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. CSK says:

    Josh Duggar, one of the nineteen spawn featured on a tv show I never watched, was convicted the other day of possessing child porn. Now his sister Jana has been charged with a misdemeanor count of child endangerment.

    What a sterling family: an example of Godliness and probity to us all.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From ‘You can’t catch those 43 years’: exonerated former prisoner tries to start life anew:

    But not all are on board with Strickland’s release, which followed a law passed in April that gave Baker, the county prosecutor, the right to ask the court to vacate Strickland’s guilty verdict.

    Missouri’s fiercely conservative attorney general, Eric Schmitt, battled to uphold Strickland’s conviction, delayed his hearing and attempted to block his release with a series of motions, each rejected by retired Missouri appeals court judge James Walsh.

    “I’d always felt the attorney general’s office was going to oppose everything,” Strickland says. “They’d oppose the change of the day from Monday to Tuesday. It’s what they do.”

    Missouri governor Mike Parson also rebuffed appeals to pardon him, arguing that it was not a “priority”, even as he pardoned Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the Missouri couple who confronted racial justice protesters with guns last year.

    No road to low for a Misery Republican.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sworn to uphold and defend the constitution?

    Josh Hawley, a pro-Trump senator from Missouri, has spoken about the need to “take the lordship of Christ, that message, into the public realm and to seek the obedience of the nations – of our nation… to influence our society, and even more than that, to transform our society to reflect the gospel truth and lordship of Jesus Christ.”

    My senator. If he took his oath serious, suicide would be in his day planner.

  4. de stijl says:

    Does anybody here own a Keurig (or of that type) machine?

    I like coffee in the morning. Need is a strong word, but applies. One or two mugs. A jolt to start the day. After that I switch off to tea.

    I have a perfectly cromulent routine where I grind enough beans for 24 ounces, heat that water up, and do a pour-over coffee preparation. Let it bloom for ~ 4 minutes, then pour and drink. 7 times out of ten I pour most of the second mug down the drain after it goes tepid. Once my caffeine sensitive neurons are topped off my appetite my yen for it decreases pretty dramatically.

    It is a non-optimal solution. I am continually pouring good coffee down the drain.

    Press-pots for coffee prep is a no-go for me. The second cup gets too acrid and I have a sensitive tummy. For tea, press-pots are fine for me.

    Pour-over works for me for the first mug.

    That seems wasteful and inefficient. I am pouring down the drain roughly 1/3 of my coffee away daily.

    K-Cups are super expensive by volume / price. Is it worth it? I have the counter space.

  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    The last time I checked the per cup cost of a k-cup it was about 75 cents per cup, which is too much for me, except for when I was working and K cups were the only coffee source.

    I once had a 2 cup Chemex that was great and still have a one cup Melita in my camping gear. That also is good with little waste.

  6. Jax says:

    @de stijl: I have a Keurig, and it’s ok. Mine has 3 settings for the strength of the coffee, which is kinda nice. Even the strongest one isn’t strong enough for me, though. I would prefer an espresso machine, but I haven’t found one I like that can make a decent cup since my old one died. If the waste of the coffee bothers you that much, it’s probably worth it to get a Keurig.

  7. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Were I you, I’d get a small Melitta pot. That way you can make one cup at a time. If you want another cup, just repeat the process.

    Keurig machines start at Walmart at around $125.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It’s Dominionism. It’s very common among elected GOPs, and appointed GOP judges. And the supposedly liberal MSM ignore it because personal believe or some damned thing. Although, as you point out, it means they lie when they take their oath to the Constitution.

    Someone pointed out yesterday that the Federalist Society Justices already ignore the first phrase of the Second Amendment and they’re working on ignoring the first phrase of the First. I’m looking at you, Amy Bunny Barrett.

  9. Arnold Stang says:

    You can buy Keurig cups for under 50 cents each, if you buy in bulk (@70 pods) at Costco, Amazon, etc.
    Each pod has a fixed amount of coffee. The strength comes from the cup size, six, eight, ten or twelve ounces.

  10. Mimai says:

    @de stijl: Another thing you might consider in the “is it wasteful?” calculus is the environmental impact. In my opinion, coffee pods do not have a good track record on that front. But we all have different situations, so please view this as a “something you might consider” as opposed to a judgmental must/should demand.

  11. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I have the regular big ass Chemex.

    No idea they made smaller ones. News to me. That’s cool!

  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Since the angle of the carafe is steeper than the larger ones, you need to fold the filter in half, but otherwise it works the same and uses the same filters.

  13. BugManDan says:

    @de stijl: My wife loves her Keurig for the reason that you give (only wants 1-2 cups). She doesn’t use the pods very often. They come with a little insert that you can fill with your own coffee. After she figured out how much she needed to add, she has been very happy with the results.

  14. de stijl says:


    Good point.

    I am naturally gifted at process and thinking through ways to make things more efficient. I am good at it and truly enjoy it. It tickles the part of my brain that makes me feel good about my self.

    But one huge blindspot I have is to externalities to that process.

    More plastic waste is bad. 30 cents of tepid coffee pored down the drain vs. buying a new bit of gear and expensive inputs for a marginal optimization?

    I despise waste. If I have to throw out food because I could not eat all before it went bad, I consider that a personal failure.

    So now I freeze things a couple portions at a time and thaw things as needed.

    I even wash out and reuse the freezer bags. I hate food waste.

    I’ll buy the little Melitta like CSK said.

  15. Pete S says:

    @de stijl:
    I have a special reusable filter for my Keurig. If you can get good ground coffee, maybe Blue mountain, it makes a great cup of coffee and pods not required

  16. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    I think you’ll be happy with the little Melitta. No muss, no fuss, very little waste (just the paper filter and grounds), and a superior cup of coffee.

  17. de stijl says:


    Also news to me. You can grind your own beans and use an insert thingamabob instead of stupid spendy, of questionable quality, K-Cups?

    That is freaking awesome! I had no idea. Thanks for the new info! Changes everything. Is the the insert standard issue in-the-box, or an extra?

    Sold! No environmental waste. No more coffee poured down the drain. Pays for itself in (does the napkin math) in just over a year.

  18. de stijl says:

    @Pete S:

    I have actually been to the Blue Mountains in Jamaica.

    That’s a damn good cup of joe.

    This was decades ago. Early 90s. There was nearly no tourism infrastructure then up there. We slept in a tiny room in a funky guest house. Lil lizard dudes everywhere. They were actually pretty cool, the lizards.

  19. JohnMcC says:

    Only because it’s you whose asking, I’ll mention that I’ve seen backpackers up on the Appalachian Trail do a pour-over business that involves a coffee filter and a little upside-down pyramid that clamps onto their titanium mug. They seem very pleased.

    I am a barbarian and use cheap grounds and Mr Coffee. And usually ignore precious people that need something juuuust-SO…. But since it’s you….

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: My former roommate had a Keurig-type machine. It was okay. I can’t speak for every type of product, but most of the Keurig-type pods that I see are making instant coffee–as indicated by the fact of a solid plastic body with a hole punched into the top and the bottom, so for my money, it doesn’t matter what the pods cost because I’m not interested in buying a machine that makes instant coffee. I can make instant coffee direct in the cup.

    My roommate’s machine had a device for brewing ground coffee, but I never tried it. What I do to solve the tepid coffee issue is warm it up in the microwave if it’s too cold. Then again, I brew coffee in an electric drip machine and reheat (nuke) individual cups of coffee for about 2 or 3 days after brewing. Luddite says that makes me a neanderthal related to coffee, but I think it works fine. YMMV, of course.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I had a Melitta filter device that simply fit on top of the coffee cup. It worked fine for me. I don’t know what happened to it (probably appropriation of another my only other roommate ever’s stuff), but I’ve only seen little pots since then.

  22. de stijl says:


    And you have nothing at all in your life you are particular about? Want it to be just so?

    Little fascinations and fetishes make life better. There is nothing wrong with upgrading your TV to 8k. You don’t need it, but you want it.

    You could get by with the basic of basic rent to own furniture. Do you want to? Eat gruel on white bread every day forever? Putting your own aesthetic stamp on your environs strikes me as a pretty basic human desire. Exert a semblance of control.

    Many of the aspects of our lives are determined outside of ourselves. Your job demands you do x. Your family demands you believe x.

    We have quite little control. We should enjoy and relish the few things we can control down to the details. *Especially* if we enjoy it.

    I like good coffee in the morning. I also hate waste.

    I guarantee that you are super into something others find boring and stupid.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  24. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    My second mug usually goes tepid halfway through because my addictive brain has had enough for now. “I’m full up, thanks!” it says, so I stop sipping. It goes tepid.

    When I was working, I drank coffee all day long hard core. Notably so. People knew this about me.

    When I stopped smoking I guzzled coffee like a fiend for the first few weeks. Chocolate too. My brain was looking for alternate neuron chemical excitement.

  25. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I had one of those, too. I may still have it around somewhere.

  26. BugManDan says:

    @de stijl: She has had a 2 of the machines and I think that one of the filter things came with each of them. It is a filter basket inside of a “carrier” so you can use any kind of ground coffee you want.

    I also think that she said that some of the pods also have a filter inside of them, so at least some of them are not instant.

  27. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    K cups are also terrible environmentally. As I understand, most can’t be recycled and end up in landfills.

    Still, years ago at a kitchen store in an outlet mall, I saw a reusable K cup you can fill with your own blend. No idea whether they work with the new machines that are supposed to require some kind of digital ID in the cups, but a quick online search shows they are still sold.

    Me, I get a sup of instant at home upon waking, then fire up the percolator or the drip machine at the office as soon as I get there. On weekends I get an espresso and milk drink at the supermarket (the starbucks app still doesn’t let me log in).

  28. Jax says:

    On this day, I am extremely thankful that we have a President who isn’t holding up disaster aid “for states that didn’t vote for him”.

    We spent 4 years with a guy like that, and I hope to never see such a thing from a President again.

  29. Jax says:

    This is interesting. He’s challenging the GOP’s “token black guy” in Utah, Burgess Owens.

    Huey’s list of Republican “wrongs” includes claims of voter fraud, failing to be fiscally conservative, gerrymandering, being slow to the table on civil rights, and stalling or rushing U.S. Supreme Court nominees to suit the party’s interests.

    As he campaigns, Huey is making the rounds to Republican groups asking for signatures on the apology he posted on He hopes to get 300 “key” GOP supporters before the end of the year. He plans to send a copy of the resolution to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., if it gets 100,000 signatures or a sizable amount short of that. Only 25 people had signed it as of Friday morning.

    I wish him well, and I hope enough people sign it.

  30. dazedandconfused says:

    Try drinking two full 12oz glasses of water on waking. Coffee comes after.

    Something I discovered when I had a big workout to get out of the way first thing every morn. The water does about 3/4 the job of “waking” me up, and there is less crash a couple hours in. Hydrating with coffee…it’s a bad habit a lot of people fall into.

  31. EddieInCA says:

    @BugManDan: @Kathy: @de stijl:

    I use a refillable k cup. I’m a coffee snob, so I grind my beans and put them into the refillable Kcup. Works great. Depending on how much water I add, I can make it a regular coffee or an espresso.

  32. Pete S says:

    @de stijl:

    My wife and I were in Jamaica a few years back for an anniversary trip (getting married in January in Ontario means anniversary is good excuse for a trip somewhere warm). Much more tourist infrastructure in place but our resort was old enough to have been in the first James Bond movie. The blue mountain trip was fantastic and I pick up coffee from there whenever I can.

  33. de stijl says:

    @Pete S:

    I love Jamaica. The higglers in tourist towns can be distracting, but pay no attention to them and they pay no attention to you.

    Jamaica has a very robust tourism infrastructure in towns where cruise ships dock and excursion planes land.

    Get to the edge of town or out into the boonies and things get real.

    Port Antonio was a scruffy seaside town with a crap ton of history when I first visited and a handful of b&b style guest houses (no breakfast). Now it has proper hotels with amenities. The kind of hotels I never stay in.

    I once went out to the far eastern point. A little village near to Morant Point. Again in a funky little guest house and again with the adorable little lizards. Fall, so big crashing waves boom boom booming. Everything shook and rattled.

    Even in Montego Bay if you jaunt just a few miles west you can stay in an actual hotel with a bar and a restaurant but not be surrounded by sun burnt American tourists looking to get drunk and high. Usually it is funky weirdo youngish Euros. My kind of crowd.

    Hell, I don’t smoke at all. I don’t know crap about Ocho Rios. I flew into there once and then got a flight to Port Antonio on the coolest airline ever – Air Tim. Tim was the pilot. A true gent.

  34. de stijl says:

    A smart person with a little financial backing would make a really cool documentary about Nandi Bushell.

    Maybe focus on the drum-off challenge by Nandi to Dave Grohl. Her challenge video of her version of Everlong is epic. She was 10 or 11 then.

    Grohl heard her call and responded.

    Seriously, a Nandi documentary movie would so kick so much ass. Just focus on the Foo Fighters stuff.

    She is not just a phenom, a remarkably gifted prodigy, she is also the most joy-filled person on planet earth no foolin’ this is truth. She loves her weird hobby and it shines through.

    End on her joining the the band onstage for Everlong at the LA Forum and her kicking ass so hard.

    Someone should do this.

  35. de stijl says:

    When in Jamaica, eat like a Jamaican.

    Curried goat. Recipe imported from south asia, but it works there too.

    The joint I went to was very old school. The specialist used offal and ribs and the cast off bits of meat that poor people get. Best flavor.

    He chunked the goat into bite sized bits with a machete or a heavy cleaver. Braised those bits for hours in a green Jamaican style curry.

    Served on white rice. The meat bits were stuck to bits of bone. It was expected that you would take it as a mouthful, allow the meat to fall off the bone (or use your tongue to help the process along), spit out the bone, chew, swallow.

    One day I got an interesting bit of goat. I took the forkful into my mouth and used my tongue to worry it free. It was like an applied Montesorri school exercise.

    That’s a funny bone, I thought. Round. Weird. Hollow. I poked the meat free. Spat out the bone.

    That’s a piece of vertebrae on the plate. I just spat that out. I just chewed and swallowed curried goat spinal cord.

    I reacted strongly. I was not happy. I am pretty down with weird bits if I know it is coming.

    But unannounced goat spinal cord almost made me puke. Was not expecting that at all.

    Everybody laughed. After a few seconds I laughed too. An auntie type helpfully waved her fan in my face. A rude boy type brought me a beer on his dime. “Thanks, man” I bought a round for their table.

    I did not vomit. It was very close, but I didn’t.

    The locals were very amused.