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. Teve says:
  2. Teve says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: What do you expect from a bunch of pointy headed coastal intellectual elites?

  4. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: buncha Marxist Stalinist Darwinist Critical Race Theory uh ists!

  5. Kathy says:

    A California judge has ruled Proposition 22, which exempted gig companies from treating employees as employees, to be unconstitutional.

  6. Kathy says:

    If you hadn’t heard, Hurricane Grace is passing rather close to Mexico City at the moment. It’s far enough away from here that there have been no massive effects.

    What I find odd is the track of the storm. Hopefully this link works. Usually hurricanes/tropical storms move farther north. This one is heading more west than north, hitting inland regions not usually visited by its kind.

  7. Teve says:

    @Kathy: holy cow i just looked at Accuweather and it’s right over Mexico City at the moment.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: Good to hear Grace doesn’t seem to be a threat to you. Hope it isn’t bad elsewhere. Meanwhile, Henri is building toward hurricane strength and threatening New York. As a resident of SW FL I’m good with anywhere but here, but it does seem like an odd hurricane season.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Laiken Jordahl

    Trump’s brand new $15 billion #BorderWall is being ripped apart by monsoon floods.

    This is what happens when @DHSgov
    waives all environmental laws & ignores basic science to put up a political prop.

    Photo taken near the San Bernardino Natl. Wildlife Refuge by @madreanwildlife


  10. Teve says:

    “Speaking of government bureaucrats, I have heard enough of that sniveling little twit Anthony Fauci.”

    -Matt Gaetz

    Do I have to tell you that the crowd cheered in response?

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My favorite tech pioneer is flapping his gums again:

    Elon Musk said he would probably launch a humanoid robot prototype next year dubbed the “Tesla Bot”, which is designed to do “boring, repetitious and dangerous” work.

    The billionaire chief executive of the electric carmaker Tesla said the robot, which would be about 5ft 8in (1.7m) tall and weigh 125 pounds (56kg), would be able to handle tasks such as attaching bolts to cars with a spanner or picking up groceries at stores.

    Because grocery shopping is the 3rd leading cause of death in America.*

    Speaking at Tesla’s AI Day event, Musk said the robot could have “profound implications for the economy” by plugging gaps in the workforce created by labour shortages. He said it was important that the new machine was not “super expensive”.

    Not near as expensive as workmen’s comp, unemployment insurance, paid vacations, health insurance, family medical leave, etc etc etc.

    But Musk gave no indication of having made concrete progress on actually building such a machine. At the point when a normal tech launch might feature a demonstration of a prototype model, the South African entrepreneur instead brought out an actor in a bodysuit, who proceeded to breakdance to a soundtrack of electronic dance music.

    Eat your heart out, Boston Dynamics.

  12. Jen says:

    I will be spending at least part of the day today preparing for Henri. Most of the models have a track that looks like it will pass right over/through our little town. Thankfully we are on high ground, and inland.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Rain falls on peak of Greenland ice cap for first time on record

    Rain has fallen on the summit of Greenland’s huge ice cap for the first time on record. Temperatures are normally well below freezing on the 3,216-metre (10,551ft) peak, and the precipitation is a stark sign of the climate crisis.

    Scientists at the US National Science Foundation’s summit station saw rain falling throughout 14 August but had no gauges to measure the fall because the precipitation was so unexpected. Across Greenland, an estimated 7bn tonnes of water was released from the clouds.

    The rain fell during an exceptionally hot three days in Greenland when temperatures were 18C higher than average in places. As a result, melting was seen in most of Greenland, across an area about four times the size of the UK.

  14. CSK says:

    The latest from WCVB-Boston is that Henri is aiming at Long Island and Connecticut now; it should make landfall there at 2 p.m. Sunday.

    New Hampshire seems (as of now) to be escaping this one. The Cape, MV, and Nantucket may get hit, as may Rhode Island.

    I was wondering about the track of Grace and thinking of you.

  15. CSK says:

    The e’er-enchanting (as I described her yesterday) Marjorie Taylor Greene called Joe Biden “a piece of shit” on Friday. Today she and her pal Gaetz have been ordered by a Georgia election official to “stay the hell out of Fulton County.”

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Maybe they could move to Hungary.

  17. Teve says:


    Scientists at the US National Science Foundation’s summit station saw rain falling throughout 14 August but had no gauges to measure the fall because the precipitation was so unexpected.

    These so called scientists didn’t have a coffee cup?
    (Teve narrows his eyes)


  18. Kathy says:


    No, it’s about 60 miles northeast.

  19. Teve says:

    @Kathy: I defer to your knowledge of the geography.

  20. Kathy says:


    I prefer earthquakes. I know the risk where I’m likely to be at any given time (rather low), and what to do if one hits. Plus they don’t last long enough to be tracked and named.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Of course they did, but they left all the calibrated coffee cups back in the lab.

  22. Sleeping Dog says:


    Earlier I looked at the predicted path and cone, as CSK mentions it is predicted to hit western LI, continue northwest till turning ENE, the time line shows it over Manch-vegas Tuesday AM, with predicted wind speeds of 30 MPH, not very threatening. Coincidentally, the same weather forecast site, shows Tuesday to be sunny on the seacoast, go figure.

  23. Teve says:

    Patton Oswalt had a good bit the other day about how hippie yoga instructors on the West Coast who don’t feel like the vaccine is organic enough have united with Midwesterners who think it’s witch poison.

  24. Kathy says:

    A look at how Israel fares under Delta.

    Since boosters are now authorized for everyone over 40, we’ll see shortly how helpful they are in preventing infection and reducing transmission of Delta.

    What happens in the UK will also be of interest. Perhaps a mix and match approach may prove necessary, or perhaps we’ll need shots every six months. It’s too soon to tell.

    An advantage of mRNA vaccines is they can be developed quickly. Moderna could come up with variant-specific boosters, not unlike the current practice for annual flu shots. But this works only if the variant booster doesn’t need to undergo all stages of a clinical trial. If it does, the next variant will likely render it less effective by the time it can be distributed.

  25. Sleeping Dog says:

    They’ll take the live stock de-worming drug ivermectin to ward off Covid, but not the tested and approved vaccine. Sorry, they deserve to die of their stupidity.

  26. gVOR08 says:


    the South African entrepreneur instead brought out an actor in a bodysuit, who proceeded to breakdance to a soundtrack of electronic dance music.

    In what looked like blackface FFS.

  27. Teve says:

    A biomedical researcher I know who works at a major uni in Georgia posted on Facebook this morning, “wait, they’re taking the same drug I give my pittie for worms? For Covid? What???”

  28. CSK says:

    My sister’s miniature dachshund gets it monthly. He seems to think he’s human, but I disagree. Heartily.

  29. CSK says:

    Henri is now officially a hurricane.

  30. Teve says:


    Mississippi health officials are pleading with state residents not to take a livestock drug to treat COVID-19 as calls to poison control centers soar.

    “Do not use ivermectin products made for animals.”

  31. CSK says:

    Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and zinc are the Covid remedies recommended by the anti-vaxxers.

    They really seem to believe that there’s some Deep State conspiracy to prevent people from taking this stuff.

    Of course Trump is promoting the notion that the booster recommendation is just so Pfizer can make money.

  32. Teve says:

    @CSK: the (formerly) big creationist site me and my buddies surveil is full of all manner of conspiracy theories. And over there, HCQ and Ivermectin are Proven Cures for Covid. It’s being suppressed by Big Pharma for $$$. Some of them have stockpiled the drugs in case they get infected. Oh and also Covid was a Chinese Bioweapon deliberately released to cost Trump the election because he was being so tough with them, by Standing Up for America.

  33. Stormy Dragon says:

    Kevin Feige in a skin tight black leather catsuit is an odd legal strategy, but hey, I’m not a big shot lawyer

    Disney Makes First Move in Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Black Widow’ Suit

  34. CSK says:

    I haven’t really researched this, but there seems to be a lot of babble about how Ivermectin and HCQ have been used with tremendous success in India.

  35. Teve says:

    @CSK: i remember with HCQ, at least early on, the fraudulent studies came out of France.

  36. CSK says:

    Yes, there was a doctor there who was heavily promoting it. But people here jumped right on the bandwagon.

    So odd that Trump desperately wants credit for the vaccine, but won’t encourage people to take it.

  37. Jen says:

    @CSK: My only real issue, I think, might be losing internet or blocked roads.

    Power outages are common and expected here, lots of trees and power lines, but we have a generator. Smartest purchase we have made.

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: Maybe Florida will be come a beneficiary in the climate change sham, and storms will start north of you and blow more onto the more northern Atlantic Coast. Wouldn’t it be wild if Kentucky started getting both tornados AND hurricanes?

  39. Wr says:

    Someone on yesterday’s open forum mentioned seeing a Marx Brothers routine and finding it slower than he expected. There’s a reason for that and it’s not changes in comedy pacing – it’s because you’re watch it at home alone. Before they shot a frame of film, the Marxes would take the script out on the road, performing it on stage over and over until they made sure all the jokes worked – and how long a laugh they would get. There are pauses built into their movies so that lines wouldn’t get lost. If you see them with an audience you’d never notice. But on video they just sit there.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just came across Tarikh Campbell’s @tarikhcampbell story of having his rental car repossessed by Avis before it was due to be returned, and they would not acknowledge that they had it in their possession. You can get the story at his twitter feed above, or at USA Today.

    It’s a frickin’ nightmare.

  41. JohnMcC says:

    @Wr: Well, I’ll be darned! And thanks for the heads-up; would never have thought of that.

    Recording old comedies from Turner Classics is something of a hobby. Have been watching Abbot & Costello lately. Still dissolve in laughter.

  42. DrDaveT says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Earlier I looked at the predicted path and cone

    I urge you to ignore “the cone”. It is at best uninformative, and at worst misleading.

    Nobody should care where the center of circulation actually makes landfall. You should care about the predicted peak winds and rainfall at your location, and the error bars on that. The products that make these easy to see are hard to find. Henri is going to be a large, diffuse tropical storm that dumps huge amounts of rain over a very wide area that doesn’t typically get such rainfall and is already soggy from recent rains. Flash flooding, trees down, and power outages will be widespread. Please prepare accordingly.

  43. DrDaveT says:


    but we have a generator. Smartest purchase we have made.

    Outdoor, away from the house, exhaust pointed away, right?

    Carbon monoxide poisoning will be one of the leading causes of death due to Henri.

  44. dazedandconfused says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Can’t wait to see what South Park does with this…

  45. Sleeping Dog says:


    Subject to the actual path the storm takes, the current prediction for my area is 1″ of rain and winds maxing out at 30 mph. Power outages and tree damage probable, but as a storm it is similar to a typical nor’easter. Southern New England and Long Island are taking the brunt of this.

    edit: Took a walk out to get the mail and is the fog rolling in…

  46. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    The last I saw, all of Connecticut, Long, Island, and Rhode Island will get hit, and about 4-6 inches of rain might get dumped on western and central Mass. I think Darryl and his other brother Darryl lives in Conn., so I hope it’s not too bad where he is.

    You’re right about this being a typical nor’easter for northeastern Mass. and NH.

    I wish we could send the rain to the west and southwest. They need it a hell of a lot more than we do.

  47. Mikey says:


    At the point when a normal tech launch might feature a demonstration of a prototype model, the South African entrepreneur instead brought out an actor in a bodysuit, who proceeded to breakdance to a soundtrack of electronic dance music.

    That’s the Greendale Community College Human Being.

  48. Jen says:

    @DrDaveT: OMG, absolutely. We are very aware of generator safety.

    Ours is permanently installed, outside the house with an auto-on. It can power the whole house without any problem. Power goes out, it clicks on.

    We’ve had it run for 24 hours (or longer–several days) at least once every year since we moved in, with dozens of shorter outages (including about an hour or two last week).

    I read an article not that long ago that there’s been a substantial uptick in sales of these types of generators due to grid unreliability factors in a number of states. I think there are at least 5 of us on this block who have one, and two other houses have the PITA ones that you have to manually connect.

    Lots of trees out where I am so we do lose power frequently enough that I am glad we have it.

  49. Mikey says:
  50. DrDaveT says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Not sure where you are, but I really prefer the probabilistic forecasts that show the high-end and low-end (10% and 90% confidence) forecasts, as opposed to just the expected value. Especially for winter weather and tropical events, that’s a lot more informative. It’s not uncommon for the official forecast to be 2″ of snow where I live, but the 1-in-5 chance is 8″. I figure a 20% chance of 8″ is worth hedging against — even if there is also a 20% chance of no snow at all…

  51. DrDaveT says:

    @DrDaveT: D’oh! It looks like that product has been discontinued — the graphics shown are from sometime in February 2020. God forbid that they should tell us something useful…

  52. CSK says:

    The generator was absolutely one of the best investments you two ever made.

  53. Sleeping Dog says:


    NH seacoast. Yes the probable range is more useful, but is only giving mid range estimates unless you buy upgraded info and I was too lazy to pull up the NWS info.

  54. Kathy says:

    Grace has passed the vicinity. Right here, nothing much took place. I expected rain and wind, but there was little of that, that I could tell from inside my apartment. There was even some sunlight earlier.

    On other news, Mike Duncan doesn’t look at all like the way he sounds.

  55. Teve says:

    Phil Valentine has gone to the Great Recording Booth in the Sky. Where hopefully St. Peter will beeotch slap him and make him stand there and watch a few of his listeners arrive.

  56. Teve says:

    @Kathy: in the Early 90’s I worked in radio. Voices you’d swear belonged to sultry 25-yro Playmates could issue forth from 55-yro chainsmoking women with domestic violence arrest records and, to be clear, where they were the abusive ones. And a DJ could sound like Tom Cruise and be Rodney Dangerfield’s short uglier cousin.

  57. CSK says:

    Trump’s holding a superspreader rally in Cullman, Alabama tonight.

    Here’s what one Trumpkin said of the event: “May God our Almighty Savior look brightly at our president this evening in full adoration.”

    I don’t speak Trumpese. What does that mean? That Jesus Christ is supposed to gaze adoringly at Trump?

  58. Mister Bluster says:

    I have known several broadcast professionals who told me that they have a face for radio.