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. EddieInCA says:

    Season 3 is officially wrapped!!!!

    I’m going to take a few weeks off. Kona, here I come.

  2. Kurtz says:


    Enjoy, Eddie. Put one in the air for me. If not, in lieu of that, take a sip for me. I don’t drink much but it’s the thought that counts.

  3. CSK says:


  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In hunt for Covid’s origin, new studies point away from lab leak theory

    Marc Van Ranst, a virologist who is helping to coordinate Belgium’s pandemic response, says: “Nature is the biggest bio-terrorist there is. It has shown time and time again that it doesn’t need a lot of help in creating a virus and making it jump between species.”

    The claim that Sars-CoV-2 was suspiciously well adapted to humans at the beginning of the pandemic also finds little support. It infects a wide range of species – including cats, dogs, mink, tigers and lions – and if anything has become better adapted to humans over the pandemic, in part through further alterations to the spike protein.

    This leaves the lab leak theory resting principally, for now, on unverified reports of three cases of respiratory illness among the WIV’s nearly 600 staff in November 2019, a winter month in Wuhan, and the fact that the institute took a database of viral genome sequences offline two months earlier – to protect it from hackers, they told WHO investigators.

  5. steve says:

    Just a reminder that Van Ranst, cited above, is still living in a safe house under police protection because of right wing extremists.


  6. Mister Bluster says:

    Today is the Summer Solstice. This is my High Holy Day. I am a Sun Worshiper.

    Sagan’s THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark is my Holy Book. The footnote on page 18 is the enabling scripture.

    Although it’s hard for me to see a more profound cosmic connection than the astonishing findings of modern nuclear astrophysics: except for hydrogen, all the atoms that make each of us up – the iron in our blood, the calcium in our bones, the carbon in our brains – were manufactured in red giant stars thousands of light years away in space and billions of years ago in time. We are, as I like to say, starstuff.

    This song is my Anthem.

  7. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Mister Bluster: Happy Solstice!

  8. Mister Bluster says:

    Happy Father’s Day dad.
    Wilmer A. Brown

  9. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jim Brown 32:..Happy Solstice!

    Peace, Love and Orange Sunshine!

  10. Jax says:

    @steve: BBC is reporting that the guy who was stalking Van Ranst has been found dead.

  11. CSK says:

    QAnoners are perturbed that Trump will be doing a speaking tour with Bill O’Reilly this coming December, because it suggests he won’t have been reinstated to the presidency by then:

    By the way, what’s become of Q? He hasn’t been heard from since December 2020.

  12. Joe says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    We are stardust
    We are golden
    And we’re caught in a devil’s bargain
    And we’ve got to get ourselves back the garden

    Happy Father’s Day to everyone who visits and contributes here!

    Congrats, EddieInCA!

  13. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Mister Bluster: Indeed, happy solstice even though, as you say the sunshine is orangish; around here from the smoke drifting east from the Pack Creek fire near Moab. I feel reassured because even if we’re not around there will be solstices for a few more billion years.

  14. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mr. Prosser:..sunshine is orangish; around here from the smoke drifting east from the Pack Creek fire near Moab.

    Sorry about the fire. As you may know but for those that don’t the Orange Sunshine that I was thinking of was a hit of LSD that provided me with several facinating experiences in my drug days 50 years ago.

    The Orange Sunshine variety of LSD that was widely available in California through 1968 and 1969 was produced in the Sonoma County underground chemistry lab of Tim Scully and Nicholas Sand. It was shut down by the police, and Scully was arrested and prosecuted. This resulted in the first drug analogue trial, where Scully claimed that he and his partners did nothing illegal, because they were producing ALD-52, which was not an illicit drug. However, as the prosecution claimed, there were problems with such a rationale—ALD-52 was claimed to readily undergo hydrolysis to LSD, and secondly, the synthesis of ALD-52 required LSD. (The second point was based on the methods available in the scientific literature at the time). Scully was convicted and served time in prison.

  15. Kathy says:


    By the way, what’s become of Q? He hasn’t been heard from since December 2020.

    All indications are he’ll be back for season 2 of Picard.

  16. CSK says:

    Which one is Q?

  17. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Mister Bluster: Oh myyy.

  18. Mister Bluster says: