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:

    Tristan Snell

    BREAKING – After threats that 10,000 NYPD officers could quit the force over the NYC vaccine mandate, the actual number going on unpaid leave today was 34.

    Much ado about nothing.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Child labor laws in some states may be weakened as US industries look to hire teens

    US employers are recruiting teenaged workers to solve their difficulties in hiring and retaining workers, and some Republicans and industry groups are pushing for looser child labor laws to allow those industries to put teens to work for longer hours.

    Businesses around the United States that have advertised hiring 14- and 15-year-olds through the pandemic’s “labor shortage” include several restaurants in Pennsylvania, a Pumpkin Patch in Liberty, Missouri, a Burger King in Ohio, and a McDonald’s in Oregon. Employers such as Chipotle have expanded recruiting efforts this year to target younger workers.

    American capitalism in a nutshell: “Some people are no longer allowing us to exploit them. Let’s replace them with children. They never complain, and if they do we can spank them.”

  3. KM says:

    That’s because they really thought the city would fold to their temper tantrum. People like this are arrogant enough to demand the system change for them but rarely due they have the guts to risk it all and lose. All those sweet benefits and the power trip that comes from wearing a badge? Naw, they’ll fold like an umbrella 99.9% of the time.

    We should have done this from the start. We spent so long trying to coddle and prod, gently nudge and persuade that we forget….. we’re a capitalist country and money our one true faith. The GOP fights them because ultimatums and mandates work.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: It’s a thrice told tale. Time and again we read about how masses of workers are threatening to quit their jobs if there is a covid vaccine mandate and time and again when given the choice of losing their homes or getting the vaccine, they get the vaccine.

    It’s a no brainer, a perfect illustration of how ideology succumbs to economic realities.

  5. KM says:

    Interesting family update – the family member that faked her way into a religious exemption? No longer has a job and is apparently *PISSED* about it. Don’t have all the details yet since its a touchy subject that’s getting a lot of nosy relatives’ heads ripped off but overheard gossip:
    – federal vax mandate is somehow involved. Interesting as it’s not a fed-related position to my knowledge
    – someone may have blown her in for her smug FB bragging about working the system
    – FL nursing license has been acquired. Moving?? She’s nowhere near FL so buzz is what’s going to happen to her townhouse (conveniently located right across from a ski resort!). Cousins eagerly interested in “house-sitting” over winter while she “makes up her mind”
    – nobody is supposed to bring up that she just lost a job that netted her 6 figures last year
    – she hasn’t been attending church with the religious relatives like told her work she was and they’re very pleased her “taking the Lord’s Name in vain” has been punished. Co-workers are in the congregation and would have noticed.

    In conclusion, religious exemptions aren’t the protection manipulative anti-vaxxers think they are. Karma, may her stiletto heels ever be sharpened for asskicking…..

  6. Jen says:


    Interesting as it’s not a fed-related position to my knowledge

    I’ve been surprised at how many federal contractor positions there are–I have a client that I would not have suspected would be impacted by this, but they have some connection through some affiliate organization so they have to comply. It really is an interesting/effective tool to deploy in this situation.

    I’m glad to hear this religious exemption nonsense isn’t being tolerated.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Almost a third of Republicans believe violence may be necessary to “save” the US, according to a new poll.

    Researchers at the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, found that 30% of Republicans agreed with the statement “Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country”.

    Among Americans who believe the 2020 election was “stolen” from Donald Trump, which it was not, 39% believe violence may be required.

    The troubling statistics show the post-election rancour that led to the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January is still very much in place.

    Republicans are most likely to believe “true American patriots may have to resort to violence”, PRRI found, with just 11% of Democrats and 17% of independents agreeing with the statement. Among all Americans, 18% agreed.

    PRRI said 2,508 adults, living in all 50 states, were interviewed for the survey between 16 and 29 September.

    If they are serious about saving the American republic, they’ll all commit suicide.

  8. CSK says:

    Monica Ann Bradford, 35, from Buda, Texas, was arrested Sunday night for pointing a loaded gun at a 7-year-old trick or treater walking past her house. She had been yelling at the kids going down the street.

  9. CSK says:

    And I’ll ask again: Who are they going to shoot? Their neighbors? Relatives who disagree with them politically?

  10. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They’re taking that position because they think they’ll be the ones dealing out the violence. If they get serious, they’re in for an ugly surprise.

  11. JohnMcC says:

    @CSK: My neighbor expects Black Lives Matter rioters to pour into the streets and lanes of our little working class subdivision here in St Pete any time now.

    And believe me, he’s prepared.

    I am not kidding.

  12. inhumans99 says:


    Agree with your post, but I also think that many members of the GOP/Southerners are employing rhetoric that is going to get folks around them to ask why they are not out killing liberals (like we all identify as a Liberal by pinning a big L to our shirt, but anyway) right now. If these folks keep saying they need to employ violence to “fix” this country then they better be ready for a fight, and soon.

    Otherwise, if they keep pining for violence but never act on it they will be the folks who cried wolf (I think that saying works to make my point).

    A good chunk of the South/GOP has let themselves be lulled into the belief that it will be a cakewalk to cow us Liberals into falling under their rule, and they belief this because a bunch of very rich pundits like Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, etc., have told them they have nothing to worry about because we (Libs, and folks sympathetic to Liberal causes) will fold like a cheap suit if they take up arms and march against Blue states.

    It is like folks in the South have just completely forgotten about this very bloody conflict called the Civil War, where a whole bunch of folks pushed back on the idea that Slavery should be the law of the land and were even willing to take up arms against other family members to push back on this notion. I do not know what to say to that, it is just amazing how easy it has been for a handful of rich folks to manipulate their passions.

    At least the survey show that 2/3rds of the GOP are not completely brain-dead, and 2/3rds is still a whole lot of folks so there is still some hope for this country yet.

  13. senyordave says:

    @inhumans99: At least the survey show that 2/3rds of the GOP are not completely brain-dead, and 2/3rds is still a whole lot of folks so there is still some hope for this country yet.
    It seems like a pretty low bar if you define not completely brain-dead as the group that is not yet willing to shoot their neighbors who disagree with them. But 90%+ of Republicans will gladly vote in 2024 for an incoherent, amoral racist pig as POTUS.

  14. CSK says:

    I know you’re not kidding. But I’m going to hope that your neighbor is just having robust fantasies about being a patriot, and it won’t go any farther than that.
    You’re absolutely right. They keep claiming they’re the ones with all the guns.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Me. They all hate me, especially me.

    @SC_Birdflyte: Yep, it never occurs to them that we just might shoot back.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @inhumans99: (like we all identify as a Liberal by pinning a big L to our shirt, but anyway)

    Not on my shirts, but my truck pretty clearly states how liberal I am. I’m a little surprised I don’t lose glass every other week. I’m very surprised that I haven’t lost any at all.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @KM: I think it’s more complicated than the 34 on unpaid leave. I couldn’t find anything about the police, but the firefighters are calling in sick to avoid getting put on unpaid leave.

    About 2,300 firefighters were out sick, up from what’s normally about 1,000 per day, in what Nigro said appeared to be a protest against the vaccine mandate. The fire department’s medical office normally sees about 200 people a day, Nigro said. The past week, it has been 700 a day, the majority unvaccinated.

    FWIW, I think getting rid of the most committed anti-vaxers in the police department has a big overlap with getting rid of the biggest problem officers, so if 3 or 4 thousand eventually quit then good riddance. Let them go to Florida.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Bradford was booked at the Hays County Jail on a $10,000 bond, and was released Monday. It’s unclear if she has a lawyer.

    Released. I guess some people never heard about an ounce of prevention.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Oh, it looks like the NYPD is letting them go through the religious exemptions scam:

    “I would remind people that’s 34 out of (a) roughly 35,000 workforce,” Shea said at a press conference with Mayor de Blasio. “That’s very fluid, that could go up as the day goes on, it could also go down as people get their vaccinations status.’

    As of Monday morning, 85% of the NYPD got the jab, Shea said.

    “With that remaining 15% it’s very important to remember that there is a process where people can request reasonable accommodations for religious or medical reasons,” he said. “And that’s the vast majority of that 15%.”

    As for cops quitting or retiring, sources said 58 officers with less than 20 years, but more than five on the job, vested their pensions and quit in October compared with 11 in October 2020. Another 105 officers resigned without vesting their pensions in October compared with 33 in October 2020.

    The NYPD saw very little change in the number of full retirements last month — 118 compared with 114 last year, sources said.

  20. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: ” Oh, it looks like the NYPD is letting them go through the religious exemptions scam”

    Not according to city officials. They can apply for a religious scam, but if they can’t prove they’re part of a religious order that has been traditionally opposed to all medicine, they’re on shaky ground. And then they’re going to have to prove they’ve been refusing Tylenol and all the other drugs that have the same relationship to aborted babies that the vaccines do. In other words, you’d better have been a real religious wacko for a lot of years and be able to prove it, or get the damn vaccine.

  21. Mister Bluster says:

    I know it’s early in the day but I have to wonder how many votes Princess Blanding of the Liberation Party will take away from Democrat Terry R. McAuliffe. Since she is endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America I will guess “not many”.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Make it a Christian town’: the ultra-conservative church on the rise in Idaho

    Christ Church has a stated goal to “make Moscow a Christian town” and public records, interviews, and open source materials online show how its leadership has extended its power and activities in the town.

    Church figures have browbeaten elected officials over Covid restrictions, built powerful institutions in parallel to secular government, harassed perceived opponents, and accumulated land and businesses in pursuit of a long-term goal of transforming America into a nation ruled according to its own, ultra-conservative moral precepts.
    While the church’s previous controversies have centered on its founder and pastor, Douglas Wilson, a new generation of male church leaders – including Wilson’s son – have found ways to expand the church’s reach in Moscow and beyond, even gaining footholds in mainstream popular culture in the broader US.

    The usual charismatic whack job, but…

    Christ Church was founded in Moscow in the 1990s, and experts who have studied the church estimate the size of the congregation and its offshoot churches at about 2,000, or 10% of the city’s total population.

    But they also say that the church is increasingly drawing people to the area who are attracted to the idea of northern Idaho as a conservative “redoubt” against American modernity, and by the church’s “reconstructionist” position, which holds that the world will need to be governed according to their interpretation of biblical morality before Christ returns to earth.

    Another Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord although apparently a whole lot more popular.

  23. CSK says:

    Did they give her back her gun? I wonder how many more she has at home.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The article does not say but I doubt they gave it back as it’s evidence. As to whether she has more at home, that was my first thought as well. Did the cops even search her home? My 2nd thought is that there is something wrong with this woman, mental health wise. A judge could order her to be examined, but she doesn’t even have a court date yet so that ain’t happening any time soon.

  25. KM says:

    Only so many paid sick days, even for the best union jobs out there. 60 days left in the calendar year and nobody gets that much sick leave. Only so many you can take in a year before administration actions kick in, especially all in a row with no officially declared illness.

    The mandate ain’t going away so burn through those days, boyos – when you actually get sick with COVID, you’re just SOL.

    Theoretically, they’re for the actual religious folks who’ve been living that life for ages so that makes total sense. It’s not intended as a bypass but a grant to someone like Christian Science or the like. The term used to be “religious objection” because the long-term faithful were objecting based on their religion’s tenets, not some rando that listens to Tucker Carlson or is using it as a political sidestep.

    The people whining about how it’s not fair or legal to test someone’s beliefs? TS – you made this a legal challenge when its never been before by allowing anyone to declare based on nothing but solely to not do something. The folks arguing you don’t need consistency or competence of belief to count? Ummm, no – if you cite “belief” for overriding justification you better be able to bring the receipts on it’s validity. It’s not an all-purpose magic spell, deniers. It’s an established legal principle that functions on rules and definitions so now you must define yourself to qualify….. and 99.9% of you *don’t*.

  26. CSK says:

    Yeah, I was joking when I asked about her getting back the gun. I too suspect she has mental health problems–big ones.

    I also wonder if this is the first time she’s done something like this. Not necessarily on Halloween, but has she at any time threatened the neighborhood kids? A mental health exam would seem in order.

  27. CSK says:

    Roger Stone is threatening to run for governor of Florida if Ron DeSantis doesn’t audit the 2020 election.

  28. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Uh-huh. My shotgun is at the ready.

  29. MarkedMan says:


    They can apply for a religious scam, but if they can’t prove they’re part of a religious order that has been traditionally opposed to all medicine, they’re on shaky ground.

    Oh, I agree. But I think it is essentially an organized delaying tactic. It will take weeks or months to plow through that many applications. If it is anything like the one we have here it takes hours to vet. Say 5k applications, with each one taking 2.5 hours. That’s better than 6 man-years worth of work. How many people working for the NYPD are qualified to vet them? And, judging from my universe of one employee who is about to get let go because of the mandate, there is a belief that at any moment the Supremes or some other Federal or State court will overturn the mandate.

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM: In the produce business years ago, because we bid on DOD commissary/military base provisioning contracts, we had to comply with a significant number of Federal policies even though we didn’t actually work for the government.

  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: “Who are they going to shoot? Their neighbors? Relatives who disagree with them politically?”

    Yes. Probably both. Calling it a Second Civil War is probably not far off base.

  32. flat earth luddite says:

    Well, as I’ve noted before, I love having people with their “Oregunian” stickers and black “Merikan” flags on their trucks, and who open carry in public… just means I know where to get a gun if I really need one.

    But then again, this is the reason society decided I really shouldn’t own firearms. 40+ years later, I have to agree it was a wise decision.

    Last time I was in Moscow was the mid-70’s, and it was wacky then. Sorry it’s gotten worse – it was a cute little town back then.

  33. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, at least there were geographic boundaries during the Civil War, but there isn’t any such thing as a completely red or a completely blue state today. And yes, I know there were southern sympathizers in the north during 1861-1865, and presumably anti-slavery people in the south.

    I hope this all just fizzles out like so many secessionist fantasies.

  34. steve says:

    ” (like we all identify as a Liberal by pinning a big L to our shirt, but anyway”

    When I get really angry an L appears on my forehead.

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    Economic Impact on the Texas Economy, 2019
    The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts estimates that a compilation of the populations directly affiliated with U.S. military installations within Texas contributed at least $123.6 billion to the Texas economy in 2019

    As a preemptive move the United States Government could close all the United States Military bases in The Lone Star Republic (not a democracy) and let the seccssionists survive on Confederate Money.

    The Confederate States dollar was first issued just before the outbreak of the American Civil War by the newly formed Confederacy. It was not backed by hard assets, but simply by a promise to pay the bearer after the war, on the prospect of Southern victory and independence. As the Civil War progressed and victory for the South seemed less and less likely, its value declined. After the Confederacy’s defeat, its money had no value, and both individuals and banks lost large sums.

  36. Mimai says:

    The PRRI poll covers quite the spectrum of issues. As such, there’s something for everyone. It’s easy to focus on the convenient results. Here are some that are less convenient:

    Of the self-identified Democrats:

    25% don’t think covid is a critical issue facing the country

    37% don’t think healthcare is a critical issue facing the country

    30% don’t think climate change is a critical issue facing the country

    41% don’t think racial inequality is a critical issue facing the country

    62% don’t think the appointment of SC Justices is a critical issue facing the country

    19% disagreed that Roe v. Wade was correct and should be upheld

    24% don’t think there should be a pathway for citizenship for current undocumented immigrants

    35% think the values of Islam are at odds with American values and ways of life

  37. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’m late to the game because a major backbone router (zayo.com) wouldn’t connect to this site all day from my work IP.


    American capitalism in a nutshell: “Some people are no longer allowing us to exploit them. Let’s replace them with children. They never complain, and if they do we can spank them.”

    A lot of “child labor” laws need to be revisited.

    I live in dairy-farm country. A 14-year-old on a farm gets up at 04:00 to go out and milk the cows. They milk again at 17:00. They drive a variety of tractors, “BobCats”, combines, and other heavy machinery. They climb into hay lofts and silos. They carry a buck knife (or at least a pocket knife), because you can’t do the work with out it.

    When that same kid gets a job at the grocery store or a restaurant, and they’re treated like they’re 6 years old.

    They’re not allowed to throw boxes into the “crusher”. We’re not talking about operating it, just “putting cardboard into a space”.

    They’re not allowed to use a ladder. The restaurant I used to work at as a kid got dinged multiple times because “children” used the first rung of a step ladder to replace a light bulb.

    They’re not allowed to “use a blade”. When I was working the dairy case at the grocery store, one of the kids asked if they could use a knife to cut the plastic off of the packages. I had to tell this farm-boy “That’s illegal (but if you’ve got a pocket knife, I won’t tell anyone”). He pulled out a 5″ folding blade and used it very responsibly. I had to tell him to put it away–because it was too conspicuous.

    Current Wisconsin law says that “kids” can’t work later than (I think) 21:00 on non-school nights. High school kids in June and July. Because 17 year-olds all need to be in bed by 10 pm, right?

    Wisconsin recently changed the rules regarding teens using knives at work. I fully support that. There’s no reason that a 16-year-old can’t be taught how to safely dice onions, slice you a half-pound of corned beef, or turn a pork loin into boneless chops.

    The notion of protecting “kids” from absolutely anything that could possibly harm them is not only futile*, it’s counter productive. German insurance companies want “more dangerous” playgrounds–because it will result in fewer kids being hurt.

    Treating teens like adults is not “exploiting” them.

    * From CDC records, in an average year:

    1) 2,500 people die from falling on a level, non-elevated surface.
    2) 2.500 people die from falling off of household furniture
    3) 50 people die from hot tap water

    How many kids were significantly injured from using ladder to replace a light bulb? How many were harmed from working until 22:00 on a Saturday in July?

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mimai: Maybe these types of statistics explain why Democrats (self-described and otherwise) struggle in the mid-term elections so frequently.

    On the other hand, if those issues aren’t particularly important, it may be worthwhile knowing what issues are important. Did the survey cited address that question?

  39. senyordave says:

    @Mu Yixiao: It would help to give some historical perspectives. I found a data source that has the rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, private industry, 1972–2018. In 1972 the rate per 100 workers was 10.9 per 100 full time equivalent workers. In 2018 the rate was 2.8. That’s almost a 75% decrease. The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 was a game changer for workplace safety. I suspect if you polled Americans a significant percentage would say that OSHA should be eliminated completely because common sense is all you need. Because that 75% decrease in workplace injuries would have occurred because that’s what happens with free markets and private enterprise. They always care about worker safety.

  40. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    German insurance companies want “more dangerous” playgrounds–because it will result in fewer kids being hurt

    Well, that’s not the worst idea the Germans have had in the last century.