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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Now that it’s been revealed that Don McGahn refused to say publicly that Trump didn’t commit obstruction of justice, Trump is saying that McGahn was more in danger of being fired than was Mueller, and, furthermore, that he “never liked McGahn much, anyway.”

    So there, McGahn. Take that. Widdle Donny never loved you.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I’m sure he’s just absolutely heart broke over it.

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  3. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Probably rolling his eyes and sighing wearily over the predictably infantile response.

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  4. Gustopher says:

    Every time Harvey Weinstein pops up in the news, such as in this thread, I remember how much the right wing pushed it into the national media.

    “Democratic bundler accused of rape”, “liberal Hollywood Democrat Harvey Weinstein…”, “Why hasn’t Hillary said anything about Harvey Weinstein?”, etc.

    Given the track record of the far right, I just assumed it was nonsense with a side of antisemitism (can you get a more Jewish name than Weinstein?). But they persisted, and a few months later, it was national news, dozens of well known victims were making a stand, and it sparked a change in our country.

    I think the entire #metoo movement came about because of the right wing idiots.

    Thank you right wing idiots.

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  5. Guarneri says:

    There’s a lot of talk on this site about lying. Funny thing, never about the Obama Admins lying. Funny that…….

    “Judicial Watch has obtained new emails which show that not only did they know about Hillary’s server long before they claimed, but they were keeping tabs on it all to manage the situation.
    (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained 44 pages of records from the State Department through court-ordered discovery revealing that the Obama White House was tracking a December 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking records concerning then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecure, non-government email system. Months after the Obama White House involvement, the State Department responded to the requestor, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), falsely stating that no such records existed.

    While legitimate FOIA requests were flowing in, the Obama administration was lying to requestors and saying the records didn’t exist. All the while, they knew Hillary had a private server full of official emails, to the point where even Obama himself would correspond with her via a pseudonym.

    On January 10, 2013, Walter writes to Samuelson that she is not including “personal” accounts in the FOIA request search:
    “Hi Heather – did you ever get any intell re what other agencies are doing re this FOIA request that seeks records about the number of email accounts associated with the Secretary (but isn’t specifying “personal” email accounts so we are interpreting as official accounts only). We are considering contacting the requester to find out exactly what it is they are looking for. Do you have any-concerns about that approach?”
    Soon afterward, Samuelson responds, “White House Counsel was looking into this for me. I will circle back with them now to see if they have further guidance.”
    CREW’s general counsel, Anne Weismann, submitted a FOIA request to the State Department on December 6, 2012, seeking “records sufficient to show the number of email accounts of or associated with Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the extent to which those email accounts are identifiable as those of or associated with Secretary Clinton.”
    On May 10, 2013, [Information Programs and Services] replied to CREW, stating that “no records responsive to your request were located.”

    The short of this is that Hillary kept all her official emails on her personal server. When outside parties would make requests, they would only search her unused official accounts and then respond back that no records existed. All the while, they knew Hillary was doing business outside of official channels in a way that clearly subverted FOIA law.

    Bonus points if you know Obama’s alias when he communicated with HRC through these non-existent private servers………… Move along, nothing to see here.

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  6. Gustopher says:

    @Guarneri:

    Bonus points if you know Obama’s alias when he communicated with HRC through these non-existent private servers………

    Kenyan Muslim?

    Move along, nothing to see here.

    Pretty much. This was a nothing story back when it was relevant, fluffed to awesome proportions, and now involves people who are no longer even in politics. It really is time to move along.

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  7. Jax says:

    @Guarneri: If you don’t care about Trump’s use of insecure devices, Ivanka’s use of personal email, Kushner’s use of Whatsapp for state business, and you’re still beating this “but her eeeeemails” dead horse, you are a hypocrite of the highest order.

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  8. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Guarneri: Ya know, I would have thought that “the other side lies just as much as I do” wouldn’t be likely to catch on as a defense, but I would have been wrong. Oh well…

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  9. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    There’s a lot of talk on this site about lying. Funny thing, never about the Obama Admins lying. Funny that…….

    It’s you lying. Yes, Trump lies every time he opens his idiot trap and comparing him to Obama is just moronic and deliberately dishonest on your part. But that’s not the thing that’s bothering you. What’s bothering you is when I point out that you lie. Not quite as often as your cult leader, but seriously, who could equal that Niagara of lies?

    You lie, Drew. Which is why your comments mean nothing.

    Did you go ask Schuler to help you come up with an answer to my question, Drew like I suggested? Maybe you’ve got another smart friend you could ask? Nothing? Tumbleweeds? Yeah, thought so.

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  10. michael reynolds says:

    As a public service for Trumpaloons, a brief primer on lying.

    1) It’s not just what you say, it’s what you don’t say. Every word is a choice from the word menu. If you’re lying to someone reasonably bright, that person will know not just the words you choose, but the ones you rejected.

    2) This is even more the case when it comes to topics. If you focus on X, it reveals either disinterest in, or fear of, other topics. Whether it’s disinterest or fear is generally discoverable because of. . .

    3) . . . duration. It becomes harder to maintain a lie if it is poorly constructed to begin with, then extended over time.

    So, a good lie has to take all the above into account. If the interaction is prolonged – as it can be here in comments – it becomes critically important to construct your lie in such a way as to camouflage focus on particular topics, spread your ‘interests’ out. Otherwise it’s a big sign reading, “File Folder” and the observer quickly understands what’s in that folder, what matters to you and what frightens you off.

    Word choice is hard because you’re fighting your own subconscious. Your subconscious serves up ‘tells.’ For example, Trump’s obsession with telling us he’s ‘very, very, very intelligent’ spotlights his justified intellectual insecurity. And with a very few such tells you can start to deconstruct both the liar and his lies.

    The essential problem is lack of imagination and empathy, two hallmarks of so-called conservatives. To be a good liar is to act a part, and to act a part is to think like someone else which requires some understanding of humans, some imagination, some empathy. You have to be able to think like the person you’re pretending to be. There’s a reason so few Trumpies are in the creative businesses.

    Now, when you’re a liar, like so many of our resident Trumpaloons are – and this is hard – you have to be able to argue as if you believed yourself to be telling the truth. This is where @JKB falls apart: he never argues that Trump is innocent. He argues that we should believe he’s innocent, but not as if he believes that himself. This is consciousness of guilt: the liar lies tactically, not organically.

    Now, @Guarneri and @JKB and the rest: study what I’ve said, try harder, and come back and show us how much you’ve improved.

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  11. Gustopher says:

    My car turns off its engine at stoplights. Every single time I think it is stalling and have flashbacks to a 1977 Ford Thunderbird I had in 1995. I have found the button that turns this “feature” off, but I have to press it every time I start the car.

    Also, the lane assist keeps assisting me when I am trying to give bicyclists extra room. I try to use part of the empty turn lane as a passing lane, but the car has other ideas. So far, I have always managed to yank the wheel hard enough as it drifts towards the bicycle that it stops that and it hasn’t been a big problem, but… sorry future dead bicyclist.

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  12. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher:

    but… sorry future dead bicyclist.

    Several of my colleagues at work are middle-aged-or-older motorcycle enthusiasts. They are genuinely terrified of the new “adaptive cruise control” systems, which have a really bad track record when it comes to being able to consistently detect motorcyclists ahead of them…

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  13. Teve says:

    if Republicans are going to be stupid shitty people, then at least some of them are going to be entertainingly stupid and shitty. I’m thinking of the abortion bill in Ohio that says that if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy and the embryo has to be removed, the doctors then have to re implant it in the uterus.

    link

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  14. Teve says:

    jim Wright:

    Trump is absolutely losing his shit online right now. A full on meltdown.

    OR

    Someone on his staff, who’s actually typing this insanity, is doing a pretty good job of making it appear that his boss is completely losing his shit. Because that’s what they think he sounds like (and he does).

    I don’t know which is worse: that he’s actually nuts — or his own staff THINKS he is.

    In any rational world, a 72-year-old tweeting shit like this, and there’d be a Silver Alert out in a three state area.

    Wonder what’s up on the Twitter machine.

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  15. Gustopher says:

    @DrDaveT: Are the automated systems really worse than humans at spotting motorcyclists? Are we sure?

    The push to computer assisted driving, and eventually computer driven cars, is going to kill a whole bunch of people who wouldn’t be killed otherwise. And result in fewer fatalities overall.

    It’s a real life implementation of the trolley problem. I have no idea how our legal system will handle it.

    ——

    Another pet peeve — the lane assist stuff keeps going off and correcting me, so I’ve kind of stopped caring. It would be nice if it told me where it thinks I am in the lane, but, whatever. Not sure if I just ride too left in the lane, or whether I have no idea how to control an SUV. I just point it in the general direction and trust in the airbags and auto breaking. Is that bad?

    I had my last car for 15 years. I don’t recognize this thing as a car.

    (If I fit in something other than an SUV, I would have bought that other thing. 6’5” and 37” inseams reduce my option set. On the plus side, it doesn’t have the side view mirrors blocking my view of pedestrians when attempting a turn)

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  16. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: too many times in meetings I have made a sarcastic comment and watched in a mixture of horror and bemusement as it was embraced. I think the re-implanting ectopic pregnancies must have been conceived the same way.

    ——
    Get it, “conceived”? Because it’s a pregnancy?

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  17. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher:

    Are the automated systems really worse than humans at spotting motorcyclists? Are we sure?

    Yes, and yes. At present, at any rate.

    As it happens, I am professionally interested in the dependability of autonomous systems, including self-driving cars. I am very sympathetic to the argument that such systems don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be safer (on average) than human drivers are. I’m even OK with the fact that the types of mistakes they will tend to make will be mistakes that people almost never make.

    The problem with motorcycles (and bicycles) is that they have a very small sensor cross-section, whether you’re talking radar, lidar, or electro-optical. (Radar is especially bad; you basically get a return off the tiny license plate and nothing else.) A known issue is that the sensor will spot the motorcycle, then lose it — locking on the next vehicle up the road instead, and accelerating to close the gap…

    You also can’t predict where they will be in the lane, their acceleration/deceleration is different from other vehicles, and they’re really fragile. And they are relatively rare on the road, so it’s very hard to train machine learning algorithms to spot them reliably without generating tons of false positives where the ML system thinks (for a moment) that there is a motorcycle there, but there isn’t. Which also leads to badness.

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  18. Franklin says:

    @DrDaveT: I am also professionally related to autonomous vehicles, but on the engineering side. And yeah, they’re not ready yet. I could go on and on with not-uncommon scenarios that would currently cause problems. But the good news is that a LOT of research is being done; I have access to tests with weaving bicycles, kids stepping out from between cars, etc. I’m optimistic that we’ll achieve what you describe: overall much safer than humans, but there will be glitches, accidents, and yes deaths that wouldn’t have happened if a human had been in control.

    But back to the stepping-stone features … my elderly father-in-law has lane assist in his vehicle, and I think it might actually be training him a little. He kind of needs it, even though he complains about the warnings. I occasionally have to suffer through a ride with him, and I think it’s getting a little less scary as he’s been forced to keep in his lane to avoid warnings.

    Stop-start: I would think Gustopher would eventually get used to it. Years ago now, my wife bought a hybrid with CVT. I didn’t know that information when I started driving it, and I couldn’t figure out what the hell the engine was doing all the time. Turning off, staying at a steady RPM while I was accelerating, etc. Eventually I learned its quirks and even figured out how to kind of optimize the fuel consumption. I enjoy it; it’s like a game.

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  19. grumpy realist says:

    @Gustopher: Yet another reason NOT to go for the whole bells-and-whistles version….I deliberately got one of the “dumber” versions the last time around (did go for the one with the back-up video camera however) because I didn’t want to have to worry about whether the headlights would really go off automatically or whether the frobbitz was broken….

    I still haven’t used the cruise control.

    I find this bells-and-whistles stuff ironic (“it looks like the cockpit of an airplane!”) because if you’ve ever flown a small plane, you’re usually doing it off the six-pack.

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  20. Kathy says:

    I began watching “Troy: Fall of a City” on Netflix, largely because Jeff Wright did a companion podcast for it called “Watching Troy Fall.” First he did wight episodes detailing the narrative challenges the production would face, and means to handle them, as well as some more background on the Trojan epic. Then came episodes with a critique of each episode.

    It’s not like I lack material to listen to. I’m on Stephen Hawking’s last work(*), plus I’ve a growing backlog at both audible and Scribd, and Mike Duncan will be back next week to do the Russian Revolution (which may take a whole year). But there it is.

    (*) Hawking passed away a bit over a year ago, yet on the introduction he makes two references to Brexit. It’s odd to hear a topical subject from him.

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  21. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Doris Day has passed at 97.
    Que sera, sera.
    RIP fine lady.

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  22. al Ameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    The short of this is that Hillary kept all her official emails on her personal server. When outside parties would make requests, they would only search her unused official accounts and then respond back that no records existed. All the while, they knew Hillary was doing business outside of official channels in a way that clearly subverted FOIA law.

    You’re saying that (about) 15 Republican investigations were unable to do what James Comey did one month before election day – prevent Hillary from being elected?

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  23. Gustopher says:

    @grumpy realist: All new cars will have lane assist starting in 2020 or so.

    I do like the automatic blind spot detection, as I kind of suck at it (determining how far away that car is, etc). I don’t trust it to detect motorcycles, but I see that little light, and I know “nope, not yet, definitely something there”. I figure between whatever flaws it’s checks have, and my terrible abilities, we’re close to something good.

    And the sensors on the back are great in parking lots, and the rear automatic breaking probably prevented me from running over a small dog that darted out behind me while parallel parking.

    I’ve never used cruise control. On any car. I want my foot always ready to get to those brakes.

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  24. DrDaveT says:

    @al Ameda:

    You’re saying that (about) 15 Republican investigations were unable to do what James Comey did one month before election day – prevent Hillary from being elected?

    Now, be fair — Comey had a lot of help from Russia…

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  25. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher:

    I’ve never used cruise control. On any car. I want my foot always ready to get to those brakes.

    OK, I am now confused. How is a foot that is busy working the accelerator more ready to apply the brakes than a foot that is currently sitting unused in front of the brake pedal?

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  26. Gustopher says:

    @DrDaveT: why do you think the foot is resting in front of the brake pedal? Might be 6 inches in either direction. And, it’s not really doing anything, so I’m not paying attention to it either.

    Moving from accelerator to brake is automatic muscle memory, after a few years of driving, at least. You don’t have to work out where everything is — you want to slow the car, and suddenly the car is slowing, and if you look at what is happening afterwards, you would see your foot move, etc., but you don’t have to think about it.

    Conscious, active thought is slow.

    Perhaps I am overthinking it now, or perhaps I am an especially crappy driver. I’m shocked there aren’t more “cruise control straight into a sudden obstacle” crashes.

    (Truthfully, I am also surprised that a system of transportation that depends on everyone else not screwing up so badly that they kill you works at all. People are idiots)

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher:

    6’5” and 37” inseams reduce my option set.

    A Mini Cooper would work. Seriously. I’m only 6’ 1” but I can slide the seat far enough back so I have to stretch to reach the pedals. And the Mini will stop anywhere from 30 to 70 feet sooner* than that SUV you are driving.

    *From 60 mph

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  28. MarkedMan says:

    @DrDaveT: @DrDaveT:

    I am very sympathetic to the argument that such systems don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be safer (on average) than human drivers are.

    This may be true from a moral and ethical POV but not from the business side. The manufacturers are shifting responsibility for an accident from the driver to the company. I would guess it needs to be a couple of orders of magnitude safer at least before the financials work out.

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  29. gVOR08 says:

    I routinely use dumb cruise control , except in heavy traffic. At least on the highway I wish more people would. First, I have an SOP of limit plus X, and without cruise, it’s so easy to find myself running faster than I really want to be. Especially in the Mazdaspeed 3 which can gain speed so very easily. But mostly it allows me to keep my attention out where it’s supposed to be without glancing from the bright distance to the darker and closer to check the speedo. Perhaps glancing at the speedo is why some people need help with lane keeping. I’ve done a little racing and if not on cruise I keep my heel where I can just rock from throttle to brake, but on cruise the foot goes flat on the floor where it’s comfortable and brake reaction time has never been remotely an issue.

    FL seems worse than other places for people getting in the left lane on an interstate and camping there forever with no idea what speed they’re running, just whatever seems comfortable at the moment. Having them always over your left shoulder as they pass and drop back and pass and drop back gets really irritating.

    Possibly apocryphal story. The Spirit of St. Louis was designed and built quickly, based on a smaller plane. The builders told Lindberg they needed more time to draw up a bigger tail. With the smaller tail it would be slightly unstable, requiring constant small corrections. Lindberg said leave it, it would help him stay alert. I’m skeptical of partial driver assists. Too many people aren’t paying attention as is. On the other hand maybe somebody could invent turn signal assist.

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  30. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: Tried it, and nope. The Mini Cooper’s steering wheel doesn’t telescope enough, and is where my knee wants to be. The seats are too narrow (I’m not morbidly obese, just scale a human body up and out). The seats are also too sculpted, for someone much smaller, and actually manage to jab into my shoulder and trigger a frequently pinched nerve.

    It’s a cute car, but it’s not for someone my size.

    I tried out a lot of cars. I went to every major brand and tried all the cars. It’s fast when you can reject a car by sitting in it.

    I fit in five — VW Bug (rejected for being a Nazi car, and the recent fraud on emissions tests), Toyota RAV4, Dodge Charger, Subaru Legacy (rejected because I would sit far enough back that it was hard to see traffic lights), and Subaru Forester. I did not try the various larger SUVs and Pickup Trucks. Maybe I should have gotten the Charger, but it just wasn’t me.

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  31. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher:

    why do you think the foot is resting in front of the brake pedal?

    Because that’s where I put it when I’m on cruise control. It’s not random; I get to put it anywhere I want to.

    Moving from accelerator to brake is automatic muscle memory, after a few years of driving, at least. You don’t have to work out where everything is — you want to slow the car, and suddenly the car is slowing, and if you look at what is happening afterwards, you would see your foot move, etc., but you don’t have to think about it.

    All of this is equally true of braking while on cruise control — it’s automatic muscle memory after a few years of driving using cruise control.

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