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. Kathy says:

    Remember this song by Sting in the mid-80s?

    We share the same biology
    Regardless of ideology
    What might save us me and you
    Is if the Russians love their children too.

    Given the prevalence of school shootings, the refusal to do anything about them, and things like the end of the extended child tax credit, one has to wonder whether Sting’s implicit assumption that Americans do love their children was wrong.

  2. Kathy says:

    The good news: Season 3 of The Orville is out.

    The bad news: apparently it’s the last season.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    California woman finds $36,000 in sofa from Craigslist

    There was something bulky inside one of the sofa cushions. “I thought it was a heat pad,” she said, but she quickly dismissed that theory because the sofas did not have an electrical cord. Umodu unzipped the cushion and to her surprise, she discovered a stash of envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash.

    “I was just telling my son, ‘Come, come, come!’ I was screaming, ‘This is money! I need to call the guy!’” Umodu recounted to ABC7. She added that she gave the money back to the family right away, saying, “God has been kind to me and my children. They’re all alive and well. I have three beautiful grandchildren, so what can I ever ask from God?”

    Upon returning the money to the family, Umodu was told by the family that they too had discovered cash hidden throughout the house. As a token of appreciation, the family gave Umodu $2,200 to buy a new refrigerator for herself.

    “I was not expecting a dime from him,” Umodu said. “I was not.”

    The only thing I found in a used couch I bought at a yard sale was a plague of moths. It started slowly, just a moth or 2 to start with. But over the next week or so their population exploded until they were all over the apartment. At first we barely even noticed them but eventually one could not avoid them. Even still we paid no attention.

    Then one night, my roommate slapped at one that was interfering with his reading. He knocked it across the room and zzzppptthh it got sucked into the fan, and with that the Great Moth Massacre of 1978 was on. Once we started we just couldn’t stop. The poor guys never had a chance.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: There is a breed of American that love only their own children, but couldn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone else’s. Also they think it will never happen to theirs.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This is pretty cool: From bricks to bags to eco art: six innovative uses for plastic waste around the world

    I like the planter wall. I can see myself making one just for the hell of it. A small one anyway.

  6. Franklin says:

    @Kathy: Well, he was raised in England, so maybe he wasn’t talking about Americans at all.

  7. CSK says:

    David McCormick has conceded to Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. Trump may be pleased–his endorsee won–but the MAGAs don’t appear thrilled.

    Also, Trump says he can’t produce twelve former administrative assistants in his organization to testify to Letitia James because they won’t return his phone calls.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Justin Baragona

    MSNBC eventually pulls away from Peter Navarro’s comments after he exits the courthouse following his indictment.

    John Heilemann: “I am a devotee of breaking news as much as anyone but there’s only so much bug-eyed gibberish we can tolerate here…”

  9. CSK says:

    Navarro asked everyone in America to buy his book so he can subsidize his legal defense fund.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Also, Trump says he can’t produce twelve former administrative assistants in his organization to testify to Letitia James because they won’t return his phone calls.

    Would you return his phone calls? I sure as shit wouldn’t.

  11. CSK says:

    No, but surely James can just subpoena these people. Why does she need Trump to round them up for her?

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I ordered a dozen because such a staunch defender of freedom surely desreves my support.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: IANAL so I don’t know. Maybe it being a civil matter has something to do with it.

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: @OzarkHillbilly: I thought he was making the argument that he can’t defend himself against the charges, but I don’t see how that’s a problem that the state needs to address. No telling what lawyers can make of that, though.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:


    Frankly, Fetterman has the look and feel of a MAGAt candidate, but not the philosophy. It will be interesting to see if he can peel some MAGAt voters away from the R’s. I would think that it could be pretty easy to paint Oz as an effete ‘other.’

  16. Kathy says:


    He should have asked this during the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    At trial, TFG’s lawyers should be able to subpoena his former assistants, though that would be at the risk of putting a hostile witness on the stand. In reaching out to them, TFG is trying to apply pressure on them.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    barbarism critic (luxury gay space communist arc)

    The mom that ran in and saved her kids after being handcuffed in Uvalde finally spoke out.

    molly conger

    wait wait wait, so the mom who ran fucking circles around a whole ass swat team to save her sons was threatened with a probation violation for talking to the media & dragged in front of a judge? thank god the judge saw sense, but who made this threat?

    Mom who ran into school during Uvalde, Texas shooting discusses moments inside Full CBS Segment

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: That would definitely put the shoe on trump’s foot.

    Letetia James: “OK.”

  20. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    He does, doesn’t he? But the sleuths at are onto him: He’s a socialist.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:


    Sen. Ben Sasse calls out ‘weirdos’ dividing country in fiery Reagan Foundation speech

    Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., lit into the “weirdos” that he said are tearing the United States apart, in a fiery speech at the Reagan Foundation that connected the hyperbolic political debates of the last few years with the global threats facing the nation.

    The Nebraska Republican ripped into “performance artists” on the far left and far right who have dominated politics for close to a decade, saying they’re more focused on getting likes and retweets for themselves on social media than on preserving the United States’ standing as a global superpower amid new threats from adversaries like China.

    “This is a government of the weirdos, by the weirdos and for the weirdos,” Sasse said Thursday night in California. “Politicians who spend their days shouting in Congress so they can spend their nights shouting on cable, are peddling crack — mostly to the already addicted, but also with glittery hopes of finding a new angry octogenarian out there.”


    Sasse argued throughout that Twitter and cable news had hijacked the national debate, representing the voices of only “2%” of the country, while alienating the majority of voters trying to live their lives, get their kids to school and meet their mortgage payments.

    “Political algorithms run on rage,” Sasse said. “Nobody goes viral for being honest that 280 characters probably won’t allow the space to have an honest debate. It’s dumb to talk about a particular piece of federal legislation as either the arrival of heaven on earth or the harbinger of hell by Tuesday.”

    There’s some evidence that Sasse’s approach may resonate — most polling has found that voters across the board are more concerned about inflation, gas prices and pocketbook issues than about Trump’s 2020 election lie and culture war battles, issues that have dominated the party’s far-right elements.

    What Sasse doesn’t address is how the structure of our governing institutions have abetted rule by the extremes.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “This is a government of the weirdos, by the weirdos and for the weirdos,” Sasse said Thursday night in California.

    Ben Sasse making this statement strikes me as “the pot calling the kettle black,” but my reaction may be affected by my jaundiced view of Republicans at large.

  23. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    The Trumpkins loathe Ben Sasse with the heat of a thousand suns. He’s a traitor! He’s a socialist! He’s a Commie!

  24. Beth says:

    It’s ya girl gaying up both Disney and WSJ. Other than the downpour it’s pretty nice here today with a bunch of other queer families.

  25. CSK says:

    Have a wonderful time, Ms. Parish.

  26. Jon says:

    @Beth: Have fun!

  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    My sense about Sasse is that he is someone that most of the commentariat here will disagree with on policy, but like the pundits over at the Bulwark and Liz Cheney, he’s committed to the democratic experiment. The R base and by consequence most R politicians have become authoritarians and lean fascist, so Sasse, Cheney, Sununu and DeWine are rare and endangered birds in the party. We as Dems, want Sasse to dominate the R party, since they are members of the reality based community.

    If the country is going to move forward and face the challenges that exist and will exist, we need to bring workable liberal and conservative policy ideas to the table and hash out compromises in order to move forward. Zero-sum politics is a recipe for national failure.

  28. MarkedMan says:


    Other than the downpour

    That’s quite the caveat for a trip to an outdoor park! 😉

  29. Jim Brown 32 says:

    There are lots of Evangelical Pastors out there who actually feel the same way. They should be astroturfed on social media, Local Access TV, and AM radio throughout the South and MidWest as a counter voice to the current brand of Politico-Evangelical Shitheadism.

    But alas it won’t happen, because these people are right about one thing: The ownership class that runs this countries do not give a shit about these areas. The little bit of sustainment that kept these areas self-sustaining was shipped overseas for “Efficiencies”…which led to a rising China we’ll probably be fighting in 20 years and the replacement prison industrial complex which dominates drive through country.

    But hey, a handful of people got stunningly rich from those “efficiencies” so all’s well that end’s well. Saving Democracy has less to do with Ballot access as it does access to an average standard living that doesn’t require 6+ years of post-graduate education

  30. CSK says:
  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Now if only I believed that not believing in hurricane guns and not shouting “nKLANG, nKLANG, nKLANG” makes the Republican Party “better.” But Officer Friendly choking out George Floyd, shooting Philandro Castile, and conducting the late-night raid that left Breonna Taylor dead doesn’t make the police department better either. Guys who endorsed and enacted the stuff that FG implemented (as miserable and picayune as it was) are the same as FG no matter what the MAGAts think.

    Yes. I am unreasonable. Thank you for noticing.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: And while I’m here,

    If the country is going to move forward and face the challenges that exist and will exist, we need to bring workable liberal and conservative policy ideas to the table and hash out compromises in order to move forward. Zero-sum politics is a recipe for national failure.

    Yes, that would be nice, but the Ben Sasses and Liz Cheneys are not going to do that. Overall, they are going to continue the same scorched earth practices that elected them.

    Once again, I’d like to be wrong. I’m rooting for “bring[ing] workable liberal and conservative policy ideas to the table and hash[ing] out compromises.” I’m just not seeing it. Or individuals that will invest political capital in doing it.

  33. dazedandconfused says:

    <a href="

    “I blocked Fox News with parental controls at my parents' house and now my mom keeps calling, asking why they can't watch their news program, and I truly believe this is how we can save our country.”— Mohamad Safa (@mhdksafa) June 3, 2022

    “>A new meaning for “parental controls”

  34. CSK says:

    A Florida man crashed his car into an on coming Fedex truck while receiving oral sex from a woman in the passenger seat.

    Now, really. Is that any way to get ahead?

  35. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Yes. I believe… (checks the stats). Yes, you have won the internet today.

  36. CSK says:

    Ah, thank you.

  37. Sleeping Dog says:


    Owwww. Bad taste is timeless.

    Somewhere in that story is an adolecent urban legend.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Oooooff… 30 lashes with a cat-o-nine-noodles for you.

  39. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’m an inveterate punster.

  40. sam says:


    Reminds me of one of the great lines of Cleaver Green in Rake: “If you can keep your head, while all around you are giving head…”

  41. Kathy says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    For some reason, your post reminded me of Rush’s Bastille Day. In particualr:

    Lessons taught, but never learned
    All around us anger burns
    Guide the future by the past
    Long ago the mold was cast

    For they marched up to Bastille Day
    La guillotine – claimed her bloody prize
    Hear the echoes of the centuries
    Power isn’t all that money buys

  42. Mister Bluster says:
  43. Beth says:


    Thankfully it only rained near the end of the trip. I think we’re getting tagged by the edge of the storm pummeling Miami. It was our second day at Magic Kingdom and our second to last day. The kids are burned out and we’re about tapped out too. This place is extractive as all hell. It’s been fun, but I don’t know how anyone who isn’t a very well off two income family pays for this.

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Awww fuck. After everything Lou’d been thru, I figured he was immortal. Perfect Day


    I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
    I wish that I’d sailed the darkened seas
    On a great big clipper ship
    Going from this land here to that
    I put on a sailor’s suit and cap

    Away from the big city
    Where a man cannot be free
    Of all the evils in this town
    And of himself and those around
    Oh, and I guess I just don’t know
    Oh, and I guess I just don’t know

    Heroin, be the death of me
    Heroin, it’s my wife and it’s my life
    Because a mainer to my vein
    Leads to a center in my head
    And then I’m better off than dead

    RIP Lou, death comes for us all.

  45. CSK says:

    Lou Reed died in 2013.

  46. Kurtz says:


    I think we’re getting tagged by the edge of the storm pummeling Miami.

    My area across the state got tagged by it as well. Not sure about gVOR08, it may not have stretched that far north.

    Despite being an otherwise fine automobile, with mostly sound construction and good reliability, it has a few strange issues. One being a poorly engineered slave cylinder in the transmission made of plastic.

    The bizarre issue relevant to the storm is the sunroof drain mechanism. It tends to either clog every so often or the grommet breaks. Either outcome causes some water to run down the A column into the cabin.

    I purchased the vehicle recently, and knew I needed to check on the drain. But I put it off, figuring that we are still weeks away from the usual rainy season. I didn’t expect what happened so soon and woke up to standing water in the driver’s side floorboard.

  47. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: Yes, but did he die again recently? It would be rude, but it seems like the thing he might do.

    I went from casual “I know who he is” to a fan with the “New York” album, which remains disturbingly relevant (please, please go away, Giuliani and Trump), but this is what draws me back these days: (“What’s Good”)

    Meanwhile, this also exists: (“Modern Dance”)

    The video is strongly reminiscent of the terrifying Burger King “subservient chicken”

  48. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: Y’all get so much rain your vehicles need a….drain plug on the roof?!?!?! 😛 😛

  49. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Once again, I’d like to be wrong. I’m rooting for “bring[ing] workable liberal and conservative policy ideas to the table and hash[ing] out compromises.” I’m just not seeing it. Or individuals that will invest political capital in doing it.

    Of course you’re not seeing those individuals. We wind up going back to the definition of a politician being “a lying weasel in a suit” and a revered stateman being “a dead politician.” When every waking moment (and most sleeping ones) are dedicated to staying in office ad infinitum, that’s where all the energy is focused. Takes a large number of people who simply don’t care whether or not they return to office to move the goal. Of course, this just means that you and I (and CSK and JB32, among others) would never be elected, should anyone be daft enough to nominate us.

    Or, maybe I’m just blowing smoke. Hard for me to tell anymore.

  50. Kurtz says:


    Haha. I think all cars with a sunroof have a similar system.

    But the two common issues I highlighted–the plastic clutch slave cylinder and the draining system–strike me as obvious mistakes on a vehicle late in the generation cycle.

    It would be one thing if the CSC was located outside the transmission and didn’t require dropping the whole thing to replace it, but it’s inside the bell housing. And it’s a common enough issue that other manufacturers designed heavy duty aftermarket replacements AND kits that move the CSC outside the housing.

    And from what I’ve heard, one of the easy fixes for the drainage issue is really high tech. It consists of using a straw to extend the piping. Like wtf?

    All that said, I absolutely love this car.