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. MarkedMan says:

    This is pure speculation, so take it FWIW. I was just reading about yet another attorney who had warned Trump months ago about the serious legal liability he was incurring by keeping the documents. It got me thinking about the empty file folders. What if the reason that he was so adamant about not returning documents was because it would reveal how many he no longer had? He had given them away for some reason, or they had been stolen from insecure locations.

  2. Mu Yixiao says:

    It’s not going to be a good day.

    Getting ready this morning, I reached into my nightstand and ended up with a paper cut on my knuckle from the bag of cough drops.

    Bad omens, my friends. Bad omens.

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Those small bad omens always turn out to be correct. Best to just turn around and go home now, my friend. If your work requires a note from the doctor, I’m happy to forge one.

  4. Scott says:

    This story is not going to go away. Just not sure if the inherent immorality and cruelty will outweigh the political gotcha story.

    Sheriff to investigate how migrants were lured from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard: ‘It’s enraging’

    Criminal charges could be levied against the people responsible for shuttling 48 South American migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in what Sheriff Javier Salazar called a stunt of “political theater.”

    The sheriff announced the investigation Monday, saying a migrant was paid a “birddog” fee to recruit 50 others around city’s Migrant Resource Center, at 7000 San Pedro Ave. In total, 48 were “lured,” the sheriff said, under false pretenses.

  5. Kathy says:

    In their 2015 book about Putin, Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy make much of the fact that Putin was stationed in Dresden, then East Germany, at the time when Gorbachev began to institute the perestroika and glasnost reforms. The claim is Putin missed the enthusiasm and optimism which came along with the relaxed repression and new freedoms. Therefore he looks back at the period much differently than others who did live through it.

    I wondered while reading this how much difference did it make. Didn’t Putin speak to colleagues, superiors, family, or friends back home? Didn’t he take leave and go home from time to time?

    Then yesterday’s quake reminded me of something: I was out of the country when the Sept. 19th, 1985 big earthquake hit. I didn’t return for a couple of months, either. Yes, I talked to people back home, I saw the devastation on TV. But I never experienced it.

    So, is my rather calm attitude towards quakes partly a result of this?

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:
  7. KM says:

    Not to mention that Abbott and DeSantis have zero intentions of stopping. They will do it again and again since it played extremely well with their rabid fanbase.

    The only way I can see this stopping is if states start arresting the bus drivers, flight crews and company employees who are doing the dirty work of human trafficking. Punish the companies by yanking licenses or denying them access to the airspace. Make it so toxic it’s not worth the money conservatives offer you to get them re-elected.

  8. Sleeping Dog says:


    Hasn’t there been a spate of articles over the past year about how young adults aren’t having sex?

  9. Scott says:

    This made me laugh so hard. And the fact that I got most of the references makes me question my online life.


  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Interestingly, the article doesn’t state that the rise in syphillis and std’s is a young-adults issue. It almost conspicuously doesn’t give age ranges.

    My guess? We are finally hitting that post-pandemic nationwide s*ck-and-f*ck fest we were all promised.

  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: What’s the over/under on the “birddog” being charged but the person paying him/her not being charged?

  12. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Sure. I saw them right next to the articles on the increase in STD transmission in nursing homes and senior communities. 😉

  13. Scott says:

    Today’s humor keeps coming. This headline just made me laugh.

    Beyond Meat COO arrested for biting man’s nose near Razorback Stadium

    Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!

  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Or the outbreak is occurring in “The Villages” type communities and it is confirming that they are the Sodom and Gomorrah that they are rumored to be. 🙂

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sleeping Dog: TBH I don’t know. At my age I don’t pay much attention to the sex lives of other people. It also would not surprise me in the least if this surge of STDs is mostly among middle aged divorcees.

  16. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Put me down for $20, Cracker.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Fayettville is a very dangerous city. A friend of mine is a professor at UofA and tells me he takes his sawed off shotgun every where he goes. s//

    It’s actually a very nice college town, a fairly liberal place, but entitled assholes are everywhere.

  18. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    If your work requires a note from the doctor, I’m happy to forge one.

    In cursive? 🙂

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: It’s got to be unreadable.

  20. CSK says:

    Making up for lost time and lost opportunities?

  21. JohnSF says:

    Looks like Vova is taking getting his rear kicked in Kharkiv really sensibly.
    Putin to give address after four occupied areas of Ukraine announce ‘vote’ on joining Russia
    “I always double down, and remain the greatest master of strartegy”

  22. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Tuesday mornings often start with my toiling through the emails I haven’t seen since last week. So, not the first thing that caught my eye, but certainly a taste “treat” I’m going to have to pass on. No, seriously, @Ozark, you go ahead, I’m going to pass:

    Last week, I set out to try the wildest ice cream flavor I could find. It really wasn’t a contest, as red bean and white grape flavors have nothing on Sichuan peppercorn cheese milk tea — a combination of flavors that somehow exist in one ice cream bar.

    I have to give the product manufacturers credit for honest advertising: The packaging touts the ice cream bar’s “unique recipe.”

    The verdict: It was actually good. Really! I couldn’t taste the peppercorn, and mostly what I got were notes of tea and caramel, with a hint of cream cheese.


    *I find axios to be an interesting news source to the Pacific theater. I can’t afford the premium site, but their reporting and analysis of China and it’s relationships/plans/assertions apparently balanced and well done.

  23. CSK says:


  24. JohnSF says:

    There are also indications that Team Trump’s “Special Master” malarkey may be about to blow up in their face.
    Oh Dearie.

  25. CSK says:

    Cute, John. Tres cute.

  26. dazedandconfused says:


    The headline doesn’t match up with the content on that one. Says Putin will give his address tonight but the referendums are not to happen for several days yet. No doubt he will have to say something about the referendums when they are done, so it’s probably not wrong anyway.

    My guess is this is a manifestation of Putin’s manpower problem. Once the areas are annexed he can use conscripts in there. So many of his contract boys are saying they aren’t going to re-up and a hell of a lot of contracts are about to expire. It appears a critical issue for them.

  27. JohnSF says:

    It’s dirty work, but somebody‘s got to do it.

  28. Kathy says:

    I felt like combining enchiladas with refried beans.

    Instead of wrapping a filling in the tortillas and then covering them with salsa, the technical definition of enchiladas, I did something different.

    First I spread beans on 4 tortillas (I’m limited by the size of the baking/serving dish), and placed them bean side up in the baking dish. Next went a layer of salsa mixed with sauteed onions, and shredded chicken. Then a layer of plain tortillas. More chicken and salsa on top. Another layer of tortillas and beans with the beans side down. And the last of the chicken and salsa.

    It turned out rather well.

    For the salsa I sauteed onions and garlic, added some tomato paste, a bottle of green salsa, half a bottle of red salsa, 1 cup of chicken broth, some pepper, paprika, and a small pinch of cinnamon. I let this come to a slow boil, then mixed in Oaxaca cheese and let it melt. Stir when the cheese melts, and let it simmer a bit. then add the chicken and mix well.

    Between the bottled salsa and pre-cooked shredded chicken and beans, it was a very quick and easy dish to make.

    Later, my take on the Lightyear sandwich.

  29. Pete S says:

    My wife and I are spending the week in Maine, enjoying some peace and quiet. I cannot get over how big the New Hampshire liquor stores on I-95 are. Are all your liquor stores that big or is it a tourist thing?

  30. JohnSF says:

    Quite a lot of other reporting on it.
    Basics are:
    Parliament passes law introducing “concepts” of mobilisation & martial law (what that actually means outside Russian headspace gawd knows)
    ‘Republics’ in east Ukraine announce “referenda” on unification with Russia for 23-27 Sept
    Putin urges industry to boost weaponry production

    I doubt it’s re, manpower in that sense.
    They are already press ganging people in DNR/LNR.
    Recruiting Ukrainian loyalists into your army might prove a tad counter-productive, to put it mildly.
    In fact, I suspect one aspect of the intelligence war that is not getting appreciated, for some reason, is the near certainty that Ukraine has agents in place within Russian military/government system; and especially in DNR/LNR militias and govts.

    More likely Putin is trying to grandmothers footsteps his way to a partial mobilisation in Russia.
    And to do some more “Beware Russian rage ! Waagh” b.s. re “attacks” on “Russian territory”.

    Probably part of his stupid plan to last out the winter, and collapse Ukraine by collapsing European support via economic warfare (winter gas shutoff) and trying to build up a “peace movement”.

    Silly Vlad.
    He has left both mobilisation and gas shutoff far too late
    Failure to choose, again.
    Putin’s pattern, it seems.
    Train done gone.

  31. Mu Yixiao says:


    The FBI’s investigation—a delicate undertaking that could result in criminal charges against a former president for the first time in American history—has grinded to a halt following a bizarre intervention by a federal judge Trump appointed himself.

    When did people start saying “grinded” instead of “ground”?

  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Pete S:

    When the state doesn’t have a broad based source of income you get it where you can. Generally prices are lower in the state stores than in liquor stores in surrounding states so it is not unusual to see out of state cars loading cases of booze to bring home. My only gripe is that the state stores don’t sell beer.

  33. Sleeping Dog says:

    The stores on the interstate are that large. The ones serving a locality are typically 2500 sqft.

  34. dazedandconfused says:


    My bad, I misread the notice as “after the vote” instead of “after announcing the vote”.

    The question is what Putin’s political objectives are now. Clearly if the objective was ending Ukraine and proving Russian military dominance, that has been blown to smithereens. I suspect one of his objectives may be giving pause to neocons who would openly peck away at nations in the Russian sphere if influence. That one is still on the table, by means of whether or not they win or lose making it painful to the West. It’s a fair bet someone will think twice next time a Kagan, a State Dept employee, is idly allowed to abet and foment a color revolution next to Russia, is it not?

    This is not likely to be viewed as an achievable objective if this were to end in abject humiliation for Russia, so this goal may not be dissimilar to “peace with honor” now. And Putin must fight on through the winter to maximize the effect of those gas heating bills in the EU.

  35. CSK says:
  36. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    When they decide to really grind my nuts.

    It will probably be “grounded to a halt” next. LOL

  37. JohnSF says:

    The Russian sphere of influence is collapsing.
    China last week publicly told Putin “hands off” re. Kazakhstan.
    About one step away from telling Putin to put on the gimp suit and move to the cellar.

    Azerbaijan (which is generally backed by Turkey) attacked Armenian border positions.

    Tajik and Kyrgyz forces have been fighting along their frontier.

    If the neo-cons want to get something going, they’d better hustle, or everyone will have started the party without them.
    (And no, they pretty certainly aren’t behind either of these outbreaks)

  38. JohnSF says:

    Where is there left to “abet and foment a color revolution”?
    Unless Putin wises up he’ll be lucky to hold onto Siberia.
    Or more likely the Moscow an St. Petersburg suburbs that are his real worry.

    There is little he can do now to make anything painful for the West.
    In fact, I’d be tempted, could a remaining Russian client be found, to “foment and abet” a bit just to rub Moscow’s nose in their mess.
    Remember: humiliation is good for the soul.

  39. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I can’t tell you how relieved I am to find you discussing food. After your comments about the earthquake yesterday I had visions of the worst.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Well, speaking only for myself, my post divorce life consisted of many samplings of many of the things life has to offer. Not only sexual opportunities, tho that was definitely on the agenda as well. In fact, thinking back on it I realize that there were extended periods of celibacy. Not that I wasn’t open to the idea of cheap opportunistic sex, just that the few times I engaged in it left me feeling… Empty.

    Something I never felt while pushing virgin cave.

  41. JohnSF says:

    And at least one European state puts down a pre-emptive marker re. the anticipated Russian plans for “referenda”.
    (I’d place a sizable bet this was cleared with at least the “Visegrad Bloc” and the UK before release)
    PM of Estonia Kaja Kallas:

    “We will never recognize this.
    Ukraine has every right to take back its territory.
    Donbas, Crimea, Kherson: it’s all Ukraine
    Russia keeps using blackmail and illegally tries to take what doesn’t belong to it.
    Actions like this will have the opposite effect and rally our support to Ukraine.
    More military aid.
    More sanctions against the agressor.
    Holding Russia accountable for its crimes.”

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: No, seriously, @Ozark, you go ahead,

    OK, I ain’t askeered.

  43. JKB says:

    First murder inspired by Biden’s Red Speech in North Dakota

    Police: Driver admitted to intentionally killing teen at North Dakota street dance after political dispute
    Grand Forks Herald

    Forty-one-year-old Shannon Brandt said he was afraid 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson was “part of a Republican extremist group and that he was afraid they were ‘coming to get him.’”

    So he allegedly killed Ellingson with his car.

  44. Jay L Gischer says:

    I don’t condone murder of the sort you describe. I know nothing about the case, and I’m not going to comment on it.

    Meanwhile, Biden said this in the speech you refer to:

    Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.

    Trump inspired people to break into the Capital while the peaceful transfer of power was taking place. These people threatened to hang Mike Pence because he wouldn’t play along with a procedure designed to thwart the outcome of a legally conducted election.

    Do you support or condone the actions of 1/6? They seem very, very, serious to me. If you do, I will consider you an enemy of the USA. I’m not going to start any violence, but there it is. You would be an enemy, and as such, I will ignore you, assuming that you mean harm to democracy and the country I love.

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: I have never, in all my life, met anyone as terrified as a conservative. Everybody is out to get you. From the gay, to the trans to the librarian…. They all are out to get you.

    Fuck you and your fantasies of persecution against your pogroms.

  46. Kathy says:


    You have little to worry about.

    Both my office and home are in the more stable areas of town. Solid bedrock, rather than the semi-liquid soil in what used to be a lake with some islands. these areas went through the 1985 and 2017 quakes with only superficial damage.

  47. dazedandconfused says:



  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: In some more Anglo parts of the world, we call what you made “enchilada casserole.” And yes, it works well. I top mine with cheese before it goes into the oven. (Cotija, Jack, or Mozzarella work equally well.)

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    It appears that Gov. DeSantis should have flown migrants to a liberal enclave with fewer lawyers.(Not that migrants are likely to be able to benefit from a class action lawsuit. 🙁 )

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If you and Luddite aren’t up to it, I’ll try the ice cream bar for the group. After all, I’ve eaten whole wheat tomato and garlic donuts from Dunkin in Korea. (And they were really good, too! I wish it had been longer than a one-week special item. 🙂 )

  51. MarkedMan says:

    I realize it is late on this thread and so I’m probably shouting into the wind but I just had a perfect illustration of why I am an “Mac Guy”. Microsoft Powerpoint just had a big update (Mac version). I’m working late and I opened a new PP. Now I’ve got nothing against PP. It’s entirely adequate as a basic presentation software. But upon opening it gave me a whole bunch of new themes. OMG. They are the equivalent of those early 90’s web pages where the designers used every font, every neon color, and every flashing/blinking/strobing mode. Fer chrissakes where do they get these amateurs? All that money and they get the unemployed brother-in-law to design their themes?

    Last week I was searching for something I did when I had my own company and I popped open a few Apple Keynote presentations I did. Crisp. Clean. Professional.

  52. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: JM&J! (Jesus, Mary and Joseph, a typical Irish curse.) After dismissing the annoying suggestions about themes, every few edits they pop up again. Who thinks stuff like this is a good idea? Are they 14 years old?

  53. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: IOS 16 finally lets you edit and unsend texts, should you choose. The edit function is my happy place!

    Maybe someday Microsoft will catch up with PP. I feel like they come with a lot a pre-loaded baggage, and have for a long time. The company itself and the program.


  54. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It’s not that it doesn’t sound interesting, but I’m afraid the unholy aftermath would melt my ostomy bag, leaving whoever’s car I’m in a toxic superfund site. My passing on 4 star Thai food has a similar basis.*

    Actually, the donut Cracker’s mentioned doesn’t sound too bad.

    *Full disclosure, I find that I have some weird aftermaths to all the chemo. Parts of my tongue are still numb, and some favs are off the list because they don’t taste right anymore.