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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    At least 38 people shot, including two fatally, at weekend in US

    The STL shooting left this litany of death and mayhem: 1 dead and

    A 19-year-old male was shot in the arm, groin and legs
    A 19-year-old male was shot in the back
    An 18-year-old male was shot in the left side and legs
    A 17-year-old male was grazed by a bullet to the face and treated by paramedics at the scene
    A 16-year-old female was shot in the leg
    A 16-year-old female was shot in the lower back
    A 16-year-old female was grazed by gunfire to the ankle
    A 15-year-old was grazed by gunfire to her left side
    A 15-year-old suffered gunshot wounds to her right arm, left knee, and right ankle.
    A 17-year-old female suffered a gunshot wound to her right thigh
    A 17-year-old female trampled while running from the scene and is reported as having serious injuries to her spine

    Can’t you just feel the freedom?

  2. Bill Jempty says:

    Memo to my wife- As we leave the White House, don’t pack my shorts and Strat-O-Matic baseball things in the same box with the nuclear attack plans for China.

    Trump offers dizzying new justifications for classified documents as former Cabinet secretaries sound the alarm

    Former President Donald Trump offered a dizzying multitude of new justifications Monday for keeping classified material after leaving the White House and refusing to give them back to the National Archives and Records Administration.

    “I was very busy,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baier, explaining that he wanted to go through all the boxes identified by the Archives to remove personal things before handing them over.

    Trump said he wanted to pull out “all sorts of things, golf shirts, clothing, pants, shoes,” interspersed with papers in his boxes.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    And some question Biden’s mental acuity.

    I’m really hoping that trump demands taking the stand in his own defense. Even if there are no cameras in the courtroom the transcripts alone will provide great entertainment.

    It is anticipated that one or more TV networks are going to petition the court to allow cameras during the trial. The conventional wisdom, is that the defense will oppose that motion. But I wonder, trump’s ego is so large and he believes that he is such a master of communication, he may actually believe would be to his benefit for the trial to be broadcast. It would really be gripping TV, on par with the OJ trial and Watergate hearings.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill Jempty: Linky no workee.

  5. Daryl says:

    @Bill Jempty:
    I now think this will end up in a plea bargain.
    Trump just confessed on live TV.
    Does anyone think Jack Smith won’t play that for the jury.
    Christ, the entire first part of the indictment was Smith quoting Trumps own words.
    This trial is over before it even began.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A hard read: Days of desperation: the diary of a woman forced to flee Texas for an abortion

    June 2023: postscript

    The rest of my pregnancy was marked by stress and fear. I worried for my remaining twin and about Texas’s vigilante system, which allows members of the public to hunt out those they suspect of aiding abortion, and sue them in civil court.

    Three weeks after filing the lawsuit against Texas, we welcomed Baby A, named Henry, into the world. He has been a delight and our toddler loves to pet the little tuft of hair on the top of his head while chanting “Baby”.

    Thomas’s ashes sit in a glass cabinet in my office, a daily reminder of the other son we wanted and for whom we suffered more than necessary at the hands of the state of Texas. A state where my family has lived for generations. A state that held agency over my body and over my medical advice once I became pregnant.

    I continue to document this journey with the hopes that someday, I will be able to look back at these restrictive healthcare laws and they will be a distant memory. Until then, I am proud to be standing among the other women in this case as we try to save other pregnant people from the trauma and harm that we have faced.

    The whole should be read, it’s not long.

  7. Kathy says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    One of the Cheeto’s many problems, is that almost always he tries to justify his actions when accused of wrongdoing. He either doesn’t care or doesn’t know he’s admitting to wrongdoing this way.

    Of course, he later usually changes his tune. Most often he’ll deny wrongdoing after justifying it. Then he will claim it wasn’t wrong anyway, then add subtract, mix up, etc. until there’s a mess of contradictory “defenses” no sane being could ever even want to make sense of.

    This may work in the proverbial court of public opinion, and certainly among his deplorables, enablers, and hangers-on. But the real courts of law tend to cut into questions of fact, including the parts where he admits to committing crimes.

  8. Kathy says:

    Some casual research on the all-important pudding matter, point to 1) using less milk, and 2) folding in things like whipped cream.

    I may try something like that, as soon as I figure out how to get sugar free whipped cream. Some seems to be available commercially. Another option is to make my own. There are several brands of liquid heavy cream for whipping. What I lack is an adequate mixer.

  9. Flat Earth Luddite says:
  10. OzarkHillbilly says:
  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill Jempty: @Flat Earth Luddite: From that CNN piece:

    For the record, Barr left the administration after refusing to appease Trump’s unfounded insistence there had been election fraud in 2020, so it’s interesting to hear him offer a defense on that front.

    Interesting? I what way? He’s a weasel behaving as a weasel does. It’s just SSDD.

  12. Scott says:

    @Bill Jempty: The amount of “dizzying justifications” come from all directions:

    From Justifying Trump to Justifying Autocracy

    1. A former president is entitled to obstruct investigators if he doesn’t trust them.

    2. A former president is entitled to withhold documents from investigators based on his belief that he declassified the documents.

    3. Federal law grants a former president sole authority to decide what he can keep.

    4. The mere act of taking documents makes them the former president’s rightful property.

    5. A former president is entitled to hide documents from investigators, as long as he doesn’t destroy them.

    6. A former president is entitled to destroy documents.

    7. A former president can ignore rules about sensitive documents because the people who make and enforce those rules are corrupt.

    8. Former presidents are exempt from the classification system.

    9. Congress can’t constrain a former president’s treatment of documents.

    10. No former president should be prosecuted.

    11. Prosecution of a former president who seeks re-election is like a coup.

    The belief in the “unitary presidency” is alive and well.

  13. EddieInCA says:

    I’d forgotten how miserable S. Florida can be on with 90 degree temperatures the day after torrential thunderstorms have soaked every square inch for 90 miles. It’s 12:45pm local time and I’ve taken two showers already.

    Can’t wait to get back to L.A.

  14. Daryl says:

    Florida…it’s like 1930’s Germany, only humid.

  15. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA: Florida keeps me humble. I’ve been there 10-20 times on business and once for pleasure (tacking a family vacation onto the end of a business trip) and if I was operating in a vacuum I would say, “This place is a disaster. 8 months of the year no one would even want to visit, let alone live there. And those remaining 4 months would be spent in one of the skeeviest locations in the US.” Yet I know so many people who love visiting and who have retired there or are looking forward to retiring there. My take on how people perceive it is so very, very wrong.

    The only thing that comes close is Scandinavian Death Metal. It astounds me that even young punks like it, but I once walked into a Stockholm bar full of middle aged people to find it playing obnoxiously loud. In fairness, I was later told it was nowhere near as loud as it would be played in a nightclub.

  16. CSK says:


    Yes, but a plea bargain is an admission of guilt, which in fact Trump’s’s done already by demanding that the other Republican candidates to sign a pledge to pardon him, but he may not know that. But surely, surely his lawyers have explained to him about what’s involved in taking a plea.

    Do you think Trump would consciously admit guilt?

  17. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I think a time will come when his outrage over someone getting something HE wasn’t offered will overcome his other impulses. It’s not like he’s not already a living breathing contradiction.

    ETA: On the other hand I am a little curious about why he’s not CLAIMING to have gotten an even better deal, which he refused because he’s not guilty of anything.

  18. Daryl says:

    The Georgia Secretary of State has closed it’s investigation into Election fraud and the counting of ballots at State Farm Arena. Spoiler alert; the investigation did not uncover any violations.
    Colludy Rudy is currently being sued by Ruby Freeman for defamation. No doubt this will help her case.

  19. charontwo says:

    Tick Tock


    First poll showing real slippage bc of indictment — favorable rating among GOP voters down from 77% to 67%, outside margin of error.

    Still up 21 points on DeSantis, but non-Trump vote slightly bigger than Trump vote (47%).


  20. Daryl says:

    “…but a plea bargain is an admission of guilt…”
    Sure…but remember what he said about taking the Fifth?

    “You see the mob takes the Fifth…If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

    He then reportedly took the Fifth over 400 times during a deposition.
    If you are looking for consistency from him you are wasting your time.

  21. charontwo says:



    Anyway, in general, if you are the kind of person who likes polling crosstabs, I highly recommend reading through the tabs here for “GOP Trump voter/GOP voter all other/All non-GOP voter” — IMO kind of fascinating and revealing about GOP electorate.


  22. CSK says:


    Yes, but he defended his pleading the Fifth by saying that his lawyers had explained to him the necessity of so doing. I know he’s inconsistent, but admitting guilt may be a bridge too far for him.

  23. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    Actually, I can well envision Trump saying that he was offered a great–many people are saying the best–deal, but turned it down because he’s innocent.

  24. JohnSF says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Bugs Bunny: definitely the most under-rated political philosopher of the modern era.

  25. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: If you get your hands on an egg beater you should have no problem. You can even whip cream with a whisk if you absolutely have to, although it will take time and is quite annoying. (just get the heaviest cream you can. Light cream can usually be whipped into whipped cream but can collapse on you.)

    I have a simple mechanical eggbeater which I have used to make anything from omelettes to cream cheese pie.

  26. CSK says:


    What? No daily reminder of Boris and his travails? 😀

  27. JohnSF says:

    You will all be disappointed to hear, no doubt, that England lost the first test of the Ashes series.
    England 393-8 declared (Root 118 not out; Lyon 4-149) & 273 (Root 46, Brook 46; Cummins 4-63, Lyon 4-80)
    Australia 386 (Khawaja 141, Broad 3-68, Robinson 3-55) & 282-8 (Khawaja 65, Cummins 44 not out)
    Australia won by two wickets.

    Pity we lost, but it was damn close.
    And IMO (and of others) one of the classic Ashes tests of all time. One for the ages.

    Bring on #2 at Lords, June 28th!

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Wow! And they were so far out in front at the end of the first day. I really don’t get this game at all–though it was fun to watch when I was in NI in 69.

  29. JohnSF says:


    What? No daily reminder of Boris and his travails?

    Taking a day off, so that I may savour the sweetness still more when I return to the subject.
    Just please, lets have you guys do the same for your incubus.

    Pleasing me: polling among Conservative voters (as opposed to Party members) shows they think Johnson was a poor PM. and a lying sod.
    The Tory party membership may be boarding the crazy train to Crazy Town, but even Conservative inclined voters aren’t signing up for the ride.

    Latest polling from Redfield & Wilton:
    Lab: 46% (+2)
    Con: 26% (-4)
    LibDem: 12% (-1)
    Reform (= UKIP, basically): 7% (+1)
    Green: 6% (+2)


  30. CSK says:


    If by incubus you mean Trump, I’m sorry, but I can’t stop trashing him and relishing–nay, savoring–his defeats.

  31. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Team captain Ben Stokes took a bit of a gamble declaring at 393 rather than going for max runs, which would prob have ensured at least a draw. It’s his way, and England team these days: go for the win, even if it’s risky.
    Problem was, the pitch was not doing much for the bowling attack.
    And Aussie batsman Khawaja was utterly brilliant. In for most of the day, scored 144.
    They couldn’t quite catch the England lead, but when England only got 273 in the second innings (I say only but 273 isn’t bad really), Australia were within chasing distance.
    And the Aussies are a determined bunch.
    Two very, very good sides fighting hard.

  32. JohnSF says:

    Well, if you has another incubus, can’t think who it might be. 😉
    (RFK Jr seems more like a laughibus, at present.)

    But you need to stake that particular undead.
    Then burn down his castle.
    Polling from the US looks rather less locked in than UK indicators.

  33. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Truly a Renaissance rabbit. Philosopher, barber, athlete, and one of the greatest operatic divas to ever ride a white horse down a mountain.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: I must not understand UK politics very well. I was under the impression that his being a lying sod didn’t bother them until the lies became too transparent for anyone other that the most gullible and stubit (a pronunciation from my Northern Irish forbearers) to believe them.

  35. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    “… being a lying sod didn’t bother them…”
    Thing is being a liar as a politician is one thing.
    Lying to the House is another, very different thing.
    The UK parliamentary system requires that members recruited to the executive MUST NOT lie to the House. It cannot function otherwise.
    I am not so naive as to to hope for perfect honesty from politicians.
    Deliberate deception of the Commons is something else entirely.
    “It cannot be borne.”
    The Commons is part of the Court of Westminster; in effect all ministerial statements are under oath. But OTOH only the Commons may judge it’s own members behaviour, and its codes of practice.
    It’s a very different system to the US separation of powers.

  36. JohnSF says:

    It’s sort of a Brit thing: MP’s can be (and have been) suspended for saying a minister is lying.
    Precisely because a minister MUST NOT lie.
    The presumption of honesty within the the House is vital to the UK system.
    You can be artful, or dodge things, or shade it: but outright dishonesty to the Commons cannot and must not be tolerated.

  37. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’m kind of mixer deficient. I’ve a hand mixer capable of one speed. I tried it to do whipped cream years ago, and came nowhere close. It does better with things like egg whites, cream cheese, butter.

    But I did find the no sugar added whipped cream at Walmart.

  38. Kathy says:


    I don’t claim to know much about Boris’ tenure. From what I know, he did two things right:

    1) improved the response to COVID after he nearly died from it. Not enough, but “not enough” was more of a global condition.

    2) He solidly backed Ukraine.

  39. JohnSF says:

    There’s some debate over exactly how ill he was. From “at death’s door” to “a mild case, and he was frivolous about it.” The inkscreen of competing narratives is obscuring a lot at the moment.
    re. Ukraine: sort of inclined to give him that.
    But the key thing is Operation ORBITAL (the UK military assistance for Ukraine) had been in place since 2015.
    SecDef Wallace had made it pretty clear any reversal of ORBITAL would be a resignation issue.
    And in UK politics you cannot underestimate the role of the “establishment”: the collective opinions of the Privy Council, the Chiefs of Staff, the “active Lords”, the Palace, the Security Council, the Commons committees, etc.
    But also, to give BoJo a bit of credit(?): at base, he too is a child and product of the Establishment (whereas Trump is an outsider).
    He likely has some grasp of the basic interests of Britain, and at least a residual loyalty to the national interest, so long as it does not interfere with his personal interest.