First Day of the New Week 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:


    Sep 18
    you can all stop looking and go home. i’ve found the best tiktok.

    Be sure to turn on the sound.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Top this one Bill: Kentucky man arrested after allegedly killing girlfriend and transporting her body parts to Illinois, police say

    After arriving in Illinois on September 11, Martin would not let the bags containing Ellington’s dismembered body parts out of his sight, White said.
    When asked by authorities why he had brought some of Ellington’s body parts to Illinois, Martin said he just “wanted to have part of her with him,” White said.

    I left out all the gory details, but they are at the link.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A “good news” story for today: Kirkwood 10-year-old sells $20,000 in homemade masks, pours money into local businesses

    A Kirkwood 10-year-old is making thousands of homemade masks and pumping the money back into local businesses. Noa Vazquez began making the masks in March. With the help of her mom, the pair can create 20 masks per hour. To date, they’ve made thousands.

    “It’s kind of fun, because you can make people happy,” she said. “It’s definitely worth it.”

  4. Teve says:


    Someone roll Jimmy Carter in bubble wrap ’cause 2020 is a motherfu%@^&.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A good read from The Atlantic: The True Story of the Married Woman Who Smuggled Her Boyfriend Out of Prison in a Dog Crate

    Toby Dorr never ran a red light, never rolled through a stop sign, never got so much as a speeding ticket. As a kid, she was always the teacher’s pet, always got straight A’s. Her parents never bothered to give her a curfew, because she never stayed out late. She married the only boy she’d ever dated, raised a family, built a career, went to church. She did everything she was supposed to do.

    She’s in her early 60s now, just over 5 feet tall, and with her wry smile and auburn curls, she could be your neighbor, your librarian, your aunt. But people in Kansas City remember Toby’s story. She’s been stared at in restaurants, pointed at on sidewalks. For more than a decade, people here have argued about whether what she did was stupid and selfish or brave and inspirational. In the papers, she was known as the “Dog Lady” of Lansing prison, but that moniker barely hints at why she made headlines.

    Looking back now, it all seems surreal to Toby, like a dream or a movie. Watching news clips from that time in her life makes her sick to her stomach. She has to turn away. She says the woman in those videos is another person entirely. She can hardly remember what she was thinking.

    “I was a rule follower for sure,” she says with a sweet Kansan lilt. Then she catches herself. “I mean,” she says, “except the one time.”

  6. Teve says:
  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    The U.S. Is on the Path to Destruction

    Yup, burn baby burn.

    Just before seeing the Atlantic article, I read this in the Star Trombone.

    With climate change, Minnesotans fight for homes and cabins on a runaway lake

    Of course in good Minnesota fashion, the losses are being, in part, socialized. Cabin owners of course being good up standing white folk and this problem is centered in real Minnesota.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Thanx for that.

  9. Teve says:

    This is really a deserving tribute

    the Glorious RBG

  10. Teve says:

    Trump says Biden is going to get performance enhancing drugs injected “in his ass” before the debate, raising the obvious question, what did they just inject trump with?

  11. Teve says:
  12. CSK says:

    When did we ever before have to listen to an alleged head of state discuss his opponent getting injections in the ass? Why are we subject to this unutterable vulgarity? Why does a quarter of the voting public find this vulgarity a sign of authenticity?

  13. Teve says:

    @CSK: Two days ago Trump was at a rally mocking Ali Velshi getting hit in the knee with a rubber bullet, and the crowd cheered.

    These are stupid people with shitty values.

  14. Bill says:


    Top this one Bill:

    I’m not going to try. That is today’s headline of the day. I am not feeling too well today, and there is golf and football this afternoon, so I may be back till tomorrow.

  15. CSK says:

    I keep forgetting that they loved it when he made fun of Serge Kovaleski’s disabled arm.

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    Florida Follies
    Anti-maskers march through Florida Target and call for shoppers to take off their masks
    As the group nears the person filming, a woman can be heard muttering “f****** idiots.”

  17. Teve says:

    In this conversation, Hoffman explains that Donald Trump’s rallies function as a form of alternate reality for his followers. This “upside-down world” is tied together by conspiracy theories, ignorance, racism and a longing for an earlier time in America where life was “simpler” because nonwhite people, LGBTQ people, women and other marginalized groups “knew their place” and white Christian straight men were understood as the most essential Americans. Hoffman also explores the similarity between Trump’s rallies and evangelical church revivals where the sick are healed, sinners are “born again” and the charismatic preacher is seen as a semi-divine prophet.

    where QAnon meets Jesus Christ: Inside the “upside-down fantasy world” of Trump rallies

  18. Teve says:

    “You can’t have — maybe I’ll sign an executive order, you cannot have him as your president.”

    Trump, quoted at Forbes.

  19. CSK says:

    The defense–if one is offered–will be that he was just joking.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    I left out all the gory details, but they are at the link.

    S’okay. What you included was gory enough to suit me. I can pass on the details just fine.

  21. Gustopher says:


    When asked by authorities why he had brought some of Ellington’s body parts to Illinois, Martin said he just “wanted to have part of her with him,” White said.

    That’s so sweet. Like keeping a lock of her hair.

  22. Teve says:

    Politico reports Trump says he wants the federal judiciary to declare an election winner the night of November 3.

    Posted w/o comment.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: There really are a lot more details in this “dismembered” story than I am used to reading. I’m not sure why they would include them. Maybe it’s the trump effect. People just aren’t so easily shocked anymore.

    @Gustopher: I’d laugh, but it really is a bit too soon. I didn’t used to feel that way. I was one of the people telling Challenger jokes before all the pieces hit the ground. Maybe I’m just getting old.

  24. inhumans99 says:

    This is an open forum so any subject is fair game, right. Guess what dude tried to cut his own hair? If you are chuckling already because you know what I am going to say next, yup…I goofed it up. I am paranoid about being in close proximity to anyone for an extended period (5 minutes or more) even if they are masked/shielded up so on a couple of occasions over the past several months I did a half-way okay (at best) job “trimming” my hair and since my hair was looking unruly I set out to do the same today.

    The problem is that I never really had the correct equipment and was just using a beard trimmer and relying on my bathroom mirrors. I should have purchased an electric razor with the proper attachments and a mirror I could hold in my hand but of course I did not do that. Thankfully, I am a dude and after looking in the mirror I just said screw it and took it all off. I am now almost completely bald as I a have a layer of fuzz on my head now that will take weeks to grow out.

    Has anyone on this forum, old, young, in-between (I will be 50 next year, so I guess I am in-between) found themselves in a similar predicament? I really am thankful that as a guy people will quickly get used to my new look vs a woman who has to be much more concerned with taming their locks during these calamitous times.

  25. Jax says:

    @inhumans99: I’ve cut my own hair and my kids’ hair since the pandemic started. The straight-haired kid did not fare so well, but the curly girl and I are fine, the curls cover up my mistakes for both of us. 😉

  26. Gustopher says:

    @inhumans99: A friend of mine bought all the right equipment, and then didn’t connect the guard correctly so it fell off partway through and he shaved a patch. So it all went away.

    My warning to all is to make sure to get the guard clipped on right.

    I do half an inch on the sides, one inch on top, and it’s just long enough to mostly hide the bad blending.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: @OzarkHillbilly: Sorry, but I couldn’t resist after Gustopher’s comment. In defense of my decision, I didn’t read the article at all for the reasons that I gave, so I hope you understand that I’m not trying to offend you, Ozark.

  28. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I just hope the jury can put all the pieces together.

    A dismemberment is just such a reassuring throwback. The old fashioned horrible people exist, alongside the Nazis and the Covidiots, and the authoritarian boot lickers, and the president who bounces between apathetic and vengeful and let’s 200,000 Americans die. But here’s someone whose evil is simple — he kills someone and dismembers her, and there’s not 40% of America who think he’s doing a good job.

    I’m not going to say we need more of that, but it’s almost a relief to have something simple. We don’t have to confront society’s views on race, my brothers aren’t all in favor of dismemberment guy, and while it does bring up the risks women face that men don’t, the dismemberment pulls it out of that sad story somehow.

    We can all look at this man and say “well that’s fucked up.” I can’t think of anything else that unites such a large cross-section of Americans than a dismemberment.

    Only like 50% tongue in cheek.

    Well, everyone is united so long as the murderer(s) aren’t acting on orders of the Saudi Royal family and dismembering a Washington Post reporter who was originally from Saudi Arabia. Then apparently people are more conflicted.