Sunday’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. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Ugh. I remember when 2am was time for crashing, not waking up. Nothing newsworthy imo, back to my book.

  2. CSK says:

    Trump has taken to calling Ron DeSantis Ron DeSanctimonious.

    I wonder who among his minions knew that word and who introduced him to it?

  3. Kathy says:


    Do you suppose he knows Thesaurus isn’t a dinosaur?

    BTW, I just deactivated my Twitter account, after first blocking some guy named Elon whom I find annoying and whiny. Unless I reactivate it within 30 days, according to the website, the account will be deleted.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Interesting. I had/have an account from the first few months Twitter was up. I haven’t signed in for years. I wonder if it is gone? (But I’m not curious enough to actually try to log in.)

  5. Mikey says:

    We’re all aware of Elon Musk’s Tweet asserting advertisers are fleeing Twitter because of “activist groups.” Subsequently there was a call with advertising executives, one of whom Tweeted the following.

    Lou Paskalis
    Replying to
    Elon, Great chat yesterday, As you heard overwhelmingly from senior advertisers on the call, the issue concerning us all is content moderation and its impact on BRAND SAFETY/SUITABILITY. You say you’re committed to moderation, but you just laid off 75% of the moderation team!

    Advertisers are not being manipulated by activist groups, they are being compelled by established principles around the types of companies they can do business with. These principles include an assessment of the platforms commitment to brand safety and suitability.

    That includes the trustworthiness of the leadership team and the behavior of the CEO.

    You claimed yesterday that you are deeply committed to Content Moderation, yet today you’ve eliminated the vast majority of people who did that work for Twitter.

    How do we reconcile these?

    Musk responded by…blocking him.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: That’s rich coming from the “chosen one sent by God to rescue us from the godless lieberals.”

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I’ve had an account for maybe a year. The only reason I signed up was because the system had gone borky w/o an account. I’ve never commented, don’t even know how, just surfed. I never sign in, don’t even know how to access my account. I suspect twitter recognizes my IP address and so doesn’t mess with me. No ads, probably because of my ad blocker. Whatever I get out of being there, nobody anywhere is getting any benefit out of my (non)presence.

    If Musk tries to monetize me, I’ll be gone.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    So it looks like the all mighty market has decided that the fourth ranked 18 year old quarterback is with $8M. But, you know, he should have been satisfied with the scholarship money. After all he would have gotten an extremely valuable “education” from… Tennessee.

    BTW, I wonder when was the last time this Tennessee school (U of T? TSU?) invested that much money in something other than sports?

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I would assume you are already being monetized based on what you look at.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:


    It’s probably still there. I had a LinkedIn account that I used primarily for business, a job change made it non-essential, so I stopped logging in. About 5-7 years later, I got curious and tried to log in and while my username/PW were accepted I was routed to a verification page that wanted an image of my DL, didn’t bother after that.

  11. CSK says:


    Trump just shot off his mouth one too many times. Even that MAGAs at Lucianne and Fox are washing their hands of him.

    It’s always possible, though, that they’ll forgive him by next week.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Probably, but I wouldn’t know how or to what end. I get literally zero adds.

  13. DK says:

    @CSK: Roger Stone introduced Trump to the “Ron DeSanctimonious moniker.

    MAGA in disarray?

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I would assume it would be in the form of ads on other sites you visit, solicitations from political candidates, etc

  15. CSK says:


    Really? Everyone is wondering where Trump got the word, since he clearly doesn’t know it himself.

    I wonder how long it took Stone to explain it to him.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I would assume it would be in the form of ads on other sites you visit, solicitations from political candidates, etc

    Like I said, I get zero ads, everywhere I go. I am very aggressive about it, zero tolerance. The few sites I regularly visit (OTB, BJ, Guardian, etc) get monthly donations (not much, I don’t have much, but I want to support as best I can). As far as solicitations from candidates, yes I get them but I suspect that is because of my ACT blue donations, and I just mark them as spam as soon as I get them.

  17. Jax says:

    Some drone pictures for your Sunday. 🙂

    The reservoir construction project is finished, I’m working on uploading all the pictures I took, but it might take a while the way my internet has been acting.

  18. Scott says:

    @Kathy: Welcome to the club. I deleted my Twitter account last January. I may have told this story before but last fall I did an experiment on myself. One week on Twitter, one week off. For a couple of months. I felt I was less anxious and more relaxed not being on Twitter. Probably not the most rigorous or scientifically valid experiment but it did lead me to quitting. After all, all I was doing was hate tweeting Ted Cruz and Chip Roy (and his Chief of Staff before he was moved on (AKA fired) for having out of control screaming tweet fights with the constituents).

    Anyway, I don’t miss it at all.

  19. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Early voted yesterday in FL.

    And this is the first time that I experienced attempted voter suppression.

    When I went to the early voting polling place, walking well past the signs that said “no campaigning beyond this line”, there was a helpful smiling person standing in the corridor, providing assistance to point me to where the election workers were.

    And he said: ” That’s the way, down the hall, to the right, and by the way, you have a picture ID right?

    It didn’t dawn on me until later that:

    1) Florida DOES NOT REQUIRE a picture ID to vote.

    2) Had I been elderly, low income, born at home and not in a hospital, or any number of things that could have me be a person without a picture ID that leans DEM, then there is a good chance that I would be an individual that is qualified to vote but could have been misguided away from the polls.

    Early voting is over… and I wish I would have realized what happened RIGH THEN so that I could have that person removed.

    But this is how it happens. With a smile.

  20. Tony W says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: That is appalling.

    Imagine having policies so bad that you have to resort to cheating to win elections.

    Imagine being so rigid in your thinking that you’d rather suppress voices than adopt policies that are more popular with voters.

    I have often said that Conservatives choose their positions on policy then select arguments that support those positions – Conservatives are Lawyers.

    Liberals look at the available evidence, then select policies based on the actions that could be taken to drive desired outcomes. Liberals are Scientists

  21. liberal capitalist says:

    re Twitter / deleting accounts

    It has been recommended that you DO NOT delete your account if you leave twitter. Just leave it there. Abandon it, but don’t delete.

    Why? Because IF you delete, THEN:

    1) All your comments, likes, followers remain as part of twitter if you delete your account

    2) Once you delete your account then ANYONE can reinstate your user name.

    3) Once they do, all those comments, likes & followers belong to them.

    So if a troll really wants to sockpuppet and troll, then this immediately gives them a history. And suddenly YOU are the one that looks like you are pro-Trump, anti-Ukraine and saying vile racist things.

    And not a dammed thing you can do about it.

  22. wr says:

    @CSK: “I wonder how long it took Stone to explain it to him.”

    I wonder how many different ways he’ll mispronounce it before he gives it up for something easier.

  23. Scott says:

    @liberal capitalist: Well, too late. One of the advantages of not being part of it is that you don’t care anymore about it.

    One of the big lies about social media and the internet in general is the idea that everyone has a voice to be heard. Actually, social media is making everyone realize that, in the greater scheme of things, that they are really insignificant. And that is enraging people. It is much healthier, mentally, to talk to neighbors and small groups and clubs and organizations than to try to accomplish real communication on social media.

    If Twitter dies, the world will be a better place.

  24. CSK says:


    I watched a clip, and Trump pronounced “sanctimonious” correctly. It must have taken some practice.

  25. Mister Bluster says:

    @liberal capitalist:..And not a dammed thing you can do about it.

    There have been times when I clicked on Twitter links that appeared in OTB posts. Like dizzy dogs and cats. I have never signed up. I sure hope my minimum contact did not give Twitter some way to manipulate my digital existence or worse.

  26. Kathy says:

    @liberal capitalist:

    I’ve no followers on Twitter. I may have posted some Tweets in 2012 when I briefly had a cooking blog (long gone). I dare anyone to take that and use it.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    @liberal capitalist:

    A suggestion, change the password to something that the browser suggests and then don’t save or write it down. A browser suggested PW is usually ~12 characters of random numbers, letters and symbols, you’ll never remember it. Go one step further and change the recovery email to something fictitious. If you can, delete the history. After that the profile is locked and unusable, unless unlocked by a twitter techy.

  28. Scott says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    unless unlocked by a twitter techy.

    Who are all fired.

  29. DK says:

    @Tony W:

    Liberals look at the available evidence, then select policies based on the actions that could be taken to drive desired outcomes. Liberals are Scientists

    Classical small-L liberals or, like, Bernie Liberals. If the latter, the voodoo math on Bernie’s healthcare ideas — embraced by much of my liberal compatriots — begs to differ.

    Of course, any Democrat who won’t pretend universal, unrationed healthcare doesn’t require higher middle class taxes and shared sacrifice (that is worth it, I say) is a ‘neoliberal corporate whore’ or something.

    True about modern conservatives tho. They are off the deep end of Lake Crazy.

  30. CSK says:

    Rod Dreher on Donald Trump: “What an idiot.”

  31. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: ActBlue apparently hands out their mailing list to anyone. I made one contribution that way, and ever since get e-mail begging for money from Democrats at all sorts of levels all over the country.

  32. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    That’s good advice for staying away from Twitter while retaining the option for returning later on, or at least keeping the name/handle from being used by someone else.

    My purpose is to reduce the number of accounts in Twitter. One isn’t much, but it’s a lot more than none. I expect plenty of people will go along as Elon messes the platform (more), and even more if he lets El Cheeto back in.

  33. de stijl says:

    I set up a Twitter account years ago and after about 4 tweets in two days I had nothing else to say. I have no idea what I said. After that I randomly tweeted pics of pangolins because pangolins are simultaneously creepy and weird, bad-ass, and cool as fuck. #pangolin


    Mark that. I do remember what I tweeted. It was about phrases from media that had invaded my daily life and I spit them out reflexively given the right impetus. Example: “Tea. Earl Gey. Hot.” whenever I pour boiling water onto tea which I do several times a day. I usually drink Irish Breakfast, but have Earl Grey once or twice a month, and always the same phrase comes out of my mouth every time. I have to think hard to not say it out loud.

    I also did “Alright, I’m mad as hell” (Gallagher), “Time to flush out the ol’ DMZ” (Dennis Miller – I say this reflexively daily when I’m washing my center tush in the shower), “This is a cheertatorship, not a cheeracracy” (Jaime Presley from some dumb spoof movie from the late 90s early aughts), “I like money” from Dax Shepard in Idiocracy.

    That was the entirety of my Twitter output. Me kvetching about phrases that got stuck in my head so hard I spout them aloud reflexively if environmentally / situationally prompted. That, and pangolin pics. I abandoned it entirely after maybe 7 or 8 tweets. I was screaming into the void. No one, ever, would read this. I was an active user for maybe 5 days. I had nothing to say.


  34. de stijl says:

    Re: Daylight Time vs. Standard Time.

    I am firmly in the camp of the status quo. As daylight becomes more scarce, I prefer that we fudge the clock more towards dawn so sunup is relatively consistent. It makes for a more coherent day.

    Friday morning the streetlights were still on at 8:30 AM which just feels wrong to me. Granted, it was cloudy and rainy, but societal accepted definition of morning should mean the sun is up, in my head.

    Others disagree and want continuous Daylight Time. If they win, I would cope, but I would be annoyed about it.

  35. Kathy says:

    I’m doing a lot of work right now on a spreadsheet. Sometimes I need to select large parts of it to delete, replace, etc. When I reach the end of the screen, it scrolls down at one of two speeds: 1) arthritic snail, 2) faster than light.

  36. Skookum says:

    @Kathy: I intend to deactivate my account once I see a firm trend for where the folks and organizations I follow land (Mastadon?). Just checked my account this morning and found some wonderful content. Twitter kept me sane when Trump was elected. I took comfort from the shared concerns of others and immersed myself in art. Never interacted very much, but chose who I followed based upon their knowledge and ability to delight.

  37. Andy says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    I’m not sure where you are getting that. Florida does require a picture ID with a valid signature or a picture ID and another ID with a signature. If you don’t have one, you can cast a provisional ballot which is subject to the provisional ballot rules.

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: Nice work. Thanks. 🙂

  39. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I remember sometime in the mid 70s we, as a country, did a one time year-round experiment with Daylight Savings Time. I was a wee lad, but I do remember it being pitch black night when I walked to school and that that was kinda freaky. It wasn’t pitch black because of streetlights, but the sky was black night. When you are 10 or 11, you are usually not allowed to go out unaccompanied when the sky is black, but I had to do it 5 times a week every “morning”.

    (Quick Google). The winter of 1974. Due to the energy / oil crisis. The Washingtonian has a nice write-up.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: Not better, merely less worse. Humans will continue to hate their enemies, demean the powerless, pummel the weak, and whatever else can pry some small edge to their advantage. “As it was in the beginning, it is now, and ever shall be.”

  41. Jen says:

    @de stijl: I am fine with switching between standard and daylight savings time, it makes the most sense to me. If we do get stuck with one, I’m on Team Standard Time, for the reasons you’ve cited.

    @Kathy: Reducing the number of accounts vs. number of accounts with activity–it almost doesn’t matter. Advertisers and brands have long been aware that Twitter has a bot problem, so they don’t really even look at the numbers of accounts, they look at interaction activity, which has the advantage of being something they can easily track themselves, without relying on Twitter’s dodgy data. If brand interactions go down, this will be noted particularly quickly by the large PR/Communications/Advertising firms, because they track data for multiple brands.

    Musk might not have shot the goose that laid the golden advertising eggs dead (yet), but he’s certainly caused some pretty major injury.

  42. JohnMc says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Photo ID is required in Florida. Lots to be angry/opposed to. Try to be accurate.

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Andy: @Liberal Capitalist: Lib, were you marking a ballot there or just dropping off a marked and enveloped mailed ballot? I believe you need a photo ID to actually vote there. I’ve never had to show ID to drop off my mailed ballot. But they’ve removed the outdoor, all hours, unmanned box. The nice man at the drop box even said my wife didn’t need to have come along, I could have dropped hers. The instruction with the ballot are not completely clear but seem to say otherwise. Some confusion in FL is due to rules changes, much I suspect is deliberate.

  44. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Yet another thing to like about vote by mail. And automatic registration when you apply for state ID/License. Simple, easy-peasy. Get ballot booklet/novel in the mail. Then a couple of weeks later, get your ballot in the mail. Set it aside until…whenever. Fill out, stuff in envelope, sign outside. Stick in mailbox or drive by local library/city/county building, stuff in secured box. Play drink/buzz-word bingo with political commercials until election over.

    OTOH, I live in a state where my three candidates for governor were
    (a) Right-Wing BSCL*,
    (b) Left-Wing BSCL*, and
    (c) Nobody knows exactly where she stands BSCL*

    * Bat-Shit Crazy Loon

  45. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Runaway Orbs Cause Chaos in London

    Well, now we know what John SF was busy dodging last night…

    When Morrissey sang about “panic on the streets of London,” we imagine he likely wasn’t envisioning giant orbs bouncing down the thoroughfares, wreaking havoc on traffic. But that’s exactly what happened earlier this week, when a pair of enormous balls broke free of an art installation during high winds and began careening down Tottenham Court Road, in the central part of the British capital, reports the Telegraph.

    In video from that outlet, which originated on TikTok, the first ball can be seen rolling down the street, slamming into a streetlight and losing its silver covering to reveal a glowing white sphere underneath. Soon, the second one rounds a corner and speeds down the street as well. Cars, a bus, and a person on a bicycle can all be seen trying to stay out of the balls’ path.

  46. steve says:

    I was looking at some data on vaccination rates for kids. Drum had a piece showing that routine, childhood vaccinations for kids in Floria were way down. (Surprise! Not!) Anyway, I had totally forgotten about this at link where they kick ed the head of the pediatrics chapter in FL off the board when she suggested they ought to have vaccines available for kids. IOW, she got canceled. Yet it got almost no publicity. If anyone on the right gets “canceled” we here about it for weeks PLUS the person who got canceled usually does about a dozen op-eds or editorial page pieces.


  47. steve says:
  48. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I will admit, I may be misreading it.

    It appears that you can vote with a credit or debit card (which hs a signature) even an HOA ID but they do expect something with a picture.

    I guess I’m just not used to voting in a red state yet. If I was misinformed, and I will admit that I likely was, then you have my apologies.


    OTOH, who knew that the founding fathers would be so forward looking that they forsaw that our enshrined right to vote would require a picture ID?


  49. MarkedMan says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: What State is that?

  50. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Or-re-gun. ***

    And I have to comment, as Left-Wing BSCL as I find that particular candidate, I still voted for her. She’s consistent in her statements and objectives, demonstrates competence in governing at lower levels, and has significantly less “hand-waving-obscuration” and “whataboutism” than the other two. And our current guv, in addition to being term limited out, is the Merikan left version of a Tory train wreck!

    *unofficial state motto – “Gee, Toto, I don’t think this is Kansas anymore”
    ** politically incorrect state motto – xenophobic rednecks unite!

    (remember, the South made it illegal for blacks to vote – we made it illegal for them to be here at all!)

  51. de stijl says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Fight Club comes to mind. Project Mayhen blew up a public space sculpture so that a giant orb / globe would roll down a movie plot convenient ramp and destroy a trendy coffee bar they despised on principle.

  52. Mister Bluster says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:..giant orbs

    Shades of The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan.

  53. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Mister Bluster: Yeah, that was my first thought, after I got done giggling. That, and wondering where JohnSF was when this was going down.

  54. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Ooh! The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan. Number Six. Hadn’t thought about that scenario. Give me a sec, I have too Google this – it’s been many decades. Brb….

    Back now. Holy crap! I remembered his name correctly and even spelled it correctly. Thank you, brain cells!

    Today I learned McGoohan was not just the actor for Number Six, he thought up the show, wrote a lot of it, and directed multiple episodes. That is crazy! No freaking clue. That is really cool! Awesome dude! I had no idea.

    The Prisoner fascinated me when I was a kid. On PBS at like 10 or 11 PM on either Saturday night or Sunday when I was too young to go out on those nights and I was stuck home.

    Mom was watching whatever show she wanted to watch in the living room, and I was in the kitchen watching The Prisoner on a tiny black and white TV with a little 10×8 inch screen and I was godamned fascinated.

    That was when I understood I could be seperate and distinct from her. I was no longer child or chattel, I was me. I think I was 11, maybe 10. Thereabouts. Blew my mind.

    Big developmental jump in aging up mental advancement happened while watching The Prisoner on a tiny, crappy B&W TV on PBS.

    I became proto me.

    The first thing that came to mind was Fight Club, though. Project Mayhem.

  55. Tony W says:

    @DK: Universal health care requires moving “some” of the money we are already spending into other areas, but will result in lower overall spending.

    Y’all want to call it “taxes” or “premiums” or “Larry” – don’t care. Overall spending would be reduced. We spend the most money in the world on our healthcare in the U.S., literally adopting any other system will reduce our spending.

  56. Tony W says:

    @de stijl: I’m the other way – get rid of DST, and get rid of time zones altogether.

  57. CSK says:

    Delete. Wrong thread.

  58. Andy says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    I don’t think there is anything you need to apologize for.