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. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    One of the long term side effects of chemotherapy is brittle bones and teeth. Broke another tooth chewing a pb&j sandwich this afternoon. Friday dentist appointment is eagerly awaited.

  2. MarkedMan says:
  3. just nutha says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Ouchies! Hope the news is good this time!
    ETA: But it’s always the jelly that does it. I broke a filling on a jelly donut. ☹️

  4. just nutha says:

    Yikes! It’s the Curse of the Hanwha Eagles back again! Ahead at the start of the 7th, the first reliever loaded the bases for the 2nd one. He has his work cut out for him and his name is Kim Bum-soo. Bad karma?

  5. Bill Jempty says:
  6. Scott says:

    I can’t believe this is still happening in this day and age. However, this is East Texas:

    A Black student was suspended for his hairstyle. The school says it wasn’t discrimination

    A Black high school student in Texas has served more than two weeks of in-school suspensions for wearing twisted dreadlocks to school. When he arrived Monday with the same hairstyle, he was suspended again, his mother said.

    Darryl George, a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, was initially suspended the same week his state outlawed racial discrimination based on hairstyles. School officials said his dreadlocks fell below his eyebrows and ear lobes and violated the district’s dress code.

    George, 17, has been suspended since Aug. 31 at the Houston-area school. He was in tears when he was suspended Monday despite his family’s arguments that his hair does not violate the dress code, his mother Darresha George said.

    The school superintendent spews BS:

    Greg Poole, who has been district superintendent since 2006, said the policy is legal and teaches students to conform as a sacrifice benefitting everyone.

    “When you are asked to conform … and give up something for the betterment of the whole, there is a psychological benefit,” Poole said. “We need more teaching (of) sacrifice.”

  7. Kylopod says:

    I’d say this is pretty significant:

    Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) is set to make a big move in this direction by unveiling a big change on Tuesday that will implement what’s known as “automatic voter registration” statewide, the Washington Post reports.

    Consequences have elections.

  8. Kingdaddy says:

    Outstanding article about Shinzo Abe, his assassin, and the Unification Church’s hooks into Japanese politics:


  9. Kathy says:

    Ah Cisgender Elon Mars God Emperor of Phobos has a new brainstorm: charging fees to Xitter’s users.

    Why? to stop bots.

    I lack sufficient sarcasm and contempt to make the kind of comment this idea deserves (unless I’ve just done so).

    On the other hand, Bibi seems to see the need for the leopards to eat his face.

    BTW, I’m indebted to Rebecca Watson of Skepchick for the term Xitter to refer to Elon’s Folly.

  10. Scott says:

    @Kathy: Xitter is good. I’ve been using Xpletive.

  11. Kathy says:


    It may get better when one notes the X in some languages can be sounded as “sh”.

    BTW, speaking of data mining custerfuc*s, Zuk’s Folly, a.k.a. Threads, now has a browser interface of sorts. You log in with your Instagram account first, then it tells you to download the app to your phone to finish setting up.

    The whole point of using data mining apps on a browser is to limit their data mining role. This is rendered useless if one needs to install the app anyway.

    Mr. Zuk, kindly f**k off.

  12. Jay L Gischer says:


    Greg Poole, who has been district superintendent since 2006, said the policy is legal and teaches students to conform as a sacrifice benefitting everyone.

    “When you are asked to conform … and give up something for the betterment of the whole, there is a psychological benefit,” Poole said. “We need more teaching (of) sacrifice.”

    It seems to me that’s a bit like saying forcing everyone to pay taxes makes them more generous. Also, that’s a sacrifice, right? We need more sacrifice, right Mr. Poole?

  13. CSK says:

    This is a good analysis of the Trump-Welker debacle:


    I really think Welker did the best she could, given the circumstances.

  14. DrDaveT says:

    @Bill Jempty: Immediate thought:

    The players tried to take the field
    The marching band refused to yield
    Do you recall what was the feel
    The day the music died?

  15. DrDaveT says:


    Xitter is good.

    The X is pronounced as in pinyin.

    ETA: Ah, Kathy beat me there. Although in pinyin it’s more like “sh-y” which is even better.

  16. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Did anyone else think the principal sounded downright creepy? It may be just a trend in speech though. A few years back it was all the rage for high level executives talk about “servant leadership”. The first time I had someone roll out that on me I was unaware of the trend and thought I was in the presence of a semi-loony religious fanatic for a few minutes. Then he got it out of his system and talked like a normal human being.

  17. CSK says:


    Make that:


  18. Kathy says:


    That’s the entire point of calling it Xitter.

    BTW, knowing full hell the Cisgender Emperor Mars of God and Phobos often just runs his mouth, if he does start charging users for Xitter, does anyone plan to pay?

    Me, I don’t pay to have my data mined.

    I would be willing to pay for Xitter, and for that matter for Fakebook, if I could get in exchange an iron-clad guarantee that my data won’t be mined at all, not ever. I say this only because we know that won’t ever happen.

    Anyway, if the Mars God etc. etc. does go that way, I hope he goes full pay wall, no exceptions. meaning if someone embeds a Xitt in a blog post or news story, they can’t see the Xitt anymore, just the link, and if they click on it they see nothing unless they pay.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: From what I’ve read, calling him a lying sack of shit and walking off the set would have been a big improvement.

  20. Kathy says:

    I’ve begun to rethink the instant pot idea.

    See, in looking up reviews and other opinions, I kept running across a “yogurt” function in many models. So I dug a bit. Apparently what some models do is first boil an amount of milk, or nearly so (around 85 C), and can the keep it warmed to around42-45 C for several hours.

    Years ago, I tried to make yogurt.

    In theory it’s easy. In practice, well, it was yogurt. Just vastly inferior to what you can get in the dairy department. Keeping the culture warm for hours proved hard.

    Now I want to try again…

    I really shouldn’t. I know I’ll make it once, and screw it up somehow. then I’ll try it again, and this time do it rather well. then decide it’s not that different from what’s available at the store anyway, and it’s costing me more by keeping the pot at 45C for 8 hours, and besides I can’t cook in it while it’s keeping a fleeting lactobacilli paradise going. Then I’ll use it to make ice cream. This might never stop.

  21. CSK says:


    Well, yes. That would be very cathartic for us all. But allowing Trump to demonstrate what a stupid, lying churl he is for 78 minutes isn’t bad, either.

    I have mentioned that what Trump said about abortion has enraged a lot of the MAGAs.

  22. gVOR10 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: As I noted yesterday, and with reference to Jame’s post above, the real sin is not that Welker did or didn’t do a good job as an interviewer. The real sin is that they gave Trump their premiere platform for Welker’s first show to cynically cash in on the eyeballs Trump would draw.

  23. Kingdaddy says:

    In case you missed it, Elon Musk had thoughts about Taiwan:

    From their standpoint, you know, maybe it’s analogous to like Hawaii or something like that, like an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China mostly because … the US Pacific Fleet has stopped any sort of reunification effort by force.

    Imagine what might happen if he put his attention on running companies effectively, instead of bloviating dangerously about matters beyond his grasp. Or if the boards of those companies did something more constructive than enable this overgrown toddler.

  24. CSK says:


    That’s what they do. I sympathize with your feelings, but asking the press not to go for the eyeballs is like King Canute commanding the incoming tide to halt.

  25. Jay L Gischer says:

    @MarkedMan: Well, it didn’t sound all that creepy to me as much as wrongheaded. I see this notion of “forcing you to do somehing” as “teaching” all the time, the best example of which is the parent admiinistering corporal punishment to their child for beating up another child. “I’ll teach you not to bullly!” they might cry. Ummm, not that way.

  26. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kingdaddy: I’ve posed the possibility that Musk has been targeted by a Russian influence op and the response has mostly been eye-rolling with “it would be SO easy!”

    Good lord, the guy has gone full enemy of self-determination in just a few short years. I hope Ukraine and US are working on an alternative to Skylink.

  27. JohnSF says:

    International news: things are going seriously to hell in Nagorno-Karabakh.
    Looks entirely possible that Azerbaijan may be looking to mount an “ethnic cleanse” operation over the whole province.

  28. Kathy says:


    It’s not clear whether the Head Xitter believes the US Pacific Fleet is forcibly preventing the Republic of China from reuniting with the People’s Republic of China, or whether it’s preventing the latter from forcibly assimilating the former.

  29. CSK says:



  30. Scott says:

    @JohnSF: Other than a humanitarian interest, it sounds as if it is in the West’s best interest to stay out of this. Part ancient enmity, part religious strife, part post Soviet breakup conflicts. Maybe stay out because we can’t understand it. Reminds me of Syria in that way.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: My wife used to make yogurt all the time some years ago. I suggest getting a yogurt maker. I forget which one my wife used but it always made good yogurt.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: TBH, he’s been demonstrating what a stupid, lying churl he is all his life. I really don’t see another 78 mins contributing anything of value.

    @gVOR10: The real sin is that they gave Trump their premiere platform for Welker’s first show to cynically cash in on the eyeballs Trump would draw.

    Yep, well said.

  33. CSK says:

    Ted Cruz is predicting that the Democrats will boot Joe Biden and “parachute” Michelle Obama in to save the dazy.

  34. CSK says:


    The value may have been in Trump alienating a lot of MAGAs with his abortion comments about DeSantis.

    And again, the press is always going to go for the eyeballs.

  35. Beth says:


    What the fuck?

  36. CSK says:


    Beats me. Cruz predicts that the Dems will jettison Joe Biden in August 2024 and bring in Michelle Obama.

  37. Kingdaddy says:

    Who the heck cares what Ted Cruz thinks about Democratic Party politics? Waste of time.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jay Rosen

    I said I would try to have an open mind as I watched Meet the Press today to see how NBC handled its interview with Trump and the debut of a new host. After viewing the show, reading NBC’s fact check, and monitoring the program’s Twitter feed, I am left with these impressions. 1/

  39. Kathy says:


    You know, what I’m actually wondering is what the lactobacilli used for yogurt actually do in their natural state.

    Thus far they seem to live in varied mammalian intestinal tracts, and to produce only lactic acid as a waste product. I’ve no clue how they went from that to be shipped in freeze dried form to make yogurt and skyr.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Well, I am wholly ignorant on all matters pertaining to milk. I once thought about making some of our own cheeses (even did a few, mozerella, ricotta, and a couple other easy to make cheeses) but never invested the time necessary to make a serious go at it.

  41. CSK says:


    Again, beats me. I thought it was of passing interest.

  42. CSK says:

    Taking a leaf out of Lauren Boebert’s book. a woman shoots up a Denver bar after being denied admission.


    Or perhaps she’s trying to out-Boebert Boebert.

  43. dazedandconfused says:

    Ray Epps indicted.

    For those unfamiliar, here’s his 60 Minutes interview.

    I wonder if Ray welcomed this indictment, and I wonder if he might have even asked for it. A chance to drag Tucker through the mud and clear his name? Get Tucker’s tanned-testicled fanbois off his case? Seems a bit of a stretch, but it might be so nonetheless.

    In a just world he would be suing the socks off FOX News and getting Dominion millions.

  44. Kingdaddy says:

    @CSK: Georg Simmel coined the term, “Sterile excitation.” Repeating something just for the outrage value (“Can you believe what he just said”) is definitely sterile excitation. So, too, are all those idiotic YouTube videos with titles like, “Representative So-and-so SLAMS Trump for latest brain fart!” Again, we have bigger issues to face. We don’t have time for indulging in sterile excitation, however much it pushes our righteousness buttons.

  45. Kathy says:


    It’s the kind of thing that may make a nice hobby, but that I don’t want to get into. I keep reminding myself division of labor goes back a long, long time for a reason.

  46. CSK says:


    Henceforth I shall most earnestly endeavor not to raise any topics that are not cosmic in their import and relevance.

  47. Kingdaddy says:

    @CSK: Let us strive for a happy medium.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Oh yeah, it was always a thing I was just going to do for the fun of it and maybe get some tasty results out of it. I may yet get back into it again if life ever smooths out. I was never going to try and make my own homegrown Roquefort.

    I am a bit of a cheesehead, always trying new stuff even if it’s bad for my digestive tract.

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Where is the fun in that?

  50. CSK says:


    I shall strive mightily to comply.

    But remember that this is the OPEN forum. We deal endlessly in “trivial” issues: food, cooking, ball scores, Ted Cruz, science fiction, various personal issues, Ted Cruz, recipe ingredient substitutions, superhero movies and comics, reading recommendations, Ted Cruz…

  51. CSK says:


    Oh, fuck, man, I don’t know. Ask Kingdaddy. He suggested it.

  52. CSK says:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene says her forthcoming book, titled MTG, will pave the way for her to become Trump’s vice-president.

  53. Kylopod says:


    Marjorie Taylor Greene says her forthcoming book, titled MTG, will pave the way for her to become Trump’s vice-president.

    The first rule of Trump-VP Club is….

  54. CSK says:


    …don’t ever, ever try to trump Trump.

    It may well be the only rule.

  55. Beth says:


    See this to me is like a “meh, wtf”, like it doesn’t even warrant the use of actual language. Cruz’s thing though, that makes me wish I had access to Ted Cruz level drugs. Why do imbecile Republicans get the good drugs.

  56. CSK says:


    If only I could tell you…

  57. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: What I had in mind was “…you do not talk about Trump-VP Club. The second rule of Trump-VP Club is….”

  58. Kathy says:


    She’d do better if she sold NFT cards of Benito looking impossibly heroic with Marge kissing his ass in each one, and then gave him the money.

  59. CSK says:


    Well, Trump will certainly keep his V.P. choice a secret until the last possible moment. The first reason for that is that he likes keeping people wondering and uncertain. The second reason is that he really enjoys people vying for his favor. The third reason is that he probably hasn’t given it any thought.

    I’m pretty sure he won’t pick Boebert.

  60. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: If there’s one thing we can be fairly certain about, it’s that he’s going to look for someone he thinks would go along with him in another Jan. 6 scenario. Anyone who gives him Mike Pence vibes is off the table. That’s why I’m doubtful he’ll consider Haley, no matter what she says going forward.

    I don’t think he’ll pick MTG, either, though for different reasons. But I’m not as confident in that assumption.

  61. Beth says:


    Wouldn’t it be funny though, if he picked her and then they got busted groping each other in a White House bathroom.

  62. CSK says:


    I think his choice will be Tim Scott. Scott is, number one, a male, and Trump has no respect or regard for women. Number two, Scott will, like Pence, defer to Trump. Number three, Trump figures Scott will attract more black voters, and Scott’s acceptable to white MAGAs and conservatives. Number four, Scott won’t take the spotlight from Trump.

  63. CSK says:


    Oh, God, it would be sidesplitting. I can see Boebert running up to him and yelling: “Please! Grab me by the pussy! Everybody else does!”

  64. Matt says:


    “Plus, every time a bot creator wanted to make another bot, they would need another new payment method.”

    Crikey Musk is an idiot. Creating a new payment method is trivial. Using stolen CCs for setting up the bots is almost as trivial…


    It may get better when one notes the X in some languages can be sounded as “sh”.

    Aye that’s why I started calling it Xitter online the moment I read the announcement about the name change. I couldn’t help but go with the juvenile humor of the whole concept.

  65. dazedandconfused says:


    Russia being on the same side as most of the UN on this issue makes it exceedingly awkward. Understandable the Aberbijanis decided this was as good time as can be hoped for to bust a move.

  66. dazedandconfused says:


    Boebart really, really, messed up.

    She was fondling a DEMOCRAT!. O the humanity…(insert Hindenburg blimp photo here)

  67. CSK says:


    Boebert claims she didn’t know her date’s political affiliation…but she knew him well enough to give him a handjob in public.

  68. Kathy says:


    I don’t think wishful thinking qualifies as a drug.

    I recall a lot of buzz from the right up until late 2019 that Hillary would run again. Also, when Stormy’s lawyer was slamming Benito in the media, there was talk from the right about him running for the nomination. Not to mention Michelle Obama and Oprah for some reason.

    I’d say they want to show Democratic primary voters can be just as stupid as Republicans, but the fact is none of the above candidates is a clueless, lazy, moron who is the most unqualified person ever to win high office.

  69. dazedandconfused says:


    Bless her horny little heart.

  70. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: They may not consciously realize it, but I think they’re just frustrated Biden is a boring white man. Attacking Joe is obligatory, but just not that satisfying to these folks. That’s why they’re reduced to using his bad-boy son as a proxy. They salivate at the prospect that the leading Democrat would be a woman again, particularly a woman of color. They think she’d be easier to attack because they know how much she triggers their supporters. Despite the fact that Michelle Obama is well-liked by the American public and broadly uncontroversial in a way Hillary never was, in MAGA-world she’ll always be the secret man who yelled whitey in church and wants to ban junk food. And they believe they could get the rest of America to readily agree.

  71. Gustopher says:


    Other than a humanitarian interest, it sounds as if it is in the West’s best interest to stay out of this. Part ancient enmity, part religious strife, part post Soviet breakup conflicts. Maybe stay out because we can’t understand it. Reminds me of Syria in that way.

    I think we have an obligation to stop genocide when it is happening, if we have the ability to do so. I think everyone has that obligation, but the US has a lot more power.

    One of the many things I didn’t like about the Clinton administration was that it didn’t intervene in the Rwandan genocide. At the very least air strikes on the radio transmitters being used to coordinate and rule up militias, maybe get some weapons to the Tutsis.

    I’m not sure what we can do in Azerbaijan, but the Biden administration should making plans and working out what we can do, militarily, economically and diplomatically. Our hands are pretty tied on China, but Azerbaijan is no China.

  72. JohnSF says:

    The problem is, the US has no effective access.
    The Azeris will have squared this with Turkey and Russia.
    Armenia is a nominal Russian ally and CSTO member, but Russia wants to punish them for being insufficiently subservient.
    And Russia probably lacks the strength to confront an Azerbaijan backed by Turkey, and supplied by Israel.
    As is often the case, various countries have their own agendas, and don’t much care what the US thinks about them.

  73. dazedandconfused says:


    A little background.

    The US and Russia are on the same side of this issue and so is most of the UN, awkward as that may be. Taking Turkey’s side in a conflict with Armenia? For the US, most unlikely.

  74. JohnSF says:

    Yes, I know about that.
    Quite possibly Armenia, once again, trusted over-much in the protective power of Russia.
    Given the interests and alignments of Turkey, Russia and Iran, the US is geographically almost unable to do anything.
    The Armenian people seem extremely unhappy, but their government seems inclined to regard Artsakh as a lost cause.

    Turkey (and Israel, probably because it is cultivating Turkey again) are aligned with Azerbaijan.

    Russia appears both unable and unwilling to intervene.
    Aiding an outside party to do so is NOT going to be on Moscow’s agenda.

    Iran is not on best terms with the Azeris, but vanishingly unlikely to co-operate with the US.

    While Turkey has western interests in the area in a vice, and knows it, and will exploit it.

    There seems little that can be done apart from diplomatic moves via Ankara to try to restrain the Azeris, and humanitarian assistance for Armenia.

  75. dazedandconfused says:

    @JohnSF: The US is politically unable to do anything, not geographically so.

  76. JohnSF says:

    Both, IMO.
    The geography makes the politics tricky; the politics makes the geography impossible.
    US intervention is just not a realistic option, which I think we agree on.
    And anyone who looks objectively at the situation would probably also conclude. It may be regrettable, but it is what it is.