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:

    Most US parents struggle to find affordable preschool. One Texas city has them covered

    Even after Malik Johnson turned four years old, he would scream, trying desperately to communicate despite his speech delay. His mother, Jennifer Emelogu, a former English teacher, knew he wouldn’t be ready for kindergarten. So Emelogu transferred Malik from his daycare to Pre-K 4 SA, San Antonio’s grassroots model for high-quality early childhood education. Funded through a ⅛-cent local sales tax, the program has become a point of pride for the Texas city – a place where students and parents can actually get the support they need.

    “Every school in the world could take a page out of Pre-K 4 SA’s book. For real,” Emelogu said. “There’s no kid that fell through the cracks here.”

    By the end of last academic year, Malik had learned how to calm himself down and his speech therapist felt certain he was prepared for elementary school.

    It works and as the 1/8 cent sales tax shows, it’s not gonna bust any budgets. So, DOA.

    Now, through the Build Back Better agenda, Joe Biden wants to give every three- and four-year-old in the United States access to high-quality early childhood education like Pre-K 4 SA. The plan would save the average family thousands each year on childcare, while making good preschool available to millions more kids.

    When Biden announced his trimmed-down Build Back Better framework late last month, universal Pre-K was still a prominent feature, even after the administration cut its original $3.5tn wishlist to $1.75tn. But the bill still faces an uncertain future in Congress, where conservative and progressive Democrats have been sparring over which social programs to preserve.

    Notice, Republicans merit not even a mention. By their own choice they aren’t a part of this conversation.

    Free, universal preschool could radically reform the country’s status quo, where high-quality early childhood education is a luxury, not a right. For many families, childcare – sometimes as costly as college tuition – has become a formidable barrier to career growth and economic stability.
    In fact, the US trails much of the world in enrollment in pre-primary education, even though there’s clear evidence that high-quality programs pay off. Their rates of return often mirror or exceed stock market returns, especially among less privileged children. Possible benefits of good quality early childhood education are far-reaching, including, but not limited to, better health, higher incomes and less crime.

    A great country invests in it’s future. What better investment represents our future than our children?

    Universal Pre-K is wildly popular as a policy, with recent polling showing that as many as 73% of Republicans and 95% of Democrats support free preschool for three- and four-year-olds.

    Politically, this is a no brainer. A straight up Win/Win for both parties, and therefor undoable with today’s GOP.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The stupid… It hurts:

    Medical experts are speaking out against Covid-19 vaccine “detoxes” that some inaccurately claim can remove the effects of vaccinations received under mandates and other public health rulings.

    In one TikTok video that has received hundreds of thousands of views, Carrie Madej, an osteopath based in Georgia, falsely claims a bath containing baking soda, epsom salts and the cleaning agent borax will “detox the vaxx” from anyone who has received a jab. Experts say such a bath could irritate the skin and eyes – but will not remove the effects of a Covid vaccine. In Kansas, Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control for the state university health system, told the Kansas City Star borax was “potentially caustic and harmful”.

    Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, told NBC News: “Once you’re injected, the lifesaving vaccination process has already begun. You can’t unring a bell. It’s just not physically possible.”

    But it’s nothing new:

    Unproven and sometimes dangerous vaccine “detox” remedies, including restrictive diets and supplements, have been popular in anti-vaccination circles for years. Social media, coupled with politicized resistance to Covid-19 vaccine mandates imposed by businesses and government agencies, has increased the spread of misinformation.

    The silver lining?

    While the spread of Covid “detoxes” has caused concern among experts, some argue it should be seen as a sign vaccine mandates are working.

    “I think it is actually a good sign that these ‘How to undo your vaccine’ videos are taking off,” Rasmussen said. “It suggests that a lot of those people who previously were saying ‘vaccines are terrible and I will never do it’ are, actually, doing it.”

    No duh.

  3. Kathy says:


    Oh, but they’re going about it all wrong.

    For starters, you need to start before you take the vaccine, and then keep it up for weeks afterwards. How? By taking massive doses of immunosuppressant drugs, naturally. I mean really large doses, which will effectively shut down the immune system.

    That way after your cells produce spike proteins anyway (no way around that with a vaccine), you won’t produce the needed antibodies and memory cells, so it would be as if you’d never taken the vaccine.

    Another option, also before taking the vaccine, is to have intense chemotherapy or radiation therapy (better take both to make sure), so your bone marrow will be destroyed and you won’t make or store B cells.

    Of course the first option leaves you susceptible to all infections. The second one as well, with the added bonus of requiring a bone marrow transplant (you can do an autologous transplant, if you collect your own bone marrow before the radiation detox).

    Both options cost a lot of money, which no insurance company will ever cover nor any doctor will administer.

    But what other options are there?

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: There’s always the 53 cent solution. It’s cheap, a whole lot quicker, and easily self administered.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Steve Redmond

    Dear Anti-Vaxxers:

    Please don’t fall for the old Borax trick. If you really want to be rid of the vaccine from your body, Venmo me $1,000 and I will not only heal you, but I will also send you a really official looking certificate saying you are a certified Anti-Vaxxer.

    Also, don’t fall for those knock-off $998 solutions. Only my solution actually turns you back into a certified Anti-Vaxxer. Operators are standing by…

    If you act right now, i’ll also send you a key to download “The Worst of Eric Clapton and Travis Tritt”. Don’t wait..this is a limited time offer.

    But that’s not all, order in the next 15 minutes and I’ll send you your very own Dr. Fauci dart board.

    As an added bonus, with every order sent out today, we’ll also include a 25% off coupon at Trump funeral homes. If you can’t use it for yourself, give it to a loved one you previously infected.

    But wait!! There’s more!

  6. CSK says:

    “If we are going to to have one nation under God, and we must, we have to have one religion. One nation under God, and one religion.”

    So said Michael Flynn on Saturday, November 13, 2021.

    Which religion would that be, Mike?

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Obviously he never actually read the constitution he swore to support and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. If he had he’d blow his brains out.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:


    I just had to link it.

  9. CSK says:

    Flynn also remarked that the Jan. 6 investigation is “a crucifixion of our First Amendment rights.”

    If I recall correctly, the First Amendment says something about freedom of religion, does it not?

  10. Mike says:

    @CSK: whatever dear leader El Cheeto is a devout follower.

  11. Sleeping Dog says:


    Now lets not bring in added information that might confuse.

  12. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    A thousand pardons, my good man. 😀

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Well yeah, but only the right religion. ftr, yours is not the right one.

  14. CSK says:

    Well, Flynn was raised as a Roman Catholic, and I’m assuming he still is one. (I could be wrong about that.) So is he promoting Roman Catholicism as the one and only true faith? If so, Protestant fundamentalists will be very unhappy. Not to speak of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, agnostics, and atheists.

  15. Kathy says:


    Which religion would that be, Mike?

    I think Buddhism allows its adherents to engage in other religious practices. If so, that’s the obvious choice.

    If not, we should resurrect the cult of Athena Parthenos, the religion of the birthplace of democracy.

  16. Kathy says:


    And miss out on the chance of graft vs host disease?

  17. Kylopod says:

    “And though I am a committed Christian, I believe everyone has the right to their own religion–by you Hindu, Jewish, or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.” — Stephen Colbert

  18. Slugger says:

    @CSK: The obvious answer is Islam that clearly ties religious practice and political actions together. The establishment of Sharia would give Flynn his desired result. I’m sure that the cost of turning churches into Islamic temples would be cheerfully underwritten by the House of Saud.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:
  20. CSK says:

    Somehow, I don’t think Islam is what Flynn has in mind.

  21. Mimai says:

    For those who are not aware, there’s a great organization called The Human Library.

    I’m curious… what human book(s) would OTB commenters be most keen to check out? [note, there are rules of engagement, so you might consult them before responding]

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: That Apple ID story seems to be click bait. “Apple has sole discretion over aspects of the program!”, turns out to be that Apple retains the right to determine which devices it will run on. That 11 year old iPhone 4S? Probably not supported. As near as I could glean from the rest of the article Apple was seeking to insure that all the different states used common formats and protocols wherever feasible and that once Apple had committed to implementing a particular state’s database they required a single person responsible at the state to answer questions and resolve any difficulties that arose. The HORROR!

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: If so, Protestant fundamentalists will be very unhappy.

    They’ll get over it.

    Not to speak of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, agnostics, and atheists.


  24. Sleeping Dog says:

    We’ve had discussions about in roads that R’s have made in Hispanic/Latino communities in Texas and Florida, this article brings up another front in the failure of Dems to understand constituent communities.

    Chinese Voters Came Out in Force for the GOP in NYC, Shaking Up Politics

    Homeless shelters are just one in a series of issues that galvanized many Chinese voters to align themselves with GOP candidates for mayor and City Council this year.

    Other catalysts, according to activist leaders, include proposed reforms to specialized high school admissions and gifted and talented programs, plans to build new jails in areas that include Manhattan’s Chinatown, and bail reform reducing pretrial incarceration.

    A wave of hate crimes targeting Asian Americans during the pandemic has heightened a sense of urgency about public safety and law enforcement. Asian anger and frustration have, for the first time, left a visible dent in a city election.


    In an interview with THE CITY, Meng lamented that complacency had set in when it came to blue turf like New York, where Democrats feel safe and therefore haven’t invested resources.

    She also described a kind of invisibility for Asian-Americans within her own party’s public voice.

    “When our Democratic leaders talk about issues facing minority communities, oftentimes they are only talking about Black and Spanish communities,” said Meng. “But our community is the fastest growing community. And we are also minorities.”


    A major turning point arrived in the summer of 2018, when thousands of previously non-political Asian New Yorkers protested de Blasio’s call to abandon the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) because of racial disparities in the city’s elite classrooms.


    “The Democrats’ race-based so-called education equality reminds me of the Cultural Revolution in China,” said Wong, a registered Democrat who said he is considering switching to the GOP.

    Ouch. Only its own racism keeps R’s from achieving parity in support of voters in many minority communities.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The coolest thing I will watch today:

    Vala Afshar

    A brilliant demo of the power and creativity of engineering to solve real problems

    (as an electrical engineer, I love this)

  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Alas, conservatives/Republicans (along with a considerable number of “moderates”) live in a zero-sum universe where every action that enriches someone else’s life impoverishes their lives and the lives of their loved ones. And in a universe where there is already a shortage of elite educational opportunities and elite post education opportunities to match, preparing the Maliks of the world to go to school simply can’t be made a priority.

    Of course, we could redistribute the entire pool of resources to make more opportunities overall, but that would mean that some of the plutocracy would need to defer (or even cancel in some cases) their opportunity to take that 15 minute trip into sub-orbital space on Virgin Spaceways or Blue Whoever. We can’t have that. It would be unfair.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Traditionally, it’s been the religion of the people with the most weapons/largest militias and varies by region.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jesus F*cking Christ Rainbow

    Fixed it.

    Made me giggle.

  29. gVOR08 says:

    A friend sent me a link. Frighteningly on point for our current moment. Bonhoeffer’s Theory of Stupidity.

  30. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    You mean the bitter clingers?
    Is the one in the chair Marjorie Taylor Greene?

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Looks like her to me.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The original pic:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene Flag of United States

    · Nov 13
    My daily bread..

    It took years for me to read this book, but that time was the greatest investment I’ve ever made.

    It led me to Him.

  33. CSK says:

    I wonder if that means that it took her years to get around to reading the Bible or that it took her years to get through it.

    MTG has never struck me as an ardent bibliophile.

  34. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..A brilliant demo of the power and creativity of engineering to solve real problems

    Almost as much fun as a cat video.

  35. CSK says:

    Investment group CGI Merchant Group has bought the lease on the Trump Intl. Hotel in Washington for 375 million dollars.

    They will change the name to the Waldorf-Astoria.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Not necessarily. I’m not convinced that the bitter clingers are actually better armed or armed in sufficient numbers to decide by force. It’s part of why they see themselves as an oppressed minority. (It’s also not clear within bitter clinger-dom that all the guns would point in the same direction should push come to shove. Not even the bitter clingers are as monolithic as we might believe.)

  37. Mu Yixiao says:

    This afternoon, for the newspaper, I went to the high school.

    To see a musical.

    About high-schoolers.

    Doing a musical.

    … I don’t think I have enough scotch in the house to wipe that out of my memory. And I now I need to write a review that doesn’t crush the souls of 4 dozen children–who can’t act to save their lives, dance worse than me, and couldn’t find a tune if they were allowed to use the GPS on their phones.

    My school used to have a reputation for producing talent who went on to serious careers in the performing arts. The leads in this show couldn’t sing. I’m not saying “they couldn’t sing like a Broadway star”, I’m saying they couldn’t sing.

    Nor could they act. Nor could they dance.

    All of which our students used to be able to do very well. There are awards on the walls to prove it.

    Write tomorrow.
    Scotch tonight.

  38. Jax says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Ha! Our high school put on their play this weekend, too. It was Oklahoma!, and it was absolutely awful. 😛

  39. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    In general, I won’t advocate for participation trophies and atta-boys, but the HS play is one time where you should drop the critical lens and simply talk about how much fun the play was and that the kids and the audience were enjoying themselves.

    Mu, what scotch are you drinking?

  40. Jax says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Oh, I enjoyed the shit out of it, but it was awful. The kids had a blast! Mine was on the stage crew, she told me who the funniest actors with the best lines were. She had a lot of fun helping build the sets and such.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: Alas, that isn’t the point. For a significant portion of the population if it doesn’t make one more employable, it just doesn’t belong in the schools. Not a majority, thank goodness, but still a significant number (I’ve spent years listening to the arguments. Time that I’ll never get back. 🙁 )

  42. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I don’t know, I been telling her what wr and Eddie are saying about the movie set labor shortages, she thinks maybe she could design video games as a side hustle from her main job of set and costume design. 😛

    I’m just glad she found something she enjoys besides video games.