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:

    I had a nice day cooking yesterday

    First for breakfast I made a grilled cheese sandwich with gouda, ham, and onions, with chipotle mayo on the outside and a bit of mustard inside.

    Later I made corkscrew pasta with mushrooms, onions, shredded beef, and tomato sauce. It was worth adding a dash of sherry to the mushrooms as they cooked. Also I cooked rice with lentils and barley, then mixed that with beans, a bit of gouda (it melts), sweet corn, sautéed onions and bell pepper.

  2. sam says:

    Leda and the Ostrich doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi.

  3. CSK says:

    It doesn’t, does it.

  4. CSK says:

    According to ABC, Ida is now a Category 5 hurricane, with winds at 150 mph.

  5. Matt Bernius says:

    I am heartsick about the catastrophe we are about to watch unfold. This is a stronger storm than Katrina, and the LA hospital system is at capacity due to Covid-19.

    The only small blessing is that we are passed the full moon so tides are not at their peak. Hopefully the enhanced levies will hold.

    Still we are seeing multiple man-made/-enhanced disasters converging and people will pay a terrible price.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Republican election audits have led to voting system breaches, experts say

    Nooo!!! I never would have guessed this might happen!

  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    Ozark, hope your son has moved inland.

    @james has a post up on covid schadenfreude, but the repeated beatings that Louisiana takes from hurricanes, has you wondering when the rest of the country will turn against aid to residents of the coastal areas. With calls that they be told, no you can’t have flood insurance and no there will be no loans for you to rebuild.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘The smartest person in any room anywhere’: in defence of Elon Musk, by Douglas Coupland

    Oh please. The smart person knows when to STFU but Musk never does. The smart person knows when to put down the shovel because the hole only gets deeper but he just keeps on digging.

    Intelligent? Yes, absolutely but has demonstrated time and again that he can and will be the dumbest muthaf*cka in the room. There is a word for what afflicts him: Hubris. He’s read way too many of his own press releases.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: He hasn’t.

  10. Stormy Dragon says:


    Ever made a Croque Madame?

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And if he is the ‘The smartest person in any room anywhere’, he needs to go into different rooms.

  12. CSK says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    It’s terrifying. This will be the strongest hurricane ever to hit louisiana.

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    If you want a picture of the future with climate change, imagine a hurricane stamping on New Orleans’ face – forever.

    Louisiana and Florida are our Bangladesh, places which cannot be saved and will inevitably be lost to rising seas and increasingly violent weather. Unlike Covidiots who have a solution to their problem right in front of them, I do feel sorry for these people. Even Floridians. You can’t dam a delta and you can’t build a wall around Florida.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: you can’t build a wall around Florida.

    You can’t? Damn, there goes plan Q.

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    For just $34,000,000 you can buy this lovely 7 bedroom, 13 bath, 20,000 square foot mansion on a man-made key off Miami Beach. It’s about an inch and a half above sea level on a pile of landfill. And some clown will buy it.

  16. Teve says:

    Just looked at Hurricane Ida. Holy Shit.

  17. Teve says:


    Hello friends of @WCKitchen! I’m on the ground in New Orleans with @natemook & WCK’s Relief team…Winds are getting bad as Hurricane #Ida makes landfall…We have 3 kitchens ready with supplies already for 100,000+ meals! Now we will shelter until Ida passes… #ChefsForLouisiana

    I think if I had Bill Gates Money i’d just give it all to that dude.

  18. flat earth luddite says:

    I had coffee the other morning with someone I consider a close friend. Known for about 15 years. Former co-worker, still a mentor in the biz. Normally intelligent, well-read, generally nice guy. Conservative politically, but we agree to disagree (since I tend more towards burn the sucka down). Towards the end of our klatsch, he told me that he and his SO both expect to lose their jobs before the end of the year. Her national hospital chain is mandating vaccines by mid-September. She has “medical, religious, and philosophical objections to having to wear a Star of David.” His work already prohibits non-vaccinated workers from the office (he’s been working remotely since before the pandemic hit). He shares her objections to taking something that’s “made with aborted fetuses.” Anyway, their plan is to buy something on the Mississippi side of the border, south of Memphis. They’re urging us to move nearby.

    He’s my age; she’s 50-ish. And I KNOW I’ve done way more drugs and alcohol than both of them together. But merciful deity of your choice, the stupid burns!

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    I am listening to WWL-AM 870 New Orleans via the Radio Locator website on my laptop. There is a city worker on now talking about the failure of the lift stations in the wastewater sewage collection system throughout the city due to loss of electricity. Apparently there is generator back up but it is not 100%. He is asking residents to not use water unless absolutely necessary.
    We never had hurricanes when I worked at the sewage treatment plant in Murphysboro, Illinois but we did have floods. The Big Muddy River, that received the effluent that was treated and discharged from the plant, would flood and although the plant was designed to hold off the rising river sometimes the river would win that battle and we had a mess on our hands.
    When the earliest storm sewer and wastewater sewer systems were developed many used common pipes as there were no treatment plants, everything went straight into the river. Even as late as the ’70s we would do smoke tests that would find illegal connections between storm sewers and wastewater discharge.
    I’ve had to work outside in some nasty weather over the years but not like this.
    I hope every one in the path of Ida* can take cover or get out of town if they can.

    *Ida was my paternal grandmother.

  20. Gustopher says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    She has “medical, religious, and philosophical objections to having to wear a Star of David.”

    I thought it was the unvaxxed who had to wear the Star of David. Can these people get together, and pick a single offensive Holocaust metaphor?

  21. CSK says:

    Ed Asner has died. He was 91. RIP, Mr. Grant.

  22. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I had to google it just now.

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @Michael Reynolds: A fool and his money are soon parted?

    (A similar scenario will soon be playing out in states in the West depending on Colorado River water or the Ogawalla reservoir, except in their case, it’s going to be not enough drinking water.)

  24. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well they’re not unvaxed anti vax…
    Neither likes my comment that, hey, we’ve got to use all that fetal tissue for SOMETHING… Insert snarky emoji here…

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mississippi River flow reversing due to hurricane “extremely uncommon,” USGS says

    From CNN’s Brandon Miller

    Storm surge and strong winds stopped the flow of the Mississippi River on Sunday near New Orleans and actually caused the flow to reverse – something the United States Geological Survey said is “extremely uncommon.”

    “I remember, offhand, that there was some flow reversal of the Mississippi River during Hurricane Katrina, but it is extremely uncommon,” Scott Perrien, a supervising hydrologist with the USGS Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told CNN.

    Perrien noted that the river level rose about 7 feet due to the storm surge pushing up the river at the USGS gauge, located in Belle Chasse, about 20 miles south of New Orleans in southeastern Louisiana.

  26. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: …unvaxed…anti vax…
    And I’m the flat earth luddite!

  27. charon says:

    video clip:

    Roof just tore off close range on @ReedTimmerAccu’s live stream, hitting a power line and tearing it in half! Tune in here (All footage credit to Reed of course.) #wxtwitter #Ida

  28. JohnMcC says:

    @CSK: Well, maybe the ‘most powerful’ by some measures but the barometric pressure when Ida encountered Grande Isle was 933mb, from the NOAA website. Googling showed the same measure for Katrina was 902mb.

    All kinds of ways to look at these storms. But the delta-pressure is the actual engine that runs them.

  29. Monala says:

    Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg tweeted the following today:

    Dems have done next to nothing for young people since getting elected. That needs to change.

    If they don’t pass some gun laws, climate reform, focus on permanent student debt relief and more they will lose the Sen and House and Biden will be impeached.

    Followed up by this:

    Young people have played a critical role in 2018 and 2020 at getting dems across the finish line. If you don’t give young people a reason to vote for you because you don’t fight for them, they won’t vote.

    The solution is simple pass some laws that help us and we will help you.

    Yes they have done meaningful work around infrastructure, welfare, taxes and else where that is needed. But as for the top issues that get young people vote climate change, gun reform, student debt and so on- next to nothing has been done.

    He is rightfully getting ratioed by people pointing out numerous fallacies in his thinking:

    – ignoring the benefits to young people from the Child Tax Credit and other stimulus measures passed by Democrats
    – ignoring the cancellation of student loans for people with disabilities and those defrauded by for-profit colleges
    – ignoring the multiple crises the Biden administration has had to deal with in its first 8 months (Covid, Afghanistan, etc) such that all priorities haven’t yet had a chance to be addressed
    – ignoring the steps the Biden administration has taken to address climate change (re-entering the Paris Agreement, inclusion in the infrastructure bill)
    – ignoring the fact that young people are still the least likely to vote, and young white voters like David still voted for Trump in the majority, so David should perhaps focus his attention on them (and his Republican parents) rather than Democrats

  30. Monala says:

    @charon: terrifying. Those poor people!

  31. charon says:


    and by 12:40 a.m. CDT on August 28, Katrina was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph (233 km/h).[11] It became a Category 5 (the first in the Gulf of Mexico since Hurricane Allen 25 years prior) storm by 7:00 a.m. CDT,[12] twelve hours after the beginning of the second round of rapid intensification, and reached its peak intensity at 1:00 p.m. CDT with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph (282 km/h), gusts of 215 mph (346 km/h) and a central pressure of 902 millibars

    The above is well before landfall in Louisiana.

    Katrina made its second landfall at 6:10 a.m. CDT on August 29 as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana. Because Katrina had just weakened from Category 4 and due to the shape of the coastline, sustained Category 4 winds likely existed on land while the eye was over water.


    Original estimates indicated that Katrina had made this landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, with 135-mile-per-hour (217-kilometre-per-hour) winds;[15] however, as indicated above, the storm weakened just before landfall to Category 3 intensity. The reasons for this weakening are not completely understood; while the eyewall replacement cycle played a part, slightly increasing shear, dropping sea-surface temperatures, dry air on the western semicircle of the storm, and interaction with the continental landmass also may have played a role in weakening the cyclone.[3]

    Ida came ashore at Cat 4 with 150 mph winds – i.e., close to Cat 5. It is moving slowly at 10 mph and seems to be weakening exceptionally slowly post landfall.

    IMO, this is a significantly stronger storm than Katrina over Louisiana. Katrina was somewhere else when it was at 175 mph.

  32. CSK says:

    All of News Orleans parish is without power. Entergy (integrated energy company) says this is because of “catastrophic transmission damage.”

  33. Teve says:

    @CSK: I’m watching YouTube. It’s horrendous. I would say to abandon South Louisiana but it’s one of the most important shipping ports in the entire world.

  34. DrDaveT says:


    I think if I had Bill Gates Money i’d just give it all to that dude.

    I don’t have Bill Gates money (or even Mr. Bill money) but a big portion of my charitable giving goes to World Central Kitchen. I’m still lobbying Dr. Taylor to nominate Jose Andres for a Nobel Peace Prize.

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite: I will simply repeat that either of them having any religious convictions at all is news to me. Still in all, I wish them well in their new life in the suburbs of Bug Tussle.