Monday’s Forum

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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. clarkontheweekend says:

    I was just reading an article in the Bulwark that had the line, “Prison for Trump is bad for Biden.” That’s the sort of shite we have to deal with right now. Guy can’t win for losing.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Fishing trio rescues 38 dogs from drowning in Mississippi lake

    “What is that out in the water?” Gist recalled saying, according to JonesboroRightNow. Chrestman reportedly yelled back: “I think those are dogs!”

    It soon became clear there were numerous other heads in the water, too – and they all belonged to hound dogs who had plunged in while chasing a deer during a fox hunt.

    “There were dogs everywhere,” Gist said to the AP about the bizarre scene greeting him and his companions. “They were kind of swimming in circles and didn’t know which way to go.”

    We have officially entered the dog days of summer.

  3. Bill Jempty says:
  4. Bill Jempty says:

    The Sports headline of the day- Six climate protesters run onto 18th green and spray powder, delaying finish of PGA Tour event

    Protestors of any sort at a golf event are very uncommon. An occasional streaker at the British Open is about as much as this golf fan can recall. I probably should have made the above headline of day.

  5. Tony W says:

    @Bill Jempty: Can’t wait for the oil industry to play this up to demonize EVs.

    Coming soon to a FB page near you.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The child’s mother told police that the alleged attacker – since identified as 42-year-old Elizabeth Wolf – questioned where she was from and whether the two children playing in the pool were hers, police said. Wolf also made statements about the mother not being an American, police added.

    In a news release on Friday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) said the child’s mother wore a hijab and modest swimwear, and she was watching her children play in the shallow end of the pool when Wolf approached her.

    “The alleged attacker reportedly approached the mother with racist interrogations then jumped into the swimming pool and grabbed the children to the deep end of the pool to allegedly drown them,” the statement said, adding that the mother’s six-year-old son was able to escape but her three-year-old daughter was unable to do the same.

    “The alleged attacker snatched off the mother’s head scarf and used it to beat the mother as well as kicking her to keep her away while forcing her daughter’s head underwater,” Cair’s statement said.

    A bystander helped rescue the three-year-old, Cair said, with the police news release adding that the child “had been yelling for help and was coughing up water”.

    According to Cair, after police were called out and an officer arrested Wolf, she allegedly yelled to another bystander who was comforting the mother: “Tell her I will kill her and I will kill her whole family.”

    Wolf has since reportedly made $40,000 bail to be released from jail pending the resolution of her case.

    I think the judge set that bail a little too low. I mean if somebody threatened to “kill her and I will kill her whole family” after trying to do just that, a million dollar bail seems about right to me. Or no bail.


    In a statement released through Cair, the mother – identified only as Mrs H – said: “We are American citizens, originally from Palestine, and I don’t know where to go to feel safe with my kids.

    “My country is facing a war, and we are facing that hate here. My daughter is traumatized; whenever I open the apartment door, she runs away and hides, telling me she is afraid the lady will come and immerse her head in the water again.”

    She continued: “Also, my husband’s employment is jeopardized, due to having to leave work to accompany me and our four kids whenever we have appointments and errands to run.”

  7. Bill Jempty says:

    Dear Wife and I are getting back into the swing of things after being in Australia for 4 weeks

    * I suffered no jet lag on return home but DW only got back on Florida time today. She woke up at her customary 4:30 this morning.
    * We spent time the last two days getting the condo back in order aka vacuuming, dusting, and doing lots of laundry. Multiple trips were made to restock refrigerated groceries and other supplies plus we spent time catching up on mail and messages.
    *- Our cat is back and after our neighbor Maria took her in for us. Did Misay miss us? With cats you never know.
    * DW is going to quit her job at the end of the year for sure. I will have to get us new health insurance before the year is out. We’re not eligible for Medicare yet.
    * My long time dermatologist, Dr Harold Rabinovitz a pioneer in diagnosing malignant melanoma of which I have had 7 dating back to Dec 1993, has moved to Augusta Georgia. So I’m in need of a new doctor and Dr Rabinovitz will not be easy to replace.
    * The condo building President asked me if I wanted to join the board. I said I wanted to think about it. My real answer is no. I don’t want the hassles or get involved with the politics of our 55 and over community.
    * Talking about the community, the President of Building 14 (we live in building 11) was arrested last week on some kind of drug charge.
    * Just before leaving for Australia, I received another offer for the rights to one of my ebooks. I’ll be tending to that this week.
    * This long suffering Florida Panthers fan is looking forward to watching tonight’s Stanley Cup Final game 7. I’d love to watch them win the cup but after being up 3 games to none, I wished they had wrapped it already instead. The cats have lost 3 straight games and I don’t feel confident they are going to pull this thing off.
    * Naturally after being away so long I have a bunch of appointments with doctors in next 3-4 weeks.
    * We’re over 4 months from election day and we’re having a Presidential debate already?Yawn……
    * In local news, the local transport authorities are considering a new rail link (of just a couple of miles) that would bring patients right to the VA Hospital in Riviera Beach. Only one problem- it will cost approximately 100 million dollars.

    That about wraps things up. I’m home, writing another ebook or playing strat-o-matic baseball and trying not to drive my wife nuts more than absolutely necessary. I can’t complain. Life is good**.

    ** If anyone thinks I brag remember from 200 8 to 2014, my stage IV cancer had me close to death multiple times, my home was in foreclosure, my wife and I were dependent on the generosity of others for food, electricity, etc etc and without this I’d probably be dead and the wife homeless. Life is lots better today thanks be to God.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    The Biden campaign is hitting Trump where it hurts: crowd size.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Linky no workee for me. All I get is a blank page.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Huh. Not sure why. It works for me. Anyone else?

    Here’s the X version.

  11. Scott says:

    Edinburg man Cirilo Castillo gets 4th arrest for alleged sex with horses

    An Edinburg man is behind bars yet again for allegedly having sex with a horse after a woman discovered him in her stable multiple times this month, according to myRGV.

    The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office arrested Cirilo Castillo, 54, on Tuesday; he’s charged with bestiality and two counts of criminal trespassing, according to court records. This is his fourth arrest since 2012 on charges of bestiality or cruelty to animals, records show. Castillo served sentences for incidents involving horses in 2013 and 2012, The McAllen Monitor reported at the time.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Thanx. I tried it twice and got the same result. (just gave it another shot and missed again) It may actually be something on my end as things are a little… quirky here.

    eta: the Xitter link worked. Heh.

  13. just nutha says:

    @clarkontheweekend: When you read The Bulwark, remember that most of the writers are Republican and conservative. Never Trumpiness will only carry one so far.

  14. Chip Daniels says:


    He was reported to have been in several altercations with other people, yelling “…and the horse you rode in on!”

  15. Moosebreath says:


    In the words of Tom Lehrer, he engaged in animal husbandry, until he was caught at it.

  16. Kathy says:

    Boeing may face criminal prosecution.

    How does that work? Are the responsible executives or employees charged, or does it end in penalties of some sort for the company?

  17. MarkedMan says:

    On another thread I brought up the Wisdom of the Crowds, which led me to a variant I hadn’t head of before:

    n further exploring the ways to improve the results, a new technique called the “surprisingly popular” was developed by scientists at MIT’s Sloan Neuroeconomics Lab in collaboration with Princeton University. For a given question, people are asked to give two responses: What they think the right answer is, and what they think popular opinion will be. The averaged difference between the two indicates the correct answer. It was found that the “surprisingly popular” algorithm reduces errors by 21.3 percent in comparison to simple majority votes, and by 24.2 percent in comparison to basic confidence-weighted votes where people express how confident they are of their answers and 22.2 percent compared to advanced confidence-weighted votes, where one only uses the answers with the highest average.

    The world is a strange, non-intuitive place.

  18. Sleeping Dog says:


    Typically it ends with penalties to the company, unless they can point to a particular action or actions that show a conspiracy. The shareholders normally pay the price and the some execs will agree to resign, usually keeping all or most of their golden parachutes.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: FWIW:

    3. Q. What type of punishment is imposed on corporations?
    A. A convicted corporation may be subject to stiff fines. It may also face the imposition of a court-appointed monitor to oversee certain aspects of its affairs as well as other limitations on its conduct through a term of probation. Restitution is a necessary component of any sentence. A convicted corporation may also face debarment from service as a government contractor and may suffer other negative collateral consequences if it operates in a regulated industry.

  20. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Considering that several decisions on the development, documentation, and equipment of the MAX resulted in hundreds of deaths, there should be hell for those responsible to pay; not just for the company.

    I’ve read numerous times that harsh sentences are not very effective in deterring crime, but that the likelihood of a sentence is. That is, if you know beforehand you have a high chance of winding up in prison for doing X, you probably will choose not to do X.

    Here we have the reverse. Executives in large corporations make decisions that deliberately risk lives or create unsafe conditions, and they’re pretty much guaranteed they won’t face retribution for their actions.


    Boeing my be fined and get a monitor, but the government can’t afford to bar it from government contracts. They’re a major player in the defense business.

  21. Stormy Dragon says:

    In “the dragon is officially old” news, I ordered my first pair of glasses with progressive lenses today…

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    @Stormy Dragon:..lenses

    I got my first pair of glasses when I was in the third grade when I was diagnosed as near sighted. Went through many pairs of specs over the years. Tried out soft contact lenses in the early ’80s. They had to be treated every night in a solution in an electric “cooker”. Too high maintenance for me. Went back to regular eyeglasses. Bifocals, Trifocals, tinted lenses. Finally had to get cataract surgery in both eyes. Now all I need are cheap reading glasses from the $ Store.

  23. Mikey says:

    This is what the Nazis did in the 1930s.

    Conservative-backed group is creating a list of federal workers it suspects could resist Trump plans

    WASHINGTON (AP) — From his home office in small-town Kentucky, a seasoned political operative is quietly investigating scores of federal employees suspected of being hostile to the policies of Republican Donald Trump, a highly unusual and potentially chilling effort that dovetails with broader conservative preparations for a new White House.

    Tom Jones and his American Accountability Foundation are digging into the backgrounds, social media posts and commentary of key high-ranking government employees, starting with the Department of Homeland Security. They’re relying in part on tips from his network of conservative contacts, including workers. In a move that alarms some, they’re preparing to publish the findings online.

    With a $100,000 grant from the Heritage Foundation, the goal is to post 100 names of government workers to a website this summer to show a potential new administration who might be standing in the way of a second-term Trump agenda — and ripe for scrutiny, reclassifications, reassignments or firings.

    The objective is to ensure a civil service that is loyal to Trump rather than the Constitution, to institute the rule of one man rather than the rule of law.

  24. Kingdaddy says:

    If you haven’t done so already, you really should watch the CNN interview with the co-author of Louisiana’s Ten Commandments in the school law:

    Ventrella is the distillation of aggressive Christian nationalism.

  25. Beth says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I was told I’m at that point too. I despise glasses though. I’m looking into Lasik and then probably cheaters. The optometrist was telling me that the lasik people can set one eye “near” and the other eye “far” but together they’d be a little distorted. I told her that sounds like headache hell. I get messed up when I accidently swap eyes with my contacts and they’re only a .25 difference.

    The really sad thing was watching my daughter confidently get all the letters wrong during her eye test. She moved a whole point into the negative and will need glasses ASAP. She was distraught. When she asked about contacts (she’s 8) I asked her if she could touch her eyeball. She proceeded to stick her finger in her eye and touch everything. I was like, “lol, same, sorry kid.” For what it’s worth, I sleep in my contacts for like 60-90 days at a time and have since I was a kids. Scares the crap out of the optometrists, but there hasn’t been any notable damage in over 30 years of doing that soo. Worst mutant power ever.

  26. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    @Mister Bluster:

    Meantime, the glasses I talked a lot about last year, have been gathering dust in the glove compartment since around November. I think I last used them to watch “Oppenheimer” in a theater.

    They do make a difference, but not that much of one. I can see license plates in other cars clearly (big deal). I can also make out street signs from farther out. This last matters, but not during my regular drives, when I don’t need to see them to get around.

    I didn’t decide to stop wearing them while driving, it just kind of happened. I’d forget about them one day, then two or three times a week, then I opened the glove box for some reason, and wondered for a second why I had a case for glasses in there…

    I did try to use them for watching TV at home, and found I didn’t really need them.

    On the plus side, they’ve lasted a whole year. I usually lose them well before that.

    I’ve never worn contacts. I’m completely incapable of not closing my eyes if anything gets near them, even if I’m doing it on purpose. When I’m prescribed eye drops, about half just run over the eyelid and down my cheeks. No matter how much I try to keep my eyes open, the reflex just happens.

  27. al Ameda says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    ** If anyone thinks I brag remember from 200 8 to 2014, my stage IV cancer had me close to death multiple times, my home was in foreclosure, my wife and I were dependent on the generosity of others for food, electricity, etc etc and without this I’d probably be dead and the wife homeless. Life is lots better today thanks be to God.

    Wishing you, peace, peace of mind, and the best health you can hope for.
    Take care, Bill. Keep on keeping on.

  28. Kathy says:

    Odds and ends…

    In some obscure corner of modern physics, a paper was published claiming a warp drive (more on this in a moment) would produce gravitational waves upon collapsing.

    First one may think that no warp drives exist, so this is a peculiar claim. the analysis was based on the famous Alcubierre Drive, as described by Dr. Alcubierre in the 1990s. It’s a theoretically valid way of traveling FTL point to point withing the universe, while adhering to special relativity.

    This could work for science fiction stories. Notice how in Trek or Star Wars, ships come off warp/hyperspace right on top of their target, or the fleet waiting for them? If they did so on the other side of the system, you could detect them with gravitational wave detectors. Neat.

    Moving on, I find that cooking meat in the oven using a temperature probe is producing really good results. It’s worked great with turkey, and yesterday with chicken breasts. The meat is only a little more tender than using the “cook for X minutes at Y temp and see if it’s done” method, but far juicier.

    I rest the pieces a bit, then take them on a short ride on the multi pot with the broiler function to crisp the skin. Delicious.

    Last, I think I’m going to give ice cream a rest for a few weeks. If the current weather holds. We’re getting overcast days with a light breeze and some rain. This is normal summer weather, which means lower temperatures most of the days. Ergo less need for a frozen desert most days.

    On the other hand, I finally saw cherries at the store, and I want to try cherry ice cream. So maybe after next week I’ll give it a rest.

  29. Gustopher says:

    I love my glasses. I have a few different pair and mix them up for fashion. Most people look better when they are wearing glasses, and those that don’t only look better when I’m not wearing glasses.

    Glasses also keep me from looking almost exactly like my older brother, the one who keeps dragging every conversation to the Clovis people, and how pre-Clovis sites in the Americas shows that scientists know nothing and therefore climate change isn’t real. Not looking almost exactly like him is good.

    (I also have a lot more gray — well more of a sparkly silver — hair, so people think I’m older and aging well and he is younger and aging terribly.)

  30. DrDaveT says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wanting to kill the children of Those People is the purest form of racism.

  31. DrDaveT says:


    Executives in large corporations make decisions that deliberately risk lives or create unsafe conditions, and they’re pretty much guaranteed they won’t face retribution for their actions.

    I propose that accountability of executives be tied to compensation. If you are making more money, you are clearly more responsible for the company’s actions, right?

  32. DrDaveT says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I got my first bifocals in 8th grade. Which really played hell with trying to play violin in an orchestra: I couldn’t see the conductor, and there was this diagonal line through the middle of the music…

  33. Bill Jempty says:


    This could work for science fiction stories. Notice how in Trek or Star Wars, ships come off warp/hyperspace right on top of their target, or the fleet waiting for them?

    Thanks, Kathy. You just reminded me of a space opera* story I had floating around in my head 5-10 years ago. I have to jot it down before I forget it again.

    *- All my sci-fi stories are set on earth

  34. DrDaveT says:


    Moving on, I find that cooking meat in the oven using a temperature probe is producing really good results.

    I find that sous vide is even better — you get the same tender juiciness (and doneness) everywhere throughout the cut, with or without bones, and you can use it for shapes that are difficult to probe (like fish). It’s especially good for proteins like pork, where “just barely safe” is ideal for taste.

    It doesn’t really work for tough cuts where breaking down connective tissue and/or rendering fat is important. However, cooking a duck breast to “barely done all through” and then searing the fat side in a hot pan works beautifully…

  35. Stormy Dragon says:


    I love glasses myself. I have beady little eyes and they trick people into think my eyes are bigger than they are, they make my face look rounder, and they send social coding signals that help me control my gender presentation

  36. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Like bangs, glasses also distract from my supraorbital ridge…

  37. Kathy says:


    It would be worth trying, if only to see the wingnuts howling about the criminalization of wealth.


    The multi pot has a sous vide function. I’ve yet to try it.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ron Filipkowski

    In a filing late Sunday, the bankruptcy trustee states he intends to begin to liquidate the assets of Alex Jones’ InfoWars and shut down the company. Story.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  39. Kathy says:

    On other cooking matters, the campaign to make huevos rancheros my way has been, if I may be charitable, less than fully successful (ie terrible).

    My way consists of a toasted wheat flour tortilla with a little cheese and browned onions, topped with 2-4 slices of turkey sandwiching more cheese, topped with a couple of fried eggs drowned in green salsa.

    That’s perfectly fine. The problem is frying the eggs in the same pan I’ve used to brown the onions, toast the tortilla, and grill the turkey slices. By then the pan is too hot for properly frying eggs*. Not to mention about 75% of the time, at least one egg breaks its yoke coming out of the shell (I scramble them what that happens).

    I’ll just have to give up my way and dirty up another pan just to fry the eggs…

    Another option would be to poach the eggs, and have the salsa mixed with the onions when they brown. I should mention my attempts to poach eggs tend to end up with hot water cloudy with cooked egg white, about a quarter of each egg at a guess.

    *Sometimes they stick with a death grip, which tends to result in broken yokes when I try to loosen them up. More often, the white cooks too fast, so I get brown or black edges by the time the yokes are done.

  40. Kathy says:

    And I favor storing ice cream in a hot oven to keep it from melting.

    No doubt what the dog killer means, is that the next wingnut insurrection ought to end in victory, not in prison.

  41. Mikey says:

    RE: glasses.

    I’ve had progressive trifocals since age 33. When I got home that day and looked at my cat, I said, “wow, look at all the individual hairs you have!” And I realized I’d been seeing him like a watercolor painting of a cat.

  42. Kathy says:


    As per Kathy’s First Law, nothing is ever that simple..

    I’d be lying if I said I understood what the f*** the verbiage at the link actually means.

    I also wonder how Jones’ liability can play out. For instance, is the liquidation of his personal assets and business assets all, or can the plaintiffs go after any income or assets he may get in the future?

    He already has an audience, and may be able to set up elsewhere and start the whole grift up again. If he does, can the plaintiffs go after that income?

    I thought the legal system in the US is messed up when it comes to criminal matters. it doesn’t seem any better regarding civil matters.

  43. just nutha says:

    @Beth: Could be worse (probably get there eventually) Luddite’s eye surgeon is telling him he shouldn’t consider himself a candidate for LASIK. Mine is more optimistic–with a 50% chance of failure (blindness) she’s simply suggesting that I put off the procedure for as long as possible. (I suspect she may be hoping that age and mediocre health will work their miracle.)


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