Wednesday’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. EddieInCA says:

    To any Guinness fans: Try Bellhaven Black


    That is all.

  2. Sleeping Dog says:


    I’ll look for it.

  3. Mikey says:

    This seems like a big effing deal (and I am not being sarcastic). When a Federal judge uses the phrase “prima facie showing that the former president had committed criminal violations,” shit is going down.

    Sources: Special counsel claims Trump deliberately misled his attorneys about classified documents, judge wrote

    Prosecutors in the special counsel’s office have presented compelling preliminary evidence that former President Donald Trump knowingly and deliberately misled his own attorneys about his retention of classified materials after leaving office, a former top federal judge wrote Friday in a sealed filing, according to sources who described its contents to ABC News.

    U.S. Judge Beryl Howell, who on Friday stepped down as the D.C. district court’s chief judge, wrote last week that prosecutors in special counsel Jack Smith’s office had made a “prima facie showing that the former president had committed criminal violations,” according to the sources, and that attorney-client privileges invoked by two of his lawyers could therefore be pierced.

    Of course, it’s been obvious he’s been lying about his illegal retention of classified documents (and everything else, really). Now we see a judge revoking attorney-client privilege and determining the attorney’s notes and other documentation are subject to the crime-fraud exemption and therefore the attorney must turn them over because Trump lied to the attorney as well.

  4. Jen says:

    I’ve been quite busy and so missed that Project Veritas has ousted the execrable James O’Keefe. O’Keefe has apparently tapped the rubes into a new con, which he is calling “Uber, for journalists.” It’s crowdsourced mayhem in the form of “citizen reporters,” which he launched last week.

  5. Kathy says:

    Some time ago I think I related the story of a “numberless” credit card I got. The bank hyped it as super-secure, as there were no numbers printed on the front. Alas, they are in the back.

    Yesterday I got a replacement card from a different bank, as the old one expired tow months from now. This one’s not hyped. It also has no numbers on the front. I was surprised to see it has no numbers on the back, either. It has my name printed on the back, a phone number to get assistance, some legalese about the card, a magnetic strip, and a QR code. That’s it. If I need the card number, it’s on the bank app.

    I’m not sure how I feel about it.

  6. CSK says:


    That’s ironic, because one of the things O’Keefe was accused of was blowing Project Veritas money on “Black Uber,” the premium Uber ride.

  7. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    They appear to sell it in The Beer Store in Salem, NH.

  8. Kathy says:

    Benito wants to get kinky at court.

    From the piece: “..he was deeply anxious that any special arrangements – like making his first court appearance by video link or skulking into the courthouse – would make him look weak or like a loser.”

    Called it.

  9. CSK says:


    The latest I read is that he wants to be handcuffed and marched into the courthouse, so as to inflame his fans, all the while grinning.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:


    Salem (groan), next time I head to my brother’s, I’ll stop. I need to make a stop at the local exotic brew outlet, I can see if they have it there.

  11. CSK says:

    No indictment today. The grand jury’s been told not to convene.

  12. Kathy says:


    “Indictment tomorrow. There’s always an indictment tomorrow. What? Someone has to keep some damn perspective around here! Sooner or later, BOOM!”

    Attributed to Susan Ivanova.

  13. steve says:
  14. CSK says:


    That is very strange wording in the headline.

  15. de stijl says:

    I have known one true narcissist in my life.

    He lived with it fairly well. Went into communications. Worked for a high-profile non-profit focused on disaster relief. During the Katrina aftermath he was on CNN 8 times a day for weeks. Good at it.

    And he was really, really good at his day job.

    He was scarily charismatic. Got fouled up and disabled by alcoholism. That screwed up his career.

    A fairly good person all things considered. He was OP on charisma, like weirdly so. Beyond booze his biggest problem was he was a total player in regards to dating.

    It is strange hanging out with a true narcissist. He was off-the-charts charismatic. If he engaged with you it was beasties forever vibes.

    And subtle, too, looking back.

    Dave was not just your friend, buddy, pal – he was your best fucking friend who could call you up at 3 AM to go on an adventure.

    If you watched natural disaster news in the mid 2000s Dave was the spokesperson for major non-profit x and was all over the news.

  16. de stijl says:

    Apparently, Trump wants and desires the full perp walk with handcuffs. He wants to look like a martyr, a political prisoner.

    Folks in charge are all “No sir. That is not necessary. We just need you to show up at this address in the next 48 hours. Someone will walk you through the process when you arrive.”

    Trump wants a full perp walk for future PR.

    And I love it that people are passively thwarting him.

  17. Kathy says:

    When thinking about Benito’s legal troubles, I keep going back to a scene in The Shawshank Redemption. It’s the one afer Andy arrives at the prison, and Red and the others make bets about which of the new men will be the first to cry.

  18. CSK says:

    @de stijl:

    Trump said he wouldn’t mind being shot while being busted because that would make him “a martyr.”

  19. Kathy says:


    I wonder if he knows martyrs are all dead.

  20. just nutha says:

    @steve: I’m pretty sure* this was just an isolated incident; still, it reminds us of a time-honored axiom–the answer to a bad middle school with a gun is a good middle school with a gun.

    *Given that the story comes from NC, I’m not as sure as I’d like to be, though. Maybe the troll who lives in NC can flesh this out some for us if he’s still posting from time to time.

  21. Bruce Henry says:

    I hope I’m not “the troll” but I do live in NC. When we say “by” in the South it’s sometimes short for “near” or “nearby.” Just a Southern thing, must have had a Southern copy editor and it didn’t sound weird to them.

  22. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Yes, strange, but it wasn’t a leap for me to shift “by” to “near.” (When I was still teaching, I would have asked the writer for more information on how the middle school got a gun, though.)

  23. just nutha says:

    @CSK: He should be more careful about what he says. It’s easily possible that some whackjob MAGAt could hear that, pop a cap on him, and expect it to be explained as an Antifa attack.

  24. Mu Yixiao says:

    @just nutha:

    I would also ask the relevance of mentioning the middle school in the headline–especially since it seems to have taken place at night, and not even on the middle school grounds.

  25. CSK says:


    I’ve read that narcissists consider themselves martyrs, because they suffer more than anyone else. That’s certainly true of Trump. No one, after all, has ever been treated as badly as he has.

  26. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    Maybe someone will shoot him in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

  27. just nutha says:

    @Bruce Henry: No. The guy I’m thinking of is the guy who was always portraying himself as a MOU type business whiz who always cited that Russian business/econ news trolling site. He’d recently moved to Asheville and was going to sell his dozen other houses because he’d finally found the perfect place to live.

  28. just nutha says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I took that as directional information for the Lookie Lous who would want to go hunting for the crime scene.

  29. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Where there's life, there's hope.

  30. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    I don’t know. Doesn’t Superman’s mighty chest deflect bullets?

  31. JohnSF says:

    Belhaven Wee Heavy is also excellent.
    If only because it enables you to ask a guest “fancy a glass of Wee?”

  32. CSK says:


    I might pooh-pooh that idea.

  33. Kathy says:


    That’s 100% true in Bizarro World.

  34. CSK says:


    It’s a constant refrain with him: “Nobody has ever been treated as badly as I have.”

  35. Jen says:

    While everyone is paying attention to the Trump case in NY, there have been some really interesting things going on in the Mar-a-lago documents case.

    Any of our resident legal experts care to opine on what’s going on there?

    Via Tristan Snell on Twitter
    And today’s ruling via The Hill

  36. CSK says:


    The business about “an imminent/ongoing threat to national security” gives me chills.

  37. JohnSF says:

    UK political news: a key part of the UK/EU agreement re. the revised Northern Ireland Protocol passed first reading in the Commons despite DUP voting against, and a ERG Conservative rebellion, which Boris Johnson and Liz Truss supported.
    End result was 515 votes to 29, give support of the opposition parties. *smirks*

    ERG could only get 22 Tory rebels; 48 Conservative abstained or were absent (prob. 35 to 40 abstaining on principle) so government had a (small) majority with Conservative votes alone.

    Question now is, will the ERG quit its silly antics, or continue a intra-party guerilla campaign?
    If the second, at what point will Sunak consider forcing a vote and removing the whip from the rebels?
    (That is, effectively throwing them out of the party)

    And on the same day, Johnson was questioned by the Privileges Committee.
    It did not go well for him.

    “(Johnson) prompted laughter for drawing on senior civil servant Sue Gray’s report into Partygate for evidence, despite spending weeks arguing that it was discredited…”

    If the Committee finds him guilty of willfully misleading Parliament, they could recommend suspension.
    If MP’s then vote to suspend for more than 10 days, Johnson is liable to a recall petition being raised in his constituency.
    If that then gets 10% of eligible voters in Uxbridge to agree, a by-election is called, and the odds are Johnson is done and over.

  38. Kylopod says:


    It’s a constant refrain with him: “Nobody has ever been treated as badly as I have.”

    Eh, way too mild and anodyne. He should go full Berlusconi: “I am without doubt the person who’s been the most persecuted in the entire history of the world and the history of man.”

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: God loves to tease.

  40. CSK says:

    Trump is always being treated unfairly, according to him.

  41. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Jen: It could be an imminent/ongoing threat to national security. Or it could be judges fed up with stalling and flimsy appeals who are having none of it, and figured the DOJ would not have a problem with an all-nighter if it kept their schedule intact.

    My guess is that Corcoran was/is scheduled to appear before the GJ today. The “emergency” appeal was filed just after 5pm yesterday. Probably calculated to interfere with the schedule.

  42. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I’m definitely not a lawyer, but I’ve been following this story today on EmptyWheel, where there’s some good discussion of it in the comments to the post titled “Lordy, There Are [transcribed] Tapes”. You know, just like Nixon.

  43. Gustopher says:

    @Bruce Henry: Not a Southern thing, unless I was taught a Southerism. “Put the recycling out back, in the can by the trash” is perfectly normal to me.

    Using “by as in nearby” anywhere near a passive tense verb is inviting confusion.

    “Man shot by zombies in officer involved shooting” would seem to imply that the zombies shot the man, rather than the police shot the man who was in the vicinity of zombies.

    “By” shouldn’t be used by passive verbs.

  44. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: He wouldn’t lose a single supporter!

  45. DAllenABQ says:

    @Jen: My take is that District Judge Howell found as a fact that Trump lied to his lawyer (Evan Corcoran) about the existence of classified docs at Mar a Lago. Corcoran communicated this lie to DOJ, thereby committing a crime. On this basis the attorney/client privilege was pierced and Corcoran cannot rely on the privilege to refuse to testify to the grand jury. The DC Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Howell’s ruling (at light speed).

    The Manhattan AG’s case against Trump is piffle to the classified documents case.

  46. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: As much as I don’t want him to get special treatment, if it screws with his ability to make a spectacle out of it, I’m in favor.

    I would enjoy a spectacle, but so would he, and my spite is more powerful than sense of joy.

    Do we need a fancy mugshot, or can they just have his lawyers print out a placard and make him hold it up on a zoom call? Or just photoshop it onto an official portrait.

    Was he fingerprinted already as part of his Presidential Presidenting? Just use those.

    Ok, it might be fun to get a mugshot with the height markers, with him not wearing lifts. I could enjoy that little bit of humiliation.

  47. Gustopher says:

    @DAllenABQ: I really don’t like breaking the attorney-client privilege as a general thing, and am wondering if there will be efforts to ensure no protected information will be revealed.

    This is Trump’s lawyer — who knows what prejudicial sketchy shit he knows that prosecutors are completely unaware of, or which he asked about the legality of but then never did.

    Maybe depose the lawyer with a clean team, that then reviews and forwards the relevant portions to the prosecutors?

  48. Just nutha says:

    @CSK: hands too!

  49. DAllenABQ says:

    @Gustopher: It is distinctly plausible that the decision to break the privilege in this case does not implicate the actual content of any classified document, and it is further plausible that Corcoran never actually looked at any classified document. If I were in his place I would go out of my way to avoid looking at any classified document.

    It is incredibly rare for a judge to break attorney/client privilege. I practiced criminal law for 30+ years and the breaking of the privilege came up exactly once. Ironically, I was the lawyer trying to preserve the privilege.

  50. Beth says:


    I have to ask, ever drink Bailey’s out of a shoe?

  51. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnSF: The consensus from quite a few U.K. commentators seems to be that Boris has basically screwed his possible chances for a comeback.

  52. de stijl says:

    @just nutha:

    Asheville is really nice. And in visually stunning area.

  53. Mister Bluster says:

    Those bullets would bounce off his chest but when the bad guy would run out of ammunition he would throw the gun at Superman and Superman would always duck.

  54. Gustopher says:

    @DAllenABQ: I think I’m more concerned with the lawyer being asked something that causes him to reveal that he explained to Trump that it would be illegal to regularly dig up his ex-wife’s corpse for conjugal relations or something like that.

    Something we don’t know about, where the knowledge that he asked about it (not illegal!) leads to a new avenue of investigation (ew, we have to check for signs the grave has been disturbed) that either taints that entire path of investigation (oh, crap, they had tips that hadn’t been looked into yet) or adds impermissible prejudicial information that taints the current legal process (no one likes a necrophiliac).

    Basic rule of law, protecting the defendant’s rights things.

    (In this case everyone might be relieved that his dead exwife was at least not a child)

  55. JohnSF says:


    ever drink Bailey’s out of a shoe?

    Nah. Can’t abide Baileys. 🙂

    Drinking out of a shoe would probably improve it.
    Wouldn’t do the shoe much good, though.