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:

    A blessed Easter to the believers in the group. To everyone else, I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Russian Warship, Go F**k Yourself!

    The 4th little pigs house was made of wolf skulls. They aren’t very sturdy, but they send a message.

  3. CSK says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    kiran joshi (100% Follow Back)@kiranjoshi235
    Wow So Brave

    It got a little dusty in here.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Bad linky. Just takes me to xyz.’s main page.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Via commentor NotMax over at Balloon Juice, Passover, the Goldberg variation.

    Some people have too much time on their hands. Thank dawg.

    That was fun.

  7. CSK says:

    Try again. It works for me.

  8. CSK says:

    And if you scroll down the Twitter page, the next image is a delightful photo of Donald Trump and a female companion.

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    Is Jesus up yet? He said He wanted to resurrect in time to catch the game.

  10. de stijl says:

    I got up early this morning. Made a pot of tea. Read the news, or at least most of the headlines.

    It got full light and the sky was uniformly gray. Wanted a walk. I walk ~ 3 to 4 miles most every day. It was fine. I did my hour. It was pleasant. Gray days have their own charm and delight.

    The walk is the best hour of my day. I fire up a play list and look at the world roll by as I walk.

    I didn’t realize it was Easter weekend until Friday. To me, not a thing that matters.

    Can someone explain why Easter wanders all over the spring calendar. Iirc, there is an explanation involving moon cycles.

  11. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Easter is based on the lunar cycle of the Jewish calendar.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I tried it twice before I complained but the 3rd time is a charm.

  13. CSK says:

    Well, you may be sorry you read it. But I’m glad it finally worked for you.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Freezing Order by Bill Browder review – life as a target of Putin

    Looks like a good read. This gave me pause for thought:

    He was also subject to a series of Interpol warrants, and at one stage in the book he is arrested in Madrid under a Russian-requested order. At first he’s not sure if the Spanish police are in fact Russian agents in disguise, and then he’s not sure if he will be held and extradited to Moscow – where he would likely have met the same end as his lawyer.

    As terrifying as this incident must have been, in a way it pales by comparison with another moment in the book in which Browder recalls the 2018 Helsinki summit between Putin and Donald Trump. Out of the blue, Putin offered to swap some Russian intelligence agents for Browder, and in a joint press conference Trump said that he thought it was “an incredible offer”.

    Browder was on holiday at his home in Colorado at the time, and imagined that blacked-out secret service land cruisers would arrive and he’d be rendered away to Moscow to face a rigged show trial and a mysterious death behind bars.

    Who knows wtf trump said to putin behind closed doors with but one witness who’s notes he seized.

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Wow! And in the previous election cycle to boot. Looks like he has a history. Eeeeewwwww!

  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: On the other hand, how many candidates have family members (probably more than one in his case) who won’t endorse them? Makes him unique, at least.

  17. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, I think Paul Gosar’s siblings came out against him, but yes, it is unusual, to say the least.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Yes, they even made an ad for his opponent.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Scott Pruitt, Trump’s scandal-ridden environment chief, to run for US Senate

    In today’s GOP, corruption is a campaign feature, not a thing to be hidden. Same for extramarital affairs.

  20. de stijl says:


    Why would a Jewish calendar influence Christian Easter observance?

    That would be as stupid as saying that Saturnalia and pagan winter rituals influence Xhristmas.

    That would be like stating that follow-on religions steal from their forebears.

    One would think that someone would’ve contemporaneously noted the date of Jesus’ death.

    In college my gf took a series of comparartive religion courses and I was super jealous. After declaring, I couldn’t afford fun, cool classes I wanted to take. I would read her textbooks for fun and self-education when I had the opportunity.

    Yesterday I spent about an hour and a half reading up on Tengri and steppe shamanism. For fun and education. No fooling. For fun.

    One thing I have learned as an amateur explorer is that new religious belief systems borrow hard off the old. It aids cultural acceptance.

    There is a reason many households in America host a a Christmas tree and it is co-opted pre-Christian north Germanic paganistic practice.

    A Christmas tree has jack diddly squat to do with the three magi and a virgin birth. Holly. Yule logs. Mistletoe. Caroling. These are remnants. Precursors.

    Easter and Eostre. Bunnies, flowers, and eggs are direct steals from pre-Christian spring religious festivals about fertility and rebirth.

    Old habits stick hard.

    Very old religions-Hellenism stole Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, etc. from the the Myceneans and they from the Minoans before them. The Romans just blatantly stole all of it and just assigned new names.

    Most of modern religions just blatantly co-opted earlier practices.

    It all goes back to ur-shamanism and oral tradition.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The degeneracy of Republican candidates ties in with the discussion yesterday about primaries. If Republican officials had any say, they would avoid candidates like this, but they don’t. Anyone can run as a Republican and degenerates know that Republican Primary voters don’t really care about this stuff.

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:.. ‘If rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.’ said Republican candidate Robert Regan.

    I’m sure that if some man overpowered Republican candidate Robert Regan and grabbed him by the ears and forced him to perform oral sex that Republican candidate Robert Regan would not struggle but that he would enjoy it.
    The man is a fuking Republican pig.
    Apologist Adam de Angeli is also a pig.

  23. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    I have no idea why Easter is determined by the Jewish lunar calendar. I only know that it is.

  24. Sleeping Dog says:


    Every recent picture of TFG that I see, he looks increasingly demented.

  25. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Always with the thumbs-up gesture. Who can forget him doing that in the photo with the infant whose parents were slaughtered in the El Paso, Texas Walmart shooting in 2019?

    What in hell does he think “thumbs up” means?

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The early church heavily proselytized among Jews. There was a faction that thought only Jews could become Christian. (i mean, Jesus was a jew, right?) The whole Judaeo-Christian thing is very real for some. Basing it on the Jewish calendar just made it easier for converts to accept.

  27. becca says:

    Watched Chuck Todd interview Fred Upton, retiring Michigan R rep. The effect of death threats was discussed, driving the not stupid-crazy out of the party and how it is hard to get decent R’s to run. Chilling. Watch it on MTP.

    It cannot be said enough, these are very mean and ruthless people.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: What in hell does he think “thumbs up” means?

    “I’m the greatest.”?

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: The degeneracy of Republican candidates ties… directly to the degeneracy of Republican Primary voters (who) don’t really care about this stuff.

    Shortened that up for you.

  30. CSK says:

    Thanks; that’s a good explanation.
    Who knows? He uses it all…the…time.

  31. Jay L Gischer says:

    My oldest daughter was born on Easter, though her birthday in 30+ years has never again fallen on Easter. So I’ve done a bit of research on how Easter is determined.

    It is certainly derived from the Jewish calendar, but it is not done directly from it. Easter, in the Western (Roman Catholic and most derived Protestant denominations, too) falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. It does not directly coincide with Passover, but they twine a dance around each other. This seems appropriate since the goings on that inspired Easter took place during Passover. The Last Supper was a seder.

    Interestingly enough, the Orthodox churches calculate Easter slightly differently, since they never recognized the Gregorian calendar reforms, and so thus still use the Julian calendar. I don’t know the details, but it sounds interesting.

  32. Mimai says:

    Re the “just lie back and enjoy it” comment, how are people interpreting this?
    1) He actually says this (or some variant) to his daughters.
    2) He was making an analogy, saying that to not contest the election would be like telling his daughters to “insert quote here.”

  33. CSK says:

    Jonathan Swan of Axios claims that Trump didn’t endorse Josh Mandel because he finds Mandel “embarrassing.” (The pot’s really calling the kettle black, here.) But Trump also feels Mandel isn’t great on television, which the the be-all and end-all for Trump.

  34. de stijl says:

    It’s fucking snowing right now. I checked my GPS and this ain’t Minnesota. What the eff?

  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I don’t know the details of the calculation, other than it ranges from 0-5 weeks different from the Catholic Easter. I am getting semi-dragged to midnight mass this Sat/Sun at a random Russian Orthodox church in Queens. (We are visiting my daughter and my wife wants to go this year, first time in a decade or so.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I’d forgotten about Gosar, but that brings us up to 2?

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: As I recall, there are two (at least) reasons. The first is that the events of the Crucifixion happen at the season of Passover. The second is that from an anthropologic (sociological?) sense, Christianity is sometimes claimed to have started as an offshoot sect of Judaism.

  38. de stijl says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    There is no compelling reason that Easter is so variable.

    I guarantee, with no proof whatsoever, that some clever person repurposed a pre-existing spring celebration and it stuck. Co-opted.

    Two weeks after the moon hits you in the eye like a big pizza pie is a shoddy way to run a calendar.

    What is interesting is that they were both counting days in the yearly sun duration cycle and unrelated lunar cycles simultaneously and mixing the two. Ancient folks are way more sophisticated than most people give them credit for.

    Passover was likely stolen from a precursor.

    Gilgamesh and Genesis. Borrowed, stolen, repurposed, refurbishished for a new audience.

    They invented writing. We invented Twitter. Compare and contrast. (Hyperlinking is pretty bad-ass – good on us.)

  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mimai: I’m assuming that stuff like the current kerfuffle is the reason that in the previous election cycle one of his daughters tweeted “If you’re in Michigan and 18+ pls for the love of god do not vote for my dad for state rep. Tell everyone.” I’m also assuming that she’s speaking from a basis of knowledge about her father that I do not possess, though the knowledge from the article is bad enough. If your child thinks that you are not suited to hold office, that’s saying something.!

  40. de stijl says:

    I can’t recall the exact date, but freshman year at college we got 15 inches of snow in mid April and two days later it was 75F.

    I was the first person out the side door that morning and I had to bull the door open to get out.

    Only freshmen are stupid enough to take 8 AM classes. I was that stupid. I high stepped / trudged to the hall and it was locked up. School was canceled.

  41. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    As I read other stories about this, I found that Regan seems to have been trying to make an analogy in this case. It was a very badly executed one, though.

    He also appears to be a Qanon adherent, and has posited that the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are fake. He also posted a meme on Facebook saying that feminism is a Jewish plot to destroy white males.

  42. Gustopher says:


    He also appears to be a Qanon adherent, and has posited that the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are fake.

    It would be an excellent time for him to visit Mariupol.

  43. CSK says:

    Oh, all those bodies? They’re crisis actors. The rubble is all WWII footage.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    He also appears to be a Qanon adherent, and has posited that the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are fake. He also posted a meme on Facebook saying that feminism is a Jewish plot to destroy white males.

    And the preceding items are the reason that I reject his suggestion that he is simply bad at drawing analogies. I think he said exactly what he meant and that his daughters know it. I’m only surprised that only one will say that people shouldn’t vote for him, but maybe the others are afraid to.

  45. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    That could well be. And it’s a terrible analogy to have drawn anyway. Why that one? It was all he could think of? Is he so dull-witted that he doesn’t know the vast majority of people are–at least publicly–offended by rape jokes?

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: He also appears to be a Qanon adherent, and has posited that the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are fake. He also posted a meme on Facebook saying that feminism is a Jewish plot to destroy white males.

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you!

  47. Mimai says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I watched the video (apologies to myself). It was clear to me that he was making an analogy.

    Why he made that analogy? Reasons. None of which could be good. Or even neutral.

    And I do think the “analogy” explanation — in all its awfulness — is still less awful than the “he actually says this to his daughters” explanation.

    As for why his child opposes his candidacy? Reasons. I suspect lots of them. Perhaps related to the additional info provided by @CSK:

  48. wr says:

    @CSK: “What in hell does he think “thumbs up” means?”

    “Look at these lucky people who get to stand next to me.”

  49. CSK says: