Wednesday’s Forum

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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. Kylopod says:

    AI Art

    “chubby old man with pumpkin face and blond toupee and tiny hands, wearing suit with long red tie extending across table, sitting in a courtroom and nodding off”


  2. Joe says:

    These long days in court are going to make Trump look old and tired. Being in court is both tedious and grueling as you are called upon to focus very closely on something that is happening very slowly and deliberately. Anyone who has sat through a post-lunch presentation has the slightest idea what this is like. So, whether or not he actually starts snoring, there will be regular stories about Trump nodding off and spacing out. Much of the same would happen to a much younger person. But Trump is not a much younger person and this will not be a good look for someone who taunts his opponent as “sleepy Joe.”

  3. MarkedMan says:

    @Joe: I’ve long suspected that Trump is a chemically moderated being, albeit with prescriptions pharmaceuticals rather than street level ones. I thought this even before we learned about the very sketchy doctors he has had, because he so often seems to be riding a chemical wave and then slowly or suddenly grounding on the beach.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    Not really a complaint, nor anything important. Just an observation about a minor effect of modern technology.Since (re)becoming a baseball fan, I’ve followed games in a variety of ways:
    – using the live action Gameday section of the MLB Website
    – Same as above but using the MLB App
    – Any of three local radio stations
    – One of those radio stations, but streaming it over the web
    – The television broadcast from their regular network
    – The television broadcast from Apple’s Friday Night MLB
    – Live at a game
    – Sitting on my stoop and hearing the homerun or game winning fireworks from nearby Camden Yards. On especially quiet evenings with a full stadium I can sometimes hear the roar of the crowd too.

    Here’s the thing – all of these things are out of sync with each other. Some are 5-10 seconds after the real life action, but some are a minute or more. It makes it impossible to do what I used to do when I followed Chicago Bears games as a kid, watch on TV with the sound off, and listen on the radio. (Because TV announcers are the worst play by play announcers in the world, “Look at that… did it?… Yeah, maybe…”). Same with the StatCast play by play on the app, it is often as much as two pitches ahead of the audio on the app.

  5. gVOR10 says:

    @Joe: That, and having to get up before noon.

  6. Kathy says:


    I think Garfield should sue.

  7. Bill Jempty says:

    Former Democratic Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham has passed away at age 87.

    His obituaries are very detailed if you want to read them. I’m going to make some comments, partly on things about Graham that are missing in the obituaries.

    I followed Graham of course. He was elected Governor in 1978* after first surprisingly winning the Democratic nomination in a run-off** over the much better known FL Attorney General Robert Shevin. In the general election, Graham defeated Eckerd. Eckerd*** of Eckerd Drugs drug store chain. Graham, a Miami area resident, was the first person to be elected Governor who resided south of Ft Pierce.

    Graham was elected Senator in 1986 defeating the incumbent Paula Hawkins. Hawkins had once been a very popular public service commissioner but while in the Senate committed a series of gaffes that lessened her popularity so much she had almost no chance of re-election when opposed by Graham.


    *- While a FL resident, I didn’t vote in that election. As I was only 17 at the time.
    *- Three prominent Florida Democrats, Graham, Reuben Askew, and Lawton Chiles won their race for the democratic for a statewide office in a run-off after first finishing second in the Democratic primary
    ***- Despite having a high profile name in FL, Eckerd lost three attempts to be elected to statewide office.

  8. Beth says:


    Being in court is both tedious and grueling as you are called upon to focus very closely on something that is happening very slowly and deliberately.

    I generally agree with your comment, but in my experience I would change this sentence to be:

    Being in court is both tedious and grueling as you are called upon to focus very closely on many things that are happening very slowly and deliberately.

    Maybe it’s different for non-attorneys in the courtroom, but I always split my attention and focus on what I’m doing/saying, what I have to do/say next, the judge, opposing counsel, my notes, the vibes, frequently my client. It would add in the jury too. I’ve thankfully never had to do one of those because I hate them. It is exhausting to have that much information flowing through your brain. I’m frequently tired after status hearings, I’m dead after important hearings. I kinda enjoy it, but lawyers are nuts. This is going to just grind away at him like nothing else.

  9. Bill Jempty says:

    Over the last few days there have been quite a few deaths of former notable baseball players with a New York connection.

    Carl Erskine, a prominent Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher in the 1950s died yesterday
    Hall of Fame manager, Whitey Herzog passed away. He was both a coach and executive with the NY Mets before managing elsewhere
    Pat Zachry, one of the players the Mets acquired when they infamously traded away Tom Seaver
    Fritz Peterson, NY Yankees pitcher in the 60’s and 70’s who along with teammate Mike Kekich traded wives and families
    Jerry Grote, the Mets principal catcher for over a decade and a prominent part of the 1969 Miracle Mets*

    As a NY Met fan growing up on the Long Island at the same time he played for the team, I knew Grote best. He was an awesome defensive catcher and called the most difficult backstop to run on by famous base stealer Lou Brock

    While I was a Met fan, I did however watch Yankees baseball sometimes. So Peterson was also quite familiar to me.

    Zachry joined the Mets after I moved to Florida. Once WOR Channel 9 became a superstation, I watched him toil for some awful Met teams

    Herzog’s association with NY was before I was an avid fan or was behind the scenes. He was a firey manager but not Billy Martin** either.

    Carl Erskine retired before I was born. I am very familiar, as I am with the rest, due to Strat-O-Matic baseball replaying.

    RIP to all of them.

    *- In the movie Oh God, George Burns in the title role said the last miracle he performed were the 1969 Mets.
    **- Baseball writer Bill James in his 1984 baseball abstract, did manager profile boxes for the American League. The last part of which was what would this man be doing today if there was no professional baseball? His answer for Martin- 15 years to life.

  10. Grumpy realist says:

    @Beth: it’s tedious but extremely important at the same time. And you’ve got to keep your attention focused for hours….

    Law and a trial is a very fine-grained process where each step is essential. You can’t bully your way through it. Trump is a fish out of water flopping on the floor under these circumstances. And the longer his attorneys try to delay the outcome, the longer he will have to sit in the courtroom, day after day.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Having spent way too much time in courtrooms, I never had a problem staying awake. Something about my life (or significant parts of it)(or my son’s) being on the line was enough to hold my attention.

    The fact that trump is having difficulties staying awake tells me he thinks it can’t happen to him. Here’s to him being wrong.

  12. Matt Bernius says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    As a NY Met fan growing up on the Long Island at the same time he played for the team, I knew Grote best.

    Hey fellow Long Island kid! Where did you grow up (if you feel ok with sharing). I hail from Amityville.

  13. gVOR10 says:

    Last night there was a lot of talk on TV of the Trump trial and that they’d managed to seat 7 jurors. They did what little background they had on the jurors. I was surprised to hear that two of them are lawyers. I thought it was very rare for a lawyer to be selected. Is that wrong? Or is it that in this case both sides are having to save their preemptive challenges for the real ideologues?

  14. Kathy says:


    I think the big difference is that you, and other attorneys, understand what’s going on and know what to look/listen for among the standard verbiage, whereas your client doesn’t.

  15. Bill Jempty says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Hey fellow Long Island kid! Where did you grow up (if you feel ok with sharing). I hail from Amityville.

    I grew up in Centereach. My father owned two hotels in Smithtown.

  16. Sleeping Dog says:


    Pretty much all live broadcasts have a 7-10 second delay built in to allow time for the directors to breakaway if someone says a naughty word(s) or behaves lewdly. My guess is that radio, broadcast/cable TV are the fastest delivery medium as streaming has all sorts of built in delays. Watching streamed events, I’ve had the stream freeze for several seconds and then proceed as if nothing had happened. Additionally with streaming your own devices, download speed and bandwidth available from your ISP will effect the speed.

  17. Scott says:

    @Bill Jempty: @Matt Bernius: I also grew up on Long Island. Northport to be exact. I also remember the Miracle Mets. Was 16 at the time. Totally random but I worked at a garden center across from one of Jerry Koosman’s sub shops.

  18. Bill Jempty says:

    Another NY notable baseball player who died in the last few days is Ken Holtzman. He was 78..

    Holtzman won 174 games lifetime, threw two no-hitters, and was a member of three world champion teams. Near the end of his career, he was with the NY Yankees but he was both ineffective and not much used by then.

    It was the summer of 1976 that Holtzman came to the Yankees which is the same I moved to Florida. I remember Holtzman from his days playing for the Chicago Cubs and for pitching in the 1973 World Series against the Mets. Of course there is my strat-o-matic baseball replaying* too.

    The NY Times obituary on Holtzman made no mention of Holtzman’s effect on the 1969 pennant race between the Mets and Cubs. Chicago came to NY early in September with a 2.5 game over NY and the two teams played a 2 game series.

    NY won the first game. For the second game, it would normally have been Holtzman’s turn to pitch but Cub Manager Leo Durocher decided to go with Ferguson Jenkins instead who’d be pitching on just two days rest. Why?

    The Jewish holiday Yom Kippour was a few days away and Holtzman was Jewish. He’d be sitting out games because of that. Rather than rely on his 4th or 5th starters, Dick Selma and Rich Nye (enough said), Durocher chose to gamble* on Jenkins. A gamble that failed badly. The Mets clobbered Jenkins and the Cubs 7-1 that night. One day later the Mets were in first place.

    RIP Ken Holtzman

    *- What years am I or was replaying. For those of you keeping score 1952-1969 plus 75, 77, 83, 85, 91 and 93.
    **- Through out his Managing days, Durocher relied heavily on 8 position players, 1 to three platoon players/pinch hitters and about 5 pitchers on the teams he led. His bench players and bullpen depth were used as little as Leo possibly could. So with a 25 man roster, about 5-8 players on it would be seldom used. Catching is a very hard job and Durocher for instance would play Randy Hundley 150-162 games a season where the best catchers would usually do no more than 130. So guys like Johnny Boccabella would basically sit on the bench all season.

  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    Saudi Arabia is slightly – very slightly – scaling back its NEOM linear city from 105 miles to 1.5 miles. So, a mere 98% reduction. ‘Tis but a flesh wound.

    Meanwhile China’s Belt and Road initiative is running into problems. It seems some poor, corrupt countries run by presidents-for-life, can’t keep up on their loan payments.

    In Egypt they’ve just sold a nice slice of Mediterranean waterfront – 170 square kilometers – to the UAE which plans to build a new city. I wonder what the price of a pyramid is? Al-Sisi is already building an extravagant new capital despite the fact that the country lives off charity and the Egyptian pound is worth literally two cents.

    ‘Strong man’ does not mean ‘smart man.’

    In our own country billionaires are building massive, luxury survival shelters in the wonderfully clueless belief that pasty nerds won’t immediately be overthrown in the event of apocalypse by the security forces they hire to keep out the hoi polloi.

    ‘Rich man’ also does not equal ‘smart man.’

  20. Bill Jempty says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I wonder what the price of a pyramid is?

    Maybe TransAmerica would know.

  21. Kathy says:


    On appellations related to the Snoozy Don, Jimmy Kimmel came up with Ebenezer Snooze.

    And I think the Tamarian phrase for “sleep” now is “Lardass at the courtroom.”

  22. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Droopula.

  23. Bill Jempty says:
  24. Bill Jempty says:
  25. gVOR10 says:

    @Bill Jempty: Backfire? Backfiring is a carburetor thing. I haven’t heard a backfire in years.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    2 RFT headlines to compete with Bill’s:

    Mom Accused of Child Abuse Says She Felt ‘Adrenaline Rush’ Torturing Her Infant
    “I really wanna kill him but I don’t want to go to jail so. It’s unfortunate,” Emma Rigdon texted an acquaintance

    Racist Church’s Leader Helps Vet GOP Candidates in Missouri’s Vernon County

    According to the ADL, the church’s founder and head pastor Dan Gayman, now in his 80s, has long been a thought leader of the Christian Identity movement and helped popularize what is called the two seedline theory, an influential belief in that extremist sphere that contends Jews are the cursed offspring born from a union between the Biblical Eve and the devil. A national leader of one of the largest Ku Klux Klan factions in the U.S. has sat on the church’s board of directors. And Gayman has espoused other explicitly racist views, including being quoted in the Kansas City Star asking rhetorically, “What has any colored person ever invented?”

    But church members are not persona non grata in every corner of Vernon County politics.

    “They are amazing patriots,” says Cyndia Haggard.

    Not gonna say what I want to say about either of these people.

  27. Mister Bluster says:

    The Senate voted to deem both articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as unconstitutional — cutting the trial short without any votes to convict or acquit.
    Both votes mostly adhered to party lines, aside from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voting present on the first article. Senate Democrats for months had repeatedly cast the impeachment against Mayorkas as a sham, forecasting their ultimate decision to dispose of the trial on Wednesday.

  28. Matt says:

    @gVOR10:Depends on how you define backfire. When I was younger backfires were through the carb/throttle body (going backwards hence backfire) while an afterfire went through the exhaust. These days it seems people call afterfires backfires. Both can occur with fuel injection systems on a badly tuned engine.

  29. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Oh, no! The Democrats gave the phony impeachment the consideration it deserved!

    On more important thing, has anyone ever used monk fruit sweetener, especially in sorbets?

    On the weekend I’ll try to use Fritos for breading chicken medallions, and cook them in the air fryer. I did this with oven baked milanesas long ago, and it worked ok. Not good or different enough to try it again, but I suspect the results will be different in the air fryer.

    We’ll see.

    Lastly, I’m thinking about taking the last week of April and the first of May off for vacation. I need some time off before the boss decides to get me chasing another phantom project we have less than zero chance of winning.

  30. Grommit Gunn says:

    @Bill Jempty: Or Bass Pro Shops!

  31. Beth says:


    head pastor Dan Gayman

    Proof that we live in the dumbest timeline and the writers are screwing with us.

  32. Michael Reynolds says:

    I mean, he’s gotta wet his beak? Amiright?

    The campaign for Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential bid has come up with a new way to raise cash — which involves calling on down-ballot candidates who use his name and likeness in fundraising pushes to give him a cut of the money they raise.

    Beginning tomorrow, we ask that all candidates and committees who choose to use President Trump’s name, image, and likeness split a minimum of 5% of all fundraising solicitations to Trump National Committee JFC. This includes, but is not limited to, sending to the house file, prospecting vendors, and advertising,” Trump co-campaign managers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita wrote in a letter reported on by Politico.

    “Any split that is higher than 5% will be seen favorably by the RNC and President Trump’s campaign and is routinely reported to the highest levels of leadership within both organizations,” the letter added.

    It’d be a shame if anything happened to your nice campaign, y’know what I mean?

  33. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I figure many Democrats use Lardass’ likeness in their fundraising (images can be scarier than words).

    I’d like to see his campaign try to collect form them.

    Maybe he can sue them all.

  34. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @Kathy:

    I have a feeling this will backfire on Trump big time.

  35. JKB says:
  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    You are referring to a US Navy ship, crewed by US Navy sailors. US Navy, not the Biden navy, you anti-American piece of shit.