Friday’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. de stijl says:

    I know that if it gets hot and humid my feet and lower legs swell up. My feet puff up like balloons.

    Yesterday the air temp was 100F and the dewpoint was 77. So a heat index of 117F.

    I stayed inside all day. The warmest it got for me was 80F.

    I understand that I am aging and my circulatory system is less robust but why do my feet swell up? It’s not just the feet – my calves and ankles were markedly swollen to the point it was painful. My skin was being stretched hard and it was quite painful. Still is this morning for my left foot.

    I was inside all day. Did not take my morning walk today, as well. I’m slightly hobbled and walking is decidedly uncomfortable.

    I spent a large portion of yesterday with my feet propped up higher than my heart. That didn’t work.

    I am not unschooled on basic physiology. This is not venous blood back-up. This is persistent edema. From the knees down. Inside my house where it’s 80F. I never went outside yesterday once.

    Why? What is the mechanism for sustained localized edema?

    If I touch my left foot it feels like a ravioli that’s been boiled too long.

  2. Kazzy says:

    @de stijl: I don’t know the “why” of it but a potential remedy would be to wear running compression socks. I’m a runner and often got calf pain/tightness but since I started wearing these, it never happens. And I find that if I wear them during the course of my regular day, my feet feel better, my shoes fit more comfortably, and the pain/discomfort that would sometimes set in if I was sitting for long periods (I’m a teacher so that is rare but when I was in admin, it was a major pain) no long happened.

    Bombas sells them, but they’re overpriced. You can also buy them on Amazon. I find they all work with similar effectiveness. Good luck!

  3. MarkedMan says:

    @Kazzy: You can also buy compression “sleeves” (don’t remember what they are called), essentially over the calf socks without the feet. Infinitely easier to get on if you have large muscular calves.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Since 1870, the Augusta judicial circuit has been home to the criminal justice system of a three-county area on Georgia’s border with South Carolina. In that time, no African American has been elected district attorney of the circuit – until 2020, when a Black lawyer named Jared Williams upset a conservative, pro-police candidate with just more than 50% of the vote.

    But that historic win was short-lived. The day after his election, a lawyer and state lawmaker in the area proposed something unusual: that the circuit’s whitest county separate itself from the Augusta circuit, creating a new judicial circuit in Georgia for the first time in nearly 40 years.

    “Does the board of commissioners want to be there [sic] own judicial circuit,” Barry Fleming, a Republican state legislator from nearby Harlem, asked the Columbia county commission chair, Doug Duncan, in a text message.

    Duncan supported the plan, and in December 2020 issued a resolution asking the area’s lawmakers, including Fleming, to introduce legislation that would separate Columbia county from the judicial circuit it had been a part of for 150 years. Fleming’s bill passed with bipartisan support.

    The split caused the disenfranchisement of the old circuit’s Black voters, voting advocacy organization Black Voters Matter Fund contended in a lawsuit that was eventually dismissed by the state supreme court. Those voters had chosen Williams, who ran on a pledge to uphold criminal justice reforms such as not prosecuting low-level marijuana possession, a crime which disproportionately affects Black and minority communities.

    Instead of Williams, Black voters in Columbia county got as their prosecutor Bobby Christine, a Trump-appointed US attorney who was appointed by the Republican governor, Brian Kemp. Christine then chose Williams’s opponent as his chief deputy.
    Despite voting advocates’ opposition, the circuit split had bipartisan support and was welcomed by some Black Democrats in the legislature, who argued that a backlog of felony cases in Richmond county could be reduced if the circuit were smaller and didn’t include Columbia county.

    It will never end.

  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer and now Taylor Schabusiness along with a few others. This got me wondering where Wisconsin ranks in gruesome murderers per capita?

    Wisconsin woman convicted of killing and dismembering ex-boyfriend

    Mu, be careful, it’s dangerous out there.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Georgia man, Keith Gouger, has been sentenced to life in prison for raping the 7 year old daughter of his fiancé.

    Still not a drag queen.

  7. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Hope the swelling goes down and you can get some fresh air soon.

  8. Kathy says:

    For some reason I remembered that the animated Harley Quinn series had been cancelled. I was mistaken, and season 4 just dropped three eps yesterday.

  9. Michael Cain says:

    @de stijl:
    Fascia is connective tissue that bundles muscles, blood vessels, and nerves together. If the fascia is not flexible enough, it doesn’t stretch when the muscles and blood vessels it contains expand due to exertion (or heat). This can be quite painful because the fascia is itself rich in nerves. In the lower leg fascia forms compartments for different muscles. Chronic compartment syndrome is caused when the fascia forming one or more of the compartments is not flexible enough to expand with the muscles. (Acute compartment syndrome is an entirely different thing and can be life-threatening.) I suffered with it from my late 40s, getting progressively worse. Mine was triggered by certain kinds of exercise: walking always set it off eventually but fencing and bicycling didn’t.

    The PT my doctor sent me to gave me several suggestions for things to try. Compression socks did nothing, nor did shoe inserts intended to correct my gait (underpronation like crazy). What finally worked was doing as close to deep tissue massage as I could manage, really digging in with my thumbs the full length of my lower legs. I made it part of my bedtime routine. After about eight weeks I noticed that my lower leg muscles were much more pliable, and that I could walk as far as I wanted without problems. After a couple more months, I realized that the underpronation had also disappeared.

    Why are people always tempted to say, “Maybe you have what I had”?

  10. CSK says:

    Randy Meisner, founding member of The Eagles, has died.

  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: Does your doctor have any wisdom to offer on your condition?

  12. Slugger says:

    I’m a subscriber to Noah Smith’s substack. Yesterday, he discussed the decline in the value of college education and the contributory factors. In the discussion some people mentioned their concern about indoctrination of the students. How does that work? I’m pretty sure that my fundamental ideas were fairly firm by the time I was fifteen or so. I supported unions and integration-standard liberal ideas- and I still do. In college, I did temporarily explore some other ideas including becoming religious and the ideas of Ayn Rand (don’t laugh), but these alternatives didn’t stick. Have others had any big changes in underlying beliefs after the early teens?
    While I’m on this topic, it seems hard to believe that college changes ideology. For eighteen years a kid is exposed to Mom and Dad’s thinking 24/7. Then some professor tells the kid that all history is the history of the class struggle, and the kid rejects the conservative principles of the parents. Is conservative thinking that fragile? Is liberalism that seductive?

  13. just nutha says:

    @Slugger: I don’t think it’s as much of an issue at college level, but at lower levels, teachers, at least where I’ve been, sometimes hold a pretty tight rein on “the truth.” One of the abiding questions my composition students asked was “what do you want me to say in my essay.” I don’t think that they learn that question from having been taught to value critical thinking.

    And yes, considering what passes for conservative thought these days, both conservative thinking may well be that fragile and liberalism that seductive.

  14. CSK says:

    @Slugger: @just nutha:

    People do radically change their politics during young adulthood. Hillary Clinton was a Goldwater Girl.

  15. Kathy says:

    We had such a lovely day yesterday. It dawned partly cloudy and cool. The Sun showed up intermittently util swallowed by a solid overcast around 11 am. We then had sporadic light showers, with a maximum of 18 C. By bed time it was about 11 C, and I had to get under a blanket in order to sleep. This was the first time that happened since March.

    Today’s been sunny with max temp predicted to be 22-25.

    On other things, I’m planning to make cilantro lime chicken breasts, but differently.

    First, I’m using a stovetop grill. It’s a square pan with raised grill markings. Oil tends to pool where the meat doesn’t touch, so I reasoned I should brush oil on the chicken. For this I’m making an infused oil, with minced garlic, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Kind of like chimichurri, but for grilling rather than as a sauce.

    For the sauce I figure brown some onions on a separate pan, then add garlic, then a liquefied mix of lots of cilantro and lime juice.

    On the side I’m doing black beans with onions, bell pepper, and bacon. I also want to make chilaquiles for some reason. It seems like a lot of cooking already.

  16. Stormy Dragon says:


    Some of us even radically change our politics in middle age =)

  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    Another auto transport ship is burning in the North Sea, the fire presumably caused by an exploding EV. This one loaded with BMW’s and Mercedes. In Feb 2022, the Felicity Ace caught fire off Spain, that fire was attributed to an exploding EV. The Felicity Ace was carrying cars from the VW Group, including Bentleys, Lambos and Porsches.

    Anyone that special ordered a car and has been waiting patiently for 10-12 weeks that it takes to manufacture and deliver it, will wait a bit longer.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Slugger: When I was a teenager my only beliefs were, “I’ll have another beer.” and “Boy, I’d sure like to get into her (fill in the blank).” I never did more than dabble in college.

    I don’t remember any political discussions but I knew my parents always voted Republican*, but that is not to say they were socially conservative. My mother’s favorite cousin was a Lesbian and we always visited her and her partner whenever in Dallas (1960s) and they had some black friends too. By the time I voted in an election (80 or 84) I knew well enough that the working stiff always got fucked and that was by GOP design (not that DEMs were perfect but at least they were pro union).

    Safe to say I’ve been a solid DEM voter my entire voting life.

    *Ma died in ’06 but in the months before died she told me she’d had it with the GOP and would never vote for a GOP again. She was really pissed about the Iraq war.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    philip lewis

    Scientists revived a female microscopic roundworm that spent the last 46,000 years in suspended animation deep in the Siberian permafrost. It started having babies in a laboratory dish.

    Sounds like the start of a horror movie.

  20. Gustopher says:


    Have others had any big changes in underlying beliefs after the early teens?

    I don’t think I changed my underlying beliefs, but pretty much everything about how to realize them.

    I totally bought into the George H. W. Bush / Jack Kemp style Republican line about equality of opportunity, not a guarantee of results, maximizing liberty, etc.

    The more I learn about the world, the more I think a lot of the current system needs to be torn apart to actually realize that equality of opportunity. But, I’m also fundamentally risk-adverse and small-c conservative by nature.

    I was a stupid kid, who never mixed with people with different experiences until I was somewhat of an adult.

  21. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Don’t blame the scientists… It’s not the ones in Petri dishes that worry me. There’s enough melting permafrost that we would get those fancy prehistoric roundworms thawing out on their own.

    The scientists will be like canaries in the coal mine. Maybe we will notice if they die, or start eating the miners or something.

  22. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    If I touch my left foot it feels like a ravioli that’s been boiled too long.

    Your foot is also filled with meat, just like a ravioli. (Well, meat ravioli)

    I recommend soaking the foot in a tomato-basil sauce. And then maybe dusting it with grated cheese.

  23. Kathy says:

    It’s beginning to look like a busy weekend. Saturday there’s grocery shopping, and hopefully the locksmith will come to fix my closet door. For some reason it won’t close. Then I have to cook for the weekend.

    Sunday I want to get to the airport to trade some pesos for US Dollars. The peso has appreciated a lot this year, and surely that won’t last. So maybe it will make sense to get some USDs for a short-medium term gain. I guesstimate between 10 and 11%, depending on how much I can get it for.

    Therein lies an oddity. Exchange houses, and banks for that matter, charge no commission per transaction. but they have differentiated “buy” and “sell” prices. So, if I want to trade a dollar for pesos, I get, say 16.83 pesos. If I want to buy a dollar, I have to pay 17.50; so like a 4% price difference as a stand in for a commission.

    Oh, as to why at the airport. Because there are dozens of exchange places in a relatively small area, so one can shop for the best deal. I used to do that when I traveled to the US. Twice I scored real bargains.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: I’m not “blaming” anyone, just laughing at the soon to be hysterics from the followers of Q etc.

  25. JohnSF says:

    I meant to mention earlier this week; the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to 5.5%, despite the inflation rate now at 3.0% (PCE)
    It’s not just Dems, but centre-right commentators, like Irwin Stelzer and John Mauldin, who are warning, inreasingly vehemently, that the Fed seems to be intent on proving its contrition for not raising interest rates early in the inflationary surge, by now driving the economy into recession.

    “Making your bones” by a monetary drive-by may not be really very clever; especially as these and other economists are increasingly saying that a 2% target is rather arbitrary; 3% (or even 4% temporarily?) might better suit the current circumstances of combination of war, strategic industrial shifts, capital investment requirements etc etc.

    And the problem is that for Europe, UK etc the need to avoid a massive inflationary currency slide means Euro and Sterling interest rates have to move up as well.
    Just when China is looking at a deflationary slump, Russia is being hurt by sanctions, and there is major issue in aiding the poorer countries to adjust to new trading conditions, higher prices etc, the Fed is in tunnel vision mode.

    What we need now is some creative vision on organizing and easing a transition to the post-globalization era, people like the architects of Bretton Woods post-war, or the “great moderation” at the end of the Cold War.

  26. JohnSF says:


    …a tomato-basil sauce. And then maybe dusting it with grated cheese.

    “…accompanied with a nice Chianti.”

  27. JohnSF says:

    What could possibly go wrong?

  28. Kazzy says:

    @MarkedMan: Did you just question the largess of my gams?!?? :-p

    I’ve seen the sleeves and considered them. I’m picky about things staying in place and worried they’d shift on me. I’m also a creature of habit… if it works, don’t fix it. But that is indeed another good option.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Intellectualist

    A 76-year-old retired pastor is accused of exposing himself to a nine-year-old girl on July 21. @WFLA

    Still not a drag queen.

  30. JohnSF says:

    Also, funnily enough, my feet sometimes appear to have been pre-dusted with cheese of some sort.
    Too much information?

  31. MarkedMan says:


    Did you just question the largess of my gams?!?? :-p

    Never! I’m sure your gams give alms quite generously!

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:


    In NC, former pastor Ivan Hugh-McDonald Peden is facing sex crime charges after he was caught trying to look at a child through a bathroom stall.

    Peden is a former United Methodist clergyperson. He retired from active ministry in 2020. @myfox8

    Still not a drag queen.

  33. Kazzy says:

    @MarkedMan: Bwahaha! They’re the calves that just keep giving!