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. DK says:

    Widow of Haiti’s president indicted in his assassination, along with ex-prime minister and former police chief:

    A judge investigating the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse issued a final report on Monday that indicts his widow, Martine Moïse, ex-prime minister Claude Joseph and the former chief of Haiti’s National Police, Léon Charles, among others.

    The indictments are expected to further destabilize Haiti as it struggles with a surge in gang violence and recovers from a spate of violent protests demanding the resignation of current Prime Minister Ariel Henry. A total of nearly 50 suspects were indicted in the 122-page judge’s report.

    Wild. Details in the link are absolute bonkers.

  2. DK says:

    These six young people died by gun violence. Now their AI-generated voices are sending gun control pleas to lawmakers

    “Six years ago, I was a senior at Parkland. Many students and teachers were murdered on Valentine’s Day that year by a person using an AR-15 assault rifle,” the voice says. “It’s been six years, and you’ve done nothing. Not a thing to stop all the shootings that have continued to happen since.”

    “The thing is, I died that day in Parkland,” the voice continues. “My body was destroyed by a weapon of war. I’m back today because my parents used AI to recreate my voice to call you.”

    The audio is one of six AI-generated voice messages from young people killed by gun violence, part of a new campaign launched last week by two groups, March For Our Lives and Change the Ref, to urge lawmakers to act on gun control…

    The new campaign’s website, called The Shotline, invites people to listen to the voice messages, enter a zip code and send calls to members of Congress.

  3. Scott says:

    I’ve been banging on this for a while. It’s coming, people. And most of these goons are out of Texas.

    Satan’s laughing with delight.

    Trump allies prepare to infuse ‘Christian nationalism’ in second administration

    An influential think tank close to Donald Trump is developing plans to infuse Christian nationalist ideas in his administration should the former president return to power, according to documents obtained by POLITICO.

    Spearheading the effort is Russell Vought, who served as Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget during his first term and has remained close to him. Vought, who is frequently cited as a potential chief of staff in a second Trump White House, is president of The Center for Renewing America think tank, a leading group in a conservative consortium preparing for a second Trump term.

    One document drafted by CRA staff and fellows includes a list of top priorities for CRA in a second Trump term. “Christian nationalism” is one of the bullet points. Others include invoking the Insurrection Act on Day One to quash protests and refusing to spend authorized congressional funds on unwanted projects, a practice banned by lawmakers in the Nixon era.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    UK special forces blocked resettlement applications from elite Afghan troops

    Elite Afghan commandos who fought alongside the British military have had their applications to relocate blocked by UK special forces despite evidence that they had served alongside them in dangerous missions against the Taliban.

    Documents leaked and shared with BBC Panorama show that Britain’s secretive special forces were given a veto power over resettlement, prompting claims that hundreds of Afghan veterans have been left in limbo or danger in their native country.

    In some cases, the documents show Ministry of Defence officials tried to challenge the reasons for rejection, but were told they could not do as so as a decision on whether or not to sponsor resettlement by the British military unit was deemed final.

    Whatever objection would the SAS raise against having their brothers in arms resettle in the UK?

    Members of the Afghan 333 and 444 units, known as the Triples, who are in the UK could in theory be asked to give evidence if they were present on contentious SAS night raids, where it is alleged 80 civilians were killed in cold blood in Helmand province between 2010 and 2013.

    “At a time when certain actions by UK special forces are under investigation by a public inquiry, their headquarters also had the power to prevent former Afghan special forces colleagues and potential witnesses to these actions from getting safely to the UK,” one former UK special forces officer told the BBC.


  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    Last night I went to a bingo fundraiser for my buddy’s Ducks Unlimited chapter. I won in the 10th round, the prize of which was anything I wanted from “The Gun Table.” So…yay? I guess? I hunt a bit, but have no interest in having an expansive gun collection. But also I know the monetary value, and FU I won so I’m gonna get my prize.

    Turns out they only had one gun left. A single-shot, .22 scoped rifle with a tripod. According to the guy running for the gun table, it’s for kids.

    I’m calling it my “Lil’ Tyke’s First Sniper Rifle.”

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:
  7. Tony W says:

    CBS headline this morning said essentially: “Biden raises $42 million in January. Voters have raised concerns about his age.”

    Just once I’d like to see a headline that didn’t say “Here’s why this is bad for Joe Biden” after he accomplishes something incredible, such as raising the most money in U.S. History for a presidential candidate at this point in the cycle.

  8. Kathy says:

    @Tony W:

    I can’t wait for the headline proclaiming how winning a second term is bad for Biden.

    There is a precedent. After all, winning a first term was the worst thing that ever happened to Lardass A. Drumpf. So far it has wounded what he cherishes most: his money.

  9. Jay L Gischer says:

    The Daily Wire is calling for the execution of doctors who treat trans teenagers. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfVWZkGtVHI&t=53s).

    I really don’t think I’m being all that hyperbolic in referring to a trans genocide.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @Tony W: I’ve been thinking about how different trumpers are from we Never-Trumpers, and how it plays out politically.

    trumpers – never want to be exposed to anything negative about Sneaker Boy and will automatically ignore anything that even faintly speaks ill of their idol. They will, however, voraciously snap up anything negative about his enemies, real or perceived.

    Never-Trumpers – have a morbid fascination with negative narratives and gloom and doom scenarios about the candidates we support, or stories that talk about Trump’s strengths.

    Net effect: The exact same articles, “Dems in disarray”, “Biden should step down”, “Trump making inroads with young AA men”, get heavy clicks from both sides. The algorithms push them to the top and the clicks (and ad revenue) keep coming.

  11. CSK says:


    Well, I’m a Never-Trumper, and I freely admit to a gleeful fascination with stories about how awful Trump is.

  12. becca says:

    @Tony W: I am something of a broken record about this, but right wing threats against journalists and politicians are happening more and more and it is warping coverage. It didn’t start with the yam, but he sure took it to another level.
    David French wrote about his personal experience with this just yesterday in the NYTs. He is not alone, by any stretch.
    Can’t look like you’re giving any good coverage to Biden without some disclaimer or the magat mobsters may threaten to kill your dog or kidnap your kids.

  13. Matt Bernius says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    I saw you post that on Twitter and had so many questions. Now, most of them are answered.

    I guess it’s on-brand for the event. They do great work (and it’s a great example of how hunters can be some really wonderful partners in conservation and environmental protection).

  14. Kylopod says:

    I know this is more than a week old, but one detail about the special election in New York is that it was a counterexample to the phenomenon which Republicans have used heavily to push the stolen-election narrative: namely, the red mirage. There was a blue mirage in this election, due to Queens counting its votes much more quickly than Nassau County: when the race was first called for Suozzi, he held a nearly 20-point lead. By the time counting was finished it had shrunk down to 7.7–still solid, and significantly better than polls before the race had predicted, but much less than his lead initially.

    According to the “logic” of 2020 election deniers, this proves there was massive voter fraud in favor of the Republican. Everyone knows that in a legitimate election, the vote percentage between the two candidates must stay absolutely the same throughout the entire vote-counting process, or else something is up.

  15. becca says:

    @MarkedMan: “Trump makes inroads with young AA men” reminds me that while black Americans are approximately 15% of the population, they make up 32% of the prison population. Our system has been manipulated to make sure black men can’t vote. Guess what party has fought the hardest against restoring voting rights to people who have served their time?
    Is Trump going to champion this issue now?

  16. Kathy says:

    On positive news, I was afraid the multi pot would drive my electric bill through the roof (that’s one reason I delayed endlessly getting one). But the latest bill came yesterday, and ti was about the same as the pre-multi pot ones. So the net effect is small at best.

    That’s a good thing, because I think I figured out what I did wrong with the slow cooker function the previous times. Therefore I can perfect the slow goulash recipe and attempt it in two weeks or so.

    I also want to try a slow cooked onion sauce…

  17. CSK says:

    In Alabama, only a college football coach can beat another college football coach in a senate race.


    I’ll never understand the adoration Alabama accords its football coaches. I couldn’t tell you the names of the coaches at Harvard, UMass, or Boston College. I doubt 98% of the populace here could, either.

  18. Kathy says:

    Lists such as this should be qualified with the caveat “as judged under present standards.”

    And naturally they represent averages among all the people making judgments on past and current presidents.

    But we all agree on who shows up at the very bottom.

  19. EddieInCA says:


    It’s not just college and it’s not just Alabama. It’s the whole south. And it’s high school too. I did a feature film in Shreveport, Louisiana, about 15 years ago. I lived in a Residence Inn for 7 months. I arrived on a random Thursday. Friday night, I switch on the TV in my living room. The Shreveport area TV market covers what’s called “The ArkLaTex’, because that area covers South Arkansas, North Louisiana and East Texas. Of 7 “local” channels, 5 had HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL being televised. Five! I don’t know you can find one high school game in the entire Los Angeles metro area being televised on any Friday night.

    It’s a different world.

  20. Gustopher says:


    The Shreveport area TV market covers what’s called “The ArkLaTex’, because that area covers South Arkansas, North Louisiana and East Texas.

    “Latex Ark” was right there.

    I’m glad the people of Seattle had their priorities straight when referring to the area between Fremont and Ballard. It’s Free Lard (sometimes spelled Frellard, but always pronounced as Free Lard)

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: For some reason or other I expect this to go absolutely nowhere.

  22. Franklin says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Fun story! But I’d hold onto it for now. Might come in handy if the Orange Turd gets re-elected.

    [EDIT: to be clear, I’m talking about protecting yourself from the “Christian” nationalists/fascists.]

  23. Beth says:

    It is currently 55 degrees in Chicago. The average high should be in the 30s. Over the next week the temp is projected to be in the 50s or 60s much of the week. That’s the average temp here for late April/May. This is freakishly bad.

  24. CSK says:


    What won’t go anywhere?

  25. Scott says:

    @Beth: In San Antonio, it is a sunny, mid 70s. I hope it is not too early but I’m starting to plant the spring vegetables in the starting pots. Because last spring they were burning out by mid June.

  26. CSK says:


    Oh, I know. But Alabama seems to be a bit more extreme than the other southern states in its adulation of school football coaches. I mean, when teenaged girls refer to Nick Saban as “God,” that’s excessive.

  27. Kathy says:

    Sometimes the universe throws you a good turn, and a huge weight gets lifted off your shoulders.

    By weight, I mean really bad stress, plus longer hours at work, and pressuring and rushing lots of people who are simply doing their best under difficult, demanding conditions.


  28. Kathy says:


    Mexico City has milder winters. It’s common to need a coat and gloves in the morning. Then AC in the afternoon if you’re in a place that gets a lot of sunlight. Then a coat again after the sun goes down.

    That’s normal. These past few weeks, except for a few cloudy days, it’s been 10-12 C in the early morning, rather than 5-7 C. Today I drove somewhere at 10 am, and the car was 29 C inside. Even in full winter sunlight, the usual would have been like 20-22 C.

    It’s getting harder for deniers to dismiss it as an odd warm winter, when the past three or fourth were just the same.

  29. CSK says:

    Dynamite line-up for this week’s CPAC festival:

    Donald Trump
    Kari Lake
    Matt Gaetz
    Mike Lindell
    Ken Paxton
    Sebastian Gorka
    Steve Bannon

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The recruitment of Nick Saban.

    @CSK: I mean, when teenaged girls refer to Nick Saban as “God,” that’s excessive.

    Well, teenage girls are just plain silly. Even God will tell you Nick Saban is a far better coach than god is.

  31. Kathy says:

    Not sure about the consequences of allowing Capital One to acquire Discover, though overall I’m opposed to further consolidation.

    It does remind me of this Futurama clip

  32. CSK says:


    Okay, thanks. I too don’t think Saban would be interested. But the notion that being a college football coach is the prime qualification for being a senator confounds me. Tuberville couldn’t even name the three branches of government.

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: It was really surprising to me to learn that the phone service I rent my Korean travel phone from takes Discover now. It was also fortunate because rental phone companies don’t take debit cards.

    But if Discover is being acquired by Cap One, I guess I’ll cash out my Cashback and close the account. I mostly use my debit card anyway.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Jeebus. That lineup looks like it came from the The Onion

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: In Tuberville’s case, the prime qualifications were name recognition and being willing to run as a Republican.

    ETA: I think that the jury is probably still out on whether the other guy can win as a Dem. We are talking ‘Bama after all. Slate is hoping that the wish into hand will fill before the sh!t into hand does just this once.

  36. Franklin says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’ve had a Discover card for 25-30 years. That was when they were really the only ones doing cashback. When I saw the news, I was wondering if it was about time to close it.

  37. Kathy says:


    But the notion that being a college football coach is the prime qualification for being a senator confounds me.

    I think it would be the prime qualification for being anything.

  38. CSK says:


    It does, doesn’t it?


    In the deep south, yes. Elsewhere, no.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I wonder if it bothers them that Tuberville insists on being called “Coach” rather than “Senator.”

  39. Kathy says:


    Elsewhere, no.

    Elsewhere football is a sport, not a religion.

    On other things, I was reading about one pot pastas (never made one), and I got a notion: cooking pasta with shredded potatoes, and very little water.

    It’s tricky. usually pasta needs far less time to cook than potatoes. On the other hand, the smaller the potato piece (or the smaller the piece of anything), the faster it cooks. I should try cooking one shredded potato and see how long that takes.

    Or I can just get some starch and eat it with a spoon 🙂

  40. CSK says:


    “Elsewhere, football is a sport, not a religion.”

    Well, certainly. I’ve suggested as much numerous times. Hence the equating of Nick Saban with God.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Probably a lot less than voting for a Democrat would. Southerners are people who the GOP thought would vote for Hershell Walker after all.

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Saban is far smarter than Tuberville. “Politics? Fck that sht.”

  43. CSK says:


    Oh, I have no doubt that Saban is smarter than Tuberville. But most people are.

  44. Mikey says:

    In news that will surprise nobody who has three functional synapses in their head:

    DOJ: FBI informant said Russian intelligence involved in Hunter Biden story

    The FBI confidential source charged last week for allegedly providing false information about President Biden and his son Hunter Biden implicated Russian intervention, per court documents filed Tuesday.

    The big picture: Alexander Smirnov, 43, admitted that “officials associated with Russian intelligence” were involved in passing a story about Hunter Biden, per the government’s memorandum in support of his detention.

    Prosecutors alleged in the filing that Smirnov told an FBI handler that the Russian Intelligence Service intercepted several cellphone calls placed at a hotel “by prominent U.S. persons the Russian government may use as ‘kompromat’ in the 2024 election.”

  45. Gustopher says:

    Today I learned that the song “Hobo Humping Slobo Babe” has nothing to do with Slobodan Milosevic.

    To be fair, I always suspected that it had nothing to do with Slobodan Milosevic, but never bothered to look it up before now, and Slobo meant nothing to me other than Milosevic. Apparently just Swedes getting English slang wrong. I’m still not sure what it is about.

    Best Google result while trying to tie Milosevic to that song: Wikipedia for Milosevic, with the little warning text “missing: hobo humpin babe”

    Bing had nothing useful.

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Uh yeah…
    Smarter than Tuberville isn’t much of a bar to clear.

  47. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I was thinking that myself.

  48. Mikey says:

    @Gustopher: Oh shit, I haven’t heard that song in decades.

  49. EddieInCA says:

    Every time I think Trump can’t get any lower….

    Trump Calls $354 Million Fraud Fine Against Him ‘A Form of Navalny’

    Every single GOP candidate should be confronted with this quote by Trump. Every single one.

    What a piece of shit.

  50. Mikey says:

    @EddieInCA: My first thought was “oh, if only…”

  51. Kathy says:


    If he really believes this, I’m willing to help him reach Mr. Navalny’s state. Then he can say whether he still believes it. Or he could, if, you know.

    Remember this is the same guy who compared getting laid and catching the clap to serving in Vietnam.

  52. CSK says:


    What can you expect from someone who’s said that he’s been treated worse than any president in U.S. history?

  53. EddieInCA says:

    I guarantee you that every single IVF firm and practice in Alabama is today looking at options for moving their operations out of state. Many will move to a state that doesn’t have this onerous ruling.

    I’ll be the first to say, like I did after the Dobbs decision, “Come to California. You’re be welcome here.”