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:

    C’mon USA men’s national soccer team! Might be an early morning beverage in hand kind of day. So excited.

  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    Apple is ramping up efforts to diversify away from China.

    In recent weeks, Apple Inc. AAPL -0.34%decrease; red down pointing triangle has accelerated plans to shift some of its production outside China, long the dominant country in the supply chain that built the world’s most valuable company, say people involved in the discussions. It is telling suppliers to plan more actively for assembling Apple products elsewhere in Asia, particularly India and Vietnam, they say, and looking to reduce dependence on Taiwanese assemblers led by Foxconn 2354 4.05%increase; green up pointing triangle Technology Group.

  3. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    My, my, my, pretty quiet over here in the morning, innit? Good morning, everyone. Got an early start on my coffee and Gurkha as the cats insisted that 6am was time to get up. Cold but pretty up here in Puddletown, with a cold breeze blowing out of the Gorge.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: what is Gurkha?

  5. CSK says:

    This whole saga gets weirder and weirder. From Salon via Rawstory:

  6. CSK says:


    A Gurkha is a Nepalese soldier in the Indian army. Also a knife they use.

  7. Kathy says:


    If this keeps up and Benito keeps getting splattered with his own filth, the GQp will claim Democrats are against eating dinner.

  8. Slugger says:

    Five years ago at the end of 2017, the Dow Jones was just under 25,000. Now it is over 34,000. This seems like a decent growth to me. GDP growth is back on track, . Yet the news is full of gloom. Is bad news just more interesting?

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Those I knew about. But unless Luddite typically eats breakfast while playing numbly-peg with soldiers from the Raj I think he meant something else…

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @clarkontheweekend: We lost 3-1. But the Dutch were very good. Today was the best US team I’ve seen in the field. One bad mistake led to the 3rd Dutch goal. But other than that they were World Cup class

  11. CSK says:


    Yeah, but I can’t figure out what.

  12. Sleeping Dog says:


    Yes, the Dems did it through the Biden crime family, the details are all there on Hunter’s laptop.

  13. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @Sleeping Dog:

    As far as I can tell, the MAGAs are blithely ignoring the whole story. Never happened, as far as they’re concerned.

  14. Sleeping Dog says:


    They’re disappointed that the Dow didn’t hit 36000.

    The truth is the markets were wildly overvalued and have suffered a major correction, but they’re still a bit rich. The overvaluation can be blamed (but not exclusively) on an asset bubble caused by trump’s tax cuts and exacerbated by the huge amounts of Covid relief pumped into the economy. So investors have taken a loss of ~13-15% and they’re not happy. To add to the misery, the 10 year outlook for market valuation growth is now in the range of 4-5% while we saw growth of over 10% during the past decade.

    As Krugman points out, the market isn’t the economy. The economy isn’t doing bad, see employment rates and wage growth, but is suffering from debilitating inflation, the cure for which is a likely recession.

    EDIT: With regard to the Fed, there role is to keep inflation down and a booming economy where folks are spending money and companies are hiring, doesn’t help them achieve that goal.

  15. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    In my case, I got a deal on a smaller ring seegar that’s good for a winter smoke. Usually save this stuff for evening, but I was up early and didn’t want to go out for a sunrise photo shoot.

  16. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    A Gurkha is a cigar?

  17. Stormy Dragon says:


    Jerome Powell is openly trying to tank the economy, so we’re in a weird situation where good economic news is bad news because it means another round of sabotage.

    Reappointing Jerome Powell is far an away Biden’s biggest mistake of his entire presidency.

  18. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    In this yes, it’s a cigar. Although I’d be happy to have any local gurkas (or for that matter any OTB members in the area) join me for sunrise and a cup of coffee. Or at least what passes for coffee at Casa Luddite – Cracker can attest that what I drink is about a half a step short of unrefined crude oil. My fruffy drink is a four shot 20 oz latte or mocha

  19. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:


    Glad we got that straightened out.

  20. CSK says:

    Uber and Lyft are allowing their evangelical Christian drivers to proselytize their passengers.

    Talk about a captive audience.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:


    Sounds like a reason to stiff them on the tip.

  22. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Or jump out of the car, even if it’s going 65mph on Route 93 in Massachusetts. Or New Hampshire.

  23. Jen says:

    If anyone here enjoys a good lawyer letter, this one is *chef’s kiss*. Lawyers suing Elon Musk over his Twitter Follies.

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: @CSK: Gurkha is famous for making cigars of large ring-size. One of their products is 9-inches long and 80/64 inches in circumference, IIRC. Gurkha’s are also reputed by some to be the some of most expensive cigars in the world. It’s not unusual their price even at the discounter that Luddite and I buy from to be as high as $25 or $3o each, and one episode of The Glades had a character smoking Gurkha cigars that were over $100/each.

  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Late to the game as usual. I will simply note that Luddite and I do not buy cigars from their Ultra Premium selections. Though I sure they are splendid cigars. (And worth a visit to that part of the website to see really primo examples of conspicuous consumption.)

  26. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Ayup. $20 cigars and $50 scotch are out of Luddite’s budget. $2-5 cigars and $20-30 hooch are more in my range.

    What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar!,books%20and%20his%20memoir%2C%20Recollections.

    Aha! Cracker, my evil plan to run this thread off the rails has succeeded! Bwa ha hahahaha!

  27. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Wait a minute. You can’t run an open forum off the rails. As the late Doug Mataconis was wont to observe, “You can’t be off-topic, because there IS no topic.”

  28. Sleeping Dog says:


    Cars go 65 on I93, I thought the only allowable speeds were 35 (when not stopped) and 85.

  29. CSK says:

    I have to retract what I said upthread about the MAGAs blithely ignoring the saga of Donnie’s Dinner Party. Don Surber has informed them that it’s a smear, that no one has done more for Jews and Israel than Trump.

  30. CSK says:

    Trump wants the Constitution’s election rules to be voided, and for him to be declared the winner of 2020.

  31. Kathy says:


    I thought we were done with days that end in “y”

    On other things, I just re-signed up to Netflix and began streaming Disenchantment. Great show. The bad thing is with Hell Week 1 going on at work, I’ll have to stream all ten eps by Monday if not sooner.

  32. CSK says:


    Apparently Trump’s rationale for overturning the Constitution has something to do with Twitter and Hunter Biden’s laptop.

    Peter Baker of the NYTimes says this is a dangerous new milestone, even for Trump. Baker observes that he “can’t think of a time when a former president (and would-be future president) has called for suspending the Constitution to let him seize power.”

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: As far as I can tell, the MAGAs are blithely ignoring the whole story. Never happened, as far as they’re concerned.

    Nah, they were happy as a clam with trump saying the quiets parts out loud, but now he’s getting trashed from both sides and so they are afraid to stick their necks out. Turns out their racist nirvana had a sell by date and now they are trying to bury it’s rotting carcass before the stench of it gets too bad.

    Actually, I think they like that stench and just aren’t sure of how far they can go now.

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Good thing I don’t do Uber or Lyft. One or the other of us would not survive the ride.

  35. CSK says:

    Oh, I’m sure they were.
    Same here.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Beautiful, nothing like a sarcastic lawyer to put a MOTU in his place.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: trump is just pissed because he didn’t get to see Hunter’s dick pics.

  38. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Come on, think of the potential for a little amusement.
    Like my late father’s attempts to covert annoying Jehovahs’s Witnesses to the worship of Mithras:

    “And have you been washed in the blood of the bull?”

    Dad had a twisted sense of humour at times.

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Bourbon MO has a 7th Day Adventist church. After services on Sundays they would go out and proselytize. One Sunday in July they made the mistake of knocking on my door. It was a mistake because it happened to be my birthday. Normally I would’ve just wordlessly closed the door in their faces. But this time, I decided that it being my birthday and all, I deserved a little treat After all, I’d been good all week (or at least what passes for good in my opinion). I spent the next hour plus arguing with them about the various parts of the bible. Not much proselytizing happened that day.

    And oh yeah, my youngest made the mistake of talking to them once, and they kept coming back trying to save his soul. I was there when they came by once and they very politely asked my permission to talk to him. I gave them my blessing and muttered under my breath, “He got his ass into this, now he can get himself out of it. I ain’t gonna save him from them.”

    Yeah, I was a real shit.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via Anne Laurie comes this little gem: The Year of Finding Out

    2022 has become the year of chaos. The previous year’s opulence and impulsivity led to a year where tens of thousands of people sacrificed their jobs at the altar of profitability. 2021 felt like a fever dream of corporate excess, where those who worked the least seemed to be rewarded with the most, and when regular people attempted to take advantage of this new-found societal joy, they were deemed disloyal. We were told repeatedly that the future seemed bright – that numbers were always going to go up – and when we remarked how ridiculous it was that people were buying digital real estate and six-figure monkey pictures, we were told to stop being skeptics.

    If 2021 was the year of fucking around, 2022 has been the year of finding out – a repeated myth-busting expedition where perfect, untouchable companies died a million little deaths. U.S. venture capital raises fell 30% in Q3, a nine-quarter low following an industry-wide realization that funding businesses that either aren’t profitable or don’t make money at all doesn’t lead to great long-term outcomes. And yet – despite a 50% drop in the last quarter – VCs are still pumping billions into Web3 companies, though one of the largest deals was a $300 million Series B into a company led by FTX Ventures, who you may remember are several hundred frauds in a trench coat


    My Freude has been thoroughly Schadened.

  41. CSK says:


    There are two things here that concern me. The first is that this is, even for Trump, an
    extraordinary statement to make. The second is how the die-hard MAGAs interpret it. What kind of instructions will they read into Trump’s rant?

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    TBH, I stopped worrying about anything trump said* when Biden was sworn in. He’s not president and I really doubt he ever will be again.** The man is an absolute qanon whackjob and the more he speaks the less and less people listen, and that includes magas.***

    * which is not to say some idiot maga with a martyr complex won’t grab his ar-15 with 100 round drum magazine and a bump stock and attempt to slaughter as many lieberals, blacks, muslims and jews that he can. That possibility will always exist, it’s just that if/when it does happen it is highly unlikely to directly impact me or any of mine. Regardless, it will still be horrible for those whom it does.

    **My doubting it does not mean it can’t happen again, just that I have a limited # of worries I can tolerate at any one point in time, so I don’t even bother with the things I see as vanishingly small possibilities. DeSantis on the other hand… Well, not even him yet. If he gets the nomination, then I will worry.

    *** Every week it seems like I see fewer trump flags than I did the week before. It won’t surprise me if in 10 years I still see a few, but they will be very far between.

    PS: I am only talking about me and how I prioritize these things, you and most others will feel differently. I am not saying I am right and everybody else is wrong, there is no right or wrong when it comes to one’s feelings, worries, etc.

  43. Mikey says:

    In today’s installment of the utter nothingburger known as Hunter Biden’s laptop, Russian apologist reporter Matt Taibbi put out a story, which the MAGA morons have blown up into bunch of hooey about how the Deep State conspired with Twitter to suppress Huge! Revelations! about what was found on said laptop.

    Turns out the only thing one might or might not call huge is…Hunter Biden’s junk.

    Wait, what?

    Over at The Bulwark, Tim Miller takes all this bullshit apart in epic fashion.

    No, You Do Not Have a Constitutional Right to Post Hunter Biden’s Dick Pic on Twitter

    While normal humans who denied Republicans their red wave were enjoying an epic sports weekend, an insular community of MAGA activists and online contrarians led by the world’s richest man (for now) were getting riled up about a cache of leaked emails revealing that the former actor James Woods and Chinese troll accounts were not allowed to post ill-gotten photos of Hunter Biden’s hog on a private company’s microblogging platform 25 months ago.


    Because among Republican members of Congress, leading conservative media commentators, contrarian substackers, conservative tech bros, and friends of Donald Trump, the ability to post Hunter Biden’s cock shots on Twitter is the number-one issue in America this weekend. They believe that if they are not allowed to post porno, our constitutional republic may be in jeopardy.

    He relates some of the more breathless pronunciations of various Trumpist imbeciles, for example

    Meanwhile Kari Lake hype man Pizzagate Jack Posobiec declared this the “biggest story in modern presidential election history,” claimed that “we can never go back to the country we were before this moment,” and donned this “a digital insurrection.”

    then continues in some detail about the ins-and-outs (Ha!) of content moderation, and ends up where we all know this is: a gargantuan steaming pile of…nothing.

    But hey, with inflation cooling and gas prices dropping toward the basement and record-low unemployment, what else do these morons have?

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: But hey, with inflation cooling and gas prices dropping toward the basement and record-low unemployment, what else do these morons have?

    Indeed. The other afternoon I filled up my truck and took note of the price per gallon: $3.019. Then I took notice of something I hadn’t seen in a long long while: The lack of a Biden “I did this” sticker.

    Gee… I wonder what happened to all those stickers?

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: As for me, I won’t even worry about DeSantis (I just about wrote “DeSatanist” again 🙁 ). In the bigger picture, though my total situation is economically spare, I’m still white, living in an outpost of Red State ‘Murka (though the good citizens of the district DID vote for a Democrat over a “Murka First” MAGAt), have a small equity stake in the economy, and spent the previous 3 decades of my life living so modestly that my income is larger now than it was pre-retirement. There’s little that Republiquanism can do that will affect me, and even though I will feel sad for those who will suffer from DeSantis’ election, I can do little to change that situation. Every nation gets the government it deserves, and from what I’ve been seeing at other stops on our intellectual discursion today, we deserve a lot of what we may get. Even if we are liberal. 🙁

  46. Jax says:

    @One American: Yessss, my precious, inability to post Hunter Biden’s dick pics is deffffinitely going to bring America down. Youuuu are ssssoooo tallllented, and so preccciiiious, to see the truth. Please consssider the donnnnate button if you want to continue beeing a Paaatriot.

    Jesus Fucking Christ, nobody cares about Hunter Biden. Or his dick pics. He’s not even part of the Biden Administration, he’s just a failson.

    And if you really want to get jiggy with First Amendment violations, the guy who was actually President at the time, Donald J. Trump apparently also asked Twitter to take shit down. Maybe Don Jr and his cocaine binges? Surely not Eric. 😛 😛

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Yeah, I don’t see his shtick translating to the rest of America either. Mind you, I said the same about trump, so take my prognostications with the proverbial ton of salt. But I have much bigger worries on my horizons at the moment: Like, will my grand daughter win her weight class at the KC wrestling match??? Priorities mf’ers!

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @One American: So… you want to see Hunter’s dick pics. You know, away back when, when I was still growing up (back when the first dirt was being laid down) we referred to other people’s genitals as their “private parts”. You know what we called people who wanted to see other folk’s private parts?

    Take a guess…

    Go ahead…


    Today, y’all call them “groomers.”

    Just a suggestion, stay far away from my granddaughters.

  49. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well, as a friend said to me back when my daughter was that age, people like that aren’t a problem as long as you’ve got acreage and a backhoe. (Insert Snark emoji)

    But although I’m not in Cracker’s economic strata, I don’t expect to be there for the “DeSatanist” term either

  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I have a little bit of acreage (12.57 acres) but the truth of the matter is, I know a whole lot of places in the hills and hollers that could never be found if one didn’t know where to look. So far, it has never been more than a niggling thought at the back of my brain, one I am not proud of and one I hope to never engage with.

    I don’t expect to be there for the “DeSatanist” term either

    Dawg willing and the creek don’t rise… Neither will I.

    Tho, I saw/learned a couple things today that give me pause.

  51. DrDaveT says:


    We lost 3-1. But the Dutch were very good. Today was the best US team I’ve seen in the field. One bad mistake led to the 3rd Dutch goal.

    The offense played well, should have scored at least one more goal given the opportunities they created.

    The defense… was a disappointment. The first 2 Netherlands goals were scored from nearly identical crosses to the penalty spot, where there MUST be a defender. But wasn’t. The holding midfielders really screwed the pooch for the US on those plays.

    Overall score, B+. Best possession play I’ve ever seen from a US team, good pressing defense, decent offense (minus the finishing). Excellent goalkeeping, adequate back line defense. The midfield defense was the difference.

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: 4 more years!!!!

    Seriously, they will get better.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Good point! I’ll root for her, too. No one can have too many fans!