Good Friday 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. Kathy says:

    More music for the long weekend.

    I’m going with something completely different, The Huapango, by José Pablo Moncayo García.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I like that. It’s now playing in the background as I work this morning. Thanks

  3. CSK says:


    Nice. Thanks.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: More music: Glen Campbell – William Tell Overture (smokin’ instrumental)

    When they say smoking? Yeah, those strings catch fire.

  5. Kathy says:

    Icelandair orderes some Airbus A321 XLRs. IMO this is an interesting illustration of Boeing’s blunder.

    It’s supposed to be hard to tell the effects from not doing something. If you scroll down to where Icelandair’s current fleet is listed, you’ll notice it’s an all-Boeing airline. You’ll also notice fully half their fleet is the older 757. So the order for a similar number of A321 XLRs, though deliveries begin in five years, is to replace these old Boeings.

    The thing is Boeing has nothing to replace the 757 with. Airlines will most likely replace the versatile mid-market plane with Airbus products, not Boeing’s.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My wife’s bronze age ancestors were big on acid trips.

    OK Ok…. I’m stretching it a little. So shoot me.

  7. Neil Hudelson says:

    Continuing Music Friday, over the weekend the Supergroup “boygenius” released their first full length album. Both the band and the album are being hyped across musical media, and it’s one of the rare times the sizzle matches the steak. It’s phenomenal.

  8. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    236K jobs added in March.
    A solid number that comes along with other signs that inflation is cooling off.
    Thanks, Brandon!!!

  9. CSK says:

    According to the WaPo’s Robert Costa, the person who persuaded Robert Kennedy Jr. to challenge Joe Biden was…Steve Bannon. Bannon thinks that Kennedy could be “a useful chaos agent int 2024 race and a big name who could help stoke anti-vax sentiment around the country.”

  10. The Q says:

    My friend is a pilot who has flown just about every plane in his 30 years as a commercial pilot.

    He says the Airbus has vastly improved their product line the last 30 years to where he can compare them quite favorably with Boeing, which historically has not been the case.

    Also, the recent mismanagement of Boeing is widely recognized for committing numerous blunders.

  11. CSK says:

    When Trump sucks all the oxygen in the race:

  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    Interesting. Disney’s Lucas Film has announced three new Star Wars movies which make the three sequels canon, will center Rey (Daisy Ridley) and at least one of which will be directed by (gasp!) a woman.

    I hope Disney doesn’t make its major decisions out of a desire to smack down every Kathleen Kennedy-hating YouTuber, but this announcement will explode many heads in that crowd. Iger has outplayed Meatball Ron and is not backing down on support for DEI. It’s like watching a prize fighter get beat up for three rounds, get knocked down, then suddenly hop up off the mat and start punching back.

  13. CSK says:

    Because it’s Holy Week:

    There’s a link to the MSNBC opinion piece at the end.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It’s good that Iger is fighting DeSantis. I assumed he was, but I’m very surprised he’s at all public about it. That may reflect DeUseless’ recent slide in polling. I haven’t seen any in-state poling.

    I agree entirely with the thrust of your comment politically, but artistically, does the world need another Star Wars trilogy? I have to ask you, and others here with Hollywood experience, a question. At political debates they do a thing with reaction dials. They give audience members a handheld dial and they’re supposed to turn it up or down depending on how much they agree with the speaker. Do they ever do movie focus groups with those things? Show movies and watch the dials on each scene, then take the “best” scenes and just string them together for their new movie? The last few new movies I’ve seen, including Star Wars I, II, III,VII, VIII, and IX sure looked like they were written that way. I recently saw Top Gun: Maverick. They beat to death the ‘fly through the canyon’ cliche. But I couldn’t believe they copied the original Star Wars ‘fly down the canyon and drop the bomb down the ventilation shaft’ briefing scene right down to almost a copy of the silly 2D line drawing animation of a bomb going down the shaft.

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    They use focus groups extensively. Not sure how they conduct those but my impression is that it’s by interviewing the random mall walkers who had nothing better to do than watch ane early cut of a movie. But @Eddie and @wr and some others here are much more knowledgeable.

    Does the world need more Star Wars? God no. As soon as I saw the Disney + landing page in 2019 I thought they were in trouble. Marvel was played out, Star Wars was played out and Pixar was without Lasseter.

    As a person who owns IP that various people are proposing to adapt – whether I like it or not in one instance – I’ve been paying probably too much attention to the Fanboy vs. Marvel and Fanboy vs. Star Wars fights which has become a front in the anti-woke wars. They’re right that Disney has foregrounded DEI and forgotten to tell actual stories, or develop characters. They’re wrong that Disney has much choice in the long run because they can’t live off legacy fans forever, they need to develop young audiences, and young audiences expect some DEI. I’d argue they don’t expect or want Disney’s particularly cloddish, self-aggrandizing, missing-the-fucking-point version of DEI, but DEI is here to stay. Hopefully less shitty.

  16. CSK says:

    Trump has apparently decided to hire Laura Loomer for his campaing, and Marj Taylor Greene is NOT happy about it, calling Loomer “mentally unstable” and “a documented liar.”

    Pot, meet kettle.

  17. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Does the world need more Star Wars? God no.

    You say that, but Andor is one of the best and most approachable depictions of life under fascism, with people feeling helpless and acquiescing until they don’t. It’s exactly the type of media we need — and something that doesn’t work as well outside of a popcorn franchise that essentially tricks people into watching it.

    Come for the Star Wars, stay for the heist show, get a stealthy education in fascism.

    They’re right that Disney has foregrounded DEI and forgotten to tell actual stories, or develop characters. They’re wrong that Disney has much choice in the long run because they can’t live off legacy fans forever, they need to develop young audiences, and young audiences expect some DEI.

    DEI and quality of story (and, in Star Wars, fancy spaceships and other toys) are not actually in conflict. The sequels were just shitty movies on a shitty foundation — the world building of TFA was a lazy retread that undermined any victory in TRJ, and locked the rest of the sequel trilogy into a bad place with a weak conflict.

    I’d argue they don’t expect or want Disney’s particularly cloddish, self-aggrandizing, missing-the-fucking-point version of DEI, but DEI is here to stay.

    I honestly have no idea what you mean by this. In Star Wars movies the diversity is surface level (There are a couple brown people, and Rey presumably has a vagina or a space vagina). Meanwhile Disney also has a movie about a girl who turns into a red panda when she menstruates or something which has gotten rave reviews, and something with fish people that resonates with closet people. I don’t think they have a single approach to DEI, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Also, we need a Lando movie.

  18. Stormy Dragon says:

    Caitlyn Jenner, collaborator:

    Today I publicly launch Fairness First PAC to fight the radical gender ideology, put parental rights at the forefront of education, and keep boys out of women’s sports. Link in bio.— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) April 4, 2023

  19. dazedandconfused says:


    After Chewbacca gets one, maybe.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Because MAGA evangelicals don’t know from Holy Week:

    Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. I John 2:15

  21. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Trump has gone from “chosen for us by God” to “the Savior who will die for us.” Just ask MTG.

  22. CSK says:


    Trump has dumped Loomer. The blowback was too intense.

  23. Jen says:

    I will keep watching Star Wars as long as they make them. The Last Jedi was my favorite of ALL of the films (including the original trilogy). It hit several key notes for me, I loved it.

    I am supremely pleased that they are bringing Rey back.

  24. JohnSF says:

    “Chewbacca and Lando: The Love That Could Not Be Denied!”

  25. Gustopher says:

    @dazedandconfused: All dialogue in Wookiee, not subtitles. Just like the sitcom portion of the Class Star Wars Holiday Special.

    I’m thinking a legal drama though. We don’t know that Chewbacca wasn’t a lawyer challenging the system from within before he got tangled up with Han Solo, so by Air Bud logic this can happen.

    Similar to the movie Nell, except rather than just Jodie Foster delivering a closing argument in Wookiee, everyone is talking in Wookiee. It could also double as a remake of Absence of Malice, A Few Good Men, or 12 Angry Men.

    Are you going to say that you wouldn’t go see 12 Angry Wookiees?

  26. Gustopher says:

    @Jen: TLJ has some pacing issues, and needs a bit of technobabble for things to fit (trench warfare in space, small ships able to go off and have adventures, ship as missile — all very doable), but otherwise it is the best movie that can be made on what TFA left, and one of the few Star Wars movies that tries to say something and only one that mostly succeeds.

    I am thrilled Daisy Ridley gets to have another adventure as Rey. I hope it is a good one. I would love for her to just do a few “solo” movies that show us what a Force user trying to figure out their place in the world would do, before trying to recreate the Jedi.

  27. Kathy says:

    @The Q:

    I really can’t speak about the technical merits of wither airbus or Boeing, as I know very little about flying a plane.

    The thing is there are about as many Airbus as Boeing aircraft these days, as they are pretty much the only choices in the market. That won’t change any time soon.

    But Boeing might lose out in the mid-market segment as it has no model to fill that role. Not that A321 XLR does, quite, but it comes closer.

  28. Kathy says:


    I thought many of the latest sequel characters were good, namely Rey and Finn and Maz. And I, for one, would love to hear Maz’s “story for another time.”