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. CSK says:

    Are OzarkHillbilly and I the only ones who’ve risen to greet the new day?

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Many winners of lottery prizes of that size talk about treating themselves, paying bills or saving.

    But when Sana went to lottery headquarters to collect his winnings, he spoke about how he had started a group dedicated to preserving traditional Malian music and dance and planned to use his winnings to build classrooms and a center dedicated to teaching children dance.

    “I love to dance, and I want to teach the children in Mali to love it, too,” Sana said in a statement issued by lottery officials. “If you talk about culture and you talk about education, they both go together. I’m going to keep doing my best to help build more … for the children in Mali. That is the thing that makes me really happy. My dream is just becoming true little by little and I hope it will keep going.”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: 35 years of getting up at 3 or 4 in the AM has made me an early riser, tho this AM I slept in till 5.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, will permanently cease operations, just months after a major mission failure.

    The California-based firm, which had already filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States in early April, has auctioned off its main assets, recovering just over $36m. That figure is barely 1% of the value the company reached in late 2021 on Wall Street, when it was valued at $3.5 billion.

    In a statement announcing it was selling its assets to four winning bidders and then folding, Virgin Orbit thanked its employees and stakeholders and said the company will be remembered for its “groundbreaking technologies.”

    I am certainly not qualified to judge it’s “groundbreaking technologies” but I rather doubt that is what they will be remembered for.

  5. Tony W says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I always said that if I’ll get up early for the boss, you can be damn sure I’ll get up early for myself too!

  6. Mister Bluster says:

    The final six years that I worked in the landline telephone industry I was on 24 hour callout every other week. The phone would wake me up at say 2am. Then I would run at least an hour to the job site. When I was done it was too late to go home and sleep so I would sit at the coffee shop till it was time to start my regular shift at 7am. It was the only part of the job that I didn’t like.

    ETA: Hello EDIT key. Looks like you’re not getting any sleep these days.

  7. Thomm says:

    Inauguration day poet collection removed from FL public school library due to one parental complaint. But, remember, according to our resident self-proclaimed free speech enthusiast, the real problem is that a colleague couldn’t enjoy her coffee in peace after a ham handed characterization of a minority.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Sting

    Paddy Power with a harsh lesson about irresponsible tweeting.
    This is brilliant, if only life were like this. Stick around for the perfect ending.

    Gonna have a smile on my face all day.

  9. Kingdaddy says:

    Target removes some LGBTQ+ merchandise after right wing backlash:

  10. CSK says:

    All of a sudden my “like” button has vanished.

  11. Jen says:

    @CSK: Yes, the like button is gone…I figured it was something I’d missed an update about, as I’ve been busy lately.

  12. CSK says:


    Glad it’s not just me.

  13. Kathy says:


    That’s the sign of the apocalypse.

    Good. I had a lot of work today 😉

  14. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Noticed that the “thumbs up” tag at the bottom of post has disappeared. Is that a new feature, or temporary?

  15. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Are Comer and Jordan nothing more than Joe McCarthy part two?

  16. Kathy says:


    First tragedy, then farce. Seems just about right.

    Not that the farce will be painless, nor that it will avoid massive destruction. See Napoleon III, who was the subject of Marx’s comment.

  17. CSK says:

    Trump said today on Truth Social that E. Jean Carroll is his stalker because she liked The Apprentice.

  18. CSK says:

    RFK Jr. told Steve Bannon that Trump is the best debater since…Lincoln.

    I don’t know who’s more delusional, RFK Jr. or Trump.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    Tina Turner has died.

  20. Mister Bluster says:

    Featuring Little Ann

    Tune Town
    St. Louis 4, MO

  21. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster: @Mister Bluster:

    She was something.

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..She was something.

    Thumbs Up!

  23. Kathy says:

    Maybe you’ve heard Mount Popocatepetl, a volcano near Mexico City, has become more active in recent days.

    I don’t know when it last erupted with lots of lava, rocks, etc. Around 1994-95, after a long period of dormancy, it began to spew smoke and ash (and it melted the glacier at the summit). Now and then, it does so more often or in larger quantity.

    The city is no danger, but there are small towns and farms nearby which would suffer. I don’t know enough to say what the chances are for an explosive eruption, the most dangerous kind. The tendency is to assume the frequent discharge of gas and ashes menas pressure ins’t building up, but nothing is ever so simple.

    Some town have suspended school classes, so kids won’t be exposed to smoke and ash (volcanic ash is nasty stuff), and there are evacuation plans in place.

    As to the city, the major effect were flight cancellations and delays. Volcanic ash is tiny fragments of rock, minerals, and volcanic glass. It’s abrasive, sticky, and forms abrasive and sticky mud on contact with water*. If a jet engine ingests it, it tends to shut down. Often it can be restarted after a while, but one such incident shortly after takeoff, or on final approach, amid a crowded city airport, could be a major disaster.

    *Late 90s or early 2000s some ash fell on the city (very little where I live). It was recommended people sweep it up with brooms and place it in trash cans. There were strong warnings against dumping them in the sewers.

  24. CSK says:


    Thanks for the update. I had been meaning to ask you about this. It’s good to know you’re safe, or at least not in immediate danger.

  25. Mister Bluster says:

    Pelosi: “Get your foot off my desk.”
    Judge: “Four and 1/2 years.”

  26. Kathy says:


    I’ve been meaning to post about it for a few days, but couldn’t quite figure out what to say. There are few specifics. also, like in one of the volcano movies in the 90s, we’ve been getting used to nearby volcanic activity for 30 years now.

    BTW, there are two other volcanoes nearby. Ajusco, and Iztaccihuatl (which I was sure was spelled Ixtlazihuatl). The latter one is near Popocatepetl, but has shown no activity at all.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: Stupid Joe McCarthy part 2.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Fuck me. She and I had a deal: Me first.

  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    This will shock. . . well, none of the regulars here. . . but DeSantis’s mind-meld with Elon Musk went sideways as the depopulated Twitter repeatedly crashed.

    This fuckwit tied himself to an unstable billionaire who then failed to deliver. That’s a whole new chapter of political malpractice. What a schmuck.

  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Most deaths. . . meh. But this one stung. I’m dreading Mick, Keith and Sir Paul.

  31. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Michael Reynolds:

    She was one of those rare individuals whom you thought would be around forever.

  32. MarkedMan says:

    We didn’t used to have a thumbs up function so I’ll probably get used to not having it fairly quickly but it’s absence got me thinking, and I realized it had a negative side as well as a positive. I can’t tell you how many times I thumbed up someone who made a good point but whose viewpoint was crosswise from mine. Now that I think of it, that is probably the most important time to put it in writing.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: My wife took me to “Tina!” For my birthday and the woman who played her was un-effing-believably good… and all I could think of whenever she was singing was “Turner sang just as good and with a lot more style.” Nothing against the actress. If she wasn’t playing TT I would have been raving.

  34. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    First Starship, then Twitter blows up.

    I seriously wonder whether The Mars Emperor God of Phobos has completely lost it, and Spacex’s Falcon 9s and Starlink simply run on inertia.

    I mean, it’s not like it’s hard to tell a tech platform won’t run as well with a fraction of the staff, or that means of diverting hot gasses and use of a water deluge to deal with vibration wasn’t known prior to Starship’s first attempt.

    As to the latter, the first test launch of a Saturn V knocked plaster dust loose off the control room ceiling over three miles away. Nowhere near catastrophic, but one would wonder what vibration was like for 1) the booster, 2) the launch tower and pad, and 3) the people who would one day ride the rocket. Ergo water deluge.

    Starship expends more energy than the Saturn V.

  35. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It’s the ones that are still creating and pushing themselves that I miss most.

    When The Rolling Stones die, I think they will be able to rest easy knowing that they said everything they had to say artistically. And that they made the catchiest song with the worst lyrics (“Brown Sugar” is quite an amazing song). The got to finish their story.

    You can’t say the same for people like David Bowie, Johnny Cash or Prince. Or John Prine.

    Bob Dylan still churns out something interesting every few years. That’s gonna suck. But every album sounds like it was meant to be released posthumously, so I think he’s been preparing for it for the last 25 years.

    I guess what I’m saying is this: The Rolling Stones can die. Or something.