Mother’s Day 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. CSK says:

    The remains of the Chinese rocket fell into the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives a little after midnight.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Craziest thing’: Police use Taser on escaped zebra in Tennessee

    Yeah, that will calm it down.
    (shakes head in disbelief at the utter stupidity of people)

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Former President Barack Obama’s dog Bo died on Saturday from cancer, the Obamas said on social media.

    News of Bo’s passing was shared by Obama and his wife, Michelle, on Instagram, where both expressed sorrow at the passing of a dog the former president described as a “true friend and loyal companion.”

    “He tolerated all the fuss that came with being in the White House, had a big bark but no bite, loved to jump in the pool in the summer, was unflappable with children, lived for scraps around the dinner table, and had great hair,” Barack Obama wrote.
    “He was there when Barack and I needed a break, sauntering into one of our offices like he owned the place, a ball clamped firmly in his teeth. He was there when we flew on Air Force One, when tens of thousands flocked to the South Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll, and when the Pope came to visit,” she wrote.

    Mrs. Obama wrote that she was grateful for the time the family got to spend with him due to the pandemic, and said that over the past year, “no one was happier than Bo.”

    “All his people were under one roof again,” she wrote.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who stop by this quirky comments section.

  5. Elizabeth Warren says she will run for reelection to the Senate in 2024.

  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    They’re even lying to themselves

    This report about how the Party is hiding negative information about Trump’s support even from their own members is fascinating. I have to imagine they are doing it because they know one of Dear Leader’s minions will run to tell him who mentioned it so they are simply putting their heads in the sand and pretending it isn’t true.

  7. Monala says:

    This story makes no mention of Qanon but has its classic fingerprints: a wellness “influencer” suddenly starts believing everyone around him are pedophiles and traffickers. And it shows the danger of such beliefs, as he proceeds to make accusations against his neighbors, doxxing them to his followers, and making life such a sheer terror for them that many of them have to move. Yet local police don’t take it seriously. Link

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “He’s like an upside down iceberg,” the Pulitzer prize-winning historian says by phone. “You see most of it and that’s not spin: there’s just not a lot of mystery to Joe Biden. The last four or five minutes of his press conference in the East Room [on 25 March] when he talked about democracy and autocracy, that was pretty much it.”

    Historian John Meacham Also:

    “I suspect 90% of what I’ve heard Joe Biden say in private for years, he says in public, and the other 10%, it’s not like there’s some secret dark side of Biden,” Meacham says. “I’m puzzled by it, honestly. I think part of it is being 78, thinking that everything was done – he had no expectation [of becoming president] in 2017.

    “So I think people should take him at his word. My experience with him – and we are friends – is that he’s very straightforward. There’s not a lot of machiavellian behind-the-scenes stuff going on. That might not have been true when he was 40 but he’s now almost 80 and it is true.”


  9. CSK says:

    This is horrific, but I took the part about the cops to mean that the police aren’t taking the accusations Cabello makes against his neighbors seriously. IANAL, but I don’t know if there’s much the police can do about libel. It’s a civil matter.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: They’re even lying to themselves

    Nothing new about that.

    Oh, you mean lying to themselves about their polling numbers. How else can they convince themselves that dear leader had his landslide victory stolen from him?

  11. Kylopod says:
  12. wr says:

    Am I the only one who sees a weird coincidence in the fact that Tawny Kitaen and Bo the Dog both died on the same day?

  13. CSK says:

    Well, if you pronounce “Kitaen” as “kitten,” I suppose there is.

  14. Teve says:
  15. Teve says:


    people say “you are what you eat” like it’s supposed to be a threat?? i’d be perfectly happy being a large pizza and seven blueberry muffins

  16. Teve says:
  17. Teve says:

    States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — States asked the federal government this week to withhold staggering amounts of COVID-19 vaccine amid plummeting demand for the shots, contributing to a growing U.S. stockpile of doses.

    From South Carolina to Washington, states are requesting the Biden administration send them only a fraction of what’s been allocated to them. The turned-down vaccines amount to hundreds of thousands of doses this week alone, providing a stark illustration of the problem of vaccine hesitancy in the U.S.

    More than 150 million Americans — about 57% of the adult population — have received at least one dose of vaccine, but government leaders from the Biden administration down to the city and county level are doing everything they can to persuade the rest of the country to get inoculated.

    U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Friday that the federal government has dedicated $250 million for community organizations to promote vaccinations, make appointments and provide transportation.

    He cited examples such as holding conversations with small groups of people in minority communities in St. Louis and asking Rhode Island churches to contact community members and offer them rides to vaccination sites. He also noted that a global Hindu American organization has turned temples into vaccination centers, making it easier for elderly members to get shots in a familiar setting. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has added a vaccination site in which people can get their shots in a Formula 1 garage near the race tunnels.

    The Biden administration announced this week that if states don’t order all the vaccine they’ve been allotted, the administration will shift the surplus to meet demand in other states.

    In another sign of the burgeoning national surplus, Biden announced last week that his administration would share the nation’s entire stock of AstraZeneca doses with the world once it clears safety reviews.

    The huge supply and dwindling demand has highlighted the vast inequalities during the pandemic, with countries like India buckling under a disastrous surge of the virus and other nations having no doses at all. At the same time, wealthy countries like the U.S. are awash in vaccine, and seeing cases and deaths plunge as a result.

    The federal government allocates vaccines to each state based on their population size, and then it’s up to the states to decide how many doses they want to order every week. Early on, states routinely asked for the full allocation —- and were clamoring for more shots — but now they are scaling back requests.

    Wisconsin officials have asked for just 8% of the 162,680 doses the federal government had set aside for the state next week. Julie Willems Van Dijk, the state health department’s deputy secretary, acknowledged earlier that demand is softening and vaccinators are drawing down existing inventories before ordering more doses.

    In Iowa, officials have asked the federal government for 29% of that state’s allocated doses next week. Kansas officials asked for less than 9% of their 162,000-dose allotment this past week. Counties have been turning down doses as demand plummets, leaving the state with a stockpile of almost 647,000 doses.

    Melaney Arnold, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the state has five weeks’ worth of doses on hand. Last week, state officials for the first time requested fewer doses than allotted because of declining demand. The state plans to request just 9% of its allotted doses for everywhere but Chicago for next week.

    Connecticut has requested 26% of its allotment for next week. South Carolina plans to order 21% of its doses.

    North Carolina has scaled back its request for the past week by 40%. Washington state also cut its order by about 40% this week, the first time the state’s order has been smaller than its allocation.

    Not everyone is dialing back. Maryland and Colorado are still ordering their full amount. So is New York City. The average number of daily shots in the nation’s largest city has dropped about 40% since peaking at more than 95,000 in mid-April, but city officials want a steady supply of doses to create more shots at doctor’s offices, neighborhood pharmacies and other small providers, hoping to appeal to people who have skipped mass vaccination sites.

    “We’ve got the demand to keep using our supply effectively,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

    Health experts have generally said about 70% of the nation’s population would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. The Biden administration wants to get 70% of adult Americans vaccinated by July 4, but has acknowledged the downward trend in vaccinations and the challenge to win over people who doubt the vaccine’s effectiveness or simply don’t want to get shots.

    The president announced Tuesday that federal officials will expand smaller and mobile vaccination clinics for hard-to-reach communities and push education campaigns. He also has touted incentive programs, such as discounts for shoppers who get vaccinated at grocery stores.

    North Carolina health officials are considering paying younger people to get shots. West Virginia has announced people between the ages of 16 and 35 will be eligible for a $100 savings bond if they get the vaccine or have gotten it. Detroit officials started a program Monday to pay people $50 for every city resident they sign up for a first dose and bring in for an appointment.

    Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at Johns Hopkins University, said he wasn’t “despairing” over the slowing of demand.

    “Herd immunity is not necessarily a moment when the music plays and the sun shines,” he said. “It is about how easy it is for the virus to pass around in a community, and I think there is a lot more progress to be made. People who think, ‘Well, we are done with the large stadiums, so that is it, we are not going to vaccinate any more people’ are wrong. You can vaccinate a lot of people if you make it convenient for them, if you get it to their doctor’s offices, if you answer their questions. But it is going to take a different type of effort to do it.”

  18. Monala says:

    @CSK: I was referring to this:

    While threats from Cabello’s followers about coming to the neighborhood to kill neighbors have been made, Moss said, it’s a question of whether they are viable threats.

    “Is there a valid threat they can carry out? Is it reasonable that this person would have fear?” he said. “If your neighbor said I’m going to punch your face when you come out the garage, we could make that arrest. There’s this gray area where we don’t know who these followers are or where they live.”

  19. CSK says:

    Well, that’s the problem, which Moss identifies in the last line of his statement. The identity and location of these loons is unknown to the police. How do you arrest someone whose identity is unknown to you? That’s the issue with anonymous threats: Where are they coming from and who’s making them?

  20. Teve says:

    I love these FB posts like “my husband can’t get anyone to work at his restaurant. People just don’t want to work!” I just started a new job on Monday. Would I do this job for $2.13/hr plus tips? Fuck no I wouldn’t. This place pays well and is fully staffed. Maybe if you can’t get any employees to do your job, the problem is your shit job.

  21. CSK says:

    Back in 1998 when Boston banned smoking in restaurants, the Boston Globe interviewed a group of waitresses who complained that the ban would cut into their $75,000 a year incomes from waiting tables. That was a substantial sum 24 years ago. I remembered thinking that tipping must be as lucrative as hell.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: 😀 😀 😀

  23. Teve says:

    @CSK: according to zip recruiter, wait staff in Florida make 15-43k per year. I’m guessing more like 15k at Golden Corral, and more like 43k at a restaurant with a number in it’s name.

  24. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Montana and South Carolina are somehow dropping the extra unemployment insurance. Not sure that was possible, actually.

    That extra $300 a week is being blamed for keeping people from getting so desperate that they will take a minimum wage job with random hours dealing with maskless idiots while struggling to find childcare now that the kid’s grandma is dead.

    And if I were looking for a job, I would just avoid the places where the owner has put up a sign saying they are understaffed because people don’t want to work. But, it’s nice some employers are making it obvious from the application process that the employers are awful.

  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: It certainly isn’t the base salary that’s lucrative. I worked in a roadside diner one summer as a dishwasher. Not only did I make more on an hourly basis (by roughly 100% IIRC) but I also worked more hours. Still, some of the waitresses claimed to make as much as 2 or 3 hundred dollars in a dinner shift if it was a busy night. (With a base salary of ~$15.00/shift.)

  26. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: yeah if a business put up a sign like that I would not even think about applying there.

    Somewhat off-topic, rich conservatives are very good at telling poor whites that they have to be poor in order for the system to work. I’ve literally had four relatives tell me things like supply side economics are good because rich people need more money in order to hire people because “when’s the last time a poor person gave you a job???” And of course every time somebody thinks about raising the minimum wage, you hear hysterical nonsense about how every restaurant is going to go out of business and America will lose eleventy million jobs. But a McDonald’s worker in Germany starts at USD 12 to 13 an hour and McDonald’s has 1000 locations in Germany. None of these numbnuts bats an eye when the CEO of McDonald’s literally gives himself a 100% raise from 10 million to 20 million.

  27. CSK says:

    Yeah; I found those Boston figures a little hard to believe. But the Globe quoted multiple waitresses as claiming that’s what they made. And it wasn’t at upscale places, either.

    According to Investopedia, the hourly mean wage for Florida waitstaff is $12.66, which makes Florida servers the third highest-paid nationally. California and NY top it.

  28. Teve says:

    @Teve: my edit function no longer exists but “I’ve literally had four relatives tell me” should be “I’ve literally had poor relatives tell me”.

    There are many great things about Apple products, but their voice to text is absolute shit. I’ve tried to put the Google keyboard on this thing, but Apple has surreptitiously disabled voice functions on it.

  29. Teve says:

    That article about the confederacy being a con job on white people is very good. Rich white people in the south kept poor white people in the south significantly poorer than poor white people in the north, by assuring them that poor Black people were much poorer than them. There’s an LBJ quote about that.

  30. gVOR08 says:


    I love these FB posts like “my husband can’t get anyone to work at his restaurant. People just don’t want to work!

    As I forget which left blogger observed a few days ago – It’s a shame we have no mechanism that might bring supply and demand into line.

    The other bit I love is that if you observe they could pay more, someone will always say – But then they’d have to raise prices – as though that is obviously unthinkable.

  31. Teve says:

    When I worked at home depot, a coworker who was not a dumb guy, he had been an engineer for 35 years, thought that you automatically got a check from the government if you were black. I really don’t know if America is going to survive conservative media. It makes people fucking insane. in my neighborhood there is a pharmacy that just posted on Facebook that they will vaccinate anybody who walks in the door, and 95% of the replies are, “you evil fucks you’re not going to inject me with Bill Gate’s poison.”

  32. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: One day, years ago, in about 10 seconds I decided I would never eat Papa John’s pizza again. Because the founder, John Schnatter, at the time worth over $500 million, said that he spent millions of dollars opposing Obamacare because if they gave all their employees healthcare they’d have to raise the price of a large pizza by ten cents.

    In a decent world he’d have immediately been placed on an ice floe and given a hearty push.

  33. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: there are fast-food bidnesses around me which are fully staffed. And others with desperate signs saying “HIRING ALL POSITIONS APPLY INSIDE”. guess which ones pay $13/hr and which ones pay $9/hr.

  34. Mikey says:

    @Teve: I quit eating it because it’s shitty pizza that upsets my stomach, but your reason is better.

  35. Teve says:

    @Mikey: googling it now, he’s the same guy who said if Papa Johns made excess profits, why would he share that with employees???

    Shitty employers abound.

  36. Teve says:

    @Teve: My new employers are Trumpers, but you know what? They’re also not business idiots. If you can sell a five-piece sectional set for $4,000, they’re going to pay you money. Maybe that’s why they’ve been in business and fully employed for 40 years…

  37. Monala says:

    I was thinking about one of the complaints about “cancel culture,” that it does leave room for people to grow and change.

    However, one of the things I’ve noticed is that the complainers about cancel culture aren’t usually trying to grow and change,

    When JK Rowling made her anti-trans comments last year, I recall a letter written to her by a trans rights group in the UK. The letter was very respectful, expressing their appreciation for the Harry Potter books and how they champion those who are outsiders, and how much the books helped them as children.

    The letter went on to express—again very respectfully—why her comments were hurtful, and shared more about their lived experiences.

    Did this letter result in JK Rowling to grow and change, or at least apologize for being hurtful? Nope, she doubled down and claimed she was the victim of their intolerance.

    I’ve seen that all too often. It may be why many folks have grown skeptical of the possibility.

  38. Monala says:

    @Monala: that should be “doesn’t leave room” in the first paragraph.

  39. Monala says:
  40. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Went to our first eat-in restaurant in 15 months, there were more servers than patrons.
    (family owned Mexican resturant).

  41. CSK says:

    That is a very nice letter.

  42. Gustopher says:

    Did this letter result in JK Rowling to grow and change, or at least apologize for being hurtful?

    Nit: I think this is the wrong metric. We can’t assume that everyone will be swayed.

    Did the letter cause an equally considered response, where she at least acknowledged that the other side wasn’t crazy, even if she came to different results? Did it leave her with a more open mind?

    Nope, she doubled down and claimed she was the victim of their intolerance.

    That, of course, still works…

  43. Kylopod says:

    @Monala: In what sense has JK Rowling been “canceled” for her anti-trans comments?

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    None of these numbnuts bats an eye when the CEO of McDonald’s literally gives himself a 100% raise from 10 million to 20 million.

    Of course they don’t. He earned his raise. It wasn’t just given to him by government order.

  45. Monala says:

    @Kylopod: that’s just it—she hasn’t been. Very often cancel culture complainers have just been criticized, or perhaps denied one platform but not others.

  46. Monala says:

    @Gustopher: you make a good point. In my earlier comment I almost shared about a contrasting example, but decided against it because it’s about 25 years old. Back during the time of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a group of LGBT activists requested a meeting with Colin Powell to tell him why they opposed the policy. At the end of the meeting he told them that he still thought openly gay troops would be disruptive, but he would consider what they said, and he appreciated them speaking up because he had long believed that what he was doing in the military was fighting for the rights of all Americans like them to express their beliefs. The activists likewise expressed that they appreciated being heard.

  47. CSK says:

    I notice that Martin Cabello is looking for $25,000,000 at GoFundMe to self-publish his book, of which he has raised a little over $6000.

    Twenty-five million? Does that not tip anyone off to the fact that he’s a psycho?

  48. dazedandconfused says:


    That it was half-full certainly a reason restaurants are having a hard time finding staff that depend on tips. Not many diners, not many tips.

  49. Kurtz says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Still, some of the waitresses claimed to make as much as 2 or 3 hundred dollars in a dinner shift if it was a busy night.

    I can say that a large chunk of waitstaff who claim they make x amount of money are full of shit. They likely make good money, but not what they claim to others. The other chunk really do make a lot of money, because they are really good. There are others who are good at scamming the restaurant.

    I would also caution against extrapolating nightly take from a handful of waitstaff at a restaurant. With the exception of the ultra high end joints, there is a huge difference between the most established servers and the rest. The difference between one section and another in dollar terms can be huge.

    And of course, like any other place, “most established” doesn’t necessarily imply “best.” It can mean longest-tenured, it can mean PITA so give them what they want, it can mean tight with the GM or FOH manager, or it can mean machiavellian.

  50. Kurtz says:


    Supply and demand curves show a theoretical relationship that is real, but may imply too much precision once we move from general p-q graphs to pricing graphs of specific products.

    I’m skeptical many people who want Papa John’s at any given moment are going to say, “Well, shit. I would order if it was $10.99. But $11.14? HELL NO.”

    According to “Papa” John Schnatter, the cost of providing health insurance for all of his pizza chain’s uninsured, full-time employees comes out to about 14 cents on a large pizza. That’s less than adding an extra topping and a third the price of an extra pepperoncini. If you want that piping hot pie delivered, the $2 delivery fee will cost you 14 times as much as that health insurance price hike.

    “We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry,” Schnatter said on a conference call with shareholders last week, as reported by Politico. “If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders’ best interests.”


    If this doesn’t illustrate the ethical and moral bankruptcy of our financial and political systems, I don’t know what does. I just failed at a personal goal.* But after the last week of long posts on complex subjects, I just don’t have the energy today. I’m tapped out.

    *I recently made a personal goal to avoid using moral and ethics based arguments as much as possible, in part because of points made in Joyner’s recent post on the topic. After that and some thought after @Mimai mentioned Huemer and moral intuitionism, I decided that it’s best to eschew those frames for more concrete arguments.

  51. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    I find it charmingly naive that anyone expects businesses to act in a moral or ethical manner. Morals and ethics are poorly understood words in their lexicon, unlike profit.

    Yet another reason why post revolution, I’ll be hung from a scaffold, or crumpled at the base of the wall (depending on which side wins)

  52. Kurtz says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    That’s the mental trick, right? Rather than use a moral framework to evaluate the actions of an individual, they assign a moral value to a system.

    I suspect this is why I come away with the impression of someone like Huemer working backward from his ideal for a system to arrive at a moral framework that aligns with it. It’s a way to avoid having to fight with the disconnect between theory and reality. Making property rights a moral issue avoids the debate about the results.

  53. Jax says:

    I have EXCITING NEWS!!! I’ve been incubating chicken eggs for 20 days now (first timer), and this evening MY EGGS STARTED PEEPING AT ME!!! OMG!!! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it, I succeeded in hatching birds!! It remains to be seen how many come out of the shell, but I love that I can hear them from inside the shell. 🙂

  54. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’m in a hotel. My laptop won’t mirror. So basically all that’s on is Baywatch. See, there’s this woman who keeps showering naked to distract people from her partner with the shitty fake mustache who steals stuff? And Hobie has to find her so he keeps seeing women who may be topless because trompe l’oeils? But then, surprise, they aren’t topless as we can clearly see again and again and again and again. Nope, those tits are covered. Are those tits covered? Yep, those tits are covered. How about those tits?

    It’s not my fault. My laptop won’t mirror with this TV.

  55. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Teve: I resemble that remark…hold the anchovies please

  56. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Or as we used to say Jesus saves Gretzky gets the puck he shoots he scores

  57. Gustopher says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: What would Jesus do?

    He would beat the moneylenders, that’s what.

  58. gVOR08 says:


    If this (the Papa John’s guy’s opposition to higher pay because it would mean raising the price of a pie a few cents) doesn’t illustrate the ethical and moral bankruptcy of our financial and political systems, I don’t know what does.

    Not only does it show their ethical and moral bankruptcy, it shows they’re effing stupid and don’t understand capitalism.

    Yes, Papa John would have to raise his prices. And so would Dominoes, Little Caesars, Godfathers, and all the rest, including the family owned shop down the road. Papa John’s competitive position would be unaffected, and the change in pizza consumption would be barely detectable. We’ve been around this loop before, like every time we impose any regulation on the car companies.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Maybe he simply wants to make sure that he is compensated to the level that the book’s value would dictate. Are any of the Go Fund Me donors getting copies of the book?

  60. Teve says:

    @Jax: that’s great news 😀

  61. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: This is why we need 90% top tax rates. People that build business empires like this are often sociopaths who think of making money as a zero sum game. The business is their identity. That’s not a problem with Jethro’s Pool Service–it is a problem when the business gets big enough to start throwing around political donations for State and Federal campaigns.

    Its amazes me the cognitive dissonance between the terror of the government having too much power–but GaZillionairs can have all the power they want. Then again–no it doesn’t

  62. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Ole Jim Brown was fortunate enough to be selected for a once in a career opportunity recently–the good news. The even better news is that I get to stay in Florida–the less than better news is that I’ll have to relocate the family to the Coastal Panhandle from Central Florida. I am from the Panhandle so I know what I’ve signed up for.

    Went house hunting up there a few weeks ago–not a mask in sight. Not only that–there were multiple neighborhoods where we were going to look at a house and I turned around because of the number of Trump/Confederate flags and signs. Im not into the damn political flags–fly the American Flag, Christian flag, Service Flag…something, anything that stand for values of a higher calling. Im shocked that people would think I would buy their house with them or their neighbors flying these ghat damn flags in the yard. I would have the common sense to take my BLM flag down if I were selling my place–so as not to offend the buyer.

    At any rate, its going to be no problem because I know how to handle these people. They’ll love me like they love Ben Carson after Im done with them. Its just that age is lowering my tolerance for foolishness and it gets harder every Birthday to stay filtered. You have to go where opportunities lie however, so I’ll have to bite the bullet for several years before I can get back to Central Florida where I belong

  63. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    I was raised part of my childhood in Niceville, back in 1965, Jim Crow days. Lovely place. The local Klan sent us the gift of a small cross and a suggestion that we stop having Black people over at the house. So I gather nothing’s changed.