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. DK says:

    But if we clean the air now

    That would be unfair to people’s whose lungs are already poisoned

  2. Steve says:

    Was talking with wife last night about the Florida rule teaching about slavery. We came to the conclusion that while some former slaves might have benefited from their training after freed, many would not have been allowed to practice their trade if it competed with whites people. Also not sure where they would have gotten the capital to start a new business.


  3. MarkedMan says:

    @Steve: There was a comment yesterday that Kevin Drum had minimized this part of the Florida curriculum so I went over to his site and read. My takeaway was that he was saying “don’t just focus on this one thing, the whole curriculum is atrocious.” In other words, even if we manage to get this one passage struck it doesn’t really change the thrust of the curriculum.

  4. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Beth, sorry to raise your blood pressure this early, but…

    Italy starts removing lesbian mothers’ names from children’s birth certificates

    The northern Italian city of Padua has started removing the names of non-biological gay mothers from their children’s birth certificates under new legislation passed by the “traditional family-first” government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
    The effect of the move is to limit certain rights for the non-registered parent, and requires them to have permission to carry out everyday family tasks, such as picking the child up from school, or using public services on their behalf.

    And just think, these are what passes for moderates in Italy.

  5. DrDaveT says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: It has been a depressing revelation to me, that it turns out the freedom most people hold dearest is the freedom to be shitty to Those People.

  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    I spent some time years back digging into the topic of slavery and the CW generally. Plantation owners rented slaves out as coopers or blacksmiths or one of those other 19th century jobs. It was, ‘Hey, my boy Jim can fix that wagon for you for 5 dollars. And 50 cents of that goes to Jim so he can try to buy his children back.’ Why pay Jim anything? Because carrot and stick works better than just stick.

    In effect a slave was a piece of equipment, something, not someone, who could be used in any way the owner found profitable. A very skilled slave earned more for his owner and for himself. In fact over the years the southern states cracked down on some of this as it might lead to slaves being freed. Laws against manumission proliferated early and mid 19th century. Far from gradually moving to a more just system, the South was doubling down on the racial nature of enslavement in the US.

    A point Confederate sympathizers are of course too stupid to grasp, is that slavery sabotaged poor and working class Whites, forcing them to compete against slaves and thus keeping White wages low. The Southern Plantation owners were vicious men who used and abused Blacks while at the same time crippling Whites economically. And then getting those same impoverished Whites to grab a gun and have a leg blown off defending the system that victimized him.

  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    I have a movie recommendation: Talk To Me. First, it’s a great little horror movie. Intense but with heart. And it so happens the twin directors are big fans of my series, GONE, and we’re having serious talks. Obviously I’d like them to nail a huge opening.

  8. CSK says:

    Well, Twitter has swtched its logo from a bluebird to an X.

  9. just nutha says:

    @DK: Ayup! I already HAVE emphysema, YOU are stuck with getting it, too. Makes sense to me.

  10. just nutha says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Ayup, again! This is what the center LEFT is in Italy. Good times!

  11. just nutha says:

    @Michael Reynolds: You’re giving sympathizers too much credit. What do they care about po white trash what ain’t even better than a nKKKLAANNG?

  12. Kathy says:


    Disney, Warner, CBS/Paramount, et. al. would have done better licensing their content to Netflix or some other streamer, rather than launching their own streaming services.


    I’m inclining towards the Amazon and Apple models of streaming. The streamer has its own produced and licensed shows, plus sells access to “channels” with new and old original content from others.

    I just can’t see Disney, Max, or Paramount+ just shutting down and moving to Amazon, Apple, and Netflix.

  13. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Ayup, I’m gonna go back to bed. Magic blankets protect me!!!

    Jason Aldean is continuing to defend his controversial song “Try That in a Small Town” amid a recent wave of backlash that accuses the single of promoting racism and gun violence.

    The country singer, 46, reflected on his “long-ass week” and called out “cancel culture” during a concert at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Friday.

    I mean, I’m old, a Luddite, and spent my formative years in a family of rabid weasels, and I understand he’s doubling down with a 2 and an 8 in his hand, and no help on the river.

  14. MarkedMan says:


    I’m inclining towards the Amazon and Apple models of streaming.

    The Amazon model is getting more obnoxious by the day. I had some time to kill the other day and had my iPad with me so I opened up Prime to see what shows were there. As near as I could tell, I no longer have a way to view only shows that are free with my subscription. I have to open them up before I can see whether they will cost extra.

  15. Kathy says:


    He’s been obsessed with the letter X for a long time.

    But I’m not here to psychoanalyze the most Cisgender Mars God Phobos Emperor Of from a distance and lacking expertise. I’m here to launch a go fund me campaign to help him get rid of his troublesome Y chromosome. I’m sure he’d like it better knowing all his chromosomes are X shaped.

  16. Kathy says:


    In my defense, 1) I cancelled Prime earlier this year, or maybe even last year, 2) I’ve never owned an iPad nor ever intend to, 3) while I’ve the Android app on my phones, I think I last ran it off the app sometime in 2021, later it’s been off the PC or the smart TV app.

    But I did check the website the other month hoping to see anything new that might get me to subscribe again*. No such luck. I did notice included programming was mixed with that requiring additional payment. I think includeds had a little blue PRIME tag in a corner, while those not included had a smaller yellow Tag marked $

    *At this point, it would need to be season 5 of The Boys, or season 2 of Invincible.

  17. charontwo says:


    I just can’t see Disney, Max, or Paramount+ just shutting down and moving to Amazon, Apple, and Netflix.

    I do not see the reasoning here. I have more content available than I can keep up with just with Netflix, Hulu, Max and Paramount+/Showtime, no interest in adding Apple or Amazon. If I add anything it would be Starz, either standalone or folded into Hulu.

    Hulu has a massive amount of content including ABC, Freeform, FX and more, and Max is a lot more than just HBO.

  18. Daryl says:

    Slavery existed for ~8 generations. How many actually had the opportunity after being freed? A small number, relatively speaking.
    In addition, many on the list of people FL used to justify this statement weren’t actually slaves.
    It’s all bollocks.

  19. just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Still, you and I have both watched guys get bluffed on their straight in World Poker Tour tournament broadcasts. Unlikely, but not impossible. And ya never know if ya don’t try. And he’s like the Tech billionaire player in this setting. It costs him only change to double down.

  20. just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: The only place I watch Apple TV shows is on FreeVee, but watching other people’s used TV left overs doesn’t trouble me that much.

  21. just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @charontwo: I’ll even be getting rid of Hulu at the end of this month. The only thing I watch there anymore is WWE, and it’s not worth paying money to see. The Roku Channel really upped their game over the last year or so. Early on, Hulu provided me with service it was hard to accumulate by other means and was valuable because of it. Not so much anymore.

  22. al Ameda says:


    Well, Twitter has swtched its logo from a bluebird to an X.

    So, $44B to rebrand the company, all the while losing half of the advertising revenue.
    Now I see why Republicans want government to be run like a business.

  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    Your hypothesis is actually very au courant in Hollywood. Disney and Warner Brothers (HBO+ or whatever the fuck they call it this week) saw Netflix making money and thought, hey, if we invest a few billion. . . And now it has become increasingly clear that streaming is not a profitable business model, not even if you are mighty Disney, let alone Paramount and Peacock.

    Advertising is coming back. Disney’s product line has aged out and thy’ve forgotten how to create anything new and original. Warner Brothers made the idiotic decision to connect HBO and the crap Zaslav puts out on Discovery and guess what? They also probably won’t make money streaming.

    Apple and Amazon are in a different category. They have all the money. So much money that they could literally buy the entirety of Hollywood. Even so, Amazon has apparently noticed that Prime Video is spending a lot on crap content, (Looking at you, Rings of Power) and seem to be re-examining things.

    Fran Drescher is right. These masters of the universe, Iger and Zaslav et al, made some very bad decisions which they are now trying to fix by screwing writers and actors, all the while continuing to loot their companies to swell their own bank accounts. IOW, the billionaires fucked up so naturally the working people have to pay the price.

  24. CSK says:

    @al Ameda:

    I think Musk is going to rename it X, too.

  25. Kathy says:


    As I understand it, various companies have been chasing the streaming market share off a cliff. that is, offering a subscription price that is too low to make a profit. Then Netflix saw a drop in the number of net subscriptions, and everyone panicked.

    Then torrents of bits were spilled in analysis, including cheaper subscriptions containing ads, and free but ad-supported streaming.

    So, we may se ads added to all subscriptions, and outrageous prices for going ad-free, or we may see some form of consolidation.

    Or maybe something else entirely. It’s still a new medium, after all.

  26. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Also, manumission rates in the US were very low.
    1850: one-twentieth of one percent of total slave population was manumitted.
    In contrast in the later Roman republic it’s estimated at about 1% per year; it seems to have become even higher in the later pagan empire, and higher still during the Christian Empire.

    Though OTOH when the empire began to collapse, increasing numbers of free peasants became unfree serfs either due to coercion or voluntarily (to obtain protection of a patron from tax demands, conscription etc): but serfs though bound to the land and to labour, were not technically personal chattels. (Technically covers a lot of unpleasantness, though).

    BTW this does not mean Roman slavery was at all a pleasant institution. See gladiators, sexual slavery etc etc.

    Possibly the manumission difference is due to the racialized nature of American slavery. A Roman freedman or woman could potentially find a place in a society where they were not ethnically distinct.

    Speaking of which, I wonder if the historical curriculum addresses the profound civil, never mind economic, inequalities of the “Jim Crow” era.
    Somehow I doubt it.

  27. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Advertising is coming back.

    Oh hell no. I gave up on movie theaters before the pandemic because they were so unpleasant, and there’s no way I’m going back to ads.

    I’ll steal shit left and right before that happens.


    Then torrents of bits were spilled in analysis, including cheaper subscriptions containing ads, and free but ad-supported streaming.

    So, we may se ads added to all subscriptions, and outrageous prices for going ad-free, or we may see some form of consolidation.

    Or we may see production values drop a bit.

    Making a product cheaper so it can be profitable at the price people are willing to pay is a time honored tradition across many products, often while pushing against the price people are willing to pay.

    Not saying it will get to Classic Doctor Who level of production values (so many stories took place in that one quarry), but if big-budget/big-return superhero movies aren’t able to get that big return, we may start seeing more spy thrillers, horror, drama, etc.

  28. Kathy says:

    Since iPads were mentioned, I wonder if someone could clear up a question: What’s the lifespan of an iPad as regards operating system upgrades?

    I have a Nexus 7 2012 tablet. I forget the Android OS it ran at first, but back then it ran perfectly well. It had one OS upgrade and kept running well. Then upon the second upgrade, it became a brick. Slow as hell, glitchy, etc. So I paid someone to downgrade to the prior OS, and it recovered.

    this worked for a few years, but things began to get slower and slower, until the convenience of the larger screen, as compared to the phone, was overtaken by the inconvenience of it running very slow.

    I think I quit using it sometime in 2020, maybe 2019. I still have it in a drawer somewhere, uncharged and hibernating.

    So it lasted 6 or 7 years (I got in 2013). Had I bought an iPad in 2012/2013, would it still run well assuming it hadn’t broken down or met some other physical demise?

  29. charontwo says:


    So, we may se ads added to all subscriptions, and outrageous prices for going ad-free, or we may see some form of consolidation.

    They could get a lot more expensive and still cost less than I was paying DISH for a satellite dish.

  30. dazedandconfused says:


    There were communities of free blacks in the south, most notably in NOLA, but also in Savannah. On the other hand we had Texas, where being free black was illegal. Whites were banned from freeing their own slaves there. Generalizations are perilous with variations like this.

    Even for the slaves how it was depended entirely on the nature of the slave master. The sick f&#k that ran the hell-hole described in “12 Years A Slave” was not all that far away from the Jeff Davis plantation, in which the slaves were well treated almost as family. Jeff saved his plantation by selling it to one of his slaves for a dollar, who later sold it back to Davis for the same price after things settled down. Most of them stayed on as paid hands after the war.

    Want to damn the institution? “The power of the master must be absolute to render the submission of the slave perfect”. Anyone that doesn’t curl the toenails on needs to get the hell out of my country.

  31. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: you can check the Apple obsolete devices list.

    The official policy is 5-7 years after they stop being sold, but I believe they do release security updates for some of the older OSes. I think the iPads get unusablely slow before the laptops, but I use mine for drawing, which can push it.

    And the Nexus 7 got regular updates far longer than most android devices — the non-googles update infrequently. If I were to get an android device, I would get a Google branded one.

  32. Kathy says:


    Or we may see production values drop a bit.

    Drop a bit more.

    I’ve no eye for fine detail, certainly not in fast-moving CGI shots, but there’s been much complaining from those how have a finer eye for such detail, as well as people in the VFX industry. All about how the huge volume of VFX shots needed in today’s streaming TV has meant lower quality overall.

    Speaking of which, I wonder how the show formats will change. The current standard of ten eps and a single story per season are rather hit or miss. That is, some feel like an elongated 2 or 3 part ep from the old days of broadcast TV, others are just right.

    What I would love to see is arc shows, not just arc seasons. Like Babylon 5 or The Good Place.

  33. Kathy says:



    Back when the upgraded OS bricked my tablet, I recall reading some of that model were not affected, or not affected as badly.

    Around the same time, I bought a desktop PC with windows 7 (one of the last made with it). It’s been upgraded to Win10 (I skipped Win8 because it was Win8). It can’t be upgraded to Win11, but it runs about as well as it did when new. A bit slower, but no more than can be expected from 10 years of use.

    It also still runs software made when Win7, Vista, and WinXP were the latest thing, and before software became a subscription service with mandatory updates.

    Seen this way, tablets are disposable.

    So are phones, but I get a free new old one every two or three years.

    I wonder, though, what if I charged and revived the Nexus. Would I still get OS upgrades, or are those long gone? Could I do something else with it?

  34. Beth says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    I saw that over the weekend. It’s so cruel and unnecessary.

    I unfortunately spent a lot of time this weekend contemplating the whole “groomer” slur and it’s inherent belief that Gay/Bi/Trans people need to “recruit” because we “can’t reproduce”. It’s so frustrating and stupid. Reality is more complex than most people want to confront.

    I’m stuck dealing with the fall out of all of this because now that my dysphoria isn’t SCREAMING at me constantly I’ve had more brain power to devote to everything else and it’s made me realize how much I lost because I had to spend so much time trying to fit into a Cis Het life. It’s torture to force queer kids to be in the closet. It’s never going to make us less queer. It’s just going to make us miserable. Or in my case, send my PTSD of control.

    Lol, I also missed that I’m six months post surgery. I’ve been so happy without a penis that I’ve totally missed that it wasn’t always like this. It’s freaking amazing.

  35. Roger says:

    @Beth: Thanks for your frequent comments here. I’m one of those old white men who has never been able to wrap his head around what it means to be trans. I know it’s not your job to educate me, but I appreciate the fact that you do.

  36. Kathy says:

    I made the second iteration of goulash over the weekend. I made a few changes. namely doubling the amount of beef, and adding half a tbsp. more paprika.

    Results were mixed. I should have added more beef broth as well. The beef came out ok, but there’s not enough sauce for all of it. also, I forgot the dish isn’t done until after it’s cooled a bit from its time in the oven. I had thought that 3 hours was too long, and perhaps between 2 and 2.5 hours at 150 C would be better. the sauce looked too liquidy when I checked at those times, and I decided to go the full 3 hours.

    Next time, I may also add a tomato to the mix. The recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of tomato puree, and it’s fine. But seeing the onions pretty much melt into the sauce, melting a tomato into it should work as well. I figure I’ll seed it, chop it, and saute it with the onions before adding back the meat and the sauce.

    For next week, I want to try slow cooked pork loin of some sort. I’m looking up recipes for now.

  37. Beth says:


    Thank you, I appreciate that.

  38. MarkedMan says:

    @Beth: I also appreciate your viewpoint. I know we have our disagreements, but in all fairness I’m a disagreeable cuss.

  39. Scott O says:

    @Kathy: My Dad has an IPad mini 2, circa about 2014, still works fine.
    It will not update to the latest OS. He/we recently bought a new Wi-Fi printer. The printer has an app that’s supposed to make the connecting easy. But it wouldn’t work on his older OS. I was able to get things working but it was a bit of a pain.
    But otherwise, no problems.

  40. Kathy says:

    @Scott O:

    Thanks for the info.

    BTW, I did dig up the Nexus 7, and for some reason I had a mini-USB cable. So, it’s charging slowly.