Saturday’s Forum

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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:

    Actor Dabney Coleman has passed away at age 92. I best remember him for 9 to 5. RIP.

  2. Bill Jempty says:
  3. Bill Jempty says:

    The dumb Florida headline of the day- South Florida’s Jewish Democrats are split on Israel weapons vote

    Why is it dumb? Four Democrats and two support it and two oppose. That’s the definition of a split. The problem- One of those 4 isn’t Jewish. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick is Protestant.

  4. Bill Jempty says:

    Today is for Dear Wife and I our 36th ‘How tall are you anniversary?”

    In other words- The day we first met.

    We were introduced by her cousin and her husband. Ray, like myself, was serving at Subic Bay.

    My first meeting with Dear Wife took place at the bowling alley. It wasn’t a surprise happening. I’m 6’1, she’s 5′ and after seeing me for the first time, DW exclaimed “How tall are you?”

    We were married a little over a year later, May 30, 1989. Yes DW and I will be celebrating 35 years married soon. As I mentioned on the forum not long ago, we are going to be in Australia for that big occasion.

    Sadly today is also the 9th death anniversary of Leo Ariel, my oldest nephew on DW’s side of the family. LA was only 21 when he died.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill Jempty: Congrats.

  6. Kingdaddy says:

    The first part of this post from The Bulwark summarizes what makes Gov. Abbott’s pardon of Daniel Perry so very disturbing.

  7. Kathy says:

    Music for the weekend: 8 hours of Mozart.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Meta revokes job offer to sextortion expert after he publicly criticizes Instagram

    Paul Raffile had been offered a job as a human exploitation investigator focusing on issues such as sextortion and human trafficking. He had participated in a 24 April webinar on safeguarding against financial sextortion schemes, during which he criticized Instagram for allowing children to fall prey to scammers and offered possible solutions.

    “The only reason I can think of for the offer being rescinded is me trying to shine a light on this big issue of these crimes happening on Instagram, and Instagram doing little to prevent it so far,” said Raffile.
    Meta said in a statement: “It’s not accurate to imply the offer was rescinded because of the NCRI report, the webinar or the candidate’s expertise in this space.” The company did not provide a reason for rescinding Raffile’s offer.

    What is wrong with this guy? Didn’t he know he was hired to be a show horse and not actually do anything? Then he went and embarrassed them. Can’t have that.

  9. Mikey says:

    @Kingdaddy: From the conclusion of that part of the post:

    We finally find a “good guy with a gun.” He gets murdered. And then the state protects his murderer.

    What should be added: because the “good guy with a gun” was black. Out-groups don’t get the benefit of the law, they only get its punishments.

  10. Mikey says:

    Also from the Bulwark post, here’s another reason the upside-down flag in front of Alito’s house matters:

    When you have a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court you have an obligation to the country to play perfect baseball.

    You don’t put up yard signs. You don’t do bumper stickers. If you have an obnoxious neighbor whose house is bedecked in political paraphernalia with which you disagree, you smile and go about your day.

    Because yes, you may have a First Amendment right just like everyone else. But you have a duty to avoid even the appearance of partiality. And you owe that duty to both the institution and the citizenry which you serve.

    Of course, at this point any assertion of impartiality on Alito’s part is utterly ridiculous, but that doesn’t invalidate the principle, because without the principle how can we say he’s wrong?

  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    So I finally played around with Bing’s AI image maker. I have to do a pitch in a week and I needed some slides. Oh my God, does this thing suck. I’m trying to create chimera, which you’d think would be right up an AI’s alley, but the results are just ugly. Ugly and creepy and soulless. I can go to Deviant Art and find illustrations made by actual humans which are in every way superior. AI art is to actual art as IKEA wall hangings are to the Louvre.

    AI is going to make me believe in the soul, because boy, the absence of it sure is obvious. And creepy.

    AI is also apparently a bit of an environmental problem, gobbling up vast amounts of electricity to make crap.

  12. just nutha says:

    @Bill Jempty: True, but the three Democrats who are Jewish aren’t all on the same side and “one Jewish Democrat sides with the Gentile Democrat in the caucus to oppose…” (and the headline isn’t even complete yet) isn’t any more accurate.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    SLT bait:

    A long-shot Missouri gubernatorial candidate with ties to the Ku Klux Klan will stay on the Republican ticket, a judge ruled on Friday.

    Cole county circuit court judge Cotton Walker denied a request by the Missouri GOP to kick Darrell McClanahan out of the August Republican primary.

    McClanahan is running against the Missouri secretary of state, Jay Ashcroft; the lieutenant governor, Mike Kehoe; state senator Bill Eigel; and others for the GOP nomination to replace Governor Mike Parson, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

    McClanahan’s lawyer, Dave Roland, said the ruling ensures that party leaders do not have “almost unlimited discretion to choose who’s going to be allowed on a primary ballot”.

    What’s that he always says about the weakness of our parties?

  14. just nutha says:

    @Mikey: Except that a report from yesterday clarified that Foster was white also. It’s bad enough as white on white violence for me, though.

  15. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Still, the judge’s decision is the right one given that no state laws or party by-laws prohibit Klansmen from declaring allegiance and running. And it really isn’t the State’s job to tell parties how to run their affairs.

  16. ptfe says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “…gobbling up vast amounts of resources to make crap” is the motto of the 21st century.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: I’m not disagreeing with the judge, just noting that our esteemed Mr Taylor is proven right again.

  18. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’ve found best results with detailed prompts and zero creativity.

    For instance, I asked for a red haired woman in a flight suit about to board a futuristic fighter jet. The pilot’s image was nice, even if the flight suit was skintight, but the “futuristic fighter jet” was an F-16.

    Now, the F-16 is a beautiful, unusual plane, but there’s nothing futuristic about a design that’s been around over 50 years.

    So, don’t ask it to be creative, but rather to engage in proper composition (perspective, lighting, shadows, framing, etc.) Then take the results that best match your vision to a human artist, and tell them exactly what you want based on that.

  19. Mikey says:

    @just nutha: And I …knew that. Ugh.

    Either way, Foster was an out-group guy, since as a white supporter of BLM, people like his murderer would consider him a traitor to the white race.

  20. gVOR10 says:

    NYT today has a good column (gift link) on Israel and Gaza. Given the subject, “good” means insightful and depressing. I got to it via LGM where Paul Campos offers a good short excerpt and commentary.

    The second paragraph mentions Israel Hayom, the most widely circulated newspaper in Israel. I’ll add some context. Widely circulated because it’s free. It’s owned by the family of the late billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who you may remember as a huge Republican donor. Sounds like a print version of FOX.

    There’s no plan for the day after because the situation will be allowed to default to the same apartheid as before, but harsher.

  21. gVOR10 says:

    @Mikey: We like to think people think logically, but it mostly comes down to feels. No one would say it anymore, or even recognize it in themselves, but in the conservative natural order, a ni-lover is lower than a ni-clang.

  22. CSK says:

    At his 80th birthday party last night in Palm Beach, Rudy Giuliani was served with a felony indictment for interfering in the Arizona election.

    Among the 80 to 100 guests were Roger Stone and Steve Bannon.

  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    From the LGM piece:

    (I do wonder when old Middle East hands in this country are going to to acknowledge to themselves and/or the public that support for a two-state solution has become essentially non-existent among both Israelis and Palestinians).

    I’m old, but not an ‘old Middle East hand,’ just a civilian, but I’ve been acknowledging the heck out of this. With some caveats, I acknowledge that Israel is effectively an apartheid state. But labeling is not a solution. In the absence of a solution, or even a real world proposal of a solution, the label may be true, but so what?

    There’s much talk of Israel losing international support, but that’s not really true at the regional level, is it? Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt DGAF about Palestinians, and that fact is more important to Israel than complaints from Europeans and Americans. The peril Palestinians face is that their ‘friends’ are college kids and first-world lefties, and their enemies are every regime in the region. Israel is losing support among far-away people, and gaining support in their neighborhood.

  24. Steve says:

    Michael- Yes, but it’s more of the enemy of my enemy is my friend based upon mutual hatred of Iran. Not sure that’s a very sound basis for a positive relationship. NATO was founded mostly as a defense against Russia but we also share values and positive histories with many of the nations in NATO, just as an example.


  25. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR10: I was considering linking to that article as a way to support my position that there is no significant movement for a cooperative solution on either side. Not among the politicians and not among the population. The people on both sides have mentally dehumanized the other and wishes them nothing but harm or worse. The Palestinians and Israelis are both morally bankrupt. The fact that so many Americans take it as a given that we must be on Israelis side because they are “us” is a tragedy. Israel is an apartheid regime. Aligning ourselves with them degrades us and takes us back to our pre-civil rights era.

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    The mysteries of the internet. The Chicago Cubs local radio broadcast is on WSCR 670AM. When I first log on to on my MacBook Air I get this message: “You are tuned to an Audacy station that is broadcasting a Major League baseball game. Due to blackout restrictions you are in an area where the game is not available. Regular programming will resume when the game is over.”
    When I reload the page I get the same message.
    When I reload the page again…voilà! There is the WSCR 670AM broadcast of the Cubs game!

    Today’s Cub Trivia:
    According to the announcers this is game #2582 between the Cubs and the Pirates. More then any other two teams in Major League Baseball.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Happy Birthday, Gino! (Or were you “Daddy G?” I’ve never been able to keep that straight. 🙁 )

    ETA: I thought that Stone and Bannon were doing time (though I don’t keep track). Was he holding the party at some Club Fed facility so more of his friends could come?

  28. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Trump commuted Stone’s sentence. As for Bannon, I believe the DOJ has asked a federal judge to send him to prison after he lost his appeal.

    I know: It’s hard to keep track, isn’t it?

  29. Kathy says:

    A little legal video schadenfreude to brighten your day

    We often wonder what the legal issues are, and the lawyers among the OTB membership can’t always take the time to explain them. So I thought a video by a lawyer on the E. Jean Carroll case might come in handy. He also has other videos on the various Lardass trials.

    Tip: you may want to pause at 19:24 and laugh.

    “I only hire the best people!!” Attributed to the Village Idiot of the Village of the Village Idiots.

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Thanks for the clarification. I do have to admit, though, that the real reason that I don’t keep up is not because it’s hard to; I just don’t care much about those guys. The best that I can do is ignore them, but it’s not much, I know.

  31. Kathy says:

    Sophist argument for the metric system:

    The speed of light is 300,000 kilometers per second, or 186,000 miles per second. The energy contained in matter is equal to its mass times the square of the speed of light. Ergo, using the metric value for the speed of light, will yield about 13 million times more energy:

    300,000 – 186,000 = 114,000.
    114,000 * 114,000 = 12,996,000,000.

    Maybe I should have taken a nap after lunch…

  32. Tony W says:

    @Michael Reynolds: At this stage, AI is just search. It can’t (yet) invent something, it can only regurgitate things it finds on the web and co-mingle them.

  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    Alliances between friends are the exception, not the rule. Japan and South Korea are both our allies, don’t like each other. Germany, France and the UK have a wee bit of bad history between them. Russia and China are pretending to be allies, but despise and fear each other. China and NK. And off-hand I can’t think of any two Middle Eastern countries that could be called friends.

  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Tony W:
    Yep. It’s why I don’t worry about AI threatening my job which, summarized, is: make stuff up.


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