Monday’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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Santiago Mayer

    I find it ironic how the people getting fake vaccination cards are literally the same people who complain about undocumented immigrants using fake documents.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jesse Kelly
    · Dec 23
    I’m not anti-vaccine. I might have gotten one. I wanted to wait and see how it worked. But then you shut down all other treatments. And then you insisted people shouldn’t be allowed to work without one. Now you insist boosters are needed.

    I’ve seen all I need to see.

    William D. Adler

    I’m not anti-stoplight. I might have stopped at one. I wanted to wait and see how they worked. But then you said I also had to drive the speed limit. And then insisted I also needed a seat belt. I’m done.

    And then insisted I drive on the right side of the road when I can see the other side is clear


    …and child seats, and car insurance, and driver’s licenses, and DMV registrations, and higher octane fuel, and age restrictions on booze (and 0.08) and cigarettes… where does it end?

    Ray Roberts
    Apparently with voter ID.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Eric Boehlert

    this is the record **for entire pandemic** and **for entire country**
    Fla a jaw-dropping 32k cases in one day

    A day after breaking a record for the most cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic in the U.S., Florida added even more cases in a single day, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Where does DeSantis go to get his apology?

  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Gospel of Donald Trump Jr. The former president’s son told a crowd that the teachings of Jesus have “gotten us nothing.”

    Donald Trump Jr. is both intensely unappealing and uninteresting. He combines in his person corruption, ineptitude, and banality. He is perpetually aggrieved; obsessed with trolling the left; a crude, one-dimensional figure who has done a remarkably good job of keeping from public view any redeeming qualities he might have.

    There’s a case to be made that he’s worth ignoring, except for this: Don Jr. has been his father’s chief emissary to MAGA world; he’s one of the most popular figures in the Republican Party; and he’s influential with Republicans in positions of power. He’s also attuned to what appeals to the base of the GOP. So, from time to time, it is worth paying attention to what he has to say.

    Evangelical = Trumpist?

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    What a Fin will do to alleviate the winter doldrums:

    Insane Tesla Model S EXPLOSION!! 30kg of dynamite!

  6. Sleeping Dog says:
  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    Followed the link thinking that it was a vid of a random tesla self destructing. It was cool anyway. Considering the cost was for that stunt, the owners disdain for tesla was significant.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Something tells me he’s not one of Elon’s biggest fans.

  9. Sleeping Dog says:


    You know, I can’t say that I blame him. The cult of Musk is even harder to understand than the cult of Trump.

  10. EddieInCA says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @OzarkHillbilly:

    The cult of Musk is even harder to understand than the cult of Trump.

    And that, right there, is the main reason I didn’t buy a Tesla, and am going with the Hundai Iqonic 5.

  11. Sleeping Dog says:


    When we’re in the market for a new car, if we choose an EV it won’t be a Tesla. Disingenuous marketing, along with, fit, finish and materials of economy car quality at BMW/MB prices. And if that isn’t enough, an alarming frequency of repair.

    Hyundai/Kia/Genesis are nice vehicles, the new Genesis G 90 is very tempting.

  12. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    That was a scorcher of a piece. So far I haven’t seen any of the Trump fan club react to it. But they won’t read it, given that The Atlantic only prints Communist propaganda, even when written by lifelong conservatives such as Peter Wehner.

  13. Kylopod says:


    But they won’t read it, given that The Atlantic only prints Communist propaganda, even when written by lifelong conservatives such as Peter Wehner.

    Wehner is definitely part of the pre-Trump Republican establishment. He worked for both Bushes. He supported the War in Iraq. And even before Trump, he had a history of occasionally pushing back against some of the excesses in his party–he’s long been critical of portions of the Christian right, even though he himself is a Christian conservative who opposes abortion. In other words, he’s the epitome of the exact type of Republican whom Trumpists have always despised (and also the type who gets invited on the supposedly liberal cable news networks to talk about how the GOP has gone astray).

  14. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well, this explains my great uncles’ penchant for their sapling challenge. When things were slow on the farm, they’d take det cord down to the creek. The challenge was to see who could get a sapling higher without disintegrating it. Growing up, I thought everyone kept 100′ spools of the stuff in the shop.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:


    Wehner is a RINO in their view and likely they no longer consider him an evangelical. After all evangelicals no longer worship God, but Trump!

  16. CSK says:

    Oh, absolutely. I know Wehner’s history.
    @Sleeping Dog:
    What was it Ann Coulter said? Oh, right: “In Trump we trust.” Although I gather she no longer feels that way.

  17. Mr. Prosser says:

    @CSK: Ann who?

  18. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    Coulter, another RINO. We haven’t heard much from her, since she disavowed TFG.

  19. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I thought Mr. Prosser was being sarcastic–implying that Coulter has totally faded from relevance. We’ll see. The Poe is strong with this one.

  20. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Kylopod:
    I just Googled her. Apparently she’s been reduced to writing for Breitbart and a couple of other publications of which I’ve never heard.

  21. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Kylopod: I was being sarcastic. She’s not in the MSM eye since as far as I know she’s can’t or won’t say the things Sydney Powell, Lin Woods or Mike Lindell and their ilk say.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: At 20k Euros to fix the car, blowing it up and buying a new one may be just as economical.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What ever gave you that idea? The Elon Musk explosion test dummy in the driver’s seat?

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Ehhh, tone it down a notch or 8. There are evangelicals out here in the great wastelands unvisited by your sort who aren’t Trump loyalists. We are few and far between, but your generalization is just as offensive as when the ones who ARE loyal Trumpists think of you as a fascist who wants to destroy them and their lifestyle. (Unless you ARE a fascist who wants that and takes pride in the designation?)

  25. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: @Mr. Prosser: I wonder if Alex Jones is headed down the same path as Coulter with his anti-Trump rant the other day over vaccines. Of course there are differences. When Coulter attacked Trump for not building the wall, that never landed with his supporters since they never cared about the wall–at least not its objective existence (many believe he did build the wall because he says so, others simply don’t care because they always saw it as a stand-in for being tough on immigrants). In contrast, hatred of vaccines matters quite a bit to many (if not most) of them. It’s been a constant drumbeat on right-wing media over the past year, and it’s part of their whole conspiratorial worldview that Covid is a hoax being used to control the masses–a position Trump has largely promoted up to now. So it’s created one of the first real ruptures in the movement in quite some time. Candace Owens and Ben Garrison seem to be taking what I suspect will be the official reaction in pro-Trump media: Trump is mostly great, but he’s just a little confused on this subject. On the other hand, here’s Alex Jones:

    “This is an emergency Christmas Day warning to President Trump. You are either completely ignorant about the so called ‘vaccine’ gene therapy that you helped ram through with Operation Warp Speed, or you are one of the most evil men who has ever lived.”

    Jones needs to be careful, because he is an example of someone whose fame owes itself somewhat to Trump. He’s been doing his radio show for over 25 years, but prior to Trump he was a pretty obscure figure (he’s featured in Richard Linklater’s 2001 film Waking Life, a fact I did not know until a couple years ago even though I first saw the film in 2005; both he and Linklater are Texans).

  26. CSK says:

    Just as an aside, I don’t think Owens’s characterization of Trump as someone “old” who gets his news from the mainstream media, which he’s been decrying as “fake news” for the past five years, is going to go over well with him.

    I would argue that Trump’s supporters cared very much about the wall. But–and this is a big but–they blamed his failure to build it on the recalcitrance of the Democrats and RINOs in Congress.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Irony and sarcasm are hard on the internet. I was being sarcastic.

    Sadly though, there are many trumpists that claim to be evangelicals, that if you show them unattributed versions of Christ’s teaching, will insist that they are the ravings of a commie, leftist Dem. Those evangelicals would be in agreement with junior.

    We, unfortunately live in interesting times, where ignorance has been weaponized.

  28. Kathy says:

    Oh, joy. I just got an invite for a department luncheon next Wednesday.

    On the plus side, someone else has already stated they can’t go. I will send the same kind of reply, and if questioned I’ll say I either have to work or rest (which is even true).

    Tow of the people going and the one organizing it have recovered from COVID. They know how bad it is. Why would they want to hold a potential spreader event?

  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Sadly though, there are many trumpists that claim to be evangelicals, that if you show them unattributed versions of Christ’s teaching, will insist that they are the ravings of a commie, leftist Dem. Those evangelicals would be in agreement with junior.

    Yeah, I’ve met a fair number of those guys, too, and will note in passing that many of them are going to finesse by the Bible part of FG, Jr.’s statement and go with him “really” talking about “playing by the rules,” thus disconnecting themselves and Junior from the tag line of the article.

    Not that had he actually said the tag line’s content in so many words, many of them wouldn’t have agreed.

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: The hosts don’t see it that way. They’ve recovered now, so they have immunity. And their immunity means that no one else can get sick at this gathering because they’re the only ones likely to infect anybody. See how logical it is if you suspend the laws of the universe?

  31. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I was worried about breakthrough infection even before Delta, more so given the low rates of vaccination. With Omicron, it’s monumentally stupid to take chances like these.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Fun with det cord! Used to be able to walk into most any farm & home and get a hundred foot or 2, then McVeigh came along and ruined it for everyone.

  33. Kathy says:

    On more positive developments, I finished the book on Pan Am, Skygods.

    I can’t recommend it. I’m calling it an anecdotal history, meaning it’s made up mostly of anecdotes, without much structure, and about zero analysis. It does cite tons of references, though.

    It lacks some needed explanations. Why didn’t Pan Am have any domestic routes? All other airlines did, some only had domestic routes. I know about regulation and the Civil Aeronautics Board, but this alone explains nothing.

    One clear thing is that after deregulation, Pan Am failed to develop a domestic route network, even if only to feed it’s international routes.

    The other clear thing is that Pan Am as largely an unprofitable company through the 70s and 80s, both before and after deregulation. Alas, the author fails to contrast this performance with that of other US airlines (which are known to have historically thin profit margins).

  34. flat earth luddite says:

    These were the WWI vets who taught me the proper use of a 50# bag of fertilizer, #2 diesel from the tractor supply, and a blasting cap (used only for recalcitrant tree stumps, of course). Occasionally I’ve wondered what happened to all the stuff in the “shop” when they sold the farm.

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I never handled any of it, didn’t trust myself to and really didn’t need to. I had too many friends who were practiced in the art of Zen demolition.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    From rural-ish friends I’ve heard that there are insane amounts of explosives stored by preppers all over the country.

  37. Jax says:
  38. Monala says:

    My daughter is symptom free today, and according to her rapid test, also COVID free.

    I still have minor cold symptoms, but am feeling a lot better.

    Question: I’ve been tracking my oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter. They’ve been good. However, today I got a reading of 88. I put the pulse ox in a different finger and got a reading of 96. So I’ve tried all my fingers, and am getting results from 95-98. Does this mean I can ignore the 88 as a one-off?

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: Yes. It has happened to me a number of times in hospitals. I have no idea why. But there it is.

    Ignore the outlier.

  40. Monala says:

    @Kathy: when my daughter and I were calling people we’d been around to let them know they’d been exposed to COVID*, we talked about how difficult it was because we both feel so terrible about the possibility that we might have gotten other people sick. I can’t fathom not caring.

    * these calls may have revealed the source: one of my daughter’s classmates and teammates, who confessed that she and her entire family** had COVID the week before my daughter and me. In other words, she probably infected my daughter, but hadn’t let anyone know.

    ** the girl’s family is unvaccinated and her mom is still very sick. My daughter pointed out that I, with a number of health conditions making COVID risky for me, have basically had a bad cold from it. Thanks, vaccines!

  41. CSK says:

    Ozark is right about the oximeter reading. Listen to him. So glad you and your daughter are recovering well.

  42. Kathy says:


    Some people put too much trust in the vaccines. I can see why, but the fact is we’re not used to pandemic conditions, not even after this long.

    I’m often told when I decline to attend a gathering “everyone who’ll be there is vaccinated.” Aside he fact three’s no proof, it’s different when a pathogen is in wide circulation. Sure, you got an MMR shot and a booster in infancy, and you never caught measles. But there aren’t tens of thousands of people walking around with measles, as there are with COVID. That changes things.

    I’ve been saying for a while many people want the one thing that will end the pandemic, and there ins’t one. there are many things, from masking to testing to contact tracing to vaccines. Alas, either through sheer obstinacy, laziness, ignorance, malice, or a combination of these, few heed this advice, which the health authorities have been extolling since near the beginning.

    If a comet or asteroid were going to hit the Earth, no question we’d want to deflect it. But though that is the one thing that would prevent disaster, it will likely be risky and uncertain. So we’d also need to prepare in other ways. When the time comes, I hope people will listen (I don’t expect them to, though).

  43. Kylopod says:

    @Monala: I had a similar thing happen last year. It came out 86. A few moments later, I tried it again and it was back to normal. It gave me a brief scare, but I think it was just a glitch.