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. Sleeping Dog says:

    Hello? Hello? Is there anyone out there?

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Slowly raises hand from the Group W bench.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A former Louisiana sheriff’s deputy has been given a 100-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to a spree of sexual abuse crimes, including child abuse.

    Dennis Perkins, 47, will spend the rest of his life in prison after he pleaded guilty to a slew of offenses ranging from rape, child abuse images and video voyeurism to contaminating food with a bodily substance, authorities said.
    The Perkinses fell under scrutiny after a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. An IP address linked to the pair’s home in the Baton Rouge suburb of Denham Springs led authorities to seize thousands of videos and photos. Investigators arrested the pair in October 2019.

    The bulk of the charges against the pair involved a child younger than 13. The couple were charged with rape, attempted rape, sexual battery, video voyeurism and production of child abuse images during several months in 2019, the Advocate reported.

    Birds of a feather…

    “I would like to say I’m sorry,” Perkins said. “Jesus Christ has forgiven me. I’m grateful for that. I hope and pray that anybody that this has affected would also find forgiveness and healing through Jesus Christ.”

    That’s right, he and Jesus had a sitdown, and Jesus told him all his sins had been wiped away. So now when he dies he will go straight to heaven. Ain’t it grand?

  4. Tony W says:

    Got an e-mail from my credit card company this morning, apparently “Medical Debt” is being looked at differently by credit bureaus now and they will consider it less important when determining a credit score.

    Only in the United States is there even the concept of “Medical Debt”.

    We are so indoctrinated.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Local and state police are working with the FBI in Albuquerque, N.M., to investigate five shootings that have targeted Democratic politicians’ homes or offices since in the past month.

    Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, whose home was the first to come under fire, told NPR on Friday that the attacks have been difficult to process, “especially knowing that other women of color elected officials have also been targeted.”

    In the attacks, multiple rounds have been fired into the doors and walls of buildings — in some cases while elected officials were inside with their families — but no one has been hurt.

    “We’re grateful that nobody has been injured, but we also realize that we have to move quickly,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said at a news conference about the attacks.

    His point was underlined by recent events: Authorities had planned to highlight the shootings on Thursday, after a state senator’s home was fired at on Tuesday — and then came word of yet more gunfire with a political target, as bullets struck a second state senator’s office Thursday morning.

    “We do have some leads,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. He acknowledged the obvious connection of all the victims belonging to the same party, but warned people not to speculate about the violence while evidence still is being gathered. “We’re worried and concerned that these are connected and possibly politically motivated or personally motivated,” Keller said. “But we don’t know that for a fact.”

    Well, this being the internet it would be irresponsible not to speculate. Still I find it quite plausible that these shootings are not at all linked by the fact that the victims were all DEMs, 4 of the 5 are Hispanic, and 3 of the 5 are women. Nope, no connection at all.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’d be willing to bet huge amounts of (someone else’s) money that behind it is a couple of man-boy gun fetishists being all macho with their assault weapons and tactical gear as they shoot into the bedrooms of children.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I’d bet you’d win that bet.

  8. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I’m watching the film / documentary “January 6th”.


    Stunning. Beyond words. Get a copy. Watch it.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A Total Amateur May Have Just Rewritten Human History With Bombshell Discovery

    “I think that the cave paintings fascinate us all because of their beauty and visceral immediacy,” Bacon told Motherboard in an email. “I was idly looking at Palaeolithic paintings one night on the Web and noticed, purely by chance, that a large number of animals had what I took to be numbers associated with them.”

    Intrigued by the markings, Bacon launched a meticulous effort to decode them, with a particular focus on lines, dots, and a Y-shaped symbol that show up in hundreds of cave paintings. 

    Previous researchers have suggested that these symbols could be some form of numerical notation, perhaps designed to count the number of animals sighted or killed by these prehistoric artists. Bacon made the leap to suggest that they form a calendar system designed to track the life cycles of animals depicted in the paintings. He enlisted leading archaeologists from Durham University and the University College London to develop the idea and co-author the new study.

    “That we are looking for number-based information about specific prey animals is therefore our point of departure,” the researchers explained in the study. “It seems to us unnecessary to need to convey information about the numbers of individual animals, the times they have been sighted, or the number of successful kills.” 

    “It seems far more likely that information pertinent to predicting their migratory movements and periods of aggregation, i.e. mating and birthing when they are predictably located in some number and relatively vulnerable, would be of greatest importance for survival,” they added. 

    The researchers note that the paintings are never accompanied by more than 13 of these lines and dots, which could mean that they denote lunar months. The lunar calendar they envision would not track time across years, but would be informally rebooted each year during a time in late winter or early spring known as the “bonne saison.” The “Y” symbol, which is commonly drawn directly on or near animal depictions, could represent birthing because it seems to show two parted legs.

    Much more of interest at the link.

  10. Kathy says:

    Hack for the week:

    When you need to read some tiny print, or take a closer look at something, don’t go hunting for a magnifying glass. Instead take out your cell phone, open the camera app, and use the zoom function. You can get like 10X magnification this way.

  11. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I can’t even tell you how many software product keys I’ve had to do that with. 😛

  12. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: But the important question is: can you use it to set fire to an anthill?

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: My phone has a camera?

  14. Kylopod says:

    It’s Groundhog Day, again.

    Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who refuse to accept his electoral defeat stormed Congress, the Supreme Court and presidential palace in the capital Sunday, just a week after the inauguration of his leftist rival, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

    Thousands of demonstrators bypassed security barricades, climbed on the roofs, broke windows and invaded all three buildings, which are connected through the vast Three Powers square in Brasilia. Some are calling for a military intervention to restore the far-right Bolsonaro to power.

    Images on TV channel Globo News showed protesters roaming the presidential palace, many of them wearing green and yellow, the colors of the flag that have also come to symbolize the Bolsonaro government.

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Good idea. If only my tremor permitted me to take pictures with my phone’s camera. When I’m using a magnifying glass (which I need to buy a new one of–while I’m thinking about it), the shaking doesn’t particularly change the value of the perspective.

  16. Kathy says:


    Check closely. It may even be able to make phone calls.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    There are phone holders, especially for using the phone as a video camera, which might help with that.

  17. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Admittedly, my experience is 40+ years out-of-date, but I predict he will have a short, uncomfortable life in the correctional facility of the state’s choice. Perhaps somewhat longer if he checks into protective custody.

    The only people more hated in prison than cops are pedophiles. Pedo cop? Oh, man, the karmic hamster wheel is gonna run over him soooo many times before his demise, whether it’s at his own hands to end his suffering of some lifer deciding he’s tired of breathing the stench of this human waste.