Sábado Gigante

Open forum for Saturday,

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:

    Neuralink: Elon Musk unveils pig he claims has computer implant in brain

    The tech entrepreneur Elon Musk on Friday showed off a pig whose brain he says has been implanted with a small computer.

    “We have a healthy and happy pig, initially shy but obviously high energy and, you know, kind of loving life, and she’s had the implant for two months,” Musk said of Gertrude, the pig.

    Gertrude? Here I thought he was talking about himself.

    Actually, I love the phrasing of the headline and in the article: He claims the pig has an implant, and just like a lot of other “claims” Musk has made over the years,

    At Friday’s event, the entrepreneur made a number of outsize claims about the potential capabilities of the technology, including that it could be used to summon a Tesla, play video games, or allow a person with a severed spinal cord to walk again.

    Musk did not present any scientific data to support his claims about the pigs or the devices.
    Neuroscience experts say that while Neuralink’s mission to read and stimulate brain activity in humans is feasible, the company’s timeline appears overly ambitious.

    “Everyone in the field would be very impressed if they actually showed data from a device implanted in a human,” said Graeme Moffat, a University of Toronto neuroscience research fellow.

    So yeah. Lacking data, it’s just another stunt.

  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    Yesterday, a spate of articles were generated warning that the Former Reality Show Host will be reelected if Biden allows him to define the election as a law and order election. I don’t entirely buy that, but Biden does need to defuse it and rebut that Dems are fostering turmoil. Joe can’t do this sitting in his bunker, he needs to get around the country, not to hold rallies, but to meet with the local press, governmental officials and activists. I’d recommend starting in Portland by telling the protesters that it is time to go home and begin organizing to enact the change. Yelling and throwing rocks isn’t going to do it.

  3. CSK says:

    Why is “open forum” in Spanish? Or rather, why is “open forum” now “giant forum” in Spanish?

  4. Bill says:

    Governor don’t worry be happy Florida headline of the day-

    Florida governor urges people to get back to flying, saying it’s safe from COVID-19

  5. sam says:

    ?So, I guess it’s Don Esteban, today¿

    CSK, see Sábado Gigante

  6. CSK says:

    Muchas gracias.

  7. EddieInCA says:

    @Dr. Taylor

    Growing up, Sabado Gigante was om the television all day Saturday in my grandmother’s house. All. Day. It’s one of the memories of my youth.

    Thanks for the reminder. Made me think of my abuela, who partially raised me, and has been dead 40 years this. year, but who I still think of daily.

  8. Kingdaddy says:

    Doesn’t “Sábado Gigante” need a ton more exclamation points?

  9. senyordave says:

    I had a roommate who used to make fun of one of the Spanish stations that came in our cable (back in the day when you only got fifty channels or so). He claimed that any hour of the day you could turn it on and see a lecherous old man chasing a knockout blonde with a large chest around the room. I said that might have been true, but isn’t that the basic plot of every Benny Hill episode ever.

  10. Teve says:
  11. @CSK: Basic answer: I am just entertaining myself. (And@sam is spot on).

    @EddieInCA: I am truly happy that one of my silly references brought you a happy memory.

    @Kingdaddy: Fair point.

  12. Monala says:

    @EddieInCA: ¡Solo en Univision

  13. CSK says:

    A former Liberty U. student told Politico that Becki Falwell fellated him when he stayed overnight at Chez Falwell after band practice with their son.

    Who does she think she is, the dean’s wife in Animal House?

  14. CSK says:

    Not too much action here today, is there?

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I’d recommend starting in Portland by telling the protesters that it is time to go home and begin organizing to enact the change.

    Shows what I know. I though that organizing to enact change was what electing Ted Wheeler had been about.

  16. steve says:


    Thought this was one was better though that one was good.



  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It takes more than electing a few sympathetic pols. Local government is a creature and creation of the state. Most states have specific definitions of what authority local gov has and unlike the US Constitution, where if a responsibility is not specifically assigned to the feds, then it is assumed that it is a state responsibility. State constitutions frequently say that if the legislature has not specifically assigned authority to local government, then local government can’t act without permission of the state.

    So to effect real change you need to lobby and recruit state legislators who maybe abhorred by what the protesters are doing. Those legislators need to be convinced that what is being advocated is just and to the benefit of their own constituents.

    In an exchange with a friend in Minneapolis on this subject over the past few days, he pointed out that BLM is failing to take advice from the old left and baby boomer civil rights advocates and will be damned to repeat their mistakes.

  18. gVOR08 says:

    Dr. Taylor, IIRC you’re at Troy U. Apparently U of AL is having a COVID problem and faculty are being told to keep quiet about it. Hope your school is better organized, doing better, and that you’re not getting shit like that from on high.

  19. @gVOR08: We have been far more transparent about our case, having been publishing rolling info (two weeks at a time) of cases (students, faculty, staff). We even note which dorm a student case is in or which building a faculty member or staff works in. The goal has been transparency (although, obviously, we cannot release private information).

    UA has been far too secretive and it is currently causing some bad press since they have had to release their numbers recently.

  20. I think we started that procedure, BTW, back in May.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’d recommend starting in Portland by telling the protesters that it is time to go home and begin organizing to enact the change. Yelling and throwing rocks isn’t going to do it.

    Portland would be as good a fine place to start as any other large city, but I’d start with going to work on fixing what has the protestors out there. You know, a racist police force?

  22. EddieInCA says:

    Dr. Joyner, aren’t you an alum of U of Alabama?


    Coronavirus cases continue to mushroom at the University of Alabama, with 1,043 cases among faculty, staff and students since Aug. 19, the first day of on-campus classes.

    On Friday, newly released figures showed the university recorded 481 new cases of COVID-19 on its campus in the previous three days alone. The college had reported 158 cases among employees and students before Aug. 19.

    The cases are separate from the school’s re-entry testing program, which required students to take a COVID-19 test before fall semester and returned only 310 positives out of 30,000 students. Cases quickly spread as students moved onto campus and Greek houses held pre-semester events.

  23. Sleeping Dog says:


    I agree. That is something that has to generated by the protesters in moving from confrontation to organizing and lobbying. Continuing large protests with occasional violence and looting is not going to reform the police. As I stated here @Sleeping Dog: that is the hard work of effecting change. Change will not happen unless self purported anarchists get off the streets and go to work to make the change happen.

    If they do stay on the streets, all they are doing is providing trump and his lackeys ammunition to tar Biden and the Dems.

  24. Jax says:

    Man, where is everybody?! I got done with the majority of our haying today, finally have some time to sit down and catch up, and the room is empty!

    I hope you’re all out enjoying a wonderful Saturday with family and attempting to forget about the dumpster fire in the White House! 😉

  25. EddieInCA says:

    We are never getting rid of Covid, example 19,459:


    With 458 new coronavirus cases reported on Saturday, Utah’s rate of new cases went up slightly, as the state’s death toll from the virus remained at 407, the same as Friday.

    For the past week, Utah has averaged 366 new positive test results per day, the Utah Department of Health said. Gov. Gary Herbert had said he wanted the state to get below 400 new cases per day by Sept. 1 — and with just two days to go, new cases would need to continue to rise to miss that target.

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    I find it hard to believe that the adults in charge of these Universities actually think that they can keep a lid on this. The stupidity of even the supposedly most intellegent people is mind-boggling.

    SIU will not be informing the public of COVID-19 outbreaks on campus; RAs told to keep quiet
    August 19, 2020

    On Aug. 20 SIU decided to make general COVID-19 case counts among faculty, staff, and students living both on-campus and off campus available. These numbers do not specify location and they are not comprehensive.

  27. Mikey says:

    So Trump’s going to Kenosha on Tuesday.

    No doubt Trump’s going to say something dumb, but shit, why hasn’t Biden been there already? Is he going to skip Wisconsin like Hillary did?

    The Dems are already fucking this up by the numbers. We’re screwed.

  28. EddieInCA says:


    I’m guessing that Trump is going on Tuesday because he found out Biden will be there on Monday.

    Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is set to travel to an undisclosed location on Monday to “condemn violence, and to note that chaos has unfolded” on President Trump’s watch, the New York Times reports.

  29. Gustopher says:

    @Mikey: Biden is leading in basically all the polls, despite spending most of the campaign in Delaware. It’s not a done deal, but it’s also not time for doom and gloom.

    Trump attempting to talk about violence and act presidential? Does that work outside of the 42%?

  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Biden’s numbers are dropping, and I will wager will continue to drop the longer rioting continues and nothing is done about it. Several polls I recently saw bear that slide out, and they are pre-Kenosha. A majority of voters – by an 8 point margin – already see Trump as better on crime than Biden. It opens an enormous window for Trump to harp on the continuing violence (Portland recently hit, I believe, its 94th day of continuous “protesting”, now Kenosha as well). The numbers with respect to BLM and the legitimacy of the protests are swinging negative as well. The optics of cities being burned while their Democratic city leadership stands by and basically allows it to happen are horrific, especially in an election year, and they offer a ready made series of campaign ads for Trump’s strongest factor. If you think that the Republicans won’t tie Biden in with those optics, you’re living in a dream world. They’ll be driving that point home for the next two months.

    I think maybe you have to accept that at least a segment of these folks doing the riotprotesting are not really motivated by racial justice issues. They’re anarchists attracted by the chaos who gleefully just want to watch the world burn down, and they’re getting what they want. I have my doubts that they’re going to just quietly slink away – if anything, I’d expect them to engage in more violence and destruction in order to keep their purge party going.

    Dems are in a trap of their own creation here. The Left/liberal political and media class is deeply invested in preserving the untouchable sanctity of BLM, but by seizing the mantle of BLM and associating themselves with it, these overwhelmingly white, anarchist activists have discovered a work-around to arrogate moral cover for whatever insurrectionist upheaval they would have been ideologically committed to fomenting anyway. Dems can’t stop the violence without dealing with that segment, but Dems can’t deal with that segment as long as the left continues to remain deeply invested in pretending that these protests remain largely peaceful. The actual problem is staring you in the collective face and you want to continue to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

    Bottom line: if these riotprotests continue, or g-d forbid escalate further (which seems likely given recent events – we now have a shooting in Portland), while COVID wanes as a public concern, you’re potentially in real trouble.

  31. Gustopher says:

    Bottom line: if these riotprotests continue, or g-d forbid escalate further (which seems likely given recent events – we now have a shooting in Portland), while COVID wanes as a public concern, you’re potentially in real trouble.

    Don’t worry, we will see schools opening up new covid hotspots, and that to become a big concern.

    Also, the Kenosha protester shooting and the Portland protester shooting both involve right-wing militia-wannabes, and we really don’t know how that is going to play out in America. As a rule of thumb, Americans like their racism systemic rather than shouted, and their Nazis to wear badges.

  32. Mikey says:

    @EddieInCA: Hahaha…how did I miss that? Too much gloom and doom in my mind last night.

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Biden’s numbers are dropping. You already have evidence as to how it is playing out.

  34. @HarvardLaw92:

    Biden’s numbers are dropping. You already have evidence as to how it is playing out.

    I thought you didn’t trust polls?

  35. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Easy on the sniping. *I* don’t, but *you guys* are obsessed with them. Since they are the Bible around here, of course I’m going to use them to make the point. It’s not that I believe them so much as you folks think they’re the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Oh, and Gustopher – unfortunately for your theory, the shooting *victim* in Portland was a, how did you put it, “right wing militia-wannabe.

  36. @HarvardLaw92:

    *I* don’t, but *you guys* are obsessed with them.

    I see.

    You are just humoring us. 😉

  37. @HarvardLaw92: To be les snipey/snarky, I was simply struck that you cited polling as “evidence” (you even used the word here) and based a whole longer comment above on them as well.

    Your comments very much came across as using polling when it was useful to your position when recently you have been dismissing them as not credible. I also suspect that if I were to assert that my FB feed contradicts your position, you would find that laughable.

    It was striking, especially given your own previous snark, if not derisive dismissiveness (which you return to wit the gospel refs), in regards to people using polls as evidence.

  38. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Not at all. I’m enjoying a rare instance where your preferred form of evidence is working against you.

    It was more an indictment of the liberal tendency towards the belief that simply being right is enough to win. Democrats still, to this day, do not understand retail politics and how to play that game. This is a pretty glaring example of that. They’ve allowed themselves to get boxed into a corner they’re going to have a hard time getting out of.

    Since you’re so fond of polling, maybe check out how much the margins have shrunk in the swing states. I’d start with Wisconsin.

  39. @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m enjoying a rare instance where your preferred form of evidence is working against you.

    You are going to have to explain this to me. I have taken no position in the current discussion. What is “working against ” me here?

  40. @HarvardLaw92: FWIW, the polling in WI, according to the RCP over the last 30 days has been pretty steady (the slight closing of the gap in the last couple of days is not statistically significant).

    RCP has Biden +3.5

    Likewise, the 538 numbers are currently favorable to Biden.

    The most recent pro Trump poll was a Republican group with +1 Trump.

    So, what am I missing?

    Do I think that the protests and especially the violence can help Trump? Sure. But it can also hurt him because, after all, he is the current president and is proving rather ineffective in dealing it.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It’s funny, but I thought that HL92’s comment about “you” was clearly a reference to the “collective, monolithic, hive-minded progressives” type you rather than the individual “you.” Because I’m entertaining the musings of my misanthropic abyss today also, I suspect that you actually knew exactly what he was saying and decided to play the deliberately take that personally as host to put him in his place game.

    But it’s all good. Keep playing the games, folks! (Including HL, who could have simply trolled the group in a hit and run fashion that might in this case have made his argument a little more penetrating, but instead decided to play the good troll and try a lame-a$$ explanation.) They’re definitely good games and will lead us to better understanding that will, undoubtedly, heal the country.

  42. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: But, does America at large care whether a right-wing militia-wannabe gets killed? Fox cares, but will people outside Trump’s base care? Or will they say that he had it coming?

    I don’t know. Nor do you.

  43. @Just nutha ignint cracker: You know what? I will cop to the fact that should never have said anything about HL92 and polls, as it had no productive outcome.