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. Bill Jempty says:
  2. Bill Jempty says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Only 18% of 2016 leave voters believe Brexit has been a success, according to polling for the thinktank UK in a Changing Europe – but 61% think it will turn out well in the end.

    Seven years on from the referendum campaign, the pollsters Public First asked more than 4,000 leavers how they felt now about Brexit. Less than a fifth of them – 18% – said it had gone well, or very well, while 30% said it had gone neither well nor badly, and 26% said it was still too soon to say.

    With inflation stuck at historic highs and GDP stagnating, economists have increasingly warned about the continuing impact of Brexit on trade and investment. Less than a third of the leave voters polled (29%) believe Brexit has had a negative economic impact, however.

    Among those leavers who believe Brexit has not gone well, many blame politicians for handling it badly – a narrative espoused by the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who recently claimed that “Brexit has failed”. In this group, 70% said Brexit could have gone well, and almost half (48%) believe that politicians could have made it work but did not even try.

    Like conservatism in the US, Brexit can never fail, it can only be failed.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Did not have this one on my 2023 Headline Bingo card:

    Invasion of giant African land snails prompts quarantine in south Florida

    (actually not at all funny, but I still have to stifle a giggle)

    eta: why does God hate Florida so much?

  5. Kathy says:

    I bought something yesterday that’s not peanut butter.

    Ok, that’s a large subset of products. I thought it was peanut butter, it looked like peanut butter inside the jar. It’s called “peanut spread.” The ingredients in the labels are listed as “roasted peanuts.” that’s it. But it was a bigger jar for a little less than the smaller jar of no sugar added PB.

    Peanut butter is usually a mix of peanuts, vegetable oil (for some reason not peanut oil), salt, sugar, preservatives, and at least one emulsifier. I’ve done homemade PB a few times. I do peanut powder in the food processor, then I add some oil. No salt, no sugar, certainly no preservatives.

    This new thing tastes about as the no sugar added PB. It’s more fluid, and less sticky. The oil, which I assume is peanut oil that gets pressed out however this thing is manufactured, has a tendency to separate. Stirring before serving is sometimes necessary, and it actually says so on the label.

    I like it.

  6. Jen says:

    Bill Hurd, former US Representative and a former clandestine officer for the CIA, has…

    …announced that he is running for President as a Republican.

    Talk about a crowded field. Anyone here thinking of running? /s

  7. Jen says:

    @Jen: Edit: Will Hurd. He goes by Will, not Bill, sorry for the typo.

  8. CSK says:


    At least I’ve heard–no pun intended–of him.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: For the GOP nom? No way, I have morals.

  10. prfe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve often wondered, if you got a few dozen people together all along the progressive spectrum who just shouted generic pro-America slogans, could you fool enough GOP voters with one of them to completely flip the party?

  11. Neil Hudelson says:


    Peanut butter is usually a mix of peanuts, vegetable oil (for some reason not peanut oil),

    Viscosity. Peanut oil is pretty ‘loose’ as far as plant oils go, even after hydrogen is added. Hydrogenated vegetable oil has the texture of, well, peanut butter. The ‘natural’ peanut butter that has a tendency to separate almost always uses peanut oil.

    Costco used to have their own brand of peanut butter that was just peanuts, peanut oil, and salt. The stuff separated like crazy, I had to stir it every time I used it (which is a lot with small kids), and there was inevitably a lump of hard ground peanuts at the bottom of every jar, the stuff that never quite got mixed it. I discovered what you can do is stir the PB with a hand mixer to ensure it’s really homogenous, and then stick it in the fridge. The cold peanut hardens enough to stop separation, but is still lose enough to be relatively spreadable. Relatively.

  12. Rick DeMent says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    The headline of the day- Six accused of forging names of dead people so Colorado candidate could make primary ballot

    This seems t be going around … Coincidence or conspiracy?

    Charges filed in signature fraud scandal that knocked five out of gubernatorial primary in Michigan.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via Steeplejack over at BJ, comes this little gem:

    Mike Sington

    Someone did this to Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Bill Jempty: Part of my learned life experience is to never trust people who claim that everyone else are liars and cheats. In a very large percentage of cases, there seemingly righteous anger hides that they are trying to justify their own lying or cheating. The fact that so many of these bone stupid election fraud cases involve Repubs just reinforces that lesson.

  15. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I tried some “natural” peanut butter*, which had neither preservatives nor emulsifiers. There was some stirring involved at times, but nothing major. No idea what oil it used.

    *I’d like to see an actual natural processed product. Like the screwdriver trees in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

  16. Joe says:

    @Kathy: When I lived in Japan in ’79-’80, there was a product on the grocery shelf called “peanut butter.” It was transliterated, not translated. I don’t know what it was supposed to be, but it was crap. But there was a product next to it called “peanuts,” again transliterated, not translated that was a product I recognized as peanut butter.

  17. CSK says:


    OMG, that’s hilarious. Whoever was responsible for that deserves an arts medal.

  18. Scott says:

    @Jen: He was the congressmen in the next district over (I get stuck with Chip Roy). A decent guy, etc. I just wish he would take on Ted Cruz instead. Doesn’t anyone just work themselves up the ranks anymore?

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @prfe: Well, you have to be waving the flag at the same time. Extra points for waving multiple flags, especially 2 or 3 on your Tacoma p/u truck..

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Rick DeMent: Both yours and Bill’s instances seem to be due to pure greed. The GOP candidates hired firms to gather signatures (who knew there were businesses that do that?) for them rather than having volunteers do it. In the MI case (?) the firm was paid “$13 a signature, the group submitted a total of 14,310 signatures for Craig’s campaign, of which about 9,879 were fully examined to show they were invalid — leaving Craig’s campaign with a 30% validity rate,” which amounts to $128,427 .

    That’s a nice chunk of change.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Fig Economy

    Between Alito accepting lavish gifts from billionaires with business before the court to Sotomayor accepting paychecks from the same government that argues before her, tricky financial entanglements are widespread on the Supreme Court


    Fig appears to be saying, “In the spirit of the NYTimes Pitchbot” not actually from DougJ.

  22. CSK says:

    Ana Marie Cox calls Trump “a tiny man in a big suit.” This is really withering, especially when she describes him as “a deflating airbag.”

  23. Jen says:

    @Scott: He’s a very decent guy. I’m just puzzled by the presidential run, especially in a very crowded field. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

  24. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Kathy: @Neil Hudelson: Believe it or not Kroger sells a very good natural peanut butter -peanuts and salt. On the shelf in the store the oil is at the top of the jar. I buy the chunky style and once I have it home I invert the jar so all the peanut chunks descend to the lid and the oil rises to the bottom of the jar. I then stir it up and refrigerate it. It is excellent for making Thai peanut sauce by the way.

  25. Mister Bluster says:

    How reliable is Sky News?

    ‘Landing frame and rear cover’ found at debris field in hunt for missing sub

  26. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    CNN, ABC, and NBC are all saying a debris field has been located.

  27. Kathy says:


    I kind of had a flash of Linda Richmond saying “Peanut butter is neither peanut nor butter. Discuss!”

  28. Mister Bluster says:

    I’ve been buying the Kroger “natural” peanut butter for years. It’s great on toast.
    Ocassionally I will receive a digital cupon or a paper cupon for a free jar.
    The freebies often go in the local food bank donation box by the service desk.

  29. CSK says:

    Yesterday Trump was given the list of witnesses who’ll testify against him in the Florida trial. What do you want to bet he’ll make it public so his deranged fans can stalk these people?

  30. Mister Buster says:

    @CSK:..debris field

    I saw some of those. Sky News was the only report that I read that mentioned specific parts of the vessel. I’m always curious about where such information came from.

  31. CSK says:

    @Mister Buster:

    Apparently David Mearns, a friend of a couple of the passengers, has told the BBC about some of the debris being Titan parts. I’m not sure how he’d know.

  32. Kylopod says:


    English muffins are neither English nor muffins.

    Peanuts are neither peas nor nuts.

    Guinea pigs are neither from Guinea nor are they pigs.

    Root beer is neither root nor beer.

    Chinese checkers is neither Chinese nor checkers.


  33. JohnSF says:

    Dimwits gonna dimwit.

  34. Mu Yixiao says:


    Peanuts are neither peas nor nuts.

    Peanuts are legumes, part of the family that includes peas.

    Root beer is neither root nor beer.

    Root beer gets its flavoring from the root bark of the sassafras tree.

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    CBC Reports: OceanGate says they believe Titan crew lost at sea
    OceanGate Expeditions says they believe the missing submersible with five men aboard has been lost at sea.
    “We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew,” said the company in a statement Thursday afternoon.


  36. Daryl says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    If it imploded, as they think, then it would have had to be instantaneous. They probably never saw it coming. A much better way to go, if you are going to go, than suffocating after 96 or so hours under water.
    So there is that…

    Beyond that I’ll only say it’s been amusing to watch the Epidemiologists/Election Law/Classified Documents/Underwater Vehicle Experts pontificate for the last couple days.

  37. Daryl says:

    @Mr. Prosser:
    @Neil Hudelson:
    I microwave a new jar of natural peanut butter for 8-10 seconds, stir, then microwave again and stir again, then refrigerate. It never separates after than.

  38. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Peanuts are legumes, part of the family that includes peas.

    Coyotes are canids, part of the family that includes chihuahuas. Would you say a coyote is a chihuahua?

    Root beer gets its flavoring from the root bark of the sassafras tree.

    Traditional root beer, yes, but not the root beer most commonly sold in the US.

  39. Mister Bluster says:

    @Daryl:…They probably never saw it coming.

    From my post on the Monday Junteenth Forum:
    “There was a time after I saw Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey in 1970 (?) that I was convinced that I would celebrate my 30th birthday on the Moon eight years later. As perilous as that journey might have been I have always been averse to under sea exploration as if it is even more dangerous. On deeper reflection I’m not sure how to compare the two other than vessel failure means instant death.
    I hope the explorers aboard this submarine are returned to safety.”

    Not like I’ll ever have the chance but outer space travel still appeals to me…however I may stay out of the bathtub for a while.

  40. Kathy says:


    Coyotes are canids, part of the family that includes chihuahuas. Would you say a coyote is a chihuahua?

    Coyotes can interbreed with dogs.

    So, no, a coyote isn’t a chihuahua any more than a doberman or a poodle are chihuahuas. But they’re all related to a closer extent than peanuts are to peas.

  41. Kathy says:


    Any idea how deep they were?

    Pressure rises by about one atmosphere for every ten meters of depth under water. At 300 meters, which I understand is more or less the limit for modern military subs, pressure is 31 atmospheres (adding the pressure of 100 kilometers of atmosphere on top of the ocean). That’s about one third the pressure you’d find on Venus’ surface, but much colder.

    The titanic is ten times deeper than that.

  42. Mu Yixiao says:


    Have you ever eaten raw peanuts? They taste just like peas.

    Oh… and root beer is a beer. It’s (usually) non-alcoholic, because it’s not allowed to ferment for long enough, but the brewing process is essentially the same as for lager, ale, etc. It’s just not made from grain.

  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    …but 61% think it will turn out well in the end

    The Brits have always been better at whistling in the dark than we are.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: My guess would be that pb producers probably skim off the waaaayyy more valuable peanut oil in the manufacturing process and replace it with relatively cheap soybean, canola, or corn oil.

  45. Beth says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Root beer gets its flavoring from the root bark of the sassafras tree.

    You can also get MDMA out of there, after a bit of, uh, processing… So, root beer is Molly.

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Tacoma pu truck? Why not a real ‘Murkan pick up like an F-150 or, even better, and F-350?

    gather signatures (who knew there were businesses that do that?)

    I did. It’s a job I’ve refused when I did temp work years ago. These days, the minimum wage in Washington is too high, so signature contractors have gone to piece rate.

    Mu Yixiao: I had a friend who made root beer (from Hires’ extract) in college who carbonated his root beer with either brewers or baking yeast (can’t remember which anymore). It had about 1% abv. according to the source he got the recipe from.

    ETA: @Beth: Wow! Enlightening. Thanks!

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Ford is too woke. Somebody saw somebody drinking a Bud Light in a Ford commercial.

    I did. It’s a job I’ve refused when I did temp work years ago.

    I am not surprised that somebody around here knew that particular fact, even less surprised that it is you.

  48. SenyorDave says:

    ‘I’m A Nobody And He Calls My Employer?’ Elon Musk Silences Tesla Critics By Deactivating Twitter Accounts And Reaching Out To Their Employers
    Its almost like he’s trying to destroy his own product. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. He’s vying for worst uber-rich along with Murdoch, Ellison and Thiel.

  49. Sleeping Dog says:


    Elon Musk: The Howard Hughes of the 21st century. We just need confirmation that he has an air purification machine in the trunk of his Type S.

  50. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    For the bigger picture, as opposed to the Brexit hardcore headbangers, this survey analysis is worth a look. Kellner has always been one of the sharpest opinion survey guys.

  51. Michael Cain says:


    Ford is too woke. Somebody saw somebody drinking a Bud Light in a Ford commercial.

    No need to infer things from commercials, just look at the public financial filings. They are pouring tens of billions of dollars into converting themselves to an electric vehicle company.

  52. Jax says:

    Anybody got any stellar stuffed mushroom recipes? We’ve been getting so much rain, the local edible mushrooms are going crazy. My daughter and I found 4 freshy fresh ones the size of dinner plates today, figured we’d try stuffing them, but we’ve never stuffed them before.

  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: Wait, what??? They want to make money? How positively… capitalist! Yeah, that’s the word.

  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Nope.

  55. JohnSF says:

    I love fresh mushrooms, but never been confident enough to field-pick.
    At least in UK, there are too many that look like “tasty yummy”, but are in fact “die swiftly”.

  56. CSK says:
  57. Kathy says:

    So, about pressure at depth, the Mythbusters once showed what happens at 90 meters, ten atmospheres pressure, if there is a pressure differential.

    The description is here.

    The very gory, disturbing video is here. I warn it’s really disturbing and might give one awful nightmares.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: His take seems to point to the 61% believing that it will turn out okay in the end statistic being “made up sh!t” (to use the technical data analysis term). Although I suppose that the 61% mostly believe that the UK will eventually rejoin the EU. (Is that likely in, say, your lifetime? I would say in mine, but I’m pretty old and my health is bad.)

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: @CSK: WA! That DOES look tasty. I’ve always liked stuffed mushrooms but always see them as too labor intensive. (I’ve used sausage in the past, but that’s REALLY labor intensive.)

    (And I’m assuming that you’ve both hunted mushrooms before and know what not to pick, right?)

  60. Jax says:

    @JohnSF: All mushrooms are edible. Some are only edible once. 😛 😛

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: No worries, we’ve been stuffing our faces with previous, smaller versions of the same mushrooms the last few days, we’ve tried them sauteed, on salads, in omelettes, and we’re still alive, no gastrointestinal distress. It’s like the more rain we get, though, the bigger and faster they pop up!

  61. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I think rejoin will take some time, mainly because the EU has no particular incentive to go quick, and a lot of “once bitten, twice shy”.
    Also, Labour Party is being very cautious re. the votes in leavy working class constituencies (aka the “Red Wall”)
    IMHO Starmer will aim at a pragmatic accommodation, and to lead the leaver-ish back via baby steps. SM alignment, then EEA, then CU-ish, etc.
    My worry is: what’s the EU incentive to do such a nice deal, rather than take us to the cleaners?
    What is the timeline we have before damage to UK industrial and fin-service base is catastrophic?
    Bad signs are there already, for those who care to look.
    But it’s not yet on a lot of ordinary folks perceptions: a slow motion train crash.
    IMO it’s recoverable. But it needs the destruction of the brexity incarnation of the Conservative party. (And I say that with some reluctance, being a person who dislikes rolling the dice on party systemics). That may give Lab. govt the space to move for necessary alignment.

  62. Jax says:

    @CSK: Thanks! I might try one with sausage, cream cheese and rice…..the kiddo won’t eat cheese unless it’s cream cheese or cheesecake, so I have to be kinda stealthy on what all I put in it. 😛

  63. Mikey says:

    Just got back from the ER for horrid abdominal pain and nausea.

    Who’s got two thumbs and gallstones? This guy.

  64. Jax says:

    @Mikey: It never ends well from there. Usually gall bladder removal. I’ve had so many friends start with the stones that end up quickly, expensively, just having to have it taken out. And then they’re just cheeky again!

    Hope you’re feeling better, though. What did the doc recommend?