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. Bill Jempty says:
  2. Bill Jempty says:

    Today’s Firesale Business headline of the day- JetBlue warns Spirit it may terminate $3.8 million takeover offer

  3. Kathy says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    That makes no sense. An Apis bull or an offering to Hathor should be mummified. Everyone knows that.

    And I don’t think either has anything to do with success in sports.

    Now, if they had made the offering to Nike, that would be different.

  4. Scott says:

    Panic sets in. The wife thinks she needs to change her hairstyle and is asking for my opinion.

    Kobayashi Maru anyone?

  5. just nutha says:

    @Scott: I always went with ignorance of fashion/style. Then again, I’m happily divorced.

  6. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    In my continuing efforts to remind my liver who’s in charge, another reasonably priced tipple I’ve enjoyed is Rebel 100. Surprisingly smooth for an under $30 bottle. Heck, outstanding at a $24 price point in Oregon.


    “Hmmm. You may be onto something here, dear. I love the way you’re willing to try something new”

    Either that, or seppuku?

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: Steady, Scott, steady. Try turning it into a series of questions. “Remember that haircut you had a few years ago?” (It absolutely doesn’t matter if you remember any haircut she ever had, she will remember something.) Then, and this is the tricky part, you follow her lead and engage in a discussion without ever expressing an opinion. For instance, if she says, “You mean the short one with bangs?” , then you say something like, “Did it feel good short? Easy to care for?”

    I should warn you though that this is just my latest theory, and I haven’t tried it yet myself. Decades ago I realized that whenever my wife would ask my opinion about something she would listen carefully and then chose the opposite, be it hair style or choice of dress. So I watched how she had these conversations with friends and, later, our daughter and realized there was no quick, “the blue one” type of answer, but rather a mutual exploration and dialog, with lots of words that didn’t seem to belong. I mean, how can hair be fun?

    I’m at a woeful disadvantage here as I’m the type of person who only gets my hair cut when I notice it takes a bit too long to dry, and almost always would have to look down to answer the question, “What are you wearing?” But go ahead and give my idea a try and then report back on whether or not she got mad at you.

  8. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: @Flat Earth Luddite: @just nutha: She knows me well enough that the real answer is that I don’t care enough to have an opinion (about hair that is). The real challenge is to convincingly and enthusiastically admire the result. At which time, she will say ” Oh, you don’t know anything about style”. Which is also a true statement.

  9. MarkedMan says:


    The real challenge is to convincingly and enthusiastically admire the result.

    Unfortunately for me, the real challenge is to notice that she got it cut in the first place. That’s how I get myself in trouble.

  10. Slugger says:

    Like many of you, my heart has been struck by Wayne LaPierre’s health problems. I am thinking of starting a fund to send him to the Bahamas on a personal jet. Naturally, I would want to ensure his safety and am willing to take the risk of making two-three of these flights first.
    I also want to administer a fund to help Mr Trump with his legal problems. This will take quite a bit of money.
    Should I use GoFundMe or a direct appeal? What states have the most freedom from bureaucratic interference in collecting money?
    I know you will each step up to contribute.

  11. steve says:

    Scott- Just remember that whatever you say you will still be wrong. I have long established with my wife that even though I am not color blind I have no color sense. I really dont care and cant tell what goes with what. Yet, she still asks me for my opinion. It usually goes like this.

    Which of these three colors do you think we should paint the accent wall in the kitchen?

    What’s an accent wall and why do we need one?

    Every kitchen needs one. Now which color do you want?

    That one.

    You are kidding, right?

    Uhhh, yes. Just trying to be funny.

    OK, which of the other two.

    Dear, you have such good taste in colors that I think either of those two would be spectacular and I find it too hard to choose.

    So, you really just want me to choose?



    (MArkedMan- Think I started down the road to divorce with my first wife when she came home after a drastic change in her hair by cutting most of it off and I said (what happened to your hair?”.)

  12. Kathy says:

    It seems some witch hunts get less press coverage than others.

    Or maybe justice is largely impartial.

  13. Mr. Prosser says:

    My wife always had fairly short hair styles (originally like Twiggy for you olds). Late in life she asked me what style would be better. I immediately said Annie Lennox and she smiled and had her hair cut in that style and she looked really fine. I’m a lucky man to have lived with her.

  14. Mr. Prosser says:

    Why am I always going in to the moderation queue lately?

  15. Beth says:

    This will not stop anyone from being trans. It will just make people suffer.


    “Leor Sapir, who works at the Manhattan Institute, a right-wing think tank, argued that allowing “adults to do what they want” with respect to gender-affirming care was no longer congruent with “the libertarian position.’”

    Libertarians are so full of shit.

  16. CSK says:



  17. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Scott: How often does your wife change her hairstyle? If her hair is long enough, you can suggest she could try different styles over several months, cutting it into a different hairstyle each time. The weight of hair can change it from being straight to curly….

    (My hair is presently short, but I used to have it extremely long, down to just above the ankles. I decided to cut it because it was starting to thin out considerably and I was tired of strangling myself with my braid in my sleep.)

  18. CSK says:

    This is sad. Leno and I grew up in the same town. He was funny as a teenager.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: “Looks great, Honey.” “No really, I like it that way.”

    Than again, I am also the guy who looks at my wife’s hair when she first gets up in the morning and it is sticking out every which way and I say, “Oh honey, this new hair style is absolutely stunning! You must have worked on it all night!”

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Slugger: I’m sure he would just love flying in his own personal 737 MAX.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ron Filipkowski

    Training for the civil war is going well.

    The 12th Mechanized Armchair Brigade in action.

  22. wr says:

    @Beth: ““Leor Sapir, who works at the Manhattan Institute, a right-wing think tank, argued that allowing “adults to do what they want” with respect to gender-affirming care was no longer congruent with “the libertarian position.’””

    Many people make the mistake of thinking that libertarians believe people should be able to do what they want, when they really believe people should be able to do what libertarians want.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Libertarians have always been full of shit. You’re just discovering this now? Didn’t you ever read The Virtue of Selfishness as a teenager?

    ETA: @wr: Well, duh!

  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    I was so relieved when I finally admitted I was losing my hair, and decided that I’d make that decision, dammit, and went full skin. No more chatting with hair dressers. No more trying to get it to behave. No more product, not even shampoo. No wet hair when it rains, a quick hand squeegee and you’re good.

    The only downside is that bald heads get cold, so I end up wearing knit caps which make me look like a merchant sailor. Which is an improvement over the other thing people guessed: ready-to-retire cop. Before legalization I had the hardest time buying weed. The bus boys getting high in restaurant alleyways are disinclined to trust a 6’2″, skin-headed White man with resting prick face.

  25. gVOR10 says:

    @wr: I’ve observed that in practice libertarianism would require a God of Libertarianism to make anyone behave like libertarians think everyone would naturally behave.

    How would Nozick’s dominant protective association, or whatever he called it, not become a protection racket within weeks?

    Anne Laurie At Balloon Juice links to repentant libertarian Penn Gillette of Pen and Teller,

    I completely have not used the word Libertarian in describing myself since I got an email during lockdown where a person from a Libertarian organization wrote to me and said, “We’re doing an anti-mask demonstration in Vegas, and obviously we’d like you to head it.” I looked at that email and I went, “The fact they sent me this email is something I need to be very ashamed of, and I need to change.” Now, you can make the argument that maybe you don’t need to mandate masks — you can make the argument that maybe that shouldn’t be the government’s job — but you cannot make the argument that you shouldn’t wear masks. It is the exact reciprocal of seatbelts because if I don’t wear a seatbelt, my chances of fucking myself up increase — if I don’t wear a mask, the chance of fucking someone else up increase.

    More at the link.

  26. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, the wife came home from the salon and I said, “Hmm, looks good!” She replied, “I decided not to change anything after all”.

    Yep. Kobayashi Maru.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Switch over to a scally cap; it goes with driving a rag top, too, in case you ever backslide from your newfound eco-responsibility. (Or somebody decides to make convertible e-roadsters* instead of SUV and pickups.)

    ETA: * The true sign that electric vehicles will have become the car of the people.

  28. MarkedMan says:


    Many people make the mistake of thinking that libertarians…

    … think.

    There, that works better

  29. Mister Bluster says:

    Thank Dawg

    SIU Salukis men’s basketball team were 20 points down in the second half today at Murray State. The Dawgs went on a 25-3 run and beat the Racers 60-58.

  30. dazedandconfused says:


    Tricky…. WWAAS*?

    Nevertheless, I recommend “I’m hardly able to even picture you any different than you are now, babe.” After sacrificing a calf for good luck, of course.

    *What Would Admiral Akbar Say

  31. Mimai says:

    Who is Leor Sapir? A “right wing” and “conservative” guy who writes a lot about trans issues.

    Where does Leor Sapir work? The Manhattan Institute, a “right wing” and “conservative” think tank that is lead by Reihan Salam, a Republican.

    What did Leor Sapir tweet?

    The libertarian position in gender medicine debates that “adults should be able to do what they want” ignores a key fact. Trans-identified adults are not “doing what they want” but asking others (doctors) to do things (hormones and surgeries) to them. Unless you think that doctors are merely a better-educated version of shoe salesmen, there to satisfy the wants of their customers, the libertarian position is quite unhelpful in getting at the deeper ethical dilemmas of this area of medicine.

    AFAICT, Leor Sapir is not a L- or l- ibertarian. And based on the context, he seems to be arguing with the libertarian position (at least as he sees it) as opposed to representing the libertarian position.

    Also, the Erin In The Morning article was all about Republicans. The only mention of libertarians was the aforementioned Leor Sapir link.

    Feel free to beat up on “libertarians” all you want — I’ve got no problem with that. I just wanted to introduce some further context.

  32. DrDaveT says:


  33. DrDaveT says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    The Dawgs went on a 25-3 run and beat the Racers 60-58.

    Clyde Frazier would be proud.

  34. dazedandconfused says:

    I think “The Art Of The Deal” needs to be amended with a new chapter:

    “How to turn a $5 million judgement against you into a $83 million judgement against you.”

  35. CSK says:


    Slight correction: 88.5 million dollars.

  36. Mister Bluster says:


    Can’t get Thumbs Up to register on your comment so “Thumbs Up”!

  37. Stormy Dragon says:

    I’ve often described myself as a “recovering libertarian” (16 years clean in December)

  38. Mister Bluster says:

    My lucky day. I think.
    Won $5 on a $1 Illinois Lottery scratch off ticket at Kroger today. However before I could get out of the store the Girl Scouts shook me down for a $6 box of cookies.

  39. gVOR10 says:

    Both my wife and I got up because we weren’t sleeping and decided to just stay up and catch the Australian Open tennis men’s final live, then sleep in after. I was reading and came across a quote on psychology,

    The father of modern shame research, Gershen Kaufman, concluded that we are vulnerable to shame only to the extent that we care about something.

    That’s why Trump can’t be shamed into telling the truth. He just doesn’t care. And the supposedly liberal MSM, despite WAPO’s effort to catalog his lies, doesn’t punish him for lying.


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