May Day 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. MarkedMan says:

    Yesterday I listened to a Preet Bharara’s podcast and he had on a Harvard Law professor, talking about the issues the Supremes have to consider on the Trump immunity case. Prior to listening to this I was pretty close to Josh Marshall’s position that this Court is corrupt, that they are totally in the bag for Trump, and they are endangering democracy by trying to do their billionaire patrons’ bidding and giving in to their Dominionist world views. I still think that’s a very real possibility, but this professor, who actually studies this area, had a different opinion. He felt that the issues were very difficult, largely because the founders barely addressed this type of thing in the constitution. There has always been a presumption of some immunity because after all the President makes dozens of decisions a day and some will be wrong and result in harm. It’s not realistic to put that responsibility and then say you are criminally and/0r civilly liable if an outcome is bad. There’s a lot more than that, and it’s well worth listening to.

    But as I said, I’m not necessarily convinced that the Supremes are taking the path they are on for reasons other than helping the Republicans and satisfying their patrons. But it was a good argument offered in good faith. If I only look for stuff that matches my preconceived notions, especially those that present as angry and aggrieved, then I’m just a trumper. (In my personal notation – which I’m not trying to foist on anyone else – a lowercase t “trumper” is an angry, shallow person constantly searching for excuses to be outraged, sarcastic and demeaning, and who is incapable or undesirous of discriminating between crazed internet rants and valid research or well thought POV, while an uppercase T “Trumper” is a trumper who also is a fan of Donald Trump.)

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Fewer wildfires, great biodiversity: what is the secret to the success of Mexico’s forests?

    As average temperatures soar around the world and wildfires rage across the Americas, in Mexico, where more than a quarter of the country suffers from drought, the number of wildfires has remained steady since 2012. More than half of Mexico’s forests are in community and Indigenous hands, a situation unlike anywhere else in the world, which, according to experts, helps explain why the country has done better at controlling large fires.

    “There are more wildfires south of here because they have a lot of small private properties,” says Melchor Matías, a community forest manager. “They just don’t have the capacity to monitor their forests as we can.”
    Worldwide, an estimated 36% of remaining intact forest landscapes are on Indigenous land. Studies show that not only do community-controlled forests absorb more C02 than those under government or private control, but deforestation rates are lower. They also suffer less during severe water shortages, greatly reducing wildfire risk.

    Ixtlán’s long, narrow territory of 19,000 hectares (47,000 acres) encompasses snowy mountain peaks and lush lowland jungles with cloud forests in between. Rather than clearcutting, vertical ribbons of pine and oak between six and eight hectares (15 and 20 acres) are logged in strips down mountainsides, enabling the forest to regenerate naturally.

    Logging operations are closely regulated by Ixtlán’s community forestry enterprise, which wrested forests away from a private concession in 1982. Ixtlán’s success had been happening all over Mexico since, after 1970, communities took advantage of state forestry reforms and subsidies to exert greater local control.

    Of the more than 21,000 communities with forest ownership in Mexico, about 2,200 engage in sustainable logging, mostly in the southern part of the country.

    For forest enterprises such as the one in Ixtlán, maximising profits has never been the principal goal. “Our interest is in creating jobs,” says the conservation scientist Guadalupe Pacheco-Aquino. In the second-poorest state in Mexico, relatively well-paid rural jobs like those community forestry creates in Ixtlán are a rarity. “Forestry has been instrumental in helping people to get out of poverty.”

    It’s a good read.

  3. Jay L Gischer says:

    @MarkedMan: Yeah, while Trump’s case is not hard, the general case *is* hard, and hard to make a good rule to follow, but that’s what they need to do.

    I think anybody can be an angry, shallow person who is perpetually aggrieved. It’s a kind of habit, and being something else, even partially, takes work. I know I work on it.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    New Orleans archdiocese is target of child sex-trafficking inquiry, officials say

    The Roman Catholic archdiocese of New Orleans is the target of an active child sex-trafficking investigation, according to a sweeping and unprecedented search warrant Louisiana state police recently served on an organization that for decades has been submerged in the global church’s clergy molestation scandal.

    The clerk at the state criminal courthouse where the warrant was signed released the 11-page document on Tuesday. It makes clear that troopers involved in a pending rape prosecution against one priest came to suspect that that case was part of a broader pattern of “widespread sexual abuse of minors dating back decades” that was “covered up and not reported to law enforcement”.

    In a stunning assertion made under oath, troopers said they had already recovered documents that “back” the notion that “previous archbishops, the highest-ranking official in the archdiocese, not only knew of the sexual abuse and failed to report all the claims to law enforcement, but spent archdiocese funding to support the accused”.

    The warrant requests “ANY and ALL documents that pertain in any way to the sexual abuse of a minor by clergy members employed or otherwise associated with the Archdiocese of New Orleans”, concluding those “records are believed to constitute a violation of” the state’s law against trafficking of children for sexual purposes. It also seeks “ANY and ALL communications between the archbishop of New Orleans and ANY department within the Vatican pertaining to child sexual abuse”, among various other files.

    I want to say, “Still not a drag queen,” but don’t they wear dresses?

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Revealed: Tyson Foods dumps millions of pounds of toxic pollutants into US rivers and lakes

    Tyson Foods dumped millions of pounds of toxic pollutants directly into American rivers and lakes over the last five years, threatening critical ecosystems, endangering wildlife and human health, a new investigation reveals.

    Nitrogen, phosphorus, chloride, oil and cyanide were among the 371m lb of pollutants released into waterways by just 41 Tyson slaughterhouses and mega processing plants between 2018 and 2022.

    According to research by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the contaminants were dispersed in 87bn gallons of wastewater – which also contains blood, bacteria and animal feces – and released directly into streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands relied on for drinking water, fishing and recreation. The UCS analysis, shared exclusively with the Guardian, is based on the most recent publicly available water pollution data Tyson is required to report under current regulations.

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you!

  6. CSK says:


    Spiritual pollution in the case of the New Orleans archdiocese and physical pollution in the case of Tyson.

  7. Jon says:


    The warrant also described how victims reported being brought to a seminary that trains Catholic priests in New Orleans – adjacent to the city’s archdiocese – to swim nude in the pool and get “sexually assaulted or abused”.

    I’m fixing to drive by that place, Notre Dame Seminary, in about 10 minutes when I run out to visit my dad. Weird. Also I had no idea they had a pool.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I think anybody can be an angry, shallow person who is perpetually aggrieved. It’s a kind of habit, and being something else, even partially, takes work

    Truer words… I think I realized this first when reading NYT critics, of any sort, music, food, film. And they were always arch and sneering and negative. Once a year at most they allowed themselves to like something popular. I gave up reading them by the time I was 25. Still don’t. Years later I read a TC Boyle short story involving a NYT food critic who observed that being sarcastic and nasty and biting is viewed as being sophisticated, whereas there is great risk in approving of or even honestly considering anything. It is always safer to insult than to compliment.

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jay L Gischer: @MarkedMan:

    I used to be a restaurant critic and TBH looking back now, there are columns I’d probably want to walk back. But I came at it from a blue collar perspective, becoming most outraged not at the people in the kitchen or on the floor, but at the newly-minted MBAs who put their people in impossible situations. Also the quite large number of restaurateurs who started a restaurant so they could sit at the bar and hit on waitresses.

    If I saw a restaurant that was in the weeds while a manager sat on his ass, I’d beat them about them about the head and shoulders because I also used to be a restaurant manager and I bussed and seated and expedited. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Probably my most brutal review was for a restaurateur who openly berated a waitress on the floor, reducing her to tears, in front of customers.

    That said, sometimes I was just a prick. (I know! Who’d have guessed?) I did over time become queasy at the thought that a lot of my readers just came for the verbal violence. The irony is that the most actual damage I ever did was a 4 star, wildly enthusiastic review of a tiny barbecue joint that as a result was overwhelmed and ended up closing.*

    Of course later I was on the receiving end of critics, so, justice of a sort.

    *Still to this day the best BBQ. You just had to look at a rib for the meat to fall off the bone.

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    “Next week, I am gonna be calling this motion to vacate,” Greene said at a press conference Wednesday morning, calling Johnson a “uniparty” lawmaker for getting the Democrats to back him and claiming that the “American people need to see a recorded vote.”

    Second Tuesday of next week…

    “At this moment, upon completion of our national security work, the time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction,” wrote the Democratic leaders of the House in a joint statement issued Tuesday. “We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed.”

  11. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Too bad there is no credit given in the US for being the “adults in the room.”

  12. Kathy says:

    Here’s a link to the images Copilot made yesterday.

    It makes a set of four for each prompt. The leftmost comes from the original prompt, which went something like this “Red-haired, green-eyed woman with bangs, wearing a white pleated gown and a filigreed silver armband with an oblong blue jewel at the center, with a backdrop of ancient Greek ruins and a sky showing galaxies and shooting stars.”

    The center image came when I added the specification the jewel goes on the center of the armband.

    The rightmost one when I asked to add a sword in her right hand.

    Overall it worked rather well.

    There are some odd details. Notice the rightmost image the whites of her eyes are greenish. And over her left shoulder you kind of see a giant planet with a nebula inside it. The last is not as bad, considering there’s no way to get such a view of actual galaxies in real time anyway. She’s also holding the sword like a dagger.

  13. Joe says:

    while Trump’s case is not hard, . .

    @Jay L Gischer: That’s why the correct procedure here would be to try Trump before the appeal so they can say “while there is certainly no immunity for what happened here, we’re not saying there never is” and then we can live our lives till there’s a harder case.

  14. Kingdaddy says:

    @Kathy: Do you need to subscribe to generate images with Copilot? I keep getting an “image generator not available” error.

  15. Kathy says:


    It did ask me to sign into my Microsoft account before it let me see the images generated. If you run Windows, you should have such an account already.

  16. Kingdaddy says:

    I’ve been using the app on my iPad, which requires a login. Out of 10 tries, it only generated an image once.

  17. Kathy says:


    I haven’t used an Apple product in years. I’ve the Copilot app on my Android phone, but mostly I use it in the desktop Edge browser.

    Maybe Apple doesn’t like MS butting into its plantation?

  18. Mister Bluster says:

    First of May
    Bee Gees

  19. Jax says:

    Hahahaha….Genetically Modified Republicans. I love this guy. 😉 😉


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