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. Neil Hudelson says:

    Though I (barely) achieved teenagehood in the 90s, most of the music before, oh, 1998 passed me by–I was a farm boy raised in BFE. I could get maybe 12 stations on the radio, few good, and there was no such thing as MTV or VH1 in our household. A few months ago I started listening to “60 Songs that Explain the 90s” (now on song 110 or so) on Spotify, and it’s just a fantastic podcast. The host, Rob Harvilla, has a great writing style and layers in these jokes and quips that always take me by surprise. The ones I’ve enjoyed the most are about artists that I’ll probably never care about, and so knew absolutely nothing about their life or musical stories–Shania Twain, Pulp, Sinead O’Connor, etc.

    I listened to the episode on Radiohead on the way in, and an unexpected Robert Browning quip made me actually laugh out loud.

    Highly recommend.

  2. CSK says:

    Trump Courtroom Conundrum:Is It Better to Be Seen as a Loser or a Liar?


  3. Kathy says:

    So, peanut butter in a marinade was not exactly ideal… It does work, but renders the mixture too thick. I pretty much hat to push down the chicken thighs into the marinade, then spoon some mix over the backs.

    here’s what I did:

    1/3 cup soy sauce
    2 Tbsp. honey
    2 Tbsp. peanut butter
    grated garlic and ginger
    Orange zest

    Marinated overnight in the fridge. Then cooked on a hot pan, skin side down, until the skin was nice and golden, then flipped to cook the rest of the meat. When I finished the thighs, there was fond. So I deglazed that with orange juice, about 1/4 cup, which was what the single orange I had on hand yielded. Then added the marinade, let it reduce, and then added a bit of flour and whisked the whole thing.

    the results were good. Aside from the flavor of the thighs, there’s an orangey-honey tang as well. But I think it can be improved.

    For the second iteration I think I’ll forego the peanut butter in the marinade, and instead add it to the sauce as it gets reduced.

    I’d love to try to cook the thighs in an air fryer, too. I still don’t have one, so that will have to wait.

  4. Scott says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Will have to check that out. Very familiar with the 60s. 90s were a time of marriage, children, and work and music was Kenny Loggins’ Return to Pooh Corner.

    Speaking of music. Watch PBS American Experience’s War on Disco. Focused briefly on history of disco before moving on to the 1977 white riot at Comiskey Park where disco records were blown up between games and fans ran onto the field. A little too blunt in drawing parallels with today focusing on the white working class, gay and black fears, white fragility, and general grievance and resentment. But interesting, nonetheless.

    All of this has happened before. And all of this will happen again.

  5. JKB says:

    Alan Dershowitz offers an amusing opinion that in the NYC farce against Donald Trump, that Trump is basically adopting the Chicago 7 tactic of accepting the fact that the judge is biased, the prosecutor is only doing politics, so Trump is using it for political advantage. Conviction is a foregone conclusion so forcing error to be overturned on appeal is the goal. And that fits the Democrat plan, to get a pre-election conviction even if overturned on appeal after the election. It is using the courts for election tampering.

    Take heart, some of those supporting Trump in the polls did say they wouldn’t if he had a “conviction” on his record. So Democrats do have that to cling to.

  6. Scott says:

    I may have missed any discussion on this but let me say that the far right Christians are deeply creepy when it come to human sexuality, never mind just plain inappropriate.

    Mike Johnson and His Son Monitoring Each Other’s Porn Intake Is Worse Than You Think

    n a newly resurfaced video from 2022, the newly minted speaker admitted that he and his son monitor each other’s porn intake using a third-party subscription software called Covenant Eyes that watches all their electronic devices. For $16.99 a month, the app drafts a habit report and shares it with an “accountability partner,” which in Johnson’s case is his teenage son Jack.

    “What it does, real simply, is it has an algorithm and a software—it’s way above my head how it works, but—it scans, you obviously opt into it, but it scans all the activity on your phone or your devices, your laptop, what have you. We do all of it. Then it sends a report to your accountability partner,” Johnson said.

    “My accountability partner right now is Jack, my son. He’s 17. So he and I get a report about all the things that are on our phones, all of our devices, once a week. If anything objectionable comes up, your accountability partner gets an immediate notice,” Johnson explained.

    Combine that with the Duggar’s Quiverful Movement reality show 19 and Counting; the purity ring ceremony popular amongst evangelicals (also a disturbing adult interest in daughter’s sexuality); the widespread sex abuse in conservative churches; and so forth and you have a really deep deviant psycho-sexual pattern of abuse.

    And this guy in 3rd in line to the Presidency.

  7. Kathy says:

    As I understand it, and as I’ve read from a few science popularizations, everything in the universe is always moving at the speed of light through spacetime. This means the higher your speed in space, the lower your speed in time (time dilation), and viceversa. So while we’re not moving very fast through space, we’re moving swiftly through time.

    So far so good.

    Now, if your speed in space could exceed lightspeed, would your speed in time be negative?

    At lightspeed, the maximum speed in space, your speed in time is zero. Time ceases to pass for you relative to the rest of the universe. A freshly baked pizza sent at lightspeed to Andromeda, for example, would arrive as piping hot as when it left the oven, having had no time to cool en route (Dominos Pizza take note).

    It would follow then that if you exceeded lightspeed in space, your speed in time would need to be lower than zero, in order for the speed limit of spacetime to hold.

    This by itself seems to rule out superluminal speeds in space, as the concept of negative speed makes little sense. Would you grow younger? Would you travel back in time?

    Or would you break the universe’s speed limit and something else would happen?

    I’m thinking of a though experiment. More on that later.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: I’m afraid to watch that, as the way you describe it makes it sound like they want to make much more of it than what it was: thousands upon thousands of young, stupid, loud, hard rocker music fans who were drunk and high and each holding a near lethal frisbee, invited into a ball park full of people by a radio DJ and an obviously inept White Sox promotions manager. What could possibly have gone wrong?

    FWIW, my teenage brother was there and I’m fairly certain he would agree with my description.

  9. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: Yeah, there is a little too much of what you describe. It reminds me of the mythologizing of Woodstock. My older brother was there. He was 18 and decided to go last minute on a total whim with a couple of buddies. No plan, no transportation (hitchhiked from Long Island), very little money. Had a blast. But not more than what it was.

  10. gVOR10 says:

    I link to this unremarkable column at NYT only for the photo. Apparently Trump’s hair dresser gets away with hiding his baldness only where Trump can see it. Or perhaps Trump did that himself because he doesn’t want even a hair dresser to see his actual state.

  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: Weird sexuality, check. But it buries the lede. This guy installed something that seems to have sys admin permission on his phone, computer, etc. And he thinks its safe because the people who gave it to him say “Jeebus” a lot? Up until now, he’s been a piss ant congress rep, but now he’s speaker of the house and is getting a lot more highly confidential information.

  12. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: I saw that but didn’t want to have talk multiple issues in the same comment. Yes, there is enormous info security issues. I don’t know if Congress folks have to follow the same protocols as the rest of us who deal with security. Or whether they separate personal phones from work phones. I’m guessing not. I suspect those yammering on about Tik Tok are using Tik Tok themselves and a lot worse.

  13. Beth says:


    That was the first thing I thought. Someone should ask him if he used the devices he was doing congressional work with that program. The follow up question should be if he uses his secure phone to look at porn knowing the program isn’t on there.

  14. Beth says:


    But isn’t that relative to everything else? Meaning, locally you experience time “normally”, but essentially appear before you left?

    I dunno, that makes my wee brain spin.

  15. Beth says:


    What I find interesting about Disco Demolition night, other than the trivia that I was probably a couple blocks from it at the time*, was that from the “death” of disco you get two wildly divergent types of music. Essentially, Black and gay kids in Chicago mixed disco with new wave and drum machines and got House. Middle class black kids in Detroit took it, mixed it with Kraftwork and got Techno. With a lot of bizarre over lap between the two.

    *I would have been like 1.

  16. CSK says:

    Marge Taylor Greene wants Mike Johnson booted because he didn’t order house members to vote for her resolution to censure Rashida Tlaib.

  17. Kathy says:


    See, that’s the problem in thinking one has an insight into something one doesn’t really understand. And Feynman never said “If you think you understand relativity, then you don’t understand relativity.”

    Anyway, it gets complicated.

    Consider classical mechanics. If you’re in a car traveling at 100 kph, and throw a ball forward at 50 kph, before it’s undone by air resistance and drag and gravity, the ball will move briefly at 150 kph.

    If you imagine the car traveling at lightspeed, for our purposes here an even 300,000 kilometers per second, and then further assume you can throw a ball forward at half that speed, 150,000 kms, relativity says the ball will move at exactly 300,000 kms, and not even a micron per nanosecond faster than that.

    So that’s the absolute speed limit.

    A good question is what becomes of the extra energy you applied to the ball. I’ve no idea, partly because balls can’t move at lightspeed. Photons can, in fact they can’t move slower. So if you impart energy to a photon it won’t go faster, but it will increase in frequency. Go from blue to ultraviolet, say, and posses more energy than other blue photons.

    Oh, and there’s this limerick of uncertain provenance:

    There was a young lady named Bright
    Whose speed was far faster than light;
    She set out one day
    In a relative way
    And returned on the previous night.

  18. just nutha says:

    @Scott: Yeah. I saw the Speaker Johnson porn monitor app thing yesterday. EEEWWWWWWWW! Too creepy for me.

    ETA: The whole “quiverful” movement seems to have originated, at least among some groups from the perceived potential that Palestinians could overwhelm Jews in Israel simply because they have larger families and applying that principle to the “Christian Minority *problem.*” Sex obsessed? Maybee so, given that the movement is more pronouncedly popular among evangelical men than women. Hmmm…

  19. dazedandconfused says:

    The speed of light might be the limit because below zero-time is nonexistence.

    Quantum linking suggests that at that level space/time is irrelevant, which suggests that (at that level) the Big Bang is a current event…

  20. gVOR10 says:

    @Kathy: In physics news today:

    In NYT – Room-Temperature Superconductor Discovery Is Retracted

    And WAPO has a story about a “supermassive” 13.2 billion year old black hole viewed by both the Webb telescope and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. It is at the center of a galaxy and as massive as the entire rest of that galaxy. Being so massive and only half a billion years after the Big Bang implies it formed not from a collapsing star, but from a massive dust cloud.

  21. Kathy says:


    There was a brief flurry of clickbait some years ago, suggesting spacetime is an emergent property of quantum systems.

    Past that I get headaches trying to comprehend what speed (a measure of space over time) is a property of.


    I wonder if it could be a black matter black hole.

  22. just nutha says:


    A freshly baked pizza sent at lightspeed to Andromeda, for example, would arrive as piping hot as when it left the oven, having had no time to cool en route

    With Andromeda being 2.5 million light years away, I think that the pizza will not only be cold, but stale*, too. At least that’s what I get from the “we’re seeing events that happened billions of years ago” pronouncement from the Webb Telescope reports.

    *The pizza might flash freeze in the vacuum of space, but even so, freezer-burn would be a problem over that much time.

  23. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kathy: What happens to the extra energy is that it is converted to mass, as the baseball in the appropriate frame of reference, is much more massive. They can get very close, of course.

    And, in fact, matter cannot travel at the speed of light, because that would give it infinite mass. Photons have no mass, and so they can.

  24. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I kind of remembered that after I posted, but decided the issue is complicated enough already.

    @just nutha:

    No, at lightspeed it would arrive as hot as when it came out of the oven, millions of years ago.

    At faster than light speeds, it might arrive as hydrogen, if the negative speed in time is high enough 😉

  25. Grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR10: I was highly skeptical of that reported room temperature thingy when I first heard it. It was easier for me to believe they had a short somewhere.

    A room-temperature superconductor is hard to believe unless you’re under pressures equivalent to that found at the core of Jupiter

  26. CSK says:

    Tuberville says the military should delegate the way he did as a college football coach if they feel they’re overworked.

  27. dazedandconfused says:


    As time completely stops at the speed of light, it would seem that for a photon created at the Big Bang still traveling across the universe…the Big Bang was not billions of years ago, not even a second ago, it’s now..and time is a concept utterly beyond imagining…

  28. Kathy says:

    Here’s a link to a nifty little tool: time dilation calculator.

    And more esoteric calculators


    Some time back I posited that if the speed of light were infinite, we’d be inundated with all the light (and some radiation like X and gamma rays) ever emitted, as all light would be everywhere at once.

    Someone pointed out here that’s what it’s like for a photon.

    So, assume Lux the Photon was emitted at the Big Bang (did that even happen? or did light come some time after?), and has been reflected a number of times off a number of objects in the past 13+ billion years (and is probably a microwave photon by now).

    Then for Lux, all the history of the universe happened and is happening all at once. Or rather it’s at the Big Bang, and bouncing off a dust mote, and has its trajectory bent by a black hole, and bouncing off a cloud in Jupiter, etc. all at the same time.

    I just can’t grasp that.

  29. Scott says:

    @CSK: Like sending Lts and Captains to Congressional hearings.

  30. Kathy says:


    I’d send Sergeants.

    For anyone who wants to agonize over results updated slooowly. CNN has live results of today’s elections.

    Most salient, IMO, Ohio’s abortion Issue 1, Kentucky’s governorship, and Virginia’s legislative elections (all seats up for grabs).

  31. Beth says:


    Oh, I have know insight or understanding of this at all. All I have is curiosity, imagination, and a high school level of understanding of physics. As far as I’m concerned it’s all Star Wars all the way down.

    Speaking of which, have you watched Resistance? That’s the only series I haven’t seen and I have some trepidation.

  32. Beth says:

    I don’t know if I posted this here yesterday, but this is one of the causes of me melting down today. This hit me like a ton of burning bricks:


    There’s also this:


    This is the suffering that JKB wants to inflict on trans kids.

  33. Kathy says:


    I kind of thought I had some insight. I don’t know for sure.

    If you mean Star Wars Resistance, it’s pretty ok. Not on the level of Rebels or Bad Batch, but not bad. About half takes place before the First Order uses its starkiller base, and the rest after.

  34. inhumans99 says:


    It looks like a win for Democrats in VA, in that while the Ds will not have a supermajority neither will the GOP, so at least the GOP will encounter resistance if they try to just steamroll over the Democrats and just do what they please.

    The Abortion measure passed, KY still has a Democratic Governor, and I read that Ohio also just legalized weed.

    I hope the GOP does not let the Trump is more popular than Biden poll go to their head, as tonight shows that something is amiss with the idea that Democrats are doomed at the ballot box in 2024 and it is all but certain we have to deal with another 4 years of Trump in the White House.

    If Trump is popular with a large swath of folks it is not helping the GOP as much as one might think, as his popularity seems to be a mile wide but an inch deep, so not as impressive a feat as it seems at first glance.

    Taylor Swift, now that is a woman whose popularity is a mile wide and 5 miles deep, impressive indeed.

    We are still a full year out from elections in 2024, but results like those seen tonight should not be dismissed as a fluke, first the Red Wave that really never materialized and some more small but noticeable loss of political power at the state level for the GOP, not a direction the GOP wants to be headed in, despite how popular folks insist Trump is.

  35. Kathy says:


    Virginia went even better. The Republicans now have a super minority in both houses.