Tuesday’s Forum

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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

Comments

  1. sam says:
  2. Teve says:

    @dustinkcouch

    doctor: i’m afraid i have some bad news

    me: better than having fox news 😉

    doctor: hahahaha 🙂

    me: i’ll be here all week haha 🙂

    doctor: haha give or take

    6
  3. Teve says:

    @sam: like the guy said, the fundamental thing to know about Trump is that he’s a moron.

    1
  4. Jen says:

    @sam: My god, the man is dumb. It’s like one of those skits on the Tonight Show or whatever where they pull people off the street and ask them to point out where the US is on a map, and the people can’t.

    2
  5. Scott says:

    Census Bureau will finish count earlier than expected, deliver data to Trump

    The Census Bureau said late on Monday that it would finish collecting data for the decennial count next month and work to deliver population tallies to President Donald Trump that meet his constitutionally questionable order to exclude undocumented immigrants for the purpose of congressional apportionment.

    The agency, which is part of the Commerce Department, had said this spring that it would require more time to complete its data collection because of the coronavirus pandemic. But amid a renewed push by Trump to remove those in the country without documentation from the count, Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham now says the data will be sent to the president by the end of the year — and not next spring, when Joe Biden could be in the Oval Office.

    Clearly, this census will be incredibly inaccurate whether by inadequate counting or blatant manipulation of the numbers.

    I have two questions to throw out there:

    1) Since a census is Constitutionally required, can a census be so botched as to be unconstitutional and, therefore, as a remedy be forced to be redone?

    2) While a census is every ten years as mandated by the Constitution, is there anything preventing a census be taken at other times and can that be used to apportion the Representatives?

    4
  6. CSK says:

    @sam:
    I can’t watch this. I suffer too badly from vicarious embarrassment.

    5
  7. CSK says:

    Trump on John Lewis:
    “I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches. And that’s his right. Again, nobody has done more for the Black Americans than I have. He should have come. I think he made a big mistake.”

    God help us.

    6
  8. Jen says:

    I’ve been wondering how the RNC was going to adjust the convention. The DNC has been planning and working on a virtual convention for months, while the Republicans had been (foolishly) clinging to the notion that theirs would be in-person. They now need to revamp the entire thing.

    I’ve done political event planning before, and to completely start from scratch on something this big, with only a few weeks to pull it off, is going to be a challenge to say the least.

    We now being offered the following:

    – A “nightly surprise.”
    – “Still under-wraps venues”
    – Tributes to “the forgotten men and women of America” and, wow,
    – “and attack cancel culture, “radical elements” of society and threats to public safety.”

    The “still under-wraps venues” means they are having trouble coordinating and nailing down details. It’s not some clever surprise, it’s bad planning.

    Via Axios.

    2
  9. KM says:

    @Scott:
    Unsure about (1) but (2) happens a lot. There’s a technically Census every year – it’s just not the big national one. People get randomly selected to answer questions so that they can keep up the sampling data.

    There’s nothing prohibiting a yearly Census other then costs and politics. It’s a basic requirement, not a ceiling of action. Remember, the Census was envisioned during a time when you *needed* years between to be able to count everyone in a growing, pre-industrial Age. There’s no reason we couldn’t redo a botched Census since it’s just mandated we do one – not that we use that data in a timely fashion like a few months or so. Also, we probably *do* have all the proper data but it’s not be analyzed correctly. Census data is kept private for 75 year so they’re hoping nobody’s going to go digging…. problem is that can be rectified by Congress in a one-time pass. Reported results can theoretically legally be modified as long as the base data that was collected during the Census is present since the false data would be lying to Congress. IANAL, just someone who did the Census last time around……

    2
  10. Kathy says:

    I read this really funny joke about trickle-down economics. I’d tell it, but 99% of you won’t get it.

    12
  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Ouch.

    2
  12. Kylopod says:

    @Jen:

    It’s like one of those skits on the Tonight Show or whatever where they pull people off the street and ask them to point out where the US is on a map, and the people can’t.

    Many years ago I saw a game show where one of the contestants was asked which continent Morocco is on. The contestant answered, “India.”

  13. Mister Bluster says:
  14. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: Oh, no…that is cringe-inducing.

    I get that mine was not a “normal” upbringing. Living all over the place makes one keenly aware of geography. But still, the poor grasp some have on it stuns me.

    1
  15. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: my favorite if I remember correctly it was Jay Leno and crew waited outside the movie exits for Saving Private Ryan, and asked the viewers what war the movie was about.

    “The Civil War?”

    It reminded me of the time I was in a movie theater in Florida watching a Bond movie, and they very obviously are in Germany in the movie, and people are speaking German, and the lady behind me whispered loudly to her friend, “THEY’RE IN RUSSIA”.

  16. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Scott: I think a close review of “census” data from 2020 would be a high order for a Biden administration. If found to be inadequate, the whole exercise should be redone and no state should be allowed to use the inadequate data for redistricting.

    1
  17. Teve says:

    JFC Trump was just at some event and he pronounced Yosemite “Yo-Semite…Yo-simnite”.

    https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/1290664848620236800?s=21

  18. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Oh. My. God. I guess whoever wrote the speech for him didn’t realize he’d need a pronunciation guide for…Yosemite.

    And we’re supposed to believe he was a top student at Wharton.

  19. Kylopod says:
  20. EddieInCA says:

    You can’t make this stuff up…

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/08/watch-trump-supporter-boasts-of-barely-ever-wearing-condoms-and-says-thats-why-hell-never-wear-a-mask/

    A supporter of President Donald Trump this week boasted that he “barely” ever wears condoms — and he linked this to his defiance over wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic.

    As recorded by Right Wing Watch, Trump super fan Brenden Dilley, who is described as a “MAGA life coach,” said during a podcast this week that nothing will convince him to wear a face mask.

  21. CSK says:

    @EddieInCA:
    And what, pray, is “a MAGA life coach”?

  22. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    A KKK recruiter?

    5
  23. Teve says:

    Brenden Dilley is the guy who said two months ago that if Trump gave them the go-ahead that he and other right wingers would shoot protesters. He said last summer that he didn’t give a shit if something he said about the Democrats was true or not as long as it hurts them.

    Great guy.

  24. Gustopher says:

    @EddieInCA: “Barely ever wears condoms”?

    Is it because they keep falling off his tiny manhood, or because no woman will let him near?

    1
  25. Gustopher says:

    I kind of wish the Biden campaign would start distributing blue MAGA hats and appropriate the slogan, just to point out how much greater American was four years ago. Add an Eagle in a circle patterned after the Obama O with the flag…

    And trigger the Repubs.

    1
  26. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Yo, Semite Sam was one of my favorite WB cartoon characters, and I was pleased to see a strong portrayal of a Jewish man as a gunslinger.

    The big nose is unfortunate, but, we can’t really judge them by today’s standards — it was very progressive for it’s time.

    9
  27. Teve says:

    Lol. Jonathan swan: “There’s some very committed leakers in this White House. Very committed to their craft.

  28. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Gustopher:

    and resurrect the Are you better off today, than you were four years ago? line.

  29. Monala says:

    @Gustopher: Apparently Yosemite Sam was meant to be Jewish.

    Link

  30. Teve says:

    Looking at the data, over the last five weeks, the COVID deaths every week have been higher than the previous week.

  31. Kathy says:

    WTF just happened in Beirut?

    I know little about explosives, but the video at the top shows a massive blast.

  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Early reports indicate that it may have been an accident and the result of stupidity (storing explosives in an urban area) rather than a terrorist incident. But this is Lebanon, who know.

  33. DrDaveT says:

    @KM:

    There’s a technically Census every year – it’s just not the big national one. People get randomly selected to answer questions so that they can keep up the sampling data.

    Hypertechnically, what happens every year is the American Community Survey (ACS), and it is not a census. A census is (by current definition) a head count — an enumeration of all people living in an area. Sampling is not permitted as an alternative to attempting to count everyone.

    The ACS replaces the “long form” census, which used to be done at the same time as the decennial census for a random subset of census households. The ACS is less detailed, but it has the advantages of a higher response rate and being done every year, so that timely data are available on a variety of questions.

    Republicans have persistently resisted attempts to change the law (or amend the Constitution?) to permit statistical sampling to inform the census. They know that the census is most likely to completely miss people in districts that tend to vote Democratic, and so the inaccuracies of the census are biased in favor of the GOP.

    2
  34. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..Early reports indicate that it may have been an accident and the result of stupidity (storing explosives in an urban area) rather than a terrorist incident. But this is Lebanon, who know.

    Major General Abbas Ibrahim, of Lebanon’s General Security Directorate, said the massive blast that shook Beirut’s port area on Tuesday was caused by confiscated “high explosive materials.”
    CNN

  35. Monala says:

    Today in amusing Twitter threads:

    A man was on the beach and found what looked like a rock with teeth. He posted a photo on Twitter with the question: “Anyone know what this is, or should I just chalk it up to the fact that it’s 2020, so of course rocks have developed teeth?”

    Several people responded that it is in fact a natural phenomenon; rocks sometimes develop fissures, and calcium and other minerals sometimes fill in those fissures, forming what looks like teeth.

    2
  36. inhumans99 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Ouch indeed…but still worth an upvote, lol.

    1
  37. Monala says:

    @Monala: found an image: Link

    1
  38. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    Well, it’s an interesting objet to put on your coffee table, I suppose.

  39. Mister Bluster says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:..Other items of interest regarding your absentee or VBM ballot:
    Just saw your reply to my comment on Monday’s Hoisted on his own anti-VBM Petard thread. Thanks for the update.

  40. Kathy says:

    If Trump the Dullard is convinced COVID-19 cases are a result of testing, then why hasn’t he simply ordered testing stopped? Wouldn’t that save like, perhaps, 150,000 people, and keep hundreds of thousands more out of the hospital?

    1
  41. Teve says:

    @Monala: Langoliers!

  42. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    If Trump the Dullard is convinced COVID-19 cases are a result of testing, then why hasn’t he simply ordered testing stopped? Wouldn’t that save like, perhaps, 150,000 people, and keep hundreds of thousands more out of the hospital?

    Sometimes Trump’s statements that the high number of Covid-19 cases are the result of greater testing sound like an object-permanence fallacy, but he’s also said it makes the country “look bad,” which I think is the core of what bothers him. In other words, he’s saying it doesn’t matter how many people are actually sick as long as they’re not labeled as having Covid-19. He’s perfectly fine sweeping the problem under the rug as he claims all those other countries are doing. All that matters to him is keeping the statistics down, not keeping the actual cases down.

    It isn’t hard to enter the head of a man who cheats at golf.

  43. Michael Reynolds says:

    Just a random whine: I’m making changes to a script in order to make it more marketable today, shoehorning a ‘theme’ into something designed to be just scary fun, despite knowing it’s the wrong choice for a year from now, let alone two or three years from now. It’s infuriating. People a couple years from now will be sick to death of good-for-you themes. They’ll be sick of politics, sick of being sick, sick of being lectured and hectored.

    1
  44. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    I still don’t get it.

    Then he’d have over one thousand deaths per day of some mystery disease, which is also overwhelming hospitals, and there’d have to be research to determine what it is, and how to treat it, and more research for a vaccine, and it will turn out to be COVID-19 all along.

    There are two ways I can make it make sense: 1) trump the Moron cannot think past the next step (which would explain a lot); 2) Trump is, in technical terms, nuttier than a fruitcake.

  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    1) trump the Moron cannot think past the next step (which would explain a lot); 2) Trump is, in technical terms, nuttier than a fruitcake.

    It’s not one or the other.

    1
  46. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Why can’t 1 and 2 be true simultaneously?

    1
  47. sam says:

    This is just sad.

    Daniel Weissbein @DanielWeissbein

    I look forward to his 10 min explanation next event. “It’s a tricky word. Slippery like an ice rink. Possibly foreign. And it starts with a Y, which is sometimes a vowel. Did you know that? Not many people knew that. So, I’m trying to read this word with leather shoes on…”

    3
  48. CSK says:

    Good joke on Twitter:
    “If Trump ignored Covid-19 any more, we’d have to change its name to Tiffany.”

    4
  49. CSK says:

    @sam:
    If Trump were less than 100% loathsome, yes, I’d think it was sad, and I’d feel bad for him. But…

  50. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Then he’d have over one thousand deaths per day of some mystery disease

    Not some mystery disease. According to Trump, it’s just old people with preexisting health problems who are dying from the virus, and their deaths can therefore be blamed on those other problems instead of Covid-19. Some of what Trump says about this is gaslighting, but I think he truly believes this particular claim. It’s what a lot of people in his echo chamber are saying, and it fits his simplistic way of looking at the world and poor understanding of any remotely nuanced scientific explanation.

    I wasn’t being flippant with the golf analogy. I do think he looks at it as a game of staying under par.

    2
  51. Teve says:

    The Republican Party Is Racist and Soulless. Just Ask This Veteran GOP Strategist.

    Stuart Stevens says he now realizes the hatred and bigotry of Trumpism were always at the heart of the GOP.

  52. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    @CSK:

    Yeah, I kind of realized that after I hit “post.”

    @Kylopod:

    But that works, even with his devoted cult base, as long as you don’t know any young(er) people dying of it.

  53. Jax says:

    @Kathy: And there’s the rub….school’s have been closed this entire time, so they “think” kids don’t die from it, but we haven’t really tossed them into the germ pools at the schools themselves yet, so in about 4-6 weeks, we’ll have definitive “data” on that….and they’re probably gonna say that’s fake news, too, all these suddenly dead kids OBVIOUSLY had un-diagnosed pre-existing conditions. (eyeroll)

    2
  54. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Do you get to pick the theme, or was one assigned to you?

    You cannot go wrong with man’s dehumanization of the other. Always popular, topical and relevant. Or the power of friendship. Either.

    Or both.

    The power of friendship can overcome man’s dehumanization of the other, which is why so-and-so is one of the good whatevers.

    The cartoon Animaniacs often ended with a moral, which was selected by spinning a wheel, and then read off in monotone by Wacko. His sister Dot would always complain that the theme made no sense and had nothing to do with anything.

    1
  55. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: They were so young that no one had time to diagnose all their pre-existing conditions.

    (We are so fucked… At least not all states are opening schools at the same time? We will hopefully only kill half as many children, parents and teachers…)

    1
  56. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Some children may have preexisting conditions, like asthma, that may complicate things. All the more reason to keep schools closed.

    That aside, it boggles the mind they are willing to risk the lives of children to carry out a delusion.

    1
  57. Monala says:

    @Kylopod: When Nick Cordero, a 41-year-old Broadway actor and dancer, died, several Trumpers claimed it was because of all his “pre-existing conditions” – such as lung infections, pacemaker for his heart, amputated leg – even though he had none of these things before Covid, and all of them because of Covid.

    2
  58. Monala says:

    @Jax: I wonder if there will be any reports of the outcomes of the hundreds of kids sickened with Covid at a Christian camp in Missouri and a YMCA camp in Georgia. How many kids were asymptomatic, and how many developed symptoms? Of the latter, how many became very sick? How many recovered, and of those recovered, are there any lasting symptoms or conditions? Did any of them spread the disease to other family members?

    1
  59. Teve says:

    @Kathy:

    That aside, it boggles the mind they are willing to risk the lives of children to carry out a delusion.

    The kids have to go to school so the parents can go back to work so the billionaires can get Even Moar Money. If Little Johnny infects Papaw or Abuelita, them’s the breaks.

    1
  60. Jax says:

    @Monala: There IS data, I just saw it the other day on the one in Georgia! I will look for it. Basic memory says it turned into a “super-spreader” event, and they were still tracking the outcomes….I want to say some 260 ended up infected at the time of the writing?

  61. Jen says:

    @Monala: The pre-existing conditions thing is something they are telling themselves to distance themselves from potential illness.

    The problem with that is, even being overweight is a pre-existing condition with this disease.

    It’s also bullsh!t to use that as an excuse. Cancer survivors. High blood pressure too–which many Americans don’t even realize they have. A 9 year old kid who had received an organ donation died from covid.

    Screw all of these people who write off human beings with a “well, he/she had a pre-existing condition.”

    2
  62. Jax says:

    @Jen: Fer real. If we’re at the point where we’re deciding who’s getting kicked off the island (planet earth), let’s start with them. Most of them are also the people who write off “the poor” and “the immigrants (whispering, because they can’t say that part out loud anymore) of color”.

    1
  63. Monala says:

    In a heartbreaking and infuriating case, Aurora, CO police detain a black family, cuffing their children (ages 6-17) and making them lay prone on the hot ground, based on looking for a stolen motorcycle with Montana plates. The Colorado family’s SUV had a similar plate number.

    The video, where the terrified children are crying, is very hard to watch. The police department has apologized.

    Stuff like this makes me support defunding and abolishing existing police departments, even if in calmer moments I don’t think that’s the best answer.

    Link

    4
  64. Jax says:

    @Monala: The video was absolutely horrifying, I cried. I am so fucking sorry that shit is this way. It’s not supposed to be this way.

  65. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    The Aorora, CO. police don’t know the difference between a motorcycle and an SUV?