Thursday’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 Reynolds says:

    San Sebastian AKA Donostia may be the most perfect city I’ve ever visited. The architecture is almost universally lovely, grand and impressive. And the location on an almost entirely enclosed bay is just stunning, a long arc of yellow sand beach and a marina packed with small boats. It’s a better Nice. Not much to see for a tourist to do, it’s not a place for museums and monuments, but it is foodie heaven. Here, at least in a mostly sunny, chilly but refreshing November, you actually can drift from Pintxo bar to Pintxo (Basque tapas) bar, unlike overcrowded Barcelona. You drink good beer and ‘shop’ the food displays, saying, ‘Oooh, that looks good, gimme!’ Nineteen Michelin stars in a city of just 186,000.

    The only downside is that the nearest airport is an hour away in Bilbao. Sounds like a long drive, but on many days that’s what it takes to get from Silver Lake to LAX. (Some days that’s what it takes to get from the edge of LAX to your terminal.) There are very few air connections that don’t go through Madrid first, but that’s as much feature as bug – keeps out the riffraff.

    I’m almost sad the MAGA threat seems to be receding. I’d have to find another excuse to buy a place here.

  2. becca says:

    My daughter received an email from her oldest’s elementary school last week, strongly requesting parents stop harassing and threatening school staff, accusing them of “grooming”and loading porn into laptops. Wouldn’t surprise me had it been in Memphis proper, but this is in a red suburb.
    Anyway, she decided to study up on the Qnut jobs running for seats on the school board so she and husband vote against them in the recent midterms.
    Maybe the loons should reconsider harassment and threats and drawing attention to themselves right before an election as good strategy.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jacqui Heinrich

    GOP source tells me “if it wasn’t clear before it should be now. We have a Trump problem”

    Michael Brendan Dougherty

    Just- all the chatter on my conservative and GOP channels – is rage at Trump like I’ve never seen. “The one guy he attacked before Election Day was DeSantis- the clear winner, meanwhile, all his guys are shitting the bed.”


    GOP today is like ‘hard to believe the twice impeached ex-POTUS who stole nuclear secrets, fomented an insurrection and sucked-up to Putin & KSA ended up screwing us over’ #MAGAmeltdown

    *’If only there had been some kind of clues as to his character’ @GOP

    Also GOP: “Who knew women would take losing bodily autonomy so personal???”

  4. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve been pondering why Florida was such an outlier, why DeSantis bucked the trend. I think there are a few reasons, but I suspect one important one bodes ill for the country and the world: Floridians are in a heap of environmental trouble and they are looking for someone who sounds tough but will tell them the beautiful lies they want to hear.

    Sorry to bum out the Floridians here, but there is a good chance the state is going to lose most of its coastal cities over the next few decades. It is going to go from flooding being a rare hurricane related crisis, to a heavy storm related event, to a tide related inconvenience, until it is little more than another part of the traffic report. But all the while that salt water is doing steady damage to infrastructure and building foundations and, as the supply of “greater fools” dries up, the ability to sell out at a profit is going to change to an inability to offload on anyone, and a howl will arise, full of demands that some government, somewhere, bail everyone out. I believe DeSantis’ popularity demonstrates that Florida voters have already reached the point that they just don’t want to hear from anyone who brings them bad news and will back any demagogue that tells them not to worry about that but instead worry about trivialities (CRT, bathrooms, etc).

    People who moved there in retirement and sunk their savings into a condo, or younger people who borrowed to the max and moved there for the weather and a big house with a big yard for their kids are going to be panicking. And for all too many the reaction will be to shoot anyone who tells them they will have to take a loss, to find someone, anyone who will tell them they can hold on and everything will be fine, that it’s just a fluctuation, that they won’t lose everything and have to start over somewhere else.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: to find someone, anyone who will tell them they can hold on and everything will be fine, that it’s just a fluctuation, that they won’t lose everything and have to start over somewhere else.

    And there stands the GOP.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yep, very definitely the GOP. But the pretty liars don’t just have to come from the crazy racists. There are all kinds of ways to tell pretty lies and those who won’t will have a tough time to get elected or re-elected.

    If the reaction of people to a slow moving disaster was rational archeologists would not be digging through the ruins of Vesuvius for the bones of entire families caught mid-meal around a table.

  7. CSK says:

    I wonder if Trump’s seen the cover of the yet?

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Are the Marred-A-Lago walls turning red with ketchup?

  9. Jen says:

    Sadly, I have learned that our little town did not end up electing a Democratic house representative. NH’s system is a bit bonkers, we essentially vote for three state reps. The Democrat who came closest lost by 5 votes. FIVE.

  10. CSK says:


    Without a doubt.

  11. Sleeping Dog says:


    Coastal cities will all be effected by the ocean’s rise, and many if not most large cities will survive through a combination of selective retreat and mitigation, but it is hard to see how Miami survives, even the next 50 years. For the low lying beach communities that are essentially sprawl, retreat is the only option, as there is not enough money to save them.

  12. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: When I backpacked through Europe back in 1972 (I was 18), San Sebastian was the first Spanish city we stopped in. Stayed in a cheap pension and swam at that lovely beach. Airport wasn’t an issue because we had our 2 month Eurail Pass and were rail bums. Fond memories.

  13. charon says:


    Hurricane there today. A more immediate issue is insurance companies fleeing or shunning the state, hard to get a mortgage with no insurance.

  14. becca says:

    @MarkedMan: Nicole has done a lot of damage already. Beachfront homes in Port Orange lost their backyards to erosion. They may go too, before this storm is done. Even minor storms wreak havoc now. The re-insurance markets have figured this out. That has got to get someone’s attention.
    Study after study is done on the negative psychological effects of all this damage to one’s environment,
    No one wants to think past the next quarter.

  15. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Miami is already working to become “The Netherlands in Florida”. As infrastructure is repaired, it’s being done so in a way that anticipates rising waters. There are plans in place to build levees. etc.

    I don’t know if it will work, but at least they’re aware of the dangers and doing something about it.

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    If I could sit down with pencil and paper and design a small city for myself, and a lifestyle to go with it, this is what it would be.

  17. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    We may manage to breathe oxygen dissolved in salt water. But drinking such water and then metabolizing it without incurring massive damage to the kidneys and other organs won’t be so easy.

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I have my doubts that anything can offset a meter or more rise in sea level. But if I’m wrong it will be because all those low tax, no regulation free loaders will be bailed out (as usual) by unimaginably massive infusions of cash, planning and execution from the federal government the blue states pay for and red states sponge off of.

  19. Beth says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    They also have an issue with salt water creeping into the aquifers they draw their drinking water from. There’s a chance that S. Florida turns into a wasteland because of that.

    There’s also a bigger issue, both with what you mentioned and their desalinization issues, someone has to pay for it. If there’s something republicans and their voters hate doing, it’s paying for public works. Their buildings are going to fall down, there won’t be any drinking water and the streets will be flooded with cholera infested seawater and they’ll all blame Democrats and queers before they pay to fix their problems.

  20. gVOR08 says:

    At LGM Paul Campos quotes Jon Ralston on the mail-in arithmetic looking good for Cortez Masto in NV. And Kelly’s looking OK in AZ. There’s a chance I won’t have to gnaw my fingernails to the bone waiting for the Dec 6 GA runoff. Thank gawd for the founders giving the tie break vote to the VP.

  21. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “Miami is already working to become “The Netherlands in Florida””

    It’s a nice thought, but it works in the Netherlands because the Dutch are remarkably community-minded and foresighted. They will put in the tens of millions necessary to build systems that might not be needed for years. Florida is a culture founded on the principle of land fraud.

  22. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    There are plans in place to build levees. etc.

    The underlying limestone is porous. There are stories of seeing salt water species swimming in fresh water ponds. In Miami levees and flood walls can dampen the effect of storm surge, they can’t stop sea level rise.

  23. Mu Yixiao says:

    I stand corrected. It’s Miami Beach, not Miami.

    Storm Walls
    Rebuilding the City

    No clue if any of this will do any good, but… at least someone down there is trying to think ahead.

  24. Mister Bluster says:

    @gVOR08:..Thank gawd for the founders giving the tie break vote to the VP.

    I can only speculate that those founders, white, American, slaveholding men in 1789 would never even think that the Vice President USA and President of the United States Senate would be a black woman 232 years later.
    One would think that an omnipotent omniscient and omnipresent gawd would have tipped them off.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Much of Florida bedrock consists of a particularly porous limestone (Florida is a cave diving mecca). Miami and Miami Beach in particular are built on such. The ocean is just going to fill that rock up like a sponge. There is no levee wall that will stop the water from coming in from underneath their feet. And long before the flooding becomes a problem, their aquifers are going to become to saline for drinking.

    The time to sell was yesterday.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I don’t know if it will work,

    It won’t. Not in Miami, and many other places as well. See my comment above.

  27. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Jaw-dropping University of Michigan vote tally;
    94% Whitmer
    6% Dixon.
    The youth vote saved Dems on Tuesday.
    Pay attention & invest in Gen Z.

  28. Kathy says:

    And the inappropriate marketing hits just keep on coming, this time from Germany.

    We may need to send all CEOs and their marketing staffs to therapy, so they can accept it’s ok not to monetize some things.

    The piece says “KFC sent another message about an hour later blaming the blunder on “an error in our system””

    What error, I wonder? They took it from the folder marked “promotions to be launched in case neo-nazis take over?”

  29. Jim Brown 32 says:

    I still believe there is a small chance that TFG’s actual job is as a mole to destroy the Republican Party. He’s performing masterfully.

    If they DNC were smart they would stoke the animosity between he and DeSanctimonious

  30. JohnSF says:

    It looks like the antics of the God-Emperor of Mars may be having some effects even he may find difficult to shrug off.

    $30bn wiped off Tesla market cap so far this week

    If this keeps up, there could be moves to force Musk to step down as CEO of Tesla.

  31. charon says:

    UPDATE: Democrat Adam Frisch is poised to upset Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert in CO-3, based on a 9NEWS analysis of remaining ballots, which are largely in counties where Frisch holds strong leads. #copolitics

    The Boebert-Frisch race is tied 50-50% but the bulk of ballots yet to be counted, per AP, are in Pitkin County (80% counted, currently Frisch +58, not a typo), Pueblo County (91.6% counted, currently Frisch +9.6), and Garfield County (90% counted, currently Frisch +13.6).

    In Pueblo County alone, 9NEWS is told there are 6,000 uncounted ballots. Those ballots may not be counted tonight as election workers are given time to eat and rest.

  32. JohnSF says:

    Had Covid booster #2 today. 🙂
    Thank you, science!

  33. Mu Yixiao says:


    I’ve had personal experience with that sort of thing.* I got a call very early in the morning from the GM of the company I was doing marketing for. He told me to look at a certain employee’s recent WeChat posts.

    There was our company logo, 7 photos of our products, and a photo of Osama bin Laden–along with the text “Bin Laden was a very smart man, he’d use our products.”

    Fortunately it was only seen in China, and quickly taken down. The employee asked why he had to take it down, to which I replied: “Replace that photo with one of Hirohito. How would that make you feel.” He went white and apologized.

    * This is why you don’t let everyone have access to your company’s social media accounts. In this case, the worker did it on his own account.

  34. Stormy Dragon says:


    I’ll believe it when Republicans start attacking Trump using their names rather then as “GOP Sources”. They still fear him.

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    Ballot Question
    Shall the City of Carbondale cease to be a home rule unit?

    NO votes 3667
    YES votes 988

    City of Carbondale retains Home Rule status.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A thread:

    Piper for Missouri

    I’d love to give y’all some examples of what I heard at doors in rural Missouri to help you understand what folks out here say when confronted with a progressive message. I will say that we knocked over 5k doors and made as many calls. Also, we had near zero data to go on…

    I live among them.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Absolutely. Words are cheap, anonymous words are free for the taking.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Meanwhile, here in Misery, the state lege will now be telling Kansas City how much to spend on police. Something tells me the state lege is not going to appropriate any additional moneys for said purpose.

  39. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Three was a joke circulating around some years back, of proposed ad campaigns for a nail company. In some versions the owners were Jewish, in others not.

    The gist was one campaign had a photo of Jesus nailed to the cross, and the copy read “Nailed it!”

    In another Jesus lies in a bloody heap at the foot of the cross and the copy reads “this is what happens if you don’t use our quality nails.”

    These are jokes. but I suspect there are people out there who really are this stupid and insensitive.

  40. EddieInCA says:



    I sold my Florida house near the top of the market. Just lucky. But we sold because we saw, first hand the “Daylight Flooding” in Miami Beach, and knew it was the precursor of thing to come. Some of the best neighborhoods will be gone within two decades, I believe. Siesta Key. Longboat Key. Anna Maria Island. The small land that Mar-A-Lago sits on will be gone too. It’s just a matter of time.

  41. Mister Bluster says:

    A search prompted by your comment turned up this undated page.
    It begins: Kansas City is the only major city in the country whose police force is controlled by the state. There is a two-word answer to the question of why this is so. Those two words are “Tom Pendergast.”
    I don’t have time to read it now but looks interesting.

  42. steve says:

    In all of the commentary on Desantis it keeps getting missed that his margin of victory was not that different than that of Rubio. I think that Republicans, some of them, want to push the narrative that DeSantis is wonderful but just based on numbers he’s not much different than Rubio, so maybe its not something special about DeSantis.


  43. Kathy says:


    The small land that Mar-A-Lago sits on will be gone too.

    Trying to find the silver lining?


    Do not interrupt the enemy when he’s making a mistake.

  44. charon says:

    Thread on NV current state of play:

    Also, re NV:

    I’ll be on MSNBC in a few giving the latest in Nevada and hoping all of the coffee doesn’t cause me to spontaneously combust on the air.

  45. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Sure, there are always people trying to think ahead. I’ve said before that the difference between a well governed state that anticipates and deals with problems versus an “every man for themselves – whoops – now everyone with money is heading for the doors” one probably only amounts to 10-15% more civically and socially responsible people in the former than in the latter. It’s never a difference in kind but rather a difference in quantities. I hope for Floridians’ sake they have enough community minded people to tip them to the good side of that equation. I sincerely wish them the best and would get no joy whatsoever out of people losing their homes, whether they be rich or poor or in the middle.

    And, yes, there could be solutions we don’t anticipate or perhaps even imagine. From what I understand the basements and subbasements of virtually every skyscraper south of midtown in Manhattan would be flooded in a matter of days or weeks if the pumps stopped running, and the resultant corrosion would bring them down in a few years. If I lived a hundred years ago and someone had proposed to me that they were going to build such buildings I would have been extremely skeptical they could work. But there they stand, decade after decade.

    But if anything like that happens in Florida it will take massive infusions of government money and the regulations and bureaucrats necessary to ensure it isn’t all pissed away. If you are going to leave it to the market the analysis is simple: is it more expensive to fix these problems than to pull out and cut your losses? (And, of course, F the poors who can’t afford either.) If Florida is going to survive in any meaningful way the answer to that question has to be “yes” for most businesses and individuals. I don’t see how you get the kind of funding and coordination necessary, never mind the ability to overcome the inevitable lawsuits, without government intervention. Which brings up the question, “Are Floridians voting for public officials who are capable of analyzing, planning, fund raising and coordinating that level of effort? Or are they electing Ron DeSantis?”

  46. dazedandconfused says:


    The reason I can’t feel optimistic is the condition of ridiculous candidates like Walker and Boebart in close races. Something is broken.

  47. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA: Wow. I figured it was coming. I didn’t really realize it was here.

  48. Jen says:

    Boehbert has apparently pulled ahead by about 300 votes. Bleh.

    The New Hampshire house looks to be almost evenly split, 200 Republicans, 200 Democrats, if votes hold. Even if they don’t, it’s going to be very close to even.

    This is going to be bonkers to watch. The legislature is huge, and essentially they are volunteers. If anyone is out, the other side gets their way

  49. Kathy says:

    Benito will surely announce he’s running to stay out of prison in 2024.

    My fondest wish right now is the Senate election results be 50-49 when he does.

  50. Mu Yixiao says:

    NASA spends $93M on “Bouncy Castle in Space”.

    (Can I get a job with the Daily Mail, now?)

  51. Kathy says:

    Guess who has been hit with an additional $473 million in punitive damages for their false claims about the Sandy Hook Massacre.

    I’m not one who delights in other people’s misfortune, but in Jones’ case I’m willing to make an exception.

  52. just nutha says:

    @Beth: Not the problem you imagine. The Constitution [TM] guarantees me “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I’m free to live where I want and bash queers and Democrats as well. And the gubmint provides for it–that’s what the deficit and the national debt are for.

  53. charon says:


    Maricopa Update: Those 17k ballots initially rejected by tabulation machines on Election Day are now being tabulated at the main center by a different machine & an elections official says the process is working and, as of now, it appears they will not have to be hand duplicated.

  54. Monala says:

    @Michael Reynolds: sounds heavenly. I’d go for it! Even if it doesn’t become your permanent home, it sounds like a great vacation home.

  55. just nutha says:

    @Mister Bluster: Not if that gawd doesn’t distinguish between Jews and Greeks or bond and free he wouldn’t. These distinctions come from us. We truly did “build that ourselves.”

  56. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wasn’t the time to sell really on September don’t-move-there-in-the-first-place?

  57. Sleeping Dog says:


    A fifth of FLA’s population is 65+ and a significant number of that group are relatively recent residents. They will spend not a dime to ensure that the state can survive climate change.

  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Kansas City is the only major city in the country whose police force is controlled by the state

    No no no no. Unless I am horribly mistaken, that honor belongs to STL, due to it’s confederate leanings during the 1860s. It may also be true of KC, but as far as I know, the STL police dance to the tune of the state Lege and have since the 1860s.

    Whatever else, I am absolutely certain of the fact that the state lege has their hands on the strings of the STL police.

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Oh yeah.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: I think the time to sell was before one bought.

  61. charon says:
  62. Jax says:

    @charon: He’s pretty much the perfect candidate, for the Rocky Mountain area. If I were to take the jump (I have no intention of it, I’m happy with my status on the board’s that I’m on), that’s the platform I’d run on here.

  63. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @MarkedMan: DeSantis won handily because the homegrown Florida DNC mafia doesn’t take kindly to outside help unless its to hand them a check to pilfer away and deliver nothing.

    The outside money and expertise have taken their dollars and expertise to Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and the Midwest. They don’t need Florida.

    Oh, And the nomination of an old, tired, twice (now thrice) beaten Charlie Crist actually depressed Dem turnout. The numbers were waaayy off. Never forget: Florida Man is R AND D.

  64. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..that honor belongs to STL

    I still have not had time to read the item and probably won’t get to it tonight. In the meantime I’ll take your word for it.

  65. MarkedMan says:


    I think the time to sell was before one bought.

    Which, if I understand correctly, sums up the way real estate schemes have operated in Florida for the past four centuries…

  66. Mister Bluster says:

    Inflation Alert!
    The two liter bottle of the Kroger house brand Big K Diet Cola that was 79¢ at the beginning of the year and worked it’s way up to the 99¢ that I paid just yesterday is $1.25 today.