Tuesday’s Forum

Welcome to June.

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. Teve says:


    Texas Democrats responding to Greg Abbott’s call for a special session after they temporarily delayed SB7:

    “You wouldn’t call a special session for covid, for mass shootings, or for Hurricane Harvey, but you want one for voter suppression. We’re ready to have that fight.”

  2. Michael Flynn suggests military coup in the United states

  3. Michael Flynn suggests military coup in United States


  4. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis:


    The American left asks why we can’t be like Denmark, with universal health care, low child poverty, and high life satisfaction. The American right asks why we can’t have a murderously repressive regime like Putin’s Russia, or now Myanmar. OK.

  5. Teve says:

    This is awesome. A little over 10 years ago, Microsoft held a mock funeral for the iPhone, on account of how the new Windows Phone 7 was going to kill it.


  6. Kathy says:


    The gods really, really, and I mean really, don’t like hubris.

  7. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: The worst damn computer mouse I ever had was from a company called Genius Mouse. From that point on, I’ve been automatically suspicious of any brand with an overtly self-congratulatory name.

  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    It’s not just Flynn who is talking about sedition; there is a a lot of talk on the right about a coup.
    Matt Gaetz, who is credibly accused of sex trafficking, has talked about an “armed rebellion” against the Government within the last week.
    According to Maggie Haberman Trump is even telling people he expects to be “reinstated” by August.
    The biggest predicter of a successful coup, is a failed coup preceding it.
    Something ugly is going to happen…there only needs to be a trigger…like Trump being indicted, maybe?

  9. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Related…4 more Oathkeepers were indicted over the weekend bring the total charged in criminal conspiracy to 19.
    The charges describe meetings just prior to January 6th when these toy soldiers were in DC ahead of the Insurrection. They were photographed with Roger Stone, who may now find himself in more trouble.
    If you have the chance I suggest you read Seth Abramson’s reporting about a Janury 5th planning meeting.

  10. Kingdaddy says:

    @Teve: What’s even more hilarious is Microsoft’s intent to design a phone that would appeal to teenagers. Because when you think of what resonates with young people today, you think of Microsoft.

  11. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    That’s very interesting, because last March 29, Mike Lindell was on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast raving on that Trump would be reinstated this August.

    Lindell also claimed he’d be filing a voter fraud lawsuit, and that it would be going before the Supreme Court. Never mind all the suits that have been thrown out by lower courts.

  12. Kingdaddy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’m pretty far on the free speech spectrum, towards the pole where you let Nazis march in Skokie and you give Flat Earthers a forum. However, I dearly wish there were a way to prosecute Gaetz and Flynn for what they are saying. Here’s the treason clause in Article III, section 3 of the Constitution:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    In the past, the Supreme Court has said, “It’s OK if you talk about sedition, but you cross the line when you start actually start the process of organizing for it.” The scenario that these rulings are cover are when there is no treasonous actions yet, just talk. But what happens if the insurrection has already happened, as it did on January 6, and someone says, “That was great! Let’s do it again!” Maybe it’s the same as the pre-insurrection protected speech, or maybe it does make a difference if there is an already proven path between words and outcomes. No idea, to be honest. But the “Constitution isn’t a suicide pact” principle should have some part in this discussion.

    There’s also the question of what “organizing” means, in the Internet age. It was easy, in the 18th century, to identify that organizing. People wrote each other letters, had in-person planning or training sessions, and otherwise did things that either provided a paper trail, or allowed two witnesses to describe. It really makes me wonder what sort of case prosecutors are building towards in the cases against the Oath Keepers, and in particular its still-unindicted leader, Stewart Rhodes. Is it more than just idle musing to say, on November 9, “We’re gonna be posted outside DC, awaiting the president’s orders…We want him to declare an insurrection”? What else did Rhodes say that will emerge during the prosecutions of the other Oath Keepers, and how will the prosecutors frame it?

    And how far have we fallen, as a country, that we have to ask these questions?

  13. Teve says:

    @Kingdaddy: Cue Steve Buscemi how do you do fellow kids meme.

  14. Kylopod says:


    I’m pretty far on the free speech spectrum, towards the pole where you let Nazis march in Skokie and you give Flat Earthers a forum.

    I know you intended that comment to be offhanded, but I’m curious about what you mean. I don’t have a problem with letting the Nazis march in Skokie. In fact, I doubt you’d get much disagreement at all on that issue from most American political junkies from across the spectrum. But what exactly do you mean by “give Flat Earthers a forum”? Freedom of speech means allowing people to express their views without the government interfering. It does not mean going out of one’s way to give everyone a platform.

  15. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    What I’m dumbstruck by is that there is really no basis for all this talk of treason.
    The kraken lawyer, in her motion to dismiss, says that no reasonable person would believe her.
    The same with Rudy about his call for trial by combat.
    The same with Fox News in defending Tucker Carlson.
    Tons of the lawyers for the insurrectionists are going into court and saying their clients were hoodwinked by Trump’s lies.
    Yet still the base believes. They believe it all.
    So to extend your question…how will we prosecute these people, who inevitably trigger some nutcase to do something stupid, for what is essentially a con-game?

  16. Kingdaddy says:

    @Kylopod: I was just going for the archetypical examples of free speech support (no matter how hateful or wacky, the marketplace of ideas is preferable to government censorship).

  17. Kathy says:

    It seems very likely I’ll get the second Pfizer dose tomorrow.

    The short notice means I can’t take my vacation right away, but I think I can manage to take the second and third weeks of June off. Would’t do to catch COVID after getting the second dose, would it?

  18. Kingdaddy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: The intent to incite rebellion is clearly there. Gaetz, Hawley, et al. may be con artists, but the words are clearly designed to incite violence. We don’t need to peer into their souls to see where the language leads. It has already been demonstrated.

    The truly disturbing thing is that some not-ignorable number of Americans want rebellion. They prefer violent solutions. It’s what the preppers, “militias” (right-wing gangs), white supremacists, and others would like to see violence happen. It is neither the last resort, nor inherently repulsive. It’s as disturbing as the religious zealots who want an apocalypse.

    It’s not a question of whether insurrection is justified. It’s the drama in which (they think) they get to play the heroes, in which the country is cleansed of the people whom they hate, in which all the uncomfortable complexities of the modern world are shot, burned, and buried. They want an apocalypse, and they are looking for ad hoc justifications for making it happen.

  19. Jen says:


    Would’t do to catch COVID after getting the second dose, would it?

    It can (and does) happen. One of my clients’ got it, as did her entire family, after they were fully vaccinated (3+ weeks after the second shot). Most had mild cases, but her husband, who is older (in his late 70s), did have a moderate case (needed breathing help, but was not ultimately hospitalized).

    Clearly, it’s safer than *not* being vaccinated but not bulletproof either, as I’m sure you well know!

  20. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Wow. Every day, you bring us a report from somewhere–Conservative Nut Farm, Lucianne, Formerguy.com, and now Steve Bannon’s War Room (and thank you for your service, BTW). Where do you find the time? How do you wade through all the BS? Put up with the stench? Why haven’t you become a psycho-killer?

    I avoid going to such sites because they remind me that violence IS a solution to some problems, and I’m trying to be a better person these days.

  21. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    Actually, it takes very little time. As I said the other day, I do my one-stop shopping for all things Trump at Lucianne.com. Since the posters there spurn Commie news outlets such as Fox and Newsmax (yes, they’re in the same category now as CNN, ABC, etc,), they depend for their “news” on The Conservative Nut House, The Outhouse Pundit, OAN, and a few other semi-literate hysterical crackpots, and they link to all those sites.

    I am happy to provide this service, free of charge.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ethical American

    Why is this kid smarter than 70 million Americans? Lol.

    (1 minute video)

  23. CSK says:

    Hey, I just noticed that my edit function has been reduced from 15 minutes to 5 minutes. Never a dull moment here at OTB.

  24. Michael Cain says:


    Because when you think of what resonates with young people today, you think of Microsoft.


  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I am happy to provide this service, free of charge.

    That’s a mistake. You should be banking money for the inevitable mental health care you are going to need. In fact, that day may already be here. 😉

  26. CSK says:

    I have really good insurance.

  27. CSK says:

    I should also add that I get a good laugh (tinged with disgust) at what those troglodytes say. Surely a good laugh is healthy.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Well, it’s better than crying, which is the usual alternative.

    Hey, I just noticed that my edit function has been reduced from 15 minutes to 5 minutes.

    You lucky Bastahd! Bloggers pet you are! What I wouldn’t give for an edit function!

  29. just nutha says:

    @Kylopod: In what way would letting flat earthers rattle on about their hairball worldview differ from letting the far more radical and significant incendiary loons at, say, Lucianne.com bloviate? If your objection is to the phrase “give… a forum,” society already does that. You and I are 0n it as I write this and you read it.

  30. CSK says:

    Well, don’t be too envious. It’s usually only on the open forum thread, and it generally vanishes after noon.

    Edit functions work in mysterious ways here at OTB.

  31. Kylopod says:

    @just nutha:

    In what way would letting flat earthers rattle on about their hairball worldview differ from letting the far more radical and significant incendiary loons at, say, Lucianne.com bloviate? If your objection is to the phrase “give… a forum,” society already does that. You and I are 0n it as I write this and you read it.

    No mainstream newspaper is accepting op-eds promoting belief in flat-earth, and flat-earthers aren’t being invited on TV news networks to defend their views. So yes, flat-earthers are definitely being denied a platform in many venues. It’s true that the social media companies and Internet domain providers aren’t trying to kick off flat-earthers the way many of them have kicked off white supremacists and people who peddle election lies. And I never said they should. All I’m saying is that it’s got absolutely zip to do with freedom of speech.

  32. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Aha! That’s why I don’t get edit function–I’m almost never 0n OTB before noon EST. Whew. I thought it was because I’m a swarthy (although very light skinned) Mediterranean by ethnicity and was being marked as intellectually inferior, therefore not needing edit.

  33. Scott says:

    Meat Plant Shutdowns Are Spreading After a Cyberattack on JBS

    A cyberattack on JBS SA, the world’s largest meat producer, has forced the shutdown of some of the largest slaughterhouses globally, and there are signs that the closures are spreading.

    JBS’s beef plant in Canada, one of the nation’s largest, was shut down on Monday following the May 30 attack. The company’s slaughter operations in Australia had been halted, a trade group said. A number of plants in the U.S. have been shut and shifts canceled, according to labor union representatives.

    The prospect of more extensive shutdowns around the world is already upending agricultural markets and raising concerns about food security as hackers increasingly target critical infrastructure. Livestock futures slumped. In the U.S. alone, JBS accounts for almost a quarter of all beef capacity.

    Expect a run on meat and more inflationary pressures.

  34. Kingdaddy says:

    @Michael Cain: Excellent point. I’d love to know why the XBox is the exception.

  35. Beth says:

    So, this is a dumb question, and I almost feel dirty asking it, but, has anyone seen any of the logic/plan/reason behind this “reinstatement” nonsense. Like, I’m curious, in a deeply morbid way. All I seem to see is just weirdos clapping their hands and saying “reinstatement in August!” Like, how does that work guys?

  36. Teve says:
  37. Teve says:

    @Scott: 2 days ago there was a sale at Winn-Dixie and I just happened to buy a 10 lb Boston butt. I think when I get home tonight I’m going to sharpen my chef’s knife and cut the whole thing into steaks and baggie them up into the freezer.

  38. Kathy says:


    Breakthrough infections is where the meaning of “95% efficacy” gets really understood.

    I wonder, though, about people who have the second dose and get infected within the next two weeks.

  39. Teve says:

    Ron DeSantis waited until the first day of Pride Month to sign a bill banning transgender females from girls’ sports.

  40. CSK says:

    As far as I know, it was started by Mike Lindell, who claims he has proof of election fraud so compelling that when he presents it to the Supreme Court in August, they will have no choice but to overturn Biden’s 2020 win.

  41. CSK says:

    Mike Flynn is now saying that he never called for a coup. I suppose that strictly speaking, he’s correct. He said there was no reason we couldn’t have a Myanmar-like coup.

  42. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: He actually never used the word “coup” and he never mentioned Myanmar. I saw the video and he distinctly said “minimar.”

  43. CSK says:

    I thought the marine who asked Flynn the question said “Minimar,” to which Flynn responded: “No reason. It should happen.”

  44. Beth says:


    That seems to be all the handwaving I’m seeing too. It’s very magical thinking or disturbed thinking. Like, how does that process even work? Does he just hand a napkin covered in grease stains and ancient symbols to John Roberts and then something something, August 1, God-Emperor Trump resumes the presidency, but only till 2024?

    I am way over thinking this, but the insane logic of it is completely devoid of process.

  45. Michael Cain says:


    I’d love to know why the XBox is the exception.

    They didn’t let anyone from the Windows or Office divisions anywhere close to it?

  46. Kathy says:


    I got $20 that says he doesn’t set foot inside the Supreme Court in August or any other month.

  47. CSK says:

    It is magical thinking.

    Lindell might have a practical reason, or think he has a practical reason, for doing this, which is that Dominion is suing him for over a billion dollars, as they are Sidney Powell. Lindell may be hoping to muddy the waters. He may in fact think that he has proof that Dominion did indeed rig its voting machines to give Biden the win.

  48. CSK says:

    Somebody should tell him that you just don’t stroll into the SC with a case, that you have to go through the lower courts first. As I said, all lower courts have rejected such suits.

  49. CSK says:
  50. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: Well, there are a few possible cases which go straight to being heard in front of SCOTUS, but this wouldn’t be one of them….

  51. dazedandconfused says:


    Also not generally well-understood is vaccines only makes it so the body fight the bug off faster, not instantly. So for some period of time vaccinated people can get and spread the disease and if tested test positive, the NY Yankees, Bill Mayer, et al, but not feel a thing.

    It’s a fair to middlin’ bet everybody will “get” COVID once the masks come off and everybody is socializing again. For the asymptomatic vaccinated it’ll be a booster shot. For the unvaccinated…it’ll be Darwin.

  52. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: Did I miss something? Did Lindell or his lawyers actually file something? I thought it was just talk.

    I watched him on Kimmel and it was actually quite sad. He had that addict’s ability to gauge the person he’s talking to and wrench his meanderings back into the safe zone, and the ingratiation and the glib surface reasonableness. But he is obviously heading for a breakdown of some sort.

  53. CSK says:

    Lindell says he’ll file in August.

  54. Beth says:


    With this Liddell/Powell/Reinstatement nonsense, all I can keep thinking about is this:


    Language warning.

    I guess that really is the only answer. These people are truly off their meds insane and they making the rest of us insane too.

  55. Sleeping Dog says:


    It’s obviously Biden’s fault.

  56. dazedandconfused says:

    An under-appreciated aspect of a con man’s game is the suckers subconsciously avoid discovering they’ve been suckered. It’s humiliating.

  57. @Beth: That is my favorite Lewis Black bit.

  58. CSK says:

    And the more proof of Trump’s total corruption and ineptitude that emerges, the more his fan club will scream “fake news!” and insist he’s the greatest president we’ve ever had.

  59. Kathy says:


    For the unvaccinated…it’ll be Darwin.

    We need a term like “stupidity selection” for such things.

    A reminder: people who’ve had children are inelegible for the Darwin Awards.

  60. Kathy says:


    I don’t know this for a fact, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he thinks the court will receive him if l’Ass d’Orange tells them to. Don’t they work for him still?

  61. Beth says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It’s glorious. It’s also really the only thing that fits with this.

  62. Kathy says:


    I’m very particular about mice. The ones that work best for me are Microsoft’s.

    On vaccine news, I’ve confirmed I get the second dose tomorrow. Looking back to last months’ first does, I wonder why I expected more notice. Last time I had two days notice. This time just one.

    A coworker also gets his second dose tomorrow, but has to go out of town on business. He should still be able to get it Friday.

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Like, how does that work guys?

    They all get their guns out, wave them like magic wands en masse, and VOILA! he’s reinstated.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Is a minimar something like a minibar? Or is it a place where small things go to get minimally marred?

  65. Joe says:

    @Kylopod: Then I guess Wonder Bread Wonderbra are off the table for you.

  66. Kathy says:


    I thought it was Oceania’s maritime ministry.

    In Spanish, it means literally mini-sea.

    Google found an insurance broker with that name.

  67. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: This is Amurika! We speek Amurikan heer! None of thim fansy pantsed yur a pee’in wurds alloud!

  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Here’s What I Know About Israel and Palestine -John Pavlovitz

    Yesterday, someone said to me, “Will you please say something about the violence happening right now between Israel and Palestine? At least tell people what side you’re on” she added.

    I hesitated for a moment.

    I knew she was asking me to speak into something so sprawling and complicated and layered with time and history, that my words were going to fail to encompass them. I knew that the gap in my knowledge was going to render me largely unhelpful in this small a space. I knew that if I tried to explain the complex political, theological, and social forces at work, that I was going to come up woefully short in a few hundred sentences. I knew she was asking me to address something that was going to immediately incite hatred from a large group of people, regardless of what I said.

    And for all those reasons, I felt an internal resistance. I wanted to avoid it all and toss up my hands and consent to the fact that this violence has long preceded me and would long outlive me and there was nothing worthwhile to say.

    Then I saw her.

    A ten-year old Palestinian girl standing amid the rubble of her hometown, a girl not much younger than my daughter. I saw a terror in her young eyes that should not be there. I saw a hopelessness that no ten-year old girl should know. I heard a desperation that no young person should have to grapple with.

    I heard her speak words that no ten-year old should ever have to utter: “What am I supposed to do? Fix it? I’m only 10. I can’t even deal with this anymore.”

  69. Jax says:

    Our local public health office got the middle and high school kids (whose parents signed off on it) vaccinated with their first shots today. As expected, there was some teasing/bullying from the unvaccinated.

    What made me sad was how many kids told my daughter they WISHED their parents would sign off on them getting their shots, they just want life to be normal again. 😐

  70. Kathy says:


    Are you sure they don’t speak White in ‘Murika?

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: White is Amurikan! Any uther culur is UNAmurikan!

  72. Kathy says:


    What made me sad was how many kids told my daughter they WISHED their parents would sign off on them getting their shots, they just want life to be normal again.

    That’s one of the things that breaks my heart when it comes to vaccine deniers.

    The other are the people who have been deceived that the vaccines are dangerous, even deadly, but who are not among the angry conspiracy theorists. These people, Doug posted a link to one last week, are genuinely scared and in tears when someone in their family gets vaccinated. They are wrong, and can be proven wrong, but their suffering is as real as it is unnecessary.

  73. CSK says:

    Well, there’s Minimar-a-Lago.

  74. Teve says:

    There are so much better things to do than pay nonstop attention to politics.

    Dog and baby cow snuggle, chase each other around the yard

    If you watch YouTube videos of puppies and kitties and capybaras etc there is ZERO chance your eyeballs will suddenly be victimized by pictures of Mitch McConnell’s face.

  75. Teve says:

    @Kathy: I mock creationists, and make fun of anti-VAXXERs, and experience some real hatred toward them, but it’s always leavened with some measure of pity, that came from studying my eastern Kentucky family. Just for one example, I have an aunt who had to drop out in fifth grade to help around the farm. I have relatives who have never been 100 miles from where they were born, who barely read, and who’ve been taught since birth to respect the white Christian authority above all or risk eternal hellfire.

    I was lucky to have been born a high IQ kid, through no credit of my own, and was able to look around at 9 or 10 years old and realize, oh, these people have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about. They’re just repeating gibberish that some other idiot told them. And I think at least some of my depression comes from having to see, on a daily basis growing up, my poor brother turn into a carbon copy of my low-IQ Trumper dad, and he just didn’t have a chance of escaping it.

  76. Mister Bluster says:

    Israel and Palestine

    The boy child said: “It says in our Holy Book that God gave us this land thousands of years ago and we must fight to keep it.”
    And the girl child said: “Our Holy Book says that thousands of years ago God gave us this land and we must fight to keep it.”

    Burn the Holy Books.

  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: HA!

    @Teve: Yep, 2 i like are Paul Bronks and Humor And Animals . Well, that and spending time with my own menagerie.

  78. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Bronks is in my feed. 😀

  79. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The best part about our local yard sale pages are the tales of Dani the Rabbit and Rhoda the Rhode Island Red. Every evening it fills up with local sightings with pictures and videos, and the owners go run around and try to catch them. Funny shit!

  80. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Heh. I could do an entire website on the shenanigans that occur on this small homestead alone.

  81. Liberal Capitalist says:


    Ha… I’m watching a punk slasher film right now (“Uncle Peckerhead”) and I have to say that your comment made me laugh out loud.

  82. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: Praise Edit-lah and the WebMaster, his Prophet, PBUH