Post-SOTU Forum

Discuss at will.

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. Bill says:

    Sports headline of the day (And a sure sign that the apocalypse is coming soon)-

    Mark Pysyk gets first career hat trick, rallies Panthers past Maple Leafs in wild comeback

    Pysyk has never scored more 7 goals in a professional season. 3 in one game is…..

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Headline at the NYT: Trump Claims End of ‘American Decline’ While Avoiding Mention of Impeachment

    I really doubt he is anywhere near bottom. He always finds a way to go lower.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: What did you expect after the Blues won the Stanley Cup?

  4. Teve says:

    OK, need some help here. There is one, and only one, Trumper on my social media and amongst my friends. The reason is, I met him when he was young and he was smart and had potential, but I only learned later that he’s a jerk, and I came to understand after meeting his parents that he was raised by two extremely racist shitheads. Like, the kind of people who called white people who voted for Obama race traitors. He’s a lot better than they are, but he’s still a jerk, and he said something on Facebook the other day that I don’t quite get. I’m wondering if there’s some kind of right wing meme that I’m just not aware of.

    I put up a post mentioning the Limbaugh had cancer, no editorializing, just stating the facts. I said based on the medical literature he probably won’t make it to 2025. A dozen or so of my friends weighed in, some on Limbaugh’s side, some neutral, some on Team Cancer. Well yesterday this guy puts up the mysterious comment “at least he has the right to try.”

    WTF does this mean? I’m missing something.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:


    I’m missing something.

    You are not alone in that.

  6. CSK says:

    Weird. Did your friend intend to say that at least Limbaugh has the means (financial) to try?

    I’d ask, if it won’t create more trouble than it’s worth.

  7. Kit says:

    @Teve: A reference to death panels would be my guess. Gotta stick it to the libtards at every occasion.

  8. Jen says:

    @Teve: I think it’s a spin on the “right to die” movement.

    There are profound moral questions when we get to end of life treatments, and from DNR orders to assisted suicide, there are those who suggest that any intervention or efforts to go a peaceful route are immoral and are equitable to murder. When someone reaches a point that assisted suicide might reduce suffering, the counter to their “right to die” is the “right to try”–try, I suppose in this case, to outrun a disease that is nearly always fatal in a short amount of time when it’s caught this late.

    I could be wrong, but that’s my read/$0.02.

  9. Teve says:

    @CSK: I’m not axing him shiiiiit. Because on the rare times that he editorializes on my page, all my friends beat the crap out of him and send me messages asking why in the living hell I’m friends with that guy.

  10. CSK says:

    @Teve: If you’re really curious, you could send him a private message.

  11. Kurtz says:


    I’m going with Kit–the death panels angle. Jen’s suggestion seems too oblique.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Just out of curiosity, why in the living hell are you friends with that guy?

  13. Teve says:

    @CSK: we both like shoes, and miatas. I generally only discuss those topics with him. 🙂

  14. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: if he goes the death panels angle he’s gonna get an earful. I’ve got a friend who is only alive because of Obamacare.

  15. Scott says:

    I usually go to to get a quick overview of the day’s news. I don’t know how their algorithms choose and sort the links and how much human intervention there is; however, I find it interesting that today’s top news is all about Iowa and the SOTU address is much farther down the list.

    What do you all do/use to get an overview of the day’s news? Any recommendations?

  16. Jen says:

    I knew I’d heard the phrase somewhere.

    “Right to try” laws allow patients with terminal diseases access to novel therapies. Trump’s the one who signed the bill.

  17. Teve says:

    @Jen: oh Jesus. That’s it, I bet.

  18. Kurtz says:


    Ah, you hit it! Nice sleuthing.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: FWIW, “Right to Try” is a terrible law, based on a complete misunderstanding of the way medicines are developed in the United States. It will most likely kill a hundred or a thousand people prematurely for every one whose death is delayed. If these drugs were really miracle drugs they would be fast tracked and everyone from the FDA to the researchers would make sure they get into everyones hands and insurance companies would be compelled to cover them. In the exceedingly rare case (and I mean two or three times in my lifetime) when there was a drug that showed universally positive/neutral results in late stage patients, the study was ended early, the placebo patients converted to the real drug, and it was approved for general release in record time.

    What this law is really about is allowing companies to sell untested drugs to people who have to go into crushing debt to buy them at sky high prices. Because they are not part of any study with appropriate tracking or controls they will only generate a confusion of anecdotes and no useful data. It will put these drugs into the same category as kale supplements and St. Johns Wort. My guess is that the drug companies will provide support for “users groups” who will generate endless positive enthusiasm about mostly worthless drugs, which will be discovered by other desperate people searching the internet, spurring an endless cycle.

  20. t says:


    and miatas.

    if it dosent have an LS6 in it, it’s crap.

  21. Kurtz says:

    Boots Riley on Cleveland’s Fox Affiliate.

    This is from several years ago. I find it funny. If anyone had bothered to look up The Coup, they would have quickly found out their political stance. One of their songs is called, “5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO.”

  22. Tece says:

    @t: there is a company that puts Corvette engines into miatas. They’re called flyin’ miatas. They are fun but stupidly loud.

  23. Liberal Capitalist says:

    On the other hand… “right to try” may be simpler:

    You laid out the case for a very short life expectancy. Not surprisingly you gave a statistical date, as cancer is known and studied and (just like an odds card in Vegas when you are playing blackjack) you kinda know when will happen. And you gave an expiration date: 2025.

    Still, no one with cancer really wants t0 face that. Who wouldn’t want to beat the odds.

    The right to try bill bypasses the FDA … but it does not bypass the financial responsibilities.

  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: You have good taste says me, the guy with the ’04 Mazdaspeed Miata. Bought it new and refrained from putting miles on it until retirement. I do love that car.

  25. t says:


    there is a company that puts Corvette engines into miatas. They’re called flyin’ miatas.

    ya. i kno d00d

    putting LS-series engines into miata’s isnt exactly a new thing.

    same with RX7’s

  26. mattbernius says:

    Mitt Romney, in a somber speech, announces that he will be the first Senator in US history to vote to remove a President of his own party.

    Whitehouse, in a show of confidence, immediately cancels a press event scheduled for today.

    The removal of the President, most likely destined to fail, now has bipartisan support. The only question is whether the decisions of Romney and Jones will lead Machin and other conservative Dems to vote for removal.

  27. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    Mitt Romney, in a somber speech, announces that he will be the first Senator in US history to vote to remove a President of his own party.

    Somber, and I would add, powerful. One, I believe, that will be re-played many times.
    Romney is showing the American people, by his actions, that it is possible to do the right thing.

    Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”

    As the kids say…sick burn.

  28. SenyorDave says:

    Mitt Romney showed some real cojones today. Yes, I know he’s up for re-election in 2024, but I saw a video of his announcement and I believe it is heartfelt. Contrast him with Lindsay Graham.

  29. Kathy says:


    Well, I lost that bet. I had assumed by yesterday not a single Republican would dare vote against The Grand Cheeto.

  30. @mattbernius: Doug Jones announced he would vote to convict before Romney did.

  31. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Romney decided to show Trump what “f@&k you money” actually looks like.

  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    As a bonus, beyond his vote to Impeach, Romney has shown Alexander, Murkowski, and Collins, to be the unprincipled partisans that they are.

  33. Teve says:

    I’ve never had anything positive to say about him, but good job Mitt.

  34. Teve says:
  35. Jen says:

    Smart moves for both Doug Jones and Mitt Romney. Susan Collins has demonstrated that yet again, she has no idea who she is dealing with–“he has learned”? Oh, please. This is the very definition of not learning a lesson. Trump engaged in asking for election assistance from Ukraine *as the Mueller investigation–which itself was looking into foreign election interference–was wrapping up.*

    He demonstrably does not learn, anything, ever.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kurtz: Both answers–death panels dig and right to die/try seem the 2 sides of the coin to me. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” is what the person not dying wishes the one who is will do. And advance directives became a “socialized medicine plot” after long enough time had passed for RWNJs to forget that one of their early champions was some Republican Congressperson named Newton… something… the name slips my mind at the moment.

  37. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Sinema is a yes.
    Manchin is a yes.

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @t: An LS6 will fit in a Miata? Who knew?

    ETA: I see now that I’m the only one who didn’t.

  39. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Doug Jones announced he would vote to convict before Romney did.

    Yes. I probably wasn’t clear enough in what I wrote. I wondered if Jones’ decision plus Romney’s would help provide cover (or pressure) for Sinema and Manchin to vote their conscience versus political expediency.

    I credit both of them for their courage — Jones for being the first very vulnerable Dem and Romney for putting principles above party.

  40. Teve says:

    Each day for the rest of his life @LindseyGrahamSC will live in enraged jealousy of @MittRomney’s courage.

    -Lawrence O’Donnell

  41. Bill says:

    I had a first today. A doctor’s office called to reschedule my appointment for next week. The reason- She had an emergency c-section last weekend.

    Didn’t even know she was pregnant. I saw Dr Damse just three months ago and she didn’t look pregnant. Anyway I hope she and her child are well.

    Dr Damse is my dermatologist and if you remember I’ve had 8 malignant melanomas (Or is it 7?* My memory is getting bad. Hopefully just due to my non-stopping cancer battle and not due to approaching Alzheimers) removed from me over the years. My dermatologist from 1998 or 1999 till last June was Dr. Harold Rabinovitz who was highly renowned and a pioneer in diagnosing skin cancer. He retired.

    *- I had one melanoma described as borderline and another skin lesion called a melanoma by one dermopathologist and benign by two others.

  42. Mister Bluster says:

    Presidential Medal of Freedom award winner (1981) Kirk Douglas has died at 103.
    Seven Days in May

  43. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    That’s sad, but one can’t help being a bit happy that he managed to live so long.

  44. MarkedMan says:


    Susan Collins has demonstrated that yet again, she has no idea who she is dealing with–“he has learned”?

    That single statement solidified something for me: Collins is not the sharpest pencil in the pack. Whoever her opponent may be, there will be endless memes of Collins saying these words, followed by the latest Trump atrocity. This was an own goal.

  45. Bill says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Seven Days in May

    Seven Days is a mostly forgotten classic. The screenplay for the film was written by Rod Serling and eventual academy award winner John Housman made a then rare acting appearance in it.

    RIP Kirk Douglas

  46. An Interested Party says:

    I imagine that Trump’s lame attempt to reach out to black voters isn’t going to work too well…