Christmas Eve 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:

    Cat burglar: New Zealand pet steals bong, bag of white powder and lacy underwear

    Keith’s crime wave started three years ago, when he began stealing bras from nearby clothes lines and bringing home live eels from the local Heathcote river in Christchurch. But his ambitions have grown. According to owners Ginny and David Rumbold, in recent weeks the five-year-old black cat has brought home a bong and a ziploc bag containing unidentified white powder. He also left a pair of knickers on the back fence.

    “I suggested to him diamonds and cash would be better,” Ginny Rumbold told news website Stuff, which first reported Keith’s criminal tendencies. “But that hasn’t happened so far.”

    The Rumbolds have resorted to filling two plastic boxes outside their front gate with their cat’s ill-gotten gains so that neighbours can swing by to retrieve them. But returning the goods has proven to be little deterrent to Keith, who has a habit of repeatedly stealing the same items.

    A particular favourite are the steel-toed boots of a local tradesperson. Despite the man weighing down his shoes with fluorescent green 2.5 kilogram weights, Keith still manages to haul them home unseen – one shoe at a time.

  2. sam says:

    Die Deutschen Bedownengetten

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Australian man Carl Stanojevic might be the world’s most considerate neighbour after he was asked to “take the bins out” and dutifully followed the request – to the letter.
    Grabbing his camera equipment and thinking like a tour guide, Stanojevic proceeded to take the number 6 wheelie bin on a big day out on Wednesday. To start with, they took a walk by the duck pond before taking care of some chores, stopping at a hardware store to pose with the staff, doing some shopping at the local supermarket and making a quick trip to the local tip. After this, they took in some sightseeing and a bit of self-care.

    “We went for a massage and then to the tattoo parlour to get a couple of extra 6s on the bin. A bit of a tattoo, then stopped at the pub for a coldie,” Stanojevic said on Friday.

    Along the way, the bin stopped for a selfie with a band of local cleaners, a surf lifeguard and a garbage truck driver. There was a quick trip through the drive-through at three separate restaurants and to make a call at a phone booth.

    “It wasn’t really talking to anyone,” Stanojevic said. “It was just talking trash.”

  4. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The Australian sense of humour is truly a thing to behold. And experience.

  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    In rural Oregon, voters fed up with their state’s leftward turn have embraced a simple and outlandish idea: What if we were just Idaho?

    Move Oregon’s Border’s true purpose is threefold, McCarter told me: First, obviously, to move the border. Second, to send a message to the state legislature “that you’ve got some very unhappy people, and here are the reasons why.” But the third is more subtle: “It provides a vent for all this anger.” McCarter sees himself as a peaceful guy proximate to violent movements. When he retired from working in plant nurseries and started running a gun club, members of the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and the Project Appleseed prepper group practiced at his shooting range. People’s Rights, the anti-government activist Ammon Bundy’s new far-right network, has asked him to speak at its events. “I know there’s some people that have talked about ‘If this continues on, people are going to pick up their guns,’” McCarter said. “Rural people—their values, the way they live, their faith, their freedom—are closely tied to what Idaho is, so why not adjust the border? Just let us go peacefully.”

    If I were a Portland/Salem area resident, I’d be lobbying my state rep to let em go. Think of the tax reduction and/or spending reallocation that would occur if the cost of serving the rural parts of the state. Of course, the unanswered question here is, does Idaho want them?

  6. CSK says:

    The bin story reminds me of the time I was in my local booze and gourmet food shop and, as I was putting my credit card in the slot, the cashier instructed me to”strip facing the back.” So I complied, turning to the rear of the store and removing my coat.

    Well, she told me to strip facing the back, didn’t she?

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Does anybody?

  8. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..and to make a call at a phone booth.

    phone booth?

  9. sam says:


    The Australian sense of humour is truly a thing to behold. And experience.

    An American tourist is visiting Sydney. Steps off a curb and gets hit by a taxi. Knocked unconscious. He wakes up the 24 hours later in a hospital surrounded by folks all wearing white. He says, “Did I come here to die?” One of docs says, “No, mate. You came here yesterday.”

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: A buddy carpenter I know was working on a high dollar clothing store in Clayton, MO. He was outside on the ground and above him on some scaffolding were 2 very chatty brick masons. My buddy said they were nonstop talkers, absolutely incessant. And then they went silent. It was about a minute or so before H even noticed how quiet things had gotten.

    Just as he looked up to see what was going on, they exploded into a crescendo of “OH MY GOD!!”s and “DID YOU SEE THAT?!?!!”S

    Turned out they had taken out the dressing rooms a day or 2 before and the wall the masons were laying looked over the storage room and what was left of the dressing rooms. The salesman had brought a very shapely young lady back to where the DRs used to be and for privacy was holding up a sheet for her to change her clothes behind. The thing was he was shielding her from the store’s shoppers, but not the guys on the wall.

    She proceeded to get undressed and happened to catch their bugeyed stares. Looked at them for a second or 3, shrugged her shoulders and continued stripping down to her panties and putting on the new dress, and then walked back into the store proper.

  11. CSK says:

    She gave them a master class in aplomb.

  12. Kathy says:


    Coworker: If you want them, the new dry goods specs are in the folder.
    Me: And if I don’t want them, where will they be?

    Me: If you want them, the price lists are in the folder.
    Coworker: thanks.
    Me: If you don’t want them, they’re still in the folder but the information does you no good at all.

  13. Mister Bluster says:
  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    Madison Cawthorn and his advocating young conservatives get married and have babies. That may not work out in the manner he expects. After all, one of the biggest dilemmas facing evangelical churches is that their young adults are abandoning those churches in droves.

    He’s a glib idiot anyway.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: And an eyeful.

  16. CSK says:

    Oh, that goes without saying.

  17. Monala says:

    Copied from last night on the open thread:

    Latest Republican outrage on Twitter: a group of singing nurses performed Christmas carols at the White House. link

    Tucker Carlson, Newsmax, Townhall, etc. and their followers are all over Twitter criticizing this. A couple of criticisms have some validity: 1) it’s cringe (yeah, kinda); and not everyone is masked.

    The other criticisms are less on point through totally ridiculous: 1) “why are they singing at the White House if hospitals are supposedly overwhelmed?” Like nurses never get time off. 2) “even if they get time off, why are they using it like this rather than resting at home?” IDK, because they enjoy it and can use their free time however they wish? 3) “it’s pro-vax propaganda.” Nothing about vaccines is mentioned or even hinted at. 4) “it’s cult-like worship of Joe Biden.” President Biden doesn’t appear to be present, although Jill Biden is there. 5) “It’s Communist propaganda.” They’re singing Christmas carols. 6) “the group is discriminatory because there are no white men in it.” ??!!! The group is made up of 18 nurses from a NY medical center with 19,000 nurses. Maybe these members are friends, or are the ones who wanted to join.

  18. Sleeping Dog says:


    Why are R’s against Christmas carols???

  19. senyordave says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I tend to agree, but what about people and businesses that don’t want to suddenly be live in or operate in Idaho? If these groups want to be part of Idaho so much they should have to pay off those who don’t. I’d say fair market value plus an additional percentage, say 25%, for their trouble. Of course, they would cover all relocation costs. Then we could see how serious they are.

  20. MarkedMan says:

    A priest, a minister and a rabbit walk into a bar, sit down and order their drinks. After a slow deliberate sip, the rabbit turns to the other two and says, “I think I’m a typo.”

  21. Slugger says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I am curious whether the people wanting Idaho rather than Oregon to govern them know that in Idaho marijuana is totally illegal and that Idaho has a sales tax. Marijuana is the number one cash crop in Oregon producing $602 million in 2021. I would guess that most is grown in rural areas. Of course, a sharp reduction in cash crops would mitigate the impact of the sales tax.

  22. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    For the same reason Dickens is a nickname for Satan?

  23. Sleeping Dog says:


    It would be a reasonable assumption that many voting to secede, did so believing that there was no chance of it happening and viewed their vote as an expression of displeasure. I would expect that significant numbers of those effected would demand an additional vote before any modification of state boundaries occurred.


    There is also the whole question of how much money flows from Salem to the rural counties v. how much flows from Boise to Idaho’s rural counties. I suspect the Oregon counties will see a significant drop in state aid.

    A few weeks ago, there was an article on northern Californians who want to secede and a county commissioner pointed out that county taxes would need to take a huge jump, just to pay for road and bridge maintenance, that is now, mostly subsidized by taxes paid by other Californians.

  24. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Sleeping Dog: This same BS went on in Colorado a few years back when northeastern counties wanted to join Wyoming. It was never going to work but most everyone shut up when water rights got mixed into the deal.

  25. Just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Because they’re being sung to Democrats? And, is any other reason necessary?

  26. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I love when the idiots here start taking about separating Cook from IL. I can’t comprehend that they don’t understand how screwed they’d be. We’d be a tiny state with a huge economy and tax base, they’d be an enormous state that just jettisoned a huge part of their economy and taxes.

    The other funny thing is that they assume that ALL the Democrats live in Cook and no where else. They’d still be stuck with an enormous amount of Democrats. I would vote yes in a heartbeat.

  27. Mu Yixiao says:


    A priest and a minister walk into a bar. The rabbi ducks.

  28. Mister Bluster says:

    Santa Comes to Sleepytown

    A Facebook message from the management at the local VIP Theatre outlet:

    We received overwhelming support and positive feedback from the local community for our $1 Christmas movies that we hosted every weekend in December. So much that we decided to do one last showing of them on Christmas Eve! The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, and ELF will each be shown twice, with all tickets being $1 each.

  29. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    A rabbi, a priest, and a duck walked into a bar. The bartender looked up and said, “What is this? A joke?”

  30. JohnSF says:

    And a Merry Christmas to yule all!
    Also, Hail the Holly King!

  31. de stijl says:

    Mr. Garrison from South Park wishes you all a Merry Effing Christmas.

    I listen to it every year. Warms my heart. Makes my heart grows two times smaller.

  32. de stijl says:


    My steel toe boots weigh 2 pounds apiece. That is one motivated cat.

    Steel toe cap is fine, but you need a sole plate too.

    I stepped on a nail when I was a kid. Never again please.

    I can still see my sneaker bulged up like a pup tent. Someone far away was shrieking while the top of my cream canvas sneaker turned red. Still have the scar on the top side.

    I am one quarter Jesus.