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. MarkedMan says:

    On the forum yesterday there was some discussion of Rod Dreher’s blog post about his wife filing for divorce. I decided to go read it and found it highly disturbing, especially this part:

    It feels like to me that evil has won. I must believe — I must believe — that there will be resurrection.

    This is a guy who literally believes in demon possession. Is he saying that his wife’s actions are intrinsically evil? What is he justified in doing to remove that evil? After all, this is a guy whose message on Putin and the Ukraine is that it’s a tragedy that the gays and trans forced God fearing Putin to slaughter millions.

  2. CSK says:

    Well, Dreher did say that his wife had approved his statement, although perhaps not specifically the part about evil winning.

    The references to nine years of torment are a bit extreme.

  3. Mu Yixiao says:

    On Thursday mornings, I report to a different plant where I’m offline for most of the day. When I first get here, I pull out my laptop and do a couple quick tasks.

    Dear gods, I hate the stupid touchpad on this thing! And all the damn “gestures” that Windows has tied to it. I keep opening and closing things, or moving them all over the screen, because my thumb glances across the touch pad.

    Who the hell designs these things?

    Gotta remember to bring a damn mouse.

    [This completes our morning curmudgeonry.]

  4. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: You can change most of those settings

  5. Mu Yixiao says:


    Or I can just remember to bring one of the eleventy billion mice I have laying around my house and have a much better experience. 🙂

  6. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Laptops are great desktop replacements once you add a mouse, a keyboard, and a monitor.

  7. RMR says:

    “evil has won” doesn’t mean possession (though in other unrelated posts he believes that can happen). I have no clue what his 9 years of struggles were about, his relatives in Louisiana made it difficult for both him and her (according to his post today), but there’s probably something else.

    If I were to hazard a guess, like many prolific writers, he is consumed by his work. That can lead to work/life balance issues, and to pressure on a marriage, he vaguely writes about 9 years of torment.

    His fixation with trans issues and “woke totalitarianism” in the past few years isn’t healthy either, but if anything (it may not be related at all), that’s probably an effect of his marriage troubles, not a cause.

  8. CSK says:

    Does Dreher have a new post on this today?

  9. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Every Windows laptop that I’ve ever used, and I’ve not tried a very expensive ones, has had a virtually unusable touch pad. But I’ve had MacBooks and $400 Chromebooks and the touch pad is wonderful and much better than any mouse that I’ve used. The issue isn’t Microsoft, but the PC mfg and I don’t understand why?

  10. Michael Reynolds says:


    The references to nine years of torment are a bit extreme.

    I suspect his wife agrees but with a different villain.

  11. Sleeping Dog says:

    From David Leonhardt’s newsletter this AM

    April 21, 2022, 6:28 a.m. ET
    More than a decade ago, the political scientist Suzanne Mettler coined the phrase “the submerged state” to describe a core feature of modern American government: Many people don’t realize when they are benefiting from a government program.

    “Americans often fail to recognize government’s role in society, even if they have experienced it in their own lives,” Mettler wrote. “That is because so much of what government does today is largely invisible.”

    Her main examples were tax breaks, including those that help people buy homes, pay for medical care and save for retirement. The concept also included programs so complex or removed from everyday life that many people did not understand them, like federal subsidies for local governments.

    Mettler’s thesis is both a defense of government’s role and a criticism of the modern Democratic Party’s preference for technocratically elegant and often invisible policies. It wasn’t always this way, she points out. Social Security, Medicare and the G.I. Bill — as well as New Deal parks, roads and bridges, many with signs marking them as federal projects — helped popularize government action because they were so obvious. If voters don’t know what the government is doing to improve their lives, how can they be expected to be in favor of it?

    My colleague Alex Burns, reporting from Richmond, Va., has just published a story about the latest example of the submerged state: the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 rescue plan that President Biden signed last year, known officially as the American Rescue Plan.

    Alex writes:

    Unlike the New Deal, however, this $1.9 trillion federal investment in American communities has barely registered with voters. Rather than a trophy for Mr. Biden and his party, the program has become a case study in how easily voters can overlook even a lavishly funded government initiative delivering benefits close to home.

    Mr. Biden’s popularity has declined in polls over the past year, and voters are giving him less credit for the country’s economic recovery than his advisers had anticipated. In Virginia, Democrats got shellacked in the 2021 off-year elections amid the country’s halting emergence from the depths of the pandemic.

    Ambivalence among voters stems partly from the fact that many of the projects being funded are, for now, invisible.

    Examples in the American Rescue Plan include community center renovations, housing initiatives and health programs. Collectively, the projects may be valuable. Individually, many may be so modest as to go unnoticed. Americans also may not realize that the projects are connected to a federal law.

    “Generally speaking, political leaders don’t get much credit for such federally financed, locally administered initiatives,” Mettler, a professor at Cornell University, told me yesterday.

    President Biden at an elementary school in Philadelphia last month.Credit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times
    Biden himself seems to recognize the problem. Speaking to Democratic House members last month about efforts to publicize the plan to voters, he said, “You tell them about the American Rescue Plan, and they say, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’”

    Even some potential counterexamples in the law may end up being undermined by their modest size. In Boston, Michelle Wu ran for mayor last year — and won — while promising to eliminate fares from mass transit. That’s a big, easily understood idea that could change how people think about public transportation.

    But the details are murkier and less ambitious: With a small portion of its money from the American Rescue Plan, Boston is making only three city bus lines free to ride. It hardly seems like the kind of program that all of Boston will be talking about.

    And in Washington
    Many Democrats know that voters remain unsure about how their party has used its control of government over the past 15 months to help people. With their poll numbers sagging, Democrats in Congress are trying to figure out what new pieces of legislation they may be able to pass in coming weeks.

    “Democrats win elections when we show we understand the painful economic realities facing American families and convince voters we will deliver meaningful change,” Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote this week. “To put it bluntly: if we fail to use the months remaining before the elections to deliver on more of our agenda, Democrats are headed toward big losses in the midterms.”

    It’s a reasonable argument. But the party still does not seem to be reckoning with the problems of the submerged state.

    Which raises the question: If a policy passes in Washington and nobody can hear it, does it make any political noise?

    Not only are Dems not getting credit for the American Rescue Plan, R’s that voted against it are touting it and getting more credit than Dems are. The canard that Dems are lousy at politics is true, they seem frequently surprised that the voters aren’t paying attention to what is happening in DC. Add to that how Federal money gets distributed in the US, makes it difficult to make the connection between what happens locally and what happened in DC.

    The only Dem prez that I feel did a good job of tooting his own horn on programs was Clinton, Obama was horrible and Biden worse.

  12. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Doesn’t it all seem overly dramatic too you?

  13. Sleeping Dog says:


    Dreher needs to see a good therapist.

  14. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Maybe it’s because I have seven generations of New England ancestry behind me, but all this public thrashing about with references to evil and torment strikes me as overly theatrical…and unseemly.

  15. Slugger says:

    In my experience, there is always the other side of the story when it comes to marital disruptions (and to harmonious marriages as well). Mr. Dreher has an outlet for his voice. The wife has no such opportunity for getting her story out, or perhaps she simply doesn’t want to air their dirth laundry in public which I respect.

  16. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I think the Republicans (in the past) did too good a job forcing the Democrats to be defensive about government and forced them to make so much of the necessary, legitimate and decent about government to be hidden. The only bright spot I see in the Republicans overturning Roe, or going to war with Disney is it is going to force a lot of this stuff out into the open. It was all well and good when we were beating up on the Blacks, the Gays, the Transgendereds, but lets see how it bites them in the ass when their daughter dies because of an ectopic pregnancy. When their nephew kills themselves because of bullying. When their property taxes go up by 100 % in florida to pay for Disney.

    I think we’ve done too good a job of ordering our country in such a way as to coddle middle class White people so that they don’t have to think about a lot of consequences. I’m all for shoving those consequences in people’s faces.

  17. Jen says:

    I’m either tired or losing it, or maybe just in the mood to laugh. This thread had me in stitches.

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    But I’ve had MacBooks and $400 Chromebooks and the touch pad is wonderful and much better than any mouse that I’ve used.

    My Mac vs. PC touchpad experience mimics yours but with this important caveat: “… as they are set up when they come out of the box.” I don’t change my Mac touchpad (other than to experiment with some new feature that I ultimately don’t leave turned on) but PC touchpads are configured so as to, say, do something dramatic to the whole desktop because it thought you triple tapped or because they have enabled special commands for when you touch the extreme corners or drag a window across the whole surface. So I usually go in first thing and turn all of that power user stuff off.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    Relative to the south, even the most religious New Englanders are toned down about evil, satan, etc. Probably came from shedding the Puritan beliefs.


    You’re right about the Rs, particularly Reagan doing a good job in tarring government, but Dems also surrendered. But the problem Dems have in framing their programs and policies in terms that are meaningful to the typical voter preceded Reagan. It would be convenient to blame Carter, but he emerged long after technocrats and academics overtook the parties legislative apparatus.

    The classic example of the failures of Dem communication was during the 2000 presidential debates on the issue of taxes. Bush stood up at the podium and said, I’m going to lower you taxes. While Gore prattled on about targeted tax cuts and social security lock boxes. Even if you agreed with Gore and understood the underlying rational, his presentation made no sense. Bush’s statements were simple, easily understood. For a viewer who was distracted by life around him, could reflect after the debate, yup, Bush is going to lower my taxes, I don’t know what Gore will do.

    At the end of the day, the problem isn’t what R’s do to our poor victimized Dems, it the Dems inability to communicate beyond a highly educated and attentive voter base. Off hand, today Bernie can communicate and when she is on, so can Warren. Though she usually screws it all up by reverting back to cultural jargon, like Latinx or listing various Dem communities of interest/identity groups, rather than simply we want these policies to benefit all Americans.

  20. MarkedMan says:


    Mr. Dreher has an outlet for his voice. The wife has no such opportunity for getting her story out,

    He actually brings that up in his statement and promises that he therefore wont give his side of the story in his public writings. I give that promise a week, at the outside.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:


    Typically, I leave the power stuff on, but PC touch pads seem too sensitive. On Macs and Chromebooks, I usually have the various acceleration sensitivity settings turned up and everything is fine. On PC’s I need to do the opposite and turn them down. It’s a hardware issue.

  22. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Because I have a goal of making my life as difficult and as absurd as possible, I use a Macbook running Windows as my primary business computer. For the most part, this has worked out well, if a little weird.

    Until recently, when the battery exploded and the whole battery/keyboard/trackpad had to be replaced. Now, the whole thing is so sensitive that just barely touching the laptop causes the cursor to move around and click things. I’ve tried turning the sensitivity down and that has done nothing. I’ve basically resigned myself to this hell, cause, that’s what I do.

  23. Kathy says:


    I have one personal laptop, which I got seven years ago. I’ve used the touchpad once, while setting up the mouse.

    Last year for some reason a manager asked the company to give me a laptop. I had to use the touchpad because I had no extra mouse handy. Between the lack of mouse, no number keypad, and the tiny screen (not that my desktop screen could ever be accused of being big), it’s about as useful as those submarine screen doors no one seems to want.

    I thought of simply transferring monitor, keyboard, and mouse from desktop to laptop. But the monitor has no HDMI port and the laptop only has that. I asked for a monitor, and was told it wasn’t necessary because the laptop has a screen.

    So, the laptop now is busily collecting dust somewhere.

  24. Kathy says:

    There’s a lot of buzz about Netflix, due to having had their first loss of subscribers in history.

    I don’t particularly care about any streaming service. I hold them while I use them, and let them go once I no longer do. For instance, I got Apple a couple of weeks ago, and chances are I’ll drop the subscription once I’m done with “For All Mankind.” I figure We Crashed can wait until season two of Severance is up.

    Currently I know of nothing in particular on Netflix that would be worth subscribing. I want to see Don’t Look Up, but that can wait. Most other things I want to watch moved off Netflix (Discovery, Rick and Morty), or were cancelled (Final Space).

    The actual business streaming model is for IP owners to set up their own streaming service, whether they also make shows and movies available on open air TV, cable, or theaters. This leaves Netflix in the position of having to create its own content to replace what others no longer let them have. and this is complicated by who owns what rights where in the world. For instancie, Picard is on Amazon Prime in Latin America, but Discover is on Paramount+.

  25. Jon says:


    Does Dreher have a new post on this today?

    Why yes, yes he does. And it is exactly as bonkers as you’d expect it to be.

  26. CSK says:

    I read it, or rather skimmed it, and after all the “suffering” and “torment” of the past nine years, he’s suddenly calm and joyous again?

  27. CSK says:

    Recipients of this year’s Profile in Courage Award, to be presented this May 22 at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston:

    Volodomyr Zelenskyy
    Liz Cheney
    Michigan Secy of State Jocelyn Benson
    Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers
    Fulton Co. election worker Wandrea Moss

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Beth: if this happened as a result of a repair done by Apple they will cover it.

  29. Scott says:

    @CSK: I would not be surprised if Dreher self-flagellates or wears a cilice belt. He has always been on the edge and being rejected by all sides of his family (regardless of fault) had to be difficult. Engaging in Christ-like suffering has to be comforting.

  30. Jon says:

    @CSK: I am not sure that

    After talking with monks about my situation, I made a promise to the Lord to stop fighting this fate, to sheath my sword in a rock of faith and make that tremendous sacrifice.

    Is evocative of ‘calm and joyous’ to me, but different strokes 😉 Also what is it with the right and just over the top sexual innuendo these days? Get a room.

  31. CSK says:

    Well, at the very end he says something about feeling happy and “light as a feather.”

  32. Jon says:

    @CSK: Rod is large, he contains multitudes.

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: @CSK: for someone who has said he’s not going to talk about what happened Rod certainly blethers on a lot in public, doesn’t he? I I I me me me….

    I used to think it was fiction writers who were “inveterate exhibitionists” (sardonic self-accusation since I used to write a lot of fiction myself) but now I’m tagging so-called “non-fiction” writers with that term.

    For gossake, go and dump all of this angst on a therapist and stop spewing it out at an unprotected public.

  34. Sleeping Dog says:

    From Charlies Sykes’ column this AM

    How about “popularism”?
    I thought about including all of the recent polls, models, and projections for the midterms, but figured you’ve already been inundated with the grim news for the Democrats. Spoiler alert: It’s bad.

    So perhaps this is good time to reintroduce Democrats to the concept of popularism. While some of the bright lights of progressivism are urging the party to double down on the politics that put them in their current hole, David Shor has a different, more radical idea: Why not run on issues that are actually popular with the voters who will decide the 2022 and 2024 elections?

    Crazy stuff, I know.

    Shor talked about it with Ezra Klein last year; and it seems timely… again.

    The chain of logic is this: Democrats are on the edge of an electoral abyss. To avoid it, they need to win states that lean Republican. To do that, they need to internalize that they are not like and do not understand the voters they need to win over. Swing voters in these states are not liberals, are not woke and do not see the world in the way that the people who staff and donate to Democratic campaigns do.

    All this comes down to a simple prescription: Democrats should do a lot of polling to figure out which of their views are popular and which are not popular, and then they should talk about the popular stuff and shut up about the unpopular stuff. “Traditional diversity and inclusion is super important, but polling is one of the only tools we have to step outside of ourselves and see what the median voter actually thinks,” Shor said. This theory is often short-handed as “popularism.”

    As Klein writes, this “doesn’t sound as if it would be particularly controversial,” but it is.

    There are folks who think that it doesn’t matter what Democrats say about anything because they are screwed anyway; and then there are the true-believers who continue to dominate the party.

    Shor believes the party has become too unrepresentative at its elite levels to continue being representative at the mass level. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the people we’ve lost are likely to be low-socioeconomic-status people,” he said.

    “If you look inside the Democratic Party, there are three times more moderate or conservative nonwhite people than very liberal white people, but very liberal white people are infinitely more represented. That’s morally bad, but it also means eventually they’ll leave.” The only way out of this, he said, is to “care more and cater to the preference of our low-socioeconomic-status supporters.”

    Exit take: As this article by Alex Burns makes clear, spending massive amounts of money is not popular if no one notices.

    Unlike the New Deal, however, this $1.9 trillion federal investment in American communities has barely registered with voters. Rather than a trophy for Mr. Biden and his party, the program has become a case study in how easily voters can overlook even a lavishly funded government initiative delivering benefits close to home.

    Dems, the problem is us.

  35. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Are Neil or Harvard Law around?
    I’m curious about your takes on the Margie 3-Names 14th Amendment hearing to be held tomorrow.

  36. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Margie is melting down over the prospect.

  37. @MarkedMan: My translation from Evangelical/Fundamentalist into English is that the failure of a marriage is an example of evil winning. I don’t that particular statement should be over-interpreted. He likely sees his divorce as a massive, massive failure on his part since he likely thinks that the only true relationship he can have with a woman is marriage. Plus, some of the stuff noted in the thread yesterday about how he met her underscores he doesn’t exactly have a healthy notion of romantic partnership.

    I will agree that he has a thoroughly unhealthy mental state, or so it seems to me from a layman’s perspective at a distance. He strikes me as someone who profoundly longs for an explainable meaning to life (hence the trips from religious position to religious position) and no doubt saw marriage as part of a great plan that he has now failed at.

  38. Kathy says:


    Are you sure she’s melting due to the prospect and not because someone spilled some water on her?

  39. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    But Dreher does assure us (repeatedly) that his wife is equally to blame for the collapse of the marriage.

    I really am dumbfounded by the extravagance of his anguish.

  40. Mimai says:

    @grumpy realist:

    For gossake, go and dump all of this angst on a therapist and stop spewing it out at an unprotected public.

    And yet many folks seem quite keen to read his nonfiction. And then talk about it. A lot. Would that all writers (aspiring and actualized) had such a devoted audience. 🙂

  41. CSK says:


  42. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I find myself torn on this type of question. I was raised in a family that believed in demonic powers, possession, divine healing, and the rest. And I believe that those things may well happen, but I’m not sure that they happen here (though there may be a connection between demonic powers and various manias, schizophrenia, OCD, the list may go on). Not much demonic activity because secular defaults make it unnecessary, and advanced medical practices can even successfully treat leprosy (which seems to have been the big item among Biblical ailments). So yeah, I can see Dreher seeming a little extreme. I know I don’t identify events in my life as being driven by the forces of evil, but as a Calvinist, I see “evil” as one of the default settings. So…

  43. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    You dare advise him about the beam in his eye when there may be a mote in yours?

  44. Jen says:

    I’ve been aware of Dreher for years, but never bothered to read anything he’s written. I’ve now read two of his articles in two days and…the man is utterly exhausting. He’s almost impossible to read.

    I’m not a native New Englander, but I share the regional distaste for emoting excessively. Even in writing.

  45. just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: Once upon a time, I had a trackball pointer device that I liked very well and had a computer for which I purchased an auxiliary touch pad which also was easy to use. These days, fine motor control deterioration has overruled to the point that nothing works well. On my laptop, I tape a card (business size works fine) over the touchpad so that the heel of my hand brushing the pad doesn’t trigger an event. Works okay.

    Even if I have a mouse connected to the laptop, though, the system requires pressing Ctrl-F something to disable the touchpad. Too much effort to keep track of.

  46. CSK says:

    @just nutha: @Jen:
    Yes. All this emoting seems way, way over the top to me. It’s not that I find it insincere; that very sincerity is one of the things I find so disturbing about it.

  47. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: “So, the laptop now is busily collecting dust somewhere.”

    Well, at least it still has a job. 😉

  48. just nutha says:

    @CSK: As a divorced person myself, I kind of get the sensation he’s referring to. Once “the other shoe has dropped, a sense of relief comes from the knowledge that resolution will happen. Some people feel sorrow at the separation, too, but I didn’t. Sure, the relationship dies, but everything dies eventually. Meh.

  49. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: Despite reading him for years, I don’t know the details: why did his family reject him?

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Plus, some of the stuff noted in the thread yesterday about how he met

    I missed this. What was unusual about how they met?

  51. CSK says:

    I think it was because he became an intellectual and rejected their way of life. And his father seems to have been contemptuous of him when he was growing up for being a “sissy.”

  52. Jon says:


    What was unusual about how they met?

    From Jen yesterday.

  53. @MarkedMan: From a WaPo profile:

    Julie is a constant in his conversation. Two decades ago, Dreher was celibate and yearning for a life partner. “He prayed that God would make him fall in love at first sight,” Mathewes-Green recalls. “I told him, ‘Maybe you should start with friendship.’ ”

    One night at an Austin bookstore, he saw Julie and fell in love at first sight. “He persuaded her and her date to come for dinner,” Mathewes-Green says, “then he placed himself between Julie and her date and just monopolized her.”

    Dreher proposed four months later. They’ve been married 19 years.

    I suppose someone might find it all romantic, but that sounds more than a bit weird to me, and in some ways it is a shock they made it 19 years.

    And I read all of this from the perspective of someone well versed (no pun intended) in American evangelicalism with its very stringent views on marriage and sexuality.

  54. @Steven L. Taylor: Plus just seems of a piece with what seems to be an intensity from Dreher that is not healthy in a variety of ways.

  55. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Jon: @CSK:
    Uh, just got back from a doctor’s appointment, and decided to try reading His Wackiness.
    My gosh.
    Do you expect me to believe that people actually PAY him to write this drivel?
    And finally, what on earth is he smoking, and how do I stay upwind from the secondhand smoke?

  56. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Dreher’s can be the kind of behavior that has women seeking restraining orders.

  57. just nutha says:

    @grumpy realist: I can tell that you’ve never experienced old school Fundamentalist testimony services. Dreher’s comments on his divorce are completely on point for style.

  58. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    I hope all went well for you at the doc’s.

    I don’t think Dreher’s smoking anything. He’s just naturally that way. Maybe his wife couldn’t stand it any longer.

  59. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    And such a cushy job it is. It doesn’t even have to wake up.

    Of course, the pay sucks.

  60. Kathy says:

    It’s déjà vu all over again at CERN. The last time they saw something odd before an upgrade, and shortly afterwards the Higgs boson turned up. Now this.

    But, really, if they’re not going to find out how to make the quantum black hole that destroys the world, is there any point in going on?

  61. Also from that Dreher piece:

    “The Benedict Option” preaches living in a like-minded religious community to promote faith and values, yet Dreher knows few people here. He spends much of his time alone at home writing. Most of his friendships are epistolary.

    Additionally, he lives on Twitter and the internet, not exactly sequestering himself away into a faith community.

    Indeed, since he tried this Benedict Option he has drifted toward Orban’s Hungary and spent a lot of time there. It is all very odd, but consistent with his bio, to seemingly commit hard to something, only to then later move on to some other committment.

  62. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    And Dreher was left-wing in college; he invited Abbie Hoffman to speak at LSU.

  63. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott: Thank you. Cilice. I was trying to remember that word a few days ago. In the context of Dreher. I skimmed his column today (life’s too short to read his columns). I’m not sure what to make of all that laying down his sword stuff. Is it Freudian and he’s going celibate? Maybe regretting the lack of infidelity. Or maybe retiring from writing?

    Maybe he’ll move to Hungary and become an Orthodox monk.

  64. Kathy says:

    On deck this week a mix of lentils, beans, chorizo, rice, and chicken, seasoned with black pepper, paprika, cumin, and cilantro.

    I first cook the rice separately. Then saute onions and add chorizo, pepper, and and paprika, setting aside about half. I add chicken broth and bring it to a boil, then add the lentils, some chopped cilantro, and cumin. When the lentils are done, I mix in the rice, the rest of the chorizo, the shredded chicken, and a can of beans. I keep simmering until most of the liquid is consumed, then add some more chopped cilantro.

    I like it because it’s easy and requires minimal prep. The rice pretty much gets done while I slice the onions and chop the cilantro.

  65. gVOR08 says:

    Stumbled across an explanation of Jared’s 2 billion from KSA. Vicky Ward has a substack post claiming Prince Mohammed bin Nayef planned a “legal” coup against King Salman and MBS. She says MBN had been tight with the CIA and bounced the plan off them. She says Jared found out and ratted the plot out to MBS. You may remember a bizarre story about MBS arresting several of his extended family, supposedly to squeeze them for money. They were apparently the coup plotters. You may also remember the intel community became adamant about Jared not getting a security clearance.

    Vicky Ward is a new name to me, don’t know if she has a track record. Haven’t seen anyone else corroborate the story. But it does seem to fit. And if true, holy shit.

  66. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    not exactly sequestering himself away into a faith community.

    No. He does remind me of all the people who were going to go Galt a few years ago. So go, already.

  67. CSK says:

    Vicky Ward is a British-born American investigative journalist. I don’t know how reliable she is, but I’m inclined to buy the Kushner story. It sounds like something he’d do.

  68. Jen says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: That was exactly the section that I posted yesterday, it sent up a huge red flag for me.

    That is bizarre behavior.

  69. Kathy says:


    Worth looking into.

    For one thing, it would be odd for Jared to just let MBS know about a coup out of the goodness of his heart, or for MBS to compensate him for it years later. It would make more sense if he sold MBS the info in exchange for money (and not necessarily only $2 billion), and that he has other info he can sell to someone else if MBS doesn’t pay up.

    And what did Benito know about this? Did he also get paid?

  70. Pete S says:


    I read the full thing. Near the end he talks about going home to “share” this peace with his wife. I’ll be reading the Baton Rouge police blotter for a while, I expect to see her name on it soon.

  71. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: As the saying goes (attributed to Churchill), “A young man who isn’t a socialist has no heart; an old man who is a socialist has no brain.”

    Sadly, Winnie didn’t account for the possibility for an old man to not be a socialist and also not have a brain.

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: The key is the “sheathing my sword in the rock of faith” part. It probably doesn’t mean anything tangible to him (the Benedict Option thing turns out more metaphysical and idealistic than tangible, after all), but it will resonate with the Christian segment of his audience.

  73. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: Which results either in Bob the Angry Flower reactions or bears in your kitchen.

  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I finally got home where I could open the essays and read them. The whole thing is incoherent to me. I’m certainly no expert on relationships, but the idea of two people wanting to keep their relationship together and not being able to figure out how doesn’t make sense for me. If it makes sense for others, well and good–no dog in this fight and not buying one to join it (or borrowing one of Michael Vick’s either). “God wants our marriage to fail so we (or only I?) can serve him better.” (???) I’ve clearly missed something in the years I’ve spent reading the Bible and pondering what it means. I got nuthin’.

    Rod, go in peace and serve the Lord. But GO!

  75. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..And Dreher was left-wing in college; he invited Abbie Hoffman to speak at LSU.

    I attended an event at Southern Illinois University that featured Abbie Hoffman in 1969 (?). I was born in 1948 and would have been 21. Hoffman, born in 1936 would have been 34. Dreher, born in 1967 would have been 2 years old.
    According to WikiP Dreher graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Louisiana State University in 1989 at age 22. Hoffman died in April of 1989 at age 52.
    I am confused. When and in what capacity did Dreher invite Hoffman to speak at LSU?

  76. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Yeah, I know. That puzzled me, too. I read it in–I think–a New Yorker article. The dates seem way off. Hoffman was hiding out when he died, wasn’t he? Maybe Dreher tried to invite him.

  77. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: Or we’re dealing with a game of telephone and someone once described Dreher as “the sort of guy who would invite Abbie Hoffman” which got picked up and misinterpreted?

  78. @grumpy realist: I decided to google this.

    First, here is Dreher himself stating he met Hoffman:

    Second, there is a New Yorker piece that claims:

    In college, at L.S.U., Dreher was a leftist who invited Abbie Hoffman to campus

  79. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Yes, that’s the New Yorker piece to which I was referring.

  80. @CSK: I figured.