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. EddieInCA says:

    Will Smith is going to get an Oscar nomination for “King Richard “.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I did something I rarely do and read yesterday’s Open Forum this morning:

    @de stijl: The right is good at politicizing viruses – they did it with HIV too.
    @Kathy: It’s not the right. It’s the authoritarian mindset that’s good at it.

    Just want to say that what they are doing is wielding fear. Fear of the other, Fear of losing social dominance. Fear of change. Fear of anything and everything the liberal minded champion. It’s why guns fit so neatly into their politics. The ability to kill what one fears is central.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EddieInCA: From what little I’ve read, the headlines of a lot of glowing reviews, I expect so. Are you in agreement or just reflecting on that sentiment?

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My wife finally got her car back from the transmission shop yesterday. It only took 2 months. Supply line issues time 2, starting with the computer chips and then everything else that goes into a rebuild. Regardless she is very happy this AM. She doesn’t have to take my truck (she hates driving it, it’s too big) or have me take her to work. I feel like something is… out of place? I guess I got used to it.

    The best part of the whole affair is it only cost $100. When she bought the car she got the extended warranties on the drive train, to 100,000 miles. It went out at 96,000.

  5. JohnMcC says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Out of curiosity…. A BMW? (Family experience puts their transmissions on a 100K mile death watch.)

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnMcC: Nope, a Ford Escape. It’s been a nice little car, super reliable until this.

  7. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “Will Smith is going to get an Oscar nomination for “King Richard “.”

    I was stunned by how good that movie was. I was expecting your standard TV-movie biopic, and had it not been for my wife’s and my great interest in Venus and Serena, might well never have pushed play once we realized it was two and a half hours long. But it was absolutely compelling from the first minute to the last, and had it not been for a grocery delivery in the middle we never even would have pressed pause.

    Yes, Will Smith was great. And how nice to see Jon Bernthal playing not-the-Punisher.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    We watched “The Harder They Fall”last night. A few random thoughts.
    – Over all, quite good. The acting was superb. Zazie Beetz did hard ass really well.
    – For the first quarter of the movie it felt like there had been too many voices in the writers room. They would set up a character in a certain harsh way, to good effect, but then later take the edge off. This happened with several important characters. Didn’t wreck the movie by any means but it was distracting until they got over it.
    – As my video production daughter pointed out, it was shot on film, which is increasingly rare nowadays.
    – I noticed one brief cut of a chase that took the “change the aspect ratio to set a mood” technique into new territory. To my eyes, although it was in a wide aspect letterbox, they seemed to compress it horizontally further, as if it had been shot in Cinescope and then displayed on a normal wide screen. It took me back to my childhood and the Sunday morning Westerns in front of our out-of-date black and white TV. Very reminiscent of how I experienced Sergio Leone movies – cropped to TV aspect ratio until the chase scenes when they compressed it so you could see more of the action.

    It got me wondering if we are due for a revival of Westerns for a very a very simple reason. You can segregate the characters without having to come up with a reason why they can’t call for help on their mobile, or why fifty people witness something but it can still be spun because there isn’t anyone filming. Not having technology might simplify the writing.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Man killed by stray bullet while eating Thanksgiving dinner at home

    A man eating Thanksgiving dinner inside a home in the suburbs of Philadelphia was killed by a stray bullet that pierced a window, authorities said. Edilberto Miguel Palaez Moctezuma, 25, was shot in the torso just before 9.30pm on Thursday, the Montgomery county district attorney, Kevin Steele, said in a press release. Palaez Moctezuma was flown to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No one in the home was involved in the argument outside that apparently sparked the shooting, prosecutors said. The suspected gunman remains at large.

    Suspect Kevon Clarke, 19, of Norristown, fired several shots in the area during a dispute with relatives over liquor gone missing from a gathering earlier in the day, officials said.

    But remember, an armed society is a polite society.
    Also, guns don’t kill people. People with guns do.

  10. CSK says:

    I missed this when it first happened:

    Two sculptors carved Trump’s head into a statue of Mount Rushmore.

  11. Sleeping Dog says:


    A friend got his Ford back about 2 weeks ago, he’d been without the car for about 6 months. Fortunately between Covid, living in the city and friends, he could make do. A transmission issue as well that they couldn’t get the part for.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: 6 months? Ouch.

    Knowing what I know, it made sense to me. It wasn’t too big a deal for us. Living rural, there is no mass transit, but I’m retired and my wife’s job is in the small town just 11 miles away. So even on the days where I needed my truck, it was just 45 mins in the AM and an hour or so in the PM out of my day. It was a lot harder on my wife. She really missed her little car.

    One thing I learned was that there is no fill nozzle/dip stick in the engine compartment for the tranny. It has to be put on a lift to access them underneath the car. When my wife gets the oil changed* at our local mechanic shop she always specifies they check all the fluids. But if one is just checking everything they see in the engine compartment, they might forget the tranny all together.

    Really bad design in my book, and I have to wonder if that played a part in it’s demise.

    *which she doesn’t do often enough to suit me. I sometimes get tired of nagging her to get it done and will just take it to the jiffy lube. Now that I know, I will have their man below check it too when I go.

  13. Sleeping Dog says:


    A number of cars are coming without dipsticks for transmissions and even the engine oil. Its been determined that through those portals a not insignificant amount of pollutants are allowed to escape. For engine oil, you can check through the dash display, not sure on transmissions.

  14. CSK says:
  15. senyordave says:

    @CSK: Two sculptors carved Trump’s head into a statue of Mount Rushmore.

    Please tell me that it was Trump’s actual head. If so, the sculptors should be up for a Nobel prize.

  16. Kathy says:


    I’ll pass. But I’d recommend taking an antiemetic beforehand.

  17. CSK says:

    I wrote that before I had coffee. Sadly, it’s a only a sculpting of Trump’s visage.

    Yeah, good suggestion. The artiste in this case makes Ben Garrison look like Michaelangelo.

  18. Kathy says:

    Last week I happily got ahead of work by doing four (4) huge price lists a whole week before they were due. To do this I used the master price listing authorized for 2022 for this client type. I was only four products short, which the supervisor had t get from the purchasing manager. While they did this, I began with another client using the same list.

    That’s when I noticed a 300% increase, give or take, in the price of pineapple as opposed to last year. Sure, there’s been inflation and supply issues, but 300%? besides, these clients order literally* tons of pineapple every year.

    Long story short, the printed list hand-delivered by the purchasing manager, with a modest 1.2% increase for pineapple, differed from the list he sent by email. So I had to redo about 1/3 of all the work (the rest is formatting, setting up formulas, taxes, etc.)

    Fun times.

    * Literally literally, not figuratively literally.

  19. CSK says:

    I take all your statements literally and seriously. 😀

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah. Years ago, my Ford was super reliable until the camshaft burned out. People tell me it’s an anomaly with Fords to have a super reliable one, but I don’t know. Only owned the one and never found another I was interested in buying.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: I think the revival in Westerns grows from a yearning for the days when you could just go out and shoot people, but Luddite says I’m too cynical.

  22. Michael Reynolds says:


    Not having technology might simplify the writing.

    Truer words, etc…

  23. EddieInCA says:


    I think he will get nominated, and would be deserving. I haven’t seen many performances better, but there are still alot of movies to see between now and the end of awards season.

  24. Mu Yixiao says:

    Sure, Mom. I’ll take the area rug you’re getting rid of. I can use it to replace the horrid carpet in the middle bedroom.

    It’s not like I’ll have to tear up the existing carpet and slice it into pieces small enough to fit in the trash, then pull up the padding and tear it into pieces small enough to go in the trash, then pull up the tack strips, then go back and pull out all the nails and staples that are left, then pull the ugly 2×10 baseboard off because–oh my god it’s so terrible–and then buy oak 1×6 and shape it into new baseboard, then paint the wall behind the old baseboard so it matches the new wall because of the smaller baseboare, after which I need to rent a floor sander to take the southern pine down to raw wood rather than the… I don’t know what the hell is on it, and… a fuckit, might as well do the hallway/loft while I’m at it because I’m paying for the sander for the entire day anyway, and then I need to seal the floor in the bedroom (but not the hallway because I need to walk across it to get to my bedroom and there’s no way to keep the cats off of it–unless I lock them in the front porch when it’s below freezing….. okay, no), and figure out something to do to sand and seal in the corner behind the radiator (which probably means buying a new palm sander to replace the one that was stolen while I was in China).

    But.. yay. Free area rug.

  25. Jax says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That sounds like a project I would accidentally get myself into. 😛 Good luck!

  26. Mu Yixiao says:


    All of it really needs to be done. I just wasn’t expecting to do it this weekend (and next)… (and possibly the one after)…. (and at some undetermined point in the future).

    But… yay. free area rug.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @Jax: The last time I got a free area rug, I just used it to cover up the ugly carpet without taking up anything. Then again, the flooring in all of my apartments in Korea wasn’t glued down either. They just size it 6 inches wider than the floor on each side and lap the excess against the wall. If I ever have another house (ROFLMAO), I’ma ask the floor man to do it that way. Seemed to work fine–and the landlord didn’t end up with a one-month turnover waiting for an install.

  28. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: one of the photos has the following caption:

    Despite her subject matter — here, Trump is pictured riding a grizzly bear — Ruseva insists she is not political.

  29. CSK says:

    You know, it’s just possible she isn’t political, but just someone hoping to exploit the sucker market. Much like D. Trump himself.

  30. Jax says:

    Looking for a “tried and true” sweet potato pie recipe. Our tiny grocery store had yams AND sweet potatoes for sale when I was buying for Thanksgiving (they normally only have yams, but CALL them sweet potatoes), so I bought both and made a huge batch. Now I’ve got enough left to make an extra pie or two that I don’t have to share. 😛

  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: I just used my pumpkin pie recipe. As I recall, everyone liked it fine.

  32. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Could they tell the difference between the pumpkin and the sweet potato?

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: In my recipe, once you add 2 or 3 times the ginger, cloves, cinnamon and what not that a normal recipe calls for sweet potato and pumpkin taste the same. (And from what I understand from a past life, a significant amount of canned pumpkin is actually acorn squash, so there might not be a significant difference in flavor to begin with.)

    ((Also, our particular diners that year were picky eaters who would not have wanted to eat sweet potato pie, so we didn’t tell them and they didn’t notice. 😉 ))