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. Jen says:

    A man tried to open an airplane door and then stabbed a flight attendant with a broken spoon:

    A man allegedly stabbed a flight attendant, tampered with the plane on a Boston trip

    Not sure what is in the air lately (pun intended), but yikes, the number of stories about airlines is a bit…disconcerting.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Artwork referring to abortion removed from Idaho public college exhibition

    A public college in Idaho is coming under pressure to explain why it has removed from an upcoming exhibition in its Center for Arts & History several artworks dealing with reproductive health and abortion.

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Coalition Against Censorship have jointly written to Lewis-Clark State College expressing “alarm” at the decision to remove several pieces.

    Their letter says that the college’s response demonstrated the potential abuses of new laws that have come into effect in Idaho banning the use of public funds to “promote” or “counsel in favor” of pregnancy terminations.

    Titled Unconditional Care, the show invites artists to reflect on some of the most pressing health issues today – from chronic illness to disability and pregnancy. The participants share the stories of people directly affected by the challenges.

    Items that touch on abortion have been singled out for removal from the exhibition. Artists were told their work violated Idaho state law that kicked in after the US supreme court overturned the right to an abortion enshrined in Roe v Wade.

    Scarlet Kim, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s speech, privacy and technology project, said that the removal of works of art silenced the voices of women.

    1st Amendment? What 1st Amendment?

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A 15-year-old Mississippi boy is reportedly preparing to start law school later this year and has the chance to become one of the youngest people ever to obtain a juris doctorate.

    James “Jimmy” Chilimigras took the law school entrance exam last year when he was just 14 and scored a 174, the highest tally in his home state, Alabama and Louisiana, according to a report from the news station WLOX, which covers his home town of Bay St Louis, Mississippi.

    Jimmy, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the online, non-profit Western Governors University, told WLOX he is giving himself until May to choose which law school he will attend. But, he made it clear: “I’m going to be law school in August – that’s going to be in person, so that’s interesting, [and] I’m really looking forward to it, actually.”

    And if that leaves you unimpressed…

    “We always knew he was bright, but I don’t think we expected he would accomplish so much so fast,” Erin Chilimigras said to WLOX.

    According to what John Chilimigras told WLOX, that isn’t to say everything came easily to his son. Jimmy struggled with reading comprehension, for instance, despite his interest in reading, the boy prodigy’s father recounted.

    “We had to have some outside help to help him diagnose and when they worked through plan of figuring out how his mind worked,” John Chilimigras added in his remarks to WLOX.

    You go, Jimmy.

  4. Beth says:


    James “Jimmy” Chilimigras took the law school entrance exam last year when he was just 14 and scored a 174…

    That little shit…

    /not joking
    /mostly joking, kinda

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Heh… It’s not personal for me. 😉

  6. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Kudos to the kid, but this also serves as a reductio ad absurdum demonstration of the meritocracy arguments about who should get admitted to the elite schools or be appointed to high courts. Is little Jimmy one of the brightest kids around? Sure! Does he have the life experience necessary to understand the ramifications of the laws he will be learning about? Seriously unlikely.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Does he have the life experience necessary to understand the ramifications of the laws he will be learning about? Seriously unlikely.

    Of course he doesn’t. And?

  9. Sleeping Dog says:


    Obviously he needs to be nominated to the SC as soon as possible.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My (I guess, strained) analogy was appointments to the Supreme Court. There is an argument that we should only take the “best” candidates for clerkships, then lower court appointments, then circuit court and finally the Supreme Court, with the best being defined by some numeric score and list of academic and other legal achievements. “Best” should include ability to understand the real world ramifications of what you are ruling on.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Heh, if I had to bet, I would bet that after he gets his JD he decides to go in an entirely different direction. I know a number of lawyers who made that change later in life.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I was coming from the broader perspective that most newly minted lawyers* have very narrow and sometimes stunted life experiences. If all they’ve ever done is go to school, how could it be otherwise?

    * a buddy of mine didn’t go to law school until he was in his 30s. He was a hell of a flatpicker, arguably one of the best in the country, who for reasons of luck and bad timing never hit it big. He was done with being a starving musician. He had a lot of life experiences.

  13. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Super powerful ad from Vote Vets.

  14. CSK says:
  15. Kathy says:

    Winter kind of got tired, I guess, and left early.

    Two weeks from the vernal equinox, the official start of Spring, we’re already reaching temps of 29 C. The lows are quoted as 9 C, which is cool, but that’s around 4-5 am. By bedtime it’s still warm.

    I’ve trouble sleeping when it’s warm. Not so much the temperature, as the inability to huddle under a heavy cover.

  16. Scott says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: I can only attest to San Antonio military bases but all I see anymore, if anything, on the public space TVs, is HGTV.

  17. daryl and his brother darryl says:
  18. CSK says:

    Donald Hoffman, the owner of the Mela Restaurant in Gettysburg, wanted to serve drinks called a Caucasian cocktail and a Negro cocktail to customers. When he told his staff, they walked out en masse.

  19. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I’ll happily trade you. I’m hoping this morning is our last -15 until next winter. Some of the daytime highs in the next ten days are even supposed to get close to 32!! 😛

  20. Kathy says:


    I don’t think I’ve enough blankets for that.

    Or that such a trade would be possible.

    Yesterday was the first time in two months I woke up thirsty during the night. And it had to happen when I left the glass of the water on the side table rather than the nightstand.

  21. Kathy says:

    I don’t think I reported back on the attempt to roast pumpkin seeds.

    I tried it on a pan, which fit about 250 gr. of seeds. It worked perfectly well at medium heat, stirring occasionally. From time to time one would pop, but overall there was little sound and no movement. Adding a spice mix was easy and it spread all over rather well.

    Since it worked, I finished off the kilo bag over a few weeks, and did not attempt to roast them in the oven.

  22. Kathy says:

    Update on the business jet turbulence fatality.

    The piece says the cause of death ws “blunt force injuries,” meaning the poor woman hit something inside the plane very hard. This suggests a sudden drop. The piece also mentions an issue with the pitch trim. That could also cause a sudden drop, with or without turbulence.

  23. Beth says:

    THE DUMBEST PHONE CALL OF THE WEEK — Student Loan edition

    So, during the height of Covid I defaulted on a student loan, private student loan. Business got a little slow, I lost my mind, we were all there, it was bad. I finally am starting to get a bunch of stuff in order and business is looking up, so I took their call.

    They asked if I was going to pay it off; I laughed.
    They asked if I would just send money in; I laughed.

    I said, I know I defaulted, I’m ready to start making payments again, I don’t need any concessions, I just need a path forward to clear the default and resume life.

    They said no. My only choices are, 1. Pay in full (not possible), 2. pay whatever and stay in default (Dumb), or 3. continue to ignore it.

    I asked them, what’s the downside to just ignoring it? Are they going to do anything? No downside, no enforcement, no nothing, just interest and penalties growing to an absurd figure.

    They tried to pull a fast one on me and compared it to a mortgage foreclosure and claimed that once something went into foreclosure, that was it, nothing to do but lose the house. I laughed and said they were lying. As an attorney I know a bunch ways to resolve a default that doesn’t end in losing a house. They laughed.

    Last week I took out an unsecured personal loan for my business. My credit score isn’t great and when asked, I told them the non-performing loan was a student loan. Bank laughed and wrote me a check.

  24. Jax says:

    Well….the snow on my roof started melting off. The evidence is the giant leak in one corner of an addition to the original house that’s a 90 degree angle. And by giant, I mean, it’s pissing water. There’s no way to get up to that part of the roof to try and knock the ice/snow off. 😐