Friday’s 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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ken Klippenstein

    I expect Twitter to remain mostly the same under Elon except it’ll somehow get massive federal subsidies and occasionally burst into flames

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In January 2020, the rightwing Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton said he would vote to acquit Donald Trump in his first impeachment trial because despite senators having “heard from 17 witnesses … and received more than 28,000 pages of documents”, Democrats had not presented their case correctly.

    According to Cotton, the senators who sat through so much evidence would “perform the role intended for us by the founders, of providing the ‘cool and deliberate sense of the community’, as it says in Federalist 63.”

    In a new book, however, Cotton boasts that he spent his time refusing to pay attention – pretending to read materials relevant to the president’s trial – but hiding his real reading matter under a fake cover.

    He writes: “My aides delivered a steady flow of papers and photocopied books, hidden underneath a fancy cover sheet labeled ‘Supplementary Impeachment Materials’, so nosy reporters sitting above us in the Senate gallery couldn’t see what I was reading.”

    “They probably would’ve reported that I wasn’t paying attention to the trial.”

    Oooo… such a brave soul he is, hiding from reporters.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Healer’ who decapitated church friend jailed for at least 34 years

    I didn’t have that headline on my bingo card.

  4. Scott says:

    Did my civic duty yesterday and early voted. Line was about 20 minutes. Even though I’m 68, I felt like I was the young guy on line.

    Here’s some voting data from Bexar County on the first 4 days of early voting:

    Registered voters: 1.230M
    4 Days of voting: 125557 or 10.2% of voters

    Registered voters: 1.104M
    Total Early Voting: 38.04% of registered voters
    Total Voting including election day: 49.96%

    Not sure if any meaningful information can be gleaned from this data.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Pelosi’s Husband In Hospital After Assault At California Home

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi is in the hospital after being attacked in their San Francisco home early Friday morning.

    “Early this morning, an assailant broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and violently assaulted Mr. Pelosi,” a statement from her office said. “The assailant is in custody and the motivation for the attack is under investigation.”

    “Mr. Pelosi was taken to the hospital, where he is receiving excellent medical care and is expected to make a full recovery,” the statement continued. “The Speaker was not in San Francisco at the time.”

    Speculate if you like, but I’ll wait.

  6. Kathy says:

    Is it just me, or do months with 31 days seem to go on forever?

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    Don’t wish away your months, too soon they all become too short.

  8. Scott says:

    For those who don’t follow the Ukraine conflict too closely, here is an update from ISW (Institute for the Study of War)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to reject Ukrainian sovereignty in a way that is fundamentally incompatible with serious negotiations.

    A senior Russian official threatened that Russia could target Western commercial satellites supporting Ukraine.

    Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted counteroffensive operations in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast and along the Kreminna-Lysychansk line.

    Russian forces are continuing to make defensive preparations along the east bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.

    Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted limited ground assaults in Kherson Oblast.

    Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks in Donetsk Oblast.

    The Russian military sent mobilization notices to foreign citizens working in Russia.

    Yevgeny Prigozhin‘s Wagner Group may be further developing its air warfare capabilities and fielding more complex equipment on par with the conventional Russian military.

    Russian and occupation administration officials began seizing residents’ cell phones in Russian-occupied territories to support law enforcement and operational security measures.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: To me, it always feels like they last 1 day longer than the months with 30 days. February however goes by in the blink of an eye.

  10. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Brady and the Bucs fell to 3-5 last night.
    Brady and Giselle file divorce papers today.
    Giselle starts dating Pete Davidson tomorrow.
    Sorry – couldn’t resist.

  11. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    What do you expect from Cotton, who is a stolen valor guy?

  12. daryl and his brother darryl says:


    Speculate if you like, but I’ll wait.

    He was beaten with a hammer? Seems pretty personal. Press conference at 12:30 est.

  13. CSK says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    Brady and Bundchen just announced their divorce.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    We have something of a running thing here on Dem messaging. I agree with Dr. T that voters are locked in and no quantity or quality of messaging will change that. Short term. I disagree long term. I think GOPs are doing well now because of a consistent message for 60 years. They would call it something like “we’re the real Americans”. What I would call it probably violates even OTB’s somewhat loose standards.

    Long term, Ds need a better, consistent message. I don’t know what that is, but Tom Sullivan at Digby may have found someone who does in Anat Shenker-Osorio. Sullivan writes,

    Democrats suck at messaging. So, many first-time campaign volunteers want to write the white paper that will remake the Democratic Party. From our redoubt in North Carolina, they imagine their message will spread and win elections nationwide for candidates who don’t know them from Adam and have no reason to listen. Democrats’ leadership would rather their candidates listen to (and spend campaign funds with) the incestuous, old-boy network of former Hill and state capitol denizens I call the campaign industrial complex.

    Anat Shenker-Osorio, who lives in Oakley, Calif., is sometimes called Democrats’ Frank Luntz. Luntz is the Republican dial-testing message maven. And those would-be amateurs? Good luck. Democrats don’t listen to their Luntz, Anand Giridharadas writes in “The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy.” Maybe his new book finally will persuade them to.

    Slowly, painfully slowly, Democrats may be finally getting religion. Among her one-liners is “Sell the brownie, not the recipe.” And “Don’t take your policy out in public. It’s unseemly.” A message your base won’t repeat for you is not a good message. The problem with progressive messaging is so much “Have I got a problem for you” when people have plenty of their own. They don’t want yours, Shenker-Osorio says.

    Instead, “Paint the beautiful tomorrow.” Say what you’re for. Help people see it.

    Sullivan has some really good examples.

    On another thread we’re talking about Twitter and whether it’s of any use. I just followed Shenker-Osorio.

    Rs believe they belong to the Real Americans tribe. We need a tribal identity. Hopey Changey People worked once. Maybe something like The Builders would work. But we’d need money, organization, and discipline to make anything work and Shenker-Osorio ain’t getting paid anything like the money Goddam Frank Luntz made.

  15. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If it doesn’t run over pedestrians, we’ll still be ahead.

  16. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Not surprising. If I understand the conflict from reading headlines, Tom had announced his retirement and then reneged saying the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd were more important than his wife and family.

    Now he gets to be the divorced guy who played past his prime. So sad. 😐

  17. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:
    According to MSNBC;

    The assailant who attacked Paul Pelosi was in search for the Speaker of the House. Before the assault occurred, the intruder confronted Mr. Pelosi in their home shouting, “where is Nancy, where is Nancy?”

  18. CSK says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    CNN is reporting the same thing.

  19. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @just nutha:

    Now he gets to be the divorced guy who played past his prime.

    He may or may not be past his prime…but he ain’t getting a lot of help from his team.
    Stick with me here…
    I live in New England, and for the longest time I assumed Brady was the beneficiary of Belichick’s system. Then Brady went to Tampa, bringing Gronkowski with him, and won while New England and Belichick have languished. But now Gronkowski is gone and Brady is losing…Ipso facto…IT WAS ALWAYS GRONKOWSKI!!!

  20. daryl and his brother darryl says:


  21. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I don’t. I want more months and fewer weekdays. I don’t know how to arrange that.


    The way it feels it’s as though we’ve had four weeks of October, and there are still 3.5 days left.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: He was beaten with a hammer?

    I haven’t read that. What I quoted up above is the totality of what I’ve read. But I can’t help myself: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

  23. grumpy realist says:

    For all those of you who have grumped about the indecipherability of modern art.


  24. CSK says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:
    I wish they’d identify the person and give his motive, which the news outlets keep saying is “unclear.”

  25. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Now CBS.
    I’m pretty sure it’s only a matter of time before the MAGAverse claims it’s a false-flag incident.

  26. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @grumpy realist:
    I saw this and…literally…laughed out loud.

  27. Mister Bluster says:

    Jerry Lee Lewis

    Whole Lotta Shakin Going On

    Just watched the entire 7 minute clip. Definately deserves a TRIGGER WARNING!

  28. CSK says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:
    Oh, MAGA is already claiming this was a false flag. Or that Pelosi was drunk and fell down. Or he had a spat with his gay lover. Or that he cheated someone in a business deal. Or…oh, the hell with it.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: Go ahead and mock me unmercifully, but I thought it looked obviously better right side up.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:
  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I wouldn’t say obviously, but I felt the same.

  32. CSK says:

    CBS News is reporting the same thing, stating that Depape is 42 and a Berkeley resident.

  33. Mikey says:

    It’s well past time to require FBI checks for EVERY sale of a firearm. Close the private-sale loophole.

    FBI blocked St. Louis shooter from obtaining gun, police say

    Weeks before Orlando Harris opened fire inside his old St. Louis high school Monday, killing two people and wounding seven, an FBI background check stopped him from buying a gun, police said.

    On Oct. 8, the 19-year-old Harris tried to buy a weapon from a licensed dealer in St. Charles, Mo., but an FBI background check “successfully blocked this sale,” St. Louis police said Friday in a news release shared with The Washington Post.

    Police did not say why the FBI had flagged Harris. The FBI did not immediately respond to a message from The Post.

    After being refused by the licensed dealer, Harris bought the AR-style rifle he used during the rampage at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School from a private dealer who had legally purchased the weapon in 2020, police said.

  34. Mu Yixiao says:

    Jerry Lee Lewis deat at 87.

    (He was still alive??)

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:
  36. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Good lord man, that made my day/week/month … year? I am teared up from laughing. By the way, I love that aria for itself. AND I love this rendition, too.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Certainly cracked me up. Here’s another laffer in a different vein:


    Here’s a compilation of the best Cat VO videos I did on TikTok. If you know someone who needs a laugh, send them this! 🙂

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: From the same guy: How to Make a Girl Smile

    It’s great watching her stony face slowly and inexorably weaken.

  39. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yikes! Who would have had it? Who would even think to put that on a bingo card?

  40. just nutha says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: I don’t follow football at all. I watched some while I had CBS All Access but they screwed up my transfer to Paramount +, and I let the service lapse, so I see about 10 minutes of a football game occasionally at the gym or at Applebee’s. Whatever you say about him is fine by me.

    (That I don’t follow football was the reason I made sure to tell all y’all that I was working from headlines only in my analysis.)

  41. Kathy says:

    I got to think about calendar reform.

    I admit it’s not worth reforming. The current calendar works well, and any advantages brought by adopting a new one probably won’t outweigh the expense and bother of changing all calendars (think clocks, phones, other computers, tons of appliances, etc.). that aside from the fact that getting all countries, or even most of them, to change would be nearly impossible (and, yes, Russia/USSR did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until some time after the 1917 revolution).

    That aside, the problem is that 365 is evenly divisible only by 5 and 73 (and itself and one, but we can ignore that). So months will vary in the number of days. So, let’s change that and make the year 360 days.

    Yes, that would screw up the seasons. But bear with me. The seasons will not move.

    We divide the year into 12 months of 30 days each. That brings another problem. 30 is not evenly divisible by 7. So we change the week to six days. there are three advantages to this:

    1) Mondays will cease to exist!
    2) Weekends would still last 2 days, so the workweek will be reduced to 4
    3) Every month will have five weeks exactly. Therefore the day of he week a day of the month falls in will be the same for all months.

    Ok. But we’re missing five days, right? So, we steal an idea from the proposed and unadopted World Calendar, and we insert five monthless, weekless days between December 30th and Jan 1st. These would be holidays, to rest from the stresses of the gaggle of December holidays. On leap years, the leap day gets added to the end of the holiday week.

    These six days would need names. That will lead to nuclear war if we try to get the whole world to agree. So we could do something prosaic like New Year’s Day 1 through 5 or 6 depending on the year.

    Of course, this will never happen. People would love the abundance of time off, but the billionaires would hate not extracting more shareholder value.

    Me, I’m sold by eliminating Mondays.

  42. CSK says:

    Well, David Depape is clearly a lunatic obsessed with conspiracy theories:

  43. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..Me, I’m sold by eliminating Mondays.
    …can’t trust that day…
    I was in the Viking Choir when I was a senior in High School in the spring of 1966. Our director was Walter A. Rodby. We all thought it was ironic that only his initials, WAR, appeared on the class schedule as he was retired military. He was a cool dude. We sang this song at our last concert before graduation.

  44. Kurtz says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    They replaced their three interior linemen. Losing their center, one of the two or three best in the league, creates all sorts of problems.

    And yes, missing Gronk is a big deal. But if they had an Edelman/Welker type option who consistently gets open quickly over the middle, that loss would be much less of a problem. That’s why they brought Beasley in earlier this year. But he didn’t work out.

    AB could also work, but ya know…

  45. CSK says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    But Brady won his first 2 Superbowls before Gronkowski’s time, I believe.

  46. Kurtz says:


    3 Super Bowl wins and lost in one before Gronk.

    Brady’s security blanket has been guys with short area quickness, able to get open in the short middle area or Gronk at the intermediate level om contested catches.

  47. CSK says:

    Gotcha. Thanks.

  48. Jax says:

    Making my first batch of salsa out of the greenhouse leftovers that didn’t get sold this week. It was a $500 week on the produce!!! Our hard work is finally starting to pay off, beyond feeding ourselves, my Mom and Dad and a few select friends over the summer. 😛

    Sure is nice to escape to that greenhouse when it’s near zero outside. I think I remember why I loved working there in the winter now.

  49. de stijl says:

    I am desperately trying to stay awake until at least 10 pm, preferably 11pm.

    The last week or so my sleep schedule has been bent towards falling asleep an hour or two after sundown and waking up bright and bushy tailed about 3 AM. That is not adaptive.

    Granted, I’m retired so it really doesn’t matter, but I would prefer to be awake when most other people are awake.

    You know what, why do I care? It really doesn’t matter. My body sleeps when it needs to. I’m overthinking this. As long as my awake hours overlap with grocery store open hours once a week I’m fine.

    If my body wants to be fully awake at 3 AM there is no damage done, and no one but me cares.

    Life is marginally easier if you comply with the standard sleep schedule, but thinking about it, it really only applies to me two or three times a month. I am definitely overthinking it and should just sleep when my body says sleep and not worry about the when of it.

  50. Jax says:

    @de stijl: The older I get, the earlier I wake up. I can’t even sleep off a hangover anymore, I’m just awake and miserable because I had to pee at 4 am and realized my head hurts and why the fuck did I drink that much, anyways?!

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Other than the 6-day weeks, you’re mostly describing every lunar calendar I’ve seen in Asia. I think there are 3 or 4 different variations on how to recalibrate the 5.25 “extra” days.

  52. de stijl says:

    I stayed awake until 10 PM or close enough to count. I woke up this morning at 2:30. Not enough so I’ll be taking a couple hour nap later which is going to screw up my sleep cycle more.


    Try being a guy. As you age your prostrate expands, and what used to a rushing stream becomes a babbling brook, and then becomes a slow, meandering rivulet. I’m still in the babbling brook phase.

    There is something basically satisfying about emptying your bladder when you first wake up. It’s so basic a need.

    When I drink now, I sip liquor – mostly bourbon. The preferred state is a slight buzz achieved slowly. Now in my life I don’t want to get drunk and I def do not want a hangover. Hangovers suck. But I always have a healthy back, usually orange juice or water. Take a sip of the brown stuff, then take a healthy swig of the orange stuff or the clear stuff. When I drink beer now, I go for spendy local varieties. Mostly stouts (especially chocolate stouts) in the fall and winter, and Czech style pilsners in spring and summer. Less (and better) is more. Also, when I drink beer I always have a big glass of water handy.

    The downside to my system is that you pee a lot and often, but it is healthy to do so. And oddly, vaguely satisfying to empty the badder.