Monday’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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Almost every reply to that idiot troll’s post is accounts who are paying Melon $96 a year and have like 50 followers. It’s hysterical.

    — Dan Murphy (@bungdan) December 31, 2022

    I see this a lot and some people actually think it is a brilliant take down. “You’re not one of the cool kids, because nobody likes you.” Yeah, they reached their peak of social maturity when they were a sophomore in HS.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    One house, two people and some rare flightless birds: welcome to Mana Island

    Time unfurls differently on this treasured wildlife haven, half an hour from the coast of New Zealand’s north island

    It’s a quick read, and a good one.

  3. CSK says:

    Guess what I have? It’s five letters long and it begins with “c” and ends with “d.”


  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: May your illness be short and mild.

  5. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Not surprising, the existential collapse. The crisis was decades ago. And no one listened.

  6. Jen says:

    @CSK: Oh, no. I hope it’s a short, mild case and that you’re back to 100% quickly.

  7. Liberal Capitalist says:


    Guess what I have?

    I am sorry to hear that.

    Here, in western FL, it is a complete denial of the fact that there is a pandemic (plus flu, plus RSV). We went to the “tax collector” (what they call the DMV here) and we were the ONLY people in a crowded indoor area with a mask.

    We were even asked by a stranger as we were walking out: “You still wearing a mask?”.

    Over 65 of age, the stats on bivalent booster is about 1/3 of that population. Maybe this is part of the Republican’s mass extinction policy?

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Sounds just like up here, tho nobody has ever said a word to me about my still masking up.

  9. Kathy says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Around late October I began to see people not masking at the supermarket, then cahiers not masking at the bank.

    By now, at the store a few customers and most employees wear masks. At the bank hardly anyone does. BTW, since long, long before the pandemic, the people working the deli and the meat counters have worn masks, as well as gloves and hair nets. It’s a regulation that covers food workers. kitchen staff in restaurants do the same.

  10. @CSK: Sorry to hear it! As has been said, I hope the duration is short and the symptoms are mild!

    I was just thinking yesterday that my wife and I had it a year ago this week.

  11. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Jen: @Liberal Capitalist: @Steven L. Taylor:

    Thank you all for the good wishes. I really appreciate them.

  12. Apropos of nothing: my wife and I recently watched “Bad Sisters” on Apple TV+. It is a murder mystery with dark comedy undertones. Ten episodes. I recommend it.

  13. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think he’s pointing out the “blue check” system is garbage now and anyone can buy a fake verification to make themselves feel important.

  14. Sleeping Dog says:


    Cured? May it be a short mild bout.

  15. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Thank you.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: Well maybe. I don’t ever comment there, feel no need to, and don’t feel myself to be any less for my lack of “followers” or a blue check.

  17. Kathy says:

    Perspective, bias?

    On december 31st, The Philippines closed their airspace for a few hours due to technical issues. The Guardian covered it as “Qantas flight to Philippines forced to turn back to Sydney as authorities close airspace“.

    Where did I put the eye-roll emoji?

  18. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Kevin McCarthy’s speaker bid in balance as effort to placate hardliners flops

    My first, second, and third thought on this topic is why would anybody want this thankless job that has to be akin to herding rabid weasels. No no no, on reflection, herding rabid or (non-rabid) weasels would be a much easier and more rewarding job.

  19. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    I was hoping it was ‘crowd’ or ‘caved’, but since it wasn’t, I’ll belatedly join everyone here hoping for your speedy and uneventful recovery.

  20. Kathy says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Rabid weasels won’t eat your face?

  21. Flat Earth Luddite says:
  22. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well the weasels might go for your throat, but I’d rather deal with a kill-crazed weasel then a GQP Congress critter. Rabies can be treated.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: The last time I was asked that question by a student, I said that because I have asthma, COPD, and chronic bronchitis, the possibility of my being an asymptomatic carrier is very high. Every time I put on a mask it’s after I’ve asked myself “how much do I care about making my neighbors sick today?”

    (Mostly though, students are more aware than members of the public at large and avoid drawing attention to either themselves or the 2 or 3 people in each of their classes who still come to school masked.)

  24. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    My dog loved the song “I’m So Excited.” It would come on the radio and she’d start hopping up and down in time to it.

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Here, in western FL, it is a complete denial of the fact that there is a pandemic (plus flu, plus RSV). We went to the “tax collector” (what they call the DMV here)

    They’re more than a DMV. My Sarasota County property taxes are assessed and collected by the Tax Collector. Although they’re elected, I would have assumed their duties and actions would be pretty well defined and supervised by the state. Apparently not so, as evidenced by Joel Greenberg, One time Tax Collector for Seminole County, wingman to Matt Gaetz, and now convicted felon. The judge, having sentenced “more than 1,000 defendants” said,

    I have never seen a defendant who has committed so many different types of crimes in such a relatively short period

    . He confessed to at least:
    – Falsely and anonymously accusing a teacher who had run against him of sexual misconduct and racism.
    – By fraud and bribery scamming SBA COVID relief money.
    – Using tax collections to purchase personal cryptocurrency
    – Using his office’s equipment to make fake IDs
    Unclear if there were charges and conviction, but there are stories his office purchased guns and body armor for his office workers and he put cop lights on his car and pulled people over.

    He was accused of organizing sex parties with underage girls. I don’t see whether he was convicted. I suspect the key reason charges haven’t been pressed against Gaetz is that the girls and Greenberg are readily impeachable witnesses. Which is kind of a pisser in that the prosecutor asked for a light sentence based on Greenberg’s cooperation. apparently not actually usable cooperation.

    So apparently FL County Tax Collectors have considerable freedom and are not well supervised by the state.

  26. Jen says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I absolutely LOVED Bad Sisters.

    It’s been extended for a Season 2, no idea how they are going to pull that off.

  27. Kathy says:

    The weekend’s cooking experiment went well.

    First I have to say I was surprised at the consistency of the canned cream of corn soup. It was more like a paste than a fluid. I recall using cream of mushroom some years back (for a sauce), and it was more liquidy.

    Anyway, I sauteed half of one gigantic onion, plus some garlic, and a bunch of poblano strips that I had in the freezer. I then added the canned whatever it was. The directions were to add one can of water. I added half, and half of milk. Next canned white corn and chickpeas, cracked black pepper, and some paprika.

    I decided not to add lentils, because the cream of corn is kind of sweet, and lentils work better with a meaty flavor. So maybe next week I may try a stew of cream of mushroom (not canned, and also goes well with meat), beef of some sort, onion, garlic, rajas, white corn, chickpeas, lentils, and barley. Maybe also a little tomato paste.