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:

    I’s a proud Miserian this morning:

    By mid-afternoon on Saturday, a fundraiser for a man who spent 43 years in prison before a judge in Missouri this week overturned his conviction in a triple murder had raised more than $1.4m. The Midwest Innocence Project set up the GoFundMe page as it fought for the release of Kevin Strickland, 62, noting that he would not receive compensation from the state and would need help paying basic living expenses while struggling with extensive health problems.

    Aha, the real reason they let him go: Healthcare is expensive.

    Missouri only allows wrongful imprisonment payments to people exonerated through DNA evidence. James Welsh, a retired Missouri court of appeals judge, ordered Strickland’s release on Tuesday, finding that evidence used to convict him had been recanted or disproven.

    Well of course we cheapskate Miserians only pay off when DNA is involved. As Strickland’s attorney herself said, “The vast majority of folks who are exonerated are exonerated through non-DNA evidence, and the vast majority of crimes do not involve DNA at all,” Bushnell said. “So what we see in Missouri is [that] folks get home and they are provided nothing.” If we paid off everybody wrongly convicted, we’d have to raise taxes or something. This is just fiscal responsibility!

    Besides, we provided, room, board, clothing, healthcare, educational opportunities, a steady job, etc. for 43 years. What more do they want?

    Strickland has always maintained that he was home watching television and had nothing to do with the killings, which happened in Kansas City in 1978, when he was 18. The key witness, a survivor of the shooting, tried for years to recant her testimony, saying she had been pressured by police. No physical evidence tied Strickland to the crime scene. Prints on the shotgun used were not his. Family members provided alibis, and two men convicted in the killings of Sherrie Black, 22, Larry Ingram, 21, and John Walker, 20, said Strickland was not present.

    That’s his own damn fault for not having a better alibi and better alibi witnesses. A white person knows this!

    Having been imprisoned for his entire adult life, Strickland has no savings or ability to show work history for social security entitlements. As he left the Western Missouri correctional center in Cameron this week, he said he was “thankful for God walking me through this for 43 years”.

    “I’m not necessarily angry,” he told reporters. “It’s a lot. I think I’ve created emotions that you all don’t know about just yet. Joy, sorrow, fear. I am trying to figure out how to put them together.”

    Speaking seriously, I can not imagine his sorrow at all that he has lost, nor the fear he feels as he faces an unimaginable future he is in no way prepared for.

    His GoFundMe page.

  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    Okay, then.

    Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn has embraced his position as a hero to QAnon conspiracy theorists. He took the QAnon oath, sold QAnon T-shirts, and even auctioned off a QAnon quilt. He appeared at a QAnon convention and signed books with a QAnon slogan. Some QAnon followers even believe that Flynn is “Q,” the mysterious figure behind QAnon.

    But a recording released late Saturday night by a one-time Flynn ally suggests that the retired three-star general privately believes QAnon to be “total nonsense.”

    It seems that Q-Anon is a CIA disinformation plot cooked up by Democrats. Cool.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I had no idea we DEMs were so imaginitive.

  4. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Flynn is insane. Powell is insane. Wood is really, really insane.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Yes, people seem to skip over that that’s why Obama fired Flynn.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Brexit leaves EU-bound Christmas presents out in the cold

    People preparing to send Christmas parcels to family and friends in Europe face being caught out by post-Brexit red tape and charges that threaten to take some of the joy out of gift-giving.

    A warning has also been sounded that some of those who have sent gifts to the EU this year have encountered problems ranging from delays and unexpected charges to items going missing.

    This will be the first time most people have encountered rules that came in this year relating to VAT and customs charges applying to items being posted to the EU.

    The consumer organisation Which? told the Observer that its research indicates the vast majority of people know little or nothing about the new rules. “The changes brought about by Brexit have created a greater burden of customs paperwork for consumers and couriers alike,” said Adam French, Which? consumer rights expert. “You now have to attach customs declaration forms to anything you send, very clearly describing what it is and where it has originated from.”

    Brexiteers hate Christmas. Who’da thunk it?

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: That’s not why he fired Flynn! He fired him because he’s a Republican!

    Wait a minute… that’s what you said.


  8. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I entirely agree.

  9. CSK says:

    Aaaannnd…according to Flynn, Obama tried to dissuade Trump from hiring him because Flynn “put the fear of God” into Obama.

  10. Slugger says:

    Obama is not alone in firing Flynn. In February 2017, he was fired by Trump from the National Security Advisor position. Trump said that Flynn had lied to Vicepresident Pence. A Presidential pardon does not mean that there was no wrongdoing; it’s a foregoing of punishment and not an exoneration.

  11. Sleeping Dog says:


    Flynn “put the fear of God” into Obama.

    To be redundant, Obama knew Flynn is crazy.

  12. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Speaking of crazy, Mike Lindell used his 96-hour Pillowthon to declare that he was pulling his ads from the Salem Radio Network, home of Sebastian Gorka.

    Lindell claims that Salem is worse than Dominion Voting Systems.

  13. gVOR08 says:


    Trump said that Flynn had lied to Vicepresident Pence.

    Like Trump, or anyone else, gave a damn if Flynn lied to Pence.

  14. Sleeping Dog says:


    TFG would now claim that the deep state, Priebus, Mattis et. al. tricked him into firing Flynn

  15. CSK says:

    In Betrayal, Trump re-enacts for Jonathan Karl a scene that took place with his son, Barron:

    Trump: Do you love your dad?

    Barron: Uh, I don’t know.

    Trump: Too cool.

    The Guardian reviewer describes Trump as “needy as a black hole.”

  16. liberal capitalist says:

    Currently at the southern estate, not far from the Flora-bama border…

    The wife took me and the dog for a walk, where we went around the corner and down the street. There I saw that one of the neighbors had put out Christmas decorations.

    There, central to the decor, was a 20 foot high Grinch, wearing St. Nick clothing. And in Grinche’s hand was a sign: Let’s Go Brandon.


    1) Good that he knows his internal spirit animal and identify himself and his perceived self-importance with a 20-foot high grinch. Could not be summarized better.

    2) Nice way not to politicize the holidays, eh?

    The cult is strong with them.

  17. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “It seems that Q-Anon is a CIA disinformation plot cooked up by Democrats”

    Which Flynn has been actively promoting because… why?

    Apparently the non-crazy version of Flynn is even crazier than the crazy one.

  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Moving away from the politics of insane residents of banana republics where it’s too cold for bananas to grow for a bit, toward the end of the day, Jax asked about sweet potato pie tasting different from pumpkin (because I use my pumpkin pie recipe for both). In case she missed it, I replied

    In my recipe, once you add 2 or 3 times the ginger, cloves, cinnamon and what not that a normal recipe calls for sweet potato and pumpkin taste the same. (And from what I understand from a past life, a significant amount of canned pumpkin is actually acorn squash, so there might not be a significant difference in flavor to begin with.)

    ((Also, our particular diners that year were picky eaters who would not have wanted to eat sweet potato pie, so we didn’t tell them and they didn’t notice. ))

    Hope that helps, Jax. (Be careful not to boil or steam the sweet potatoes too much. Runny pie chiffon is very sad. [weeping emoji].)

  19. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Thanks! I was laughing at the “picky eaters” comment as I was drinking my coffee this morning.

    My youngest is super picky and hates cheese. Always has. For a number of years I could still get her to eat grilled cheese if I called it a “grilled butter” sandwich instead. She eventually caught on, unfortunately. I’ll probably just call it a pumpkin pie, since she might balk if I tell her it’s leftover sweet potatoes. 😛

  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    Growing up my eldest daughter ate the following: pasta with butter, Nutella and white bread. For years. Years. Absolutely would not budge. We spent 6 months in Tuscany and she ate pasta with butter, and Nutella.

    Then one fine day, back in the US, we got her to eat steak. Here is the key error: we got her to eat filet mignon, at Morton’s. And we thought, OMG, she’s actually trying new food. Perhaps we should tempt her with other savory delights, and some day, she’ll probably be happy with hot dogs.

    Roll the tape forward a decade and a half and she loves: lobster, truffles and yes, caviar. Also sushi – but only the very best sushi. “I thought you were going to make lobster mac and cheese,” she complains, as she peruses the Petrossian catalog.

    That’s what’s called, the long game.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    The key witness, a survivor of the shooting, tried for years to recant her testimony, saying she had been pressured by police. No physical evidence tied Strickland to the crime scene. Prints on the shotgun used were not his. Family members provided alibis, and two men convicted in the killings of Sherrie Black, 22, Larry Ingram, 21, and John Walker, 20, said Strickland was not present.

    How is it that from just reading that part of the report I knew that Strickland suffered from wrongskincolorism?

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: Let’s be real, if you put the correct quantities of spices into the pie filling batter, it really ends up tasting like brown sugar (no, I don’t use white in holiday pie, I like the slightly molasses taste better) and spice no matter what type of pulse you use as the base. The problem I’ve encountered is that I’m no longer careful enough to avoid overcooking whatever I’m using and too much moisture in that base ingredient changes the consistency of the chiffon. Then again, the last time I baked a pie for a holiday festivity, I’d not gone to Korea yet. It’s been a while, and store-bought pies seem good enough for most people. (If I’m being really fancy, I’ll buy an unbaked one instead of pre-baked, and most people really can’t tell the difference then–and no, I don’t hang with gourmands and Luddite only asks me to bring yams and soda bread anymore anyway.)

  23. dazedandconfused says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    The Kyle Rittenhouse aspect to Lin Wood’s melt-down is fascinating. Seems Kyle wants to keep the $2 million bail money, nearly half of which came from Lin Wood.
    This may explain Kyle’s pilgrimage to Mar A Lago, the Mecca of outrage monetarization.

  24. Pete S says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    It took me YEARS to figure out why my parents, who normally insisted that we all eat the same thing, were happy to give my sister and I hot dogs because we did not like steak

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!

  26. Jax says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Ha! I feel this in my bones. Same kid ONLY eats the chicken strips when we go out to eat. For years. She mixed it up a couple weeks ago and got the fish sticks, we thought we were making real progress!

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You want me to bring yams and soda bread if you ever invite me to dinner? YOU GOT IT!

  28. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: You’re always welcome with your yams and soda bread here, Cracker. You and Luddite both. We’ll have so much fun making fun of the human race! 😛

  29. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yeah, but your soda bread is outstanding, and the yams are always perfect to my burned-out taste buds (and unlike my BIL, you don’t insist on coating them in melted marshmallows. Besides, all I have to do these days is cook the turkey, and wash the dishes (BTW, thanks for drying!)

    @Jax: Sweet! But how will your neighbors react to us rolling through the neighborhood with our cigars a-lit and “Uneasy Rider” playing on the radio? Don’t want you being run out of town on a rail.

  30. flat earth luddite says:


    “Seems Kyle wants to keep the $2 million bail money…”

    Well of course he does. Where else is this numbskull ever going to see that much dinero in his lifetime, without, you know, actually being a grown-up and working?