Monday’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. James Joyner says:

    Early morning at the office today, so no posts from me this morning. I may have some time early afternoon.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: Take a vacay day James, you’ve earned it.

  3. CSK says:

    @James Joyner: We promise to behave ourselves and play nicely together.

  4. CSK says:
  5. Long Time Listener says:

    Don’t you worry, Dean Wormer- we promise to behave…. 😉

  6. MarkedMan says:


    We promise to behave ourselves and play nicely together.


  7. CSK says:


    I knew some smartass would show up with a wisecrack…

  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Lounsbury was around recently tut-tuting the US in his own inimitable way for the country’s inability to get its feces together and upgrade the electrical grid. Unless the rules change it’s not going to get any easier.

    Across the country, clean energy projects of all types are tied up in lengthy permitting processes. For offshore wind, it can take up to 10 years to secure approval before construction can begin. Elsewhere, many nuclear power companies are seeking to develop a new generation of smaller, safer reactors, but outdated regulations could make approval difficult, experts warn. Some solar developers are wary of building on federally owned land in the West because permitting can be so onerous.


    Permitting has proved especially difficult for the nation’s antiquated and fragmented electric grid. The United States has some of the best renewable energy resources in the world, including gusty winds in the Great Plains and scorching sun in the Southwest. But to tap those resources, which are often far from population centers, developers will need to build thousands of miles of new high-voltage transmission lines.

    Yet building long-distance power lines can be a brutal slog. Reviews and permitting alone can take a decade or longer, and any state or county in the path of the lines can throw up roadblocks. Since 2000, the United States has barely built any major transmission lines that connect different regions of the country.

    The 17-year journey of a wind farm project in New Mexico helps explain why. Initially proposed in 2006, the SunZia project entailed building a vast wind farm in New Mexico along with a 550-mile power line to deliver electricity to Arizona and California. This spring, after years of legal battles and route changes, SunZia received its final federal permit. It is now expected to be completed by 2026.

    “I don’t know if there’s a single major transmission project out there that’s been done in less than a decade,” Hunter Armistead, the chief executive of Pattern Energy, which is developing the project, said at a recent conference. He later added, “There’s too much optimism in how fast people think this is actually going to happen, and I think that’s dangerous.”

  9. Sleeping Dog says:

    @James Joyner:

    Does this mean, if we wait 20 minutes and you don’t show we can assume class is cancelled?

  10. Bill Jempty says:

    I have had a saying for a long time. It goes “I haven’t had so much fun since…..”

    Over the years they have included

    “I haven’t had so much fun since the nurse re-inserted the catheter.”*
    “I haven’t had so much fun since I threw up a slice of cake for my 50th birthday.”**
    “I haven’t had so much fun since taking the tri-rail to Miami Airport.”***
    “I haven’t had so much fun since my monthly Amazon book royalties went from $200 to $2000 in just 60 days
    “I haven’t had so much fun since I tried using my Tire Kingdom Credit Card. ”
    “I haven’t had so much fun since I came down with Covid-19.”

    And just in the last few days I have had two more candidates for my saying. Unfortunately one of them has to lose.

    “I haven’t had so much fun since my wife got lost driving home from Delray Beach.”****
    “I haven’t had so much fun since I got hit in the face at the Home Depot with the parts for a hand held bidet”*****

    Out of the last two, I have to take the first. There are explanations below for some of these adventures.

    *- After having open heart surgery, I was sent to the step down unit, but a short time later had to be sent back to the CICU. That was why the catheter had to be re-inserted.
    **- I was enduring chemo for cancer but hadn’t thrown up in a week and my wife thought I might enjoy the cake…
    ***- Me and the wife just simply got on the wrong train.
    ****- The wife was supposed to get on Federal Highway northbound (US 1) to come home to Boynton Beach. Instead she went south on A1A (The intracoastal/barrier island highway) heading towards Boca Raton. She called me from Boca to say she was lost.
    *****- I wasn’t really hurt even though the parts narrowly missed hitting my left eye. The overreaction of Home Depot to the accident was amusing. I was asked over a half a dozen times if I needed an ambulance or wanted to go to the hospital. The cashier who caused the accident cried too.

  11. Bill Jempty says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Does this mean, if we wait 20 minutes and you don’t show we can assume class is cancelled?

    Yes and you can just leave a slice of watermelon on the desk.

  12. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Happy to be of service

  13. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    That made me laugh out loud.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: If only someone was doing something about that.

  15. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    Ok but you still need to explain the logistics of how bidet parts were flung at your face while in a Home Depot.

    About 9 months ago my toddler son learned what the bidet handle does. Took it full in the face. Set his potty training back by about 6 months.

  16. MarkedMan says:

    Anyone have a subscription to The Daily Beast? I’m curious what egregious mistake they are referring with regards to (Trump) Judge Cannon.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:


    I believe that is in reference into Aileen’s hissy fit when she found out that there is another grand jury looking into Doc issues in NJ. She overstepped her bounds in a separation of powers issue. DoJ determines where GJ’s occur as it is an executive branch function and the SC ruled long ago that it was an executive branch prerogative.

    Recall that Smith hasn’t charged trump with waving around the Iran invasion secrets.

  18. Kathy says:


    The link opened without a paywall barricade in an incognito window.

    The mistake does not involve the Cheeto grifter, but some criminal defendant named Christopher Wilkins. The piece says: “The blunder was simple and entirely avoidable. The federal judge told jurors they could find the man, Christopher Wilkins, “guilty or not guilty.” But then she handed jurors a verdict form that didn’t even have those options.”

  19. Bill Jempty says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Ok but you still need to explain the logistics of how bidet parts were flung at your face while in a Home Depot.

    Dear wife and I had just checked out when I met a head cashier who remembered me from a long time ago when I used to work at JFK Hospital. We started talking.

    Next customer in line had the bidet. A cashier named Robin who had checked me out went to put it in a bag when the parts inside it went flying. Robin said she didn’t realize the package was open.

    The wife getting lost on the way home from Delray Beach still wins.

  20. ptfe says:

    @Neil Hudelson: When my youngest turned 6, we had a party at our house, and one of her classmates did the same. He came out of the bathroom, water on his face, his shirt, and the wall, and confidently announced to me, “Your toilet flushes the wrong way.”

  21. Neil Hudelson says:


    Amazing. I think I need a sign that announces just such a message for my guests.

  22. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: Apparently in an open-and-shut case against some creep who threw a chair at the prosecutor (in a previous case) and then bragged about it on camera, she issued a jury verdict form which didn’t include the question of whether he was guilty or not guilty, but instead blathered on pretty incoherently, thus violating several hundred years of legal norms.

  23. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Media Still Doesn’t Get Biden Voters

    Doesn’t excerpt well but it’s free.

  24. Kurtz says:


    Now, a defense lawyer is seizing on her misstep to try freeing his client from prison—even though he was caught on tape violently throwing a courtroom chair at a prosecutor and threatening to kill him.

    The blunder was simple and entirely avoidable. The federal judge told jurors they could find the man, Christopher Wilkins, “guilty or not guilty.” But then she handed jurors a verdict form that didn’t even have those options.

    “How far does somebody have to go to school to say that a verdict form is supposed to say guilty and not guilty?” asked defense lawyer Jeffrey Garland. “That would be one of the more egregious versions of jury instruction error… it’s such a rare error.”
    Garland formally filed an appeal on Thursday and hopes to overturn a case that’s as black-and-white as they come—on a technicality.

    “This is the judge’s deal. This is nobody else’s deal. I’m gonna tell ya, I’ve done a lot of appeals, and I’ve got a pretty good winning record. This is a great issue,” he said. “For a guy who’s on tape throwing a chair in court, it’s pretty ‘not good’ behavior. It would have been simple. You have a trial, properly instruct a jury, give them a form, and the jury’s gonna do what the jury’s gonna do.”

  25. Argon says:

    Happy Monday!
    Homer Simpson is in awe of this record breaker. Safe for work with the volume down…

  26. Daryl says:

    Well, I know I am SHOCKED by this development…

  27. Beth says:


    I’m in love.

  28. gVOR10 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I followed your link, and let me second your recommendation. I am generally not fond of the Bulwark. It’s nice they saw the light, but most of them spent decades getting paid to create the darkness. I don’t recall being aware of the author, Nicholas Grossman. I’ll keep an eye out for him.

    Grossman takes off from a David Brooks piece, another of the “won’t anyone feel sympathy for these Trump voters” pieces. Gary Abernathy, WAPO’s resident hillbilly, has a similar piece in this morning. Grossman talks about the misunderstood Biden voter. He wonders why WAPO and NYT send safaris to rural Ohio (actually Youngstown) to talk to Trump voters but never talks to the nearly equal number of Biden voters there. This failure to understand Biden voters extends to a few prominent commenters here.

  29. Gustopher says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    And just in the last few days I have had two more candidates for my saying. Unfortunately one of them has to lose.

    “I haven’t had so much fun since my wife got lost driving home from Delray Beach.”****
    “I haven’t had so much fun since I got hit in the face at the Home Depot with the parts for a hand held bidet”*****

    Out of the last two, I have to take the first. There are explanations below for some of these adventures.

    Go with the bidet.

    There’s a long tradition of humor among the worst people that basically boils down to “I hate my wife”, and the first really sounds like just another entry.

    I’m sure there’s a fun cute story that makes it all fine (you’ve mentioned your wife in mostly glowing terms in the past), but it reads like the only fleeting moments of joy you have are when your old ball and chain is far, far away.

    Also, bidets are inherently funny.

    (I would tighten up the saying by dropping the “parts of”, but you might prefer accuracy. Was it the nozzle? “Nozzle” is a fun word)

  30. Sleeping Dog says:


    What I’ve noticed about the neo-cons and Reaganites that have left the R’s over trumpism, is that they are far more willing to admit that healthcare won’t be solved by the market and there is a significant role for government to play, they are willing to admit that systemic racism is real, that climate change is real, etc. No longer being R’s frees them from the party dogma,

    When the age of trump passes and we can once again focus on policy, we’ll likely find that we disagree with them on what the solutions are they suggest but the fact that they are suggesting solutions will also lead to compromise. It has long been my contention that social progress in America happens and is lasting when there is a compromise solution. Obamacare, despite all its warts, has been pretty successful and we should remember that the roots of Obamacare was the conservative response to the stillborn Clinton healthcare plan.

    When trump loses, either in the primary or general, the R party may very well collapse. They’ve shed many, many suburban moderate, and country club voters and with the turn of issues, climate change, abortion and others, there is little reason for them to return in the short run. Those voters that have left the party have been replaced by those enticed to the ballot box by trump and those voters are likely to stay home. There is an article either in Politico or The Hill today that discusses R professional fears that large swath of trump’s voters will stay home if he isn’t the nominee, leading to a down ballot blood bath.

    We can hope 🙂

  31. charontwo says:


    Leak of possible charges.

    Fulton County.

    Reuters reports that a two-page docket report posted to the Fulton County court’s website displaying the charges against Donald Trump, before it was removed.

    Here are screenshots from the since-deleted report:

  32. charontwo says:

    Looking at the doc Reuters saw briefly pop up on the Superior Court docket. Willis appears to allege that the RICO enterprise was formed the day after the election, that Trump will be charged for the fake electors scheme, and charges will stem from the Raffensperger call.

  33. Daryl says:

    It now looks like these were a list of proposed charges Willis is seeking from the Grand Jury?
    Some may not make it to actual charges, although I do think the GA case is pretty dangerous for Trump. Most importantly because he cannot pardon himself, nor can any other President.
    Typical caveat…IANAL.

  34. CSK says:


    That was why Trump wanted Alvin Bragg’s case moved to federal court: He or someone else could pardon him.*

    *He lost that bid, by the way.

  35. Daryl says:

    Did you read any of what that Judge said?

    The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the matter was a purely a personal item of the President – a cover-up of an embarrassing event. Hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a President’s official acts…

    Reimbursing Cohen for advancing hush money to Stephanie Clifford cannot be considered the performance of a constitutional duty.

    So much winning, DJT must be tired of so much winning.

  36. Sleeping Dog says:


    And Kemp can’t pardon him, short of a change in GA law. In GA, pardons are issued by a board of pardons and a convict can’t apply for a pardon until they have served 5 years of their sentence.

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Remember though, that most Reaganites and neocons are reaching the age where they are experiencing Medicare personally now. My Reaganite/neocon brother (76) was leery about Medicare (and was still alert enough to realize that it is a “socialized medicine scheme”) until about…
    …11 years ago, in fact.

    He still thinks the deficit will eventually bankrupt the country (and he may be right), but he’s of a mind now that he is unlikely to see it happen and experience the shock as his investment portfolio disappears before his very eyes.

  38. Beth says:

    A couple of things I wanted to share:

    1. I watched Gabriels on the Outside Lands livestream last night and was absolutely blown away. The lead singer was phenomenal. Their range and this intense, delicious ambiguous sexuality, wow. I had bombed a giant edible and it kicked in right as their set got going. Made for a great night.

    I definitely want to check them out live.

    2. I came across this today and it kinda dovetails with the discussion about people not knowing they are LGBT+. I wish I could write like this.

    A couple of things I want to pull out:

    I want to repeat that. To receive gender-affirming treatment of any kind, a trans person had to prove exhaustively that they had always known that they were trans.

    Why? Members of the HBIGDA considered it central to their mission to exclude as many people from care.

    When I get pissy about WPATH, that’s why.

    And I think, ultimately, that’s what’s really going on when trans people comb through our pasts for signs that we’re trans. We know the “safe” narrative of transness. And so, as part of the construction of a collective traumatic memory, we reenact these rituals of safety, where we declare our history to prove that yes, we belong here, with all of the other obviously trans people, even when we feel like an imposter, undeserving, next to them. In doing so, and especially in doing so collectively, it allows us all to reprocess the traumatic history of trans people in general, to find meaning in the brutal oppression of it all while reprocessing our individual traumatic histories of being unable to live authentically, as our selves. After all, especially for anyone who realizes or faces their trans identity later in life, part of that acceptance means each of us must also accept the history of our collective oppression as our birthright, whether we want it or not.

    The whole essay is kinda long, but well worth your time.

  39. CSK says:


    Yes. Hellerstein sounded annoyed and exasperated that Trump’s lawyers would make such an idiotic argument.

  40. Daryl says:


    I had bombed a giant edible and it kicked in right as their set got going.

    I left a brand new jar of gummies in my car, and they all melted into one giant gummy.
    Now I have to figure out how to melt them back into 20 little gummies…

  41. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Might I suggest immersing in warm water until you can get it out of the jar (unless you like the container”crunch”), and then try your wire cheese slicer to gently hack into the appropriate sized pieces.

    In the alternative, stuff it all in your mouth like a chipmunk and let it melt.

  42. Beth says:


    Personally, I’d go the Chipmunk route… But that’s just me. I like to have really intense experiences. I was trying to explain to the clerk at the dispensary what I wanted and I got to, “I want to sit on my couch at twitch like a maniac. Like I’m fighting God.” He gave me something that people complained about causing something similar. I also got a bunch of 50 MG gummies. One of those does the trick too.

  43. Kathy says:


    Perhaps all healthcare should be administered like gender affirming care. You won’t get antidepressants if you didn’t alway know you were depressed. And you can’t even get a nose job if you weren’t always dissatisfied with your nose, and if changing your nose is essential to your well being.

    About 95% of all healthcare costs would be eliminated, and average lifespans would be reduced to 50 years or so.

  44. Kathy says:

    On other news, Threads may be unraveling.

    I’ve no evidence, but I wonder how much is due to the fact that there’s no website accessible without the app.

  45. JohnSF says:

    More stupidity erupts: latest thing on the nutcase fringe is “wildfires are being set by climate activists and the Deep State”; and ACTUALLY saying it’s the same plan as shootings faked by “crisis actors”, and “fake COVID”, and Ukraine is all about Hunter Biden’s laptop etc etc.

    There really are some people who have lost their damn minds.
    (A small, but unfortunately politically influential, minority.)

  46. Gustopher says:

    @Beth: The right wing has been parading about a half-dozen detransitioners at every event, who complain that they weren’t aware of the potential consequences of transitioning (baldness, a different gender, etc), even though they had to sign lots of forms saying that they understood.

    It got me thinking that every single “sign that you understand” form — from these medical releases to Apple’s new EULA du jour, to the terms of service on a website that has cookies — should be implemented as a test, to really show that you understand. Partly because people are dumbasses who only hear what they want to hear, and partly because I would love for project managers in the bowels of Apple to have to explain to their bosses that adoption of iOS Whatever is stuck at 3% because only 3% of people have passed the test about what the EULA contains, and that this is barely better than they would get by guessing.

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “I don’t know if there’s a single major transmission project out there that’s been done in less than a decade,”

    I wouldn’t call it a major transmission line, but when we first bought our place, a new transmission line was run from the Labadie power plant to an existing substation specifically to power up the reopening of the Pea Ridge iron* mine. My top of the head guess was maybe, maybe, 50 miles. It only took about 5 years from applying for the permits to end of construction. A few land owners fought the project (I can’t blame them, just glad it didn’t go over my place) but I don’t think they delayed it much. Folks around here really wanted that mine to open back up.

    Still do for that matter. Last I read, they are still pumping the water out of it. Dawg only knows what all pollutants and heavy metals that water is laced with.

    * supposed to have some rare earth metals there too.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill Jempty: You missed the always dependable, “I haven’t had so much fun since the hogs ate Grandma.” It’s an Ozark staple.

  49. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: For a high profile launch that everyone wanted to poke at out of curiosity, I’m not sure how to feel about that decline. You would have to expect a decline.

    I could make a case that having 576,000 active users a month or two after launch is amazing., and that most folks who poked in for a looksie at launch weren’t seeing how the community functioned — it was a lot of “hi, I’m Bob, this is my first post” messages. I think you would need six months of data to really see where it levels off at, and if it begins growing.

    I remain surprised that Google didn’t pull the Google+ designs out of mothballs, slim them down (most of the complexity of implementation came around circles, which was also where a lot of the user pushback was*), and then churn out a microblogging site in a few months.

    Maybe they are working at it, and it is taking longer than expected. Or maybe they looked at the YouTube comments and gave up on people.

    *: imagine having to tag everything with who you want to see it, but it all being tied to your real name… Did you remember to send that only to your evil friends? Do you trust them not to screenshot and share more widely? Do you trust google to not make a “mistake”?

    (On that last one, user error is far, far more likely, but UX design might make that user error far more likely)

  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: There really are some people who have lost their damn minds.

    I live among them.

  51. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Can we stuff them with @Beth’s edibles until they’re doing the Celebrity Deathmatch with Dawg? And put it on pay per view? Pretty please??

    ETA Ozark, those are my relatives we’re both dissing!

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Ozark, those are my relatives we’re both dissing!

    I know, I even count one or 2 as friends. Not that I will ever admit to it in public.*

    * on the slightly more serious side, they and me don’t talk politics, mainly because they know I will give it to them with both barrels.

  53. Michael Reynolds says:

    Zuck like Musk is a tech bro who doesn’t understand humans. What an unnecessary failure.

  54. Beth says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    That would be so amazing. I would pay to watch that. Especially since when I explain to most of my friends that I find a 50mg edible to be fun they look at me like I’m a threatening to murder a puppy.

    In the off chance that someone doesn’t know, a standard dose is like 5-15ish mg. I know lots of, ehem, enjoyers that can’t handle more than 5mg.

  55. Mister Bluster says:

    CNN is reporting Fulton County, Georgia Grand Jury has returned 10 indictments that are sealed.
    Before indictments were handed up by the grand jury, Fulton County court clerk Che Alexander told reporters that it could take her office as long as three hours to process any indictments before they are unsealed and made available to the public.

  56. just nutha says:

    @Beth: What are people worrying about? I’ve taken 50 mg of Prednisolone in one dose before and lived to tell about it. What a bunch of snowflakes!

  57. Jax says:

    Me being sad because I live in a state that will probably be the LAST to legalize weed…..

  58. EddieInCA says:

    10 indictments in Georgia. Details coming…

  59. Gustopher says:

    @EddieInCA: From WaPo:

    Former president Donald Trump’s campaign released a statement following the return of an indictment. He targeted Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D), alleging she fabricated elements of the investigation and accusing her of acting as a partisan.

    It wasn’t immediately clear if Trump’s campaign had received the indictment before releasing the statement.

    I’m hoping we get some surprise indictments from somewhere else as well. All these indictments are fun.

  60. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I got a notification on that on my phone about 140 minutes into Oppenheimer. I missed a couple of scenes because of that.

  61. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    To be honest, I’m surprised there is any follow up. Usually one simply wonders some time later “whatever happened to that things that grabbed so many headlines?”

    I do think not making it web accessible is a mistake. Yes, a lot of social media is engaged on apps these days, but not all. And plenty gets linked to websites (see the open forum on most days ending with y)

  62. Kathy says:
  63. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:.. Oppenheimer

    Two bombshells in one!

  64. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I may need to see the movie again.

    I did like how they presented the Trinity test, excessive reaction shots and all, as utterly silent until the sound, and the shockwave, reach the observation sites.

  65. Mister Bluster says:


    I heard an interview of Christopher Nolan on NPR today. Got distracted and did not catch it all. It did lead me to videos of the Trinity test on You Tube.
    Now I want to see the movie.

  66. charontwo says:

    Who’s who:

    Those indicted in Georgia:

    Donald Trump
    Rudy Giuliani, Trump lawyer
    Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff
    John Eastman, Trump lawyer
    Kenneth Chesebro, pro-Trump lawyer
    Jeffrey Clark, top Justice Department official
    Jenna Ellis, Trump campaign lawyer
    Robert Cheeley, lawyer who promoted fraud claims
    Mike Roman, Trump campaign official
    David Shafer, Georgia GOP chair and fake elector
    Shawn Still, fake GOP elector
    Stephen Lee, pastor tied to intimidation of election workers
    Harrison Floyd, leader of Black Voices for Trump
    Trevian Kutti, publicist tied to intimidation of election workers
    Sidney Powell, Trump campaign lawyer
    Cathy Latham, fake GOP elector tied to Coffee County breach
    Scott Hall, tied to Coffee County election system breach
    Misty Hampton, Coffee County elections supervisor
    Ray Smith

  67. JohnSF says:


  68. gVOR10 says:

    Rachel Maddow noted that GA passed a law creating a mechanism for removing a prosecutor. When asked if it was targeting Willis the GOPs said of course not, pointing out the bill didn’t take effect until mid 2015. Then, just before passage they amended that to this October.