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. drj says:

    Totally didn’t see this coming /s

    Despite numerous credulous media accounts that Mr. Ornato would testify that Cassidy Hutchinson’s 1/6 testimony was false (because he didn’t tell her that FPOTUS lunged at the neck of his driver), Mr. Ornato never provided that testimony. Today, he resigned from Secret Service.

    But in a way it doesn’t matter. Millions will still be convinced that Hutchinson’s testimony has been debunked. Sort of like how Al Gore claimed to have invented the internet.

  2. Sleeping Dog says:


    It gets one to wondering, if Ornato himself hasn’t become a prosecutorial target.

    Everything TFG touches, dies.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh my gourd: Nebraska man paddles 38 miles in hollowed out pumpkin

    Did not have that on my headline bingo card. What is more, he broke the record for pumpkin paddling. The record?

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Major sea-level rise from the melting of the Greenland ice cap is now inevitable, scientists have found, even if the fossil fuel burning that is driving the climate crisis were to end overnight.

    The research shows the global heating to date will cause an absolute minimum sea-level rise of 27cm (10.6in) from Greenland alone as 110tn tonnes of ice melt. With continued carbon emissions, the melting of other ice caps and thermal expansion of the ocean, a multi-metre sea-level rise appears likely.

    Billions of people live in coastal regions, making flooding due to rising sea levels one of the greatest long-term impacts of the climate crisis. If Greenland’s record melt year of 2012 becomes a routine occurrence later this century, as is possible, then the ice cap will deliver a “staggering” 78cm of sea-level rise, the scientists said.

    Previous studies have used computer models of ice cap behaviour to estimate future losses, but the physical processes are complex and this leads to significant uncertainties in the results.

    In contrast, the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change used satellite measurements of ice losses from Greenland and the shape of the ice cap from 2000-19. This data enabled the scientists to calculate how far global heating to date has pushed the ice sheet from an equilibrium where snowfall matches the ice lost. This allowed the calculation of how much more ice must be lost in order to regain stability.

    “It is a very conservative rock-bottom minimum,” said Prof Jason Box from the National Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (Geus), who led the research. “Realistically, we will see this figure more than double within this century.”

    I was expecting something like this.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Dutch defence minister has expressed concern at gun violence in the US after a shooting in Indianapolis over the weekend that left one Dutch soldier dead and two wounded.

    “We do many trainings of our servicemen in the United States, and we really don’t expect this to happen. So it’s very, very concerning for us,” Kajsa Ollongren said at a meeting of EU defence ministers in Prague on Tuesday.

    A 26-year-old member of the Dutch Commando Corps, identified by US authorities as Simmie Poetsema, died of his injuries on Sunday night surrounded by family and colleagues after the shooting, the Dutch defence ministry said in a statement on Monday.

    Why doesn’t he just say it? “It’s a warzone over there.”

  6. Kylopod says:


    What is more, he broke the record for pumpkin paddling. The record?

    I remember being a teen reading the 1990 edition of Guinness Book and taking particular interest in the juggling section (as I’ve known how to juggle since age 11). There was, for instance, a guy who held the record for going the longest distance with a milk bottle on his head. I’m not kidding.

    Over the years, I realized I could probably get in Guinness Book if I wanted to, just by thinking up some bizarre (but not especially difficult to learn) feat. But then, I realized, what would the point of it be? You don’t get money for it. All you get is your name in Guinness Book, which is a real honor for people who like to read Guinness Book.

  7. Mu Yixiao says:

    Apparently, New York State has a Whippit epidemic. Don’t worry… the drug warriors are on it!

    “This new law is an important step in combatting a significant problem for many neighborhoods throughout my district,” New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo said at the time the bill passed in fall of 2021. “The need to limit the access and sale of whippits first became apparent after receiving constituent complaints about empty canisters on neighborhood streets. Used whippits piling up in our communities are not only an eye sore, but also indicative of a significant nitrous oxide abuse problem.”


  8. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: One of the towns here in New Hampshire has an annual regatta/river race in hollowed-out pumpkins. Some of them are afloat for an impressively long time.

  9. Jen says:


    Ukraine lures Russian missiles with decoys of U.S. rocket system

    […] The Ukrainian decoys are made out of wood but can be indistinguishable from an artillery battery through the lens of Russian drones, which transmit their locations to naval cruise missile carriers in the Black Sea.

    “When the UAVs see the battery, it’s like a VIP target,” said a senior Ukrainian official, referring to unmanned aerial vehicles encountering long-range artillery replicas.

    Wasting expensive missiles: excellent
    Tricking Russian military: excellent
    Humiliating headline for Putin: priceless

  10. Mu Yixiao says:


    Up in Madison, it’s (of course), the Milk Carton Regatta. 🙂

  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I know whippits sound funny, but a highschool classmate of my daughter died from it. It’s no joke.

  12. JohnSF says:

    Some may recall my comments, following others references to him, on indications that Richard North, of “Flexcit” fame, also “Leave Alliance” and lately “Turbulent Times” might be smart (for an arbitrary value of “smart”), but has rather questionable judgement?
    And possibly not a fellow to rely on for UK analysis?

    Behold, the latest evidence of his tendency to, erm, “enthusiasms”.

  13. Neil Hudelson says:


    Jesus, 38 miles?

    *Angrily throws away the zucchini canoe I’ve been patiently growing since April.*

  14. MarkedMan says:

    Lindsey Graham is part of the Old South political establishment, which has essentially taken over the Republican Party and permeated it with its values and world view. So it is no surprise that, sensing personal danger, he is trying to drum up a mob (no subscription needed), or at least threaten those pressuring him with the possibility of a mob. After all, that is the method of governance in the South for at least the last two centuries. Drum up outrage against a scapegoat group, get the mob going, then walk away and appear to be above it all while the mob wrecks its destruction.

  15. CSK says:

    This was happening back in the 1980s. I recall high school kids who worked in grocery stores talking about it.

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yesterday Eugene Volokh ran this story under the title It’s Illegal for People Under 21 to Buy Canisters of Whipped Cream in NY. I was the first to comment to him that whipped cream chargers, the subject of the law, dispense not whipped cream, but nitrous oxide, laughing gas. I pointed out that his lead quote said as much. A couple hours later he updated his post with a correction. If I may say, a whiny, caviling update blaming everything except his own eagerness to leap to the conclusion this was a NY woke thing. And he’s supposed to be a leading light of conservative legal commentary.

    IIRC there was a local story a week or two ago about a stoned kid crashing a car and found with whipped cream charger cartridges on the seat. As @MarkedMan: pointed out, this is a real problem.

  17. Mu Yixiao says:


    Whippits have been a thing for at least 50 years (I remember them as a kid).

    Teens in NY can get heroine if they want. Carding for whipped cream cans isn’t going to do a thing to stop them.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: My knees hurt just thinking about it.

  19. Kathy says:


    Deception in wartime probably goes back as far as there’s been war. It may even predate H. Sapiens.

    Sometimes you get a bonus. The enemy might think a real target is a decoy, and decide not to waste ammo on it.

  20. gVOR08 says:

    Somebody finally said what’s going on with the current GOP focus on “education”, scare quotes because actual education of students is the last thing they care about. Tom Sullivan at Digby’s place ties a lot of it into a succinct post.

    If you think the conservative furor over critical race theory and grooming and book bans is about culture war issues, you probably think George W. Bush’s push to privatize Social Security was about getting you, Average Taxpayer, a better long-term return on your paycheck witholdings.

    It’s about the money. What stands between the investor class and the hundreds of billions states spend, not-for-profit, on public education annually are teachers and school custodians and school administers and state boards of education. They’ve got to go.

    Just as Republicans spent decades undermining public confidence in free and fair elections to pave the way for a one-party state, the investor class has worked quietly at diverting more and more public tax dollars away from public schools to charters and voucher programs. Religious conservatives are useful idiots in the project.

    And they want to destroy teacher’s unions. They want to destroy unions both as a source of funds and support for Ds and as labor power in opposition to capital. Republicans in FL are trying to make school board elections partisan and DeSantis endorsed a lot of school board candidates in last weeks elections, who did well.

    One party suffers from the ignorance of the general public and one party depends on it.

  21. Beth says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    So wait, because kids can get one bad thing, we shouldn’t even try to stop them some other harmful thing?

    Also, how easy do thing is is to get drugs? I’m sure for some kids is easy, but I’m willing to bet that for most kids it’s damn near impossible. Kids are drug users of opportunity. Trying to find a drug dealer isn’t easy. It’s not like you walk to the local drug dealer collective and be like “please sir may I see your selection of drugs.”

  22. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Teens in NY can get heroine if they want.

    Ok, never mind the spelling mistake, I know what you mean. But dang, I hope you see the humor in it.

    Dude, you are engaging in a classic small-town move, which I am deeply familiar with because of my own roots. “Everything in the City (and NY City is the WORST!!!) is terrible. Drugs and crime everywhere!”

    As @Beth mentions, it ain’t that easy to get heroin. Cocaine is probably easier and meth and fentanyl even easier. But still harder than getting a cartridge of nitrous. Even in NY City, which is a really big place with lots of different neighborhoods, only a few of which are crime ridden, and even in most of those, the folks there mostly wish the crime rate would be lower.

    There’s life in the city, and then theres the city as small-town folks imagine it, in part because their knowledge is driven by TV coverage which is attracted to the lurid at least as much as moths are attracted by flames.

    I push back on this with my fellow small-towners because it’s a bad look. It damages our reputation. I would have thought you knew a bit more.

  23. Jen says:

    Jackson MS is without safe drinking water, and will be “for an unknown period of time,” as the main water treatment facility failed yesterday.

    Jackson, MS, is 80% Black or African American.

    Anyone arguing that systemic racism doesn’t exist should head down there and drink up.

  24. CSK says:
  25. CSK says:


  26. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Ok, never mind the spelling mistake, I know what you mean. But dang, I hope you see the humor in it.

    heh heh.

    We are currently half-staffed and flooded with support requests. Our phones have an almost 2 hour wait, and e-mails (which I handle) are coming in faster than we can get them out.

    Brain dead = spelling mistakes. 😛

    (and now back to the grind)

  27. becca says:

    @Jen: the Tennessee republican legislature is right out front about their intent to make Memphis bend the knee. Corrupt as hell, to boot.

    The republicans should move the capitol to Knoxville, or even better, Johnson City. Nashville hates their guts.

  28. Jen says:

    @becca: I’m not sure I’m following…the issue with contaminated water is in Mississippi, not Tennessee, but yeah same vibe.

  29. Matt says:

    @MarkedMan: Whippets were in heavy usage in my very rural home town as I grew up (90s/00s). I never took part but I knew a lot of people who did. Seeing this “new” drug scourge the state and local governments cracked down on the sales and abuse of the NO2 containers for years. So instead the kids started abusing prescription drugs and meth. Black tar heroin also became a big thing too a few years later.

    I’m not entirely convinced that was a positive result.

    So I’m getting a lot of deja vu here..


    Trying to find a drug dealer isn’t easy.

    HAHAHAHAH are you kidding me? I could find a drug dealer within 15 minutes of moving into a new neighborhood as a kid. Hell even now I can spot a score with little effort…

  30. Matt says:

    @Matt: Well only half my post went up for some reason. Since I cannot edit the post I’ll have to redo it here.

    @MarkedMan: Whippets were in heavy usage in my home town as I grew up. I never took part but I knew a lot of people who did. So the state and local governments cracked down on the sales and abuse of the NO2 containers for years. Now the big thing is meth, prescription drugs, and black tar heroin….

    Not entirely convinced that was a positive result.

  31. Matt says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    As @Beth mentions, it ain’t that easy to get heroin. Cocaine is probably easier and meth and fentanyl even easier

    Last time I went to my home town it was easier to find black tar heroin than it was to find weed. I know because I tried to find a baggie and everyone kept offering heroin/meth/prescription drugs with a little coke..

    0.2% of 8th graders have used heroin….

    What’s interesting to me is that fentanyl has never been one of the easier drugs to get in my experience. Despite all the attempts at hyping the drug up as being some hugely easily available high…

  32. becca says:

    @Jen: sorry. Should have filled that out a bit. The point is systemic racism is out in the open all over the south. Errybody knows. Underfunding and overburdening is par for the course for AA majority cities.

    It’s more than a vibe, it’s an ethos.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: @Jay L Gischer: I’m not speaking to now and certainly not for everywhere, but back in the 70’s at my middle class high school, getting drugs was as easy as walking out to the smoking area. Things have changed a lot since then but some things don’t. I rather suspect that if one wants to get some drugs, all they need to do is talk to the right person, and they know who that is.

  34. Jen says:

    @Matt: Probably depends on the region.

    I’m in NH, and the opioid crisis here really took off when kids who were injured in sports were prescribed Oxycontin every time they got hurt. Fentanyl was right behind. The state was awash in middle-class kids who were addicted, and it was a huge issue in the 2016 NH primaries (when Trump referred to the state as a “drug-infested den,” IIRC).

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: A lot of flooding down there.

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I had to go down quite a few comments before realising that your “whippets” weren’t this. Was wondering “what in the heck do small racing dogs have to do with people frantic about drugs?”

  37. Matt says:


    Probably depends on the region.

    Oh quite certainly as drug availability depends on demographics and geographical location.

    Prescription drug abuse by school children was already a problem in my home town area by 2005. When I talked to the kids about their abuse they all seemed surprised it was a problem because after all prescription drugs are “good”. As long as you avoided the illegal “bad” drugs you were perfectly fine to take as many as you wanted. Basically a failure of DARE and the just say no jingoism of the 80s/90s left kids believing that as long as a drug was legal it was perfectly safe to take in any dose….

    Once again the drug warriors made things worse by refusing to acknowledge reality and the complexity of existence.

  38. Gustopher says:

    @grumpy realist: I’ve been expecting a link to a Devo video, and even now just assume I skimmed over it.

  39. Jen says:

    The other day when we were talking about CA’s efforts to ban gas-powered cars, I made the point about the batteries needing rare minerals that are mined in places like China that could make things very difficult for CA to achieve its goals. I also noted that while US-based supplies would be the safest, there’d be opposition because mines are messy, ecological disasters unless very tightly monitored and regulated (which drives up the price of the mined minerals).

    Well, here’s an example: This Remote Mine Could Foretell the Future of America’s Electric Car Industry

    “A company called Talon Metals is drilling here around the clock, extracting samples of rock rich with nickel in a bid to become the country’s sole source of a material used to power zero-emission vehicles. But some locals are fighting the mine, for fear it could pollute their environment. The pushback hints at how difficult it may be to build an all-American supply chain that powers the country’s transition to electric vehicles.”

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: I had the same thought.

    @Gustopher: Now I’m gonna have to youtube it.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:
  42. Skookum says:

    Live 130 miles from Bend, but it’s where we have doctors and shop. The shopping center where two people were shot by a 20 year old is where we do a lot of business. Passed by it today on the way to the Doctor.

    I remember my outrage when Gabby Gifford’s was shot in a Safeway. Now I just feel numb and powerless.

  43. CSK says:

    Trump is now saying that the FBI and Antifa were responsible for the Jan. insurrection.


  44. Jen says:
  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: I wasn’t sure which one was the subject, so I highlighted the word and did a web search. My first time doing that on my phone, and I didn’t even lose the original page, either! [fist pump emoji]

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Rex Chapman

    In Mississippi, a 10-year-old rape victim will be forced to deliver her rapist’s baby and then she can go get a gun.

    But if she wants a glass of drinkable water, well too bad.

    eta pretty sure he’s being sarcastic

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Skookum: My reaction, too. 🙁

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “In Mississippi, a 10-year-old rape victim will be forced to deliver her rapist’s baby and then she can go get a gun.”

    Say what you will, at least it’s Karmic balance.

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Jewish Ginger Resister

    Agreeing with Ann Coulter hurts my soul. I prefer to remember her as that racist who decided to show up to a roast full of left-leaning entertainers.

    Here are some of the best insults from Rob Lowe’s roast.

    “Last year we had Martha Stewart who sells sheets, now we have Ann Coulter who cuts eye holes in them.”

    WTF possessed Anne Coulter to show up at a roast full of lefty comedians? “PILE UP!!!!”

  50. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: went to Apple Music, searched for Devo, and started playing the top songs.

    “Whip It” is the first 4, from different albums, versions of albums, greatest hits…

    On the one hand, it’s silly they cannot consolidate four identical recordings. On the other hand, I’m listening to “Whip It” over and over, so maybe they know what they are doing.

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:


    This is the superhero we all need..

    6 glorious seconds.

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: Yeah, they know how to hook us.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Back in about 2010 or 2012, I read an opinion column by a guy who was saying that instead of imaging that we were going to reverse the trend of climate change, governments would need to work on what the world was going to do about the places that would be under water in a generation or so. He was discounted as a radical, and the most common response to his concerns seemed to gravitate toward “those people should have chosen where they were born more carefully, eh?” (Yeah, I’m being snarky. People didn’t actually say that; they only implied it. “Can’t save the whole world, yada, yada, yada.”)

    So no, I’m not surprised, either.

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Now I’m curious about what Jewish Ginger Resister agrees with Ann Coulter about. Still, she handled the situation with more dignity that FG has shown in his entire life.

    [Ba-da (rimshot, splash)]

  55. Kathy says:


    So, Benito loooooves Antifa?


  56. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    As discussed the other day, California, Washington (and apparently) Oregon are all running towards banning the sale of ICE cars within the next decade. All well and good, and in fact, electric cars may be the next big thing after sliced white bread that doesn’t go all moldy before you can eat it, but my pondering led me to suspect that, ultimately, this will lead to ghettoization of significant portions of the population. The thoughts that bubbled up in Luddite’s febrile brain:

    1. Make below upper-income levels? You’re not going to be able to afford the car.
    2. Live in an apartment? Nope, no chargers for you.
    3. Live in a condo? With parking? Who’s paying for the installation of your charging centers? The electricity to run them?
    4. Not everyone lives or works in the city. So, how are people who live outside reasonable range of EV going to get to/from where they need to go?

    Frankly, I’m hoping I’m wrong. But given the price point, utilization of scarce resources, and the infrastructure issues, I see this as a performative display that ultimately harms more than it benefits.
    Yes, global warming is a critical issue (one we may well have left too late) but think about what the outcome will be. Frankly, most of the commentariat here are in an economic position where this change will not be onerous for them. Unfortunately, that leaves out the vast majority of the population.

    Guess the poor folks shoulda been born richer, eh? Or is that too GQP of me? But then again, what else can you expect from a snarky, overheated Luddite?

  57. CSK says:

    I think he’s saying that Antifa and the FBI were the ones who caused all the trouble, not the totally innocent and peaceful MAGA hordes.

  58. Kathy says:


    I think he outed himself.

    We’ve always known. He may pander to his base and make googly eyes at Kim, but what his heart craves is the mere approval of the pinko liberal elite who despise him.

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    …sliced white bread that doesn’t go all moldy before you can eat it,

    Isn’t that why God gave us freezers? 😉

  60. Gustopher says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I expect the gas car bans to slide a few years as a lot of that gets worked out (plus, used gas powered cars will still be allowed, and that’s where lower income people are likely shopping for cars anyway)

    Public charging stations are coming.


    If I had my druthers, we would force everyone into public transportation, other than me of course. Just me and some busses on the road, and if we can get underground bus lines, that would be even better. Just me and a few people like me, driving on the surface above all the mole people.