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. Not really a hockey fan but congratulations to the St. Louis Blues (a team nickname that makes a lot more sense than the Utah Jazz by the way) on their Stanley Cup win. I believe this is the second year in a row that a team that has never won the cup before win it all.

    Now, let’s see someone other than Warriors win the NBA Championship for once.

  2. Mikey says:
  3. drj says:


    He did so before and now is tired of hiding it.

  4. Jen says:

    @Mikey: I didn’t really think anything could astonish me more than the statement that we won’t bother collecting intel on North Korea because its leader writes “beautiful letters,” but here we are.

    That’s flat-out illegal and everyone is just shrugging. I am SO done with this buffoon.

  5. @Mikey: }

    I just posted about that.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    a team nickname that makes a lot more sense than the Utah Jazz

    I almost posted a truly horrible joke about the type of jazz they would play in Utah, and then stopped myself. But now I have that horrible elevator version of Kenny G and Chuck Mangione music stuck in my head…

  7. Lynn says:

    @MarkedMan: I have that horrible elevator version of Kenny G

    My husband plays sax and was once told that he sounded exactly like Kenny G. He still hasn’t recovered.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: It makes a lot more sense when you remember they started out as the New Orleans Jazz.

  9. CSK says:

    Trump tweeted that whilst in England, he had a meeting with the “Prince of Whales.”

  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    For the third week in a row, a Republican official has made headlines calling for LGBT people to be murdered:

    Tennessee detective’s church sermon calls for execution of LGBTQ people

    While I’ve suspected for a while this was a common view in the GOP, the fact they now all feel comfortable just coming out and saying it is a disturbing trend.

  11. Kathy says:


    One has to wonder why they didn’t change the team’s name. This happens in the NFL all the time. The Tennessee Oilers became the Titans, the Baltimor Ravens never called themselves the Browns (but then, who would want to? Look at the new Browns), while names like Rams and Colts and Raiders are generic enough not to matter where they play.

  12. Jen says:

    @CSK: Oh good grief. Is that why that’s trending on Twitter? SIGH.

  13. Mister Bluster says:

    @Lynn:..He still hasn’t recovered.

    “Love the lie and lie the love…”

    I hope he sounds like Eddie Harris.

  14. Paul L. says:

    It is possible to run for Congress with a Gofundme or Patreon to avoid campaign finance laws?
    If the money is taxed as income, does the candidate have to report it to the FEC?

  15. Mister Bluster says:

    Independence Hall Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Tuesday June 12, 1787

    Mr. SHARMAN & Mr. ELSEWORTH moved to fill the blank left in the 4th. Resolution for the periods of electing the members of the first branch with the words, “every year.” Mr. SHARMAN observing that he did it in order to bring on some question.
    Mr. RUTLIDGE proposed “every two years.”
    Mr. JENNIFER propd. “every three years,” observing that the too great frequency of elections rendered the people indifferent to them, and made the best men unwilling to engage in so precarious a service.
    Mr. MADISON seconded the motion for three years. Instability is one of the great vices of our republics, to be remedied. Three years will be necessary, in a Government so extensive, for members to form any knowledge of the various interests of the States to which they do not belong, and of which they can know but little from the situation and affairs of their own. One year will be almost consumed in preparing for and travelling to & from the seat of national business.
    Mr. GERRY. The people of New England will never give up the point of annual elections, they know of the transition made in England from triennial to septennial elections, and will consider such an innovation here as the prelude to a like usurpation. He considered annual elections as the only defence of the people agst. tyranny. He was as much agst. a triennial House as agst. a hereditary Executive.
    Mr. MADISON, observed that if the opinions of the people were to be our guide, it wd. be difficult to say what course we ought to take. No member of the Convention could say what the opinions of his Constituents were at this time; much less could he say what they would think if possessed of the information & lights possessed by the members here; & still less what would be their way of thinking 6 or 12 months hence. We ought to consider what was right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Governmt. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself-The respectability of this convention will give weight to their recommendation of it. Experience will be constantly urging the adoption of it, and all the most enlightened & respectable citizens will be its advocates. Should we fall short of the necessary & proper point, this influential class of Citizens will be turned against the plan, and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude.
    Mr. GERRY repeated his opinion that it was necessary to consider what the people would approve. This had been the policy of all Legislators. If the reasoning of Mr. Madison were just, and we supposed a limited Monarchy the best form in itself, we ought to recommend it, tho’ the genius of the people was decidedly adverse to it, and having no hereditary distinctions among us, we were destitute of the essential materials for such an innovation.

    Wednesday June 13, 1787

    Mr. GERRY. moved to restrain the Senatorial branch from originating money bills. The other branch was more immediately the representatives of the people, and it was a maxim that the people ought to hold the purse-strings. If the Senate should be allowed to originate such bills, they wd. repeat the experiment, till chance should furnish a sett of representatives in the other branch who will fall into their snares.
    Mr. BUTLER saw no reason for such a discrimination. We were always following the British Constitution when the reason of it did not apply. There was no analogy between the H. of Lords and the body proposed to be established. If the Senate should be degraded by any such discriminations, the best men would be apt to decline serving in it in favor of the other branch. And it will lead the latter into the practice of tacking other clauses to money bills.
    Mr. MADISON observed that the Commentators on the Brit: Const: had not yet agreed on the reason of the restriction on the H. of L. in money bills. Certain it was there could be no similar reason in the case before us. The Senate would be the representatives of the people as well as the 1st. branch. If they sd. have any dangerous influence over it, they would easily prevail on some member of the latter to originate the bill they wished to be passed. As the Senate would be generally a more capable sett of men, it wd. be wrong to disable them from any preparation of the business, especially of that which was most important, and in our republics, worse prepared than any other. The Gentleman in pursuance of his principle ought to carry the restraint to the amendment, as well as the originating of money bills, since, an addition of a given sum wd. be equivalent to a distinct proposition of it.
    Mr. KING differed from Mr. GERRY, and concurred in the objections to the proposition.
    Mr. READ favored the proposition, but would not extend the restraint to the case of amendments.
    Mr. PINKNEY thinks the question premature. If the Senate shd. be formed on the same proportional representation as it stands at present, they sd have equal power, otherwise if a different principle sd. be introduced.
    Mr. SHERMAN. As both branches must concur, there can be no danger whichever way the Senate be formed. We establish two branches in order to get more wisdom, which is particularly needed in the finance business-The Senate bear their share of the taxes, and are also the representatives of the people. What a man does by another, he does by himself is a maxim. In Cont. both branches can originate in all cases, and it has been found safe & convenient. Whatever might have been the reason of the rule as to The H. of Lords, it is clear that no good arises from it now even there.
    Genl. PINKNEY. This distinction prevails in S. C. & has been a source of pernicious disputes between ye. 2 branches. The Constitution is now evaded, by informal schedules of amendments handed from ye. Senate to the other House.
    Mr. WILLIAMSON wishes for a question chiefly to prevent re-discussion. The restriction will have one advantage, it will oblige some member in lower branch to move, & people can then mark him.
    On the question for excepting money bills as propd. by Mr. Gerry, Mass. no. Cont. no. N. Y. ay. N. J. no. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. no.

  16. Jen says:

    @Paul L.: Here, read for yourself what is permitted:

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    If the NRA can use laundered Russian money…allegedly…to finance Pud’s campaign, I’m sure they will be glad to support your crusade for dogcatcher of Tinytown.

  18. MarkedMan says:

    Here’s a somewhat different question than Paul’s: What do campaigns do about anonymous donations? Can they accept them?

    I’m assuming not, as we would only have the campaign’s word they didn’t know who the donor was. I wouldn’t trust a Democrat and no one should trust a Republican…

  19. Paul L. says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    The NRA spent half as much $15 million on Romney’s campaign? Was that all funded with laundered Russian money too?

  20. Paul L. says:

    I found that the FEC would view the Gofundme or Patreon as reportable.

    What are not considered personal funds
    Personal gifts and loans

    If any person, including a relative or friend of the candidate, gives or loans the candidate money “for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office,” the funds are not considered personal funds of the candidate even if they are given to the candidate directly. Instead, the gift or loan is considered a contribution from the donor to the campaign, subject to the per-election limit and reportable by the campaign. This is true even if the candidate uses the funds for personal living expenses while campaigning.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: I don’t know; is there any evidence that Russian interests were using the NRA to launder money in 2012? If the answer is “yes,” then the answer to your question is “probably” (due to the fungibility property involving money).
    Why bring it up? Are you desperate to prove that the Trump election is no different from the past? Why are you concerned that it might be?

  22. Paul L. says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    There is no evidence that Russian interests were using the NRA to launder money in 2016 or 2012. The Donations of $3300 from “Russian Connected” US dual citizens is not evidence of Russian money laundering.
    The progressive narrative is the NRA did not have the $30 million to spend on Trump. That is why they needed to launder Russian money.

    How do they explain the NRA spending $15 million on Mitt Romney who said Russia Is ‘Our Number One Geopolitical Foe?

  23. Mister Bluster says:

    Apparently Sarah Sanders is running 0ut of lies…
    Trump announces that Sarah Sanders is out at the end of the month and suggests she run for governor of Arkansas

  24. Mister Bluster says:

    After a family vacation in Italy, U.S. congressman’s wife admits to misusing campaign funds
    The plea agreement recommends a five-year prison sentence, five years probation and a fine of up to $250,000, according to U.S. Attorney’s office. No sentencing date has been set.

  25. DrDaveT says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    a team nickname that makes a lot more sense than the Utah Jazz by the way

    Geographic relocations can lead to some real head-scratchers, all right. The Utah (nee New Orleans) Jazz are the poster child, but there have been many others:
    Los Angeles Lakers (nee Minnesota)
    Los Angeles (Trolley-)Dodgers (nee Brooklyn)
    Tennessee Oilers (nee Houston, now the Titans)
    Washington Redskins (nee Boston)

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    This video claims that trolly cars ran in Los Angeles til 1963.
    The Dodgers played their first MLB season in 1958.

  27. Mister Bluster says:

    This video claims that trolly cars ran in Los Angeles til 1963.
    The Los Angeles Dodgers played their first MLB season in 1958.

  28. Teve says:

    Conservative Icon George Will: Young Voters Now Consider GOP ‘The Dumb Party’

    Bobby Jindal beat you there by a few years.

  29. grumpy realist says:

    Now countries are starting to act like SJWs……

    (Could we please have a moratorium on the term “cultural appropriation”, please? Especially when it comes to fashion? That’s what fashion DOES–grabs ideas from all over the place. Heck, we’d have no Art Nouveau, Belle-Epoque, or Artistic Fashion if they hadn’t plundered like crazy from Japan and Ukiyoe….)

  30. Gustopher says:

    The Democrats have picked their 20 candidates for the debates.

    I’m disappointed that Bullock didn’t make the cut, as his campaign started late — he would have provided a different vision, not one I totally subscribe to, but if we have 20 candidates, I want a wide range.

    He should pack it in and run for Senate. Maybe not tonight, and maybe he can make a case running on the outside for a bit, without the debates, but I’m hoping to donate to his Senate campaign in August.

    Also, Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson should be locked out. They could then have a three by three grid, and stack the candidates like that ancient game show. Tic Tac Dough?

  31. Teve says:

    @grumpy realist: same with cooking.

  32. Gustopher says:

    @grumpy realist: Oh, for fvcks sake…

    When Mexicans are being demonized, shouldn’t people be happy that someone is engaging in cultural appropriation? We don’t appropriate the bad stuff, at least not deliberately…

    I recall a Dan Savage column where the letter writer was concerned that they were very interested in interracial scenes, pretty much exclusively, with the blackest men and the whitest women, and wondered whether they were racist. The response was along the lines of “Well, duh. But 50-75 years ago, that would spite lynching, and now it’s just a fetish. That’s progress, that’s good.”

    I’m going to give the folks complaining the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that they are actually completely ok with this, but just want people to acknowledge the appropriation and the culture as good things. It’s either that or just assume they are complete idiots.

  33. Teve says:

    Raptors are +2.5 tonight.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @grumpy realist: if it wasn’t for cultural appropriation we would be eating American Cheese.

    (My conspiracy theory is that it’s really Canadian cheese, and they have waged a successful campaign to hide their involvement in it. It’s just a racial slur. There’s precedent for this — Hawaiian pizza is really Canadian)

    (I love Hawaiian pizza)

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    @Doug Mataconis:..Now, let’s see someone other than Warriors win the NBA Championship for once.

    When I was in grade school in Rochester NY in the 1950’s I said the same thing about the Yankees who won 7 World Series in 10 years. I was a Brooklyn Dodger’s fan.
    My Dodgers finally whipped the Yank’s 4 games to 3 in 1955!
    I remember hiding in the closet of my parents bedroom crying one year later when the Dodgers lost to the Yankees yet again in the Fall Classic.
    When the Dodgers left Brooklyn after the 1957 season I cried some more. “How could they?”
    Ever since I lived in San Francisco in 1975 when the Warriors won the NBA Championship they have been my West Coast team.
    For the 40 seasons after that till 2015 Golden State was the proverbial doormat of the NBA. Cratering to an all time low record 17 wins and 65 losses in the 2000-2001 season.
    If they can some how win two more games this season that will be 4 well deserved championships in 5 years.
    Go Warriors!

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Gustopher: Or the horror that was “traditional British cooking” which formed the backbone of American cookery. Can anyone explain to me why we ended up with the idea that vegetables could only be cooked by boiling in water until they were mushy?

    (It was one of our standard jokes in Japan that “American-style” meant “with cheese on top.”)

    As someone who lived in Japan for 12 years I will growl like a rabid bear if someone ever tries to pull the “cultural appropriation” schtick on me for any of my Japanese or Russian recipes. I learned those recipes the hard way, from Japanese and Russian friends, from deciphering Japanese cookbooks, and by trial and error tinkering trying to recapture a particular restaurant’s dish. Cultural appropriation my ass!

  37. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: I’m hoping we are on the verge of a major backlash. Every piece of music, poetry, literature, etc is built upon the works of the millions who came before. Regardless of your skin color you should play what you want, write what you want, paint what you want and sample from anyone and everyone that puts fire in your belly. Treat them with respect and give credit where due, but go for it.

  38. Teve says:

    Kyle Lowry just opened the 1st quarter by hitting approximately 47 consecutive threes.

  39. Gustopher says:

    For some reason, I’ve been finding myself listening to music from 2003. Specifically Steve Earle’s The Revolution Starts Now and Neil Young’s Living With War. Both remain really, really relevant. Conveniently, the wars haven’t even changed.

    I remember how angry yet hopeful we were that we would kick George W. Bush out of the White House. Howard Dean was catching fire, and Wesley Clark was waiting in the wings if something happened to him…

    I am assuming that Elizabeth Warren will raise her voice at some point early next year, have it repeated thirty thousand times on Fox, desperate to push a narrative that she is shrill and crazy, and succeeding. And somehow we will nominate John Kerry, again.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: What did Arkansas do that they deserve Sarah Sanders for guv?
    On the other hand, if they’re stupid enough to elect her…

  41. James Joyner says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I don’t know that a police detective is “a Republican official,” but I’m sure there’s a decent-sized fringe out there that believes LGBT+ should be executed.

    @Kathy: The NFL forced Art Modell to leave behind the Browns name, logo, and history when he took the team to Baltimore—otherwise I’m sure they’d have kept it. The Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee the next year and actually became the Tennessee Oilers for a spell before going for a complete rebrand. (Although they did more-or-less keep the Oilers color scheme.)

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:


    The Tennessee Oilers became the Titans, the Baltimor Ravens never called themselves the Browns

    They are the exception to the rule of retaining the team name and iirc in the case of the Browns, it was a condition of their moving to Baltimore that they would change their name.

  43. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Congrats, Raptors! No team is invincible. On another topic, I lived in NO when the Jazz played in the Superdome (remember Pistol Pete Maravich?) and was outrage when the NBA let them take the name “Jazz” to Salt Lake City.

  44. Kathy says:

    @James Joyner:

    The NFL forced Art Modell to leave behind the Browns name, logo, and history when he took the team to Baltimore—otherwise I’m sure they’d have kept it.

    If so, the owners and players ought to drop to their knees every day and thank the NFL for making them do it. Consider, the Ravens have won two Super Bowls. The Browns are the team who couldn’t make a go of it when Bill Belichick was their head coach.