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. Teve says:

    Postmaster general’s new plan could include slower mail and postage hike

    This comes as the postal service under Louis DeJoy has already seen serious delays in mail delivery over the past several months.
    Image: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the Postal Service on Capitol Hill.

    Feb. 12, 2021, 8:26 PM EST
    By Geoff Bennett, Julie Tsirkin and Dartunorro Clark
    U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is set to implement a new strategic plan that includes higher postage rates and the elimination of first-class tier of mail, two sources familiar with the move told to NBC News on Friday.

    The plan to eliminate first-class mail, which includes letters, magazines, catalogs, among others, would slow down mail that typically arrives within two days and make it more costly to deliver for both consumers and businesses.

    The Washington Post first reported this story.

    The paper reported that all first-class mail would be lumped into the same three- to five-day window as non-local mail. This comes as the postal service under DeJoy, a top donor for former President Donald Trump, has already seen serious delays in mail delivery over the past several months.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Georgia state election board referred two cases to prosecutors on Wednesday connected to organizations that helped mobilize a record number of voters in the state during the 2020 election, a move critics say is an intimidation effort.

    One case involves the New Georgia Project (NGP), the group founded by Stacey Abrams in 2014, that helps mobilize voters of color. In 2019, investigators allege, the group violated state law by not handing in 1,268 voter registration applications within the 10 days required under state rules. The named respondent in the matter is Senator Raphael Warnock, who the group says was serving as the chairman of its board at the time, but was incorrectly listed on documents as the group’s CEO, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    “Every dollar that we have to spend to defend ourselves against the nuisance and partisan investigations is a dollar that we aren’t able to put into the field to register new voters and have high-quality conversations about the power of their vote and the importance of this moment,” Ufot told the Guardian last year.
    The second case the state board referred dealt with a canvasser for the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, another group that played an instrumental role in registering new voters. The canvasser allegedly submitted 70 false voter registrations while working on behalf of the group.

    Helen Butler, the executive director of the group, said the group caught the forged voter registration applications in 2019 and that she was the one who reported the canvasser to the secretary of state’s office for investigation. That fact was unmentioned in a Thursday press release from Raffensperger’s office announcing the referrals.

    “We have a whole process to ensure that we have legitimate forms,” Butler said in an interview. “We want people to vote. We’re not spending our time out there trying to get fraudulent forms.”

    I can hardly believe a southern state such as Georgia would stoop to such lows.

  3. Teve says:


    .@GOPLeader “called Trump frantically on Jan. 6 as the Capitol was being besieged by thousands of pro-Trump supporters… [he] asked him ‘to publicly & forcefully call off the riot’

    ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are’ Trump said”

  4. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: A southern state using Law Enforcement to try to keep the black vote down? When’s that ever happened before?

  5. Teve says:


    receptionist: name?

    james bond: bond, ja-

    receptionist: last name?

    james bond: bond wait-

    receptionist: lmao ur name is bond bond?

    james bond: *crying* i was doing a thing

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    For some QAnon conspiracy theorists, March 4, 2021 is a date circled in red Sharpie on the calendar. The truly devoted believe that, on this special date, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 19th president of the United States.

    The theory borrows from the sovereign citizens movement, which espouses that a law enacted in 1871 secretly turned the U.S. into a corporation and ended the American government put in place by the founding fathers. Accordingly, the true inauguration date was not January 20, as the rest of the world believes. The conspiracy theorists contend that the real inauguration will happen on March 4, the date on which presidents were sworn in prior to the 1933 passage of the 20th amendment. Still following? QAnon followers believe that Trump will return to power on March 4 as the 19th president of the United States. The last true president, the theory goes, was Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president, who was in office in 1871 when the United States turned into a corporation. Got it?
    At the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC, the least expensive room option is the deluxe king, ranging in size from 350 to 475 square feet. At this time of year, it normally runs anywhere from $476 to $596 per night.

    Interestingly, on March 3 and 4, the same room is selling for $1,331 per night. That’s 180% above the base rate and more than double what you’d pay any other night in February or March, according to the hotel’s website.

    The March 4 rate hike appears to be exclusive to the Trump International, notes Zach Everson in his 1100 Pennsylvania newsletter, which has diligently tracked the comings and goings at Trump International since the early days of Trump’s presidency. When Everson surveyed other DC luxury hotels — Four Seasons, Hay Adams, and St. Regis — he found that those hotels’ rates remain close to the norm on March 3 and 4.

    He loves the poorly educated.

  7. Teve says:
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The best 23 seconds of your day:


    To get the full value of joy
    You must have someone to divide it with.
    – Mark Twain

    If that video doesn’t make you smile, you are broken.

  9. Teve says:


    William Miller is perhaps the most famous false prophet in history. In the 1840s he began to preach about the world’s end, saying Jesus Christ would return for the long-awaited Second Coming and that Earth would be engulfed in fire sometime between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. He circulated his message in public gatherings and by using the technologies of the day — posters, printed newsletters and charts. Moved by those messages, as many as 100,000 “Millerites” sold their belongings between 1840 and 1844 and took to the mountains to wait for the end. When that end didn’t come, Miller changed the date to Oct. 22. When Oct. 23 rolled around, his loyal followers explained it away yet again and went on to form the Seventh-day Adventist movement.

  10. Kathy says:

    Jet lands with people on the runway.

    How they were even cleared to land, I’ve no idea.

  11. CSK says:

    Thanks. I’ve been trying and failing to explain this to people.

  12. CSK says:

    I may avoid Paraguay in my travels.

  13. CSK says:

    Nothing beats a puppy-toddler scrimmage.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: There was a 7th Day Adventist church right down the road from me when I lived in Bourbon. Proselytizers would knock on my door from time to time. Once they made the mistake of doing so on my birthday. I decided I deserved a little something extra on my special day and wasted about 45 mins of their day arguing. Fun was had.

    Another time they caught my youngest at home alone (17 at the time) and he made the mistake of engaging in serious conversation with them. They were relentless in their attempts at saving his soul, returning multiple times. They were always exceedingly polite with me, asking permission to talk to him again. I always said yes.

    As I explained to him, “Hey, you opened the door. It’s up to you to close it.”

    Even out here in the boonie woods, we are not safe. Every now and again I find literature rubber banded to my gate.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Erin Stacey Plaskett’s Attack Cape Ryan

    The number of men who have been absolute dogshit at running the Republican caucus really underscores both how exceptional Pelosi is and what a goat rodeo the modern GOP is

    Josh Marshall
    · Feb 11
    Don’t blame McCarthy for being the weakest congressional leader in modern history. It’s now a prerequisite for the job in the GOP.

    Erin Stacey Plaskett’s Attack Cape Ryan

    Love Nancy, like Nancy, tolerate Nancy, or hate Nancy—the lady can run her caucus.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: @CSK: They are so nonchalant about the whole thing, like dodging A321s is all in a days work.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, the guy on camera didn’t even look up.

  18. sam says:
  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Best of Nextdoor@bestofnextdoor

    Do sit down, you won’t have to fall as far.

  20. Teve says:

    @sam: wow

  21. CSK says:

    Never seen anything like it. Thanks.

  22. Teve says:
  23. Teve says:


    .@LeaderMcConnell The former POTUS incited supporters to threaten to kill my children and put their “heads on spikes” because we counted votes cast by eligible voters. They named my children and included my home address in the threats. Please consider when voting your conscience.

    LOL ‘conscience’

  24. Mikey says:


    When Oct. 23 rolled around, his loyal followers explained it away yet again and went on to form the Seventh-day Adventist movement.

    I was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ask me anything!

  25. Owen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think it’s a Bombardier CRJ-900. The pilot was prepared to touch down past the cones/markers. The work and runway limit was likely posted in a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which was not the case on this runway, where luckily no-one was badly injured.

  26. Teve says:

    @Mikey: I was just illustrating the fact that when predicted end of the world days come and go it doesn’t really shake the faith as a whole. There will probably still be Q believers decades from now when I die.

  27. Jax says:

    @Teve: My parents have been struggling with repeated credit card hacks, and I couldn’t figure out why….until the other day when I went over there and they were clickity clicking on every single Facebook ad they saw that promised them a way to get more money back on social security, credit card in hand. That line about Boomers being the most likely targets of Q because of their struggles with digital literacy ring true. My parents just don’t understand the dangers of the internet.

    I spent two hours yesterday on my Mom’s Facebook, forever hiding all the ads I could find and unfollowing all groups that spread anything about Q. The ads are an endless supply, but I got it down to where it was mostly ads for purses. I’ll have another go at it today.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    In a particularly bizarre case of “Everything is the Dems fault because only they have agency”, Suzanne Collins, concerned that Trump and his team refused to answer her question about when he knew the rioters were in the Capitol, is blaming the Democratic Impeachment Managers for failing to adequately investigate. It literally does not occur to her that Trump has a responsibility to answer that question and refusing to do so under oath is essentially an admission of guilt. It never occurs to her that the Senate, which was still under Republican control the whole time this was going on, could have investigated. And I’m sure the press will accept this narrative. The reality is that since Reagan, no one expects Republicans to act responsibly and the press blames their irresponsibility on Dems not being able to control them.

  29. Teve says:

    @Jax: computers can be endlessly confusing. I’ve got a professional tech background, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to understand what putting a period in front of the @ on Twitter did, and I read explanations four or five times. Someone who was middle-aged before computer use was widespread is a sitting duck.

  30. Teve says:


    I think it’s a Bombardier CRJ-900. The pilot was prepared to touch down past the cones/markers. The work and runway limit was likely posted in a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which was not the case on this runway, where luckily no-one was badly injured.

    You just reminded me of A great Tom Segura bit on Steven Seagal

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: 2 words: Ad blocker.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Owen: I wouldn’t know. The only passenger plane I can pick out of a lineup is the 747. The rest all look alike to me.

  33. MarkedMan says:


    putting a period in front of the @ on Twitter did

    Haven’t used Twitter since it first came out, when it was still an app targeted at friends and family. What does it do?

  34. owen says:

    @Teve: I have been called “Cliff” on more than one occasion! 😉

  35. Sleeping Dog says:


    IMHO, it was the dog that scared them off. Nothing more viscous than a Toy Poodle

  36. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: whew okay.

    Lets say your buddy Brian follows you on Twitter. And say you follow Kevin McCarthy. And say I follow McCarthy too, but he doesn’t follow us.

    McCarthy posts on Twitter “I want my mommy.” You and I see this post and all replies to it, but Brian doesn’t. Now say you reply to McCarthy, “you have the courage of a diseased hen.” McCarthy, you, and I can see your reply, but Brian doesn’t because he doesn’t follow McCarthy and we’re on McCarthy’s timeline. If Brian specifically goes to your timeline or McCarthy’s timeline he will see it, but it won’t be pushed to him. But if you include a dot before McCarthy’s handle, .@kevinwhatever your comment will be pushed to anybody who follows you, like Brian.

  37. Teve says:

    @owen: I didn’t mean anything by it, it was just the specificity that reminded me of that funny bit 😛

    Tom Segura is in my top five list of comedians and I’m sad that I’ve seen literally everything he’s ever done online. Same problem with Taylor Tomlinson.

  38. Mikey says:


    it took me an embarrassingly long time to understand what putting a period in front of the @ on Twitter did

    And since 2016 the dot isn’t even necessary for that purpose. Twitter changed how mentions work that year, and the dot became superfluous.

  39. CSK says:
  40. Mikey says:

    The Senate just voted 55-45 to call witnesses.

  41. CSK says:

    I want to hear Kevin McCarthy’s version of the conversation Jaime Herrera Beutler overheard.

  42. Kathy says:


    A NOTAM only helps so much. See Western Airlines flight 2605 crash in Mexico City.

  43. Teve says:

    @Mikey: yeah, i read that. Now I have yet another item of worthless knowledge for the pile 😛

  44. Teve says:

    @Mikey: Some Republicans said they want to call Hillary.

  45. Kathy says:


    Well, these days most planes, from the small regional jets to the large widebodies have two engines on the wings and a similar profile. There are ways of telling them apart, but it’s not immediately apparent in most cases.

    I call this the cookie-cutter approach to aircraft design.

  46. Kathy says:


    We don’t get many cults going door-to-door down here, but there are a few.

    If there were more common, I’d get a book or two from the Satanic Temple, and greet these people with “Thanks, but I’m not interested. Would you like to hear the good news from our lord Satan?”

  47. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Facebook has taken to inserting ads directly into the feeds, and adblockers typically don’t stop them. FB is determined to sell me a variety of old people’s stuff. I have looked deeply enough to say that my personal software for reformatting the web could be extended to recognize and hide them, but the standard techniques used by adblockers won’t.

  48. Mikey says:


    Some Republicans said they want to call Hillary.

    Of course they do. It would be as fundamentally stupid and unserious as the party itself has become.

    I saw one mention of the Senate majority being able to limit it to fact witnesses, but not sure if that’s true or not.

  49. Jax says:

    @Michael Cain: The best solution I’ve found is to hide the ad, then on the next box, click “Hide all ads from this advertiser”. I do it on my own Facebook every Monday, so the ads are relatively manageable given how many I’ve hidden forever ever since I started doing it, but my Mom’s….my poor clicker fingers were going numb from the repetitive motions and my eyes were crossing. 😉

  50. Teve says:

    @Mikey: if it’s true I read a minute ago that each witness has to be individually voted on, that would keep bullshit down.

  51. owen says:

    @Teve: What hurts is how much my physical appearance matches current corpulent Steven Seagal.

    I have a congenital condition, a kindly Army First Sergeant diagnosed it for me while I was in my early 20s. Upon first meeting me he said: “Son, you have Dunlap disease!”

  52. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: Thanks. It makes me think there is a bit to be done there where you have an increasingly unhinged argument argument with an imaginary correspondent.

    “Sure, Arthur, but a DOG CANT CONSENT!”

  53. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Graham voted for witnesses, saying they’d call Dems. Ever since I’ve had in my minds eye the famous picture of Hillary, head on hand, looking bored, waiting for the children to give up their silly game.

  54. Kurtz says:


    @Mikey: yeah, i read that. Now I have yet another item of worthless knowledge for the pile

    Now you can say you have been working with Twitter for like 47 years.

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I can understand that. It’s always worked well before. 😀

  56. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: ❤

  57. Teve says:


  58. Teve says:


    Whhhhyyy does Trump’s attorney keep saying there were people “on both sides” taking part of the violence? Why on earth would democrats work so hard to get Biden nominated just to show up and try to stop the certification of getting him elected?

  59. Teve says:


    “I thought it was fine to riot because antifa did it” is perfect GOP logic, because it is the thinking of an unpleasant child

  60. Mikey says:

    As expected, the Senate votes to acquit. 57-43.

    The biggest surprise to me is there were seven Republicans willing to hold to their oaths.

    But 43 think hanging Mike Pence would be just fine.

  61. Kathy says:

    Inspirational quote of the day:

    “Trump for prison 2021!” Kathy.

  62. CSK says:

    Well, Pence was a traitor and a backstabber, you know. His constitutional duty was to throw the election to Trump, because Trump won.

    They’d be fine with Trump being executed. Happy about it, in fact.

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: And I just don’t care enough to know the difference. I’ve flown trans Atlantic a few times and all I know is I was in the kind of plane that didn’t crash. I’ve flown puddle jumpers and all I know is they didn’t crash. I’ve flown 4 seaters and all I know is they didn’t crash.

    Now put me in a B-29 (what my old man crash landed in on Iwo Jima 2 times) or a B-24 (what the father of a good friend bailed out of over Yugoslavia) and those I’ll know. Oh yeah, I once got buzzed by a P-47 while squirrel hunting, but I don’t think I have any chance in flying in one of those.

    @Kathy: Ooooooo ooo, that is just plain mean. I like.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: Just one more reason for me to never get on facebook.

  65. flat earth luddite says:

    Wow, and I thought the GOP in DC were dummies:

    TX Lt. Gov Cancel Cultures Dallas Mavs Over National Anthem

    In response to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s decision not to play the anthem before the first 13 home games, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has just announced the Star Spangled Banner protection act, AKA SB4, to mandate patriotic chanting at all public events receiving taxpayer subsidy.

    “It is hard to believe this could happen in Texas, but Mark Cuban’s actions of yesterday made it clear that we must specify that in Texas we play the national anthem before all major events,” he said. “In this time when so many things divide us, sports are one thing that bring us together — right, left, black, white and brown. This legislation already enjoys broad support. I am certain it will pass, and the Star Spangled Banner will not be threatened in the Lone Star State again.”

    My usual h/t to Above the Law, where law is more than lawyer cats!

  66. Mu Yixiao says:

    As I mentioned, my car (a hand-me-down from my 90yo mother who voluntarily gave up driving) finally died. It was 10 years old.

    This morning, I signed the novel of papers and picked up my “new” car–a 2019 Kia Forte*.

    It’s a low-end trim, which means that everything is knobs and buttons–which I love! It has Android Auto so I can see GPS on a slightly larger screen (which is good) and it connects to my phone via bluetooth (which I’m on the fence about (my in-coming calls are 99.44% spam and 0.56% important stuff)).

    When I first sat in it, it seemed small–but that’s because I’ve been driving a 2002 Buick for the past 2 years. It’s actually quite comfortable. And it has one feature that I’d only dreamed of before: Telescoping steering wheel. It’s always been a trade-off between leg distance and arm distance for me. If the seat was far enough back for my legs to feel comfortable, I felt like I was reaching out with my arms. If my arms were comfortable, my legs felt cramped. Now? Perfect fit!

    We had a little snow today, so I got a taste of how it handles in the snow–but it was only a little snow, and I’ve only driven it about 4 miles all day (including a long detour back from the grocery store, just to get a better feel for it). It seems to handle the snow rather well, but… we’ll have to see what it’s like when real snow and ice come along.

    The only debate I have is whether I’ll use the “slap stick” feature or not. If I can’t have a full stick**, it feels rather condescending.

    I expect this is the last car I’ll own before I need to get a red Barchetta and a Canadian uncle.

    * That’s not where I bought it, but that’s the car. It’s even the same color.

    ** The “quick guide” owner’s manual (as opposed to the Russian novel that is the full owner’s manual) has AN ENTIRE PAGE–WITH DIAGRAMS–explaining how to shift into reverse on a stick.

  67. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    before I need to get a red Barchetta

    get a miata instead.

  68. Kathy says:


    I’ve flown trans Atlantic a few times and all I know is I was in the kind of plane that didn’t crash.

    I think I’ve flown that one.

    There’s no reason to much care what plane you’re on, unless you’re interested in that sort of thing. Overall, Airbus tends to build a slightly wider fuselage, so you may have an extra half inch of seat width, maybe a whole inch in some models. And this depends also on how the airline configures the airplane (ie 9 across vs 10 across in economy in wide bodies).

    But I miss the old days. I attended a school that was under the landing pattern for Mexico City’s airport, and rather near the airport (my work place is also under the flight path, but farther away). So I could see planes flying relatively close. Back then, twin engine jets were rare, except for the DC-9. More common were three and four engines, and it was easy to tell planes apart.

  69. Kathy says:

    Party on. The world’s oldest known brewery has been uncovered in Egypt.

    The piece quotes an Egyptian official saying it dates back to the time of King Narmer, Egypt’s first king*, who unified lower and upper Egypt around 3150 BCE. But there’s no offer of proof.

    *Some enthusiastic egyptologists describe the Narmer Palette as “the world’s fist historical document.”

    BTW, consider this thing does date from around 3150 BCE, and yet the style of depicting people in profile, depicting the king as larger than life, and showing the king in the act of smiting an enemy, are all elements that continue in Egyptian art all the way down to the first century CE.

  70. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy: We used to think that brewing was invented as a by-product of bread making. I believe that the current leading theory is that it’s the other way around — brewing pre-dates leavened bread, and the fact that you can also use yeast to make bread rise was secondary to the fact that you can use yeast to brew an alcoholic grain beverage.

    I got to hear Patrick McGovern speak in person about his investigations into ancient fermented beverages. Everyone in the room was jealous — why couldn’t that have been my career?

  71. Gustopher says:


    Whhhhyyy does Trump’s attorney keep saying there were people “on both sides” taking part of the violence? Why on earth would democrats work so hard to get Biden nominated just to show up and try to stop the certification of getting him elected?

    Wrong both sides. There were those who wanted to overthrow the government and those that wanted the government to be overthrown. Insurrectionists and those along for the ride.

  72. Mu Yixiao says:


    Obviously not a fan of Rush.