Sunday’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:

    Florida rocked by home insurance crisis: ‘I may have to sell up and move’

    “My insurance premium went from $750 in 1999 to a little over $3k last year, before jumping to $4,678 in 2023, despite the fact that the area I live in has not had a direct hit by a hurricane in over a hundred years and I have an itty-bitty house. Luckily I was able to get insurance through the state-funded program [Citizens Insurance]. This brought my premium down to $2,200 annually, so I can stay for now.”

    “Citizens fired us, and we had to take insurance with a private company – for 20% more,” Brown says.” That company then increased prices by 40% and then last September, in the middle of the hurricane season, went bankrupt and we lost all coverage. I panicked and called every insurance broker I knew. They all said getting cover was impossible now.”

    Eventually, Brown got a single quote for $13,000 annually for private hurricane insurance, which would have been unaffordable. “We were refused access to Citizens again, but eventually an agent somehow got us back in, when all others had failed – with a new cost of $6,500 a year,” he says.

    “Citizens are now demanding everyone have flood insurance with another company, and say otherwise they will cancel the policy. We do have it, but for all the beauty of Vero Beach, the high costs and the stress about hurricanes and keeping insurance make the charm disappear. I feel it really is time to move.”

    The time to sell is already past.

    “We’re being more and more squeezed, it really hurts to pay the insurance premiums. It’s a strong possibility that we have to downsize to a smaller property. This is a great place, but it’s a poison paradise, because of all the associated costs and risks of living here. Global warming is partly to blame, but so is Ron DeSantis. Instead of banning books and picking fights with Disney and drag queens, he should be tackling the issues that really matter to Floridians.”

    Sorry Phil, he’s too busy measuring for the drapes in the White House.

  2. CSK says:

    Donald Trump suggested yesterday that he might have underestimated Joe Biden: “Maybe he’s less sleepy than we thought.”

  3. charontwo says:

    Graphing world overall temperature.

  4. CSK says:


    I was blasted out of bed at 8:15 a.m. by a tornado warning on my cell phone. I’m in the most northeastern part of Mass.

  5. Moosebreath says:


    We just had one in the Philly suburbs. No damage done.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘It’s demoralizing’: Idaho abortion ban takes toll on medical providers

    State’s OB-GYN numbers are dwindling in the face of a legal onslaught amid fears that patients will be unable to access care

    A job well done Idaho GOP, congrats.

  7. Kylopod says:


    Donald Trump suggested yesterday that he might have underestimated Joe Biden: “Maybe he’s less sleepy than we thought.”

    The first person plural seems to be his way of avoiding admitting he, personally, made a mistake. Is this the beginning of a personal reckoning?

    “Maybe Mexico paid less for the wall than we thought.”

    “Maybe we didn’t build a wall at all.”

    “Maybe Covid was worse than we said it was.”

    “Maybe the badger carcass sitting on our head does not make us look more distinguished.”

  8. CSK says:

    Good to know.


    I had the exact same thought. He never takes sole responsibility, as in “Who knew healthcare could be so complicated? Who? Well, me, for one.

  9. Kylopod says:


    Who knew healthcare could be so complicated?

    That is actually a common misquote of what he said, and I find it interesting it’s so often misquoted in this way, because what he did say is even wilder. The exact quote was:

    “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

    This statement is so utterly insane that I think most people were unable to digest the reality that any grown adult, let alone someone who became president of the US, actually said it. It’s like if he were shown a grand piano, he sat down and tried to punch a few notes, then announced that “Nobody knew piano-playing could be this difficult.” He isn’t expressing personal disbelief that the topic is more complicated than he thought it was, he’s making the affirmative statement that he is literally the first human being in all of world history to have made this discovery. He is implying that literally every person before him (including the millions of individuals who have ever worked in health care) thought it was a simple subject until he, Donald J. Trump, singlehandedly figured out otherwise. It’s a level of refusal to acknowledge any limitations—and attempt to spin those limitations as a triumph—that’s downright psychotic. That I think is why the quote is so often misremembered as a rhetorical question rather than a statement—it’s a way of subtly distancing ourselves from the sheer insanity of Trump’s narcissism.

  10. Jon says:

    h/t Balloon Juice: story and GoFundMe link for Ozark’s brother’s widow

    And a direct link to the GoFundMe.

  11. CSK says:


    Here’s something interesting: The NYTimes and the Politico quote have him saying “Nobody knew…” The WaPo and and The Guardian quote him saying “Who could…”

    I can just see the thought bubble over the reporters’ heads: “Did he say that? Did he actually say that?”

  12. CSK says:

    And speaking of asinine pronouncements from Trump, he told Maria Bartiromo last night that he would end the Ukraine war in 24 hours by telling Putin and Zelensky to make a deal.

  13. CSK says:


    That’s a wonderful picture of Dave and Renee. This is heartbreaking. Again, you have my deepest sympathy, Ozark.

  14. Kylopod says:


    Here’s something interesting: The NYTimes and the Politico quote have him saying “Nobody knew…” The WaPo and and The Guardian quote him saying “Who could…”

    That is interesting. I’ve been hearing the misquoted version for years, but I didn’t know it was reported that way in actual news articles. Here’s the clip where he says it:

  15. Jon says:

    @CSK: For sure, a great picture and such a great looking couple. Such a tragic loss and much love to the grieving family/families.

  16. Kylopod says:


    And speaking of asinine pronouncements from Trump, he told Maria Bartiromo last night that he would end the Ukraine war in 24 hours by telling Putin and Zelensky to make a deal.

    I have often disagreed with the comparisons some people make between Trump and Ross Perot, but this is very reminiscent of Perot’s promise to get the experts into a room to hash out an answer.

  17. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jon: Thank you for that reminder. Just contributed anonymously.

  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Yeah. If only we all realized that telling them to settle was all it takes. 😐

  19. Monala says:

    @CSK: Sending my deepest condolences as well.

  20. Slugger says:

    @Kylopod: I hope that I’m not unduly cynical, but why would the US want to end that war? Nato is bigger and stronger. The price of oil is stable. We have not needed to expend any blood. Is ending this war with Putin remaining in charge in our national interest? I can end the war in five minutes; stand Putin against a wall in a basement in Yekaterinburg.

  21. Monala says:

    As usual these days, I’m a day late. Sharing here for that reason.

    I just read Steven’s article about history, and thought about one of my comments on his first article about Tulsa. I mentioned that in my pre-desegregation all-black elementary school, we had weekly black history lessons, usually focused on the lives of famous black historical figures. I don’t remember much about those lessons, but two stories stuck with me: when Harriet Tubman was a child, she was struck in the head with an iron weight by her master, and suffered lifelong headaches and dizzy spells as a result. And Frederick Douglass used to bribe poor white boys with sandwiches so they would teach him how to read.

    Why did those two factoids stick with me? I assume because those were things that occurred in the lives of Tubman and Douglass as children, and I was a child at the time. In other words, I could identify with them.

    I read somewhere, perhaps even here, that white Americans need better heroes, that we should do more to teach about the lives of white abolitionists, civil rights activists, etc. In other words, give white folks some heroes that are flawed, certainly, but more on the right side of history to identify with.

    Likewise, as Hamilton showed us, many of the founding fathers were in their teen or college years. And the focus on MLK and Rosa Parks as standard bearers for the Civil Rights Movement obscures the fact that many, many of the activists were also teenagers or college students. Knowing more about that might help high school students identify with those stories.

  22. Mikey says:

    @Jon: I went to donate, but for some reason donation is currently disabled.

    They have a little over $13K at.this point. Maybe that’s what they needed? I’ll check back later.

  23. Mister Bluster says:

    In yesterday’s thread pummeling George Will, commenter Scott at 13:52 posted a link to the July 8, 1986 offering of Trudeau’s Doonesbury.
    Just for fun I clicked the arrow to advance to July 9, 1986 and found commentary that might apply to an OTB contributor known only by three initials.

  24. Jon says:

    @Mikey: Yah, they closed it because the initial plan was somewhere between 5 and 10K and the 13K gets you there after taxes. I think they’re checking with OzarkHillbilly to see if he wants to re-open it to go above the initial goal.

    Here’s the comment at BJ clarifying that.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: @CSK: @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Monala: @Mikey:

    Going into moderation, but just want to say thanx to all, even if it was only for the thought. These have been hard weeks, even if I was not surprised.

  26. CSK says:


    We’re with you.

  27. de stijl says:

    Good vibes to all you fools.