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:

    Moon landers seem to be coming down with cases of tipitis here of late. There is a small consolation prize this time:

    Still, the lander is “near or at our intended landing site”, he said. Nasa and Intuitive Machines said they have been receiving data from the lander and believe that most of the scientific instruments that it is carrying are in a position to work.

    The boss man had this to say:

    “It really was a magical, magical day,” said Tim Crain, chief technology officer and co-founder of Intuitive Machines, at the Friday press conference.

    Doing space is hard. We’ll find out how successful this mission is 7 days from now.

  2. Kathy says:
  3. Kathy says:


    Landing on the Moon is hard due to the fact the Moon lacks an atmosphere. Meaning all meaneuvers rely only on rockets. For Mars, as an example, one can use the very thin atmosphere to shed speed through drag, and also deploy parachutes.

    Worse yet, thrust through the descent and landing needs to vary, and needs to be used to steer the ship. So, you need 1) a throttle that’s precise and reliable, 2) several engines or one engine mounted on a gimbal, or side thrusters.

    If we are to make use of the Moon and its resources, such landings need to become routine and reliable. Imagine if an airline that guaranteed only an 80% chance of a safe landing.

    What I can’t get over, despite knowing better, is that NASA managed to land 5 out of seven Surveyor probes on the Moon, as well as 6 out of six Apollo missions (Apollo XIII I call “no action,” since no landing was attempted), back in the 1960s and 70s.

  4. Franklin says:

    @Kathy: Omg, caught him red-handed!

    Still not sure why he hasn’t been banned.

  5. CSK says:

    Trump said yesterday that Black people like him because he’s been indicted a lot and because they identify with his persecution.

  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    If she were a soldier in war we’d be looking at a Medal of Honor. 20 inches from death.

    Lilly Baker was driving to meet some friends in Limestone County, Ala., earlier this month, when she spotted a woman with a wheelchair who was struggling to cross the railroad tracks on foot.

    “She was just walking along the train tracks with her wheelchair in front of her. She was using it as a stabilizer,” said Baker, 18, adding that the woman was laboring as she tried to walk. Since her wheelchair couldn’t clear the tracks, she was attempting to use it help her walk across — but she was stuck.

    Baker pulled up beside the tracks to see if she could help. Then she saw a train approaching.

    “I got out of my car and I went over to her, and by the time I got to her, the lights started flashing on the train and the horn was going off,” recalled Baker, who lives in Athens, Ala. “I grabbed her from behind her arms and I tried to pick her up and walk with her, and we fell.”

    Baker tried a second time to carry the woman off the tracks — and they fell again.

    “The train was so close to us, we had no time to go anywhere,” Baker said. “It was a nerve-racking situation.”
    One more time, as the train drew terrifyingly near, “I grabbed as hard as I could to get her out of there,” she continued, explaining that she pulled the woman by her jacket.

    Baker said she wasn’t worried about putting herself at risk.

    “I could not leave her there,” she said.

    Baker narrowly saved the woman’s life — and her own. An employee of the railroad company, CSX, later told Baker the train was less than 20 inches away from hitting them both.

    The train did, in fact, clip the woman’s feet, leading to two broken ankles. It also wrecked the woman’s wheelchair.

  7. Paul L. says:

    When Trump went into the changing room when he owned the misogynist beauty pageants, would it have been less offensive if he sniffed their hair to gently show his affection like Biden does?

  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    Yes, it would have been much, much less offensive, because see, Biden doesn’t walk into young women’s changing rooms.

    Trump is a rapist. You are a supporter of a rapist. Trump pushed a woman up against a wall and raped her. Raped. Say it aloud to yourself: “I, @Paul L, am devoted body and soul to a rapist. Who sells gold hightops as a side line.”

  9. Paul L. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Hit a nerve. Biden just corners them in public to sniff. Been called a rape apologist by feminist for defending and demanding due process for credibly accused rapists in the past.


  10. Paul L. says:

    Rick Taylor

    The only reason we couldnt go after Trump WHILE he was in office is because of some OLC memo, originally drafted to protect Nixon, that says a sitting President cannot be indicted

    A MEMO

    Not a Law

    A made up piece of bullshit to protect their own

    Qualified, Prosecutorial and Judicial Immunity.

    Not a Law

    Just made up pieces of bullshit to protect their own. The Law Enforcement caste

    BTW, DACA is not a law just a DHS memo.

  11. MarkedMan says:

    I’d like to request that an administrator ban this guy. He contributes nothing and turns thread after thread into a shit show

  12. Paul L. says:

    @MarkedMan: And I hurt their feelz with inconvenient facts and tangents that have been declared as verboten hate speech by progressives.


  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: P needs help, he’s not getting it here. He just gets to parade his delusions of grandeur.

  14. Paul L. says:

    Trump is a convicted rapist who somehow escaped prison time.
    What is the penalty Trump will face for the rape?
    Most of the award to E. Jean is for defamation.

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    If you’re happy pimping for a rapist, I mean, whatever dude. Do you have a wife? Kids? Do they know you’re pro-rape?

  16. The Q says:

    Paul secretly hopes (like many Trumpers) that the Don will grab his wife by the P.

    Sorry Paul, the Don only grabs hot P.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Abraham Lincoln Pardoned Joe Biden’s Great-Great-Grandfather, 160-Year-Old Records Reveal

    The Biden crime family has some really deep roots. No doubt the GOP will add this to the articles of impeachment.

  18. CSK says:

    @Paul L.:

    Well, Trump was found liable for sexual assault under NY state law, and fined $5 million for that. Surely you knew that, so why ask?

  19. gVOR10 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I once worked with a guy, good friend, who would occasionally walk up to me and say something that seemed completely out of the blue. I eventually realized he was resuming a conversation from days earlier just where it left off. Paul L may be doing something like that, just assuming the rest of us are thinking about the context he’s thinking about. Or it may be what he says, he thinks the RWNJ online is feeding him “inconvenient facts and tangents that have been declared as verboten hate speech by progressives” and thinks he’s enlightening us poor benighted sods. Or it could just be an unusually inept Russian bot. Commenters here want James to remove him? The constant attention is exactly what he wants. If you ignore him, he’ll go away.

    I beseech you, in the Bowels of Christ, DFTFT.

  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    I don’t want him banned, personally, though I would not be upset if he were. Don’t forget, there are more lurkers than participants. The commentariat is pretty much 100% anti-Trump, the lurkers are perhaps less convinced. So, every time he shows up he reminds people what MAGA really is. I get to remind people Trump is a rapist, and Paul reminds people that regular cult members are pro-rape.

    Biden is old; Trump is old and a rapist. A rapist sent by Jesus to save us all from drag queens. Because who else would Jesus send? Someone who’s not a rapist? Why, that’s crazy talk.

  21. becca says:

    Trolls are such sad little creatures. Full of envy that others have intellect and humor, they lash out and only make further fools of themselves.

  22. anjin-san says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    L’s comments suggest a lot of rage directed at women, something that, of course, is not uncommon in Republican politics.

    When I hear these sorts of comments from a guy who obviously admires the abusing women/girls, I suspect that most of his conversations with women end with “buzz off, creep!”

  23. The Q says:

    Dept of Looking at the Bright Side: one of the good outcomes of the Alabama IVF decision is less dumb ass red voting white hicks being born in Alabama

    (with apologies to Mr. Joyner)

  24. Paul L. says:

    Trump fined $5 million for Rape?
    Not what the verdict says.
    Maybe $2 million for battery.

    The jury found that Carroll had been harmed as a result of Trump’s actions, and that $2 million would “fairly and adequately” compensate her for those injuries.

    It also answered “yes” to the question about whether Trump had defamed Carroll and said nearly $3 million should be given to Carroll for damages

    Strange that a old pervert like Trump who likes young p. would go after 50+ hag p. like E. Jean.

  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    That’s right. There’s always an unspoken, “See? This person X is worse than me. Why am I being called out as a creep when someone people admire is just as bad?” As always with MAGAts, every accusation is a confession. Paul hates women, may well have committed sex crimes himself, and seeks to protect his ego and his status by convincing himself that he’s not bad, he’s just like every other guy. Of course he’s not – most men quite like women. In fact most of us think part of our job as men is protecting women from people like Trump.

    MAGA is fueled by weak, insecure man-boys who never learned what it meant to be a man, and White evangelicals who know they’re losing ground and indeed losing faith themselves. And of course by opportunists like Tim Scott happy to abase themselves for a tiny slice of power.

    Man-boys flock to Trump because he is muy macho and their fathers did a very poor job modeling manhood. Evangelicals have given up on Jesus and melded Jesus and Trump into a hybrid creature who betrays every belief they ever supposedly held. Both cohorts are empty, frightened and therefore cruel and violent people. Nothing is more depressing to me than the realization that we have so many of these people in the country.

    If we survive this wave, Gen Z begins to rise to power as we Boomers start shopping for wheelchairs, walkers and cemetery plots. That scares the living fuck out of MAGAts and it should. They are not wrong that they are being replaced, but it isn’t a conspiracy, it’s just progress. Dinosaurs versus mammals.

  26. Beth says:

    Went to a Hard Techno/Psytrance rave last night. It was amazing. Just so joyous. Everyone there was so nice and happy.

    The second DJ, HHunter, played a mix of “Blue Monday” and the whole place went nuts. He didn’t layoff the gas the rest of the night. The headliner, Indira Paganatto was a revelation. At one point I looked out over the crowd and the whole club was just dancing. lol, it was like the rave scene in the matrix.

    In men are weird news. One friend got a free drink cause he complemented a guy’s sweater. A guy in a turtleneck bought me a drink and I couldn’t tell if he was saying I was beautiful or if he was talking about an objectively better looking woman in our group. Either way, I couldn’t understand him. I took my free drink and danced away.

  27. anjin-san says:

    @Paul L.:

    50+ hag

    Incel speak at it’s finest.

  28. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Glad you had a great time. I always enjoy hearing about your adventures in the wild.

    Back in the rock and disco ages, shyness, a lack of grace, and inability to strike up a conversation made sure Luddite was busy shooting the band with Tri-X instead of bothering folks on the floor. Then I turned into an middle aged (now old) Luddite, who still likes to shoot bands with a Canon .

  29. charontwo says:

    @The Q:

    IVF is expensive, not that many IVF babies.

    But it’s the IVF story that’s getting the most attention at The New York Times. Why? Because it’s more relatable to the rich and upper-middle-class folks who decide what goes into the Times, and it’s presumed to be more relatable to the paper’s upmarket readers.

    IVF is expensive, so it’s mostly for an upscale clientele. Often, IVF clients are two-career couples who want children but didn’t have them when they were young. Stories about the possible disappearance of IVF are worrisome to this demographic.

  30. Beth says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Thanks. Last night was just one of those perfect nights. The weather sucked, the world is dying, everyone’s been sick. But it was also Friday night, everyone had been paid, and the intoxicants were flowing. Everyone was dancing and smiling. No one was groping.

    I’ve also gotten really lucky in that I’ve manage to become part of a wild family of degenerates. There is something so amazing about showing up and having a whole bunch of people genuinely happy to see you.

    lol, as for shyness, I wish guys would try and talk to me earlier in the night. After 4 edibles and a bunch of vodka/grenedine/sprites there’s no thoughts, just vibes.

    Ohhh, tonight I’m going to a Power Puff Girls themed techno underground rave. I’ve been informed that the spanking cage takes cash and I’ve already paid for one friend to get paddled. Pretty sure none of us will be able to sit tomorrow.

  31. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “I suspect that most of his conversations with women end with “buzz off, creep!””

    Only in the books JKB reads. I think two of those three words will have changed over the last century…

  32. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    One of the first bands I shot (before they became big-time) is coming back to PDX in the fall. Small dive bar in Van BC. Daughter looked at tickets, but Bebe Le Strange has gotten waaayyy outta Luddite’s range. Besides, the vibe won’t be the same as it was with $5CN cover and $1 Labatts.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the stamina anymore for late night shoots watching the band interact with the crowd.

  33. DK says:

    @Paul L.:
    “Ivanka’s got the best body…I’ve often said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter I’d be dating her.”
    Donald Trump, the Epstein-bestie pedophile, rapist, and insurrectionist who keeps causing Republicans to lose elections.

  34. DK says:

    @charontwo: You would think elected Republicans acting on behalf of Russian spies (again) would be one of the biggest scandals in US history.

    But Her Emails, But His Age.

  35. CSK says:


    Don’t forget that when talk show host Wendy Williams asked Trump what he and Ivanka had in common, he replied, “I’d like to say sex.”

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, says good taste, breeding, and paternal love like publicly admitting you want to fuck your own daughter.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: Wait!!! Biden’s been going into changing rooms at The Gap and Forever 21 to sniff the hair of teenaged girls? You’re right, that would be really creepy if it was happening. Here’s your big chance! Bring us the evidence.

    But it still doesn’t change the creepiness that Trump already acknowledges about himself.

  37. CSK says:

    “I stand today before you today not only as your past and future president, but as a proud political dissident. I am a dissident.” — Donald Trump, CPAC, Feb. 24, 2024

    Persecuted by the Biden regime, of course.

  38. Beth says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    I’m one of the olds in this rave family. Me and this guy who’s in his mid 40’s as well got to the club first last night. Well, the bar next door anyway. We had a laugh that the olds were the first there. We were also laughing about how our spouses and friends think we’re nuts.

    So many of my friends who are in their 40’s act like they’re dead. “Oh, I can’t be out past 10 pm or I’ll turn into a pumpkin and teenagers will roll me into the street.” Or some crap. Like, I know I’ve lost a step and recovery is a bitch, but it is so energizing to be out dancing to bleep bloop music loud enough to piss off the gods till the sun comes up.

  39. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    It’s not just age (trust me, youth is temporary, but immaturity is eternal), but chemo residuals + a misspent youth have finally caught up with me at 69. That being said, I love a good band shoot! And the energy can’t be beat.

  40. Gustopher says:

    @Paul L.:

    Trump fined $5 million for Rape?
    Not what the verdict says.
    Maybe $2 million for battery.

    “It wasn’t rape, it was sexual battery, and only $2M of the $5M damages was specifically tied to the sexual battery itself.”

    The “ephebophile, not pedophile” defense never gets old. (If it did, you people would lose interest)

  41. Gustopher says:

    Here’s a picture of a cat with Mr. T’s face in her coat patterns.

    It’s like a piece of toast with the face of Jesus, but better.

  42. CSK says:

    To absolutely no one’s surprise, Trump has been declared the winner of the SC primary, beating Haley 65-35.

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @anjin-san: You left out the p.

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Ugg, my nightmare but happy I am you had fun.

  45. Franklin says:

    @Beth: This is what I needed to read today, thank you!

    Also, your lament about the fellow 40-somethings who have thrown in the towel; love the spirit! Late night raves aren’t my thing, but I’ve been dreaming up my own new music collective here. Age 50, still wanna be a rock star, haha …

  46. Mister Bluster says:


    Years ago there was a black and white tomcat that lived in the house where I stayed. The top part of his back just below his noggin was black fur with the image of the top part of a question mark in white fur. Just below that was white fur with a black dot. We called him Quiz!

  47. anjin-san says:


    Yeah the “p” is strange, not sure what to make of that. Looking at E. Jean Carroll’s bio, I see she was a cheerleader & beauty queen in college. A photo of her in her 60s shows a woman who is still quite attractive. Successful TV writer, Emmy nominee.

    And Paul L seems to despise her. I guess it’s no wonder, she is so far out of his league they don’t even inhabit the same solar system.