Wednesday’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:

    Your “No Shit, Sherlock” moment of the day: Fox News host Tucker Carlson tells interviewer: ‘I lie’

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Newsom is still governor of CA.

    To the surprise of no one.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    They teach a different kind of history down in Texas:

    Sarah Reese Jones
    · 20h
    Greg Abbott claims governors’ orders supersede presidential orders, “I believe that the governors’ orders will supersede the president’s orders because the president does not have the authority to impose this.”

    The Constitution disagrees.

    Eric Boehlert

    if southern governors’ orders superseded the president’s, segregation wouldn’t have been struck down in the 1960’s

    Not to mention a little brouhaha in the 1860s.

  4. CSK says:
  5. a country lawyer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m sad to say that Governor Abbott graduated from the same law school as I (Vanderbilt). I guess he skipped the class on the supremacy clause.

  6. CSK says:

    @a country lawyer:
    Do you think Abbott knows better, and is just pandering to the states’ rights crowd?

  7. charon says:

    My cousin’s friend’s sister’s stepmom’s brother’s paramour got the COVID vaccine on Labor Day and BOOM! one day later she could not wear white. Do your research.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Of course he is. Pandering to the base is about all Republicans do any more. Actual governance is work.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Too funny.

  10. CSK says:

    Sure, but how ignorant are those people? You don’t have to be a constitutional law expert to know this isn’t true.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Americans are dying because no hospital will take them

    During the current delta-driven Covid-19 wave, Americans are being transported hundreds of miles from their homes because no nearby hospital has room for them. Some of them have even died waiting for medical attention.

    In other words, US hospitals are being forced — in the middle of a public health emergency — to ration health care for their patients.

    Rationing has long been a dirty word in US health policy, used as an attack on any socialized health program that more centrally determines which medical services will be covered and for whom. The US health system has always rationed care through cost: It’s de facto rationing when a patient doesn’t get the medical care they need because they can’t pay out-of-pocket costs or because they live in a rural community without a facility nearby.

    “We’re so used to rationing by ability-to-pay in this country that classic capacity rationing feels a bit foreign,” Hannah Neprash, a health economist at the University of Minnesota, said in an email.
    America, the richest country in the world, is not supposed to be a place where patients are left at the door to die. Yet that is exactly what’s happening now — 18 months into the pandemic.

    Plenty more at the link

  12. CSK says:

    Did Betty steal this from The Gateway Pundit?

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: People hear what they want to hear, and right now the rhetoric on the right is increasingly divorced from reality.

  14. Kylopod says:


    Do you think Abbott knows better, and is just pandering to the states’ rights crowd?

    I have another question: is this even a useful line of inquiry? Even George Wallace was supposedly pandering (“I will never be outn*****ed again”). In the end it doesn’t really matter, since it has the same consequences.

  15. CSK says:

    I think it’s useful in determining whether people are genuinely ignorant or willfully, malignantly spreading false information. People who are genuinely ignorant (I don’t really believe Abbott is one of them) can be corrected. Why have teachers otherwise?

  16. Kathy says:


    You dare question the Great American Taliban?

  17. Kathy says:

    about Theranos, if the account by Carreyrou is anywhere close to accurate, it’s effingly, painfully, evidently obvious there was deliberate fraud going on, directed by Holmes and Balwani, and aided by several company officers lower down.

    The odd thing is that it all comes down to the hype Holmes herself generated, namely her insistence on using small blood samples taken from a finger prick. This drove the hacking of commercial blood analysis machines, and the buggy tech the company tried to develop,

    Without the hype, Theranos didn’t have much, certainly not a revolutionary new product. If they’d used commercial blood analysis machines with adequate samples, they’d be just another medical lab like countless others all over the world. Walgreen’s would have no more need to partner with them than with any randomly chosen lab.

    There’s more, though, like shoddy quality control even for tests that did work on their device, disregard for safe working practices, and the use of intimidation and threats of lawsuits against anyone saying something true about Theranos (including patients and doctors).

    I really hope Holmes and Balwani are found guilty and go to prison.

    There’s no shame in failing at a revolutionary new idea. There’s plenty in faking one, while putting people in danger of misdiagnosing serious conditions.

  18. Kylopod says:


    People who are genuinely ignorant (I don’t really believe Abbott is one of them) can be corrected.

    Only if they’re open to being corrected, as most people (especially those past their 20s) aren’t.

  19. CSK says:

    The possibility remains.

  20. JohnSF says:

    Debt limit standoff … McConnell says Republicans oppose raising it

    The Treasury Department has said borrowing authority expires next month, and the United States will not be to able to pay its bills if the debt ceiling is not extended.

    Somebody needs to pin McConnell to the wall and explain the meaning of the phrase “global financial crisis” to him.

    This might be cause to end the filibuster.

  21. Mister Bluster says:

    Just nutha ignint cracker says:
    Tuesday, 14 September 2021 at 19:58
    @Mister Bluster: Do you consider that a vaccination because your baseball bat has a spike pounded through it? (Asking for a friend.)

    “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
    Dr. Seuss

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Always. 🙂

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Fun with Covid numbers:


    the mathematical equivalent of I SAID WHAT I SAID holy hell I love her

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Dude, the Republicans only want to be in charge. A functioning global economy or a pile of ashes, it makes no difference to them. In fact, they’d probably prefer the ashes–easier to run.

  25. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Maybe; but I’d like to explain to them that if it does come to ruling over a pile of ashes, it’s unlikely to be them doing the ruling.
    More probably be some gnarly individuals inclined to take their sh!t, f@ck them up, and walk away laughing.

  26. JohnMcC says:

    @JohnSF: My friend, they don’t care if they cause immense financial disaster in their own districts, if it appeals to their demented, deluded boosters.

    I follow several brexit-related news sources (mostly because of the ancient hibernian who decided the other side of the pond looked good in the early 18th century). I think you might understand our country’s sad situation in this regard. (Not trying to change the subject.)

  27. CSK says:

    By “ancient Hibernian,” are you referring to your ancestor? My ancient Hibernian was drawn, quartered, and beheaded in Dublin after the ’45. His survivors wisely decided to hop the next boat to the New World.

  28. JohnSF says:

    Oh, the parallels with Brexiters are plain enough.
    Various combinations of imprudence, ideological absurdity, disregard for rationality and truth, propagandising an ill-informed base, and traducing opposition as bordering on betrayal of the nation.

    However, even they have never proposed anything amounting to a direct assault on the financial standing of the Treasury and the Bank of England.
    (In fact under our unitary Parliamentary system, and paradoxically greater freedom of action for the Treasury, they would have little motivation or means to do so)
    Though their antics have damaged both the currency and the prospects of the City of London financial sector.

    It’s actually the effect on the “boosters” that puzzles me.
    I would have thought that if anyone would get hopping mad about the prospect of a collapse in value of treasury bills at least, and possibly knock 0n effects on other bonds, dollar values, and the whole damn financial sector, it would be the Republican donor class.

    Were I a wealthy Republican supporter, I would be upbraiding my congress-creature till his ears bled on this.

  29. JohnSF says:

    My not-so ancient Hibernian paternal ancestor was knocking around Donegal till the 1890’s, if I recall family tales correctly.
    Got crosswise of the local priest, moved to Cork, then England, and became an Anglican out of sheer annoyance, tempered with indifference.

  30. CSK says:

    My ancient Hibernians started doing scandalous things in the 19th century like eloping with Presbyterians.

  31. JohnMcC says:

    @CSK: Yep. Not a whole lot found out about him. Name was Charles. He was a physician. Had a family in Charlestown, then re-emigrated to Ireland. Have learned that my patronymic is apparently thick as fleas in South Armagh which amuses me with it’s designation as ‘bandit country’ by…. was it 2d Para?

    @JohnSF: I am completely unable to understand these periodic cliffs-edge dramas that we have enjoyed thanks to our TParty fools. There are two aspects to them: 1. The presence of the debt limit itself is stupid. Congress authorizes spending then must authorize the increase in the debt that spending causes. And 2. Why they think risking a huge international financial disaster makes them Very Manly Men.

  32. JohnSF says:

    Speaking of Brexiters:
    The British government has had what we call a “reshuffle”.
    Something wholly alien to US politics, I suspect.
    Usually involves PM moving ministers between departments, promoting the well performing (sometimes), rewarding allies, firing or demoting the worst of the useless (in theory), knifing rivals, placating threats, hiring promising/troublesome back-benchers etc etc.

    No outreach beyond the Johnson/Brexit loyalists; but at least Raab gets booted from the Foreign Office (staying on holiday as Kabul fell went too far for even the supine back-benchers) but still gets rewarded with position of Secretary for Justice and Lord Chancellor(!).
    And the wholly incompatible (because political: LC supposed to semi-detatached from politics,a bit like US Attorney General minus the prosecutorial role) but probably wholly nominal, position of Deputy Prime Minister.
    Everyone still realises its a booting, though.

    The rather too-dodgy Robert Jenrick gets dropped entirely, as does the miserably incompetent Gavin Williamson.
    Liz Truss becomes Foreign Secretary. Oh joy. Better than Raab, though.

    Elsewhere in world news: small earthquake in northern Canada, some moose vaguely worried…

  33. JohnMcC says:

    @JohnSF: Swear I didn’t try to highjack this! I did notice that shuffle altho the personalities and histories are outside my ken. Left me with a question and … since you bring it up … doesn’t that sort of thing either follow a serious problem or precede and election?

    And my thought in referring to the Brexit problems our on your side was to relate the present American GOP to the Northern Ireland DUP. Similarly, they will burn down the house rather than compromise.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Well sure. But they don’t see that. We’re already those people in their minds. I mean, we’re going to destroy the world as they know it by turning it into a socialist hellhole and they already know that sometimes you have to destroy the village to save it. How can things be worse than they already are?

  35. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I’m really, really glad that I’m too damn old to go back to my old career of sitting in the cave mouth, knapping flint into spear points. Because Gor knows that when these yabos get done, that’s gonna be the growth industry in the ashes…

  36. Stormy Dragon says:


    Did anyone get “kicked upstairs”?

  37. Stormy Dragon says:


    Stupid debt ceiling question: what law actually requires the federal government to issue debt? i.e. right now if the government spends $1 billion today and only takes in $750 million in taxes today, it has to issue $250 million in treasuries.

    But from a legal standpoint, what stops them from just paying out the $1 billion and if the numbers don’t match up, so what?

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I for one have absolutely no idea what my ancient Hibernian ancestors thought or did. Beyond dying anyway. Same for the Scots, the English, the Slovenian…

    As far as the debt ceiling question, we always have the trillion dollar coin solution.

  39. Mu Yixiao says:

    Sometimes the universe doesn’t hate me.

    I’ve spent the last 30 minutes figuring out the wording to evict one of my lodgers.

    She just walked in and said that she needs to move out by the end of the month to help take care of her grandmother.

    No more cat piss all over the bathroom floor! No more bags of food-encrusted garbage in her room breeding swarms of moths and fruit flies!

    Plus… I won $2 in the lottery today.

    {opens umbrella and waits for the universe to shit on him}

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite: The new sign of wealth may be 4o acres and a bag of seed potatoes (or is that potatos?).

  41. Jax says:
  42. Barry says:

    @JohnSF: My theory is that the real money guys behind Brexit are the foreign money people and their agents in the UK.