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:

    Is Laphonza Butler eligible to be a Senator from California? She is a Maryland resident.

  3. Bill Jempty says:
  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    I hate these types of articles that aren’t news. I remember a group of us drank a bottle of pre-mixed margaritas when we were pre-teens, and a few of us vomited because we drank too much. It wasn’t news, it was just a story our parents tell now. That’s what this is, and for the life of me I cannot tell why CNN America is reporting on the fact that some Jamaican kids got stoned, accidentally or not.

    “Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams told CNN none of the children – who are ages 7 to 12 – appear to be in critical condition, citing doctors.

    Not to disparage these doctors if they exist, but I’m doubting their diagnosis. Sixty children are in critical condition after splitting a package of 10 gummies? (The article takes pains to point out that the picture of the candy, which clearly states 10 individual gummies, was a picture of the actual cannabis treat that caused the hospitalization). I can see that they are indeed very strong gummies, but this math is giving me a lot of issues. (Nevermind, I thought they were individual 1000 mg gummies. They are 100 mg, so moderately strong. Split three ways, its still strong for kids but not put-you-in-the-hospital-in-critical-condition strong)

    And critical condition! Man! Sixty kids whose vital signs are dangerously abnormal and they may even need critical life or other medical support. That’s really ba–

    adding that some kids were put on an intravenous drip.

    Oh ok, so 60 kids aren’t in critical condition. Maybe some kids were dehydrated, it appears.

    “Over 60 primary school students had to be taken to hospital. Parents please beware!!” Williams wrote. “One little boy said he only had ONE sweetie. That’s how potent this product is.”

    So one boy had one of the 10 candies, and the other 59 students split the remaining 9? Is the one boy who had one candy the one in critical condition/mildly dehydrated?

    The candy caused the children “to vomit and hallucinate,”

    Yes to the vomiting, but calling BS on the hallucinations.

    The minister also said on X that she visited the hospital where the children were being treated, and that “doctors & nurses are doing all they can to ensure the students recover.”

    “She added that there is now a critical shortage of ice cream throughout the hospital, and children report that Bluey has never been funnier.”

    The packaging stated the product was not approved by the FDA.

    Famously part of Jamaica’s regulatory infrastructure.

  5. Beth says:

    I don’t know if this link will work, but I’ll try:


    The impression I get is that Dems are super pissed at McCarthy and are not going to save him unless he pays a huge price.

    My prediction, McCarthy is going to make some sort of offer to the Dems to save his bacon and is either 1. Going to do it in such a stupid and insulting way that they all line up to take a shot at him, or 2. He immediately starts reneging on the deal in a stupid and insulting way that makes the whole situation worse.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Bah, I see the first block quote actually says that “none of the children” are in critical condition; I read it as the opposite. Alas, its still weird for a journalist to essentially regurgitate a tweet as an article.

  7. Beth says:

    @Neil Hudelson:


    Yes to the vomiting, but calling BS on the hallucinations.

    I do this thing after I’ve “enjoyed” a couple of edibles that I call the “Holdo Maneuver”. It’s where when I’m sitting on the couch and I lightly touch something with my foot and think I’ve just power kicked it through the tv. I generally let out a little scream with it. My partner doesn’t find it as adorable and endearing as I do.

    2. I do worry about leaving something out and my kids inadvertently eating a couple of them before they know what they are. But most of what I have tasted absolutely terrible and I can’t imagine them having more than one. Before they go one a really terrible ride.

  8. CSK says:

    Trump’s claim that Milley should have been executed for treason is gaining traction among Trump’s fans.

  9. wr says:

    @Bill Jempty: “Is Laphonza Butler eligible to be a Senator from California? She is a Maryland resident.”

    Yes. Apparently all that’s required is a California mailing address. And this isn’t some Tommy Tuberville case — she ran SEIU in California for twenty years.

  10. Rick S says:

    @Neil Hudelson: It should be weird, but sadly, it’s quit normal.

  11. MarkedMan says:


    He immediately starts reneging on the deal

    FWIW, I saw a Dem Rep (Jayapal?) explain that if the Dems help McCarthy he will have to write any deal into the rules, since his word is worth nothing

  12. just nutha says:

    What? No one has posted on Justice Thomas recusing himself yet?
    ETA: Aha. Just read the article. Not a big deal after all, unless doing what anyone should do is unusual. [Sigh]

  13. CSK says:

    According to CNN, John Kelly has confirmed on the record ‘disturbing’ stories about Trump. I’ll say.

  14. CSK says:
  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Louisiana’s far right attorney general Jeff Landry faces accusations of targeted retaliation and a major conflict of interest after he pushed to remove an independent counsel representing the state’s pardon board as it prepared to hear clemency petitions from dozens of death row inmates.

    Landry, a staunch supporter of the death penalty, has ardently opposed the historic mass clemency petitions and last month joined a civil suit against the pardon board itself in order to block hearings from moving forward, citing alleged infringements of “eligibility and notice rules”. After an independent lawyer, hired by the parole board, pushed back against the lawsuit, documents reveal the attorney general moved to block his appointment. The move has placed the entire clemency process in jeopardy as the first round of hearings are due to begin in less than two weeks.
    In response to Landry’s lawsuit, the board hired an independent attorney, J Arthur Smith III, who argued in pleadings on behalf of the board that the civil action should be dismissed due to its attempted “unconstitutional exercise of the governor’s exclusive pardon power”. The pleadings affirmed the board’s position, that neither the state attorney general, nor the group of local conservative prosecutors who are also suing, had authority to block the clemency hearings.

    Documents obtained by the Guardian show that Smith also wrote directly to Landry on 26 September, urging him to voluntarily recuse himself from the suit, arguing his move against the state’s board is a conflict of interest and a violation of Louisiana legal ethics.

    In an extraordinary move, Landry wrote back to Smith on the same day, seeking his removal as independent counsel suggesting the board had hired him “prior to obtaining the necessary approvals for state contracts” and arguing that his request for recusal “calls into question your competency as a lawyer”.

    “You are not authorized to serve as legal counsel,” Landry states in the letter.

    Typical authoritarian Repub.

    Although the state has not executed anyone since 2010, Landry is currently the frontrunner to replace Edwards as governor in elections later this year. He has advocated for continuing executions, and argued for reintroducing the electric chair, hangings and firing squads.

    “First we’ll hang ’em, then we’ll shoot ’em, then we’ll fry ’em.” Just a peach of a guy.

  16. Just nutha says:

    @CSK: And the post by the Xitterer is as cryptic (meaningless? incoherent?) as the picture.

  17. Jen says:

    LOL. Charlotte Clymer has won the internet today, we can all go home now.

  18. Kathy says:

    Lately on news sites there have been quite a few photos of the recent past, mostly when someone famous passes and retrospectives of their lives are posted. So lots of photos from the 60s through the present.

    I’ve noticed a lot of photos from the 70s and 80s are black and white. I wonder why this is.

    I recall having B&W TVs at home long ago, and seeing B&W sets for sale even as late as the mid-80s. I don’t recall B&W photography being widespread in my lifetime. You could get B&W film, but color was the norm.

    Some newspapers did print only B&W images. More had color images only on the front pages of each section, B&W inside. So I suppose it’s possible many news photos of that era were shot in B&W anyway.

    But seeing them today, I keep getting the suspicion new sites convert color photos to B&W as a means to indicate they are old. I’m very likely wrong.

  19. Kathy says:

    BTW, it’s Nobel prizes announcement week. Here’s the timeline.

    As you can see, the Peace Prize will be announced on Friday. I can say with 103.9999% certainty, Benito the Cheeto will be snubbed again this year.

    No clue when the Noble Prizes will be announced. He would have a really good chance to win that one, if it were real.

  20. Kathy says:

    Apologies for the serial postings.

    Kevin will hold a vote on his own removal today

    I still think the Democrats should just stay out of it. Vote present, abstain, or skip the vote altogether. After all, it’s really an internal GQP matter between Kevin, the MAGAs, and whoever else is left.

  21. CSK says:


    That is funny.

  22. CSK says:


    I think you are wrong. I’m older than you, by a bit :D, and b&w was the standard for a long time.

  23. EddieInCA says:

    Hey all –

    Thanks to you all, I took my dog to an dog eye specialist. They ran a bunch of tests. It turns out my black lab has a disease called “Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS)”. It is characterized by very rapid vision loss in adult dogs. It causes rapid destruction of the rods and cones (photoreceptors) of the retina leading to blindness. It’s causes are unknown and there are no cures. My lab went from fully seeing to fully blind in four weeks.

    On the upside, we’ve been told by many, many people that most dogs adapt well to being blind. The eye specialist yesterday told me it takes about 25-30 days. So far, my little guy is learning new commands, and is still giving me tail wags whenever he hears my name. It’s heartbreaking in one way, but in another, it’s awesome. He’s blind. Not dead.

    So we will care for him and give him his best life for as long as we can.

    Thanks again to everyone who gave me advice. I can’t tell you how appreciative and thankful I am. Learned more from this group than I did after two hours of google.

  24. CSK says:


    So happy for you. Dogs deserve the best, and your little guy is getting it from you.

  25. Beth says:


    He has advocated for continuing executions, and argued for reintroducing the electric chair, hangings and firing squads.

    I’m of the opinion that we’ve done too good a job of hiding things in this country. Landry and the other deadhearted scumbags who are advocating for this garbage should be the ones forced the pull the switch/trigger. No blindfolds on the prisoner. Put it on TV and force the people of LA to watch this. Rub their faces in the fact that they are murderers. Make those “Christians” live up to that first stone bullshit they love to preach.

  26. DK says:

    New York Times: Trump Wanted to Fire Missiles at Mexico. Now the G.O.P. Wants to Send Troops.

    The Republican push to use military force in Mexico against drug cartels started in the Trump White House. He has plans to make the idea a reality in 2025.

    Gotta love Trump Republicans promising a boots-on-the-ground war with Mexico while they equate Ukraine assistance with WW3.

    No wonder the MAGA right wants to defund Ukraine, enabling Putin to swallow Ukraine and encouraging Xi to attack China. Trump conservatives themselves support a US invasion of Mexico. Fascists of a feather, flock together.

  27. gVOR10 says:


    Rub their faces in the fact that they are murderers. Make those “Christians” live up to that first stone bullshit they love to preach.

    They used to cheer lynchings and buy souvies and commemorative postcards. I see little evidence those attitudes have changed.

  28. Moosebreath says:


    “No clue when the Noble Prizes will be announced.”

    What about the No-Bell prize (a former movie reviewer used to give it out to really bad ones)?

  29. DrDaveT says:


    Some newspapers did print only B&W images. More had color images only on the front pages of each section, B&W inside.

    USA Today was the first major newspaper to routinely print photos in color. They were part-color from their 1982 launch, and full-color after about 1984. I distinctly remember people complaining that color photos made the newspaper look garish and unprofessional.

  30. Mr. Prosser says:

    @CSK: @Just nutha: it, “…Nobody could have made it this far alone.” The way I read the post it sounds like Jesus got him to the trial stage, got him indicted and got him a summary judgement. Good on Jesus.

  31. Kathy says:


    I read plenty of magazines during that era. Mostly Discover, which was glossy and color. But also Time on occasion. It was not glossy, and all but the cover was B&W. It changed to a glossy and color format while we had subscription we got at the office, but I don’t recall when.

  32. Michael Reynolds says:

    Just back from catarct surgery. I’m a huge baby, but even I think it’s no big deal. Vision immediateoy improved. But I am insisting on wearing a pirate patch.

  33. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Shiver me timbers.

  34. CSK says:

    Steven Colbert referred to Trump as an “anger-glazed ham.”

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I read once that a person is old if all the pictures from when they were young were B&W. I am old.

  36. Kathy says:


    That’s kind of the feeling B&W photos convey, and why I look on some of them with suspicion.

  37. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    But I am insisting on wearing a pirate patch.

    Talk like a pirate day be brought to ye by pieces of 8 and the letter “Arrrrrhhhhhhh”.

  38. DrDaveT says:


    I read once that a person is old if all the pictures from when they were young were B&W. I am old.

    The earliest color photograph of my cute former self is at age 5 or so. All of my youngest brother’s baby photos are in color.

  39. CSK says:


    Avast, ye bilge rat.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: All of my youngest brother’s baby photos are in color.

    Yep, same here for my little bro. A lot of changes in 12 years.

  41. dazedandconfused says:
  42. Beth says:

    Deep breath.



  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: I was a fundy for a looonnnnnnggg time, and I don’t recall many pastors preaching about “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” As far as that goes, I never heard many preach from the Sermon on the Mount either. Not too much “you have been told ‘love your friends and hate your enemies,’ but I say love your enemies,” but a fair amount of “God said not to judge, but he also said that ‘by their fruits you shall know them,’ so I guess we should all be *fruit inspectors;* nothing wrong with that.”

    TL/DR: I’m not optimistic about fundies and evangelicals watching executions of any sort and seeing anything other than the “hand of God at work.” 🙁

  44. CSK says:

    Trump says he’ll take the witness stand “at the appropriate time” during his fraud trial in NY. WTF?

  45. CSK says:

    Kevin McCarthy is going to be bounced as Speaker.

  46. Beth says:

    Omg. They need to settle down. I’m dying here.

    And the dam breaks: When Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) stood up to counter Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), saying that getting rid of McCarthy as speaker would help the chamber pass appropriation bills, a majority of House Republicans reacted. They laughed. They mocked Gaetz. The disdain for Gaetz has begun to show.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mr. Prosser: Oh, okay! Score one for reader response theory. (And for constructed reality.)

  48. Beth says:


    Also, could they not find a more spineless bootlicker than Jim Jordan to defend him. Glorious. McCarthy should lose just because of that.

  49. al Ameda says:


    I still think the Democrats should just stay out of it. Vote present, abstain, or skip the vote altogether. After all, it’s really an internal GQP matter between Kevin, the MAGAs, and whoever else is left.

    I can think of no deal that they could make that would be worth their intervention.

  50. Beth says:

    I think the other bit of history being made here is that McCarthy and Gaetz have managed to unite Dems against them in a way I don’t think I’ve seen in a long time. From the Blue Dogs and the Problem Solvers to the Squad. One giant blue middle finger.

    In ordinary times, you couldn’t get the Dem caucus to agree on how to solve the most simple corporate bonding exercise and now we know how. Lol.

  51. Beth says:

    Omg. The Republicans are now saying that only Dems have agency and that the Dems should save them from themselves.

    There have been some quite stunning remarks from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who even he admits used to be the thorn in GOP leadership’s side of a different era. His passion in calling for Democrats to save the House as an institution is the feeling that many Republicans are experiencing.
    They’re angry. They’re frustrated. They’re sad that their party can’t govern itself.
    But Democrats have yet to react or show that they’re convinced by these arguments. Many have told Republicans privately, including in the final hours leading up to this vote, that McCarthy and House Republicans could have tried to save the institution for years now. They’re not convinced this is a pivotal moment.

    It sucks for them. Oops sorry, we spent years trying to save you and you called us groomers, traitors and monsters, save yourselves assholes.

  52. DrDaveT says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    Dozens of Jamaican schoolchildren hospitalized after eating cannabis candy

    My quick glance at that entered my head as “dozens of Jamaican schoolchildren eaten by cannibals.” So the stoned kiddies were a relief.

  53. CSK says:


    Okay, I’m taking a deep breath. Why am I doing that?

  54. CSK says:


    Audrey Junior?

  55. dazedandconfused says:

    Trump earns himself a full gag order from the judge.

    All the tough talk has at last met a true wall. Donald, are ye a man or are ye a mouse?

  56. Beth says:


    So you can join me in uproarious, joyous laughter at the scene of a giant malignant, lying jerk getting blown up by another giant malignant, lying jerk.

    What I’m legitimately curious about now is how are the Republicans going to knife Gaetz. We know that the parties are weak, but I suspect they are going to find a way to knife him.

  57. Kathy says:


    there has been talk from the right (wrong) side of the aisle to expel him, pending the release of the ethics committee report.

    Of course, it won’t be as simple as taking a vote until a new speaker gets voted in. It’s unclear how such a vote would go, too. I can imagine every Democrat voting to get rid of the sex offender, but how many Republiqans would join in? It might look like the Democrats, nit the House, kicked him out.

  58. CSK says:


    And he’s been kicked off the Forbes 400! He lost over 630 million on Truth Social.

  59. Bill Jempty says:


    Donald, are ye a man or are ye a mouse?

    One Actor: “Are you a mouse or a man?”

    Groucho Marx: “If you put a piece of cheese down there, you’ll find out!”

  60. Kathy says:


    I’d be willing to bet Benito will accrue at least one charge of witness intimidation or tampering before all his many court cases get resolved. I’d bet a smaller sum he’ll try jury tampering as well.

    It fits his pattern of making a bad situation worse by incompetently meddling in it, convinced he knows better, and that he’s entitled to have his way all the time.

  61. Beth says:


    At this point I’m sure that the GOP would gladly vote to expel him, under any circumstances. I’m sure that vote wouldn’t even be close.

    I’m not sure what FL is on it, but my guess is DeSantis would appoint one of his lackeys.

    On other bit of this Gaetz drama that keeps popping up is the claim that since DeDantis is term limited that Gaetz wants to be the next governor. This assumes that DeSantis won’t force the FL legislature to change the term limits. I did some quick googling and can’t tell if it’s a statutory or constitutional thing.

  62. Kathy says:


    I can see DeSatanis appointing Gaetz to replace Gaetz. Provided he 1) wants to piss people off, and 2) El Cheeto whines about how unfair it all was.

  63. a country lawyer says:

    @Beth: Unlike the replacement of a Senator, a governor cannot replace a member of Congress whose office is vacated. A vacant Congressional seat must be filled by election.

  64. Mister Bluster says:

    @a country lawyer:..United States Congress

    A nit to pick.
    The US Congress is composed of two chambers. The Senate and House of Representatives. Members of the United States House of Representatives and members of the United States Senate are all members of the United States Congress.

  65. Beth says:

    @a country lawyer:

    The things we forget… thank you.

  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Bing to the rescue on Fla. term limits:

    Yes, Florida does have term limits for governor. According to the Florida Constitution, a governor can serve two consecutive four-year terms before having to step down for the next election1. However, there is no lifetime limit on the number of times a candidate may be elected, so a former governor can run again after a period of time out of office1. [emphasis added]

  67. a country lawyer says:

    @Mister Bluster: Right you are. Thanks.

  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: His lawyers will all be disbarred for malpractice.

  69. Mister Bluster says:

    Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said interim speaker, GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry, has ordered her to vacate her office in the Capitol building.

    He wants her out tomorrow, Wednesday October 4. He must be the only one in Washington DC that doesn’t know that she is in California after escorting her friend the late Senator Dianne Feinstein to San Francisco.
    Either that or he is just another Republican jerk.

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: I’ll go with option B).