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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Florida killer clown case closes after 33 years with surprise plea deal

    The Palm Beach county state attorney, Dave Aronberg, said the plea deal “obtained a measure of justice” for Marlene Warren and her son.

    “Sheila Keen-Warren has finally been forced to admit that she was the one who dressed as a clown and took the life of an innocent victim. She will be a convicted murderer for the rest of her days,” Aronberg said.

    Keen-Warren’s lawyer, Greg Rosenfeld, said: “The state of Florida originally wanted to execute her, but now she is going home in 10 months. While it was difficult to plead guilty to a crime she did not commit, it was kind of a no-brainer when there is a guarantee that you will be home with your family.”

    Rosenfeld described “an incredible win for Ms Keen-Warren”. The deal calls for a 12-year sentence but Keen-Warren has served six awaiting trial. Also, in 1990 Florida law allowed significant time off for good behavior, so Rosenfeld said he expected release early next year.

    Aronberg’s office said Keen-Warren would be in prison at least two more years.

    Marlene Warren’s son, Joseph Ahrens, watched the Tuesday proceeding online. Only 21 when he saw his mother murdered, his only message to the court and Keen-Warren was, “May God be with her.”

    Like beauty, justice is in the eye of the beholder.

  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    Read a Times article on the Bud Light boycott, in it, there was the statement that Bud Light has been regularly losing market share in urban and suburban areas, and the campaign was intended to lift the brands visibility in those areas by aligning it with progressive social issues. Leaving aside the fact that Bud Light is tasteless swill, why would any consumer begin consuming a beverage simply because the brands spokesperson belongs to a particular identity group? After all, Bud Light is tasteless swill.

  3. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    why would any consumer begin consuming a beverage simply because the brands spokesperson belongs to a particular identity group?

    It’s more about getting on the radar of new audiences. A big part of marketing is attempting to get people to go from “huh?” to “oh, yeah, I guess I’ll try that” in the hopes that an old brand like Bud Light can become suddenly and unironically trendy, like PBR did a while back.

    No, I don’t get it either.

  4. Joe says:

    why would any consumer begin consuming a [product] simply because the brands spokesperson belongs to a particular identity group

    This, dear Sleeping Dog, is the magical question at the very heart of celebrity marketing.

  5. Sleeping Dog says:


    Hipsters adopting PBR was a ground up campaign based on irony and the fact that PBR was the best cheap beer regularly carried in the dive bars that the youths had taken over. AB’s ham handedness is getting them their just rewards.

  6. steve says:

    The part I dont get, assuming I understand it correctly, is that she was not named as a spokesperson. It was a one time thing. One video and done. If a product I used regularly hired someone I dislike to be their permanent spokesperson I would be irritated. Probably wouldn’t stop buying it but would understand the impulse, if stupid. But a one time thing? Who cares.


  7. Jen says:

    I’ve been busy, so maybe others have noticed this, but the comment count seems to be off by 1. Says there are 3 comments when there are only two, says there are 5 comments when there are only 4, etc.

  8. Jax says:

    @Jen: I noticed that earlier, figured somebody had commented and it was in moderation!

  9. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: My background is in PR, not marketing or advertising. All three really are different disciplines. Influencer marketing sort of straddles all three in a weird way that makes results unpredictable at best.

  10. CSK says:

    @Jen: @Jax:

    That happens every once in a while. Like Jax, I assume the comment is being moderated. But since it never turns out to be objectionable from any standpoint, the process of moderation must be totally arbitrary.

  11. Tony W says:

    @CSK: I think there’s also a cache impact on the numbers. OTB is one of the most heavily cache-impacted websites I know of. Usually a CTRL-F5 (on Windows) will bring up the latest data – and often even the Editor for mistakes in our comments.

  12. James Joyner says:

    @Jen: @Jax: @CSK: @Tony W: In this case, yes, there was a comment in moderation. It was a weird drive-by by someone unfamiliar and I trashed it. The main reason comments go into moderation is that a mod has to approve the first one for a given name/email combo. Regulars often mistype their email.

  13. James Joyner says:

    @Tony W: Despite it’s having been around a long time now, the barebones WordPress install still requires an inordinate number of external plugins to do fairly routine things.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner:

    Regulars often mistype their email.

    Oh good. I won’t feel as stupid next time I do it.

  15. Kathy says:


    Sometimes the browser’s auto-fill brings up the work email instead of my personal one, and I don’t notice it.

  16. Michael Cain says:

    @James Joyner:

    Regulars often mistype their email.

    The piece of Javascript that I run against almost all pages that I download to patch formating also fills in the name and email boxes for websites where I comment at least semi-regularly. As I recall, I added that not because I was mistyping but rather that I’m lazy.

  17. Joe says:

    @gVOR08: But you will feel regular.

  18. Kathy says:

    @Tony W:

    Usually a CTRL-F5

    Is there a difference between CTRL-F5 and just F5? F5 has been refresh on all Windows browsers since I can recall Windows browsers. It works as well as hitting the refresh button.

    On other things, I’m set on making stuffed potatoes this weekend, but I’ll try parboiling them before baking them. Something tells me this is not a good idea, but the last batch of parboiled oven roasted potatoes were really, really good and so soft inside.

    Regardless, I’ll try mashing the filling with a bit of milk and butter, rather than sweet cream, and add some cheese. I’ll report how they go.

    Now what to pair them with. I’ve been in the mood for beef milanesas, and I know where to get an extra-thin cut of beef. I just don’t feel having them plain with onions and mustard.

  19. Thomm says:

    @Kathy: for the sauce, you could try 1/2 butter, 1/2 olive oil, juice of 1 to 2 lemons and some capers added at the end of a short simmer. Usually good for chicken, veal, or fish…not bad for beef and simple. Do it in the same pan that you fried them in and possibly add thin slices of the juiced lemons if you really like lemon flavor

  20. Kathy says:

    This is not a recommendation because I’ve yet to read it, though it’s on my Audible wishlist: Lessons from the Covid War.

    I’m pretty sure it will explain why the trump pandemic got to be so bad, and propose how to deal with the next one so it won’t be that bad again. My inner realist adds: but we know it will be as bad if not worse.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’ve been known to drink Bud Light. Then again I also drank Olympia, Rainier, Coors Light, and PBR, so who can tell from taste? For the two or three times I drink a beer during the year (did I drink beer last year? can’t remember, maybe Luddite knows) wet and cold are the only qualities I’m looking for. Bud Light, something else? In a blind tasting I wouldn’t know Bud Light from a craft-brewed IPA.

  22. Stormy Dragon says:


    Ctrl-F5 empties the cache before the refresh, in case the issue is an out of date version of the page being stored in the cache.

  23. Kylopod says:

    From Kari Lake:

    “I don’t know if Tucker’s listening to this, but if he happens to hear it, I beg you, Tucker Carlson, to speak out,” she continued. “Break the terms of that contract. We need your voice over the next year and a half to save our country. And if you get sued by your former employer, we will help create a defense fund to help you fight that lawsuit.”

    This pretty much confirms what I’ve long suspected, which is that Kari Lake is 100% grifter. She’s a former anchor herself. She isn’t ignorant of the legal and professional factors. And she’s almost certainly encountered sexism and harassment in the workplace before. Like Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz or indeed Tucker himself, she isn’t an idiot, she just knows she’s talking to idiots.

    All these figures wake up every morning and go about their business of thinking up new ways of lying to dumb suckers, and they know exactly what they’re doing and they do it without flinching. They don’t lose sleep over it because they’ve got no souls. We’ve pretty much known this for years, but the leaked conversations from the Dominion lawsuit provided hard proof, and there’s no reason to think the same isn’t true about others such as Lake.

  24. gVOR08 says:

    looks like Disney has decided to go to war with DeUseless.

    This presumably follows very carefully gaming this out and deciding they can win.

  25. CSK says:


    Last night (too late for me to reply then) Monala suggested to me that Kari Lake might be Trump’s v.p. pick. As Monala pointed out, she’s better-looking than MTG and knows how to present herself.

  26. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I definitely think she’s a possibility, and looks aside, I’ve never thought Greene was a plausible choice, for reasons someone stated in yesterday’s thread: Trump will never pick anyone who threatens to outshine him. Kari Lake knows how to keep her head down in the presence of his Orangeness.

  27. Jen says:

    @gVOR08: I hope so. It would be hilarious if he gets smacked down for a first amendment free speech violation by SCOTUS.

  28. Kathy says:


    Thanks, but I try not to be too repetitive. So butter in both dishes seems excessive. I also bake rather than fry the milanesas.

    But I was thinking a kind of mustard and onion sauce, Maybe some Dijon, yellow, and grain mustard with a bit of tomato paste, browned onions, pepper, paprika, and a bit of sweet cream.

  29. Gustopher says:

    @Jen: I don’t even think it’s about new audiences. Bud Light is very common at gay bars, and has been advertising to gays for ages, apparently under the radar of the rural bigot crowd.

    Marginalized people respond very well to “hey, we don’t hate you” as a message, so it’s a popular beer of last resort (what you drink when you can’t get good beer…)

    There’s been a little bit of backlash to Rainbow Capitalism over the past few years, but it’s mostly been very successful.

    Would Subaru even exist if it wasn’t marketing to lesbians for decades?

  30. CSK says:


    I think it’s very possible that Lake could outshine Trump. I also don’t think she could attract many white suburban women voters.

    What Trump needs is another Mike Pence, male or female.

  31. @Sleeping Dog: Have I ever mentioned how people can end up making a lot of choices based on self-identity?

  32. CSK says:

    If you’re wondering why Trump was silent about the right-wing Bud Light boycott, it’s because he owns something like one to five million dollars’ worth of stock in Anheuser-Busch, according to his latest financial disclosure.


    According to Forbes, Ivanka Trump is no longer using the same lawyer as her two brothers in the $250 million fraud case filed by Letitia James. She has retained Bennet Moskowitz,
    who previously represented the Jeffrey Epstein estate.

  33. Kathy says:

    There’s no subversion like French subversion.

    The idea in brief is to get opponents of the 24 Olympics to be taken in as volunteers for the games, and then try to disrupt the games, or withdraw at the last minute.

    I wish them luck, but they’ll probably fail to pull it off. At best there may be a limited impact. they won’t get enough anti-volunteers, and many will be weeded out in the selection process.

    That do make a good point saying the (real) volunteers ought to be paid.

  34. Kylopod says:


    I think it’s very possible that Lake could outshine Trump.

    Possibly, but I think she’s making enough signals that she’s making efforts to rein it in. She’s vying for the spotlight, of course–a spotlight in front of the King. As long as she remembers he’s King, she needn’t worry about losing her head.

    I also don’t think she could attract many white suburban women voters.

    I don’t either, but that won’t necessarily stop Trump from believing she will. He has somewhat of a history of misjudging what attracts suburban voters.

  35. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    You have, but the market share of individuals in transition is awful small and I don’t see that campaign moving the needle amongst the woke, never mind a broader urban market.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    In a blind tasting I wouldn’t know Bud Light from a craft-brewed IPA.

    Oh, I can assure you if you had a Checkerspot Juniperous you would a) never mistake it for a Bud Light and, b) probably hate it.

  37. CSK says:

    According to Vanity Fair, Trump will attend Melania’s 53rd birthday party (today) “if his schedule allows.”

    Since they live in the same house, and he spends his time ranting on Truth Social, what pressing business could keep him from the festivities?

  38. JohnSF says:

    On the subject of beer, if you ever see Magic Rock Brewing’s Dark Arts Stout, do your taste buds a favour and give it a try.
    Lovely stuff; whether any makes its way to the States I’ve no idea. If not, I’ll just have to keep drinking it on your behalf. 😉

  39. JohnSF says:

    Melania telling him to f’ off?

  40. dazedandconfused says:


    Yup. He does not want to share a stage with anything but props. “The bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral.” I imagine the subservient Sarah Huckabee would be on his list were she photogenic. Somebody like her.

  41. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Hipsters adopting PBR was a ground up campaign based on irony and the fact that PBR was the best cheap beer regularly carried in the dive bars that the youths had taken over.

    I know I was really miffed when our local bowling alley went all upscale, and I could not buy an Oly pounder (16oz Olympia) for under $2. Yes, it’s almost as bad as Light beer (f’ng near water), but hey, it was the beer of my childhood. And did I mention it was less than $2?

  42. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    (did I drink beer last year? can’t remember, maybe Luddite knows)

    Yes, exactly one. I’d bought a six-pack of Trader Joe’s $2/6 beer, and it was a hot summer day. IIRC, we both decided it was about the worst beer we’d ever had. This summer, we’ll work on cider and/or sangria.

  43. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    and on a cheerier note, space nuggets and nerds, rejoice!

    A space probe orbiting Mars has captured a stunning image of the Red Planet alongside one of its moons, Deimos.

    The image comes from the Hope probe, a mission from the United Arab Emirates Space Agency to study Mars. The probe, which is about the size of a small SUV, began orbiting the planet in February 2021. But earlier this year, the craft maneuvered itself into a higher orbit so it could take observation of Deimos, Mars’ second moon.

    Thank you, UAE Space Agency!!!

  44. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    All these years of browsing on Windows and I didn’t know that.

  45. CSK says:

    Well, he had to beg her to participate in his 2024 campaign, and I understand that she grudgingly agreed to do so, so she appears to be stuck with him for the near future. I do wonder if at some point she’s dump him permanently and move back to NY.

    Now if Sanders were to lose weight, she might be a contender.

  46. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: Kari Lake seems viciously ambitious and out for no one but herself. Right now, that might mean bending the knee for Trump, but once she can’t be fired… all bets are off.

    She doesn’t want to promote Trump, she wants to be the next Trump. At some point that means getting rid of him (unless she assumes time and cheeseburgers will do that)

    I would say that self-promoting grifters recognize each other and so she would be entirely out of the running, but Trump doesn’t seem good at that, based on everyone he has hired.

  47. Jen says:

    Chevy is canning its popular EV model Bolt in favor of massive EV trucks.

  48. JohnSF says:

    I’m thinking it quite likely he has his section of the Mar’ private area, she has hers, and with a big “No, Donald” sign on the door.

  49. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    In a blind tasting I wouldn’t know Bud Light from a craft-brewed IPA.

    One tastes wet, one tastes bitter and sticky. They’re different things, not just thing and well done thing. Like the difference between red and white wine.

    Bud Lite and a craft-brewed Pilsner I can believe.

    Can you tell a good wine from a mediocre wine? That’s a distinction that costs a lot of money and may not really be worth it.

    Loving cheap, mediocre things is clearly a blessing.

  50. CSK says:


    Oh, I’m sure they occupy separate quarters and have since before Barron was born in 2006. She slept with him enough times to get pregnant, and then permanently abandoned his bed. My guess is he doesn’t really care; he said what he wanted for a wife a woman who’d make other men wild with envy for him. She’s his arm candy; he’s her money supplier.

  51. becca says:

    I mentioned we adopted 2 dogs last week. Wister , the young lab mix got rolled by Sadie, the Catahoula mix (we were told boxer/pit, but vet says no) and has a neck injury. Poor Wister is on rest and pain meds for two weeks and Sadie is on anxiety meds and begins school tomorrow. Between the training collar, the meds, and obedience training for her, I think we might be OK. Also, the vet thinks Wister will be twice Sadie’s size when he’s done growing, so that’ll help, too. I really want her to have a happy life from now on, she’s had such a run of bad luck.

  52. gVOR08 says:


    Loving cheap, mediocre things is clearly a blessing.

    I think it was Bertrand Russell who had an aphorism about,

    A prudent man will develop a taste for that which is in ready supply.

    IIRC he was talking about taking some amusement from political bullshit, but it applies well to beer, wine, and many other things.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Oooooh! Good question!

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: You have no idea of how little attention I pay to the flavor (or lack thereof) of beer. But I don’t think I’d hate it. I’d have to care too much. I’d probably dislike it, but that still wouldn’t distinguish it from Bud Light. 😉

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I’ll take your word for it.

  56. JohnSF says:


    Loving cheap, mediocre things is clearly a blessing.

    Then why don’t more people love ME?

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Wines taste different depending on color?

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Then again, I haven’t drunk wine since…

    …I honestly can’t remember the last time I drank wine, but it was sangria, so it probably doesn’t count.

  59. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I couldn’t tell good beer from bad beer, because I don’t like beer. I think I last had one in the mid-80s.

    I was very young then, so I suppose my tastes might have changed. Still, when I smell beer it’s not appetizing at all.

  60. CSK says:


    You remind me of a song by Burt Reynolds: “Let’s do something cheap and superficial…”

  61. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Heathen! Apostate!
    OTOH, all the more for ME!

    re. sangria: I recall on a holiday in Spain in my teens, drinking sangria in the afternnon at a beach bar. Lovely, refreshing…and lethal.
    It was only when I tried to get up walk that I fully realised just how not-orange-juice the stuff was.
    (It was the traditional Catalonian style, which includes brandy as well as red wine. That afternoon was definitely siesta time)

  62. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: one Los going to have a much stronger flavor.

    Now, if you pour water in the fancy beer, you might dilute it to the point where it has as much flavor as Bud Lite.

  63. Gustopher says:

    Montana Republicans on Wednesday voted to formally punish a transgender Democratic lawmaker who has been silenced in the state House after criticizing GOP colleagues who support a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender children.
    The chamber voted 68-32 to bar state Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D) from being present on the House floor or in the anteroom or gallery — a move that comes after widespread outrage over Zephyr’s silencing led to heated protests at the Capitol on Monday. Zephyr will now only be allowed to attend sessions remotely for the rest of the legislative session, which ends next month.
    Since Zephyr said last week that those who support banning gender-affirming care for transgender children would have “blood on your hands,” Republican leaders have declined to recognize her on the floor and her microphone has been disabled when lawmakers have debated. In response, Zephyr and her supporters held a rally Monday that resulted in seven arrests and upended proceedings at the Capitol as people jammed inside the chamber and kept chanting, “Let her speak!”

    They are fascists, bigots and shitheads.

    (And cowards for not completely expelling her. Like, dudes, if you’re going to be fascists, just do it — half-fasc is all the negatives with none of the benefits. Who does half-fasc appeal to? It’s like conservative Democrats… no one wants that.)

    There’s more than a hint of the 1980s Satanic Panic in all of this anti-trans panic, but more organized and weaponized, mixed with a belief that power means silencing opposition rather than just ruling.

    I wonder how long it is going to be before the Republicans expel AOC and the squad from the House of Representatives, and whether there will be any meaningful backlash that actually hurts Republicans.

    Anyway, it’s not just Tennessee being racist shitheads, and I expect this to just be a new strategy going forward.

  64. Stormy Dragon says:


    I wonder how long it is going to be before the Republicans expel AOC and the squad from the House of Representatives, and whether there will be any meaningful backlash that actually hurts Republicans.

    Article I, Section 5:

    Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

  65. a country lawyer says:

    @JohnSF: I’ll keep an eye open for it, I’m always game for a new beer. I’m a fan of a particular English mystery writer whose hero is often dropping in the local pub for a pint of Timothy Taylor so I’ve been on the look out for that, but so far no luck.

  66. inhumans99 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but to get to the 2/3rds concurrence to expel any member of the Squad, or any member of the House that ultimately comes out as Trans and ticks off a bunch of Republicans, then Republicans would have to cross the aisle and get Democratic members of the House to vote to expel a member, correct?

    My understanding is that while Republicans hold a majority in the House, it is not a super-majority that could just kick members to the curb because they would always have the votes to get their way.

    The Montana story does show that there are a lot of abject cowards who call themselves members of the GOP. Considering that Montana is supposed to be one of the states filled with manly men cowboy types, it makes a lot of folks in Montana look weak. All it took is one member of their political class to be vocal about who they are to get them all frightened and band together to kick this individual out. Pretty sad and pathetic.

  67. JohnSF says:

    @a country lawyer:
    Taylor’s Landlord is lovely stuff on draught; nowhere near as good bottled IMO.
    But still OK.
    The rule with English beer is, draught cask ale beats bottled by a mile.
    That’s what pubs are there for. 🙂

  68. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon: ok, so they will have to be clever, limiting floor and antechamber privileges to during a vote and things like that.

    They stripped Ilhan Omar off a committee for being Black, female and Muslim. They will feel pressure to up the ante.

  69. Kathy says:


    They want to indulge in cruelty and oppression, while avoiding even mention of the consequences. That’s classic bully behavior, which is motivated by fear and cowardice.

  70. Just nutha says:

    @Jen: Another sign of ‘Murka’s” commitment to the environment, I assume?

  71. Kathy says:

    So, Kevin passed his debt ceiling bill.

    I seriously hope Biden has some trick up his sleeve to avoid disaster. You really don’t want to see default on the biggest debt the world has ever seen.

  72. steve says:

    Not much of a drinker but I do have an occasional beer. My default is Yuengling if I dont know the other beers or they sound too weird. Oldest brewery in the US, cheap and one of the family works for us. Good kid. I could tell the difference between that and Bud/Coors/Miller light beers. Wife is heavily into sours now including sours. Current favorite is a Downeaster cider, peach mango. I resisted trying the fruity beers for a long time since it seemed weird, almost blasphemous or something, but have decided some are actually OK.


  73. wr says:

    @JohnSF: “Then why don’t more people love ME?”

    Around these parts, we all love you! Just don’t say it enough, I guess…

  74. Jen says:

    Well, now we know why FOX was eager to settle…and why Tucker is out.

    On Eve of Trial, Discovery of Carlson Texts Set Off Crisis Atop Fox

    Private messages sent by Tucker Carlson that had been redacted in legal filings showed him making highly offensive remarks that went beyond the comments of his prime-time show.

    […] Several people with knowledge of Fox’s discussions said the redacted messages were a catalyst for one of the most momentous decisions Fox and its leaders — the father-son team of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch — had made in years: to sever ties with the host of their highest-rated and highly profitable prime-time program and a face of the network in the Trump era.

    The company dismissed him on Monday, with a phone call from Suzanne Scott, the chief executive of Fox News Media.

    […] The board considered using an outside law firm to investigate the top-rated host, concerned about the harm Mr. Carlson’s behavior might cause even beyond the Dominion case, the two people said.

    By the time the board did see the redacted material, Lachlan Murdoch was already moving to find an out-of-court accommodation with Dominion, having given his negotiators the go-ahead to increase Fox’s offer to the company, according to one of the people briefed on the discussions.