Friday the 13th’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. Kurtz says:

    Packers fan questions rants to GM Mark Murphy. The wasn’t about trading Davante Adams or the future of Aaron Rodgers. No. This person found it curious that of the 11 players drafted by Green Bay, none are white.

    She goes on to seemingly imply that Google is deliberately hiding results for how many white players were drafted in total. She succesfully googled the percentage of white players in the first two rounds, so the percentage in subsequent rounds must have been so low that Google assigned an engineering team to deliberately scrub any mention of it.

    Their backup QB takes some shrapnel, as she seems to think Green Bay used a first round pick on a QB solely because he is Black. She is probably correct that he shouldn’t have been drafted, but I’m quite sure the decision had nothing to do with the player’s melanin content.

    I wonder if she would support affirmative action for white players. Oh, Carson Wentz and Drew Lock are still starters for NFL teams? Maybe affirmative action already exists, but it’s called something different.

    The fan, Marilyn’s question read in full:

    “Out of the 11 players drafted by the Packers in the 2022 NFL Draft none are white. I also looked at the first two rounds of 64 and found that only 11 players drafted by all the teams were white. When I Googled the question of how many white overall were drafted, Google wouldn’t answer it. I wonder why. I sure hope we aren’t going to have to hear all the whining about equity, justice and all the markings on hats and shoes and all else.

    “I suggest the NFL is actually racist for always choosing and highlighting black players. I am sure that is why you chose [Jordan] Love for a QB when he never should have been chosen. I hope the Packers will play the National Anthem and fly the flag high with the planes going over as they always have. Anyone who doesn’t respect and honor our flag and our military heroes does not belong on the Packer roster. So for the 2022-2023 season, let’s just play football and leave all the politics and racism out of the stadium.”

  2. Kathy says:


    I hear Colin Kaepernick is still available.

  3. steve says:

    I dont really understand why we do all the pseudo-patriotic stuff at athletic events. Do I feel especially honored? Nope. Is it sort of cool to see the flyover? Yup, but it shouldn’t be mandatory and it doesnt mean you hate your country if you dont do it.


  4. BugManDan says:

    @steve: 100%. I think we should get rid of it completely except in country vs country events. In a lot of these sports, there are as many non-Americans, as Americans.

    And as a Yankees fan, please, please, please ditch the 7th inning God Bless America. Adds what seems to be a full extra half inning.

  5. MarkedMan says:


    I dont really understand why we do all the pseudo-patriotic stuff at athletic events.

    It’s nothing to do with patriotism. The military pays the NFL for the displays, because they are part of recruitment efforts.

  6. Kurtz says:


    I hear Colin Kaepernick is still available.

    I deleted a line about that.

  7. @Kurtz:

    let’s just play football and leave all the politics

    This is so telling and cuts to the heart of so much of our current conflicts. She really thinks that having her preferred outcome as it pertains to how people should fell and behave isn’t politics.

  8. JohnSF says:

    The Event Horizon telescope project has a spectacular image.
    …first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy

  9. Sleeping Dog says:

    The NYT has an article up on the travails of Conor Lamb in seeking the PA Dem senate nod.

    A couple of thoughts, one is that this primary and the contemporaneous R primary in PA, are further evidence of Dr T’s point that primaries bring out the extremes of the party. The other is that Lamb looks like a DC insiders view of what a candidate who will appeal to rural voters looks like. His resume checks all the boxes and he looks like a DC insider. What could go wrong?

    The little that I know about John Fetterman, was gleaned from a NYT profile a couple of years ago. What struck me then, was that Fetterman wasn’t the prototypical progressive, he didn’t look or talk the part. He is a man who appeared to be more comfortable in a biker bar and owning the Libs, not being one. At the time I wondered if that wasn’t a model for a potential Dem candidate to draw voters in rural districts? We may find out.

    This morning I was thinking back to the 2016 prez election and how there was a small, but notable number of blue collar whites that supported Bernie in the primary, but voted for Trump in the general. Those voters have been lost to Dems since then, but I wonder if they can be recaptured?

    One of the writer’s conclusions is that Dem primary voters want someone to battle Rs, while Lamb is offering milquetoast, focus group tested plaudits, with nary a fighting word in sight. Lamb has been successful with rural voters, so perhaps his campaign should have shown him as a fighter. And another example of why Dem candidates in rural areas shouldn’t listen to the DC based consultants.

    Tuesday is the big day.

  10. Matt Bernius says:

    Gee, its almost like sports (at least in the West), going at least as far back as the OG Olympics, has always been intertwined with politics….

    Nah, that’s clearly a new thing.

  11. Michael Cain says:


    It’s nothing to do with patriotism. The military pays the NFL for the displays, because they are part of recruitment efforts.

    IIRC, an important part of that was the league requiring all teams to perform the anthem after the players had come onto the field, so the networks would be contractually obligated to carry it. Prior to 2009, at many stadiums the teams didn’t take the field until after the anthem (owner’s choice, often dictated by a head coach who thought it was a distraction). In those cases, the networks usually put in an extra bit of the in-studio show and one last commercial, then cut to the game as the players finished getting to the sideline post-anthem.

  12. Mimai says:

    I played college soccer in the US. Most of my mates were not US citizens – they were Nordic, African, Jamaican, and Brit mostly.

    As is typical, before each match, the starting 11 for both sides stood in the middle of the pitch while the US national anthem played. Having long since habituated to this peculiar ritual, the few of us who were American just stared at our boots and tried to stay loose.

    The others, however, took a different tack. They absolutely delighted in it. Sang at the top of their lungs. I’m not exaggerating…it was loud.

    Did they know all the words? Not initially. But they quickly learned themselves up so as to properly participate.

    When I played in Europe, I was disappointed to learn that I would not get to experience the same delight. But I did make it a point to learn the words to all the national anthems of the places I played.

  13. Kurtz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I get the impression that some political junkies are like hopheads–in denial about their own addiction.

    I also wonder how many have told Curt Schilling to shut up and pitch. Or criticized Toby Keith or whoever sung that awful “Have You Forgotten” song. Or how many of them were upset about the Hank Williams Jr. song from the 90s skewering Saddam Hussein and his “worn out tanks” instead of playing songs like “Family Tradition.”*

    Or how many of them think James Woods is one of the smartest persons in history alongside Scott Adams and Trump.

    *I think that line is correct. I won’t look it up to figure out what song it is. If I’m listening to anything today, it’s the new Kendrick album.

  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Earlier, I mentioned John Fetterman, coincidentally Vox has an article up on him.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    There are many calls for law enforcement to stop the protests outside Justices’ homes. There is existing legislation that prohibits such protests. Over at The Guardian Andrew Perez and David Sirota note that,

    The supposedly “limited and justifiable” anti-picketing statute being cited by all these people – 18 USC § 1507 – was enacted as part of the Internal Security Act of 1950, a law requiring communist organizations to register with the government. This particular statute was specifically written to respond to reports of protests outside federal courts during US prosecutions of alleged communist party leaders.

    Can you say, “McCarthy”?

  16. Kathy says:

    The crypto crash thread got me thinking about my own theories of value.

    They’re too long and tedious to post here, but there is one thing of note:

    There’s a big difference between value and price (aka market value, but I prefer using “price” to avoid confusion).

    Take something easy: water. What si the value of water?

    Well, it depends. In a lifeless rock, like the Moon or an asteroid, water has no particular value. In an inhabited world, like Earth, it is very valuable for the inhabitants. All living beings, from bacteria to blue whales, are made up mostly of water. Therefore all need to ingest it, as well as manage and preserve it inside their bodies.

    That said, water is abundant in our planet, as it covers most of the surface of our world. In the oceans, it’s the most abundant element (duh). it’s free out there for the taking. the price of water for ocean creatures is zero in most instances (it might get scarce in tidal pools at the shores).

    Moving on to humans, who place clear prices on things, water is not very expensive because it’s still rather abundant. even if we mean fresh water, which is a tiny portion of all the water in the planet, and even if we make use of massive amounts of it for agriculture and manufacturing. Water for drinking, washing, and other domestic uses, is what we use least, and tends toward allow monetary price, even where it’s not subsidized, and even where it’s scarce.

    Wars over water will be about its use in irrigation, and maybe manufacturing, not drinking. We may die of starvation, but likely not of thirst.

  17. Michael Reynolds says:


    Wars over water will be about its use in irrigation, and maybe manufacturing, not drinking. We may die of starvation, but likely not of thirst.

    If vegans would stop drinking almond milk we’d have plenty of water in California. But the same can be said for cow’s milk. Which is why I drink coffee black because I am a good environmental citizen.

  18. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Where are you and Katherine now?

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    …the land of the free and the home of the brave. Yeah, yeah!

    Still one of my favorite renditions. And to think that he was ragged about it.

  20. Scott says:

    Interesting. Not much revealed. Not even who initiated.

    Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s Call With Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu

    Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provided the following readout:

    On May 13, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu for the first time since February 18. Secretary Austin urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication.

    That’s it.

  21. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The problem is people growing almonds in California, not who drinks or eats almonds.

    And if you visit Italy and not order a single cappuccino, latte, or macchiato you should be deported post haste 🙂

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    If vegans would stop drinking almond milk we’d have plenty of water in California.

    How much more potable water would be available if people stopped drinking beer…

    (ducks for cover)

  23. Jen says:

    Elise Stefanik has jumped on the “blame Biden for the formula shortage because he’s shipping it to illegals at the border” train.

    She is correctly getting ratioed from here to the sun and back.

    I do NOT understand what Republicans think they have to gain using this tactic. Is this really something that will shore up the base? Even the crazies who think there’s actually a border crisis…they are already in the R column. Who and what are they gaining with this?

    It’s SUPER EASY to point to the problem: one of only a handful of formula manufacturers in the US had outdated equipment that didn’t work right (deregulation, much?), then that factory got shut down months ago. It’s still not fixed, which has led to the current shortage.

    Am I underestimating stupidity? Again?

  24. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Objection! False equivalence!

    All that water in the beer goes in and right back out into the water table in an hour or so (quicker if you’re drinking in the back yard).

    That water for almond milk gets locked up in trees. Trees!

    So obviously, vegans need to drink more beer.

  25. JohnSF says:

    Oh hell.
    Potentially very bad news from the UK.
    DUP refuses to vote to seat a speaker in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
    Meaning the assembly cannot function, and no executive can be appointed.
    DUP demand the Northern Ireland Protocol of the EU/GB Withdrawal Agreement be scrapped before they will consider seating a speaker.
    UK government demands EU revision of the Protocol; EU shows no sign of being willing to bow to pressure, say it will discuss how to make the protocol work.

    Just worried speculation on my part: what happens if Sinn Fein state they will boycott if the Protocol is dropped and leads to trade border within the island of Ireland?

    Damn the brexitters for their folly and incompetence.

  26. Mikey says:


    Am I underestimating stupidity? Again?

    No, but you’re missing their actual point. At this point pretty much everybody knows why there’s a shortage. But this isn’t about that, it’s about not feeding certain infants. Republicans are basically saying “let those filthy brown illegal babies starve.”

    And in the next breath they’ll call themselves “pro-life.”

  27. CSK says:

    Stefanik knows the Trumpkins are in a frenzy over this. She knows how to jump on a bandwagon when she sees one.

  28. Scott says:

    @Jen: Hey, Jen. Speaking of underestimating stupidity. I don’t know if you mentioned it in a different thread but apparently the Croyden, NH population came out in force on Saturday and voted the school budget back in by a 377-2 vote. People have to pay attention these days. There are too many crazies out there.

    Croydon voters overturn drastic school budget cuts

  29. Mikey says:

    Here we see the toll taken by anti-vaccine idiocy: nearly 319,000 needlessly-dead Americans.

    This is how many lives could have been saved with COVID vaccinations in each state

    The total for the country is stark: Many of the nearly 1 million COVID deaths took place in 2020 before the vaccines were available. But of the more than 641,000 people who died after vaccines were available, half of those deaths could have been averted – 318,981 – had every eligible adult gotten vaccinated. And those numbers are even more striking in certain states where more than half of deaths could have been avoided.

    You probably don’t have to try real hard to guess which states those are.

    The map of states with the most preventable deaths shows a sharp political divide – as NPR has reported, people living in counties that voted for then-President Trump in the 2020 election were three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who lived in counties that voted for President Biden.

    According to the analysis, West Virginia, Wyoming, Tennessee, Kentucky and Oklahoma had the most vaccine-preventable deaths per capita. Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Vermont and Hawaii had the fewest.

    Thanks, Trump! Thanks, Republicans!

  30. Jen says:


    I understand the point and the bandwagon…I’m just trying to understand what she (and anyone else tweeting this appalling line of thought) is hoping is the long-tail effect. I think I’m settling on, this churning of chum in the water is designed to remind them, come election day, that they have some vague “she’s on our side” sense. Which, they would have done anyway, but this might serve as insulation if she randomly ends up on the wrong side of something unexpectedly.

    @Scott: @Scott: Yes, I saw that, Croyden very much dodged a bullet there. We have this issue all over NH’s smaller towns. It takes only a handful of people showing up–and others not showing up–to upend a town budget.

  31. Mu Yixiao says:


    With 1M deaths–and the high percentage in red states–I really wonder if this is going to tip the balance in the next election. There 5 states* where Rs won by under 100k votes. Three of those are southern states.

    In none of them does the state-wide death rate surpass the vote margin, but what about Congressional districts? Could this tip some House seats?

    One is Nebraska 1st District, the other is Maine 2nd District.

  32. Kathy says:


    I see it more as a version of the two-minute hate in 1984, delivered differently and with other time parameters.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: Wait, you mean once again Libertarian nincompoops caused needless expense and effort for everyone in a community? Shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

  34. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: These stories on the number of deaths that could have been avoided if more people had taken the vaccine are important, but I resent that they seem paint the effort as therefore some kind of failure. Millions of lives in this country have been saved by vaccines. Millions. And the lives lost in all but a tiny fraction of cases were because of the personal choice of the un-vaxxed and not anything we could have done as a country, other than to ban Fox News.

  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: So I just went to look at the actual story and everyone should take a look at the state by state chart. Absolute proof that living under a Republican government could kill you. At the extreme ends in one of the most Republican states, West Virginia, the citizens are 8 times more likely to die a needless death than in the most Democratic “state”, Washington DC. And the march from the top to bottom of that list is almost in perfect lockstep with most to least Republican.

  36. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: And what’s really sad is that the WV Republican governor Jim Justice was really pro-vaccine and spent a lot of effort (and still does) to convince his citizens of that. They didn’t listen.

  37. Kathy says:

    BTW, during the great toilet paper shortage of Spring-Summer 2020, supplies of toilet paper in Mexico City were normal. Granted we had less of a lockdown as most of the US, but still a lot of people were working remotely or otherwise staying home, including most school age children.

    So I’m curious whether we now have a similar shortage of baby formula. I had paid the matter no mind, but I’ll look tomorrow at the store (if I remember to).

    I have noted other shortages, though not at the supermarket. For instance, the insertable plastic dividers favored at the office have been hard to find for the last 16 months or so (and gods forbid you should bring a five pack rather than 8*). I’ve also been trying to get a desk calculator with a printer, but there are none to be had.

    *The first boss I had here, a horrible person, literally threw a tantrum when I brought in black 5″ three-ring binders. Apparently black binders are bad luck.

  38. Kathy says:


    I wonder what would happen if a) there was a smallpox outbreak, and b) vaccines were rushed into production so there’d be one for everyone who wants it six months into the outbreak.

    The variola virus is similar in spread to SARS-COV-2: airborne with an R0 of 7 (I think Delta was 4 and Omicron 8). So masks, distancing, and reducing crowds would help.

    The diseases produced are different. For one thing, no one ever found an effective treatment for smallpox, and since it’s extinct no one is looking for one. For another, the case fatality rate is around 30%. There was no “long smallpox,” but those who survived it often were scarred by the accompanying rash, and some went permanently blind.

    Oh, and it killed children as readily as adults or the elderly.

    Some people were vaccinated for it, but the vaccine was discontinued in the 70s when the virus was declared eradicated. I don’t know whether I got it then.

    So, that would really test the mentality of the people in the red states who don’t like vaccines. No doubt they’d come up with other remedies, like, oh, I don’t know, sheep suppositories or something. Or they’d resort to variolation.

    Variolation was a perfectly acceptable treatment before the vaccine, to be sure. But between 1 and 2% of those treated contracted smallpox, and then had a 30% chance of contracting death.

  39. Sleeping Dog says:


    London to Dublin – These Belfast morons are now your problem, we’re kicking them out of the UK.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: Pro-Life my ass.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: WOO HOO! We’re #7! We’re #7! We’re #7!

  42. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Might be nice; albeit a bit unfair on the Republic.
    But, in fact, you may be missing how nastily cynical the Johnson government has been on this matter.
    They have, IMO, deliberately, and disgracefully, lured the the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP – pronounced “dupe”) to kick off over the Protocol in order to rev up the Brexity base in England over a confrontation with the EU, to prevent the evaporation of their vote coalition in the face of “partygate” scandals, horrendous cost of living issues, pandemic screwups and corruption, generalised incompetence, economic blowback from Brexit, Conservative sleaze and Johnson being a tit.

    The really infuriating thing is, they are risking inter-communal peace in Northern Ireland, not merely for their own miserably petty goals, but for a ploy that will almost certainly fail on its own terms for the Tory Party.
    Both “red wall” and “comfortable South”are bored with Brexit, Corbyn is no longer a factor, the middle class South despises Johnson as charlatan buffoon, the working class North is more worried about the cost of living.

    In fact, Johnson is being doubly cynical: I suspect he knows that general election wise, this tactic won’t save the Conservatives, but doesn’t really care.
    What it does do is enthuse the idiot social media base, who in turn influence the strong idiot Brexit headbanger right among the MP’s, in order to shore up support against a potential leadership challenge vote of Conservative MP’s.
    And hopes if he can wriggle his way to the next election as leader, he may be able to squeak a win.
    Then he can retire after a couple of years, as a two-time winner.

    He looks to secure his place in history at the price of damning it, the fool.
    It is both utterly ironic and potentially tragic.
    Please excuse me while I indulge in a brief scream of rage.
    Thank you.

  43. JohnSF says:

    Incidentally, DUP isn’t actually pronounced “dupe”.
    It’s just it should be.
    They really are like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football when it comes to being manipulated by the Tories.
    Edward Carson, Ulster Unionist leader, in 1921:

    “What a fool I was! I was only a puppet, and so was Ulster, and so was Ireland, in the political game that was to get the Conservative Party into Power.”

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jen Psaki is done.

    News Views ™

    Jen Psaki is the most talented, quick-thinking White House Press Sec. of a lifetime, and that goes back a way. She’ll be missed. @PressSec

    Ok, it’s not like I’m a WH press sec junkie and listen to these folks on a daily basis. The truth is, I never paid more than passing attention to them before Sean Spicer, who, let’s admit it, was a Saturday Night Live joke. And nobody who followed him in the trump Admin was any better.

    Still, this fact alone is worth taking note of:

    Politics Insider

    Jen Psaki leaves the White House after holding 224 briefings — more than all of Trump’s press secretaries combined

    Whatever else one thought of her, she never hid in the bushes.

  45. Mikey says:

    Quick update on the GOP wanting brown babies to starve.

    Apparently what’s being sent to border facilities is not baby formula at all, but Nestle Nido, a powdered milk substitute for toddlers. Not formula, and certainly not for infants.

    So not only are Republicans terrible bigots, they’re also stupid. Or lying. Or most likely both.

  46. Mikey says:


    Sean Spicer, who, let’s admit it, was a Saturday Night Live joke

    Melissa McCarthy’s send-up of Spicer is one of the funniest things to air on SNL ever.