Tuesday’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:

    Covid-19 Drug Research Is a Big Huge Mess

    The pandemic disease Covid-19 does much more to the human body than a typical respiratory virus. In addition to neurological problems ranging from a loss of sense of smell to outright seizures, surprising gastrointestinal symptoms and kidney damage, and a potentially fatal haywire immune response, the disease also messes with a person’s blood. The sickest people start forming clots, potentially leading to stroke, heart attack, lung damage … it’s a mess. Physicians started noticing all this early in the pandemic, of course. The question was—and remains—what to do about it all.

    “So, someone comes into the hospital and needs a blood-thinning medication to keep them from clotting,” says Linda Wang, a cardiologist who specializes in that problem—it’s called anticoagulation—at Duke Clinical Research Institute. But which patients would benefit the most? Which drug should they get? How much? When? Figuring out that kind of thing is the foundational behind-the-scenes work of medicine, where clinical trials of protocols and medications connect with on-the-ground clinical work. Except, when it came to anticoagulants and Covid-19, the research hasn’t happened yet. “Each hospital tried to develop their own protocol,” Wang says. “Could we have joined up hospital networks and developed a coordinated anticoagulant regimen? Or, if we can’t agree, develop two or three regimens and compare those?”

    Yes. Well, they could have. Researchers across multiple medical centers could have done just what Wang proposes here, recruited thousands of patient-volunteers and then randomly assigned them to get either a treatment or not (that’d be a control group), with neither scientists nor participants knowing who was getting what until they look at the final data. That’s called a double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial—an RCT. Not to be too blunt about it, but instead of dithering about the evidence, they could have just counted how many people recovered and how many people died. That’s using mortality as an endpoint, in the lingo of the field. And then they’d know what works. “But we didn’t do that. Instead, every hospital just launched its own variation on things. And at the end of the day, we couldn’t study this in a multi-center, large-scale fashion,” Wang says. “We couldn’t even agree on how to measure the outcome.”

    Things might get better; better studies of anticoagulants are in the works. But for now, eight months into a global pandemic, physicians and scientists still don’t know a hell of a lot about how to fight it. The story of anticoagulants is also the story of hydroxychloroquine, which took months to knock down as a preventative or a treatment, and convalescent plasma taken from the blood of recovered patients, which—while promising—has been the subject of a fragmented, delayed research effort. Doctors know that the steroid dexamethasone gets people out of the hospital quicker. They know that keeping really sick people on their fronts instead of their backs helps. They know that a couple other familiar antiviral drugs don’t work. And despite hundreds of millions of dollars in research money, tens of thousands of volunteer subjects, and the diligent spadework of thousands of researchers, that’s basically it. With a couple of important exceptions, we’re all still kind of clueless.

  2. Bill says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Far-UVC light safely kills airborne coronaviruses

    To continuously and safely disinfect occupied indoor areas, researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center have been investigating far-UVC light (222 nm wavelength). Far-UVC light cannot penetrate the tear layer of the eye or the outer dead-cell layer of skin so it cannot reach or damage living cells in the body.

    The researchers had previously shown that far-UVC light can safely kill airborne influenza viruses.

    The new paper extends their research to seasonal coronaviruses, which are structurally similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

    In the study, the researchers used a misting device to aerosolize two common coronaviruses. The aerosols containing coronavirus were then flowed through the air in front of a far-UVC lamp. After exposure to far-UVC light, the researchers tested to see how many of the viruses were still alive.

    The researchers found that more than 99.9% of the exposed virus had been killed by a very low exposure to far-UVC light.

    Based on their results, the researchers estimate that continuous exposure to far-UVC light at the current regulatory limit would kill 90% of airborne viruses in about 8 minutes, 95% in about 11 minutes, 99% in about 16 minutes, and 99.9% in about 25 minutes.

  4. Bill says:
  5. sam says:

    Washington Post headline: ‘You’re going to jail’: Body-cam video shows an 8-year-old Florida boy arrested at school

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: And here I thought trump would never agree with Angela Merkel on anything.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees, judge rules, in blow to gig economy

    A California judge has issued a preliminary injunction that would block Uber and Lyft from classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

    The move on Monday came in response to a May lawsuit filed by the state of California against the companies, which alleged they are misclassifying their drivers under the state’s new labor law.

    That law, known as AB5, took effect on 1 January. The strictest of its kind in the US, it makes it more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees who are entitled to minimum wage and benefits. The lack of workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits for drivers has become increasingly urgent during the coronavirus pandemic, as ridership plunges and workers struggle to protect themselves.
    Uber has made changes to its app in the months since AB5 went into effect, such as allowing drivers to set their own rates, in an effort to avoid the reach of the new law by demonstrating drivers operate as contractors. Uber, Lyft and DoorDash have spent more than $100m on a 2020 ballot measure that aims to undermine AB5.

    Those efforts were cited in the original complaint filed by the state against the companies, in which the state berated them for launching “an aggressive public relations campaign in the hopes of enshrining their ability to mistreat their workers” in the middle of “a once-in-a-century pandemic”.
    “When over 3 million Californians are without a job, our elected leaders should be focused on creating work, not trying to shut down an entire industry during an economic depression,” the greedy scum sucking Uber spokesman said in a comment dripping with condescension.

    OK OK, the Guardian article doesn’t actually say, “the greedy scum sucking Uber spokesman said in a comment dripping with condescension. Sue me.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ol’ Abe said, “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground.” and he was right about that. Unfortunately, desecrating is still within the grasp of some people.

  9. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Where can I read the “Democratic Manifesto” ?

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: You could buy it, for the one time only low low Amazon hardcover price of $855.58*. May I suggest instead your local library?

    * considering the paperback price is $26.95, that has got to be a typo.

    ETA: just now noticed the publishing date is 1-1-1942 so maybe that hardcover price isn’t a typo after all.

  11. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Aw, I was hoping to find the 2020 Biden version!

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: In that case, may I suggest the Republican National Committee website? I’m sure they have the latest version (updated daily).

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Benches cleared and even the stands emptied during Oakland’s 7-2 victory over the Astros on Sunday, tempers flaring at last between the AL West rivals months after Houston’s sign-stealing scandal was brought to light by Oakland pitcher Mike Fiers.

    The Athletics’ ninth straight win was far overshadowed by what erupted in the seventh inning at the Coliseum.

    Oakland’s Ramon Laureano got hit by a pitch – for the third time in the three-game series – this one by Humberto Castellanos with one out in the seventh. Laureano began exchanging words with animated Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron, then left first base, threw down his batting helmet and began sprinting toward him.
    Oakland batters were hit five times during the series, no Houston hitters were plunked.

    Geeez, I wonder why Astros pitchers are suddenly have such a hard time getting the ball over the plate?

  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    What Democrats Can Learn from the Republicans about Political Power

    It’s always nice when someone smarter than you comes along and cogently summarizes your own rants.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    Yesterday Fox News was a discussion topic, I saw this article today.

    Why Wikipedia Decided to Stop Calling Fox a ‘Reliable’ Source

    …a panel of Wikipedia administrators in July declared that Fox News would no longer be considered “generally reliable” in its reporting on politics and science, and in those areas “should be used with caution to verify contentious claims.”

  16. EddieInCA says:

    We are never going to get rid of Covid-19. Never.


    Idaho lawmakers are moving to strip the authority of public health districts to close schools in emergencies or require masks for safety reasons.

    The legislature’s Education Working Group voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal to take away power from “elitist” public health officials and allow school boards to make those health-related decisions, reported Boise State Public Radio.

    “We’re letting a few fearful people control the lives of those of us who are not fearful,” said Sen. Steven Thayn (R-Emmett).

  17. Monala says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: is this true worldwide, or only in the US? What’s the research about treatment protocols in other countries?

  18. Monala says:

    @Sleeping Dog: excellent article! What would it take for Democrats to heed its advice?

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    What would it take for Democrats to heed its advice?

    Reeducation camps?

    Jerry Taylor isn’t the first to make this analysis and Dem leaning pundits and party elite haven’t listened for years. Bill Clinton got and managed to be in office 8 years, despite his personal foibles. Whatever Bill accomplished wasn’t enough and he betrayed the people, the left cried. Obama received similar treatment, but has been spared because his successor is so awful.

  20. Mister Bluster says:

    So Putin says Russia has a TrumpVirus vaccine.
    Trump said he believed Putin when Putin said Russia did not interfere in the 2016 President USA election.
    Is anybody going to ask Trump if the President USA believes Putin about the vaccine.

  21. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, maybe they should let him speak at Gettysburg, on one condition: the podium must be set up on the starting point for Pickett’s Charge. That didn’t end well either.

  22. Monala says:

    History, civil rights and the original cancel culture

    All over the South – whether on military bases or in public squares – we have seen battles over the Confederacy and memorials to Confederates or post-Confederate White leaders. Those who oppose changing these memorials fear that history will become victim to an ever-consuming “cancel culture.”

    Yet, the truth is that the initial movement to build these memorials to the Confederacy and its supposed “lost cause” were the original cancel culture. Between the end of the Confederacy in 1865 and the Whites-only segregationist governments that arose in the 1880s, lay ten years of biracial, radical Southern state governments that so challenged ideas of White supremacy that both the white North and white South united in erasing them from history….

    Thus, men such as Alonzo Ransier, the first elected African-American Lt. governor of South Carolina, who led the effort to create public, universal education, died a forgotten street cleaner while Wade Hampton III and the racist Red Shirts, who led the violent overthrow of duly elected governments, have counties, schools, streets and monuments at the U.S. Capitol that bear their names. Even the Whites who allied with the ex-slaves had to be erased. Confederate General William Mahone, who allied with Blacks to run Virginia, and William Holden, the governor of North Carolina who used state troops against the Klan and was impeached for it, are not just forgotten but even vilified in our history books.

    History does not need to be replaced, but it certainly needs to be reimagined and better known. Therefore, we should replace these statues with political revolutionaries such as former slave and U.S. Rep. Robert Smalls (R-S.C.). We must honor the memories of the Farmers’ Alliances, the Populists and the Fusionists. We must tell their stories so that our young people realize that change is not only possible, but that it has been done.

    From The Hill, h/t Lawyers, Guns and Money.

  23. Jim Brown 32 says:


    If you happen to lurk today–I thought you’d be interested to know the Interferon Beta treatment you weighed in on previously is getting its chance to piss or get off the pot in combination with Remdesivir. Be interested to see how this one shakes out. I’ve always thought that most of the damage caused by Covid was done by the immune system and that the best treatment solution would probably turn out to be some sort of cocktail approach ala HIV– fingers crossed that this can be another arrow in the treatment quiver


  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    My wife is scheduled to be on Good Morning America this week. (Air date uncertain.) She’ll be on with Thea Sharrock, the director of The One And Only Ivan, and Angelina Jolie, the producer.

    On our last day as home and office cleaners we took Polaroids, me grinning like a loon as I emptied the used tampon bin, and Katherine bent over a toilet, brush in hand. I remember the two of us standing on the boardwalk in Ocean City with our minuscule pile of earthly belongings after Katherine informed our sexist employer that he would, “Talk to this woman, motherfucker.” I remember her in an unheated rental when we had to abandon all but a single freezing bedroom.

    Long, strange trip, as Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir used to sing.

  25. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    According to MSN, Alex Azar, representing the Trump administration, has expressed some skepticism about the Russian vaccine, noting that all vaccines should be subjected to safety and efficacy trials.

    This is not to say that Trump won’t decide to contradict Azar, as he is wont to do.

  26. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Years ago, GMA had one of the most ramshackle back stages I’d ever encountered. Lots of tripping hazards. The set wasn’t much, either, though I assure you it photographs better.

    Or…wait. Will they be interviewing Katherine remotely from where you guys live? If so, never mind.

  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    Yeah, it’ll be Zoom. For which, thank God, because a live appearance would have required wardrobe, hair, weight loss, etc…

  28. Gustopher says:

    Seattle police chief resigns.

    The reporting doesn’t seem to mention that she ordered the tear gassing of an entire neighborhood (really, people in their apartments were suffering because of this), and did not enforce requirements that police have badge numbers displayed. Or that her department gave up on that neighborhood and retreated from a precinct.

    The police riots in Seattle were terrible and she was terrible. She did nothing to de-escalate the situation.

  29. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds: There was an interview with Bryan Cranston on GMA this morning. He’s great and the movie looks incredible. We’ll definitely be watching it.

  30. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: TL/DR version: Liberals do not understand people unlike themselves and therefore–have not invested in the tools or tradecraft to persuade those people.

    I would also argue one point the author attempted to make–knowledge is indeed power. Influence flows from both knowledge of self and knowledge of the target audience. Other than that the sentiment of the essay is correct–including the fact that Liberals will no doubt learn the wrong lessons from “Conservative” tactics and simply try develop Liberal versions of them.

  31. Moosebreath says:

    The Democrats have announced their speakers for next week’s convention. Just about all of the names bandied about for VP have speaking slots, except Susan Rice. Very interesting.

  32. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    The GMA make-up and hair artists can do wonders in very little time. I hope those people get paid well, because they earn it.

    Even though it’s Zoom, Katherine will still want to fuss with hair, make-up, and wardrobe. Don’t kid yourself.

  33. Gustopher says:

    Self-proclaimed Va. KKK leader who drove car through Black Lives Matter protest found guilty of assault, property crimes but not hate crimes

    A Henrico General District Court judge on Monday found Rogers guilty of four misdemeanor assault charges and two additional property crimes in the incident at the protest outside Richmond in June. The judge sentenced Rogers to 12 months each on the six misdemeanor charges.

    Hate crimes were added to the charges after a lead investigator in the case said KKK paraphernalia, including a robe and a Klan bible, was found inside Rogers’s residence and in his car.

    Apparently, deliberately driving a car into a crowd is a collection of misdemeanors. And Klansmen targeting black folks is not a hate crime.

    We have a way to go in America. A long way to go.

  34. CSK says:

    She apparently unloaded all her Netflix stock options last week. That may be another factor.

  35. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Liberals do not understand people unlike themselves

    Amen. Libs often believe that if they explain, they will convince. What they don’t get is that the explanation they give comes with a values spin that they don’t recognize.

    I took his differentiation of knowledge v. influence = power as a rhetorical choice to force the reader to separate them. Too many will conflate knowledge and influence as one in the same, something that libs do all the time. You see that in the comments here at OTB. You are right, that you can’t continue to use power derived from influence if you lack the knowledge base to back it up. Trump is the perfect example of that, he derives power from influence but as he fails to deliver that influence has dried up.

  36. Monala says:

    @Moosebreath: Huge tent! Speakers from all wings of the Democratic party, along with John Kasich. I know we often live up to Will Rogers’ saying, “I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat. ” But still, at moments like these, I feel like the Balloon Juice tag, “Proud to be a Democrat.”

  37. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I agree with what the article is saying about the problem, but it’s more than a little light on the solution.

  38. Jen says:

    Fragile male egos, unite!

    Trump: Biden Is Insulting Men Everywhere by Picking Woman as Running Mate

    Asked by Travis who he would pick if he was in Biden’s position, the president replied: “I would be inclined to a different route to the way he’s done. First of all he roped himself into a, you know, certain group of people.” For those unable to crack the president’s mysterious code, Travis explained: “He said he had to pick a woman.”

    Trump replied: “He said that. Some people would say that men are insulted by that, and some people would say it’s fine. I don’t know.”

    After four years of this nitwit being on the national stage, I would have thought that I’d have become inured to this verbal tic of his to use “some people” as a stand-in for his own opinion, but I just cannot.

    This ridiculous man has to be defeated in November.

  39. Teve says:

    (CNN)In a pair of interviews on Tuesday, President Donald Trump railed against his competitor for being weak on China — but stopped short himself of condemning China’s repression of its Uyghur ethnic minority or its crackdown on political freedoms in Hong Kong.

    “China will own the United States if this election is lost by Donald Trump,” Trump, referring to himself in the third person, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “If I don’t win the election, China will own the United States. You’re going to have to learn to speak Chinese, you want to know the truth.”


    “Some people talk about a Yellow Peril, I don’t know that’s just what some people say.”

  40. Monala says:

    @Teve: Or the people who said all our women would be wearing burkas in a few years if we didn’t go to war in Iraq.

  41. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    True, but does anyone have a solution for pigheadedness and know it all attitude? Ideally the people he discusses, will look into their souls and make a change. But I doubt it. The left has embarked on same type DINO putsch that the right has done.

    And it’s not like the left isn’t capable of introspection, I’ll point out the Dem that the most infuriates the right AOC has realized that she’ll accomplish nothing if she allows herself to be marginalized in the squad and now picks her battles with her erstwhile allies

  42. CSK says:

    @Jen: @Teve:
    Dear God, he’s such an imbecile. Such an imbecile. Who the hell talks the way he does?

  43. sam says:
  44. Michael Reynolds says:


    Even though it’s Zoom, Katherine will still want to fuss with hair, make-up, and wardrobe. Don’t kid yourself.

    Oh, yes. Few women want to be in a split-screen with Angelina Jolie.

  45. Sleeping Dog says:
  46. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I don’t know. This particular dude sounds more to me like one of those self-righteous, condescending, humorless assholes who can be found anywhere on the political spectrum. Sort of a male Karen.

    Here’s the dead giveaway: Trump voters don’t live in bubbles the way this guy and his family do. Trump voters believe Coivd-19 is a scam to bring downs their fearless leader.

  47. Mister Bluster says:


    Yeah and she smiled and went back for another hit…just like you did with the vitamin T.

  48. mattbernius says:

    It’s official Biden announces Harris as his running mate.

  49. Monala says:

    @mattbernius: where’s EddieinLA? A few months ago Mike Reynolds said something like we all owe him drinks if it’s Harris, because Eddie has been predicting a Biden-Harris ticket from the beginning.

  50. Jen says:

    @mattbernius: You know what’s an indicator of a TRULY strong man?

    One who has picked as his running mate the woman who went after him in a debate. That’s the very definition of someone secure in his skin.

    Biden/Harris 2020

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Interesting link. Thanks! Still in all, the subtitle of the history of late 20th/early 21st Century America will probably be

    yes, we could have done that if only…

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: You might check https://www.questia.com/read/31174647/a-democratic-manifesto. But note that a google search using the title as the key term will link to about 10 or 15 different sets of material, so I don’t really know which one you want.

    ETA: The Google search DOES include a link dated 2020 FWIW.

  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Congrats to you and your beloved on arriving somewhere else.

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Interesting article and thesis. Overall, the theory is good and cogent and philosophically it’s very much on point. My own bias about it is that it is also too theoretical.

    I was just discussing a parallel phenomenon with an evangelical friend and I see the same difficulty in how we are taught our values within evangelical Christianity. We’ve focused on what we believe-as a cognitive phenomenon, what we know–as a body of orthodox or pietistic perceptions, what is true–as epistemologic. Where we miss the boat it that none of that effectively spells out the answer to the question “how shall we, then, live.” (What do we do? How do we get from theory to practice? As I’ve noted in the past, the whole “you are the only Jesus most people will ever meet” thing puts the religion at a disadvantage in the marketplace of ideas because we don’t know how to be Jesus at all, let alone skilled at it.)

    This article has the same issues IM [less than] HO, but YMMV.

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: Hopefully by now you gave up on hearing from me and read it yourself. If you didn’t…

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: The history of any period of time could be encapsulated by those words.

    Still, I understand why things are the way they are just now, considering the absolute lack of leadership from the top of the Fed govt.

  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Jeebus, Mary, and Joseph.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Congratulations to your wife and you on her latest success.

  58. sam says:

    Why These Twins Can Make Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ Trend 47 Years After Release

    I discovered these two boys yesterday quite by accident. They’re only two of a number of young, black under-40s who are discovering 70s music — and liking it. Here’s young woman hearing Elvin Bishop’s Fooled Around and Fell in Love for the first time. If you go to the links, there are a lot of links to other first-time reactions. All of them wonderful.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @sam: [And then puts the straw back in her mouth for another pull] which is how tastes are acquired.

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Wow! I haven’t had the issue that entry number two is having since I left the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches behind over 40 years ago. I had no idea that supposedly rational (I assume) liberal types had this sort of baggage to carry around. Sheets!

    I also don’t get number one’s problem unless he’s actually there to supervise every time his child puts something in his mouth (which might be the case, now that I think about it 🙁 ).

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Okay, that’s a good point. Maaaaaaybe were not reeeeeealy any stupider than the generations that preceded us. 😀

  62. sam says:

    On another channel, commenting on someone hearing The Righteous Brother’s You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling for the first time: “The moment when you realize your grandparents were cooler than you.”

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: As Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t exactly repeat itself but it often rhymes.”

  64. Jen says:

    @sam: Check out them listening to “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. Their faces are remarkably expressive which is 90% of the fun!

  65. MarkedMan says:

    @Monala: Anyone know a way to do a go fund me or similar to send him a nice bottle of something?

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: OK, F U sam, I fell down a Joe Cocker rabbit hole and now I’m jonesing for some Janis.


  67. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I’d contribute to that.

  68. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I can believe it, cause I know the type. Sometimes it is the men (who are the worse) other times the women. I pegged this guy as a Trump voter, but he could just as well been some obsessive lefty who is determined to control his kids life. The child is his jewel and nothing should discomfort him.

  69. flat earth luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: or as my grandmother used to say,

    Judas Iscariot on Roller Skates!

    Which may explain why I thought family gatherings were a full-contact sport. Without rules.