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. Bill Jempty says:

    A hate crime official full of hate. From the Washington Post

    The Maryland attorney general on Tuesday suspended a member of Maryland’s Commission on Hate Crime Response and Prevention for posting messages on social media that harshly criticized the actions of the Israeli government in the Palestinian territories.

    Zainab Chaudry, director of the Maryland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is one of 20 members of the commission, which the state’s top law enforcement officials convened to combat escalating reports of hate crimes. In recent weeks, following a deadly terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas last month and Israel’s retaliatory attacks in Gaza, Chaudry’s scathing social media posts have drawn ire from state officials who see her opinions as extreme and divisive.

    But what was it that Chaudry had said that was so inflammatory. Readers don’t find out till nearly the end of the article.

    In one post, Chaudry directly compared Israel to Nazi Germany — a juxtaposition widely seen as antisemitic — with the caption “That moment when you become what you hated most.” She said she could have included more context with that imagery, but she did not retract the sentiment.

    “There are very chilling parallels between what we see occurring in Gaza with other very disturbing, terrifying moments in our world’s history,” Chaudry told The Post.

    The thing I find terrifying is Chaudry. She is deranged and full of hate and has no business being involved with any hate crimes commission.

    I’ll say it again. The more people I meet, the more I like my cat.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The attorney general Merrick Garland said at a press conference that the total of $4.3bn in fines Binance and Zhao had agreed to pay as part of guilty pleas was one the largest penalties the justice department had ever obtained from a criminal matter.

    According to Garland, Zhao had “willfully violated federal law that guards against money laundering and terrorist financing”. The Binance chief, he said, had entered a guilty plea in person on Tuesday in Seattle.

    “From the very beginning, Zhao and other Binance executives had engaged in a deliberate and calculated effort to profit from the US market without implementing the controls that are required by US law,” Garland said. The US attorney general identified millions in transactions from the US to Iranian users, users in Syria and Russian-occupied Ukraine, and terrorist groups including Isis.

    “Binance willfully enabled hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions between American users and users subject to US sanctions. Its platform accommodated criminals across the world who used Binance to move stolen funds and other criminal proceeds,” he added.

    Treasury secretary Janet Yellen said US financial regulators had been investigating Binance for more than three years and found that it had engaged in “consistent and egregious violations” of US law that “allowed illicit actors to transact freely” on the platform and “supporting activities from child sexual abuse, to illegal narcotics and terrorism across more than 100,000 transactions”.

    Yellen said Binance had posed risks “to the US financial system, US citizens and our country’s national security for too long”. And she had a message for the cryptocurrency industry: “Let me be clear, we’re also sending a message to the virtual currency industry more broadly – today and for the future, the virtual currency exchanges and financial technology firms wish to realize the tremendous benefits of being part of the US financial system they must play by the rules. If they do not, the US government will take action.”

    Is anybody surprised?

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Now for the truly important news of the day:

    As if homesickness, wasting muscles, thinner bones, an elevated cancer risk, the inescapable company of overachievers and the prospect of death in the endless vacuum of space were not enough to contend with, male astronauts may return from deep space prone to erectile dysfunction, scientists say.

    In what is claimed to be the first study to assess the impact of galactic radiation and weightlessness on male sexual health, Nasa-funded researchers found that galactic cosmic rays, and to a lesser extent microgravity, can impair the function of erectile tissues, with effects lasting potentially for decades.

    Raising their concerns in a report on Wednesday, the US researchers said they had identified “a new health risk to consider with deep space exploration”. They called for the sexual health of astronauts to be closely monitored on their return from future deep space missions, noting that certain antioxidants may help to counteract the ill-effects by blocking harmful biological processes.


  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I am shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!

    Moms for Liberty outreach leader exposed as registered sex offender

    A Philadelphia-based outreach leader for Moms for Liberty – the conservative parental rights group that is pushing to exclude discussion of gender and diversity from school curricula – has been exposed as a registered sex offender.

    According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Phillip Fisher Jr – a pastor and local Republican ward leader who volunteered at Moms for Liberty’s national summit in Philadelphia this year – pleaded guilty in 2012 to a charge of aggravated sexual abuse involving a 14-year-old boy when he was 25 and living in Chicago.

    Still not a drag queen.

  5. CSK says:


    I wondered why a male headed something called “Moms for Liberty.”

  6. Kathy says:

    Before work does something even worse:

    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1.5-2 tbsp honey
    grated ginger to taste
    2 grated garlic cloves
    1 tsp ground white pepper

    Marinade 6 chicken thighs, skin on, for a few hours (I think past a few minutes it makes no difference, but I was busy with other things, and making the coconut rice, so..)

    I cooked the thighs on a hot pan on the stove, skin side down first, then flipped them. How long? Judging by how they came out, a bit too long. I should get an instant read thermometer. I also cooked some sliced onion, and the heads of a few green onions (saving the green parts for garnish).

    For the sauce I deglazed the pan with about 1/3 cup orange juice (what one orange yielded), then added the leftover marinade, orange zest, and one big heaping tbsp. peanut butter. Bring to barely a boil, reduce heat and simmer to reduce until it feels right (can’t be more specific than that). Pour sauce over thighs on a serving dish.

    For the coconut rice I cooked the rice with a little oil, then added coconut milk instead of water. Typically it’s 2-2.5 cups of water or broth per cup of rice. Here I tried about 1.4 cups coconut milk, as that was the size of the little container. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook covered until the liquid evaporates.

    On another pan, I fried some onions, garlic, ginger, soybean sprouts, and celery. Then I mixed that with the rice, and the raw, sliced green stems of the green onions.

    The chicken thighs are good, with an orange-honey tang. The rice was amazingly good. Note, that little liquid cooks away really fast. But the rice was as done as it needed to be.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Liberty in the kitchen! While barefoot! And pregnant!

    eta, on the slightly more serious side, I suspect many of the women in these RW orgs suffer from some form of Stockholm Syndrome.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Still not a Democrat:

    Iowa woman guilty of stuffing ballot box in husband’s Congress nomination race

    The wife of a north-western Iowa county supervisor was convicted on Tuesday of a scheme to stuff the ballot box in her husband’s unsuccessful race for a Republican nomination to run for Congress in 2020.

    The Sioux City Journal reports that jurors deliberated six hours before finding Kim Taylor guilty of 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, three counts of fraudulent registration and 23 counts of fraudulent voting.

    Prosecutors said Taylor, a Vietnam native, approached numerous voters of Vietnamese heritage with limited English comprehension and filled out and signed election forms and ballots on behalf of them and their English-speaking children.

    They said the scheme was designed to help her husband, Jeremy Taylor, a former Iowa house member, who finished a distant third in the race for the Republican nomination to run for Iowa’s fourth district congressional seat. Despite that loss, he ultimately won election to the Woodbury county board of supervisors that fall.

    No one testified to seeing Kim Taylor personally sign any of the documents, but her presence in each voter’s home when the forms were filled out was the common thread through the case.

    Jeremy Taylor, who met his wife while teaching in Vietnam, has not been charged, but has been named as an unindicted co-conspirator. The case remains under investigation. The assistant US attorney Ron Timmons, one of three prosecutors who presented the federal government’s case, said he couldn’t comment on any potential future indictments.

    And yes, some DEMs have engaged in such fraud, but it is rather striking how often GOPs are getting caught in it of late.

  9. Kathy says:


    If it’s any consolation, given the realities of space travel, this malady will affect very few people.

    Though maybe a shout out is due, again, to Clarke. In Rendezvous with Rama, he predicted long-term space travelers would be sterilized after banking their gametes, as a long time in space rendered the production of a healthy, viable embryo very unlikely.

    He didn’t mean this, but the effect could be the same.

    Space travel suffers from the first mile problem. getting stuff out of the atmosphere and to orbital speeds is very energy intensive, very risky, and very expensive.

    Once in orbit, things get easier. But the expense in merely orbiting stuff, means we can’t orbit much of it. The Apollo Moon missions had tiny reserves should something go wrong. Take Apollo XIII. If the failure had taken place after the landing, odds are everyone would have died.

    What we need is the science fiction device that dares not even be mentioned: a magical means of propulsion that allows us to reach orbit quickly and cheaply (see Star Wars, Star Trek, even The Expanse).

    I call it the Marge Simpson Drive, after a line where Marge some years in the future comments: Things are much easier now that scientists invented magic.

    Absent that, we may manage to set up manufacturing and resource extraction on the Moon, and thence possibly grow our scope in space by accessing even more resources elsewhere (asteroids, Mars, Mercury, comets, the moons of the gas giants, maybe the atmospheres of the gas giants).

  10. steve says:

    Kathy- Have been fooling around with a number of rice recipes including some rice and beans. I used to be pretty rigid about the 2:1 water to rice ratio but have found that depending on what and how you cook other ratios work well and sometimes its a little drier or wetter but it mostly works out. For my plain white rices I still just use the rice cooker and follow its instructions. Have also been making a lot of winter squash, the ones where the skin are edible like the delicata. The old ladies like them because they taste good but I think mostly because they are pretty.


  11. CSK says:


    Oh, I’m certain they do suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.

  12. Joe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I am not sure how you “expose” someone who is on a public registry. And, while I am no fan of Moms for Liberty, this guy “volunteered” at their national summit. Nothing about this surprises me, but this is an awfully hyped headline for an awfully small story.

  13. Mister Bluster says:

    I was 15 and a sophmore in High School when President John Kennedy was killed. I remember first hearing about it on that Friday as choir practice was about to begin. Couldn’t have been much later than 12:30 central time when it happened in Dallas.
    My friends and I had tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters in the Danville (IL) High School gym the next night. I thought the game would be called off. My dad told me to go and see.
    The Globetrotters beat the Washington Generals that Saturday night after a moment of silence before tip off. I got to see Meadowlark Lemon.
    A good time was had by all.

  14. Slugger says:

    @Mister Bluster: I was a senior in high school in central Illinois that day. I was a big fan of JFK at that time. The intercom came on and the principal of the school announced it during English class. I was devastated. Most of the class was deeply shocked. One girl broke into tears. One guy cheered. It was incomprehensible to us. I don’t remember what I did that evening. The Texas Tower shootings came a few years later; then the assassinations of RFK and MLK followed. I have reassessed my admiration for JFK, and I am much less likely to be shocked by shootings now. I never spoke to the guy who cheered; his wife came up to me at a high school reunion, and I silently turned away from her.
    So it goes.

  15. Kathy says:


    I started with 2.5 cups, because that was the indication in the package. Later I began to experiment. I don’t recall exactly why. Lately I mostly use 2 cups, or even a bit less.

  16. Gustopher says:


    Still not a drag queen.


    I wondered why a male headed something called “Moms for Liberty.”

    Are we sure he wasn’t a drag queen?

    Perhaps it’s just really bad drag. Maybe he dresses like a butch lesbian and nobody noticed.

    At the very least it’s political drag.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    @Slugger:..central Illinois

    I worked many towns all over Illinois when I was doing landline telephone work ’73 to 2009. Where were you?

  18. Pete S says:

    A car exploded heading into the US from Canada in Niagara Falls, supposedly was being pulled over for secondary inspection when it happened. The 4 crossings in my area are now closed but no real idea what is going on

  19. Kylopod says:

    The original Manchurian Candidate supposed that the McCarthyites were correct that the US was being infiltrated by commie spies–and that those commie spies were in fact the McCarthyites.

    That’s what sexual reactionaries are like. The people who fear-monger the most about groomers and degenerates coming for your kids–it’s that crowd where you find the actual perverts, the actual sex predators.

  20. KM says:

    @Pete S:
    Newest vid shows the car speeding down Main St and hitting a barrier, sending it flying and then catching fire. I’m curious as to how it was pulled over when the video clearly shows movement from an area beyond the inspection zone (you can see the fence). I’m familiar with that area and you can’t turn around easily. I’m betting the initial reports were wrong, especially since they seemed to be pointing toward terrorism (a rumor about an Iranian passport on the ground even!) and kept confusing Rainbow and Peace Bridge. However the claim of car bomb is BS; you can see the minor damage as it didnt’ even break the glass ceiling 10ft over head. The vids and witnesses indicate reckless driving / accident. Granted that doesn’t rule out maliciousness but FOX has already backed away from terrorist so……

  21. Kathy says:


    Another tip I picked up is, after the liquid is consumed, to take the rice off the heat and leave it covered for a few minutes (10-15) so it will finish cooking with the residual heat of the pan and any steam inside.

    I once let it on the heat for five minutes or so for some reason (likely I was busy with something else), and the bottom layer burned and got stuck to the very non-stick Westinghouse granite pan. It came loose after soaking in the sink for a while.

  22. Mimai says:

    Mencken opined that the word rubberneck is “almost a complete treatise on American psychology” and “one of the best words ever coined.”

    I just learned this tidbit today. An unexpected amuse bouche before tomorrow’s gorge fest.

  23. Pete S says:

    I can see the area from my office window, outside of the car the damage seemed pretty light.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joe: but this is an awfully hyped headline for an awfully small story.

    Considering how much the RW mtfkers smear people on the left with the pedophile smear every time they turn around even tho they have zero evidence to back up their accusations I am quite sure you missed my point entirely.

  25. Kathy says:

    In a fit of bureaucratic overreach, one of our big customers issued a new foodstuff listing. All the hospitals under this agency are supposed to use this as a guideline when it comes to sizes of products, but more firmly when it describes the nutritional values of each, and specifically which conditions require to include or exclude certain foods.

    Well, this time instead of setting wide size limits as guidelines, they set up narrow limits they want to make mandatory.

    This is stupid on many levels. For one thing, no one looked at what size products actually exist. For another, manufacturers often raise prices by reducing sizes and keeping the old price, or by increasing sizes and jacking up the price. Narrow limits eliminate all such latitude.

    and more important, individual hospitals know what they need and when. Some products were so severely reduced, they’ll need to be ordered more frequently.

    It’s going to be a long, stressful Hell Week season.

  26. Bill Jempty says:


    The original Manchurian Candidate

    Raymond, how about a game of solitaire.

    I never watched the remake.

    TMC was out of circulation for many years, not too dissimilar from 4 Alfred Hitchcock movies and 2 or 3 made by John Wayne or the Marx Brothers film Animal Crackers, at a non-revival house sometime in the mid to late 80’s.

  27. Bill Jempty says:


    Mencken opined that the word rubberneck is “almost a complete treatise on American psychology” and “one of the best words ever coined.”

    Rubber necking can take place for other reasons than a car accident.

    In 1980 or 1981 I was driving on I-4 in the Orlando area and traffic came to a crawl for almost two miles. Why? A very attractive young woman had broken down and was they were changing their tire. Men were gawking at hire.

    Time for a LGBT joke. How many butch lesbians are needed to change a tire? Just one. No Jack required.

  28. Gustopher says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    In 1980 or 1981 I was driving on I-4 in the Orlando area and traffic came to a crawl for almost two miles. Why? A very attractive young woman had broken down and was they were changing their tire. Men were gawking at hire.

    What’s wrong with people? So many folks claim they have no idea how to meet people, but there it is, right there. Wait for them to need help changing a tire and then help.

    I’m a moron, and I can figure this out.

    Next up, start leaving nails in the road…

  29. Kylopod says:

    @Bill Jempty: I first saw the film when I was 12, during its 1989 rerelease after decades of being buried. I liked it, but as you might expect, the political themes went over my head at the time.

    I saw the 2004 remake when it came out. I liked it also, and I found it interesting how they updated the themes–instead of the enemy being communists, it was corporations. But it followed in the original’s footsteps of being somewhat politically inscrutable. The ringleader of the conspiracy in this version, the equivalent of Angela Lansbury in the original, is a US Senator played by Meryl Streep, and I think she was supposed to be a cross between Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney. Pox on both houses, I guess.

  30. Mimai says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    Rubber necking can take place for other reasons than a car accident.

    Indeed! I haven’t witnessed a single car accident today.