Steven L. Taylor
Monday, January 25, 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).
Follow Steven on Twitter
All Of This Has Happened Before And It All Will Happen Again
N.J.’s forgotten history of hate
I grew up on Long Island and went to school there. But we were never told this history:
There was discussion yesterday about whether the primary system is what led to the extremism of the Republican Party. It may have contributed, but the fundamental mechanism is a simple feedback loop. As loonies and extremists get more control, the party becomes more attractive to such people and less attractive to sensible and moral people. This isn’t new and isn’t limited to party systems or even democracies.
Global ice loss accelerating at record rate, study finds
When those Chinese pull a hoax, they don’t fuck around.
There has long been a myth that “Americans don’t negotiate with terrorists!” It wasn’t true in the time of Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates and it wasn’t true with Reagan and the Iranian mullahs. But the Republican leadership has finally made it a reality. Given the 140+ Republican House members who voted to overturn an election and the 40+ Republican Senators who are about to vote to exonerate the coup leader, I think it’s safe to say they won’t negotiate with terrorists. They just immediately give in.
Once again, the vaunted ‘job creators’ seek protection behind
their mother’sgovernment’s skirts at the first whiff of competition.
Federal marijuana reform looms after Senate flip — and Massachusetts could end up a loser
Local activists, investors, and operators see risks in reforms they’ve long sought
A roadmap for the new Congress: From dysfunction to meaningful change
I like the idea of having House and Senate debates on legislation scheduled for the evening. Schumer and Pelosi should pick out some of the most popular pieces of legislation and dare Rs to register their opposition. Make the suckers vote.
Today it was announced that LIKELY Trump would not start a MAGA party, and that he would campaign for the success of GOP candidates… unless of course if republicans voted for his impeachment.
Nice little party ya got there… it be a shame if anything happened to it.
@Liberal Capitalist: I gotta say, I think this crew of cravens are frightened enough to actually hope that Trump keeps his word, a laughable concept. If he wants to create a third party he will do so, no matter what he promises.
@Liberal Capitalist: He won’t do anything that requires his own money, only things that enable him to use (and skim off of) other people’s money. It is probably much easier to demand speaking fees from Republican candidates than it is to find people to fund an entire new party on his behalf.
@Jon: The big money is if he runs though. He can scam hundreds of millions of dollars or more from the Trumpers. Even if the Republicans vote to convict (not gonna happen) he can simple shift the campaign from “Presidential Candidate” to “Constitutional Amendment to allow him to run”. Trumpers want anger and resentment and payback. They will rally behind any words Trump says, whatever they are or whatever they are about. And mail in their social security checks.
@MarkedMan: Yup, for sure. Also big money in teasing a run, since he gets to have a semi-opaque PAC.
And really, even if he is convicted and barred from office he’ll run anyway and sue all the while to overturn, complaining about how unfair it all is.
I hesitate to label this bad news, or good. His Majesty King Manuel Andres the Last of Mexico has found COVID-19 after courting it for months. I guess this is good for him?
As usual, he’s downplaying it. He’s had a heart attack and suffers from hypertension, so he’s at higher risk than normal. I know that he might be hooked to a ventilator and turning purple all over, and dispatches from the presidency would still talk about “mild symptoms.” He will be getting the best care available, but I don’t know if that includes monoclonal antibodies.
What I don’t get, is why he didn’t get vaccinated. Sure, with under a million doses given, it’s not like we’re swimming in vaccines, but he could easily get one, and have it administered live on TV to set the example and show it’s safe. As vaccinations started on Dec. 24th, he’d have had his second dose by now.
I guess covidiots just gotta covidiot.
If you have Amazon Prime, see “One Night in Miami”.
Really well done. Multiple Oscar nominations are coming for this film.
Rob Portman says he won’t be seeking re-election. Says the gridlock is too much.
@Sleeping Dog:..the advent of interstate marijuana commerce, which is currently banned,..
Banned! Like nobody ever did that before!
For all those eternal optimists who believe the Republicans should retain the filibuster because, norms: all the Senatorial committees still retain Republican leadership because they are filibustering the changeover.
But remember, we must preserve norms!
Undercounting of Covid-19 deaths is greatest in pro-Trump areas, analysis shows
Well, they owned the libs by dying…
This is rather reminiscent of China’s Great Leap “Forward.” IN that case, however, officials were reporting non-existent record harvests, not the lack of something that did exist.
And in fairness to the Chinese people and officials of that time, Mao’s was a totalitarian regime, with all the brutal, nasty, excessive punishments to match. America lacks such measures.
@Kathy:..America lacks such measures.
I heard some news recordings of Trump’s terrorist thugs chanting “suspend the constitution” as they ransacked The United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Clearly there are American citizens who would support such acts.
And let’s not forget Guantánamo
@Mister Bluster: I’m willing to send them to Guantanamo.
I have a suggestion for the OTB headliners. We all now live in a largely post-Trump world. We are a bit bereft. So, I think we should talk issues, and I think our headliners are well up to the task. Let’s talk about solutions for AGW and infrastructure. Let’s talk culture and foreign and defense policy. It’s a new day. Yay!
Not that I disagree, but there is much detrumpification to do yet. There’s the matter of the DoJ inspector general looking at the deputy acting AG’s move to replace the acting AG, because the latter wouldn’t aid in Trump’s coup.
Then the Supreme Court apparently dismissed the emolument lawsuits pending against Trump. That’s utterly ridiculous. If he received illegal payments, he should on no account be allowed to keep them. And if these illegal payments unfairly harmed others, they are still entitled to seek redress for them.
And let us not forget El Cheeto tried to steal the election, and if that’s not a crime, then all bets are off from now on. We get to the point were Nixon’s “if the president does it, it’s not illegal” wish comes true. Aside from inciting the crowd at his rally, there are the calls with Georgia officials, and I doubt the aforementioned acting deputy AG acted on his own.
At this point we should not care whether it looks like political persecution, payback, or whatnot. It’s imperative to put a hard stop to these kinds of criminal activity. as we say here often, were Trump minimally competent he’d likely have succeeded in his attempted coup. And a coup is no less serious because it failed.
He should be charged with sedition, after a thorough investigation, and then tried, convicted and imprisoned for the rest of his miserable existence.
If not, then get some shovels, because American democracy will be dead.
@Michael Reynolds: I second the motion. I’ve found that since the inauguration I have not clicked on many stories or opinion pieces that seem to be mostly about Trump’s Travesties. I’ve never felt the problem was Trump. He’s a barely self aware monkey and there are lots of monkeys. The problem was the system and the people who put a monkey in charge. And the greater issue is that we have a lot of problems of great import, and having a monkey in charge kept us from focusing on them. Now that we have a real person in charge, let’s shift the focus.
@Kathy: Don’t disagree. Those are institutional problems that exist outside of which particular monkey was in charge.
With the news of potential problems for the Trump real estate “empire,” I’d been wondering what the boys would do for a living. Apparently, the problem is solved for Eric, at least. Well maybe, anyway.
It would appear that his new career could well be “househusband.”
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
He could turn it into a reality show, The Real Househusbands of Charlotte.
@Michael Reynolds: @MarkedMan:
Yeah, but it’s so much fun to slag on Trump.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: @Sleeping Dog:
Isn’t he the “head” of the Trump Winery in Virginia?
@Mister Bluster:..No edit button…
LET’S DO IT AGAIN!
Well, this is depressing:
I wouldn’t be so sure. Going forward, it might nor matter. Prior to Trump, though, I don’t recall any real president trying to profit off his properties or business while in office. Plenty made a bundle in speaking fees and book deals later, but that seemed to be the deal.
Myths were built around elections and the economy, yes, but I can’t conceive anyone, even Nixon, trying to stage a coup, however incompetently, nor even failing to concede an electoral defeat.
On to more cheerful thoughts:
yesterday I made plain ground turkey patties, baked in the oven. I then smothered them (no other word will do) in a sauce made with 2 sliced onions, some garlic, balsamic vinegar, tomato pure, some Dijon mustard (whatever was left in the jar, not much), a Tbsp. of grain mustard, and some no-sugar-added ketchup.
Better than I expected.
I wonder what it feels like to get sued for 1.3 BILLION dollars for lying about a company ?
Oh… respond by saying you are being persecuted by the left wing and they are taking away your right to free speech? https://twitter.com/kaitlancollins/status/1353745852494471168
So much wrong there. Does Rudy even law at all? He must law like I brain surgery.
Poor, poor Rudy.
@CSK: Is that supposed to be a job? I wasn’t even aware that Trump wine was sold anywhere anymore. I’m not even sure that the patrons of Mar al Lago drink it. Visiting the winery website just now, I saw no indications whatsoever of any attempts to either market the product nor to inform people of where it was for sale. I’m not even sure anyone CAN buy it–not even at the tasting room.
What did Giuliani and Sidney Powell expect? They made a bunch of totally unsubstantiated libelous and slanderous claims against Dominion.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
I’ve never seen it sold anywhere. If I did, I wouldn’t buy it.
@CSK: Yeah, that article was certainly depressing. My fondest hope would have to rest on the possibility that typical Trump acolytes probably DON’T HAVE $100/yr. to spend with their existing commitments to Pat Robertson and buying survival rations from Jim Bakker, but it’s possible that schools not being open has freed up the kiddos lunch money, so I guess it’s possible.
What I WAS a little confused about, though, was the idea that the creditors for Doral would want to sell the property for more than the $125 million they are owed. It’s not like they get to keep the surplus, and even the darling of evangelicals, financial maven Dave Ramsey, holds that one should never buy a investment property for more than 40% of its market value. If the sale is distressed enough, I would expect that Deutsche Bank would need to take a “haircut” on the debt to sell it at all. Is Doral really worth $340 or so million?
So, apparently vaccine tourism has started. I’ve heard of two people, both of whom live in Mexico City, who’ve managed to get vaccinated in Florida. One even got the second dose very recently.
I can’t say I mind, even though I couldn’t do it myself. The more people are vaccinated globally sooner, the better all around. But it’s going to play havoc with the count.
Many in FL complained that this was the case. Since FL is big on seasonal workers, part time residents and tourists, having those that qualify inoculated made sense. So much sense that they stopped it.
Now you have to prove residency (license) or proof of longer tern temporary residency (utility bills, etc).
Of course, now you have a problem with the undocumented residents (both legal and illegal) not receiving a vaccine.
Those sharp elbows found a way to move up in the line, eh?
That face will really miss its nose, you’ll see.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
DB is probably assuming that it’s better to recover some of the money than none of it.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
He may go the subscription service route, if for no other reason that it’s the thing to do these days in digital media.
But, can he run such a con from prison? I doubt there’s good connectivity at Ft. Leavenworth.
IMO, trump better hope he gets convicted and disqualified from further office some February. If that happens, the public mood for letting the rest of his criminal activity go would increase, and the impetus to prosecute him will decrease.
If he skates, I can see ambitious prosecutors, both state and federal, and even some Republicans, going after him. trump clearly went beyond the pale in 1) the lie about the election, 2) the attempts to alter the results of the count, and 3) above all by inciting an insurrection.
He has to pay a price for that.
@CSK: Yeah, he could break the gridlock, but that really would be too much.
A friend of mine who lives in Virginia can get it nearby. She doesn’t buy it, just posts pictures on Facebook. Definitely for sale.
They are white and if not exactly wealthy, they don’t have to worry about money. They didn’t expect anything would happen to them.
I looked it up, and there appear to be three places in eastern Mass. that carry it. None near me–and my town has at least five liquor and wine stores.
Even the dopiest lawyer should be conversant with the libel and slander laws.
On other matters, I finished “Pandora’s Lab; Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong,” by Paul Offit MD.
The book explores seven instances where a development, practice, or discovery wrought a great dela of harm to many people. It contains a great dela of background, where appropriate. For instance, we know what happened with opioids, but did you know it’s been happening for a really long time? Morphine, an opiate, was developed long ago. but Heroin was originally developed as a medical opiate as well.
My important takeaway from the book is what the author hammers on time and again: it’s all about the data. What matters for any development is what the data says about benefits, harms, usefulness, cost, etc.
People tend to construct narratives, which are very appealing. That’s fine, but the narrative proves nothing if it’s not backed up by data. If you get stuck in the narrative, you wind up with opioid addiction epidemics, or crippling lobotomies*, etc. The human cost can be great, even when the economic costs aren’t.
Well worth reading.
I would love a similar book looking at economic practices and other aspects of social scienes.
*The book states something I’d suspected for a long time: there is no benefit at all to lobotomies.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
“It would appear that his new career could well be “househusband.””
No, she’s running for the other house of Congress. It should be “Senatehusband”.
@Liberal Capitalist: Yeah. Vaccine tourism got a lot of press and the base (me, me, me) hate it, so Governor (sic) DeSantis made noises about ending it.
Trump will be setting up an Office of the Former President.
I am not joking.
Possibly. Though it would require committed work and discipline of which Trump has none of the characteristics to do that.
If it can be delegated or out-sourced or licenced or half-assed, sure, Trump knows that. If it requires dedicated personal effort, no freakin’ way it happens.
Lazy and litigious gets you so far.
@PJ: I suggested that we may be approaching 600,000 actual Covid deaths when we “officially” hit 400K. For one thing, the number of deaths compared to previous years was much higher than 400,000. But the number of deaths from the flu and other respiratory sicknesses has almost disappeared due to the masks, handwashing, and other precautions. But *something* is making up for those missing deaths. [cough, Covid, cough]
Well, of course other people will be doing whatever work is involved. That’s a given with Trump. What do you want to bet he’s having a replica of the Oval Office built at Mar-a-Lago, with portraits him him covering the walls?
I always thought of Kramer’s version on The Merv Griffin Show when he found the abandoned set and decided to to recreate the format and form.
Trump wanted a kitchen cabinet of key media figures bewitched and beholden. Such a petty person.
A simulacrum of an effective leader. It would be sad and tragic were it not the Presidency and not now. You can be a fool on your dime, not on the publics’.
@Jen: Good to know. I can send a bottle to my brother in Williamsburg as a gag gift for his 75th birthday next year.
One time I was at a kinda blind exit to an offramp. You had to creep almost into traffic to see if you could join the flow.
I had done that dance a hundred times at least. Creep up but not into the flow but don’t bolt in at 5 mph and kill the traffic flow.
One evening cop car was directly behind me. I let off the brakes thinking to scoot the interval but thought better and she banged into my bumper thinking I had already gone for it and my space was hers.
My vehicle was untouched except for a paint scratch on rear bumper.
She was nailed on culpability and knew it. Fronted tough for half a minute. Hit a non-moving vehicle and there is no way to finesse that. It was amazing to watch her squirm thru authority aggression to please don’t call this in.
She made a poor instant decision. As much as I dislike cops, she was not a perpetrator.
How often as a citizen do you get to be the decider on whether a cop faces consequences? I could have seriously messed up her career.
I passed. She had done no wrong to me or mine.
Her front quarter panel got smushed a bit but my bumper barely had a paint smear. I can maintain class hatred towards an element, and not be dickish about a non-issue interaction. I was trying to demonstrate conciliatory behavior.
“in 1936 it was rebranded the German-American Bund (Amerikadeutscher Volksbund), dissociated from the Nazi Party, and open only to U.S. citizens of German descent. Bund headquarters were in New York City, but the organization had chapters from coast to coast.”