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. Lounsbury says:

    The most delicious material of this week must certainly be the Truth Social SEC 8-K Filing. ( 8-K in HTML format at SEC) It contains such wonderful bons mots as the affirmation is does not and may never collect the fundamental normal metrics that social media companies collect.

    … TMTG may find it challenging or cost-prohibitive to implement such effective controls and procedures and may never collect, monitor, or report any or certain key operating metrics. … See “Risk Factors — Risk Factors Related to TMTG — TMTG does not currently, and may never, collect, monitor or report certain key operating metrics used by companies in similar industries” incorporated in this Current Report on Form 8-K by reference to the Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

    The rubes will skip over this but for the advised investor, this is a delicious open admission, one worthy of April First, except not a faux declaration.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lounsbury: There’s a sucker born every minute. Probably more than one.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Listening to my first whip-poor-will of the season.

  4. Crusty Dem says:
  5. Tony W says:

    @Crusty Dem: Israel has learned that they can do whatever they wish without significant repercussions because of the word “antisemitism”.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Crusty Dem:

    Haaretz is reporting that it was three separate strikes. Survivors from the lead car gathered in the car behind; it was struck. The remaining survivors fled to the last car, then it was struck. All three cars were marked with WCK logo on sides and roof. Deliberate murder of aid workers.

    ETA: Sorry, forgot link: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2024-04-02/ty-article/.premium/idf-bombed-wck-aid-convoy-3-times-targeting-armed-hamas-member-who-wasnt-there/0000018e-9e75-d764-adff-9eff29360000?v=1712062294317

  7. MarkedMan says:

    Yesterday there was some discussion about former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s chances of taking a safe Democratic Senate seat. The Banner today has fairly detailed poll* they did in conjunction with Goucher college. Bottom line: Larry Hogan will get the Republican nod in the primary, and he will be in a dead heat with the Dem – either a current US Rep, David Trone, or the Chief Executive of Prince George’s County, Angela Alsobrooks.

    FWIW, I’ll be voting for Alsobrooks in the primary. She’s been an executive and I feel that makes her appreciate the need for well crafted legislation. She will be aware that shoddy laws can work against the intent of the drafters when it comes time to write the rules and enforce them. Trone is fine, but he was a businessman and is now a 3 time Rep, relatively unproven in my eyes. However, at the moment he has the lead and she only has a month to make up about ten points.

    *Can someone let me know if they can see this without a subscription? It doesn’t appear that the Banner has gift links

  8. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I just woke up to the sound of two sandhill cranes sounding off as they casually walked thru the ranch yard and right by my bedroom window…..

    It’s officially spring! Kind of an eerie way to wake up, though, they sounded like they were in my house!

  9. MarkedMan says:

    There is a running commentary on this forum that we are in a wholly partisan era and voter’s choices are completely dictated by Party affiliation. While conclusively true on the Republican side, I don’t think this is true for many Democrats, and there is some support for this in the poll I mentioned above.

    Larry Hogan was, until the last election, the Republican Governor of Maryland and he term limited out, he wasn’t defeated. He won two terms in a Democratic state and left office with about a 70% overall approval rating. Even in this poll, Democratic voters gave a 57% approval to a 33% disapproval. (Interestingly, he only did 66/28 with the Repubs, probably due to his anti-Trump statements.)

    Wes Moore is the current Democratic Governor of Baltimore. He’s only been in office a little over a year but objective observers would agree that he has been competent and vigorous. He is staying on top of the most important issues and has done nothing to warrant significant disapproval. Despite this, he has a 25/59% split with Republicans. All in all, it’s evidence that the partisanship is much more apparent on one side of the aisle than the other.

  10. Bill Jempty says:
  11. Bill Jempty says:
  12. steve says:

    Was surprised that they let abortion issue go on the ballot in Florida. That has the potential to help Dems a lot. The 2020 election was 51-48 in favor of Trump so it was not a huge margin.


  13. Jax says:

    @steve: And recreational marijuana. It’s gonna be a big turnout year in Florida.

  14. Kathy says:


    It would be kind of hilarious if Biden wins Florida due to stuff like that.

  15. Kathy says:

    Retaking the thread yesterday about actual science in science fiction, often there’s precious little of it, and sometimes what there is gets misunderstood or overlooked.

    Consider Asimov’s robots. aside form the three laws of robotics, which are what I call obscurely well known, all his robots have “positronic brains.”

    What does this mean? I took it to mean, way back in my misspent youth, they used positrons rather than electrons for some reason, probably because electronic simply didn’t sound futuristic enough.

    Well, no. Asimov’s intent was to imply how fast these robot brains were.


    A positron is the antimatter twin of the electron. Same mass and properties, but with a positive electric charge. When an electron meets a positron, they mutually annihilate in a burst of energy. As electrons are plentiful in matter, positrons quickly meet their end. Therefore the brains are fast enough to use positrons in the incredibly small fraction of a second before they are gone.

    I didn’t get that at all. When I found out the intent, I wondered why he bothered. But this idea dates to the early 40s. Back then radio was about the only electronic technology in widespread use, and it carried no feel of incredible speed when used. As opposed to, say, running a program with millions of lines of code in even a subpar computer or phone these days.

    There are other issues with how Asimov’s robots work, even in latter decades, all due largely to their date of inception.

  16. Franklin says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    Don’t go chasin’ (dogs near) waterfalls …

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Just curious, what was the source for Asimov’s intent?

  18. Stormy Dragon says:

    The Tennessee legislature has decided that letting queerphobic parents torture their own queer children for 18 years hasn’t sated their bloodlust and has voted to help them seek out other people’s children to torture:

    Tennessee Passes Bill Allowing Non-Accepting Parents To Adopt LGBTQ+ Kids

    Under this bill, Tennessee would be prohibited from deeming parents unfit for adoption if they reject transgender youth, believing such identities to be sinful. Similarly, the state would be required to allow parents who are religiously or morally opposed to homosexuality to adopt gay children. If a parent believes that conversion therapy through their church can “cure” LGBTQ+ identification, this belief cannot be considered contrary to the best interest of an LGBTQ+ child. The bill risks exposing every LGBTQ+ child in the state to potential religious abuse, conversion therapy, and family rejection.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: they sounded like they were in my house!

    Heh, this whip-poor-will was in the tree right outside my open window.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I read this AM that the Biden campaign is targeting Florida.

  21. Kathy says:


    I read it either in his memoir, “I, Asimov,” or in one of his many essay collections. Maybe both.

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I was an initial subscriber to Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, and he used to write a monthly column. It was wide ranging, and this is the type of thing you might find in there.

    One of the most fascinating things was a reference to a conversation in the office of the editor of The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, John Campbell that included Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Arthur Clark (? I may be misremembering that last name, but if so, it was someone who would become equally famous), when L Ron Hubbard barged into the office, in a rage about edits Campbell wanted to make to one of his stories because some premise or another was just too unbelievable. Hubbard responded that not only would people accept it, he could make a religion out of it, and then left in a huff.

    I’m always reluctant in relaying this story because, a) I read it as a kid and how accurate can my memory be after all these years, and b) because it was relayed from Asimov, writing 30 years or more after the fact, and fully aware of what a strange and lurid piece of work Hubbard turned into, so he might have unintentionally retconned it too.

  23. Scott says:

    Maybe Democrats should propose an alternative: Renaming Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport after Trump.

    Virginia Democrats criticize House GOP proposal to rename Dulles airport after Trump

    Northern Virginia Democrats slammed a new House GOP proposal to rename the Washington-area Dulles International Airport after former President Donald Trump.

    At issue is a brief two-page proposal, introduced by Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) on March 29 with half a dozen additional GOP co-sponsors, that would rename the facility the “Donald J. Trump International Airport.”

    “Donald Trump is facing 91 felony charges. If Republicans want to name something after him, I’d suggest they find a federal prison,” Fairfax-area Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said in a statement to POLITICO.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    Earlier I was making comments about Larry Hogan’s chances in the MD U.S. Senate race. I think they are pretty good, despite abortion and other things. But I’m already starting to see Republicans pushing aside talk of assisting Baltimore with the Key Bridge. So I’m calling it now, if they succeed in blocking it, or even if it turns into an extended battle, the Democratic candidate will win by five points.

  25. @MarkedMan:

    wholly partisan era and voter’s choices are completely dictated by Party affiliation

    I feel like your modifiers are doing a lot of work here.

  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Legit critique. To be honest, I’m surprised I said it that way. In retrospect I should have backed off a notch or two: “… predominantly partisan era and voter’s choices are effectively dictated by…” or maybe yet “an era where partisanship is becoming the predominant factor in electoral results”.


  27. @MarkedMan: Yes–I find that more accurate. I am comfortable with “predominant.”

  28. Beth says:


    I don’t know Hogan’s stance on abortion off the top of my head and refrained from looking before responding on purpose. My guess is that, whatever his stance is, he’s made a lot of noises that amount to nothing in attempt to distract from the fact that he’d sign on to whatever misogynistic anti-abortion proposal handed to him.

    I’m fairly confident that by summer the dumbest Republicans will be campaninging hard on banning abortion and contraception. A chunk of Republicans will be campaigning on some form of abortion ban and working overtime to redefine contraception as “abortifacients.” Relatively smart Republicans like Hogan will have to work overtime to cover for that. They should hang that around his neck like a boat anchor. The ad should be a white woman getting on TV and saying that “Larry Hogan supports blocking married women from contraception and IVF.” Just drum him with it. Commercial after commercial should be that and just clips of Republicans telling MD and Baltimore to fuck itself about the bridge.

    He’ll squeal, but too bad.

    I’m going to slightly revise my Mifepristone case guess. I say it’s 50/50 whether the Conservatives go full Alito notwithstanding their complaints about standing at oral arguments or, they let Thomas and Alito engage in some horse trading that allows them to dismiss on standing while also saying that Comstock already bans Mifepristone, most contraception, and a handful of other meds that cause abortions as a side-effect.

    That’s assuming that nutjob down in TX doesn’t issue his own insane injunction that every article I read about this says he’s threatening to do.

    This summer is going to get so much worse.

  29. Kathy says:


    I don’t recall any such anecdote.

    Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein were sometimes referred to as “The Big Three” of science fiction. Asimov knew them both, and I suppose Clarke and Heinlein knew each other, but I’m not sure of that at all.

    Many of his magazine columns made it into his essay collections, but far from all of them.

  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Beth: He doesn’t have an easily identifiable target from the left on abortion. While he has vetoed at least one bill that would have expanded abortion rights, the reason he gave wasn’t about abortion (it would have allowed non-MD clinicians to provide abortion care and he says he is against lowering the standard of care. BS, but it clouds the waters) On the other hand, he has presented a huge target on the right, publicly stating that he would protect the right of abortion in MD.

  31. CSK says:

    Some Pennsylvania Republican representative wants to rename Dulles Airport the Donald J. Trump International Airport.

    And RFK Jr. says Biden is a much worse threat to democracy than Trump.

  32. Kathy says:


    I don’t see the rationale. It’s not like Dulles was ever the scene of a terrible plane crash, or a hijack and hostage situation gone horribly wrong.

    On the other hand, there must be a number of toxic waste dumps yet to be named.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: @CSK: I say let’s compromise and rename all the men’s restrooms in Dulles to the “Donald J. Trump International Toilets.” We can promote them by saying “Come shit on DJT!”

    I had the thought of painting all the toilets with djt’s face with his mouth agape but I suspect that might give a lot of folks instant constipation. Pretty sure it would me.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wouldn’t renaming all the gender neutral ones in honor of Trump be more in keeping with the commitment to LGBTQ+ he made early in his 2016 run? (That may also have been the start of the “seriously but not literally/literally but not seriously” dancing, too. I can’t recall.)

  35. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @OzarkHillbilly:

    You both made me laugh out loud.

  36. Bill Jempty says:

    For two days in a row, Nomorobo stopped phone calls from this number. Somebody wants $25 from me to keep our President out of jail.

    The website has this designated as a scam call.

    I have never given a dime to political candidates.

    Why did we get the call? My wife is a republican but before we married I used to get mailings from the GOP sometimes even though I have always been a registered democrat. Those mails were probably due to me being a subscriber of the National Review. Still read it today as I also read The New Republic. All the way back in 1980 or 1981 the latter had an advertisement in it for the former. That’s how I got reading National Review.

  37. CSK says:

    It’s a requirement at Mar-a-Lago (MAGA-Lardo) that guests dining there stand and applaud when Trump–sometimes with Melania–enters the room.

    I am not kidding.

  38. Franklin says:

    For anybody who appreciates the decriminalization of marijuana, you have John Sinclair partly to thank. He died at age 82:


    His 10-year sentence for possessing two joints got the likes of John Lennon to descend on Ann Arbor, which is where they soon lowered the penalty to 5 bucks.

  39. Kathy says:

    I’m scoring last weekend’s cooking as a successful failure. I didn’t get quite what I anted, but it was delicious.

    Here’s more or less what I put into it:

    1 cup barley
    1/2 cup white beans
    1/2 cup Mayo beans (they’re kind of purple raw and kind of brown cooked)
    1/2 chopped onion
    minced garlic
    sliced celery (can’t measure celery sold in short sticks, but around 3-4 stalks at a guess)
    2 large potatoes, diced.
    about 600 grams beef cubes
    1 cup beef broth

    First, the beans and barely soaked for around 36 hours. I browned the beef, then removed it from the pot. I didn’t saute the onions, just the garlic. Then I dumped everything in the pot, along with three marrow bones, broth, and water. This I set to slow cook on high for 4 hours.

    At the 2 hour mark, I uncovered the pot and added some powdered chicken bullion, paprika, oregano, fine herbs (crushed), and black pepper. Then let it cook the two hours.

    The beans could have used another hour, but are fine as is. The beef is fall apart tender, and the liquid transmuted into a thick, creamy sauce with a subtle peppery, beefy flavor. It improves much, IMO, by adding some more black pepper after reheating it.

    The failure is this was supposed to be beef stew. It was too much bean and barley and potato, and too little beef.

    I could add more beef next time, but the pot was close to capacity as it was. So I’d need to reduce the beans, potatoes, or celery. Maybe some of the celery can go. not the potatoes, as they contribute a great deal to the creamy texture of the sauce.

    I had meant to cook some kasha on the side to mix with the stew. But the sauce was thick enough, and I decided against it.

  40. CSK says:

    Marjorie Trailer Queen’s boyfriend, RSBN host Brian Glenn, says the eclipse is a sign that American voters are experiencing a spiritual awakening.

  41. Kathy says:


    Wow. I thought it was a sign the Moon’s path would briefly intersect the Sun’s path as seen along a small portion of the Earth’s surface.

    How does it explain it will also be seen in Mexico and Canada?

    Oh, and Icelandic voters are due for their spiritual awakening in August 2026.

  42. CSK says:


    Oh, the awakening’s limited to Americans.

  43. dazedandconfused says:


    Ah, the old Columbus gambit…

    The funniest part of this story about Columbus is he was stuck on that beach for a year and the Governor in Cuba knew it…and left him there to rot. Everybody was sick of him by that time.

    Speaking of gambits, 3-Body hooked me for at least one more episode with the moral humility lesson* and the protagonist’s (who seems to be headed to villainhood) despair-based decision. This thing may not be as shallow as it had seemed in Ep 1.

    *Deliberate fuzziness to avoid spoilers.

  44. al Ameda says:

    Some Pennsylvania Republican representative wants to rename Dulles Airport the Donald J. Trump International Airport.

    @CSK: @Kathy: @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’ve been waiting for a Texas legislator to propose renaming DFW to Ted Cruz Dealey Plaza International Airport.