Earth Day 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:

    I can’t help it, as serious as this is I am laughing my ass off at this DA repeatedly stepping on his dick:

    In an interview with the Guardian, Campbell said he regretted the “error” in the production of the memo, which he confirmed as genuine, and said he had disciplined the “entry level” prosecutor who wrote it.

    “Is it authentic? Yes. Is it the policy of this office? No,” Campbell said, conceding the memo was “inappropriate and insensitive”.

    Campbell denied any employees in his department of about 100 were racist.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. That’s why this “entry level prosecutor” felt so comfortable wearing his robes to work.

    “I recognize, and [the writer of the memo] does now, how terrible that looks and why it was wrong to write that word. He used the wrong phrasing, and instead of the word Hispanic, he should have used the phrase undocumented immigrant,” he said. “He’s been reprimanded and is deeply remorseful, and I am confident he was not actually prosecuting or sentencing people based on racial or any other impermissible factor, and nor is anyone else. If I thought he was racially biased in his prosecution, I would have fired him immediately.”

    Translation: “Now that we are exposed as the racist PoS that we are, he and I are both very embarrassed to have gotten our picture taken while wearing Klan robes at work. He still works because he fits right in but for the time being he will not be writing any more memos.”

    What is it with Repubs thinking that if they just say all the right words all will be forgiven and everybody will forget?

    Mackenzie Hayes, the whistleblower, claimed in an account published by the news blog Our Tallahassee the memo was part of a wider culture of racism in the prosecutor’s office that covers a six-county region heavily populated with migrant workers.

    Former colleagues at the Jefferson county office, Hayes said, had an “us versus them” mentality towards migrants working in agriculture, and routinely called them “Mexicans” regardless of where they came from. “People are being prosecuted differently on the basis of their race or skin colour, it’s not right,” said Hayes, now a prosecutor in Philadelphia.
    “It was very clear that this was a white office, in leadership, staff, attorneys. Both the Leon and Jefferson county offices were like that,” she said.

    She found the memo on a colleague’s desk when she spent five days in the small office of Monticello, in rural Jefferson county, she said, recalling that she thought: “Oh my God, they wrote down the racism policy.”

    FTR, she started working there in Dec. ’22. Moved on in Jan, ’23.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ATLANTA – The DeKalb County Medical Examiner on Wednesday released the autopsy results related to the death of Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, who demonstrated against the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center earlier this year.

    Teran, who went by “Tortuguita” and used they/them pronouns, was shot and killed by police on Jan. 18 as officers raided campgrounds occupied by environmental demonstrators who had allegedly been camping out for months to protest the development of the training center, dubbed “Cop City” by critics.

    According to the autopsy report, Teran did not have gunpowder residue on their hands. Officials claimed Teran fired the first shot at a state trooper. Officers then responded with gunfire. The report stated Teran had at least 57 gunshot wounds in their body, including the hands, torso, legs and head.

    Well, so much for that “he shot first” story. I wonder what line of BS are they gonna try and sell now.

  3. clarkontheweekend says:

    I wanted to wake up happy and positive this morning. Just can’t. The nexus of Fox News, conservatives, the shootings of random mostly black people for innocent normal activities, stand your ground, riduculous right wing judges and their wholly corrupt rulings, obvious nonstop inciting propoganda, officials openly talking about hangings and how it’s somehow bad it isn’t “allowed” anymore, just all of this shit… it all comes together in the realization that what the Republican party and it’s adherents want is a white country in power with the ability to administer selective justice and basically kill N-clangers without any accountability and to make matters worse, think of it as a good thing, returning this shit country armed to the teeth to it’s rightful racist history. Just the worst. And it’s so in our face right now, this very day. So sour right now. OK, not the best written post, but it’s early and goddammit I just woke up mad at America. Sucks. Thankfully I need to go out with the dog and try to purposefully forget, for awhile, just to get on and enjoy life and the people I love.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A bit of fun from the Onion: Quiz: Could You Pass The SpaceX Aptitude Test?.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @clarkontheweekend: Thankfully I need to go out with the dog and try to purposefully forget, for awhile, just to get on and enjoy life and the people I love.

    Some days that is harder than others. Hopefully a happy puppy dog walk begins the flip. It always helps me.

  6. Kathy says:
  7. Tony W says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Saw this the other day: “SpaceX Starship’s pronouns are was/were.”

  8. Tony W says:

    Suggestion: OTB should charge us $7/month for a blue check mark, undercutting Twitter’s price and gaining market share!

  9. Kathy says:

    Something decidedly different this weekend: Superman, by John Williams.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tony W: HA!

  11. Slugger says:

    Alabama has taken a stand against woke ideas in school books.
    I don’t blame them. I remember well when Governor Wallace spoke for “Brotherhood today, brotherhood tomorrow, brotherhood forever!” It was truly inspirational. And who can forget Martin Luther King’s shining message, “A Letter from Birmingham Educational Center”?

  12. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Pretty common across the Panhandle. No young people with drive or ambition want to move to our stay in these areas so the hive IQ of anywhere north of I-10 or between Pensacola—Tallahassee and Tallahassee—Jacksonville is generally low. If you are a young Attorney, Madison, Fl is not even on your top 50 list.

    Even the migrants don’t want to be there but they have to be where the agriculture is to make a living. The irony is these people ignore that the migrants are the only people in the community who will harvest crops.

    Nobody, black or white will pick crops

  13. CSK says:

    Dame Edna Everage (Barry Humphries), 89, has died.

  14. Modulo Myself says:

    I don’t think the Supreme Court is going to take mifepristone off the market, simply because it’s insane and the specific judge is a right-wing Christian moron…but if they do it, what’s the response? I can easily see the 2024 election then being about Biden and the FDA having the right simply to ignore the court’s ruling.

    And to be honest, I’d support that decision.

    This is just a bad situation. Reagan was a terrible president. He was a racist and hated gay people and his response to drugs and AIDS was awful, but he didn’t advocate sending the state in to take gay kids from their parents in order to give them electroshock and he didn’t want to ban the pill, even if he did nominate Bork, who would have loved to do that. There was just not the fear of modernity that there is now amongst the dim. Right now, we could easily see an executive branch saying fuck it when the trad Catholic freaks on the Supreme Court want to turn the clock back to 1920. Because what is the alternative? These people having power over our lives in that way?

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Another fine example of our well regulated militia: Suspect in shooting of six-year-old over stray basketball arrested in Florida

  16. steve says:

    SCOTUS could take it off the market and I would not be surprised. That said, I think it more likely they find some reason to go back to the 2016 standards. I sincerely hope that the FDA challenges this, or Biden, and refuses to acknowledge the ruling.


  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    We’ve sold our house in LA and are moving to Vegas.

    I moved to LA a couple years ago to interface with Hollywood. Mission accomplished. In that I am in regular communication with Hollywood Adelaide, Hollywood Liverpool, Hollywood Prague… As for Hollywood Hollywood, I Zoom between Silver Lake and Burbank or Culver City. . . so, why am I here paying California taxes and Los Angeles housing prices? Is it for the air?

    No, I’m here for the sun. Seasonal affective disorder. When it’s overcast, I don’t work. Sun = work = profit. Overcast = grim downcast looks = indolence.

    Then there are the stairs. Our house is exceedingly stair dependent. Stairs up from the street, stairs between living room and kitchen, between bedroom and LR, and then in the back yard, more stairs. And we are getting old. In fact, I’ve gotten there.

    I wouldn’t be in the States at all if I were not held captive by the IRS, which will follow me wherever I go, leading to double taxation, with the California FTB right behind. And Schengen visas are a pain in the ass. So the plan is to cut costs, buy a pied a terre, and spend most of the year traveling abroad (but fewer than 180 days in Schengen per year) which, of course, raises the costs we’ve just cut.

    Why Vegas? The sun. The cheap real estate. The airport. The fact that I can wake up at 3 AM, take an elevator, walk two blocks and have bars, restaurants, and amusing examples of the worst of humanity. The endless entertainment. Also, I believe Vegas is unique in that it’s the only place I know where you can rent a tank and drive it over a car. And did I mention 0% state income tax? But the greater goal is not Vegas, it’s Spain and Portugal and France and New Zealand and Botswana and even Antarctica. I want to have visited all seven continents and I have three to go.

  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Why Vegas? The sun. The cheap real estate. The airport. The fact that I can wake up at 3 AM, take an elevator, walk two blocks and have bars, restaurants, and amusing examples of the worst of humanity. The endless entertainment.

    You’re going to live in a hotel on the Strip?

    Whateves, dude. Hope you find what you’re looking for.

  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Darn! I misspelled “whatevs.” 🙁

  20. CSK says:
  21. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I have never been to Las Vegas because it sounds like my personal hell. Your description does nothing to change that.

    I hope you and yours are happy there. Or that it is so awful it provides good stories and a reason to travel.

  22. CSK says:

    At a dinner last night in Ft. Myers, Fla. Trump said he accomplished more in 4 years than any other president in U.S. history AND that only he could prevent WWIII.

  23. CSK says:


    I agree. I had to go there once for a conference and I couldn’t wait to get out. I felt as if I’d eaten a bowl of grease.

  24. Mister Buster says:

    Fear and Loathing…
    by Duke Reynolds

    Soon to be a new character in “Doonesbury”.

    Oh yeah, Happy Earth Day!

  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Moving is not the big issue for me that it is for most people. At a guess this will be the 5oth or 60th time I’ve moved house.

    That’d be my preference, yeah. I’m happy to let someone else manage the yard and the plants and the pool and the property taxes.

    Oh, it is hell, that’s what makes it fun. It’s hell, but air conditioned and with amazing restaurant choices.

    We came down to three possible destinations: Seattle – great city, we’d avoid all but the summer, but OTOH if we were trapped there for any extended period we’d hang ourselves. Tucson was in the mix for a while, but if we’re going for the surface of the sun why not get casinos and a useful airport? In the process we identified the dominant emotion we expect of each place: Seattle: Depression. Tucson: Boredom. Las Vegas: Contempt for humanity.

    It was an easy choice in the end.

    I love sitting in a casino floor bar sipping Scotch, smoking a cigar, and watching the humanity. If you enjoy feeling alienated, if you get a certain dark pleasure from observing the squalor of the human soul – and of course, I do – it’s hard to equal Vegas.

    One other thing about Vegas. It’s one of these places where if they blindfolded you, flew you around the world three times, then whipped off the blindfold and asked you where you were, you would instantly know. Because there are any number of cities that look like Columbus or Fort Worth, but there’s only one place with a fake Eiffel Tower across from a fake Pyramid and down from a face Venice including a fake canal with gondolas running through a fake mall with fake sunrises and sunsets.

  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    Also, I’m apparently much more attractive in Vegas. Why, I can sit at a bar for as little as five minutes and some pretty young thing with an overly-ambitious breast job will want to be my friend. For an hour. Very friendly place.

  27. Grewgills says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    That is 100% about your good looks and affable demeanor and nothing else at all.

    While I’d never want to live there, I don’t have the job flexibility and disposable income to be somewhere else 3/4 of the time. That might change my calculus.

  28. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    And did I mention 0% state income tax?

    In 10 years, MR is going to be a chamber of commerce Republican ;P

  29. Sleeping Dog says:


    Yeah, he’d surrender.

  30. Thomm says:

    @CSK: I went there for a friend’s wedding. Since I am a cripple, I have time as I walk around to notice things. I kept hearing birdsongs while strolling on the strip, but never saw a bird once; so I started really looking to see why. There are speakers in the trees on the strip piping in birdsongs. I thought to myself that really encapsulated how fake that city is from top to bottom. My brain itched because of the fakery the whole time I was there.

    Fun fact: the car dealers out there are known to be universally shysters within the industry. Like early 70’s domestic and early 80’s japanese dealership style bad. (no surprise, I know)

  31. Tony W says:

    @Michael Reynolds: That’s an impressive number of moves.

    We have done 27 real estate transactions in the past 35 years, (so ~14 houses), and before I was married there were at most 10 places – and that feels like so much. I can’t imagine 50-60 moves!

    Good luck with the debauchery! (I’m warning the locals, not you)

  32. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Indeed, especially since his plan to end the Ukraine-Russia in 24 hours was to give Russia the parts of Ukraine it wanted.

    And you must have noticed that, according to all the building neon signs, every retail outfit or museum was FABULOUS. Irecall the FABULOUS Dinsaur Museum abd the FABULOUS Pharmacy.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’d be cautious moving anywhere in the Southwest right now. Land may be cheap but water is getting more expensive every day.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    In the process we identified the dominant emotion we expect of each place: Seattle: Depression. Tucson: Boredom. Las Vegas: Contempt for humanity.

    Seattle also has stairs. Streets will just stop and become stairwells. Everything is on a hill. Land is so expensive that new construction is often a bit more tall and narrow. If stairs are a problem, I’m surprised Seattle was in the running.

    Still, I feel like you’ve missed a couple of options somewhere. But you do enjoy contempt, so it might be perfect.

    Wallowing in depression is more my thing, and Seattle is great for that, other than the unrelenting sunshine for six to eight months.

  35. Kathy says:


    And you must have noticed that, according to all the building neon signs, every retail outfit or museum was FABULOUS.

    That’s a development from the famous sign well south in the Strip that reads “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.”

    But it’s the one honest self-description of the city, at least in a a strict etymological sense. The Latin term fabulosus, from which the word is derived, means something like “celebrated in fable.” A good definition of fable is: “falsehood, fictitious narrative; a lie, pretense.”

    That’s Vegas 100%

  36. CSK says:


    Somehow I don’t think they gave much consideration to the etymological root of the wsord.

  37. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’ve been to Vegas a number of times, mostly trips to Nellis, so paid for by our fabulous taxpayers. I hated it. Every time I went, I thought maybe another trip to Hoover Dam would be interesting.

  38. CSK says:


    A visit to Hoover Dam was the one bright spot during my stay in Vegas.

  39. Michael Cain says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I love sitting in a casino floor bar sipping Scotch, smoking a cigar, and watching the humanity.

    For a few years my job required me to attend a couple of the big conventions in Vegas. The casinos were my evening entertainment. Not gambling, just watching. Some of the time the gamblers, but more watching the casinos work the marks. How hard it is to find your way out. The total lack of anything suggesting the time of day. The timing of attractive waitstaff appearing at the elbow of some of the people playing blackjack to offer them a complimentary drink. Ubiquitous closed-circuit television cameras, and the difficulty of spotting them.

    (I’ll forgive you the scotch, but my sipping poison has been bourbon since I was about 14.)

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: my sipping poison has been bourbon since I was about 14

    Uuuckk, too sweet.

  41. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Michael Cain: @OzarkHillbilly:
    I go both ways. If I am dieting I drink Bourbon for the sneaky sugar. Otherwise Scotch. Four Roses single barrel and Talisker 10 are my go tos.

  42. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Seattle – great city, we’d avoid all but the summer, but OTOH if we were trapped there for any extended period we’d hang ourselves.

    I live in Seattle for 5 years going to the U. I grew up in the PNW. It isn’t the rain, it’s the constant gray. It gets to lots of people. At the time, those of us who were used to it, and could cope with the gray for the sake of those few, amazing, glorious days kind of gloated that all the rain would keep Californians away and mute the explosive population growth.

    Then Microsoft and Amazon (and a lot more) happened. The growth came anyway, the Californians came anyway, but maybe they didn’t all stay.

    Anyway, y’all aren’t the only ones who feel that way, though I don’t. I still love it, even at its grayest.

  43. Jay L Gischer says:

    Didn’t See That Coming Dept.: Tucker Carlson just got fired.

    It was clearly sudden, since last Friday he was promoting tonight’s show. Some are saying it’s because he was overly critical of Fox executives in memos that have become public. That seems a bit thin skinned. Plausible, but not convincing.