A Saturday Open Forum

Another weekend, another open forum.

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The post takes aim at a section of the bill that allows big restaurant and hotel chains to take advantage of the small business relief money for any of their individual hotels and restaurants that have fewer than 500 employees. Critics argued that these big chains will take more than half of the allocated funds, leaving many smaller businesses without the cash they need to stay afloat. “Masquerading these franchisees as small businesses will pull the rug out from under independent bars and restaurants,” the post says, inviting followers to speak out against this loophole.

    Other restaurants across Washington, DC, where I live, posted identical messages. When I asked one of the restaurants where the image had originated, they directed me to the DC Hospitality Coalition, whose ally organizations in Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York had posted the same thing. (I reached out to the DC group; I haven’t yet received a response.)

    An earlier version of the legislation had reserved the whole pot for independently owned small businesses, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) slid in the provision allowing restaurant and hotel chains could qualify. So a pot of money that was supposed to support more than 30 million small businesses and their nearly 60 million employees—which, by the way, is almost half of the entire US workforce—will now be split with companies like McDonalds, which took in a record $100 billion in sales and returned more than $8 billion to shareholders through stock buybacks and dividends last year.

    To be fair, the issue is complicated. Many of the name-brand hotel and restaurant locations that will benefit from the loophole aren’t actually owned by multinational corporations but are instead run by franchisees. But couldn’t company’s like McDonalds make those franchise owners and their employees whole without the help of the American taxpayer? Seems like the kind of thing that the $25 billion McDonalds doled out to shareholders over the last three years would have been good for.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Siobhan 美慧/은혜 #iKON
    Okay I’ve had the 90 day trial and would like to return 2020

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Rex Chapman


    Each night in Spain at 8pm, ppl come to their balconies to cheer the country’s healthcare workers.
    Last night, a caregiver brought her Alzheimer’s patient to the balcony to play his harmonica.
    She lets him believe they’re cheering for him.


    And he can still carry a tune.

  4. Bill says:

    I live in Building 11 of a 14 building 55 and over community. There are two Conronavirus cases in building 12.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Hoping the wind is favorable.

  6. mattbernius says:

    In case people don’t read through yesterday’s open thread, Doug M checked in with the world on Twitter:

    I just want everyone to know that I'm okay, I'm safe in my home and I have access to food and all that good stuff. I haven't been sick and in addition to everything else, I am doing what everyone else is doing to avoid exposure to Covid-19 I hope you are all doing the same.— Doug Mataconis (@dmataconis) March 27, 2020

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Deion Broxton KTVM

    Mar 25
    There was a herd of bison walking right toward me at @YellowstoneNPS

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius: Thanx, good to hear.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    HBCU Buzz

    Mar 24
    She was doing chemotherapy & couldn’t leave the house because of the threat of #coronavirus so her line sisters showed up outside her house & standing a safe distance from her + each other, they showed their support.


  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Neera Tanden

    Watch this. It’s so comforting.
    It will be nice to have a human and decent president again.

    Quote Tweet
    Rob Friedlander
    · 11h
    “The human connection is so, so profoundly important.”

    @JoeBiden just showed more empathy in those last 10 seconds than @realDonaldTrump has shown in the last 10 weeks.
    Compassion is on the ballot.

    More empathy in 10 seconds than trump has ever exhibited in a lifetime. Joe almost gives out his phone number on national TV.

  11. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: that’s weird, I had a sudden allergy attack.

  12. Bill says:

    Sad news- Harlem Globetrotters star Curly Neal has passed away. I watched the Globetrotters many times on television when growing up (Remember ABC’s Wide World of Sports) and found Neal very entertaining. RIP.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Got awful dusty here too.

  14. charon says:

    I hopr these links work, had bad luck yesterday..

    (click on “show this thread” first link or click on the body to get to the thhread second link)

    On modeling: https://twitter.com/CT_Bergstrom/status/1243819232950751233

    On politicization: https://twitter.com/CT_Bergstrom/status/1243270089320742912

  15. charon says:

    In general re above, takes some clicking around to find all of the entire threads

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US girl, four, missing for two days found safe in woods with dog at her side

    It’s nice to have something to celebrate right now.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @charon: Re politicization, again, it ain’t just Trump. This is the fruit of forty plus years of Republican messaging.

    Do you suppose that as experts are repeatedly right and FOX, Limbaugh, el al ad infinitum are consistently wrong it will change attitudes, maybe even allowing wider acceptance of the truth of AGW? I didn’t think so either.

  18. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Trump Chooses Disaster as His Re-Election Strategy


    … Mr. Trump is essentially making a massive bet that political polarization is a more powerful force than the virus’s body count. By picking the usual fights with the press, the president is hoping to change the narrative around the virus…

    If states ignore Mr. Trump’s advice and beat back the virus successfully before Election Day, he can claim victory. In the very unlikely event the virus doesn’t cause destruction in other parts of the country similar to what it is causing in Seattle, New York City and New Orleans, he can claim fear-mongering on behalf of Democrats and the media….

    … Though public opinion around the virus is still starkly divided by party, there’s evidence to suggest that gap is narrowing and could shrink substantially as the spread of infection peaks across the country. Faced with an exponentially multiplying threat, the president has chosen to flirt with disaster rather than avoid it. It’s a strategy with a high risk of collateral damage — namely, us.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    @Bill:..Sad news- Harlem Globetrotters star Curly Neal has passed away.
    RIP Curly Neal

    I saw the Globetrotters with Meadowlark Lemon in the Danville (IL) High School gymnasium on Saturday, November 23, 1963. I was 15 and a Sophomore at the time.
    I remember the date as it was the day after President John Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas.
    My friends and I already had tickets.
    I thought the “game” would be called off but my dad reassured me that the show would go on.
    There was a moment of silence before it started.
    A good time was had by all.

  20. charon says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    The Clif notes version of the links I posted above is the models are optimistic, they are susceptible to *optimistic misinterpretation, and politicians will use them to justify inadequate response.

    * misinterpretation by, among other things, not grasping what the meaning of the error bands show.

  21. charon says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    In the very unlikely event the virus doesn’t cause destruction in other parts of the country similar to what it is causing in Seattle, New York City and New Orleans, he can claim fear-mongering on behalf of Democrats and the media….

    Good luck with that (found at LGM):



  22. MarkedMan says:

    Damn. And this place had become so civil the past week or so…

  23. EddieInCA says:

    For those paying attention (most on this site, for sure):

    We are now, worldwide, gaining cases at slightly more than 4,000 per hour. At midnight last night, we rolled over to 600,000. As of 9am, we’re at 632,000. The curve is still accelerating locally, nationally, and internationally.

    We’re barely in the 1st third of this, based on the models I’m seeing. And the more info that comes in, the better the modeling will get. But at this exponential increase, we could be looking at 120K additional tomorrow, and by Tuesday 300K new cases per day. and a million new cases a day by next Saturday.

    It’s still going to get much worse.

  24. Sleeping Dog says:
  25. Gustopher says:

    @Guarneri: And masks, and other PPE for first responders. Decades of underfunded national reserves.

    Shortages which left us more vulnerable to the colosal failure of containment caused, in part, by a lack of testing. And, shortages that were not addressed in January when it was clear there was a major outbreak in China, and that there was significant risk of it spreading.

    That two months might not have been time to get a hundred thousand ventilators online, but we could have been manufacturing masks, gloves, and PPE, and been on our way to solving the ventilator shortage.

    Decades of systemic underfunding of our national reserves does not excuse the current administration’s piss-poor response based on a doddering dolt’s hopes that it would all disappear like magic. Or the desire to open things up by Easter.

    A clever administration would have used the potential crisis to start building up the reserves as even if the pandemic was contained, we would be in a better spot for future crises — and if it wasn’t needed, the administration could have taken a victory lap for successfully containing the virus.

  26. Gustopher says:

    @Guarneri: weren’t you banned?

    Also, if you’re going to blame past administrations for lack of preparation, you also have to blame this administration. We’re past the three year mark, so Trump owns that problem.

    It would be different if this was one year in, working off budgets set by the previous administration, and after having requested more funding for supplies. It’s not like people haven’t been raising alarms, as you point out.

  27. Stormy Dragon says:

    Rush Limbaugh has decided to quit his cancer treatments in favor of “other alternatives” because he knows more than those stupid deep-state doctors:


  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Somebody wrote his name 3 times and then…

  29. Monala says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I don’t necessarily blame him. At some point, people often decide that they will let nature take its course, and will focus on quality of life vs. adding more time. The link seemed to suggest that’s the direction Limbaugh is taking, although it ends with him saying that he’s looking at other alternatives to chemo.

  30. Monala says:

    @charon: Interesting that Washington state, where this all started in the US, has slowed its growth the most.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: I wonder what the proposed budgets asked for and what actually came out of Congress.

    @Stormy Dragon: My brother in law stopped his experimental chemo for colon cancer because he was absolutely miserable and just couldn’t take it anymore. It was a death sentence but he did it anyway. Another friend of mine tried “alternate treatments” for his cancer after the chemo proved too much. In both cases, quality of life was the driving force behind their decisions. Both died within months of their decisions. Rush has said the same, and he too will most likely die in a few months. This is not rare.

    His idiotic comments about “deep state doctors” was in reference to “unelected experts” and who we should be listening to about Covid: them or the brain damaged Dunning-Kruger experiment put in the White House by a minority made up of racist co-religionists.

    The 2 are separate.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: This cracked me up:

    Together, you have a collective 16 years as president, during which you dealt with a number of crises: the September 11 attacks, two wars, the collapse of the financial system, and the Ebola and H1N1 outbreaks. Faced with these events, you marshaled the vast forces of our government, trusted our best experts, told hard truths, led capable teams on complex missions to tackle these emergencies, and called upon our citizens to unite in patriotic spirit to ride out the storm together.

    Who is this Bush he is talking about? I mean, the Iraq War? Katrina?

  33. EddieInCA says:

    Wow… As predicted by many, the virus is accelerating. 60,000 new cases worldwide since midnight last night, PDT. 28,000 new cases since my lat post at 12:30 Eastern. That’s 9,000 per hour.

    Additionally, does anyone believe that China suddenly just stopped having new cases? At this point, based on Italy, Iran, and the US, I’m not trusting any of their numbers.

  34. @Gustopher:

    @Guarneri: weren’t you banned?

    He was/still is.

    What I don’t get is that a) he acts like the authors of the site have nothing to say, b) he holds the commenters all in contempt, c) was asked to be a more productive denizen on pain of being banned, and d) was banned. And yet keeps coming back.

    It is a strange behavior several banned folks have exhibited. I don’t get it.

  35. EddieInCA says:


    Monala says:
    Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 15:44

    @charon: Interesting that Washington state, where this all started in the US, has slowed its growth the most.

    I don’t think it’s that surprising. Inslee took is seriously immediately, and imposed some basic common sense very, very early on. Other states should all have learned from him. But too many chose the Mississippi, Florida, Trump route. They’ll soon be paying for it.

  36. @EddieInCA:

    does anyone believe that China suddenly just stopped having new cases?

    While I accept that an authoritarian state could handle the problem more effectively, I also have to agree that I find their numbers (cases and deaths) hard to accept as true.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It’s the only way he can get any attention. I often did the same when I was a child.

  38. EddieInCA says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It is a strange behavior several banned folks have exhibited. I don’t get it.

    I do get it. For certain people, on the left AND right, the whole thrill is pissing people off; “trolling them”,”triggering them”, “exposing them”. That’s the be all and end all to the commentary. They want to piss people off, in the most base and direct way possible. Principles don’t matter. Consistency doesn’t matter. Honesty doesn’t matter. If you can get one liberal or conservative to react to your comment, you’ve won, regardless of the response. However, what most of them don’t realize is that in a community like this, full of smart people (much smarter than me, for damn sure), they only succeed in exposing the vacuity of their position. But that doesn’t matter. It’s all about the lulz.

    It’s sad and pathetic.

  39. Stormy Dragon says:


    At some point, people often decide that they will let nature take its course, and will focus on quality of life vs. adding more time.

    Most people don’t go on to blame it on some illuminati Doctor’s cabal being out to get them.

  40. Joe says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    It doesn’t surprise me that anyone living with cancer, Limbaugh included, may get to the day when he abandons the standard chemo regimen in favor of other treatments or none at all. All choices are horrible and eventually “not chemo” is not the worst. It also doesn’t surprise me that Limbaugh particularly uses this opportunity to take an irrelevant shot at somebody – that’s just how he rolls and always has been. It’s a signature move.

  41. Stormy Dragon says:

    If I can find the time I want to write how absurd it is that Members of Congress can't "assemble" in exigent times by virtual connection. The Constitution does not stand in the way. Mainly I want to use the title: "In the Zoom Where It Happens."— walter dellinger (@walterdellinger) March 28, 2020

  42. Kari Q says:

    It’s way to early to even think of being cautiously optimistic, but I was relieved to see this headline: San Francisco’s early restrictions seem to be helping hospitals avoid coronavirus overload — so far.

    It’s surprisingly difficult to get information about what’s going on in my own county, east of San Francisco. Even the local paper hasn’t had much about it. Finally I realized that it’s because there is no news. The hospitals are not (yet) overwhelmed. We have fewer than 200 confirmed cases still. There have been two deaths. Of course, there’s still time for that to change. Still, I’m getting cautiously hopeful that there may be reason for cautious optimism in a couple of weeks.

  43. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It is a strange behavior several banned folks have exhibited. I don’t get it.

    Everyone wants a home, even if they are a dick. Not every family member is cherished.

  44. Sleeping Dog says:


    Look, he’s trying to get GWB to step up and insert himself in the current fiasco. Nobody can see the authors nose growing longer.

  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    These decisions come down to prognosis. Go through the hell of treatment and you are likely to live a long life, it’s worth the agony. Add a year or two or maybe only a few months…

  46. Teve says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: negative attention is still attention.

  47. Gustopher says:

    @EddieInCA: Three things:

    1. China is reporting a handful of new cases, so it’s not that they are saying “it went away, just like a miracle.”

    2. It’s going to be impossible to hide exponential growth forever.

    3. If China cannot contain covid-19, with all the tools of the Chinese authoritarian state, then we are fucked.

    The third one is just hope, admittedly. But, unless there is evidence that the Chinese are lying (and “they’re not trustworthy because they’re China” isn’t evidence), we should be cautiously optimistic.

  48. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Toss in a plague that is highly contagious and highly dangerous to those undergoing cancer treatment, and it DDS more complications to the question of whether to continue treatment.

    I wish Limbaugh a long enough life to see the damage that Trump has caused firsthand. I don’t want that fat toad getting out of here without having to confront the consequences of what he supported. Also, some time with the grandkids or whatever I suppose.

  49. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Ah, annoying the folks who run the site with his continued presence. I get that.

    At one job, I gave notice in the middle of a meeting in a fit of despair, and was talked into staying on for longer to help transition. And then stayed longer than that for some stock to vest. And then the management put me on a personal improvement plan to push me out the door, informing me of this literally as I was about to give notice (again), and I decided that I would deliberately fail the plan, so I could collect severance, and then donate the severance to charity as a final “fuck you” to all involved. Good times. Spite is a powerful motivator.

  50. Mister Bluster says:

    @Gustopher:..I wish Limbaugh a long enough life to see the damage that Trump has caused firsthand. I don’t want that fat toad getting out of here without having to confront the consequences of what he supported.

    Ha! Rush Limbaugh and Trump are the embodiments of human evil.
    You don’t really think that Limbaugh would ever recognize anything that Trump has caused as damage do you?

  51. Jax says:

    Despite Rush Limbaugh’s news, I have some good news on my Momma’s cancer front. The most recent tumor is BENIGN! Happy fucking dance!

    Now if I can just get her home from Arizona.

    Sublette County, Wyoming, recorded their first confirmed COVID-19 today. All the garage sale sites are full of people wondering who it is….I suspect 2nd Amendment Solutions are on their mind. I doubt they’ve ever heard/understood Soylent Green.

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:


    I wish Limbaugh a long enough life to see the damage that Trump has caused firsthand.