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:

    Kremlin quiet as Tucker Carlson Russia visit creates Putin interview rumours

    I’ve got my fingers crossed in hope he stays there, whether in a gulag as a suspected spy, or as a mercenary on the front lines in Ukraine, or just an immigrant, I really don’t care.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sometime between 22 and 23 December there was an interruption in the supply of liquid nitrogen to 16 cryogenic tanks, and while the tanks can go for four days without additional liquid nitrogen, they were left without it for five, leading to the destruction of samples from multiple institutions.

    Matti Sällberg, dean of KI’s southern campus, said on Monday: “It happened at possibly the absolute worst time imaginable in Sweden, just one day before Christmas Eve.”
    Some media outlets reported that the estimated value of the samples lost was about 500m kronor (£37m).

    Sällberg said no official estimate of the value of the samples lost had been made, but said it was easily in the millions.

    “Those worst affected are those researching leukaemia, they have gathered samples from patients over as much as 30 years,” he added.
    “These are samples that have been the subject of extensive studies and there were plans for more studies,” said Sällberg.

    I would think they would have somebody on campus for the sole purpose of making sure the things that should never stop working, don’t. But I’m just weird that way.

    eta: also, how do you put a kronor/pound/dollar value on samples such as this? Is there a Leukemia Sample Dollar Store somewhere?

  3. Tony W says:

    Until last night San Diego has been spared all this rainy, floody nonsense. Now we are set for about 3 days of solid rain.

    Fortunately, it seems like we are not going to get hit nearly as hard as our neighbors to the north got it.

    Still, our claim to America’s Best Weather seems a little dodgy this week.

  4. Bill Jempty says:


    I would think they would have somebody on campus for the sole purpose of making sure the things that should never stop working, don’t. But I’m just weird that way.

    I seem to recall there was a story similar to this a few years back.

    There may have been someone supposed to be doing periodic checks but for what ever reason weren’t doing them. Much like Jeffrey Epstein’s jailors.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    From TPM concerning Trumps total takeover of the Republican Party:

    What we’re witnessing now is his conversion of it from a political party into a tool of his personal political power. He wants it to be obedient to him, to serve him, to vanquish his enemies internal and external, to be an extension of himself. I’m not sure we’ve seen before the complete absorption of a major U.S. political party into a cult of its leader’s personality.

    Whatever the outcome of our quiet, polite and well thought out (heh) discussion as to whether trumpers qualified as a cult in all the various meanings of that word, I think it is now undeniable that Trump has successfully created at least one definition of cult: a cult of personality around himself.

    Wiki’s definition of “Cult of Personality”:

    A cult of personality, or a cult of the leader,[1] is the result of an effort which is made to create an idealized and heroic image of a glorious leader, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Historically, it has developed through techniques of mass media, propaganda, spectacle, the arts, patriotism, and government-organized demonstrations and rallies.

  6. Kathy says:

    The good news is that I’m getting smarter at cooking. The bad news is it took so long…

    Aside from the multi pot, I also got an instant read thermometer. I credit the later with how well the shredded chicken breast came out last weekend. I tended to either overcook it, or cut it in half to see how it was coming along inside. Far easier to take it off the broth for 30 seconds and measure the core temp.

    I used the air fryer to make twice baked potatoes. All recipes indicated around 35-45 minutes at about 200 C. I started with 20 minutes. Indeed, according to the thermometer, they were far from done (it also serves to probe the degree of softness inside the potato). I gave them 15 more minutes, and then they were done.

    Scooping the potatoes was never easier. Also, I added some milk while mashing them, before mixing in cheese. Then I put them back in the multi pot, this time with the broil function. The cheese melted well, and the outside browned nicely. These are the best I’ve ever done.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill Jempty: I seem to recall there was a story similar to this a few years back.

    Yes, 2 or 3 times in fact, tho I don’t recall any of the details either*. It just seems so obvious to me that if one has some priceless things that are totally dependent on a climate controlled environment/storage, you wold have somebody checking it twice or thrice times daily to ensure everything is still working.

    * I think one was a crime lab refrigeration incident but that tickling I feel might come from an episode of The Wire.

  8. senyordave says:

    How different would things be in this country if the Republicans acted like a party that was interested in governing, and would compromise when needed on major issues to pass legislation? Instead the Republican party is beholden in all matters, including policy, to Donald Trump, who thinks windmills cause cancer and considers water pressure levels from showers to be a major issue . Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize that is the current reality. The idea that JD Vance or Lindsay Graham or Mitch McConnell or any Republican member of Congress cares a bit about this country is ludicrous. Their support of Trump is proof enough.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I know JJ or ST are certain to put up a post, but FYI: Trump is not immune from prosecution in 2020 election interference case, court rules

  10. CSK says:


    Will the Supremes touch it?

  11. MarkedMan says:


    The good news is that I’m getting smarter at cooking.

    I’m in my 60’s and am still getting better at cooking. I am sometimes astounded how long it took me to realize absolutely basic principles, such as that you can cook something without browning it, but the act of browning makes a substantial difference in the flavor.

  12. Kathy says:


    Given time constraints, I think the best thing the Supremes can do is deny review of the circuit court decision.

    On the other hand, a decision by the Crowe-Leo court stating clearly Lardass isn’t free to commit crimes, would be more effective.

    Lardas Drumpf might then flee the country and run for PM in Italy, seeing as they want to legalize corruption.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I don’t know. I think the reason it took the AC so long to issue their ruling is that they wanted to make it absolutely bullet proof in order to avoid the SC taking it up (and granting trump his fondest wish: a further delay) Time will tell if they succeeded.

  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’m gratified to see that TPM is validating what I’ve been saying for seven years.

  15. CSK says:


    I agree.

  16. Neil Hudelson says:


    Even after getting a good instant read thermometer, it took years for me to realize that all cooked items have a correct temperature, not just meat. Just about every baked good has a doneness temp of around 205. Cakes and brownies closer to 210, bread more around 195-200. I will never use a toothpick to check for doneness ever again.

  17. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    It took me a long while to realize thermometers were useful for more than steak.

    My last attempt at shredded chicken before this one, I took it out too soon, and the center was undercooked. So I cut it instead of shredding it, and finished cooking it in the soup. The flavor was ok, but the texture rather unsatisfying.

  18. JohnSF says:

    @Bill Jempty:
    I have a similar recollection.
    Was that the one where the cleaners unplugged a vital system to plufg in a vacuum cleaner, and the cryo-system involved had no back-up power attached?
    Which, if true, proves yet again that science abhors a vacuum.

  19. Bill Jempty says:


    Was that the one where the cleaners unplugged a vital system to plufg in a vacuum cleaner, and the cryo-system involved had no back-up power attached?

    Don’t know. The previous one I seem to remember involved frozen embryos. Other details allude me.

    Which, if true, proves yet again that science abhors a vacuum.

    You left the word out cleaner

  20. CSK says:


    I do so love bad puns.

  21. Kathy says:

    Oh, f**k. Republiqans are blathering about the courts stripping protections for “official acts” performed by a president, or by Drumpf.

    Consider the enormity of such a claim. That overturning a free election is an official presidential act.

    I’ll say this again: if the Supremes wind up declaring Lardass Drumpf above the law, Biden should at once have him killed.

    After all, he would merely be fulfilling his oath to protect the constitution from all domestic enemies.

  22. gVOR10 says:

    Most of us here are probably city or suburb dwellers. I was raised in a small town in ND in the 50s. Didn’t have to go very far on a clear, moonless night to see the Milky Way in all its majesty. But being inside it, it’s hard to see what it really looks like. I was struck by an article in the Feb Scientific American. The Webb telescope gets all the glory, but there are other astronomy satellites working, notably the European Space Agency’s Gaia, which can measure the angular position of stars within 24 millionths of an arc second, equivalent to “the width of a human hair from 1,000 kilometers away”. Using multiple satellites over time researchers have accurately mapped the 3D location of two billion of the hundred billion stars in the galaxy. (In an observable universe of perhaps two trillion galaxies.) Also, by repeating position measurements over time and looking at red shift, measure velocity. And by looking at spectra, measure composition and age and say whether they formed in the same gas cloud.

    A simple view of the galaxy as a bulged disk with stars in stately orbits around the center of gravity turns out to be way more complicated. Many stars, and gas clouds, are moving erratically, even backwards to the general motion. Astronomers have identified structures, “blobs”,” streams”, “splashes”, “the Split”, “the Radcliffe Wave”, and “the Local Bubble”. All together they see a turbulent history from the Galaxy’s birth in a gas cloud 13 billion years ago, then crashing into smaller clouds and dwarf galaxies, and eventually coming to rotate more or less coherently. Then maybe ten billion years ago it crashed into a galaxy a quarter its size called Enceladus. Since then it was “sideswiped” by the galaxy Sagittarius which now revisits every few million years while our Galaxy also encounters any number of smaller formations.

    One, it makes one feel very small, and temporary. Two, it’s amazing what we are able to do in science as compared to government. Now if they can figure out dark matter and dark energy…

  23. Kathy says:


    In between the widespread acceptance of stars being grouped in a galaxy, and the discovery that there were more galaxies* than ours, the Earth’s view near the center of the thin, outermost edge of the Milky Way was seen as proof we were at the center of the universe.

    After all, everything looked symmetric.

    Than we found star clusters in a most unsymmetrical fashion..

    In school we were taught the Milky Way was a spiral galaxy. Later I recall reading it may be a barred spiral. Sometime in the future, if we don’t go extinct, our descendants might be able to send out probes far enough to look above the galactic plane and see what our home looks like.**

    *The word “galaxy” derives from the Greek term for “milk.” So we’ve named other galaxies after our own.

    **I’ve always maintained that what a house looks like is of more concern for people who don’t live in it. Those who inhabit the house are more affected by its interior than exterior.

  24. gVOR10 says:

    Our occasional commenter Cheryl Rofer has an excellent post at LGM on Biden’s comprehensive plan for the Middle East. It strikes me as a good plan. (Hint: demilitarized Palestinian state.) If this is the plan and Biden is able to make progress on it, it’s another reason to fear the election of Trump. He’d screw it up, like he did the JCPOA.

  25. Mister Bluster says:

    Jury finds Michigan school shooter’s mother Jennifer Crumbley guilty of manslaughter

    I don’t understand how her saying she wished her son had “killed us instead.” (her and her husband) was any kind of legal defense.

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    Today’s Quiz
    How many parents will the guilty verdict on Jennifer Crumbly be stopped from buying their children firearms:

    A) None
    B) Zero
    C) Not Any
    D) Gun sales for children by parents will increase after this verdict.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:


    Let’s hope he’s successful, alas there have been any number of ‘good’ plans to resolve the conflict that have gone for naught. There is no reason to believe this will be any different.

    For what it’s worth, the NY Times Magazine has a very good and balanced article on the history of the territory west of the Jordan from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to the early years of the founding of Israel. TL/DR, lots of missed opportunities, bad faith and blame on both sides.

  28. a country lawyer says:

    @CSK: It takes four of the Justices to agree to hear an appeal.
    I’ve just finished reading the opinion of the D.C. Circuit Court and while unusually lengthy it fairly well seals off all of the rat holes Trump can scurry into.
    The first thing the Court addresses is Jurisdiction, that is whether the Court can even hear the appeal. The general rule is the Courts of Appeal can only hear final judgements. One of the few exceptions is where the issue is determinative of the lawsuit. The legal term for that is a “collateral order”. This Court then went to great lengths to show that this appeal fell within the exception and the Court had jurisdiction.
    The opinion then went to heart of the appeal, did the President have absolute immunity for actions while in office, and if not, what were the limits of the immunity.
    The Court found the President while sitting had only limited immunity, that when the President acted against the laws he was charged to protect, those acts were not immune from prosecution. The Court went on to find that as charged in the indictment Trump’s action were against the laws he was charged to protect and thus not immune.
    Finally the Court addressed the issue which few scholars found persuasive, could the President be charged if not first impeached for the offense. The Court found no merit to that argument.
    The Court has given Trump until the 12th to appeal. He could request an en banc hearing, but those are usually only granted when there is a dissenting opinion, and this opinion was unanimous.
    This opinion is well written and covers all of the issues in great depth. There would be no reason to grant certiorari unless the Supreme Court wished to delay the trial.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Mister Bluster: People that think guns are a net positive in their life just defy all rational sense. Lauren Boebert just got a restraining order against her ex-husband and one of the reasons was that he got into a heated argument with their 18 year old son, then grabbed a gun and then, fortunately, stormed out of a the house. On what basis would someone with their history of impulsive and angry behavior think that having a gun at hand made them safer? They may be an extreme example but such warped thinking is pretty typical for all types of gun lovers.

  30. just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: Her story is for the argument that you need two (or more) guns in the house. Guns=Safety, therefore more guns=more safety!

  31. Beth says:

    @a country lawyer:

    I took a quick read through it and then cackled like a witch every time they cited Jones v. Clinton. It warms my heart to see that weaponized against Republicans.

  32. CSK says:

    @a country lawyer:

    Thanks. That was very informative.

  33. CSK says:

    Help me on this: If Trump is a blessed innocent, why does he want immunity? Isn’t that like admitting guilt?

  34. gVOR10 says:


    Will the Supremes touch it?

    Analysts are saying the appeals court went to a lot of trouble to write what should be a bulletproof opinion. Seems like I’ve read similar claims about several recent opinions. What does that say about the opinion lower court judges have about our current Supremes?

  35. CSK says:


    Hmmm…let me think. Got it. They see 6 of the justices as Trump toadies?

  36. Joe says:

    @a country lawyer: Thanks for your summary. One more reason for the Supremes not to touch it: there is no contrary authority from any other circuit.

  37. Kathy says:

    Yes, if the bolts are missing, the plug door will fly off.

    before this is seen as “there’s no major new safety issue with the MAX,” consider this means “there’s a major safety issue with Boeing’s quality control and craftsmanship.”

    Door plugs aside, what other factory defects are out there in other Boeing planes? Maybe loose cargo doors on 777s, perhaps faulty latches on exit doors on 787s, or maybe missing bolts on the engine pylons of assorted models?

    I’ll repeat myself: the people on the Alaska flight were lucky the door detached when everyone was seated with seat belts fastened. Had it happened at cruising altitude with seat belts lose*, and people moving around the cabin to the lavatories and such, there would have been many severe injuries, and possibly a few deaths.

    There’s a myth that a small hole on the fuselage will suck a full grown person out of a pressurized aircraft at altitude. this is not true (it was one early myth tested on Mythbusters). A hole big enough that people can easily walk through it, like a door, will so do that.

    * It’s recommended to keep one’s seat belt fastened all through the flight, except if you need to get up. Not because of a failure like that on the MAX 9, but in case the plane hits bad turbulence without warning.

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @a country lawyer: @Joe:

    This opinion is well written and covers all of the issues in great depth. There would be no reason to grant certiorari unless the Supreme Court wished to delay the trial.

    You can ascribe any motive you like to the actions of the for-hire “jurists” at the top of the judicial food chain; doesn’t matter to me. (And I’m NOT predicting anything here.) But just as is the case for the definition of “high crimes” etc. for the House, the reason for the Supremes to grant certiorari to this case is simply because they decide to.

  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    The Lord Court gives and the Lord Court takes away

    A three-judge panel issued a unanimous ruling Tuesday that presidential immunity does not protect Trump from being prosecuted for attempting to overturn his loss in the 2020 election…


    Chutkan has already been forced to postpone the March 4 start date of the trial, and has dropped the case from the court’s public calendar.

    (Yeah, I know that it will be put back on, but no one knows how soon–or late.)

  40. a country lawyer says:

    Judge Chutkan has said that the case will be reset when the mandate issues. Since the Circuit Court has given Trump until the 12th to appeal the earliest the mandate could issue is the 13th of February. That will be extended if Trump applies for a writ of certiorari, which he will certainly do. The Supreme Court will likely not delay in deciding whether to grant cert. If it does the case will be delayed indefinitely. If cert is denied the mandate will issue promptly

  41. Beth says:

    @a country lawyer:

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Trump really starts shooting his mouth off about how “his Justices” will protect him. I don’t think he’s going to be able to resist putting them in a bad spot.

    Also, isn’t there a real good chance that this case is the death of Originalism? I mean, they can’t say that the founders expected us to elect a divine monarch.

  42. Kathy says:

    Has anyone ever used a Thermomix or similar appliance?

    I’m not interested in getting one. Even if I were, at the prices they sell, it would be a pipe dream (hint: US $1,500 to $2,500* not including all accessories or attachments); and they lack an air fryer and pressure cooker (as far as I can tell). I also dislike the idea of blades permanently attached to the thing.

    The idea is interesting, and the machine has been around since the 60s. I can see people who cook a lot, or for a lot of people, or ironically people who can’t cook, would appreciate the automation.

    *The $150 or so I paid for the multi pot was a major purchase by my standards.

  43. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..How many parents will the guilty verdict on Jennifer Crumbly be stopped from buying their children firearms:

    Should read:

    How many parents will be stopped from buying their children firearms by the guilty verdict on Jennifer Crumbly.

    I can’t help it. I knew it was awkward when I posted it even though I proofed it half a dozen times. Then I had 15 min. to edit it and still couldn’t get it right.
    Now, hours later I think I have it figured it out.
    This is why I think that the edit function should work for the rest of the day.

  44. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..I have it figured it out.

    …I have it figured out.


  45. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I knew exactly what you meant the first time around.

  46. Kathy says:

    You keep using that word, invasion. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    When nazi troops invaded Poland and alter France, they came with tanks and aircraft and armored carriers and artillery. Once they crossed the border, they pounded targets with high explosives, they shot people with rifles and machine guns, and took over their territories.

    They did not rush over to fields and meat packing plants and begged for sub-minimum wage jobs with no benefits.

    You’d think Speaker Johnson would know this, seeing as how many times his country’s armed forces have invaded other countries, justifiably or not,

  47. EddieInCA says:

    Remind me again why I can’t say that the GOP is racist, as a group.

    Controversy arises as Miami-Dade school seeks parental consent for Black History Month events

  48. Kathy says:

    I understand where she’s coming from, but I think Swift is wrong on this matter.

    It’s about tracking her private jet(s) on social media. As I said when it was only Xlon’x jet, the info is broadcast whenever the plane flies, and it’s freely available through several apps and websites. All you need is the registration number, which is not hard to get.

    Swift, and Xlon for that matter, would have a better case, if this guy, or anyone else, were publishing their filed flight plans, or got some other info from the crew on where they were heading when days or weeks in advance.

    Lastly, for Swift, it’s often well known where she’ll be heading, and she puts that info out herself. I mean tour dates are announced well in advance. Also she attends many of her boyfriend’s games. Just about everyone in the world knows she’ll be flying from Tokyo to Vegas this weekend.

  49. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..first time

    Thank you for the support.

  50. Mister Bluster says:

    House House Republicans fail to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
    NBC News

  51. Gustopher says:


    I’ll say this again: if the Supremes wind up declaring Lardass Drumpf above the law, Biden should at once have him killed.

    We could also solve this lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court thing.

    Can the solicitor general get Seal Team 6 in the courtroom while arguing that granting immunity would enable the current President to order Seal Team 6 to kill the conservative wing of the Supreme Court? Would that be a threat, or just a visual aid to for the legal argument?

  52. Kathy says:

    If Nikki Haley doesn’t win today’s primary, we’ll never hear the end of it from Drumpf.

    Quick facts: the GQP Nevada primary doesn’t count for delegates, much as the Democratic NH primary didn’t. The GQP is having a caucus in the state later. Candidates who take part in the primary, can’t take part in the caucus; so Haley is running unopposed.

    How can she lose? I don’t know if Nevada allows write in votes. If it does, then that’s how. Or if there are more blank or spoiled ballots than votes for her.

    ETA: Nevada allows a “none of the above” option.

  53. Kathy says:


    It would be poetic justice.

  54. charontwo says:


    never mind

  55. Franklin says:

    @Kathy: I guess my question would be: should the general public be able to track any plane by registration number? What if I asked if the general public should be able to track any car by license plate? If the answers are different, why?

  56. Kathy says:


    Commercial planes are part of the ADS-B system, which is intended to make planes visible to air traffic controllers and other aircraft. You can see how websites like Flight Aware gather and manage data.

    There’s no equivalent system for cars and license plates.

    Now, if there were, the contexts are vastly different. You can follow someone easily in a city or urban area. It’s not so easy to follow an airplane. Destinations are different, too. You can track a plane to an airport. A car can be tracked to a home, an office, a store, etc.

    Apples and oranges.

  57. Kathy says:

    With 53.something% of the votes counted, Haley is losing to “None of These Candidates” .

    Now, how do you stuff a whole party into a padded cell?