The “It’s Already October!” 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:

    From the New Yorker: How the War in Ukraine Might End

    Goemans, who now teaches political science at the University of Rochester, wrote his dissertation on war-termination theory—that is, the study of how wars end. A great deal of work, Goemans learned, had been done on how wars start, but very little on how they might conclude.
    When we first spoke, in early September, Goemans predicted a protracted conflict. None of the three main variables of war-termination theory—information, credible commitment, and domestic politics—had been resolved. Both sides still believed that they could win, and their distrust for each other was deepening by the day. As for domestic politics, Putin was exactly the sort of leader that Goemans had warned about. Despite his significant repressive apparatus, he did not have total control of the country. He kept calling the war a “special military operation” and delaying a mass mobilization, so as not to have to face domestic unrest. If he started losing, Goemans predicted, he would simply escalate.

    And then, in the weeks after Goemans and I first spoke, events accelerated rapidly. Ukraine launched a remarkably successful counter-offensive, retaking large swaths of territory in the Kharkiv region and threatening to retake the occupied city of Kherson. Putin, as predicted, struck back, declaring a “partial mobilization” of troops and staging hasty “referendums” on joining the Russian Federation in the occupied territories. The partial mobilization was carried out in a chaotic fashion, and, as at the beginning of the war, caused tens of thousands of people to flee Russia. There were sporadic protests across the nation, and these threatened to grow in size. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces continued to advance in the east of their country.

    In a terrifying blog post, Goemans’s former student Branislav Slantchev laid out a few potential scenarios. He believes that the Russian front in the Donbas is still in danger of imminent collapse. If this were to happen, Putin would need to escalate even further. This could take the form of more attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, but, if the goal is to stop Ukrainian advances, a likelier option would be a small tactical nuclear strike. Slantchev suggests that it would be under one kiloton—that is, about fifteen times smaller than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It would nonetheless be devastating, and would almost certainly lead to an intense reaction from the West. Slantchev does not think that NATO would respond with nuclear strikes of its own, but it could, for example, destroy the Russian Black Sea Fleet. This could lead to yet another round of escalation. In such a situation, the West may be tempted, finally, to retreat. Slantchev urged them not to. “This is it now,” he wrote. “This is for all the marbles.”

    It’s a thought provoking read, not too long.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via Adam Silverman, this from Zelenskyy’s speech yesterday:

    Russia already knows this. It feels our power. It sees that it is here, in Ukraine, that we prove the strength of our values. And that is why it is in a hurry. Organizes this farce with the attempted annexation. Tries to steal something that does not belong to it. Wants to rewrite history and redraw borders with murders, torture, blackmail and lies.

    Ukraine will not allow that.

    Today I held a meeting of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. The meeting of the National Security and Defense Council has just ended. We have a decision.

    First – it is only the path of strengthening Ukraine and ousting the occupiers from our entire territory that restores peace. We will complete this path.

    Second – Ukraine was and remains a leader in negotiation efforts. It was our state that always offered Russia to reach an agreement on coexistence on equal, honest, decent and fair terms. It is obvious that this is impossible with this Russian president. He does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but already with another president of Russia.

    And third – we must de jure record everything we have already achieved de facto. It is in Ukraine that the fate of democracy in the confrontation with tyranny is being decided. It is here, with the firmness of our state borders, that we can secure the firmness of the borders of all European states. We can guarantee that no one else will dare to bring war back to our continent.
    Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure. Under a procedure consistent with our significance for the protection of our entire community. Under an accelerated procedure.

    We know it’s possible. We have seen Finland and Sweden start accession to the Alliance this year without a Membership Action Plan.

    This is fair. This is also fair for Ukraine. This is the consolidation at the level of the treaty of what has already been achieved in life and what are our values.

    We understand that this requires the consensus of all members of the Alliance. We understand that it is necessary to reach such a consensus. And therefore, while this is happening, we offer to implement our proposals regarding security guarantees for Ukraine and all of Europe in accordance with the Kyiv Security Compact, which was developed and presented to our partners.

    Security has no alternatives. But determination is needed to guarantee it.

    We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO.

    So yeah, it’s gonna be a while before this war ends.

  3. Lost in Quebec says:

    Hector Lopez, Who Broke a Baseball Color Barrier, Dies at 93

    Hector Lopez, the first Black manager at the highest level of minor league baseball and one of the last living members of the early 1960s Yankees dynasty, playing outfield alongside Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, died on Thursday in Hudson, Fla. He was 93.

    His son Darrol Lopez, said the cause of his death, in a hospital, was complications of lung cancer.

    A native of Panama, Lopez was one of the first Black players for the Yankees, appearing in five consecutive World Series. He was the very essence of a utility player, a capable nonstar who filled in as an infielder and an outfielder wherever there was a need.

    In the fifth and final game of the 1961 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, he smashed a home run and a triple and drove in five runs in a 13-5 victory.

    Lopez was released by the Yankees after the 1966 season, in which the team finished 10th and last, ending his 12-year playing career with a .269 average and 136 home runs. He played in the minor leagues for a couple of seasons, hoping to return to the majors, but instead, in 1969, he was named manager of the Buffalo Bisons, then the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers).

    A New York Times headline read: “Hector Lopez Slides Safely Into Buffalo as First Negro Pro Baseball Pilot.” Lopez, lacking a star pedigree or much experience in coaching, was an unlikely trailblazer. George Vecsey, the longtime columnist, wrote that as an aging minor league player in Buffalo, Lopez was “a helpful senior citizen to Washington Senator farmhands” and got the job because he was “in the right place at the right time and by wanting the job.”

    “Good for Hector,” Elston Howard, the first Black Yankees player, said. “This is a good break for him.”

    Lopez led the Bisons for just one season. It would be six more years before Frank Robinson would become the first Black manager in the big leagues, with the Cleveland Indians.

    Over a 12-year career that began with the Kansas City Athletics in 1955, Lopez played every position on the field except pitcher and catcher, though it could be argued that his versatility wasn’t entirely a strength.

    Playing in an era before the designated hitter, he was known as a solid hitter who was iffy with the glove no matter where he played and, according to Vecsey, he was known as Hector “What a Pair of Hands” Lopez, because of his “exciting duels with ground balls.”

    In Kansas City, where he was mostly an infielder, he hit 67 home runs but made 116 errors in just over four seasons. After he was acquired by the Yankees, along with the pitcher Ralph Terry, early in the 1959 season, he played mostly outfield, where he would presumably do less damage, but did little to dispel his reputation as a poor fielder.

    His first year in New York, he made 17 errors in 76 games at third base (and three more in the outfield); however, he hit .283 with 16 homers for the Yanks, and including his time with Kansas City, drove in 93 runs for the 1959 season. His new manager, Casey Stengel, described Lopez, “a man which batted in 93 runs,” as a conundrum: “If I bench him I bench 93 runs, but I would like better fieldin’ outta my 93 runs.”

    This was the start of a dynastic period for the Yankees — from 1960-64, they were American League champions every year, capturing the World Series in 1961 and 1962 — and Lopez often played in the same outfield with the star sluggers Mantle and Maris or substituted when one or the other was injured, a not infrequent occurrence.

    Living in Brooklyn during his early Yankee years, as an indication of both the times and his secondary role on the team, he commuted to work in the Bronx on the subway, largely without being recognized. In eight years as a Yankee, he hit .262, respectable for a utility man, but he was better in the postseason, hitting .286 in 15 World Series games.

    Hector Headley Lopez Swainson was born on July 8, 1929, in Colon, Panama, where his father, a salesman, was a pitcher in local leagues. Young Hector graduated from an English-speaking high school and for a while studied auto mechanics and worked in a bowling alley.

    He played in amateur and professional leagues in Panama before a scout spotted him and signed him to play for a professional team in Quebec that would eventually become affiliated with the Athletics. Lopez played four minor league seasons and part of a fifth before becoming the regular third baseman for a hapless Kansas City club that had recently relocated from Philadelphia.

    Lopez lived for many years on Long Island, where he worked for the parks department in Hempstead and for a time coached high school baseball. Later, he and his wife, Claudette Joyce (Brown) Lopez, whom he married in 1960, moved to Hudson, Fla., near Tampa, and he served as a scout, a coach and a minor league instructor for the Yankees.

    In addition to his wife and his son Darroll, his survivors include another son, Hugh; a sister, Dilcia Lopez; a brother, Manuel Lopez; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

    Lopez returned to managing briefly to lead the Yankees’ Rookie-level team in 1994 and 1995 (where Darryl Strawberry played his first games with the Yankees organization).

    “Just being able to play in the big leagues for as long as I did at the time that I played is something I’m proud of,” Lopez said in an interview for the 2002 book “That Was Part of Baseball Then,” by Victor Debs Jr. “There was a lot of competition, a lot of great players during the ’50s and ’60s. Plus the fact that there weren’t that many Black ballplayers at that time. Especially in the American League. So I guess you can say I made the most out of my opportunities.”

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ftr, I know Ukraine can not join Nato while it is engaged in hostilities. I only included that part of Zelenskyy’s address to show where he is determined to take things.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lost in Quebec: Thanx for that. I’d never heard of Hector Lopez.

  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    WaPo laysoff one of the best journalists covering law enforcement/criminal justice abuse and corruption for not being hot-takey enough:

    So after nine years, I'm being let go by the Washington Post. This is disappointing but not surprising. In recent years, the Opinion leadership has made it increasingly difficult to do the reporting & in-depth analysis I was hired to do — in favor of short, hot takes.— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) October 1, 2022

  7. Mimai says:

    I post this here so as to not hijack the other thread that is more focused on insurance…

    FL seems to get a lot of, um, attention. Especially from folks who are more leftish in their inclinations. It’s not clear to me how I should think about this.

    To be sure, there are a lot of things to, um, comment on wrt FL. I am not seeking a list of all its quirks (though I’m sure commenters will offer them, which is fine), as I don’t think this helps me understand why FL draws such attention relative to other states.

    After all, lots of states have peculiar people, geographies, politicians. etc. And FL is not the only “swing state.”

    Although it’s possible, I am skeptical of the notion that FL is an outlier and it is this feature that draws such attention and ire. Rather, my prior is that we are more aware of FL’s quirks because it gets more attention.

    And this brings me back to my question: Why does FL get so much attention? And especially from the left?

    ***Of course, it is possible that my premise is mistaken such that FL does not get outsized attention.***

  8. Mister Bluster says:


    You may have addressed this in the past and I missed it.
    Please provide a phonetic pronunciation of the name that you use on these OTB threads

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mimai: Well, for starters it’s spelled Floriduh! Plus the nonstop appearances of Floiduh! man and Floriduh! woman in the news are always good for a laugh or 3. It’s not that Misery Man and Misery woman are any brighter (have you heard the one about the hilbilly who was installing cable in his home and used his pistol to drill a hole in the wall? Kilt his wife he did, quite the knee slapper that one), it’s just that there aren’t as many reporters and cameras in the hills and hollers as there are in the Floriduh! swamps and beaches.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:


    Just a wild @ss guess, but FL was in memory, a reasonably reliable bluish state. Dems got elected to congress in districts outside major cities, it wasn’t unusual for Dems to hold both senate seats, the governorship and the state legislature. Heck, even in 2020 there was tittering about Biden polling ahead of Trump early in the campaign. That was all a illusion of course.

    Another guess. We’ve had some discussion that progressives don’t really understand the Hispanic-Latin community and make assumptions about it that aren’t based in evidence. This results in progressives outside of FL being continually disappointed when those communities vote R. Add a dose of the FL R party is dominated by the “Florida Man” profile that avidly pursues the culture war over social issues…

  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Thanks for the reminder! My rent is due today and I need to transfer the funds.

  12. JohnSF says:

    I’ve repeatedly seen it written that countries at war can’t join NATO.
    But for the life of me, I can’t find anything in the treaty itself that says so.

    Most likely won’t but not legally can’t.

  13. al Ameda says:


    I’ve repeatedly seen it written that countries at war can’t join NATO.
    But for the life of me, I can’t find anything in the treaty itself that says so.
    Most likely won’t but not legally can’t.

    I’ve looked it up too, and as far as I can see there is no such ‘rule’ in the Treaty.
    Maybe it’s been a practice, an unwritten ‘policy.’

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Mimai: There are a lot of reasons Florida gets so much attention but I heard of a new one recently. There is some public records law there that makes it easy to get police reports from all over the state. In, say, Georgia if there is some ridiculous small town incident involving meth, alligators and a complete ignorance of the laws of physics, a reporter would have to happen upon it. As I understand it there is a centralized way to get all such tales in Florida.

  15. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Mimai: Well, while a few other states have gators, as far as I know, the only state that can source video of a gator being removed from a broad, nice-looking city boulevard by an animal control worker and a cop during which the cop gets knocked unconscious by the gator is Florida. It’s a confluence of factors which are not really Florida’s fault.

    I would say that yes, Florida gets more of this sort of attention than it has earned.

    But you know, I don’t think Florida gets beat on by the left NEARLY as much as California does by the right.

  16. Sleeping Dog says:


    My understanding is that there is language to the effect that applicant nations need stable, recognized national boundaries.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Ruskies have retreated from Lyman. GO UKRAINE!

  18. Lost in Quebec says:


    Thanx for that. I’d never heard of Hector Lopez.

    While growing up in North central NY, I went to many minor league games including ones where Lopez managed the Buffalo Bisons against the Syracuse Chiefs. My Uncle Abe ran a concession stand at MacArthur Stadium in Syracuse. I used to spend summers staying with my Uncle and working the stand (or better yet watching the games)

    For five years I was official scorer for the Watertown Pirates but that was in the 1990’s.

    Since the Pirates left town in 1998, I have seldom been to minor league baseball games. Minor league hockey games yes.

  19. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    …applicant nations need stable, recognized national boundaries.

    I’d heard that, but never seen the text quoted.
    So i went and had a look.
    Can’t see anything.
    Quite likely NATO has declared that as an agreed policy: but that doesn’t bind them one bit.
    Unlees it’s in writing in the legal text, any such declaration can be reversed.

    Practically, though, the unanimity requirement would probably scupper it: either Turkey or Hungary highly likely to veto.
    But if those arms could be twisted….

  20. Mimai says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Most people pronounce it: fʌkwɪt

    Truth be told, it’s an acronym that doesn’t have a standard pronunciation.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Turkey was bought off for Sweden and Finland just a while back IIRC. They’ll be for sale again if the right offer is made.

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mimai:.. fʌkwɪt

    Not sure how long it took me to see that it is not a city in Florida.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mimai: I thought it was an anagram of Miami. Shows what I know.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Thanx for the edification.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Casenet here in Misery. At least, that is how I kept track of all my ex-wife’s foibles

  26. Jay L Gischer says:

    You know, we cap the home mortgage deduction on your income tax. What if we put an equivalent cap on how much federal aid we provide for disaster relief for individual home damage?

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lost in Quebec: I have yet to go to a minor league game. I hope to drag my eldest son to a game of every minor league Cards team.

    I will appreciate every moment of it, I expect my son will too.

    If I can, I will go to every Cubbies minor league game too.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    At my brothers and he just brought out the Macallan 12, the Lagavulin 16, and the Ardbeg An Oa for a round of tasting

  29. JohnSF says: