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. Scott says:

    It’s just the flu.

    White House Official Recovers From Severe Covid-19, Friend Says

    A White House official who fell ill with Covid-19 in September is recovering after three months in the hospital, though he lost his right foot and lower leg in his battle against the virus, according to a friend.

    Crede Bailey, the director of the White House security office, was the most severely ill among dozens of Covid-19 cases known to be connected to the White House. Bailey’s family has asked the White House not to publicize his condition, and President Donald Trump has never publicly acknowledged his illness.

    Bailey’s friends have raised more than $30,000 for his rehabilitation through a GoFundMe account. The White House declined to say whether Trump has contributed to the effort.

    “Crede beat COVID-19 but it came at a significant cost: his big toe on his left foot as well as his right foot and lower leg had to be amputated”

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Eric Topol

    In just 1 month, the number of hospitalized patients increased from 60,000 to over 110,000 for the first time today

    That is w/ much quicker turnaround than in the earlier surges and turning many patients away who would have been admitted.
    Past the break point.

    That graph… WASF.

  3. Scott says:

    51% of Americans are wrong.

    Die Hard is NOT a Christmas movie, say Americans

    While there are compelling arguments for both sides, a recent YouGov poll of 1,500 US adults finds that 44% say “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie, while just 34% believe that it is. If you exclude the 13% of Americans who have never seen the movie, the not-a-Christmas-movie lead increases to 51% vs 39%.

  4. sam says:

    GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer (ND), a top Trump ally, when asked by Hill pool if Biden is president-elect:

    Well, it seems to me that being elected by the Electoral College is a threshold where a title like that is probably most appropriate, and it’s, I suppose you can say official, if there is such a thing as official president-elect, or anything-else-elect. And there’s an inauguration that will swear somebody in, and that person will be the president of the United States, but whether you call it that or not, you know, there are legal challenges that are ongoing — not very many — probably not a remedy that would change the outcome but, so, I don’t — again, I don’t know how politician refers to another politician, but it does look to me like the big race is really between the inaugural committee and the Justice Department at this point, so we’ll see how the emails turn out.

    Prof. Irwin Corey reached out from the beyond to say he is filing suit against Sen. Cramer for copyright infringement.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Is too.

  6. CSK says:

    Putin has finally congratulated Biden on his win, saying he wishes Biden “every success.”

  7. Paine says:


    That’s their story and they are sticking to it: Someone will be inaugurated in January. Could be DJT; could be the other guy. It’s really a coin flip at this time so hard to say decisively.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: “Yippie Ki Yay, Motherfucker.” is the new “Ho ho ho.”

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paine: Heads, Biden wins. Tails, trump loses.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ann Reinking – RIP

    The Dancer of a Generation: A Celebration of 12 Killer Ann Reinking Videos.

    I’ve never been to the New York play scene, don’t follow it at all. But her? Her I know.

  11. Mu Yixiao says:


    I had to educate the high-school girl at the cash resister about this last night.

    She didn’t believe the 20-something manager. My calm voice and grey hair lent authority to my assurances that it is, in fact, a Christmas movie.

  12. CSK says:

    I am sad. She was an incredible talent.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Indeed.

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: Of course it’s a Christmas movie. It takes place at Christmas time, the setting is a Christmas party, and an estranged couple are reunited (give or take 😉 ). Lifetime should be showing it in the seasonal rotation and probably will be in a couple more years.

  15. Kathy says:

    I just got my first ever flu shot, right here at work.

    I thought the company had secured vaccines, but this wasn’t the case. Instead, personnel of the Social Security Institute, Mexico’s largest public healthcare system, bring and administer them.

    On other things, I thought it was Gremlins that was a Christmas movie.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Treasure hunter marks five years in jail for refusing to give up his gold

    A former deep-sea treasure hunter is about to mark his fifth year in jail for refusing to disclose the whereabouts of 500 missing coins made from gold found in a historic shipwreck.

    Tommy Thompson, a research scientist, isn’t incarcerated for breaking the law. Instead, he’s being held in contempt of court for an unusually long stretch – well past the normal maximum limit of an 18-month internment in cases of witnesses refusing to cooperate.

    But nothing is usual about Thompson’s case, which dates to his discovery of the SS Central America, known as the Ship of Gold, in 1988. The gold rush-era ship sank in a hurricane off South Carolina in 1857 with thousands of pounds of gold aboard, contributing to an economic panic.

    Despite an investors lawsuit and a federal court order, Thompson still won’t cooperate with authorities trying to find those coins, according to court records, federal prosecutors and the judge who found Thompson in contempt.
    Thompson’s legal troubles stem from the 161 investors who paid him $12.7m to find the ship, never saw any proceeds and finally sued.
    That April 2015 plea deal required Thompson to answer questions in closed-door sessions about the whereabouts of the coins, which the government says are worth $2m to $4m. Importantly, he must also “assist” interested parties in finding the coins under that deal.

    Thompson refused several times, and on 15 December 2015, Marbley found Thompson in contempt of court and ordered him to stay in jail – and pay a $1,000 daily fine – until he responds.
    The investors still looking for their money say Thompson has no one but himself to blame for his incarceration.

    “He would be out of prison by now if he had simply complied with his plea agreement and cooperated in locating missing assets when he was supposed to,” said the attorney Steven Tigges in a March court filing.

    His fines have also accumulated to the tune of $1.8 million.

  17. KM says:

    Heathens. Next they say Gremlins doesn’t count either!!

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It also has Xmas shootouts and Xmas explosions, just like Santa does.

    @Kathy: Gremlins is a Xmas movie.

  19. Kathy says:


    In Futurama, Robot Santa Claus has a really big arsenal at his death fortress on the North Pole of Neptune, and says things like “Your mistletoe is no match for my TOW missile!”

  20. MarkedMan says:

    This just brings joy to my heart. Trump sending out fund raising emails implying the money will go to the Georgia races and instead pocketing it himself.

  21. sam says:
  22. CSK says:

    Well, he needs the money to pay off that personally guaranteed $400+ million debt that comes due next year, doesn’t he? The bread has to come from somewhere, right?

  23. Kathy says:

    Speaking of vaccines, it looks like Moderna’s vaccine will get emergency use authorization soon.

    mRNA vaccines may revolutionize vaccine development. But let not the viral vector adenovirus vaccine be overshadowed, Both techniques yielded workable, safe, effective vaccines against a new pathogen in record time.

    Back in the 80s when the first real steps in genetic engineering were being taken, I didn’t imagine it would lead to quick vaccine development. I do recall much talk of using plasmids, genetic material shared naturally between bacteria, to base vaccines on. I wonder if anything came off that.

  24. Jen says:


    I do recall much talk of using plasmids, genetic material shared naturally between bacteria, to base vaccines on. I wonder if anything came off that.

    There was some discussion of this in a book I read not long ago, titled Biography of Resistance. My recollection of that was that it’s being studied now because it occurs naturally and allows antibiotic resistance to be conferred from one bacteria to another.

  25. Teve says:


    Trump retweets martial law supporter Lin Wood’s claim that Georgia’s governor and Secretary of State “will soon be going to jail.”

  26. Scott says:

    @Teve: For once I wish Trump’s projection would come true.

  27. Kathy says:


    I understand bacteria are rather promiscuous with their plasmids. So if a “good” bacterial colony in your gut gets resistance, they can pass it on to other species going through the digestive tract. And this doesn’t just happen in humans, but also in cattle, poultry, and other domesticates we feed antibiotics to.

  28. Teve says:

    I just saw someone say that they weren’t getting the Covid vaccine because they use Holistic Herbs. The thoughts I had immediately after reading that tell me I’m a bad person.

    (OK something just changed on the website and now my email doesn’t autofill at all. Ugh.)

  29. EddieInCA says:

    Things that will suddenly matter to the GOP come Jan. 21, 2021.

    The National Debt

  30. CSK says:

    A commenter at Lucianne.com is opining that Amy Coney Barrett is “a liberal commie tool.” How quickly they forget.

  31. Mikey says:

    Here’s an interesting piece, an interview with the author of A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear, the story of…well, just read it, it’s funny.

    How a New Hampshire libertarian utopia was foiled by bears

  32. Teve says:

    Autofill test

  33. Teve says:


    On Facebook, on a friend’s page, some idiot said that Biden should be removed from office because Hunter’s activities make him too susceptible to blackmail.

  34. Teve says:

    @Mikey: Ha! That was good.

  35. Just nutha says:

    @Kathy: it is.

  36. inhumans99 says:


    That Anne Reinking…yes, familiar with her work even if the name did not immediately click in my head. My sister used to put on the original VHS Annie film quite often when we were kids so I have seen her dance in Annie multiple times. She looked wonderful in that yellow dress during her Annie dance sequence. What a loss, she was such a beautiful and talented woman. RIP.

  37. DrDaveT says:


    GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer (ND), a top Trump ally, when asked by Hill pool if Biden is president-elect:

    At a certain point, the reaction to these statements — including by the press — needs to be laughter. Stop pretending that this crap can be taken seriously.

  38. Teve says:


    Fact: in 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.9 million and came within 77,744 votes of winning the presidency.

    In 2020, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 7.1 million and came within 65,009 votes of winning reelection.

  39. Jax says:

    @CSK: I’ve been wondering how long it took after the SC decision before they assigned her a security detail.

  40. DrDaveT says:


    Things that will suddenly matter to the GOP come Jan. 21, 2021.

    Standing up to Russia
    Free trade
    How many hours the President spends at the golf course / watching TV / asleep

  41. flat earth luddite says:
  42. flat earth luddite says:

    Curse these shaky hands and NO EDIT BUTTON. Arrgghhh!

  43. Kathy says:


    I’ve heard about this book these people might profit from reading. I forget the title, but it has some killer lines regarding motes and beams in eyes.

  44. Teve says:


    Can I just say how annoying it is to hear these GOP apostates say “both parties” have allowed extremists to take over their party?

    Uhm, the Democrats just elected Joe “Mr Middle of the Road” Biden. The Republicans ALL backed Donald “Freakshow” Trump.


  45. Jax says:

    Biden’s nominated Mayor Pete as Transportation Secretary.

    Good Lord, are we actually gonna get an Infrastructure Week?!

  46. Kylopod says:


    In 2020, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 7.1 million and came within 65,009 votes of winning reelection.

    I dealt with this the other day. Trump actually came within about 43,000 votes of winning a second term–but that’s a bit complicated because I was basing it on a scenario where he wins AZ, GA, and WI, which would bring the EC to a 269-269 tie, and then the GOP-controlled House delegations would almost certainly have handed Trump a second term. I’m not sure where the 65,000 figure above comes from, but I guess it’s based on looking which states would have given Trump an outright EC majority with the smallest total shift in raw number of votes.

  47. Teve says:

    @Jax: I would’ve made him US ambassador to the UN, but maybe transportation will be good too.

  48. gVOR08 says:


    Good Lord, are we actually gonna get an Infrastructure Week?!

    Hey, we had Infrastructure Week, lots of Infrastructure Weeks. Just no infrastructure.

  49. al Ameda says:


    Bailey’s friends have raised more than $30,000 for his rehabilitation through a GoFundMe account. The White House declined to say whether Trump has contributed to the effort.

    I suppose periodic, as-needed, GoFundMe accounts are cheaper than a Single Payer Health Insurance system for all Americans. I wonder if our European friends have considered changing their Single Payer systems to a series of GoFundMe initiatives?

    Seriously, I wish Mr. Bailey well.

    However, I have nothing but contempt for this Administration, for those in this Congress, for those who KNEW better, and who persistently and incessantly characterized this pandemic as a hoax.

  50. Mikey says:


    Hey, we had Infrastructure Week, lots of Infrastructure Weeks. Just no infrastructure.

    Much like the Republican health care plan. They were going to announce it in two weeks. What did we get? Another announcement. And another…and another…and…

  51. Teve says:


    Now Putin and McConnell have both acknowledged that Biden is the next president. Guess which one Trump won’t criticize for it?

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: The Mote in God’s Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, very good book SciFi, you’d enjoy it. 😉

  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Not to mention that our extremists are more middle of the road than GOP centrists.

  54. Kathy says:


    When I re-read it, before going on to the sequel (it had been a lengthy interval), I wondered why I couldn’t see the first time what the Moties were hiding.

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al Ameda: Seriously, I wish Mr. Bailey well.

    My well wishes for Mr Bailey were tempered by reading that he is a hard core trumpist. Mind you, I don’t wish him ill, he has already paid more than enough, but if he hasn’t learned by now, who am I to intervene?

  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Is the sequel any good?

  57. Kathy says:


    If you enjoy long, drawn out, very realistic descriptions of space maneuvers, it’s great.

    There’s an in-depth look at Moty societies in the asteroid belts. That was the best part for me.

  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Thanx, If the library has it then.

  59. CSK says:

    Trump’s latest Tweet (about seven hours ago) is that “Tremendous evidence [is] pouring in on (sic) voter fraud. There has never been anything like this in our Country!”

    I’d like to see some of this evidence.

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Well, he certainly won’t be able to earn $400 million before the end of next year, will he?

  61. Teve says:


    “Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn at no other.”

  62. DrDaveT says:


    Is the sequel any good?

    On the one hand, it brings back some favorite characters from a beloved novel.
    On the other hand, it’s not a very good story.
    On the gripping hand, it has crottled greep.

  63. Teve says:
  64. Teve says:


    Scoop: Hundreds of people skipped Mike Pompeo’s indoor holiday party today, in wake of health concerns, per two U.S. officials. 900+ invites went out, roughly 70 RSVP’d, fewer actually showed up, per sources.

  65. Teve says:


    Mayor of Dodge City, Kansas, announces her immediate resignation because of threats she has received after publicly supporting a mask mandate.

    GOP brown shirts.

  66. Teve says:


    In announcing he is now a Democrat, @SteveSchmidtSES says “at the end of the day, there’s now one pro-democracy political party in the United States of America and that’s the Democratic Party. … I’m a single issue voter. I believe in democracy.”

  67. Teve says:

    Brendan Karet

    Tucker Carlson: “If you’re wondering why so many people are being robbed, raped and killed in American cities right now, George Soros is part of the reason for that”