Sunday’s Forum

A prologue to the new week.

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:


    WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Saturday that he had the power to remove or demote Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, renewing a long-running threat against the central bank’s leader at a time when it could further roil volatile markets.

    Mr. Trump said in a news conference at the White House that ousting Mr. Powell was not his current plan but that he was “not happy with the Fed” because it was “following” and “we should be leading.” He said he had the right to remove Mr. Powell as chair “and put him in a regular position and put somebody else in charge,” but added, “I haven’t made any decisions on that.”

    While it was a familiar threat from a president who has continually beaten up on Mr. Powell, it was made in the midst of growing concern that the spread of the coronavirus could tip the United States into a recession.

    The mere hint that Mr. Trump could fire Mr. Powell, or demote him to a Fed governor, risks further destabilizing markets by worrying investors, who are already fretting over the economic fallout from shut-down businesses, quarantined workers and curtailed activity.

    Investors have been looking to the Fed to help contain the economic fallout, and Mr. Powell led his colleagues in slashing interest rates by half a percentage point in one of the earliest global central bank responses to the coronavirus. The Fed has also been active in soothing disorderly markets over the past week.

    “If he removed Jerome Powell, it would be hugely destabilizing to markets,” said Ernie Tedeschi, a policy economist at Evercore ISI in Washington. “The market trusts Jerome Powell to do what monetary policy can do. Jerome Powell gets it.”
    Mr. Trump probably does not have the legal authority to fire Mr. Powell, whom he nominated in 2017 but who was confirmed by Congress. It is less clear whether the president could demote him, but if he tried, the Federal Open Market Committee — which sets interest rates — could still select Mr. Powell as its leader, rendering any new chair mostly irrelevant.

    This is not the first time Mr. Trump has aired the idea of removing his hand-selected Fed chair. In December 2018, after the Fed raised rates, the president privately talked about firing Mr. Powell, telling advisers that the Fed chair would “turn me into Hoover,” a reference to the Great Depression-era president Herbert Hoover. The statements caused jitters on Wall Street.

    Mick Mulvaney, who had recently been named the acting White House chief of staff, said in a subsequent television interview that Mr. Trump “now realizes he does not have the authority to fire” the Fed chair.

    This time around, Mr. Tedeschi said he doubted the president would try to demote Mr. Powell, and was probably just trying to jawbone the central bank ahead of its meeting this week.

    “I think people are used to it, at this point,” he said. “But it probably doesn’t help.”

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:
  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    The wife and I have decided to defer our vacation. We planned to leave Wednesday for about a 3 week driving trip along the east coast, ending in Atlanta where we would visit friends.

    While we regularly complain about no longer living in a city, under the current circumstances it is easier to practice “social distancing” here at the beach, as we can still get out of the house for walks without running into people. And with this March’s weather being so mild and dry, the yard work may even get done by a record date.

  4. Kathy says:

    Crowding people together for hours at immigration is not a god idea.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Fox Business anchor Trish Regan, whose on-air dismissal of the coronavirus as “another attempt to impeach the president” left her cable network facing a firestorm of criticism this week, has been removed from her prime-time slot for the foreseeable future, the network said on Friday.
    Ms. Regan’s remarks, delivered on her Monday show, caused many colleagues at Fox Business and its corporate cousin Fox News to cringe. In front of a graphic reading, “Coronavirus Impeachment Hoax,” she accused Democrats of creating “mass hysteria to encourage a market sell-off” and sowing fear about the virus “to demonize and destroy the president.”
    On Friday night, Ms. Regan did not address her impending hiatus in the opening moments of her show. And her on-air remarks were strikingly more placid than her fiery monologue from Monday.

    “Our path forward right now is together, the left and the right united to fight this crisis,” Ms. Regan told viewers. “We’re all in this together, and we need to stay safe.”

    Even FOX has it’s limits, but I’m not surprised that contributing to the death of thousands of it’s core audience is where they draw the line.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thank you (I assume Steven) for fixing my screw up. 🙂

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    When Tiny banned Europeans from the US and many US citizens began to rush home, a random thought floated up that one might have been better off to simply hunker down in Europe till the rush ended.

    It’s not surprising that immigration is a mess, under the best of conditions, clearing US Customs is a far more arduous process than most anywhere else in the first world.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It has been awhile since my wife and I have traveled to MSP to visit my sister and her family. We had tentatively decided to go this summer, then all this came up. Talked to Sister last night and we set a date for early July…. Depending on where things stand at that point.

  9. Mu Yixiao says:


    And gigabytes of new furry porn suddenly burst into existence….

  10. Teve says:

    So, this is a real thing that happened yesterday .

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    To everyone in NYC but ESPECIALLY healthy people & people under 40 (bc from what I’m observing that’s who needs to hear this again):

    PLEASE stop crowding bars, restaurants, and public spaces right now. Eat your meals at home.

    If you are healthy, you could be spreading COVID.

    Katie Williams

    I just went to a crowded Red Robin and I’m 30.

    It was delicious, and I took my sweet time eating my meal. Because this is America. And I’ll do what I want.

    Are you going to be totally shocked when I tell you Katie Williams is a Trumper?

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From ‘Putting us out on the streets’: Seniors face eviction amid deadly outbreak:

    Eviction moratoriums are spreading like wild fire in California, because

    Though Merika Reagan considers herself lucky so far in terms of coronavirus-related cancellations, the panic and uncertainty is palpable on the pet care worker networks and message boards that she frequents.

    Dog walkers are posting about their walks getting cancelled because their clients are working from home now. Pet sitters are losing jobs because their clients will no longer travel – Reagan, the owner of City Hikes Dog Walking and Pet Sitting, has had two cancellations and a third job fall through for this reason.

    She thinks herself lucky, but when she tallied up her losses, she realized she missed out on half a month’s rent. Her $2,250-a-month housing cost is always a concern for her. But she’s pragmatically optimistic when it comes to the coronavirus crisis – if she loses more vacationers, she’ll make up the work elsewhere. “I’ll have to take on more walking clients, maybe two or three more, which will be murder on my ankles,” Reagan said.

    But if she gets sick? “I don’t get sick,” she said. “My plan is to never get sick. That’s my plan. It sounds crazy, but that’s my plan.”

    “In this business, if you don’t work you don’t get paid,” she explained. “It’s not like you get paid time off.”

  12. Mikey says:


    Because this is America. And I’ll do what I want.

    Our epitaph.

  13. Bill says:

    The corona virus scare has gone too far

    My Florida Panthers hockey season has been postponed (probably cancelled)

    The Masters golf tournament is postponed

    Weekly bingo where I live has been cancelled for 3 weeks

    and the final straw

    The Kentucky Fried Chicken a 1/16 of a mile from my wife’s work is closed!

    Now back to our unscheduled pandemic*

    *- You can turn the sarcasm off

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:


    A week ago, Mark Canlis’s restaurant in Seattle was offering a $135 tasting menu to a bustling dining room every night. Eileen Hornor’s inn on the Maine coast was booking rooms for the busy spring graduation season. And Kalena Masching, a real estate agent in California, was fielding multiple offers on a $1.2 million home.

    Then the coronavirus outbreak changed everything.

    Today, Mr. Canlis’s restaurant is preparing to become a drive-through operation serving burgers. Ms. Hornor is bleeding cash as she refunds deposits for scores of canceled reservations. And Ms. Masching is scrambling to save her sale after one offer after another fell through.

    “Last week, I would have told you nothing had changed,” she said. “This week, it has all gone to hell.”

    My little brother and his wife both work in the restaurant industry. They just bought a house.

    My NOLA son and his wife also work in the restaurant industry. They are currently housing her mother who recently lost her job as a hotel manager, an industry she has worked in all her life.

    I have some savings. I suddenly feel like I don’t have enough.

  15. Kit says:


    I just went to a crowded Red Robin and I’m 30.

    It was delicious, and I took my sweet time eating my meal. Because this is America. And I’ll do what I want.

    I hear this and realize that at this historical moment liberal democracy (of which America is the avatar) is having an argument with authoritarianism (of which China is the avatar) about how best to govern. Who feels that we are winning?

    In the home of the free, liberty can no longer be distinguished from licence. Historians will be spoiled with examples.

  16. mattbernius says:


    Even FOX has it’s limits, but I’m not surprised that contributing to the death of thousands of it’s core audience is where they draw the line.

    I’ll believe that they have real limits when do anything to Lou Dobbs or Sean Hannity.

  17. Teve says:

    @Mikey: on South Park, when Cartman became even more of an out-of-control shit than normal, he ran around saying “I do what I want!”

  18. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Yesterday, I predicted it would be a week before all domestic air travel is halted.

    As a foreshadowing, American Air just announced the suspension of nearly all long haul international flights beginning Mar 16.

    In Colorado, Gov Polis has closed all ski resorts. Vail Ski Co has responded by suspending all ski resort business internationally (39 resorts)

  19. Teve says:

    America is a Sham.

    Good article about how policy changes for coronavirus reveal how much policy is just arbitrary bullshit.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius: They can’t sacrifice their sacred cash cows.

  21. DrDaveT says:


    It’s the End Times: Sarah Palin stuns TV viewers by rapping Baby Got Back dressed as a bear

    The sweetest part of this is that one of the celebrity judges guessed that it was Tina Fey behind the mask…

  22. DrDaveT says:


    Even FOX has it’s limits, but I’m not surprised that contributing to the death of thousands of it’s core audience is where they draw the line.

    I am. They do that every day with their positions on health care and climate change; why should this be any different?

  23. Bill says:

    Some people say Florida is all screwed up. I say not entirely. The voters in my state rejected this man of poor judgment who wanted to be our Governor.

    CNN’s Andrew Gillum found ‘inebriated’ in Miami Beach hotel room; cops recover meth

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: In my defense, I have actually never watched FOX news, and haven’t even seen any clips of their biggest stars in at least a decade because, ignorance really is bliss.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Are you trying to say that a state that voted for trump was applying high moral standards when they chose Ron “Trumpelstiltskin” De Santis over the black man?

  26. Michael Cain says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    On the porn front, PornHub has announced that all of their premium content will be free for the people locked down in Italy.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    A coronavirus baby boom?

    A deeper dive into how we got into the coronavirus mess.

  28. gVOR08 says:


    Katie Williams

    I just went to a crowded Red Robin and I’m 30.

    It was delicious, and I took my sweet time eating my meal. Because this is America. And I’ll do what I want.

    Because otherwise the terrorists win? What?

  29. MarkedMan says:

    Need some help. A few weeks ago there was an article that quoted a junior Republican Senator or Rep who felt that it was a waste of his valuable time to serve on a committee. I went down the google hole but couldn’t find. Does anyone have a link?

  30. Kingdaddy says:

    We were set to meet family and friends at a condo next week for several days of skiing, boardgaming, and socializing. We were on the cusp of calling it off before the governor ordered the closing of ski resorts here in Colorado. Both of us had travelled in the last two weeks, one of us getting home yesterday. Two of our guests were among the gaggle of Americans returning from Europe. (Don’t know yet how customs at the Denver airport compare to O’Hare.) A co-worker showed up sick to work last week because he is a complete idiot, apparently. We don’t want to be vectors, so we’re going to spend the time playing games, reading books, watching movies, playing with the pets, and organizing the house. Not a bad time, though I don’t know if I’ll be able to re-schedule the condo or get my money back. Still, first world problems.

    What’s really disturbing is feeling the uncertainty about what is or isn’t a reasonable risk. I want to support my local restaurants, but how? If it’s not feasible for my colleagues and I to completely telecommute, how much of a risk is it for a few of us to meet in person once per week? Do our recent risk factors — travel, sick colleague — mean we should consider more aggressively isolating ourselves? When is it OK to visit my grandchildren? We’re blessed with experts who can provide this kind of guidance, and the general advice, once you get past the noise, is helpful. But they can’t customize the advice to every circumstance.

    That’s why we need clear, simple, and firm guidelines. Millions of Americans can’t do this kind of risk analysis, and it’s not a function of education or intelligence. There’s just too much ambiguity and complexity. So, it’s OK that Governor Polis closed the ski resorts.

  31. Kit says:

    I just read the following in The New Yorker: What Would a Proper Coronavirus Stimulus Plan Look Like?

    “ What we are facing is a once-in-a-century public health challenge, and the response from our government absolutely has to reflect that,” Howard Forman, a professor of public health at Yale, who coördinated the working group’s effort, said in a statement.”

    Every time I’ve read similar words it has meant: get used to a lot more of this.

  32. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Cain:

    There is a God, and he is both merciful and generous!

  33. Mu Yixiao says:


    I want to support my local restaurants, but how?

    If your local restaurants offer it, get take-out. Pay with a card (no cross-handling of cash). It’s still cold enough out to wear light gloves (no skin-to-card-machine contact). Use a payment app if possible (no contact). The transaction takes a minute or less, and you don’t have to stand close to people (the card reader can be placed appropriately far from the hostess).

    Add on a tip and request that it go to one of the servers.

    If you’re friendly with your neighbors, do a group take-out. Have them pay you via app, require that they include a tip, tell the restaurant to split the tips between the servers, drop off the food at the neighbors’ doors and let them know it’s there.

    Hell… you can make a game of it. If you’ve got a group of neighbors willing to do “take out nights”, whomever does the order/pick-up gets to add one (cheap) food that randomly gets put in someone’s order. The “victim” must try it (excluding dietary restrictions) and have a photo/video of the tasting.

    When this is all over, you can get together at the restaurant and have a “buffet of victim orders”, and have a great time.

  34. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: sending mamaw to the ICU to own the libs.

  35. Teve says:


    “One pastor said half of his church is ready to lick the floor, to prove there’s no actual virus,” an Arkansas pastor told me. “In your more politically conservative regions, closing is not interpreted as caring for you. It’s interpreted as liberalism.”

    Oh yeah? I bet you won’t lick the floor. I dare you.

  36. Jax says:

    Both of the grocery stores in this county are out of eggs. Guess this is my time to shine, ain’t it! Better go have a pep talk with my chickens. 😉

  37. Kit says:


    One pastor said half of his church is ready to lick the floor, to prove there’s no actual virus

    As Michael said: Washing your hands is heresy.

  38. Moosebreath says:


    I don’t believe I have ever seen a more perfect example of Cleek’s Law.

  39. Mister Bluster says:

    Gov. Pritzker Announces Closure Of All Illinois Bars And Restaurants Effective Monday Due To Coronavirus Crisis
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced Sunday afternoon that all restaurants and bars in Illinois will be closed effective at the end of the business day on Monday, continuing through March 30, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    Pritzker said the state was looking at ways to keep restaurant kitchens open, and drive-through and curbside pickup service from restaurants will be allowed to continue.

  40. Kathy says:

    Gary Leff at View From the Wing makes a good case against bailing out the airlines.

    It’s obvious the airlines will get hurt financially, and some may even go bankrupt. But this downturn is going to affect everyone, not just airlines or even the travel industry. Let’s worry about everyone else first, then see if there’s anything left for the airlines.

  41. Liberal Capitalist says:

    A documented indictment of 3 months of inaction, misdirection and failure:

  42. Teve says:

    Conservative country girl at work today: “i was looking forward to 2020, but all it is, is the fires and the plague.”

  43. Gustopher says:

    A prologue to the new week.

    Thank God. After that last week, the new week just has to be better, right? I mean, can it possibly be worse?

    (Is it really tempting fate when you know it’s going to be worse?)