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. Mu Yixiao says:

    First day of swimming.

    17 laps (down & back) in an olympic-size pool in 30 minutes. 15 breast stroke, 2 back skulling.

    Breathing heavy-ish, but keeping up. Not bad for an old man who’s carrying 20 extra kilos, hasn’t swum in 20 years, and is two weeks out of a heart attack. 🙂

    (I am SO going to feel this tomorrow!)

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The arrival of the self-styled “freedom convoy” in Ottawa this week has dominated headlines, but do the demonstrators represent the views of most Canadians? When it comes to their stark opposition to government-imposed restrictions and vaccine mandates, research shows the protesters clearly represent a minority view — no matter how vocal they are.

    Most Canadians support government measures to help control the spread of COVID-19, according to our ongoing public opinion study. Known as the COVID-19 Monitor, the study of Canadians’ attitudes relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and public policy interventions has been running since shortly after the first COVID-19-related government restrictions were introduced in March 2020. It has amassed more than 100,000 respondents, making it one of the largest continuing studies of Canadian attitudes toward the pandemic.

    The study is a partnership between McMaster University’s Digital Society Lab and Vox Pop Labs, a social enterprise that conducts public opinion research polling. We hold positions with both organizations.

    Our findings indicate that a majority of Canadians support most of the measures that have been employed by federal and provincial governments aimed at preventing the transmission of COVID-19. In most cases support has remained relatively stable since the beginning of the pandemic.
    Vaccine mandates

    Although they are widely attributed as the catalyst for the trucker rally, vaccine mandates actually enjoy high levels of support among Canadians. Survey data shows approximately four out of five Canadians agree that health- and long-term care workers should be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Roughly three-quarters of Canadians think that vaccines should be mandatory for government workers and politicians.

    There is even broad-based support for a vaccine mandate for all non-exempt adults over the age of 18, with 70 per cent of Canadians indicating that they back the measure to some extent. That support begins to decline slightly when it comes to opinions on mandatory vaccines for teenagers and adolescents. It drops precipitously to just under 50 per cent for children under the age of five.

    The graphs are rather stark.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The rats, they are abandoning the ship:

    Donald Trump’s longtime accountancy firm cut ties with his business last week, saying that nearly a decade’s worth of Trump’s filings should “no longer be relied upon”.

    The move comes amid ongoing criminal and civil investigations into whether Trump illegally inflated the value of his assets.

    In a letter to the Trump Organization dated 9 February, William Kelly, US general counsel of the accountancy firm Mazars, said Trump’s financial statements for the period 30 June 2011 to 30 June 2020 “should no longer be replied upon and you should inform any recipients thereof who are currently relying upon one or more of those documents that those documents should not be relied upon”.

    Mazars added it would no longer “provide any new work product to the Trump Organization”.

    “While we have not concluded that the various financial statements, as a whole, contain material discrepancies, based on the totality of the circumstances, we believe our advice to no longer rely upon those financial statements is appropriate,” Mazars said in its letter to Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s top lawyer.

    The statement was disclosed in the new court documents filed on Monday by the New York attorney general, Letitia James, who, along with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, has been investigating whether Trump used false financial statements to defraud lenders.

    The writing is on the courthouse wall.

  4. charon says:



    Anti-mandate protesters are holding a twitter space “emergency meeting” in response to the state of emergency.

    One who was at the Windsor/Detroit border blockade tells a story of how their communications were infiltrated, leading to organizational collapse…

  5. charon says:


    Long thread on this at BJ, read through the comments, lots of linkies:


  6. charon says:
  7. charon says:

    So – Mazars, Giuliani, McConnell – perhaps an indication of soon to come increased public visibility of rotating blades launching feces airborne via Jan 6 committee.

  8. Jax says:

    @charon: Anonymous posted a thread about the “secure” convoy channel being infiltrated yesterday, and I about wet my pants laughing. 😛

  9. CSK says:

    I like the use of the passive voice in the Trump Org.’s response. It makes it sound as if Mazars did the review and found nothing amiss.

  10. Slugger says:

    It has been said many times by commentators on this site; nobody in New York has believed the Trump financial statements for decades. Deutsche Bank was willing to play with him, and so were the Russians, but nobody believed the statements. Subcontractors on his projects have seen him pull the strategic bankruptcy trick many times. Trump’s financial avowals have the same validity as his marital vows.

  11. CSK says:

    Sure. Trump’s normal excuse for not paying his contractors was that the work they did for him was subpar. And he once said that his estimation of his own worth depended on how how felt on any given day.

    Any reputable accounting firm makes it clear in writing that it depends on the information submitted to it by its clients to be honest and accurate. They don’t do investigations; they’re not in that business.

  12. Jon says:


    Any reputable accounting firm makes it clear in writing that it depends on the information submitted to it by its clients to be honest and accurate. They don’t do investigations; they’re not in that business.

    That’s why they’re saying “While we have not concluded that the various financial statements, as a whole, contain material discrepancies …” It’s their way of insulating themselves by saying “hey, this isn’t on us, we just worked with what we got.” Otherwise they’d have a lot of explaining to do.

  13. CSK says:

    It’s an out for them, certainly. But it seems to be a perfectly legitimate one. They can only work with what the client gives them. I should have made it clear that the firm makes it clear to the client that they’re not responsible for any lies or omissions of info the client tells or commits.

    Beyond that, though, I wonder about any accounting firm that would willingly work for Trump, knowing how rancid his reputation has been for decades.

  14. Jay L Gischer says:

    One thought on “why do people work for Trump?”

    I think there is a school of thought that says, “a bad reputation can work in your favor”. This is the Winning Through Intimidation playbook, to some extent. (it’s a book that came out in the 70’s, look it up, though the book uses a much milder form).

    So what outfits like The Trump Organization need to do is invoke this “we’re really not as bad as our reputation, but the reputation helps us” idea. Trump does this in his rallies. He always plays with the “do I mean it or don’t I?” thing.

    And another, very different point. I got stiffed for about 15 grand for programming I did that was absolutely vital to the sale. I was warned by a friend up front to get a lien on the payment, but I didn’t, and they stiffed me and declared bankruptcy 3 months later.

    This happened, in part, because I sort of resist these sorts of “bad reputation” innuendos. I’m skeptical. I have to see it for myself. I kind of don’t regret this, even though I got burned once.

  15. Kurtz says:

    Saw this headline, “US accuses financial website of spreading Russian propaganda.”

    Immediately thought, “Zero Hedge.”

  16. CSK says:

    Oh, this will drive the Trumpkins insane with rage. They adore Zero Hedge.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    L’Affaire Ginny et Andrew has concluded.


    It would be reasonable to suspect that randy Andy was under intense pressure from the Windsors to put an end to this. No word on whether he will be interred in a tower someplace.

  18. Sleeping Dog says:

    Today’s good news

    Sandy Hook families settle with Remington marking 1st time gun maker is held liable for mass shooting

    A crack in the gun industries wall.

  19. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Yup – ZeroHedge has been spreading Russian Propaganda without identifying it as coming from Russian Intel Services.
    Where’s JKB?!?
    I want to hear his reaction to finding out that he has been operating as a Russian asset for years.
    If you help spread Russian dis-information, then you are an asset.
    Unwittingly, no doubt. But an asset nonetheless.
    Any comment, Comrade JKB?

  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    OTB resident Legal Minds…
    What’s you reaction to the Durham news?
    Best I can gather Sussman is going to move to have the indictment against him dropped, and Durham is trying to create cover for his screw-up…Sussman is going to claim that Durham didn’t thoroughly investigate the charges before filing them, and that the case is fatally flawed.
    I do have a close friend, high up in the CT Legal Community, who respects Durham, and isn’t quite sure what has happened to him.

  21. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    JKB hasn’t been around since Prof. Joyner told him he’d be bounced if he spread any more Covid misinformation.

  22. senyordave says:

    @Sleeping Dog: So he raped a 17 year old when he was 39 or 40 years old and he settles with her? Is that option going to be extended too all people who commit statutory rape from now on?

  23. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    BREAKING: The jury has judged the NY Times to be not liable for defamation in the Sarah Palin case.

  24. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


  25. Sleeping Dog says:


    This a civil suit and would not effect possible criminal charges. I doubt this was the first nor will it be the last time that a perp paid off a victim

  26. gVOR08 says:


    So he raped a 17 year old when he was 39 or 40 years old and he settles with her? Is that option going to be extended too all people who commit statutory rape from now on?

    Every one with enough money. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ….

  27. Stormy Dragon says:

    It’s being reported that satirist P. J. O’Rourke has passed away at 74

  28. Mu Yixiao says:
  29. CSK says:

    P. J. O’Rourke, 74, has died.

  30. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    And yet here you are, broadcasting their safety message to everyone in this comment section, so maybe it’s actually an effective way to raise awareness?

  31. Kathy says:


    Blood money has a long history.

  32. Kurtz says:


    Nah, @JKB was here the other day. Arguing that the Canadian government was in a Catch-22 wrt the Convoy getting cleared. I think that was the point.

  33. CSK says:

    You’re right. He was here yesterday. My mistake.

  34. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mu Yixiao:..tax dollars
    What’s a better use of taxpayers money?
    There are PSAs and there is Trump’s pension fund.
    Take your pick.

    The Secretary of the Treasury pays a taxable pension to the president. Former presidents receive a pension equal to the salary of a Cabinet secretary (Executive Level I); as of 2020, it is $219,200 per year. The pension begins immediately after a president’s departure from office.

  35. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    What’s a better use of taxpayers money?

    Marketing that make you laugh at the message?

    Seriously… just hire some good advertising companies to get the message out.

  36. Kathy says:

    Well, this is interesting, cord blood used as part of a treatment for leukemia eradicates HIV.

    I don’t think I’ve mentioned my mom was involved for a while in setting up a cord blood bank, and I worked there for a few months (in the boring office part collecting annual storage payments, not at the interesting lab/storage part). During my time there, cord blood was withdrawn exactly once, and the results were not good.

    Maybe the idea was ahead of its time in the early years of the 21st century.

  37. Jen says:

    P.J. O’Rourke has died, age 74, complications of lung cancer.

    Holidays in Hell is a very funny book, and Parliament of Whores was good too.

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Also, I wonder where the guy who took the name of a Renaissance violin maker (hint: sounds like “Bwarneri”) is these days? He was a ZH fan if I recall correctly. Has he seen the news?

  39. Pylon says:

    Professor Turkey figures that the the Canadian Emergency Powers Act is overbroad. Why, if enacted in the Civil Rights Era, MLK could have been arrested.


  40. CSK says:

    O’Rourke voted for Clinton in 2016. He had some very unpleasant–and very funny–things to say about Trump.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: So let me see if I’m understanding this. You’re objecting to the government reminding people that children in their houses might mistakenly consume cleaning products and liquid nicotine so said adults should handle those things carefully?

  42. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Shoot, dudes who can’t do the basic research on their chosen hobby horse are annoying. My Google-Fu is nearly non-existent, and yet it took less than a minute to find that MLK was arrested 29 times.

    BTW, nice play on Turley’s name. Prof. Turkey – talk about shooting beyond the blue line on the ice! GOOOOAAAAALLLL!

  43. Scott O says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: These days he’s dispensing his pearls of wisdom at theglitteringeye.com. Jan, last seen here shortly after the 2012 election, has also found a welcome home there for her conspiracy theories.

  44. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    No. I’m objecting to how amazingly badly the PSAs are constructed.

    The message is for the parents, but it’s being presented–in language, characters, and visuals–as though it’s to the kids. Not to mention the astoundingly bad photoshopping. A bunch of vials C&P’d over a wheat field with a cowboy riding “Starbottom”? WTF?

    “This is your brain on drugs” may have been silly, but at least it was filmed well. These look like they were done by a 7th grade art class.

  45. Pylon says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: It was actually a typo on Turley’s name but I saw it and went “well, isn’t he?”