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. Bill Jempty says:
  2. Bill Jempty says:
  3. Gustopher says:

    @Bill Jempty: if the mom was in favor of the dog defecating on the floor, then I am on the 18 year-old’s side. I might disagree with methods, though, as that floor is now even filthier.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just dropping in to say thanx for all the kind comments yesterday (I read them last night). Started the day with a funeral for my BIL’s older brother and ended it at my SIL’s house (feels strange saying it that way). She is pretty fucked up, no sleeping, a lot of quivering, tears at the drop of a hat, about what one would expect. For now, somebody is always there with her. I tried to talk her into going to a doctor, for sleep remedies if nothing else, but she’s a nurse so I doubt my words took hold. Going back there today, hopefully I can be useful. Also hoping they will release my brother’s body today so that things can move forward on that front. I suspect my bother would say “Cremate me and to hell with the rest.” but R may well feel otherwise.

  5. CSK says:


    Again, my deepest sympathy. I’m sure I can speak for all of us at OTB when I say our thoughts will be with you.

  6. Daryl says:

    CNN got hold of the tape that Jack Smith partially transcribed in Trump’s indictment under the Espionage Act.
    It is far, far, worse to hear it, in Trump’s own voice, than to read it in a transcript.
    Donnie is fuq’d.

  7. CSK says:


    Trump is raving that this tape “completely exonerates” him.

  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    Trump can’t differentiate that convincing a jury isn’t the same thing as convincing the rubes.

  9. Daryl says:

    @Bill Jempty:
    I’ve done a lot of work on University campuses, and I can tell you that this is a constant concern by researchers.
    Imagine coming into work on Monday morning and finding months, years, or even decades of work lost?

  10. Daryl says:

    Of course he is.
    Spoiler alert; he is very wrong.
    IANAL but I do not see how he has any option beyond a plea deal.

  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl: In remote patient monitoring situations where a rural ICU has backup monitoring from a larger hosptial system via remote hookups, we talk about the vacuum cleaner problem. This is when the ICU bed is empty and a cleaning person comes through in the middle of the night looking for a place to plug in their vacuum. No one is in the bed and the monitors are turned off so they just unplug one and plug it back in. But now it has lost the connection to the remote system and, with older equipment, sometimes requires arcane steps to get it reconnected, ones that can’t be performed when the equipment is monitoring a patient.

  12. Kathy says:

    Breaking news: The independent state legislature theory is bunk.

  13. Jen says:

    @Daryl: I’m sort of astonished that no one in a position of authority in the lab was on-site following the alarm, covid or not.

  14. CSK says:


    But that would entail him admitting wrongdoing.

  15. CSK says:
  16. Stormy Dragon says:
  17. Daryl says:

    Rick Scott, famous Medicare fraudster, says Socialists are not welcome in Florida.
    Florida is home to almost 7.5% of all Social Security Beneficiaries and is second only to CA.
    Social Security Beneficiaries make up over 22% of Florida’s population.

  18. Arnold Stang says:

    I worked 20 years at a major pharmaceutical R&D site, installing and calibrating temperature monitoring equipment. If you have samples of that value in -80C freezers, you’d better have a validated monitoring and alarming system. In the pharmaceutical world, the FDA demands that.
    Those freezers will hold low temperature for a while, but what if they’d lost power over a long weekend, thawed and then gotten the power back. Nobody would know the samples were ruined.

  19. Daryl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    As someone pointed out – the scary thing in this decision is that Thomas and Gorsuch were willing to end Democracy as we know it.

  20. gVOR10 says:

    @Daryl: Willing? More like eager. They’d been signaling they wanted a case on this.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:


    Back when I was starting in sales, I was selling small biz telephone systems, at least once a month a customer would call, panicked because the phone system was down. We’d ask them to check to see if it was plugged in and if not to simply plug it back in. Always fixed the problem. Pesky janitor.

  22. Bill Jempty says:


    we talk about the vacuum cleaner problem

    I was working out at the gym once when the cleaning lady unplugged the treadmill I was on. Fortunately I wasn’t running on it.

    At my community’s east clubhouse, there is a ice machine. On the machine there is a notice not to unplug it for any reason.

  23. DK says:

    This hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but seems notable given how some try use bad faith cries of antisemitism to silence criticism of the deteriorating human rights situation in the West Bank:


    …A surge of violence over the past week in the West Bank included rampages by scores of Israeli settlers on Palestinian towns and villages that drew international condemnation and concern from the White House.

    On Saturday, settlers torched at least two homes in the Palestinian village Umm Safa near Ramallah, residents said. Israel’s military said at least one Israeli suspect had been arrested.

    Defence Minister Yoav Gallant condemned the attack.

    In a joint statement, Israel’s military, police and domestic security service chiefs said the settlers’ actions amounted to “nationalist terrorism” which they pledged to fight.

    Gonna be a tough lift accusing the Israeli defense establishment of being antisemitic.

  24. Gustopher says:


    bad faith cries of antisemitism to silence criticism of the deteriorating human rights situation in the West Bank

    And the criticism of the behavior of the government of Israel is often used as a dog whistle by the antisemites who don’t really give a crap about Palestinians.

    At this point I wonder if even half of the Israel discourse is earnest and in good faith.

    To be clear, I’m roughly 100% sure your comment is in good faith.

    I just want to note that the reason the “any criticism of Israel is antisemitism” argument resonates is that so many antisemites hide behind otherwise legitimate criticisms, and a surprising number of folks on the left have made common cause with Nazis.

    In a joint statement, Israel’s military, police and domestic security service chiefs said the settlers’ actions amounted to “nationalist terrorism” which they pledged to fight.

    Woah. That’s rare. Israel actually criticizing settlers.

  25. Kathy says:

    Currently touring the Bank of Mexico museum.

    I may post more about it later.

  26. Gustopher says:

    I just happened to notice that RFK Jr’s campaign manager is Dennis Kucinich.

    I really don’t trust anyone more than two steps further left than me to not become a total shithead. So many fall into the “corporate Democrats are the worst thing for our country” and end up standing next to fascists.

  27. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: does Mexico’s Museum have a bank, or does the Bank of Mexico have a museum? Both seem slightly implausible.

  28. CSK says:


    The museum is on the first three floors of the bank, which partially sponsors it.

  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    A contributor for the local paper, who has a background in marine biology and whose husband is a fisherman, frequently complains about the harbor seal population, as she (and many fisherman) believe is out of control. Well word arrived today that her call for help has been answered and the posse has arrived.

    Of course swimmers won’t be excited about the news.

  30. DK says:


    Israel actually criticizing settlers.

    I don’t think Israel’s ethnic and political diversity is fully appreciated. Another reason why using “Israel” as a rhetorical stand-in for “Jews” doesn’t work.

    That’s why I try to be more specific. This isn’t really “Israel” criticizing settlers, more “the Israeli defense establishment” criticizing settlers. Bibi’s nationalistic and right wing cabinet is likely to have a very different take on settler violence.

    Also why I deliberately wrote of bad faith cries of antisemitism being used to blunt “criticism of the deteriorating human rights situation in the West Bank” rather than “criticism of Israel.”

    Israel is not a monolith though many inside and outside Israel want it to be so, sometimes for competing reasons.

  31. Daryl says:

    Liz Cheney:

    “What we’ve done in our politics is create a situation where we’re electing idiots…

  32. CSK says:


    She’s not far wrong.

  33. Mu Yixiao says:

    AQI in central WI is currently 239!

  34. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Good God. Where I live it’s 17.

  35. Kathy says:


    The Bank of Mexico is about like the Federal Reserve in the US. It has a museum.

    Anyway, it’s a small museum, but it’s nice. There are lots of old and contemporary forms of currency, coins, promissory notes, and bank notes. Of note, many coins are mounted under a magnifying glass, which was really nice. You can also take pictures or video freely, except in the area where they show a short, abstract film about money in general.

    It lacks historical context, though. Every note and coin is identified by name, provenance, and date (actual or estimated), but without further explanation. For instance, there were several notes issued by private banks. Actual notes, with the name of the bank on them. Some were XIX century, but some were from the XX. What gives? How did that work? The museum does not say.

    Another interesting exhibit aks “Is it money?” It shows coins, grains, shells, metals, jewels, real estate, stocks, bonds, and even digital currency. As you approach each one, you see only a white ceramic piece. When you get closer, you look into a tilted semi-transparent mirror on which is projected an image that overlays on the ceramic piece. Very clever design. A small plaque explains whether each object represented is, isn’t, or ever was “money.” (It claims bitcoin is not money, and I tend to agree).

  36. Mister Bluster says:

    If bitcoin is not money has no value then there should be someone out there who will trade me their bitcoin for a Big Mac or some chicken wings.

  37. Mister Bluster says:

    I tried to post this last night from my phone but link failed so I’ll tag it:
    60 years ago yesterday.
    Ich bin ein Berliner

    (the notion that there was some confusion about German pastry is false per WikiP)