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:

    Russia bans 963 Americans from entering country

    Russia on Saturday released a list of 963 Americans it said were banned from entering the country, a punctuation of previously announced moves against president Joe Biden and other senior US officials. The country, which has received global condemnation for its 24 February invasion of Ukraine, said it would continue to retaliate against what it called hostile US actions, Reuters reported. The lifetime bans imposed on the Americans, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and CIA head William Burns, are largely symbolic.
    Several on the Russian government’s list of undesirables wouldn’t have been able to make the trip anyway: they are already dead. John McCain, the former Republican US presidential candidate and long-serving senator; Democrat Harry Reid, who served as senate majority leader from 2007 to 2015; and Orrin Hatch, whose 42 years in the chamber made him the longest-serving Republican senator in history; are all included. McCain died in August 2018 at the age of 81; Reid died last December, aged 82; and Hatch died on 23 April at 88.

    Notably, Donald Trump, who as president from 2017 to 2021 sought a close relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, is absent from the ban list.

    Nothing says “We are complete idiots.” Like banning dead people while still allowing trump. Maybe their luck will run out and he will go for a visit.

  2. Joe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was curious about whether Obama was on the list. I assume not, but have seen no reporting one way or the other.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The image of a windswept young woman holding tight to the leads of nine dogs under an ominously dark sky spread far and wide at the time of the Battle of Kyiv.

    The apparent bravery of the woman, who was attempting an audacious evacuation across a broken bridge targeted by Russian fire, and the vulnerability of the animals, some of whom were strapped into dog wheelchairs, epitomised to many the cruelty of the war being waged by Vladimir Putin and the dignity of the Ukrainian response.

    The full story of the trials of Anastasiya Tykha, 20, a veterinary student in the final year of her degree, and her husband Arthur Lee, 26, is perhaps even more striking than the photograph, which the couple discovered had gone viral when Tykha saw herself on the television news and listened to the presenter report that she was dead.

    Speaking in Irpin, the town 13 miles north of Kyiv from where the couple had fled on 9 March, Tykha said they ended up making seven crossings of the bridge in total, each one under fire.

    “We had too much to do to be worried or scared”, said Tykha, who has run an animal shelter in Irpin for four years, and who on that first journey was seeking to escape with 19 dogs, five cats, a turtle, a chameleon, two Triton lizards, an axolotl and a hamster.

    An axolotl… Of all the animals one might keep as a pet, that one never would have occurred to me

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joe: If he had been on the list, I would expect it to be reported. But with today’s news media, anything is possible.

  5. Pete S says:

    So if John McCain and Harry Reid want to go haunt Putin in his home the Russian border patrol will stop them?

  6. CSK says:

    @Pete S:
    That may require an exorcism by Patriarch Kirill himself.

  7. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Russia’s banning of already dead people indicates either they’re worried about ghosts or that the up-to-date-ness of their research is at the same level as their military intelligence.

  8. Scott says:

    3 Air Force cadets who refused vaccine won’t be commissioned

    Three cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine will not be commissioned as military officers but will graduate with bachelor’s degrees, the academy said Saturday.

    He added that a decision on whether to require the three to reimburse the United States for education costs in lieu of service will be made by the secretary of the Air Force.

    The military academies for years have required students under certain circumstances to repay tuition costs if they leave during their junior or senior year. Often those cases involve students with disciplinary issues or similar problems. The costs can be as much as $200,000, or more, and any final decision on repayment is made by the service secretary.

  9. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m kind of curious whether the inclusion of dead people on the list represents some sort of protest from a mid- or low-level bureaucrat. Kind of a “this list is stupid already, so I’ll make it more stupid” move.

    I mean, it’s not like any of the important top-level people could be bothered to write the list or check it, right?

  10. Joe says:

    I agree with your conclusion, OzarkHillbilly, but I find it interesting that people are drawing conclusions from Trump being omitted without considering that Obama is also omitted, even in the presence of people more out of the limelight than Obama, even dead ones.

  11. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Jay L Gischer: @Joe:
    It’s a weird list. I haven’t read through it completely yet, but on the banned list are:
    Madison Cawthorn
    Marjorie Taylor Greene
    Paul Gosar
    Ted Cruz

    Sheila Jackson Lee
    Hillary Clinton

    There appears to be no rationale.
    One thing: McCain’s death in 2018 appears to be notted.

  12. CSK says:

    “Noted,” not “notted.”

    Gayle Manchin is on the list, but not, apparently, Joe Manchin, her husband.

  13. CSK says:

    Yes, Manchin is. Much further down on the list.

  14. CSK says:

    Dr. Stella Immanuel, a Trump favorite, claims that Joe Biden is really dead and what’s occupying the Oval Office is a demonic clone of him. This is also true of Nancy Pelosi and Bill Gates.

  15. dazedandconfused says:

    He’s making a list
    Not checking it twice
    Gonna say who’s naughty and nice
    Putin’s mind is freakin’ blown….

  16. CSK says:

    It’s as if he just grabbed 900+ names out of nowhere. No dead or living ex-president is on it.

  17. Jax says:
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  20. Kathy says:


    So, shooting up a high school and killing and wounding many people should not prejudice a jury against the man who pleaded guilty to the act. It takes a t-shirt to do that?

  21. CSK says:

    It’s infuriating, but Cruz could use the woman’s presence on the jury as a reason to appeal after he’s convicted. The prosecution and the defense agreed on that.

    This piece of garbage needs to be incarcerated forever. I don’t want anything to interfere with that.

  22. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: This bothers me more than a t-shirt:

    Those potential jurors, in groups of about 10, are being asked their opinion of the death penalty and whether they can put aside whatever knowledge they have of the shooting and be fair. To pass, they must say they could fairly consider both alternatives — death or a life sentence — for Cruz.

    Cruz is getting a jury of people who do not represent the community, just the portion of the community that is in favor of the death penalty. It’s a heavy tilt of the jury pool.

    Had he not already plead guilty, this would be a much larger problem, as that pro “law and order” skew would definitely alter how the jury deals with interpretation of evidence determining whether the state had proved their case.

  23. Jax says:

    @Gustopher: What’s hard to prove about the state’s case? Looks pretty open and closed to me.