Wednesday’s Forum

Jomentum edition.

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. Sleeping Dog says:

    Wonder if the Bernie Bros will be making the argument this morning, that whichever candidate has a plurality going into the convention should get the nomination?

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: They are going to make the argument that if Bernie can’t win the delegates in the polling booth, it’s only because Democrats hate him. Ergo the contest was unfairly rigged against him from the gitgo and as such he should get the nomination anyway.

    It would be the only fair thing to do.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:


    LoL. The reasoning of a 12 yo

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    NYT: California Had Its Driest February on Record. Here’s How Bad It Was.

    Not a drop of rain fell in downtown San Francisco this February. Or in Big Sur State Park. Or in Paso Robles. February in California was so dry that it is raising concerns that the state, which, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center, only fully emerged from drought last March, may be headed for another one.

    “It was the driest February on record,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist with the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    Ordinarily, 90 percent of California’s rain falls during the seven-month period between Oct. 1 and April 30, with half of the state’s total precipitation falling during December, January and February. The rains that come in February are part of a seasonal pattern that nourishes plants, replenishes reservoirs and, in the Sierra Nevada mountains, restores the snowpack that provides up to 30 percent of the state’s drinking water.

    But this February “was not just merely a below average month,” Dr. Swain said. “It was, in a lot of places, a completely dry month, which is truly extraordinary.”

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘It feels good to pin a guy’: the North Carolina girl making history on the mat

    Heaven Fitch just wanted to be like her three older brothers. At six years old, she followed them onto the wrestling mat and she hasn’t stopped since. Two weeks ago, she became the first girl in North Carolina to win an individual state men’s wrestling championship.

    Fitch, 16, is the only girl on Uwharrie Charter Academy’s 26-person team in Asheboro, where she recently finished her 11th-grade season with a 54-4 record. She was also named Most Outstanding Wrestler for North Carolina’s 1A division. Last year, Fitch placed fourth in the state’s high school wrestling championships.

    Because there are few women around to compete against, Fitch estimates about 95% of her matches from been against boys in her 11 years of competition. She can’t hide her preference.

    “It definitely feels pretty good to pin a guy,” she told the Guardian.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    NYT: Taliban Ramp Up Attacks on Afghans After Trump Says ‘No Violence’

    KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban have resumed attacks against Afghan forces soon after signing a deal to end their war with the U.S. military, raising concerns that the Americans are leaving their Afghan allies vulnerable to an insurgency unwilling to let go of violence as its main leverage.

    The Taliban have carried out at least 76 attacks across 24 Afghan provinces since Saturday, when they finalized an agreement for a troop withdrawal by the United States, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s national security council said. And on Wednesday, the United States conducted its first airstrike against the insurgents after an 11-day lull.

  7. Teve says:

    This might be the best podcast I’ve ever found.

    Drunk Women Solving Crime.

  8. Kathy says:


    Proof there’s no adversary small, weak, or naive enough that it cannot play Trump like a fiddle.

  9. Jen says:

    Trump has apparently blamed the slow pace of coronavirus testing on–wait for it–Obama.

    Literally nothing is ever Trump’s fault.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    Huge bump in the markets after Biden’s big win. Is it driving Trump crazy or does he just assume it was because of his (actually disastrous) meeting with big Pharmaceutical?

  11. de stijl says:

    On Better Call Saul…

    That was a really interesting narrative choice.

    Jimmy becomes Saul not because of an active choice, but because of a random event in his past with Tuco’s abuelita and an unforeseen home invasion standoff years ago because he was good at talking to and at people.

    That is a really interesting choice.

    The insidiousness of drug cartels. Brushing up against it by chance can alter your life.

    It already effed up Mike’s path. Although, Mike chose to come aboard. Chose repeatedly.

    I hope it does not remove all agency from Jimmy / Saul. That would be a bad story choice.

    Dude is bound to be a Cinnabon store manager in an exurban Omaha mall.

    I want Kim to escape. Close to need. She is my hope. We know the end of many characters in this show, but not hers.

    Predestination and free will.

    This is classic tragedy with Camus undertones.

  12. Kathy says:

    On the menu for next week, I’m thinking dry pasta soup, and enchiladas with a tomato-pasilla sauce.

    Pasilla is a kind of chile, which in Mexico is a complicated matter. For example, the fresh and dry form of a chile have different names. Pasilla is a dried chilaca chile. Chipotle is dried and smoked jalapeño. Dried chiles tend to be more aromatic than the fresh kind, which makes them more popular for cooking.

  13. Kathy says:

    How about that? Jack Welch died last Sunday. I hadn’t heard about it.

  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Interesting…It’s looking like Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana, might run for the Senate seat held by Steve Daines (R-MT).
    This is big…it would add another battleground in the Dems effort to win the Senate.

  15. Neil Hudelson says:

    I just got off the phone with my wife. A development team from her office met last week with an Amazon team in Seattle. That amazon office is now shut down, and members from that team have tested positive for the coronavirus. Everyone from her office’s team was likely exposed.

    She’s overhearing a phone call in the cubicle next to her. “Yeah, no we definitely came in contact with people who had the coronavirus. I don’t know if I should go home. HR doesn’t know what we should do. The hospital says they don’t have enough information to decide whether we should be quarantined or even tested. I guess I’m staying here until told otherwise. I need to keep my sick leave until I have to use it.”

    Assuming her coworkers were exposed, they have now exposed everyone in their office–about 200 people. But, her office is in the Salesforce Tower, the largest structure in Indiana. 50 floors of offices, cafeterias, daycare centers, etc., serving thousands of people every day. If someone from her office has exposed just one cafeteria worker, how many has that person exposed?

    And if she has been exposed, I’ve certainly been exposed. Which means my coworkers and my child’s daycare has now been exposed, all 200 kids and their families. By the end of this week, all of their families’ coworkers and colleagues will have been potentially exposed, and on and on.

    And no one has any idea what to do. At all.

  16. Teve says:

    Understanding shifts in Democratic Party ideology

    Basically, the number of moderates and conservatives in the Democratic Party still outnumber the liberals, but not for long.

  17. Teve says:

    @Kathy: I need directions to his burial site and a 2-liter of Mountain Dew, stat.

  18. Teve says:

    @de stijl: the last season isn’t on netflix yet thanks.

  19. Kathy says:


    I gather you’ll be bringing your own tap shoes?

  20. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    It seems to me the people from Amazon would have also been in other parts of your town and would have had contact with other people, many of whom work in offices, schools, etc.

    It seems, too, this is why we have governments.

  21. Teve says:

    One twin got cancer in the UK, the other got it in the US.

    Same genes, same type of cancer, very different bills.

  22. Jen says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Well, I guess if it’s worth anything from a random internet stranger, I hope you and yours are all well and healthy–and remain that way.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m going to assume the 2 down votes on this story are from whiney ass bitches who got a good and proper beat down from a girl they tried to cop a feel from in the 10th grade.

  24. Teve says:


    Regardless of what Warren decides to do, the fact that in less than a decade she went from college professor to one of the party’s intellectual leaders, best messengers, and person on the debate stage that you don’t want to fuck with is pretty astounding.

  25. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jen: thanks! I’m not too worried about my family. We are healthy and strong. I have a three month old, which does give me pause, but it seems the virus hasn’t hit that demographic as hard. I’m more just astounded at the complete lack of information. When someone’s identified as contagious, don’t they usually contact people who have been in contact?

  26. Tyrell says:

    Nick and Erendira Wallenda performing on the tightrope live over an active volcano ABC network. Unbelievable.

  27. Teve says:

    @ mark mobility

    Holy crap. Three years ago Kushner’s stake in Cadre was worth $5 million. He just sold it for $25-50 million after it benefitted from Opportunity Zone tax breaks that Kushner pushed for.

  28. An Interested Party says:

    @Teve: What was that about Burisma?

  29. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: it was Teapot Dome times A THOUSAND.

  30. de stijl says:

    I just watched a full episode of Lego Masters.

    I swear to Cthulu it is a parody.

    All the beats of a Chopped, or a Forged in Fire, or any “reality” competition show. Top Chef or Project Runway.

    Cheeky Will Arnett is the host.

    The winner goes all humble and congratulates the losing team. “Team X, person A and B were the scrappiest, savviest Lego Masters I ever defeated by a hair’s breadth. It was a honor to compete with them.”

    The losing team cries. The judges get verklempt and misty eyed at a worthy exit.

    This has to be a parody!

    It’s Lego. Build whatever the eff you want. There is no optimal Lego creation. The joy is in the snap and that connection sound.

    It is beat for beat Forged In Fire, but with Legos. There is even a buddha-esque Doug Marcaida analogue.

    If real it is painfully deriviative. If parody it is genius.

    My brain hurts because I cannot discern if it is real or not.

  31. Gustopher says:

    Scads of Seattle tech companies are telling their employees to work from home for a month. Microsoft, parts of Amazon, Facebook, Redfin, etc.

    I assume every man, woman and child in King County has been infected by now, including myself. Huzzah.

  32. de stijl says:

    High school wrestling is to Iowa as hockey is to Minnesota. As Friday night football is to Texas.

    Btw, watched Mn women hockey final last night Andover beat Edina. Sweet!

    Our recruiter guy was an ex-wrestler. I had to concentrate not to look at his super creepy cauliflower ears.

    You can pretty easily and fairly fake proper teeth in the case of hockey, plus everyone now wears proper protective headgear.

    Any youth sport that permanently damages your ear morphology so profoundly they never recover from inflammation, that is weird.

    HS and college wrestling here is a big deal.

    Dude seemed good at his job, it wasn’t really my focus, and he was a decent person, but his ears freaked me out.

    He was a guy where I had to consciously look him in the eye, the nare beneath his nose, upper lip, again to the eyes, but never on his grotesque ears, because that would be rude.

    I know there is skill and strength and aptitude and talent in wrestling, but it is not something I enjoy watching. Not my thing.

    Hockey, I could watch all day long. And I have.

  33. de stijl says:

    For middle school PE there was a mandatory wrestling unit.

    It was gross. We had to go into their lair. It stank.

    I got a boil. Apparently, there is some microbe, or virus or microflora whatever that causes boils. Wrestling cooties.

    Plus guys I knew would do crazy stupid
    abusive shit to get down to weight

    A boil directly between my eyes at the top of my nose. Looked like a rhinoceros. Refused to go to school. Had to get it lanced, and, my lord, the amount of extruded pus was really disturbing.

    I am not fond of wrestling.

  34. de stijl says:

    My friend Jon had a GF from France.

    I guess I never knew her exact visa situation, but I know she was not able to get a job as a nurse here, even though she was an ER nurse in Paris. Fully credentialed and trained and had been employed. Worked as a home aide while she was in America. Our system did not acknowledge her training. Her family ran a gelato shop.

    I delighted in showing her how America America is. My French is fucking horrible, but better than anyone else we knew. So that became my job.

    There was a WWW show in town. Before it got rebranded as WWE. Road Warriors! She was flabbergasted. It was the stupidest thing I ever saw in person.

    Monster Truck show at the metrodome.

    “THIS SUNDAY (Sunday sunday sunday) we’re turning the entire floor of the Metrodome into a giant mudpit!”

    No fuck, they actually did.

    We got really good seats. It was great stupid fun. Really loud, btw. Obnoxiously, agressively American. That was very cool.

    She really got upset at cheese in a can.

    She liked the Blackhills altho got crabby about the amount of time to drive there. She did not enjoy camping at all. Seriously, not at all.

    She was French afterall. Katie was a very interesting person. When she was less than happy, it was abundantly clear. She was a good wingperson; my social life improved a lot just by hanging with her.

    It did not last. Jon is now married to a much more culturally flexible Munich woman. My shenanigans do not impress her. I respect that.

  35. de stijl says:

    My great grandfather was utterly enamored with 60s early 70s televised wrestling. Until he died.

    In that market AWA. Verne Gagne’s rig. He enjoyed when the heels won. Not a face guy.

    He liked The Crusher and The Bruiser. Larry Hennig and Baron von Raschke. Those type of guys. Labor over capital. Gagne could drown for all he cared.

    His English was decent but dodgy. I learned a lot of Swedish swears which amused him to no end. I would stomp about pretending to do The Claw.

    In today terms it was horrifying. He drank beer all day. He drank hard liquor well before noon until bed. He encouraged me to sip both. Aquavit is not pleasant to an immature palate. Dude smoked basically non stop.

    Not even sure he liked me. I was there as free labor June thru August. OG Swedes are not demonstrative with affection.

    Saturday mid morning was sacrosanct though; watch AWA All Star Wrestling.

    Watch Kenny Sodbuster get his butt kicked by whoever. Drink beer.

    I cannot recall his actual name.

  36. Tyrell says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Doctors recommend using just commons sense and treat this the same way we normally do with the flu.
    ou treat a coronavirus infection the same way you treat a cold:
    “Get plenty of rest.
    Drink fluids.
    Take over-the-counter medicine for a sore throat and fever. But don’t give aspirin to children or teens younger than 19; use ibuprofen or acetaminophen instead.
    A humidifier or steamy shower can also help ease a sore and scratchy throat.” (WebMd)
    That is similar to what other doctors are saying. Many add to stay away from doctor’s waiting rooms.
    It used to be that people followed the doctors advice of staying home, take some aspirin, and get some rest. Now people want to continue their daily activities and want a quick fix instead of staying home and building up their strength. Most people who get the flu, strep, and other problems are usually weak from not getting enough rest, food, and staying on the go so much. Stay in this weekend and catch some good basketball games instead of being out in the big shopping crowds.

  37. de stijl says:


    You know this but others may not.

    Always pan roast dried chilis before soaking.

    Hot pan no oil. Maybe a minute or two. If you decide to keep the seeds watch out because the seeds can char faster than the body if you crunch / crumble the chili which I do. Hold the seeds back for half the total time.

    Move it about in the pan.

    Awakened chili is great. Burnt chili is crap.

  38. de stijl says:



    I spaced on spoiler alert. I can be an idiot, that is very true. In my defence, it was inadvertant.