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. Bill says:
  2. Bill says:

    The headline of the day-

    ‘No Time to Die’ Release Delayed to 2021

  3. sam says:

    “There was a panic before this started, but now we’re sort of the stupid party,” said Edward J. Rollins, co-chairman of the pro-Trump super PAC Great America.

    Sort of?

  4. Bill says:

    @Bill: Forgot to add the link to today’s headline of the day.

    ‘No Time to Die’ Release Delayed to 2021

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: Now?

  6. CSK says:

    Trump is said to be “bored” in the hospital. He wants to leave. Why? There’s no television? They took his phone away and he can’t tweet?

    I hope they can keep him there till he’s no longer contagious. Otherwise he’ll be out infecting hundreds of other people.

  7. Teve says:

    Somebody on Twitter a minute ago: Trump’s a senior citizen, he should be willing to sacrifice his life to keep the economy moving forward. 😀

  8. Teve says:

    @CSK: There’s a big flatscreen in that presidential suite. He otta be fine for months.

  9. CSK says:

    I assumed there was. So why is he claiming to be bored? He spends most of the day in his bedroom at the White House watching tv and tweeting on his phone. The suite at Walter Reed should fill all his needs nicely.

    Maybe McDonald’s can’t deliver there.

  10. keef says:

    But Joe tells us Antifa is jut a concept.

    The model has always been to infiltrate crowds just enough to incite them.

    Should Joe’s comment be attributed to stupidity, politics or out and out dishonesty?

  11. Teve says:

    Holy shit I just saw someone say that Joe Biden, Kamala Harris etc. deserved to pay millions in taxes while Trump paid $750, because “they didn’t create anything”.

    At the anxiety level I’m running at these days I just can’t handle waves of dumb dipshittery. I’ve already blocked 3 people on Facebook and it’s not even 10 am. Don’t argue; fire and forget.

  12. sam says:

    Jaime Harrison brings plexiglass shield to debate with Lindsey Graham.

  13. CSK says:

    Bad as that is, take a look at some of these comments over at, from just ONE thread:
    1. “This man [Trump] is our answered prayers.”
    2. “Donald Trump is our leader and our champion.”
    3. “We love you, Mr. President. You are an American hero. Thank you, and God bless you.”
    4. “President Trump is the only person of consequence who stands between us and them.”
    5. “President Trump is one of us (proud Americans).”

    This was in response to a Breitbart article about a woman named Anna who is holding vigil outside Walter Reed. She said: “Donald Trump had the courage and backbone, despite persecution, to speak for us and have commonsensical stances on major issues we were not represented with (sic). So the least we can do, when he’s suffered so much to represent us, is to come out here and let him know the love for him is so great and we don’t have the media megaphone, like hatred does. But we’re enormous. We love him.”

    Emphasis mine.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Humpback whales seize chance to sing in Alaska’s cruise-free Covid summer

    With as many as 65 whale-watching boats zooming around Juneau and nearby Glacier Bay national park on any given day during the summer, humpbacks change their behavior in two distinct ways: they call louder and they call less.

    “When an animal calls less, the likelihood of it finding a comrade goes down significantly,” said Fournet. “So, we alter their social structure.”

    This year “we’re going to see how these humpback whales are interacting with their environment instead of how they’re interacting with us. You can’t figure out whether or not your species is resilient to something if you don’t know what it acts like when it’s happy.”
    Fournet was ecstatic after listening to her first hydrophone recordings of the year two weeks ago. “It’s really, really quiet. [On] my very first pass of listening, I randomly picked a file, and I immediately heard a whale instead of a boat.”
    The goal of the studies is to establish a meaningful behavioral baseline and better understand the impacts tour boats have on marine creatures. “We are committed to ensuring that whale-watching tourism is done in a responsible and sustainable way,” said Noaa’s Teerlink. “I am hopeful that we will be able to use this pause to work together with our industry partners to think outside the box and move forward with conservation and sustainability in mind.”

    Scientists are keenly aware that it is often the whale-watching trips themselves that help sway the public to support and fund protective measures.

    “We’re not going to eliminate cruise ships, nor should we,” said Fournet, “They’re really important economically and for people to interact with their environment … but what I hope is that as we start to ramp the noise back in we can identify the tipping point.”

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: That and he can’t yell at anybody w/o risking an injection of something to knock him out for the next 3 weeks.

  16. Sleeping Dog says:


    Typically self awareness occurs long after observers have reached the same conclusion.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @keef: My father was anti-fa.
    So was my Uncle Frank.
    And my Uncle Walt.
    And my Uncle Gus.
    And my Uncle Joe.
    And my Uncle Alex.
    So am I. Call it a family fucking tradition.

    What family tradition do you uphold?

  18. Teve says:

    @CSK: I wonder if she realized she was having her vigil next to violent Proud Boy Gavin McInnes.

    “We love you, Mr. President. You are an American hero. Thank you, and God bless you.”

    It’s hard to tell which comments are from Republicans and which ones are paid Russians, but that one looks Russian to me. Hard to say though. Fake-Trumper Russians on Twitter all have handles like PatriotJim87356589. Easier to spot.

  19. SteveCanyon says:

    For the second day in a row, it’s just so nice not to wake up, check the news, and read or hear about what awful thing Trump said or did last night. Perhaps others will notice how much more pleasant this is.

  20. CSK says:

    I’m assuming that the idiots at are homegrown idiots. They posted the same junk about Sarah Palin, and now they’re posting it about Trump, only more so. It’s been going on since 2007, basically.

    Reading the comments at that site exercises the same sort of horrid fascination for me as does a 40-car pile-up. You don’t want to look at the wreckage, but you can’t help yourself.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The saddest picture I have seen in quite some time.

    Oluvil, Sri Lanka
    Elephants forage for food at a rubbish dump encroaching on their jungle habitat. Examination of dead elephants has revealed undigested polythene and other plastic waste.

    We are a pestilence.

  22. Northerner says:


    My father fought the Nazi’s too. However, just because someone calls themselves something doesn’t mean its true. That’s why its so stupid when the conservatives say the Nazi’s were socialists just because they had socialism in their name. Its also why its stupid to believe those members of antifa who burn buildings and beat up people (and yes, there obviously are some who do that) are anti-nazi’s just because they say there are.

    But if you want to go literal, being anti-nazi means being a anti-socialist, because that’s part of the nazi name.

    Seriously, judge people by their actions, not their names. If someone acts like a nazi then that’s what they are. That’s true for the proud boys who beat up people and burn things, and its true for the antifa people doing the same thing. Sometimes “both sides” really is accurate. Supporting antifa is playing into conservative hands, because they point at burning buildings and people being beaten up, and say “look what progressives support”.

  23. Mister Bluster says:

    This deserves to be in today’s thread instead of buried at the bottom of yesterday’s…

    Bruce A Henry says:
    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 08:26
    “Does anyone else find it odd that no prominent Democrats have had the virus but the list of Republicans goes on and on?”

    I don’t know if she made up this response or heard it somewhere, but when my daughter saw this she said, “Yeah, and why are all these chainsaw jugglers being injured more often than mattress testers?”

  24. Jax says:

    This headline from the Daily Beast has been cracking me up all day. It’s gotta be pretty horrifying for a gal like Ivanka to have a headline like that posted about her. I love it! 😉 Maybe we can shame them into wearing masks, the dirty, inconsiderate bastards. Walking around in public, coughing their COVID germs all over the damn place.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:


    But if you want to go literal, being anti-nazi means being a anti-socialist, because that’s part of the nazi name.

    There was nothing socialist about the Nazis.

    Supporting antifa is playing into conservative hands, because they point at burning buildings and people being beaten up, and say “look what progressives support”.

    Oh bullshit. They will say whatever the fuck they want, try to co-opt any term, label, name, whatever, and those who want will believe them.

    I’m not playing their game. You shouldn’t either.

  26. wr says:

    @keef: “Should Joe’s comment be attributed to stupidity, politics or out and out dishonesty?”

    God, you trolls are boring. Bad faith arguments, ludicrous attempts at distraction. It’s all been done to death and, no disrespect to you sonny, but by far more talented trolls than you can ever hope to be.

    You’re not living in anyone’s head rent free. You’re not making liberals’ tears flow. You’re not shaking up the snowflakes. You’re just wasting your time and everyone else’s.

  27. Teve says:
  28. Kathy says:


    I need to ask: what kind of industrial strength antiemetic do you take before venturing to such websites?

  29. Sleeping Dog says:
  30. Gustopher says:

    I want to send Trump a get well card featuring a picture of Herman Cain.

    Is that wrong? Do I mail it to Walter Reed directly, or to the White House? How do we get lots of people to do that?

  31. Gustopher says:

    @keef: From your linked article at Reason

    It’s an open-source network insurgency, not so much a chain of command.

    [The media] play these little word games, “Oh, antifa doesn’t exist.” Yes and no. It’s not an organization where you have to sign up for a membership. It’s one of those things where it’s just a loose-knit network of people.

    So, it’s not an organization.

    Board game enthusiasts have online message boards, meet up from time to time, and have cakes that say things like “cops r pee pee poo poo” (everyone should go to the linked article for the cake), share tactics and strategies, etc. There is no one Board Game Enthusiasts organization.

    The article doesn’t support your point, or its own point.

    Also, between the cake, which is awesome, and the conservative, trans tug boat captain, I wonder if someone is playing a joke on Reason. Not that trans women can’t be conservative tug boat captains, but… it sounds like a joke.

  32. Monala says:

    From a retweet of a news story from April, a Texas aquarium moved sloths near the dolphins to keep the animals from getting bored during lockdown. The sloths and dolphins loved each other and would chatter away for hours. Link

    A comment on the tweet asked why aquariums have sloths. It turns out that sloths are great swimmers, moving three times faster in water than on land.

    Another comment speculates that one of earth’s most intelligent creatures and one of earth’s most patient are relishing the opportunity to conspire together about how to get back at us humans.

  33. CSK says:

    Oh, man, how many times do I have to tell you how badly I suffer from vicarious embarrassment?

  34. Gustopher says:


    Fake-Trumper Russians on Twitter all have handles like PatriotJim87356589.

    I mentally replace the word Patriot with Pedophile every time I see it. It’s more likely to be accurate, since I’ve never met a self-described Patriot who was patriotic, but some of them are bound to be pedophiles.

    Also, keeping the first consonant and number of syllables means it sounds right. Patriot Prayer becomes Pedophile Prayer, for instance, and it just rolls off the tongue.

    I have not found a similar replacement for Christian.

  35. Northerner says:


    There was nothing socialist about the Nazis.

    Just as there’s nothing anti-fascist about people who burn innocent people’s buildings (most of the buildings burnt are owned by local residents who weren’t fascists) or beat up people because they politically disagree with them. That’s my point, its what’s people do that determines what they are, not what they label themselves.

    Oh bullshit. They will say whatever the fuck they want, try to co-opt any term, label, name, whatever, and those who want will believe them.

    And most people ignore their BS most of the time. But burning buildings have a way of getting people’s attentions — and for most people, the ones doing the burning are the bad guys. Did you ever notice that most people support peaceful protests, but no one, not even the local residents on behalf of which the protests are occurring, support burning down neighborhoods. Its an unnecessary own-goal.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I’d be willing to let him out if he’s willing to relocate to the West Palm Beach abode of a famous radio personality. From what I understand, the house is large enough to accommodate him and whatever entourage he might bring.

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Monala: If only they both had opposable thumbs to build and strap on the killer laser helmets, humanity would surely be doomed. (Not that doom may not be immanent through entropy.)

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Just laugh. Out loud. It will help you to extinguish that unfortunate trait.

  39. JohnSF says:

    Even if there were an “antifa” organised group, so what?
    That does not necessarily mean that an “antifa” movement or concept they were associating themselves with would be invalidated.
    Especially as there is no openly acknowledged party-style organisation involved.

    Agents provocateur and extremist exploitation of legitimate causes have a long and sorry history, on both the left and the right.
    Anybody who has had the misfortune to have an infestation of Swuppers knows this all too well.
    Or the hijacking of legitimate community grievances by far left and/or far right groups as “fronts” or recruiting tools.

  40. charon says:


    Or Ben is living in an alternate reality.

    Regardless, we think Trump and Melania can pull through fairly easily since they are both in good health

    In my reality, Trump is unlikely to recover without serious aftereffects if he recovers at all.

    Let’s recap:

    1. On Friday, he got the maximum dose of an experimental, antibody cocktail and given supplemental oxygen

    2. Yesterday, he was started on Remdesivir

    3. Today, he’s on Dexamethasone

    Two experimental drugs that are only being used in SEVERE COVID-19 cases. Dex isn’t a drug given to mild cases for patients not needing Oxygen or ventilation. Fed lowers the immunity so it’s never recommended for people with mild cases as it can make them worse.

  41. Bill says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’d be willing to let him out if he’s willing to relocate to the West Palm Beach abode of a famous radio personality. From what I understand, the house is large enough to accommodate him and whatever entourage he might bring.

    What radio personality is that? Rush Limbaugh lives in Palm Beach.

  42. charon says:
  43. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Just been browsing some state polls myself.
    Taking over 5% as beyond standard margin-of-error, Biden now ahead in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire

    Within margin of error range of 5% either side: (i.e. requiring Team Trump to expend effort)
    Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, N. Carolina, Missouri.

  44. I would caution y’all from leaning too far in to the “Trump is doing badly” story. He might be. He might not be. I don’t trust the White House, but I don’t trust things that “tell me what I want to hear”. And “want to hear” is multifaceted. Yes, I expect Trump and the WH to lie routinely. So that’s a level of “want to hear” but it can be conflated with “wants the president to die”.

    I mean, some of you do, and own that, and so be it. But if you don’t, it’s probably best to treat this information stream with caution, and wait for multiple corroborations, while imagining alternate explanations for facts that seem reported accurately.

    For the record, I want him out of office. I want justice served on him. I don’t want him dead. I didn’t want him sick with COVID, because that is terrible, terrible stuff. If this makes Republicans take things like masking and social distancing more seriously, that’s a silver lining, but I would have rather that happened with less suffering, not just of them, but of everyone.

    We are facing a crisis in which we all need to get on the same page to defeat. Partisanship is literally killing us.

  45. Sleeping Dog says:


    When I looked the other day, 538 had Trump’s chances of winning the EC at ~20%, this is far down from the earlier range of probabilities which fluctuated between 28 and 31%. Last week Cook moved a couple states to lean blue from toss up and a couple of more including Texas from solid red to leans red and a couple of leaning red states to toss up. All this before the debate polling and his Covid fake news.

    This is now a get out the vote campaign for Dems as it is near the point where the only way Trump can win is if Dems don’t vote.

  46. CSK says:

    Cult45, which has long excoriated Hillary Clinton as a trashmouth, has decided that it’s perfectly acceptable–laudable,even–to use the word “fuck,” given that the lovely, gracious, intelligent, refined, and highly educated Melania Trump has used it.

    I was wondering how they’d rationalize this.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bill: West Palm Beach is the location according to the source I linked to using Cortana, but I’m happy to adjust to your more specific knowledge.

  48. Bill says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    West Palm Beach is the location according to the source I linked to using Cortana, but I’m happy to adjust to your more specific knowledge.

    I don’t see your source but it is wrong.

    Rush Limbaugh’s home is in Palm Beach. A google search of Rush Limbaugh and Palm Beach will get you a ton of other links.

    West Palm Beach, is on the west side of the intracoastal water way and is Palm Beach County’s biggest city. Palm Beach is directly east on the other side of the intracoastal. They are separate communities.

    Just a reminder, I’ve been living in Palm Beach County since I left the Navy in 1989.

  49. An Interested Party says:

    @Teve: I wonder what picture he will draw when Trump loses the election…

  50. Teve says:

    “But Teve, they’re not really stupid, stupid assholes.”


    President Trump has Covid and he’s still made more public appearances today than #HidenBiden.

  51. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: Hillary, Obama, and the deep state murdering a Jesus-robed Trump, while they drool blood and possibly have horns.

    And there will be a Jewish guy watching from the corner sneering and he’ll be labeled Soros and people with TV cameras will be eating babies and they’ll be labeled CNN ABC etc. because everything is always labeled in garrison cartoons So You Get It.

  52. An Interested Party says:

    An interesting analogy between COVID-19 and AIDS…

    There’s a lot of talk about whether the president—who contracted this virus through gross negligence and who has presided over an administration defined by its cruelty—deserves our empathy and our well-wishes.

    The discussion made me think about AIDS. (Do not come here expecting uplifting newsletters, people, this is JVL’s product and I respect his brand.)

    Caveat: I recognize these diseases are very different of course and so this analogy will have the same weakness that most do.

    But this whole discussion about compassion for Trump reminds me of the way that gay men who contracted HIV/AIDS were treated by the rest of the culture, particularly in the ’80s at the height of the virus. They were called reckless, irresponsible, immoral, and worse. Studies showed that gay men are generally considered to be at fault by their peers for contracting the virus, while others aren’t.

    That stigma, which persists, is gross and wrong when it comes to HIV/AIDS. And it’s also true of COVID-19. Contracting a disease isn’t something that anyone deserves. Even the president. He should be granted the grace that gay men were often denied as he goes through a recovery that I hope is speedy.

    But when it comes to contagions such as these there is also a responsibility. Everyone deserves empathy but that empathy doesn’t give them carte blanche to recklessly and knowingly endanger others. Gay advice columnist Dan Savage wrote a column in response to a question about whether we should have compassion for men who have HIV and knowingly expose others without informing them:

    What about compassion for the men he’s infecting? What about his responsibility not to spread HIV? . . . I’m sick to death of “HIV educators” lumping my ethical HIV-positive friends in with selfish, unethical, immoral HIV-positive shitbags who could care less about infecting other people.

    Considering the president’s actions in the past week, his choices look a lot like those of the “shitbag” (Dan’s words!) who couldn’t care less about infecting other people. So while we should hope for the best for Trump’s recovery, we can simultaneously feel a deep anger over how he endangered and possibly infected those around him.

    The Washington Post reports that no contract tracing or guidance has been offered to the hundreds exposed by this White House. An unbelievable abdication of duty. These public servants and everyday Americans were put at risk by their own commander-in-chief for no reason except his vanity and pathological need to project phony strength. They truly deserve our compassion and our action.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bill: And as I said just one post above your new one, I’m happy to be corrected, I was only repeating what the frame that Cortana showed. But since you seem to need a more forceful retraction, here goes.

    I’m soooooooooo, sooooooo sorry that my source was wrong and would have deleted my post if only I had the technological ability to do so. Please forgive me for having the temerity of thinking that I could post any Florida information without your permission. If, in the future, I should EVER need to talk about Florida, I will first post asking you to confirm that what I am saying is correct. Please PLEASE PLEASE forgive me; I’m BEGGING YOU!!!!