Tuesday’s Open Forum

Enjoy the chatter.

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. Kylopod says:

    Over the past several days I’ve mentioned an Ed Kilgore piece from last year in which he debunks several myths about the 1972 election, in particular the attempts to draw a parallel between it and 2020. Just a couple of days ago he wrote a new piece updating his thoughts, in which he once again debunks the Sanders/McGovern comparisons.

    Kilgore was a McGovern precinct chairman in 1972, but he’s no hardcore lefty: he was also a member of the DLC. He’s not saying any of this because he’s some shill for Bernie, he’s doing it simply to set the record straight.


  2. OzarkHillbilly says:


    A major effort to expand development of Canada’s oil sands has collapsed shortly before a deadline for government approval, undone by investor concerns over oil’s future and the political fault lines between economic and environmental priorities.

    Nine years in the planning, the project would have increased Canada’s oil production by roughly 5 percent. But it would have also slashed through 24,000 acres of boreal forest and released millions of tons of climate-warming carbon dioxide every year.

    Some Canadian oil executives had predicted that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet would approve the project by a regulatory deadline this week, though with burdensome conditions. But in a letter released Sunday night, the Vancouver-based developer, Teck Resources, declared that “there is no constructive path forward.”

    The unexpected withdrawal relieves Mr. Trudeau of a choice that was sure to anger environmentalists or energy interests, if not both.

    Conservatives were quick to blame Mr. Trudeau for the loss of a project that they said would have created thousands of jobs and given an economic lift to the western province of Alberta, the hub of Canada’s energy industry, which has suffered from low oil prices over the last five years. They suggested that the government felt pressure from weeks of protests by Indigenous groups opposing a natural gas pipeline, even though some Indigenous groups supported the Alberta project, known as the Frontier mine.

    “It is what happens when governments lack the courage to defend the interests of Canadians in the face of a militant minority,” Alberta’s premier, Jason Kenney, said in a statement.

    Ah yes, a “militant minority” bogeyman, because wanting a livable planet is just so selfish.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    NYT: Post-Brexit, Britain Is Going Its Own Way. That Way Looks Expensive.

    Inside a factory in Shrewsbury, a town famed for its medieval streets, SDE Technology operates towering presses that pound metal into desired shapes, deriving 70 percent of its revenue from making auto parts.

    As the company’s chief commercial officer, Christopher Greenough, walks the concrete floors of the plant, he stops at a crate full of curved pieces of stainless steel, part of a car exhaust pipe. The factory sells this product to a company in Germany that supplies BMW.

    That part alone generates annual revenue of about £500,000 (about $651,000), or 4 percent of SDE’s sales. “If there are tariffs, that would affect this product,” Mr. Greenough says.

    Still, he and the company’s chief executive officer, Richard Homden, echo the traditional justification for Brexit.

    “Going forward, we should have our own destiny,” Mr. Homden says. “We shouldn’t have to look to Europe to set the standards.”

    When pressed to provide an example of a European rule that impedes their business, both men come up empty.

    “I can’t think of any,” Mr. Greenough says.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    “Going forward, we should have our own destiny,” Mr. Homden says. “We shouldn’t have to look to Europe to set the standards.”

    When pressed to provide an example of a European rule that impedes their business, both men come up empty.

    “I can’t think of any,” Mr. Greenough says.

    Foolish, counterproductive “patriotism”…

  5. drj says:

    “Going forward, we should have our own destiny,” Mr. Homden says. “We shouldn’t have to look to Europe to set the standards.”

    Said the CEO of a company that makes money supplying its wares to BMW.

    How does that even work? The Europeans should ditch their standards in order to accomodate their UK-based suppliers?

  6. drj says:

    In related news:

    Andrew Neil tells @MakeUK_ manufacturing conference that 10 Downing Street is happy to see the end of complex, cross-border supply chains after Brexit.

    `Those days are coming to an end’, @afneil says

    Says govt. sees rise of 3D printing, more domestic sourcing as the future

    That’s REALLY going to help those BMW suppliers.

    Selling abroad is so 2016.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    Encouragingly, the article goes on to point out the collapse of project was due to the lack of interest in global financiers, who looked at the cost of the project, current and future demand, current and future supply and decided it wasn’t worth the risk. Added evidence that the moneyed interests are taking climate change into their calculations.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: That’s why I linked to it to begin with, but for some reason or other I always get stopped by the claims of victimhood from rich fucks who are not allowed to do WeTF they want by regular folks who refuse to take it up the ass again.

  9. Teve says:


    Ah yes, a “militant minority” bogeyman, because wanting a livable planet is just so selfish.

    There’s simply no “reasonable” plan which will fix climate change. It’s an extreme problem, and any plan big enough to have a chance of fixing it will be extremist and we’re not going to do it.

    Shit, there are willfully ignorant people in America who refuse to even admit the problem exists, even though it’s basic chemistry.

  10. Bill says:
  11. Teve says:

    Paul Krugman

    Here’s an example of the kind of thing that Sanders will have to confront, and the kinds of defenses people like me will have to offer: Sanders’s history of being relatively soft on the Venezuela regime 1/
    As it happens, I’ve been doing a lot of homework on Venezuela, for nonpolitical reasons: it’s replacing Zimbabwe as the motivating example of hyperinflation in the Krugman/Wells textbook 2/
    No question that Venezuela is currently a nightmare, and that Maduro is a thug. But the story behind the situation is more complicated than “socialism bad” 3/
    The background is that Venezuela has been a corrupt petrostate as far back as anyone can remember. Before Hugo Chavez came to power, however, the benefits of oil wealth flowed disproportionately to a wealthy elite 4/
    Chavez redirected some of the money to social programs, and for a number of years the poor and working class actually did see significant benefits. But a recurring problem of regimes following heterodox policies is not knowing when to stop 5/
    Chavez died in 2013, and Maduro, his successor, soon confronted a crisis, mainly due to plunging world oil prices. And we wasn’t willing or able to make hard choices. Instead, he tried to fill the budget gap by printing money 6/
    That’s the classic recipe for hyperinflation, and Maduro made it worse by trying to suppress inflation with price controls. Hence the economic and political disaster 7/
    Now, you can argue that this nightmare was always immanent in Chavismo, even during the good years, which may well be true. And it’s definitely true that no U.S. politician with national ambitions should ever make excuses for an authoritarian regime 8/
    But the real story is a lot more complicated than “Sanders wants America to have a socialist regime like Venezuela” No, he doesn’t. But he has laid himself wide open to that kind of smear 9/

  12. Kathy says:


    Not to mention an oligarchy like Russia’s is so much better.

    But no one is conditioned by cultural biases to push at oligarchy.

  13. CSK says:

    Rush Limbaugh has posited that the coronavirus is actually nothing more than the common cold, with a 98% survival rate, but the news about it is being weaponized to make Donald Trump look bad.

    I did not make that up. Limbaugh said it yesterday.

  14. KM says:


    “Going forward, we should have our own destiny,” Mr. Homden says. “We shouldn’t have to look to Europe to set the standards.”

    OK, this? This is bad capitalism, business and general logic. You don’t tell the market what it wants, the market tells you if your product is viable or not. I can have my own “destiny” selling rainbow-colored, black currant-flavored square wheels to BMW but if they insist on ridiculous “standards” such as being round and not dissolving in the rain, it’s my own damn fault for not meeting those criteria to successfully sell my product. No one promised my “destiny” would be victorious, after all….

    Europe is a bigger market then the UK, both in terms of size and population. You wanna make money selling on their turf? Play by their rules. This is Business 101 – if you can’t adapt to local needs outside your area, you aren’t gonna be anything but small potatoes. One size does NOT fit all and you go where the cash is by doing what makes them buy your crap.

  15. KM says:

    @CSK :
    To be fair, CORVID-19 ain’t the Black Death. The reason we’re pushing so hard on this is to prevent it from becoming as common as the “common cold”. There’s zero reason to add yet another virus to the pantheon of illness. If we could have prevented the flu or HIV or syphilis from becomes the prevalent nuisances that they are, think of how much better the world would be.

    As for Donald, isn’t he a germaphobe? Of course, he’d want this gone and that it’s lingering would be a pet peeve for him.

  16. Kathy says:


    So what does it matter if people “believe” in evolution or not?


  17. CSK says:

    It’s Limbaugh’s contention that this is nothing more than a plot to bring down Donald Trump that I find disturbing. Who knows how many members of Cult45 will buy into this?

  18. Michael Cain says:

    Colorado College’s annual poll of voters on convservation issues in the eight Mountain West states is out. Climate change, rollback of environmental protection, fire, and water are all high on the list of concerns. In 2018, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Republicans lost five US House seats and two US Senate seats across those eight states.

  19. An Interested Party says:

    When it comes to Bernie Sanders, I’m sure it will be easy for some to dismiss these arguments against him, but they do seem to make a lot of sense…

  20. Michael Cain says:

    Also being fair, the Black Death ain’t what it used to be. The tetracycline family of antibiotics pretty much stops it cold.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    Is it just me or does anyone else think that Trump’s behavior surrounding COVID-19 is… odd? I don’t mean in his usual I’m-a-corrupt-moron-who-doesn’t-understand-anything-but-am-surpremely-confident-in-my-abilities-despite-a-lifetime-of-failures way. Or rather, yes, in that way because, after all, that’s who he is, but also in kind of a let’s-pretend-nothing-is-happening-here kind of way. Not his usual response of attacking the immigrants or blaming the media, but instead kind of la-la-land-ish. Contrast his response to Ebola.

  22. Kathy says:


    Only countries where there is a problem have to take measures.

    We’re not taking measures.

    Therefore we don’t have a problem.

    It’s a variant on “only sick people take medicine.”

  23. Slugger says:

    The flu death rate was a bit less than 0.1% during the 2019-2020 winter season. A 2% death rate would make Covid twenty times as deadly or more than “just a cold,” Mr. Limbaugh. Also, is it okay if we look at medical advice from people who didn’t scoff at the carcinogenicity of tobacco?

  24. CSK says:

    Trump wants Sotomayor and Ginsburg to recuse themselves from cases involving him and his policies on the grounds that they’re prejudiced against him.

  25. Kathy says:

    Every time I hear about “market efficiency,” I think of the many, many times we’ve worked long into the night putting together a proposal we have no chance of winning, while we neglect, or delay, other proposals we are 99% certain to win.

  26. Tyrell says:

    @Kylopod: I well remember the ‘72 campaign. But you have to go back to the ‘68 campaign and the Chicago convention fiasco. Hubert Humphrey got past that and was gaining on Nixon (“If we had one more week, we would have won that election”). In 1972 Nixon would have won even if John Wayne and Elvis Presley had ran against him. As has been pointed out, McGovern’s campaign fell apart. McGovern was a good person, a hero of World War II. Most people wanted an to the Vietnam War, but did not seem to want an immediate pull out. The party landscape was going to change, with the south becoming not so solid.*
    Unless some big problem comes up, the nomination is Sanders to lose. I see a lot of people sitting this one out.
    *There was a time when many a southern county and parish did not even have a Republican voter registration book. I recall as a child hearing relatives and people talk about the effects of the Reconstruction policies on their parents and grandparents, and Sherman tearing everything up. Memories were still strong then.
    “After Shiloh, the south never smiled”

  27. just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Uhh… yeah, I guess. I’m just wondering why South Korea is closing down the whole country just to make Trump look bad.

    It seems like a stretch to me 😉 .

  28. CSK says:

    @just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, Cult45 over at Lucianne.com has certainly bought into Limbaugh’s contention, for the most part. As one of them opined, “Rush is way ahead of the curve, as usual.”

  29. KM says:

    @CSK :
    How are they handling Tucker’s assertion that Trump’s not doing enough to deal with it? He’s claiming that we’re being too PC and claimed wokeness will kill us all since we’re not taking all the appropriate precautions. Within a day, you’ve got two major players on the right with opposing diatribes so who wins – Rush or Tucker?

  30. CSK says:

    So far, they seem to be ignoring Tucker, which is what they usually do when two beloved icons conflict. If you can’t resolve the contradiction, just blithely ignore it.

  31. Teve says:

    @Kathy: In my amateur opinion, market efficiency is something that economists needed to assume in order to make really fancy math equations so they could look like physicists.

  32. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: Lush Rimbaugh ought to hope that coronavirus spreads in this country and is the disease that will punch his ticket. It’s bad enough, but not nearly as bad as dying from lung cancer.

  33. Kurtz says:


    It ain’t just an amateur opinion.

    here and here.

    The Austrian School typically avoidsmathematical models as well.

  34. gVOR08 says:

    Fred Hiatt had an incredibly bad column in WAPO a couple days ago, How Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both reject the reality of climate change. Long column short, while Trump will refuse to do anything about AGW and Bernie will, they’re both the same because neither has endorsed some specific carbon tax plan from something called the Climate Research Council. Bothsides is a powerful drug.

    Heated.world has a nice fisking of the Hiatt piece.

  35. Jen says:

    The CDC’s notification about the coronavirus outbreak was somewhat concerning. It really feels like they are ringing an alarm bell, and the NYT coverage seems like it’s suddenly increased substantially.

  36. CSK says:

    Oh, don’t worry. Rush Limbaugh reiterated today that all this is pure hype, specifically designed to smear Donald J. Trump.

  37. Wr says:

    @CSK: I’d wish death from the virus on Limbaugh but I don’t want him to miss one minute of the cancer.

  38. Teve says:

    I’ve got a friend who’s an epidemiologist and another couple who are nurses, and they’re saying that the mortality rate is around 3% and that it’s definitely going to be a pandemic. Imagine 5 million people in America dying from this thing in the next year.

  39. Michael Cain says:


    the mortality rate is around 3%

    What’s the mortality rate running in developed countries outside China?

  40. sam says:

    What happens with the virus gets to India?

  41. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain:
    So far, there have been 11 deaths in S. Korea, 11 in Italy, 16 in Iran, 4 on the Diamond Princess, 1 in Japan, 1 in France, 1 in the Philippines, and 2 in Hong Kong.

    2664 in China.

  42. Jen says:

    @Michael Cain: Good question. The numbers from Iran, if we can trust them, indicate a much higher mortality rate. Other places are lower. Women die at much lower rate than men (as this piece notes, this M/F disparity has been observed before for other viruses).

  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  44. Teve says:

    @Michael Cain: We don’t really know what the mortality rate is, the nurse this afternoon told me the CDC was saying 3.2%. The problem is out of the 80,000 cases only 30,000 have resolved. Of those 30,000, 3000 approximately people died and 27,000 recovered. Which is about 10%, but nobody thinks 10% is really going to be the final number.

  45. Teve says:

    If the 10% number does somehow hold, you’re looking at maybe 15 million dead people in the US, assuming a 50% infection rate?

    President Dipshit is saying it’s no big deal and Go Stock Market!

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I gotta die of something.

  47. Teve says:

    The stock market, by the way, has fallen 8% in the last week, and nobody thinks President Dipshit is capable of dealing with this.

  48. Tyrell says:

    “Jeeves, what do they call you around here?” “Grady, sir, Delbert Grady” (“The Shining”)
    Thus begins one of the most unusual and famous conversations in motion picture history.

  49. Slugger says:

    BTW, death is not the only problem generated by an illness. For every American who dies, there will be at least one other who is rescued by intense use of medical interventions and another five (my speculation) who will be hospitalized but make it without life supports. Two million dead, another two million on intensive care, and ten million in hospital. The US has 760,000 hospital beds in total. What will the direct cost be? What about the loss in productivity due to people taking of from work to care for a parent?
    Rush is not a serious analyst, period. I do wish him well with his illness.

  50. Jen says:


    death is not the only problem generated by an illness

    That is apparently particularly true for this novel coronavirus. It apparently causes the immune system to go haywire. For those who recover, the ramifications could be lifelong health problems of varying degrees.

  51. Jax says:

    @Guarneri: Are you on the right forum? Or off your meds? Mixing meds with alcohol?

    I was kind of enjoying the other Guarneri.

  52. Kathy says:


    Many people who survived polio developed partial paralysis in their limbs decades later.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: He could be sundowning. Should somebody check the times of day he made the more lucid comments? If they were made mid-day afternoons…

  54. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..Many people who survived polio developed partial paralysis in their limbs decades later.

    Post Polio Syndrome
    My friend Joe was stricken with the polio virus as an infant. He was born in the early ‘5os. A few years after I was. He was never able to walk and spent his entire life in a wheelchair. He had limited use of his arms. When I met him we were both in our 20s. He had just graduated from college and I was laid off for the winter.
    He told me about the surgeries that fused some of his vertebrae together so he could sit up straight as the muscles in his back had atrophied. Though his legs were useless he had limited strength in his arms and hands. His left arm was stronger than his right arm and the bones in his left thumb and index finger had been fused together to form a permanent semi circle so he could lift a coffee cup or a modified fork or a beer mug. Lots of beer mugs.
    Many people just assumed that since he was in a wheelchair he was some sort of spinal cord paralysis case. Not so.
    He had full control over his bodily functions. He was sexually active.
    When I worked as his personal attendant I would get him up in the morning and his girlfriend would be there in the bed with him. Just part of the job.
    In 1974 a few months after I had taken him on a month long trip from the midwest to California and back he and I and two other guys moved to San Francisco. One by one, in a years time, the three of us able bodied pilgrims had left the west coast. Joe stayed in The City for 20 years.
    Sometime in the 80’s when I visited him Joe told me about his experience with Post Polio Syndrome.
    The loss of strength was most noticeable in his arms. Where he once could lift a full ceramic mug of coffee he was limited to lighter metal cup about half full. He was tired all the time.
    He did have access to quality health care at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center but when he was first afflicted it was so novel that diagnosis was difficult.
    Fortunately the deterioration ended and he did regain a limited amount of strength. Though he was never as able as he was before the syndrome set upon him.