Saturday’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. clarkontheweekend says:

    Ah, to be first for the first time. Fell asleep early last evening, around 9pm, screen door open with the rather pleasant nighttime temp here in the Milwaukee area. Woke up a touch before 4am to the early morning “whoo-ing” of a local owl. Thought to myself, I think that might be the first time a singing owl woke me up. Alas, it only lasted for a minute or two, but it was a quite enjoyable way to start the morning. And we’re off to begin the day – good to meet you May 21st.

  2. sam says:
  3. Kathy says:

    At some point, I have to wonder whether the trump virus isn’t too clever for us. The Paxlovid treatment regime can come with symptoms rebound.

  4. Jen says:

    A nice story with some embedded lessons:

    Alewives return to China Lake for the first time since 1783
    The last time alewives made the 70-mile journey from the ocean to China Lake in central Maine, the American Revolution had just come to an end in 1783. Since then, the sea run fish, also known as river herring, have been blocked from their historic spawning grounds by a series of dams.

    But this week, something remarkable happened: the fish returned.


    Hudson, who spearheaded the alewife restoration project, says the tear-down was a large and cumbersome task. And even though the dam was no longer functioning, not everyone in the area wanted to see it gone.

    At one point protesters showed up. And at the project’s early meetings there was stiff opposition.

    “The one thing that I think people hate the most is change. Any sort of change frightens people, you know?” Gray says.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My fountain stopped running this AM, something it does from time to time for, reasons. So I got down on my knees to revive the pump and reaching into the water I espied at the bottom…. Lo and behold, a 5-6″ snapping turtle.

    Never never expected to find one of them in there.

  6. Mikey says:

    Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian wants to build a plant near Atlanta. It would be a $5 billion investment, create 7,500 jobs, and produce 400K vehicles a year. It would be the largest economic development project in Georgia’s history.

    But the Trumpist morons running to unseat Governor Kemp have come out against it, because Rivian is a “woke California company that wants to turn the world green” and offers “transgender benefits.” Bonus George Soros, too!

    Georgia electrical vehicle factory becomes Kemp, Perdue campaign battle

    There’s a lot in the article–and it’s certainly not surprising that some people living in a quiet rural community would be upset at a big car factory moving in–but this…I can’t even:

    “Sherman and his troops destroyed our community. Now this supposedly green company is coming to destroy it again,” said JoEllen Artz, the president of the grassroots No2Rivian group, which says it has raised over $250,000 and hired Atlanta lawyers to help wage their battle. “We want to keep it just like it is.”

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: ‘Bout damn time.

  8. CSK says:

    Still fighting the Civil War.

  9. CSK says:

    Ever since yesterday, I’ve been getting “You Connection Is Not Private” messages on my screen when I come here to OTB. Not always, but often.

  10. Jax says:

    @CSK: Me too. It goes to the page if I hit refresh twice, but it’s kind of annoying.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I’ve been getting a “This website is not secure, do you want to proceed?” message. A couple times it wouldn’t let me comment. This happens to me every now and again. Snafu.

  12. James Joyner says:

    @CSK: @Jax: The Secure Site License renews automatically quarterly, usually without any hiccups, but occasionally does this for 2-3 days. No idea what the solution is.

  13. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:
    Thank you. Now I’m having a hard time posting.

  14. Michael Cain says:

    After the Super Bowl in February, I remarked to my wife that the anti-electric-car crowd must have wound up in tears after watching the ads.

  15. CSK says:

    If I click repeatedly on “post,” that works.

  16. James Joyner says:

    @CSK: Yes, it took forever for me to be able to complete the post from this morning. I just ran an SSL checker, everything came up green, and now I’m suddenly not having any issues. Hell if I know.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    On the warning page, if you click ‘advanced’ and scroll to the bottom of that page, you get the option to proceed to OTB. You’re actually being teleported to a hole in time, but its and adventure.

  18. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:
    Let’s see how this posting attempt goes….

  19. CSK says:

    It went fine, but now the edit function is glitching out on me.

  20. Jax says:

    I have a “primary” dream. Madison Cawthorn lost his. MTG’s primary is next week, and Lauren Boebert’s is at the end of June. I would be a happy camper if all three of them lost their primaries. A loser trifecta, if you will. 😛

    I am well aware that the people replacing them may not be any better…..but could they get any worse?!

    Side note: Hey Kylopod, the subscribe button is back!

  21. CSK says:

    The same crew that went after Cawthorn successfully has trained its sights on Boebert.

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..scroll

    Which browser are you using?

  23. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster:


  24. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Me, too.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: One of the most important lessons about what happens when trumpers take power occurred hundreds of years ago on Easter Island. Thriving human settlement there with large buildings, a diverse agriculture, plenty of game to hunt and plenty of forests. But they needed the trees to move the giant stone heads from where they were quarried to where the gods told them they should go, and over the course of a relatively short time they denuded the island, which destroyed the habitat of the game animals and birds which were then hunted to extinction, and after some cyclical droughts the handful of survivors were driven back to the Stone Age. To the point where “Chariots of the Gods” used it as an example, because obviously the savages there couldn’t have carved and moved those giant stone heads so aliens must have done it.

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    @sam:..Meanwhile, it’s snowing in Denver.

    I spent two weeks in Denver in June of 1970. Thought I might live there. It snowed twice. Don’t remember if it was before or after the Summer Solstice. Not that it mattered.
    The other thing that I observed were bumper stickers that read:

    Don’t Californicate Colorado

    That was 52 years ago.
    I’ve always wondered how that campaign turned out.

  27. Stormy Dragon says:

    @James Joyner:

    The expiration date on your SSL certificate is 5/20/22. The problem is purely that it’s expired and you just need to get a new one.

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: Thor Heyerdahl made Easter Island famous by writing about his voyage there from Peru in a copy of ancient South American log rafts he christened the Kon Tiki. He was trying to show it was settled east to west from South America. He also was puzzled by how the primitive natives moved the statues from the quarries to the beaches.

    A modern archeologist spent some years on the island, insinuating into the culture. On the subject of statue moving, the natives opened up that Heyerdahl had never asked them. Had he, they’d have told him their ancestors used canoe rails. A Polynesian method for moving large logs for dugout canoes. They make a railroad like construction of parallel logs held together by small cross logs. Then they grease the “rails” and drag huge logs, or stones, mostly downhill.

    Also, too, linguistic and genetic analysis show it was settled west to east. They’re Polynesian, with maybe an admixture of South American.

    It’s a shame the Easter Islanders, actually Rapa Nubians, never had an Enlightenment to free them from their silly belief that they needed to deforest the island to haul sacred images around. It’s a bigger shame that we had an Enlightenment, based the Constitution of our country on it, and are now letting it be taken away by arseholes like Thomas and Alito.

  29. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: James noted above @James Joyner: that site license renewal is automatic, but sometimes hiccups for a few days. I recall this happening before. It went away. There’s a button on the notice that allows you to go to the site anyway. And since we know why the cert is expired, it seems safe to do so.

  30. Mu Yixiao says:

    A lot of people on OtB have a definitely negative view of “all those southern, rural, gun-loving, conservatives”–painted with a very wide brush.

    This guy goes to poor neighborhoods and does yard work for free. Because that’s what it means to him to be a good Christian. Watch the first 4 minutes of the video and take a little time to rethink your impression of “those people”.

  31. gVOR08 says:

    @Mister Bluster: The Californicators largely succeeded, but their attempts to bring in good beaches failed. The remains of their effort can be seen at Great Sand Dunes National Park.

  32. James Joyner says:

    Got what I figured was my first cold since the before-times Wednesday. Mild symptoms that worsened yesterday and I stayed in bed most of the. Finally, fever hit last night but broke by morning.

    Just took my first-ever COVID test because of the fever but, nope, negative. So, either a really bad cold or a case of the flu.

    At any rate, still not great but a lot better than yesterday.

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I can’t speak for everyone at OTB, but, as I’ve said before, I’ve lived around and worked with rural gun loving conservatives (your words) all my life. And it’s hardly a Southern thing. I like a lot of them. Good people. I’d loan most of them a hundred til pay day on their word. That said, they are, as a matter of simple fact, ignorant. There’s no reason they should have dived into politics, public policy, economics, history… And it’s an unfortunate fact that they are destroying democracy. Or more precisely, being used by very bad people to destroy democracy.

  34. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Mister Bluster: Well, two years later we elected Pat Schroeder to Congress, voted down hosting the Winter Olympics and avoided most of the tax craziness going on in California. One Californian snuck in, Doug Bruce, and saddled the state with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. We then got Texafecked during the oil boom that went bust in the 80s. From then on we’ve done pretty well.

  35. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @gVOR08: This. I like rural good ole boys both black and white. Good people….but simple. Being simple has advantages, but is a blaring vulnerability in todays information age where marketing and sales techniques have been weaponized to drive political persuasion.

    I liken then to a pit bull that attacks a toddler. Its not the dog, its the owner that subverted the animal’s natural instinct to do unnatural acts.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: A majority of “those people” voted for trump, not just in 2016 but in 2020 too, after there was no denying who and what trump was. Tells me all I need to know.

    As for, Because that’s what it means to him to be a good Christian. Yeah, sure really are some good Christians. What does it tell you that I, an atheist, am a better Christian than most of the “Bible belt Christians” that surround me?

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: Test again, today? Tomorrow? I don’t know how many tests you have. Sometimes it takes a few days for it to show up. Hoping it doesn’t.

  38. Moosebreath says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I am having it come up in Firefox.

  39. James Joyner says:

    @gVOR08: I’ve confirmed with the hosting company that the cert renewed on schedule. They’re now trying to figure out why the error message is popping up.

  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @All:..Chrome, Firefox
    Thank you for the replies. I use Safari and back it up with Chrome. Looks like this is not a browser glitch. I see that Dr. Joyner is on top of the matter.

  41. Mikey says:

    @James Joyner: What @OzarkHillbilly said, test again. My first one was negative, too. Second one, not so much.

  42. Scott says:

    Actually, the list seemed rather random overall.

    Russia bans 963 Americans, including Biden and Harris — but not Trump

    On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the list of 963 Americans barred from entering Russia — a largely symbolic move featuring a wide-ranging collection of Biden administration members, Republicans, tech executives, journalists, lawmakers who have died, regular U.S. citizens and even actor Morgan Freeman.

    One prominent name missing from the list: former president Donald Trump.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is not on the list. Also not listed is Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

    No journalists or hosts from Fox News were banned by Russia on Saturday, according to the list.

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott: How could they keep dangling Trump Hotel Moscow in front of him if they banned him from the country?

  44. CSK says:

    Is that still a go?

  45. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner:omicron can take 5 days to test positive after symptoms develop

  46. gVOR08 says:


    Is that still a go?

    How would I know. Does Putin think it’s a go? I doubt he ever did. Does Trump think it’s a go? I don’t know, but I bet Putin can still get him salivating about it.

  47. gVOR08 says:

    Balloon Juice is still down. Their site now shows an announcement which includes a signup for email updates. I just received an email with Silverman’s Ukraine update dated the 18th as Day 84. You’ll probably want to sign up and read it, but highlights:
    – Likely the current conventional war phase will end within 90 days.
    – Hard to know combat status but seems to be Ukrainian advances in some places, slow Russian advances other places.
    – “One of the major problems with analyzing Putin’s re-invasion of Ukraine is that his geo, regional, and theater strategic objectives are irrational to anyone not operating within Putin’s context.”
    – He’s worried donor fatigue is already setting in and that if the GOPs get either house our aid will cease.

  48. Sleeping Dog says:

    Well, the Weather Weasels blew it today. Instead of the the 84 and sunny as promised we got mostly cloudy and the temp topped out at 65, at which point the fog rolled in and it was back into the 50’s.

    Typical coastal weather.

  49. JohnSF says:

    In Australia the Conservatives are out after ten years of being the largest party in the federal parliament.
    Anthony Albanese of the Labour Party will be the new Prime Minister.
    May need coalition partners: Greens?

    Scott Morrison departs; that faint sniggering you hear coming from Paris is the sound of President Macron offering his sincere condolences.

  50. senyordave says:

    Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy said his state’s high maternal death rates are more standard if you “correct for race,” Politico reports.
    In the 1920’s he probably would have been saying that Louisiana didn’t have a lynching problem if you correct for race.

  51. Mikey says:

    @senyordave: He figured if he just counts every black woman who dies in childbirth as 3/5 of a mother, it all works out.

  52. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    It’s 86 here; it was supposed to have been 94. Tomorrow’s supposed to be 98. We’ll see.

  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: NWS is pretty accurate here. Predicted high was 69 with rain. Actual high was a little bit less. Tomorrow partly sunny and 66. I’m in heaven,

  54. CSK says:

    That does sound nice. I actually like cloudy weather. I have since I was a kid. Don’t know why.

  55. Jax says:

    @CSK: Me too. I feel safe from the blazing, burning orb in the sky. 🙂

  56. James Joyner says:

    I think I’ve solved the SSL issue. Let me know if any of you see the warning again.

  57. Gustopher says:


    He’s worried donor fatigue is already setting in and that if the GOPs get either house our aid will cease.

    It’s not donor fatigue, it’s pro-Russian sentiments. There’s a lot of “how can we spend this money when we don’t have X for our citizens” from people who don’t support X, for any value of X.

    As the late Teve would say: shitty people with shitty values.

  58. Jax says:

    @Gustopher: The irony is that these same people were BITCHING about providing financial aid to US citizens when they needed it.

    My Dad, for instance, thinks that every household with at least 4 people got over $100,000 in Covid-relief benefits in 2021. I have yet to be able to get him to give a coherent answer on where he got his numbers. Probably at the far end of the local bar.

  59. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:
    All good so far.

  60. Moosebreath says:

    @James Joyner:

    Not this time.

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: I was finally able to enter the site uninterrupted only about 10 or 15 minutes ago. Up til then, I was blocked each time I made any departures from the page I had been admitted to. The only post I was able to read this morning was the Black Marine General one and that took 4 reloads.

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: Wow! That comment is almost like it isn’t really enlightenment happening that matters, but rather, what people do with it that makes the difference.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: And of course, don’t forget that a single anecdote about one person countervails dozens of opposing anecdotes.

  64. Jay L Gischer says:

    I have had no issues with SSL certs for this site recently. Everything is working fine.

    This suggests there’s some sort of problem with the CDN which distributes the new certs. Some regions get them, but with other regions it runs slowly. James and Stephen probably didn’t choose the CDN, though. That’s probably on the hosting service.