Saturday’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:
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “I’m not scared,” Chernukha says. “Why should I be scared? I’ve lived long enough anyway. I go to bed early and when I get up every morning, I curse Putin. Every single morning I curse him. I wish he would turn in his coffin a million times over.”

    “This is all his fault,” she adds. “We had such a beautiful village. And now? Now there’s nothing left.”

  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    I blame the notorious Miami drag queens.

  4. CSK says:

    Bobby Kennedy Junior suggested yesterday that Covid was “ethnically targeted” at whites and Blacks but designed to spare Jews and the Chinese.

    I did not make this up.

  5. charontwo says:

    Who said all political ads are boring? This is probably the hottest political ad you’ll ever see.

    OHIO vote NO on August 8th

  6. CSK says:


    Yes, that is the hottest political ad I’ve ever seen. No contest.

  7. Kathy says:

    Amid the Hollywood strikes, some shows and movies already produced or in post-production are coming soon. Of note, I may risk an outing to the movies to see Oppenheimer (it’s history, of sorts). And in July we should get new eps of Futurama (third revival), plus the start of Ahsoka (finally).

    On other things, an informal poll conducted yesterday at lunch, determined that of all the 25 or so people in my department, I was the only one not to catch COVID (so far). But, of course, distancing, hygiene, vaccines, and masks are mere virtue signalling. Never forget that.

    More seriously, cases at the department ranged from “mild” (ie, worse than a bad flu) in the latter stages of Omicron earlier this year, to days in the ICU in early 2021 pre-vaccination. Not one was asymptomatic. About three found they had COVID before they showed symptoms.

    So, I grant there is such a thing as presymptomatic COVID*. I’m less certain there is an asymptomatic infection. By this I mean you get infected but show no symptoms at all until you test negative.

    This may be an artifact of people getting tested mostly when they have symptoms, or an artifact of the infamous Stanford Santa Clara study conducted early in the pandemic. TL;DR, using antibody tests, the study concluded the vast majority of people had been infected with the trump virus, but there were only two deaths and few symptomatic cases. The general consensus is the antibody tests at the time were wholly unreliable and inaccurate, generating for some reason large numbers of false positives.

    *Pretty much all infectious diseases have some kind of presymptomatic phase. that is, there is a delay between infection and onset of symptoms. everything takes time, even viral infections.

  8. steve says:

    Really nice essay. Good to see there is at least one judge who appreciates the need for ethical behavior in such a powerful, lifetime position.


  9. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I add a second category to “asymptomatic:” People who are unlikely to notice that they have Covid symptoms apart from running a high fever. Conceivably, a person could be infected with Covid, run a low grade-ish fever (say 101.1 almost a full degree below the approved Covid level), and have asthma/COPD/chronic bronchitis or rhinitis and not notice that it’s Covid. Even more dangerous if the fever is low enough to make a person who frequently has low grade fevers decide “I’ll just tough this out; it’ll be gone in a day or two.”

  10. JohnSF says:

    Developing a theory that Covid was a cover for the real virus, which was engineered by the Bavarian Illuminati to make dumb people even dumber.
    The evidence is overwhelming!

  11. Kathy says:

    So as not to go off topic in a serious thread, I offer a fun, if not entirely accurate, history lesson.

    The last line in the song is the summary.

  12. Bill Jempty says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I blame the notorious Miami drag queens.

    It is Miami Beach Drag Queens. Don’t you remember The Birdcage?

    My Filipina wife and registered Republican watches ABS-CBN. Aka Filipino channel. There are regular appearances by drag queens there.

  13. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @Bill Jempty:
    Is that where drag racing originated?

  14. Bill Jempty says:


    Bobby Kennedy Junior suggested yesterday that Covid was “ethnically targeted” at whites and Blacks but designed to spare Jews and the Chinese.

    Why? Did RFK Jr watch My Favorite Year where a character said ‘Jews know two things: suffering and where to find *great* Chinese food.

    Or this exchange from the Nanny after Fran describes some family squabble at a restaurant.

    Niles- Pork, Ms. Fine?
    Fran Fine- It doesn’t count if its Chinese food.

  15. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: You’re making a couple of assumptions:

    1. That you’ve never had Covid

    2. That the people with Covid only got it as often as they think they did.

    If there is asymptomatic Covid, it’s likely that at least the second assumption would likely be incorrect, given a decent sized office.

    Anyway, I don’t believe in dark matter, so I’m not going to judge. Some things don’t make sense, even if the scientific community keeps telling us they do.

    (I don’t think dark matter or asymptomatic Covid will change either of our life choices)

  16. JohnSF says:

    Just you wait till the Dark Matter super-object rips through the Solar System and flings the Earth into the eternal darkness of inter-galactic space!
    Then you’ll be singing another song!
    To be less frivolous, asymptomatic disease spread is a serious issue.
    And why vaccination “herd immunity” is really important.
    Problem: “herd immunity” really triggers the covidiots.
    Solution: force it on them, and enjoy their squeals of protest. 🙂

  17. Jax says:

    @JohnSF: And the crazy part is every single covidiot I know who’s triggered by the phrase “herd immunity” absolutely believes in the benefits of vaccinating their actual herds of livestock.

    I’m not sure what way I should describe that mentality. There’s a forced disconnect between reality/vaccination and Covid/vaccination with that group of people. A logical person’s brain would make the jump, but their brains do not.

  18. Kathy says:


    True on the assumptions.

    I’m willing to believe there’s asymptomatic COVID. There are documented cases of asymptomatic HIV infections. That is, people who test positive for HIV, the virus is found in their blood (in smaller quantities than for regular AIDS patients), but they don’t develop AIDS. There are documented cases of other asymptomatic infections, too, or with very mild, almost unnoticeable symptoms.

    I’ve read of documented cases of asymptomatic COVID, too. So, it’s probably a thing. But if, so, then it would seem to be rare rather than common. Asymptomatic HIV infection, untreated, is exceedingly rare.