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:

    I’m telling everyone the car my neighbor bought and owns is mine.

    And according to the National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and Republican politicians I indeed have a 1st Amendment right to try taking possession of the car, via fraud and conspiracy.

    It’s free speech, not attempted robbery. Thanks Trump!

  2. charontwo says:
  3. charontwo says:


    This is the clearest best explanation I have encountered:

    Criminal Law 101: Trump’s J6 Indictment

    63 Comments / Politics

    For this weekend’s blog post, I’ll answer questions about Trump’s third indictment. If you want to start with a summary and analysis of the indictment, see this post.

    Question #1: Major outlets are reporting that the allegations against Trump require proof of Trump’s state of mind, specifically, that he knew he lost the election, but pursued his various criminal acts anyway.

    Nope. This is mostly wrong, but I totally understand why so many people are confused. This stuff can trip up first-year law students.

    Before I get started with legal terms, think of it this way: Trump’s motive for committing the crime doesn’t matter because a good motive does not get a person off the hook for committing a crime. “I hit my neighbor with a baseball bat because I genuinely believed he robbed my house” will not fly. I can genuinely believe my neighbor doesn’t have the right to vote, but that doesn’t allow me to go into her mailbox, steal her ballot, and tear it up.

    Very detailed run-through follows/

  4. charontwo says:

    Many people are strongly and powerfully saying that you need to follow


    if you want to get the best information as the indictments in Georgia draw near and unfold, believe me.

  5. DrDaveT says:

    From July 10 through July 26 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the temperature did not drop below 90 degrees at any time. It dipped to 89 degrees briefly on July 27, but as if to make up for it the low temperature on July 28 was 97 degrees. The low. For the month of July, the average temperature (all times of day) was over 100.

    Those of you who remember the killing heat wave in Europe in 2003 may recall the explanation that deaths are much better predicted by the daily low than by the daily high temperature. It is the inability of the body to cool off for days at a time that is fatal. Regular lows of 80-85 degrees can be lethal. And Phoenix was routinely in the mid-90s. Humans cannot live in that environment without artificial life support.

  6. Scott says:

    @DrDaveT: I’ve been to Phoenix just a couple of times. Not sure what it’s charms are that induce people to move there but I just don’t see them. In San Antonio, it’s been over 100 regularly this summer but the lows are regularly 78-80. Bad enough but at least I can get the dogs walked before sunup and the rise in heat. Blacktop at our temperatures is about 140 degrees.

  7. charontwo says:

    Not sure what it’s charms are that induce people to move there but I just don’t see them.

    If you like hiking there are abundant nearby hiking trails in the mountains, deserts etc. Lots of nearby national or state parks, monuments etc. that can be hiked.

    If you like bicycling you have dry pavement almost every day, and in summer you can still ride in the early morning.

    This stuff is year-round in AZ, vs. not doable in winter in cold areas.

    In San Antonio, it’s been over 100 regularly this summer but the lows are regularly 78-80.

    Lows were in the 70’s all of June (because low humidity). The entire month of July was really bad, but this year was exceptional. (Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, seasonally the dew point jumps higher in July, so it does not cool off as much at night. I used to live in Houston, where dew points run much higher than AZ, even in July).

  8. Jen says:

    @Scott: My family is in the Scottsdale area. The desert can be quite beautiful, and they all detest snow and cold weather (I, OTOH, delight in cold weather and do not do well at temps above 75 degrees) so they are for the most part pretty happy there. My father, in his mid-80s, hikes and plays golf. My mom walks and has access to multiple yoga studios. There are lots of nice restaurants and sunshine most of the year. They don’t have to worry about snow or slipping on ice. Their “yard work” is a matter of making certain the drip irrigation system is working.

    What freaks me out is the water situation. There’s just not going to be enough given warming temperatures and the growth that politicians in the area refuse to address.

  9. EddieInCA says:


    Are we sure this is real? I can’t find it on her Twitter timeline. Was it posted then deleted, or is it just fake?

    My wife, who is much more of a cynic and skeptic than I am, has taught me to double check everything, given how much disinformation is currently fashionable.

    EDIT – Nevermind. Just saw the “Parody” tag at the bottom of the post.

  10. Kathy says:

    I arrived at work to find a note from IT not to turn on any computer, for no specific reason, until they undergo a mandatory update.

    In the second place, I’m dying to see how they upgrade a computer without turning it on. But in the first place, if they’d sent an email about this issue, we all could have slept in.

    I suspect some really bad malware.

  11. Scott says:

    @Jen: @charontwo: OK, I can see that. My experiences are almost 2 decades ago, mostly visiting Luke AFB.

    I grew up in the NE, on Long Island Sound, and miss tall trees and lots of greenery and water.

    Access to a beach (in a day’s drive) is a requirement.

    Love hiking. Hate golf.

  12. Scott says:

    @Kathy: Back when I was working, I used to dread coming in Mondays because, at least once a month, there was a software push and update. There were a lot of unproductive Monday mornings because of issues resulting from those updates.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    Re: Trump’s attack on the US Women’s Soccer team after they had a heartbreaking loss in PK’s in the knockout round. Kicking the loser and spitting on them when they are down is who Trump is, and Trump is the Republican Party. For young people just becoming politically aware, those who delight in dickishness will be attracted to the Reps, and those who are disgusted with it will be repulsed.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: If I were a betting man I’d say ransomware.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:


    From this AM’s Times

    Still Dreaming of Retirement in the Sun Belt?

    Heat can indeed be deadly, though, particularly for seniors. Last year Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, recorded 425 heat-associated deaths, a 25 percent increase from 2021. Two-thirds occurred in people over 50.

    For the South, summer heat is going to be the equivalent of winter’s cold in the north. I suspect over time the retirement places of choice will move from the south to states that border what was the boundary of the Confederacy. Having to stay inside because it is too hot, is the same as needing to stay inside because of the cold.

  16. Jen says:

    At this point, if some major news organization were to publish an article stating that Justice Thomas doesn’t pay for his own groceries, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Via NYT:

    Clarence Thomas’s $267,230 R.V. and the Friend Who Financed It

    “[…] His Prevost Marathon cost $267,230, according to title history records obtained by The New York Times. And Justice Thomas, who in the ensuing years would tell friends how he had scrimped and saved to afford the motor coach, did not buy it on his own. In fact, the purchase was underwritten, at least in part, by Anthony Welters, a close friend who made his fortune in the health care industry. […]”

  17. Kathy says:


    They said “it’s a virus.” No more information. they did turn on each PC for the upgrade (I was very disappointed), and installed some AV software.

    Finally they switched the internet connection back on.

  18. gVOR10 says:

    @Jen: The thing I found surprising, and heartening, about that story is that NYT reported it themselves rather than wait for Pro Publica to hand it to them. I hope they’re also looking at the other justices. I see no reason to assume they’re any less corrupt, albeit maybe a bit smoother about it. They are subject to the same temptations and negligible constraints. We’ve seen iceberg tips with Roberts and Alito.

  19. Jen says:

    @gVOR10: The thing that strikes me most about Thomas–and likely the others you list too, we just don’t see it as obviously–is that Thomas has apparently flat-out said that he wanted to be rich. That’s sort of a silly aspiration if you go into government work, unless you’re willing to really, really work the rubber chicken circuit and earn it making terrible speeches to audiences. Frequently.

    He wanted all of it–the top job in prestige (the Court) and the wages of a private-sector top litigator.

    In the intelligence community, if you start living well beyond your means for no reason (like a major inheritance), you can expect to be investigated. I don’t understand why the Supreme Court gets treated differently.

  20. charontwo says:

    Judge Cannon responds to the govt’s request for a hearing on Nauta’s lawyer’s conflicts & discloses the existence of a grand jury investigation in another district while denying gov’t’s motion to seal. The govt can appeal. This may tee up the issue of her fitness on this case.

    I’m betting that Judge Cannon’s account of the out-of-district investigation is not the full story. But hard to see how she can justify not sealing her order referring to another Grand Jury. Could this be a possible vehicle for taking her up and seeking her recusal? Not clear yet

    Judge CANNON comes out swinging at special counsel this morning, striking two of prosecutors’ sealed filings and demanding an explanation of “the legal propriety of using an out-of-district grand jury proceeding to continue to investigate” the docs case.

    (Perhaps the other G.J. is about charging documents dissemination, for which NJ/Bedminster would be appropriate venue?)

  21. charontwo says:


    Don’t overlook the footnotes. The footnote in Judge Cannon’s response is basically inviting Trump to submit a motion to dismiss the case referencing rule 12(b).

    It is starting to appear this judge is O.K. with Trump team delaying tactics.

  22. charontwo says:

    @charontwo: The court order:


    Dissemination of documents was conspicuously not charged in the documents case. Considering it was reported to have happened at Bedminster, it would not be surprising if there is an N.J. grand jury looking at that.

  23. Mister Bluster says:

    William Friedkin has died. 87

    French Connection

  24. Kathy says:

    It seems likely we’ll have to start the week without a second state indictment.

    If I were to write a play about the Cheeto’s current legal drama, I’d call it The Turning of The Screw.

  25. Jay L Gischer says:

    @charontwo: According to Marcy Wheeler ( Judge Cannon did not disclose the existence of another GJ, the filings by the DOJ that she is responding to disclosed that. She denied their request, but the requests would have been in the docket had she accepted them.

    I think Cannon is likely to be as unfriendly as she can to the prosecution while still avoiding any more slapdowns by the 11th Circuit. So far, that’s held.

  26. charontwo says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    The thing that matters in the short term, though, is Cannon seems to have no interest in walking Nauta through ways that Woodward’s continued representation of him may be a problem. And whatever other inquiry she may feels is necessary — whether frivolous or meritorious — she is causing at least two more weeks of delay before she’ll deal with that potential conflict.

  27. Jay L Gischer says:

    @charontwo: And that summary matches my description as far as I can see. It is friendly to Trump, but well within her legal prerogative. Nothing extraordinary, nothing to get overturned on appeal. Just a stall.

    If Nauta goes to trial with conflicted counsel, it will be grounds for a mistrial. Smith knows this, and will address it. Cannon knows it too, and is simply letting things go slowly. It is very unlikely this trial will be over before the election. The stalling won’t change the ultimate outcome, though.

  28. Gustopher says:

    The most recent episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a musical, and it was silly and fun, except…the Klingons made me feel awkward.

    Is darkening someone’s skin, putting on lots of alien prosthetics, giving them ridiculous costumes (standard Klingon but with GOLD BLING), and having them sing and dance to a Korean inspired hip-hop… is … is that a blackface minstrel show?

    It looked a little minstrelly.

    If it was just Klingon opera like we saw Worf doing in TNG, or if Klingons were blue or green or anything but African-American skin tones, or if there was less bling, I think it wouldn’t have struck me that way.

    Anyway, other than the blackface minstrel show, it was a good episode.

  29. Kathy says:


    I’d hoped the Lower Decks crossover, and the Spock becomes human ep, would be the high water mark in silliness* this season. I dread a Trek musical.

    BTW, it seems Strange New Worlds will be making a comedy Spock ep per season. In the first it was the mind-meld turned body-swap between Spock and T’Pring. This season it was the mistake by the ultra-advanced aliens who nevertheless have not outgrown bureaucracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a sham Spock wedding in season 3, or something worse.

    *The one with alt-Kirk and La’an time traveling came close, especially when they involved the Enterprise’s future engineer, but it had the very serious subtext to keep it from being silly.

  30. rwb says:

    Ron DeSantis just announced he is for opening up the banking system to the Marijuana business. In an op-ed in usa today, today, he said “I don’t care if someone is trying to sell fossil fuels, firearms or French fries, there will be NO IDEOLOGICAL LITMUS TEST for getting a loan, establishing a bank account or running your business.” What else could that mean?

  31. Beth says:


    My thoughts:

    1. Holy shit!

    2. I think @Jay L Gischer: is being way too sanguine about this. This sentence is bonkers:

    he Special Counsel states in conclusory terms that the supplement should be sealed from public view “to comport with grand jury secrecy,” but the motion for leave and the supplement plainly fail to satisfy the burden of establishing a sufficient legal or factual basis to warrant sealing the motion and supplement.

    Loose Cannon is basically accusing the government of lying, bad pleading, and malfeasance. If a secret grand jury investigation isn’t enough reason to seal something what is? Also, it appears that Whatshisface’s attorney has huge and massive disqualifying conflicts. Can he represent any of them? The fact that they’re targets of a separate investigation is huge! Cannon is putting her whole foot on the scale.

    3. This is all insane! A former President has been indicted what 3 times? And is a target in at least two more investigations? One of which may be that he shared classified documents with someone? Who? And the party of “law and order” are cheering them on? Inconceivable!

  32. Beth says:


    That he’s actually the dumbest chud in all of Florida?

  33. DrDaveT says:


    I dread a Trek musical.

    Mad Magazine is decades ahead of you here. Before the first Star Trek movie was ever made, Mad imagined what a reunion episode might be like, in the form of a musical with tunes stolen from various Broadway shows. The only ones I remember are “Where is the crew?” (to the tune of “Send in the Clowns”) and “A Crew that’s Expendable” (to the tune of “Aquarius”).

    Isn’t it rich?
    After 8 years…
    Him playing Captain again,
    Me with my ears.
    Where is the crew…?

  34. Kathy says:


    3. This is all insane!

    That’s as succinct a summary as possible of the GQP since Benito came down the escalator.

  35. Kathy says:


    As I recall, MAD liked to put in songs in many of their movie parodies as well. They were all Broadway or movie musicals. I recall few specifics. One, for The Towering Inferno parody, was “Burn Up Big Buildings,” sung to the tune of Climb Every Mountain.

  36. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Strange New Worlds has a wildly inconsistent tone, but I’ve enjoyed every episode so far, some more than others. Well, almost every episode.*

    I kind of love the tonal shifts, with all the actors keeping their characters entirely recognizable in wildly different styles. They are either having a lot of fun, or being tortured mercilessly.

    Three silly episodes in a ten episode season is a bit much though. If I had to drop one, it would be the Lower Decks crossover, as it wasn’t silly enough — if you’re going to be silly, commit to being silly.

    I eagerly await whatever ridiculous shenanigans Spock gets up to next year. If they can come up with a reason for Spock and T’Pal to be baby-sitting Pike with the mind of a 8 year old, that would be ideal — Anson Mount has surprisingly good comedic timing.

    *: The courtroom episode annoyed me. Una keeps information from everyone for no good in-story reason, just so there would be a big reveal near the end. Ruins the entire episode for me, far more than singing.

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: And don’t forget the finale: “Money” sung to the tune of “Sunny.”