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. Sleeping Dog says:

    Nothing to say, just thought I’d be first.

  2. CSK says:

    Mollie Hemingway claims that, given his support for Ketanji Brown Jackson, Mitt Romney must be a pedophile.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ben Collins

    Satan’s DNA is trending because a YouTube “documentary” named after the QAnon catchphrase “Watch the Water” is blowing up among antivaxxers.
    The documentary claims snake venom and magnets were put in the COVID vaccine to give us Satan’s DNA. It is even more insane than usual.

    Ooooooo cool. I wonder which snake venom J&J and Moderna use.

  4. Mu Yixiao says:


    No no no… That’s a typo. They’re giving us Santa’s NDA so we don’t report him to OSHA and the Dept. of Labor regarding his factory and warehouse conditions.

    Magnetic snake venom would be way too cool to just give away for free.

  5. Scott says:

    Two articles on the promise and dangers of technology in warfare:

    Putin is holding GPS hostage – Here’s how to get it back

    On November 15, 2021 a missile streaked into space from Russia, destroying a retired Russian satellite. The remnant debris endangered other satellites and the International Space Station crew that included Russian cosmonauts.

    Russia’s anti-satellite test was meant as a clear message to the U.S.; Russia can destroy American satellites. Two weeks later a Russian news media personality bragged that Russia could bring down all 32 GPS satellites, a move that would affect nearly every facet of American life. The demonstration and subsequent threat would become a prelude to Russia’s next major act.

    If GPS signals suddenly disappeared, transportation systems would immediately suffer. Everything would slow down, carry less capacity and be more dangerous. Air travel would be less efficient and safe. Delivery services would be hamstrung. Uber and Lyft would be out of business.

    Other critical systems would follow over subsequent days. Cellphone towers and internet switches would lose synchronization. Banks could not timestamp transactions. Control systems for electrical grids, sewer and water systems, and many industrial applications would fail or revert to inefficient manual operations.

    Power struggle: How the US Army is tackling the logistics of battlefield electricity

    In generations past, infantry officers’ primary needs were ammunition, an extra pair of dry socks and enough water in the field.

    But soldiers today need vast stores of power just to manage daily operations, from the batteries that power the Samsung-based Nett Warrior system that connects soldiers to the electricity that keeps command posts and operations centers running.

    Those needs are set to grow within the next decade as the Army moves toward using electric vehicles on the battlefield and weighs a variety of power sources for its facilities and bases.

  6. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I hope it is locally and sustainably, non-GMO sourced snake venom.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Hill

    : “There was $7 trillion in new debt just from the four years of Trump and 2.6 million jobs lost during the Trump years. But when Senator McConnell and Republican leaders come to this podium, all they do is complain that we’re not cleaning up their mess fast enough.”

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I never did trust that Santa guy.

    @Scott: I’m hoping I got Fer-de-lance venom. I had a couple of “close encounters of the not as bad as it could have been” kind with them back in my Mexico travel days.

  9. CSK says:

    Yes, I mentioned this yesterday. I suppose the Bill Gates/George Soros microchips weren’t sufficiently menacing for the Qanon crowd.

  10. Kathy says:


    Let’s trace this logically. To get snake venom, you need venomous snakes. To get snakes, you need to find a place where there are lots of them. So, the vaccine snake venom likely was gathered at CPAC.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Back from the dead? Elusive ivory-bill woodpecker not extinct, researchers say

    Not holding my breath but nothing would make me happier. Well, maybe another grandchild would. Which now that I mention it, I am expecting one.

  12. CSK says:


  13. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wonderful!

  14. Jax says:

    Wish me luck! I get a bunch of teeth pulled today, and implants put in.

    I apologize in advance if I say anything weird later today, I will most likely be under the influence of drugs. 😛

  15. CSK says:

    I assume this is for periodontal reasons. (If I’m wrong, correct me.) Has the underlying infection been thoroughly treated? According to my periodontist, if it hasn’t, the implant will just fall out sooner or later.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: @Scott: Thanx, I’ve heard a couple of “Will Pawpaw finally get a grandson?” but tbh I had 2 sons and always wished I could’ve had a little girl to wrap me around her finger. I have 4 of them doing it now and a 5th would be even sweeter.

  17. EddieInCA says:


    Best of luck to you.

    If you have any leftover Vicodin, I’ll send you a prepaid FED EX slip so you can ship them to me.

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There was a similar kefluffle about Ivory Billed Woodpecker sightings 10-15 years ago or so, but it petered out with no conclusive proof.

  19. becca says:

    We are preparing for more extreme weather this morning. Got a big bullseye on Memphis this round of storms. Staging the generator now. We ended up with a dual-fuel Duramax.
    Btw, lived in Nashville for 20 years and Memphis for the same. Memphis is by far the coolest. Arrogantly shabby, but such lots of life and color. Much more organic and authentic than Nashvegas. Never looked back.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Yep. The “They have better eyes than we do, they are high in the trees and actively flee people. They aren’t great thinkers but they have developed a pretty simple strategy to avoid people.” just sounds a little too simplistic, maybe a little too full of himself. Everything in nature has better eyesight/hearing/sense of smell than we do and actively flees people, and yet I have sat on a ground stand while squirrels played on the toes of my boots and had coyotes walk by within 30′ w/o ever seeing me. Not to mention the deer I took.

    As such, I find it exceedingly hard to believe that for all these years nobody has seen one. I do not find it hard to believe that a lot of hunters and fishermen may have seen one but did not recognize them for what they were. The caveat being “a lot of” does not equal all and hunters and fisherman tend to be rather observant.

    We’ll see. They supposedly have pics and videos from remote cameras. If they actually are out there, it shouldn’t take long to confirm.

  21. Kathy says:


    One can go to places where these birds are reported, and look for feathers and droppings to analyze, maybe even corpses or bones.

    Less subtle, one can fly drones over such areas for weeks.

    BTW, human eyesight ranks second only to most birds as regards acuity and color.

  22. Beth says:


    I once had a possum in my backyard. Neither of us noticed the other until we were right next to each other. We both screamed. He jumped over the fence and and I ran for the house. It was bizarre.

  23. CSK says:

    Just a bunch of merry pranksters performing their usual jolly japes:

  24. Mu Yixiao says:

    Finland and Sweden eyeing NATO membership.

    “I won’t give any kind of timetable when we will make our decisions, but I think it will happen quite fast,” said [Prime Minister] Marin. She pointed out that Nato membership offered Finland the security guarantee of Article Five, whereby an attack on one member is viewed as an attack on all.

    The choice line:

    Moscow has warned Finland and Sweden against joining Nato in recent weeks.

    …and follow up.

    There have been reports that Moscow has started to move military equipment towards the Russian-Finnish border, although US officials said they had seen nothing to confirm that.

    Because what Russia needs right now is to commit more troops and hardware to a war on two fronts.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: I was in a Perry County cave with a couple friends to see the “pretties” (this one spectacular formation room). It was a very large cave, all walking passage. One buddy at the front was keeping his eyes on the uneven floor while sidling towards a large boulder. Just as he started to reach towards the boulder to steady himself, I noticed a rather large Raccoon frozen in place atop it.

    “Uhhh, Mark? There’s a raccoon there.” He stopped in his tracks and saw it for the first time.

    I really don’t know what it would have done. Chewed his arm to the bone? Run up his arm to his head to use for a launching pad? Or just stay put, tied up with fear…

    But as I observed to another caving partner when we were faced with the possibility of confronting a raccoon in a very tight and narrow passage, “There’s a lot of one eyed coon hounds in the world.”

  26. Kathy says:

    This is what a missed opportunity looks like.

    One of the participants charged for criminal acts during the Jan 6th Putsch, is blaming Benito, Rudy, et al, for “authorizing” the attack.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’d think this should be plead along with diminished capacity fo some sort. Not a medical condition, nor low IQ or developmental problems, as those can be tested, but something.

    The missed opportunity is that the attorney for the defense wanted to subpoena Benito, Rudy, and others to testify, but the judge didn’t allow it.

    Missed the chance to have Benito incriminate and/or perjure himself in effing court.

  27. Jax says:

    @CSK: No infection, just teeth with stunted roots that were about to fall out on their own. Underlying bone is good, so they went ahead and put the implants in. Hurts like hell now that the numbing is wearing off. Gonna go take a nap.

  28. CSK says:

    Okay. Take care of yourself.

  29. CSK says:

    Frank James has been arrested without incident in the East Village.

    This guy hates everyone: Whites, Blacks, Jews, Latinos, women, gays…

  30. Gustopher says:


    Frank James has been arrested without incident in the East Village.

    This guy hates everyone

    Yeah, the East Village was always attractive to people with that type of attitude…

  31. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: Biden really missed an opportunity not naming his new dog Brandon.

  32. Gustopher says:

    Abbot has apparently declared war on the international trucking industry.

    The White House, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mexican government and trucking groups said Wednesday that a new policy by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was creating a multi-mile backup of commercial vehicles carrying perishable fruits, vegetables and other products.

    The policy forces trucks to submit to a state inspection after a federal inspection once they cross the border from Mexico. It quickly escalated into an international incident, with the Mexican government seeking help from the U.S. State Department and the White House blasting the Texas governor. There are also growing complaints about truckers stuck in their cabs for more than 30 hours without access to food, water, or places to bathe in temperatures that have breached 100 degrees.

    Can’t have that economy functioning before the midterms, now, can we?

  33. Scott says:

    @Gustopher: Just in time for Easter weekend. I wonder if there will be a run on fruits and vegetables here in Texas the next couple of days.

  34. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: My husband and I are supposed to be heading to Finland in early 2023 for a Northern Lights excursion. In Utsjoki, Lapland.

    Might end up being a far more interesting vacation than we’d originally planned for, I guess.

  35. Kathy says:


    If you hear advice to pack a flak vest, you might want to reconsider.

  36. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Attacking Finland at any time would be strong evidence that Vlad is bonkers. In the present circumstances, it would be a sure bet.

  37. Kathy says:

    I’m done with Foundation and, alas, Severance. Is there anything else good on Apple? I bookmarked, if that’s the term, The Morning Show, We Crashed, and For All Mankind. I’ve already paid the first month, so I may as well get my money’s worth.

    I streamed the first 10 minute or so of The Morning Show and it didn’t grab me.

    I expect I’ll cancel before next month and resubscribe when season 2 of Severance comes out, possibly next year.

  38. Scott says:

    @Kathy: I don’t know if it goes to your taste but we enjoyed Trying. It’s a comedy (2 seasons so far) about a young London couple who try to conceive and then failing, trying to adopt a baby. It is a pretty good natured, somewhat goofy, little farce, and just a pleasant way to pass the time.

  39. Jax says:

    @CSK: It’ll be all worth it to be able to smile properly again. Two of the teeth were dead and turning black, I was getting quite tired of the hillbilly look. 😛 And eat food properly, some were so loose things like apples, carrots, corn on the cob, ribs, anything that took biting strength in my front teeth was off limits.

  40. Kathy says:


    I admit to very narrow tastes, but pile them up. I just don’t feel like doing the endless, repetitive scroll with a TV remote 😉

  41. CSK says:

    Oh, that’s awful. I’m glad you can smile and eat again.

  42. Mister Bluster says:

    Today’s bumpersticker:

    I’m SECULAR and I VOTE!

    *Freedom From Religion Foundation