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. CSK says:
  2. sam says:

    I know George R.R. Martin had this in mind when he conceived the Dothraki.

  3. Scott says:

    These stories have been bubbling up for years but far right political correctness has suppressed them. We’ll see if these have staying power.

    Extremism in the ranks is a ‘threat,’ but the Pentagon’s not sure how to address it

    The sea of protesters-turned-rioters massing near the Capitol on Jan. 6 carried with them pro-Trump signs, American flags and an array of political banners.

    Also among the crowd were many emblems of the military community: Some waved Marine Corps flags, many sported military tactical gear, even specific unit patches signifying their time in service.

    Those affiliations were real. More than two dozen people who were later charged in crimes stemming from the attack on the Capitol had military ties, including a Virginia Army National Guardsman, a Navy officer and one retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, dressed in military gear, holding zip ties on the Senate floor. Another veteran is accused of being the leader of the far-right, anti-government extremist group Oath Keepers.

    Not all of those who stormed the Capitol that day were military or veterans, but so far, authorities estimate that 1 in 5 of those who’ve been charged criminally were either currently serving in the military or had once worn the uniform.

    Why it’s so difficult for the military to weed out extremists

    When a Coast Guard lieutenant was arrested in Februrary 2019, prosecutors said the self-professed white supremacist had amassed an arsenal of 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition that he planned to use to kill people on “a scale rarely seen” in the United States.

    Then in June 2020, an Army private who was a member of a Neo-Nazi and Satanic group was accused of trying to orchestrate an ambush on his own unit that would have created a “mass casualty” event.

    Meanwhile, a former Marine lance corporal booted from the service after he reportedly using a Neo-Nazi forum to recruit for a ‘racial holy war,’ was arrested in October along with two men he had served with at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. All three were charged with “conspiracy to manufacture, possess, and distribute various weapons, ammunition, and suppressors.”

    If you’re seeing a pattern, that’s because these cases are neither unique nor isolated. And according to a new Pentagon report obtained by Task & Purpose, white supremacists and other extremists who want to join the military are like water: They find every crack in the system and ooze their way through.

  4. CSK says:

    The music for the 1953 musical Kismet (which in turn was based on a 1911 play) was taken from Borodin.

  5. sam says:

    Right. Stranger in Paradise, in particular.

  6. sam says:

    Right. Stranger in Paradise, in particular.

  7. Kathy says:

    I should start taking bets.

    When Trump dies, will his “supporters” hold a vigil for at least three days to see him rise from the grave?

  8. CSK says:

    The version in the musical was a duet with Doretta Morrow and Richard Kiley. Morrow and Alfred Drake, the star, probably had the best voices on Broadway in their time.

  9. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I’ve been foreseeing that there will be Sunni/Shia splits, with different groups claiming a more direct line to the Prophet.

  10. Kathy says:


    Absolutely. I foresee three groups:

    Those who follow Ivanka, as the heir to the idiot’s politics.

    Junior would be heir to the idiot’s business.

    Giuliani will be the heir to the idiot’s idiocy. He may win based on that.

  11. Kathy says:

    On other things, I made chilaquiles with only bell pepper and onion, no meat of any kind. Instead I made a few turkey milanesas on the side. Let me tell you one thing: turkey breast tastes better grilled on a pan with a little oil, than roasted in the oven.

    I’m thinking I should get several kilos of these next week, if they’re still available, and freeze them for latter use.

  12. CSK says:

    I think the turkey breast stays juicier with a quick pan grilling.

  13. CSK says:

    Per CNN, the Supreme Court has ruled, without comment or dissent, that NY prosecutors may have access to Trump’s tax returns. Bad news for Donny.

    The public release of the returns will be restricted. I wonder if they’ll be leaked, though I hope not if it would prejudice the case against Trump.

  14. sam says:

    Lemme see:

    (Three nieces + plaintiff cries to buy Girl Scout cookies) x number of boxes bought under duress = already ample waist measurement + y inches, where y::lack of will power.

    That sounds about right.

  15. Loviatar says:

    Updated, nine most terrifying words in English language

    I’m a Republican politician and I run your government.

  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Giuliani is the short term bet on that. He’s almost 80 and so will be a short timer. My long term is that Junior has both the idiocy and the ruthlessness, compared to Eric–who has only the idiocy, to come out on top. Ivanka will have missed her opportunity if she doesn’t take down “Little Marco,” but she may be the only electable one other than Lara–the Trump by marriage only, so ineligible for the top position.

  17. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Ivanka seems disinclined to take on Rubio. I wonder if she’s gambling that if she lies low in Florida for a few years, she and Jared will be able to resume their hard-won and extremely precarious foothold on the lowest echelon of Manhattan cafe society.

  18. Jen says:

    @Kathy: Not content with just being seen as Trump’s lackey, Giuliani has decided to go full “gross old man.” He’s currently under fire for making some very inappropriate comments about pro golfer Michelle Wie West. BARF.

    I don’t think he’ll be able to win anything. What a gross guy.

  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: @CSK: The very best turkey I ever roasted used a method I found in an outdated copy of The Joy of Cooking which called for the turkey to be roasted at 275 degrees (135 celsius, gas mark one). It stayed moist and the meat literally fell off the bones. Sadly because of factory farming, about 65% of all commercially bred turkeys are born infected with salmonella–unless that number has gone up since I worked in a restaurant in the early 90s–and both the USDA and the DoH assert that you cannot be sure of killing the bacteria that causes the poisoning at that temperature no matter how long you cook the bird.

    Fortunately, my bird was one of the >35%. Scoooooooore!

    (By the way, our restaurant got points off for cooling a turkey on the counter on the day of a health inspection. The owner got mad because “what’s the big deal? Only 65% of turkeys have salmonella, and it doesn’t always make people sick.” 🙁 )

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Do Ivanka’s gaudy costume trinkets and Manolo knockoff strappy sandals sell for enough for them to move back to Manhattan? I ask because Jared’s investments aren’t going to foot the bill.

  21. Jen says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    DoH assert that you cannot be sure of killing the bacteria that causes the poisoning at that temperature no matter how long you cook the bird.

    I think the issue in that situation is people who stuff the bird and roast it at that low of a temperature. Because the lower temp would take far longer to reach an “all kill” temp in the center of the stuffing, it’s not recommended to use a low & slow cook method. However, I believe that it should still work on a smaller turkey that isn’t stuffed.

    The all-kill temp for Salmonella is ~170*F, and 155*F for ecoli. So as long as you’re cooking the bird and hitting the temperatures for all-kill, that method should still be okay.

    The problem with saying “it’s okay as long as you do x, y, and z” is that people stop reading after the “it’s okay.”

  22. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    You could always try a bleach and ultraviolet light seasoning.

  23. Loviatar says:

    Dan Froomkin

    Some journalist really needs to collar Manchin and ask him how he justifies opposing Tanden when he voted for Sessions, Barr, Grennell, Pompeo, Kavanaugh. He presumably thinks she is worse than they were, or that Biden has less right to pick his staff than Trump did.


    I should delete that tweet (but I won’t give myself the easy way out) because on second thought it’s shockingly deficient by not considering the very real and perhaps most likely possibility that it’s because she’s a woman and/or of color. So he REALLY needs to be interrogated.

  24. CSK says:

    Rudy probably deeply resents the fact that Michelle Wie West is taller than he is.

  25. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, the two of them raked in $640 million between 2017-2021, and Jared paid almost no federal income tax for those years, so with a few small economies they ought to be able to manage nicely.

  26. ptfe says:

    NASA released video of the Mars rover skycrane maneuver. Fine viewing:

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: As someone posted above, it’s all about making sure the meat gets to the correct temperature. The temperature listed is for instantaneous kill, but we sous vide’rs know that if you can get a meat to a certain temperature for long enough, you get total FDA approval at much lower temperatures. This is from Cooks Illustrated:

    the FDA recommends cooking chicken breast meat (which is comprised of 5 percent fat) to 165°F/74°C in order to pasteurize it. When the center of the meat reaches that temperature, virtually 100 percent of Salmonella is killed immediately. When brought to 160°F/71°C, it takes 14 seconds to kill the Salmonella. At 155°F/68°C, it takes 50 seconds. At 150°F/65.5°C, our favorite temperature for chicken, it takes 3 minutes. We don’t recommend cooking chicken at 136°F/58°C—it’s a little more like chicken sashimi, really—but you can. It will just take 69 minutes at that temperature to be safe.

    Now I can’t imagine eating bloody rare chicken but there are rumors of sous vide’rs who do it.

  28. Jax says:

    Public Health just called, and I am all scheduled for the Moderna shot tomorrow! Wheeee!!!! Our county is blazing through their lists, 1,700 of 6,000 county residents have had one shot, and another 400 or so have had both. Only 2 new cases last week.

    I’m feeling……hopeful!

  29. Joe says:

    @CSK and sam:
    In the early ’70s, my parents prompted-by a constant TV ad, bought an 8-track (yes, that 8-track) of popular songs based on classical pieces. The ad featured Stranger in Paradise, which is why I know who Borodin is and always have. That 8-track was basically my on-ramp to classical music.

    Later in life, I learned that winding piano melody of Groovy Kind of Love is also build on a classical piece that I once knew and have since lost. Reward for anyone who recalls the underlying piece.

  30. CSK says:

    Clementi, Sonata No. 5, Rondo.

  31. KM says:

    I just got mine on Fri along with most of the family – a real surprise since I was expecting to be sometime in April due to my age but apparently I qualify due to underlying conditions (endo issues) and family living situation (lots of elderly and essential medical workers in house). Some advice? Get it in your off arm and make *sure* they pinch up the skin. When they say “arm soreness” they mean “can barely lift your arm above your head for like 2 days”. Worth it, though!

  32. Michael Cain says:

    Kaiser tells me that I am 21,170th in their statewide virtual line for Colorado. I’ll give them another call in a couple of days to see how fast the line might be moving. Colorado was supposed to receive — but hasn’t due to the weather snafus in so many places — 133,000 doses this week.

  33. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I routinely cook sous vide, and if the meat stays 135° F for, say, an hour, it should be pretty close to pasteurized.

  34. Jax says:

    @KM: I will keep that in mind, thanks!

  35. flat earth luddite says:


    We do a whole turkey several times a year. Turkey breast and chicken breast more often. My personal preference is to brine the bird and/or parts in an apple cider/salt brine, and then cook to 160 F internal temp. Very moist bird, very tasty. I don’t keep the carcass to make soup afterwards, because for some reason, I don’t care for any version of turkey soup. H/T to Alton Brown for the brining hint many moons ago.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Jax: Just got a shot scheduled for Friday at Ravens Stadium (which is probably the only way to get me in there…). I am also feeling hopeful, although more so when my wife and kids can get it. I’m an essential worker because of what my company does and so am ahead of them. Makes me uncomfortable to be honest, although there’s a fair chance that at least I’ll be eliminated as a potential vector…

  37. DrDaveT says:


    I routinely cook sous vide, and if the meat stays 135° F for, say, an hour, it should be pretty close to pasteurized.

    Sounds like we should start a discussion sub-group inside the Open Forum, dedicated to sous vide. We clearly have a critical mass to work with.

    My latest discovery: the inedible hunk of lean muscle known as “eye of round” can be turned into delicious, tender, medium-rare roast beef for sandwiches (or midwestern Italian Beef) by cooking it sous vide at 135° F for 18 hours. My source warns that 133° is the minimum to prevent bad anaerobic stuff when you are cooking something for that long, and cooking that long is required to tenderize that cut.

  38. Loviatar says:

    Jennifer ‘pro-reality’ Rubin

    No blinking or backpedaling on @neeratanden. @PressSec points out everyone from Chamber to unions backs her; has worked on bipartisan efforts.

  39. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: Have you ever come up with a way to do a whole Turkey sous vide?

  40. Kathy says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    I’ve never cooked a turkey. I cook for myself, and there’s no way I’ll ever eat a whole turkey. But I may try a turkey breast one of these days. I’ve roasted chicken pieces before (never a whole chicken).

  41. Grewgills says:

    Getting my 2nd round Moderna this Friday. Prepared for a weekend of not much.

  42. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: you would need a much bigger rig than the 12-qt Cambro I use 😀

    I live alone so I’ve never actually bought a turkey, but if I did what I would probably do is thaw it in the refrigerator for a few days then portion it out into Ziploc bags.

  43. Teve says:

    @Teve: but instead of going to all that hassle I would probably just buy a package of chicken thighs.

  44. Teve says:

    This is funny. CPAC tweeted this

    We have just learned that someone we invited to CPAC has expressed reprehensible views that have no home with our conference or our organization. The individual will not be participating at our conference.

    And approximately the first thousand replies are “you are going to have to be more specific”.

  45. Loviatar says:

    Geoff Bennett

    Sen. Joe Manchin is undecided on Deb Haaland’s nomination for Interior Secretary, his spokeswoman Sam Runyon tells @LACaldwellDC. Manchin and Haaland have met to discuss her nomination via Zoom, but Manchin is said to have “remaining questions.”

    Congresswoman Debra Anne Haaland is one of the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. Congress.
    Sensing a theme

  46. Mu Yixiao says:


    I’ve roasted chicken pieces before (never a whole chicken).

    I live alone, so I’m only cooking for me, but I’ll roast a whole chicken. I get 2-3 “chicken & X” meals out of it. Then I pull the big pieces of meat off, dice it up and make chicken salad (for sandwiches)–or enchiladas. That’s another 5-6 meals. Finally, I make soup out of the remainder (usually chicken veg w/ rice). I’ll get 10-12 pints of soup. After having a couple bowls, I can the rest in pint jars.

    1 chicken gives me up to 20 meals.

  47. Kathy says:


    In another era, he’d have been a Republican rather than a crypto-Republican.

    BTW, I’m reflexively dismissing news that begin with “The president,” or “The White House,” and I have to remind myself there’s a real president now, and the White House has been trump-free since January 20th, so such news might be worth reading.

  48. Kurtz says:


    What about Eric? Oh wait, nevermind.

  49. Joe says:

    @CSK: Thanks. I will make a note of this.

  50. Joe says:

    @CSK: Thanks. I will make a note of this. I didn’t doubt for a second I would get an answer here.

  51. Loviatar says:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    Jeff Sessions was so openly racist that even Reagan couldn’t appoint him.

    Manchin voted to confirm him. Sessions then targeted immigrant children for wide-scale human rights abuses w/ family separation.

    Yet the 1st Native woman to be Cabinet Sec is where Manchin finds unease?

  52. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The last time, I did two whole breasts, two legs with thighs, with some potatoes and turkey cocktail wieners, and that lasted me the whole week, plus I used the leftovers for chilaquiles. So I’m good.

  53. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m kinda uncomfortable with it until my kids are vaccinated, too….the teenager and I both have asthma, so I can get it, but she can’t unless it’s the Pfizer, and they just don’t have the freezer storage here for that one.

    I was pretty pleased with how easy it is to sign up, though. Simple Google Survey, tell them which group you’re in that qualifies you, name, birthdate, email and phone number, submit, and they called me today. Sounds like they’re scheduling every 10 minutes, at our local fairgrounds, don’t get out of the car.

    Now if I could just get my parents to take it……

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: I have only read the USDAs recommendations on the issue and as I recall, it holds that turkeys simply should not be roasted at a temperature below 325 F (I think). Probably for the reasons you mention. In my turkey’s case, it was about a 15 pounder, stuffed, and I chose the roasting method because we were expecting guests flying in from out of state. I had planned on an 8 or 9 hour cooking time which due to a flight delay turned into 13. It was moist and delicious and the stuffing was steaming hot, but cooled quickly.

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I find that makes the meat too salty. I have fluid retention problems for which my doctor hints that a lower sodium diet would help. But it might be a good suggestion for people who can carry it through.

  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite: I’ve never had the temperament necessary to actually check the internal temperature of the meats that I cook and never got accustomed to the price of the thermometer for which the gauge lives outside the oven. Fortunately, I don’t know enough people anywhere to invite people over for turkey or prime rib anymore, nor do I have a dining room in which to serve them. Another bullet dodged. I am, however, always glad to accept an invitation to come to eat without having to cook at your abode and thank you for it. 😀

  57. CSK says:

    The canceled speaker was the musician Young Pharaoh, who claims that Judaism is a lie, and that pedophilia on the Internet is controlled by Israeli Jews.

    Pharaoh is screaming censorship.

  58. CSK says:


    Any time.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I never get 10 or 12 pints of soup out of a chicken. Then again, I’m only boiling the stripped carcass. I hardly ever get any more than a quart or quart and a half of stock, though. Any more makes the broth too thin tasting. I’m not as fond of breast as other people, so I usually reserve it to go back into the soup. [exploding head emoji goes here] I also don’t use a thermometer, so a roast chicken is usually over cooked, which doesn’t trouble the dark meat at all.

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Joe: And a much better answer than I would have given (BA, Music Theory and Literature, 1975). I was unfamiliar with the Clementi, but would have noted that more than a few exercises from Hanon’s Virtuoso Piano use that sort of a pattern.-

  61. Jen says:

    @Teve: A friend just posted that, noting that this year’s theme is “America Uncanceled.” 😀

  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Go F*ck yourself. 😉

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: F*ck all y’all. 😉

  64. Kylopod says:


    The canceled speaker was the musician Young Pharaoh, who claims that Judaism is a lie, and that pedophilia on the Internet is controlled by Israeli Jews.

    In response to this news, half of conservatives will be crying “cancel culture,” the other half will be calling Young Pharaoh a leftist.

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: Low and slow.

  66. Teve says:

    @CSK: Anti-Semitism is never too far below the conservative surface.

  67. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I also don’t use a thermometer

    Eyes boggle. Wow I use two all the time. My Lavatools Javelin for liquids and an IR gun for surfaces. That’s how I know my soup tonight came out of the microwave at 179°. But I ❤️ tools.

  68. CSK says:

    Pharaoh is a proponent of QAnon, Pizzagate, and Frazzledrip. He, a self-described philosopher and scholar, also encourages people to subscribe to in order to become geniuses.

    One of the many things you can learn at Aten University is “sacred geometry.”

  69. Kathy says:


    All that constitutes abuse of Ancient Egyptian culture.

  70. CSK says:

    I know. The curriculum is…unusual.

    Aten University appears to have no faculty but for Pharaoh himself. I assume he’s the sole dispenser of knowledge there.

  71. Teve says:

    @CSK: That’s fantastic. 😛

  72. Teve says:

    @CSK: there’s a creationist who goes around the Internet promoting the place he works, the Blyth Institute. A tiny bit of digging years sgo showed that the “Blyth Institute” had one employee. Guess who?

  73. CSK says:

    He’s CEO of the Aten Nation, Inc.

  74. CSK says:

    Gee, that’s a tough one.

  75. Kathy says:


    It’s click-bait, really.

  76. CSK says:


  77. DrDaveT says:


    @DrDaveT: Low and slow.

    In my experience, eye of round doesn’t have enough marbling (or even connective tissue) to stay edibly tender after being cooked low and slow. Or even in chili. Your mileage may vary.

  78. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Ah! I see the difference already. I almost never heat soup in a microwave (unless it was specifically packaged for heating in the microwave, in which case the package instructions are accurate enough). I know that the soup is ready to eat when the stock is boiling at a decent clip. The same way the chef at the shikdang in Korea knows. Stir it for about 5 or 6 minutes after serving and it’s cool enough so that your mouth doesn’t get burned.

    Most of the time, anyway. 😉

  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: And you’ve never lived until you’ve had kim chee jjiggae with a raw egg broken into it just before they bring it to you. Mmmmm.

  80. Teve says:

    George Clooney is producing a documentary about the abuse scandal at Ohio State. I hope it ends Jim Jordan’s career.

  81. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’m a geek, i like data

  82. Jax says:

    @Teve: This, x 10. Also, GYM Jordan. There’s a reason he decided not to run for Senate. I’d like to think he’ll never get elected again, but….Trump called Qanon’s and Gym Jordan sycophants to sack the Capitol of the Untied States of America, soooo….

    I left it Untied for a reason. 😐

  83. Teve says:


    Cancun Cruz is on Hannity and blaming the Green New Deal, which hasn’t been enacted in Texas, for the electricity crisis he responded to by heading for Mexico and the beach

    Ted thinks Republican voters are complete morons.

  84. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: For many years I received emails encouraging me to sign up for “Obamacare,” as well as emails encouraging me to sign up for “Trumpcare.” Of course the very names are a giveaway (while “Obamacare” refers to something that exists, it has never called itself “Obamacare”). In the past couple of months, I’ve started getting emails for “Bidencare.”

  85. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: I’m missing the point.

  86. Teve says:


    It’s really beyond parody that the entire Republican Party could vote against Senate confirmation bc of tweets after four years of backing up Trump. Just bottomless hypocrisy.