Steven L. Taylor
Friday, April 2, 2021
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).
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Fareed Zakaria: How Biden’s New Deal can really make America great again
More at the link.
Taking to the skies in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s ‘Wind, Sand and Stars’
Using Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s experiences to think about flying.
(Long read) MIT Technology Review: How Facebook got addicted to spreading misinformation
Sarah Palin’s being trashed as a sellout for recommending mask-wearing.
McConnell says zero Republicans are going to vote for a Biden infrastructure bill. I hope Manchin and Sinema are listening.
@CSK: that’s awesome 😀
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you are a business you don’t want to locate in a Trump state. The leaders and public there have clearly demonstrated that they are not able to deal with reality. They simply cannot absorb unbiased data, look at what is best for their well being, and take strong action. Instead they will latch onto whatever nonsense their leader-of-the-day is spewing and march firmly into their own grave.
@CSK: @MarkedMan: These two comments just brought to mind the occasional OTB debate over whether Trumpism constitutes a cult (some commenters say it does, Dr. Taylor is skeptical). Here’s a helpful list of attributes of a cult, taken from this 2009 piece by cultism expert Rick Ross on religious cults:
A more accurate description of Trumpism would be well-nigh impossible to find.
Gaetz was so stupid that he paid for the hookers with Cash App and Apple Pay.
It was the Cult of Palin before it was the Cult of Trump. She paved the way for him.
It’s the stupidity of sheer arrogance. He thought he could get away with anything. I’m waiting for his admirers to come up with an excuse for him.
(Will Ferrell from Wedding Crashers voice:) What an IDIOT!
According to CNN, Gaetz showed nude photos and videos of the women he slept with–I assume hired to have sex with him–to his Congressional colleagues.
Toxic impact of pesticides on bees has doubled, study shows
There’s a new lawsuit attacking Obamacare — and it’s a serious threat
@Teve: Seems like a good time to revive discussion of President Biden expanding SCOTUS.
916,000 jobs added in March!
I hope someone is explaining to them exactly what’s gonna happen if they decide to get cute again. They don’t have all the cards they think they do.
Either we have a majority or we don’t. If we can’t count on them they are essentially Republicans we need to bribe to be on our side and frankly, there’s others we can get to cheaper and more effectively. Mitch says no one will vote but really, his power is fading and uppity Senators are gonna want some bacon to bring back home. We can’t keep playing “what does Manchin pretend is bipartisan today to feel like a kingmaker” or whatever Sinema’s deal is. If we’re gonna haggle with unreliable asshats, at least we know what the price of some Repubs area and they tend to stay bought.
I’d rather make a deal with the devil then have a fair-weather friend. With the devil I know what it’s gonna cost me, how bad the damage can be and can easily guess when the knife’s coming for my back. Wishy-washy maybe we will, maybe we won’t drag negations on for months with no result, rinse and repeat to keep the attention on them? No thanks- it’s actually cheaper and more effective to take the Faustian deal.
A man returned from shopping and found 15,000 bees in his car
He called 911, as anyone would do if they returned to a car full of insects.
Fortunately for him, the firefighter who responded also happened to be a beekeeper.
I don’t live in New Mexico but I never leave my car windows open when it’s parked. Still gets full of dust from the gravel road I live on.
Once I saw a snake on the ground under my truck get up into the engine compartment. I checked under the hood before I drove away but couldn’t see it. I drove away and never did see it again.
@Mister Bluster: There was a ballgame last summer (?) that was delayed by a swarm of bees. It’s not hard to deal with as long as one is like me and knows what they are doing. I am calling one of my beekeeper friends.
The Hill, August 2019:
@Mister Bluster: I leave my windows open all the time, especially in the summer (I don’t live on a gravel road). I hate sitting in a sauna. One cross country trip my folks took they found a very friendly tuxedo cat at a gas station. At the next gas stop they made there was another tuxedo cat. Same for the 3rd gas stop.
“Uh, Honey? We’ve picked up a hitchhiker.”
On Twitter, George Conway inquires if Gaetz used…PayGal.
Sounds like a famous Twilight Zone episode with Inger Stevens.
“It’s Seminole County, Jake.”
I have to say, reading these excerpts from Boehner’s memoir makes me want to read the book.
I mean, here’s how the piece opens:
Talk about a riveting lede.
I don’t think this is true.
Who do you have in mind?
I got my first Moderna shot on Tuesday. That was the day NY dropped its age minimum for the vaccine from 50 to 30. I’m 44. But I was absolutely I floored I managed to get a shot that day–I thought it was going to take weeks to get an appointment. All the big pharmacies (Rite Aid, Walgreen’s, CVS) were fully booked. But I just kept calling places on the CDC’s website that morning until I found one that would take me.
For the first couple of days my arm was in a lot of pain, but I didn’t experience any other symptoms. Then late Wednesday night I developed severe chills and throat congestion. It felt, frankly, identical to when I started developing Covid last year, where the congestion started in my throat before migrating to my chest after about a week. I knew there was a small chance these symptoms were not the result of the vaccine, and that I had picked up Covid again–cases are rising in NY, there are all the variants. I began to make plans in my head if I continued to feel sick. I was going to look in the neighborhood for Covid testing places. But around mid-day yesterday, all the symptoms just completely vanished and I felt fine.
I’ve heard that people who have had Covid, especially long Covid, are likelier to experience “strong” reactions from just the first dose of the vaccine.
@Kylopod: when last year did you get Covid, and how long did you have symptoms for?
It will surprise nobody that the QMoron crowd is falling all over itself to defend Matt Gaetz.
The Matt Gaetz allegations show how QAnon corrupts its followers
@Teve: I had it for about six weeks in April and May. I continued to experience shortness of breath for months, and frankly I wasn’t sure my breathing ever returned to normal–it felt chronically like breathing just wasn’t as comfortable as it used to be, though my pulse ox always showed my oxygen level to be normal. I went to a pulmonologist a couple of months after I had Covid, and they found I had ragweed allergy. I’ve suspected for years that I have allergies–it runs in the family, and I’ve had chronic congestion for a long time.
Right now, as I’m writing this, my breathing feels fine–better than it has in a long time, in fact. I’ll see if it continues.
The Communications Director for Matt Gaetz, Luke Ball, has resigned.
Seen on Twitter…
The House GOP should fly their zippers at half-mast for the end of Gaetz’s career.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
Having posted that, I must add…Gaetz is a Republican, so chances are better than good that he won’t pay a price for this episode.
@Kylopod: I don’t know exactly what kind of pollen allergy I have, but I keep a stockpile of Claritin and Sudafed because occasionally, like happened two or three days ago, I wake up with moderate symptoms. When I take one Claritin and two Sudafeds I’m right as rain in an hour or so.
@Kylopod: have you had any kind of scan on your lungs? The lungs can take a surprising amount of damage before it changes your oxygenation. Hemoglobin really really really likes oxygen.
How can you handle two Sudafed? I’d be crawling up the wall.
@Mikey: Sudafed amps you up? I haven’t noticed any such effect on myself.
@Mister Bluster: Living on a lot that backs up to a nature preserve, I have to be vigilant for unwanted guests. My first published story, “Public Serpent,” was inspired by a picture I saw of a boa constrictor that got under the hood of a Honda.
@CSK: See? Can’t fix stupid. Each nutball has to relearn the lesson separately. Oh well…
@Teve: It makes me jittery as hell and kills my appetite. I can deal with one (and often do during allergy season), but two would have me jumping out of my skin.
I cannot take Sudafed at all, because it drives my blood pressure sky-high.
Unfortunately, it’s also the only thing that works to decongest my head when my mold allergies flare up. 🙁
A corollary to what I was saying above: Republicans have shown they are unreliable as community members. Probably 80-90% of elected officials and better than 50% of the Republican public. They don’t have the discipline or the desire to comply with basic health protocols to keep the community safe. Everything is always about them, all the time – their desires, their complaints, their inconveniences. Although in everyday interactions they may be polite and friendly, in all too many cases Republicans have proven that when it really matters, they won’t be there for the community. They are freeloaders.
Well, it’s amusing to remember that not so long ago, Palin was their savior and their goddess. Now she’s anathema.
I’ve honestly never noticed any effect like that from Sudafed, but it may be due to the fact that I’m a coffee gourmand and for about 15 years I drank half a gallon of high-caffeine bean juice a day.
Scene in a surgeon’s office, 2028:
Clem: I hear what you’re saying Doc, you want to take the tumor out before it grows any bigger, but I just got one question for you.
Dr. Miller: Sure. What’s on your mind?
Clem: Are you gonna wear a mask during this procedure?
Dr. Miller: of course—it’s to reduce the chance of you getting an infection during the surgery.
Clem: That’s It! I’m Outta Here I Ain’t Gettin No Surgery From No George Soros Sheep DemonCrap Homo! Britney Ann Get My Coat!
Luke Ball, Gaetz’s communications director, has resigned.
Biden just said that in the last seven days we’ve administered 20 million vaccine shots. That’s pretty baller.
@Mikey: The suckers are always the last to know.
@SC_Birdflyte: Our cat killed a copperhead in our bedroom once. Glad I didn’t wake up stumbling around in the dark that night.
@Teve: Sudafed makes me very sleepy, but super jumpy.
So if I took it and laid down in an isolation tank, I would probably sleep for 12 hours, but in my own bed, I jump at every little noise.
If I take it during the day, I feel like you feel after something has just scared the crap out of you, and you are sure that it is about to happen again.
@CSK: I’m not surprised. If there’s one truly thankless job on the Congressional payroll, it’s that of a comms director during a scandal. Just thinking about it gives me hives.
@OzarkHillbilly: My brother’s best friend as kid was really into reptiles, and for a short period of time they put on a show together, so we were keeping some snakes in our house–mostly tiny, pencil-sized ones. But they kept getting out of their enclosures. One morning I woke up and went down to the living room, and found that one of them had gotten out again. The cat was real excited, but the snake was putting up a good fight and adopting the standard, threatening pose before the much larger animal.
@Kylopod: We had a couple of black snakes when I was a kid. My brother’s was an escape artist. Mine was just mean as fck.
We have lots of snakes around here: Black snakes, Ring necks, several type of Kings, Garters, and more than our share of Copperheads (timber rattlers too, but I have yet to see one on the property). I don’t kill the copperheads, just relocate them to the conservation area down the road and that only because of my granddaughters. Everything else is welcome around here.
So I would think. I’m sure Luke Ball is just the first in a long line of Gaetz’s staffers who will be fleeing for the exits.
@Jen: I suspect the comms directors’ name would be mud, as he should definitely be the last person to leave a sinking ship, but I suspect he has the receipts – i.e. proof that Gaetz gave him lies and then sent him out there to repeat them. As I understand it, that’s one of the few acceptable reasons to leave mid-crisis.
There has apparently been some kind of security incident at the Capitol.
Gunfire nearby, apparently. The Capitol has been locked down.
@MarkedMan: ” Instead they will latch onto whatever nonsense their leader-of-the-day is spewing and march firmly into their own grave.”
And are working their way down into the pit of lunacy.
You’d have no idea of what crazy idea becomes next month’s orthodoxy.
I might just need to shut my computer down and do something else. The news today is becoming overwhelming.
Soldier Says She Was Sexually Assaulted by 22 Troops at Oklahoma Base
@CSK: I’ve been doing some heavy lifting on a serious matter all day, so forgive me this bit of sophomoric release…
It surprises me not that Luke Ball is the name of his (former) CD. Any guess on who his favorite nascar driver is/was?
A car rammed two Capitol police officers and injured them. A suspect is in custody. The cops shot “someone,” presumably the suspect in the ramming.
@CSK: Reports appear to indicate a car rammed two Capitol police officers into a concrete barricade. Shots fired, and the suspect might be the one who was shot.
Fluid situation, could change, all normal caveats for these types of things apply, but wow.
No. Do tell.
@Mimai: My timing, as always, is impeccable. Don’t I look/feel like an asshole. And so it goes…
It’s not your fault that the breaking news is appalling.
@Mimai: Dick Trickle?
@CSK: Ok, but I don’t feel as “hehe” about it now (in light of the recent shooting).
I was thinking he surely is a fan of Dick Trickle who, among other things, was the last nascar driver to keep a pack of cigarettes in his car.
@Teve: Winner winner! I should have known….you live in nascar country. Well done sir.
Another Tesla on cruise control couldn’t see a semi-trailer in the roadway.
It’s when, not if the DOT forces Tesla to recall these cars and the company faces a massive product liability lawsuit.
The suspect has died. One officer is in critical condition.
The suspect was shot when he emerged from his car brandishing a knife.
@CSK: Acting USCP Chief Pittman just announced one of the officers has also died.
I thought Republicans were in favor of letting businesses make their own decisions…
Those Republicans vanished after the Chicxulub event.
@Doug Mataconis: But only if it’s the correct decision. It’s sort of like religion; error has no rights.
Diamond Joe today
Videos in this Twitter thread
Do you want to be dead? This is how you be dead.
I have to admit that when I hear stuff like that, my knee-jerk, cynical response is that he’s practiced in the art of knowing the right thing to say. It’s like the old George Burns quote (not sure if he really said it, but whatever): The secret to acting is sincerity, and if you can fake that, you’ve got it made. Truth is, though, there’s a reason Biden has never just come off as a smooth politician with canned lines. That’s what makes these moments more convincing.
One thing Trump has never understood and seems incapable of understanding is that loudly declaring that you deserve credit for something can actually detract from people’s willingness to give you credit. Voters generally do give credit to sitting presidents for a good (or at least improving) economy. Any president is going to hope it stays on voters’ minds. But there’s an element of reverse psychology, in that the more a president insists on his role in creating those good conditions, the less people are likely to give him credit. Whether genuine or calculated, Biden’s answer is in fact a highly effective way of achieving that balance.
Indeed. Trump bragged yesterday about his fathering skills in keeping his children off cigarettes, drugs, and booze, heavily implying that Biden was a lousy father.
This of course contradicts what wife number one, Ivana, and Trump himself have said about his parenting abilities. It also contradicts the fact that Don Jr. appears to have been a lush in college. It also contradicts the fact that Tiffany was raised in California by her mother. And Ivanka smoked as a teenager.
@Kylopod: My reaction to Biden’s statement was that whether he was sincere or calculating, he’s modeling humility. After 4+ years of a malignant narcissist modeling every shitty behavior in the book, that’s a good thing.
Enough so that they’ll take away your gold medal if you test positive for it.
It’s not an accident that you can make meth out of it…
Dr. Biden doin’ some role playin’…
Oh he doesn’t care, he’s just a stupid old white guy full of rage. His favorite anti-gay-marriage argument is IF YOU DESTROY THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE THEN LOGICALLY YOU MUST ALLOW PEOPLE TO MARRY HORSES AND TYPEWRITERS AND TREES AND SO FORTH.
Equal parts angry and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
@DrDaveT: I had no idea, I’ve taken it all my life and I never noticed such an effect.
“… I’ve taken it all my life…”
And that’s the key. Just like any other stimulant, the more (and more regularly) you use it, the less it affects you. I’ve worked with alcoholics who were measurably more productive inebriated than they were sober.
@OzarkHillbilly:..Everything else is welcome around here.
So you don’t have any ticks or chiggers?
@Just nutha ignint cracker: The same can be said of anti-depressants. I’ve been prescribed them a couple times and they always left me feeling like I was mentally wading thru molasses.
@Mister Bluster: I was speaking of reptiles. When it come to ticks and chiggers, they are here whether my wife likes it or not. (they hardly bother me at all. My wife on the other hand….)
I long ago made peace with the ticks and learned how to avoid the chiggers…. I send my wife thru the brush and grass first. 🙂 🙂 🙂
@Just nutha ignint cracker: 15 years ago when my alcoholism was at its worst, I couldn’t function 100% sober. But give me three shots of vodka and a few minutes for them to kick in and I’m normal.
I don’t think I have a tolerance from taking Sudafed too much because while I did say I’ve taken it all my life, I don’t take it that frequently, three days in a row at some point in the spring, maybe five or six days in a row during the fall, and that’s about it. I think it’s my physiology, I’m just not susceptible to that response from the drug. It could be worse, I have a friend who doesn’t respond to opioids. She had an extremely painful gallbladder problem and they put her on something like a morphine drip and it did absolutely nothing.
I know we did an infrastructure discussion earlier this week, so forgive my tardiness, but this is damn impressive. Naptown represents!
@Teve: Acquired tolerance is real, but I think you’re right that it’s a physiology thing. Re your friend and opioids, she is not alone. Opioid response and metabolism is very much idiosyncratic.
There are even people who have a propensity to develop opioid induced hyperalgesia (OIH) – essentially, it’s when people become MORE sensitive to pain when exposed to opioids, particularly over the long term.
As you might expect, these people are treated very poorly, unless their provider is aware of this phenomenon. Lots of needless suffering.
@Mimai: it’s funny, when she told me about how the opioid did absolutely nothing, I asked her what they did then, and she said “oh they put me on the Michael Jackson drug. That worked.” Propofol worked where a serious opioid didn’t.
@Mimai: that will never not blow my mind. Just like how they raised the city of Chicago 14 feet and I mean they literally like raised all the buildings up 14 feet.
@Teve: Good ol’ milk of amnesia. Truth be told, I thought you were going to say they (opioids) did what they seem to always do – prevent passage. Only after I read through to the end did I understand that they = providers.
@OzarkHillbilly: That’s interesting. The time that I took antidepressants, they really improved my energy levels and helped me to sleep better (although that part was in combination with using CPAP.
@Mimai: i’m usually the person complaining that someone used pronouns in an ambiguous way. (“He said that he wasn’t going to help him but then he said…”) Looks like I need to pay closer attention to my own writing on that score.
In other news, in the seven-day daily average we are now vaccinating 3 million people a day.
@Teve: Oh man, I feel you on that! I can’t not see grammar-related things like that (though I wasn’t intending to highlight it for you). It’s a superpower and a sickness. If my students ever murder me, it will be because of that. And it will be (partially) justified.
But yay on the other news!
@Mimai: Teve has given me a complex about apostrophe usage. I occasionally find myself rearranging entire sentences to avoid them, I’ve discovered as I age that I’m less apt to remember where they’re supposed to go. 😛
Perhaps Teve just needs to be taught the rules detailing how sometimes their supposed to go here, and sometimes they’re, but never are they to be used merely at ones discretion.
@Jax: don’t expend any effort on my account, I won’t bite. 😀
@Mimai: You’re sentence’s we’re all looser’s. 😛
Annnnd for the funniest freakin headline I’ve seen today…from my home state, no less, not Florida….I give you WYOMING MAN!!
@Teve: It actually has more to do with my high school English teacher. He has since passed away, but he was the guy who beat your knuckles with a ruler if you got his verbal pass-fail quizzes wrong first thing in the morning. I can’t remember where they go as quickly anymore, so I just avoid them. 😛