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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The bane of corporate America: “Send a memo.”

    Jack Teixeira, the US air national guard member charged with being behind the so-called Pentagon leaks of highly classified military documents, was warned repeatedly over his mishandling of classified material, according to a court filing.

    Justice department lawyers made the disclosure in court papers that urged Teixeira be kept behind bars while he awaits trial in the case stemming from the most consequential intelligence leak in years. The judge is expected to hear more arguments on Friday before issuing a ruling.
    Prosecutors allege that Teixeira continued leaking documents even after he was rebuked on two separate occasions last year due to his “concerning actions” related to classified information that were observed by superiors.

    A memo from September 2022 states that Teixeira had been seen taking notes on classified intelligence information and putting the notes in his pocket. Teixeira was instructed at the time to no longer take notes in any form on classified intelligence information, the memo says.

    Another memo from late October says that Teixeira was “potentially ignoring the cease-and-desist order on deep diving into intelligence information” given to him the month before. The memo says Teixeira attended a meeting and proceeded to ask “very specific questions”. He was told again to focus on his job, not any “deep dives” into classified intelligence information.

    A third memo from February this year says Teixeira was observed viewing information “that was not related to his primary duty and was related to the intelligence field”. Teixeira “had previously been notified to focus on his own career duties and to not seek out intelligence products”, the memo said.

    Is stupidity codified in the UCMJ? Because a number of his superiors are definitely guilty of that.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Did not have this one on my headline bingo card: Man indicted for stealing Dorothy’s ruby slippers from Wizard of Oz

    Kinda begs the question of why did the wizard have them to begin with?

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Foreign embassies in Beijing have been asked to remove “politicised propaganda” from their buildings, apparently a reference to the Ukrainian flags that many missions have displayed on their exterior since the Russian invasion.

    The notice from China’s foreign ministry, sent earlier this month, said: “Do not use the building facilities’ exterior walls to display politicised propaganda to avoid inciting disputes between countries,” according to Reuters.

    Four Beijing-based diplomats interviewed by the news agency said “politicised propaganda” was a reference to the Ukrainian flag. The notice was addressed to “all embassies, and international organisations’ China representative offices”.

    The UK, Canadian, US and EU missions in Beijing, as well as other embassies, have displayed the Ukrainian flag outside their buildings in a show of solidarity. Embassies often display other banners to show support for countries or groups, such as the Pride flag of the LGBTQ+ community.

    One diplomat said their mission did not intend to comply with the request.

    As I would expect.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As you’ve probably noticed, the word “woke” has been entirely wrung of any meaning in recent years. BlackRock and Silicon Valley Bank are “woke”, according to the right. Walt Disney is woke. Pope Francis is woke. Even the US military industrial complex is woke.

    The newest target? Miller Lite. Conservatives are hopping mad after discovering a two-month-old Miller Lite commercial that was released during Women’s History Month.

    What exactly is the problem with this ad? Well, it seems that people are taking extreme offense to the fact that the ad humorously points out that there is a long history of misogyny in beer advertising, including Miller’s own legacy of using women in skimpy bikinis to sell lager. Fully-clothed women drinking beer? Woke!

    Ilana Glazer of Broad City fame stars in the commercial, which encourages people to send in sexist beer ads so Miller Lite, which is owned by Molson Coors, can turn them into fertilizer. That fertilizer is then donated to female brewers who (bear with me here) use it to grow hops for beer. The whole initiative is called the “Bad $#!T to Good $#!T” recycling campaign. To recap: what is essentially an extremely belabored poop joke has incensed conservatives who are now calling for a boycott of Miller Lite.


  5. OzarkHillbilly says:


    McCarthy: We caught more people in the month of February on the terrorist watch list than we caught the entire time in the last administration.

    Writing Joe Biden’s reelection ads.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Florida school district sued for violating first amendment rights with book bans

    I wonder if DeSantis is gonna help with this school districts legal costs. s//

  7. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wow. First Bud Lite now Miller Lite. Seems like if you don’t want to be woke, you’re going to be fat.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @wr: Pretty soon they’re gonna have to give up beer entirely.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:


    from the ashes, a hero rises

  10. MarkedMan says:

    A Democratic US Attorney is lucky she is being allowed to resign, as she grossly politicized her position and then lied to investigators. It’s important to remember that corruption can taint anything and anyone, and we need to hold them all to account.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Of course she has to resign, she’s a DEM. Now if she were GOP she’d be celebrated and any actions against her would be declared a witch hunt.

  12. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “General Custer’s illegitimate son” 😛 😛

  13. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  14. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I…. Nope. No words.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve noted that what Harlan Crow and Clarence Thomas have done is not bribery only because our current legal interpretation of bribery is so narrow. And of course the authors of that interpretation are SCOTUS itself. NYT has a column by the “former chief of the fraud and public corruption section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia” laying out the history of this in detail.

    I’d like to think this just sort of innocently grew, but it didn’t. The funders of the Federalist Society believe they should be able to counter crude democracy by buying as much government as they need. This is part of the “republic, not a democracy” thing. And they’ve bought the Court, and several smaller courts.

    The GOP appointees of the 5th Circuit are hearing the appeal of the Mifepristone ruling by GOP Judge Kacsmaryk. Judge Ho is one of the “honorable” judges. Have you seen the photo of Ho being sworn in by Clarence Thomas? They’re standing in front of the garage sized fireplace in Harlan Crow’s ghastly private library, witnessed by Ted Cruz and Harlan Crow. That screams integrity.

    As always, remember that the other Justices are subject to the same incentives and laughable constraints as Thomas.

  16. gVOR08 says:
  17. KM says:

    First of all: the new Zelda is AMAZING. Will be AFK for a while as Tears of the Kingdom will be eating my life for the foreseeable future

    But for all you gamers out there, there’s a simple glitch in it that’s a fantastic exploit to get duplicate of valuable and rare items. Do it now before they patch it out and make sure to turn off autoupdate! Helpful hint: move a little before the first pause and turn around after the quick pause/unpause to make it work. Easy enough once you get the muscle memory down

  18. Stormy Dragon says:

    I have a family member who just entered hospice care, and I just want to say I hate all the “going on a journey” language used around dying. I know it’s supposed to be comforting, but it makes me feel like I’m being gaslit by people refusing to acknowledge what’s actually happening

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Sorry to hear this. It’s always tough to get thru.

  20. CSK says:

    Politico headline:

    “Anti-abortion leaders worry they might have to oppose Trump if he doesn’t back national ban.”

  21. Kathy says:


    That would be good for all involved.

  22. CSK says:


    Yeah, I know. Who will they replace him with????

  23. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    For an allegedly advanced society we have no idea how to handle death and dying.
    This was driven home when my parents passed several years ago.
    My thoughts are with you and yours.

  24. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Disney announces that they are a cancelling a planned Lake Nona ~$1B campus that would have created 2,000 new jobs in the Orlando area.
    Karma…it’s pronounced, Ha!!!

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: George Santos will step forward as the 2nd coming of Jesus.

  26. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I suspect the anti-abortion leaders are going to find out what every other Republican leader has found out: the base voters never really gave a crap about their “litmus test issues”. It was all just talk.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I suspect the anti-abortion leaders are going to find out what every other Republican leader has found out: the base voters never really gave a crap about their “litmus test issues”. It was all just talk.

  28. CSK says:


    Well, Santos has called abortion a “barbaric” practice comparable to slavery, so I suppose he’ll meet with their approval.

  29. CSK says:
  30. daryl and his brother darryl says:


    George Santos will step forward as the 2nd coming of Jesus.

    Well…they are both fictional characters…

  31. de stijl says:

    With the new disclosure of the extent of Sen. Feistein’s shingles it reminded me; I knew someone who got shingles (any of us can, btw, if you had chicken pox as a kid). At one point he had lesions inside his eye socket so everytime his eyeball moved he got excruciating pain. Think about how often your eye moves in a day. Man, that’s just brutal. And, apparently, the treatment for shingles is to wait it out and painkillers. Hope it goes away.

    As to Feinstein: I have watched two people die from complications arising from Alzheimer’s. One forgot how to chew? How can someone forget how to chew food? That’s way too spooky!

    Telediagnosis is not normally a good thing, but I swear by everything I know that she is deep into dementia. She has to have a staffer walk her down hallways she has walked for decades in case she might get lost and wander around befuddled.

    Someone needs to do an intervention. She needs to be home in a quiet safe place. Propping her up as an empty doll mimicking her duties is just sick and it disgusts me deeply. Who guides her hand when she records her votes? Certainly not someone who was elected.

    There is no good exit with Alzheimer’s, but this charade is just repulsive. Let her die in relative peace. This is cruel, unseemly, and decidedly undemocratic.

  32. de stijl says:


    Abusing an exploit?! How ungamerly of you!

    Just kidding! I do it often.

    Unsolicited feedback – at least something to think about: if it were me, I would not use the exploit on my first playthough just so I could experience the natural progression of the game as the developers intended. YMMV.

  33. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    I knew someone who got shingles (any of us can, btw, if you had chicken pox as a kid)

    Speaking of, I’m kinda pissed I have to wait until I’m 50 to get a shingles vaccine. The virus isn’t necessarily gonna to wait until I’m 50.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: We were able to persuade my dad that he was to old to drive when he became disoriented one day taking my mom and I out to lunch and couldn’t figure out how to get out of the 10-car parking lot. Even so, he kept the car for another 8 or 10 months just in case his lapse had been temporary. When he had shingles, my mom told me that they were giving him steroids for the inflammation, but I was in Korea by then, so I don’t know. The nursing assistant at the nursing wing where they lived was from some African country and kept telling Mom how Americans are to have all the medicine that they do, noting that in her country, all they usually do for shingles is rub moisturizer on the lesions to relieve the pain and itching some.

    I can’t remember whether he succumbed to the shingles, but he did pass on soon after. It had been a long and bumpy trip that started before I’d even left for Korea 6 years earlier.

  35. Gustopher says:

    @KM: I think they should not have made Korok (small, sentient, annoying creatures) liftable and bindable in devices. Korok cruelty is rampant now, with them being crucified, burnt at the stake, launched into space, thrown into wells, catapulted into dens of monsters with bombs attached, put into elaborate death traps, etc.

    I’m having a blast.

    (The “take me to my friend, please carry me” puzzles could have been replaced with “I left something over there, and I’m a lazy shit, can you get it?” puzzles with no effect on gameplay other than reduced opportunity for performative cruelty)

    Can you attach a Korok to a shield?

  36. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: There are enough ways to use the new powers to “legally” get into places that have good weapons early that I don’t see the need to use exploits, and even then… it feels a little like I’m missing something that was expected by having a bow that can one-shot early enemies.

    On the other hand, my little Link now has a nice hat. And it’s primarily a dress up game, so early access to a good looking hat just makes the game better.

  37. Kathy says:


    I last played Zelda sometime in the 90s, when I finished the first edition for the Super Nintendo. I haven’t had or played a console game since. It seems things have changed a bit.

    It’s just as well I gave up on games after I got tired of The Sims2 by 2008 or so. They seem to have become gigantic time suckers since.

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    They seem to have become gigantic time suckers since.

    Hmmm… Since arcade games were gigantic time suckers, I kinda thought that the home video game consoles were the same thing from the beginning. Shows what I knew. 🙁

  39. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Prior to being able to save your progress, which I believe became a thing until later in the 90s, it was easier to play for only a while, or until you got frustrated of having to start over too many times. There were no complex storylines, nor a growing accumulation of stuff and abilities and garments.

    If memory serves, The Legend of Zelda was one of the first, or the first, console cartridge that let you save your progress.

    I also recall playing Rollercoaster Tycoon or The Sims on a PC until very late at night, or very early in the morning. But PC games allowed saving your progress earlier than consoles did.

    These days I play mostly on my phone when taking a break, or while having coffee, or at other odd moments when an audiobook is inconvenient.

  40. de stijl says:


    You cannot deny the appeal of a good hat.

  41. dazedandconfused says:
  42. de stijl says:


    Hey, now! When you are retired a gigantic, engaging time-suck is a decidedly good thing.

    After showering etc., the daily walk, cooking and eating and clean up, I’m basically looking at about 13 hours of awake time I need to find something to do with. Every day.

    Reading, TV, streaming TV either shows or movies, drum practice, various types of word puzzles, all of that goes to fill the slot. Gaming is a great activity for a person with time to fill up.

    If you enjoy, that is. If you don’t then don’t.

    I’m thinking about getting into birding semi-seriously.

  43. DrDaveT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Speaking of, I’m kinda pissed I have to wait until I’m 50 to get a shingles vaccine. The virus isn’t necessarily gonna to wait until I’m 50.

    Mine didn’t.

    Shingles was the single worst month of my life. Which, given how good my life has been in general, isn’t as strong a statement as it could be, but… It was hell. And I had it in a relatively benign zone, level with my belly button. Couldn’t wear a shirt for a month. Couldn’t sleep on that side, or with any covers. Not so much “pain” as intense hypersensitivity; any touch was unbearable.

    I’m now fully vaccinated, and the week of discomfort the vaccine gave me was nothing compared to actual shingles.

  44. Jax says:

    @DrDaveT: I’m 48 and had a conversation with my doctor about it today, he said there’s now a synthetic vaccine with less side effects? When did you get yours?