Saturday’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:

    Palmer Report
    We should all be talking about U.S. military veteran Daniel Wilkinson, who just died of an entirely treatable gall bladder issue, because the ICU beds in his region were full of unvaccinated COVID patients. This Afghanistan War veteran is dead because of Texas anti-vaxxers.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Florida schools can mandate masks, judge rules

    The governor’s order gave parents the sole right to decide if their child wears a mask at school. Cooper said DeSantis’ order “is without legal authority”. He issued his decision after a three-day virtual hearing, and after at least 10 Florida school boards voted to defy DeSantis and impose mask requirements with no parental opt-out.

    Cooper said that while the governor and others have argued that a new Florida law gives parents the ultimate authority to make health decisions for their children, it also exempts government actions that are needed to protect public health and are reasonable and limited in scope. He said a school district’s decision to require student masking to prevent the spread of the virus falls within that exemption.

    The judge also noted that two Florida state supreme court decisions from 1914 and 1939 found that individual rights are limited by their impact on the rights of others.

    Geeeeee, ya think?

    DeSantis has dismissed the masking recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as not applicable to Florida, but Cooper cited numerous Florida laws and statutes covering healthcare in nursing homes, prisons and elsewhere that say state decision-makers should give great weight to CDC guidelines.

    You mean the Republican governor of Florida is bound by Florida state law? That can’t be right.

    Help for very sick Covid-19 hospital patients is using precious water resources across Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reported, saying it was creating competition between hospitals and municipal water systems for crucial supplies of liquid oxygen.

    Thirsty? Sorry, no water for you. The selfishly unvaccinated demand you sacrifice for their right to choose a long, expensive, and gruesome death.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From More COVID-19 shots, studies offer hope for US schools

    On the northern Gulf Coast, where Ida was forecast to become a dangerous hurricane before it hits on Sunday, workers at Singing River Gulfport in Mississippi expect to have to raise flood gates to keep rising water out of the hospital that is full of COVID-19 patients, the vast majority of whom aren’t vaccinated, said facilities director Randall Cobb. Complicating matters, he said, was that the hospital is short-staffed because of the pandemic and also expects to get a flood of patients suffering from ailments that typically follow any hurricane: broken bones, heart attacks, breathing problems and lacerations.

    “It’s going to be bad. It’s going to be really bad,” Cobb said.

    Located a few miles from the coast, the hospital has enough generator fuel, food and other supplies to operate on its own for at least 96 hours, he said, and it will help anyone who has a serious, life-threatening condition. But officials were trying to get the word out that people with less severe medical problems should go to special-needs storm shelters or contact emergency management.

    “It’s very stressful because it’s too late if we have not thought of everything. Patients are counting on the medical care but also on the facility to be available,” Cobb said.

    In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said evacuation of hospitals in threatened areas — something that would normally be considered — is impractical with COVID-19 patients. “That isn’t possible. We don’t have any place to bring those patients. Not in state, not out of state,” Edwards said. So, he said, state officials have worked with health systems to ensure that they are prepared.

  4. Mikey says:

    A hospital in Idaho called my hospital asking if they could fly an intubated patient to our ICU because they have no ICU beds open due to covid. We were the closest hospital with at least one open ICU bed. From Idaho. We are in CT.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    David Begnaud

    · 21h
    U.S. Army veteran Daniel Wilkinson, of Texas, died of a treatable illness because the Covid crisis left him without an available ICU bed even though he lives 3 houses down from an emergency room and 60 miles away from some of the greatest healthcare facilities in the world.

    5 minute video telling of how he died.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Matthew Yglesias
    · 13h
    What was the precipitating event that led to the hydroxychloroquine/ivermectin switch?

    Dan Rather
    Fewer syllables?

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    World Famous Art Thief

    i’m going to say something possibly very weird here, and if i am wrong feel free to tell me, but this is starting to feel like dying of covid or at least not preventing getting infected is some sort of martyrdom. because this is supremely weird shit.

    Bob Smietana

    Some breaking news: @dandarling urged his fellow evangelicals to be vaccinated. Today he was fired by the National Religious Broadcasters

    World Famous Art Thief

    if you know me you know my episcopal sensibilities make me reluctant to sit in judgment of any person’t faith but this is starting to feel like these people are testing god. i’m super creeped out by it.

  8. charon says:

    The Delta variant is bad enough, but there has been debate as to whether it, per se, carries a higher risk of hospitalization (H) beyond its very high contagiousness. A new, rigorous study shows a doubling of the H rate×900

  9. Kathy says:


    You know what has even fewer syllables?


  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The kingfisher presented a unique challenge. McFadyen isn’t the only photographer to love the bird, which is a popular subject and regularly appears on Instagram and elsewhere. For that reason, McFayden didn’t want to duplicate all those photos. “I wanted something different and more unique,” he says.

    Thus began an obsessive quest for the perfect shot, a quest McFadyen estimates took some 4,200 hours and 720,000 exposures. He tried many angles and compositions before landing on the idea of a mirror image. (To be fair, he isn’t the first to do it.) He programmed his Nikon D4 and a Nikon 70-200 lens with a small aperture, high ISO (1250), and fast shutter speed (1/5000). He set the camera at a low angle near the water and waited in a camouflaged blind for the bird to appear, getting the shot with a remote shutter release.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Somebody should tell them.

  12. Jon says:

    @Kathy: Also ‘vaccine.’ I mean, unless I’ve been saying it wrong all these years.

  13. JohnSF says:


    You know what has even fewer syllables?

    And fewer still: “dead”.

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: WA! Kudos to McFayden!!! Amazing!

  15. Mister Bluster says:

    When Doug Mataconis died recently there was uncertainty about whether he had ever been married. This may have been settled and I missed it however I ran across this post in the archives today.
    Miss you Doug.

    Doug Mataconis says:
    Wednesday, 22 June 2011 at 17:17
    Several years ago my wife and I were part of a farm co-op and we decided to volunteer to help pick one Sunday just for fun. It was some of the toughest physical labor I’ve ever engaged in, made more so by the fact that it was a Sunday in July. I can’t see unemployed office workers eager to spent their summer picking crops.

    Also, it’s worth mentioning that crops need to be picked when they’re ready to be picked. Farmers can’t afford to wait for people to come to them and apply for a job when they’re not even sure they’ll keep up with it. Migrant workers exist because there’s a market for them. They don’t stay in one place very long (hence the migrant part) because once they’re done picking in one place, they move on to another. That’s why its the kind of job that attracts undocumented immigrants, because most of them don’t have fixed addresses to begin with so the idea of spending the summer traveling the country doesn’t bother them as much as it would you and me.

    Ever since the Bush 43 Administration, attempts have been made to legalize these market workers by at least making it legal for them to work during the picking season. It’s only Republican intransigence on the issue of immigration — which isn’t nearly as simple as the rhetoric makes it out to be — that has prevented that from happening.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Harvard University, originally founded with a mission to educate clergymen in order to minister to New England’s early Puritan colonists, has a new chief chaplain. His name is Greg Epstein – and he is an atheist.

    Epstein, author of Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe, has been the university’s humanist chaplain since 2005 before being unanimously elected by his fellow campus chaplains as the university chaplains organization’s new president, the New York Times reported.

    The 44-year-old, who was raised in a Jewish household, has been described as a “godfather to the [humanist] movement”, a secular, values-based philosophy that focuses on people’s relationships with each other instead of with God.

    That sound you hear is the exploding of Evangelical heads.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..a secular, values-based philosophy that focuses on people’s relationships with each other instead of with God.

    We are as gods and might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand
    Whole Earth Catalog

  18. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My wife and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary next year, and it has always pleased us that the title of the very nice woman who performed our wedding is “Humanist Counselor.”

  19. JohnSF says:

    Right Wing Watch:

    It appears that Milo Yiannopoulos has COVID.

    Thoughts and, err, um, howzit go again? Whatever.

  20. CSK says:
  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Not as much as you might think (hope?). First of all whatever “religious” links Harvard had are obliterated by the fact that the founders were (IIRC) Congregationalists–the headquarters of scripture-rejecting, modernist, Christian in name only heretics–when I was a lad. If I were going to channel my inner bigot today, I would rave on about the “other Abrahamic religion” (that is not Islam) and it’s connections to the institution, but I’m trying to cut back, so I’ll just stop with where I left things before I mentioned the second point, and say that growing up, I never associated Harvard with being a “Christian” school in any way, shape, or form, nor have I ever met anyone who did. (Though I will admit my circle of acquaintances is small microscopic.)

    (Note to CSK: And this is how that “aren’t they all Christians?” question you asked a couple of days back works. And no “they” aren’t–not a single one of them. Only “we” are.)

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: What kind of idiots are those two? I didn’t get to read the whole article–too much spam already–but the idea of being excited about possibly seeing FG on your wedding day seems outre to my delicate aesthetic sensibilities (and I was self-censoring my anti-Semitic tendencies about 5 minutes ago).

  23. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I understand the business about one denomination denying that another is Christian. I was just wondering what, precisely, someone who loudly and insistently identifies as a “Christian” (no denomination given) is.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    It was a satiric piece about Trump relentlessly crashing a couple’s wedding rehearsal, pre-wedding dinner, wedding, wedding reception, and an event the day after the wedding.