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. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Zoanthids glowing in UV light on the Malabar Hill rocky shore in Mumbai, India. A group of sealife enthusiasts is documenting a wealth of species thriving in the shadow of India’s most populous city, from glowing coral to octopuses
    Photograph: Sarang Naik

  2. CSK says:

    Astonishing. It looks like a fabric design.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    Ship Carrying 1,100 Porsches and Other Luxury Cars Is Burning and Adrift

    The Drive, an automotive website, reported that the Volkswagen Group estimated nearly 4,000 vehicles were on board, including 189 Bentleys. Emails sent to the Volkswagen Group were not immediately answered.

    Given that these type of cars are typically ordered rather than bought from inventory, there are a lot of unhappy rich folk. It’s not uncommon for the sales guy to let the customer know where the car is in in the production cycle and then tell them what ship its on. That allows the customer to track the ships progress to port.

  4. Kathy says:

    Video of Musk’s Vegas Loop in operation.

    IMO, trams or a regular subway makes more sense.

  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    It’ll be great fun when one of Elon’s toys catches fire and asphyxiates everyone in that tunnel. What a thoroughly stupid, thoroughly Vegas piece of work. How long til the first seat gets slashed? A week?

  6. CSK says:

    It’s probably quite Boring.

  7. Monala says:

    Following up on yesterday’s post about being unvaccinated: I occasionally read the Sorryantivaxxer website, which features anti-vaxxers who die of COVID. But dying of Covid while being unvaccinated alone aren’t enough to be featured; you had to have been loudly and proudly anti-vaccine. Hence quite a few Republican politicians, religious leaders, and radio talk show hosts have been featured.

    Recently, a woman who is an aging hippie left winger was featured. The moderator of the site, who calls himself Vaxman, noted that it is unusual to have someone from the left make the website’s pages. He said he found that surprising, since prior to Covid, roughly equal percentages of liberals and conservatives were anti-vaccines. In addition, they were anti-vax for similar reasons: mistrust of science, pharmaceutical companies, and the government; and belief that something other than vaccines (be it God, positive life energies, or vegan diet) would protect you from getting sick.

    He speculated that, despite similar anti-vax rates prior to Covid, liberals and leftists are now much less likely to die from it because they’re more likely to have gotten vaccinated anyway, for the following reasons:

    1. The obvious one, there isn’t a comparable media industrial complex on the left pushing vaccine misinformation, the way Fox News, Newsmax, OANN, and right wing radio are doing on the right.

    2. Liberals tend to be more empathetic in general than conservatives, who tend not to care about something unless it directly affects them or a loved one (hence the famous examples of anti-LGBTQ Republican politicians who change their views when their kid comes out as gay). So if an anti-vax liberal hears that getting vaccinated will help protect the elderly, the immunocompromised, and overwhelmed healthcare workers, they’re more likely to respond to this appeal than a conservative would.

    I imagine that Stephen would add that partisanship has also made a difference, that being anti-vax now tags you as right wing, so anti-vax liberals are getting vaccinated to prevent that association. (Stephen, please correct me if I’m wrong).

    What do you think, OTB? What happened with all the pre-COVID liberal anti-vaxxers?

  8. Sleeping Dog says:
  9. Monala says:

    @Monala: it occurred to me that partisanship might mean that anti-vax liberals are still anti-vax, they have just stopped being vocal about it. However, plenty of liberals are vocal about being anti-mask or anti other COVID restrictions, as the pages of The Atlantic demonstrate.

    So it seems that, absent other explanations, there has been a real shift in anti-vax attitudes on the left.

  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: You’re thinking in practical terms. The people using this are thinking “This is as close as I’ll ever get to limo service.” It’s another appeal to pseudo-elites in a society with more elites (and wannabees) than there are opportunities for the same.

  11. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Out of curiosity, if the ship is already toast (and an environmental disaster to boot), why don’t they just sink it? I have no idea where it actually is so don’t know if that’s feasible. It just seems to me that if it’s burning hot enough it’ll eventually get a hole in it (or explode) so why not just torpedo it and be done?

  12. dazedandconfused says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    This is a long read, but it’s a remarkable tale of one of the very few ships ever recovering from an extreme list. The Deep Sea Cowboys that salvaged the car-carrier Cougar Ace.

  13. Mu Yixiao says:

    New LED lights installed in the basement, and new workbench built (still need to run power for the machines). Photos will come after I’m done cleaning (it’s a fracking MESS right now).

  14. Sleeping Dog says:


    It is an environmental disaster and it would be a greater one if it sinks. In this case the problem isn’t the old fashioned gas and diesel powered vehicles, that would be a small spill, but the batteries in the EVs.

    The gas powered cars have very little fuel in them, about a gallon. Just enough so the cars can be driven on and off the ship and on to whatever transport will be used to get them to the dealer.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    I remember the Cougar Ace. 🙂 I believe that they are still trying to salvage a car carrier in the Savanna area that capsized over a year ago.

  16. senyordave says:

    Today in Trump family bullshit:
    Eric Trump today claims that when he was at Georgetown he had a professor who said that all white males should be castrated.
    There was a comment on twitter that was perfect:
    He’s confusing what the professor said with what his mother said.

  17. Slugger says:

    @senyordave: I listened to Eric on that comment. His voice is rather high-pitched in my opinion. Hmmm, hmmm

  18. Slugger says:

    @Slugger: Out of a sense of fairness, I listened to more of Eric
    The cracking voice, the tears allow only one conclusion: Those Georgetown professors got him!

  19. JohnSF says:

    Speaking of cars.

    In Donbas the Russian separatist militia put out a message advising evacuation due to Ukrainian military activity.
    Only thing is, it refers to “events” on February 18; but they forgot to strip the timestamps off the video, which show it was made on February 16.
    Dumb chekisty. No vodka for you.

    Oh yes, cars.
    Well the Donetsk Militia also reported an “attack” on it’s commanders personal SUV by Ukrainian agents.
    Which was “blown up”; but he “escaped”.

    However, being a cheap sonofabitch, the DNR commander actually put his new UAZ Patriot (UAZ being a Russian manufacturer) number plates on an old model UAZ and “somebody” blew that up.
    By mistakings.

  20. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Given that these type of cars are typically ordered rather than bought from inventory, there are a lot of unhappy rich folk. It’s not uncommon for the sales guy to let the customer know where the car is in in the production cycle and then tell them what ship its on. That allows the customer to track the ships progress to port.

    I would want a temperature sensor too.

    Also, how often do you get to say “dear, I’m afraid we will just have to make do with the old Bentley, like a bunch of poor people, as the new one is currently on fire in the middle of the Atlantic?”

    If you can afford a Bentley, you should be able to afford a laugh at the Bentley meeting a horrible random fate, along with lots of others, and appearing on the news.

  21. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Yes they should be able to laugh, but won’t, because that kind of misfortune happens to the poor, not the Bentley crowd! This is an affront and an outrage!!!

  22. Sleeping Dog says:


    Gus, we’re discussing the rich, they want it and they want it now.