Tuesday’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. Argon says:

    Looks like today will be particularly noisy in the QOP universe. Not that they’re suggesting Rump didn’t do crimes, just that he can’t be prosecuted.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Argon: I expect lots of wailing, flailing, and the gnashing of many teeth.

  3. Kathy says:

    On lighter topics for this promising week, I’m taking my second tranche of vacation time* this week. COVID is still a major concern, so no trips to nearby archaeological sites. But I may just brave a visit or two to a few museums, especially the National Anthropology Museum (really focusing on pre-1491 cultures in central Mexico).

    *We have insanely generous paid vacation by law. I’m nearly at four weeks now (weekends don’t count as vacation days).

  4. CSK says:

    Alex Jones sent a nude photo of his ex-wife Erika to Roger Stone.

  5. Mister Bluster says:

    Dateline: August 9, 1974
    Forty eight years ago today.
    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

    I wasn’t at my favorite Sleepytown pub when Tricky Dick resigned, but I later learned that the owner, a Greek fellow who called Nixon “that old son of a bitch”, bought the house a round for the first and only time.
    (Truth be told, he called everyone a son of a bitch.)

  6. Jen says:

    @CSK: Good lord. That’s awful.

  7. CSK says:

    Mark Bankston revealed that the photo was one Jones’s legal team in advertently sent him. They also got a load of text messages from Tucker Carlson to Jones.

  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    I thought you were joking.


  9. Scott says:

    @CSK: Well, as long there isn’t a similar nude of Alex Jones.

  10. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @Scott:
    I was mistaken that it was Jones’s ex-wife. It’s his current one. She said she was surprised and upset that Jones did this, but that she has bigger problems to contend with now.

  11. Mu Yixiao says:


    she has bigger problems to contend with now

    Like being married to Alex Jones?

  12. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Well, that and a domestic violence charge.

  13. CSK says:

    And, in further bad news for Trump, an appeals court ruled today that the IRS can give Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.

  14. JohnSF says:

    Meanwhile, in the UK:
    Latest estimate for average annual energy bills in the New Year now £4200.
    About $5072.
    (Thing is, even if you cut back usage to the minimum, there’ll still be a massive hike in the standing charge, to cover bailouts of failed suppliers and base operating costs.

    In the Conservative leadership competition, Sunak is promising direct bill relief or compensatory payments.
    Truss, however, is doggedly sticking with her line that tax cuts will solve everything, and that the problem is recession, not inflation.
    Condemns “handouts” and seemingly incapable of realising that tax cuts won’t do a damn thing to help those who don’t pay income tax.

    I can’t make up my mind if it’s the reported problem with Truss that once she seizes on an idea, it can be the devils job to get her to realise she hasn’t thought things through.
    Or else that her campaign polling of Party membership is still showing this as a winning line with the old fools.
    Or both.

    But if she doesn’t finesse a reverse pretty soon, either she may have misread the membership.
    Or, and this I do know, she’ll have to U-turn as PM.

    Because this price level, for those on below average incomes, is torches and pitchforks, and lamposts and ropes, territory.
    It’s not on.

    Meanwhile, Boris Johnson (who remains PM till the tail end of September) refuses to do anything, on the basis that it’s up to his successor.
    Managing to combine petulance, malice, smugness, indifference, and being bloody lazy, in the inimitable Johnsonian style.

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: It was interesting to me that when I entered Alex Jones wife, I got the links to the articles but a picture of his former wife. Not being able to leave well enough alone, I subsequently Bingd the new wife’s name so that I could see what she looked like (with her clothes on, thank you 😐 ). Time and time again, I see that the new wife is mostly a younger and thinner version of wife number one.

  16. Scott says:

    This is horrifying. The results of decades of trying to destroy the IRS.

    Why does the IRS need $80 billion? Just look at its cafeteria.

    It’s part of what the IRS calls the “Pipeline”: a 1970s-era assembly line used to process tax returns at several locations around the country. And it might give you a sense of why Congress is on the verge of handing the agency $80 billion through the Inflation Reduction Act — not only for more enforcement but also for tech modernization.

    As of July 29, the IRS had a backlog of 10.2 million unprocessed individual returns. Blame the pandemic, sure, but also the agency’s embarrassingly outdated, paper-based system, which leaves stacks and stacks of returns cluttering shelves, hallways and even the cafeteria.

    On the Pipeline, paper tax returns aren’t scanned into computers; instead, IRS employees manually keystroke the numbers from each document into the system, digit by digit.

  17. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: While subpoenaing FG returns has a morbid fascination for me, I don’t understand what political gain there is to investigating them. Does anyone really believe that MAGAts are going to understand anything other that “FG really put one over on the IRS” no matter what they show–incriminating or merely incompetent?

  18. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, first Trump said he’d release them after the 2016 election. Then he had some other half-assed excuse for not so doing. Finally he said he wouldn’t release them, period.

    When a president refuses to reveal something that other presidents routinely disclose, people want to know why. It’s natural.

    Why isn’t Trump telling us what’s in the search warrant, for that matter?

  19. wr says:

    @CSK: ” She said she was surprised and upset that Jones did this, but that she has bigger problems to contend with now.”

    Yeah. About 48 million of them, with a lot more to come.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I may be too cynical, but honestly, I’m not interested in any questions related to FG anymore. The show’s gone on too long. It’s been almost 8 years since he came down the escalator and he’s still sucking all the air out of every room he walks into. It may be time to move on. Aren’t there more important things to do than focus on that idiot?

  21. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I don’t know. I hate to entertain the possibility, but he could be elected in 2024.

  22. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I was ready to move on way before November 2016.

    Problem is the Cheeto isn’t going away, he’s still making trouble, we need to send him to prison for his attempted coup, and as @CSK notes we may have to deal with him another five years.

    BTW, when I say “we need to put Benito in prison,” I mean the whole world needs it. Autocracy and authoritarianism, both right and left (though mostly right), is gaining ground. That sucks. Showing the world’s superpower will not tolerate it sends a much needed signal to the other countries on that path.

  23. Kathy says:

    It seems St. Elon really meant it. His latest “self driving” tech is Republican.

    No word on whether it does detect pregnant women.

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: True, but I can’t fix what’s broken with the country from a county that is 60 or 70 percent GQP.

  25. Gustopher says:


    the latest version of Tesla Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta software repeatedly hit a stationary, child-sized mannequin in its path.

    Probably multiple tests rather than the car just hitting the kid mannequin, then backing up and having another go at it, but who really knows? Either is possible.

  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: While I will agree that putting FG in prison would probably be an unvarnished good for society, I fail to see how our existing system is going to accomplish it. IOW, a system that will put FG in prison is one that will put any other political enemy there, too. Sadly, putting FG in prison takes an autocrat. Is this the road you want to be on?

  27. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Sadly, putting FG in prison takes an autocrat. Is this the road you want to be on?

    I don’t think our judicial system is more broken than a dozen others — lots of countries try their leaders for crimes and jail them.

    (And our system does function at the level of governors, as every Illinois governor goes to jail at the end of their term)

    But failing that… If the only way to stop a right wing autocrat is with a left wing autocrat, it is the lesser of two evils, which means less evil!