Sunday’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:

    Our nearly 40 yo washing machine went on the fritz last week. My wife’s reaction was, “We were gonna have to buy a new one sooner or later.”

    I recalled how the last time our repairman worked on it he had commented that unlike the new machines, ours was repairable and told my wife, “Maybe not. We can hope anyway.”

    Gary came yesterday and a half hour and $110 later, our machine was working again. Long may it reign.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Extinct’ parrots make a flying comeback in Brazil

    Twenty years ago, the future of the Spix’s macaw could not have looked bleaker. The last member of this distinctive parrot species disappeared from the wild, leaving only a few dozen birds in collectors’ cages across the globe. The prospects for Cyanopsitta spixii were grim, to say the least.

    But thanks to a remarkable international rescue project, Spix’s macaws – with their grey heads and vivid blue plumage – have made a stunning comeback. A flock now soars freely over its old homeland in Brazil after being released there a month ago. Later this year, conservationists plan to release more birds, and hope the parrots will start breeding in the wild next spring.

    “The project is going extremely well,” said biologist Tom White, of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and a technical adviser to the rescue project. “It’s almost a month since we released the birds and all of them have survived. They are acting as a flock; they are staying in the vicinity of their release and they are beginning to sample local vegetation. It’s going as well as it possibly could.”
    As a result, several hundred Spix’s macaws have now been bred in captivity, and eight of these were taken in June to Bahia for release. And they had company: along with the Spix’s macaws, eight Illiger’s macaws were also let loose on 11 June.

    White said: “The Spix’s macaws that we now possess are the end result of generations of captive breeding, and that will have taken the edge off some of their instinctive survival skills. However, by mixing them with Illiger’s macaws – who were basically just wild birds brought briefly into captivity – the Spix’s benefit by associating with a native species that is sharp and alert, and can show them where they get food and alert them to potential predators.”
    “These birds will all be of reproductive age. We have also ensured there are several nest cavities, some natural and artificial, in the area to encourage the birds to begin mating next year and eventually establish breeding territories in the area. It’s ambitious but so far things are going well.”

  3. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ha! They made the movie Rio into reality! (Looks outside for flying carpets or a beanstalk stretching to the clouds) 😛

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Funny you should mention that. From the article:

    The future for the species looked dismal until the bird’s fortunes were revived by, of all things, an animated film. Rio, the story of a domesticated male Spix’s macaw called Blu, who is taken to Rio de Janeiro to mate with a free-spirited female, Jewel, was released in 2011. The film, and its sequel, Rio 2, earned almost $1bn. Crucially, the films revealed the threat facing the species to a global audience.

    I never saw the movie, so the reference didn’t mean much to me.

  5. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You should watch them with your granddaughters, they were both pretty good!

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Addy is obsessed with Cinderella and Moana. She wants to watch them every time she comes here. Fortunately for me, she will accept Toy Story 1 and 2 from time to time. Hopefully I can introduce to 3 and 4 some day soon. Then I’ll go to work on Up and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

  7. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I like Moana, too, that chicken cracks me up! Encanto was also really good. The Croods 1 and 2 are probably my all-time favorites, and the How to Train Your Dragon movies. I’m gonna have a whole collection by the time I get to introduce grandbabies to them. 😛

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Encanto is most excellent.

  9. CSK says:

    At his rally for Sarah Palin yesterday, Trump called Elon Musk “a bullshit artist.”

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: He’s just jealous. Musk’s BS is obviously more lucrative than trump’s

  11. Beth says:


    Moana is one of my favorite movies. I just sob my way through it each time.

    In other news, we added to our family yesterday. We went and adopted a 75 pound muscle baby, Branko, the pit bull. Well, technically some sort of chocolate pit mix. He is a giant dopey baby.

    Also, his name is technically “bronco” but I misheard the shelter people. I think Branko is way better anyway.

  12. CSK says:

    Trump was hoping Musk would give him back his Twitter account.

  13. Mister Bluster says:

    @Beth:..Also, his name is technically “bronco” but I misheard the shelter people. I think Branko is way better anyway

    Years ago my stone deaf grandfather paid us a visit. He had one of those old time hearing aids that he put in his shirt pocket with the earpiece on the end of a wire. When gramps met our jet black cat “Popcorn” he asked what the cat’s name was.
    “POPCORN!” My sister yelled at his shirt pocket.
    “Oh, Hello Boxcar.” he said.
    “Boxcar. That’s a funny name for a cat.”
    Needless to say from that day on we called the cat “Boxcar”.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Moana is also most excellent (I just don’t need to watch it once a week) That Lin Manuel Miranda guy knows how to write some songs. He was one of the principle song writers for both Moana and Encanto. (iirc he wrote or co-wrote most of the songs for both.)

  15. becca says:

    On kid’s entertainment, Zootopia is great fun. Jason Bateman makes everything good.

  16. CSK says:

    Steve Bannon has been “released” from his executive privilege by Trump, so he’s now willing to testify before Jan. 6 committee. He insists it be public. The committee says no.

    Zoe Lofgren says Pat Cippollone did not contradict any previous testimony given by others to the committee.

    I assume Trump wants Bannon to lie on his behalf.

  17. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    I assume Trump wants Bannon to lie on his behalf.

    Only if his lips move, CSK, only if they move.

    Just for the record, has is there any evidence that Bannon is capable of speaking truth? Does he know the difference between a truth and a lie? Inquiring minds want to know.

  18. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Bannon probably does know the difference between the truth and a lie, but as he himself said, he wants to “burn it all down.”

    He’s an evil little troll.

  19. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    well, except for the fact that he gives evil trolls a bad name, I’d have to agree with you. Personally, I think you’ve overstated his good qualities.

  20. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Well, the original meaning of troll is “fiend” or “demon.”

  21. dazedandconfused says:


    I suspect it’s yet another of Bannon’s gambits to delay his trial for ignoring the subpoena. Pretty sure he does not want to be under oath. His plan is to claim he complied but since the committee didn’t agree to his conditions he doesn’t have to submit to it. Lotsa luck with that if so. The judge appears to have had his fill of his delaying tactics.

  22. CSK says:

    Indeed, but the committee knows how to deal with him.

  23. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    On a slightly different tack on the theme, “see, FG’s not the only idjit…”

    A retired three-star Army general has been suspended from his duties as an adviser to active-duty officers after he reportedly dissed first lady Jill Biden online. Retired Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky was serving as an HQE-SM—a highly qualified expert-senior mentor—when he was suspended, per the AP

    Maybe, just maybe, when you’re pulling down a sweet, high-paying contract gig solely because you retired as a 2-star (I presume he got the 3rd on retirement, but IWNAO*), you shouldn’t act as the example of stuff not to say? Or is this just another example of a senior level officer who doesn’t think the rules (or common sense) apply to them?

    *I was never an officer, and trust me, you wouldn’t want me to be one!