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. Kathy says:

    Another close call, this time in Mumbai.

    Contrary to some hints and quotes on the piece, it was a big f**ng deal. There’s mention the outgoing flight was already past V1, the speed at which aborting takeoff is impossible, but there was no way for the crew of the landing plane to know this. Or suppose the plane taking off has some accident between V1 and rotation* (when the nose is pulled up to begin flight), and the landing plane just plows into it.

    The statement by the ATC guild may be a mistake. Air incident investigations are not supposed to be punitive. The idea is to find out why and how something went wrong, and devise or identify means to keep it from happening again. However, in some countries and in some agencies, a punitive approach might be taken regardless. So, I understand if the guild is looking out for its members. However, if they say they can space landings and takeoffs this close safely, I can see some idiot bureaucrat with more power than sense demanding this be done more frequently to increase flight frequencies.

    The bottom line is you don’t land if the runway isn’t clear. A runway containing a plane taking off is NOT clear.

    *This is very rare. The problem in most takeoff accidents is that the plane actually takes off, but for some reason can’t maintain flight (wrong trim, no flaps, engine troubles, etc.) But it could happen.

  2. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Local strawberry season is here!*

    * Local strawberries are completely different from the large, tasteless things usually found in the grocery stores here.

    They are about the size of your little fingernail, very sweet, and are only available for a short time. Not available commercially because they’re too fragile to transport.

    Our go-to is a husband and wife team in their late 80s who have a seasonal operation on their farm out in Sherwood.

    The kids were gone for the weekend, so our dessert was a pint of berries each. Yum!

  3. Kingdaddy says:

    The American campaign against ISIS, compared to Israel’s war in Gaza:

  4. Paul L. says:
  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    This is our favorite news source on all things Vegas. Babealabe – what, you have a problem with that name? Babealabe fills us in on news and reviews hotels and restaurants while always managing to keep her generous cleavage front and center. Then, if it’s during warm weather, she’ll model the bikini of the week.

    Babealabe angrily denies she’s had any ‘work’ done, she just naturally looks like a Kardashian. Probably not true in the sense of you know, actual truth, but it’s Vegas true. It’s the shamelessness of Vegas that I like best. And the optimism. We are currently getting ready to build a stadium for a baseball team we don’t have, and not one but two arenas for NBA teams we also don’t have.

    Walked the dogs at 5:45 and it was already 80 degrees. At noon we do a quick pee stop but have to stick to the shadow cast by the condo. The worst is at 5-6 PM, when there’s plenty of shade, which you need because otherwise the dogs get crispy feet. Vegas, baby!

  6. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Sir Walter Raleigh said it best several centuries prior:

    “It glows and shines like rotten wood.”

  7. Kathy says:

    Let’s say there is an infinite number of parallel universes, a subset* of which has different natural laws. Let’s also say they don’t all exist right now, but rather come into being somehow (I can’t be more specific than that, but suppose one is created every time a star implodes into a black hole just for kicks**).

    Eventually one universe will arise with natural laws such that the existence of parallel universes is not possible.

    When this happens, all the infinite number of parallel universes will cease to exist.

    It’s the law.


    Some think this has already happened.

    *I think a subset of an infinite set would itself be infinite.

    **I know this cannot possibly result in infinity.

  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    That is an excellent quote.

  9. JKB says:

    What if you held a protest but the media barely covered it since it would hurt Old Joe’s reelection? Shades of Chicago, but then Democrats are working to do a virtual convention in June to anoint Biden.

    WASHINGTON — Thousands of people from cities across the country gathered outside the White House on Saturday to protest the Biden administration’s policies toward the Israel-Hamas war, many dressed in keffiyehs and red clothes to symbolize what they say is a red line that Israel crossed.

    Multiple statues in Lafayette Square across from the White House were vandalized during the protest with spray paint, graffiti and painted red handprints. Protesters attached signs reading slogans such as “Hands off Rafah! Stop the genocide!” to statues. Some graffitied slogans such as “free Gaza,” “kill pigs” and “f— pigs” on the statues.

    Police said they attempted to arrest one person who climbed a statue, but members of the crowd intervened. The police deployed pepper spray and the person got away.

  10. becca says:

    I’m watching-listening to a Ken Burns documentary on the creation of our National Parks. Very moving and inspiring. “An impetus for sane living.” I hope and pray we can maintain them and keep the greed monsters at bay.
    I have watched most of the Burns collection. The Viet Nam War documentary is intense and so thorough. The one on the Dustbowl is heartbreaking. The Roosevelts was really good. I highly recommend Hemingway. Ernest was a more complicated man than even his legendary persona provides.
    I recommend the whole catalog.

  11. Kathy says:

    It’s amazing how much stupidity I’m capable of.

    Researching flights, I found that traveling from Rome to Mexico was a lot more expensive than from Mexico to valencia. I recalled a trick I learned from travel and aviation blogs, of looking up nearby cities for cheaper fares. I found savings, but not much.

    After a few days, I finally recalled something else: positioning.

    Some flights to or from secondary destinations, places with lower travel demand, are far cheaper. So, for example, a ticket bought with Iberia from MEX to Valencia* is cheaper than one MEX to Madrid, even though the flight to Valencia stops in effing Madrid.

    So, when I looked up a round trip Mexico City to Valencia, it was way cheaper.

    Then it’s a simple matter of finding a roundtrip flight from Valencia to Rome. I figure I can get to Naples and back to Rome by train.

    Meanwhile the trip is still two years away…

    *Both portions of the trip involve getting to and from Valencia by rail, but that’s fine by me. The block time by train is only like 30 minutes more than that for a flight.

  12. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Indeed. Raleigh used it about the English court, but it describes many things past and present.

  13. CSK says:

    Marjorie Trailer Queen said today that Trump is like Jesus because Jesus was “also a convicted felon.”

  14. DK says:

    @CSK: I dont recall Jesus grabbin ’em by the p****, but sure Moscow Marge.

  15. MarkedMan says:


    “An impetus for sane living.”

    You know, I have to remind myself from time to time that despite the degeneracy of the Trumpers and others, the US has a lot to be proud of.

  16. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Even so, it’s still a better room than the one I got in Ashland the year I went to the Shakespeare Festival. From what I can tell though, that place was condemned and knocked down.

  17. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    Something I noted the first and only time I was in Vegas: Everything had “fabulous” in its name. The fabulous pharmacy. The fabulous convenience store. Even the dinosaur museum was fabulous.

  18. al Ameda says:

    A while ago I think it was Sigourney Weaver who said, “I always wanted to go to Vegas, and have my own really bad act.”

    Me? I’ve never been sure if Vegas should be seen or experienced in daylight.
    Also, on a positive note, McCarron (Reid) Airport should be demolished, it’s a secondhand smoke toilet.

  19. CSK says:


    Yeah. I also don’t recall Jesus being a serial adulterer, either.

    And given that Jesus was a carpenter, Trump would have stiffed him.

  20. Joe says:

    @just nutha: We used to stay year-after-year at an absolute dive in Murphysboro, Illinois because it was relatively close to the starting line of our all-day relay. Some years ago now, I was driving through Murphysboro and encountered the flat ground where it stood and texted my team about the tear-down. One buddy responded, “how many bodies did they find?”

  21. Kingdaddy says:


    I don’t understand what you hope to accomplish with posts like these. Your assertion is patently wrong, and easily disprovable.

    What if you held a protest but the media barely covered it since it would hurt Old Joe’s reelection? Shades of Chicago, but then Democrats are working to do a virtual convention in June to anoint Biden.

    Apparently you’ve missed the endless coverage of similar protests across all media outlets over the last several months.

    What if you held a protest but the media barely covered it since it would hurt Old Joe’s reelection? Shades of Chicago, but then Democrats are working to do a virtual convention in June to anoint Biden.

    The same day, on this very same blog, there’s a post about the latest in a string of New York Times articles that raised questions about Biden’s electability. Today, it’s about his spins on his personal biography. Tomorrow, it will be yet another “just raising questions” piece about his age. Obviously, you must have missed these, too. Perhaps you’ve been on a desert island, or suffered a head injury, or you’re the victim of some other informational impairment. If so, my sympathies.

    What if you held a protest but the media barely covered it since it would hurt Old Joe’s reelection? Shades of Chicago, but then Democrats are working to do a virtual convention in June to anoint Biden.

    If by “anoint” you mean “nominate,” then yes, at the Democratic Convention, Democrats will do exactly the same thing they’ve been doing ever since they were a party, which is making official who their presidential candidate will be. If it’s hard for you to distinguish between that process and the anointing of, say, a British monarch, or (in the Catholic Church) the sick, then I fear that the American educational system has done you a disservice.

    Or maybe you’re just a highly ineffectual troll.

  22. Kathy says:

    Meanwhile in France, doings are transpiring.

    In response to elections for the European parliament, Macron will dissolve the French parliament and call for snap elections for the end of June, with the second round (I assume for runoffs), to be held on July 7th.

  23. mattbernius says:

    BTW, the irony about the “annointing” this is that there was no Republican primary in 2020 either because there was an incumbent in office.

    For the life of me, I cannot remember that guy’s name.

    But generally speaking, no, we don’t get the best trolls here

  24. Jax says:
  25. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I never paid any attention to that stuff. I just noticed it was a cheap place for a vacation and still cool enough to walk around a lot during spring break.

  26. Franklin says:

    @JKB: I heard of it but not even from the news. It seems well known.


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