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. de stijl says:

    The spouse of Chief Justice Roberts reportedly made $10.3 million dollars as a recruiter / headhunter for top tier legal firms.

    Wtf fee structure pays out that much to the matchmaker?

    I have been pitched by recruiters / headhunters in my line of work before. The reputable ones get a flat fee plus a slice of salary all paid by the hiring company. I wanted to keep my options open so I was amenable to a few lunches to hear the pitch out. Heard them out and passed. Not my speed. I wanted to follow interesting projects and not be tied to any one company. Plus, I made substantially more as a mercenary than as a foot soldier. I had a good boss / wrangler – he lined up good gigs and he got 15 percent of my bill rate.

    The disreputable ones want a slice of your salary. This most often happens with immigrant IT workers. I found out a friend of mine was under such a contract.

    How the fuck do you make $10.3 million in eight years as an individual headhunter? What’s the market rate for high-end lawyers?

    Jinkies! Shoulda gone to law school!

    I assume it was super high-end executive placements, but fuck me, she made a slice.

  2. de stijl says:

    We need to treat Ms. Robert’s actions and Ginni Thomas’ actions carefully.

    I do not advocate for the practice that spouses / partners should be precluded from careers because their spouse is a high muckety-muck, but life-time appointed judges on the Supreme Court should be demonstrably free from influence.

    Ms. Robert’s was playing by the “rules”. Ginni Thomas did not formally break any “rules” that we know of now.

    The problem is that there are no formal boundaries either ethical or financial. They police themselves by not policing themselves and they tell us to suck eggs.

    I would declare that SCJ Thomas being hosted by and addressing The Federalist Society is a clear ethical violation of his role.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I do not advocate for the practice that spouses / partners should be precluded from careers because their spouse is a high muckety-muck

    Their spouses don’t have to be Supreme Court justices either.

  4. de stijl says:

    The friend I mentioned earlier was a Pakistani immigrant. I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was under a H1-B visa, I am no expert and mostly ignorant on how visas work. The issue was that he was under a contract to a Pakistan company that helped him get his visa for n% of his US salary in perpetuity. The cut was onerous. He was basically an indentured servant.

    Best damn DBA / DBM I ever worked with. I asked if he could capture and send me all SQL requests to x DB. Took a few iterations, but we found a format I could parse.

    Visa abuse, especially for IT workers is a thing that happened, is still happening. A lot of folks do it willingly to get their kids here, or just to get a chance.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl:

    Visa abuse, especially for IT workers is a thing that happened, is still happening.

    Which makes Musk’s demands that his workers dedicate their lives to Musk’s enrichment or get laid off even more insidious. Also other tech layoffs.

  6. Scott says:

    The beat goes on:

    Police: 5 people killed in shooting at home north of Houston

    A Texas man went next door with a rifle and began shooting his neighbors, killing an 8-year-old and four others inside the house, after the family asked him to stop firing rounds in his yard because they were trying to sleep, authorities said Saturday.

    San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said authorities were still searching for the 39-year-old suspect following the overnight shooting in the town of Cleveland, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Houston. He said the suspect, whom he did not identify, used an AR-style rifle in the shooting.

  7. CSK says:


    The is an appalling story. I’d like to know how many priors the shooter had.

  8. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Watched the Carol Burnett 90th celebration last night and wondered if Burnett (at 90 yo) thinks that Biden “is too old” to lead the country.

    By the way, I’m 78 (in response to a question earlier this week), and I while I’m still active, I don’t have nearly the same vigor and endurance as Pres. Biden.

    On the other hand, my dear neighbor (at 60 yo) who can’t climb a flight of stairs, thinks Biden is way too old and his ideas and personal philosophy and interaction are a throwback to ancient times. (like when statesmen were statesmen – I think to myself)

  9. Kathy says:

    And in music for this weekend, I offer four iterations of the same piece, Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky.

    Focusing on the first Promenade section of the piece, right at the beginning, the first iteration is the original piano piece Mussorgsky intended, as I understand such things. Notice the fast tempo.

    The second iteration is an orchestral version. Very similar.

    The third iteration is a slower tempo, as orchestrated by Maurice Ravel. I think of this one as more regal in feel than the first.

    And in a classic case of the best, or my favorite at any rate, saved for last, the fourth iteration is a piano rendition by Khatia Buniatishvili, of the same slower tempo as the Ravel version. This one, to me, seems ethereal. It literally gives me shivers.


  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    The more R’s that are threatened by gun violence the more amenable they maybe to some controls.

    A man who ran for Allegheny County Council two years ago is accused of threatening several people with a gun at a Plum Borough Republican Committee meeting Thursday evening, according to authorities.

  11. steve says:

    We are well beyond an armed society is a polite society.


  12. charon says:

    As they investigate former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, federal prosecutors have also been drilling down on whether Mr. Trump and a range of political aides knew that he had lost the race but still raised money off claims that they were fighting widespread fraud in the vote results, according to three people familiar with the matter.

    Led by the special counsel Jack Smith, prosecutors are trying to determine whether Mr. Trump and his aides violated federal wire fraud statutes as they raised as much as $250 million through a political action committee by saying they needed the money to fight to reverse election fraud even though they had been told repeatedly that there was no evidence to back up those fraud claims.

    BREAKING: Jack Smith is investigating wire fraud as it pertains to trump and his allies fundraising off the big lie. This is the sleeper case I’ve been talking about.

  13. Jax says:

    @charon: I’ve wondered the last few weeks if the Wyoming State Legislature passed the “felons get their rights back” law because it says any convicted felon can’t hold “a position of public trust”. If Trump is convicted as a felon before the primaries, can that keep him off the ballot in Wyoming? How many other states?

  14. charon says:


    That is kind of an academic question. These trials take so long, and indictments are so far off, he is unlikely to be convicted of anything prior to November 2024.

    Several trials are likely to be well underway though, through 2024, lots of interesting revelations likely.