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:

    Top this one Bill: Gun Enthusiasts Celebrate Man Who Shot Himself in the Balls as Their King

    A member of a Facebook group dedicated to taking pictures of loaded weapons pointed at dicks finally shot himself in the balls, according to bloody pictures and video he posted on social media and the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, which confirmed the incident to Motherboard. Rather than step back and start questioning whether the practice is wise, the group made him an administrator and are now celebrating him as their king.

    On August 11, a member of the group “Loaded Guns Pointed at [B]enis” posted a video of himself pointing a loaded 1911 handgun at his junk. There’s a brief pause before the gun discharges.

    The original video of the man shooting himself in the balls and subsequent thread has been deleted, but members of the group captured the video and aftermath and reuploaded it.

    “Hey [b]ois, I might have fucked up,” the man who shot himself in the balls wrote above a picture of his naked legs and splattered blood on the carpet of his floor. A towel is stuffed between his legs and a printed out copy of the constitution is crumpled on the edge of the photo.

    The guy posted through the incident as he bled. “God’s caliber [.45] went through my scrotum, mattress, boxspring, and floor,” he wrote. Originally the man thought he’d just grazed his balls, but a subsequent hospital visit told a different story.

    In the last public post from the man, he’s in a green hospital gown on a gurney. A pink mask is draped across his face and he’s pointing his finger at his crotch like a gun. “Turns out it wasn’t a graze, that round went right the fuck through me,” he posted. “What I thought were two graze wounds, turned out to be an entrance and exit wound.”

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Calls for nationwide sickout as Arizona school district cancels reopening

    In San Tan Valley, a suburb of Phoenix, the JO Combs unified school district’s board of governors had voted to resume in-person classes on Monday. Another school district nearby had made a similar choice, pressured by some parents who argued that reopening schools would be best for their children.

    The president of the Arizona Education Association, a teacher’s union, told the Arizona Republic that the two districts both decided to reopen despite not meeting the health metrics as recommended by Arizona’s department of public health.

    Not a single district in Arizona currently meets all three metrics for a safe resumption of mixed in-person and online learning, the Arizona Republic reported, citing the most recently available state public health data. (my em)

    By late Friday afternoon, 109 teachers and other staff members from JO Combs had already called in sick, a district spokeswoman said. That number represents nearly 20% of the district’s total staff of about 600.

    “Due to these insufficient staffing levels, schools will not be able to reopen on Monday as planned,” Wyman, the superintendent, said, noting that “all classes, including virtual learning, will be canceled” until further notice.
    At some point, we are going to have to come up with an acceptable casualty rate, and nobody wants to have that conversation,” one school board member said during last week’s discussion over reopening schools, a comment the editor of Today’s News-Herald, the local paper, called “chilling”.

    Teachers are just so much cannon fodder.

    After spending 35 years working in an industry (construction) where getting hurt comes with the territory and death is not exactly a stranger, I can say unequivocally that the only acceptable casualty rate was always 0, as in zero, zip, ninguno. Everything we do has at least a half dozen applicable OSHA regs, all with the soul single intent that everyone goes home alive and in one piece. We all bitch about them incessantly, and then follow them anyway. When a serious accident happens and an investigation is implemented (nobody bothers with the minor accidents) it is invariably found that somebody screwed up and didn’t follow the regs because they were lazy/in a hurry/forgot/not properly trained/did what the bosses said to/wasn’t given the proper gear etc etc. On the exceedingly rare occasions where it is found that nobody screwed up, a new regulation is born because the only acceptable casualty rate is always 0, as in zero, zip, ninguno.

    Apparently, for some people anyway, that standard should not apply to schools in the age of covid, which is a little strange to me. I mean, nobody likes carpenters (we get paid too much) but I thought everybody likes teachers (who don’t get paid near enough).

  3. Bill says:
  4. Bill says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Hara kiri or it doesn’t count.

    ETA @Bill: Homeless no more.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Headline I could have done without reading: Mike Pence shows his worth by reaching the parts Trump cannot

    Really? What parts can “Grab them by the pussy” trump not reach? I really don’t want to know. I’m gonna go find that bottle of brain bleach now.

  7. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: these gun humpers sound like geniuses.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: At the top of their class, summa cum laude.

  9. Mikey says:

    I guess Snowden has exhausted his usefulness to the Russians.

    Trump says he is considering pardon for leaker Edward Snowden

  10. Sleeping Dog says:


    What is curious, is how does pardoning Snowden benefit Trump? After all, the only people who would cheer this are a subset of civil libertarians and that group is likely not voting for Trump anyway.

  11. Mikey says:

    Remember when Trump had to come up with some excuse as to why he wouldn’t be throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium yesterday, and he said the reason was he’d be too busy focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic (the truth is he was never invited), and I said “August 15 is a Saturday, he’ll play golf?”


  12. Mikey says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Hard to say. It would be interesting to know who put that particular bug in Trump’s ear.

  13. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Does it benefit Putin?

  14. DrDaveT says:

    @sam: Curse you for a pusher of the hard stuff. I cannot stop watching TwinsthenewTrend reaction videos. The Phil Collins take is good, but I think my personal favorite reactions so far are John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High”, the Stones “Gimme Shelter”, and Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:


    Does Putin care? If Snowden were really an irritant, I suspect Putin would expel him on a trumped up charge or Snowden would have an accident or contract some horrid disease. Putin regularly does that.

  16. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @Mikey: @Kathy:
    Trump says he doesn’t know much about the case but he’s going to look into it “very strongly.” I don’t know how you look into something “very strongly.”

  17. Monala says:

    @Bill: but the damage is done, now that Trump is saying, “Well, this lawyer who knows the Constitution says…”

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The same way you have beautiful wars.

  19. Monala says:

    @Sleeping Dog: maybe it’s a play for the hard left. They’re already selling “Kamala’s a cop” t-shirts. Remember all the “Trump outflanks Clinton’s left on trade” and “Donald the Dove, Hillary the Hawk” articles from 2016?

  20. CSK says:

    And “perfect” phone calls.
    And “proudly” say “Merry Christmas.”

  21. Monala says:

    @Bill: @Monala: The blog Lawyers, Guns & Money ripped apart Newsweek’s disingenuous apology, and also noted this:

    I don’t think there’s been enough focus on the fact that John Eastman’s article claims that Kamala Harris may not be a citizen of the United States at all. The claim that it’s about an argument that she may not be eligible to be president really understates matters.

    According to Eastman, if Harris’s parents weren’t naturalized before her 16th birthday — and of course according to him there are “questions” about whether they did or not — then she isn’t a U.S. citizen herself, and isn’t even eligible to vote, let alone serve in the Senate, or become vice president or president.


  22. Sleeping Dog says:


    This will continue to fester in the fever swamps forever, just like Obama’s citizenship. The sovereign citizen, not a true citizen reaction was widely anticipated, to the point that Eugene Volokh had a post up regarding it at the Volokh Conspiracy within minutes of Biden’s announcement. His conclusion, undoubtedly Harris is a citizen and eligible to be president.

    This will fade away to the point where it is only noise in the background.

  23. Teve says:

    @Monala: from that link

    All this is about idea laundering. It’s about using right wing money to hijack American research universities, so their academic reputations can be exploited to put a cultural stamp of approval on the most extreme forms of cultural and political reaction.

    In other words, it’s about making the kind of thing Eastman is paid to disseminate academically respectable enough so that it has to be taken seriously as part of academic and cultural discourse — because refusing to do so would then just be an example of how PC Cancel Culture is inimical to the free and open exchange of ideas.

    sounds about right.

  24. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: King NoCahone! All hail!

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: and bow down before his mighty empty sack!

    As the article said, it was only a matter of time.

  26. CSK says:

    IN 2013, Trump, who says he’s going to look “very strongly” at pardoning Edward Snowden, tweeted 35 times that Snowden was a traitor who should be executed.

    Guess he forgot that.

  27. CSK says:

    And also that he claims to know very, very little about Snowden. He certainly had an opinion seven years ago.

  28. JohnMcC says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Have no first hand knowledge but doesn’t someone actually have to start one of those facebooked things. Is her name “Bobbitt”?

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnMcC: IIRC Lorena took the bone but left the stones.

  30. CSK says:

    She threw it into a field, whereupon it was retrieved and re-attached to John Wayne Bobbitt, the owner. Bobbitt later made a career for himself starring in porn movies, notably John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut, and running afoul of the law.

  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: But we need the schools open to warehouse the kids of the the people who have to go to work so that I can have a nice life. And we need them open particularly because we don’t have to pay most of those workers livable wages, so keeping the schools closed and those people at home is affecting my bottom line.

    How am I supposed to catch up with Jeff Bezos if he’s the only one who gets to force his peons to work?

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: You’re forgetting Murc’s (???) Law. If Trump pardons Snowden, he’ll become the heroic whistleblower who has only been exiled because evil leftist Demoncrats wanted to kill him and Putin reached out to save his life. It’s about time he should be able to return home.

  33. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    People may be genuinely confused about this issue. At least, I wouldn’t impute all bad motives to those who want their kids back in the classroom.

    There’s an article in by Elizabeth Pinsky, a Massachusetts pediatrician and psychiatrist, that argues very strongly that children should return to school. Pinsky isn’t some Trumpkin; she’s a global warming activist.

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    At least, I wouldn’t impute all bad motives to those who want their kids back in the classroom.

    I don’t impute all their motives as bad, just the one where teachers end up in ICU +/ dead as an acceptable price to pay in pursuit of mammon or even worse, convenience. And I very much believe in sending children back to school, that it is good for their mental well being. As soon as we have done all we can to ensure the safety of all involved, including the children, some of whom will in fact get ill and possibly die.

    And right now? America hasn’t done a damn thing except whine that, “It’s all too hard.”

  35. Michael Cain says:

    Four fires in Colorado contributing smoke to the Front Range air quality today (useful smoke map here). Smelled strongly of smoke while I was out walking this morning. After reading all of the air quality health warnings, I have to decide if “older adults” includes me or not. After reading the incident reports, it’s obvious that things are not going to get better for at least a few days.

  36. CSK says:

    It does seem to be lower-income people–people whose jobs require them to be on-site–who are feeling the worst effects of having to keep their kids at home. I was reading an article yesterday about how well upper-income families have adapted to working remotely. The real estate market is booming; people are looking for bigger houses with space for home offices and home gyms.

    As usual, it’s mostly the poorer who suffer most.

  37. Moosebreath says:

    Meanwhile, on the Sunday talk shows, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended Trump’s opposition to mail-in voting against a claim that there is no evidence of fraud by stating “There’s no evidence that there’s not either. That’s the definition of fraud.”

    The mind reels.

  38. sam says:
  39. CSK says:

    Let me see if I can work this out. The definition of fraud is that there is no evidence that there’s not fraud. Do I have that right?

    It seems that everyone who spends much time in Trump’s company starts to talk like him: incomprehensibly.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: As has been discussed about me at this forum, you are FAR more generous of spirit than I am. The again, I live in an area where a high wage is $13/hr and a cheap house is $400k. It doesn’t affect most of us that much because we haven’t bought houses in 35 or so years, so we don’t notice the prices.

    Geography and Calvinism link hands with me. I find it hard to go wrong assuming stupidity and greed are the factors in most social problems. Mostly greed.

    ETA: And I read Pinsky’s article. Color me skeptical still.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Also went back and scanned the article. The subtitle,

    Communities that worked hard to beat the coronavirus should reap the benefits of doing so.

    Is not an idea that I would object to, but neither is it a ringing endorsement that schools are ready to open up. For me, I don’t live in an area where we have “flattened the curve,” nor do most of Americans from what I can see reading the national news. And even though she a pediatrician, psychologist, and all around holder of good left-leaning credentials, she’s still contextualized her message in “what I want for my kids (and me)” not what is wise. As I said, color me skeptical.

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Cain: “Older adults” can be taken in this case as people with asthma, COPD, and heart conditions. Fit any of the categories? If not, it’s still probably wiser to stay inside because wood smoke has a lot of particulates in it.

  43. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    The interesting thing is that Somerville, MA, where she lives, has, unlike most of the rest of the state, delayed Phase 3, which means it hasn’t allowed gyms, museums, casinos, etc. to re-open, nor can anyone gather in groups larger than ten people.

  44. CSK says:

    Never let it be said that isn’t a real class operation. They’ve decided that “Joe and the Ho” is good name for the Biden/Harris ticket. The other suggestion is “the cadaver and the c*nt.” The latter word is spelled out fully. This is a website that prides itself on its strict decorum.

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: As usual, it’s mostly the poorer who suffer most.

    Yeah, but somehow or other the loudest voices are the ones on social media complaining about how hard it is to work from home AND take care of the kids. The poor always take it up the ass, and the ones I know really don’t want to send their kids to school, not at this time in these conditions. They do a lot of leaning on family.

  46. Mikey says:

    Today is National Airborne Day, which this year marks the 80th anniversary of the Army’s first parachute jump on August 16, 1940.

    Today, members of all branches of the American military can become paratroopers, if they hold certain jobs, although of course USAF, Navy, and Marines with jump wings are not as common as Army. I was one of the relatively few Air Force members who had the privilege.

  47. Teve says:

    @CSK: I didn’t see that anywhere on the front page, do you have a link?

  48. CSK says:

    You mean at I don’t have a link, but if you go to the site’s search function and look up “Immanuel Goldstein” under “User Name,” you’ll find the “c*nt” quote. I think a bunch of “Jo and the Ho” comments are in that thread as well.

  49. An Interested Party says:

    @CSK: Oh the irony of someone calling anyone a c*nt on a website founded and run by Lucianne Goldberg…

  50. de stijl says:


    I am now seriously hard-core addicted to reaction videos now. (Thanks to @Kurtz)

    It is watching cultural anthropology in real time. I find it utterly fascinating.

    Have added about 10 new subscriptions to my YouTube in the past few weeks.

  51. de stijl says:


    Check out those dudes’ reaction to Hey Ya (song of the century so far).

    This is my years talking, but who does not know OutKast? Andre or Bigboi? That is crazy! No knowledge of Stankonia? It blows my mind that was their first experience to Andre “Ice Cold” 3000.

    It was cool how they could not stop moving. It is a hyperkinetic song best experienced through movement. I adore the kids dancing in their living room.

    Song of the century. Fight me.

  52. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    They’re exactly as “classy” a bunch as you’d expect a crew of Trump-worshipers to be.

  53. An Interested Party says:

    Here’s a look at the Trump Campaign…even if Trump himself wasn’t so effectively ruining his chances at reelection, this bunch of losers certainly isn’t helping him…someone quoted in the article says, “I think if we lose to this guy (Biden), we’re really pathetic”, guess what, you’re really losing to this guy…

  54. de stijl says:


    A subgenre of reaction videos is vocal coach reaction videos.

    They really like reacting to the Disturbed version of S&G’s Sound Of Silence.

    It is pretty fascinating.

  55. de stijl says:

    I am a list person. I know, super annoying. If I could stop I would.

    Hey Ya is obviously fisrsties, but what about the runners-up?

    Andrew W.K. Party Hard (I shall, friendo. I promise. I will party hard.)

    Sia, Titanium. This blows my noggin it is so good. The vid is bonkers. And not the last time we shall see Sia. (Guetta / official vid) Howdy Doody looking motherfucker.

    The Mountain Goats Up The Wolves. Folk punk meets pop. Makes you want to punch God in the dick.

    Haim’s Forever has the slinkiest bass line EVAR!
    i want to live in that hair salon with the dorkiest dancers ever. I would abide.

    AJJ (fka Andrew Jackson Jihad). Temple Grandin Pt. 2. Also folk punk. About pragmatic cannibalism. It sounds gross but is phenomenally great.

    LSD. Thunderclouds. The S is Sia, the D is Diplo, the L is a British dude with a cool ass voice. Plus Maddie Ziegler dancing. You can’t do Sia without Maddie. Chandeliers was astonishing.

    No ranking. Just cool 21st stuff I love. They are all second place.

    Fight me.

  56. de stijl says:

    Chandeliers has 2.2 billion views. How is that possible?

    Sia uses Maddie as an avatar.

    I get that. I have struggled with anxiety and agoraphobia. It is so cool that she is open about it. I applaud her.

  57. Matt says:

    @de stijl: Jinjer’s Pisces is another one vocal coaches love to react to.

    There’s a video of Tool performing sober live in the 90s that also has been vocal coach bait as of late too.