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. Gavin says:

    It shouldn’t be surprising that the military is having recruitment problems.. Military people who support the Republican party are [deliberately?] ignoring the reality that Trump repeatedly called every serviceman who dies for their country a Sucker and Loser.

  2. Jen says:

    @Gavin: The military has been having problems for years, and there are a bunch of factors. Endless wars with prolonged deployments, fitness requirements, etc. have long played a role. During the pandemic, they couldn’t recruit, and now, they are competing with the private sector.

    Another factor that has been brought up recently is the covid vaccine requirement might be putting conservative recruits off. To me, this is a win-win–keeping the problem children out.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    So the election results for Baltimore City Board of Education’s two at-large seats are still pending, but enough votes have been counted that there are a few definites and one of choices may still pull it out. The one definite winner is young and enthusiastic, so that’s ok. But the most important thing is the anti-masking home schooler didn’t get in, nor did the hapless old guy who wanted to mandate that parents get more involved in thei children’s lives.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    Recently someone commented on the open thread that they didn’t think Secret Service agents could be forced to testify against the President. I was pretty sure this had been litigated during the Clinton administration and finally got around to looking it up. Yep, the ruling was that they did have to testify and three agents eventually did.

  5. CSK says:
  6. MarkedMan says:

    Well, at least one right wing insane asylum, OAN, has lost its cable contract.

  7. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Dawg, but I love this guy’s skewed (& accurate) world view…

  8. Jay L Gischer says:

    @MarkedMan: That was me, and thank you for the update and correction.

  9. Kathy says:

    Remember monkey pox? It’s getting serious.

    We can all remember when COVID was a few thousand cases and under onw thousand deaths.

    To me, this is a sign I should keep masking and avoiding contact. Fortunately there is a vaccine already available.

  10. CSK says:

    Well, this is withering:

    I don’t think they’re joshin’.

  11. Stormy Dragon says:


    Well the good news is that slow-mo Joe has begun the process of holding months of meetings to think about whether they want to actually do anything about monkeypox:

    Clinical trials could get monkeypox drug to desperate patients, but U.S. efforts lag

  12. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Wow. Talk about not burying the lede, the first paragraph at your link, in it’s entirety,

    Josh Hawley is a laughingstock.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    Yesterday, on the earlier iteration of James posts about pundit mea culpas there was some discussion of the causes of inflation. Today WAPO has a story about vehicle chip shortages. Claims that due to the chip shortage, production last year was down 8 million units. And a similar shortfall this year. Back in the bad quality days cars would sit at the end of the assembly line waiting for technicians to find and fix the worst quality problems. Now they’re sitting there waiting for chips. Says there are tens of thousands of units in secure parking lots near factories waiting for chips. Shortage is, of course, driving up prices.

    Part of Krugman’s failure to predict inflation may be that he’s an expert on Econ, not logistics. Picture an auditorium size jigsaw puzzle that took decades to assemble. Then somebody took it apart, lost a lot of the pieces, and dumped the rest in a pile. Now we have to put it back together. That’s an analogy for what COVID did to supply chains. A free market with price signals is a wonderful way to efficiently allocate resources. But it’s an evolutionary process, not a fast process.

  14. CSK says:

    And Hawley is publishing a book on “manliness.”

  15. Mister Bluster says:

    Rips ’em a new one!
    I GOT IT! I GOT IT! I GOT IT!….oops!!!
    Blue Jays 28 Stinky Sox 5

    Oh. I almost forgot.
    Cubs put another crack in the Liberty Bell. Beat Phillies 15-2.

  16. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I don’t agree that we should throw out a century’s worth of lessons on approving medication because this drug or that looks promising.

    The article also left out something important to know. Although companies absolutely cannot market a drug for something it hasn’t been approved for, individual doctors are free to prescribe for off label use. There is some reason why doctors aren’t doing so. It may be because the drug has limited access due to it being involved with smallpox, a potential bioweapon. It may be because it has only been granted for smallpox with otherwise inadequate clinical data because of the horrors of smallpox (orders of magnitude worse than monkeypox). But it could also be because doctors are just uncomfortable with what is known and unknown about it.

  17. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: The article does contain this:

    But the drug, also known as tecovirimat, is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat monkeypox as it is by regulators in the United Kingdom and the European Union; the drug is approved only for smallpox in the U.S.

    I don’t think we should be accepting the EU’s regulators uncritically, but fast tracking for emergency use authorization seems like an appropriate action.

    There have been safety trials for this drug in the US, and the testing for effectiveness was done with monkey pox (on monkeys) because smallpox is not available for testing.

    We should have a ready-to-implement plan for drugs like these, to start gathering more data on safety while prescribing (regular blood tests for various common drug side effects, broad enough to detect anything, and that information being put into a national database to be analyzed as the drug is being used more). Trust the EU, mostly, gather data and verify.

  18. Gustopher says:


    Critical elements of one of the most cited pieces of Alzheimer’s disease research in the last two decades may have been purposely manipulated, according to a report in Science.


    a neuroscientist in Tennessee, Vanderbilt University professor Matthew Schrag, said in a Science article that he and other reviewers have identified as many as 10 papers on the protein that deserve deeper scrutiny. The report also cited other prominent researchers who have had difficulty replicating results of the studies on the specific proteins.

    The people who falsify data are monsters, etc., but given the incentives for finding something new it isn’t surprising. We really need to have an emphasis on replicating the results of major studies before spending decades and billions going down the wrong path.

  19. Mu Yixiao says:

    Drive-by Saturday posting (full of randomness).

    1) As I’ve mentioned before, I used to work in the meat dept of the local grocery store. As I’ve also mentioned, I’ve been watching a lot of SortedFood videos on YouTube (highly recommended). Mike–one of the meat cutters I worked with–is currently going through a divorce that would win Mel Brooks an oscar if he filmed it. He’s currently renting one of my bedrooms while a parody of reality happens in his house. In addition to rent, we have an agreement: I allow him to use certain “herbs” in my garage, and he brings me “dumpster meat”* and bones.

    Why bones? Because I’m making my own stock–from stuff that normally gets thrown away. Right now, there’s an 8-quart pot filled with mostly T-bone bones simmering away on my stove. I should be able to get at least a quart of concentrated stock out of that. In the freezer, I’ve got chicken, beef, and pork stock. It takes about 12 hours, but very little attention. I’m going to be making shrimp stock with today’s find.

    2) That find? Head-on 30-40 count prawns for $4.99/lb at the Asian market. Pull the heads, tails, and shells, toss the “trash” in a kettle, and let it simmer for 10-12 hours. Beautiful shrimp stock. Normally I don’t add any seasoning to the stock, but I might in this case.

    I’ve been freezing all my stock, but the freezer is getting full, so I might break down and can it. That’s better for storage, but… the thought of all that steam in the kitchen while I’ve got 5 A/C window units running is… not pleasant.

    3) The Asian store had paratha! Ohhh… I’m going to start making breakfast at home. And it’s going to be so much better than the bagel sandwiches at the company deli.

    4) I now have a pound of prawns in my fridge, and zero clue what to make with them. 😛

    5) I may try making “ice cream domes” tomorrow. It involves ice cream, graham crackers, and a blow torch. On paper, it sounds delicious. In reality? I’ll let you know how it goes.

    * This is meat that is still good, but is past expiration date, and needs to be frozen or used that day.

  20. Mikey says:

    Since we can’t (or I can’t, anyway) embed pictures in comments, you’ll have to click the link to see the picture of the sort of people Trump et al. consistently attracts.

    Outside Charlie Kirk’s TPUSA event in Tampa today, featuring speakers Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Ron Desantis.