Friday’s 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. Gustopher says:

    Joe Biden changes the subject when asked if Democrats want to defund the police:

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: He gave their question all the respect it deserved.

  3. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Not for nothing, since we’ve been expecting it for a while now, but the first explicit challenge to Roe v. Wade has been teed up at SCOTUS.

    Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Republican bid to limit health officials could cause ‘preventable tragedies’ – experts

    Republican lawmakers across more than a dozen states are working to limit the powers of local health departments in ways experts say is likely to lead to “preventable tragedies” during disease outbreaks, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The attempts to limit the emergency powers of public health agencies comes alongside harassment of individual public health workers, renewed concern about the spread of the highly transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant, and a flagging US vaccination campaign.

    “The supposed rationale is that a lot happened during Covid. People didn’t like being restricted so much,” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, CEO at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (Naccho).

    “But if these laws and pieces of legislation stand beyond the pandemic we have a big problem,” she said. “They basically handcuff health officials from being able to use century-long mitigation measures.”

    Montana barred local health authorities from quarantining people suspected of being exposed to or infected with a contagious disease. That ends an infection control measure used since at least the plague, known as the “Black Death”, hit Italian cities in the 14th century.

    North Dakota banned state health authorities from requiring a face covering for any reason, a measure that could impact diseases such as tuberculosis. Florida gave the governor sweeping power to “invalidate” any local emergency order. Kansas removed the governor’s ability to close businesses during a public health emergency.

    ProLife my ass.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Dumbass headline of the day: ‘They’re a little crazy’: the ultramarathon runners crossing Death Valley – in a drought

    The avg yearly rainfall in Death Valley is 2.36 inches. It’s always in a drought.

  6. Teve says:


    Meme I just saw: “When you don’t want history of slavery taught but do want Confederate monuments preserved, that’s called hypocritical race theory.”

  7. Teve says:


    There’s a parent speaking at the @rockwoodschools board meeting. She has a high risk child w: respiratory problems. This parent is pleading with the BOE to have a mask mandate this year. There are “Concerned Parents” in the room laughing at her. These people are repulsive.

  8. Teve says:
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Here’s the Video for anyone who’s interested.

  10. Kylopod says:

    Fun facts.

    The states Biden won in 2020 (plus DC) collectively contain nearly 50 million more people than the Trump states, or about 35% greater total population.

    The Trump states are collectively nearly a million square miles larger in area than the Biden states, or a 71% increase.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s a sad day, Democracy still exists in Misery: Medicaid expansion measure did not violate state constitution, Missouri Supreme Court rules

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — In a unanimous decision, the Missouri Supreme Court remanded the Medicaid expansion lawsuit Thursday, ruling the constitutional amendment did not violate the state’s constitution.

    The case was heard earlier this month, with attorney Chuck Hatfield representing three single mothers in the lawsuit and Solicitor General John Sauer representing the state.

    Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled against the lawsuit last month, deeming 2019’s Amendment 2 unconstitutional due to its lack of a stated funding source. However, the state’s highest court said the amendment did not violate the state’s constitution since it did not appropriate money nor remove the General Assembly’s discretion in appropriating funds.

    “An initiative that simply costs money to implement does not necessarily require the appropriation of funds so long as the General Assembly maintains discretion in appropriating funds to implement that initiative,” the decision said.

    The court said the Department of Social Services (DSS) has the appropriation authority to provide services for those covered under the expanded Medicaid program and noted the General Assembly “chose against placing conditions or limitations on eligibility for MO HealthNet benefit appropriations in Fiscal Year 2022.”

    The case has been remanded back to the circuit court which will determine injunctive relief.

    But don’t worry, the state GOP will find a way to gut it anyway.

  12. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Now, now, as Gary Abernathy pointed out in WaPo yesterday, we liberals need to reach out and talk to Trump voters. It’s our fault for not engaging. They’re fantastic people, we’re just being smug and mean.

  13. Teve says:

    Hacks is very good but emotionally taxing. I think this weekend Imma binge the first season of Ted Lasso. I do want a WWTLD bracelet.

  14. becca says:

    @Teve: God, I love you so much right now, Teve!

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ibram X. Kendi@DrIbram
    Missouri legislators didn’t invite any Black people to an invite-only hearing on teaching about race. They did invite the misinformers of CRT who claim to be committed to equality. But did any of the invitees oppose the exclusion of Black people?

    No Black parents, teachers or scholars invited to Missouri hearing on teaching race
    “What not having any African Americans in the room really showed was that this wasn’t really about understanding.”

    Nothing says “We’re not a bunch of racist rednecks.” like purposely silencing black voices.

  16. Teve says:

    Wondering why some Republicans have flipped to urging vaccinations? In 2018, Rick Scott beat Bill Nelson by 10,033 votes. Someone did a back-of-the-envelope calculation that by the election, assuming nothing changes, Covid will kill 80,000 more Florida Republicans than Democrats.

  17. Teve says:

    @becca: you love Ellen Hopkins, I just repeated the joke 😀

  18. KM says:

    We’re going to start seeing more child death over the next month. It was emphasized that COVID strangely didn’t hurt children like adults so many people internalized “even if the hoax was true”, the kids would be fine. Delta’s not so kind and we’re starting to hear stories of younger and younger victims daily. We’re seeing stories of pregnant women suffering miscarriages or stillbirths. We’re seeing young previously healthy children die in days. Now, it’s not grandma on the ventilator who’s gonna end up on the ventilator, it’s the teenager or the sixth-grader.

  19. Kylopod says:


    Nothing says “We’re not a bunch of racist rednecks.” like purposely silencing black voices.

    Tangent, but where did this business with capitalizing the B in “black” start? It seems to have popped up out of nowhere just a year or so ago and suddenly is being treated as the standard in most written media. I find it baffling since I don’t believe I ever heard any official explanation for it, not like when the term “African American” first began to gain widespread usage in the ’80s and there was a lot of discussion over it (there was a brief period when “Afro-American” was more common). I mean, I have for years occasionally run across this usage in some people’s writing, but quite frankly I used to think it sounded a bit ignorant; it appeared to call needless attention to a person’s blackness and, I thought, sounded rather patronizing. But now it’s suddenly the preferred usage. At least it doesn’t make a difference in speech. But I’m still puzzled by it, especially the way it happened without any apparent public discussion over the change.

  20. Jen says:

    @KM: Yep. I just read a story this morning about a healthy (meaning no pre-existing conditions like T1 diabetes) 5-year-old boy who died within days in Georgia.

    My BIL & SIL still refuse to get vaccinated, and there are 2 kids under age 8 in that household.

  21. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: Most journalists and media outlets follow AP style guides. AP made the change last year, so that is why it’s everywhere now.


  22. CSK says:


    News organizations made the decision. This may help:

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: “Mean” is my second default mode, coming right after “Sarcastic.”

  24. KM says:

    It was already doing that regardless. They’re OK with the deaths because they’re convinced the electoral rigging will hold.

    No, it think somebody finally got through to them the bill for COVID care is coming due. It’s almost “here’s how much more your insurance premiums jacked up” season and businesses are going to be *screaming* about how their sick employees tripled that expense. Since damn near everyone is going to have higher premiums due to shared costs, every business out there is looking at a rate increase they likely can’t afford, even if they pass it all off to the employee. Money, money, money makes the world go ’round and now the whole country is weeks away from getting slapped with rate increases due to COVID denial…. and insurance companies ain’t gonna be quiet about why. “Oh, your premium went up $50 a month? Yeah, that’s because of all the unvaxxed COVID patients in the area using services. Get vaxxed or the bill will be higher next time!!”

    Change in this country will only come when it hurts companies enough. They can’t drop the insurance because of Obama, they can’t go back to the scammy cheap stuff legally anymore and they can’t afford massive rate hikes due to employee stupidity. What’s left to do but change your tune and tell the idiots to stop wasting your money? What’s a politician left to due but not piss off Big Business when they realize what’s happened and start pushing the shot?

  25. Mu Yixiao says:


    Tangent, but where did this business with capitalizing the B in “black” start?

    It came out of the BLM “surge” after the death of George Floyd. Media decided that “black” wasn’t a reference to a skin color, but an ethnicity (some are now also capitalizing “brown” in the same context).

    Mostly, I see it as a “Look! We’ve done something!” action (like no longer saying “master bedroom” or “slave cylinder”). But it took about a week for all the major new outlets to adopt it.

    “It seems like such a minor change, black versus Black,” The Times’s National editor, Marc Lacey, said. “But for many people the capitalization of that one letter is the difference between a color and a culture.”

    NY Times

  26. CSK says:

    Apparently we had the same thought. That happens fairly often. 😀

  27. Teve says:

    @KM: I’ve been fully vaxxed since May. But I live in a heavily Trumper county in Florida*. My mentality last week was, “I’ll get it, but I probably won’t even notice it.” My mentality after reading about the delta variant is, “I’ll get it, and i hope I’m not sick for more than a few days and don’t develop Long Covid.”

    * 2020 Presidential election, my county:
    Trump 70%
    Biden 30%

    Fully vaccinated, my county:
    Age 12+ 33%
    Age 18+ 35%

  28. Jen says:

    @CSK: Most of my clients follow AP style, so I keep a close eye on it and make adjustments when I need to in my writing. It’s why I’ve found the mixed styles for COVID so interesting/confusing. It’s an aberration. NYT uses Covid-19, WaPo uses covid-19, but AP Style is COVID-19.

  29. Kylopod says:

    @Jen: I have wondered if it was at least in part a response to the BLM protests following George Floyd’s death, or if it was coincidental. In any case, it seemed to appear very suddenly without much comment.

    I also notice the explanation in that AP guide rejects the idea of capitalizing W in “white,” but I’ve been increasingly seeing that, too, although not necessarily in the mainstream press.

    Ever since terms like “African American” and “Asian American” started to gain wide currency several decades ago, you occasionally ran across the phrase “European American,” though generally the people most into that have been white supremacists (I remember David Duke was big on that phrase back in the day), partly as an attempt to coopt the language of multiculturalism to imply whites are a persecuted group, but also because it was a way of being more sneaky about their agenda–instead of White History Month they’d say European American History Month, which tended to attract less attention.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Jen and CSK gave you the answer I was ignorant of. I do it from time to time, probably because I’ve been reading it that way. It’s certainly not a conscious thing on my part.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: They can’t drop the insurance because of Obama,

    If you are referring to the ACA, I know of companies that did exactly that after it became law. They just increased their employees’ pay to cover the cost of an ACA market policy.

  32. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Off to the CRT camps with you, apostate scum!

  33. Kathy says:


    But adding Black voices won’t help to justify/ignore systemic racism and call it something else.

  34. Roger says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: All is not lost. On the same day, the Supremos said that caps on damages the most seriously injured victims of malpractice can receive are just fine. All in all it was a pretty good day in Misery for the Chamber of Commerce and the hospitals they align with.

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: What? Again???

  36. Mu Yixiao says:
  37. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Dammit. Those camps are so wussified. We never should have put Gwyneth in charge of them.

  38. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: Any time you start noticing a widespread change in the way media outlets spell things, I recommend checking to see if AP had held forth on the topic. It’s almost always a standard change.

    Some of them have taken me a really long time to become accustomed to–for example, Internet used to be capitalized, because it was considered a proper noun. AP made the style change to lowercase “internet” a few years ago and I still occasionally find myself capitalizing it. As a writer who works with multiple companies and organizations, it’s really useful to have a standard to point to. Sometimes my clients ask for changes to AP style to fit internal style guidelines and that works too. But for the many that have operated with a sort of haphazard mix of internal writers who each learned something different, it’s nice to have a standard.

  39. Mu Yixiao says:


    Did the AP change the style on this before the individual papers? Because all the explanations I’ve seen (from the various media outlets) have described it as an internal choice, not a matter of following AP.

    Interestingly… CMOS allows for the capitalization of “White”.

    Specifically, we now prefer to write Black with a capital B when it refers to racial and ethnic identity. At the same time, we acknowledge that, as a matter of editorial consistency, White and similar terms may also be capitalized when used in this sense. We continue to recognize that individual preferences will vary, and we acknowledge that usage may depend on context.

    (June 22, 2020)

  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I’d support it, but the likelihood of getting both parties to agree to the constitutional amendment that would be required to achieve it in sufficient numbers to get the required 2/3rds majority is next to nothing. Whichever party happens to enjoy a majority of its justices on the court at the time will oppose it. It would be nice though, I agree.

  41. Sleeping Dog says:

    Tell it like it is David.

    Will Blue America ever decide it’s had enough of being put medically at risk by people and places whose bills it pays? Check yourself: Have you?
    Will Blue America ever decide it’s had enough of being put medically at risk by people and places whose bills it pays? Check yourself: Have you?

    I have.

  42. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Aren’t acronyms generally capitalized? (NATO, DOD, etc. ) I know there are exceptions (Benelux, for example, not BENELUX), but I’m generally not sure why those are the case. It seems like COVID-19 should be correct.

  43. Mu Yixiao says:


    Acronyms are generally capitalized–unless you’re the bloody idiotic BBC.

    (It’s NASA, goddammit! Not Nasa.)

  44. Mu Yixiao says:


    Second note:

    There are some acronyms which have “dropped into common usage as words” (my phrasing). So words like radar, scuba, laser, etc., are lower case because they’re now words, not acronyms.

    The Edit Gods have blessed me!

    COVID isn’t an acronym. It’s an abbreviation: COrona VIrus Disease. So… technically, it should probably be written CoViD if there was capitalization. But covid is appropriate.

    COVID, however gets the point across better. 🙂

  45. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Well, first of all, Covid isn’t really an acronym but a contraction (of coronavirus disease); it may even be a portmanteau, and those typically are not capitalized. (We don’t write BRUNCH or MEDICARE.) But also, acronyms can lose their capitalization as they become accepted as regular words–one notable example is laser.

    The more curious thing to me is the initial capital, since that isn’t typically something we do with common names for illnesses–we don’t write Polio or Strep.

  46. Teve says:

    I’m not a music person, but it amuses me to no end that here in 2021 people tweet at Tom Morello, ‘I used to like your music til you got all political.’

  47. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: AP made the style change announcement in July of 2020, which was after some papers had already made the decision to change. Once AP formalizes it, it becomes the standard and pretty much everyone starts using it, from media outlets to PR and marketing firms.

    On a Rogers adoption curve, AP making a style change statement basically accelerates the early majority phase of the curve.

  48. Jen says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yes, and WHO continues to use all caps, as does AP Style. (Mu’s observation that this is an abbreviation not an acronym is correct.)

    That’s one reason why I’ve found the different copy edit decisions so baffling/fascinating.

    @Kylopod: My guess there–with the first letter capitalized–is that someone at NYT decided it was a proper noun.

  49. Kylopod says:


    I’m not a music person, but it amuses me to no end that here in 2021 people tweet at Tom Morello, ‘I used to like your music til you got all political.’

    I remember hearing that last year. I also remember Paul Ryan in 2012 professing to be a fan of RATM, and then Morello responding that Ryan is the epitome of the machine they were raging against. Of course Ryan wasn’t being ignorant about RATM being a political band, and on some level I get it–you don’t have to agree with a band’s politics to enjoy their music, and although politically charged lyrics have always been central to RATM, let’s face it, you really don’t need to care about the lyrics to get into Morello’s killer riffs.

    I have trouble thinking of a comparable situation on my side–my loving music but disagreeing with the political content of the lyrics. I suppose even RATM may be a marginal case since I’m a long-time fan of theirs although they’re still well to my left, and they’ve occasionally annoyed me with some of their views, as in their video for “Testify” which implied there was no difference between Gore and Bush. But I also have a great appreciation for their political songs overall, and that’s certainly a reflection of my leftward leanings–“Killing in the Name” drew significant attention to entrenched police racism more than 25 years before it became a common point of the national conversation.

    We’ve spoken before here about the Charlie Daniels song “Simple Man,” which is quite simply an ode to lynching. Ignoring the lyrics and just listening to the music, I like the song even though the lyrics are abhorrent. That’s about the closest I can come to an example of being on the other side–the equivalent of Paul Ryan liking RATM. I don’t encounter it that often, as I’m not in general a fan of country music (I do like a lot of Southern rock though) and let’s face it, most musicians in most genres are pretty liberal.

  50. Kylopod says:


    I’m not in general a fan of country music (I do like a lot of Southern rock though)

    After I wrote this I thought of a more complex example than the Charlie Daniels song: Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” This is a song I long liked going back to childhood, and it was only after starting to listen to the lyrics and reading more about the origin of the song that it gave me pause. It was written as a response to Neil Young’s “Southern Man.” (Reportedly Young took the bashing in stride, and even performed the song as a tribute shortly after Van Zant’s death.) The problem with deciphering the song is that the lyrics are cryptic and it’s not quite clear what was intended. There’s been a lot of discussion over the years of the verse:

    In Birmingham they love the governor (boo-hoo-hoo)
    Now we all did what we could do
    Now Watergate does not bother me
    Does your conscience bother you

    This was apparently a reference to Gov. George Wallace, and some have interpreted this verse as an attempt to distance themselves from Wallace’s racism and simply to argue that Southerners shouldn’t be painted with a broad brush (and that’s pretty much what Van Zant said in interviews). But there are other possible interpretations, and I have a hard time giving them the benefit of the doubt given how often they played this song while flying a Confederate Flag on stage.

    In 1991, a Southern rock band (though the lead singer is from Wisconsin) called Drivin n Cryin did a song I really love, called “Fly Me Courageous.” Wikipedia reports that it sold well because the title struck a patriotic chord in the run-up to the Persian Gulf War. Yet the lyrics include the following line:

    Mother America is brandishing her weapons
    She keeps me safe and warm with threats and misconceptions

    I suspect the reactions to this song are a case of Springsteen syndrome, where a song criticizing American foreign policy is misinterpreted as an expression of fervent patriotism.

  51. HarvardLaw92 says:


    All of that (and the folks above as well) makes sense, thanks. I legit wasn’t sure why it all worked out as it has. I have to admit that I probably get it wrong a lot in my own writing and that gets quietly fixed by my assistants.

    (Also why I was a little embarrassed to ask them for the explanation – I really didn’t want to know just how often I actually do screw it up 🙂 )

  52. Mu Yixiao says:


    There are a fair number of songs that I like, but disagree with. The one that pops into mind first is one by Howard Jones (I forget the title, but I first heard it on Miami Vice). It sounds like it’s a creep song about a serial killer. When I finally read the lyrics, I found out it’s about vegetarianism.

    Odd Girl Out was a band I did a lighting gig for once (Anne DeChant actually went on to be rather successful). Great music, but so bleeding-heart liberal that I just ignore the lyrics and enjoy the tune. (to be fair, I think they were all liberal-arts college students when I saw them).

  53. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: I try to find the most ferocious music I can to propel workouts that I really shouldn’t be doing at 45. It always winds up being testosterone-drenched Eminem and DMX etc. If I paid attention to the lyrics I’d be too put-off to workout. 😀

    (I defy anyone to find a more intense song than this around 1:28)

  54. EddieInCA says:

    Vaccinated has had enough. Good essay by David Frum. One small snippet:

    In the United States, this pandemic could’ve been over by now, and certainly would’ve been by Labor Day. If the pace of vaccination through the summer had been anything like the pace in April and May, the country would be nearing herd immunity. With most adults immunized, new and more infectious coronavirus variants would have nowhere to spread. Life could return nearly to normal.

    Experts list many reasons for the vaccine slump, but one big reason stands out: vaccine resistance among conservative, evangelical, and rural Americans. Pro-Trump America has decided that vaccine refusal is a statement of identity and a test of loyalty.

    In April, people in counties that Joe Biden won in 2020 were two points more likely to be fully vaccinated than people in counties that Donald Trump won: 22.8 percent were fully vaccinated in Biden counties; 20.6 percent were fully vaccinated in Trump counties. By early July, the vaccination gap had widened to almost 12 points: 46.7 percent were fully vaccinated in Biden counties, 35 percent in Trump counties. When pollsters ask about vaccine intentions, they record a 30-point gap: 88 percent of Democrats, but only 54 percent of Republicans, want to be vaccinated as soon as possible. All told, Trump support predicts a state’s vaccine refusal better than average income or education level.

  55. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA: The correlation between politics and vaccination rates is especially striking when you consider that there is one countervailing factor that probably reduces the effect to some degree: the fact that Covid has the greatest effect on the elderly. That’s an age group that’s likeliest to be conscious of their health, but it’s also the most conservative age group in the country, and the one with the largest contingent of hardcore right-wingers parroting talking points from Fox. Young people, on the other hand, who vote Democrat the most of any age group, tend to be less worried about their health–partly because that’s always true about young people in general, but also because of the perception that Covid is a disease of the old.

    Of course none of this is universally true–there are plenty of young right-wingers in the country, and there are plenty of young people dying from Covid or suffering debilitating long-term effects from the disease. I’m just saying that I’m sure there are many young people avoiding the vaccines simply out of indifference rather than politics, and that there are many old people regardless of politics getting the vaccines simply because they’re under strong pressure to do so from their doctors, and the correlation between politics and vaccination rates would probably be even stronger if not for these factors.

  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: the fact that Covid has the greatest effect on the elderly.

    The Delta variant has changed that calculus. The avg age of a covid patient today is much lower than it was in March/April 2020.

  57. EddieInCA says:

    I read an article this morning that I’m trying to find again to post here, because it might have something to do with the sudden turnaround by many conservative elites in regards to vaccines.

    The article stated that DeSantis beat Gillum for the FL Governors race by 11K votes. Currently Florida has about 35K deaths from Covid, and of the 35K deaths, they’ve gone about 80%-20% GOP to Dems, based on public records. That means approx 28K GOP voters and 7K Dem voters. That right there is a 21K net GOP loss of voters in a state that often has razor thin margins. I’m guessing the polling is similar in PA, Michigan, WI, AZ, MO. GA and OH. So it’s all hands on decks from purely a survival standpoint (no pun intended). I’ll come back and post it when I find it, but it had interesting data, all from public records.

  58. charon says:

    Pro-Trump America has decided that vaccine refusal is a statement of identity and a test of loyalty.

    IMO, the primary reasons for this are relentless propagandizing by FOX News and the other Conservamedia also Evangelical pastors – so peer pressure in communities where these are prevalent.

    Fox does not care about people getting sick or GOP politicians losing elections, as riling up the rubes is a great way to goose ratings, what Fox really cares about.

  59. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That may be (although–and correct me if I’m wrong–it still remains true that the majority of people dying from Covid are elderly), but I was talking on a broader scale about the relationship between how people voted in 2020 and how often they are vaccinated. This is something that’s remained pretty consistent, even before the rise of the Delta variant.

  60. charon says:

    Will Blue America ever decide it’s had enough of being put medically at risk by people and places whose bills it pays?

    Mean-spirited thought but really not practical or viable to implement.

    My guess this latest surge is escalating so fast it will run out of victims and burn itself out by Thanksgiving – but will do plenty of damage by then.

  61. Kathy says:

    I’m not sure it’s only politics.

    this week France passed a law requiring vaccination certificates, or negative COVID tests in order to access restaurants and bars, and other places, starting in August.

    The announcement of this law prompted a record number of people to register for vaccination. Of course there were also protests against it, and no doubt there will be a boom in fake certificates.

    You can’t do the same in the federalized US system. Sure, proof of vaccination could be required for all air travel, as well as for commercial interstate travel, but that own’t affect all vaccine holdouts.

    How about a daily fine for each day an elegible person, without a compelling and valid medical impediment, is not vaccinated? The fine could stop at the moment an appointment is booked, then restarted if the person involved does not show up. Naturally it would also restart if they delay or avoid the second dose.

    I don’t think the law would allow insurers for refusing to cover COVID treatments if an elegible patient is not vaccinated.

  62. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: The relationship between Covid and politics isn’t the same in every country–look at Israel for example, where the right-wing government took it quite seriously.

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: I googled younger people becoming sick with delta variant and came up with a number of articles all saying some variation of(headline wise)

    Young, unvaccinated people are being hospitalized with Covid-19 as delta variant spreads, officials warn

    Young, unvaccinated people are showing up at hospitals with Covid-19 — in some cases being admitted to intensive care and put on ventilators — in disturbing numbers, health officials across the country have warned.

    Vaccination rates among younger people are lower than among older Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency’s data show that slightly fewer than half of people in the U.S. ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 39 are fully vaccinated. The number is even lower for children 12 to 18, who have been eligible to be vaccinated for months.
    Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious disease physician at the University of Kansas Health System, said he has noticed hospitalizations rising among young, otherwise healthy people.

    “We are seeing patients in their 20s and 30s who are otherwise healthy who are coming because of worsening symptoms … today, in the hospital, in the ICU, who are needing to have ventilator and high oxygen support,” he said. “Again, because they’re unvaccinated. It is completely preventable if you get vaccinated.”
    The delta variant and the number of unvaccinated young people have also been concerns for health officials in St. Louis County, Missouri.

    Two weeks ago, “there were 89 patients admitted to ICU beds for Covid-related conditions across the St. Louis metro area,” Dr. Faisal Khan, director of the county’s Public Health Department, said on MSNBC. “Each of those individuals was unvaccinated, and they were from the relatively younger age group between 18 to 50.”

    “It wouldn’t surprise me if we see more cases in children,” he said

    I suspect fewer of these younger healthier patients are dying in comparison to older cohorts, but there are more of them ending up in the hospital than in times past. Even still, considering the fact that we have no idea of the full effects of long covid, it is concerning.

  64. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thank you. It also relates to what I was talking about before: how a lot of young people avoid the vaccines because they think Covid is a disease of the old. Even with the original virus this was a foolish stance to take (apart from the issue of getting it oneself there was also the issue of spreading it to other unvaccinated individuals), but it has also predisposed much of the public to continue thinking of it as an old person’s disease, despite that being increasingly less the case as time goes on.

  65. Kathy says:


    Exactly, But there seems to be a great deal of vaccine refusal the world over as well.


    The original strain and the earlier variants has plenty of targets available. Now with vaccination they have fewer. So the variants that will prosper, and hence dominate, can either evolve to break through the vaccine immunity, which is not easy*, or to better infect the remaining targets available, which is far easier.

    There’s also the matter of opportunity. Viruses lack both metabolism and mobility. They’re randomly carried where the host organism, in this case H. sapiens, takes them. younger people tend to gather more in groups of their peers (how many lone teens do you see at the mall?), therefore one infected youngster with a variant that’s good at infecting their kind, is more likely to find other hosts to spread into, many of whom are unvaccinated.

    Now, it’s true that the more a virus circulates the more likely it is to evolve into variants. That said, not all variants are worse, as regards us humans, than the original. But the lower-performing variants tend to die off earlier. America, despite having the most confirmed cases of any country, has not produced any of the more dangerous variants.

    Two concerning variants, Gamma and Delta, were first identified in Brazil and India, two other countries in the running for most confirmed cases.

    *In particular soon after vaccination. Not only does the virus have to contend with B cells and T cells tailored to attack it, but also to lots and lots of antibodies that fit its spike proteins very well.

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Unfckingbelievable 10 sec video:

    Rex ChapmanHorse racing
    Block or charge?

    Broken shoulder, broken ribs, and he still got up and went into the pub for a pint.

  67. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: Stephen Jay Gould, who was Jewish, did an essay about how much he enjoyed Wagner, not so much despite Wagner being a raging anti-semite, but aside from it. He was all for set aside the politics and enjoy the music

  68. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08: Can’t possibly resist posting this.

    I personally make a distinction between artists who happened to hold bigoted views on the side and those whose works contain those views. Eric Clapton may be a racist, but the music he’s famous for isn’t. I think what makes Wagner a touchy subject for a lot of Jews is how much his music was promoted by the Nazis. Chopin was also an anti-Semite, but nobody seems to care because it doesn’t have that historical association.

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In a surprise to absolutely no one who has paid even the slightest bit of attention to the American legal system, Tom Barrack has been released on bail.

  70. Teve says:

    If I have to move soon, and I might, I’m thinking Eugene, OR.

    1) cost of living only 5.3% higher than national avg, compared with Portland at 30% higher, Seattle 72% higher, Denver 29% higher, Boulder 70% higher.

    2) college town

    3) west coast

    4) 1 hr to the Pacific

    5) 2 hrs to downtown Portland

    6) will probably be Florida temperatures by the time I retire.

    It’s got a nice mix of characteristics.

  71. Jax says:

    @Teve: I lived in Eugene for a while. I liked it. Lots and lots of hippies. I always thought if I moved back to Oregon, I would try to move back to one of the smaller towns/communities between Eugene, the coast, and Coos Bay.

  72. Stormy Dragon says:
  73. Stormy Dragon says:


    47 inches of annual rainfall too, so it’s not about to turn into a desert or burn down like some places.

  74. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Acronyms are generally capitalized–unless you’re the bloody idiotic BBC.

    It seems to be a Brit thing, not just BBC. The UK Defense Science and Technology Laboratory refers to themselves always as Dstl.

  75. DrDaveT says:


    I suspect the reactions to this song are a case of Springsteen syndrome, where a song criticizing American foreign policy is misinterpreted as an expression of fervent patriotism.

    There’s a similar phenomenon where songs that use Christian terminology or imagery are misinterpreted by listeners as being religious in intent, even when they very much aren’t. Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is probably the poster child for this one, with “Take Me to Church” a close second.

  76. DrDaveT says:


    It’s got a nice mix of characteristics.

    My best friend from HS lives in Eugene. We refer to it as “Yevgeny” 🙂

    It has many wonderful features (you left off proximity to amazing local wines) but it is relentlessly damp. Every time I have visited there, everything I owned was musty within 3 days. I say this as someone who lives in a notably humid place already.

  77. flat earth luddite says:

    @Teve: @OzarkHillbilly:

    Ah, c’mon over to the camp I’m detained in, Ozark. All the murthering scum are there! Besides, we have cookies!

  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @flat earth luddite: I would never join a camp that would have me, but the right kind of cookies might make me rethink that policy.

  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: Hey! Don’t leave out “One Toke Over the Line!” It even specifically has Jesus and Mary, both, in it. How much more Christian can you get than that?

  80. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I love that song. Now I have to go listen to it.

  81. Teve says:

    @Jax: a friend in the bay area texted me to say that Eugene was full of hippies. I wonder what the job situation is like?

  82. Teve says:

    Really what I’m looking for is

    1) west coast

    2) college town

    3) not exorbitant cost of living like Portland or Seattle

    4) decent enough job market

  83. Jax says:

    @Teve: There are a LOT of hippies and homeless, I’m not gonna lie. That’s why if I were going to move back I would triangulate between Eugene, the coast, and Coos Bay. I would actually prefer Coos Bay, but their job market is not what Eugene’s is. Maybe as far south as Medford. That’s my ideal climate and kind of people I’m willing to deal with if I had to get a job where I dealt with people.

  84. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Corn truffles. Just learned that if the heat and humidity are high enough, corn can get infected by a fungus that causes the kernels to expand and become a delicacy known as Corn smut. Cooked they taste like a cross between mushrooms, fresh corn and black truffles. This is real.

    Here’s what I don’t get: Somewhere, somewhen, someone looked at this and said to themselves, “Mmmmm mmmmm, Doesn’t this look yummy? I just gotta try it!”

    eta: forgot where I was and put this in the talk to trump voters thread. sigh…

  85. DrDaveT says:


    Here’s what I don’t get: Somewhere, somewhen, someone looked at this and said to themselves, “Mmmmm mmmmm, Doesn’t this look yummy? I just gotta try it!”

    No, actually, what they said to themselves was “We are starving. This is the only maize we have left. We either eat it, and die, or we don’t eat it, and die.” The “holy sh!t that’s delicious” was an unexpected bonus, which might still have ended up with “… but we die anyway.”

  86. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: yeah, the only reason we know what lobster tastes like is because for some prehistoric dude, the choice was Eat Giant Sea Bug or Die.

  87. CSK says:

    Well, lobsters and insects are both arthropods, so…

  88. Jax says:
  89. de stijl says:


    I believe it was due to an AP style sheet update a year or so back. Most pro media outlets follow their guidelines.

    Don’t hold with it myself. I think lower case black and white is more appropriate. YMMV.

    I was dating a reporter at the Des Moines Register before she got downsized out of her job and she had to move to Minneapolis. AP stylebook was gospel. My understanding from her is that it is the standard industry wide.

  90. de stijl says:


    Maybe Morrissey. Or Eric Clapton. Kid Rock.

  91. de stijl says:


    Missoula is a fine town worthy of being in the mix.