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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Across the United States Republican politicians are seeking to bring in new laws that crack down on drag shows as part of a broader backlash against LGTBQ+ rights sweeping through rightwing parts of America.

    Legislators in at least eight states have introduced legislation aiming to restrict or censor the shows, according to a new report from a leading freedom of speech group. A total of 14 bills have been introduced across Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

    Misery, up front and center.

  2. Michael Cain says:

    The media is still catching up that what is introduced in Arizona doesn’t matter nearly so much as it used to, as the new governor is a Democrat.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Many years ago I was best man for a long time buddy. After accepting this onerous duty, I asked if he wanted a bachelor party (I dislike the standard type and the only one I had thrown before was a float trip and a gravel bar bonfire with wives, sisters, and girlfriends invited) This time my T just said, “Nah, I don’t need one.”

    “OK.” Less work for me. All I have to do now is show up and give a speech.

    2 weeks before the appointed date, T comes to me at a gathering. He’d had a few, and he was practically crying,

    “Tom? I changed my mind, I want a bachelor party after all. I know it’s late in the game but I really want one. I’ve never had one before (this was his 3rd time, the charm) and I just really want one. Please Tom, please? You don’t have to get any women or any of that. I just want a party. Puleeeeeeeeze???”

    I’m looking at him, tears running down his face, begging me… Can I possibly say no? No fuckin’ way.

    “OK.” I said thinking to myself, “but your gonna pay for this muthafucker.”

    Than I had an idea, a deliciously evil idea. No women? Right. Worked it out with my roommate to throw the party at his Crawford County property on the Huzzah River for the next Saturday/Sunday. Called all our caver friends to invite them, but there was a caveat: They had to come in drag.

    Then I went shopping. Got me a tight fitting black minidress, fishnet stockings, highheels, a black handbag and a blond wig to top it all off. (All but the wig and stockings I got from Goodwill) then I found this red lacy teddy for T.

    At the appointed hour they finally showed up. I was crossing the dirt drive at that very moment (I was smokin’ hot!) and I struck my sexiest pose. He gets out of the truck and says, “You are the ugliest thing I have ever seen!” I could have gotten my feelings hurt but instead I said, “Just wait until you see what you are wearing.”

    A night of drunken debauchery unlike any other ensued. There were only about 18 of us as most begged off either because it was such short notice or because… Well you know. I suspect for most it was the former. Cavers aren’t particularly shy or retiring. But some guys…

    One such guy did show up but his dress was very conservative and his discomfort was written all over his face. Another guy we all dubbed Princess Di, because of his pearls I think. One showed up naked stating, “I didn’t have a thing to wear!” And on and on. It was great. The most fun any of us had ever had.

    At one point somebody stated, “I just hope a Sheriff’s deputy doesn’t show up.” And we all had a good laugh at the imagined look on his face and the imagined conversation that would ensue.

    These days it wouldn’t be so funny.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: I wish we had a Democrat in the Gov’s mansion.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Elijah McClain: officers to enter pleas to charges in death of Black man put in chokehold

    McClain, a massage therapist, had not been accused of committing any crime and was not carrying any kind of weapon.

    According to the indictment, he was walking home from a grocery store in 2019 after buying iced tea wearing a ski mask, months before the coronavirus pandemic began and made face coverings common.

    The encounter quickly escalated, with McClain initially losing consciousness after a chokehold was applied by police. McClain, whom relatives say wore the mask because anemia made him cold, complained he couldn’t breathe as three officers held him handcuffed on the ground, and he vomited several times.

    He sobbed, pleading: “I’m just different. I’m just different, that’s all. That’s all I was doing. I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why were you attacking me? I don’t do guns. I don’t even kill flies. I don’t eat meat … I am a vegetarian.”

    About time.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Elon Musk testified on Friday as part of a trial over a 2018 tweet in which he claimed to have “funding secured” to take Tesla private, a tweet that shareholders allege cost them millions in trading losses.

    The Tesla CEO appeared in a San Francisco federal courtroom and defended himself by saying that “just because I tweet something does not mean people believe it or will act accordingly”.
    Musk, wearing a dark suit over a white button-down shirt, testified for less than 30 minutes before court adjourned until Monday. He spoke softly and in a sometimes bemused manner, a contrast to his occasional combative testimony in past trials.

    That’s because this time they’ve got him by the short hairs.

  7. charon says:

    “just because I tweet something does not mean people believe it or will act accordingly”

    So acknowledges himself as an internet troll.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Assassinated in cold blood’: the man killed protesting Georgia’s ‘Cop City’

    Belkis Terán spoke with her son, Manuel, nearly every day by WhatsApp from her home in Panama City, Panama. She also had names and numbers for some of Manuel’s friends, in case she didn’t hear from the 26-year-old who was protesting “Cop City”, a planned gigantic training facility being built in a wooded area near Atlanta, Georgia.

    So by mid-week, when she hadn’t received a message from Atlanta since Monday, she began to worry. Thursday around noon, a friend of Manuel’s messaged her with condolences. “I’m so sorry,” they wrote. “For what?” she asked.

    What a horrible way to find out your child is dead.

    Go read the whole, it is very disturbing.

  9. Stormy Dragon says:


    It’s even worse because the way these laws are written, things like a trans woman docent giving a tour of an art museum qualify as a drag show

  10. becca says:

    The spittle must be flying at the Kavanaugh house. “Justice” is on the Sundance roster and it doesn’t sound like that’s a good thing.

  11. MarkedMan says:

    Words I never thought I’d write and certainly not in 2023: You really gotta check out this clip of him. Astounding. It’s a spontaneous duet by him and Jennifer Hudson with no prep and no rehearsal. The fact that he can hold his own against that epic (and decades younger) voice is amazing.

  12. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: That was awesome! Thanks!

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: “Wow” indeed.

  14. Slugger says:

    Florida banned a course in American history for being too CRT. Would it be legal to establish an after school program near a high school campus to teach that Florida was the last state to desegregate? Is it legal to teach the origins of Florida A&M University in Talahasee?

  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    Analysis finds Medicaid expansion a boon for public health, workforce, hospitals

    The study only focuses on NH, since it was undertaken at the request of the legislature that will need to reauthorize expanded medicare this year. But I’d speculate that the findings would generalize to other states that feature smaller urban areas and extensive rural communities.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Here in Misery the voters made medicaid expansion the law because our GOP state lege would never do anything to improve the citizens’ lives.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    End of life in these United States.
    Daytona Beach, Fla.-Daytona Beach police responded to a shooting at AdventHealth Daytona Beach Saturday morning. According to police, responding officers discovered that a woman had shot and killed her terminally ill husband and confined herself to his room.
    “Apparently because he was terminally ill, they had a conversation about it and they actually planned this approximately three weeks ago that if he continued to take a turn for the worst that he wanted her to end this,” Young said. “Obviously, we’re unsure how she brought that gun into the hospital, but this was planned.”
    The wife was identified as a 76-year-old woman and the husband was a 77-year-old. Both of them were from New Smyrna Beach.

  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: There really ought to be a better way to do this stuff. Even in Floriduh. 🙁

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..better way
    I have one friend that took her own life in the early ’90s after many years of suffering with a disease that caused her intervertebral discs to disintegrate. The disease attacked her at a young age and she tried everything to alleviate the pain. After several surgeries to fuse her vertebrae together and ever stronger pain killers plus every kind of traditional and non traditional therapies were unsuccessful she finally ingested a cocktail of drugs that she assured everyone would kill her within hours. Her friends had begged her not to do it but she had had enough. She was discovered unconscious but alive and rushed to the hospital. She lingered for three days before she finally died.
    All I know for sure is that her pain is over.
    May she rest in peace.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Jeebus… I don’t think I’d have the strength of this woman. No one should have to do such a thing.

    When my mother was going thru her long last decline, I asked her, “Ma? What if you never get better?” 24 hrs later she said, “I’m ready to go home.” and I still feel like I killed her. I know I didn’t, I just asked her an honest question, one I already knew the answer to, but I still feel guilty. Always will. I can’t imagine pulling the trigger.