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. CSK says:

    Trump’s back on Twitter. He posted his mugshot and a link to a donations site.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Never pass up an opportunity to fleece the rubes.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Anger over fish stocks as Senegal village mourns boat disaster dead

    Fass Boye residents and environmental groups blame the Senegalese government for doling out fishing permits to industrial trawlers from Asia and Europe, which they say are responsible for the decline in fish stocks.

    “Foreign boats are flooding our seas, exploiting everything,” said one fisher, Lamine Diop, 25. “Nobody dares go out to sea anymore because it’s a waste of gas. This is all the fault of the state.”
    Blaming Senegal’s issuance of fishing permits for illegal migration is unfounded, said Malick Sow, a communications officer for Senegal’s fishing ministry. Of the 163 licences allocated to fishing boats, 23 are foreign vessels, all of which are French and Spanish owned, Sow said. Some licences, however, have been given to “mixed companies”, whereby Chinese, Russian and Turkish vessels partner with a Senegalese fishing enterprise that maintains at least a 51% stake in the company.

    Sow acknowledged the existence of these partnerships but said he was unable to quantify them because the state considers them “companies with Senegalese rights”.

    Local fishers are partially responsible for the decline in fish because many use illegal monofilament nets, which pose a great danger to fish, Sow said. They also overfish small pelagics, which they then sell to foreign companies for export, he said.

    “This phenomenon is not about youth unemployment. There are tailors and mechanics who close their shops to take the pirogues,” Sow said. “If the youth want to go to Spain, how can you blame the state?”

    I’m pretty sure that last bit can be summed up as, “We’re getting ours, fuck you.”

  4. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: That mugshot is going to show up in ads for both the Trump and Biden campaigns. That in itself speaks volumes about today’s political climate.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via Anne Laurie:

    I Smoked Elon’s Ketamine

    One indictment to rule them all.

    One prosecutor to find them.

    One indictment to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

    The Lincoln Project


  6. CSK says:


    I’m trying to figure out what affect Trump was striving to convey. Stern and commanding? Angry and threatening? Petulant? What?

  7. Kylopod says:
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: After meekly submitting himself for arrest, it didn’t work on anybody but his cult.

  9. gVOR10 says:


    Reportedly he was aiming for “defiant.”

    Well, presumably someone said, “Stand up straight and look at the camera.” and he defied that. To which may I add, 215 my arse. Or rather look at a picture of his.

  10. just nutha says:

    @CSK: @OzarkHillbilly: Well duh.

  11. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR10: I was disappointed when I heard they were accepting self-report for height and weight, but then I was hoping he’d put in something really crazy like 6’5″, 190 or something.

    In his first post to the Platform Formerly Known as Twitter since 2021, he said “NEVER SURRENDER,” despite the fact that he, well, just surrendered.

    There are a ton of photos of Trump standing next to someone whose height is known and it’s pretty clear he isn’t 6’3″. For example, here’s him with 6’1″ Obama. Of course, for all we know Obama might be lying and claiming to be shorter, just to spite Trump.

    I know this is all very superficial and that a lot of men lie about their height and weight, but it is pretty clear Ronny Jackson deliberately falsified Trump’s medical information during the 2018 checkup. He should have his license revoked.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: but then I was hoping he’d put in something really crazy like 6’5″, 190 or something.

    That fat fck reporting his weight as 215 is ridiculous.

    In that side by side pic with Obama, it appears to me that Obama is taller. trump has his fluffed up comb over while Obama’s hair is close to the scalp. I’d give O a 1/2″ or so over the fat one.

  13. gVOR10 says:


    it is pretty clear Ronny Jackson deliberately falsified Trump’s medical information during the 2018 checkup. He should have his license revoked.

    If they’re going to accept self reported weight, it’s a shame they don’t do it under oath. Then we’d already have a prima facia perjury charge.

  14. Stormy Dragon says:


    Did someone punch him? He looks like he has a black eye in his mugshot

  15. Kylopod says:


    If they’re going to accept self reported weight, it’s a shame they don’t do it under oath. Then we’d already have a prima facia perjury charge.

    Only if his weight was deemed material to the case.

  16. Kathy says:



  17. Daryl says:

    The stupid fuq put out an X post that said “Never Surrender” with a photo taken of him when he had just surrendered an hour earlier.
    You just cannot make up how stupid the Republican party has become.

  18. gVOR10 says:

    Via Paul Campos at LGM The Wrap has an apt photo montage with Trump’s mugshot.

    In the meme, Trump as jail bird joins a photo montage of villains from three of Kubrick’s Warner Bros. classics — Malcolm McDowell as Alex in 1971’s “A Clockwork Orange,” Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in 1980’s “The Shining” and Vincent D’Onofrio as Private Pyle in 1987’s “Full Metal Jacket.”

  19. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    He does look as if he has a black eye, doesn’t he?

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    To the degree that I recall, the Fulton County Sheriff was saying that everybody gets measured and weighed when booked there. I guess he was just trumping.

  21. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    One of Trump’s senior advisors told ABC News that Trump’s height and weight were “pre-reported” to speed up the booking process.

  22. CSK says:

    There are reports that Trump sold Mar-a-Lago to a company owned by Donnie Junior a few weeks ago.

  23. gVOR10 says:

    I didn’t think he was paying his lawyers with his own money. But that smells of prepping for another bankruptcy. If he has a deal to sell it to little Donnie with the understanding that Sr. gets to keep living there, I hope the kid learned from his father and will stiff him.

  24. CSK says:


    Trump and Melania will continue to have a private suite at M-A-L. I think Junior is still too desperate to win Senior’s love (a hopeless endeavor) to stiff the old man.

  25. Daryl says:

    Former VP Candidate calls for Civil War

  26. CSK says:


    Is she bucking for a slot as Trump’s V.P.?

  27. Daryl says:

    At this point I think she’ll settle for just a little attention.

  28. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Don’t care either way or why. Just noting that what the Fulton County Sheriff said is a bunch of trump.

  29. Kylopod says:


    Is she bucking for a slot as Trump’s V.P.?

    I couldn’t tell you with any certainty what’s going through her head, but she’s certainly trying desperately to stay relevant. I hope she gives another go for Mary Peltola’s seat (Begich has already announced).

  30. Mister Bluster says:

    March on Washington- 60 Years Ago

    August 28, 1963

    I have heard white folks say things like “Why are they marching? What do these people want?”

    I have replied with this quote from I.F. Stone.
    “Rich people march on Washington every day.”

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Aaron Rupar

    Trump on jail was like: “Terrible experience.”

    Like he has even a clue. I’ll bet he never saw the inside of even a holding cell.

  32. CSK says:


    Was it an equally terrible experience the first three times he was busted? I should think that he’d be used to it by now.

  33. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: No one wept and called him “sir”? I find that hard to believe.

  34. CSK says:

    John Bolton says Trump was trying to look intimidating in the mugshot. Michael Beschloss agrees with Bolton’s assessment.

  35. dazedandconfused says:


    Statement from an expert witness.

    Oh, what a first lady she would’ve made.

    The Kubrick-stare forward lean tucks all those chins behind the most forward one.

  36. charontwo says:


    The always irreverent Stormy Daniels had something to say today about her former client Donald Trump’s claim that he weighs 215 pounds.

    Mmmkay! And I’m 110lbs and a virgin ! I’m not a scale or a doctor but I have spent some time beneath 215lb men and Tiny was not one of them.

  37. CSK says:


    I’m not sure if even the most Trump-besotted MAGAs are buying the 6’3″ 215 lbs. claim.

  38. Gustopher says:

    Kevin Drum has some charts up showing the decline in student test scores for in-person vs. remote teaching during covid.

    Spoiler: “Despite all the conventional wisdom, it looks like closing schools really didn’t make much difference. Something else about COVID was responsible for the score declines.”

    This is something I’ve been sort of ranting about, on and off, for years at this point. We really need to be studying these kids, because I don’t think we know yet whether it impacted their ability to learn, or was just an interruption in their opportunities to learn.

    Of course, it’s harder to measure whether they have other problems, like emotional regulation, etc.

    Hopefully, kids ain’t completely fucked, but we should be doing a lot of studies to see if they are, and how to get them back on track.

  39. dazedandconfused says:

    Trump has described it a “terrible experience.” This may be true. Reports are only about a couple dozen people showed up to protest for him at this historic event. Hardly any have appeared at the courts all through this. Once upon a time he could summon a mob with barely any effort. That those days appear to be gone must terrify him.

  40. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: perhaps he has a large air bladder inside, expanded like a puffer fish under threat?

  41. CSK says:


    It may be that most kids need some form of regulation and regimentation in order to learn. I was never one of those. I hated public high school, where it struck me that stupid people made you do stupid things for stupid reasons. Private school and college suited me much better.

  42. dazedandconfused says:


    They aren’t going for his money in DC, Florida and Georgia. It’s all crim stuff.

    Perhaps a preparation for a divorce?

  43. Gustopher says:

    I saw a video the other day (and forgot to save a link) about how the Flat Earther conspiracy theory was antisemitic.

    Alas, after the exciting lead in, it was just that “globalist elites” are trying to bring people away from God with science “lies”, rather than the much more exciting alternative… that Jews flattened the Earth.

    I would like conspiracy theories to either not always be about Jews, or at least be original. I know antisemites aren’t the best and brightest, but they’ve been running the same story for 2000 years, and they need at least a few new variations.

    (Matzoh bread should fit in, somewhere)

  44. Kathy says:

    I spent 5 and a half hours delivering samples. That’s a new low.

    It was at an army camp, just 3 kilometers from the office (in fact, I pass by part of it most days on the way to work). Between the time it took them to allow us in (long, boring story), and the time some junior lieutenant came to get them, it took that long. from 9 am to 2:30 PM.

    The delivery itself took 20 minutes, for all seven participants who showed up.

  45. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: The godfather of most conspiracy theories in the modern world is the Protocols for the Elders of Zion. Almost all of the really big ones today, whether overtly anti-Semitic or not, usually posit some kind of shadowy cabal secretly pulling the strings. It’s just a question of whether that cabal is identified as Jews. In some cases the believers don’t even consciously realize they’re using coded anti-Semitic tropes. And a lot of these beliefs have overtly anti-Semitic varieties. For instance, 9/11 trutherism has the sub-branch that posits the attack was orchestrated by the Mossad, as well as the accompanying claim that Jews were told in advance not to enter the towers.

    QAnon draws from an even older anti-Semitic belief, which is the blood libel. But not all QAnoners identify the blood-drinkers as Jews.

  46. charontwo says:

    Rich men North of Richmond singer says “it’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me like I’m one of them.”

    He says it’s funny they used it in the GOP debate because “I wrote that song about them.”

  47. Kylopod says:

    @charontwo: Right on time! I just mentioned the Mossad version of the 9/11 conspiracy theories. It turns out this singer is apparently a believer in it.

  48. CSK says:


    Could well be.

  49. DrDaveT says:


    the much more exciting alternative… that Jews flattened the Earth.

    Only for Passover. They use leavened Earth the rest of the year, like the rest of us.

    (Does that qualify as “something about matzoh”?)

  50. JohnSF says:


    …expanded like a puffer fish…

    Or perhaps?

  51. JohnSF says:


    The godfather of most conspiracy theories in the modern world is the Protocols for the Elders of Zion.

    Not quite, IMO.
    It’s an interesting side topic in early modern intellectual/political history.

    If you ignore medieval and Reformation period stuff (Heretics! Protestants! Catholics! Witches!) the modern period starts with two quite common conspiracy theories on different sides of the political/religious divide, especially in Catholic Europe and Latin America.

    Jesuits, about whom the classic period ended with the (temporary) dissolution in 1773.
    And Freemasons, usually from the Catholic/Reactionary “ultras”.
    But the funny thing is: in some case both were actually conspiratorial, to some extent.
    See eg the Carbonari in Italy, or the Jesuits in French religious politics in the early 1700’s

    Of course, both have fed into the current mulch of madness that is modern conspiraloonery.
    But there genuinely is an interesting, if minor, sidelight on early modern history in them.

  52. Kathy says:

    After one of the worst return to work after vacation weeks*, I’ll need to come to the office on the weekend to deal with petty cash, and to finally switch my laptop for the desktop. So instead of trying a new recipe for beef stew, I’ll do an old one adapted from a Salisbury “steak” recipe (they’re not steak).

    It’s not stew, but it does have some liquid and I’ll manage to mix in some potatoes. I’m not sure what I’ll do for a side. I was in the mood for some kind of pasta soup last week, so maybe that (and maybe not, the mood seems to have passed). Or maybe citrus cabbage with carrots and soybean sprouts. that one has a dressing made with orange juice, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar (optional), and turmeric.

  53. gVOR10 says:

    @DrDaveT: That’s funny. Genuinely really funny. I’ve talked about reading comments at conservative sites. CSK talks about Lucianne comments. Know what you never see? Humor. I love this site. Thanks James.

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I doubt MAGAts care one way or another (and am not even sure that I care).

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    but we should be doing a lot of studies to see if they are, and how to get them back on track.

    Only to the extent that we believe that education is for all children, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that belief playing out anywhere I’ve been a teacher. (I’m also not sure that it’s an achievable goal given the fact of agency playing a role in behavior. I’ve seen lots of kids who suffer from Don’t Want to be Here. Not sure it’s curable.)

  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: A fellow teacher of mine at Yeungjin Technical College taught an English class for junior officers at the airbase next to Daegu airport. A two hour class always took 3 or more hours to complete given the regulations about how civilians could be allowed on the base and move around in it. On the plus side, they always gave her a ride home.

  57. Kathy says:

    The Georgia RICO case had me recalling the scene in The Shawshank Redemption when Andy arrives in prison. The veteran convicts bet on whom of the new ones will be the first to cry.

    I’d put money on Meadows. I figure so many will favor Benito, that the payout will be as tiny as his orange hands.

  58. JohnSF says:

    Jews flattened the Earth.
    News at a leaven.

  59. dazedandconfused says:


    Could be estate planning, I guess.