Welcome to June 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:

    Months of distrust inside Trump legal team led to top lawyer’s departure

    The article mentions that all of the backstabbing going on is reminiscent of Game of Thrones. I reality it is more of a mash up of GoT, the 3 Stooges, and the Keystone Cops. One just knows that all this infighting is engendered by trump. Buried in the article is this wonderful little tidbit:

    Trusty’s private frame of mind emerged over dinner with Halligan and Corcoran at the five-star Breakers hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida, hours after the special master court hearing. The conversation was overheard by this Guardian reporter who happened to be sitting at the table next to them.

    We reap what we sow.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Twitter’s value has plummeted by almost two-thirds since Elon Musk acquired the company in October 2022, one of the social media company’s only remaining external investors has admitted.

    Fidelity, an asset manager that held a stake in Twitter worth about $20m after Musk acquired the business for $44bn, said in a corporate filing that its stake was now worth just under $6.6m. That would value the overall company, now officially called X Holdings Corp after Musk’s early venture X.com, at just $14.75bn.

    The fund disclosed its holdings in its quarterly reporting on the performance of its blue chip growth fund, which invests in a range of companies in the US and around the world, focusing on household names with stable valuations. It also owns a $386m stake in Musk’s privately held rocket company, SpaceX, and another $849m in Tesla, which is publicly traded.

    Butbutbut he’s a genius. A true MOTU.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Twitter seems to have some level of sticking power, judging by how often I still see tweets linked, even here. I’m not predicting a rebound but I won’t predict it’s doom until I see journalists and commentators using something else.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I still look at Twitter* to keep up with a number of folks. The other available apps don’t seem to be as readable. I miss reading Popehat. He has a Mastodon account, but in my one visit to it, it appeared he was barely posting there and it was not as easy to follow as twitter.

    The best thing Musk could do is take himself out of the picture entirely but his ego won’t allow it. The article closed with, “Musk will stay on as chair and will retain responsibility for the service’s technology and app.” From what I have read by people who should know, he has a 3rd grade understanding of the tech. Myself, I have a preschooler’s understanding of it so I rely on the knowledge of others.

    I recently read that one of the other big tech companies (Instagram?) was going to start up a competitive service. Time will tell.

    * the way I use it allows me to avoid all the poisonous shit there. I often post twitter links I think might interest folks here.

  5. charontwo says:


    Twitter is easy to use, especially if you are used to it, and convenient. I still check it occasionally, but not as often.

    The various alternates seem kind of a hassle to set up, and none yet have large user communities, so I have not bothered. Lots of news re, for example, Ukraine, still showing up on Twitter.

  6. DK says:

    @MarkedMan: I don’t think anyone is predicting Twitter will disappear completely. I mean, Sears still has open stores and MySpace.com is still operating.

  7. charontwo says:


    the way I use it allows me to avoid all the poisonous shit there. I often post twitter links I think might interest folks here.

    I don’t see the poisonous stuff either, I think because everything I follow or retweet is pretty lefty.

  8. Stormy Dragon says:

    Happy Pride everyone

  9. CSK says:

    I think we’ve all figured this out, but it’s interesting that Stone would admit it so openly, even if he hadn’t been wearing a mic.


  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Not all that unique as techniques go. We used to do that to middle managers and sales people all the time in my first job. (The Divisional Manager was too aware of what he was doing to fall for it, though.)

  11. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Of course it’s not unique–it’s one of the basic tools of manipulators–but Trump seems unusually prone to falling for it.

    On the other hand, if you plant a great idea in a little kid’s head and watch her or him beam with pleasure at taking the credit for it, that’s lovely.

  12. CSK says:

    Mary Trump and E. Jean Carroll are co-writing a romance novel:


    They claim it will be politics-free.

  13. Scott says:

    Having grown up on Long Island Sound as well as scuba dived in those murky waters, this finding made me happy:

    How CT divers found submarine missing for 80 years in Long Island Sound: ‘Bam, there it was

    The water was dark and cold, but more than 100 feet down in Long Island Sound, the divers could see about 10 yards around them at the gravelly sea floor.

    They connected a reel to the line that ran up to the surface and began swimming against the current, knowing they only had one shot at finding their prize before the window awarded by the tides closed again. The water pressing against the special dry suits they wore hovered at 44 degrees, cold enough that hypothermia was a concern.

    They swam for about 25 feet, and then the profile of the sunken submarine, buried under the waves for nearly 80 years, emerged from the gloom.

    “Bam, there it was,” recalled Steven Abbate, who dove off the coast of Old Saybrook to the wreck Sunday with co-diver Joe Mazraani.

    The team, led by commercial diver Richard Simon, of Coventry, located the Defender, a 92-foot-long submarine built by Simon Lake in 1907 at his Lake Torpedo Boat Company in Bridgeport. Lake, a millionaire who Simon said was inspired by Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” tried unsuccessfully to sell the experimental craft to the U.S. Navy, according to Simon.

    A quick You Tube video: Historic submarine found in Long Island Sound

  14. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Mr. Moderator(s)
    How often (daily) are you checking on comments in moderation purgatory?
    I can’t (for the life of me) figure out why every comment I make goes to moderation, ever since the registration/eliminating of “thumbs-up” button changes were made.

    I anticipate this post will also end up in moderation, so if you can tell me how to mend my evil ways, I’ll be glad to follow through.

  15. Kazzy says:

    Rightwingers love to point at changes in Budweiser’s stock or Target’s stock as obvious evidence that “going woke means going broke”… even if those shifts are for unrelated reasons.

    I wonder if they’ll similarly point out Twitter’s market tumble is evidence that Musk’s rightwing nonsense is bad for business.

    Actually, I don’t wonder that. We know they won’t.

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    Excellent point.

  17. Stormy Dragon says:


    Twitter is no longer publicly traded, so Elon is free to say it’s worth whatever he wants

  18. Stormy Dragon says:

    The Littlest Short: I closed my short position on short-term treasuries this morning after making $32.86 the last seven days.

  19. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Just like Trump saying that his worth depends on his mood.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Have you read Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson? One hell of a good read.

  21. @Bob@Youngstown:

    How often (daily) are you checking on comments in moderation purgatory?

    It just depends on the exigencies of the day.

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Elon is free to say it’s worth whatever he wants

    Not really. Maybe he can say whatever he wants publicly, but he can’t mislead his investors. And the bank in question IS publicly held and they have to release honest information.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:
  24. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I’m afraid that my question About the frequency of the moderation hidey-hole checking came across as challenging. It wasn’t intended that way. No way do I want to contribute to the workload.
    If I know how to avoid the moderation bucket, I’ll certainly do so, because I don’t want to be a drain on your/others time.
    Any idea what I’m doing to (seemingly) get to moderation-required status?

  25. Mu Yixiao says:

    State Farm stops accepting applications for home-owner’s insurance in California.

    Insurance company documents aren’t exactly renowned for being riveting reading. This week, however, State Farm, the largest insurance firm in the US by premium volume, came out with an eyeball-grabbing update: it has stopped accepting new homeowner insurance applications in California.

  26. Mu Yixiao says:


    Any idea what I’m doing to (seemingly) get to moderation-required status?

    If you registered, it appears that you have to be logged in to post. If you’re not logged in, it goes into moderation (this is based on what I’ve seen happen to me).

  27. JohnSF says:

    On matters Musky and Twittering:
    The EU has just fired another shot across the bows.
    Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, May 26:

    “Twitter leaves EU voluntary Code of Practice against disinformation.
    But obligations remain. You can run but you can’t hide.
    Beyond voluntary commitments, fighting disinformation will be legal obligation under DSA as of August 25.
    Our teams will be ready for enforcement.”

  28. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    POTUS just fell on the Graduation Stage at the Air Force Academy.
    BRUCE fell on stage, in Amsterdam, a few days ago.
    I bet you won’t see MAGA making fun of the Boss.
    Just sayin’

  29. Kathy says:


    That’s a genre I try to avoid at all costs, therefore I know little about it. If there’s no need, no obligatory trope for a disgusting, orange-skinned, obnoxious, toxic character, then it shouldn’t be political at all.


    I’ll forego the Florida snark, because that was terrifying, and the driver must have been badly injured.

    I would like to see followup of the accident report. It looks as though the driver didn’t see the tow truck, and didn’t even try to slow down. I wonder what distraction could cause that. And I wonder, too, whether a caution zone was marked well back of the zone were police had responded to a prior accident.

  30. Matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:Moron. Hope they throw the book at her cause that’s simply ridiculous.

  31. CSK says:


    Yes. I’ve never read a romance either, nor do I intend ever to do so. I don’t know what Mary Trump is thinking. She appears to be a serious person. It’s a little easier to imagine an advice columnist such as E. Jean Carroll doing this. A little easier.

  32. Kathy says:


    I understand they sell well. Money is a serious business.

    On other things, I got my glasses today.

    They seem to work ok and are comfortable. But the real test will be on the drive home, as well as when I watch TV later.

  33. CSK says:


    The genre itself sells well. Individual books? As an editor once said, “It’s a matter of fashion, luck, and hype.” Nobody can predict whether a first-time novelist’s book will be a bestseller or a bust. Trump and Carroll have name recognition, which may help.

    Good luck with the new glasses.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: I would think twice about adding glasses to the drive home until you are used to them, assuming you drive fine normally.

    It’s the type of change that can mess with your automatic responses and make driving conscious — which is basically regressing you to a very skilled learner. Don’t mess with muscle memory.

    That said, about a quarter of the people on the road are drunk or high or trying to reach for French fries or something, so what’s the worst that could happen?

    Also, have you noticed that you can see that trees have individual leaves? That’s always awesome.

  35. Kathy says:


    I need glasses pretty much only for driving, and watching movies and TV. Almost everything else I can see just fine.

    You mention leaves. Out the office window right now I can see some trees. With the left eye, the one with myopia and astigmatism, I can’t say any tree has individual leaves. With the right one, astigmatism only, I can just make them out.

    so what’s the worst that could happen?


  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Somebody elsewhere suggested texting while driving. Seems the most likely reason to me.

    @Matt: She did something stupid, but for right now I hope she recovers from her injuries. After that the courts will exact their punishments.

  37. Kathy says:

    Better luck next time, Elon!

    Oh, wait. It wasn’t Elon.

    All these authoritarians with over-inflated egos are hard to tell apart.

  38. Gustopher says:

    @Matt: sometimes people learn lessons on their own, without being prosecuted.

    I haven’t seen the video, because I keep checking OTB in crowded places, but I expect that the car is not in great shape and she’s not in great shape, and if no one else was hurt… that might be enough consequences.

  39. dazedandconfused says:


    Probably the distraction was the accident the truck was there to clean up. It is remarkable how dangerous such ops are to the first responders. The issue is human perception. We have only a very small field of focus and a lot of details we imagine we are seeing in peripheral vision are but constructs of our imagination. IOW, we think we see much clearer in the periphery than we actually do, as our brains fill in the blanks with what it expects to be there.
    PBS did a show on that recently.

  40. Kathy says:


    I was going to refuse to speculate, then I thought: what if the driver was taking snapshots of the accident to post on social media?

  41. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @Bob@Youngstown: Bob, thank you, I was afraid I was the only one going straight to moderation every time.

    Mu, at the risk of asking a stupid question, how do I log in? I I’m failing to see anything like a Log In or Account button. I did register, I didn’t get an email, if I attempt to register again I get a message that I’m already registered.

    ETA – Yup, moderation. But I can at least edit it in moderation.

  42. gVOR08 says:


    Oh, wait. It wasn’t Elon.

    At first I thought you were referring to the Florida lady flying off the wrecker ramp, but it wasn’t a Tesla.

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: The driver of the vehicle ahead of her was injured when her vehicle landed on it. They don’t give details of their condition. I hold with “Shit Happens” until the courts say otherwise.

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: At 70+ MPH? I still go with texting.

  45. dazedandconfused says:


    Then of course driver should’ve been summarily executed, and at the scene, if at all possible. Save everyone a lot of trouble and there was probably already a meat wagon on the way. However, that activity might actually might have prevented it.

    Attempting something complex and alien prompts most people to begin diligently shifting attention, as opposed to the false sense of security leading to lax attention and false trust in peripheral vision when simply looking. The number of incidents of looky-loos at accident scenes plowing into something, and without texting or phoning or whatever, says much.

    I would like to know if she was driving a car with one of the new lane-holding autopilots. Perhaps the configuration of that angled, relatively smooth dark ramp is one the autopilot’s programmers failed to anticipate. Might have deemed it as the beginning of a hill.

  46. charontwo says:


  47. Matt says:

    @Gustopher: She nearly killed the truck operator while driving in an incredible reckless manner. She ignored multiple laws and common sense (keep right laws, move one lane over for emergency vehicles, slow down when traffic, etc). In the video you can clearly see she doesn’t even react until about 20 feet away despite having a clear view for at least a mile. She was either distracted with her phone or a complete moron. Either way she’s going to kill someone with that behaviour and I don’t consider property damage enough punishment.

    In the comment section of the video there are people blaming the parked tow truck for the accident. I wouldn’t be surprised if she internalizes that herself to avoid having to take responsibility.