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. just nutha says:

    Wa! This is an early start to tomorrow. I haven’t even gone to bed yet.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Lizzy Holmes begins her 11.25 year residency in Camp Bryan, Texas. May she enjoy every mildewed moment of that unforgettably miserable SE Texas climate. There are no Gulf breezes in College Station.

  3. Jen says:

    A friend just posted a screencap of a tweet that called the “Moms for Liberty” group Klanned Karenhood and I have been laughing for five full minutes.

  4. DK says:

    @Jen: Ha. That was floating around over the weekend, and the extremely online right is none too pleased about the moniker. Probably because the shoe fits?

    Methinks the MAGA doth protest too much.

  5. Kathy says:


    You might miss this gem on NPR:

    Even after being convicted and sentenced for fraud, Holmes appears to believe that Theranos could have delivered on its lofty promises had the company not garnered so much attention.

    As though she didn’t talk to every reporter and pose for magazine shoots and gave interviews on TV and appeared in high profile events.

    Maybe we need a chutzpah sentence enhancement (yes, I know that’s a terrible idea).

  6. CSK says:


    Holmes is a blonde, blue-eyed young woman who successfully suckered rich, powerful men into investing in her company. I’m sure she never dreamed that she’d ever face consequences.

  7. inhumans99 says:

    Kathy, lol at Holmes saying she would not be in the pickle she is in if only less attention was paid to Theranos or she stayed out of the limelight.

    She is a photogenic woman who was the head of a much buzzed about tech firm, there is no way that her or her company were not going to be fetted by the press, and I am sure she adored the attention.

    If her mouth was not writing checks her body could not cash than the prison yard would not be calling.

    I wish her no harm, but she deserves to do time behind bars and she will be well served staying out of the limelight in prison.

    If she maintains her looks in prison this white woman will be fine when she gets out. I am certainly not going oh no, how will this good looking lady survive when she gets out, lol.

    I am being very shallow attributing most of why she will be fine post incarceration to her looks, but there you go.

  8. CSK says:

    This is good. Alarming, but good:


  9. DK says:


    I am being very shallow attributing most of why she will be fine post incarceration to her looks, but there you go.

    It’s not shallow. ‘Pretty privilege’ is a real and well-studied phenomenon in social psychology. People deemed exceptionally attractive by a community’s beauty standards — which, of course, interviews with a society’s attitudes on race and wealth — can expect to have more earning power, more success in the labor market, better health outcomes, and literal freebies and gifts throughout retail interactions. It’s not even a controversial concept at this point.

  10. Scott says:


    Holmes is going to stay at a Federal Minimum Security Prison.


    Otherwise known as a Club Fed. My interaction with those are from the 80s when the prison on Eglin AFB supplied prisoners to hand out towels at the base gym. My Chief of Admin at the time, who was Jewish, was invited to participate in Hanukkah celebrations at the prison where one of the inmates had a wonderful Kosher spread flown up from Miami to share.

    I’m not feeling a bit sorry.

  11. Kathy says:

    Any thoughts on the drone attack on Moscow?

    Past the fact that it seems to be a bountiful day for chutzpah in today’s news.

  12. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: Without getting into details over at Volokh I saw a perfect example of the standard conservative “We’re not the X, you’re the X.” In This case X = authoritarian, citing FDR as an authoritarian. More often X = racist. This and the Kremlin drone attack seem too perfect as “We’re not the barbarians bombing civilians, the Ukrainians are the barbarians bombing civilians.” And the Kremlin attack was way too photogenic to take at face value.

  13. CSK says:


    I have a weird conundrum. My editor has requested that I provide her with copies of written releases I got for the photos in my book. I have no such thing. No one before this has requested them. (Of course I credited the photos and thanked the providers in the Acknowledgements.) My editor says that this is necessary because the book is going into a fourth edition as a trade paperback. Huh? It’s already had a hardcover edition and two mass market ones with no issue. And it’s the same published for all the paperbacks.

    If anyone can shed some light on this, I’d be eternally grateful.

  14. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kathy: The best part of that video was Putin accusing Ukraine of terrorism. He’s bombing Kyiv, sending cruise missiles and hypersonics at it but this is terrorism.

  15. Scott says:

    @Jay L Gischer: @Kathy: I view Putin’s comment as being for domestic consumption. There are increasing signs that all is not well with the regular Russian people’s support for this war. Putin’s trying to turn their attention outward.

  16. Mr. Prosser says:

    Holmes is an attractive woman and played on her looks I’m sure; but, looks don’t matter when one swindles $700 million bucks from those who think they are smarter than average.

  17. JohnSF says:

    Similar to what I said a few day ago re. targeted killings.
    Russia has made a mistake.
    They’ve been used to dealing with with Western countries who they can poke, and troll, and operate against, and just get a “tut-tut” and some wringing of hands in response.
    Now they are facing an opponent who’s willing to step right up and get bloody.
    Can’t recall the source of this quote, but it’s spot-on:

    “The Russians have never yet ran into a state opponent who will respond in kind, and have not yet internalised what the GUR will do. They should.”

    Watch an interview with Budanov some time.
    That is one scary dude.
    As Jimmy Ruston said:

    “People really have no idea how much chaos Budanov is actually capable of causing when let off the leash…”

  18. Kathy says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    Seriously, I don’t see Holmes as that attractive. I suppose this is highly subjective.

    Anyway, chutzpah aside, her big mistake was to run a medical diagnostics test company as a tech company. Her other mistake was to market technologies that didn’t work well.

    I do understand the desire to simplify blood analysis, and the benefits of being able to carry out tests in portable automated machines. We’ve talked abut this before. Having blood analysis machines in nursing homes, in drugstores, even in one’s own home.

    At that, blood analysis ins’t all there is to clinical diagnostic tests. I wonder why Holmes never tried to do urine analysis with one drop, or at all. And there are other fluids and solids one could think up.

  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I don’t know if this helps, but when my ex-wife wrote a grammar/developmental writing text years ago, the publisher took care of all the releases for the materials she borrowed, quoted from, copied, sampled, excerpted from, etc. Perhaps you need to check with your previous publisher(s) to see if these items are all on file from a previous edition.

  20. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Thanks. Apparently copyright laws have changed in the last few years, and photographers are much more protective of their work. This is going to be kind of a mess, but I hope my editor will just scan the pix and email them. I wrote to the person in charge at the newspaper and he needs to see them, he says.

  21. Bill Jempty says:

    Got diagnosed with atrial fibrillation today. Going to have cardioversion next month.
    Bought a $10 lottery scratch off ticket today. It was a $250 winner
    Today is me and my wife’s 34th wedding anniversary.

  22. Jen says:

    @CSK: Not a lawyer, but adding a similar anecdote from the PR world. After sending a contributed piece with a photo (literally a snapshot someone had taken outside one of the client’s offices of a logo’ed truck) to an industry publication on behalf of a client, I received a release form from the publication the client had to fill out, so that the publication could use the photo. This was not the NYT or even a high-profile journal, it was a rank-and-file industry pub.

    Must have been some lawsuit.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Yes, the lovely Camp Bryan, in the mildewed armpit of southeast Texas, an area that I am well acquainted with because I had relatives down there. The summers are miserable, spring and fall less so. I suppose the winters are OK but other than a Xmas or 2, I never got down there during winter.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Bill Jempty: Best of luck

  25. dazedandconfused says:


    Her big mistake, the same one Bernie Madoff made, was targeting rich people. You want to stay out of jail? Just get fines and civil suits? Target poor people, like Trump did with his fake University. Rich people have powerful friends in the LE system. It has been said most prosecutors are but politicians in training.

  26. dazedandconfused says:


    It depends on how the Russian in general react to it. Whether it causes Russians in general to demand the war end…or if it spawns a reciprocal rage which rallies them to Putin’s cause.

  27. CSK says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    A-fib’s a manageable condition. Good luck with the procedure, and happy anniversary. And congrats on the lottery ticket.


    My word. I took a number of pix that are used in the book. Do I have to grant myself permission?

  28. JohnSF says:

    An important thing is at this point, Ukrainians are way past caring about Russians “reciprocal rage.”

    Not on drone strikes, but I think it indicates the mnidset of Ukraineian High Command.
    Asked in an interview about the assassination of Dugina, Budanov replied:

    “Don’t continue with that topic. All I will comment on is that we’ve been killing Russians and we will keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine.”

    “Outright scum will eventually be punished in any country in the world. Only elimination can be a well-deserved punishment for such actions,”
    “I do not consider anything else. It is my personal conviction, I stick to it, and I will implement it.”

  29. CSK says:

    Even allowing for political differences, why would anyone want to hang Nancy Pelosi????


    I wonder what happened to the two women who vowed that they were “going to put a bullet through that bitch’s brain”?

  30. CSK says:

    As a man friend of mine once said: “When American men see blonde hair, their brains go out the window.”

  31. CSK says:

    Tara Reade, the woman who accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in 2020, has defected to Russia.

    Maria Butina is sponsoring her.

  32. Kathy says:


    Things is Holmes did not set out to scam people out of their money, like Madoff or Benito did. She really wanted to be the CEO of a BIG company with a high stock valuation.

    How she expected to achieve that without a product, that’s beyond me.

  33. CSK says:

    According to ABC, Rosalynn Carter has been diagnosed with dementia.

  34. dazedandconfused says:


    Madoff started with a legit business too. If you are lying to get people to give you money you are scamming them. I know of no other way to describe it.

    About the only way Putin can win is if the Russian people get behind the effort, so if the Ukrainians are not, they should be.

    This Bodinov guy….He worships at the altar of brutality and has a capital “I” problem . Zelensky should either be be careful not to cross him or careful in the way he does so, by the sound of it.

  35. Kathy says:


    I concede money, or wealth, was the objective for both. But Holmes also wanted to be known as a revolutionary tech entrepreneur, much like Steve Jobs.

    I just don’t understand how she intended to do that, when she lacked the training and ability to develop the product she wanted to sell, and did not devote the funds or brainpower needed.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bill Jempty: Sorry to hear about your a-fib, but as a going on 20 years a-fib patient, I will also note that it’s very survivable and has caused me fewer problems in terms of my life, lifestyle, and ability to be active than having had asthma for almost 4 times longer now has. And asthma has always been more of a nuisance than anything else. Hope your procedure works well for you. If you end up on Xarelto or Eliquis it’s really important to remember to not skip doses, though. (My doctor in Korea disqualified me from the new non-Warfarin drugs because I told him that I didn’t always remember to take my dosage at night.)

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: You might have to grant the publisher permission all the same. And you may need releases from any people who are in those pictures. 🙁

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    From the no good deed (or self-serving political snafu for that matter) goes unpunished department: “The bill, heading for a House vote on Wednesday, prompted GOP Representative Dan Bishop to call for a vote on removing McCarthy as speaker, claiming that the deal granted too many concessions to Democrats. Another conservative member, Chip Roy, promised a “reckoning” for McCarthy.”

  39. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It worked out fine, I think. I got permission from the relevant newspaper, I assume I don’t have to ask myself permission to use photos I took, and everyone else is dead, including the subjects of the photos.

  40. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kathy: As it turns out Steve Jobs did not have a particularly technical education. He was not a programmer or a hardware designer. He did a little bit of this, being a generally bright person, very early on, but the hardcore stuff was done by Steve Wozniak. Jobs was the pitchman, and the visionary leader – who said how things ought to work. He wasn’t the guy who made it work.

    Making something from nothing is what an entrepreneur does. There is risk. Sometimes you think the thing that can be done, can’t be done. That’s where the trouble can really start. It may be that it can be done, but it takes more time. The (ahem) confidence player can play for more time, and if the ship comes in, it works.

    Or, you can fold your cards, admit defeat, and walk away. Entrepreneurs have done that too. Sometimes the VCs tell them its time. I’ve worked for one such company. What they were trying to do just didn’t quite work well enough.

    Holmes got herself in trouble by not doing that but continuing to play for time in a way that crossed several lines. She’s not the only one to do that.

    Blood work, or even chemistry, is not my field. I can’t tell you what made her think this was doable. It might be that it isn’t possible. But what’s more likely is that the method they thought would work didn’t work well enough for unforseen reasons. At which point they should have walked away, but instead she’s spending time in prison.

  41. Gustopher says:


    This Bodinov guy….He worships at the altar of brutality and has a capital “I” problem .

    Incest? Iguanas? Incontinence?

    I have no idea what a “Capital I” problem is.

  42. Gustopher says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Holmes misrepresented what the company was capable of doing in the present. It’s not that she was playing for time, she just flat out claimed things that they couldn’t do.

  43. Gustopher says:


    As a man friend of mine once said: “When American men see blonde hair, their brains go out the window.”

    Has he never seen a red head? Is he colorblind?

  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer: @Jay L Gischer: Here’s the odd thing about Holmes’ scam. I was in medical devices at the time and we were all bemused. There were no clinical trials completed and none ongoing. The FDA ruled that it was a class II, which requires filing with and approval by the FDA, which never happened. Theranos claimed it was a class I, like a mercury thermometer and so just needed to be registered (a paperwork thing) and started shipping it. This is just not done. I can’t begin to tell you how out of line that was. Like, the Feds come in and padlock your doors out of line. And not a single legitimate device company invested a dime. The warning flags were more like warning explosions.

  45. dazedandconfused says:


    Everything is “I” did this, “I” did that.

  46. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I recall reading something along those lines about Jobs. To be honest, not being an Apple adept, I’m not all that interested.

    But whatever Jobs managed to do, Holmes wasn’t up to it.


    She even claimed the company had done things it hadn’t done, like placing blood analysis machines in military medevac helicopters.


    One thing struck me, belatedly, about Carreyrou’s account. I don’t recall whether it was in the book or the follow-on podcast. Theranos had no compliance officer or staff as regards regulations.

    I know a bit about complying with regulations. At work, we don’t have such functions centralized, largely because we operate warehouses, kitchens, meat packing plants, etc. in various locations. But there is a quality assurance staff in charge of all that. So, you know, when the board of health comes for an inspection, we don’t get shut down. Not to mention the need to keep current on the various ISO and other certifications our customers require we meet.

  47. dazedandconfused says:


    I agree there is a difference between Madoff, who knew all along he was stealing, and her, who seems to have deluded herself into believing her device would magically come into being.

  48. Mister Bluster says:

    California appeals court deems Manson follower Van Houten entitled to parole.

    Apparently link doesn’t work.
    Item is from Reuters.

  49. JohnSF says:

    Rough estimate: article has 7 instances of “I”, but 18 of “we”

    Brutality? Yes that’s my point. Anyone who can order an bomb attack on the Kerch Bridge that kills the unwitting driver, or lure a patsy into delivering a package of explosives to kill an assassination target is not Mr Nice Guy.
    Bodunov is one example, there a plenty of others in the Ukraine; Valeriy Kondratyuk, head of the SZR for example. Or Zaluzhnyi. And reporters in Ukraine indicate lots more at more junior levels.

    As I said: Russia is facing an opponent able and willing and bloody minded enough to act like the KGB of the 1950’s or Mossad in the 1970’s in respect of individuals, or the Allies of WW2 in respect of “extended military” targets.

    About the only way Putin can win is if the Russian people get behind the effort, so if the Ukrainians are not, they should be.

    Ukrainians now are no more bothered about this than the British in WW2 were bothered about uniting the Germans behind Hitler.
    War is a Pandora’s Box: once opened, all sorts of unpleasant things emerge.

  50. dazedandconfused says:

    @JohnSF: War is indeed such a box. A special place. It does not care about justifications or right and wrong. All that matters is what works and what doesn’t work. What is productive and what is counter-productive.