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:

    What would Jesus say? New York archdiocese calls funeral for trans activist at cathedral ‘scandalous’

    The Roman Catholic archdiocese of New York City has condemned a funeral service for the transgender activist Cecilia Gentili at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral after congregants cheered her for being celebrated as “the mother of all whores”.

    The packed funeral – organisers reported 1,400 mourners – took place on Thursday, 10 days after the Argentinian-born Gentili, 52, died at her Brooklyn home. Gentili was an activist and actor known for her advocacy on behalf of sex workers, as well as an atheist and author of Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist. Her cause of death has not been revealed.

    The archdiocese condemned the funeral, saying some mourners behaved scandalously at the service, which featured a turnout closer in number to the midtown Manhattan cathedral’s jam-packed Easter mass than a normal Thursday, with many transgender congregants lavishly dressed for Gentili’s send-off.

    They were upset by how well dressed some people were?

    The archdiocese released a statement on Saturday saying it had “no idea our welcome and prayer would be degraded in such a sacrilegious and deceptive way”. The pastor of St Patrick’s, Enrique Salvo, said the church had not known of Gentili’s background or beliefs when it booked the service.

    Oh please, me thinks thou dost protest too much. You guys are the experts at degrading in sacrilegious and deceptive ways.

    The church said it did not take issue with Gentili’s identity. But the church objected to the actions of some of the mourners, including some who cheered loudly when Gentili was hailed as “Santa Cecilia, la madre de todas las putas” – which is Spanish for “Saint Cecilia, the mother of all whores”.

    Heaven forbid! But wait a minute, about that Jesus guy…

    “Y’all may have heard the story that Jesus ministered to all,” Ceyenne Doroshow said during the service. “We lost our saint. We lost somebody that we could call no matter what, no matter what time. This lady worked so hard to make sure girls like me, girls like you, boys like you, are safe, are grounded, are rooted, got healthcare – that sex workers are free.”

    But the holier than thou crowd just can’t help themselves:

    CatholicVote called the funeral “unbelievable and sick” and said it was “a mockery of the Christian faith”. Among other critics, Nicholas Gregoris of the Priestly Society of Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman called Gentili’s service “revolting” and a “desecration” of the US’s most famous Catholic church.

    Yeah well, I desecrate Catholic churches every time I walk into one for a funeral. Don’t worry, I won’t have a funeral service in one. TBH, I doubt there will be any kind of funeral for me.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Australian showjumper Shane Rose has been stood down from competition after wearing a mankini ­during an equestrian event in Sydney. Rose, a three-time Olympic medallist, has apologised for any offence caused by his outfit choice at the fancy dress event at Wallaby Hill last weekend. Equestrian Australia is reviewing the matter after concerns were raised about Rose’s unusual attire, but the governing body said he has not been suspended.
    “I took part in this fancy dress competition with the aim of pro­viding lighthearted entertainment for those in attendance,” Rose wrote in a Facebook post, which was later deleted. “If my costume/s offended anyone I am truly sorry as this was never my intention. I would like to apologise to anyone that I offended.”
    “With a bit of luck this will all be a bit of a laugh in a few days and we can all move on,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I wore a costume which you could see at a theme park or a beach. Potentially no one has done it on [a] horse, but there you go.
    “He hasn’t been sanctioned, he hasn’t been suspended. He has been stood down from competition while we review and we have committed to getting the review done this week.” Gocher said.

    Several members of the equestrian community were not impressed with Rose being stood down. Many have posted messages in support of the rider, while some changed their Facebook profile pictures to Borat in a show of solidarity.

    So horse jumping has an NFL too.

  3. Scott says:

    From 60 Minutes episode by Anderson Cooper:

    Regretful Wisconsin fake elector says he was tricked into signing phony document claiming Trump won in 2020

    Hard to excerpt, so go ahead and read it. And then tell me this can’t happen again.

    All it takes is weak men and women.

  4. Kathy says:

    Boeing’s falling behind Airbus.

    Overall, between orders and deliveries, the two companies have historically split the market about 50/50. After the MAX and 787 debacles, it’s closer to 60/40 now, in favor of Airbus.

    Meantime, lots of airlines are waiting for deliveries.

    IMO, this is what happens when industries consolidate so much.

    And I’m 90% sure the aim of Boom, the company trying to develop a commercial supersonic airliner, is to be acquired by Boeing once their plane proves successful.

  5. Charley in Cleveland says:

    @Scott: I watched the segment and thought Jack Smith has a couple of potential witnesses here. One woman pointed out how deeply involved Ken Cheesebro was in handling the mechanics of getting the fake electoral votes to DC. As to the former chair of the Wisconsin GOP…he came across as a dupe…a chastened dupe now, but still far too willing to dive into an operation that he knew was wrong at best and illegal at worst because he feared backlash from the MAGA cult.

  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    I do love getting moral instruction from an organization known to have enabled, perpetrated and covered-up thousands of cases of rape of a child.

  7. EddieInCA says:

    Under reported story of the weekend.

    During Trump’s sneakers appearance, he was scheduled to speak for 45-60 mins. That’s what the organizers were promised. He quit after 1 minute 22 seconds due to booing that didn’t stop.

    Remind me again how Trump is connecting to young males…..

    Trump booed onstage.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA: Music to my ears. If only they had started chanting “Lock Him UP! Lock Him UP!”

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in China has fallen 83%, to the lowest number since 1993. I don’t think that number’s been inflation adjusted, so in constant dollars it’s likely far lower than 1993.

    The world has lost faith in the Chinese economic miracle. The Hang Seng (Hong Kong stock) has dropped -22%, Shanghai down as well, in the same year the NASDAQ rose by 37% and the Dow 16%.

    Sorry, Xi. Thank you, Joe.

  10. rachel says:

    @Kathy: Boeing’s decline is what happens when a company forgets the business they’re in in favor of letting the bean counters make the decisions.

  11. DK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Did those Catholic organizations release any such statements about the new reports of child sex abuse within the church — 2,000 children in Illinois (uncovered in May 2023), a thousand in Pennsylvania (uncovered in August of 2018), 200,000 in Spain (uncovered October 2023), or the Tennessee Catholic priest indicted last week for diddling kids?

    The Catholic Church has no moral credibility and should shit up until it’s child rape problem is fixed.

  12. Kathy says:


    I’m more concerned about the lack of other commercial aircraft manufacturers.

    Suppose Southwest or Ryanair, two of the largest all-Boeing airlines, decided to order from the A320 or A220 families to expand, or even to maintain their market. Airbus won’t have the capacity to meet their orders quickly.

  13. Kathy says:

    I’m sure John Oliver would be good for it, but not sure whether it would be legal.

    Also, Clarence probably likes the power as well as the money.

  14. gVOR10 says:

    @Kathy: IANAL, but I don’t see any reason it would not be legal. In fact we should do it more often. Buying Saddam out would probably have been a lot cheaper than two wars. Putin, however, probably has so much power and money we couldn’t afford to buy him out.

    The real problem is that Thomas already has a luxury motor home and is probably doing better than a mil a year with his current arrangements.

  15. MarkedMan says:

    Things like this give me hope. From a David French OpEd on being targeted by MAGAs:

    Minutes later, a young deputy called to tell me all was quiet at our home. When I asked if he would mind checking back frequently, he said he’d stay in front of our house all night. Then he asked, “Why did you get this threat?”

    I hesitated before I told him. Our community is so MAGA that I had a pang of concern about his response. “I’m a columnist,” I said, “and we’ve had lots of threats ever since I wrote against Donald Trump.”

    The deputy paused for a moment. “I’m a vet,” he said, “and I volunteered to serve because I believe in our Constitution. I believe in free speech.” And then he said words I’ll never forget: “You keep speaking, and I’ll stand guard.”

    I didn’t know that deputy’s politics and I didn’t need to. When I heard his words, I thought, that’s it. That’s the way through. Sometimes we are called to speak. Sometimes we are called to stand guard.

  16. Kathy says:


    Paying tribute to enemies was common in ancient times. Often it involved a stronger power extorting it from a weaker one. So in the case of Saddam, Kuwait ought to have paid it before the invasion, or offered to do so after (maybe they even did).

    These days this is seen as repugnant, and as encouraging other countries to invade and/or bully smaller ones.

    The real problem is that Thomas already has

    And billionaires to boss around and make demands from. He strikes me as the kind who’d value such power above the money involved.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    Even 10-15 years ago I was reading opinion pieces from “sensible” pundits pooh-poohing the idea that renewables would ever be more than a few percent of our generating capacity. Solar + battery storage will make up 81% of new US electric generating capacity in 2024

  18. Sleeping Dog says:


    That was a good column and I too hope that the LEO’s response is reflective of a large portion of the population.

  19. dazedandconfused says:


    I would have addressed the offer to Ginny.

  20. MarkedMan says:

    @dazedandconfused: annnndddd…. dazedandconfused wins the internet for today!

  21. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..“You keep speaking, and I’ll stand guard.”

    Reminds me of a time in the distant past when I was sitting at the horseshoe bar of one of the local watering holes. I was not part of the conversation. Across from me I overheard a citizen say: “When I joined the Air Force I took an oath to defend the Constitution, not Richard Nixon’s foreign policy.”

  22. Kathy says:

    I’ve been reading a bit on how Lardass will manage to pay up the various judgments against him. The subject of bonds comes up a lot.

    In our business, we make use of binds all the time (literally, all the time). Each contract we sign with a government agency, includes a guarantee of 5% to 15% of the maximum amount stated in the contract. The most common is 10%.

    So, suppose we win a proposal worth 170 million pesos ($10 million US give or take). When we sign the contract, we need to post the guarantee for 17 million pesos. This can be done in three ways:

    1) deposit the money to the agency’s account. This would be returned upon completion of the contract (usually valid for one year). But in the meantime the company cannot use the money, and it loses value to inflation.

    2) Certified or cashier’s check in the agency’s name. Same objections as above, plus there’s a commission charged by the bank for issuing it.

    3) a bond. This is the one we use all the time (see above).

    Thing is, I don’t know quite how it works. I’ve been told it works like insurance. In this case, insurance on completion of the contract. In fact, most bond agencies we work with are also insurance agencies. This would mean we pay a premium, and there should be a copay and deductible, should the government cash the guarantee (BTW, while there are various reasons why it can, most often it will be done only if the contract is rescinded).

    The thing is that a rescission is a legal matter somewhat open to interpretation. The bond agency will try not to pay, just like insurers try not to pay out claims. They may negotiate a lower payment, convince the agency not to rescind the contract, even take the matter to the courts. Of course, all that would cost us money in legal fees as well.

    The various bond agencies we use, make money on the same way insurers do: by taking in more in premiums than is paid out in claims. Bonds are also used in other contexts, though I know really little about any of those. But just for guaranteeing government contracts, the market is HUGE. Especially in public works.

    So, does the hypothetical Lardass bond also work as insurance against an unsuccessful appeal? How much would he have to pay the bond issuer after he loses the appeal*? Who’d be stupid enough to put their money on the Drumpfs anyway?

    *IMO, the awards might be reduced, but it’s highly unlikely any verdict will be reversed.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ron Filipkowski

    Everything must go!

    Dawg, I’ve never been to NYC but I just gotta love New Yorkers.

  24. Skookum says:

    My hope and prayer is that people like Michael Jonas have a greater impact in our country’s politics. Not yet a full-fledged supporter, but I have worked with Michael in regard to setting up legal documents for a non-profit. He lifts my heart.


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