Monday’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. Bill Jempty says:

    Dear Wife goes for a morning walk every day at 5 am. Before starting off she feeds feral cats in our neighborhood.

    This morning we had a surprise. One of the cats was outside our 2nd floor condo door. This male cat has done this at least a dozen times since we moved here but not since last year.

    There is only one way up here for a cat. A palm tree and Tweety Bird does it some how. Yes, Tweety Bird is our nickname for a cat.

  2. becca says:

    Republican congressmen Mike Turner and Mike McCaul have both warned of Russian influence in their party in the last two days. I hope more speak up about this. Must be pretty bad if these two are spilling the beans in a presidential election year.
    Can’t wait to read about trump’s reaction.

  3. Tony W says:

    @becca: Spanky is too busy fending off lawsuits and criminal complaints to respond to this stuff. His supporters don’t care anyway.

  4. Kathy says:

    Happy eclipse day.

    May totality be with you.

  5. becca says:

    @Tony W: trump supporters are too busy putting together their maga rally costumes to care, sure, but those not-crazy republicans and independents are getting more gettable every day.

  6. steve says:

    For those who follow economic issues nice chart at link. When you adjust for age we are at near record level on the labor force participation rate. People on the right are claiming that the low unemployment rate is fake and people arent working. Not true.


  7. Jax says:

    Happy Rapture….er…..I mean mass human sacrifice….er…..Solar Eclipse Day!!

    People are Strange, man.

  8. Franklin says:

    What Researchers Discovered When They Sent 80,000 Fake Résumés to U.S. Jobs

    Well, no real surprise to anyone here – the apparent ethnicity of your name on an application affects whether a company calls you. But then I was mildly amused …

    “I am not in the least bit surprised,” said Daiquiri Steele, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama School of Law who previously worked for the Department of Labor on employment discrimination.

    Huh, wonder if she has any first-hand experience with this problem. I suppose Lagavulin Johnson and Jack N. Coke couldn’t be reached for comment.

  9. Kathy says:


    Rebecca Watson on eclipse conspiracies.

    And Stephen Novella on how exactly vision can be damaged in an eclipse.

    Mexico City gets a partial eclipse.


    A total eclipse is like the most luscious, silky smooth, full flavored, mocha ice cream in the world made with the finest ingredients. A partial eclipse is like a tall glass of cold milk with chocolate powder and instant coffee.

    Yes, the latter is nice. But compared to the former it’s just meh.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @Franklin: My reading of the article shows a much more interesting story than the click-bait headline reveals. Most of the discrepancy was due to a minority of businesses, with the auto sales industry being the most discrepant. It was actually good news and progress for the bulk of hirers.

    A lack of racial bias was more common in certain industries: food stores, including Kroger; food products, including Mondelez; freight and transport, including FedEx and Ryder; and wholesale, including Sysco and McLane Company

    Two companies favored white applicants over Black applicants significantly more than others. They were AutoNation, a used car retailer, which contacted presumed white applicants 43 percent more often, and Genuine Parts Company, which sells auto parts including under the NAPA brand, and called presumed white candidates 33 percent more often.

    Anyone suprised that the Auto sales industry is the most unethical?

  11. Mikey says:

    @Kathy: Here in Northern Virginia we’re getting 87% coverage, so yeah, meh. I’ve yet to see a total eclipse (well, I have seen a total annular eclipse, which was slightly more interesting than 87% coverage, but still not like a total eclipse where you can see the sun’s corona), and with the next to transit the Continental U. S. being in 2044, and me not wanting to wait another 20 years, my wife and I are already discussing a trip to the south of Spain in early August 2027.

  12. Kathy says:
  13. Kathy says:

    I can totally picture Xlon rotting in a Brazilian jail cell.

  14. Franklin says:

    @MarkedMan: Agreed that it was actually kind of positive – the average callback discrepancy was lower than what I might have guessed. And the article highlights the companies where it is lowest.

    As far as the auto parts/sales industry, I always hear this voice in my head. I was at the auto parts store and the person in front of me asked for a part for their Saab, which the store didn’t have and apparently wouldn’t even order. As the person left the store empty-handed, the employee behind the counter muttered, “that’s what ya get for buying a fern car.”

    Sounded a little xenophobic, and reminds me of the resentment thread from yesterday.

  15. just nutha says:

    @Jax: The solar eclipse is myth. Nothing is happening to the sun where I live at all. 😉

  16. Mister Bluster says:
  17. Kathy says:

    Going by experience and several attempts with the ice cream maker, I get best results using either 1) mostly yogurt with some milk, or 2) about 60% milk and 40% heavy cream. I’ve yet to try doing custard, which seems to be what most serious ice cream cooks prefer.

    Meantime, I’m looking up how to infuse coffee directly in milk, other than dissolving instant coffee in milk. To be sure, this is completely unnecessary. Instant in milk or yogurt gives a perfectly satisfactory mocha. But I got the idea, read a bit about it, and now I want to taste the results 🙂

    I expect I’ll try custard next.

  18. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: Never lived anyplace (to my recollection, at least) where I’ve ever seen a total eclipse. Don’t expect to ever, either. I can add total eclipse to Northern and Southern Lights and a relatively large list of other celestial phenomena I’ve never seen.

  19. becca says:

    Looks like it’s clearing here so we’re going to hop on the pontoon and experience the eclipse on the lake. Got our special shades a month ago.

  20. Mikey says:

    @Kathy: Ooooo, my wife and I have been wanting to go to Iceland! That might be an option.

  21. Bill Jempty says:

    @just nutha:

    Never lived anyplace (to my recollection, at least) where I’ve ever seen a total eclipse.

    I experienced a total solar eclipse in 1970.

  22. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    Apparently we had a partial here in northeastern Mass. in 2017. I must have missed it, because I have no recollection of it. Today’s is supposed to be 93% where I am.

  23. Stormy Dragon says:

    I’m in Niagara Falls for the eclipse, although it looks like the weather is not going to cooperate.

    One thing I’d like to mention that’s really starting to tick me off is how you can’t go anywhere anymore without it being overrun with people harassing passersby trying to convert them.

  24. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    It’s all Biden’s fault. Before 2021, eclipses took place all over the US, 7 days a week, and they were not shared with trumphole countries like Canada!

    Seriously, we live in a special time. The Moon used to be closer to the Earth, and has been receding. In times past, the Moon would have covered the whole Sun, including the corona, for a much longer time. Right now, it can, under the right conditions, cover only the Sun’s disc, leaving the corona visible. The trade off is that totality lasts a much shorter time.

    In the future, it won’t cover the Sun’s disc at all. It will be more like a transit of the Sun than an eclipse. I’m not sure whether the Moon will ever recede far enough that the Earth will cover the disc of the Sun only…


    Iceland is one of those places I’ve felt like wanting to visit for no particular reason.

  25. Jen says:

    It’s remained clear here, and we’re supposed to have about 95% covered, so I’ll be watching from my front yard (with approved glasses). My husband suggested driving to a part of the state that will experience a totality, I said no thanks…driving 3+ hours to deal with traffic and crowds isn’t exactly worth it to me.

    @Kathy/@Mikey: I loved Iceland. Be prepared to spend money, it isn’t cheap to get food onto an island.

  26. MarkedMan says:

    I very much don’t like Donald Trump, never have, so it may be prejudicing me, but is this the worst makeup job ever? Honestly, at the moment I first saw it I thought it was meant to be an especially egregious blackface, except in nut brown rather than black. Ears and sides of his face, around his eyes, all with nothing, and then that nut brown paint all over the rest of his face. Bizarre.

  27. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Well, I think I found my, viewing spot… Mirador Sur, on Three Sisters Island.

    Quieter than the other spots I’ve seen, and the name has inspired me to sit and pray to Hecate for a break in the clouds, although cloud breaks may be stretching her domain of boundaries and gateways a bit…

  28. Mikey says:

    @MarkedMan: Well, a) he does it himself, and b) he’s an imbecile, and c) he’s surrounded by groveling sycophants who will never tell him he looks like ass. So this is how he ends up.

  29. Kathy says:


    You can’t get prices for travel and lodging so far out, but looking at August this year, I’m thinking I should try for Spain. For one thing, one can fly direct from MEX to Madrid, then find a cheap flight to Valencia or León.


    He looks like a half reanimated corpse.

  30. wr says:

    @becca: “Looks like it’s clearing here so we’re going to hop on the pontoon and experience the eclipse on the lake.”

    I’m heading out to Central Park now. Supposed to peak in half an hour here…

  31. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: @Mikey: @Kathy:

    That’s his usual make-up job, only more so.

    I read somewhere that he’s taking Ozempic for weight loss.

  32. Bill Jempty says:

    Just went outside for the purpose of dumping garbage and recycles. Seems like any other day in 33435 zip code.

  33. Kathy says:

    I went down to the parking lot with some coworkers to see the eclipse.

    We tried the method of a pinprick on a piece of cardboard to project the shadow across the Sun. It works, but the projection is tiny. We had better luck with the projections cast by tree leaves. Another coworker had eclipse glasses.

    I found it amazing that it was sunnier than a cloudy day near the peak of the eclipse. Some asked “is that it?” Yup. A glass of chocolate milk with instant coffee, as noted above. Nice, but nothing special compared with totality.

    I prefer a total Lunar eclipse. At least the Moon looks weird when that happens.

    BTW a Lunar eclipse as seen from the Moon would be a Solar eclipse, as the Earth would cover the entire Sun. But it wouldn’t just get dark. The Earth has an atmosphere that refracts sunlight. From the Moon, the Earth would appear to have a read ring around it, and the whole of the Moon’s side facing Earth would be bathed in that light for the duration of the eclipse.

    This is why the Moon looks red as seen from Earth during a Lunar eclipse.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I don’t know, I thought it was pretty amazing, both the arced sliver of light and the thought that tens of millions were looking up at the same time I was.

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    @Stormy Dragon:..holy haranguers

    I tell them I’m a Sun Worshiper and that we’re not looking for converts.

  36. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    We got a few quick peeks through the clouds, which seems a very Hecate way to do things, so praise be to Hecate!

    The sunset to sunrise in three minutes was cool though, especially since all the birds were freaking out.

  37. Pete S says:

    @Stormy Dragon: There was enough of a hole in the clouds to see the eclipse on the Canadian side of the Falls. it seems to be raining now so the timing was pretty good.

  38. restless says:

    @Stormy Dragon: We are staying in Niagara Falls, ON, and headed up to Niagara on the Lake for today. Weather was just as cloudy, but the crowds were much less. No view of the eclipse, but the darkness at totality was impressive.

  39. restless says:

    @Stormy Dragon: We are staying in Niagara Falls, ON, and headed up to Niagara on the Lake for today. Weather was just as cloudy, but the crowds were much less. No view of the eclipse, but the darkness at totality was impressive.

  40. becca says:

    Well, the eclipse came and went. We thought it would be a bit more dramatic, but it was fun getting out on the boat with some of our neighbors. Came back and got some plants in the garden before the rain comes. Overall, a very pleasant day.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: No, I’ve seen worse makeup jobs. I’ve also taken worse pictures of people in bad, uneven light.

  42. CSK says:

    A week before his criminal trial begins, Trump is suing Judge Merchan to overturn the gag order and to find a different venue than Manhattan.

  43. Kathy says:

    And now, the Vatican calls gender fluidity and surrogacy threats to human dignity.

    I hate to say they have a point. Recognition and acceptance of transgender people causes bigots, like those in the Vatican, to publish undignified statements like that.

  44. Stormy Dragon says:
  45. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:


    Did the temperature drop on totality? I recall that was the eeriest part of the whole spectacle, all the way back in 1991.

  46. mattbernius says:

    Here in Rochester it was cloudy for the entire eclipse including totality. So no view of the sun at all. Basically the same as Stormy’s video.

    And experiencing totality was still so wild. It got so dark, so fast. And even though I knew it was going to happen, Kathy the temperature drop was remarkable. It felt like it was 10° F colder during totality.

    Also in keeping with Western NY, within an hour the clouds broke and I can see the sun.

  47. Erik says:

    Caught about a 10 second glimpse of totality through the clouds. We were joking about how the flat earthers were explaining an eclipse and my son suggested that an eclipse is probably just cover for changing the lightbulb in the sun

  48. Stormy Dragon says:


    I didn’t realize you were in Rochester! I ate lunch at Nick Tahou’s on the way to Niagara Falls on Saturday!

    As for the frustrating cloud clearance, it’s quite likely the eclipse was the cause of the clouds suddenly clearing as the rapid temperature shock disrupts cloud formation…

  49. Kathy says:


    As I recall, temps drop around 5 C at totality. I’m not sure how to convert abstract Celsius to abstract Fahrenheit. 10 F sounds about right.

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Temperature changes imply pressure changes. This can cause some clouds to move. NASA sent sounding rockets to measure changes in the upper atmosphere during totality.

    I wonder, too, whether there were shots taken from probes on the Moon, or even satellites in orbit around the Earth. In 2017 there were some shots of the Moon’s shadow crawling along the Earth.

  50. DrDaveT says:


    I’m eyeing August 2026 in Iceland.

    Looks like it gets totality in Reykjavik and the western fjords. My wife and I were wondering about cruise options… totality from a cruise ship might be awesome.

  51. DrDaveT says:


    Iceland is one of those places I’ve felt like wanting to visit for no particular reason.

    We did our honeymoon in Iceland in 1992. Went back 30 years later to see what had changed. I’d suggest getting there soon, while there is still somewhere to stand that doesn’t have a tourist on it. Most beautiful damn country I’ve ever seen, but not nearly enough bathrooms for the current load.

  52. Franklin says:

    @Kathy: Close. It’s 9/5ths, so 5 deg C change is a 9 deg F change.

  53. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Back when I was single, I used to make similar comments to the proselytizers who came a-knocking on my door. Occasionally with a comment about having a freshly sacrificed chicken. These days, they don’t come knocking.