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’s got competition: Baby in Missouri dies after mother mistakenly puts her in oven for nap

    Top that one, Bill.

    eta: and no, something this horrifying is not funny.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    A couple of weeks ago there was some comment about how drug dealers have no interest in killing their customers and I pointed out that there were different kinds of dealers. Today I came across this Drum piece that, if correct, really puts this in perspective. In an annual basis, 1 out of every 100 heroin users die directly from overdoses. This jibes with the impression that there is a population of heroin addicts that have been using for decades. Meth is more deadly, at 2 in 100. But Fentanyl is another level: 23 of 100 overdose and die each year. Given that the life of a fentanyl addict spirals down very quickly, I imagine there is a high death rate from other causes too.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US hospital treated 441 patients with severe injuries from border wall last year

    I suspect this is a perk, not a problem for many Republicans.

  4. Mikey says:


    I suspect this is a perk, not a problem for many Republicans.

    Absolutely no doubt at all. They’d love to set up machine gun towers and mow down men, women, and children trying to cross.

  5. CSK says:


    So horrifying I can’t read it.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Generally I don’t either but this time I made myself read it. I guess because it’s a little closer to home. All I can think is, “What kind of drugs was she on?”

  7. gVOR10 says:

    I’ve noted here a few times that I’m puzzled by the NYT. Sometimes they are so good, but so often they’re FTFNYT. Atrios is less puzzled. While quoting a recent NYT news, not opinion, piece,

    Mr. Trump, by contrast, does not appear to be suffering the effects of time in such visible ways. Mr. Trump often dyes his hair and appears unnaturally tan. He is heavyset and tall, and he uses his physicality to project strength in front of crowds. When he takes the stage at rallies, he basks in adulation for several minutes, dancing to an opening song, and then holds forth in speeches replete with macho rhetoric and bombast that typically last well over an hour, a display of stamina.

    Atrios says,

    As a longtime critic of many of our finest news institutions, I am glad that (once again, it happens every 4 years or so and then the Men in Black mind wipers show up) people are coming around to the understanding that the New York Times is, top to bottom, a dumpster fire of a publication.

    However it is not that way because they are “scared of the Right” or “cowed by conservative critics” or anything like that. It is that way because that is what the people who run it want it to be.

    You will not “get them to do better” or “learn their lessons” by making your careful arguments. They don’t fucking care. They are the New York Times, and you are a disgusting pig person.

  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    So, if Trump wins and manages to do his worst and essentially erase the US Constitution, what’s the counter? Restoration, or a new paradigm?

  9. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: There will be reformation all right.

    New Apostolic Reformation

  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: The headline told more than everything I needed to know. Yikes!

  11. Matt says:

    @MarkedMan: Turns out that quality control for illicit substances are not up to FDA standards who would of thought? Illicit drugs go through a variety of hands before reaching the addict on the street (most cutting is done well above the street dealer). Overdoses tend to happen because product strength can vary wildly (along with cuts). Some are suicides but I would wager the vast majority are accidental. The amount of dealers intentionally killing their golden gooses would be incredibly slim…

  12. Barry says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “So, if Trump wins and manages to do his worst and essentially erase the US Constitution, what’s the counter? Restoration, or a new paradigm?”

    Last time it took the Civil War, a changing and industrializing USA (breaking old patterns), massive immigration, the Great Depression and WWII.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    @Matt: I wasn’t clear. I don’t think they are deliberately killing their customers, I just think they are indifferent.

    Also, it occurred to me that the statistics are based on the overdosing drug. I wonder how many of those people were, say, heroin addicts who got fentanyl mixed in or substituted for their fix?

  14. Kathy says:

    Here’s a very detailed look at why air crash investigations aren’t punitive, and how they work.

  15. gVOR10 says:

    We had a bit of discussion here about bloated vehicles. Apparently there’s a rash of thefts of luxury SUVs in the UK, which has led to huge increases in insurance costs. This drove a piece in The Guardian , Pity SUV drivers fast being priced out of their badges of contempt for the planet. The author seems to have difficulty feeling any sympathy for them, as do I.

  16. Bill Jempty says:
  17. Matt says:


    I wonder how many of those people were, say, heroin addicts who got fentanyl mixed in or substituted for their fix?

    That kind of information would be incredibly useful for crafting better drug related laws. The only way to try to figure that out would be to do detailed toxicology reports which costs money/time. Not worth spending on a dead addict in the vast majority of people’s opinion. You’re not likely to get any information out of anyone who accompanied the patient. Anything beyond that costs more time and money which people are not interested in spending on junkies and addicts.

    So instead we get big chonky data that has no useful details which are used by partisans to argue that drug laws are too weak or whatever..

    The wording you chose did give appear to me that you were implying some dealers were intentionally killing people. Re-reading your first post after your latest post makes it clear that was not your intent. So strike the last line for sure 😛

  18. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Yet another reason for legalization/taxation of these pharmaceuticals? FDA/Quality testing? Purchasing known product/quality/purity?

    Nah, too simple a solution, but what else can anyone expect from a Luddite?

  19. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    While I don’t support vigilante action, I appreciate the measured response of these locals, and I’d like to join them in a nice cuppa.

    Fly-tippers were caught red-handed dumping piles of rubbish on a country lane in Warwickshire when locals blocked their vans from leaving the area and called police.

    Two men were detained and forced to load the rubbish back into their vans by officers, who said it was “some of the worst fly-tipping” they had seen.

    Photographs show swathes of black bin bags and what appears to be industrial materials lying at the side of a country lane on the edge of the village of Meriden.

    However, locals blocked two men from leaving the scene before police officers arrived to detain them.

    A local farmer’s wife ensured the police officers were well fed while they watched the men clean up the mess – with a homemade cake and cups of tea.
    No cake or tea was given to the fly-tippers, police said.

    The issue was raised in the House of Commons earlier this month, as MPs questioned Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ministers about the problem.

    The debate prompted Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne to suggest an unusual punishment for perpetrators.

    “The penalties are insufficient. If offenders were garrotted with their own intestines, there’d be fewer of them,” the New Forest West MP said.

    ETA, Sorry, Sir Swayne, but entrails don’t have the physical strength to make an effective garrote, or so I am told. But in this case, hopefully the seizure of their vehicles and monetary fines, as well as the embarrassment of being busted by the villagers, does the trick.

  20. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    So, if Trump wins and manages to do his worst and essentially erase the US Constitution, what’s the counter? Restoration, or a new paradigm?

    Most of the country’s economic output is in blue areas and the red areas depend on massive subsidy to remain functional. The blue areas currently acquiesce to this state of affairs because they see a strong central federal government as a net positive.

    If that were to change, the red areas simply don’t have the logistics necessary to dominate the blue areas, so I suspect the end result is that if constitutionalism fails completely, blue areas basically just start ignoring the federal government at some point and start developing what amounts to regional governments.

  21. Mister Bluster says:

    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is hospitalized again, weeks after cancer treatment

    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was transported to the hospital Sunday afternoon to be seen for “symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
    “The Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been notified,” Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said. “Additionally, White House and Congressional notifications have occurred.”

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    If offenders were garrotted with their own intestines, there’d be fewer of them,” the New Forest West MP said.

    Definitely! Just what the world needs, more people who understand what a measured response is and how to go about getting to one. 😐

  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Sure, we regulate and control dosage, and then the junkies go for the better and more potent uncontrolled version