Wednesday’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. MarkedMan says:

    First thing McHenry (temporary Republican Speaker) did with his new authority? Kicked Nancy Pelosi out of her office and gave her 24 hours to vacate. She’s in California at the funeral of her lifelong friend, Diane Feinstein. So yeah, don’t get your hopes up this is some kind of turning point.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    For some reason people want to insist there are no low cost cars available now. This is from a friend:

    Just out of curiosity I priced a basic Corolla. Excluding taxes and with no rebates or bargaining it was 23k. I got an absolute deal on my manual Corolla in 1986 (thanks Tony!) It was a stick with nothing on it (i think it had manual windows!) and it was $8900. Despite all the extra features, an automatic transmission, incredible mpg, and a severe shortage of vehicles to buy it is still less than what I paid in inflation adjusted dollars back then.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US student held in Dubai for weeks for tapping security officer’s arm

    Polanco’s nightmare stay in Dubai began as she traveled back to New York City from Istanbul with a friend on 14 July when her ordeal began. The 21-year-old, a business arts major at Lehman College in the Bronx, had stopped there for a connecting flight when airport customs officers told her to take off a waist compression device she was wearing after having surgery.

    Though she said the officers had directed unfriendly stares at her and seemingly laughed at the appearance of her surgical wounds, Polanco gently tapped one of the women on the arm to ask for help putting the cumbersome trainer back on, said a news release from Detained in Dubai, an organization that provides legal assistance to foreigners in the United Arab Emirates.

    Customs officers alleged that contact by Polanco was “assaulting and insulting”. Polanco was detained in a room for hours as the officers filed a formal complaint against her that would trigger a complicated judicial process.

    Basically, they were shaking her down for as much money as they could get out of her.

    A statement from Polanco that Detained in Dubai released said she and her friend chose Dubai over Paris for their layover because they believed the UAE city would “be a more modern and futuristic city” than the French capital.

    “We were completely wrong,” said Polanco, who has also been grieving the recent death of her 44-year-old father. “I felt really violated. I felt really embarrassed and taken advantage of.”

    Moral of the story? Don’t stop at Dubai.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:


    A week ago I was complaining about the size of modern trucks, and their price. Earlier this week an ad came up for the Ford Maverick, a “small” truck (that’s actually body size of a full-size truck of a decade ago), hybrid that gets 45 mpg, and has a base price of $22,000. In 2001 a new Ford Ranger (its closest comparable) would’ve cost about $14,500, or about $25,000 in today’s money.

    I might be getting one by year’s end.

  5. gVOR10 says:

    @MarkedMan: To go with your inflation adjusted ’86 Corolla Kevin Drum has a chart of gasoline prices, in current dollars. You would have filled your ’86 with gasoline, post second Arab embargo, for a bit over $2 a gallon, 2023 dollars. And that has gone up faster than inflation to about $3.70. But in between it reached just under $5.

    The price of gasoline really has exceeded inflation. But what makes it seem meteoric is money illusion. I recall filling my post-college used ’66 MG-B not for 2 2023 dollars a gallon but for less than 50 cents a gallon. Accounting for money illusion is, I fear, more than can be expected of the average (box of rocks) voter.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    During his attempt to keep McCarthy as speaker, congressman Tom McClintock of California declared that “if this motion carries, the House will be paralyzed”.

    “We can expect week after week of fruitless ballots while no other business can be conducted. The Democrats will revel in Republican dysfunction and the public will rightly be repulsed,” McClintock said.

    He went on to predict that Democrats would then “enlist a rump caucus of Republicans to join a coalition to end the impasse. This House will shift dramatically to the left and will effectively end the Republican House majority that the voters elected in 2022. And this, in turn, will neutralize the only counterweight in our elected government to the woke left control of the Senate and the White House at a time when their … policies are destroying our economy and have opened our borders to invasion.”

    Lest he hold back at all, McClintock continued ominously: “There are turning points in history whose significance is only realized by the events that they unleash. This is one of those times. We are at the precipice. There are only minutes left to come to our senses and realize the grave danger our country is in at this moment. Dear God, grant us the wisdom to see it and to save our country from it.”

    What can I say except, “Shut your fear mongering mouth. You are one of the idiots who gave us trump.”

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Hmmmm… How much torque does it have? I have a 1/2 ton dodge 4×4. I try not to drive it for anything but hauling (it gets a horrible 14.2 MPG) which is typically 3 or 4 times a month.

  8. gVOR10 says:

    While I have Kevin Drum up in a tab, he also had a plot of the population of unauthorized immigrants present in the U.S. He says there isn’t good hard data, but combining various estimates, in 2008 there were about 11.5 million undocumented in the country. The current border hysteria is being driven by that number exploding to (drumroll) about 11.5 million.

    Anytime you read a story about some “populist” concern being driven by X, Y, and Z happening, cross out X, Y, and Z and insert FOX/GOP propaganda.

  9. gVOR10 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You quote Rep. McClintock (R-Ozone),

    There are turning points in history whose significance is only realized by the events that they unleash. This is one of those times. We are at the precipice. There are only minutes left to come to our senses and realize the grave danger our country is in at this moment. Dear God, grant us the wisdom to see it and to save our country from it.

    I fear I completely agree with him. Except for the part about he and his ilk being the good guys. We do seem to be on a precipice and could easily tip into “electoral autocracy”. God willing, i.e. Biden doesn’t have a health emergency, I think we’re OK for ’24. But I’m terrified for ’28 because of our habit of switching parties in the White House every two terms. If you’re not scared, look at that clown act on the GOP debate stage.

  10. Scott says:

    Some good news in the Scott household that I just have to share. My daughter called and announced she just passed the Texas bar at about the 85th percentile. This was the 2nd try. It was a long slog that dealt with barrier to success from the pandemic and some mental health issues (anxiety and depression). Such a burden has been lifted. Celebration tonight!

  11. Kathy says:


    The current border hysteria is being driven by that number exploding to (drumroll) about 11.5 million.

    I thought the current border hysteria was being driven by two years of Democratic trifecta, and continued Democratic dominance of the Senate.

    And Hunter’s laptop for some reason.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Congrats to the new lawyer.

  13. CSK says:


    My congrats!

  14. Franklin says:

    @Scott: Cheers to you and your family, especially to your daughter for getting through the struggles!

  15. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Scott: Congratulations. Wonderful news!

  16. Jay L Gischer says:

    I don’t think there’s anything especially toxic about Tom McClintock, who I have observed for years. He is engaging in standard Republican practice – trash Democrats in every paragraph. I hate this game, but it’s the standard one. I do appreciate that he has publicly raised the scenario I’ve been wondering about – Dems only need 4 defectors to get Jeffries to hold the gavel.

    Nevertheless, the standard dance move of “trash the Democrats, and frame them as a threat to civilization as we know it” is at the core of what just happened. If it were true, then shutting down the government would be a good thing. One must fight this kind of evil to the death.

  17. CSK says:

    Still in the hospital. Maybe they’ll move me to rehab today. I have a vertical line of staples marching up my abdomen. Just call me the Bride of Frankenstein.

  18. Jen says:

    @CSK: Oof. Best of luck on the move to rehab, I hope it is soon!

    Far less serious, but I recently had a carcinoma removed from my face. Twenty-three stitches, and a neighbor jokingly suggested that I should have delayed surgery until Halloween…no need for a costume.

  19. DrDaveT says:


    We are at the precipice. There are only minutes left to come to our senses and realize the grave danger our country is in at this moment.

    So right, and yet so wrong.

  20. CSK says:


    That’s quite serious enough!

  21. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Saw one of those at the auto show last February. I’ve seen a few of them here in town, and checked with all the Ford dealers within 3 hours drive of Portland. There aren’t any available to test drive, everyone is pre-sold before it hits town, and I was told that I would have to pay a deposit and wait for delivery. Right now the dealerships in portland, Vancouver, Salem, and Tacoma all promise that my vehicle will be delivered within 6 months if the strike doesn’t interfere. It’s a cute buggy but if you order now you make it by Easter.

    Was still strikes me as bizarre is I can buy a used one off the lot for about $20,000 more than a new one.

    And don’t get me started about the concept of the mock mustang (electric) for $20,000 over the sticker price.

  22. Kathy says:

    The world’s fastest airline startup, and Mexico’s first military airline, is up and running. Or at least the website is. Tickets are being sold, with the first flights available in December.

    We’ll see how it goes. For now, it’s a good time to take advantage of ridiculously low fares, which include one free checked bag (15 kg). That last is like a desert mirage spotted in the arctic wastes of Neptune’s south pole.

    When his majesty Manuel Andres the Last first announced this airline, he claimed it would focus on underserved destinations. If you look at the map on the lower third at the link, you’ll see the one underserved destination is the vanity white elephant Felipe Angeles Airport (AIFA). All the others get plenty of service from the 3 national airlines.

    Odds are high it will become a subsidy magnet and suck large sums of public money, if his majesty or his successors try to keep fares low year round (I’m sure fees for bags will come early next year, ditto seat selection). Other than that, I make no predictions.

  23. CSK says:

    According to, Trump’s NY properties wil be auctioned off.

  24. Neil Hudelson says:

    Hybrid is something like 150 lb torque. Spec sheet says 1,500 lb haul and 2,000 lb tow capacity, but Reddit says that’s an optimistic tow capacity, more like 1,500. There is a tow package upgrade, but I’m not sure of the details.

  25. Kathy says:


    They should do a reverse auction. I think that’s the technical term. In any case, it begins with a high price, say what Benito valued them at, and the auctioneer keeps lowering it until someone raises their paddle and accepts that price.

    It must be deadly dull to watch that.

    Or just put them on eBay with a secret reserve prize, and a buy-now price equal to El Cheeto’s valuation.

  26. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    I did some online shopping and there are a few on a lot within 100 miles of here, but most are upgraded models and a bit more expensive. There’s one or two in the $22k range if you don’t mind what color you get. But, pickins are indeed slim.

    Might be worth it to order one and have it by Easter. Next years model will no longer be a hybrid, which is its biggest selling point for me.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Thanx for the info.

  28. CSK says:

    Breaking news: Trump says he’s willing to serve as Speaker of the House. “Whatever’s best for the country.”

    Whatta guy!

  29. Mr. Prosser says:

    After watching the Vacate ruckus I noticed Gaetz looks strange. It looks like he had botox injected in his forehead and his eyebrows look like he stole them from a Batman villain.

  30. Stormy Dragon says:

    Fat Bear Week 2023, the annual competition to select the chubbiest bear in Katami National Park, began today!

  31. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    Gaetz looks like an adult live action version of Beavis

  32. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:


  33. Kathy says:

    As to Andy’s question yesterday, what would it take to vote for a Republican, I think a simple answer is in order:

    Admit trickle-down economics does not confer any meaningful benefits on the middle class, much less on the working class, and instead has resulted in ridiculous amounts of capital concentrated in very few hands.

    This won’t happen for a good long while.

  34. al Ameda says:


    Some good news in the Scott household that I just have to share. My daughter called and announced she just passed the Texas bar at about the 85th percentile.

    Excellent! Congratulations to her, and to her very proud family.

  35. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Yeah I know what you mean about that. Living in a condo where I don’t have the ability or access to install a home charger makes a plug-in car a deal breaker for the Luddite family. Hybrids work sort of(my neighbor really likes her Kia, as does the other neighbor with a Toyota urban assault vehicle). But given the price point for these products, Luddite is probably going to keep driving his Sonic until the wheels fall off.

    As an aside, I was vastly entertained by my local Ford dealer pushing an electric mustang on me. 60,000 + base price, $75,000 with options, (plus the 15- $20,000 additional dealer profit on every one on his lot). Sorry, not interested in a 96 month contract at $900/mo.

    ETA yesterday highway 43 was closed for 5 hours while the local fire department had to let an electric car finish burning after an accident that lit it off like Guy Fawkes Day. Boy this is going to be fun in a future when everyone drives electric. I know it’s inevitable, but boy howdy!

  36. Beth says:

    I just had my phone on my desk about 6 inches from my face (too complicated to explain, trust me, i’m weird) when that emergency alert went off. I was working on some closing statement math and was deeply engrossed in what I was doing.

    I would not be surprised if you all heard both my shriek and the string of expletives that followed. I may need a new heart.

  37. Beth says:


    As a person, congratulations to her! That’s awesome and impressive!

    As a lawyer, I’m so very sorry for her.

    Edit [joke removed. on second though I don’t want to take away from the auspicious graduate]

  38. Kathy says:


    I’m wondering what kind of emergency requires the whole country to be informed at once.

    Short of nuclear war, an imminent asteroid impact, a coronal mass ejection aimed squarely at Earth, a super volcano, or some other human extinction event (there are many more), I can’t think of one.

    I considered a 9/11 type attack, but even that is an urgent matter only regionally. I mean, what actions were urgently needed to be taken by the civilian population in LA or Miami?

  39. Beth says:


    I haven’t paid much attention to it, but I assumed it was because we aren’t so focused on our tv’s and radios any more. I spend most of my work day in my office in my basement listening to my phone. I don’t have a tv or radio down here and if there was an actual emergency I wouldn’t get it.

    I don’t know. I’m still vibrating from that. I’m also fighting with people on my Trans discord about content warnings and spoiler features and this covid shot is starting to get to me. I’m gonna have a fun fun fun day.

  40. Jen says:

    @Kathy: That’s an interesting question. Almost ANYTHING would be regional/localized. And if it’s a previously undetected asteroid, I’m not sure I want everyone notified at once.

    On the alert itself, I was in the library. A bunch of people’s phones went off, but mine did not. After everyone quieted their phones, I wondered out loud if I’d shut off some notification system. A minute later, the alert sounded on my phone.

    So, if there is an emergency, looks like I will be the last to know (literally?) 😀

  41. Kathy says:


    We have the seismic alert I’ve talked about before. In theory it also sounds on the radio (sometimes that doesn’t happen), but the main means is through loudspeakers mounted on light and utility poles.

    Now, an alert on the phone would be useful when I’m at home. We often can’t hear the loudspeakers from where the apartment is located, and the suburbs were slow to take it up anyway. It was supposed to be included as part of a Mex City government app, which I do have, but that was discontinued for some reason.

    Not that I can do much at home. The building has never gotten more than cosmetic damage, even from the surprise Puebla quake in 2017. Safest place is inside the building, away from potentially falling objects and large book cases. Not to mention the last time a quake woke me up, I went right back to sleep.

    A regional alert system seems far more useful to me.

  42. CSK says:

    @Kathy: @Beth: @Jen:

    Qanon says the emergency broadcast was intended to activate the Marburg virus in vaccinated people and turn them into zombies.

  43. CSK says:


    What happens when the vaxxed don’t turn into zombies?

  44. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: The vaxxed are zombies. You just need special sunglasses to see it.

  45. Kathy says:


    What happens when the vaxxed don’t turn into zombies?

    Then the goal posts get moved. Standard procedure.

  46. Joe says:

    I am working on opposing a pipeline project that has the potential to spew forth a catastrophic gas plume if it were to rupture. The would be pipeline operator says it has a system that would notify “local authorities” immediately if a rupture occurred. But given the potentially fast moving and lethal plume, I wonder how long from “system breach” to getting that kind of notification out to phones. Because the notification would be meaningless to anyone within 5 or even 15 minutes of the rupture site if it takes longer than 3-5 minutes to get the notification out.

  47. JohnSF says:

    On the one hand, the ongoing Speaker circus gives us Brits hope that we are are, perhaps, not the most dysfunctional English-speaking democracy.

    On the other, the Conservative Party Conference tends to crush such vain dreams.

    I really cannot wait for the day to help vote these ludicrous chancers into the electoral oblivion they so richly deserve.
    They are now purely pandering to their own increasingly nutty activists and the “party-in-the-media” (and the “think tanks”).

    The Tory Right have been openly talking-up welcoming Farage int the party, and seem to believe a “war on woke” will save their miserable hides. Problem is a “buttress the base and wait 5 years” strategy cannot save them from a meltdown if they lose the “floating” vote, and the “liberal Cons”, and the Midlands/North lower middle class vote, on various grounds (competence, economics, public services, law/tradition govt., basic decency)

    Without even the Republicans thin excuse of a solid “Christian Right”/Trumpist voter base to rely on, they are retreating into fantasyland, and abandoning any claims to governmental competence.

    IPSOS latest poll:
    Labour 44% (-1)
    Conservatives 24% (-4)
    Liberal Democrats 12% (nc)
    Green Party 8% (+2)
    Reform 4% (+1)
    Others 7% (+1)


    And I say so as bit of a small-c conservative/ Labour right type, who has a good deal of regard for the old “One Nation” Conservatives, who have been purged.

    They deserve, need, and shall, be hammered into the ground like tent-pegs.
    You may have spotted I’ve developed a fondness for that simile. 🙂

  48. CSK says:

    MTG says she supports Trump for Speaker because she’s a realistic person.

  49. JohnSF says:

    Claim they have been anyway, but the MSM is covering up.
    Antifa! BLM! Woke! Border invasion of Muslim trans zombies! Buy guns now!

  50. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: who do the Jewish Space Lasers support?

  51. Beth says:


    I got my Vax today before the signal went out, is that why my skin is turning green and hurts everywhere?


    On the one hand, the ongoing Speaker circus gives us Brits hope that we are are, perhaps, not the most dysfunctional English-speaking democracy.


    The Tory Right have been openly talking-up welcoming Farage int the party, and seem to believe a “war on woke” will save their miserable hides.

    Lol, given how bad it is for Trans people over there what are they gonna do? Start putting Trans people in internment camps? Perhaps in Kenya?

  52. MarkedMan says:


    As to Andy’s question yesterday, what would it take to vote for a Republican, I think a simple answer is in order:

    The answer, of course, is nothing (except on the most local level in highly specific circumstances). But here’s how I view that question in the first place: There’s a crazy person that hangs out near a restaurant I sometimes frequent and he is often found shouting nonsense about space aliens, white devils and the joos. Andy is essentially saying, “All this commotion is as much your fault as his because you admit that no matter what he says you won’t engage with him.”

  53. Kathy says:


    Between reading Tau Zero and Michio Kaku’s Parallel Worlds, I’ve been imagining scenarios where a large group of people in the near future get catapulted via forward time travel permanently into the far future.

    Imagine if you will an interstellar ship meant to reach a star a few dozen light years away in around 10 years ship’s time. Instead they meet some incident (I’m thinking a dark neutron star), and wind up activating their stasis field in order not to die. This gadget keeps time from passing within it confines, but this also means the people trapped inside it cannot turn it off and resume normal time.

    Eventually they are found by a far more advanced alien species, which figures out how to turn the field off. By then, however, 140 billion years have passed (the year now being 153.8 billion CE). By then, the universe will have become a very different place. The key thing, to keep this not too long, is that the expansion of the universe will have driven all but the local group of galaxies far beyond the visual horizon.

    Now, let’s take two sub-scenarios.

    In one, the crew is made up entirely of scientists, all of whom know about such arcane areas like relativity and cosmology, even if they’re not experts at it.

    In the second, only 1/3 of the crew has this knowledge. The rest are have other useful, non-science professions. They’ve been told about relativity and cosmology as part of the mission briefing, but most don’t really understand it nor care much about it.

    Question. which scenario produces more conspiracy theories that the whole jump into the far future is fake?

  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I mean, what actions were urgently needed to be taken by the civilian population in LA or Miami?

    Plenty. Just because NY and DC were the only places attacked did not eliminate the possibility of other cities having a bull’s eye on them.

  55. JohnSF says:

    Start with Rwanda; move on to Kenya once the Rwanda camps there are full, and the Rwandan government starts putting on a surcharge.
    Grrr. Rage. Vomit.
    Among our Home Secretaries latest things is that LBGT+ people claiming asylum were mostly faking it. See response from a bunch of decent people.
    I’d say at present things are not catastrophic for LBGT+, depending, crucially, on local environments. For instance, at work, the two person I know of still feel comfortable, BUT they are increasingly cautious about non-work situations.
    In the UK “war on woke” is currently being focused on some aspects of environmentalism, trans, and historical racial justice.
    But you only have to look a bit closer, to soon discover it’s the entirety of non-far-Right discourses and agendas, and even basic tolerance of the other, they simply want to rule inadmissible.
    Fortunately, even on the right-of-centre, the UK is not as yet inclined to openly accepting outright and blatant bigotry.

  56. JohnSF says:

    Speaking of international matters, which we weren’t, Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with Russia, continues to drive oil prices higher, and thus also drives up projected interest rates.
    (Local petrol price up from 150/L a month ago to 165 now.)
    So it double-dips, both on it’s current revenues, and likely income from bonds.

    While boosting Russian hydrocarbon income, and damaging the Biden administration in the polls?

    Anyone care to remind me why, and on what planet, a US security guarantee to the al Saud is a really brilliant idea?

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Still, Neal might live in an area of God Bless the USA that is not as green as the Left Coast, so dealers can’t get away with multiple thousands of dollars in additional dealer markup.

  58. CSK says:


    Any MAGAs in either group?

  59. gVOR10 says:

    @Joe: Everyplace in the Mid-west thinks itself the heart of tornado alley. Ames, Iowa, seat of Iowa State University is. Tornado warnings were so normal the popular radio station has a sponsor for them. I’m not sure it was great marketing in that hearing a First National Bank spot meant head to the cellar. I swear I once heard a thirty second spot followed by, “A tornado has been spotted a quarter mile north of the city headed south at 30 miles an hour.” Do the arithmetic.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: As to Andy’s question yesterday, what would it take to vote for a Republican, I think a simple answer is in order:

    I agree. It would take them renouncing completely being a republican on FOX and then proving it for at least the next 10 years. Yeah, I know, when pigs fly. Of course my answer is completely unsatisfactory to Andy and he will tell me their continued and constant amorality and rejection of science and simple fact is my fault because I am not giving any credence at all to their lies and deceptions anymore.

  61. Mikey says:

    This evening my wife and I are attending the DC stop of Sir Patrick Stewart’s tour for his memoir, “Making It So.” My wife submitted a question, we’ll see if it gets selected.

  62. Kathy says:


    I want to say no, but fact is it’s impossible to tell in advance.

  63. JohnSF says:

    Another little item on UK politics, regarding PM Sunak’s cancellation of of HS2 and NPR in return for a bunch of “the moon and sixpence” promises for upgrading Northern England transport infrastructure “between Manchester and Bradford” (you need to be English to really get the LOL) from the generally rather non-partisan editor of the Yorkshire Post:

    13 years. 13 years of being robbed. Apparently, we need change. And Rishi is the man to lead that change.
    Shut up. Go away. You’ve snatched away our only chance. You posh, privileged, rich, disconnected egotist

    Oh, yes, and funding for a tram connection from central Manchester to Manchester Airport that already exists
    In the immortal Manc’ saying:
    “D’ye think we just cem up the M6 on feckin’ roller skates?”

  64. CSK says:



  65. just nutha says:

    @Jen: It might be that you have the volume pegged down to zero/shut off for notifications. Whether that constitutes a “problem” I’ll leave up to you to decide.

  66. Jen says:

    @just nutha: Well, the alarm did sound. But for whatever reason, it did so at least a full minute after everyone else’s stopped.

  67. Kathy says:

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the season finale of Ahsoka?

    I predicted she needed to:

    a) defeat Thrawn
    b) turn Shin
    c) kill or apprehend Elsbeth
    d) tell Sabine the true meaning of the Force
    e) return home in triumph

    Spoilers may be deduced next:

    I score myself at 2.5

    I don’t think it ended in a cliffhanger per se, as all the existent movies and shows that follow can go on without additional explanation if we just abandon the Ghost crew where they wound up.

    So, I move we demote the sequels (eps VII through IX), and the pretty fair series Resistance, to the dustbin of “legends,” and instead build on from what’s been shown in Ahsoka, The Book of Boba Fet, and especially The Mandalorian. Thrawn and all.

    This would require recasting Luke, Leia, Han, and Lando. So we know it will never happen.

  68. Mikey says:

    @Mikey: OK that was really fun.

    Sir Patrick is a very funny man.

    Pete Buttigieg was in the audience.

    And they actually picked my wife’s question! What was his favorite thing his mother cooked for him whrn he was a boy? Yorkshire pudding.

  69. Michael Reynolds says:

    I gave up on Star Wars. I was never really in that cult because I thought the actual world-building (as opposed to head canons) was shit and ‘the force’ was stupid, quasi-religious mumbo jumbo that would subvert the story. The utter failure of SW to ever approach the excellence of the first two movies, the fact that they needed a little green puppet to keep viewers’ interest in a show based on nothing but a costume, I would argue validates my position. Andor was excellent. Why? They ditched the Skywalkers and the force and wrote an actual original story.

    George Lucas did not build Star Wars to generate movie after movie, show after show. Movie world-building tends to be shit because it generally doesn’t have to endure or be extended. George RR Martin is a world-builder, Lucas built models. There’s a reason why Hollywood goes to books for ideas rather than the other way around. In a book you just cannot get away with Star Wars or Avatar level hand-waving. TV, by virtue of its length, you can get a Star Wars or a Battlestar Galactica, but in a 90 page feature script? Nah.

  70. dazedandconfused says:


    You go to the the US/Saudi petro dollar with the camel jockeys you have, not the ones you may wish to have at another time?

  71. JohnSF says:

    Or else you go Brit on them as per Egypt 1942?

    Sir Miles Lampson to King Farouk: “This is the cabinet you will appoint. Or you will abdicate. Or there is something else and more unpleasant which will occur.”

    The palace at that point being surrounded by British troops.
    The Brits in 1942 were in no mood to put up with pro-Axis bullshit.

  72. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Oh please, don’t start me on Avatar
    If you look at it from an actual “world building” POV, or from a basic speculative xenology evolution POV your advice to the Earth colonists would be RUN!.
    Because that is not, in any way, shape or form or natural ecology.
    It’s designed (by the great god Jamius Cameronius, LOL).
    So what happens when the designers turn up, or you trip their defence protocols?

    So, if I was scientific advisor to the expedition, my first question
    would be: how fast can we RUN!

  73. Beth says:


    I cried for about 5 minutes after it was done. Not sure why, but it was apparently very moving.

    I’m also in agreement with you. I watched the second half of Last Jedi. While I liked that movie, if you watch it after any of the Mandoverse it shows how bad the Sequels are. Maybe they use some cosmic force handwavium to reboot them.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Who robbed you of joy good sir!!!

  74. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Not followed much of the Star Wars sequelae, but the best thing in the entire canon I’ve seen IMO is Rogue One
    Kicks the ass of everything else.

    As for LOTR-verse, I’m with Christopher Tolkien: by and large, it’s been a horrendous Hollywood cash-in.
    LOTR itself was iffy in playing about with the story, but redeemed by the atmosphere, and cast and acting, and imagery etc.
    The Hobbit? Hmm.
    Sleds pulled by f@ckin rabbits? etc
    As Billy Connolly famously says: “Oh, come on.”
    Then there’s Rings of Power, of which the less said the better.
    As I believe you may have said, the incredible arrogance of a 2nd division screenwriting team to try completely rejig the tale and characters of one of the masters (like him or not) of modern faux-historic story building.
    Galadriel = Lara Croft? ftlog.
    The real pity is there were some true stories to be had there: the sadness of Galadriel and Celeborn’s “we have fought the long defeat”, her pride and defiance, the Numenoreans fall, and evil Numenorean Emperor Ar-Pharazon; the one man who could make Sauron and all the Nazgul soil their underwear.

  75. Stormy Dragon says:


    If you liked Rogue One, have you seen Andor yet? It wasn’t just the best thing in the entire Star Wars franchise, it was legit one of the best TV shows I’ve seen in my entire life.

  76. Kathy says:


    Who robbed you of joy good sir!!!

    I’m guessing the Ewoks.

  77. JohnSF says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    No. If its on Netflix or Amazon or whatever, I shall probably never see it.
    I will never subscribe to any of that.
    I might watch it if it ever comes up on UK free to air, or on a blu-ray to buy.
    But I hate and detest all online video.
    My usual evening is listening to Radio 3 or to CD’s or LP’s and reading a book.

  78. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I gave up on Star Wars. I was never really in that cult because I thought the actual world-building (as opposed to head canons) was shit and ‘the force’ was stupid, quasi-religious mumbo jumbo that would subvert the story.

    Star Wars is larger than life, about characters and themes, and doesn’t really hold up if you want to examine the economics (how is it cheaper to ship 4 crates of blasters across the galaxy than build them locally?), biology (what does the worm in the asteroid eat?), etc.

    Even Andor has to gloss over things like scale and technology (how many people need to be building widgets in prisons to get all the widgets needed for the Death Star?) to get to the story it wants to tell.

    I wouldn’t call it bad world building, just sparse world building that takes only as concrete a form as necessary for the story.

    If you’re watching Waiting For Godot or something and the stage is empty except for a door frame, and maybe two armchairs, you don’t look at the set and say that the world building is crap, it’s just the tiny bit of set needed for the story and no more. Granted, Star Wars needs more explosions and things to blow up, but it doesn’t need a fully detailed explanation of the food safety standards at the sushi mine Obi-wan Kenobi is working at in his series — he works in meat packing and the rest is cool visuals.*

    That said, I’m still disappointed that we haven’t had anyone trying to vaccinate against midiclorians. The Force has been a complete disaster for the galaxy.

    *: mind you, it can be fun to speculate about the lack of decomposition of meat in the blistering suns of Tatooine, and what radical changes there has to be to microflora, but it’s inherently silly.

  79. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: I was more interested in Baylan and Shin than the main plot, so I was disappointed that there wasn’t any real focus there. (Especially since Ray Stephenson is dead, which will mess up that storyline in the future.)

    Other than not being that, however, I liked it. The series did what I expected it to — bring Thrawn to the main galaxy, give Ahsoka some growth, give us a live action Ezra who feels like the character. Plus we got some Nightsisters.

    I just wanted some more scenes of Shin not blinking. She doesn’t-blink better than pretty much anyone.

    This would require recasting Luke, Leia, Han, and Lando. So we know it will never happen.

    Or just never mention them. It’s a big universe. They’re over there, somewhere.

  80. Matt says:

    @Kathy: My thoughts are many and not positive.

    1. Rosario needs to get serious about learning how to fight. Her “twirling” of the light sabers looked worse than the star wars kid. The fight choreography is generally abysmal with everyone moving so slow it’s just ridiculous. Sure Rosario does a great job of looking like she’s putting it all into a swing but she always lets up and lightly taps her target at the end. It’s like they are afraid to actually touch the objects they are using as light sabers. IT’s not all awful as there are a few moments in some of the fights that are decently done.

    2. Sabine should be dead according to prior star wars movies. I mean seriously qui gon jinn’s force ghost has to be pissed at this point.. WHich leads me to my next criticism.

    3. Light sabers are PLASMA blades. THey burn everything around them and they slice THROUGH METAL. The light sabers we have now are essentially just hard light and it’s stupid. We’re getting the Rebels treatment when we should be getting the star wars games experience where people lose limbs and don’t recover from having hot plasma injected directly into the core of their body.

    4. The elite battle hardened storm troopers that have survived through countless battles for a decade on a violent very unfriendly planet full of powerful people yet they don’t know how to take cover when firing. Seriously they are just walking in groups towards the “heroes” and it’s stupid beyond belief. If they had one writer who at least played paintball once they’d realize how fucking dumb it is. I can’t take this show seriously at this point because the writers clearly don’t understand the most basic of military tactics or strategy. Imagine how different thing would be if the storm troopers were actually a threat that acted like a real military squad. There would actually be some tension as the protagonists would be forced into employing clever tactics to win the day. Instead of just shooting in one direction while standing in the open as the troopers mass up and walk into said fire.

    5. Thrawn’s entrance was the highlight of the show and then the next episode everything went downhill again. Sure would be nice if the writers would start channeling the book Thrawn. Instead we’re getting rebels Thrawn. I cannot wait for whatever stupid random bullshit happens to take Thrawn out in this version.

    6. I feel like I’m watching a saturday morning kids show not a live action adult streamed show.. Like when Shin walked in a doorway behind a person she was going to kill. Instead of just going for the kill she dramatically pulls back her hood and basically shakes her head like a fucking shampoo commercial model. There’s tons of examples of stupid shit like that which makes no sense in context. We already can clearly see it’s shin as her face and forehead/hair is already clearly visible…

    As for MR’s critique… Yeah he’s right the “lore” was good enough for a few fun adventure movies but beyond that they’ve really fcked things up. There’s no industrial base on a planet yet they somehow have functional repulsor tech and all this cutting edge tech that functions perfectly fine. Like where the hell do Ezra’s hermit friends get spare parts for their high tech shell things? How are they able to get high tech replacement parts but Thrawn can’t?? etc etc At least Thrawn’s ship looked like what you would expect a ship in that scenario would look like. AKA broken and barely working with patchwork fixes where possible.

  81. Matt says:

    The sole bright spot in lightsaber handling would be the scenes involving Anikan. Christensen Hayden clearly remembers all the practice he put in for the prequels. He looked like he never stopped practicing. He did an amazing job of blending clone wars Anikan with Vader. I legit could believe that he was prime Anikan in the sparing he did with Ahsoka. Especially loved the usage of some form V to push Ahsoka back through shear power of the force. It was great and the second highlight of the series for me. If all the lightsaber fights had looked that good then I would of had a much different opinion on the show.