New Year’s Eve Eve 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:

    Happy Eve of the New Year Eve, everyone.

  2. Barry says:

    Here’s hoping that the year wraps up well for everybody!

  3. Mikey says:

    Petty, worthless garbage to the very end.

    Trump Wanted White House Usher ‘Immediately’ Fired For Helping Biden Move In: Grisham

    Grisham said Trump and Meadows felt Harleth’s actions were “completely disloyal.” The former press secretary added they wanted him not to help the Bidens during the transition.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: I wish the Bidens had been every bit as petty by evicting trump and dumping all his personal effects on the sidewalk in front of the WH to sit in the rain. Unfortunately, they are better people than I.

  5. Kathy says:


    I’d invite Benito to the next state dinner, and sit him at the kiddie table.

  6. CSK says:

    What would you expect from Trump??? Gracious, helpful conduct?

  7. Kathy says:

    This is a little odd. Of roughly 25 people in the department, I’m the only one who hasn’t caught a cold since late November*. But I’m also sneezing a great deal, mostly while at the office. It’s a dry sneeze, so maybe due to dust or other particles, maybe stuff coming off the inside of the mask. I tend to get stuffed up and cough when I catch cold, and not sneeze much. it just feels strange now.

    *Not that I wasn’t convinced, but this further settles the usefulness of masks in self-protection against COVID. For one thing, four kinds of very similar corona viruses cause common cold. So if the mask keeps those out, it keeps the trump virus out as well. Plus we’ve known since 2020 that it stops flu as well.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey: WTF? First I’ve heard of this little bit of pettiness. On checking I find a contemporaneous CNN story headlined that the Bidens fired the guy, but quoting an “official” as saying Trump dumped him. Subsequently, including a Snopes piece, no one seems to know for sure. And no one seems to know where Chief Butler Harleth went after being fired by person or persons unknown. They do note he was a long time Trump employee before being brought in as Chief Butler, which would have justified his prompt replacement in any case. Biden seems to already have Secret Service people he can’t trust.

    HLN is running a West Wing marathon. It is, of course, a simplified and sanitized version of what goes on in the administration, eliding the maneuvering and backstabbing. But watching it, I can’t help but contemplate what a vicious pit of vipers the West Wing must have been under Trump.

  9. Jen says:


    A U.K. medical office mistakenly sent patients a text message with a cancer diagnosis

    Carl Chegwin was getting in the holiday spirit by watching the movie The Santa Clause on Christmas Eve when he says he got a text message from his U.K. doctor’s office diagnosing him with “aggressive lung cancer.”

    He sat there in shock until he was able to show the message to his mom, who also received the same text from an “NHS-NoReply” number. National Health Service England (NHS) offers general practitioner services at Chegwin and his mother’s doctor’s office — the Askern Medical Practice in Doncaster.
    About 20 minutes later, the “NHS-NoReply” number messaged: “Please accept our sincere apologies for the previous text message sent. This has been sent in error. Our message to you should have read We wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

  10. Mister Bluster says:


    Merry Christmas! You’re Dead!

    NHS should have waited three days to tell them that they were alive…

  11. Kathy says:


    I wonder if Aaron Sorkin is contemplating a Cheeto version of the West Wing.

    On other things, what do you all do for New Year’s? Between my family never having had any regular custom on it, and my dislike for gatherings, I’ve developed one tradition I enjoy:

    I go to bed before 11 pm and skip the whole thing.

    It was kind of accidental. December 2004 I was beat due to all the work, and fell asleep watching TV at around 8 pm, even though we had worked only half the day on the 31st. I woke up around midnight because fireworks. Turned off the TV and the lights, pulled out some foam ear plugs, and went right back to sleep.

    I woke up around 6 am. Ten hours solid sleep, minus one brief interruption. That’s how I like to close the year.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: what do you all do for New Year’s?

    The same thing I do for every other holiday: Ignore it.

  13. CSK says:

    I don’t do a damn thing for New Year’s. Why celebrate the passing of time?

  14. Kathy says:


    ON the other hand, this goes on this New Year’s in Brazil.

    But, hey, giving the boot to tiny trump is not the average January 1st.

  15. Kathy says:


    Because when time fails to pass we call the condition boredom.

  16. CSK says:

    Not necessarily, if you’re doing something very pleasurable.

  17. senyordave says:

    AG: Meadows won’t face voter fraud charges in North Carolina.
    Apparently, voter fraud is a major problem only if the person who commits it is poor and/or a person of color. It would have been nice for them to go after meadows just to set an example. He couldn’t reasonably claim ignorance of the voting laws, and if there was ever a person who deserved to be prosecuted, it’s this scumbag.

  18. Kathy says:


    Then time passes so fast, you actually achieve negative velocity.

  19. Mu Yixiao says:

    Sunday is my 25th Annual Chili Feast.

    I’m going to be spending the next two days cooking. If any of all y’all are in the Madison, Wisconsin area on Sunday (or can afford to fly into our teeny tiny little air field*), come and join us.


    Milwaukee-style chili
    Deviled eggs
    Fresh salsa
    Fresh guacamole
    Spinach & artichoke dip
    Cheese and sausage board with crackers
    Fresh bread
    Homemade cornbread
    Shrimp cocktail
    Spinach pesto
    Mozzarella-filled croisants
    Italian butter

    A full liquor cabinet
    Wisconsin beers
    Soft drinks
    A wide selection of teas

    And a great group of people–from hippies to hicks–willing to engage in passionate (yet polite) political debate, argue about which cheese is better, or educate you on topics you didn’t know were important.

    This is an honest invitation.

    Else: Have a happy new year. See you on Tuesday (I’ll be spending Monday cleaning up).

    * It’s literally a field–an area of grass that planes can land on.

  20. senyordave says:

    @Jen: That’s pretty awful, but this might be worse: my wife found out she had cancer over the internet. Five years ago a routine mammogram showed what appeared to be abnormalities. She had a CAT scan for a better view. After a couple nerve-wracking days, she got a call on a Friday from her doctor’s staff that everything was fine. The next day at 7:30 AM she got an automatic email that her patient portal had an update. We looked and it was the report on the CAT scan. We suspected it was bad but it was written in technical jargon. After looking up some terms on the internet we knew it was the worst, and it was confirmed by a phone call to my brother, who translated it. She was diagnosed with lymphoma. That was five years ago and she’s mostly asymptomatic (some small nodes), and hasn’t had to be treated, but needless that was a monumental fuck up at multiple levels. And her doctor is affiliated with Johns Hopkins, so it wasn’t a small rural hospital.

  21. Liberal Capitalist says:

    For those not in the know:

    New Year’s Eve Eve is a big thing for many in the AA community. That is when all the Friends of Bill W get together and have a party with friends in teh program… that helps prepare for the New Year’s festivities to come.

    My most memorable and surprising one was in Beaver Creek, at the home of a well-known Presidential couple. I had NO idea who was throwing the party when I arrived, but She was very welcoming to all!

  22. Mu Yixiao says:


    New Year’s Eve? I start cooking, and go to bed at the normal time (early)

    New Year’s Day? I invite friends and colleagues to my house for my Chili Feast. This is the 25th year that I have cooked chili for my friends. As the years have gone by, it’s gotten more complex (and, while in China, sort of weird–ask me about buying tomatoes in China some time).

    I cook a couple gallons of Milwaukee-style chili[1], and lay out a full spread of sides (see my post above). I invite all my friends, and a host of colleague, knowing that 25% attendance will be rather generous. And I’m okay with that. It’s more important to me that people know that they’re invited.

    The tradition started when I moved back to my hometown[2] at the end of the 90s. I used to work at restaurants, so NYE was a day to work a very long shift, not a day to celebrate. I came up with the idea of cooking a hearty meal and inviting friends over on NYD, so they didn’t have to cook, and could recover from the night before.

    It was really fun to do while I was in China, because nobody over there knows about chili con carne. It became a cultural teaching experience.

    [1] Milwaukee-style chili is a very thick chili (you can eat it with a fork) that is served over a bed of spaghetti, and topped with raw onions, sharp cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. I don’t have a recipe, but I do have a style. Typically, there are somewhere between 9 and 12 “chilis” involved–including wasabi mustard and sweet curry. It changes from year to year.
    [2] More specifically, to the tiny town (the “city” had a population of 314) across the river where we had a cottage on the lake.

  23. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I figure I could cook that much in a week, maybe ten days.

  24. Mu Yixiao says:


    I actually find myself with a lot of time with nothing to do. Every year it surprises me.

  25. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Sounds similar to the chili I make. Definitely forkable, and topped with cheese, sour cream and onion.
    I use spring onions (scallions in Americanese IIRC).
    Do you use minced (=groud) beef of fine chopped? I like a mix of both.
    And what sort of beans?

    As with ragu bolognese, I like to cook a big casserole pot full, eat good bit, and freeze about ten batches of it. Always handy to have for a quick meal on a weekday.

  26. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    What! No red wine?
    Can’t beat a good Californian zinfandel (Ravenswood!) or maybe a good, ripe, not over tannic Argentinian malbec with a chili.
    Assuming its not too hot.
    Or a similar sort of southern Italian; Puglian primitivo or such.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Appreciate the invite. Can’t make it but hope you have a great time

  28. CSK says:

    Barbara Walters, age 93, has died.