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:

    Dawgdamned immigrants… he can’t even speak English!

    s// in case you can’t tell.

  2. Kingdaddy says:
  3. CSK says:

    We knew most of this already, but seeing it all in one place is…


  4. steve says:

    I am especially concerned about these groups who claim to be doing God’s will. History shows that political groups who think God is guiding them have no limits on how radical and irrational they can become. If God is blessing and guiding you then you cant be wrong.


  5. CSK says:
  6. a country lawyer says:

    @CSK: It is very rare that an indictment doesn’t follow a target letter. In those cases when it does not, it is usually the result of a settlement or plea deal. Trump is unlikely to consider a plea. The U.S. Attorney’s manual provides that a target letter be issued when the U.S. Attorney finds probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the recipient of the target letter committed the crime.

  7. Daryl says:

    Trump is so fuq’d.
    He has a hearing in the Espionage Case against him today.
    Now he has been ordered to appear before the Jan 6 Grand Jury in the next couple days.
    And Ms. Willis from GA is still hanging over him like Damocles’ proverbial Sword.
    No wonder he shanked that ball the other day…

  8. CSK says:


    Isn’t Aileen Cannon supposed to set a trial date in the docs case today?

  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    The last time I played golf was 20 years ago. On one par 4 I got a birdie, and had such a good approach shot that I had to use the divot tool for the first time ever. So of course I hung up my spurs at that point, might as well go out on top.

    After successfully avoiding golf for two decades I was dragged to one of those Top Golf type places…and immediately knocked a ball straight and true to the back flag marker. And then another, and another. Then I messed up for awhile, but with a few good hits mixed in throughout.

    You know how when you are writing sometimes it’s good to take an hour, take a day, and let it ruminate?

    I guess my body just needed 75,000 days or so to absorb the golf lessons I had been teaching it.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl: Not ordered, invited to appear. SOP before a GJ indicts.

  11. Daryl says:

    IANAL but in Trump’s own posting he said;

    “…giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury…”

  12. Daryl says:

    It’s unclear to me if that will happen or not.

  13. CSK says:


    If you’re invited, you’re indicted!

  14. Kathy says:


    If Benito sounds worried and scared, it’s only because he knows what he did and how bad it was.

  15. CSK says:

    Here’s a despairing litany:


  16. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Daryl: Welp, “report to” is ambiguous, probably intentionally so, and also I wonder why you would expect Trump to be an accurate reporter of events, particularly those concerning himself.

  17. Daryl says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    I certainly do not trust him too be an honest narrator…but it’s all I have to go on at this point.
    Or had at that point.
    I still haven’t seen the actual letter.
    Some reporting I’ve seen has “invited” in scare quotes.
    Not a hill I’m interested in dying on…

    Edit: now that I think about it I guess an “order” would require a subpoena…again, IANAL

  18. gVOR10 says:

    WAPO posted a Trump target letter story half an hour ago. (Jailbroken.) Same info but more sober write up. Trump says he’s received a target letter from Smith’s J6 investigation. (‘Bout damn time.) A target letter routinely OFFERS a chance to testify on one’s own behalf before any charges. An offer one assumes he will decline. Absent legal compulsion, Trump’s lawyers would, as a matter of course, chain him to his chair before allowing him to say anything under oath.

  19. Daryl says:

    Wow – The MAGAts are absolutely apoplectic that Trump is being charged with the crimes he committed.
    Marge Three-Toes says that Jack Smith is a “…weak little bitch…”
    McCarthy says that they are indicting Trump because Trumps poll numbers went up.
    These are deeply unserious people.

  20. CSK says:

    Trump is calling on Republicans to “DO SOMETHING!” about his looming indictments. He must be getting scared.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl: Yeah, “trump says…”

    He got a target letter, not a subpoena. SOP is to give the accused an opportunity to tell their side of the story to the GJ before indictment. The same thing was done in the Marred a Lardo documents case. Nobody with any brains or a decent lawyer does so.

    or what @gVOR10: said.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:
  23. Kathy says:


    Unfortunately Doc Brown is not a Republiqan, and he’s already stopped a Benito-like person before.

    So they are reduced to equivocation, defending him over matters he’s not being charged with.

  24. CSK says:


    I think the MAGAs have bought the HOAX! WITCH HUNT! crap hook, line, and sinker.

  25. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    Neil, the last time I played golf TPTB sent in the black helicopters to snatch me off the course. My game was adjudged an international war crime by the Hague

  26. dazedandconfused says:


    By “Republicans” he must mean Kevin McCarthy. Kevin’s in a tough spot, he must either face the slings and arrows of outrageous convefe, or obey orders from Something Rotten in Mar-a-Lago by conducting impeachment proceedings against Merrick Garland.

  27. Kathy says:


    Yes, naturally.

    But the news reports center more on the fake elector slates, the back-channel attempts to manipulate the elections results, etc., and not on the Jan 6th. riot/insurrection, nor on how Benito failed to handle it.

    Imagine the accusation is robbing a bank and killing a security guard. His defenders focus on the fact he did not run any red lights during the getaway, and that running a yellow light is legal if you’d already started crossing the intersection.

  28. CSK says:


    McCarthy, yes, but he means all the Republicans in Congress as well.

  29. Kathy says:

    the Guardian has a helpful compilation of the legal troubles Benito made for himself (so far).

    This illustrates what I’ve been carping about since before the Cheeto’s term ended. That’s not just a lot of crimes for one person, but also a great dela of damage to America’s institutions and political structures.

    As important, there’s so much to try Benito on, that odds are some of the charges will stick. it’s imperative they do, and that he pays for his misdeeds with some real time in forced confinement (probably won’t be in a real prison).

  30. Daryl says:

    Michigan AG Dana Nessel just brought charges against 16 “False Electors” for Election Law and Forgery Felonies.

  31. CSK says:


    I understand that there’s a prison in Louisiana that has a golf course, but it’s a state penitentiary.

  32. Kathy says:


    My personal preference would be any federal prison. That’s unlikely to happen. So next would be a small area set in a military base. But the way things work in the US, Benito will likely get house arrest.

    BTW, being charged, indicted, arrested, tried, convicted, and/or imprisoned, does not disqualify anyone from running in the general election, nor from exercising the duties of the office. Though it might prevent them from voting.

    How insane is that?

  33. CSK says:

    Aileen Cannon has decided that mid-December is too early for the docs trial.

  34. gVOR10 says:

    @Daryl: As I said about Trump’s J6 target letter – ’bout damn time.

  35. gVOR10 says:

    @CSK: Whoa. Reuters and ABC say she rejected the December date proposed by Smith and set a date of Aug 14. Reuters noted that this is before the first debate, confirming yeah, this year. Apparently the glare of daylight, having been overturned, and Smith’s filings have had an effect.

    On the other hand, no one thinks Aug 14 will actually happen.

  36. CSK says:


    Jeez, thanks. I didn’t see that. By pushing for Aug. 14, is she trying to help Trump or hurt him?

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Pretty soon, someone is going to suggest that 2028 is “too soon” for the docs trial to start.

  38. Kathy says:


    I don’t find that at either Reuters or ABC News.

    I recall this judge originally set a trial date for August this year, which both the prosecution and defense thought too soon. Maybe you stumbled across old news, or someone mixed up the two, or it’s for August 2024.

  39. gVOR10 says:

    @CSK: @Kathy: My turn to say “jeez thanks”. Looks like I mistook old stories for new. What I see now is date “under consideration”.

  40. CSK says:

    @gVOR10: @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Kathy:

    ABC and other sources are reporting that no trial date has been set.

  41. Kathy says:


    Ah, for a moment there I had very high hopes 🙂

    On other things, as the world simmers, the weather down here has returned to a more typical, less annoying mean. It’s still hot, but there’s been cloud cover and rain most days since the start of July.

    Not to imply we’re Ok. Not at all. Typically these days we should have solid overcast for days, and rain throughout the day. So it’s still hot, but also dry. This is a concern in particular for the aquifers, and other inland bodies of water and reservoirs the city gets water from.

    I think in part it’s due to a sluggish hurricane season in the Atlantic. Bad as such storms are, they drive a great deal of water from sea to land. This is not happening much now.

  42. Stormy Dragon says:


    I think in part it’s due to a sluggish hurricane season in the Atlantic

    I’m not sure we can say that yet. With the exception of anomalous years (2005, 2020), hurricane season doesn’t normally get going until late August.

  43. CSK says:


    It’s hard to keep up with this stuff.

  44. gVOR10 says:

    Dr. Harry G. Frankfurt died Sunday, age 94. His 2005 book On Bullshit gets mentioned occasionally in these threads.

    “The essence of bullshit is that the person who produces it doesn’t really care whether what he’s saying is true or false,” he said at the Miami Book Fair. “He’s not engaged in the enterprise of conveying information or in deceiving people. He’s engaged in the enterprise of manipulating opinions, manipulating attitudes and feelings, and he will say whatever he thinks will be effective in that respect, regardless of whether it’s true or false.”
    Stewart asked him whether lying or bulls— (a word Comedy Central bleeped out) was more corrosive to society.
    “I claim that bulls— is a more insidious threat to society because it undermines respect for the truth and it manifests a lack of concern for the truth,” Dr. Frankfurt replied. “It therefore undermines our commitment to the importance of truth.”


  45. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    There’s a lot of variability, to be sure. But this year we’ve had few tropical depressions and storms. These sometimes resolve on their own, whether they hit land or not. Sometimes they develop into hurricanes. It feels slow compared to most years.

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Wow! I just got a really happy surprise today! Occasionally, I google the name of a former student who went on to law school. Today, I got connected to her Linked-in page. Last I knew, she was a prosecutor in Oregon. Today she’s the Deputy Chief in a division of the DOJ in DC. Good job, Rose! Congratulations!

  47. Kathy says:

    Here’s something odd:

    A few years back when I was looking for a milk frother, I came across many hand held versions of the gadget. These struck me as looking cheap, and not as useful since they couldn’t heat the milk.

    Then the other day I saw one being used, and my perspective did a 180.

    It still won’t heat milk, but it looks much easier to clean, easy to use, and it allows one to see how frothed the milk is. The one I have is ok, but the frothing varies a lot.

    Then I saw it used for beating eggs, which I find intriguing enough to try. And since I started drinking cold chocolate milk now and then, it might be nice to froth that as well.

    So, I’m getting one soon. If it works well, I’ll get one for the office, too.

  48. Stormy Dragon says:


    I think “feels” is the key word here;

    1851 – 2017 Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms by month

    We’re currently on the 4th named storm for 2023 (“Don”), which is actually ahead of average. Indeed, we’re almost only one storm behind 2021, which was the third most active season in history.

    It’s hard to really judge in July because activity is mostly August-October

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR10: Reuters and ABC say she rejected the December date proposed by Smith

    Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t it she who picked the December date? After which trump filed his frivolous appeal and JS said, “Oh no no no…”

  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Blech, not an appeal, a “frivolous motion”. I am sill NAL.

  51. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:


    I may be warped by the heatwaves.

    Or I may be plain wrong But, really, what are the chances of that 😉


    I wonder if Benito will wind up testifying. Very likely not, as we all know he’d incur perjury charges on top of everything else.

    Still, if I were writing the script of our near future, I’d have Benito testify in a trial televised (or streamed) live. And I’d let him have a classic Captain Queeg moment with a malicious twist.

    I mean, Queeg was a man damaged by the strains and ordeals of war, on top of any other flaws he carried. That showed along with the paranoid rantings. With Benito, it would be just his narcissism and malice showing, perhaps along with his incompetence.

    Both men, though, would end up as objects to be pitied.

    Alas, there’s no script for the future. Not that we know. Certainly I’m not writing it.

  52. dazedandconfused says:


    Under the heading of “But wait…there’s more!”

  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I wonder if Benito will wind up testifying.

    If his lawyers are worth anywhere near what he is paying them, no f’n way. They will hog tie him to a chair with the help of the SS.

    eta: just drove halfway to Sullivan to get a signal to make sure my wife is still alive. Why can’t they make phones work out here?

  54. Jax says:

    @dazedandconfused: I saw this this morning and all I could think was……of course he’d steal Jewish antiquities. (eyeroll)

    I wonder which bathroom they’re stored in?