Welcome to May 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:

    The prominent medical ethicist Dr Arthur Caplan, who in 2014 accused Oz of “promoting fairy dust”, told the Guardian he was not surprised Columbia had “quietly eliminated” Oz.

    “They won’t have a press conference in the middle of this guy running for the Senate saying they were throwing him out … it could be seen as trying to influence an election, it could be risking bad blood should he become a senator,” said Caplan, professor and founding head of the Grossman School of Medicine Division of Medical Ethics at New York University.

    “My question becomes, ‘What took so long?’ He’s been a huge danger to public health in the US and around the world for a long time with respect to quack cures for Covid and touting quackery to treat diseases.

    “I was among the voices saying he had to be removed years ago. And I still think it’s the right thing to do because he really has forfeited credibility as a doctor. Whether that will matter in terms of the election, we shall see.

    “I think it should, I doubt it will.”

    We live in interesting times.

  2. CSK says:

    But Melania Trump really likes Dr. Oz.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Is he her GP? Yeah, I know better.

  4. sam says:

    Turnabout, motherfucker:

    For more than a decade, U.S. cybersecurity experts have warned about Russian hacking that increasingly uses the labor power of financially motivated criminal gangs to achieve political goals, such as strategically leaking campaign emails.

    Prolific ransomware groups in the last year and a half have shut down pandemic-battered hospitals, the key fuel conduit Colonial Pipeline and schools; published sensitive documents from corporate victims; and, in one case, pledged to step up attacks on American infrastructure if Russian technology were hobbled in retribution for the invasion of Ukraine.

    Yet the third month of war finds Russia, not the United States, struggling under an unprecedented hacking wave that entwines government activity, political voluntarism and criminal action.

    Digital assailants have plundered the country’s personal financial data, defaced websites and handed decades of government emails to anti-secrecy activists abroad. One recent survey showed more passwords and other sensitive data from Russia were dumped onto the open Web in March than information from any other country.

    The published documents include a cache from a regional office of media regulator Roskomnadzor that revealed the topics its analysts were most concerned about on social media — including antimilitarism and drug legalization — and that it was filing reports to the FSB federal intelligence service, which has been arresting some who complain about government policies.

    A separate hoard from VGTRK, or All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Co., exposed 20 years of emails from the state-owned media chain and is “a big one” in expected impact, said a researcher at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss his work on dangerous hacking circles.

    The broadcasting cache and some of the other notable spoils were obtained by a small hacktivist group formed as the war began looking inevitable, called Network Battalion 65.

    “Federation government: your lack of honor and blatant war crimes have earned you a special prize,” read one note left on a victim’s network. “This bank is hacked, ransomed and soon to have sensitive data dumped on the Internet.”

  5. CSK says:

    That was the basis for Trump’s endorsement of Oz: Melania likes him and Oz is very popular on television, which is, as we all know, the ultimate proof of human worth.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “I’m not here to roast the GOP. That’s not my style. There’s nothing I can say about the GOP that Kevin McCarthy hasn’t already put on tape.”

    -Joe Biden (at the WHCA din din)

    Fox News, I’m really sorry your preferred candidate lost the last election. To make it up to you, I’m happy to give my Chief of Staff to you all so he can tell Sean Hannity what to say everyday.

    also Joe Biden (at the WHCA din din)

  7. Kathy says:


    “This is the first time the president has attended this dinner in six years. It’s understandable. We had a horrible plague – followed by two years of Covid.”

    Although I’d like to see the gloves come off outside of a comedy roast.

  8. de stijl says:

    Rhino Records is featuring a jazz stream that is 549 hours and 7 minutes long. That seems excessive.

    You might want to break that up into more easily digestible chunks. Group, sort, apply a taxonomy.

    Like here is ten hours of Chet Baker or Miles Davis. How about a curated two hours? A tight 45 minutes per big name artist?

    549 hours is a bit daunting.

  9. Mister Bluster says:

    Happy Law Day 2022
    Give the Devil His due.

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..549 hours is a bit daunting.

    By Ft. Lauderdale News & Sun-Sentinel
    Chicago Tribune
    Feb 22, 1990 at 12:00 am

    On Jan. 1, Clearwater, Fla., radio station WKRL switched its call-letters to WXTB and became an all Led Zeppelin station.
    The all-Zep idea lasted just 11 days.
    Zep produced just six hours and 27 minutes of total product during its 12-year history. That alone was not enough to carry the all-Zep concept, so programmers added the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and ZZ Top to the playlist at audience request.

    I copy and pasted this item in case the link crashed and burned…

  11. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Let’s see, six and a half hours of music. Sounds like a satellite radio playlist. Run it 3 times a day and have the odd hour and a half to time shift the playlist.

  12. Mu Yixiao says:

    I fucking hate rheumatoid arthritis!

    Most people (who don’t have it) think it’s just “my knees hurt”. It is so much more than that–and it means my state of being is at the mercy of the whims of the weather.

    Yes, “My joints hurt” is a significant part of it. But “my joints hurt” also extends to “my bones are burning with ice” (I know that doesn’t make sense, but it does describe the feeling). I can handle that. If I need to pull out my cane and hobble along slowly, I can deal with that.

    What I struggle with is the “vitality vampire”. I mentioned previously that I was going to rebuild a medicine cabinet in my bathroom this weekend. Friday night, I swapped between periods of insomnia and periods of coma-like sleep. None of it was restful. I normally wake up before my 05:30 alarm, but I couldn’t get out of bed before 08:00–and that was a struggle.

    There is no way in the Nine Hells I would trust myself around power tools this weekend. Fatigue, lack of concentration, inability to focus. Compounded by the knowledge that there’s not a goddamn thing I can do about it.

    And then I look at @Flat Earth Luddite and feel like I’m whining.

  13. de stijl says:

    If I am reading to learn I can’t abide music with lyrics. It tears my brain into competing centers of attention. While reading for pleasure, too, now I think about it.

    Classical music almost always works for reading / learning. Strict instrumental is best. If there is any vocals it’s in a language I can’t follow in my head so it just a sound.

    Instrumental jazz works too.

    One of the local classical stations switches to jazz from 1 to 5 AM when I am often awake. It’s a pull from another affiliate so they don’t have to staff up for overnight, just one lackey engineer to mind the shop.

    No pieces that are really well known. If it’s a Bach piece I know, or Handel, or Marais my concentration on the written word my eyeballs are focused on goes out the window. My brain is listening and not reading and certainly not comprehending and assimilating in a meaningful way.

    I kinda want to click on the 549 hour stream. That’s almost 23 days.

  14. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    It’s fine to kvetch about your health now and again. IIRC, you had some very good news you shared recently which was very heartening to hear.

    Look at it this way, in a short period, you’ll have a new anecdote. Knock on wood.

    One two or three day stretch in college I had some variety of food poisoning. One afternoon I was waddling down the hall to the bathroom as fast as I could clenching as best I could because I absolutely knew my bowels were going to unleash a torrent within twenty seconds and I was going to barf within 18 seconds.

    My mind as I was waddling was trying to puzzle it out. Both were obviously going to happen forthwith and I had no choice in the matter.

    I banged open the stall, sat down and spread my thighs wide. As my bowels were exploding I puked into the vee shaped gap simultaneously. My aim was 80% on mark. Nothing some toilet paper and a quick shower couldn’t handle. Puking on your junk is a twist, though.

    Obviously not a story I share with everybody, but when I do, 60 to 70% are disgusted and 30 to 40% say they had to do the same sometime.

    I kinda have no shame sharing about things my body does that I have zero control over. It’s happening now whether I want it to or not. Entirely outside of my conscious control, you can’t will it away. It’s happening now.

    And it happens to everybody no exclusions. Why be squeamish? Why be coy? It happens to everybody.

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: This is arguably the most beautiful string quartet ever written (YMMV), but I find it too sonically/harmonically complex to do anything other than listen to it most of the time.

    (This particular quartet’s rendition is not my favorite, but I’m also probably too hard of hearing to make such assessments anymore.)

  16. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    ZZ Top and Led Zeppelin have very little in common musically. Roughly same time period.

    Some early Rolling Stones would work. Pink Floyd basically not at all in vibe.

    Why not “late 60’s, early 70’s white boy boomer rock” and expand the playlist?

    Well, they got publicity off it for a week or so I guess. More power to ’em.

    Half the radio stations when I was growing up were late 60’s early 70’s white boy rock. Of course, that was the early to mid 70’s so it made much more sense then.

    KQRS’ big name primetime deejay went by Tack Hammer. I didn’t like their schtick or playlist, but ya gotta admit that is pretty bad-ass.

  17. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I am a monster fan of Marin Marais and his use of the viola da gamba. Think big, chonky, rustic, old school cello. Fretted and pegged. A big ass violin played like a cello but is older.

    Bowed properly you can a big noise out of that thing. It has a huge resonance box and it makes a massive sound.

    Marais coaxed the most intensely interesting sounds out of this thing. Big, lugubrious laments of sound.

    It is the gloomiest day an autumn has ever seen and yet you feel gloriously vitally alive and aware and in tune with the world. Bursting with melancholic joy.

    Marais is the essence of autumn.

  18. Kurtz says:

    It’s one thing for a techy edgelord to show a lack of nuace in political economy.

    It’s quite another for the same person to go out of his depth in psychopharmacology, leveraging his image as a putative rocket scientist/electric vehicle innovator to garner credibility in areas he displays little to know understanding.

    Dude is a menace. Not the charming rogue type; the megalomaniac type. I suspect he flaunts his decisions to eschew yachts and his tendency to couch surf rather than check into a hotel is merely an attempt to preempt potential criticism.

  19. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kurtz: Dude, you really seem to be on the warpath. I can’t speak for anyone but me, but it’s tiresome. Particularly the way you impute motives to him.
    Frankly, that’s always suspect in my book. And yeah, you aren’t remotely the first person to do it. Demonizing one’s opponents is practically Politics 101. So I guess this is a me thing.

    In this case, the thing is, he’s spectrum, and thus not capable of the diabolical social manipulations that you accuse him of. He’s probably not even cognizant of the possibility.

    He is more focused on just a few things that most humans ever get. That’s common for spectrum people. Getting a hotel is a bother, and probably kind of scary. Staying with friends is safer. Friends don’t start acting weird because you’re unusual.

    This is less about me defending one guy in particular than it is me defending all the spectrum people I’ve had the privilege to know.

  20. de stijl says:


    I’d pegged Musk as a potential super villian a few months after he crossed into my consciousness. That guy gives off weird, creepy vibes.

  21. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    One two or three day stretch in college I had some variety of food poisoning.

    One of the times I had food poisoning in China, I was on a random schedule of spewing from one end or the other. In addition, my body was working so hard that I was constantly sweating. I had at least half a dozen showers that day.

    At one point everything aligned. I was in the shower, and I could feel it coming from both ends. I looked at the toilet for a moment, and decided it was best to stay where I was. It all came out, I switched the shower over to the hand-held shower head for a bit to clean everything up, and then proceeded to finish washing myself.

    Practicality wins.

  22. de stijl says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Being on the spectrum is not a free pass.

    You know how some people argue that criticizing Israeli government policy on settlements means you are anti-Semite? You know how that argument is bullshit?

    People on the spectrum can be criticized for actions or words. It does mean that that criticism comes from bias or group antipathy.

    Knowing Kurtz to be a person of good will and well tempered reason the likelihood he is critical of Musk because he is ASD is near enough to zero to not even elaborate.

    People who are outside the norm can, and should, be subject to valid criticism. Certainly not because of group or sub-segment stereotypes but on individual, controllable behavior.

  23. Mu Yixiao says:

    Things are officially bad.

    I pulled out my cane for the first time in three years.
    And I switched from scotch to milk.

  24. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    That is both gross and awesome.

    Ya gotta do what ya gotta do at times. I would have bolted for the toilet, but you did you.


  25. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    “It does mean” should have been “It does not mean”

    I assume everyone knew contextually, but it is best to be sure on a fraught topic that the “not” was absolutely intended.

  26. Kurtz says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Dude, back up for a second. “I suspect” is not imputing the motive, it is a way of expressing my suspicion of the amount of influence he has. There is more to this aspect of it, which I will address more below.

    If I wanted to impute a motive for him, I would just say it. Not to mention, he has taken other actions that are much easier to criticize. I could choose a bunch.

    By the way, I don’t consider him a political opponent in the least. In the sense that I think Tesla, the company, is doing important work. Rather, I tend to place him, as I wrote previously, alongside two different groups:

    People like Jobs, as brilliant as they may be, develop (perhaps unintentionally) an obsessive following. Individuals within that following take what their hero says as the views of a sage. Some of them take it way too far. (see: Holmes, Elizabeth)

    And a type of professional, often engineers but sometimes physicians or pure scientists, who stubbornly cling to simplistic versions of political and philosophical concepts. That makes them little different from most people. But their non-applicable accomplishments in other fields confer an authority that is unearned and inappropriate.

    And lest you think I am aiming personal criticism at all of humanity, spectrum or not, I get why. We live in times of ultra-specialization. We live in a world that grows more complex at breakneck speed. It makes sense that individuals are stuck relying on heuristics–I’m not labeling it as a personal failing. And guess what? All of us, you, me, Reynolds, Joyner all do it.

    It’s one thing to act on a particular notion of free speech. There are quite a few absolutists here, and I respect them regardless of any differences. It’s not an easy subject, and I’ve admitted as much here. But it’s quite another when he starts tweeting about anti-depressants.

    But let’s be honest. Whatever your view of prior restraint, there is a good reason why Musk is required to preclear with his legal team any tweets material to Tesla. Because words, in the context of the marketplace, can be indistinguishable from actions. He did something similar with Dogecoin.

    Like tweeting about anti-depressants, words have a material impact with collateral damage. Are we supposed to just shrug our shoulders and excuse it because we all found out about his condition via a revelation given on live TV? Maybe.

    I’m not saying that you couldn’t persuade me on it, because I’m not sure there is a good solution. But I’m also not advocating taking drastic action either.

    To be clear, I don’t think Musk owning Twitter is taking us toward an apocalyptic end. I despise social media in general, but I dislike Twitter more than the others. It has nothing to do with who owns it. The format itself encourages and validates superficial opinions about complex issues. It rewards the lowest common denominator just as the structure of our political system often does.

    Lastly, for someone who finds imputing motives suspect, why do you feel the need to impute a motive to the things I said about one specific individual and take it applying to everyone on the spectrum? If anything, to me, it’s more a reflection of the flaws in our economic and political systems.

    If his decision to sleep at Larry Page’s house is solely about finding hotels scary, then fine. My suspicion was wrong. Are you going to admit the same about your suspicions of my motives?

    Because if you were to look back at many of my comments, I’ve criticized my own political team for being dismissive toward our shared opponents. I’m willing to admit if I’ve been unfair, I’ve issued several mea culpas here and stressed that I don’t always live up to should. But I don’t think this is one of those times.

  27. Beth says:

    @de stijl:

    I was on reddit the other day and came across a group of people angry that the various lyric websites didn’t perfectly capture the lyrics for various EDM tunes. I was confused, so I told them to listen to more Techno. They got really mad at me.

    By and large, the lyrics are irrelevant. I mean, there are a couple of songs that have beautiful lyrics, but mostly it’s just window dressing.

  28. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Thanks. I do my best, which is often still inadequate. I just try to better myself little by little each day.

    I seem to remember that you were a Skyrim guy. Have you taken the Elden Ring plunge?

  29. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz: Regardless of any personal growth and betterment you may experience, I will always hold this against you.

    Oh, and while I’m at it, I never gave Reynolds a proper “fuck you!” for this.

  30. de stijl says:


    I listen to an embarrassing amount of EDM.

    I try to walk for an hour a day fairly briskly. Usually about 4 miles. The Ting Tings, et al. make me walk at about 1.15 my normal pace and I swear my stride gets a smidgen longer. I strut.

    Witch Core has some intetesting lyrics. Dark and weird, but interesting.

    I mostly listen to one of my fairly catholic playlists and walk along, but some songs I strut to.

  31. Kurtz says:


    Regardless of any personal growth and betterment you may experience, I will always hold this against you.

    Haha. You and @Mimai

  32. de stijl says:


    No. I don’t really like From Software games. I can “git gud” (well, kinda) and figure out the attack patterns with a bit of trial and effort and much error, but after 15 or 20 hours I lose interest. I can get past the learning curve, but by the time I “git gud” (kinda) I get bored.

    I watched a few hours of let’s play runs from people I respect and decided to pass.

    No disrespect to those who love Dark Souls type games / From Software games. Just not my cuppa.

    Lately, old Civ 6 and the new updates of CKIII. My new CK3 run is as total paragon. No plots, no murders, no schemes, no monkeying with succession, no faked claims, no lovers, if my allies ask for help I actually show up. Basically roleplay as a total straight arrow.

    I always start as a lowly count in the middle of nowhere, but that doesn’t work for that rule set
    way too boring. I restarted as Byzantine emperor and and allowed vassals the right to internal and external expansion.

    It’s okay. About to abandon it. I’m definitively doing the Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands next. I need some Borderlands and Ashly Burch in my life.

  33. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Don’t settle. A cane is for plebs.

    You have a walking stick like a person of refinement and taste. Which also has a hidden rapier concealed inside. Maybe some microfilm. You are a secret bad-ass.

    Think the first Kingsman movie (but not the last ten minutes of it).

  34. de stijl says:


    Having interacted with therapists for the last several years, this is *so* true. They take notes! Use your own words against you!

    (Not really. Kinda. When you deserve it. In a beneficial manner. Mostly.)

  35. Jax says:

    @de stijl: My daughter and I watched The King’s Man the other day and there was a moment in time (when the son died) and we were like “What the actual fuck…..did that just happen?! What?! Why?!”

    It was a pretty good/funny movie. I didn’t realize it was an “origin” movie for the others that followed. I give you Rasputin’s big dance. 😛


  36. Gavin says:

    This article is required reading for anyone thinking Musk is a genuine actor interested in Protecting Free Speech. In a shocking twist, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  37. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Fair enough.

    The main reason I was curious is because when I first started playing, I found the world to be very much what I always wanted an Elder Scrolls world to be.

    The git gud jerks are insufferable. Threads about that game are inevitably peppered with their stupidity.

    I’ve recently toyed with starting a new CKIII run, but Chinatown Detective Agency and Sleeping Dogs keep giving me the eye.

  38. Kurtz says:


    I thought about your bindle sticks comment the other day. It still cracks me up.

  39. de stijl says:


    Man, you have me pegged so hard.

    Peter Stormare is my favorite actor-type person on the planet.

  40. de stijl says:


    Sleeping Dogs is freaking awesome!

  41. de stijl says:


    What I really enjoyed about Skyrim and Oblivion was the exploring, the wandering, the big world. Marking places on the map. Morrowind to an extent.

  42. de stijl says:

    I just got a like, a heart and a reply from AJJ the band official channel. The trifecta!

    Screw Stormare, Sean Bonnette is my new favorite pseudo celebrity dude. Suck it, John Darnielle!

  43. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Yeah, I like the exploration aspect the most. Elden Ring is really densely packed, but has a serious sense of scale. But it’s still a From game, so yeah.

    I played a tiny bit of Sleeping Dogs when it was initially released. But I saw it for a couple bucks recently and figured I should play through it.

    I am also a big Yakuza fan. I came late to that party, but man… So glad I did.

  44. Gustopher says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    In this case, the thing is, he’s spectrum, and thus not capable of the diabolical social manipulations that you accuse him of. He’s probably not even cognizant of the possibility.

    Oh, bullshit. People on the spectrum can learn how neurotypical people behave, even if they don’t have the same impulses. It’s not as simple as learning about gravity, or pool, or anything else purely mechanical, but it’s doable for a lot of spectrum folks.

    But it’s even simpler — Muskrat behaves like nothing more than a man whose wife left him for someone else and is having a midlife crisis to try to feel relevant. Just with more money, and being more emasculated.

  45. Gustopher says:


    The git gud jerks are insufferable. Threads about that game are inevitably peppered with their stupidity.

    I always stick to games on the Nintendo Switch. Partly because I suck, and partly because the communities are friendlier and don’t have the gatekeeping shitbags.

    Skyrim is fun on it, and Animal Crossing and Breath of the Wild and Mario + Rabbids. Does anyone need more? (Yes, I do need more… I could use a new game like Skyrim, where the combat can be brought down to My level, and there are story elements)

  46. Kurtz says:


    Thank you for that.