Friday Forum

Everybody's ready for the weekend (and the SC Primary)!

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. de stijl says:

    I may be past mixing it up hard.

    Telling someone they are wrong, or that what a thing I said is more correct.

    It really doesn’t interest me terribly. A lot of angst because I’ve squared up against some person on a fairly deep level is just avoidable. So avoid it. Our flash in the pan argument changes zero votes and makes me anxious.

    It all passes. In a week no one cares.

    I cast my one caucus vote. It is out of my hands how it goes now. I have preferences and might argue for them at times, but for me, not against you.

    Fool’s game. I sway no one here.

    Come November I get exactly one vote. In one precinct bound to vote D in a county bound to vote D in a purple state.

    I will vote. I might advocate, but the hard core mixing it up for sport has no value or pull to me.

  2. de stijl says:

    I am super feeling sloppy joes for lunch. Bit of chopped white onion on top for crunch.

    It’ll take a trip to store, but that is eight minutes out and back.

    Ground beef, some onion buns, old school can of Manwich: I have white onions here now aching to be diced fine.

    Chips. I surely do like those French fried potaters, but today chips are the good call.

    Maybe some A&W root beer.

    Some might say, hey, de stijl, tacos could be cool too. I would say back that for tomorrow that could be very cool.

    That is basically the level of argument I am cool with now.

    Low key. Low stakes.

    Btw, I am def doing sloppy joes, chips (possibly Fritos, else regular Lay’s), and root beer for lunch.

    It started as a rhetorical example, but it sounds super awesome, so now it’s gonna be.

  3. Kit says:

    @Kathy, I saw the following article on what to expect, long term, from the stock market, and thought it might interest you.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Damn, I haven’t had Sloppy Joes since I was a kid. All of a sudden I have an irresistible urge for them. Fuck you de stijl. Now I’m gonna have to drive to town today. 😉

  5. de stijl says:

    When I first moved here, I went down to the cafeteria and the sandwich special was a full guinea grinder with fries, or you could get a half guinea grinder with a cup of minestrone.

    It was basically a hot Italian beef, but with ground sausage on a roll, not dipped. Peppers and onions.

    I was so fascinated. Guinea Grinder.

    I went to the grill for a burger.

    Went back upstairs.

    I as casually as I could asked about the guinea grinder. Everyone from out of state like sorta freaked at the verbiage. All the natives were “That’s just what it is called.”

    I told about the Hot Dago of which I enjoyed many at DeGideos in St. Paul. It was called Hot Dago without any irony or an attempt as a slur.

    Made by Italians, originally for Italians in St. Paul. It spread in influence and the Germans and Scandos started eating Hot Dagos too.

    East Coast Italian Americans are freaked at the name. At DeGideo’s they basically don’t give a fuck what you think unless you order one, and then it’s, “Okay, hon. Top up your coke, then?”

    It is to a modern ear disconcerting to say the least.


    TIL how bizarre and Whovian Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    IANAL, but here’s hoping:

    Coke, Pepsi, Nestle and other large companies are being sued by a California environmental group for creating a plastic pollution “nuisance” and misleading consumers about the recyclability of plastic. The suit, filed in San Mateo county superior court on Wednesday, argues that companies that sell plastic bottles and bags that end up polluting the ocean should be held accountable for damaging the environment.

    Earth Island Institute, which filed the lawsuit, says a significant amount of the eight to 20m tons of plastic entering the Earth’s oceans annually can be traced back to a handful of companies, which rely heavily on single-use plastic packaging. The suit seeks to require these companies to pay to remediate the harm that plastic pollution has caused to the earth and oceans. It also demands these companies stop advertising products as “recyclable”, when they are, in fact, largely not recycled.

    “These companies should bear the responsibility for choking our ecosystem with plastic,” said David Phillips, executive director of Earth Island Institute. “They know very well that this stuff is not being recycled, even though they are telling people on the labels that it is recyclable and making people feel like it’s being taken care of.”

    The suit names 10 companies found to be top producers of the plastic collected in beach cleanups in an international audit conducted last year by 72,000 volunteers working with the group Break Free From Plastic. The companies are Coca Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, Clorox, Crystal Geyser, Mars, Danone, Mondelez International, Colgate-Palmolive, and Procter & Gamble.
    Noting that, at the current rate of dumping, plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050, the suit charged that companies have engaged in a “decades-long campaign to deflect blame for the plastic pollution crisis to consumers”. Consumers are led to believe that the earth would be healthy, if only they recycled properly, when, in reality, there is no market for most plastics to be recycled, the suit says.

    Past studies have shown only about 10% of plastic gets recycled, but Phillips said, once those numbers are updated to reflect the recent collapse of the recycling market, it will likely show that only about 5% is getting recycled.

    Some months ago, after reading about how 90+% of plastic gets “recycled” I convinced the wife (who is addicted to her diet Pepsi) to stop buying it in plastic bottles and switch to cans. The amount of plastic waste we produce was cut in half overnight, but it is still way too much. Kinda amazing at how hard it is to avoid using it, and sad knowing how totally unnecessary it is.

  7. de stijl says:


    Get some root beer.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Root beer is the only soda I will buy. (i almost said, ‘drink’ but if i am desperate i’ll steal a few sips of dp from my wife’s cup)

  9. de stijl says:

    It will taste so fake!

    I am so digging this.

    On the plus side, hopefully by 1 o’clock I will have figured it out do my own next time the fancy strikes.

    Going by memory it is garlic, onion, tomato paste, red pepper flake. Paprika maybe. Probably green pepper.

    I will check the can ingredients and update.

    Not even gonna look it up.

    This is going to be so awesome!

  10. de stijl says:

    Recontextualizing a slur.

    America is good at it. We have done it for century’s.

    One thing I like about that tactic is that it negates a word that had been previously used as cudgel and whip.

    You have denied the man a weapon.

    Regina Spektor has a lyric:

    If you never say your name out loud to anyone /
    They can never ever call you by it

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:
  12. Scott says:

    Here’s how Texas early voting in the primary compares with elections past in the state’s biggest counties

    Although this is specific to early voting in Texas (ends today), I found this to be interesting both for historical voting patterns and trend lines. Particularly the increase in Democratic early voters. This could be because of the increased interest in the races but also the increase in actual voters. Different counties would have differences depending on the intensity of the competitions, both inter and intra party races.

    Texas is an open primary state so people can vote in either primary.

  13. Scott says:


    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: on root beer:

    Quark: I want you to try something for me. Take a sip of this.
    Elim Garak: What is it?
    Quark: A human drink. It’s called root beer.
    Elim Garak: [unwilling] Uh, I don’t know…
    Quark: Come on, aren’t you just a little bit curious? [Garak sighs, takes a sip and gags]
    Quark: What do you think?
    Elim Garak: It’s *vile*!
    Quark: I know. It’s so bubbly, and cloying, and *happy*.
    Elim Garak: Just like the Federation.
    Quark: But you know what’s really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to *like* it.
    Elim Garak: It’s insidious!
    Quark: *Just* like the Federation.

    Quark: What can I get you, Nog?
    Nog: Um… A root beer. It’s an Earth drink. Something they serve at the Academy.
    Quark: Root beer. This is the end of Ferengi civilization.

  14. Kathy says:



    I kind of expected a downturn. no special insight, simply the fact that growth cannot continue uninterrupted without a break.

    I didn’t expect it to be this bad.

  15. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    One thing I like about that tactic is that it negates a word that had been previously used as cudgel and whip.

    This is what annoys me most about these “words are violence” kids: Not only do they allow the “weapon” to exist, they’re continually making more of them, and handing them to the enemy.

    Words have no power. They only have the amount of leverage we give them.

  16. Kathy says:

    I like root beer, but keep sugar intake at a minimum. Regular soft drinks are way high in sugar (well, sucrose and fructose). and I can’t get diet root beer here.

    When I go to the US, one of my first stops is a convenience store where I can get diet A&W.

  17. Mu Yixiao says:

    If you’re going to get root beer, get a good one: IBC or Sprecher. They make all the others taste like sugar water. And they still come in glass bottles.

  18. Pylon says:


    I see your LA Florida person and raise you a Canadian:

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Trekkies… 😉

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: IBC for me.

    @Pylon: If they chicken had arms instead of wings I guess that would be considered “armed robbery”. I have to note that while it is rare for a Floridian to fly north for the winter, we cannot ignore the possibility.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    Prediction, posted here for the record: we will soon hear some disturbing news involving Barron Trump or Donald Trumps current marriage.

    Why do I predict this? Because out of the blue in a press conference talking about COVIDIEN-19 Mick Mulvaney bizarrely started chastising the media for not reporting on what a good and loving father Trump is to Barron.

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    Good Fuking Grief! What is Wrong with this man?

    (CNN)Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday acknowledged that he wasn’t arrested in South Africa during a visit to the country in the 1970s despite recently claiming that he had been.
    “When I said arrested, I meant I was not able, I was not able to move … I wasn’t arrested, I was stopped. I was not able to move where I wanted to go,” Biden told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”

  23. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    @de stijl:

    One thing I like about that tactic is that it negates a word that had been previously used as cudgel and whip.

    This is what annoys me most about these “words are violence” kids: Not only do they allow the “weapon” to exist, they’re continually making more of them, and handing them to the enemy.

    I say “amen” to that. And I note that the “Hot Dago” recontextualization only works because it’s Italians doing the recontextualization, and describing Italian food. I would not get to recontextualize it for them. I get to recontextualize slurs on Germans, and computer nerds.

    In fact, my daughter regularly calls me a nerd (affectionately!) and I respond with “You say that like it’s a bad thing!” However, it’s unfortunate, but I hate sauerkraut.

  24. Mu Yixiao says:
  25. charon says:

    Reasons to ignore Nate Silver:

    In a very robust-sounding paper*, which I admittedly have not read in its entirety, researchers suggest that:

    an increase of 20% over even odds in this study lowered voting by 3.4%, and an advantage of 40% [around what Clinton had in the 538 2016 forecast] lowered the voting by 6.9%. If as the evidence provided above suggests, Democrats were more affected [than Republicans]…, probabilistic forecasts may have a strong enough effect on turnout to constitute an important factor influencing the election.

  26. charon says:


    When a draft of the paper was published in 2018, Nate Silver dedicated an entire episode of his podcast to “rebutting” it. You can see the rebuttal of the rebuttal here. I’m inclined to believe the authors, for Nate Silver has become a terrible hack. Apparently he was more recently urging scholarly journals not to publish this piece, which is super classy.

    (I think I got the links switched, sorry)

  27. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Are these companies throwing all this plastic into the oceans, highways, and rivers? If this lawsuit is successful, the prices on that stuff will go up. $1.oo for a can drink is already way too high.
    Some drinks taste better in plastic bottles. Others in cans. But glass bottle drinks are and always have been better as far as not affecting the taste. Many people remember when drinks came in glass bottles. Then they changed to plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Most people like that better than glass. While you can still get glass bottled drinks, most people do not choose them. They are heavier, and present problems if you drop them. I think the litter problem is a lot better than it used to be. Back in the day people would just toss the bottles, cans, and paper right out the car window. People talk about the plastic straws, but the plastic bottle caps make up most of the trash at the beaches. Maybe a twist cap that stays attached, like on the motor oil bottles.
    Many towns have dropped recycling because of the costs involved. We have to use a lot of plastic and paper because our water bill is very high.
    I knew this one guy who could toss his glass bottle over the car and hit a road sign every time!

  28. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Since we are on food…

    Sarsaparilla. Just try to find it. And also Boylan Birch Beer.

    Both put Root Beer to shame.

    And I wish I could still get an original Capri Pepperoni Roll.

    As to Sloppy Joes, manwich is too vinegary. We make our own mix, and any recipe online beats that can.

    As to the pepperoni roll, I keep trying to duplicate the recipe, but the fun is baking all those near misses. And eating them.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    My god Tyrell. That was perfect. A thing of beauty. I especially liked the flourish at the end:

    I knew this one guy who could toss his glass bottle over the car and hit a road sign every time!

    But I think you will draw more outraged reactions with this gem:

    We have to use a lot of plastic and paper because our water bill is very high.

    I can just hear the spluttering as your intended victims hunch over their keyboards.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Are these companies throwing all this plastic into the oceans, highways, and rivers?

    They make it, they use it, they sell it, they do not recycle it, they are responsible for it.

    If this lawsuit is successful, the prices on that stuff will go up.

    Pobrecitos… To be responsible for the cost of the things they do. The horror!

    $1.oo for a can drink is already way too high.

    Oh Noooooesss, Gonna have to get a 2nd mortgage on the house Marge.

    Really? You are going to complain that saving the planet for future generations is just too inconvenient? That it might cost you an extra 50 cents a day?



    Back in the day people would just toss the bottles, cans, and paper right out the car window.

    Oh and for the record, the lazy fucks still do. I live on a country road near a conservation area and an off road park. You are more than welcome to come over and help me pick up the trash after a holiday wkend.

  31. Gustopher says:

    Today at my new job, to celebrate black history month, there is a screening of some film about black people, with a white guy standing in front, periodically stopping it to explain significant parts of black culture. It’s some biopic. Or maybe a documentary?

    I wish it was Spike Lee’s “She’s gotta have it”

    Anyway, I fled quickly, as I feared I might speak, stopping by just for the red velvet cupcakes.

  32. Tyrell says:

    Friday night and that means my night of channel shuffling. I record WWE Smackdown to watch later, and go back and forth between “Macgyver” and “Lincoln Rhyme – Bone Collector”. Then “Hawaii 5-O”. I will pick up “Charmed” replay on the network website later.
    King Corbin should be back tonight after being suspended. Bray Wyatt will probably make an appearance after being stomped by Goldberg.
    BrayWyatt@WWEBrayWyatt: “life is a circle”
    Saturday will be shifting back and forth between college and NBA basketball.

  33. Mu Yixiao says:

    A little political humor to send you into the weekend.

    Primary & Caucus

  34. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Traditional Troll: noun. Someone who deliberately posts provocative material for the joy of generating indignant and outraged reactions. Actual content of said posts is immaterial.

  35. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We are agreed on recycling. Our town has recycled for many years, before most other areas. Our recycling bin has paper, plastic, glass, aluminum. Food scraps go in the compost. We have very little actual trash left. Our water is too high to waste one drop. I check weekly to make sure that there are no leaks or drips. Our fixtures are water saving. No watering the lawn and the car is washed at a car wash that recycles its runoff. I have helped with the schools recycling projects, worked at road clean ups, cleaning the stands after the football games, helping gather and take neighbor paints and household chemicals to the yearly disposal day at the park, and participating in many local neighborhood cleanup walks.
    At one time it was glass. Most of us liked the glass bottles, and there was a deposit. Then they went to plastic. Glass bottles soft drinks are still available, but don’t sell well. Many towns are dropping their recycling.
    Sorry to hear about your area’s litter. It is like that in some places here.
    If we buy and use the products, it should be on us to make the containers and wrappers wind up where they belong.

  36. @Tyrell:

    We have to use a lot of plastic and paper because our water bill is very high.

    I will readily allow that I may be wrong but knowing what it would cost to use disposable plates, cups, and cutlery enough to avoid washing dishes, every time you make this claim I have to think that you have made a math error somewhere.