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:

    Wendy Rogers

    I like Indians and I like Redskins. I like Aunt Jemima and I like Uncle Ben. I like Robert E Lee and I like Stonewall Jackson. I don’t like traitors who hate America. Stand up for our culture!

    American history as Republicans would have it taught.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    After putting the health department in time out for a week or 2, the Tennessee Tantrum is over and Republicans there have returned to tilting at the usual libtard bogeymen.

    The Tennessee state government will resume all forms of vaccine outreach, with the narrow exception of social media posts aimed specifically at children, after halting many forms of advocacy this month in response to conservative pressure, the state’s top health official said Friday.

    Tennessee also faces a new “surge” of coronavirus that shows no signs of slowing, and deaths from the virus are expected to spike in coming weeks, the health official warned.

    Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said the Tennessee Department of Health will restart outreach efforts recommending vaccines for children and once again hold events on school property offering the COVID-19 vaccine, including some next week. Department staff are no longer instructed to strip the agency logo from public-facing vaccine information, she said.

    “Nothing has been stopped permanently,” Piercey said during a press briefing. “We put a pause on many things, and then we have resumed all of those.”

  3. Teve says:


    Having to watch Ted Lasso Season 2 one episode at a time? HIPAA violation

  4. CSK says:

    Civilization is collapsing. Kraft has partnered with Van Leeuwen to produce…macaroni and cheese ice cream.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Marijuana farmers blamed for water theft as drought grips American west

    Of course it’s those dirty dope smoking hippies stealing the water and not those fine upstanding Amurikan almond farmers. My youngest had a neighboring landlord stealing water from their outside spigot. CJ wouldn’t have minded if the guy had asked and had a good reason, something could have been worked out, but as was his water bills went up a noticeable amount.

    This part cracks me up:

    In 2017, the Brookings Institution noted that news organizations were increasingly highlighting water theft as an issue, but added “water experts, water-focused nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and communities do not agree whether there is any such a thing as water theft”.

    According to the thinktank, the dispute largely stems from opposing beliefs that water is a basic human right that should be accessible and the idea that it should be priced for sustainability and efficient usage.

    All fine and dandy and I agree entirely, but as long as indivduals have to pay for it by the street meter, it’s theft. And the folks taking it from fire hydrants? Yeah, that’s theft too. Especially in times of drought like now.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Speaking as one who is not all that fond* of either food, double yuck.

    *I loved ice cream growing up but as an adult I’ve pretty much lost my taste for it and rarely have any. I think I am lactose intolerant and my body expresses that thru lack of desire for it.

  7. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Lactose intolerance can develop in middle age. I’m not 100% sure but after a lifetime of chugging whole milk I might be developing it myself.

  8. Teve says:
  9. CSK says:

    I like chocolate ice cream, but seldom eat it. Every time I see an ad for Kraft Mac and Cheese, I think of the Palin family. It was apparently the staff of life in that household. At least Bristol Palin seemed to be constantly preparing it for her younger siblings.

    The very thought of mac and cheese ice cream turns my stomach.

  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Maybe it’ll become popular in Korea and Dunkin will serve it with their tomato and garlic donuts (which are actually quite good, in fact). I don’t see the appeal myself, but I don’t see the appeal of several Ben and Jerry’s flavors, either.

  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Thinking about it further, I expect that it will come out tasting a little like a slightly salty cheesecake ice cream. The macaroni component will either be gone completely (most likely) or will be innocuous (and really dumb as an idea, IMLTHO) chunks of chewy something.

  12. Teve says:


    sick of 50-location companies saying they’re small businesses. if you wanna whine about being a small business, you’d better be ˢᵐᵃˡˡ. i’m talkin running your entire operation from your porch. you get your supplies from 7-eleven. your only employees are your cat and your roomba

  13. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    According to Mashable, it tastes “like vanilla ice cream with Kraft cheese powder sprinkled on top.” As far as I can tell, there are no macaroni pieces in it.

    I’ll pass.

  14. EddieInCA says:

    Midweek, the new Return To Work agreement (RTW) for film and TV was released. Surprisingly, all the unions have signed off on allows individual studios and networks to require vaccinations from cast and crew. Interestingly, a few studios are networks aren’t following through in making that a requirement, while others, such as WB and Universal, are being super stringent. I had to poll every crew and cast member as to their vax status, with the acceptable answers being:
    Fully vaxxed.
    Partially vaxxed.
    Not vaxxed.
    Choose not to answer.

    In cast, it broke down 50-50. Half vaxxed. Half not.

    In crew, it broke down about 80-15-5. 80% vaxxed. 15% Not vaxxed. 5% Choose not to answer.

    Of the 15% not vaxxed, probably 1/2 are just scared of it. Openly scared of it. It’s not a political thing. For the other half, it’s 100% political, and almost all are Teamsters and Construction guys.

    Question for the group: Are any of your companies/employers going to be mandating vaccines to return to work? If so, how do you feel about it?

  15. Joe says:

    When I lived in Japan, all foods had some Japanese angle to their taste (although I learned that a jarred paste called “peanuts” was actually peanut butter in a way that the product called “peanut butter” was not). At my request my mom mailed me half a dozen boxes of Kraft Mac’n Cheese mix and since milk was still milk and butter was, um, ok, I could get a hit of home cooking in my little Japanese kitchen.

    Ice cream flavor, no thanks.

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    I have dined on cold mac and cheese straight from the fridge left over from yesterday many times.
    Followed by ice cream right after that for dessert on occasion.
    I don’t think I’ll be putting it all in the blender.
    Macaroni and cheese milk shake anyone?

  17. Paine says:

    Partly inspired by a lot of the content I catch here I started reading The Logic of Democracy: Reconciling Equality, Deliberation, and Minority Protection by Anthony McGann. It’s quite good… he seems quite down on the American system.

  18. Teve says:


    “Once the ‘con’ takes effect on the mark, its strength is surprising. The mark may believe in the validity of the con deal even after the con men have told him it is a swindle.… And so he often does ludicrous things.”

    —David W. Maurer, THE BIG CON

  19. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “Question for the group: Are any of your companies/employers going to be mandating vaccines to return to work? If so, how do you feel about it?”

    The entire UC system is, and they’re demanding proof by mid-August. I’m all in favor, although I feel a little silly showing my proof since the program I teach in is low-residency and I’m about three thousand miles from most of my students and colleagues…

  20. CSK says:

    The Con Artist-in-Chief is supposed to appear at a TPUSA rally in Phoenix today to rant about how the election was stolen from him.

    Also in attendance will be Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs. Talk about the Devil’s Brigade.

  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    Well, I can tell you that all the employees at Reynolds-Applegate Inc. and its sister corporation Apple Grant Inc. are vaccinated. 100%! Both of us.

  22. flat earth luddite says:

    Hey, both of my cats are valued employees! The Roomba, on the other hand, is an idle lay-about who’s only here because the Meile is too heavy for SHMBO to run.

  23. dazedandconfused says:


    Civilization is collapsing. Kraft has partnered with Van Leeuwen to produce…macaroni and cheese ice cream.

    Satan has a wicked a sense of humor.

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Well that certainly doesn’t sound good, no. Still, one of our regulars here was talking the other day about having hand cranked some buttermilk ice cream, so there’s a following for combination sweet/savory.

  25. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Buttermilk ice cream is probably far more palatable, including as it does half-and-half. Admittedly, improving on mac and cheese ice cream would be a very low bar to leap.

  26. Teve says:

    Sandra Newman

    They say hippos kill 500 people a year but a lot of those people had comorbidities.

  27. Jen says:


    supposed to appear at a TPUSA rally

    I apparently can never not read this as TP-as-in-toilet-paper USA.

    Somehow fitting.

  28. Kathy says:


    The very thought of mac and cheese ice cream turns my stomach.

    And yet you read comments in pro-trump websites voluntarily.

    I think you underestimate your intestinal fortitude.

  29. CSK says:

    Sigh. I know. But hey, someone needs to keep you all abreast of the Trumpkins’ latest shenanigans. And I only check, because it aggregates all that crap from The Gateway Pundit, The Conservative Tree House, etc., thus saving me the necessity of inspecting them myself. I get queasy so you don’t have to.

  30. CSK says:

    You know, I read it as “Toilet Paper USA,” too.

  31. George says:


    He was one of the greats.

  32. JohnSF says:


    Kraft has partnered with Van Leeuwen to produce…

    After an emergency conference call between the Queen and president Macron, the Trident/M51 deterrent fleets are reported as putting to sea with a full warload.
    The Pope initially called for restraint.
    However after hearing the words “…macaroni and cheese ice cream..” His Holiness is reported as saying “Nuke ’em from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

  33. JohnSF says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Macaroni and cheese milk shake anyone?

    Whatever did happen to that downvote button anyway?

  34. JohnSF says:

    Also known as crocodiles. 🙂

    Heh. Initially read that as “hippies kill 500 people a year”.

  35. Stormy Dragon says:

    Counterpoint: Parmesan ice cream recipe from 1789:

    So this isn’t new. =)

    Also, there was a place near me that used to make bacon milkshakes that were awesome. It sounds bizarre, but the saltiness and chewiness went great with the sweetness of the ice cream.

  36. CSK says:

    God help you guys if this abomination ever takes hold across the pond.
    As did I.

  37. Teve says:

    @CSK: Thank you for your service.

  38. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: an ex once brought me a chocolate bar with little bacon pieces embedded. I was very suspicious, but it was mighty tasty.

  39. CSK says:

    I’m glad someone appreciates all the sacrifices I make for OTB.

  40. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Also ricotta is an ingredient in several rather yummy Italian desserts.
    Also, cheesecake…
    Its the macaroni that constitutes a flagrant breach of the UN Food Decency Convention of 1947.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: a lot of those people had comorbidities

    Really bad luck being the biggie.

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Bacon makes everything better.

  43. JohnSF says:

    Optimistic science news!
    UK based AI company DeepMind (now owned by Alphabet ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory have announced the AlphaFold system making highly accurate protein fold predictions.
    And database of protein structure predictions is to be made freely available online.

    Could make for massive gains re. understanding functional protein biochemistry, and longer term linkage with genomics re. organism developmental and functional gene/protein relationships.

  44. JohnSF says:

    In other good news
    (that probably nobody else here will even remotely care about, let alone regard as good, but whatever…)
    British/Irish Lions 22 South Africa 17

  45. JohnSF says:

    I occasionally check out BrexiKipper favoured sites for indications as to what those lads are thinking these days.
    However, I find that initial hilarity frequently descends into rage and/or despair.
    I commend your fortitude, sir.

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Jul 23
    Don’t use Executive Roof Services of Vancouver, Washington.
    Washington couple sued for $112,000 after leaving one-star reviews

    The Vancouver couple both left reviews about a bad experience with a roofing company and were later served with a lawsuit over those reviews.

    Going to go out on a limb and guess that the @JordanRamisPC
    lawyer who doesn’t know what “SLAPP” means also doesn’t know what the Streisand Effect is, and his clients will be the ones learning the most here.

    sued for a bad review for more than $100k, organized by Adam Marsh
    Even 1 dollar helps anything is appreciated We are currently saving every … Adam Marsh needs your support for sued for a bad review for more than $100k

    Dubious suit, dubious comments to the press by counsel, and then dubious tactics like sending cease and desist letters in response to creating a gofundme…
    “You better stop trying to ask people for money bc we’re suing you, or else we’re going to sue you harder”

    it would appear that the lawyer who filed the SLAPP lawsuit on behalf of Executive Roof Services of Vancouver, Washington doesn’t know what a SLAPP is.
    Pro Tip:
    If you’re going to file bumptious defamation and tortious interference cases, maybe read up on what you’re doing.

    The owner of Executive Roof Services said he has received a slew of one-star reviews after the company’s lawsuit against a Vancouver couple who left it a bad review.

    There really need to be more malpractice suits against lawyers who help clients commit suicide by Streisand

    I’m glad I don’t live in Washington because my initial impulse was… Better left unsaid. The “slew of one-star reviews”? Beautiful and far more like justice than anything my baser instincts come up with

  47. flat earth luddite says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    In Seaside, Oregon, a local confectioner sells a crisp rasher of bacon, covered in dark chocolate, and drizzled with maple syrup. At first, second, and third glance my reaction was “WTF’ing F?” but after one taste, I was hooked. My arteries scream every time we go in, but I simply can’t resist.

  48. JohnSF says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Hmm; if I deep fried that in batter I could be on to winner…

  49. CSK says:

    I’m a tough one.

  50. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Dark chocolate is good for you. It may take a bit of the curse off the bacon.

  51. Jen says:

    @CSK: Chase with a glass of red wine, just to be sure. 😀

  52. CSK says:

    Absolutely. Thanks for reminding me. How could I have been so remiss?

  53. JohnSF says:

    Nooo! Chocolate with Spanish or Italian XO-style brandy, or port.
    NOT red wine. Heathen barbarian!
    (Swigs another swig of a rather nice Castelnuovo Berardenga Toscana. Yum!)

  54. flat earth luddite says:


    Happy to contribute to the downfall of western civilization today. Remember, my ancestors thought that lutefisk was fine dining, and North Dakota in winter was mild and temperate.

    Of course, rumor also has it that some members of my clan forgot that it was (a) loot and pillage and THEN (b) burn.

  55. CSK says:

    Excuse me, but the red wine is for the health benefits. Health benefits. Really, John. You should know that.

  56. JohnSF says:

    My health is improving by the minute 🙂

  57. Jax says:

    If I’m ever in Livingston, Montana, I am DEFINITELY stopping in this guy’s store and shaking his hand, offer to buy him a beer!

  58. Teve says:


    Rightwingers constantly overestimate how much anyone cares about what they do in their daily lives, and underestimate how much their cell and web providers already know about them.

    The self-importance derives from the belief that they’re John Galt, rather than 30% of GDP.

  59. CSK says:

    I hope the sporting goods store doesn’t get firebombed.

  60. JohnSF says:

    Interesting article in The Times about Marie Le Pen and the right wing RN in France, and the limits of populism when it becomes unpopular.
    (No linky, Times paywalled, reading paper version; page 17 if that helps 🙂

    Polls of RN party support indicate 50/50 split re. compulsion of vaccination.
    And less aligned “right” voters c. 75% pro-compulsion IIRC.
    As Le Pen must have non-RN aligned votes vs Macron can’t afford to go anti-compulsion, let alone anti-vax, while about half the hardcore RN vote are going full-on Trumpkin-stylee on the issue, and raging at her for not doing likewise.

    ‘twould take a heart of stone not to laugh.

  61. CSK says:

    The Phoenix TPUSA was supposed to end at 5 p.m. Trump showed up to speak at 655 p.m., and yes, he’s whining about how the 2020 election was stolen.

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite: I can second luddite on the chocolate covered bacon. He sent some to me in a Christmas package while I was in Korea. Very good. (Personally, I thought the drizzling with maple syrup was overkill, but I have a well known and tenuous relationship with maple sugar to begin with. Suffice it to say that in this case, the maple syrup did not diminish the overall effect.)

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Still, he has a point. Chocolate and red table wine? REALLY?

  64. Jen says:

    First, port qualifies as red wine.

    Second, there are plenty of other red wines that pair quite nicely with chocolate.

  65. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Speak to Jen about it.

  66. JohnSF says:


    First, port qualifies as red wine.

    True; but fortified makes one heck of a diff.

    Cabernet Franc…

    Cabernet franc with chocolate? THGTBKM!
    Well, maybe if I was are that stage of the evening…
    Northern Rhone! Southern, possibly maybe.

    If you were going to twist my arm and demand I nominate a red wine for choc, I’d say an Amarone della Valpolicella, or a Banyuls or Maury from south France
    But (best of all IMO) is a dark white(!): Aussie Rutherglen Muscat. Yum!

  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: Yeah, but your article is talking about snooty rich people wines. I haven’t bought a box of wine that cost more than $4 since the last time I gave somebody a bottle of wine as a gift–and even that was only a run of the mill merlot that I got at Grocery Outlet.

  68. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: There’s an ancient Sesame Street where Oscar the Grouch makes strange ice cream flavors like spaghetti and meatballs.

  69. CSK says:

    Once some of my Tufts colleagues and I whiled away a lunch hour thinking up repulsive foods. I believe the winner was “blueberry tuna casserole.”

  70. Teve says:

    PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — For the first time since he was President, Donald Trump returned to Arizona for a ‘Protect Our Election’ rally this afternoon at the Arizona Federal Theater. More than five thousand people showed up in downtown Phoenix to see Trump and several other key Republican figures.

    Thousands attend Phoenix rally featuring former President Donald Trump
    Source: 3TV/CBS 5
    “I love Trump,” said one woman who showed up at 4:30 a.m.

    And if the flags, t-shirts, or chants outside the theater didn’t give it away, she wasn’t the only one.

    “I love Donald Trump,” Glendale resident Ashley Chalupnik said. “Maybe I’m being silly, but I consider him family. I think he holds a lot of my values and my family’s values. Christianity, supporting the Jews, just putting America first.”

    Several in attendance say that since Trump left office, they feel less comfortable. And they want that comfort back, both at the national level and here in Arizona. For them, Trump being re-elected in 2024 would go a long way towards making that happen.

    “Even if I didn’t believe about the election being stolen, I would still want Trump,” one Trump supporter said. “I would want our country to get back on track.”

    As for whether the Maricopa County election audit provides additional comfort to those in attendance, that’s up for debate.

    “I think it’s turning out to be a little BS,” Sun City West resident Daniel Bentley said. “I hope it’s not just a game they pulled on us so they could make a bunch of money.”

    “I’m all for it,” Mesa’s Sam Wilson added. “I’ve lived here my whole life, except going to college in Texas. And I’ve never seen more Republican energy.”

    An energy that most in attendance embraced. But not everyone.

    “You can’t talk to any of these people,” Phoenix resident Bonnie Oakes said. “But just so people know where I stand because I’m only responsible for myself.”

    The event was put on by Phoenix-based Turning Point Action, which operated Students for Trump in the 2020 election.

    Reportedly while in line they chanted “No Masks!” At reporters.

    Tune in next week to hear local tv anchors say, “Pam, health officials have traced 82 new cases of the delta variant back to a rally last week…”

  71. Jax says:

    @Teve: 82’s probably an underestimate. Stay tuned for a month from now when death’s are up because of that rally. Trump’s gonna need a new slogan….maybe “Killing Them Slowly”?

  72. Teve says:


    Trump has been speaking for more than 90 minutes now. He’s currently goading his audience into booing the US women’s soccer team.

  73. Teve says:

    @CSK: (barf emoji)

  74. Teve says:

    I saw a bit of the speech, when Trump said the US Women’s soccer team lost to Sweden, the crowd cheered.

  75. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: everything in the Pacific Northwest is Salmon Something With Marionberry Something Else, so blueberry tuna casserole doesn’t sound too strange.

  76. flat earth luddite says:

    Late commentary, but in the late 70’s, King County (WA) jail served liver/gravy casserole over white rice. I hate to admit it, but Nutriloaf was a vast improvement. Hell, tuna MRE’s were a vast improvement.