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. Senyordave says:

    Does Trump have to give a speech dressed up as a stormtrooper and give a nazi salute for people to understand the end state of the maga movement?
    But Biden is old and has slowed down, so there.

  2. just nutha says:

    @Senyordave: Yes, he does! And even then, many Republicans will say “he’s still better than having Biden.” Most would in my thinking.

  3. Senyordave says:

    @just nutha: i remember taliking to my brother right after Trump was elected and telling him I don’t get it. I also said that one day Trump would do or say something to lose his support. My brother said (I am paraphrasing) that Trump could run over a bunch of nuns with an 18 wheeler, stop, backup and run them over again, get out and molest their corpses, and his supporters would say the nuns deserve it. Two things about my brother, he can be pretty crass and he is very smart.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Catherine Rampell

    A friend was naturalized yesterday. At the oath ceremony, newly-minted US citizens received this poignant letter from @POTUS
    I welled up reading it and am sharing it here.

    Not welling up over here, but it is a nice welcome to our newest Americans. I’m not sure what my wife received from Bush Jr.

    It is certainly not anything trump would ever give.

  5. gVOR10 says:

    @Senyordave: We’re all politics junkies. We follow the news and we know enough history and political theory that “democracy” and “fascism” are very real things to us. For many voters those are just labels they’ve heard in movies that politicians throw around to smear each other. They don’t mean anything more than Dodgers and Yankees.

  6. Bill Jempty says:


    Not welling up over here, but it is a nice welcome to our newest Americans. I’m not sure what my wife received from Bush Jr.

    It is certainly not anything trump would ever give.

    My wife was naturalized in 1994. I don’t recall her getting any message from President Clinton.

  7. steve says:

    I think this may have been linked before but nice story about how Russia and China are linked with MAGA in spreading lies to help undercut American efforts and democracy in general. One of their examples is the false story that was spread about the US having bolas in Ukraine. I very much remember that being spread as gospel truth by not just hard core MAGA people but broadly on the right. These stories exist as truth on the right for month until proven untrue. Then they go down the memory hole for most people. I wish there was a place where these kinds of stories were compiled all in one easily accessible format so it could be used to remind people why we are skeptical of claims made by the right that sound so much like conspiracy theory.


  8. Bill Jempty says:
  9. Kathy says:

    Factoid of the day:

    Pluto’s demotion to not-a-planet was a decision taken by the International Astronomical Union. As its name vaguely suggests, it’s made up mostly of astronomers.

    Planetary scientists, who are mostly not astronomers, still regard Pluto as a planet.

    So, I hereby propose we change its name to Schrodinger, so it can be a not-a-planet/planet.

  10. becca says:

    There’s a biopic showing in Cannes called “The Apprentice “. Guess who it’s about! The WaPo has a good synopsis.
    Apparently, trump and his thugs are unpleased. They’re gonna sue to stop the release. Of course, Hillary: The Movie was fine and dandy to release in an election year, because she’s a democrat. Republicans, on the other hand…
    I did learn some new stuff about Diaper Don. Ivana revealed he had liposuction to remove his “love handles” (ew) and scalp reduction to hide his bald spot. That was before 1990, so I can only imagine how often he’s had surgical enhancements since.
    Also, Jeremy Strong from Succession is playing Roy Cohn.
    Edited to add Biden did get hair plugs years ago, but made no attempt to hide it.

  11. Kathy says:


    That was before 1990, so I can only imagine how often he’s had surgical enhancements since.

    And he still looks like that?

    He should be suing his plastic surgeons instead.

  12. gVOR10 says:

    @Kathy: But we looked.

  13. Kathy says:


    Well, yes. We even looked closely.

    But though the conditions are mutually exclusive, they are not irreversible. So the not-a-planet/planet Schrodinger can change while we’re not looking.

  14. Paul L. says:

    James Comey rehabilitation tour to be Special Counsel for RussiaGate 2.0. if Trump elected.

    “I have total confidence that the FISA process was followed and that the entire case was handled in a thoughtful, responsible way… I think the notion that FISA was abused here is nonsense.”

    – James Comey, 12/7/18

  15. CSK says:


    I’ve read that Ivana recommended the surgeon who did the scalp reduction, and Trump was so enraged by the results that he raped Ivana for making the recommendation.

  16. Kathy says:


    We’ve all heard that multiple times, I bet. Ivana made the allegation in divorce proceedings, then kind of withdrew it without saying it didn’t happen. I’ve assumed the semi-withdrawal was part of the divorce settlement, but don’t care enough to check. Lardass has already been legally determined to be a rapist and sexual predator.

  17. Gustopher says:


    Does Trump have to give a speech dressed up as a stormtrooper and give a nazi salute for people to understand the end state of the maga movement?

    He did post an ad to his Truth Social featuring phrases like “unified reich” so maybe the problem is that people understand the end state of MAGA and like it.

    (To be fair, the ad also included phrases like “causes of World War I”, and seemed to have lots of randomly selected newspaper-like-things in the background. It’s a bit of a mess and I suspect AI was involved)

  18. Kathy says:

    The big question about Sunak’s call for a general election next July 4th is: does the budget of the PM’s residence not allow for an umbrella?

  19. Beth says:


    Well that’s interesting. Is he delusional enough to think he’s gonna win or is he just sick of a crappy job that he’s about to be sacked from?

  20. JohnSF says:

    Game on!

    Rishi Sunak announces 4 July general election

    Sunak decides to roll the dice in July.

  21. JohnSF says:

    I suspect he’s expecting things to only get worse if he holds on till November, and worse still if tried to go to full term in January 2025.
    Given the probability of continual damaging event, and the possibility of a right-wing revolt, July probably seems the least-worst option.

    Or else maybe he’s heard of a nice property in Silicon Valley coming on the market in late July?
    (Many people think it fairly likely he’ll bugger off to the the US after he loses).

  22. CSK says:


    Indeed. Rape seems to be Trump’s preferred method of settling disputes with women.

  23. just nutha says:

    @Bill Jempty: The person who ordered the killing engaging in damage control?

  24. just nutha says:

    @Gustopher: Understand and approve is another facet of the issue that I just declined to suggest. Thanks for adding it!

  25. Bill Jempty says:

    I just had a doctor’s office experience that is an award winner. So much so, when I explained it to Dear wife she laughed her head off.

    Due to hematuria and an enlarged prostate, I am seen by a urologist once a year. My most recent appointment was May 14. At the appointment, I gave a urine sample.

    While I was disposing of garbage&recycles an hour ago, the urologist’s surgical coordinator called me to say Dr. Weinstein would be operating on me next month.

    Operating on me? He’s performed two cystoscopies on me in the past but made no mention to me last week about doing a third.

    I called the office back. The surgical coordinator wasn’t picking up the phone. I called 10 minutes later, she still wasn’t answering. So I connected to the operator, explained the phone call and my situation.

    I was put on hold. When the woman came back on the phone, she asked me if I was having a circumcision done. I didn’t laugh but my jaw dropped for a few seconds. Then I kindly told the office worker that I had a circumcision when I was a child. She put me on hold again.

    The Physician Assistant who works for my urologist came on the phone. He said the phone call was a mistake. Sure was a mistake and maybe the biggest I have had ever happen to me by a medical professional. After telling my wife what happened, she laughed so hard she almost urinated in her pants. I hope you enjoyed this post. Now back to a August 1962 baseball game between the NY Yankees and KC A’s.

  26. Bill Jempty says:

    @just nutha:

    The person who ordered the killing engaging in damage control?

    I heard the killer was being hung out to dry.

  27. Kathy says:

    In today’s stupid, dangerous, cruel, and pointless action, an idiot tried to body slam an orca.

    Orcas can tear apart seals, and have been known to attack even whales. The moron was lucky the victim didn’t try to bite him, or hit him with its tail.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    Today we learn that Trump was directing his employees to move the classified documents in such a way as to avoid security cameras. From the WaPo,

    Prosecutors alleged that Trump’s attorney informed him in that June 2022 call that the government was seeking footage from Mar-a-Lago showing his employees moving boxes out of a storage room.
    But the document unsealed Tuesday also alleges that once Trump learned of the subpoena for footage, he realized that the removal of boxes out of the storage room had already been caught on camera. That probably prompted him to instruct his staff to avoid the cameras when moving other boxes, the judge concluded, citing arguments from prosecutors.

    Where was this major revelation in the piece? First paragraph? Second? No. About a dozen paragraphs in. Higher up it was only mentioned as vague “obstruction”. Kevin Drum says,

    Jesus. What is the deal with Trump and classified documents? Why was he so hellbent on keeping them? The answer, as with all things Trump, is most likely “because his brain is broken,” but I can’t stop wondering if there’s anything more to it.

    Geebus H Christus. Kevin, stop the f*ck wondering. Anyone who believes that Trump did this because of his personality quirks needs to wake their pollyanna-ish ass up and open their f*cking eyes. This is a man who has moved from con after con after con for decades, cheating and lying everyone in his path. This is a man who has been associated with mobsters since the Roy Cohn days and in the past few decades those associations include the Russian and Ukranian mobs. This is a guy who didn’t pay his long time associates as advisors during his presidency but instead told them they should “monetize their access”. This is a guy who directed his idiot sons to create a personal back channel to the frickin’ Kremlin before he even assumed office. How f*cking naive do you have to be to think the most likely reason he stole and kept these documents is because of vanity. Sheesh!

  29. CSK says:

    Rudy Giuliani says that “a Hollywood producer” staged January 6.

    He did not name the producer.

  30. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan: My own two cents is this: It is beyond classified documents. It is also about government property. Trump had government property (documents). The Government (the Archives) asked for it back. Trump sent some back, certified that he had no more. At that point Trump became a common thief.

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    Haley says she will vote for Trump, calls Biden ‘a catastrophe’

    Is anyone surprised?

  32. Kingdaddy says:

    The Alitos also displayed a flag associated with Christian Dominionism, which made an appearance on January 6th.

  33. JohnSF says:

    It’s really odd, considering also the background noise level from the nearby protests.
    Considering the Downing Street complex has a large indoor briefing room fully set up for this sort of thing.
    My theory: No. 10 is just in a state of collapse, with advisors, SPADs, party officials and hired consultants at war with each other, and Sunak is just overloaded.
    Which is NOT a good state for the PM to be in.

  34. Kathy says:


    I’ve seen plenty of PMs address the press on the street just like that. But not usually while it’s raining. Indoor space or not, Sunak literally looks like he doesn’t know enough to get out of the rain.

    Even if the rain began after he started speaking, how hard is it for an aide to rush over with an umbrella?

    Ever since May stepped down, it feels as though the UK’s been led by people several levels out of their depth. In the case of Truss, in particular, more like a deep sea creature taken to the surface.

  35. JohnSF says:

    All hail Queen Lettuce!

    Frankly, it’s a humiliating, unending, clown-car catastrophe.
    We really need to put them out of our misery.

  36. JohnSF says:

    I had hoped, after Johnson and Truss, that Sunak would at least be an effective administrator and a “safe pair of hands”.
    Still a Tory, yes, but a competent Tory, despite leading a rabble of head-bangers, time-servers, grifters and some decent MP’s in despair.
    Doomed, yes, but with some dignity, and able to conduct the business of government with modicum of effectiveness.

    As it turns out, he has no political judgement whatsoever, dithers, tries to micro-manage, and continually tries to appease the unappeaseable Right.
    The man cannot encounter a banana skin without treading on it.

  37. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy: Tried to hit a pup too. Momma shows up a bit later..and lets him live.

    Darwin swings and misses sometimes.

  38. Kathy says:


    Orcas are not very aggressive by nature. IMO, that’s one reason they can be tamed and kept in undersized pools to entertain people in marine parks.

    They tend to be aggressive towards prey. And they love to hunt. But then, so do dogs.

  39. al Ameda says:


    Nikki Haley has endorsed Trump, says she agrees with Trump’s policies, and that Biden is a catastrophe.

    More completely unsurprising non-news at eleven.

  40. Franklin says:

    @CSK: sounds like one for EddieInCA to answer … 😀

  41. Eusebio says:


    It’s being reported that the “Appeal to Heaven” flag at the Alito beach house is visible on Google street view… so it was probably flown for more than just a short time. No word yet on whether it was his wife’s idea, or if it was in response to a mean sign displayed by a neighbor.

  42. al Ameda says:


    It’s being reported that the “Appeal to Heaven” flag at the Alito beach house is visible on Google street view… so it was probably flown for more than just a short time. No word yet on whether it was his wife’s idea, or if it was in response to a mean sign displayed by a neighbor.

    I think we have san idea as to whether or not Alito and his wife are rank partisans, and flew both flags intentionally. They were both spotted in Georgetown wearing bright red matching hoodies with “I Really Don’t Care Do U?” on the back.