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. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well I hope everyone has a great monday. Today we’ll see if my son-in-law gets to come home. He spent the last 4 days in ICU while they try to get his INR numbers up above 1.2. and tomorrow afternoon I go in for a full neuro workup. So far, this is not the week I had planned.

  2. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Hope it all works out well for you and he.

  3. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Just remember: person, man, woman camera…

    (oops, I forgot the last one, but don’t worry, I only remembered 3 in my exam and still got the coveted “very stable genius” rating–and getting that didn’t help me avoid a “well, you’ve got Parkinson’s now” verdict anyway. 🙁 )

  4. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I believe the final word in the series Trump touted was television.

  5. charontwo says:
  6. charontwo says:


    I remembered them all, just wasn’t sure whether TV was before Camera or after.

    I am sure those were not real words, the real test does not use related words like person-woman-man or camera-TV.

  7. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Well whatever it was, missed two. At the time, I joked that I’d never be able to become President, or something about not being as alert as Trump to the person giving the test, and when the neurologist returned to talk about the screening, she said that she’d heard I was worried and I shouldn’t be because you can miss items on that part of the test and still have a perfect score if you can perform all of the tasks to some degree.

  8. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @charontwo: To the degree that I recall, I didn’t get related words. I also had to do several cognitive tasks–count backwards from some number, say the days of the week/months of the year in reverse order, and do computations in my head before the test administrator returned to the list of items I’d been asked to remember. It appears to be a screening device to see if a person has significant gaps in what they can do that involves cognitive processes/motor skills.

  9. charontwo says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Pretty obvious Trump remembered being asked five words but not the actual words, he was just looking around a TV studio and winging it.

  10. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Late edit to add that the neuro workup is to figure out why but I keep falling off the edge of the flat earth,

  11. Kathy says:


    I’m sure I’ve told this joke before.

    Benito can’t graduate high school because he failed chemistry. His daddy protests proudly, and the school authorities buckle and agree to take a huge donation; that’s the best deal ever manypeoplesaythat.

    They conclude someone with such a rich father and such tiny hands, deserves special accommodation. Regular students get ten questions, so Benito should only get two. The normal passing grade requires 60% correct answers, but Benito should only require 50%. So they administer the following test:

    Question 1: What’s the color of methylene BLUE?
    Answer 1: Orange.

    Question 2: Do you know how to precipitate a salt under a reducing atmosphere?
    Answer 2: No.

    Benito passed because answer 2 was correct.

  12. CSK says:


    Not so far-fetched. Didn’t he pay someone to take his SATs?

  13. Kathy says:


    It may be he offered someone money to take his SATs. It’s extremely unlikely he actually paid them.

  14. charontwo says:

    Trump partial gag order in DC (Tanya Chutkan) trial:

    But he can’t attack Special Counsel, his staff, the court, the court’s staff and “it should go without saying” their families. Finally, he can’t discuss or attack expected witnesses or characterize their expected testimony.

    can’t call prosecutors ‘deranged’ or ‘thugs’

    can’t villify or incite violence against public officials.

    also going to [bar] statements about witnesses or substance of expected testimony. … there is real risk witnesses may be intimidated … other witnesses may be

    won’t restrict statements on Biden Adm or DOJ.

    i will however prohibit all parties from making or reposting statements public targeting Special Counsel, his staff; my staff; court personnel. statements targeting family of these people also prohibited as well

    Chutkan declined to grant restrictions related to general criticism of the Biden administration—calling Biden “crooked Joe” remains permissible.

    She also declined to prohibit statements about the DC jury pool, noting that potential prejudice can be dealt with at jury selection.


    I’m at E. Barrett Prettyman US Courthouse this morning. Plan is to live-tweet for

    the 10:00am hearing in USA v Trump (DC) over govt’s request to impose gag order on Trump. Key language of order govt seeks is below.

  15. Kathy says:


    I wonder what sanctions Judge Chutkan will impose after El Cheeto violates her order (it’s a given he will). He should be thrown in jail, like any other common criminal. But we know he’s too rich and White for that.

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    Today in History
    October 16, 1968. 55 years ago.
    John Carlos and Tommie Smith
    Black Power salute at the Mexico City Olympics

  17. Gustopher says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: sounds like a crappy weekend.

    My favorite thing about INR is using the non-acronym version, as it explains even less than the acronym: I hope your son-in-law’s Internationally Normalized Ratio is above 1.2.

    It’s beautiful. It transforms a sentence from being random medical jargon that just washes over you to a perplexing wall of “no, that can’t be right.”

  18. Slugger says:

    @Mister Bluster: The silver medal winner that day, Peter Norman, also took a stand of courage. Look up his story if it’s unfamiliar.

  19. anjin-san says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Smith & Carlos’ protest was a moment that stood out in an era that was full of electrifying moments.

    An interesting part of the story is that of Australian sprinter & medalist Peter Norman, who was also immortalized in the famous photo and who paid a price for joining the protest in a quiet way, wearing a civil rights pin that his fellow medalists had given him.

    Smith & Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral.

  20. anjin-san says:

    I see Slugger beat me to it…

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: The fun part is when the lab report “evaluates” the result without taking into account what treatment protocols a patient uses. A few weeks back OHSU’s lab marked my 2.1 INR as “moderately high.” I looked at it and saw “moderately low,” but only because the “normal” range is 1.2-1.5 (per OHSU) while my target number is 2.5 and I’m only “high” above 3.0.

    Still, I hope Joe (Luddite’s SIL to be) gets his INR stabilized. He has more irregular results in a year than I’ve had in my past 6 (including times when we pushed the number back to 1.2 for surgery).

  22. MarkedMan says:

    From the “only a moron believes that keeping a gun in your glove compartment makes you a real man” department, over 1000 guns have been stolen from cars this year… in the Nashville area alone.

    It seems that gun owners are, for the most part, morons.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    (And now for a break from INR levels, and how stable a genius Trump is…) In the gratuity porn post from yesterday, Anjin-san earlier today noted

    And if anyone is thinking that a $1000 tip is life changing, think again. It’s not even two weeks rent on a mediocre apartment out my way.

    Again, I will ask “What’s wrong with this picture?” (other than that if people can’t afford to live where Anjin does, they should move to more affordable areas, of course).

    ETA: And in the episode of Babylon 5 that I was watching last night, the representative from Earthforce Home Base/Nightwatch was doing the straight man version of this very topic from almost 30 years ago.

  24. Kathy says:


    We might make a distinction between gun owners and gun fetishists.

    If I were looking to steal a gun from a car, I’d try one with NRA and other 2nd amendment stickers. Odds would be higher such vehicles have a gun in the glove compartment*. And maybe ammo under the seat, and even some other guns left there carelessly.

    *While I do keep a pair of gloves in my car, they’re on the back seat along with spare supermarket fabric bags and spare KF-94 masks. The glove compartment stores only the car’s papers (registration, insurance, manual, service booklet, tire warranties, etc.), and my glasses.

  25. anjin-san says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    How times have changed – in 1979 I was working at a restaurant in Sausalito. My brother and I had an apartment in a nice complex. I had a ’69 Mustang and a motorcycle, new furniture, some money in the bank and zero debt. Also enough walking around money to get out and have some fun. All I had to do was bust my butt 4/5 nights a week.

    Then came Reagan…

  26. SenyorDave says:

    @Slugger: There was a movie made called “Salute” that told his story. He was a man of true convictions. He stayed friends with Smith and Carlos the rest of his life, and both were pallbearers at his funerla

  27. Beth says:


    Ours is stuffed full of extra napkins. If anyone broke in my guess is they would be so pissed at the tidal wave of napkins.


    Then came Reagan…

    I’m pretty sure my kids are going to grow up thinking Reagan is the actual devil how we react whenever his name comes up, generally followed with “FUCK THAT GUY!” Is there anything that man touched that he didn’t make worse?

  28. Kathy says:


    Where I get my coffee these days, they give me a napkin along with complimentary mini pastries. I began by taking the napkins, but I hardly ever used them. When I realized the back seat was starting to accumulate unused napkins, I began leaving them on the counter.

  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @anjin-san: In about 1976 or so, I was living on Mercer Island in the south end of Lake Washington* for $250/month. I made good money as a Teamster warehouse worker, so I decided to use my first-ever vacation to go to the Monterey peninsula. Nice trip, great scenery, checked out Cannery Row, Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach golf courses, (no, I don’t golf, but we don’t have courses with views like those where I grew up), Carmel, and so on.

    Turned in my rental car at the airport and with 12 hours to kill before my flight, took some transit or another into SF and decided to take the ferry across to Sausalito to wander around on foot for a while. A couple of blocks away from the dock, I saw a real estate office with a sign in the window:

    Yes! We have rentals! Some from $1000.

    Yikes! My first experience with how the other micro fraction lives.

    *To the horror of my parents who wondered how I could afford such an extravagance–until I told them my apartment was $100/month lower than the cheapest apartment I found where we lived in West Seattle. And Mercer Island was “where the ‘really rich’ kids live” back in those days (except for the few who lived in Broadmoor and Medina–where the Gates’ built their mega estate).

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Is there anything that man touched that he didn’t make worse?

    Other than a handful of “B” movies and later episodes of Death Valley Days, you mean?

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    @Slugger: @anjin-san: @SenyorDave:..Peter Norman

    Thank you all for the memory jog (should be an olympic event)…
    Somewhere in the cobwebs of my brain I think I knew this.
    I remember seeing Smith and Carlos on the TV news in ’68 and I know that I have read about them since then.
    1968 was a hell of a year.
    I was 20 years old, still not old enough to vote. I finally left my parents house and got out on my own.
    Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated as was Senator Robert F. Kennedy. I watched Kennedy give his victory speech after the California Primary and then got the news that he had been shot just after he walked off camera.
    President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not run for reelection. The infamous Democratic Convention in Chicago. Not to mention the Vietnam War produced 16,899 American military dead.
    The good old days.
    Who needs ’em…

  32. anjin-san says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Sausalito in the ’70s was just crazy fun. I grew up in the significantly less ritzy – but still very nice – northern end of Marin County. Both of the houses I grew up in are worth over a million dollars now, which pretty much blows my mind.

    In the 20th-century version of America, my family went from killing poverty in the old country to upper middle class in two generations.

    Like they say – you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

  33. Kathy says:

    Biden’s campaign has set up an account in Benito’s Misbegotten Would-Be Social Network (I can’t bring myself to type the name it goes by).

    This ranks as one of the least odd thing among all the bizarre stuff that has gone down since 2016.

  34. Kathy says:

    I’ve hesitated to post this, because it’s unofficial. But things seem to be looking up in Poland.

    I wonder how accurate the exit polls are. The PiSs party seems to be taking them seriously. I wonder, too, whether they can mess with the results. We may find out the answers to both questions tomorrow.

  35. CSK says:

    Trump says he’s willing to go to jail if that’s what it takes for this country to become a democracy again.

  36. Kathy says:


    It would help to maintain American democracy if that poor excuse for a man went to jail.

    I wonder who told him that.

  37. anjin-san says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Why would anyone want a “mega estate?” It’s a mystery to me. If I won the lottery, I could see wanting a 2500 sq. ft. place in Nichols Canyon. I’d love to have a lap pool of my own. Maybe an apartment on Via Margutta in Rome or on Ile St. Louis. for trips to Europe.

    More than that? I do not get it.

  38. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: $1000 is a medium car repair. It’s a dental cleaning and a few cavities. It’s a few days off to take care of a sick relative. It’s an abortion and a cocktail*.

    A lot of people (particularly the working “lower middle class”) are living month to month and barely getting by. Poor people are way better at getting value out of $1000 than I am, or likely most of the people here.

    Is it life changing? Sadly, too often the answer is yes. A lot of people who end up homeless, or in a cycle of credit card debt start as barely getting by and then having a couple of emergencies at the same time (most people at that level can scrounge enough for one emergency — they are really good at stretching money)

    *: I have no idea how much an abortion costs, but I’m hoping there would be enough left over for a strawberry daiquiri or something.

  39. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: we’re all in agreement, let’s make this happen!

  40. Jax says:

    @anjin-san: This is one of the coolest houses I’ve ever seen. Not sure I could actually live in it, but the wood work is so pretty!

  41. anjin-san says:


    That is very cool, looks like a huge amount of work went into it.

    I worked here in the late 70s, the woodwork was amazing, done in the mid-60s and much copied.

  42. anjin-san says:


    over 1000 guns have been stolen from cars this year… in the Nashville area alone.

    But, but… I thought guns turned you into an invulnerable superhero that could never be a victim…