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:

    How could I have gone so long being totally and completely ignorant of Wagatha Christie?

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This Grandma’s Dying Wish Was a Giant Dick on Her Grave

    MEXICO CITY — Before her death, 99-year-old Catarina Orduña Pérez had one final wish: a giant statue of a dick on top of her grave.

    Her family unveiled the completed monument — a 5-and-a-half-foot-tall cock and balls weighing nearly 600 pounds — mounted on her tomb at a cemetery in Mexico this past weekend as a “recognition of her love and joy for life.”

    “She wanted to break the paradigm of everything Mexican, where things are sometimes hidden because of not having an open mind,” her grandson Álvaro Mota Limón told VICE World News in an interview. “She was always very avant-garde, very forward-thinking about things.”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Edit function is borked, forgot to add this:

    After Mota Limón told him several times that he was serious about the request, Lavoignet got to work. It took nearly a month and a team of 12 people, including a carpenter, a sander, a sculptor, and a carver, to build the statue. They got particularly delayed on the ballsack when the first attempt was “disfigured” and they had to start the process again of “melting materials to give it the necessary amplitude so that the testicles could be formed.”

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    After 350 years, sea gives up lost jewels of Spanish shipwreck

    Allen Exploration was founded by Carl Allen, who developed a successful plastics business before retiring early, becoming a philanthropist and explorer with two passions – the Bahamas and its sunken past.

    “When we brought up the oval emerald and gold pendant, my breath caught in my throat,” he said. “I feel a greater connection with everyday finds than coins and jewels, but these Santiago finds bridge both worlds. The pendant mesmerises me when I hold it and think about its history. How these tiny pendants survived in these harsh waters, and how we managed to find them, is the miracle of the Maravillas.”

    He added: “The wreck of the galleon had a tough history – heavily salvaged by Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Bahamian and American expeditions in the 17th and 18th centuries, and blitzed by salvors from the 1970s to early 1990s. Some say the remains were ground to dust. Using modern technology and hard science, we’re now tracking a long and winding debris trail of finds.”

    He was convinced that not all the ship was destroyed and pulled together a team and ships to search for the lost sterncastle, which is thought to have broken away and drifted off. But he wanted to study the wreck archaeologically, unlike his predecessors who did not publish any science, and who simply sold off finds.

    His team is using cutting-edge science to work out how the Maravillas was wrecked and then scattered by centuries of hurricanes.

    The expedition is also collecting data on the reef health, seafloor geology and plastic pollution to understand how the archaeology and marine environment interact.
    All wreckage in Bahamian waters is the property of the government of the Bahamas and Allen Exploration is keeping the finds together by sponsoring the Bahamas Maritime Museum, which opens on 8 August in Freeport.

    Doing it right.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Iran may eventually get its way in protracted power struggle in Iraq

    I haven’t been following things in Iraq and according to this story things are far different than I had thought, not the least of which is the position of “Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who wishes to restrict Iran’s power in the country.”

  6. CSK says:

    Tickets to Trump’s Saudi golf tourney are selling for the princely sum of…one dollar.

  7. EddieInCA says:


    LIV Golf is exhibition golf, not actual, you know, tournament golf.

    It’s a joke, and it will fail, despite the billions the Saudis are pouring into it.

  8. CSK says:

    Despite the dollar ticket price, guests seem to be few and far between.

  9. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @EddieInCA: I streamed a little bit of it yesterday….turned it off after 10 minutes. They may have a hook in the international space with the team golf thing but I don’t see that element ever taking off in the US.

    As for Trump, the hit pieces write themselves. The “America First” guy backing Saudis to destroy an American institution— “Money First”

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    NBA Great Bill Russel is dead.
    (NEXSTAR) – Bill Russell, one of the greatest NBA players in history, has passed away at age 88, his family announced Sunday.

    Russell, called “the most prolific winner in American sports history” by his family, was an 11-time NBA champion, captain of a gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic team, and the first Black head coach of any North American professional sports team.

    A Louisiana native, Russell was drafted in the first round of the 1956 NBA draft by the St. Louise Hawks but was soon traded to the Boston Celtics. He spent 13 years in Boston – 10 as a player and three as a coach. In that time, the team won 11 championships.

    The Hall of Famer was named Most Valuable Player five times and was a 12-time All-Star.

    The Secretary of Defense

  11. EddieInCA says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I’m currently a six handicap, and was once as low as a 2. I’ve played practice and qualifying rounds with pros, including a round with Xander Shauffle, at the 2015 Honda Classic. I’ve gotten to play The Old Course, Carnoustie, TPC Sawgrass, Doral (before Trump – I birded 18 from the tips), Lake Nona, Isleworth, Bay Hill, East Lake, Whistling Straits, Bandon Dunes, Pinehurst #3, Bethpage Black, TPC Lousiana (day after the tournament ended, so set up for the pros). I have a tee time for March 23rd, 2023 at the Old Course again at 9:30am, and will play Royal Liverpool that trip as well.

    Simply put, I’m a golf nut. I streamed part of the LIV London event, and part of the Portland event. It’s not tournament golf. There is zero pressure. There is zero incentive to get better at the game. It feels like a Pro-Am, even though it’s for big bucks. Golf without pressure isn’t golf. Imagine how different your $5 Nassau bets would be if you knew you were going to not have to pay if you lost. Weekend golfers get nervous on a simple $1 closest to the pin bet on a part three. If there is no pressure, it’s almost not golf.

    Trump certainly didn’t help them by making this weekend so much about him. He turned off a few golfing friends were were on the fence about LIV. No longer. Just based on his comments that “No one has really figured out the whole 9/11 responsibility thing”, they have turned against the LIV tour. Anecdotes is not evidence, but if a PGA tour event – any PGA tour event – got as small an audience as this LIV event got this weekend, it would be the lead story on ESPN.

  12. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Oh, my. Russell was one of the greats. This is headline news in Boston. RIP.

  13. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Mister Bluster: Great Player. Greater Man.

  14. dazedandconfused says:


    Not many people read it, but his book “Second Wind” is filled with wonderful anecdotes.

  15. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @EddieInCA: Nice Bucket list of courses! I’ve played only a couple of those tracks so far.

    My life has been too busy since Covid to indulge my addiction but I manage to get hour or so of practice in a few times a week. Still a solid stick the 6-7 times a year I do play (Low 80s/High 70s)—hopefully life and work slows down enough where I can do some serious golf tourism of all the historic tracks.

    The LIV/PGA argument is basically class warfare. LIV wants to collect the best 48 players in the world that are in form and discard them when they’re out of form. They’ll cull the discarded players with players on the PGA/DP/Asian Tours who are peaking. Rinse repeat. What this means is the Middle Class of these Tours, who are good but not “name recognition” good will never sniff Liv and play for smaller purses.

    There is only so much Golf Sponsor money and so many people that watch golf on TV. Without expanding either of those two things…Liv is only dividing the current pie. Don’t blame the PGA for fighting tooth and nail.

  16. wr says:

    @Jim Brown 32: “The LIV/PGA argument is basically class warfare. ”

    This is basically the same as what’s going on with the college football divisions. All the money to the big guys, who will play each other on the big stages, and screw everyone else.

  17. EddieInCA says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I have been fortunate enough to work/live in places with great golf courses, and one job in South Florida (thanks wr) which created a lead character who played golf, so I had two PGA pros on staff as Technical advisors. They got me on some of the most exclusive courses even most die hard golf fans never heard of, including Broken Sound in Boca, and a few I can’t name close to Jupiter Florida.

    There is only so much Golf Sponsor money and so many people that watch golf on TV. Without expanding either of those two things…Liv is only dividing the current pie. Don’t blame the PGA for fighting tooth and nail.

    Agreed 100%. Also, there is no history there, and there won’t be given their own admission. They’re not interested in “legacy”. Again, what’s the incentive to play better if you’re guaranteed huge money even for finishing last?

  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Having looked up who what Wagatha Cristie is, I would think that almost anyone could go on almost forever in ignorance of Wagatha Christie. I know that search was 30 or 40 seconds that I’LL never get back.

  19. Kathy says:
  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: @EddieInCA: Wow! What a difference. When the second event of the series happened at Pumpkin Ridge, outside Portland, OR, golf hipsters and scene makers paid ~$1oo on average for the first round and ~25% more for the second round. (Finally looked it up. I had wondered what LIV was but forgot to investigate the next day.) That’s quite a comedown! And Trump gouged out charged $4250 for “premium passes” at Bedmister. WA! (But I repeat myself.)

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I thought the Davis Cup was team golf, but I don’t follow golf at all (well… I HAVE watched all 4 seasons of Holy Moley and did play Putt-putt golf as a kid), so I may be wrong.

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..Hailing frequencies closed.
    Excellent Obit Notice.

  23. EddieInCA says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Well actually….

    Davis Cup is Tennis.

    Ryder Cup and President’s Cup are Golf.

  24. CSK says:

    Sorry to learn this. She was an ageless beauty.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It’s funny. I’ve been reading the phrase Wagatha Christie for quite some time and never felt the need to know until this morning when I saw it had been resolved in somebodies favor.

    Resolved? All this time I had thought it was some kind of sitcom. OK, now I was curious. And just like the curious cat I wasted several brain cells. And I have so few to spare!

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Damn, she and George Takei are supposed to live forever.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Maybe there is a god after all, and she has finely honed sense of irony: Kentucky Noah’s Ark sues insurance company over damage caused by heavy rains

  28. CSK says:

    That is truly hilarious.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Christopher Michel

    Epilogue. I’ve been photographing this car for years. Today, a woman emerged from the house. I said, “is this your car?” She hesitated & replied with a sad voice, “It belonged to my son. He just passed…” We talked for a while, and I gave her the images from over the years.

    Sometimes kindness costs us only a few moments.

  30. al Ameda says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    The greatest competitor and winner in basketball history.

    Not only did he win 11 NBA championships, he won 2 NCAA championships at the University of San Francisco (USF), and I believe he won 2 State of California championships while at McClymonds HS across the bay in Oakland.

    Modern era players know the competitive ferocity of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, well … Bill Russell was all of that 2-3 decades before those two great players. As great as those Celtic teams were in Bill’s time, they weren’t winning chmpionships until Bill got there.

    One of the first NBA games my father took me to was Boston v. San Francisco Warriors – Bill was already my favorite player because of his championship play at USF. He was an incredibly sleek athlete, with cat quick reflexes on defense and in rebounding. He was the best defensive big man of his time and possibly of all time.

    RIP, Bill.

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    @Michael Cain:..from yesterday Gangster Movie thread

    Not long after I started my career in the landline telephone industry (early ’70s) I worked with a guy who just got out of prison. Something to do with modifying gun stocks. The feds thought he was supplying firearms to the mob. He wasn’t. At least that’s what he told me. Prosecuters offered him a deal. If he would work as an informer and sell to the mob they would not send him to jail but get him in witness protection. He told me his lawyer told him: “The government can send you to jail. The mob will kill you.” Apparently it was a no brainer as he opted to serve the time in prison.
    He was quite the jerk when I met him. Fortunately I didn’t have to work with him very often. For years I heard through the grapevine how he would screw people who worked for him when he started his own contracting company.
    It was years later that I ran into him and he actually apologised to me for being an asshole and said that “I’m seeing things differently now.”
    He actually turned into a decent human being. One of only two people that I can recall that I’ve known that did that.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al Ameda: Long time, no see… I won’t ask where you’ve been, but you were missed.

  33. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    The last time I played “golf,” the black helicopters landed on the course and took me away. My golf game has been adjudged as an international war crime (and deservedly so)! Come to think of it, so has my putt-putt game.

    That being said, I truly enjoyed Alice Cooper’s bio.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: As I said, I don’t follow golf (or tennis for that matter*), so I probably would be likely to be wrong. Turns out I was. Oh well.

    * If you showed me a list of names of tennis players, the only name I’d be liable to recognize as a tennis player might well be Rod Laver. Shows, first, how old I am, and second, how long it’s been since I watched any tennis.

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “I’ve been reading the phrase Wagatha Christie…”

    Aha! I’ve got the difference. You read the press more than I do. (Not a high bar to jump by the way.)

  36. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Just nutha ignint cracker: Man, you guys suck. I thought for sure it was “dog mystery solver” show, like Lassie….:-P

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: Right back atcha! 😀 😛

  38. CSK says:

    I understand the term WAG. What I don’t get is the association of it with Agatha Christie. No detecting was done. There was no mystery. One woman thought another woman libeled her.

  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Apparently

    In the U.K., everyone is obsessed with the multi-million-dollar court battle of Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy. It’s been dubbed the Wagatha Christie trial, since it takes place between two soccer stars’ wives (WAGs), and involves sleuthing by Rooney that allegedly revealed Vardy was the source of leaks to the British tabloids. [emphasis maintained (I think)]

  40. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: On my second guess on “Wagatha Christie”, I expected some sort of Chris Christie porn with a wig, but noooooo!!! 😛

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    And incidentally, I didn’t make the connection between “WAG” and “wives and girlfriends.” I guess I don’t watch E! Network (I was going to say Bravo, but I learned my lesson with Davis Cup and looked it up this time).

  42. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Ah, okay. I only knew there was a libel suit.

    I wonder why the Brits are so obsessed with WAGs. Does anyone in the U.S. give a damn who a football player or a basketball player dates or marries?

  43. al Ameda says:


    @al Ameda: Long time, no see… I won’t ask where you’ve been, but you were missed

    Thanks for the kind words. I occasionally check in.
    Just been taking a break and, among other things, attending to the care needs of my very senior 100 year old father.