Open Forum

Where you can't be off-topic because there IS no topic.

The floor is yours.

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. grumpy realist says:

    Theresa May announces her departure

    Now the Tories most likely get Boris Johnson…..pass the popcorn.

  2. It is a busy news day for a holiday Friday.

    – May resigns
    – John Walker Lindh released
    – Julian Assange charged under Espionage Act”

    All of that and more to come later today.

  3. @grumpy realist:

    Boria will run but it isn’t clear that he has the base within the Conservative Party to win the leadership.

  4. Guarneri says:

    First, declassification. Transparency, what a horrible thing. Just ask Schiff; he needs a change of underwear. Next up, the IG report.

    Good times. Good times.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    Over on another thread, a few of our resident Trumpers were gloating that Michael Avenatti had been indicted. Pretty obviously, they thought this was some kind of gotcha for the rest of us and at first I couldn’t understand why. Then it hit me: they think that because Avenatti goes after Trump, we must think of him as “our guy”. But however much we might laugh when someone like that zings the orange moron we don’t think of him as one of us but rather as one of Trump’s guys. A lawyer to a porn star? Or, another example, a sleazy thuggish enforcer like Cohen? A ridiculous former reality TV star given a nothing job in the White House? Russian music promoter cum Russian mob wannabe? These aren’t “our” people. They are part and parcel of Trump’s world of sleaze and cheap hucksterism and unfortunately we are all sucked into it.

    Avenatti would never be known outside of a small circle of NY grifters if Trump hadn’t had a three minute hump session with a porn star while his wife and infant baby were home. No decent people thinks of a guy like him as one of “ours”. But that’s the way Trumpers think, with us or against us. Trump is “their” guy, which leads to the question: what kind of person admires Trump? I come up with two possibilities: people that are so gullible, clueless and stupid that they believe his nonsense; or people who are so warped and sleazy themselves that they think the porn star stuff is cool, that conning retirees out of their savings shows just what a great businessman their boy is. Morally bankrupt sleaze balls, in other words.

  6. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan: Yeah, I don’t get it. I’m as anti-Trump as the next guy but think Avenatti is a slimeball.

  7. Guarneri says:

    You gave him air time here, repeating his BS. And not to mention names, (Reynolds and Maticonis) were making googly yes with each other in a thread about the information Avennati was hinting at releasing that was going to bring down Trump.

    Go into convenient denial now if you want. What next, you’ve never printed crooked cop Comey’s charges?

  8. @James Joyner:

    As I noted in my post about the indictments, it was apparent early on during his rise to fame as Daniels’ lawyer that he was concerned more about his own fame than he was about his client’s interests. Indeed, thanks to the charges against him, Avenatti has succeeded in answering the question “Who should I trust more, the lawyer or the porn star?” If these allegations are true, he basically used her as a means to enhance his fame and then tried to steal at least $300,000 from her,

  9. @Guarneri:

    My point about the Daniels case bringing down Trump had little to do with Avenatti and more to do with what we now know was Trump’s direct participation in the effort to keep her silent prior to the election in a manner that clearly violates Federal election laws.

  10. grumpy realist says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Here’s an article from the Guardian giving a rundown of the candidates for May’s position and their chances. Boris is very much in the lead.

    I think it may be a case where Tories are saying to themselves: “yeah, he’s a total prat. Might as well give him what he’s been so eagerly salivating for, to watch him totally crash against the wall and go to pieces.” Brexit is still a poisoned chalice.

  11. grumpy realist says:

    @Guarneri: Sorry, dearie–you can’t use Avenatti’s present escapades to impeach his prior legal work and get prior court judgments thrown out. That’s not how impeachment works.

    Read a book on the rules of evidence ferchrist’ssake.

  12. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: You are missing the nihilist trolls. They don’t care about policy, or accomplishments, or anything really — they just care about irritating people not on their team.

  13. @grumpy realist:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Guardian article.

  14. Teve says:


    Then it hit me: they think that because Avenatti goes after Trump, we must think of him as “our guy”

    like the recent Garrison cartoon about Justin Amash. He’s a member of the House freedom caucus, he votes for the horrible tax bill, he votes against abortion, he votes against the environment, but once he read the Mueller report and concluded Trump was impeachable, he’s not just wrong, he’s suddenly a Democrat.

    Dimwits love oversimplification.

  15. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: it’s spelled “achomlishments”, for the record.

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    …needs a change of underwear.

    So you’re a sh!t sniffer are ya!

  17. Teve says:

    You’ve got to see this photo from Everest it’s fucking bonkers.

  18. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: There’s an old urban legend that Charles Darwin had a deathbed conversion to Christianity and renounced his belief in evolution. It’s completely not true, but even if it were true, it would be utterly irrelevant. The truth or falsity of his theories aren’t dependent on whether or how much he stuck to them (which is proven by the fact that many of his ideas were rejected by later scientists upon further investigation). The message is what’s important, not the messenger. But conservatives often have trouble grasping that concept, and it shows up in stories like Al Gore having a badly energy-inefficient home, as if his being exposed as a hypocrite is itself a disproof of global warming. And I think that’s what’s going on with Avenatti. For one thing, the idea that he was ever popular on the left has been wildly exaggerated in the right-wing echo chamber, so they think they’re seeing the downfall of some superstar. But more importantly, he was Stormy Daniels’ attorney who not only helped bring the hush-money scandal to light but also played a role in the downfall of Michael Cohen, which has even larger implications. None of that’s going to go away just because Avenatti turns out to have been a crook himself, but many on the right think it will because that’s how they think.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    ….it doesn’t look like the EU is going to give whoever comes in after Theresa May any better deal. It really sounds like the EU is getting fed up with the U.K. and is willing to put up with a no-deal exit end of October.

    Too many of the “no deal Brexiters” seem to think that this is still a big bluff, that there’s no way the EU won’t at some point crumble, mumble mumble, German car manufacturers not wanting to lose their market, etc. I think they’re going to be surprised…..

  20. SC_Birdflyte says:

    In view of their condemnation of Justin Amash, one of their own, I think the Freedom Caucus would be better characterized as the “Freedumb Carcass.”

  21. gVOR08 says:

    George Lakoff says that conservatives view everything as a question of morality. I have a corollary that they judge people as good or bad, no gray, And once judged, that’s it. That’s how Newt Gingrich is a good family man. They also believe that everyone does the same thing. Thanks for the demo, Guarn.

  22. Kathy says:

    Out of the blue the other day, one of my mom’s cousins sent me a book called “10 Years With Mafalda.” It’s a compilation of a comic strip published in Argentina in the late 60s to early 70s, from a cartoonist known as Quino, about a little girl called Mafalda, her family, and her friends. It was wuite popular in mexico in the late 70s to early 80s, published sequentially in small books. At one time, I think we had them all at home.

    I can more quickly get the point across by saying Mafalda is an early version of Lisa Simpson, in a way. She was smart, curious, kind, righteous, and hated soup (ok, I don’t know Lisa’s views on soup). Notably she kept asking questions well above her age, many having to do with geopolitics, philosophy, and often taboo subjects.

    Many jokes in the strip were about politics, the economy, middle life class in Argentina, etc. Inevitably as the strip’s characters developed, some jokes were about them as well.

    So it was nice to get reacquainted with an old favorite.

    One joke I will describe. Across three panels Mafalda sees the pile of laundry her mother did, the pile of dishes she cleaned, and the spotless living room. In the fourth panel, she catches up with her mother, who is still doing some chore, and asks “Mom, what would you like to have been had you lived?”

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Guarneri: Was that supposed to mean something? I see that you don’t even link to the Zero Hedge mis-infobabble that this drivel c0mes from anymore. Sad. Pathetic. Low Energy.

    And I see farther down that you still have your squatter problem, too. Are you also going to start letting AOC live in your head for free? I guess that might be worth it though; you could learn something.

  24. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Now the Tories most likely get Boris Johnson…..pass the popcorn.

    What all prospective and actual candidates should understand, is that they’re not getting the job of Prime Minister. Rather they’re auditioning to play the role of Sisyphus in the ongoing production of “Waiting for Brexit.”

  25. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: one of the reasons for leaving given out by the more thoughtful Brexiters has had to do with the debilitating effects of being under the EU umbrella on politicians’ mentality. It has become too easy for them to blame everything that goes wrong on EU regulations, or EU rules. Similarly, they have been able to stop having to actually plan and think of consequences because the EU bureaucrats will do the thinking for them.

    Looking at the mess present U.K. politicians have been pushing, I understand better now this reasoning.

    It’s easy for the “no deal” politicians to keep stampeding towards the edge of the cliff because a) they’re not very intelligent when it comes to thinking about what will happen if they go off, and b) Mommy EU will always give in and rescue them from the consequences of their own behaviour.

    Which is why I’m getting less and less interested in protecting people from their own stupidity. At some level of protection, protecting “against fraud” isn’t making sure people have an equal playing field–it’s helicopter parenting. You really shouldn’t need the government to tell you that someone selling you a goat that has been genetically engineered to poop out gold nuggets is a fraud.

  26. Franklin says:


    “Freedumb Carcass.”

    That’s good. Pedantically, I’d suggest it would be more effective with a space between ‘free’ and ‘dumb’.

    Reminds me of this.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Which is why I’m getting less and less interested in protecting people from their own stupidity. At some level of protection, protecting “against fraud” isn’t making sure people have an equal playing field–it’s helicopter parenting. You really shouldn’t need the government to tell you that someone selling y

    I sometimes feel the same way. But as my parents and in laws have moved to the end of their life I’ve witnessed the unrelenting and pervasive scam industry chasing down the unwitting elderly until their capacity diminishes enough for the jackals to bring them down. And I need no better rational for why I support Democrats over Republicans than the comparison between Warren, who gave up a lucrative career to fight for the little guy against these scammers, and Trump, who IS one of those scammers. Or between a Democratic Congress, who gave us the Consumer Protection Agency, and the Republicans, who are doing everything in their power to gut it.

  28. Joe says:

    Open Forum
    – Nothing OT at OTB

  29. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: But how do you feel about subsidies to soybean farmers in the reddest areas of the reddest states who are being wiped out by Trump’s trade wars?

  30. SenyorDave says:

    @MarkedMan: MarkedMan, I usually find myself generally agreeing with your posts, but you are way out of bounds on this one. Trump lasting three minutes?

  31. MarkedMan says:


    But how do you feel about subsidies to soybean farmers in the reddest areas of the reddest states who are being wiped out by Trump’s trade wars?

    Ah, so that’s what you meant. Yeah, totally different. But I still think we should put the scammer (Trump) in jail…

  32. Mister Bluster says:

    232 years ago May 1787
    Monday May 14th 1787 was the day fixed for the meeting of the deputies in Convention for revising the federal system of Government. On that day a small number only had assembled. Seven States were not convened till,

    Friday 25 of May, when the following members appeared to wit: see Note A. viz, From Massachusetts Rufus King. N. York Robert Yates, Alexr. Hamilton. N. Jersey, David Brearly, William Churchill Houston, William Patterson. Pennsylvania, Robert Morris, Thomas Fitzsimmons, James Wilson, Govurneur Morris. Delaware, George Read, Richard Basset, Jacob Broome. Virginia, George Washington, Edmund Randolph, John Blair, James Madison, George Mason, George Wythe, James Mc.Clurg. N. Carolina, Alexander Martin, William Richardson Davie, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson. S. Carolina, John Rutlidge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler. Georgia, William Few.

  33. Teve says:

    Donald J. Trump
    North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?

    Yeah Joe Bidan’s so low-IQ.