oh crap it’s thursday

Every semester has a worst day of the week, and for me this term it’s the dreaded Thursday: lab, my writing class, committee meetings, sometimes a senior seminar, and as always grading. Lab this time around demands a 2 hour prep ahead of time, as well.

I kind of like Mondays this term. I’ve recovered over the weekend, I’ve just got one big cell bio lecture, and labs don’t start for me until Tuesday. I can plunge into a Monday still fresh and optimistic, but I’m afraid that has totally worn off by Thursday.

Oh hey, I’ve also got to tend to the fly crop and the spider colony today. I hope you all appreciated the fly I sent off to Utah yesterday. I just told it to go west and find the biggest shithead you can smell, land on it, and teabag it for the cameras. The spiders are on the way to lay eggs in his ears, I hope the timing is good so they hatch out on election day.


  1. hemidactylus says

    Is it a weird reflection of our current surreal Twilight Zone state that I could appreciate Pence’s relatively self-controlled demeanor? He is still a weasel but not overtly batshit cray cray. Huge contrast to Trump-Biden for having some degree of civility and mutual respect.

    IMO Harris was very impressive. She too avoided some direct questions (eg- SCOTUS packing), but put Pence in check several times. She came armed with a baseball bat wrapped in verbal barbs.

    Kinda baffled why the ChiCom trope is getting resurrected from the height of McCarthyite paranoid era. It’s as if Nixon never decided to warm relations. China is an authoritarian state with serious warts, but so is Russia and we know Trump is warm toward his handler Putin. I guess the nefarious Kremlin trope (eg- Boris and Natasha lacing Moose and Squirrel drinks with nerve agent) is unpopular with the Trump administration. But demonizing China isn’t. They get scapegoated for Trump-Pence ineptitude. They hold some of our debt still right?


    Who holds Trumps debt?

    “We now know that Donald Trump owes and is in debt for $400m.”

    “And just so everyone knows when we say in debt we means owes money to somebody.”- Kamala Harris

    I thought Soros had trained the fly as an Illuminati operative to steal intel from Pence’s brain for the Deep State. It flew away “empty handed”. A bigly fly chillin’ on a VP bleached wrestler mane is a fitting 2020 moment.

  2. billseymour says

    I watched the “debate” last night…civic duty and all that. (I have no argument with folks who had other duties.)

    There wasn’t the shouting and insults that we heard in the first presidential “debate”; but both contestants ran over their alloted time and talked over the moderator who was trying desperately to shut them up; and both typically stuck with prepared talking points, only rarely answering the questions that were actually asked.

    I can’t remember a time when I actually learned anything from these or other TV reality shows.

    One thing did surprise me:  Pence avoided calling neo-libs “socialists”! I guess he’s only a religious wackaloon, and on the economy, no worse than Randian (although that’s a pretty low bar).

  3. hemidactylus says

    Uggh I got a weirdly worded quote of Harris from The Independent


    This might be better (sorry my bad):
    “”We now know Donald Trump owes and is in debt for $400 million — and just so everyone is clear, when we say in debt, it means you owe money to somebody,” Harris said.”


    One of those verbal barbs I mentioned above.

  4. kome says

    At my university, that day every Fall/Spring semester is Monday. My department has decided to shove as much as possible on Monday. Faculty meetings, brown bags, our invited speaker series, labs… all Monday. Some semesters my Mondays are 13-hour days.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    (Off-topic) Hooray! Trump has backed out of the virtual TV debate. One less thing to be annoyed by.
    -And now back to our ordinary program….

  6. favog says

    @2 I have a hypothesis as to why Harris didn’t want to talk about the plans concerning the Supreme Court, and I will confess up front that if I’m right, I approve of her dodging the question. I’ve seen a few interviews with liberal types who are also legal types that have dropped a reference to an idea in a way that makes me suspect there’s a plan that they are letting peek out just enough to fly under the conservative radar so they can’t screw it up, but to see if liberals respond poorly. So, I’m thinking that what they want to do, should the election land that they have the right support in place to do it, is to impeach & replace Cavenaugh rather than expand the court. I’m all for it.

  7. raven says

    So, I’m thinking that what they want to do, should the election land that they have the right support in place to do it, is to impeach & replace Cavenaugh rather than expand the court. I’m all for it.

    It’s a nice idea but this is very unlikely to work.

    It takes 2/3’s of the Senate to remove a federal judge.
    The Democrats aren’t likely to ever have that many votes.
    They can impeach Kavanaugh or Amy Barrett like they did Trump.
    And how did that work out?

  8. favog says

    Very poorly, as we know. But not because Republican senators wanted to keep him. There are plenty that wanted to boot him, but they were too afraid to be the first one to say so. If Trump loses by say, 2 to 1 electoral votes and the Dems get a slight lead in the senate, remaining Repubs could see voting to remove him as a chance to wipe the Trumpstink off. And if it fails, expanding the court is still around as a second option.

  9. Ed Seedhouse says

    I don’t see the objection to increasing the size of SCOTUS. There are a lot more people in the country than there were in the 1930’s so there are now fewer SC judges per capita than there were back then and the workload is surely considerably higher.

  10. stroppy says

    Had to periodically turn off the debate in order to regulate my blood pressure.

    Is it just me, or does Pence look like Roger Stone’s lost brother? Anyway, usual insidious distortions and Just-So stories from Pence that appeal to those who find it credible that Noah put billions of critters in a boat he built in his back yard. I’d like to believe he will fade out of politics and die scorned, laughed at, reviled and pitied as a colossal, self-serving dupe and hypocrite.

    McCarthy… tactics are tactics, they will pretty much serve any authoritarian shit bag against any vulnerable target. Just a reminder that Trump’s mentor was an architect of red baiting, putting his own spin on ancient, slimy tricks. Trained Trump well enough apparently.

  11. raven says

    … is to impeach & replace Cavenaugh rather than expand the court.

    Which brings up a key question.
    What happens if the new extremist Catholic court overturns Roe versus Wade, voter rights, and the ACA among other decisions destroying what is left of our democracy? Impeachment is unlikely to work.
    Below is a Xpost from patheos about what we can do next.

    Then what.
    Good question.
    Are we really going to let 5 Catholic extremists on the Supreme court wreck a country of 327 million people.
    Do the math, we outnumber them by 65 million to 1.

    1. The US Supreme court can’t enforce its decisions.
    If enough people ignore their decisions, that is what happens.
    Data. Look at what the South did since the Civil War ended in 1865.
    They just stalled, denied, beat around the bush, ignored, and evaded a lot of law and Supreme court decisions from 1865 until…this morning in 2020.

    2. If the Democrats get a legislative majority, they can pack the court, i.e. increase the number of Justices.
    Stare Decisis is dead anyway.
    What the Supreme court reverses can be reversed again.
    When the Suprme court becomes an ideological football, it tosses away its legitimacy and becomes just another not very important government department.

  12. hemidactylus says

    @12- stroppy

    Hmmm… I hadn’t given the connection much thought, but are you implying an ideological genealogy from McCarthy through Cohn to Trump? Makes some sense now.

    Incidentally McCarthy was lampooned in The Manchurian Candidate (original Sinatra version as Denzel’s was an anachronistic abomination). In light of Putin as influencer…🤔

  13. stroppy says

    @14 hemidactylus

    Yes, I think so. And then there’s Roger Stone with that ridiculous tattoo of Nixon on his back… What’s up with that?

    If you ask me, Trump is cocktail of unsavory influences that have been swirling around NYC for decades, particularly the anything goes 70s when the mafia pretty much owned the city.

  14. AstroLad says

    Packing the court will just start a never ending cycle of tit-for-tat when power changes hands. The long term solution is to destroy the God Offal Party as it currently exists as a viable political entity. Much easier said than done.

  15. says

    #6: Yeah, my university designated one hour on Thursday as the “community hour”, when you’re not allowed to schedule regular classes and are supposed to use the time for, for instance, committee meetings. They were so delusional that they thought we’d all only have ONE MEETING A WEEK, so it would be easy.
    It just means there is a big collision every thursday at 11:15 as everyone tries to schedule that hour for everything else, all at the same time.

  16. birgerjohansson says

    Fuck the worry about tit-for-tat. You have been at war with the Republicans at least since they stole the presidency from Gore.
    Pack the courts while you come up with a better system. The Republicans have never been afraid ps shouting “vae victis” and throwing a sword on the scale. When you win, you must not give back power to known corrupt cultists.

  17. favog says

    Yeah, it’s absurd to wring your hands and say “but we don’t want to start a war!” when the hordes are already overrunning your lands, burning your crops, gutting your livestock and raping the women. That’s when you buckle on your shield, draw your sword, and devil take the hindmost. Even if you lose, at least you went down fighting.

  18. raven says

    Packing the court will just start a never ending cycle of tit-for-tat when power changes hands.

    So what.
    .1. Once you start packing the court, it never stops.
    It’s quite possible that by the end of the 21st century, the US Supreme Court will have a hundred people on it. Or who knows, maybe a lot more.
    Way it goes and who cares?
    .2. By that time, the US Supreme Court has tossed away all its legitimacy. It’s just a political football that half the population hates and the other half regards as useful idiots. (The two change places with a change in party control.)

    .3. As I noted above, the US Supreme court can’t enforce its decisions. The option exists to just ignore them like the South has been doing since 1865. Ignore, evade, stall, find loopholes, pretend you can’t read and understand their decisions, etc..

  19. raven says

    The big decision that will likely doom the Supreme court to irrelevancy is overturning Roe versus Wade. The right wingnuts/fundie xians have been working on this since it was decided in 1973. Almost 50 years. They see blood in the water and if Amy Barrett gets on (almost certain), they will go berserk until it happens. It will happen.

    .1. It won’t be popular since it effects the majority of the population directly and a lot of the rest indirectly.
    If you don’t control your own body, what are you. A slave.
    .2. It also sets up women to be executed for first degree murder.
    If the fundie xians make it law that a zygote or fetus is a person, then abortion is first degree murder. In fact, they have already introduced bills in states making abortion equivalent to murder.

    .3. It also won’t stop abortion.
    It will however, cause huge social problems.
    The Romanian dictator, Ceausescu tried making abortion illegal to make more Romanians. It was a huge failure. The birth rate went up and then went right back down.
    Maternal mortality however, went up and stayed up.
    There were also 1/2 million unwanted children sent to orphanages, that the Romanian state was incapable of taking care of. All those kids grew up with huge problems. It’s not known what happened to them but it is likely most of them just ended up dying young.

    You have to ask yourself, are we going to let 5 Catholic extremists wreck a society of 327 million people? We outnumber them and not if I/we can help it.

  20. JimB says

    Had to periodically turn off the debate in order to regulate my blood pressure.

    I only lasted a half hour. After I turned it off my daughter told me she had never heard me yell “You lying motherfucker” so many times before.