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. Michael Cain says:

    Entertain me, dammit!

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Woman returns from vacation to find family home mistakenly demolished

    To this day, she said the Atlanta-based company responsible, You Call It We Haul It, has yet to contact her.

    “How do people just go up and tear somebody’s property down and then just drive off?” Hodgson said. “How can they think that’s OK? I just wish he would come fix the problem that he caused.

    “It’s just hard to believe someone thinks they have the right to just come and tear something up and walk away from it and didn’t come back and say ‘I’m sorry. What do I need to do to fix this? It was an accident.’ They didn’t give me nothing.”

    The company did not immediately return a telephone message left Saturday. In a statement to WAGA-TV, the company said it is investigating and working to resolve the mishap.

    Yeah, working hard to resolve the mishap by ignoring the victim.

  3. Bill Jempty says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This kind of thing wasn’t unheard of during the foreclosure crisis of a decade back. A company would be hired to trash out a foreclosed home and do the wrong the house.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Man captures ‘weird anomaly’ of Storm Babet lifting forest floor in Scotland (video)

    It was a surreal moment, even for a poet.

    David Nugent-Malone was taking his dog Jake for their usual walk through a local forest in Mugdock, Stirlingshire during Storm Babet when he saw the forest floor “weirdly” lifting up and down in the wind.

    He captured the moment in a video that he posted on X, writing: “The woods were moving like the sea this morning.”

    In a further post, where footage shows Jake running towards the ground as it lifts into the air and then standing on the forest floor as it rises, Nugent-Malone wrote: “The earth was breathing deeply this morning.”

    It is more than a little unsettling..

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill Jempty: Yeah, I remember reading of a couple such instances.

  6. CSK says:


    That IS bizarre. I wonder what caused it.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Whoa! That looks like trees with very shallow roots are on the verge of being blown over in the wind – he should have gotten the hell away from them!

  8. CSK says:

    It took a few days, but Trump has denied Sidney Powell was ever his attorney.

  9. CSK says:


    Yeah, it looks like badly laid turf carpeting.

  10. Kathy says:


    So the Cheeto just let a stranger sit in on oval office meetings with his top advisors, and then tried to get her appointed special counsel so she’d go away?

  11. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan: Yeah, especially since the trees at the top of the frame are tipping appropriately when the turf rises.

  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    In the same vein as LEO’s raiding the wrong house, terrorizing the children, killing the family dog and maybe any adults around.

  13. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: @Kathy: It isn’t a wholly new claim. During the 2020-1 interim period, the Trump team did start to distance themselves from Powell and claim she wasn’t part of their legal team, though it was reported that she continued to have private meetings with Trump even after she had been supposedly dropped.

    What will be fun is if Trump starts to cite attorney-client privilege (which wouldn’t apply in this circumstance anyway) even though it undercuts the claim that she was never his attorney. Internal coherence was never one of his strong points.

  14. Slugger says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Think how unsettling this is for MacBeth as Birnham woods move toward Dunsinane.

  15. Kathy says:


    It’s time for whoever owns and leases back the company now, to launch Cheeto-flavored Jell-O.

  16. CSK says:


    Wasn’t that around the same time Powell started threatening everyone with visions of The Kraken rising?

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Internal coherence was never one of his strong points.

    Ach, that’s what lawyers are for, and boy does he need some new lawyers.

  18. Kathy says:


    If I were his lawyer I would 1) charge a retainer large enough to buy a small town, 2) not do a lick of work until it was paid, 3) advise him to plead diminished capacity (it is very likely true in any case) to get a good deal, 4) tell him to get another lawyer once he rejects my very sensible advice.

  19. Kylopod says:


    Wasn’t that around the same time Powell started threatening everyone with visions of The Kraken rising?

    Yeah. And claiming among other things that Hugo Chavez was somehow involved. I think the Trump team realized that her claims were so out there it wasn’t helping them. Earlier this year DeSantis tried to use Powell’s claims as a sort of strawman enabling him to split the difference on election denialism:

    First, he blamed Trump for listening to nut jobs like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani: “After the election they were talking about Maduro stealing votes on the voting machines and none of those theories proved to be true.”

    When it comes to figures like Powell or Rudy or Lindell, it’s not easy figuring out their true motives. Do they actually believe what they’re saying? Are they really that insane? Or are they simply con artists who are consciously targeting people they see as the most gullible portions of the populace? Powell flipping would suggest she’s ready to admit she lied. But if that’s the case, what was her endgame? Did she really think she was helping Trump’s efforts to overturn the election? Or was she simply using the platform as a means of boosting her flagging career by becoming a right-wing celebrity?

    I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure what’s going on in the heads of such people.

  20. gVOR10 says:

    @Kylopod: Over at LGM Scott Lemieux quotes NYT quoting Lawrence Tribe taking a shot at explaining Chesebro. Tribe was something of a mentor and they worked together on Bush v Gore.

    Some former colleagues say Mr. Chesebro’s 180-degree turn came after a lucrative 2014 investment in Bitcoin and a subsequent posh, itinerant lifestyle. Others, like Mr. Tribe, see Mr. Chesebro as a “moral chameleon” and his story an old one about the seduction of power.

    “He wanted to be close to the action,” said Mr. Tribe, who is among 60 lawyers and scholars who signed an ethics complaint in New York that could result in Mr. Chesebro’s disbarment.

  21. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR10: I don’t know much about Chesebro, though I know there’s a fairly long list of former Dems in Trumpworld–including Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Peter Navarro, Lin Wood, and Kari Lake.

    Each of these folks has different stories of the paths they went down. Cohen was Trump’s “fixer” for a long time, even back when Trump himself identified as a Dem, and after Trump’s rise to power he just went along for the ride without ever really changing his political affiliation. Navarro was a Dem during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and he started to shift around the 2010s or so due to going down a protectionist/nationalist rabbit hole.

    In a lot of these cases, though, I think a big thing that pushed these people to the right was a love of conspiracy theories.

  22. Kathy says:


    There’s a section Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, by Sagan and Druyan, where they narrate the inner dialogues of chimpanzees, as best they can make them fit observed behavior.

    I’ve no idea why I brought this up just now.

  23. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Many years ago I saw a Jane Goodall documentary in which she depicted a group of chimps doing a violent coup against their leader. As she filmed the dying chimp king, she went into an extended monologue on what the creature was thinking and feeling at that moment.

    I know Goodall is one of the most beloved scientists in the world, and I’m not some hard-nosed “Animals can’t think!” skeptic. That said, I think she was going way beyond the evidence and engaging in some pretty bold anthropomorphism.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: That said, I think she was going way beyond the evidence and engaging in some pretty bold anthropomorphism.

    It’s an easy trap to fall into.

  25. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..It’s an easy trap to fall into.

    Yeah. Especially when your cat can drive.

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    My Coffee Cathedral, the local Panera, is closed for the second day in a row. When I arrived there yesterday the parking lot entrance was blocked off and the place was dark inside. Turns out the underground water line that has been leaking in the grass just beyond the parking lot and been visible for at least a week finally turned into a small river. There is now a crater in the center of the parking lot traffic lane the size of a small car where the pipe burst. When I talked to the manager at the door yesterday he said he hoped that they would be open today (Sunday) at 9am. I drove by there at about 11:30 this morning and saw a digging machine sitting on a trailer behind a dump truck. No repairs have been made yet.
    Fortunately the Church of St. Panera has a congregation 12 miles east. I can still get my communion mud and worship the universe of the internet for as long as I want with the My Panera card that I carry. It feels good to belong.

  27. CSK says:

    Trump wanted Melania to prance around Mar-a-Lago in a bikini so all the males guest would drool over her and be wildly envious of Trump owning such a spectacular piece of ass.

  28. JohnSF says:

    Oh well.
    Rugby World Cup semi final yesterday ended England 15-16 South Africa.
    But my word, it was close. England played really well, and dominated most of the game.
    But, kept getting penalties in the scrums, kicked away possession trying for territory (bad tactics in pouring rain), so that they led only 15-13 at the 75th minute.
    Gave away a penalty in a scrum at near the half way line, Handre Pollard kicked an amazing penalty over from that distance at minute 77, and it was South Africa ahead one point with just two and half minutes remaining.
    So, the final will be New Zealand versus South Africa.

    Prediction: unless the Springboks can up their game, the Kiwis will tear them apart.
    OTOH, the South Africans just refuse, ever, to give up.
    A match to look forward to.

  29. Kathy says:

    I don’t ussualy link to Xitter, but this time it’s the lesser evil.

    It seems Biden has more followers than El Cheeto in Benito’s own social network.

    The numbers for both seem too small.