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. OzarkHillbilly says:
  2. MarkedMan says:

    How long will it take a Republican Pol to realize that the only way to safely defy Trump is to attack him from the Trump side? “Trump had the right idea, but he didn’t go far enough”, “Trump tried his best but he is a businessman, not a politician. If we want to get things done we need someone who knows how the Washington snakes slither.” Stuff like that.

  3. CSK says:

    I don’t think that would work with the hardcore MAGAs.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Kellogg has said it is permanently replacing 1,400 workers who have been on strike since October, a decision that comes as the majority of its cereal plant workforce rejected a deal that would have provided 3% raises.

    The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International Union said an overwhelming majority of workers had voted down the five-year offer.

    The decision follows months of bitter disagreement between the company and the union. The rejected offer would have provided cost of living adjustments in the later years of the deal and preserved the workers’ current healthcare benefits. But workers say they deserve significant raises because they routinely work more than 80 hours a week, and they kept the plants running throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
    Workers say they are also protesting planned job cuts and offshoring, and a proposed two-tier system that gives newer workers at the plants less pay and fewer benefits. Speaking to the Guardian in October, Trevor Bidelman, president of BCTGM Local3G and a fourth-generation employee at the Kellogg plant in Battle Creek, Michigan, described it as a “fight for our future”.

    “This is after just one year ago, we were hailed as heroes, as we worked through the pandemic, seven days a week, 16 hours a day. Now apparently, we are no longer heroes,” said Bidelman. “We don’t have weekends, really. We just work seven days a week, sometimes 100 to 130 days in a row. For 28 days, the machines run, then rest three days for cleaning. They don’t even treat us as well as they do their machinery.”

    Kellogg said it would now move forward with plans to start hiring permanent replacements for the striking workers. The company has already been using salaried employees and outside workers to keep the plants operating during the strike.

    With unemployment at 4.2% and “Help Wanted” signs posted on every other business, their threats “to start hiring permanent replacements” sound rather hollow to me. I’ll bet people will be lining up by the 10s to “work seven days a week, sometimes 100 to 130 days in a row.”

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ron Filipkowski

    The Boebert family.

    I have long been a firm believer that in politics, family is off limits. But damn, these assholes are making it harder and harder to hold to that standard.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A Japanese billionaire has fulfilled his childhood dream of travelling to space, as one of two passengers onboard a Russian rocket that blasted off towards the International Space Station.

    Yusaku Maezawa, the founder of Zozo, a successful online fashion business, and his production assistant, Yozo Hirano, on Wednesday became the first space tourists to travel to the ISS for more than a decade.

    But Maezawa, a noted art collector who reportedly has a net worth of $1.9bn (£1.44bn), has said his ambitions do not end there, having signed up for a more ambitious journey around the moon on Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket planned for 2023.
    “I’m excited,” he told reporters on the eve of his 12-day journey. “I feel like an elementary school student about to go on an outing. I didn’t think I would be able to go to space. I used to like the starry sky and heavenly bodies. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity and to finally fulfil my dream.”

    The 46-year-old used social media to chronicle the 100 days he spent preparing for the mission, saying he had enjoyed the experience of induced weightlessness on an adapted plane, but confessing that sitting in a spinning chair had been “like torture”.

    He and Hirano, a film producer, will document daily life on the space station, where the entrepreneur will perform 100 tasks for the tycoon’s YouTube channel, which has more than 750,000 subscribers.

    If the ISS is going to become just another rich fck tourist destination, maybe it’s time we pulled our funding from it.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    That’s what Steve Bannon is trying to do

  8. CSK says:

    I see she decided to imitate the Massie family::

  9. CSK says:

    Speaking of MAGAs, Lin Wood has accused Marjorie Taylor Greene of being under the influence of the devil.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Originality is not her strong suit.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Stopped clocks and all that.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    After more than three decades as a physician, the Q maniacs have succeeded in driving me out of providing care to patients. I, like many of my colleagues, am moving into medically-adjacent work, where we can continue to apply our training and decades off knowledge without ever having to come in contact with sick people.

    I’ve been able to deal with the years of patients who attended Google Medical School, and the hours wasted explaining things such as why cinnamon cannot be used to treat diabetes, or that garlic and beetroot can’t treat HIV. And Lord save me from essential oils.
    I could deal with all of that. What I can no longer handle is the screaming, not from the patients, but from the families. They are not screaming in anguish, or in recognition of how their foolishness has led them to this point. No, they are screaming at me. Because, you see, I am part of the global conspiracy to commit genocide. If only I would give 10,000 mg of Vitamin C – even though the body can only absorb a maximum of 100 mg a day, with the rest creating the world’s most expensive urine – they would be saved. Or hydroxychloroquine. Or ivermectin. Those have never been studied, they assure me, and when I tell them they have been, they snap that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I want, oh god I want, to tell them that if we are the ones responsible for killing their loved ones, then why the hell have they brought them to the hospital? Why throw them into our clutches? I know the answer: They know it is all lies. But their egos are so huge they cant bring themselves to admit it.

    My breaking point came three weeks ago…..

    Can’t say as I blame him. We all have limits.

  13. CSK says:

    Does it ever occur to the the Trumpkins that all their boy’s supporters are insane, corrupt, or evil?

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I think we overestimate the number of people who worship Trump himself. The majority of trumpers I’ve talked with are perfectly willing to concede Trump himself is an ass, but they feel he is the only one willing to speak for them. My instinct is that if there was an alternative choice who was doubling down on the Trump message, they would be perfectly willing to stop defending the original. That’s just my gut talking though.

  15. CSK says:

    I think you’re right, but here’s the question, or questions:
    1. Why do they want an ass speaking for them?
    2. What is it about them that only an ass can speak for them?

  16. Kathy says:


    Right track, wrong strategy.

    The way to fight Benito from his right flank, is to belittle, insult, demean, and ridicule him and his family. In short, to subject him to the trump treatment.

    But it has to come from a loutish, vulgar billionaire with more money and less manners. Someone who can portray the self-made myth. Otherwise they can be tarred as an effete, elite DEMOCRAT.

  17. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: For me, part of that expires when the candidate starts using their kids as props. As they are in that photo.

    As one of the Twitter commenters noted, “Kamala bought a $350 pot? There’s several thousand dollars worth of guns in that photo.”

  18. CSK says:

    Is there any billionaire more loutish and vulgar than Trump?

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I take your point. I’m not positing this as a desirable outcome, I’m merely musing on a political strategy, conceding that is one that would supplant one racist POS with another.

  20. MarkedMan says:


    The way to fight Benito from his right flank, is to belittle, insult, demean, and ridicule him and his family. In short, to subject him to the trump treatment.

    This only works if you come out ahead. It’s attacking Trump at what he is best at. No – that’s not far enough. I think Trump is vastly overrated in all but a few things, but this is one of those few. In schoolyard taunts for the benefit of an audience Trump is a master, there is almost no chance a Republican can come out ahead. Cruz and Rubio both tried during the 2016 primary and look how that worked out.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: For me, part of that expires when the candidate starts using their kids as props.

    Exactly, as political props at that.

    Still, I have sympathy for the kids. They have no idea how their parents are using them for political gain. It’s not their fault Mom and Dad are soulless corrupt miscreants. It’s child abuse in my book.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Elon Musk?

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Cruz and Rubio both tried during the 2016 primary and look how that worked out.

    Yeah well, Cruz and Rubio could get their asses verbally kicked by my 2 yo granddaughter.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Donald Trump’s plan to launch “Truth Social”, a special purpose acquisitions backed social media company, early next year may have hit a roadblock after US regulators issued a request for information on the deal on Monday.

    Well, that didn’t take long.

    The twin developments set the stage for a major political battle over Truth Social, a platform that purportedly plans to challenge Twitter and Facebook, social platforms that have banned or curbed the former president over his involvement in stoking the 6 January Capitol riot.

    The request for information relates to DWAC board meetings, policies about stock trading, the identities of certain investors and details of communications between DWAC and Trump’s social media firm. It comes three weeks after Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren asked the SEC to investigate possible securities violations at the company.

    Warren quoted news reports that said DWAC “may have committed securities violations by holding private and undisclosed discussions about the merger as early as May 2021, while omitting this information in [SEC] filing and other public statements.”

    But investigations into the Trump project appear to predate Warren’s request.

    Not that anyone on the right is going to make note of that last part.

    In October, soon after the deal was announced, shares in DWAC soared by more than 1,200%, suggesting the implied value of the enterprise could reach $8.2bn. Trading in the company was halted 12 times as Trump fans pumped the stock on Reddit and StockTwits, pushing Trump’s 58% stake in the combined TMT-DWAC company to $4.8bn.

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  25. CSK says:

    I don’t follow Musk’s doings that closely, but no, I don’t think so. Trump is in a class by himself insofar as loutishness and vulgarity is concerned.

    And Musk can never be president, given that he was born in South Africa.

    And a sucker is born every minute.

  26. Kathy says:


    None I know offhand. That’s one problem.


    Well, yes, you do have to come ahead.

    The thing is El Cheeto was his own worst enemy (we’re number two, so we try harder). he tripped himself up by ignorance and incompetence in just about everything he tried to do, be it by law, by executive order, or by manipulating the rules.

    Our hypothetical little fuhrer would have to say he agrees with Benito, but that he’s so inept and stupid, he won’t ever get the wall built, the immigrants stopped or gone, or whites on top forever, world without end, etc.

  27. CSK says:

    I think calling Trump stupid, incompetent, loutish, and vulgar would only work with those Republican voters who already see him as such.

  28. Monala says:

    @Jen: AOC tweeted this about the photo:

    L ol @ all the years Republicans spent on cultural hysteria of society “erasing Christmas and it’s meaning” when they’re doing that fine all on their o

  29. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Kathy: @CSK: Calling him stupid etc. won’t have much of an impact, but making the argument that he’s weak might. It may not convince all of them, but it might start making a difference around the edges.

  30. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: Kinda covered this before, but basically they believe Democrats and the professional classes are evil. A stunning success from an information operation perspective. So yes, even you and I would ride with the ass over the devil.

    Keep in mind that most revolutions and civil war incubates in rural areas. Democrats have to decide how they want to play the current state…say screw the yokels and invite them to try it if they dare….or actually compete in the information space in these areas.

    If democracy is truly a priority, Democrats cannot only compete on the coasts and cities. They have to get in the information battlespace in these areas and humanize/Americanize themselves

  31. MarkedMan says:


    Our hypothetical little fuhrer would have to say he agrees with Benito, but that he’s so inept and stupid, he won’t ever get the wall built, the immigrants stopped or gone, or whites on top forever, world without end, etc.

    Exactly, with one slight caveat. The challenger doesn’t have to outright say that about Trump, merely point out that Trump’s strength is as a thinker and a businessman, and government calls for a different set of skills. “We need to get beyond endlessly pointing out the problems and get in and fix them. The deep state used a thousand laws and rules to tie Trump up, and they were successful because he never had to deal with that type of attack before. I’ve spent my life fighting these guys and I know how to beat ‘em.”

  32. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Indeed they have done a great job of persuading Trump Republicans that Democrats are the spawn of hell.
    Now that might well work. I’ve seen a few comments over at to the effect that, while Trump is wonderful, he might be too honest and innocent (pardon me while I gag) to deal effectively with the Deep State.

  33. flat earth luddite says:

    And I’m relying on someone with better eyes than mine, but damn, their family Christmas card (link via Charlie Sykes @ Bulwark/Twitter) looks like every one of her kids has the chamber closed and a magazine in the receiver. Or, as Grandma used to say… nah, I’m gonna pass this ONE time.

    Well, at least Massie family had the sense to leave the magazines out for their photo op. I know, it’s a small thing. But these days, I’ll take any good gnus I can find.

  34. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    I suppose Boebert had to figure out some way to one-up the Massies. The damn gun is bigger than the littlest Boebert kid.

  35. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I see. This is how they celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.

    Oh, I bet I know what’s going on. They thought He was called the Prince of Piece.

  36. Mu Yixiao says:

    In other news….

    I got some mail at work and had to look up where the recipient’s office was. Turns out he’s in California. So I open it up to see if it’s important. To find an envelope that was sent to our Canadian subsidiary. So I open it up to see what it is. It’s a catalog. Sent from Germany. Valued at 50 cents (according to the pro-forma invoice).

    Hey! Here’s an idea! How about sending an e-mail with a link to your website?

  37. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve been getting myself down with articles about the unvaccinated dying but just had a revelation. We are not doing enough to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of lives we have saved with the vaccine. If I am parsing this correctly, getting the vaccine puts you somewhere between 1/50th and 1/200th the rate of serious COVID consequences or death amongst the unvaccinated. With only about 60% of the population fully vaccinated (a bit more for eligible population), we have over a 1000 deaths a day and probably 10-15 times that of long COVID> But that means that somewhere north of 1400 lives are saved every day due to the vaccine, and 15K or more people are not suffering from long COVID. These are the people that are still in the work force, still vital members of society, and not a burden on their families or the taxpayers. So, yes, we are taking bad losses. But let’s celebrate the wins too.

  38. flat earth luddite says:

    Dagummit, I never got to play with fully automatic weapons when I was a kid! I mean, how do the little ones even work the action to bring one into the chamber?

    @Jay L Gischer:
    Seriously, how is this even a thing? When did I wake up in Arkham Asylum?

  39. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Yeah. Some of the 2016 nomination contestants tried that–Ted Cruz being foremost to my recollection–but I don’t recall it resonating with the great unwashed masses. Maybe it would this time, but it seems a tough row to hoe.

  40. CSK says:

    Trump says that his base will be “very angry” if he doesn’t run in 2024. Angry at whom? Trump? Will they storm Mar-a-Lago or Bedminster seeking to place his head on a pike?

    He also called his personal endorsement “a very important treasure” for a Republican politician to have. As opposed to an unimportant treasure, I imagine.

  41. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Sure they’re corrupt and all but not nearly to the extent that Pelosi and her gang are. (Gustopher is not the only person with “right thinking” relatives–not that he has claimed to be.)

  42. Mu Yixiao says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    Dagummit, I never got to play with fully automatic weapons when I was a kid!

    Those are almost certainly semi-auto.

  43. JohnSF says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Lessons from father: “A gun is not a bloody toy.”
    (Yes, I was taught to shoot when quite young, rather unusually for a Brit; albeit almost exclusively .22)

  44. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    Yeah, but how can anyone look at Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert and not think: “These people are fucking crazy?

  45. just nutha says:

    @CSK: True, but those Republicans are supporting him in spite of the fact that he’s vulgar stupid and loutish because they still want the same basic society as the vulgar stupid louts. It’s still a question of values not manner.

  46. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    You’re right. There’s really no other explanation.

  47. Sleeping Dog says:

    Saw this earlier and it about sums up the gun question.

  48. Kathy says:


    I think the GQP had provided enough proof already that not all fetishes are sexual. These photos are completely unnecessary.

  49. flat earth luddite says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Given the parental units involved, I don’t share your optimistic outlook about those firearms. Although maybe they’re prop guns with the orange plugs removed?

    I’m afraid that to these parental units (and their children), yes, they ARE bloody toys.

    “They can’t be crazy, Cleatus, they’re just like us!”*

    *apologies to any Cleatus’s here whom I’ve inadvertently offended

  50. JohnSF says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Another quote from Father:
    “Hoplophobe? I’m supposed to be afraid of bloody Ancient Greek soldiers, am I?”
    (Dad was a Grammar school kid, so he had a fair bit of Latin and a smidgeon of Classical Greek)

  51. CSK says:

    Apropos of absolutely nothing, are you a fan of the Flashman novels?

  52. JohnSF says:

    Never read them!
    Been on my “need to read sometime” list for ages.
    And have read some excerpts.
    But there’s always been something else ahead of them.
    (Did read Tom Brown’s Schooldays many, many years ago LOL. Also some of the Sharpe novels, which are in a way are sort of Flashman earlier in time and entirely without the ironic edge)

  53. JohnSF says:

    Sort of related:
    Years ago, visited the home of a girl I knew.
    Old gentry family, junior branch; very old massive farmhouse, almost verging on the stately, but more scruffy.
    Massive staircase with pictures of family members waving sabres in Rhineland, India, the Peninsula etc
    I said:
    “And what did your family get up to when they weren’t busy killing people?”
    Joanna (with sly grin):
    “Well, great uncle Bertie was very good at crochet.”
    (Turns out said great uncle was WW2 Commando)

  54. Mister Bluster says:

    Just recieved my second unsolicited issue of Mad Magazine in two months. Like the last one it appears to be a collection of items from old issues. The oldest in this volume from Sep. 1964.
    I used to read Mad Magazines that belonged to classmates back when I was in Grade School in the ’50s. It was my first political journal.
    I never bought it or had a subscription. Can’t figure out how I got on their mailing list. The last magazine subscription I had was The New Republic and that was 30 years ago.

  55. CSK says:

    Well, bump them up to the top of your reading list, tout de suite.

  56. Mikey says:

    OK maybe I’m the only one who finds this really funny.

    A person wants to find a place they can get a zipper pull replaced. Of course auf Deutsch this is called a “Reißverschlusseinführungsstift.” The funny part is all the people commenting on the question are Germans having fun making fun of their own language.

    “Ich hab ne Engelbert Strauß Jacke die top in Schuss ist. Nur der glumberde Einführungsstift is hie. Repariert sowas der Standard Schneider? Gibts da einen in der Stadt?”

    (I have an Engelbert Strauss jacket that’s in great shape. Only the zipper pull is gone. Can a regular tailor repair it? Is there one in town?)

    The replies, each in turn.

    “Dafür musst du dringend zu einem Reißverschlusseinführungsstiftreparaturbetrieb.”

    (For that you must go immediately to a zipper pull repair shop.)

    “Dazu braucht man aber eine Reißverschlusseinführungsstiftreparaturbetriebsvermittlungsstelle.”

    (For that you will also need a zipper pull repair shop broker.)

    “Stimmt. Da hilft bestimmt der Reißverschlusseinführungsstiftreparaturbetriebsvermittlungsstellenverband.”

    (Correct. For this a zipper pull repair shop brokerage association is helpful.)

    “Am besten sprichst du gleich den Reißverschlusseinführungsstiftreparaturbetriebsvermittlungsstellenverbandsvorstand an.”

    (It’s best to speak with the zipper pull repair shop brokerage association’s board of directors.)

    “Da kriegt man schwer Termine. Am besten du klärst das mit der Reißverschlusseinführungsstiftreparaturbetriebsvermittlungsstellenverbandsvorstandssekretärin.”

    (It’s hard to get appointments. Best to arrange it with the zipper pull repair shop brokerage association board of directors’ female secretary.)

    And yes…those are all fully valid words in German, the absolute grand champion of the compound word.

  57. dazedandconfused says:
  58. Kathy says:

    It occurred to me today I may be too pessimistic on the wait for a booster here in Mexico.

    The first vaccines went first to those over 60 and those with comorbidities or other conditions that put them at high risk. But back then, there has to be a wait of 4 to 12 weeks for the second dose before the next age group could get a turn. This was to secure a second dose for the first group, largely because supplies were very low.

    Boosters are single dose, no need to wait nor secure a second dose. Therefore, things may move faster. In addition, for the two dose regime vaccines were matched. For the boosters it’s known any vaccine will be effective (albeit not equally so). For instance, the first round of boosters was all AstraZeneca, regardless of what vaccines were used in the two-dose regime.

    So maybe I won’t have to wait that long, and there’s a high probability I’ll get AZ rather than Pfizer (also, Pfizer is being given to teens 15 to 17, and hopefully soon afer to teens 12 to 14).

    I’m fine with that. AZ is supposed to get a higher T cell response anyway. That confers very good protection against severe disease and death.

    And I get to avoid a plane trip to the border. That saves a ton of money.

  59. DrDaveT says:


    German, the absolute grand champion of the compound word.

    Actually, Turkish (or any other agglutinative language) is worse, but you’ve made your point.