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. Mu Yixiao says:

    Did everyone move to a new website over the weekend?

  2. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Not I.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Father of teen killed in Alabama mass shooting: ‘America is tearing itself down’

    “These kids didn’t know when they walked into a Sweet 16 party that people were going to shoot. Every shooting is random,” Collins said.

    Collins said he was also pondering the conditions that led to the shooting: “How did we get to this point? How did this happen? These six [people arrested] were young Black people. What happened in their lives and homes? What economic or educational disadvantages did they face? I lost my son, but those six others lost their lives, too. Somewhere along the line something broke. I mourn for all of them.”

    Collins has been in a state of disbelief since his son’s death.

    He is pained by seeing LSU signs, a reminder of the future his son was denied. Most days, he has a hard time eating or sleeping. He tries to take deep breaths when anxiety and grief overwhelms him, but it doesn’t always work. He prays the days will become easier, but he’s not sure they will. “I want my joy back.”

    He had planned a surprise party for Marsiah’s 20th birthday in September. He still wants to do the celebration, even if his son won’t be there.

    Much more at the link.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I went fishing yesterday, first time this year. Most of Saturday was taken up with getting things together for Sunday.

  5. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’ve just been incredibly busy. I’ve been doing more reading/lurking than contributing lately, due in large part to pure exhaustion. :-/

  6. Mu Yixiao says:


    I was just surprised to open the site this morning and see zero comments. There’s usually something by the time I get to work.

  7. Jax says:

    School wake-up alarm is OFF, now activating SUMMER!!! 😛

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I slept late because I was awake from midnight to 03:30+ and I really needed at least some sleep.

  9. JohnSF says:

    With the weather they way it’s been – dry, sunny, 18 to 22 temp – weekend daytimes there’s a lot of gardening to catch up on. Whacking creeping buttercups, mostly.
    Then grill something, and then early evening on the terrace with a glass of wine and the radio.
    Weather like this in England is too rare not to make the most of it.

  10. CSK says:

    This is interesting:

    The movement goes way back.

  11. Kathy says:

    I recently read Narrative Economics by Robert J. Shiller. The term “narrative” hear is the type of economics being studied. The thesis of the book is that narratives drive a great deal of economic behavior. It was interesting, but had more narrative than analysis of their effects, though there was analysis on how narratives spread.

    I’ve followed that with The Big Myth by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. This is more straightforward. A story of how the ideas of free market fundamentalism have been pushed by large businesses over the past century.

    It’s not as simple as “make up a narrative, and you can control the economy.” Free markets took decades to get to that point. But people do tend to respond to the narrative much more than to the evidence of actual circumstances.

    For example, we’ve had 40+ years of free markets with low taxes, fewer regulations, and fewer unions. According to the free market narrative, we should all be wealthier and content. instead we get wage stagnation, longer working hours, and capital accumulation to a ridiculous degree.

    The paragraph above must be taken with a dose of Kathy’s first law: Nothing is ever that simple.

    There has been progress in quality of life unconnected to working and wage conditions. So, it’s not a matter of “free markets bad.” But countries and entire regions where markets aren’t that free, also have made similar progress. I mean things like better medical treatments, the internet, cheaper transportation, globalized goods productions, etc.

    The thing is a person stuck in the free markets narrative who can’t afford medical care, or faces high rents, or can’t have enough time with their family, etc., won’t want to support such measures as would ease their problems, because “that would be socialism!” And that’s what we need to fight if we want to improve quality of life across the board.

  12. Kathy says:

    So, I made the pan fried chicken medallions with the potato breading.

    It was much better than oven baked. You get a nice, golden crust on both sides, fewer loose potato flakes as well, and I even managed to use little oil.

    But the end result does not justify the effort. It’s nice, but not that much different than using breadcrumbs.

    I got to thinking of other ways of combining potato with chicken. I’ve made chicken stews with potatoes, for example. I’m thinking something different. How about a cordon bleu like dish using a potato wedge and cheese instead of a slice of ham and cheese?

    It should work if the potato is cooked before wrapping the chicken breast around it. Cooking chicken breasts in the oven takes about 15 minutes. Even a parboiled potato needs more time than that. So I’m thinking parboiling and then pan roasting with blackened chopped onions and garlic. That can go on a raw, breaded chicken breast with a slice of cheese easily enough.

  13. steve says:

    For fried chicken try potato flour. I think it works a bit better than cornstarch for crispiness.


  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    @steve: @Kathy:

    FWIW, I made a nice chicken, potato, and oven bake this weekend. Parboiled the potatoes, par-fried the zucchini, then layered diced tomatoes, potatoes, zuc’s, chicken, and crumbled some goat cheese all around. The potatoes became fall apart tender, and released a lot of their starches, which combined with the tomatoes, chicken juices, and oregano to create a really nice sauce.

    But, I can see an overly-done parboiled potato going against what you are trying to do here–I’m guessing you still want a bit of bite left in the potato once it comes out.

  15. Mister Bluster says:

    @steve:..potato flour

    The ingredient in Spudnuts. I worked at a Spudnuts donut shop. It was the first job I had in Sleepytown after I moved here to finish college in 1968. The franchise no longer exists but this list from 2017 shows Spudnuts available in 16 States, Canada and Ho Chi Minh City.

  16. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    My first idea was to use mashed potatoes, partly to use up the leftover potato flakes. But then the whole filling would leak the moment you cut into the chicken. The next step was to do away with the flakes entirely. They’ll keep.

    I’m taking off the last two weeks of June. I’ll have time for other experiments then, including the kasha (buckwheat) meatball stew then. One item on my radar is bean soup using a pressure cooker. Not so much the recipe, as the method. I’ve a very healthy respect for high pressures (ie the pressure cooker scares me half to death).

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: @Kathy: I found the juxtaposition of your two comments interesting. The (more or less) free market has brought us impressive wealth, but also the discontent, leading to MAGA, noted in CSK’s link.

    This is a story Brad DeLong tells in Slouching Towards Utopia. DeLong talks of “the long twentieth century” which he dates, somewhat arbitrarily, from 1870, when growth began to accelerate, through 2010, when it kind of stopped. He tells a narrative of Keynesian economics bringing prosperity, but being discredited by the inflation of the 70s, to be replaced by the narrative of neoliberalism, Reagan and Thatcher, Hayek ascendant. The ’08 crash took the wind out of neoliberalism, but nothing has really replaced it. However, Keynesian econ, while discredited, was really doing OK.

    DeLong contrasts Hayek, who he describes as Jekyll and Hyde, and one Karl Polanyi, an obscure economic historian (WIKI has a page) who talked of community and mutual obligation. It’s the failing of community that produces the discontent that led to MAGA, both Reagan and Trump’s iterations. DeLong’s book is long, 600 pages, cut down from 800 at his editors insistence. But it’s highly readable.

    The frustrations are real and mostly legitimate. Middle and lower class pay has largely stagnated while most of the growth in GDP goes to the wealthy. Who have so much money lying around they can make a hobby out of screwing over our politics. The tragedy is that the MAGA should be voting for Ds, who actually do things to help. (Noting that the most dedicated MAGA seem to be the petite noblesse who are doing OK.) Unfortunately, they don’t understand what’s happened (did anyone ever tell you voters are ignorant, almost all of them) and it’s all too easy for FOX/GOP to to turn legitimate complaint into the pluto-populism that Trump, a New York City plutocrat, cashed in on.

  18. CSK says:

    Cornel West is running for president.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    I know this will be anticlimactic after the CSK note above:
    Pence files paperwork…

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I found the comments more “interesting” to read than to reply to, mostly.

    That and having to admit ignorance to issues of Venmo and how to “protect” the vote. LGBTQ+ has become a sucker’s game here, so I read, shake my head, and mostly move on.

    @CSK: Wait! Are you telling me that MAGA was intended all along, and everything isn’t returning to normal once Trump shuffles off–either of this mortal coil or into obscurity (like THAT’LL happen [eyeroll])?


  21. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    West is going third party: The People’s Party.

  22. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Pence could easily be elected for hanging by the GQP base, just by showing up.

  23. Mister Bluster says:

    Just after 2 am in the midwest, June 5, 1968, I watched on TV Robert Kennedy give a speech to his supporters after he had won the California Democratic Presidential primary. Just after the speech ended he walked off camera to leave the venue. Moments later word came over the air that he had been shot. I was stunned!
    My dad who was sleeping in the bedroom down the hall must have heard something.
    “Go to bed!”
    “But dad Kennedy was just shot!”

    Just after 11 pm June 5 two friends and I boarded the Illinois Central passenger train in Homewood, Illinois headed southbound for the 6 hour ride to Carbondale to enroll in
    Southern Illinois University and look for housing.
    We were on the rails for a few hours when the train conductor who had been listening for news on his transistor radio told us that Kennedy had died.
    58 years ago.
    Lest we forget.
    Robert Francis Kennedy

  24. Scott says:

    @Mister Bluster: Pence will pretty much get zippo. I still remember driving through rural Texas after Nov 2020 and seeing the Trump/Pence 2020 banners hanging on the fencelines. Except Pence was cut out. There is no going back for Pence.

  25. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..The People’s Party.

    I guess this tells us that the No Labels bloc is still looking for a candidate who will be an insurance policy (whatever that means) for the electorate.

  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    According to the free market narrative, we should all be wealthier and content. instead we get wage stagnation, longer working hours, and capital accumulation to a ridiculous degree.

    Well sure, but remember that most of us in the commentariat here believe ourselves to be “only” middle class. Given that people always understand their position in society with unerring accuracy, doesn’t that make the free market narrative true given that we are all wealthier and content?

  27. Mister Bluster says:

    @Scott:..There is no going back for Pence.

    I confess to being underwhelmed at the Happy Hoosier’s announcement. In fact the only thing that is keeping me from falling asleep after reading about this development is the hot Dark Roast mud and the air conditioning set to North Pole Below Zero here at the Panera.

  28. Kylopod says:

    @Mister Bluster: RFK Jr. is following more in the footsteps of his grandfather, Joseph P. Kennedy, a Hitler stooge.

  29. Jen says:

    @Scott: Here in the corner of NH in which I reside, people were taking blue electric tape and covering part of the “P” in “Pence” so that the signs read “Trump Fence.”

    Speaking of NH, Sununu has announced he is *not* running for President.

  30. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I have to say I never quite thought of George Wallace (or RFK) as a candidate with whom people sided because he listened to them. I assumed that he appealed to racists. Switching frfom RFK to Wallace seems downright bizarre, though.

    I see now the direct line from Wallace to Pat Buchanan to Sarah Palin to Trump.

  31. Mister Bluster says:
  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: And yet, one of my friends from Korea who considers himself a progressive social democrat type (he failed to understand, for example, why the Democratic left didn’t rally around Bernie Sanders), is deciding between him and Marianne Williamson for his primary vote choice. Hmmm…

    And it’s really time that she threw her hat back out of the ring considering that she was born 7 days before me in the same year. (And yes, I am one of the ageist bastards y’all were bloviating angrily about last week. At my age, I feel entitled to be one if I want to!)

  33. CSK says:


    Sununu doesn’t want to help Trump win the nomination.

  34. Kylopod says:


    Switching frfom RFK to Wallace seems downright bizarre, though.

    I think it’s relevant that Wallace was a Democrat. Many of his supporters would eventually become Republicans, but they still aligned with the Democratic Party to some degree. And even though RFK was a Northerner and a strong supporter of civil rights, he may not have been quite as associated with the cause as Humphrey, and he probably attracted many white ethnic Catholics, including some of those in Northern states who went on to back Wallace.

  35. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Out of curiosity, does your friend believe the US should be immediately pushing for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine?

  36. CSK says:


    Wallace ran for president as the candidate of the American Independent Party.

  37. Kathy says:

    Apple’s come out with what seems to be a VR/AR headset.

    The price tag quoted at $3,500 is steep, but in line with what new devices sell for at first. Remember the first plasma flat screen HD TVs were outrageously expensive. But it points to a rather high price forever, much like smart phones.

    A lot of people have smart phones. Around 1.5 billion are made each year. But few would have them if cell companies didn’t subsidize them and/or allow payments over several years. Especially in lower income countries.

    Who will do something similar for VR/AR headsets?

    Suppose in time they come down to, oh, $300 a piece. Do you need to spend that much to see apps floating in front of you, or to play VR games? I think most people don’t.

  38. Kylopod says:


    Wallace ran for president as the candidate of the American Independent Party.

    But he had been the Democratic governor of Alabama, and he would be later on (the only reason he wasn’t at that point was that his wife Lurleen was holding the office so he could get around the state’s consecutive term-limits rule). There’s no question he was identified with the Democratic Party. I’m sure he got many of his votes in 1968 from those who had backed Goldwater four years earlier, but he did attract many traditionally Democratic voters, not all of them in the South. (He also carried one state that had gone to LBJ–Arkansas.)

  39. CSK says:


    Oh, I know. Wallace knew he wouldn’t win, but he wanted to throw the election into the House of Reps so he’d have heavy influence over the way the votes there went.

  40. CSK says:

    Trump’s lawyers went to the DOJ today to allege prosecutorial misconduct.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: In fact, yes. His position is that Russia/Ukraine is an “internal” conflict. (What made you think to ask? 😉 )

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: When I first moved to Longview, Washington in the mid-90s, my dentist had adopted the VR of the era as a tool to distract his patients while he was doing more burdensome procedures (such as the root canal that he need for me to do when a filling failed). It was neat, but nothing I’d ever pay money for. My impression so far is that the technology hasn’t advanced enough to warrant changing my mind. (But I am a Luddite at heart.)

  43. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I started wondering whether VR could be used for vision problems. I pictured a VR set with a camera in the front projecting a 4K image corrected in such a way someone with myopia could see it clearly.

    The first objection is that a 4K image is not as high def as what one can see with one’s eyes (I think). the second is the time lag required to process the image. The third is whether the set can project to the appropriate eye only, as most people have different corrective needs for each eye. the fourth is what actually happens to peripheral vision, and whether the camera can swivel to exactly mimic normal eye movement.

    And of course that for $3,500 you can get a bunch of sets of very expensive glasses anyway.

    I’ve really never tried it. I can see how it might work for games, for movies perhaps, and some people might find a head up display useful. But overall I see no killer app that would make throngs of people clamor for it in droves.

    At that, the smartphone kind of evolved in time. I recall the iphone was described at first like “a cell phone with a Palm-type PDA. By then, I had a Nokia feature phone that could play music, take photos (crappy ones), get email (but never used it for that), run games (which could be downloaded over a cell network), etc. But for the screen, camera quality, and lack of any kind of full QWERTY keyboard, it wasn’t that far removed from the first iphone.

    Smart phones, as I keep harping, are tiny portable computers with phone apps. I like them. I use them a lot in their portable computer function, with apps like Waze and such. I don’t think I need to have mine over my eyes all day long, or even any time I want to use one. I don’t even have a smart watch (it seems redundant).

  44. charontwo says:

    So TFG posted today. I guess this after the Trump lawyer meetup with Jack Smith people:

  45. charontwo says:


    MAJOR BREAKING: Jack Smith was present during the two-hour meeting today at the Justice Department with Donald Trump’s attorneys James Trusty, John Rowley and Lindsey Halligan, per The New York Times.

    The lawyers — James Trusty, John Rowley and Lindsey Halligan — left the Justice Department after nearly two hours. They declined to speak to reporters.

    Shortly after their visit, Mr. Trump posted a message on his social media platform, Truth Social, suggesting that his legal team had at least discussed with him the possibility that he could be indicted.

    “How can DOJ possibly charge me, who did nothing wrong,” Mr. Trump wrote in all capital letters.

    Tim Parlatore, a lawyer who resigned last month from representing Mr. Trump, said that the former president’s legal team has harbored worries for some time about how prosecutors working for Mr. Smith have conducted the classified documents inquiry.

  46. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: My point is that I do see how there could have been an overlap between the people who liked RFK and Wallace, even though the two may have seemed to be very different figures. Wallace attracted many working-class whites, not all of them in the South (he got 10% of the vote in Michigan), and I think that probably included some of the urban Catholics who were long fans of the Kennedys. They were almost certainly racist, but racism wasn’t necessarily the only thing driving them. I suspect that’s at least part of what was going on for voters who said “They were the only ones talking to people like me.”

  47. Kathy says:


    I read this as Benito sent his team of kraken lawyers to whine to the DOJ on his behalf.

  48. CSK says:


    This is gibberish. Even more so than usual.

  49. charontwo says:

    Prosecutors who are NOT going to charge typically do not meet with defense counsel.

    It is common, prior to charging, to set a meeting to give defense counsel an opportunity to submit reasons that charges should not be filed.

    Fact Trump was pushing his lawyers to lobby DOJ is coincidental, it seems in the event this amounted to a normal courtesy meeting with defense.

  50. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    In fact, yes. His position is that Russia/Ukraine is an “internal” conflict. (What made you think to ask? )

    Let me quote a few passages from Wikipedia on the original Joe Kennedy.

    Kennedy rejected the belief of Winston Churchill that any compromise with Nazi Germany was impossible. Instead, he supported Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement. Throughout 1938, while the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Germany intensified, Kennedy attempted to arrange a meeting with Adolf Hitler.[49] Shortly before the Nazi bombing of British cities began in September 1940, Kennedy once again sought a personal meeting with Hitler without the approval of the U. S. Department of State, in order to “bring about a better understanding between the United States and Germany”.[50]

    ….Kennedy and Astor looked upon Adolf Hitler as a welcome solution to both of these “world problems” (Nancy’s phrase). … . Kennedy replied that he expected the “Jew media” in the United States to become a problem, that “Jewish pundits in New York and Los Angeles” were already making noises contrived to “set a match to the fuse of the world”.[57]

    ….By August 1940, Kennedy worried that a third term for President Roosevelt would mean war. Laurence Leamer in The Kennedy Men: 1901–1963 reports: “Joe believed that Roosevelt, Churchill, the Jews, and their allies would manipulate America into approaching Armageddon.”[58]

    I am not trying to imply that your friend is bigoted against Ukrainians to anywhere near the degree Joe Kennedy was against the Jews. Few Ukraine skeptics on the left are, in my experience. But there seems to be a pretty massive blind spot on both Putin’s intentions and the appropriate way we ought to deal with them, and RFK Jr. and others (not that he’s truly on the “left” anymore) promote pro-Putin propaganda while claiming not to support Putin, which is quite similar to the argumentation being made in the 1940s by Joe Kennedy and other isolationists at the time on the “conflict” in Europe.

  51. charontwo says:


    A thread:

    THREAD: What should we make of the meeting between Trump’s legal team and federal prosecutors?


    2/ This sort of meeting shortly before indictment (often called a “pitch meeting”) is commonplace.

    In the office I worked at, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, *every* defense counsel in every case was afforded the opportunity to “pitch” as a matter of policy.


    5/ The defense rarely convinces prosecutors not to charge. After all, prosecutors have already made up their minds to charge beforehand.

    So these meetings often benefit the government by previewing defense arguments. Prosecutors can retool their case to avoid potential issues.

    6/ But the defense often makes these pitches because they have little to lose and the upside is high.

    Prosecutors can occasionally be convinced not to charge. Sometimes the most effective pitches are used to set up unique/unusual plea deals.


    9/ Overall, this meeting suggests a charging decision will come soon. Not in the next day or two — prosecutors have to consider the pitch — but perhaps next week or the week after.

    Also, after a recommendation is made to Garland, he could offer a separate meeting with him.

    I believe, by law, Garland has minimal ability to overrule Smith – he would essentially need to show cause.

  52. Kathy says:

    So, Pence, DeSatanis, and others, are criticizing Benito for congratulating the Butcher of Pyongyang.

    Isn’t this like five-six years late?

  53. Bill Jempty says:


    Apple’s come out with what seems to be a VR/AR headset.

    The price tag quoted at $3,500 is steep, but in line with what new devices sell for at first. Remember the first plasma flat screen HD TVs were outrageously expensive.

    In 1984 I bought a top loading VHS Panasonic VCR for $450. Five years later a VHS was down to around $150. I bought a new one and gave the Panasonic to my in-laws.

    There was a late 1970’s Columbo episode where the murderer( William Shatner) had an early VCR. I think the character said it cost in the thousands.

  54. CSK says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    I think the first CD players back in the 1980s cosr $2000.

  55. Kathy says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    By the 80s VCRs were at a price point that a lot of people could own one, and video rentals took off (buying movies on tape was still expensive). By the late 80s, they were down to the price point where everyone had one, and houses with a VCR on every TV were not uncommon.

    I don’t recall the price of CD players per se, but I recall looking for bargains when it came to buying blank R and RW CDs in the 90s. By the early 2000s, they were like $1 each at the high end.

  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    “Joe believed that Roosevelt, Churchill, the Jews, and their allies would manipulate America into approaching Armageddon.”[58]

    Before today, I had no idea that Kennedy, or any Catholic for that matter, was an end timer. The other information, not news to me. That my friend in Korea is the modern version of an old timey Stalinist really doesn’t surprise me to any great degree. He’s always leaned toward the “eat the rich” versions of progressive politics even though his parents left an estate that was so large that he apparently gave several hundred thousand dollars of it to his ex-wife out of guilt over trading her in for a younger girlfriend. Come to think of it, I’ve known other “limousine progressives” in my time, so maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised.

    I thought the wink emoji would give away that I was being snarky. Oh, well. Must be time to take the snarkolator in for service. 🙁

  57. Jax says:

    All of my household tv’s have CD/DVD/blu-ray players that are “smart”. We can reach back to the 80’s, without internet, or cue in the streaming platforms. I like to call it “the best of both worlds”.

  58. Kathy says:


    The way streaming services are removing shows and movies, DVD/Bluray may undergo a renaissance.

    On the other hand, there’s a buzz building about “free ad-supported streaming” services, naturally referred to as “FAST” or “FAST TV.” It seems much of the content from the premium (erstwhile premium?) services like Max, Disney+, etc. are finding their way there.

    Apparently the economics work better that way. Something about royalties/residuals getting paid and revenue collected only when something plays.

    There’s something like channel streaming, too. It’s not on demand, but rather there are several “channels” playing and you can switch between them (no clue how that works technically or financially).

    So pretty much the world is kind of moving back to cable, only online, But this may be how the consolidation I keep predicting winds up as. The more that things change…

  59. Jax says:

    @Kathy: The fucked up thing about it ALL is that we all wanted Disney, HBO, Showtime, etc, all in one box (i.e, cable or satellite packages), and then the internet hit and Disney, et al, decided they weren’t making enough money on subscription cable and satellite packages, so now they launch the plus and max for streaming, and they all went backwards.