Easter Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. wr says:

    I Am Risen… too early for Sunday.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    Happy Easter to all you unorthodox Christians! 😉

  3. Kathy says:

    It’s Daylight Savings Time, or, as known locally, Summer Time (in the Spring). For once, though, I seem to be ok. It helps to sleep the whole night through.

    On other things, I finally got around to seeing Wonder Woman 84. I’m glad I waited. It’s been available to buy on Amazon Prime for about $12. Sine this week, it became available to rent for $4. I think I’d have liked it less if I paid more for it.

  4. Teve says:

    The Strange New Doctrine of the Republican Party

    The GOP’s version of freedom puts greater priority on right-wing cultural folkways than on rights of property and ownership.

    Very perceptive essay by David Frum.

  5. CSK says:

    That was interesting. I’ll never understand how and why guns came to be the be-all and end-all.

  6. Sleeping Dog says:


    I get up each morning and dust off my wits

    Open the paper and read the ‘obits

    If I’m not there I know I’m not dead

    So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed

    Pete Seeger

  7. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Reminds me of the time a colleague of mine mentioned that she and her husband had had dolphin for their anniversary dinner. Another colleague screamed: “You ate Flipper? You bitch.

  8. I got a similar reaction when I mentioned that I had Venison for dinner over the previous weekend.

    “You are Bsmbi !?!”

  9. Teve says:

    According to an industry trade group these are the most popular ice cream flavors in America

    1. Vanilla, 29%

    2. Chocolate, 8.9%

    3. Butter pecan, 5.3%

    4. Strawberry, 5.3%

    5. Neapolitan, 4.2%

    6. Chocolate chip, 3.9%

    7. French vanilla, 3.8%

    8. Cookies and cream, 3.6%

    9. Vanilla fudge ripple, 2.6%

    10. Praline pecan, 1.7%

    11. Cherry, 1.6%

    12. Chocolate almond, 1.6%

    13. Coffee, 1.6%

    14. Rocky road, 1.5%

    15. Chocolate marshmallow, 1.3%

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: I’ve seen lists like this before, with an implied message of “Vanillla!? How boring!” But I figure Vanilla has all kinds of additives. It’s the normal flavor when it is served with something else like apple pie or on top of cake. It’s the only safe choice if you are getting a tub for a group. And it’s one of two flavors usually available for soft serve.

    My favorite ice cream is Rum Raisin, and the stuff served by Bellvale Creamery just off the Appalachian Trail in New York State is the ultimate.

  11. CSK says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the more chocolate the better. Though I do like rum raisin.

  12. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    My agent threw a dinner party once in which she served a variety of exotic sausages, including rabbit, and one of the guests shrieked: “No bunny!”

  13. Teve says:

    @CSK: “hey, don’t stress—this was no ordinary rabbit…”

  14. Teve says:

    “15 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine have been delayed following a mixup of ingredients at the factory. But the good news is, now your shampoo might cure Covid.”

    -Colin Jost

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m a straight vanilla guy, always have been. Which put me in a minority of one in our family growing up.

  16. Teve says:

    Pfizer also said its vaccine was safe and effective for teens aged 12 to 15. “Well that’s a relief”, said Matt Gaetz.

    -Colin Jost

  17. Kathy says:


    Mint chocolate, Coffee, Mocha, Cherry.

  18. Sleeping Dog says:

    Bidenomics, explained
    It’s the end of the Age of Reagan, but it’s much more than that

    Wonky, but interesting.

    “When the formula stops working, you change the formula.” — Arin Hanson

    “The era of ‘big government is over’ is over.” — James Medlock

    I know this post has a very Vox-like title, but in fact I’m not going to go through Biden’s new infrastructure plan point by point and tell you what’s in it. if you want that, you can check out the actual Vox explainer, or the always-excellent writeup by the WaPo’s Jeff Stein et al. You can also check out Brad DeLong’s thoughts and David Roberts’ deep dive into the climate aspects. I’m sure there will be more in the days to come, and I’ll have plenty of thoughts on the specific provisions as well.

    What I want to do in this post, however, is try to figure out what it all means. By now I think everyone has realized that something is changing in American economic policy. The tenor, pace, and scope of Biden’s economic programs proposals, and the muted nature of the ideological opposition, suggest that we’ve entered a new policy paradigm — much as when FDR took office in 1933 or Ronald Reagan in 1981. Every President comes in with a laundry list of initiatives, but once every few decades a President comes in with a new philosophy for what policy should look like. And that is happening now. The fact that a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill was passed with relatively little fuss, and was really just the warm-up to an even bigger infrastructure bill, and that other “big” policies like student debt cancellation are being pursued on the side as an afterthought, should make it clear that Biden is blitzing.

    But what’s the unifying philosophy here? What is Bidenomics? I have some thoughts. First, we need to talk a bit about why the old paradigm wasn’t working.

  19. Teve says:

    @Kathy: I was kind of surprised mint chocolate wasn’t on the list. And that coffee flavor is so low, because it’s scrumdiddlyumptious. And it’s weird that Rocky Road and chocolate marshmallow are listed separately because they’re almost the same thing. On the other hand, Neapolitan being listed right behind vanilla chocolate and strawberry makes complete sense.

  20. Teve says:
  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Most predictable thing ever: From bikes to booze, how Brexit barriers are hitting Anglo-Dutch trade hard

    In other news, water is still wet, the sun is still hot.

  22. Mimai says:


    It’s the normal flavor when it is served with something else like apple pie or on top of cake.

    This is sacrilegious! And on Easter Sunday no less! I’m typically not one to yuck other people’s yum, but I make an exception when it comes to cake and ice cream. I’m sure other commenters will chime in extoling the virtues of this combo. And to them I will say, “you are dead to me.”

  23. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog: that’s an excellent piece that clarifies what’s happening.

    Also, I thought this part was interesting

    The idea of cash benefits — without work requirements or time cutoffs — owes much to the work of Hilary Hoynes, who keeps a low profile but is incredibly influential. The child allowance is directly from a 2018 paper by Hoynes and Diane Schanzenbach. Heather Boushey, who works in the Biden administration, has been deeply influenced by this literature. Meanwhile, an increasing amount of empirical research is showing that unconditional benefits usually don’t stop people from working. See the famous paper on the Alaska Permanent Fund payouts, by Damon Jones and Ioana Marinescu. And see Marinescu’s 2018 literature review on unconditional benefits, showing that they don’t have much of a deleterious effect on work output, if any. That research basically debunks the “culture of dependency” argument, at least as far as unconditional cash benefits are concerned.

  24. Teve says:

    @Mimai: what about birthday-cake-flavored ice cream?

  25. Mimai says:

    @Teve: Not my thing, but I allow it in my worldview.

  26. Teve says:


    This @MLB issue brought together all of the factions within the Republican Party last night.

    We now have an issue we can all get behind and fight together … Corporate Communism.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:



  28. Teve says:


    LA area tweety buddies! Cal State Bakersfield is a huge vaccination site and they have hundreds of leftover vaccines everyday because their locals aren’t taking them, so they’ve made it a walk-in option for neighboring counties so they don’t go to waste. Go get jabbed this week!

    Someone who works at the site posted about it on Reddit today so I drove my husband and two of our friends up so they could all get it. It’s Pfizer and you do not have to have your second dose administered there, you can do it locally to you if you prefer.

    I know not everyone has the ability to drive up there but the good thing about neighboring county residents getting these otherwise wasted vaccines means when it opens up to everyone statewide on April 15, it frees up first dose spots for those who need to get it here.

    If you’re wondering why there’s so many leftover vaccines each day in Bakersfield, it might be helpful to know that the person they voted in to represent their county is Kevin McCarthy. Wouldn’t it be nice if he recommended this to them so their lives aren’t at risk?

  29. Sleeping Dog says:


    Research that I have seen, shows that cash benefits only discourage work when the benefit is reduced on a dollar for dollar basis of the income. Benefits that are phased out actually encourage people on the income margins to work.

    But the more elemental problem I have with the to receive benefits one needs to either be working, seeking work of in school, is that the states that have this attitude essentially say to the recipient, meeting the requirement is your problem. Then we get to the whole issue of child care…

  30. DrDaveT says:


    And to them I will say, “you are dead to me.”

    Yeah, but only for 3 days. It’s like a sacred time out.

    As for ice cream on cake… Bad cake is improved by having vanilla ice cream melting into it. Good cake is not — but nobody serves good cake to little kids at birthday parties. Thus the strong childhood preference for ice cream on my cake.

  31. MarkedMan says:

    @Mimai: That is an… interesting thing to get worked up about. The hundreds of millions of kids attending birthday parties since the invention of the freezer may have a different opinion.

  32. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    How about a nice chunk of a really sharp cheddar with your pound cake?

  33. Mister Bluster says:

    @DrDaveT:..Thus the strong childhood preference for ice cream on my cake.

    Don’t know exactly which birthday it was but I remember where we were living so it was likely 9 or 10. Instead of serving the Birthday Boy first (me) mom gave all my party friends a slice and when I was next the cake was all doled out and I didn’t get any.
    Not one of my neighborhood playmates offered me so much as I bite as I recall. Don’t remember any ice cream either.
    Boo Hoo!

  34. Mimai says:

    @DrDaveT: Life is too short to eat bad cake.

    @MarkedMan: Are these the same kids that lose their shit when peas touch carrots touch mashies? Nevertheless, kids get a pass in my worldview. Always and forever. Adults, not so much.

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Yes, I can get behind this. And cheddar on apple pie is a nice combo too.

    @Mister Bluster: As a mental health professional, I give you permission to nurture an enduring and unhealthy grudge against your mother.

  35. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Did this happen shortly before her mental illness was diagnosed?

  36. Joe says:

    @Mister Bluster: I trust your mom was math challenged, at least as to fractions.

  37. wr says:

    @Kathy: “I think I’d have liked it less if I paid more for it.”

    I saw it for free on HBO Max and I don’t think I could have liked it less.

    To me, this says it all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_Tm0SxIp6w

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Wow, I’ll have to assume that the flavors I buy most often–spumoni, pistachio almond, and snickerdoodle–must be way down the list. Hmm…

  39. Teve says:


    Pair of anti-maskers in Missouri harass a worker saying “masks cause cancer” and refuse to leave until they’re confronted

    video here

  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Did this happen shortly before her mental illness was diagnosed?

    Might have been…

  41. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    I thought it might have.

  42. Mimai says:

    @Mister Bluster: I am sorry for my previous comment about holding a grudge. I didn’t know about the context.

  43. Mister Bluster says:


    This was the early, mid ’50s. Her schizophrenia was not all that apparent yet. At least not to me.
    She might well have been only half crazy at the time.

  44. Mister Bluster says:


    No apology necessary. I never expect anyone to know anything about my family life 60+ years ago.
    Mom lived a decent life and died when she was 88. I even remember her joking about the electro shock therapy treatments she received in the ’50s when she was institutionalized. Something about the Bride of Frankenstein.

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: “Birthday Cake”-flavored things are simply white sugar flavored, so basically, they don’t really have a “flavor” per se.

  46. Teve says:
  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “… but nobody serves good cake to little kids at birthday parties.”

    Good point. Still, I see my preference as wanting to have cake and ice cream as opposed to having cakeandicecream. Also, I still prefer a flavor that’s not vanilla. At least French Vanilla is vanilla flavored as opposed to plain vanilla which is mostly churned cream and sugar flavored.

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I know nothing about the science–and probably care even less. I go by what my taste buds tell me. Stick your bzzzzzt where the sun don’t shine. 😉

  49. Mimai says:

    @Mister Bluster: Back in the days when ECT was used as a “treatment” for symptoms that annoyed the staff. It can be lifesaving for severe, treatment-resistant depression and a few other conditions, but the widespread use for schizophrenia etc is an ugly chapter in an ugly book on mental health care. Glad to hear she kept her wits enough to poke fun at herself.

  50. Mimai says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Preach it cracker! Cake and ice cream. Like wine and chocolate. Not wine poured over chocolate, or a chocolate square floating in my wine glass. You may be ignint, but you are a civilized and wise version of ignint.

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: But I do have to admit that I like the part where the narrator says “the worker adds a precise amount of X to the mixer” while the film shows the worker scooping some random amount. I got to see that show at the Budweiser plant next to the Busch Gardens park in Virginia. The tour guide was describing how precise the measurements of hops added to the vats were while the worker dumped in three plastic trash cans–one overflowing, one full, and one maybe 2/3rds full–and missed the vat’s mixing hole with part of the third can, dumping part of the load on the lid and floor. Precision. Gotta love it.

  52. Teve says:

    What happens when a dumb Fox Newser tries to ‘Gotcha!’ Pete Buttigieg.


  53. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    An acquaintance was extolling the joys of a Nutella Martini the other day. No. Just no. Just no freaking way no. I want my booze and my chocolate at least in separate containers. Cracker and i may be ignant barbarians,but we’re no complete savages!

  54. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: Sums up my preference in the fairer sex–I hate Chocolate IceCream though.

  55. Teve says:


    The Trump campaign accounting for up to 3% of ALL CREDIT CARD FRAUD CLAIMS IN THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES is the craziest stat I’ve even seen in politics.

  56. Michael Cain says:


    It’s the normal flavor when it is served with something else like apple pie or on top of cake.

    I am one of those people who ask, “Why would you want to spoil a perfectly good piece of chocolate cake by putting ice cream on it?”

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Cain: Not on, next to. Think liquor shot with a sidecar. In fact, my mom had a set of cake and ice cream plates where the ice cream went onto the plate in a corner with a little raised edge–like old time TV dinner trays, only made out of glass, not tin foil.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Nutella martini? Ewwww! (And doesn’t the ice dilute the vodka–surely not gin–too much while you’re stirring the Nutella in? Surely the person isn’t equating adding creme de cacao and Frangelico as the same as Nutella.)

  59. liberal capitalist says:


    My agent threw a dinner party once in which she served a variety of exotic sausages, including rabbit, and one of the guests shrieked: “No bunny!”

    Funny how one idea sparks another…

    In Lithuanian cooking, there is a meal call Slaptas Kiškis – translated roughly to Covert Rabbit (Mock Rabbit?)

    It was meatloaf.

    No bunny!


  60. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    The recipe she gave me was:

    500ml almond milk
    100g Nutella
    2 tbsp cocoa powder
    75g dark or milk chocolate, chopped (optional)
    4 tbsp amaretto liqueur or hazelnut Soplica (Polish flavoured vodka)
    4 tbsp vodka

    Preparation was more involved than I’m interested in, involved making Nutella milk, chilling, etc. Then again, she’s from Miami, and the rules may be different there. Although she has worked remotely for the last year plus. Still seems to me a terrible thing to do to either liquors. And the Nutella dipped glass was too rich for my tastes.

  61. Mimai says:

    @flat earth luddite: That’s not too far astray from a Bushwacker. When made from scratch (none of that premixed garbage), a Bushwacker can be a treat when sitting on a deck, staring at the water, on a hot summer day.

  62. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Yes, I see. Haven’t gone for sweet drinks much since my Smith & Currens days, which involved being unable to open a Ford because we couldn’t get a double cut key into the door lock. This was a few years before the unfortunate grapefruit moonshine episode.

  63. Mimai says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    unfortunate grapefruit moonshine episode

    Sounds like the title of a terrible, great short story!