Happy 4th 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. Tony W says:

    Today the flag will either not fly in front of our home, or perhaps I’ll hang it upside down, at risk of a welfare check by the local PD (who am I kidding, they don’t even respond to DV calls).

    I’m not feeling particularly enamored with my nation on its 246th birthday.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Copenhagen shooting: police say no indication of terrorism motive

    Que up the “SEE??? Gun laws don’t work!” statements from the right.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Over 80 degrees and who knows how humid at 5:30 this AM. One hour in the garden later I was soaking wet.


  4. CSK says:
  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    I love my state, I don’t love my country, not anymore. California at least will not be Gilead. But renunciation remains on the table.

  6. CSK says:

    Nah. The MAGAs lost interest in the case as soon as they found out it was a white guy and not someone named Mohammaed.

  7. Stormy Dragon says:

    This July 4th feels more like a wake than a birthday party

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In June, Dominion Voting Systems, which provided voting machines to 28 states, was given the go-ahead to sue Fox Corp, the parent company of Fox News, in a case that could draw Rupert Murdoch and his son, Lachlan, into the spotlight. In the $1.6bn lawsuit, Dominion accuses Fox Corp, and the Murdochs specifically, of allowing Fox News to amplify false claims that the voting company had rigged the election for Joe Biden.

    Fox Corp had attempted to have the suit dismissed, but a Delaware judge said Dominion had shown adequate evidence for the suit to proceed. Dominion is already suing Fox News, as well as OAN and Newsmax. “These allegations support a reasonable inference that Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch either knew Dominion had not manipulated the election or at least recklessly disregarded the truth when they allegedly caused Fox News to propagate its claims about Dominion,” Judge Eric Davis said.
    “Dominion has a very strong case against Fox News – and against OAN for that matter,” said Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a professor who teaches constitutional law at Stetson University and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute.

    “The reason Dominion is suing is because Fox and other rightwing news outlets repeated vicious lies that Dominion’s voting machines stole the 2020 election from Trump for Biden. But all of these conspiracy theories about Dominion’s machines were just pure bunk, and Fox as a news organization should have known that and not given this aspect of the big lie a megaphone.”

    “What’s particularly bad for Fox is [that] Dominion asked them to stop and correct the record in real time, and Fox persisted in spreading misrepresentations about the voting machine company.”

    God doesn’t love me enough to have them actually lose, but I will enjoy seeing them twist in the wind for awhile.

  9. Kathy says:


    They may lose, but if they do the award won’t come close to a $1 billion.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    Gavin Newsom for president?? His efforts to raise his national profile and attacking DeSantis, certainly gives that appearance.

    Enjoy your 4th all.

  11. JohnSF says:

    Happy Independence Day, you gloomy buggers.
    I’d suggest you return to the embrace of Mother Britannia, but I could hardly advocate you exchange Joe Biden for Boris Johnson.

  12. Michael Cain says:

    I sort of expect at some point the defense will devolve into “Our hosts and guests who continued to repeat these stories, with claims that grew more and more outlandish, could only be regarded by any reasonable person as satire based on the known fact that Dominion’s systems are incredibly reliable and accurate. Dominion should be paying us for advertising their equipment.” Consider the number of conservative viewers who never figured out that Stephen Colbert’s character was a parody.

  13. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Well, there’s precedent for that. Hasn’t Fox already argued something to the effect that no reasonable person believes Tucker Carlson?

  14. Michael Cain says:


    I’d suggest you return to the embrace of Mother Britannia, but I could hardly advocate you exchange Joe Biden for Boris Johnson.

    Assuming we’re bright enough that this time we wouldn’t join up without proportionate representation in Parliament, and knowing that we outnumber you 5:1, rather than us swapping Biden for Boris, wouldn’t it more likely be you swapping Boris for Trump or Desantis?

  15. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Cain:

    …swapping Boris for Trump or Desantis?


    Have to make your putative return to the benefits of Imperial subjugation conditional on explicit acceptance of taxation without representation this time around, I’m afraid. 🙂

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Yep. And won on that basis.

  17. Jay L Gischer says:

    While I certainly appreciate the disappointment with the current situation some have, I still love what the 4th of July stands for and recognize that the country has never, as far as I know, lived up to every ideal it is founded upon.

    Those ideals were a stretch. We have travelled far, and accomplished much, and there is still more to do. I’ve gone to deep red states and found some pretty great people, so I’m not giving up on the USA without a fight.

    At times I can feel pretty helpless, but I also know that making me feel helpless is part of the enemies game plan. And I want to stay in this game.

    Every day in school I pledged allegiance to a flag that represented liberty and justice for all. I still hold to that.

    The America we hold in our minds is a very hard thing to do with actual people. We have made progress, though.

  18. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I see on the front page of the Tampa Bay Times today that Newsom has done a small ad buy in FL. He’s saying people can move to the freedom of CA. I assume this is some sort of test against a national run.

    I’ve always pictured Hillsdale college as a small part of the Wingnut Welfare circuit. Sinecures for RW intellectuals to generate propaganda. Also on the front page of the TB Times is a story about them playing a major role in DeUseless’ “reform” of education in FL. I assume they’re doing the same elsewhere. An education policy ALEC.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Giving up is not an option.

  20. Mikey says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    The America we hold in our minds is a very hard thing to do with actual people. We have made progress, though.

    Much of which is being undone, or will be. America is well on the way to becoming a quasi-theocratic autocracy a la Hungary.

    I have spent every day of the past 36 and a half years working, in some capacity, in our nation’s defense. After the last few years–and especially the last few months–I wonder if all those days were just wasted.

  21. gVOR08 says:


    Hasn’t Fox already argued something to the effect that no reasonable person believes Tucker Carlson?

    And no reasonable person does. But what does that have to do with FOX’s audience?

  22. Sleeping Dog says:


    A Brit, whose tumblr I follow, regularly suggests that we return to bosom of the Queen. That isn’t a reasonable solution either.

  23. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I think Her Majesty will request that you leave her bosoms alone, thank you very much.
    Go find yer own bosoms.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: Sheesh. Now I’ve got that image in my head, ya basterd….

  25. CSK says:

    Or, as Woody Allen was wont to call them, the royal tomatoes.

  26. JohnSF says:

    Perhaps when Prince Charles becomes King, he might have a bosom he could share?

  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    For anyone who is interested, a while back we shot a teaser/trailer for a GONE TV series. No series, (yet), and the pandemic didn’t help, but we put this together out-of-pocket as a sort of proof-of-concept.

  28. Mister Bluster says:

    Happy Fourth of July!
    Highland Park Illinois
    Police respond to July 4 parade amid reports of shooting

    CHICAGO (AP) — Police are responding to a shooting at a July Fourth parade in a Chicago suburb, authorities said Monday. Authorities have not officially reported any casualties, but witnesses described seeing bloodied bodies apparently covered with blankets.
    The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the parade began around 10 a.m. but was suddenly halted 10 minutes later after shots were fired. Several witnesses told the newspaper that they heard gunfire.
    Hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets.
    A Sun-Times reporter saw blankets placed over three bloodied bodies.
    WGN AM

    Two confirmed dead so far. Governor just said 9 people shot. Killer was shooting from the roof of a building. Apparently still at large.

  29. KM says:

    Our rights have been diminished in multple ways and the country is on the brink of disaster. It’s no longer crazed hyperbole to say this might be the last 4th we experience as a nation with our democracy or economy intact.

    But the hamburgers and fireworks have already been purchased and it’s important to take care of yourself in times of crisis. Yeah we’re less free today then we were last year but it’s still a day to remember the whole point of the American Experiment: a republic, if we can keep it. Go have a beer and something tasty, watch some fireworks and keep fighting so we can do it again next year.

  30. Jay L Gischer says:


    I have spent every day of the past 36 and a half years working, in some capacity, in our nation’s defense. After the last few years–and especially the last few months–I wonder if all those days were just wasted.

    Yeah, that has to be painful. I certainly appreciate your efforts.

    One important trend that I think is driving events is the erosion of religious affiliation, and in particular, White Christians. The remaining white Christians are alarmed about this and doing all sorts of things about it, none of which seems like it will help them much.

    Now, this piece, based on the 2020 Census has a subhead called “The Decline of White Christianity Slows’. The chart associated with it shows Mainline Protestant affiliation actually growing, while Evangelical Protestants continue their decline a Catholics struggle to break even.

    Thing is, the Evangelicals are far more associated with Trump, and they are now mired in intra-congregational conflict about how much to involve themselves in politics.

    I don’t think the Trump years really reversed this trend. It’s going to continue. We will still have true believers, but at some point they are going to have the same impact as Lyndon LaRouche followers did.

  31. Jay L Gischer says:
  32. Mu Yixiao says:


    I have spent every day of the past 36 and a half years working, in some capacity, in our nation’s defense. After the last few years–and especially the last few months–I wonder if all those days were just wasted.


    ‘Nuff said.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I guess atheists don’t matter. Same as it ever was.

  34. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Five dead, sixteen hospitalized according to NBC.

  35. Mu Yixiao says:

    This is a forum to discuss politics, policies, political philosophies, and all things that are caught in that net.

    We are–to the last–a passionate, educated, informed, opinionated, and pig-headed group.

    So… I would like to ask every one of you to step back for a minute and be thankful for the framework that allows us to bitch about our government day after day without fear. To be thankful for a country that (despite recent trends) has been the most welcoming country to immigrants–and has built our identity (and national pride) on that fact.

    I would us all to remember that, despite all the mistakes we have made, a large part of the world looks to (and depends on) us to protect them. And, to a major degree, we have–mostly by “walking softly and carrying a big stick”

    I would like us all to remember that, while it feels like there is animosity between our political factions… we are not Bosnia; we are not Rwanda. Our battles are being fought using words on Facebook and Twitter, not with AK-47s and machetes in our homes and those of our neighbors.

    We are at a crisis point. Yes.

    But we have been here before, we have stumbled, and we have learned, and we have emerged stronger and better.

    It’s up to us to do that again.

    Happy Independence Day.

  36. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Five dead, sixteen hospitalized according to NBC.

    Mayor of Highland Park just said 6 dead
    Killer still at large

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Now up to 6 dead and 31 injured.

  38. CSK says:

    Now it’s six dead, twenty-four injured.

  39. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster: @OzarkHillbilly:
    According to CBS, the suspect is a white male, 18-20 years old, “longer” black hair, small build.

  40. Tony W says:

    @CSK: Donald Turnip supporter?

  41. Mister Bluster says:

    @Tony W:..supporter

    At this time there is no way to know that.

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The Murdochs and FNC will settle eventually, probably sooner rather than later. On the plus side, if the case is as strong as strong against Newsmax and OAN, even settling might bankrupt them.

  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Looks charming so far. Should do well if you get a taker.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t see that as what he’s saying. After all, atheism isn’t broken, only Christianity is.

    And maybe Islam, but I can’t know for sure. In any event, every religion that aligns itself with temporal power gets damaged. It’s never politics that changes.

  45. Mister Bluster says:

    Theater and film director Peter Brook has died. He was 97.
    Brook chose to cast child non-actors in his 1963 film adaptation of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

    We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?

  46. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    every religion that aligns itself with temporal power gets damaged.

    As does atheism. Look at the USSR, China, Cambodia and I’m sure there are others. The powerful subvert any ideology. Religion is just one of many.

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’m just noting that the poll doesn’t even bother to separate atheists from all the other “unaffiliated”. Hence, we don’t matter.

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m not sure I would say atheism is being “subverrted” in the places you mention. Not a student of atheism, but my understanding is that it doesn’t have an organizing ethos. Which is logical given its primary focus on what is not.

    ETA: was able to change “it’s” in the original. Yay!

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Aha! I didn’t read the link. Just his comment.

  50. Kathy says:

    I have to dig out the old meme:

    Atheism isn’t a religion, anymore than not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    On better news, this week Disney+ shows Andor and Season 2 of The Bad Batch as “coming soon.” Alas, no word on Ahsoka.

  51. EddieInCA says:

    When I speak of progressives who are their own worst enemies and do damage to the Democratic Patry, I am speaking about people like this f**king clown:


    A woke Universal Music Group worker claims he was fired for “speaking up” about abortion rights — after he admitted he refused to work because he was in “mourning” over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    Michael Lopez, a production coordinator at Universal Music Enterprises, blasted the company as “anti-gay” for terminating a “queer brown person” during Pride Month for “speaking up in defense of abortion rights,” according to a lengthy note on LinkedIn that went viral last week.

    “Last Friday, like countless other folks, I was devastated by the news of the supreme court’s [sic] attack on abortion rights,” Lopez wrote.

    “Paired with the flood of anti-queer and anti-trans legislation, it’s been hard to process how company’s [sic] expect us to be productive while our rights are being stripped away.”

    Lopez then went on to explain that each Friday “one of my tasks was to process reports for upcoming releases” and then to email his work to 275 people.

    But instead of doing the usual process reports, he wrote an email that read: “I didn’t do them today.”

    “I’m in mourning due to the attack on people with uteruses in the US. Federally guaranteed access to abortion is gone,” the email continued.

    Not surprisingly the company fired him.

    Read the whole thing… .Bottom line, he didn’t get fired for being a “Queer brown person” during Pride Month. He was fired because HE CHOSE NOT TO DO HIS JOB!

    Idiot. If it can piss me off this much, what does it do to someone more moderate, yet still left leaning?


  52. CSK says:

    The person of interest in the Highland Park shooting is Robert Eugene Crimo III, twenty-two.

  53. Mister Bluster says:


    This is called pissing into the wind.

  54. gVOR08 says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    This is called pissing into the wind.

    This is called trivia. I haven’t read the story, but from comments here apparently some nobody did something stupid. The problem is that the NY Post and others jump on this as somehow representing the Democratic Party. Did any Democrat encourage this? Is this part of any democrat’s campaign? How is this on Democrats? If we want it to stop we must either ban nobodies from doing stupid or get our billionaires to fund a better messaging apparatus. The latter seems more feasible.

  55. Beth says:

    Hopefully an amusing anecdote on an otherwise dreary day…

    Yesterday a friend and I went to an outdoor party to see a couple of DJs: local legends, DJ Heather, Derrick Carter and from the UK, the headliner, Hot Since 82:


    It was a beautiful day out in the courtyard of a small film studio. They had a little stage and a couple of bars. Had several refreshing vodka lemonades while I wished for a food truck. The friend I was with, lets call her E, is gorgeous. She’s a 6 ft4, skinny, blonde, looks like a model. She frequently gets hit on, especially inappropriately, by 20 year old women. She’s old enough where its not appropriate to reciprocate that.

    I on the other hand, affectionally refer to myself a 6ft Southside Bridgetroll. I’m sure I’m in a story book somewhere used to frighten Republican children. The only thing I got going for me in the looks department is my beautiful artisan crafted nose. I never get hit on, which is a shame because I am, ahem, an attention whore. I say that not to diminish myself in anyway, but just as a statement of fact. I dress provocatively, I’m loud, I’m brash, I’m kind of a lot.

    So, we’re just hanging out, E gets hit on like 3 times and I’m like, “no don’t hit on me, you’ll turn to stone…” When this guy walks over and hits on E. She shoots him down. So he does the next thing that pops in to his head, which is to grab my hand and spin me around, like 3 times. I was like ok, that’s enough of that, but I like the attention. Side note, this is the second time some guy has done this to me. Why do straight guys think this particular move is going to get them anywhere? The first time it happened some other women checked on me afterwards to see if I was in trouble. I gently shoot Mr. Spinny down and go back to dancing with my vodka lemonade. He really wasn’t my type.

    Little while goes by and he comes back. Same thing. Hits on E, gets shot down, spins me around a couple of times and then asks me to dance. I’m like no, no thanks. He then asks a seriously ridiculous question. With a straight face, he asks me if “I’m a latina?”. Friends, I look like all of my ancestors from the U.K. I could not look less English if I tried. At this point, my desire for attention has been replaced by utter confusion. Mr. Spinny then wanders off.

    I go back to dancing, spend some time in line for the porta potties, more vodka lemonade. He comes back again. Again, hits on E who tells him she’s a lesbian. He doesn’t miss a beat, moves to me, I flash my wedding ring, he moves on.

    Some time passes and Mr. Spinny decides that things have radically changed in all of our lives and he tries again. E shoots him down. He again asks if I’m latina and then looks at me like I have six heads (at this point the snakes were angry) when I tell him no, English. He grabs my hand and tries for one more spin which I contra spin away from. My desire for attention replaced with mild annoyance.

    The experience left me with many questions. The primary of which was, “how do straight guys ever get laid?” Seriously, all a guy has to do is tell me I look pretty and my hair looks nice and I would be buying them drinks. This whole spin move thing and the other weird crap guys do. How do any of them ever get anywhere.

    Anyway, one last tidbit of amusement for you. If you’ve read this and thought to yourself, I wonder what her type of guy is, allow me to present my crush:


    He’s dreamy…

  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: For me, it made me feel sad that he lost his job because he’s a snowflake, but I made no associations with either liberals or progressives because the movements can’t control the actions of the individuals. The same sort–or worse–of bad faith action happens in evangelicalism, and I can’t control it there either. Ya can’t fix stupid, so you have to decide on policy apart from the people who advocate it. That’s hard to do and doesn’t come naturally to humans.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: A person with a vowel on the end of his name. We could have expected something like this from that kind.

    (We now return you to 2022.)

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Why does he wear sunglasses on his lips? And use that picture for his avatar? WA!

  59. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    He’s been arrested. Really strange-looking dude. Calls himself a rapper.

  60. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I don’t think he actually knows how to use sunglasses. But that’s ok, he’s beautiful. As for his avatar pic, I showed it to my partner and she said “I can smell that picture. It smells like Drakkar Noir and Axe Body Spray.” She makes fun of me a lot and deservedly so.

  61. Jay L Gischer says:

    We went on the whale watching cruise. There were no orca within range, which makes me sad, but it was reported that J, K, and L pods still exist – they just have to travel further to get their salmon these days.

    We did see a humpback whale coming out through Deception Pass, which is something that never happened here in my youth. Several Dahl’s porpoises, sea lions and seals. Also some bald eagles.

    Then the fireworks were fantastic.