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. Michael Cain says:

    The Chinook blew through early this morning, raising the air temperature from the low 20s to the low 50s in less than an hour.

  2. CSK says:

    In an interview with Dan Abrams, Bill O’Reilly says that he had to “console” Trump after Trump was booed yesterday for stating that he got the booster shot. I’m not sure how well Trump will like the notion that he had to be comforted by another man being made public.

    O’Reilly added that he’s sure Trump will run again in 2024.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘They are fed up’: US labor on the march in 2021 after years of decline

    In 2021 workers appear to have had enough.

    Amid constant claims from some industries of labor shortages as the economy recovers from Covid-19 shutdowns, workers have been pushing employers and elected officials to raise wages, improve working conditions and benefits such as paid sick leave through walkouts, protests, rallies and strikes. The last few months of 2021 saw workers quit at record or near record rates, while an uptick of strikes occurred around the US in October and November 2021.
    Thousands of workers went on strike in 2021 at Frito-Lay, Nabisco, Kellogg’s, John Deere, Volvo, Frontier Communications, New York University, Columbia University, Harvard, carpenters in the Pacific north-west, hospitals, airports and at coalmines in Alabama, while workers at several fast-food and retail chains including McDonald’s, Walmart, Wendy’s, Burger King, Bojangles, Jack in the Box and Family Dollar, held walkouts or short-term strikes.

    Shuler believes that the hardships of the pandemic – when so much focus was put on the sacrifices of workers in often manual jobs that were deemed essential – has sparked a reawakening of labor politics in America, especially as some companies have tried to go back to business as usual.

    Shuler added: “When I was walking the line with those Nabisco workers, and Kellogg’s workers, I kept thinking about all of them in the plant, making Oreos and the Ritz crackers, while the rest of us were inside consuming those. Those are the folks that really made the sacrifices and the whole time, they were told that they were essential. Then they go to the bargaining table, and they’re basically disposable because the companies continued to profit through the pandemic and then say, ‘Thanks, but we’re not going to compensate you, we’re not going to protect you, we’re not going to value and reward you for making those sacrifices.’”

    I blame Lincoln.

  4. Kylopod says:


    O’Reilly added that he’s sure Trump will run again in 2024.

    On the other hand, Michael Cohen emphatically says Trump won’t run. Who to believe? Both men are proven liars, even though Cohen is more on our “side” at the moment. And actually, I think both men may be telling the truth as they see it when it comes to this question, and if they are, Cohen’s views carry a slight edge because he knows Trump better.

    Still, it’s anyone’s guess at this point.

  5. Jen says:

    The Bidens have welcomed an adorable new pup. Her name is Commander, and they’ll be getting a cat in January. Major, who never really adjusted to the pace and number of new faces at the White House, has been re-homed and is now living with friends of the Biden’s.

  6. CSK says:

    Yeah, I know. Both men are known fabulists. I’m pretty sure that whatever Trump decides, he’ll wait until the very last minute to announce it, especially if it’s “no.” A) That’s an excellent way to torment the other possible contenders, which he delights in doing, and B) he can keep raking in the donations unimpeded.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The National Weather Service’s (NWS) storm prediction center has described the multiple tornadoes and thunderstorms that struck the Great Plains and upper midwest last week as the result of a rare event called a derecho.

    A derecho, often described as an inland hurricane, is derived from the Spanish word “derechos”, which means to “direct” or “straight ahead” and was first used in 1888 by a chemist and professor of physical sciences.

    The storm system hit the north-central US on 15 December, separately from the record, killer tornadoes that devastated a swath of states but caused most damage in Kentucky on the night of 10 December. A derecho storm has no “eye” and its powerful winds cause damage in a relatively straight line.

    Derechos are relatively rare events, and in the US are more likely to occur in the area dubbed the Corn belt that ranges from Minnesota and Iowa south and eastward toward the Ohio Valley, according to the National Weather Service. The December derecho is the first on record, as they are more likely to occur from May through August, and particularly during periods of high heat.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A 58ft pedestrian bridge stolen from an Ohio city last month has been found and a man is facing charges, police said.

    Akron police said investigators acting on tips and other information on Friday afternoon found the missing span partially disassembled on property in Sharon Township in neighboring Medina county. A man has been arrested and charged with felony theft, police said.
    Now, a 63-year-old man has been charged with felony theft, according to Akron police and court records. Authorities allege he paid a trucking company for crane service and the firm picked up the bridge and took it to Medina county.

    Let me guess, the tips came from a trucking company and a crane operator.

    Not the brightest criminal I’ve ever read of. Of course, few of them are.

  9. Kathy says:


    An old man can’t stand to have a baby cry and carry on and he consoles him, and that’s news these days?

  10. Mikey says:


    Derechos are relatively rare events, and in the US are more likely to occur in the area dubbed the Corn belt that ranges from Minnesota and Iowa south and eastward toward the Ohio Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

    We had a derecho come from the Midwest all the way to the Washington DC metro area almost 10 years ago (the article is from 2020). It made a mess for sure, but nothing like what happened in the Great Plains last week.

  11. CSK says:

    I guess it is. O’Reilly claims the grief-stricken Trump called him seeking hugs and cuddles.

  12. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Cain:

    The Chinook blew through early this morning, raising the air temperature from the low 20s to the low 50s in less than an hour.

    Cue me spending 30 seconds trying to figure out how a helicopter flying past would raise the air temperature that much

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: When my wife and I finally decided to get married, we picked a date a month or so away (this was in ’06 I think), with a location out in the deep dark boonie woods where nobody lives, about 20 miles and several creek crossings from the nearest paved road, then announced it to everyone. A week later a derecho came thru and absolutely decimated those woods. I spent the better part of 2 weeks clearing a 20 mile long jenga blockade and wondering if I would make it.

    I did, but it was a close thing.

  14. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I thought it was a salmon.

  15. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I thought at first it was a bout a helicopter, too.

    On other things, I’m reading Skygods, a book about the fall of Pan Am. Thus far, like 1/3 in, it’s an anecdotal history of Pan Am, and in particular the people who ran it and worked there. I wonder how much of what the author attributes to Juan Trippe is either true or accurate.

    It’s not a panegyric, the author calls Trippe “the great dissembler” several times. But it’s very positive, even amid a rash of deadly accidents involving Pan Am’s 707 fleet.

  16. liberal capitalist says:


    If you are a weather buff, there is a great meteorologist on YouTube: Ryan Hall.


    He was discussing “tornado juice” before the 4 state tornadoes, and he mapped out the path of the derecho and the details that affect the strength of that storm line.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @liberal capitalist: Thanx, that looks interesting. I’m not exactly a weather buff, just a guy who spent his life working outdoors.

    Then again, maybe I am. The NWS is my first stop every morn, where I always look at the weather maps for the next 3 days at least and get my local forecast. During hurricane season the National Hurricane Center is my 2nd stop because I have a son in NOLA. I also follow the Climate Prediction Center and the Drought Monitor.

  18. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m hooking a weather camera up to my weather station, I’ll send you the link when it’s all set up! I should be able to rotate the camera with my phone to catch the sunrises and sunsets.

  19. CSK says:

    The Chinooks are a Native American tribe:


  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In other news:

    Fanone resigns from D.C. police force 11 months after battling rioters at Capitol (WaPo link)

    Michael Fanone, the D.C. police officer who was dragged into a mob and beaten during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and later publicly excoriated lawmakers and others who downplayed the attack, said he submitted his resignation from the force Monday.

    The 41-year-old officer will officially depart on Dec. 31, after using previously acquired leave. Fanone, whose frequent appearances on national television caused consternation among police commanders, said he will be an on-air contributor to CNN on law enforcement issues. A CNN spokeswoman confirmed his new role.

    Fanone, who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 but did not support his reelection bid, spent months after the Jan. 6 riot repeatedly warning about threats to democracy, often alongside CNN anchor Don Lemon.

    But his public appearances did not sit well with some fellow officers, who, according to Fanone, derided him in private Internet chat forums for police.

    “Clearly there are some members of our department who feel their oath is to Donald Trump and not to the Constitution,” Fanone said Monday. He said there are just two current D.C. police officers he still counts as friends. “I no longer felt like I could trust my fellow officers and decided it was time to make a change.”

    @Jax: Cool! Please do.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: And a warm winter wind on the prairies.

  22. CSK says:

    And a salmon and a helicopter.

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: The R Party and FOX spent decades pushing craziness on their followers and were then shocked to find themselves surrounded by crazy people. Maybe even Trump is reaching that point.

  24. Kylopod says:


    The R Party and FOX spent decades pushing craziness on their followers and were then shocked to find themselves surrounded by crazy people. Maybe even Trump is reaching that point.

    In this case, it doesn’t have to do with relative craziness. Trump has pushed general anti-vax views for years–he flirted with the Wakefield hypothesis in 2015. The only reason he’s backing the Covid vaccine now is because he wants credit for it. He made this very clear at the O’Reilly event. It’s why he’s changed his tune so dramatically on the reality of Covid; he’s no longer talking about how the disease affects virtually no one. He’s pushing a narrative that he’s the one who saved the country from the pandemic. To cast doubt on the vaccine would undermine that narrative, even though it runs counter to what many (perhaps most) of his supporters believe, creating an unusual divergence between him and them.

  25. CSK says:

    In the sense that Trump is waking up to the fact that his followers are deranged? I really don’t think that matters to him at all, as long as they remain fanatically loyal to him. It was their disapproval that upset him. He wants 100% unqualified adoration.

    His vision for the presidency was going to rallies and being worshiped by throngs of admirers.

  26. CSK says:

    Yep. Trump desperately wants to be known as The Man Who Saved Us All From Covid.

  27. Stormy Dragon says:


    The salmon and the helicopter both derive from the Native American tribe: the army names most of its helicopters after Native American tribes and the salmon are named after the river they spawn in, which in turn is named after the tribe whose ancestral lands it flows through.

  28. Kathy says:


    If it helps get people vaccinated, let him claim credit.

    We know he couldn’t spell mRNA if we gave him the m, R, and A.

  29. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Yes, I know. That’s why I mentioned the Chinook Nation, and posted a link to their website.

  30. Stormy Dragon says:

    The store I’ve been in recently that had the highest level of voluntary masking compliance was, oddly, Staples

  31. Kylopod says:


    If it helps get people vaccinated, let him claim credit.

    Agreed. I don’t think he’s pushing it as strongly as he could, but I do think it’s a good thing that he’s pushing it at all.

    The question is whether it will matter. I suspect it will get a few of his supporters on board. But I have my doubts it will sway the vast majority of his supposed cultists. They’ll probably view it in the same light as when he does his formulaic disavowals of white supremacists. They’ll say their anti-PC god is saying it because he thinks he’s supposed to.

    It raises questions about how much power he really does have over them. Let’s be clear: I do think his constantly feeding them Covid-denialist crap in 2020 led them to this point. The problem is that the arrow can only point in one direction, and when they’ve been trained to reject the mainstream science for so long, pushing hydroxy and laughing at mask-wearing and questioning the official numbers, they’re a lot less likely to carve out an exception just because he wants them to.

  32. Just Another Ex-Republican says:


    It raises questions about how much power he really does have over them.

    Demagogues always eventually lose control over the mob they create.

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @Kathy: A few days ago I mentioned to Kathy she might like a book, The Dawn of Everything. The authors talk a lot about the Pacific NW tribes. Apparently some kept slaves captured from adjacent tribes and some did not. They attribute some of this to “schismogenesis”, the creation of differences to distinguish one’s tribe from others. Something we see FOX and GOPs doing every day.

  34. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Hmmm… nooo.

    I’m quite certain that the helicopter is named after the salmon, and the wind is named after the urine-cured acorns. The river, of course, is named after the glider airplane.

    The Native American tribe, as everyone knows, took their name from the Beanie Baby which, in turn, took it’s name from the Wisconsin collegiate-league summer baseball league which plays at Concordia college (which, obviously, takes its name from the grape).

  35. flat earth luddite says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Well, their corporate mandate to all employees calls for mandatory masking, at least in PNW. And in Oregon, we’ve got us a state mandate requiring it. So all the employees mask, and 95% of the customers. Between the 20+ workers, we’ve maybe had 2 colds/flu-like illnesses in the past 2 years. Well, 3 now, as I finally had a case of the sniffles. And I’m the immunocompromised one in the store. (happy grin emoji insert here)

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: It is standard practice to name all US military helicopters after Indians/tribes.

    eta: I’m trying to figure out where “Huey” fits into that.

    eta2: and stormy got there first.

  37. Mu Yixiao says:


    Its official name is “Iriquois”.

  38. CSK says:

    I know that. I was pointing out that all this nomenclature goes back to a Native American tribe.

  39. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mu Yixiao:..“Iriquois”.

    I think the proper spelling is Iroquois.
    I attended Iroquois School in Irondequoit, New York in the ’50s (K-1). It was also where my mom sent me by to walk by myself to get my first polio vaccine shot. (1954?) I would have been 6.
    The school was a short hike from Frontenac Heights where my parents bought their first house.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Thank you! Now that you mention it, I recall having read that somewhere.

  41. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I think the proper spelling is Iroquois.

    Yes it is. That’s me just fat-fingering.

    Ironically, I got the edit button and was able to fix the “it’s”, but completely missed that one.

  42. Stormy Dragon says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    I meant all the customers. Around here there’s no mask mandate, so some places almost none of the customers are wearing them, and some places bigger percentages are. At Staples, for some reason EVERYONE was masked even though it was only “recommended”, which surprised me, because I wouldn’t have guessed that chain’s customer base would be particularly mask compliant.

  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I needed to run a quick errand this afternoon and noticed that there were far more people wearing masks today than last week. Omicron’s transmissiblity has people spooked.

  44. dazedandconfused says:

    Combination of Colorado’s mandatory sentencing laws and over-charging to land a plea deal failure results in 110 year sentence for truck driver.

    Logging truck burned out his brakes coming down a mountain, winds up killing 4 and injuring dozens. The DA ladled a whopping 27 counts on him but failed to land a plea deal. Including a lot of 1st degree assault charges, which are rather novel for a traffic accident. I’m sure the DA could’ve gotten littering, had they gone for that too.

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Mentioning Bill O’Reilly reminded me of something I forgot to comment on yesterday. The last article on Cavuto’s show on Faux News yesterday was headlined “Low tax states struggle to lure new residents.” I was shocked 😐 ! Here all this time we’ve been told that high tax socialist hell holes have been absolutely hemorrhaging residents fleeing to low tax states. I didn’t get to hear the report (the TV didn’t have the volume up high enough and there were no captions), so I don’t know what the problem could be, but I assume that it’s that people also don’t want to live in places with crummy schools, crummy roads, crummy sanitation systems and other disadvantages that come from governments committed to buying nothing other than statues of Confederate “heroes.”

  46. flat earth luddite says:

    Of course the DA went after the poor truck driver, as opposed to the owner of the rig, who has a long history of equipment violations. Personally, I’m kind of looking forward to the campaign of independent truckers regarding avoiding Colorado. I know the trains are still running, but any major disruption by truckers is gonna be painful at a retail (and ultimately) consumer level.

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Cool. While I’m annoyed at the entirety of kabuki theater going on with masks, as a wage slave, I appreciate customers trying to be less a-holey. As do all of us behind the cash register/menu board, etc., etc., I imagine.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think there’s some blame for the Progressives, too. All that malarky about living wages, decent housing, and safe places for their kids has to share some of the blame. If running around loose on unpaved streets with open sewers was good enough 3 or 4 hundred years ago, why all the fuss now? F’n snowflakes!

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I don’t think that’s any worse than my wondering why they’re called “Chinooks” that far inland and south of the PNW.

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And in the Pacific Northwest, any coastal west to east winds, but usually during clear weather conditions. Sometimes they’ve been called “onshore flow” conditions because the airstream moves from the water onto the beach.

  50. Gustopher says:


    The Bidens have welcomed an adorable new pup. Her name is Commander, and they’ll be getting a cat in January. Major, who never really adjusted to the pace and number of new faces at the White House, has been re-homed and is now living with friends of the Biden’s.

    I will believe in the cat when it is real.

    Poor Major. I know the Bidens are doing the best they can for the good (bitey) boy, but poor Major.

    I kind of hope the “friends of the Bidens” are the Obamas, but I think there’s an allergy issue. Still, having dog-sitter become the role of former Presidents would be lovely.

    A while back, someone posted that Biden had a minor Major problem, but that Gaetz had a major minor problem. Alas, which one has been forced out?

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite: Whoa!!!! Two weeks off right at Christmas! Way to go zeeb! 😀 😀 😀

  52. Jax says:
  53. CSK says:

    That is interesting. And encouraging.

  54. Jax says:

    @CSK: The Q’s will NEVER take a vaccine developed by the Army. Shit, apparently they’re already drinking bleach from a communal bowl down in Dallas. 😛

    Survival of the fittest, indeed.

  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Yeah! I know! Why, when I was a youngster, I lived in a cardboard box! And was glad to have it!

  56. CSK says:

    And you walked ten miles a day to school barefoot during raging blizzards, right?

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Schools? If you’re old enough to walk in a raging blizzard barefoot, you’re old enough to work in the mines or choppin cotton.

  58. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Of course you are. Silly me.

  59. Kathy says:


    That is clever.

    And, no, the crazies won’t take the army’s vaccine (not Biden’s Army). See how they had trouble finding people who were unvaccinated or who hadn’t been infected. You’d think among a pool of many millions of unvaccinated, um, citizens (yeah, that’s the ticket!), they’d find a few thousand volunteers.

    Pending safety and efficacy numbers, I’d take it.

  60. Jax says:

    @Kathy: If they’d let me know they needed my arm for something better, I’d have volunteered. I mean, my Dad’s not dead yet, despite all the shit they poked in his arm to go to Vietnam.

  61. Jax says:

    Sometimes…ya just gotta jam out. Where’s de Stijl when I need him? 😛


  62. de stijl says:


    Sometimes a few days late, but always here.