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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Terri Burl has come full circle. The local Republican party official was a founding member of Women for Trump in her corner of rural Wisconsin eight years ago when the then New York businessman’s run for president was little more than a joke to political pundits.

    Burl twice campaigned enthusiastically for Donald Trump’s election but, after he lost the presidency to Joe Biden in 2020, she feared the chaos of his years in power had made him unelectable. The former social worker and substitute teacher switched her support to Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, and then Trump’s former UN ambassador Nikki Haley.

    But now Burl is back campaigning for Trump in Oneida county.

    “I don’t feel excited. But I have a bunch of ‘Never Trump’ friends and this is my argument to them: I say, you better vote for Trump or you get Biden,” she said.

    “Not only that. If you don’t vote for Trump, and then he doesn’t win, he’s going to come back in four years. The boogeyman will be back. He’ll be 82 years old. Is that what you want? Just let him have his four years and then you won’t have to put up with him anymore.

    Famous last words of every domestically abused person, “Just give him what he wants and he won’t beat you.”

    Also, her talent to only hear what she wants to hear from trump has made her deaf to the cries from her fellow Republicans calling for the repeal of the 22nd Amendment. These people ain’t right.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From Rise in US executions masks deep divide between states on use of death penalty, I read this:

    “Missouri is considered the state outside of the south that had the most racial terror lynchings. We can even look and drill down into specific counties in Missouri that are high use death penalty counties, those are counties that had the most racial terror lynchings,” she said.

    “And so you see this culture of fear, this culture of hate that’s embedded in certain parts and areas. And that’s how you end up with these types of sentencing.

    Ah’s sooo proud…

    Also this:

    Between 1976 and 2022, DPIC reported, there have been 2104 victims in cases which led to the death penalty. About 82% of the victims in those cases were white, 9% were Black, and 7.5% were Latino (2% were identified as other races, according to DPIC).

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Nicole Minet

    I’ve been waiting 29 years to tell this story about OJ and his days at USC. Now that he’s dead (may he burn in hell) I have a story that I signed an NDA for that is no longer valid. I was a junior at USC working in Topping Student Center on campus in 1995. I was an administrative assistant to the President of Student Affairs that semester in the work/study program.

    In early 1995, Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian (USC Alumni) walked up to my desk and said they had an appt with my boss. I was studying to be a criminal defense lawyer with a dual major in PoliSci and International Relations so I knew who they were. The meeting lasted about 30 mins.

    After they left I looked at my boss like wtf was that all about!? He walked me outside and we sat by the old sprawling big tree outside Topping and my boss lit a cigarette for the first time in years and told me I had to sign an NDA because I could confirm OJ’s lawyers were there for a meeting. Then he told me what the meeting was about.

    Before OJ could graduate from USC, the university paid off two families of two blonde white girls that he had dated and battered. They had both gone to the LAPD to report it. One claimed he also sexually assaulted her in their relationship. The school had a vested interest in OJ going far in football and protected him at all costs. OJ had been in custody for 6 months and lawyers were in the discovery process for the trial and OJ’s friend Robert Kardashian, who knew OJ from also being a student at USC, thought it would be best if those stories never saw the light of day. So a large check was written, given to my boss, and they left. I’ll never forget holding that check.

    Now, did you hear about this before now? Nope. That’s how much power money enables.

    After he was acquitted I changed my major to Philosophy/Psychology double major. I understood that I could harm society more than not if I pursued law. This is also why I abhor the Kardashians. They’re rich thugs. Nothing more. #OJISDEAD

    Take it for what it’s worth, but it would not surprise me.

  4. Kathy says:

    Q: How many Minbari does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: Ten. One to change the light bulb, and nine to perform the light bulb changing ritual.

  5. Kathy says:

    Somehow made it a double post.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: My favorite:
    How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
    Only one, but the light bulb really has to want to change.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: How many mice does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    Just two. The problem is getting them in there

  8. Bill Jempty says:
  9. Bill Jempty says:
  10. Bill Jempty says:

    Q: How many butch lesbians does it require to change a flat tire?
    A: Just one. No jack needed.

  11. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: HA!!! 😉 😉

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Ouch.

  13. Michael Cain says:

    I wonder, as changing a light bulb becomes a much less common task, will the jokes about it die out?

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: You mean like, “How do you change an LED?”
    “You don’t.”

  15. JKB says:


    You go buy a new LED light and throw the malfunctioning one away. Fight global warming with more electronic waste.

  16. Thomm says:

    @JKB: so….like a regular lightbulb, but with a much longer life. You tried tho.

  17. JKB says:

    Iran’s swarm against Israel was largely ineffective, except for the climate change footprint to replace all the defensive projectiles. I saw an estimate that the swarm was 12% of Iran’s arsenal. But no worries, Old Joe has funneled $80 billion to the Iranians since he got into office so they are flush with cash.

    The Iranians also just hijacked a container ship in the Persian Gulf. Yes, an Israeli billionaire is an owner, but that means sailing into the Persian gulf just got more expensive due to insurance. Like the Iranian controlled Houthi have made the Suez Canal passage.

    Short video on the taking of the MSC Aries and attacks on shipping in the region

  18. JKB says:


    There is more global warming in the LED bulb components. But many LED lights do not have replaceable parts and they don’t last that long as they are designed so that the electronics cook from the heat.

  19. steve says:

    I think we did the right thing in helping protect Israel. We protected lives. Maybe we can help keep the war from accelerating. Iran is definitely not our friend. That said, I am not particularly happy feeling like we are Israel’s client country. We provide support without many limits. They do what they want and ignore us when they wish. Plus, they interfere in our internal politics. (I realize that’s mostly in the form of Netanyahu interfering but he has been elected and re-elected so have to assume his actions meet the approval of most people.)


  20. Franklin says:

    -How many pro-life activists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    Two to do the screwing and two to testify it was lit from the moment they started screwing.

  21. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..light bulbs

    See my recent post:

    Mister Bluster says:
    Wednesday, 10 April 2024 at 20:29
    Q: How many flies does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: Just two. But nobody knows how they get in there…

    Should I be flattered due to imitation?
    Should I be concerned about plagiarism?
    Maybe I should go with “Great Minds Think Alike”.

  22. Franklin says:

    @JKB: The reduction in coal burning from the reduced energy usage of LEDs far outweigh the components, although I know you wouldn’t know that from the sources you read.

    But there are other downsides. Since they’re cheaper to use, people tend to use more of them. I mean, why not leave your Christmas lights on half the year?

    It’s just like energy in general. The cheaper the renewables get, the more we use them. We’re a power-hungry society.

  23. MarkedMan says:

    @JKB:Whoa, I actually agree with JKB on this. [Checks the weather in hell]

  24. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Gee, I dunno. I had five light sockets in my old apartment and put 15 or so LED bulbs in them over 2 years.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Mister Bluster: Sorry! Missed it!

  26. Neil Hudelson says:

    @just nutha:

    That’s truly bizarre and doesn’t track with my experience in my house or the multiple properties I manage. I would look at what brand youre buying (as someone mentioned, cheaply made bulbs overheat the components) and also if you have underlying electrical issues.

  27. charontwo says:

    People like Marsha Blackburn and Donald Trump are shooting off their mouths about attacking Iran, there are Republicans for whom this plays well – more war, bloodshed, yay!

    How this benefits U.S is unclear, and apparently Iran does not really want to mix it up with the U.S.

    Here is Kevin Drum take: “Drum

    A couple of weeks ago Israel launched a missile attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing a general of the Revolutionary Guard. Today Iran retaliated:


    Drones? And a few small missiles? All of which Iran knew would be routinely shot down? This was obviously intended to be a pinprick attack, just enough to save face but not to do any serious damage. It couldn’t be more obvious if Iran spelled out a message on the moon.

    For now, anyway, this is yet another example of President Biden getting the job done. He made it clear to Iran that they crossed a line a few months ago, when a militia attack killed three American soldiers, and they’ve been quiet ever since. They couldn’t literally do nothing in response to the embassy attack, but this is the next best thing. They plainly have no interest in escalating things to a point that might get the US directly involved.

    Well, not just Marsha Blackburn. Bibi wants the war expanded too.

  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    Iran could hope Iron Dome would knock everything down, but they couldn’t know. And having intercepts in the sky over Jerusalem gave Netanyahu all the excuse he needs to go postal. The ball is now in Netanyahu’s court. Does he want a wider war, or not?

  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Axios has a piece up this AM, that if Bibi chooses to expand the war to Iran, Israel is on its own and the US won’t assist them.

    If Bibi goes ahead, this will be a war fought on Israel’s borders, not Iran’s.

  30. Thomm says:

    @JKB: what is the replaceable part in a lightbulb? I must have hallucinated that my pops replaced LEDs in his Motorola shop all the time instead of just tossing the component. I also forgot, lightbulbs never pop from excess heat either. Again, you tried.

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    Send the Proud Boys to fight Iran.
    As holy and righteous as they claim to be you would think that they would volunteer.

  32. MarkedMan says:

    @just nutha: This! I’ve used LED’s my whole career in things I’ve designed and they can last virtually forever, but you have to mange the heat and protect them from surges. I’ve yet to see any reviews of LED bulbs that check how long they last. I would gladly pay more for bulbs that actually got their rated life

  33. CSK says:

    Yesterday at a rally in Schnecksville, PA, Trump proclaimed that he is “perhaps the most honest guy almost, in the world, I think.”

  34. Michael Cain says:

    JKB does have a point: LED bulbs don’t fail because the LED element itself fails; they fail because the AC-to-DC circuitry in them fails. Some day perhaps we’ll get smart and run DC wiring in parallel to the AC in our offices and homes. Looking around my office as I type this, everything actually runs off DC except the printer/scanner and the very old powered loudspeaker.

  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Cain: I’d be willing to bet quite a bit that the printer immediately converts that AC to DC as soon as it gets in.

    While I agree that it’s wasteful to convert everything, the line losses would be substantial in a low voltage DC line that runs a great distance and has a large load (like a printer) at the end.

  36. DK says:


    If you don’t vote for Trump, and then he doesn’t win, he’s going to come back in four years. The boogeyman will be back. He’ll be 82 years old. Is that what you want?

    Trump loses in 2024, again.
    Then runs again 2028 (from prison or while on probation) to further destroy the Republican Party.
    Is this what I want…

    Why are you threatening me with a good time, lady?

  37. Michael Cain says:

    And on-off cycles don’t matter either. I had a hobby project where I controlled the brightness of the backlight in the small display by turning the LEDs off then on 500 times per second, with shorter off times giving a brighter display. Thing ran continuously for four years, call it 63 billion on-off cycles.

  38. Mr. Prosser says:

    @DK: If he’s still alive in ’28 he’ll be under house arrest in a house bought for him by JaVanka eating pudding with his fingers, a trick taught to him by DeSantis in 2023.

  39. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Former social worker, organizing for Trump…. geez….

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I’m not concerned about it at all, and I assume that the reason is because I use low-cost bulbs that simply don’t have the longevity.

    And the building I was living in was built in 1926 and probably wired for electricity shortly after Grand Coulee Dam was built (judging from the conduit and junction boxes that adorned my walls). “Underlying electrical issues” goes without saying.

    @MarkedMan: I’m glad for you being able to afford to pay extra for products that get their rated lifespans. Living in old buildings that were originally gaslit (gaslighted?) doesn’t afford me the luxury of expecting that I can gain that benefit, so I buy for price. (IIRC, I bought the last box at the lumber yard’s hardware for $11 for a box of 10 bulbs. And they didn’t have a life expectancy rating, either.)

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Then runs again 2028 (from prison or while on probation) to further destroy the Republican Party.
    Is this what I want…

    For me, anything that will keep younger despot types from being able to correct what Trump is too incompetent to accomplish is a plus.

  42. EddieInCA says:

    Depressing poll of the day…. but not suprising…

    Jaw Dropping Poll Finds Republicans Trust Trump for Info on Russia-Ukraine More Than Twice as Much as Journalists Who Are Actually There

    The CBS News/YouGov poll revealed that a whopping 79% of Republicans trust what Trump tells them about the conflict — a number that far exceeds the Pentagon or even journalists reporting from the war zone.

    Sixty-percent of Republicans said they trusted the Pentagon for accurate info on Ukraine, while 56% trusted conservative media the most. Just 33% said they trusted journalists reporting from the field, and a paltry 27% trusted the State Department the most.

    CBS reported that “Self-identified ‘MAGA’ Republicans almost entirely trusted Trump for information, and were especially opposed to aid — even more so than non-MAGA Republicans.”

    A separate poll showed that just 31% of MAGA Republicans supported sending additional aid to Ukraine, while 69% did not.

    Data also showed that Republicans and Democrats had wildly different views on aid to Ukraine. In a separate poll, just 26% of Republicans as a whole were in favor of additional aid, while 74% of Democrats favored it.

    Words fail me…. Every time I think we’ve hit bottom, we go lower.

  43. Matt says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Ukraine. Iranian made drones and cruise missiles have been getting shot down there by machine guns in large numbers for years now. The more advanced stuff has been getting splattered by more conventional AA systems. So there’s plenty of evidence that Iran knew that the majority of what they launched wouldn’t make it anywhere near their targets. This was ensured by the prior warnings.

    @Michael Cain: Not going to happen in the near future. DC line loss is too big for any long runs and having to set up localized converters for whole buildings/communities is adding cost as a whole for no meaningful gain. So there’s no economic incentive to add complexity and cost just to gain DC outlets.

    As for LED lights as others have stated the ac/dc part is what usually dies. Sockets are insulated and thus pretty awful for heat transference so the internals bake to death. Having said that I have a few good quality LED bulbs I’ve been using for over 10 years now.

    The cheap bulbs die much faster though and I’ve got quite a collection of the internals that I’m debating on turning into a super bulb or something funnies.

    The free market and capitalism decided that cheap and disposable is better than more expensive but vastly longer lasting. Shouldn’t JKB be cheering on the wisdom of the free market?

  44. Kathy says:

    One thing about reading extensively on science and technology, is learning how many times in history a revolutionary new invention was downplayed, or dismissed, by learned, knowledgeable people at the time.

    When the Segway (remember it?) came out amid all the hype by its inventor, Dean Kamen, I felt so underwhelmed that I wondered whether I was missing something.

    I wasn’t.

    But the other thing about reading how many useful inventions, like the telephone, were dismissed, is the fear of falling into what Clarke called a Failure of Imagination. That is, failing to see the implications of new developments.

    The latest one, not overhyped yet, is the Humane AI Pin (I feel the irony in the name). I recall reading about it some time ago, and feeling as underwhelmed as I did with the Segway.

    I feel validated by two recent reviews I found on Youtube. This one, and this one. Never mind the outrageous $700 base price and monthly subscription fee.

  45. Jax says:

    When was the last time we heard from de Stijl? February-ish?

  46. Matt says:

    @Jax: Oh dear it has been a while.

  47. Jax says:

    @Matt: I fully expected him to check in after the Iowa primaries.

  48. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Cain: Interesting. I was wondering about that. Although it might be different if we were approaching the heat limits of the device.

  49. CSK says:

    @Jax: @Matt: @Jax:

    I’ve been wondering the same thing.

  50. Jax says:

    @CSK: I don’t know his real name, but there was a hit and run pedestrian accident in Des Moines around the time he last checked in, and the age group fits, plus he mentioned he walked a lot.