It’s August! 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. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Day 3 of the rescue of the daughter and her sweetie concluded with all 4 (purported) adults and 5 cats still alive. However, I’m out of bourbon and am reduced to drinking rum. And sitting on the back patio smoking a lovely Ninja with my Bacardi. At 2 am on a work day. Not happy with adulting at the moment.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Day 3 of the rescue of the daughter and her sweetie


    And yeah, I used to be a grown up, it sucked!

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Voyager 2 was launched from Florida in 1977 to study the outer solar system as well as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – and was sent up just a couple weeks ahead of its identical twin, Voyager 1. It entered interstellar space in 2018, having discovered a host of new moons on Uranus and one on Jupiter.

    I mean, on Uranus? On Jupiter?

  4. Bill Jempty says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    X is gone. Well, from the top of the building anyway.

  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    The jokes will write themselves. Though it’s not a joke.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    If it is true, that the the trucking industry has a huge shortage of drivers, they won’t be out of work long. Yellow has been a poorly run money pit for years.

  8. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Did I miss something?

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I once had a jobsite get shut down for a day because of leprosy. To be more accurate, the fear of leprosy. To say it was a day bordering on the truly bizarre, is putting it lightly.

    My conversation with my union business rep was short and sweet:

    Me: “The superintendent thinks the building has been contaminated with leprosy.”
    Biz Rep: “WTF????”

    (ftr, the individual thought to have “contaminated” the building had a spider bite, the 2nd possibility the doc had brought up. The super had googled leprosy over the wkend and let the worst tales of it marinated in his brain for 2 days so that Monday AM he was totally freaked out. Funny as shit.

  10. Jen says:

    Now this is a lottery story:

    11 Women Pooled Money for a $3 Lottery Ticket. They Won $1.2 Million.

    The winners, who are sanitation co-workers in India, each make just a few dollars a day. The jackpot will help them pay off crippling debts.

    In June, 11 women who work together as sanitation laborers in India pooled their money to buy the equivalent of a $3 lottery ticket because they could not afford the cost individually.

    Last week, they won. The jackpot was $1.2 million, or more than $700,000 after taxes — an enormous sum for workers who spend their days collecting household waste and building public toilets.

    Lottery drawings are famous feel-good stories because they make people rich overnight, but these winners may be among the most deserving in history. Most were in debt after taking out loans for medical treatment, their children’s education, dowries or other essential expenses that they could not afford on a wage of roughly $3 a day.

    “I’m swimming in debt, so this money will be a big relief,” said one of the winners, Leela K., 50, a mother of four daughters. “I will finally have peace of mind. But my tension will vanish only when the money comes into my account.”

    BBC link.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as happy to read a lottery story.

  11. CSK says:

    This is very interesting. Unsettling, but very interesting. I’ve often wondered if/when Trump loses the 2024 election, there will be violence.

  12. CSK says:


    Love it.

  13. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Elevator pitch for this telenovela is that daughter and her fiance are in the process of their second foreclosure. They’re currently occupying our spare bedroom. It’s 100% their own fault, but there it is.

  14. Daryl says:

    Let the toy soldiers bring it on.
    Personally I am not overly concerned buy a group of people who think that drinking a Bud Light or reading a book will turn you gay.

  15. CSK says:

    This is truly hilarious. Trump stole another family’s coat-of-arms.

    What else would you expect of Trump? I really love the part where he changed “integrity” for “Trump.”

  16. CSK says:


    Morons can be extremely violent.

  17. Jen says:

    @CSK: Eleven women had to *pool their money* to purchase what amounted to a $3 ticket. THREE DOLLARS.

    I feel like I need to have this written somewhere prominent for the next time I feel a little whiny.

  18. Kathy says:

    How come the ongoing snoozefest isn’t generating 1 millionth the interest of last year’s?

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    After the game, two-time World Cup winner and former US star Carli Lloyd even said, “The player of the match was that post,…
    CNN Sports

    I do not understand soccer. After a 0-0 draw both teams should go home.

  20. CSK says:


    I know. The prize must seem like uncountable riches to them. I’m happy they won.

  21. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Anyone else gleeful about Bidens rochambeauing of Tuberville?

    Make Stupid Hurt (Again)

  22. Jim Brown 32 says:

    In case anyone noticed a few more JB32 posts this week than normal..,it’s because he took a week off to accompany Ms Brown to a work conference in Puerto Rico. In other words, I’m her after conference boy toy. Socials, after socials, dancings— this job is not as relaxing as it sounded. At least I can sleep in

  23. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Just relax and enjoy being a gigolo. 😀

  24. Steve says:

    I prefer the term trophy husband.


  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Hah! Since it is in A/NZ I find various family members up and awake at all times of the night glued to the TV and sending family chats expressing outrage at various calls. This morning my wife woke me up at 5am as she went back to bed.

    And… well, I know you watch US professional football. 2 hours of commercials interspersed with an hour of “playing time”. That hour is 40 minutes of getting into position interspersed with 20 minutes of actual movement. That 20 minutes of actual movement is 15 minutes of getting up from a tackle interspersed with the actual 5 minutes of moving the ball that is the only thing worth watching in the whole 3 hours. Soccer football, on the other hand, is 45+ minutes of commercial free action, followed by a 15 or 20 minute bathroom break, followed by another 45+ minutes of commercial free action. I rest my case.


  26. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: I’m considering gigolo union membership to improve work conditions. Any “no” will get me fired and on a plane back to Day-Santistan

  27. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    It’s a tough gig, but somebody’s gotta do it. I feel confident you’re up to the task.

  28. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You don’t wanna know. Trust me!
    @Flat Earth Luddite: Ouch! I had no idea it’d tumbled down that far. ☹️

  29. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: And yet, the story will probably be presented as “unionization destroying jobs” in large swaths of the society.

  30. Kathy says:


    Soccer football, on the other hand, is 45+ minutes of commercial free action…

    During which nothing of any interest happens.

  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’m adjusting to life in Vegas. On the plus side, taking my wife for physical training post hip replacement means walking a different casino every other day or so and having drinks and a nice meal. Beats a smelly gym. And it’s all so shiny.

    Sadly, DoorDash options are much more limited than they were in LA because none of the casino restaurants play. And the grocery options here are lousy: Albertson’s and Sam’s. LA never had as strong a grocery game as the Bay Area, but Vegas is worse still, and by a lot. And bookstores? Yeah, not really a thing here. There’s a B&N in Henderson and one in Summerlin but on the strip you are subject to arrest if caught carrying a book.

    Oddly I feel liberated as a driver. My fellow Angelenos will understand my amazement that I can regularly drive down broad boulevards with minimal traffic at speeds in excess of the posted. And there’s parking! In LA I lived atop a ridge above a CVS and a Whole Foods and I dreaded driving down the hill because the search for a parking spot could take literally 20 minutes of circling. Here I can actually go places and it’s not a fucking trial.

    But then, there’s the weather. I have to get up at 5:45 to take the dogs out before the sun gets too high in the sky. Lately it’s been 97 or so at 6 AM. Today for the first time, a cold snap. At 6 AM it was just 77! Second and final walk is around 8 PM because any earlier and the pavement will fry the dogs’ feet.

    Vegas remains the land of the overly ambitious boob job. And the Eurotrash dudes who rent a Lambo to drive up and down the strip. And the Bros with Hos. And the 300 pound grandmas plugged into a slot machine. All the despair and greed and crass commercialism you could want, and more.

  32. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’m glad there’s an upside for you and Katherine. The only time I went to Vegas I felt as if I’d eaten a bowl of grease.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Hey, I’m a baseball fan. In comparison to that soccer has Looney Toons level of activity

  34. Kathy says:

    I’m now 99.9% ready to swap my work desktop for a 2 year old laptop. The one outstanding issue, is its current Win11 build for some reason does not have the option never to combine buttons on the taskbar.

    If it looks like a dealbreaker and acts like a dealbreaker, shouldn’t it be suspected of being a dealbreaker?

    Not according to the IT guy. Of course, he also suggested I forego a monitor and just use the microscopic laptop screen built in. For the record, of several laptops in the department, all of them are used with an external monitor between 90 and 100% of the time. I fail to see why I shouldn’t as well.

    I know I sound like I’m whining, but I use the computer at work most of the day. Having an uncomfortable machine with a tiny screen, a scrunched keyboard*, and without a mouse, is too much of an adaptation for someone of whatever my age currently is, or anyone who thinks doing the work is a tad more important than adapting to a laptop.

    The IT guy did mention I should ask for a new monitor. I told him when I did two years ago, on receiving the laptop I never asked for, I was told, by his department, that I didn’t need one because the laptop has a (microscopic**) screen. I added that if he thinks I could get one now, I’ll request one.

    Since I still need to see which files locals to my desktop need to be kept (not many), we agreed to revisit the matter tomorrow.

    The thing is the desktop has been getting worse for the past few months. it was always painfully slow. It greatly improved by swapping the magnetic HD with a solid state one four years ago. Now, though, t often takes up to 15 minutes to get started. it boots quickly. But when you open a browser, it tends to freeze intermittently for minutes at a time, until it decides to settle down and work.

    * During Hell Week, which accounts for the majority of the company’s income, I spend hours entering prices, amounts, and other numbers on spreadsheets. The laptop keyboard has no number keypad.

    ** I know it’s not literally microscopic. But if I need to lean in and squint in order to make out the text and symbols, then it might as well be.

  35. Kathy says:


    The only good thing to come off baseball is the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on first” routine.

    The best part:

    So, I take the ball and throw it to Naturally.

    No! You throw it to first base!

    Then who gets it?


  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    You’re not wrong. Vegas is objectively a horrible place. But I enjoy being alienated from my surroundings. We deliberately chose a condo basically on the Strip – we’re not looking to fit in, to become part of Vegas life. We might as well be in a hotel, a state of suspended tourism, with valet parking and security to keep out the riff raff. K has some more recuperating to do, and then some book promo, but by mid-October we intend to be on the road.

    A favorite thing for both of us is to find a quiet corner of a casino floor bar and just people watch. Great fun for fiction writers. Observers in the corner of an Elmore Leonard novel.

  37. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @just nutha:
    Spent Saturday packing their s*** and loading a u-haul, Sunday ditto, yesterday and today will be schlepping stuff to the storage unit after morning work. Fortunately, Wednesday is still set bibimbap or a Korean rice bowl. Thursday or Friday will be hauling s*** to the dump.

    ETA dreams of dropping him 40 miles out on a two-track road, having am I, hmmm?

  38. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..only good thing to come off baseball

    I am compelled to dispute that

  39. Kathy says:

    On to better things, literally, the second ep of Futurama’s latest revival season was much better than the revival premiere.

    The only self-referencing part was at the opening animated show logo, which briefly spelled HULURAMA, with a tagline below saying “Did anything happen while we were gone?” then it went on to show rather good continuity, as Amy’s and Kief’s children emerge from the swamp 20 years after being born (peculiar aliens are an SF staple).

    I’ve tow minor observations. One, when Futurama launched, all the way back in 1999, Matt Groening said time would progress in a normal fashion, unlike it does in The Simpsons. To be sure, the revival does inform us the Planet Express crew are living in the year 3023, not the year 3000. That is 23 years after the show began (where does the time go?)

    But everyone still has the same job, Amy is still the intern, the Professor is still alive and much older, etc. So time passes, but little changes.

    The second is the irony that a show set in the future needs to catch up with advances in XXI century tech. In the early seasons in the 2000s, 31st century cell phones were portrayed as tiny, tiny flip styles, with humongous external batteries, parodying the then trendy Motorola StarTac line (even I had one at some point). Today they have the last revival’s eye-phone, which is a smartphone installed inside the user’s eyelid. It then projects images in front of the person’s eyes. Now they are catching up to streaming. Things like that.

    It’s still a great show, most of the time.

  40. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: The only aspect of baseball I enjoy is the suspense, “Is anything going to happen this inning?”

  41. Jim Brown 32 says:

    These should be on billboards in Trump Country as soon as a rally destination is announced. Captioned: Make America Great…or just Donald Trump?

    But they won’t so the people in these areas will only hear how hard Trump is fighting to protect them from socialism. You think people who live on 30k a year won’t feel some type of way about Melania’s stylist getting 100k for 6 months? That $100 donation they gave was REAL money to them

  42. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I didn’t see that movie.

  43. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Actually, the stylist has been paid $260,000 since 2022.

  44. Kazzy says:

    @Kathy: I think the main reason* is the games are all taking place in the middle of (our) night. We’ve been DVRing the games we’re interested in, watching them with the kids when possible.

    *ETA the main reason other than the obvious reason, which is people will always given women’s sports less attention and respect than they deserve.

  45. Daryl says:

    Same with Soccer

  46. Kathy says:


    I think the time is an excuse. There was plenty of normal interest for the Sydney olympics years ago.

  47. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32: @CSK:
    Melania also has a separate ‘pout stylist,’ who follows her around whispering, ‘Squint hard and puff out your lips. No, don’t smile! You are sullen, always sullen! Squint harder so no one sees in your eyes the absence of a soul.’

  48. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: If you were Melania Trump, would you really need someone to remind you not to smile?

  49. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I always thought she squints because after 20 or so face lifts, she can’t really open her eyes.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: I think I mentioned this in another thread, but last Friday I attended an Orioles game that was 2 1/2 hours rain delayed and then was scoreless through 8 1/2 innings with less than a handful of hits, until it ended with a walk off home run. For the non-fans it would have been boring as dirt, but form me it was probably the best game I saw all year. A masterclass by both starting pitchers, and then both managers worked the bullpen like they were in the playoffs and it was win or go home.

  51. Kazzy says:

    @Kathy: In order of impact, I’d say the reasons are:
    1 – It’s soccer.
    1A – They’re women.
    2 – The time.

    ETA: Then there’s this:

    That appears to be just over half what the men’s team got last year, for context.

  52. Kingdaddy says:

    To no one’s surprise, the controversial DeSantis videos came from his campaign, not random basement-dwelling troglodytes:

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Second and final walk is around 8 PM because any earlier and the pavement will fry the dogs’ feet.

    I’m not a pet guy, but there a solutions to that problem. But I suspect that the real problem is the dog walker rather than the feet of the dog. 😉

    ETA: OOOH!! And the Kurgo shoes have little flashing LED lights just like toddler shoes. YOUR DOGS REALLY NEED THESE! TRUST ME!

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: It’s my turn to buy, so (in a break from the running joke of “he’ll have a bowl of cold raw oatmeal with no milk or sugar”) get what will restore the pleasure to your life. Saturday- today sound like they’ve been no picnic so far.

  55. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:…I didn’t see that movie.

    Maybe you saw this.

    (It’s good to see that in the future there is no pitch clock.)

  56. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I have a ‘pocket Golden’ named Astrid, who had a hard life before coming to us. Some prick shattered her spine as a puppy, but for whatever reason she’s decided I’m the one male she can trust. And we have an undersized pug named, Boss. Getting these two ADHD idiots leashed up is – without exaggeration – like wrestling a pair of rabid badgers. It’s an explosion of dog joy and dog impatience . I don’t have the strength – physical or emotional – to put booties on them.

  57. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I get “video not available in your country.” I’m guessing it’s the Blernsball ep, where Leela steals a Hank Aaron’s spot in the hall of fame.

    I did see it.

    I grant it came from baseball. But this ruins my exaggeration effect above.

  58. JohnSF says:

    African news:
    Worth keeping an eye on events in the Sahel.
    The military regimes in Bukina Faso, Mali and Central African Republic are yelling about how unfair it is that Western countries are upset about the coup in Niger, promising undying support, and hinting at deals with Wagner.

    In fact tut-tutting from Washington and eyerolls in Paris are the least of their possible problems.
    The coastal states grouping (Senegal/Ghana/Cote Ivoire/Nigeria) are showing increasing signs of becoming fed up with the antics of the juntas, as the military regimes let their countries fall into chaos and radical Islamists gain ground.

    Black Sea news:
    Three cargo ships have defied the Russian “blockade” and made port at Izmail in the Danube Delta in Ukraine.
    Apparently Romanian F-16’s and Italian Eurofighter Typhoons based in Romania were running enhanced air patrols in nearby Romanian airspace.
    Ship registrations: one Israeli, one Greek, one Georgian flagged and Turkish owned.
    With a flock of NATO patrol aircraft paying attention/

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: As a parent I am always there for my sons, even when it’s their fault. Good on you.

  60. Kathy says:

    It seems Benito’s received his third indictment.

    Here’s to many, many more.

  61. gVOR08 says:


    * Probably. Reporting is still a bit muddled.

  62. Kathy says:

    I hope the link to the indictment works.

    I repeat my suggestion to print lots of copies of it, and hand them to GQP “Christians” while telling them “Have you heard the Good News?”

  63. EddieInCA says:

    @gVOR08: @Kathy:

    Four counts. Jack Smith is not screwing around.

  64. Kathy says:

    IMO, the game of “guess who the co-conspirators are,” won’t last long. it may not even wait for the end of this post.

  65. CSK says:

    Indicted on four counts:

    1 count of conspiracy to defraud the United States
    2 counts of obstruction of an official preoceeding
    1 count of conspiracy against rights

  66. Beth says:

    The enormity of a former (and possibly future) U.S. President getting indicted for attempting to overthrow the government is too much for me.

    Instead I’m going to think about @Michael Reynolds: getting rolled by a couple of small dogs and cackle. That’s way more pleasant.

  67. EddieInCA says:


    I turned on Fox immediately, and you had Andrew McCarthy and Johnathan Turley BOTH telling Brett Baier that the indictments are “less than nothing”. Both of them believe that everything Trump did was protected Free Speech. Once again. Fox viewers are being lied to. Pretty much everyone else is saying it’s a rock solid indictment with very little wiggle room for Trump.

  68. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I don’t know whether it’s a question of intelligence, but my late Emm dealt with walk impatience rather well. She grabbed her own leash by the leather handle, ran to the front yard with it, and lay down to chew on it frantically. She could hold up like that for several minutes.

    Usually she had a short wait, though. When whoever took her out showed up, she’d let go of the leash, and jump on a planter. There it was easier for a human to attach the leash and begin the walk.

  69. Mister Bluster says:

    For the win!

    …exaggeration effect…
    I’m crushed…

  70. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..Orioles game that was 2 1/2 hours rain delayed and then was scoreless through 8 1/2 innings with less than a handful of hits, until it ended with a walk off home run.

    The best game that I’ve seen on TV was Mets at Cardinals, April 17, 2010. I was at the Buffalo Wild Wings. The game started at 3:15 and lasted 20 innings. The first run did not score till the top of the 19th inning. At about the 11th inning or so a couple came in and sat at the table next to me. “We just came from that game. We listened to it on the radio on the way here.” A two+ hour drive. “We thought we’d stop here and eat and watch the end of the game.” They left after the 17th inning. After the Cardinals tied the game in the bottom of the 19th the Mets scored a run in the top of the 20th and that was the final score. Between the two teams there were 19 pitchers on the mound.
    The Wild Wings has two very large screens behind the bar. The NBA playoffs were on the other screen. The first of three NBA games started before the baseball game. Then a second NBA game followed and a third started before the baseball game was over and ended after the Cardinals defeat.
    I think I left the server extra on the tip in appreciation for all the entertainment.

  71. Kathy says:

    I’ve just about settled on my third iteration of goulash for next week’s cooking. I do want to take advantage of the oven and cook something else. I’m thinking thick potato slices, tossed in oil infused with garlic, and sprinkled with garlic powder and a little grated parmesan.

    As I expect to get a thinner sauce this time, I thought of rice to mix with the goulash. But perhaps some buckwheat (kasha) would be better. I just replenished my stocks of it anyway.

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: ” Both of them believe are saying that everything Trump did was protected Free Speech.”

    FTFY. I’m not sure that I’m inclined to agree that Andrew McCarthy or Jonathan Turley believe anything let alone some specific thing.

  73. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Speaking of moving, did you get a new place lined up?

  74. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Porkchop, my bad cat, used to dash for the outside every time the door opened. She would then hide in the bushes purring like mad, enjoying the game of hide and seek.

    I got good at blocking her, and then taking her out in rain and snow, and that 108 degree day we had, and now she is convinced the outside is entirely inhospitable and horrible.

    Now she hides in the guest bedroom and purrs loudly until I find her.

    (The good cat, meanwhile, just takes a nap during all of this)

  75. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Thanks! But I suspect that soju or sake won’t cut it (& I offeredto drive over to help daughter clean ). we’re bound to find something nummy now that they’re back.

    Yeah, but I’m dreaming of dropping him off on a two-track about 20 miles outside of oak harbor (sans cell phone or wallet). Nah, I’m trying to be a better person, honestly.

    I offered the spare bedroom, but now that it’s occupied, maybe a yurt in the back patio?? Whatcha think Cracker, will the HOA notice?

  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    d@Jax: No, I’m still looking and adjusting myself to the reality that my next place will be about half (or less) the size this one is and/or that I’m looking for a house share situation in the big city. If I haven’t reconciled myself to those realities by end of month, I’ll bite the bullet and stay here another year (at roughly the same cost the move would be).

    As problems go, mine is a lot nicer than Luddite’s. 🙁

  77. wr says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “I’m not a pet guy, but there a solutions to that problem. ”

    I’m always impressed when I see dogs with those little booties on. Not that they exist — but that the owners have managed to win the struggle. We bought our late Billy Hound Rufus a long series of different kinds of shoes — especially important when we lived in the desert outside Palm Springs — and he simply refused to let us put them on him. He’d squirm and fight and then when we both managed to pin him down he’d do like OJ on the stand with the glove and extend his “fingers” so there was no way to get the damn shoe on.

    Of course he acted like that when a groomer tried to put him in a tub, too. So maybe it’s not all dogs…

  78. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: ” Both of them believe that everything Trump did was protected Free Speech. ”

    No, both of them SAY that everything Trump did was protected Free Speech. I would be really surprised if either of them believed anything like that.

  79. BugManDan says:

    @Mister Bluster: The best game I ever saw live was a single A game around the 4th of July in the old run down stadium in Columbia, SC. It was tied 6-6 in the ninth, still tied 6-6 in the 13th when they announced the planned fireworks would not be fired because was too late according to city ordinance. Less than 10 people stayed. The game ended in the 18th on walk off single with a super close play at the plate. It was great.

    The drive to the OBX that same day, not so much.