022, but it has a question.

How does the Starbucks app tip work?

And it says, in 2014, Adam Brotman, the chief digital officer at Starbucks, announced digital tipping for iPhone.

We are thrilled to offer a digital experience that is more enjoyable and rewarding for customers and partners.

More than 11% of all transactions occur in our stores with a mobile device.

The update to Starbucks app for iPhone represents a significant next step in digital innovation by Starbucks.

It is one of many ways we'll grow and improve our digital experience over the coming months, 2014. Now, how much did I win?

I don't know. We didn't establish an amount you changed. You didn't, you didn't, I asked you to bet you didn't, you didn't take it. You didn't take the bet.

I said, yes, I did.

You didn't do all for an amount. Now you want to go back retroactively and do it again after you bet?

You can buy me a Starbucks.

I'll buy you a Starbucks.

But look, okay.

Look, I use that app a whole bunch of times. I never saw it prompt me for a tip. I don't.

Do you have no, did you allow it to do notifications?

You, you would notificate? No.

So if you don't have, if you have notifications on, it'll notify you a few minutes after you've done an order about the opportunity to tip. If you do not have notifications on, you have to go into your order history, find the order you just made.

Oh, so, okay. So, oh, well that's it. Okay. No wonder I never saw it.

So wait, you had to do it after you picked up the order?


Well, that's fucking idiotic.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Yes, I had notifications turned off. That's why I never saw that in there.

So basically, I mean, how many people could have been using that that way?

I mean, you have to wait. You buy you give the order and then get notified to go and add a tip.

Yes, that's how it worked. It's how it still works.

Well, it's just plain dumb.

And also you using the.

Oh, yes. Well, I never saw it. Yes. So that's why I never saw it, because I'm fucking going to tip. I'm going to tip when I fucking put the transaction in.

Also, one thing that annoys me about it as well, like, because I've been complaining about this, like to my wife and to anybody who would listen, but it hasn't come up on the show before, is that in the Starbucks app specifically, you cannot.

You cannot set it to just always tip a standard amount or a standard percentage.

You have to do it separately every time. And when, and when you do do it separately every time, the options that give you are not percentage. It's $1, $2, $3 or other.

So like I would want, like I would happily go in there and just add 20% every time. Yes, exactly.

I would just put in a percentage, probably 20% and just leave it all the time and let it be automatic. But they do not let you do that also, but, but okay.

Okay, we're off on a tangent.

Yeah, and the experience, like if you're paying with a card instead of with the app at the drive-thru is a little bit different, because then they do hand you the thing and you have to push the thing like while you're checking out.

But even then, by the way, if you...

If they have no, and nevermind. Yeah.

Anyway, it's Starbucks is only one of these examples. Your point was lots of places where tipping was not normal before are now asking more and more often and more and more aggressively for tips because it used to be essentially like you tipped at restaurants and at fancier restaurants only, not at like fast food or anything.

Uh, and I don't mean fancy, fancy, just like, you know, sit down restaurants.

Um, you, you tip there and maybe you tipped for a few things like travel related, like, you know, and, and, but that was about it. Like you didn't tip for like everything.

And now it seems like more and more things you're tipping for. That was your point.

Well, yeah, but, well, but no, no, no, no, no.

Okay. Not that you tip for everything. No, one thing is that I've lived like down here in South Florida or like living in You know going to like big cities and stuff You know I'm very used to going to a hotel and I tip I tip the guy that puts a microwave in my room I tip the the chambermaid when I fucking remember which I sometimes forget I tell That gives when you fucking remember I said no.

No, I forget sometimes.

I'm sorry.

I don't know why the hell I I keep forgetting about the chambermaid tip, it's bad.

I am making fun of you because it sounded like you said, I tip the chambermaid when I fuck her.

That's why I'm making fun of you. No, what I remember to tip her, I keep for some reason always forgetting that.

Well, not always, you know, forgetting that.

You know, I'll tip the guy that brought my car, the car to wash my car, the guy, I don't know, I tip people, okay?

And, you know, now here's the thing about this. The reason I do that.

Well first of all because i'm grateful for people to do it work repeatedly every day and you know especially a lot of people that go like remember you don't remember me and treat me well and whatever so i try to make sure i'm like hey you know that you know thanks for you know whatever so i'll make sure.

You know the date they get a tip okay especially because what happens sometimes certain places that didn't use the tip.

Then I would figure out a way to, you know, to, to, to tip them because, you know, Oh no, this guy, I came into the store and they remember me.

Yeah. I want to make sure that he knows that I'm, that I'm happy for the, you know, for them putting in the extra effort. Okay.

Um, and so I, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm good with that.

Okay. Um, you know, but now, uh, with this thing happening, like, man, there's articles of people, even versus people angry about the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the little screen at Starbucks, you know, asking them to hate tip. Yes.

Um, so, you know, I think there are two, there are a couple of things that are leading to this. Um, and then I'll tell you my thoughts on it.

Um, first of all is fewer and fewer people carrying cash.

Cause they used to like in lots of these little places just have like a tip jar or whatever, where people would put in a buck or whatever.

Yeah. Yeah. And some people would, some people wouldn't, but it would just, you know, But the percentage of people who actually transact with cash on a regular basis is dropping precipitously.

I mean, I stopped carrying cash like over a decade ago, but like, you know, even the holdouts are doing it less than they used to, right? And especially in the younger generations.

Like, you know, I, I, like, I will tell you like, um, an example, like with, with my son, Alex, and my mother, like she would occasionally like give him like cash for like birthdays or stuff.

And I was like, you can't do that because cash is not, it is a rarity that you save and like put away.

It's not something you use a same, like she tried to give him a check, same damn thing.

It went away to be like, don't you have a little bank account?

Well, yeah, Yeah, but he didn't want to mess with it, right?

So I was like, look, here's what, like here, here, here, you know, if you want to do anything like that.

Give me the money, and I will transfer money into his account.

But if you give him something that's paper, he just wants to keep the paper, and keep it untouched and in pristine condition. But here's the thing.

Now... But my point... Wait, wait, wait. Wait. But right now, with a check...

You still have to sign the back of it when you deposit it.

No, you don't. That's bullshit. I know you don't.

You never signed any of it. They will do it anyway, but they tell you you're supposed to. And he's going to, that's bullshit.

Look, he will follow instructions.

Damn. Anyway, the point, the point, the point is, the point is, and that's an extreme example, right? But I've heard many, many examples of under thirties, basically just like cash.

What the fuck is that? Why would you ever do that? Yeah.

Well, you know, I hope they don't go to a country like or someplace there is no internet. Okay. And figure out how the fuck, you know, you know, cash is still necessary in a whole bunch of places.

Okay. Well, you know, they would deal with that when they got to it, but no, they won't.

No, no, they won't. And what they'll do is cry. Okay. And beg for mercy. That's what they do now.

Anyway, anyway. Um, but I think that's part of it is that less and less people are carrying cash, so tipping that way just isn't possible.

Also, there's more recognition, generally, that a lot of these people, even the ones that aren't like, you know, there's the ones who actually make less than minimum wage because they're expected to make money on tips, but even the ones that are making like standard like fast food living or whatever, There's a recognition that that's not really a lot and giving people the opportunity to pay more.

And so I don't mind tipping in those situations. And I will tell you, like, I...

I need the prompt, like I will tip anywhere there is a tip prompt.

But if there is no tip prompt, if there is no line on the check, if there is no thing on the app, then I just don't know. I'm like, was I supposed to?

But my whole point about it and it's up is that, by the way, because I brought this up, not, not, not, not you. I know. Yes.

Go ahead. Okay. Just, just, just clarify. Okay.

Yes. All right.

This is your dad. Yes. That people are so funny. Complaining miserably cheap.

Okay, and just obnoxious They're making me feel bad for saying listen if you don't want to fucking tip and say no or you're making a fucking no You know, why are they making employees behind the counter miserable because the stupid computer it prompted them.

Hey Five ten they don't know nothing They definitely should not do that, but I on the other hand am 100% of the opinion that that tipping should just go away.

Just pay them more and increase the price.

Uh, I think you're missing the point of like, well, they're, they're, they're okay.

Look there, you jobs, jobs.

There are always jobs that wait, wait, wait, wait, jobs that have a lower minimum wage that they are supposed to be making part of the, the, the, that supposedly the tips are part of the salary.

I do agree should go away. Okay. Okay. They, they, they shouldn't be, they shouldn't be forced to earn their money through through tips.

OK. All right. I think the tips should be over and above.

Like I don't object to giving somebody extra if they do an amazing job, but a tip should not be part of what is expected of a routine transaction.

Correct. I think that that that is I agree with you on that.

I don't I think that this thing where they allow certain employers to pay below, you know, minimum wage in order to because, Oh, well, they are going to make all this money in tips. And so therefore, that makes it up is is complete bullshit.

I think it's a racket, you know, pay them what the fuck, you know, the wage is supposed to be.

And yeah, you know, if there are there are tips, then there are tips, you know, and those come in, you know, but they're not. They're not.

That's it. You know, but I don't. Yeah, I really think that that that that that is a scam.

Sorry. That's a scam when they do that.

Yeah, it should not, it should not be like, there's like, there's.

Unsaid expectations of like what a normal tip should be.

And you always need to tip. And if you don't tip, you're an asshole and blah, blah, blah.

No, the, the salary or salaries, the wages slash salaries, slash, whatever should be high enough that you don't need the tip to survive and you have a good job, but.

If somebody is exceptional and you say, you know, they were really great.

I'm going to give them an extra blah. That's fine. You should always have a way to do that.

Now, of course, there's also it used to be that part of the things with tips was also, even though technically speaking, you're supposed to report it and all that kind of stuff. A lot of things that were cash went unreported in terms of taxes.

Whereas now that it's all digital, it's a lot harder to avoid that.

Well, that is why, you know, you say, well, I give a tip in cash or whatever.

Listen, I go to certain places and I will.

I don't have cash all the time, but I do have cash a lot of the time on me.

And look, I mean, I go and I get get somebody something and I will pay with my credit card, but I will give them their tip in cash. And those guys are thrilled to pieces.

They are all, gee, thank you.

They are super.

They they prefer that. Dad, you know, putting it on the, you know, writing it down. Well, yeah, like I'll buy a lot.

Well, because they're going to cheat on their taxes. But yes, right.

But yeah, no, I I think we're in violent agreement here.

But yeah, you now and you now know how you're and all these people bitching about the fucking tip and get the fuck over it, people go, my God.

Yeah, no, I complaining about it.

It's fucking cheap.

And, and, well, look, you know, some people, uh, well, but also some, for some people, the $2 or whatever's a lot of money.

No, no, no, no, no, no. There are people that that could be the owners.

The people that are, that I know are bitching are not cheap.

Are not, are not, are not, are not hurting for money. They're just cheap.

Yeah. They're just cheap bastards.

Like I saw a guy tonight, you know, at the, at what night we went out to dinner, I saw this guy at a valet and had a very nice, you know, uh, you know, Lincoln. Okay.

This bastard comes up and get fucking valet. It's kind of a little bit raining, whatever. Gets his fucking car, didn't tip the guy one buck, nothing, not even a dollar. I was just like, what a cheap bastard.

These guys are running around getting fucking cars at this damn rate in order for you not to have to schlep to the parking lot where the hell they are.

And you're like, eh, not even a buck.

Well, and that's exactly the kind of scenario that would screw me over actually.

Because I kind of know that a tip is expected in that scenario, but A, I'm in it very, very rarely and B, I never, ever, ever carry cash.

I think they understand from certain people cash, but this guy was holding it up, and I can guarantee you that bastard had cash, but that motherfucker didn't give that guy a tip.

My point is in that kind of scenario, I would actually appreciate a little slip or something that said, do you want to tip and like fill in the information and go do you know what they do? What are they?

They've got, I've done this with a little tip station or something.

Uh, Venmo. They'll, they'll, they'll, you know, get, yeah, they, they, they, they get a Venmo or something like that. They can, you can hit them up on the app like real quick and yeah, yeah, yeah. I've done that a couple of times.

Oh, Venmo to tip here. Just going to QR. Oh, okay. There you go. go boom.

I've noticed that even with like the signs that homeless people are holding up.

Oh well you have really high-tech homeless people over there because I haven't seen that here.

Well, cause nobody has cash.

What the hell else are they going to do? I mean, it's smart. Yeah.

So anyway, so you got really high tech, hopeless people. Shit.

I've never seen that here. I got to admit, never.

I, I, I admit, I don't see it every time, but I have definitely seen it.

Uh, I mean, I've never, but no, but I'm saying I've never seen it at all. Ever. Yeah.

Well, again, nobody has cash anymore. So what the fuck are you going to do?


Yeah. So anyway, anything else about tipping Mr. Bo no.

So is it, is it time for my movie? Yes. I am so excited.

I just closed the window where I had my notes on my movie.

Okay. There it is. There it is. I have found it. I have found it.

I also want to check one thing here.

Da da da boom. Boom. Okay.

So my movie this time, which I accidentally watched a second time, I, it turns out, it turns out I had watched it in 2014 and had forgotten and ended up watching it.

Again, don't you check it off on the list?

Well, I, I do, but the thing is I had added it to the list more than once, apparently, and supposedly, and see these days, I don't try to de-dupe when I add to the list.

I figure if I think about it enough to add it more than one times that I should watch it twice that, well, that it should have a higher chance of coming up.

But I have for the most part.

Well, I've only recently discovered that this is necessary because I didn't really think about it before, but of course it is. I wasn't always good about once I watched it.

Making sure I removed every time it appeared, if it appeared more than once, because I wouldn't be in the mode of thinking it appeared more than once.

And I would remove one and I'd be happy. So anyway, this one came up again.

And so I've watched it in 2014. And then nine years later, in 2023, at, at, on April 1st, um, which is April fool's day, I guess it is very exciting.

And it was sort of one of these things where, as the movie was going on and I and I was watching with Alex, I predicted a few things like, I think this is going to happen.

And then it did. And I'm like, I'll think and I'm all clever when, in fact, I'd seen the fucking movie before.

I just didn't remember that I'd seen the movie. But nevertheless, as things were happening, I was predicting what was going to happen next.

Like, ha ha, look, it's so obvious what the plot is going to be. This is your genius.

You're a psychic where in fact predictive powers.

Yes. Where in fact, I had just seen the stupid.

Oh, well, yeah, well, yeah. Anyway, the movie was from 1946.

The Stranger, which stars Orson Welles and a few other people.

I have watched this.

You have watched this.

I believe, yes, I've a long, long time ago back in 1946 when it came out, I assume. Yes, of course.


Um, anyway, that's right after my first wife.

Uh, anyway, the basic plot of this is there is a Nazi war criminal.

Uh, there are two, two Nazi war criminals. I'll tell you the beginning of the story, sort of, uh, there is one that is known to be at large somewhere.

He escaped and they never caught him. And so they took one of his associates who was in jail somewhere in Europe and they intentionally let that guy escape, thinking that he would lead them to the one that was at large.

And the guy was, the one they were searching for was, you know, was hiding out in a small Connecticut town, you know, and this follows the Nazi hunter who tries to track him down through all this.

That's the basic plot of it, and then, you know, things happen in the small down as as tension increases and they figure out what's going on and blah, blah, blah, blah.

I liked it. I thought it was a really good movie. I did predict the ending, like I said, but apparently that was only because I'd seen it before.

But yeah, no, it's definitely, you know, it's stylized.

It's film noir, as they say. It's It's, um, uh, it was a thriller.

It's got some suspense elements, et cetera.

Um, uh, but I, I really enjoyed it. I, I, a thumbs up there.

You know, I don't remember, you know, what, you know, the movie itself, but I, I do remember a title, I'm pretty sure I watched it and I did remember that I liked it, so I think, so there you go.

Has it been remade? It might've been remade since then.

Um, let's see Orson Welles, great actor, big actor.

Yeah. Or, yeah. And this was a young Orson Welles too. Still like, you know, uh, he had of course a very, very long career, uh, that.

Lasted apparently there is a, the stranger 2022, but I don't know if it's, uh, if it's a remake of it.

Yeah. Anyway, it did get nominated for some awards at the time.

It had an Oscar nomination, it didn't win.

I find it interesting, it's actually in the public domain. Its copyright was not renewed, and so boom.

But yeah, thumbs up! This is an old, classic movie, yeah, I'm repeating myself.

Do you want to know anything? You want to quiz me about it or anything?

What the hell?

It has a 97% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.


That's pretty high, right?

It is. You.

Um, variety at the time when it came out called the film a Socko melodrama spinning an intriguing web of thrills and chills director Orson Welles.

He directed it to apparently gives the production a fast, suspenseful development, drawing every advantage from the hard hitting script from the Victor Travis story. A uniformly excellent cast gives reality to events that trend to events that transpire.

The three stars, Robinson, Young, and Wells turn in some of their best work.

The actress being particularly effective, you know, as a missile is not a word that we use very regular. I mean, say that word again.

A Saco melodrama.

Spell it.


That is not a word that we use. What the hell does it even mean?

I thought first, I mean, you know, like what they say, it sucks.

But, but I guess it's a positive word. It's the sock.

I'm looking at this up at Miriam Okay.

Wow. Strikingly impressive. Effective or successful.


That's a good word to have in the back pocket.

Strikingly impressive, effective, or successful.

Outstanding. That's what, that's what the hell of a world to keep in a back pocket to really throw somebody for a loop.


Wow. That was Saco. They're like, what?

The first known use of the word was in 1938 and, uh, the, the review of the stranger, I guess, was from 1946. So there we go. Yeah. Yeah.

Oh, so Saco, Saco. Our show is Saco.

Saco. Yeah. Totally.

Totally Saco.

Totally Saco.

And with that, I think we should take a break. Yes. Okay. Okay, we'll be back after this to talk Russia, right?

Russia, Russia next? Russia, Russia, Russia? Russia, Russia.

Here we go. I am having problems hitting the button. Hit the button! Bye.

Okay, there we go. Wow. I know. I know.

Very, very, very exciting.

Okay. So at the time that we recorded last week, I'm trying to remember exactly when it was, but, uh, general, what's his name? Who we can't pronounce correctly.

Um, uh, ba ba ba ba ba ba.

Wait, wait, wait.

He's not a general. Pregosa.

He's not a general. And he wasn't a general.

Yeah. Yeah. I guess not officially, right. Even though he ran, I think he'd never, never, never decided to be a general.

Yeah. He wasn't in the military. No. Yeah.

I wondered like, yeah, he was a chef, but like, you know, he could decide to call himself a general anyway. Cause he was generally.

Yes. I guess. Let me see. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

You have Denny. Oh. Pre-goes in V.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Getty. Vic.

Yeah. Turovich precocious, uh, I don't see him anyway. You, I mean, Putin's chef, I don't see anywhere here or there. Anybody's calling him a general. Nope.

Nope. No one, no one has, but he was general.

Let's call it. It's called the general. What the hell? He's our, he's a general. He's our guy.

He's our guy. Really?

I don't think he's our guy. he's not our guy anyway he had at the time we recorded he had said that he was unhappy he had taken his troops out of Ukraine had taken over one city in Russia already and was marching on Moscow and going pretty quick and not Not getting a bunch of resistance, uh, shortly after we recorded like another 12 hours later, um, he had gotten to within what, like 150 miles of Moscow or something like that. He was getting close.

He made it most of the way there from where he started.

Um, they were all freaking out and that, yes, there was, everybody was freaking out all over the place. And then suddenly there was an announcement that, eh, we're turning around and going home.

We're turning around.

And there was a deal apparently where he would go to Belarus and the troops that were part of the rebellion would get amnesty and not be charged for it.

And the troops that, in the Wagner group, who were not part of the rebellion would be absorbed into the Russian military officially and that was what was known of the deal and, There's been lots and lots of speculation since then about like, what the fuck, you know, was that really the whole deal? How did this deal come about? Is this going to hold?

Does this Putin mean it? That does per goes and mean it like, what's going on here?

But he, he just turned around and left. And meanwhile, there's been lots of talk as well about just how weakened Putin was because of this, because he went on TV and was like, we're going to crush them.

And then a few hours later, it was like, OK, we made a deal.

Yep. We got a deal.

So did I miss anything big, Yvonne? That's the quick summary.

Um. I don't think so.

So what do we think?

Well, I, you know, reading through more of what had been going on in recent times, and Pragosin had been very publicly critical of specifically the leadership in the Russian military for quite some time.

And he had been very strident about it. And he had, for the most part, avoided criticizing Putin himself.

To this day, even after everything we're talking about, Pragosin over and over is saying, I had no beef with Putin.

My beef was the people at the department, whatever they call their department, the ministry of defense.


Because I felt they were treating us badly in the war. They weren't supporting us properly.

There were some issues about them getting paid. There was apparently an effort that was being done to bring them under the umbrella.

There were all kinds of things he didn't like, but he's made it clear over and over and over again, at least in his public statements, that it's the ministry of defense that he has a problem with not Putin, right?

And it, but one of the things that was happening during that time period and that Putin backed was that he had been pushing that by basically today.

All, uh, mercenary groups had to sign formal contracts directly with the ministry of defense. Yup.

Um, and that they basically would be calling the shots on what's going on under those contracts.

This was a key part of the conflict here for him.

And, and, and Pregotion was like, fuck this. I don't want to do this.

They've been screwing up everything. Why the hell am I signing a contract?

Um, with them. And I think that that is the main source of this entire beef, which was a power struggle between him conducting military activities, not under the ministry of the fence, um, and, you know, those guys wanting to get control of what the hell he was doing and it was a turf war.

Yeah, it was out and out a turf war and it was a money war.

How to get paid and funding, you know, some of the people that, uh, politically wanted to edge him out, I'd been auditing his payments and contracts because he had all these contracts also aside from the military contracts, but to provide food for the military and other things and so forth.

There is, you know, this guy made a lot, a lot of money on these kind of contracts.

And I think he felt that his influence and his money was you know, being edged aside by by these guys in the ministry and defense.

And I, and I think that it may well be that this whole thing, I don't think that he may have been totally bullshitting on this is not against Putin.

This is, this was just his way of trying to.

Score points on his turf war, but I don't think that the guy maybe really visualized that what he was doing was effectively, um, destabilizing Putin's regime at the same time.

You know, if he just thought it's a fucking turf war with the ministry of defense, well, maybe, but also like as, as this thing escalated, he started doing the talking about like the reasons for going in, into the war were a lie. Yeah.

The oligarchs were like, this is all to make the oligarchs money.

This is not like blah, blah, blah. These are things that he did not necessarily use Putin's name directly, but it was, yeah.

But he was, he was jabbing them. Yeah, absolutely.

Yeah. I mean, yes. Yes. I mean, and so Putin's position now, I mean, the way it looks as of now is that Putin looked incredibly weak through this thing.

It exposed like, I mean, bottom line, an armed convoy drove hundreds of miles from the border of Russia towards Moscow unopposed, or barely opposed, barely.

And nobody was able to stop them. And oh, by the way, here's another thing.

The population was completely apathetic about it.


They were like, oh, we're going to topple Putin? Eh. Oh, well, yeah.

And there was talk that one of the reasons he may have stopped was that he was expecting more people to join him that didn't, which shows, again, the apathy as the primary.

It's not that people were joining Purgosian in hordes, either from the army or civilians.

It's not that they were rabidly defending Putin either.

It was just almost everybody was like, oh, we'll watch how this plays out.

We'll see. Yeah. Interesting.

I mean, basically, yes.

And, and simply the fact that they weren't, Putin wasn't able to mount, uh, an active defense that worked just right there without anything else looks weak.

And then he turns around and says, Oh, nevermind. We made a deal.

We never had a deal. We're not going to prosecute you. Go to Belarus.

Okay. And he went to Belarus on his own private jet, by the way.

And there are reports that private jet subsequently left for St.

Petersburg, but there's no reports on whether or not he's there or not. He was confirmed.

He was in that city in Southern Russia. And then he was confirmed in the capital of Belarus.

And then he was confirmed in the capital of Belarus. And then he hasn't been seen again since. So we don't know where he is today.

Could be dead for all we know. Fell out of a window.


Those damn windows are dangerous.

I know. They just don't know how to build a window apparently.

No, no, no, no. But no, he has released statements, including videos and stuff.

So we don't think he's dead as of right now, but there's the whole question of how can Putin possibly actually let him live in this scenario?

Like, you know? And at meanwhile, like everybody's got to be circling Putin like, oh, he's a lot weaker than we thought.

Maybe there's an opportunity here. Yeah.

That was my first thought. I mean, this, I mean, I, I mean the weakness displayed by Putin right now in terms of, He's an ability to do any do really anything to stop it.

I mean, and his inability to do what he can stop it is is rooted in large part in the fact that he has taken the bulk of his.

Military force and drag them into a fucking war that it's over a year old now where they've been getting torn to shreds.

So, right. So at this point, we're talking about what's left of it.

Right. You know, not even like the fact that he's got.

It's not that he's got some strong force that's somewhere else.

Exactly. They've been ripped to shreds and they have been having to work to replenish it.

I mean, part of the thing was part of the reason the Wagner group was there in the first place was in order to supplement what the official Russian army could do.

But they, they've been, they've been having to pull in more recruits and you know, quote unquote recruits there.

They're drafting people. They're pulling people in. They're taken with a disproportionate part from ethnic minorities and all this kind of stuff.

The Russian army has been exposed to itself be very weak and unable to execute.

I mean, there are so many, looking back over the last year and a half almost that we've been talking about this, We've had numbers of conversations here on this show about how they just fell apart.

They weren't executing, the communication structure wasn't there.

They're having to resort to like, yeah, they're talking on cell phones because the official radios don't work. The equipment breaks down all the time.

They haven't been able to resupply them.

They've been stealing stuff from local stores because they couldn't get them food, all this kind of crap. And so that's sort of wide out there, I should say.

The rest of the world, that's been all over the place. I think that has been less known within Russia itself because of how well communications have been handled.

But as time goes on and more and more of the people who have been at the front report back to their families and friends what was going on, that kind of stuff was spreading anyway.

And then this guy comes in and he is very actively making statements about how badly the war is going and all of the problems, and accusing them of going in under false pretenses and all this kind of stuff.

And his statements are elevated in stature by Putin responding to the situation.

So you got to think that right now a lot more people have heard that story than had a month ago.

Oh God, yes. Totally. I mean, they have to. No doubt about it.

So now there've been a number of people talking about like, well, instability in Russia has to be good, right? Like cause Putin's bad. And the thing is.

Not exactly. I mean, it's very scary. Yeah.

Um, you know, I, I, you know, I mean, let's start with like, even if Pragosin had succeeded, right.

And, and when he says he wasn't after Putin, but let's say whatever happened and he ended up taking over Russia, it's not like this is a good guy.

Like for everything, from everything we've heard, he's probably worse than Putin.

Listen, anything that you want happening in Russia, that is the departure of Putin.

I would hope and pray that it's some kind of orderly.

Transition of some kind because of the nuclear weapons in their possession, plain and simple.

I mean, anything other than that is very scary thing. Yeah, I just know.

Look, if something were to happen, let's say that is not in an orderly fashion. I mean, I don't know.

What would be the scenario that would be one that would limit?

Risk that that I would think say that the military went and took him out, for example, itself.

Yeah, because they, you know, if they're doing it and they're But it's, it's, it's a very, the fact that Putin has created this one man, strong man rule, it really makes it that all these scenarios where he, he loses control are also very scary to me.

To me. So I don't see any scenario that isn't. I mean, and I'm wondering what the hell are we prepared to do if something like that happens?

Now, I know that we have had a lot of, I mean, well, very clearly those papers that were leaked by that idiot, what's his name?

The airman that that that that that that we arrested in the US that, you know, spilled all these secrets about us, whatever his fucking name to share.

OK, OK. One of the things that was very obvious is that we have a lot of intelligence assets inside there that are that are telling us what the fuck is going on.

So so we have a very good picture of what the fuck is going on there.

Okay, um, I would hope that with those assets, that in case some, something unstable like that, that we would be prepared to make sure that access are taken that prevent anything from happening that, that, you know, creates that instability, but that's something that is a scenario that it's scary that we have to be prepared for.

Um, and, and I don't see how it's not frightening. Yeah, I-
You know, yes, I hear the people who are like, oh, Russia's distracting this.

Maybe it'll be good for Ukraine. Maybe it'll be good for Ukraine in the short term, but in general, absolutely.

You do not want instability in a country like Russia, you know, and absolutely the nuclear weapons are a good, a big part of that.

But even if you took them out of the equation, yeah, you're talking to a huge country.

You don't want it descending into chaos, you know?

And so, yeah, you're absolutely right. You want something orderly or at least if it's not orderly, you want it to be. Quickly resolved. Yes. Put it that way.


You don't want to get into a situation where there's an extended length of time where there's uncertainty, violence, conflict, all that kind of stuff, like, you don't want an actual Russian civil war.

You know, no, this would not be good for anybody.

Now, on Ukraine specifically, could you, could Ukraine take some advantage of this uncertainty to make some progress in their counter offensive short term?

I think that's happening already look it's it's happening some so so far like the amount of actual territory Reclaimed by the Ukrainians isn't it is not They they've been making slow but steady progress, but it has been slow progress The question is will any of this cause it to accelerate?

Do you have the places that are currently occupied by? by official Russian.

I think that eventually it does because i i one of the things about these kinds of um military engagements is that you have slow progress and then at some point yeah a breakthrough happens that then l makes it go a lot i think the question immediately right now is do you have a scenario where the russian military gets demoralized and just starts retreating Because I mean, I mean, you already have, you already had the Wagner group get out.

I mean, they were holding.

Based on almost all the information that we've got, we add, they were basically the ones that had been the most effective.

Yes. I mean, and brutal and war crimes left and right. But yes, yeah, the most.

I mean, yeah, well, effective in in the sense of not in a positive light in terms of for humanity.

But what I'm saying is in terms of terms of actually getting territory and holding it for, for, you know, uh, achieving Putin's goals.

Yes. Um, so we'll see.

Uh, the other possibility people are worried about is like Putin deciding he has to like prove that he's reproof his manhood or something by Am I doing something extraordinarily aggressive in Ukraine to make up for what's happening?

He could go in riding on a horse shirtless.

He could do that. I mean, he could decide to nuke something, you know?

Hey. Oh, God.

I mean, my idea was not as, you know, ride shirtless on a horse, nuke something. Same idea.

He could blow up that nuclear power plant.

That would be something. Of course, you know, the one thing is that that move is idiotic.

I mean, because the fallout, you know, goes back to get right.

Yeah, but you know, whatever, yeah, whatever. So so yeah, the point is.

I have a point, there's a lot of uncertainty, there's a lot of instability right now. We don't know where this is going to go, and that's always a dangerous situation.

Now it does seem to have calmed down quite a bit since last week, but it seems like it's not yet in a state where you feel like, oh, okay, this is how it's going to be.

Because there are just a lot of open questions still and things that don't quite make sense.

I saw lots of people saying, just saying like the deal itself, like what?

This deal doesn't make sense for any of the parties. So what's going on?

Is there something secret? Like there are people saying the whole thing was a false flag, that Putin was actually behind it.

And because he wanted to get rid of the people in the Ministry of Defense himself and this gave an excuse to do it. But given how much it's weakened him, that seems like, if that was the plan, that was stupid.

There are other people saying that, like, the reason that this was turned back was that Putin got a hold of Pragosin's family and was like, you turn around right now or they're all dead.

You know, I don't know. I think it's pure speculation, but it's plausible speculation.

Yeah, sure.

Um, you know, or, and now it's like, well, is, is, is, is, is.

Why is per goes and still alive? If he is alive, is he going to cause more trouble?

You know, it's, it's all like, I don't know. It's all, there's a lot of like, just weirdness and.

On things that aren't fully resolved yet. Like they're apparently some of the Wagner, Wagner, some of the Wagner group. Yeah, they're Wagner.

We had a listener confirm that on Mastodon. Yeah, since last week, but thank you, Pete.

But some of them are giving up their arms. It's unclear if all of them are.

So this is, there's a lot of fog of war stuff still going on here.

And if, if we go another few weeks and nothing else has happened, then I'll be like, okay, well, I guess that was a weird little blip, but it's over now.

Um, but I wouldn't be shocked if more happens in the next few weeks to a month.

That is just continued ramifications for the ramif...

Continued stuff happening as a result of this that just hasn't fully played out yet.



Yeah. Things!

Good, good things.

I didn't say good things, I just said things.

Oh, yeah, true. Like, many of these things aren't particularly good.


So... yeah. Or, or maybe per goes and ends up, uh, fleeing to the West and then gets arrested and goes to trial for the Mueller charges.

That would be great.

I don't know. Anyway, and anything else on the crazy situation in Russia?

Uh, no, not at the moment.

Okay. Uh, then we will take another break and then when we come back, we will go through a bunch of SCOTUS stuff because they finished up their term and boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, whole bunch of stuff.

Back after this.

Do you want to understand what is, Okay.

And you're the prime curmudgeon.

I'm the prime curmudgeon.

So it's like, I mean, it's like a prime number.

Yeah. Like maybe seven.

So okay. So if you're prime, so I guess I'm your odd. Yeah. Okay.

No. Prime. Yeah. No. Yeah. It's not, it's not prime and odd.

That's not the, you are, you are composite.

I'm composite.

Yeah. There you go. I'm Prime, you're Composite.

And I'm the Composite curmudgeon.

You're the Composite curmudgeon. Yes, there we go.

Made out of carbon fiber. Anyway.

There we go. And so you too will implode when you're taken to the bottom of the ocean.

Oh, Jesus Christ. Sorry Bruce. Bad time for a joke like that, but anyway.

Sorry. Since the Electrographs thing came up, I will mention briefly that last weekend on Sunday I posted, um, 500 days left, uh, as a blog post on election graphs.

Actually I put well, 499 cause I started it when there were 500 left, but I posted it when there were 499, but anyway, that's my latest update.

I'll give you the TLDR, the too long. Didn't read from that.

Uh, point number one, if a Biden versus Trump election was held today, it would be a dead heat and could easily go either way, a ton of critical states are too close to call right now.

Bullet two, Biden has a narrow lead if you take the polls at face value.

But given that on average in the last four election cycles, the polls have tended to underestimate the Republicans, I still give Trump a slight lead on the probabilistic view.

And then third, since November, the trend has been in Biden's direction and this trend has continued in the last month.

And in fact, in the week since I made this post, It's continued even more, uh, the, we're right on the verge of the probabilistic stuff, moving to Biden's side as well.

Just need a couple more polls in the right States and that would happen.

Okay. That was it for election graphs. Uh, now time for a SCOTUS.

So I think I have the things from this week in order.

Um, so first up, Yvonne was the independent legislature theory. Thanks for watching.

So this was the idea that in terms of elections, because the Constitution says that state legislatures will determine the method of elections or something like that, it was the theory that state legislatures and only state legislatures would make those decisions.

The governor wasn't involved, the state courts couldn't do anything, nothing, nothing, nothing.

It was just the legislator, legislature, and the Supreme Court said bullshit, which is good.

And it was like seven to two, I believe.

Because if this had been the case, then the state legislatures could do all kinds of mischief with no recourse in the courts at all.

So this applies not just to what you're doing with the Electoral College.

It also has to do with redistricting.

It also has to do with what the rules are for when you can vote by mail, where voting places are going to be. Basically anything at all to do with federal elections.

It would mean that the legislature could do whatever it wanted and there'd be no mechanism to question that whatsoever.

And the court said, nope, you can still like go to court over these things.

And the state courts have jurisdiction and the federal courts do too in certain circumstances.

And so this is one of the ones where, again, this has been a conservative project since 2000.

They've been talking about this independent legislature theory.

And in the time since 2020, even more so.

Because this was like one of the key bits that was the whole theory with the fake electors and everything else led up to January 6th was that if the state legislature decided there were shenanigans going on.

They could just retroactively, after the fact, say, you know, there were strange things going on. Forget the election results.

We're just going to declare these to be the electors.

And this theory would say if they did that, nobody could challenge them.

And so the Supreme Court said, no. Anything else to say about that one?

I do think that I mean, aside from just this decision.

They had sent two state congressional maps.

That was my next bullet point after the.

OK, all right. I thought, OK, because I thought that I hadn't earlier, so I'm sorry. I didn't realize.

So one of them had happened before the other one happened after I had, okay.

Okay. That's why I was like, I wasn't sure if we, I didn't want to separate the two States.

They did two States and they came in in separate days, but the result was the same.

But anyway, so, but, but, but, but so, so staying on this right now, I just think that, uh, I, I was, you know, this is a good ruling in terms of maintaining the integrity of our elections, uh, at this point, that's what I thought.

Um, and you know, we've been, so we've seen so many crazy cases filed.

Um, and, um, what the hell that damn jurisdiction in Texas that they like the file though.

Oh yeah. The one where, where they have the crazy judge and they're there.

And basically they, they, they, they slapped those downs hard.

Um, and so I thought that that was a good thing.

Yeah, no, I think it's unquestioned. This was the right answer.

If it had gone the other way, we would have been in deep shit.

Um, the, now I do want to make a distinction. This is very much saying like, if the legislature does something, it has to be reviewable by the courts.

It doesn't necessarily say what conclusion the courts would come to in those various scenarios.

It just says it's not just the legislature. You can't have this sort of unreviewable option.

But that's why I had started bringing the next part, which you have on the list.

Well, let me say one more thing about that, and it is important, because I heard a lot of people saying, this kills a whole bunch of ways you could screw with the electoral college. And it does.

Eliminate all of them. Like, just to be clear, like, the way that electors are chosen is still up to the states. and, It's only a hundred years ago, not every elector in the country was picked by popular vote of the state. It wasn't the winner-take-all thing that we have everywhere.

Even now, Maine and Nebraska do something different. They do it by congressional district.

But there were states where you actually elected the elector.

The names of the electors would show up on the ballot.

The elector, and then...

And they wouldn't have to commit to a particular candidate before you voted for them either.

It would just be like you were voting for Bob Smith for elector because you trust Bob Smith will make a decision that you like. I like Bob Smith.

Maybe Bob Smith sounds like a good elector.

I've said many times that I wouldn't mind a situation where electors were chosen by by lottery instead of as the result of an election.

That would be interesting. It would maybe more representative than doing it as an election.

But the point is, they could do that kind of stuff. And it's clear that that would be challengeable in court, but not necessarily that it would be unconstitutional.

So for instance, the state legislature could say you can have that election the beginning of November, but we are going to declare by law that we are actually going to choose the electors another way. The governor picks them, say.

Or we're going to actually name them legislatively.

Or any of the other crazy things I just mentioned. And that would still be a possibility. So, you know, it's... But!

All of those things, you still have to get, like, you would, people would not react positively to them these days, I don't think, even in the reddest states.

But you never know, you never know.

But there is crazy stuff that could happen. But the independent legislature theory being shot down means that if crazy stuff happens, it can be challenged in court.

Whereas if this had won, if crazy stuff happened, you're done. So, right.


Now redistricting now redistrict.

So they, well, I, what two States was it that is, yes, you said you took, it was North Carolina and what was the other one, was it North Carolina?

It, I thought they were both Gulf coast States.

Oh God.

Now you're going to make me look this up. Cause you, I was going to ignore the name States and just now we have to to find out.

I think one of them was one of them, Louisiana.

All right. So let's see which one.

Look, OK, Louisiana is one of them.

OK, um, and that one was more recent. Earlier this month, Alabama.

It was Alabama and Louisiana.

It was Alabama and Louisiana. OK, Alabama, Louisiana. OK. I don't.

Wait, Supreme Court rejects GOP in North Carolina case that could have reshaped elections beyond the state.

Oh, no, that look right. North Carolina was the one with the with the the the thing we just talked about, the independent legislature that was North Carolina.

Right, right, right, right. That was North Carolina. OK, all right.

See, this is why you come to us on curmudgeon's corner because we know our shit.

We know it backwards and forward.

If we don't, we'll Google it.

That there you go.

Okay, Louisiana and Alabama, go!

I felt like we just started like a dog race or something.

Go. Okay. Go.

Well, I mean, the, the, the main thing that I, that I took away from this is, you know, we've had these cases where legislatures have done certain, uh, extreme gerrymandering where They have eliminated certain districts, okay.

For minorities and, you know, uh, it, it, it created certain situations where it, in recent times of the elections where the, I mean, when the balance of the house was so narrow, right, that fuck, I mean, if, if these had been decided earlier that you have to go back and fix this, that they couldn't just do what they did, um, may have been close to tipping the balance of a fucking election.

Um, well here, here's one.

And, and that, and I guess they, and I think just the important thing is that, that, uh, going back to that damn independent state legislature bullshit thing.

I mean, there are many, uh, extreme gerrymanders, especially Republican States where they were in Bolton. thinking that they could get away with anything that they did.

And I think it was just important to have that pushback where this was a conservative court that went back to two GOP states and said, you know what?

No assholes, go back and fix this shit.

Right. So I thought that to me, that was like, you know, now here's the thing that's also important about this.

This came up before the election. Yeah, both of these two states and.

It was basically punted. Saying we're not going to allow any action right now because the lower courts had already said this is bullshit.

You have to redistrict and then it had been right field to the Supreme Court, and SCOTUS could have tried to decide it on an accelerated basis to take effect before the election. They did not.

It got punted to after the election.

And if you look back at this now, these are, this is two House seats that almost surely would be Democratic seats.

Yeah. Yeah. That's what I'm saying.

Add on top of this, what's his name, the guy in Connecticut?

Fraud guy Santo Santos I had on top of this and New York if the Democrats had New York New York Yeah, he was on Long Island, Long Island If the Democrats had been paying fucking attention in New York and and got in the Santos seat, that's three if they had put just a tad more resources against Bobert who they thought they had no shot against but ended up losing by like a A handful of votes.

Yeah, not even.

That's four right there. If you find a fifth anywhere in the country, the Democrats would have kept the House.

Well, hell, New York State, there were a number of districts that were lost. Not just the Santos one.

I know, I know, and you've pointed out some in Florida, and there are a couple others that were close in California.

Um, if, so these two seats, I, and it was one of the, it was one of the Trump appointed judges, I believe, who, well, I don't know.

I won't say that anyway, if they had decided this pre-election, it would have made a fucking difference.

You know, can you imagine like, you know, how hard it was for McCarthy with a four vote margin. Imagine he'd only had a two vote margin.

We'd still be taking a shot at house election.

I'm still shocked that he's still speaker.

Yeah, I know he survived. He's a yeah.

But anyway, so this is, you know, this this will help the Democrats next time around.

But I think the principle of it is more important in these two specific seats for the Democrats, because obviously, like, and these were like not close SCOTUS decisions either.

They basically said, you're going too far, this is clearly motivated to disenfranchise black voters, you need to fix it.

This has implications to other redistricting stuff elsewhere.

I think these, you know, most of of the redistricting is done, right? Like we do it once every 10 years.

Uh, so, uh, and it'll be a whole different world by the time we get to 2030.

Um, but this undoes a little bit of the stuff for, and it takes effect, you know, by, by the time we have the 2024 elections, so there you go. Okay. Next stop.

Oh, should I ask you if you have anything more to say? Because I've been really annoying and asking that over and over again on all kinds of things before moving on.

So. Uh, no. Not really. I got to break myself of that habit and just like, you know, you'll jump in if you haven't said everything you want to say. I'm sure.

I mean, but it's a good way of making sure that we, you know, we beat a horse to death.

But it's not like you're exactly shy when you have something to say.

Not exactly. No. I was having a discussion with this about my wife and she was like, not understanding, you know, how the hell do I do that?

And it's like, what do you mean? Well, you know, I go and I try to, you know, tell somebody, hey, you know, like the situation in her family.

And it's like, she's seen how I deal with situations in my family.

And she's like, I can't do that. I'm like, what do you mean?

Look, you mean, you mean just, just bluntly come out and say whatever the fuck it is. Is that what you're talking about?

Yeah. I mean, and, but, but you know, it's that I assertively will go and it's like, no, that's fucking wrong. Shut the fuck up. We're not doing that shit.

Where let's be fair. Most people are intimidated about doing that and wind up going with the flow. Even in very stupid situations.

No, I, I, I, I, I, I think the, yeah, I, I, I, I will go and you'll just dive right in and you'll be like, fuck you all.

Like, here's how it's going to be. Well, you know, you're full of shit, you know?

Well, look, let's say for example, dealing with something related to, um, uh, um, uh, you know, something, sometimes difficult things happen in families.

OK, yeah, say you've got, say you got somebody that's dealing with like drug addiction or something or whatever, right?

Or are the situations like that?

You know, you know, like I had a brother who was doing just stupid shit with the family business.

And you know what? Look, I was like, look, he needs to be fired.

Yes, he's he's getting fired. And, you know, I went and I fired him.


Okay. It needed to be done. Okay. And I think that a lot of people, it, and look, we're in good terms now. Okay.

But sometimes to solve certain problems, certain actions need to be taken quickly and aggressively and letting them fester doesn't make them better.

Okay. And people don't like doing that.

So yes. And so, me, if I'm going to go and say something about the subject, I'll fucking go in and say something about the subject. I'm not just going to let it lie.

I don't have to ask you, are you done? I can try to move on.

And if you're not ready to move on, you're going to like- I'll say, hey, what the fuck's your problem? Exactly. Right. Anyway.


So, and specifically, affirmative action in admissions at colleges.

And basically, the Supreme Court came out and said that cannot be an explicit consideration.

You cannot ask that question on the applications. You cannot explicitly make it part of your decision-making process.

There was a caveat that basically said, look, if somebody wants to include it on their essay, their application essay and talk about how race has affected them and blah, blah, blah.

That's potentially fine, but like, you can't have a program built around it.

Um, and this has been one of the things that John Roberts has sort of been, this has been one of his pet issues and he's been chipping away on affirmative action since he started on the court way back when, and probably when he was in lower courts too, I'm not sure.

But, and this sort of puts the nail in the coffin of how affirmative action has been done for the last couple of decades at most major schools.

California did something similar to this in terms of getting rid of this years ago.

And the effect was indeed a drop in minority admissions.

So we can probably expect that nationwide.

The argument made was that basically the 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides equal protection under the law, and so therefore you can't include this, period.

You can't include race-based anything, anywhere, not taking into account at all the distinction between sort of taking race into account in a you, negative oppressive way versus trying to right previous wrongs.

The argument being that you can't not be negative. It's a zero-sum game.

If you help one group, you're hurting another automatically.

That's the argument that the court made.

The dissents were very strong in terms of you can't just wish away racism by saying we're going to be officially colorblind.

Um, and you know, there are a number of people who've benefited from, uh, from affirmative action have talked about it.

Um, joy read on MSNBC talked specifically about how she got into Harvard and she's like, I'm absolutely, I was, I got there because of affirmative action and only because of affirmative action. And it's not because I wasn't qualified.

It's because I was a smart kid in a school district that nobody had ever heard of in suburban Colorado that was mostly Black and nobody paid attention to me.

The reason I got in was Harvard sent out a scout specifically looking for people like me and found me and pulled me in.

You know, and that's kind of, you know, there's this myth that affirmative action has been about like pulling in unqualified people.

Instead, it's more about.

Having more active ways to find qualified people that you wouldn't otherwise, because all of these schools get more qualified people than they could possibly admit.

Let me let me look having had having benefited in some way from affirmative action.

Let me, let me speak a little bit about this because I think one of the things is that the programs, uh, in the, at, at first, um, especially when you're looking back at it, college admissions, uh, 30, 40 years ago, which has changed quite a bit.

So it changed quite a bit because, you know, college admissions were very, uh, you know, look, your essay.

I mean, I remember when I was going, your SAT score, your grades, your extracurricular activities, blah, blah, blah, that those things.

And SAT scores are very important, especially for the very competitive schools.

And one of the things that happened related to SAT scores was that.

Yeah, universities, and rightly so. Had been, you know, had, you know, we're using different SAT score standards for minority groups in large part in recognition that...

These people they probably were criminal cram the smartest in their schools but their schools were not that good, what did you really prepare them that well in order to get as good a score as other people and so therefore you have to. L.

Balance that out in some way okay. Um, and so that, that was a big part of it.

And that's what they said. Well, they're letting in so under qualified students.

And that, that, that, that, that was a bullshit thing.

I mean, I, I, I didn't benefit as much in that respect because my scores were good.

Okay. Um, but I know it made it easier to get admitted because let's be clear.

I mean, I was the only fucking Hispanic in our freshman class!

Hm. Okay? That's it. Me. A thousand students.

There were some people that were people from other countries like there is a member like from South America country something but you west citizens you know his panic one guy in our class of nineteen eighty nine freshman class at carnegie bell university okay.

Add i mean look let's be clear.

Having more diversity, I think that I probably broke some stereotypes for people that met me of what the hell they thought a Hispanic student was supposed to be.

I mean, look, we talked about, look, the joke, it wasn't a joke, it was reality.

Our friend Al, who came from back then, basically, the first thing, Al met me and told her all aunt that lived back in, uh, uh, Sharpsville about me.

And he said, well, you better be careful with them Puerto Ricans because they all carry knives was one of the first things that, that, that she heard from about having a Puerto Rican, uh, as a, as a schoolmate.

Um, but you don't break those stereotypes unless you get more diverse classes.

And one of the things the court specifically said here was diversity is not a compelling interest that would allow you to discriminate by using race as a criteria.

Yeah, I think that, well, I think that, uh, I think that's bullshit, but I, but I do think that one thing that has been happening is that universities have been, because of some Some of the inherent issues with ...

Testing and i think that it in my in my view is not that the testing is.

Hey a lot of people think that testing is biased or whatever it is it so much that it's biased it's that if people are not getting the same preparation.

For the test it's very difficult for the test to assess how good the people are.

And so you have to come up with other ways of being able to evaluate the talent that you want to bring into the university.

OK, and how to and and, you know, I'm sorry, but so so that means that you have to change the criteria of admissions in order to get a a better sample of the kind of people that you're that that that that need to be in school.

Uh huh. And so I think that universities need to get creative about that.

Um, and what it means is, uh, okay. So they said, uh, you know, there could be fairness in admissions that, you know, that reflects that and it's not discriminatory.

Um, or it's not like, you know, it's not a race quota. Okay.

It's exactly what you just mentioned, for example.

I mean, there haven't been quotas in many, many years now. That was eviscerated by the courts earlier.

No, no, no, I know, but those were the old methods, is what I'm saying.

What I'm saying is that it doesn't have to be those older methods.

It could be by just exactly how you mentioned this, right?

Who was it that you said gave the example that the reason The reason that they don't want to go into Harvard was because Harvard went out recruiting to those students. Yeah.

That was joy.

Recommendable joy read. And I think that that's one of the important things.

Um, you know, I mean, Carnegie Mellon now, for example, has a far more diverse student body.

And one of the things that I know that they were doing was actually going out and actively doing what you just mentioned back then, when I went to there, they didn't do that.

I knew about the school because I, you know, I researched stuff and I visited the schools that I knew.

You know, I was I had access to more resources to be to know what was out there, OK, more than most.

And so that's how I was able to to to to do to do that.

But most people didn't.

Now, it I'm going to say, you know, One of the things that was good about me going was that many others, you know, I was the first from my high school to go to Carnegie Mellon, but I know that many other students followed in my my footsteps. after that.

Because people vote. Oh, so we do have people that went to that school. And so others went.

And so that's how you break those barriers and that's how you make a more rounded student body.

Florida, before Governor Idiot, one of the things that they had done in order to try to get diversity uh, and our, in our state universities was that they were guaranteeing, Hey, you're in the top 20 of your school graduating high school, right?

You are guaranteed a spot in the university of Florida. Uh, you know, in the Florida, you know, you know, in the Florida the state of Florida's state system.

You're guaranteed, you know, admission to school. By the way, at no cost, okay?

And I think that that's one way of breaking down a barrier because it doesn't matter if you're in the worst school district or whatever.

Hey, you excel there, you get in, period. End of discussion, okay? Let's not fuck around about this, okay?

And that's a way that I think that also helps to build that, that diversity is by, you know, understanding that that sometimes those kids aren't as smart as kids at this other better school, not in large part, because they didn't have the same level of education.

Or I will flat out, even though I had very high scores in, uh, in my in my English verbal section of the SATs.

I know it was overnight. It was in a in a low 90th percentile, a little bit, something like that.

Look, the fact that I went to Carnegie Mellon when I took my GMATs afterwards, just those four years exposed, I went from being 92, 93 percent. Well, I took the GMATs.

I was 99. I was over 99 percent.

So it made a difference, right? And I had the advantage of being at a good school.

So well, and the whole point of this effort, and of course, it's the whole reason people rebel against it, is the whole affirmative action structure was, it's not meant to sort of.

Lift, like it wasn't intended to lift black people above white people or to push Asians down or whatever.

It was meant to, it was meant to make these opportunities available.

Like for people who like, there's a very, and specifically when you were talking about Harvard and Yale and some of these that were explicitly mentioned, uh, like this particular, one of the two universities was Harvard.

And I forget what the other one was, But yeah, the part was, but the point, these are very white, very legacy, or at least they were in the past and they were very explicitly making efforts to sort of diverse, diversify and make it so that, again, I really like joy reads example, I've heard it replayed in a bunch of places since then there, you had a highly intelligent person who was very accomplished at their local school but would not have been on the radar at all, would probably not even have thought of applying to Harvard.

But because they were affirmatively reaching out and looking for diversity, they found her.

And they pulled her in, and they encouraged her, and they got her in.

She also mentioned in that same clip, by the way, how as soon as she got there, She was made to feel unwelcome by all kinds of people thinking that she didn't deserve to be there, but like your situation, being there for four years, provided a lot of value that she would not have had access to otherwise.

I mean, I'm sure she would have found some other school.

I wasn't made so much uncomfortable by people, but I will say that I had a big culture shock.

Oh, I mean it was.

I mean, look, I'm the only, I'm the only fucking, you know, Hispanic in a class of people that that is mostly Western Pennsylvania and white people.

Okay. I mean, look, look, to be fair, I had a culture shock just coming from the D.C. suburbs to Pittsburgh.

Exactly. You know, so, yeah, well, it was, you know, a thousand times worse for me.


Okay. And I really struggled with it at first. Um, but the one thing is that, uh, I will say that even though I struggled with the culture shock, I didn't feel that I was unwelcome either.


It was just that it was very different. Okay. And it's just, you know, with between the weather and, and, and just people doing very different things that was more to culture shock.

I, I, thankfully I did not feel unwelcome in any way. I will say that Pittsburgh, you know, know, in general, I had friends from Pittsburgh and, you know, lifelong friends from, from Pittsburgh now. And the people really made me feel welcome.

So I didn't feel that, thank God, um, so, so back, you know, but it's hard, it's hard to, you know, adjust to something that different.

Um, so back to the SCOTUS case real quick, the bottom line is they've made the way that this has been done to encourage diversity.

The ways that have been done in the past are gone.

Um, I think that many universities will do exactly what you've said and just try to find a more creative ways of recruiting, more creative ways of evaluating people.

Well, what are the things that they've been doing? Getting rid of using the SAT and ACT, if any, for example.

Even like what the majority opinion, striking this down, did have that paragraph stuck in the very end about, well, they can talk about their experience with race if it's relevant in their essay.

I'm sure that's going to be encouraged and taken into account.

Now we also have some right-wing people who have been out saying, we've got our team of lawyers ready. If you try crazy shit to get around this and are still doing it, we're suing you right away.

And I'm sure they will, and I'm sure there'll be more lawsuits in the house.

They will be suing until they fucking- Because the bottom line is, the objection here, I know a lot of these people legitimately feel like they're getting screwed because preference is being given to marginalized minorities.

Um, that's not what's happening and I'm sorry, it's not a zero. No, no, no, no.

Let's be clear. Let's be clear. They, they truly believe that all those other groups that are not white are inferior and don't deserve to be there.

They don't deserve to be there.

Forget about it. It, it, that is it. It's not even, no, no, no, no, it's not, no, they, listen, by virtue of what they're they are, they don't deserve to be there, period! End of discussion.

Okay, next up, the case about the web designer who didn't want to do websites for gay weddings.

Oh, I thought you were going to go first with the mailman.

The mailman? Oh, I forgot about the mailman. That wasn't even on my list.

Tell me about the mailman. We'll do that first.

Well, the mailman was, well, they're kind of both related.

Both religious objections. There was a mailman that, uh, basically to him, his Sunday was his Sabbath and he had religious objections to working on Sunday as a postal carrier.

And the post post office was saying, no, you have to work period.

They basically said that.

Nope. If they have a religious, you know, reason why they, you know, they can't be work that the employer needs to honor it.

So and so they put that, you know, an employer can't go and say, well, I guess, you know, a Jew that observes the Sabbath or whatever other religious thing that you're observing, your employer needs to respect that and not force upon you a shift of work that goes against that. So that was the.

I think I have just joined the religion of work from home.

And and also, by the way, my religion does not allow me to work more than two days a week.

And yeah, yeah.

So basically you're saying that we should start a church.

We should start a church. Yes.

Let's start a church.

Because, you know, I'm sorry I can't come in, but it's against my religion.

But Ivan just said in a sermon on Sunday that I need to work four days a week at home, five days a week at home. Huh.


Exactly. Um, this, this lends itself to all kinds of future mischief, uh, for the kinds of reason I said, I am sure like I'm not actually going to found a religion, but somebody will, I'm sure.

And somebody will, you know, use this to their advantage and say, well, they just said, if I have religious objections, I don't have to do whatever.

That's right. They're going to apply it to, uh, the obvious analog is days of week that you don't want to be there, but they'll apply it to all kinds of other things.

Oh, you want me to support, submit a TPS report once a week?

I'm sorry. That's against my religion.

So we need to start a religion that basically makes, makes TPS reports are our sin.

Yes, exactly.

Oh, that's great. Uh, yeah, I, I don't, I think that church will be extremely popular in the West coast.

Anyway, like, yes, this is going to cause all kinds of problems and, you know, I, I understand, yeah, there's, there's, this relates, like you said, to this other case that's religious-based.

There are other ones that have been going through the courts in previous years about people dispensing birth control if it's against their religion, or the cake shop, which is very close to the gay wedding one we're talking about. All kinds of things.

But fundamentally, the way I look at it is if your job—I mean, sorry, if your religion has problems with the potential job you want to do.

Maybe that's not the job for you. I'm sorry.

I mean, I, I mean, I do think that you want to make certain accommodations to people.

You certainly do. Like, like the kind of things that are ridiculous, like you, like they should not be able to keep you from wearing a religious necklace at work or something, or if you have to wear certain headgear because your religion says that's the right thing to do.

Those have nothing to do with your goddamn job, and they should not be able to tell you anything about those things like.

But, you know, but so first of all, I'll get a religion that says that I'm supposed to wear shirts that say, fuck you, Trump.


Can I, you know, so they can't object to that. But but I'm like, look, it's my religion. Look, I just came from a sermon. They said that this is, you know.

Yeah. But if it's something relevant to the job, like, you know, you're...

You your religion objects to birth control, but you want to work at a pharmacy that dispenses birth control Well, okay If you don't like that, you can't just pick and choose the parts of the job. That's part of the job.

Well, well Well, I know I picked pharmacy. So of course you're gonna have some stuff No, no, the thing is that you could reassign that You could reassign the problem was it was happening at places where the owners of the pharmacy didn't want to do that or where?

Every one of the employees and it gets messy, right?

And and I guess you look there there. It's you're just not providing a complete service. And so therefore you can understand that.

I mean, I I mean that that that to be as ridiculous.

I mean, you're you're I mean, it's like a doctor refusing care to care Muslims.

Okay, you know, or shit like that. I'm like, no, you can't do that.

You want to you want to run a fucking pharmacy that you need to eat the fucking sell the fucking medication, you know?

So, and if you got an employee that objects to a certain part of the job, fine, you know, have them do something else, you know, accommodate it around that. But, you know, you're damn, you know, you're a fucking pharmacist.

You need to need to provide the fucking drugs.

Like there was a case that came up in the news just this week about like, uh, someone that was refusing to provide, um, uh, It's like hormonal replacement therapy for trans people.

Anyway, to get to the specific case, this time around there was a web designer who, and this is part of the interesting thing, was thinking about maybe doing wedding websites, but was worried that maybe someone would ask her to do a website about gay marriage, which she didn't want to do because she felt it violated her, you know, religious values.

So this wasn't even a real case.

This was not, this had not actually happened. This person has never actually made wedding websites at all, let alone being asked to do one by a gay couple.

So how could they have standing for this fucking...

Because she wanted to advertise explicitly saying that she wouldn't do these kinds of things, and she thought that would violate a new state law against discrimination against LGBTQ people.

And somehow they got, like, you are absolutely right. Like, normally, in previous situations, this would have been denied on standing ground.

Come back when you have an actual situation.


But SCOTUS didn't want to do that because they wanted to take this case.

Anyway, they determined that, yes, she had the right to say, I don't want to do gay wedding websites.

And I can put that on my advertising. I can put that everywhere.

Now, to me, every time a case like this has come up, and this is true on the cake one too, it's been a little bit unclear to me and I've never dug into it enough to understand, Like, are they saying she can tell?

She can just say, I'm not providing service to gay people, period, or just that I don't have to make this website.

To me, it makes a little bit of a difference.

She actually explicitly said in the case, the woman who was doing this, I'm happy to make websites for gay people.

I just don't asshole.

I think you're right. Um, and, and, you know, I look at it as saying like, it matters also that, um, in this case, um, your sexual orientation is a protected class in this state.

Um, because like, presumably, like if she was saying like you, you mentioned fuck Trump t-shirts or whatever.

Let's say this was a Democrat saying they don't want to make websites for Republicans.

Republicans are not a protected class. So you could absolutely say I'm not making websites for Republicans.

Okay. Okay. I understand. I mean, you know, so, oh yeah, I mean, you know, Republicans are data protected class.

So, you know, so that's, yeah. I mean, you need to be a protected class, but this thing just took, to me, it took a buzzsaw against it.

Yeah. And I mean, generally speaking, I'm actually somewhat sympathetic to the notion of, like, if I am doing a creative act, I'm doing websites, I run a print shop, I, whatever, I don't want to...

Print or I don't want to do stuff for clients that I fundamentally disagree with Like if if like let's say I did like at one time in prehistory.

I did do websites freelance a little bit Oh my god, I forgot about that.

It wasn't very long and I wasn't very good at it, but I did it But like if somebody came up wanting to do a neo-nazi website, I want to be able to tell them no Yeah, you know, I want to have the right to turn away way, jobs that I feel are fundamentally unethical or helping people I don't like.

But, but neo-Nazis are not a protected group.

And I can see the flip of this, but again, this is a protected class and you aren't saying I won't do.

You you're not saying I won't do any wedding website. You're saying I'm going to pick and choose who I will do wedding websites for, and this is part of it being a public business.

So you sort of have to take on all comers, but I, yeah, I admit to this and these kinds of restrictions.

I have some mixed feelings because I, I do feel like to some degree, you know, if like, again, I keep coming back to the, you know, do I have to make a website for a trumper?

You know, do I have to make a cake that with that? Do I have to make a MAGA cake?

But again, they aren't protected groups of people you can argue about what should be protected or what is not in this case It's protected and so anyway the decision here says Too fucking bad Yeah, yeah if if you are in a web design business and somebody comes to you and wants a a gay wedding website, you can just say no, fuck them.

Okay. Okay, last but not least, school loans.

Ah, yes, well, so this is another fuck them all, you know, basically this actually started with the Trump administration and the pandemic giving some leeway for folks during the pandemic.

Obama came in, extended stuff, and then was going to forget about Obama.

Obama's back. Obama's back.

I wish Obama was back.

No, by God, Obama's back. back.

Biden, Biden.

Oh, yeah. But shit. Okay.

Yes. Biden, Biden was forgiving a bunch of stuff was going to spend a whole bunch of money to, to wipe out a bunch of school loan debt.

And SCOTUS said, no, you can't do that. Or at least you can't do that that way.

He He was trying to use a specific law to do this, and basically they said that law does not give you the authority to do that.

Yeah, that was basically it, and he said that he's going to try to do it, but using some other...

Some other way that takes longer, has more procedures around it.

In the meantime, he's basically saying, yeah, you're going to have to start repaying as of this date, but we're not going to go after people who don't for a little while longer past that, you'll still be, there'll still be interest accumulating and stuff like that.

But we're, you know, they're, they're trying to figure out alternatives to work around this.

And this was, this was one that from the very beginning, it was sort of unclear that it might've been a little bit of a reach, uh, to say that this particular law let him do this, but you know, they gave it a shot.

Um, they failed, they'll try a different way. But this is another case where.

And then maybe this is where we pivot to political ramifications of all this.

Last year, we had the abortion ruling. It was almost exactly a year ago, a year and a week at this point, I think.

We have the affirmative action thing, where not quite as strong support of the public as abortion, but not bad either.

We have the discrimination against LGBTQ plus people, which is something that is at this point, overwhelming percentages think that's not okay of the American public.

And then you've got a thing that's essentially taking money out of the pockets of a lot of young people, a lot of college-educated young people who are likely voters.

And so are all of these SCOTUS decisions, like many of the ones we've talked about, it was a mixed bag.

We had the redistricting and the independent legislature, but a lot of these seem like they would have fairly strong negative effects that we disagree with.

At least you and I disagree with, Yvonne.

But at the same time, is this yet another thing that's actually going to make it easier for Democrats to win next year because.

The Republicans are continuing and this time it's the court Republicans, not legislative Republicans, but the Republicans in general are continuing to overreach by pushing harder and harder on things that are actually pretty unpopular.

Look, I would like to be able to somehow go through, uh, you know, uh, what was that?

Uh, uh, who's that company that, uh, hacked Facebook and did all that analytical information in order to target, to target ads, Cambridge Analytica, I think something like that. It was called.


I want to hire them. OK. In order to scour Facebook and other social media to find every moron that posted back in 2006.

Oh, God. Sixty that that that that 2016 that in the election that, you know, Trump and Hillary, They were like equivalent decisions.

Okay, and I want to like awful.

They're horrible, right?

We're gonna stay right and I want to grab all those fucking people and basically I want to send out a squad to have them basically just confess to their stupidity and Sign a pledge in blood that they will never ever do something that stupid again I I don't know how many times I have said since the election in 2016 that I am sorry like especially to like I'll just point them out, the Sanders people who were like anti-Hillary and like...

All that crap that we heard from them. Like, I am worried you just gave up any hope of actual forward progress in much of this crap for the rest of your adult life.

Maybe not quite, but decades for generations, a couple of generations, I'm going to say for a couple, I'm going to say a couple of generations.

I was looking at the other day. I don't know about a couple of generations, but it's what you're going to do.

You have it. Wait, let me just finish. You have you have the damage that Trump is going to do during his actual term you have the additional damage from his Supreme Court justices, which as Soon as already in 2016, we knew that was gonna happen.

I mean Hillary Clinton said it in a fucking debate She was right about everything and Then we're gonna have this Majority court for a long time, depending on who dies first, right? And whether they died during Republican or Democratic.

That's why I was saying I was looking at the ages you're looking at.

You're trying to run.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Basically, you're talking about a 20 year period.


That's what you're looking at.

Yeah. And then you have to sort of ramp it back up.

And that assumes Democrats win, right? Right. Um, and so, yeah, it's like, yeah, you just took a potential additional forward progress moving and went to a port where we're going to have negative results for quite a few years.

And then you're going to spend a huge amount of time, decades rebuilding and getting back to where we fucking were.

I, it's just that I, what, what really angers me is just how these people, you could explain it to them until you're blue in the face and they were just so fucking blind and dumb.

Because I had arguments.

Even now you sometimes still hear it, you know, like what, why isn't Biden just expanding the fucking court?

You know, and like, look, we may have to expand the fucking court.

It's not like he can snap his fingers and just do it.


You know, you need control of the House and the Senate and a big enough majority in the Senate to either overcome a filibuster or get rid of the filibuster.

You know, and even then there are significant potential negative downsides of doing that.

Biden was talking about that in an interview just yesterday, you know, but it's like Like, the whole, yeah, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, like, you fucked it up in 2016.

For everybody.

Yeah, for everybody. like when we're like, we will be.

Working to undo the damage of 2016 for a long, long, long time.

I'm telling you, the number is for about 50 years. That's what it's going to be, 50 years.

I mean, if you think about it, sometimes even longer, like if you look at Reconstruction and the backlash from Reconstruction, it took nearly a hundred years after that to get back to where we were in terms of having black people in elected positions in the country, the damage from a single moment in time of making the wrong choice can last a long, long time.

Now, I hope I'm being excessively pessimistic here and we're able to recover faster.

Another thing that you said, Yvonne, that has stuck with me from a few shows ago is that it's not necessarily that things are worse now than they were a few decades ago.

It's that we're going in the wrong direction.

Yes. That's the problem is that we were used to this tide going the other way, you know, and all of a sudden it feels like we've got this fucking tide that we're still, you know, we can't stop.


And yeah, it's, we're going the wrong way and yo, uh, and the thing is, okay, yeah, we elected Biden, but it slows the tide, but it didn't, it didn't revert it.

Yeah. I mean, you, you, you got this court in place. They're going to have massive amounts of impact until there's a wholesale turnover.

Oh, I mean, it slowed the tide definitely a lot, but it didn't revert it.

Maybe, um, maybe one of, uh, Thomas's billionaire friends can give him a ride on a submarine.

Yes. There you go. Oh God. Sorry, Bruce. Yeah.

Yeah. Uh, I don't stop with a submarine stop with a submarine junked.

And, and I mean, I do not want anybody to go harm any Supreme court justices or anything like that. That would actually make things worse. Not better.

No, no. What I say, I was just encouraging a submarine tour.

Uh, yeah.


But yes, yes, we're going to be talking about this SCOTUS for a long time and the various things they're doing. They just teed up a case.

You know, they finished all their cases and they also announced some of the things that will be in next term.

One of the cases they've agreed to take on next term is whether or not laws that say that people who are currently under restraining orders because of domestic violence, whether or not they can have guns.

Right now there's a federal law that says if you have a restraining order against you in, a domestic not supposed to have firearms, but they're taking that to court and given this SCOTUS, they very well may say that's unconstitutional and those people, you know, even some red states have recently passed these red flag laws and stuff that say, basically, if you have a good reason to suspect someone is a danger to the people around them, you can take away their fucking guns.

Yeah, those may not last.

So anyway, fun, fun.


Let's close it up, Yvonne. All right.

Close it up.

Close it up. Close it up. Um, as usual, you can go to curmudgeon's hyphen, and see our archives, see our email, see our Facebook, see our mastodon, get in touch with us.

And all of those ways we would love to hear from you. Wouldn't we, Yvonne?

Yes, you can also find our Patreon there where you can give us money, preferably lots of money. We like money. Money is good.

We could, you know, we're at approximately $15 a month right now from our Patreon and yeah, more would be nice. But!

If you send money to our Patreon, at various levels, we will mention you on the show, we will ring a bell, we will send you a postcard, we will send you a mug, all that kind of fun stuff, but very important, $2 a month or more, or if you just ask us, because we're that kind of nice, friendly show, we will invite you to our Curmudgeons' Corner Slack, where Yvonne and I and various other listeners are chatting throughout the week, sharing links, talking, all this kind of stuff.

So, and we would love to have more of you on there. It's a lot of fun. Please join us.

So, Yvonne, how about I know what I know we've we've taken a while.

We're we're past our normal target length, I think.

But is there one thing from the curmudgeon's core slack this week that we have not talked about on the show that you would like to share right now?

They stopped sharing their Netflix password.

Is family therapy next?

Okay, I saw you share this, but I did not read it.

Wall Street Journal. Parents, siblings, and kids are giving each other the boot in awkward talks. My mama raised me to share.

Even she is now cut off.

So, uh, it's this whole thing about, uh, the Netflix password crackdown and how people are getting into, uh, fights and disputes, um, you know, uh, over this people getting really angry.

Um, you know, uh, a quote here, it sounds like I'm getting a divorce or something says Jennifer Joseph Fayetteville, North Carolina, who broke the news to her many Netflix hangers on in May, a Facebook post.

I'm so sorry, but I just keep sharing. Despite the fact that my mama raised me to share, even now she is cut off.

Um, let's see. Uh, so people are just, um, getting into some really angry, uh, and uncomfortable discussions with members of their family, their kids, their moms, their cousins, um, you know, their friends over, over this.

Um, yeah, I will say that I remember that when I first started using Netflix, Uh, somebody had shared me their password.

Uh, but you know, I started actually watching shows and pretty quickly I was like, eh, you know, I don't want to, you know, I'll buy my own.

Okay. Uh, you know, I just did it because, you know, I w I just wanted to try it because I was just not on it. So they, to me, and then I got my own password, but, um, You know, uh, I, I, You, You know, there are people that really watch a lot of Netflix, my wife being one of those people. I barely watch any of it, but she watches a lot of Netflix shows. Okay.


And given the price of Netflix, it's not that expensive.

If you watch that much fucking flex Netflix, pay the fucking bill, shut up and stop complaining.

Well, you know, it's just that like, the thing is Netflix actually part of their marketing campaign a few years back was actually about sharing their password and how that was a sign of love and all this kind of stuff.

And then at this point, they're like, you know, we got to make some money losing a lot of money this way.

They have it because everybody was sharing with like a dozen people or whatever, you know, and they could create profiles and blah, blah, blah.

And so, yeah, like at the moment, our Netflix isn't shared with anybody outside of our address at the moment, but, uh, you know, I, you know, it's, it's, I don't know, I can understand.

Like if you've got like eight people that we're all sharing one account, if all eight of them by their own, that's a lot more money.

Yes, it is.

Of course, that's why Netflix wants them. But depending on the nature of their, it just, depending on how hard they crack down, some of those people just won't bother, but as long as they make a little bit more, they're, they're okay.

You know, like if, if, if only two of those people end up getting their own subscriptions and not all eight, Netflix is still up on that deal.

And, and if I remember right, Netflix has made a, a tier where if you want somebody external at a different address to still use your account, you can actually pay an amount on your account for them.

That's less than a whole separate Netflix account and keep them on your account.

You're it's not going to be free anymore, but you can be like, yeah, you know, grandma's using my account. I'm gonna pay the extra six bucks a month to subribe her as well.

So make sense. Anyway, I think, you know, there's a whole series.

We haven't talked about Twitter in a while. We haven't talked about the Reddit thing at all.

Google's doing some crap.

There are a whole bunch of cares about who really cares about Reddit.

A lot of people care about Reddit.

No, no, there's a lot of people, but it's a percentage, but it's a percentage of people out there.


Really gives a damn about Reddit.

A bunch of geeks. Anyway. Yes, that's it. The point is there are a whole bunch of companies right now that because, well, because of a variety of reasons are going through a cycle where they're just trying to claw back extra revenue from things that they were giving away for free.

And they're getting pushback. We'll see how it all works out.

But like there's some, I think some of these companies are going to end up self-destructing because they're too aggressive about it.

Some, some of them will morph a little bit and survive. I think Netflix is one of the ones that will morph a little bit and survive because people can do other things.

Some of like what Twitter and Reddit are doing. I don't know.

They're going to have a hard time.

I don't know. That, that's, yeah.

I mean, they're, they're basically telling their users to go fuck themselves and that's not a winning strategy, but it's not no, and I guess kind of Netflix is doing that, But at the same time, you can be like, dude, you are using it for free. Yeah, exactly.

Come on, give me a fucking break.

It was against the rules. You knew it was against the rules.

We've always said it was against the rules. Even when we included it in our marketing, it was still actually against the rules. So.

Pay up a little bit.

Get over it.

But yeah, yeah, some of these others we'll see. We'll see. There's this again, there's this whole cycle. A whole bunch of companies are doing it right now where they're making their services crappier in the name of monetizing more.

And yeah, we'll see. Anyway, that's it. We are out of here.

Thank you everybody for joining us again. Have a great week.

I guess the 4th of July holiday is coming up.

So soon have a good 4th of July holiday. For those of you in the U.S., of course, I know we've got some international listeners, too, so have a good holiday and stay safe on the holiday. I think I've mentioned this last couple of years.

Don't go out there blowing up your own fireworks, especially if you're also like drinking and under the influence.

So many people like completely mangle their fucking hands or lose them completely or otherwise injure or kill themselves.

And, and I got a cousin of mine lost his eye.

I know you told you told us about that a couple, a last couple of Fourth of July's when I've mentioned the same thing, there are people just don't mess.

Oh, he did lose a tip of a finger too.

Yeah. Like if you want fireworks, go out and watch the professional show that's undoubtedly nearby. You don't go messing with these things yourself.

It's just dangerous and stupid.

Uh, I know lots of people did it way back in the day.

I used to do it like not with the really big ones, but we got a few things and blew them up in the yard, but no longer, not for many, many years.

Cause it's, it's just the professional ones are better. Go watch those and you don't have to put yourself in danger. Duh. Okay.

Lecture over. We're done. Goodbye. Be safe. Everybody have a great week and we'll be back next time. Goodbye. Bye. Bye. doo-doo-doo-doo, Bye!

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