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:

    This morning I had a bit of a surprise in my book business.

    As a self-publisher through Amazon, I can view how good or bad my business is doing any time of the day. I check at least once daily.

    I also keep a monthly tabulation of many sales and reads I have and by what Amazon marketplace. When royalties are paid for these, I update that too.

    My best marketplace has always been the US. Most months 80% of it is done there. After that, UK is 2nd best. Other marketplaces that have or are good are Germany, Canada, Australia, and India.

    At the bottom of my sales page, is a chart showing the percentages for my 3 top market places and a 4th is titled Other.

    Yesterday it read like US 80%, Uk 5%, 4 % Spain, and the rest other. Other was Canada, Japan, Brazil, France, Australia, and India this month. I had done no business in Germany.

    When waking up this morning I suddenly discovered business was now now 80% US, 6% Australia, 3 % UK, and 11% other.

    Because I only have 29 books for sale, multiple Australians must have just discovered me. I sold over 100 books there overnight. Spread out almost evenly too. Even my dung beetle book sold 2 times.

    I’m going to miss watching this stuff next year.

  2. Bobinyoungstown says:

    Does everyone’s comment go to moderation for no apparent reason?

  3. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I had a chance to listen to Dolly Parton’s new album: “Rockstar”.

    Seriously: What were they thinking? A country pop star with a vibrato voice in her 80’s singing rock ballads. Do not recommend. Extremely disappointing in many different ways.

    May as well have Alice Cooper sing German opera.

    (insert face-palm meme here)

  4. CSK says:

    A brief lesson on the vital importance of correct punctuation.


  5. Kathy says:

    This may explain why Meadows hasn’t take a guilty plea in Georgia. No deals are being offered or, one assumes, accepted.

  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Koch’s are endorsing Nikki Haley, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/28/billionaire-backed-koch-network-endorses-nikki-haley-for-president.html

    That makes sense for them as she is as close to Reagan, Bush x 2, McCain, Romney candidate left in the field. You have to be thinking that Wall Street and executive suites throughout the country are already getting gas about trump’s threats to blow up the deep state. Business and particularly Wall St., hates uncertainty.

  7. Scott says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Let me say something that you all may disagree with. At this point, I will vote for Biden again. However, if a Nikki Haley is the nominee and wins, I may not be pleased and would find myself irritated at the subsequent four years but I would not be afraid. Same as I would not have been afraid if McCain or Romney won.

  8. Bill Jempty says:

    Not getting much writing today due to a stuffed up toilet. It’s fixed and I’m trying to concentrate.

    I miss the good ole days when you could embed youtube videos in posts. James I am sure doesn’t.

    Did you realize Pedro Borbon and Manny Mota were never teammates. Mota played for the pirates mostly in the 60’s. his best remembered years in the 70’s with the dodgers. It should have been then ‘Pinchhitting for Bob Veale*, Manny Mota….Mota…Mota….

    *- Or Al McBean, Rick Rhoden, Roy Face, Don Sutton……

  9. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Scott: Agree 100%. Maybe it is the Texas resident in us – we know in our bones the difference between the two types on the everyday lives of ordinary people.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:


    I agree with you. Haley is the least bad R option that has a chance. Because the party is wacko, she will likely need to be more populist than she’s comfortable with, but would likely turn down the rhetoric in the culture wars.

  11. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Scott Lemieux over at LGM quotes the Seattle Times, “Late last month, Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, got an unexpected call from Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase. Dimon said he was impressed by Haley’s knowledge of policy details and her open-minded approach to complex issues raised in the Republican presidential race, according to a person familiar with what they discussed. Keep it up, he told her
    He wasn’t the only business heavyweight to say so.
    In recent weeks, a group of CEOs, hedge fund investors and corporate deal-makers from both parties have begun gravitating toward Haley and, in some cases, digging deeper into their pockets to help her.

  12. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I can’t find the reference but Haley is on record saying as governor she would have signed a six week abortion ban. Culture wars would still matter I think

  13. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Indeed! I would think that Pence would have caught that correction himself.
    (Actually, I would think he’s desperately jumping on the point now as a way to enhance his image, but you know what I mean, right?)

  14. Beth says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    She also claims that the existence of trans people causes suicide in young women. She’ll do whatever it takes to criminalize LGBT people and women who need abortions.

  15. gVOR10 says:


    I may not be pleased and would find myself irritated at the subsequent four years but I would not be afraid. Same as I would not have been afraid if McCain or Romney won.

    I mostly agree, but with the rather large caveat that I said much the same thing when W was elected. Despite being a “normal Republican”, he turned out to be a bloody freaking disaster.

  16. Beth says:

    Here for your enjoyment.


    She’s pretty good.

  17. Matt Bernius says:


    Does everyone’s comment go to moderation for no apparent reason?

    I’m not sure why that’s happening. I’ve approved your comments.

  18. Franklin says:

    @Mr. Prosser: Krugman has a decent article today about Haley that she, well, knows her audience and will have diametrically opposed viewpoints on social issues depending on the day. But she’s pretty solidly for the rich at all times.

    That said, I will repeat my prediction: *if* she somehow ends up with the nomination, she will beat Biden. So get as many Dems in swing states registered and to the polls.

  19. Kathy says:


    If she does, it will be through Haley Democrats. I doubt many Republiqans would vote for her.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Matt Bernius: I occasionally get posts that go into moderation and it usually happens because I did something that added or altered letters in either the “Name*” line or the “Email*” line. Usually in my case it happens because I don’t remove my other hand from the keyboard while copying my info to the dialog box and accidentally hit random letters–usually “d” or “e” because my tremor is more sensitive in the 2nd finger of my left hand. In any event, if you type something that doesn’t usually go there–or omit something that usually does–you get sent to comment purgatory.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: They’ll vote for Haley before they’ll vote for Biden. For some reason, conservatives and Republicans seem to be more proactive about showing up for elections. At least that’s my observation.

  22. dazedandconfused says:
  23. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    I do.


    Oh, that’s perfection.

  24. DK says:

    @Kathy: Yeah, some folks here are apparently unaware how much Haley is despised by the Trump-Musk-Rogan right. They’re already giving her the “Nimarata” treatment. They want to Kamala her.

    Haley “will” beat Biden much like Hillary “will” beat Trump. Meaning, well-meaning people who are not so bigoted keep forgetting that misogyny and racism are a thing with many voters, and Haley would have to contend with both. A cakewalk it would not be.

  25. DK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    For some reason, conservatives and Republicans seem to be more proactive about showing up for elections.

    Where were they on November 3, 2023?

  26. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    My takeaway from 2016 is that in America enough voters will vote in a presidential election to elect a woman, just not that woman.

    That woman being defined as whichever woman is running for president.

  27. al Ameda says:


    Let me say something that you all may disagree with. At this point, I will vote for Biden again. However, if a Nikki Haley is the nominee and wins, I may not be pleased and would find myself irritated at the subsequent four years but I would not be afraid. Same as I would not have been afraid if McCain or Romney won.

    I’m getting the feeling that Democrats may do a modified implosion when it comes to Biden.
    That is, by maintaining a stance of ambivalence, by expressing a desire for a younger candidate without bringing forth such a candidate, I think they may fail to unite and sufficiently turnout for Biden to ensure victory. I think about a 1/3rd of Democrats, especially young voters, are hoping that Joe announces that he will not run for a second term. To me this is a Waiting For Godot Strategy.

    This ambivalence could very easily lead to a Trump or Haley, victory.

  28. Stormy Dragon says:

    In it’s latest attempt to impose Christian extremism on the rest of the country, the fifth circuit is considering a case that would basically ban organ transplants by changing the definition of death to require decomposition to have set in because a bunch of nuts are worried corpses may not be “soul dead”:

    When does life end? A father didn’t believe his daughter was dead. The hospital still harvested her organs

    Bonus “divorced guy” who’s upset he doesn’t own his ex-wife and adult daughters.

  29. Kathy says:

    I’m currently reading a book that analyzes why authoritarian governments borne of social revolutions tend to be durable. Case studies naturally enough include the USSR (over 70 years), and China (since the 50s, I think, and still going). But also surprises like Mexico (yes, I was aware).

    Anyway, one thing the author points out I found interesting, is that after a hard fought revolution, like the Russian one which included years of civil war, the governments that flow from it, as well as many institutions, develop a siege mentality.

    This comes across as plain paranoia when reading histories of these countries, especially at times like Stalin’s terror. It also crops up in other revolutions, like the French Revolution in the late 18th century.

    And also in the Mexican revolution. Maybe not right away, and not to the same extent, but there was a high degree of paranoia about letting foreigners own anything within the country. And alter in allowing private business to do things like handle the phone system, or electricity, or oil.

    Something to think about.

  30. Gustopher says:

    @al Ameda: I am hopeful that young Americans will see Trump speaking, and either remember or discover what a blithering idiot he is, and then have second thoughts about tuning out or voting third party or whatever.

    The campaign hasn’t really begun. We’re in the wishcasting phase. The “the Colin Powell of my dreams would unite the country” phase, based on nothing.

    It reveals weaknesses, but isn’t particularly predictive of next year’s election.

  31. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I thought the soul doesn’t die…

    I began to read that piece, but found it too long for the workload I was laboring under (we broke a record on that score today). So, I won’t comment on it.

    But it reminded me of something I read recently (sorry, no link on hand). Some years ago scientists got cell activity in the brains of pigs that had been slaughtered and decapitated minutes prior. Allegedly no neural activity (I don’t know what to make of that). the speculative takeaway is that it might be possible to restore brain function after it’s been lost. Not entirely unlike how heart and lung function can be restored (only sometimes, and often not for long).

    That’s a big takeaway from one study, although more research has been made and still goes on. It’s a question I’ve often wondered about: what happens to your cells after you die? Can they be kept alive? Whole organs can remain viable for hours, ergo we have organ transplants. Some tissues can be frozen and kept viable for years.

    there’s also the few documented cases of people who drown in cold water, and are revived minutes or hours later. I recall a piece on that on Discover years ago, and a line stuck with me: No one is dead until they are warm and still dead.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DK: Irregularities such as 2023 is why I say “seem” and “more” rather than “are” and “definitely.”

    By the same token, where were Wisconsin Democrats in 2016? IIRC, there were a few other states about which the same question could have been asked.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @DK: I wish to hell this was a world where I didn’t feel the need to upvote this comment…

    I often underestimate the power of racism/sexism/anti-science

  34. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:.. there was a high degree of paranoia about letting foreigners own anything within the country.

    Back in the ‘70s I knew United States citizens who said that they would travel to Mexico to give birth to their children so that their children would be Mexican citizens and be able to own property in Mexico. I lost track of those folks over the years so I don’t if that’s what they did. I never had any kids so it was never anything that I looked into. Is property ownership restricted to Mexican citizens today? Who owns the facilities in Mexico where Ford Motor Company, for instance, assembles cars for sale in the United States?

  35. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    That was a singularly bad idea then, as Mexico did not allow multiple nationalities (it does now). So a kid with US parents would have had to renounce their US citizenship at age 18, or their Mexican one.

    I honestly don’t know what the legal status of foreign ownership is now. As to Ford, and a lot of other multinationals, I also have no clue. US car makers have operated plants here since forever. the same for many others, like Coca Cola, Pepsico, Nestle, etc.

    The refrain was that to allow foreigners to own land, or private businesses to pump oil or make electricity, would mean the loss of our national sovereignty. I joked in return that America must be the least sovereign nation on Earth, as they allowed all that.

  36. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..US car makers have operated plants here since forever.
    Thank you for the reply.
    I mentioned Ford because the window price sticker on my 2013 Ford Fusion S that I bought new notes that it was assembled at Hermosillo, Sonora. 218,000+ miles (350,837 km) and still runs like a top.