Covid Quick Hits

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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. CSK says:

    I read the Hot Air piece, which appeared quite reasonable to me, and good God, the loathing for its author Allahpundit by the commenters is palpable. Whoever Allahpundit is, I guess his distaste for Donald Trump has made him anathema to HA readers.

  2. Andy says:


    Allahpundit is the main reason I read Hot Air. He’s been blogging there since the mid-oughts and under that pseudonym, for close to 20 years I think. We collaborated a bit back in the early oughts with one of the Israeli/Lebanon conflicts to debunk some nonsense, the details of which I forget now.

    Although I don’t agree with him a lot of the time, he’s always been a straight shooter and has a good and fair analytical mind. Plus he’s a great writer.

    And yeah, he is not a Trumper at all which a lot of Hot Air readers don’t like. That’s definitely one place to avoid the comment section.

  3. Matt Bernius says:

    Assuming it’s the same “Allahpundit” as on Twitter, I’m having a hard time seeing–based on many of his twitter takes–how he was ever a darling of the far-right. Was he?

    Because if at one point he was, it’s another example of how the conservative audience has moved further to the right than some of the writers.

    [Update] Like Andy said, he strikes me as a straight shooter.

  4. Kathy says:

    IMO, 99.99% of all comments sections on the internet are cesspools of unremitting hatred and hostility. Benito was briefly described early in 2016 as “a comments section come to life.”

    OTB is a rare exception.

  5. @Matt Bernius:

    it’s another example of how the conservative audience has moved further to the right than some of the writers.

    I think this is the case.

    I have been aware of him from the early days of the Blogosphere and while his moniker kinds of hits me wrong, I tend to think of him as having been reasonable over time.

  6. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The name started as satire to make fun of Jihadists.

    He’s an atheist and libertarian-leaning, which makes him unpopular with modern Trumpy conservatism. But he was originally popular with conservatives because he was one of the main people that debunked the Rathergate documents.

  7. Monala says:

    This is probably a good place to repost my comment from the open thread:

    This McSweeney’s article is brilliant, and exactly where I am as a parent right now: Here’s why you’re wrong for supporting either in-person or virtual school

  8. Andy says:


    Huh, as a parent of school-age kids, I found that piece annoying.

    My view is that, like everything else in life, it comes down to tradeoffs and, also like everything else in life, those tradeoffs are situational and subjective.

    For my family and my current situation, the tradeoffs from virtual school are far worse than those for in-person school, based on our experience, hence I’m a strong supporter of in-person schooling and advocate for that in our school district.

    Other parents and other districts can come to different conclusions and that’s fine.

  9. CSK says:

    @Andy: @Andy:
    I only started reading Allahpundit since the onset of the Trump infestation/administration. I agree that he’s an excellent writer, and I certainly I agree with his stance on Trump. But good Lord, the hatred that the Trumpkins have for him–and, to a lesser extent, for Ed Morrissey and Jazz Shaw–is nearly psychotic in its intensity.

    I’m not sure why these loons read Hot Air, given that they loathe the three main (and most literate) contributors.

  10. Jen says:

    The way the anti-vaxxers took to that truncated clip referenced in the Hot Air piece ticked me off.

    I’ve been trying for ages to find out more about the people who ended up hospitalized and/or dying despite being vaccinated, because I have family members with risk factors. The four comorbidities thing is phenomenal news.

  11. CSK says:

    Whoops. I meant to reply to Matt Bernius as well as Andy. Sorry.

  12. Andy says:


    I think a big part of the comment cesspool happened when they stopped using their own comment system (which required a Hot Air login) and went to unmoderated comments with Disqus. They might have done FB comments for a while, I forget. Anyway, I stopped commenting there a decade ago and haven’t followed developments closely.

    There was a time when I advocated that OTB go to Disqus. But as annoying as the comment system is here sometimes, I’m happy to say I was wrong in that advocacy and am glad they didn’t make the change considering the Disqus model doesn’t do a good job of promoting quality commenting.

  13. CSK says:

    I quite agree. I don’t read the comment sections of many sites, because I find it annoying and depressing how quickly they descend into vulgar and obscene yet juvenile (and illiterate) personal insults.

    In my admittedly limited experience, I can say that OTB has the sanest, best-informed, most interesting, and–happily–most literate commenters of any site on the web that I’ve encountered.

  14. @Andy: I have a general memory of all of that, and I get that the name is non-malicious in intent. It still makes me uncomfortable that same way Buddhapundit, Jesuspundit, othernamesacredtosomeonepundit would ping me as perhaps not a great idea.

  15. Richard Gardner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Times, they were different then (ducking, amazed this hilarious spoof hasn’t been zeroed out) Humor, not allowed.

    Meanwhile Omicron is ripping through the PNW. Blue state, testing overwhelmed. Hitting the 20-50 demographic. I got it around Christmas, minor cold (runny nose, no fever), I’m boosted. My favorite tavern (not a bar) closed after half the staff got it (all vaccinated, 90% boosted), why I got tested. I was back there last night and based on discussions half the folks had a Covid cold mid-Dec to yesterday.

    I’m not afraid today. The spread may be up, but the lethality is way down. Your part of the country may be different, don’t know.

  16. JohnSF says:

    In UK hints of good news.
    Case numbers are now dropping.
    Down 13% from 7 days ago.
    Patient admissions look as if may have peaked, perhaps.
    If so, we have avoided ICU crisis.
    Deaths are up, but at 379 daily latest still way below peak rates Jan/Feb 2021 and spring 2020.

    It looks like having high levels of triple-vaccinated really does enable the omicron wave to be passed without health service crisis.

    We just may be on the road out of the epidemic stage of this.
    Subject to possible variant caveats

  17. Jay L Gischer says:

    I don’t look at political comments on Reddit at all, and they are likely not good. BUT, the comments/subreddits for games and other focused topics are usually quite nice.

  18. JohnSF says:

    That said, still hearing from local (West Midlands) health service (I work at a university, my campus site hosts nursing training for the Army and West Mids NHS) that they are really stretched by the omicron peak that is now hitting here.
    (National fall is because wave peaked sooner in London).
    Big problem with staff off due to omicron isolation and being too damn sick to work.
    Or other illnesses.
    Doesn’t help that a lot of NHS staff are just plain bloody exhausted from overwork at this point.

    But: ICU and ventilation still holding below critical.
    Deaths still way below previous peaks, thanks to vax and to therapies like Sotrovimab and Molnupiravir.

    It’s going to be touch-and-go here for the next couple of weeks.
    But at least if cases are falling in London/SE, possible to transfer critical cases if WMid hits the hard limits.