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:

    Had a sleep study done last night. Now I have to catch up on my sleep.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Brand said he had been sitting at home on Friday night watching football when the doorbell rang and a man in a van asked him for help to unload some merchandise. “I asked him, ‘What are we going to unload?’. He said with a smile, ‘Well, the paintings of Medemblik’,.”

    After the initial burglary in September, Brand had been widely quoted in the Dutch press as saying the thieves should have stolen six bikes, as these would be easier to resell.

    Those comments, plus the publicity surrounding the Van Gogh recovery, probably led the thieves to simply hand the paintings back, Brand said.

    “In some cases, they burn them, just to get rid of the evidence because they find out they cannot sell them,” he added. “So I’m very thankful that they decided to do the right thing. Stealing is wrong, but if you return it, at least you do something right.”

    Both stories are worth the quick reads that they are. Oh yeah, almost forgot this part:

    The authorities in Medemblik had offered a reward of €10,000 for the safe return of the paintings but this was unclaimed. Brand said he would not be collecting the cash. “I told them to give me a good book voucher,” he joked.

  3. Reformed Republican says:

    I am looking for a blog recommendation. I try to follow stuff with a variety of viewpoints. Way back when I started setting up blogs to follow, I added Jezebel, which was supposed to be feminist, but these days it’s more celebrity gossip than anything else. What are some good blogs that represent the feminist viewpoint?

    I would also be open to any other blog recommendations in general.

  4. charontwo says:

    @Reformed Republican:

    For political insights, perhaps this:


    For culture, movies tv etc,:


    This site is run mostly by trans lesbians, LGTBQ+ with a focus mostly on the “L”.


    Good for recaps of shows like “Yellowjackets.”

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz spent time last weekend hobnobbing with Liz Truss, the shortest-serving British prime minister – but news closer to home suggested he might have reason to fear for his own job security.

    Really? Liz Truss? She who couldn’t outlast a head of lettuce? That Liz Truss? No wonder you have loser stank all over you Ted.

    As reported by the Dallas Morning News and the Texas Tribune, the Democratic congressman Colin Allred, Cruz’s most likely opponent for re-election next year, reported $10.9m raised since declaring his candidacy in May. That was nearly 20 times as much as Allred’s closest Democratic rival, but it was also, the papers said, almost $2m more than fundraising reported by Cruz in the same period.

    The hard-right Republican – who was elected to the Senate in 2012, prompted a government shutdown in 2013 and ran for president in 2016 – reportedly raised $8.8m in the same period.

    Yeah, don’t get your hopes up, this is Texas we are talking about.

    Either way, Allred, a former Tennessee Titans NFL linebacker elected to Congress from his native Dallas in 2018, presents a formidable figure.

    Hmmmm… Than again, a football player in football mad Texas? He just might pull it off. But I’m not gonna hold my breath.

  6. JohnSF says:

    News from Poland that has cheered me up a bit:
    Looks like the populist/conservative PiS are going to lose power. They got most votes of any single party, 35.4%, but not enough, in a proportional representation chamber to govern, or any others who’ll coalition with them.
    Civic Party (centre/left), led by Donald Tusk, has 30.7%, Third Way (centre/right) 14.4 and Leica (left) 8.6% and already have a coalition pact agreed.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    Saw an article this AM that stated that there are observers in Poland who fear that PiS won’t give up power. We’ll see.

  8. just nutha says:

    @Bill Jempty: Same here. I never sleep well during a sleep study even though I’ve been using a CPAP machine for about 20 years and have had several sleep studies done. For some reason, it’s stress inducing for me.

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    I wrote a novel about art theft (which I’ll be re-releasing one of these days) in which I reimagined art theft to make it profitable. TLDR: turn theft into extortion. Steal the Mona Lisa and where the hell are you going to sell it? Resale value: 0. But steal the Mona Lisa and threaten to burn it in 24 hours unless a ransom is paid? That makes economic sense.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: I have trouble sleeping but that is mostly due to pain. Docs recommended I do a sleep study and the more I thought about it I realized any results would be truly meaningless and besides, the study was just a tool to convince me to get a cpap which I would never get anyway. So yeah, I cancelled it.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’ve read they have already conceded.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Crypto would be perfect for it.

  13. Kathy says:

    We’re getting fall weather finally. Yesterday it was overcast all day, and temps didn’t get above 18 C. At night it dropped down to 9. This morning it was 11 on the drive to work, and I even turned the heater on!

    Better yet, I was able to fall sleep quickly, and slept through the night.

  14. Mister Bluster says:

    Monday was the first time this fall I wore the long handles.

  15. Bill Jempty says:

    Today’s weirdness

    My latest ebook has both a fiction and a non-fiction sales ranking at Amazon. I double checked, I didn’t accidentally categorize it as Non-fiction.

    The book is fiction.

  16. Bill Jempty says:

    @just nutha:

    Same here. I never sleep well during a sleep study even though I’ve been using a CPAP machine for about 20 years and have had several sleep studies done. For some reason, it’s stress inducing for me.

    Around 15 years ago, I went to have a sleep study performed. It was a disaster. I had a small personal accident as it was only just beginning and had to leave. This time around everything went smoothly,

  17. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Some sleep studies test for phenomena other than sleep apnea. But yeah, if you’re disinclined to use a machine but your doctor thinks sleep apnea is the issue, the sleep study may be wasted.

    ETA: It’s not all about CPAP anymore though. Some sleep studies are about qualifying the patient for an Inspire implant these days. 😉

    Why does your doctor suspect apnea? Snore? Wake up gasping? Morning headache? Narcolepsy? (By the way, I was 4 for 4 on those before treatment.)

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: I snore, always have. Never had any of the other symptoms you mention. Pain is the main driver of my broken sleep as I have to roll over/straighten a limb/or jump up to scream and shout as another agonizing charlie horse drives me to the edge of suicide.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    McCarthy just voted for Jordan.

  20. Mister Bluster says:

    Per C-SPAN 20 Republicans did not vote for Jim Jordan.

    What are they going to do?

  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster

    A couple of Dems have floated Geo. Bush’s name.

  22. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    President Duda is a PiS pol, and will remain in office until 2025.
    He may be tempted to appoint Kacsyski as PM to give them first shot at forming a coalition.
    But that just delays the inevitable; they just don’t have the votes in the Sejm to sustain a Cabinet.
    Unlike the US, the Polish President is head of state but NOT head of the executive.
    So what would be the point?

    I really can’t see Duda attempting a autogolpe, though it’s a certainty there will be butting of heads between Prime Minister and President over the next couple of years.
    Most likely Duda will try to preserve the PiS instutional power-base to enhance it’s chances of a comeback in the next parliamentary elections in 2027.

  23. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Crypto would be perfect for it:

    With the possible twist that when the FBI, let alone the Big Ear and the Big Eye, look hard enough, there are indications that crypto ain’t quite as cryptic as it’s more naive enthusiasists fondly assume.

  24. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..Geo. Bush

    The Republicans could do no worse than nominate the corpse of Richard M. Nixon vs. the corpse of George H. W. Bush for Speaker of the House then hold the vote on Halloween.
    It may take that long for these phantoms of political responsibility to get anything worthwhile accomplished.

  25. anjin-san says:

    Something I read years ago & really enjoyed. It’s a complex story and I am thinking about dusting it off on a rainy day (fingers crossed) and going another round with it to see what I might have missed the first time.


  26. Gustopher says:

    @Mister Bluster: Henry Kissinger is still alive. If the goal was just to find the most evil man possible for Speaker… you would have a hard time finding worse.

  27. Scott says:

    @Gustopher: Diane Feinstein….Too soon?

  28. Mister Bluster says:

    @Gustopher:..Henry Kissinger is still alive.

    Kissenger at 100 has me conviced that karma (what ever that means) is firmly entrenched with the wicked.

  29. Beth says:



    Don’t you know, we’re in the dumbest timeline. Don’t make it worse.

  30. Gustopher says:

    @Beth: The job of Speaker is going to be Hell On Earth. Since I don’t believe in an afterlife, I want Kissinger to experience that.

  31. Beth says:


    I don’t think that’s enough suffering for Hank and too much for us.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Kissenger at 100 has me conviced that karma (what ever that means) is firmly entrenched with the wicked.

    Speaking as a 65 yr old union carpenter, I can attest that if the gods really wanted to punish me, they would keep me around for a 100 years or more.

  33. charontwo says:


    Surveillance video appears to show failed rocket launch causing Gaza hospital blast

    Surveillance camera footage shows the moment a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip appears to fall short and explode inside the Palestinian territory.

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charontwo: Like Hamas cares about Palestinians?

  35. Gustopher says:

    @charontwo: we have a Palestine thread. I think we should let people have their silly fun open thread whenever possible.

    I’ve screwed up once or twice and posted to the open thread over the past week, but I try. I encourage you to do the same (try, not screw up… few of us need much help screwing up)

    (I was on my iPhone, got distracted, had no idea where I was on the site, and tiny screen didn’t show me enough of the page)

  36. wr says:

    @anjin-san: I read that and enjoyed it when it came out, and I have occasionally considered rereading as well. But if I may offer an alternative suggestion, if you’ve never read Charles Palliser’s The Quincunx it is as long as Fingerpost and even twistier, a brilliant Dickensian mystery that never stops astonishing.