Saturday’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. Teve says:


    NEW: Harry Reid pushing for a new Democratic Senate to ditch filibuster as first order of business, and an array of former staffers are organizing a “war room” to get it done.

    via @sahilkapur

  2. Bill says:
  3. Bill says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: This link also goes to the FL Supreme Court story.

  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    Just thinking out loud

    We know from the Former Reality Host’s own words that he recognized how dangerous Covid 19 was and how easily it spread, but like about it anyway. But what if he’d issued the clarion call to take the necessary steps to fight the virus, would the reflexive Dem response to deny that there would be a problem? After all the Dem response to the China travel ban was to oppose it. Granted the travel ban was too late and had more holes than a strainer, but it was the right idea and should have been tighter and applied to Europe as well.

  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Latino vote, a dud once again?

    Perhaps this partially explains, Joe’s shrinking lead in FLA. And another indication that his campaign is making the right choice to pursue moderate suburban voters that have a history of voting, rather than chasing the chimera of a huge post of potential voters.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I saw this yesterday and it really pissed me off: Federal court rules Florida felons must pay off debts to state before voting

    Reading it again this morn and it pisses me off even more:

    Even though Florida requires people with felonies to repay financial obligations before they can vote, figuring out how much they owe is often impossible, even for state officials. There is no centralized place to look up how much someone owes. Some criminal sentences are from decades ago and record-keeping of court payments is often shoddy. Local clerks testified during a trial in May that there are often conflicting amounts in records.

    But in an extraordinary determination, the 11th circuit said on Friday that while Florida could require payment to vote, it had no obligation to tell people with felonies how much they owed. Florida does not have a constitutional obligation to provide that information to voters, Judge William Pryor wrote for the majority. The 11th circuit is one of three appellate courts the Trump has recently flipped to have a majority of Republican-appointed judges. Five of the six judges in Friday’s decision were Trump appointees. (the 6th was appointed by W. -OH)

    The logic behind this… I just can’t imagine what pretzel of reasoning they followed to come to this conclusion.

    But in a lengthy dissent, Judge Adalberto Jordan wrote that people with felony convictions might not vote because they feared being eventually found ineligible and prosecuted.

    “The fact that Florida had restored voting rights to 0 felons as of the time of trial indicates that this scheme does not ‘rationally’ further the goal of re-enfranchising felons,” he wrote. “Instead, it shows that Florida’s organs of government are doing their best to slowly but surely suffocate Amendment 4. I doubt that today’s decision – which blesses Florida’s neutering of Amendment 4 – will be viewed as kindly by history,” he added.

    Thank you Judge Jordan, but it’s mission accomplished. Society has decided that there are those who must be permanently sentenced to the basement where they may toil in anonymity but can never leave and certainly never speak.

  8. Teve says:
  9. Bugmandan says:


    Why is that being tried in a US court not FL courts?

  10. Michael Cain says:


    Why is that being tried in a US court not FL courts?

    The law requiring felons to repay fines, fees, etc is being challenged as an unconstitutional poll tax under the 24th Amendment. That makes it a federal issue, not a state issue, so it’s being heard in the federal courts.

  11. CSK says:

    Trump has apparently received a second nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, and is calling for an end to the awarding of it.

  12. Teve says:

    Just blocked a guy on Twitter for saying, for the third time I’ve seen, that the answer to our problems would be for Mike Bloomberg to buy Foxnews and shut it down. How fucking stupid do you have to be.

  13. DrDaveT says:

    @Bill: Bill, you put the de Santis link in there again, not the Zack Wheeler link.

    Apparently, he injured himself zipping up his pants, which sounds even worse, but the injury was to his fingernail.

  14. Joe says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I, too, have been wondering how different this COVID19 issue would have been with Hillary at the helm. Frankly, a lot of the problem lies with Americans in general and not just this president. But I do think that, with proper messaging about the nature and danger of the virus, an earlier and more comprehensive travel shut down toward both China and Europe could have greatly slowed the arrival and spread of the virus here, allowing for a test and trace strategy from the outset.

  15. Northerner says:


    I’ll admit I didn’t read their article, but wouldn’t it be simpler to just ignore Trump’s being nominated instead of asking a foreign country (I think Norway awards it) to stop awarding it because of an American problem (the problem of course being Trump)?

  16. Jon says:

    Toots Hibbert, of Toots and the Maytals, has died

  17. CSK says:

    That would be my thought, but Graeme Wood’s argument is that nominating Trump sets a bad precedent by irrevocably and irreversibly trivializing the award.

    Another interesting point is that the initial nominator acknowledges that Trump probably won’t win because he’s such a crude pig, and the committee likes its Peace Prize laureates to be civilized human beings. This is not the case with the winners for, say, chemistry or physics.

  18. CSK says:


  19. Monala says:

    @CSK: now things are starting to make more sense. What I’d read about the Israel-UAE deal is that they’d started normalizing relations in 2015, and the Trump administration stepped in only in the final stages to facilitate the signing process. It wasn’t like he’d started something that wasn’t already happening, so I didn’t get why he was nominated.

    I wasn’t aware that any Norwegian parliamentarian could make a nomination, and the one who nominated Trump is a right wing populist. Plus, Trump has been pushing for a nomination for a while (since Obama won the prize, so natch Trump wants it too, although Obama didn’t really deserve it either).

  20. BugManDan says:

    @Michael Cain:


  21. CSK says:

    I’ve read that any lawmaker in any legislative body can make a nomination. Hundreds of people are nominated, but obviously the vast majority of those go nowhere. This is the second time this particular guy has nominated Trump. The first time was when he, along with Shinzo Abe, nominated Trump after his Singapore summit with Kim Jong Un.

  22. Sleeping Dog says:


    Joe, my thoughts are around, if Trump acted like a normal president, how would Dems react.

    Undoubtedly, if HRC were prez, she would of acted responsibly and more quickly, though not quick and effectively enough to short circuit the disaster in the NY region. Beyond the first month, what would have happened is that R nihilism would have raised its ugly head with Moscow Mitch leading the Hil must fail obstructionist chorus and the southern R governors singing harmony.

    In the end there would be fewer dead Americans, but not as few as you would hope.

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: True, along with a long list of others. There are currently 318 nominees, which is not a record.

  24. Joe says:

    Yes, Sleeping Dog, I understand I headed off in a different direction. But – continuing my own thread – I think a normal administration would have started taking steps when Trump first heard about this, which now seems to be January. This might have slowed NY to a more manageable tragedy (and, remember, the NY strain was primarily European). On the other hand, with HRC at the helm, it is also very likely that the Republican Senate would have reflexively killed any meaningful pandemic relief forcing her to preside over an even bigger economic catastrophe through a smaller pandemic.

  25. Bill says:


    Bill, you put the de Santis link in there again, not the Zack Wheeler link.

    Oops. Here’s the correct link-

    Phillies SP Zack Wheeler injures himself putting on pants

    36 years ago there was an episode of St Elsewhere in which Mark Harmon’s character had a zipper malfunction. It didn’t involve a fingernail…..

  26. Monala says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I recall a bunch of Trumpers, the day Trump started wearing a mask, predicting that suddenly Democrats would be against mask-wearing. That hasn’t happened.

    Not gave Democrats turned against criminal justice reform, to the limited extent Trump has supported it.

    So had Trump responded to Covid-19 like a normal president, Democrats would have supported his attempts to contain the virus.

  27. Monala says:

    For some odd reason I’m in moderation. Please release me, let me go!

  28. CSK says:

    Don’t you love us anymore? 😀

  29. Sleeping Dog says:


    True, unfortunately, so true.


    I hope you would have been right, but my cynicism shows.

  30. Sleeping Dog says:


    It’s a dichotomy, you’re either careful, or you wear underwear.

  31. Sleeping Dog says:
  32. mattbernius says:


    I saw this yesterday and it really pissed me off: Federal court rules Florida felons must pay off debts to state before voting

    Everyone who cares about small “d” democratic values (not to mention cares about the issue of recidivism) should be outraged by this decision. I’m pressed for time today due to the National Day of Civic Hacking, so I can’t write as much about this issue as I’d like. What I can share is, in the meantime, if you’d help to contribute to a fund to help pay off fees and fines (often punitively set at levels that are impossible to repay), there’s a charity working on that:

    (again, imagine the impact Michael Bloomberg would have had if, instead of spending all that money on his failed presidential campaign, he had invested in the restoration of voting rights).

  33. flat earth luddite says:

    This was in federal court because GOP and state challenged the legality of reinstatement, which was overwhelmingly supported by the citizens of Florida (via voting for this change).

    Face it, instead of reform, rehabilitation and reintegration, GOP largely stands for the concept of never-ending punishment. Doesn’t matter what you’ve done, what you’ve paid, or how long ago, you just ain’t supposed to be. Unless, of course, your white and rich — then all is forgiven. Or so it seems.

  34. flat earth luddite says:

    The sad part is, there was an argument going in another site last night/this morning. Local sheriffs’ departments in the fire zones were saying “no, there are no arson-started fires, please stop spreading false rumors,” and the response was “well, of course we can’t trust those demorant-luvin-libtard-police-keepin-us-from-da-TRUTH.” Sheesh!

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Sleeping Dog: My guess is that nothing would have been all that different considering that the outbreak would have happened in the middle of the 3rd Hillary Clinton impeachment trial. It’s possible that government, nationally, might not even have been aware that anything was wrong.

    ETA: (It’s also possible–maybe even probable–that had Clinton won, the 2018 Congressional election would have gone the other way–which frequently happens at mid-term–and the Republicans would have increased their hold on Congress. And–for the icing on the cake–she’d probably be running against tan, rested, and ready Ted Cruz this year. 🙁 )

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite: I was going to ask you about that, having seen the presser while at the gym. I’m so sorry that it really IS as bad as I was speculating it was.

  37. CSK says:

    The official Facebook ad by the Trump campaign says that Trump is up for the “Noble” Prize.

    The “Noble” Prize.

    His minions spell as well as he does.

  38. CSK says:

    Kevin van Ausdal, the Georgia Democrat who’s running against QAnonist Marjorie Greene, has dropped out of the race. His wife served him with divorce papers that entail him moving out of the family home. He considered renting a place, but is moving to Indiana to live with relatives. Must be on his uppers.

  39. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Meanwhile Jacob Blake, Sr., who just recently met with Biden and Harris for a campaign trail media lovefest, is now on record having said some very nasty things about Jews.

    Color me shocked …

  40. JohnSF says:

    A little Brexit update.

    It looks like Boris Johnson has finally achieved a consensus in Europe. From Pat Leahy in The Irish Times:
    “There is general agreement across the EU,” one senior political source observed on Tuesday, “that they can go f**k themselves”

    Chris Grey’s analysis of the UK government behaviour is as cogent as ever; but unusually for him, the anger is palpable as well.

    “…there is a level of mendacity in the current re-writing of what was said and promised not years but only months ago which is sickening even to those of us who thought we could no longer be astounded by the incontinent dishonesty, boundless incompetence, and bankrupt morality of the Brexit Ultras.”

  41. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Trying to track it down now. Some of the blurbs are advising that there was a whack-a-mole in Clackamas County who was setting fires, or maybe a fire. Or maybe just a nutcase. Also reports claiming that the deputy who went public about it was suspended for truthiness! If there was a nut setting fires in Clackamas County (always a possibility, no matter the weather), odds are the deputy who violated standards by going online blabbing about it WOULD be subject to gagging, at least until his union gets a-holt of it.

    At times I really miss Cronkite/Huntley/Brinkley, et al. Or Capt. Kangaroo. Or J.P. Patches, for that matter.

  42. CSK says:

    I’ve seen Blake’s ugly sentiments. I think Biden and Harris would be wise to disavow him. Quickly. And with no equivocation.

  43. inhumans99 says:


    What is your point? I just googled using search words “Jacob Blake Sr. Jew(ish)” and the fox/right wing site stories are all from Sep 05 or earlier so the narrative you are trying to put into play/highlight has not clicked w/the general public (no surprise after learning their President really does not give a flying fig if you die from Covid, that revelation is still fresh in the public’s minds).

    As I type this someone has either already put up a post saying your bias against African Americans is showing, or is about to. My advice is to step away from the forum for another day or two…just take a breath, and get your bearings than feel free to post (assuming you are not in an area that is on fire, if I took a deep breath w/o a mask outside my apt in Fremont I would be breathing in a bunch of ash…no thank you, hope you are in a better situation).

    I am not a moderator and James and Steven do not know me from Adam but I think they might agree with my advice to you to not get into a back/forth w/other members of this great blog.

    ETA: For what it is worth, I agree with CSK that if this story starts to gain traction that Biden will be smart to toss him under a bus and move on, but my above advice still stands. Getting into a heated discussion on a nice Saturday afternoon should not be towards the top of anyone’s weekend to do list.

  44. flat earth luddite says:

    Oh Great Moderator In The Interwebs-Thingy, please release my comment about the Flynn case out of durance vile. Pretty please?

  45. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Bingo, but not a peep out of them about it. Not one word. Having been Jewish all my life, I’ll say that I’m not even surprised at this, much less shocked. That said, no doubt one of the resident lefties will be along shortly to issue spittle flecked indignation at someone having the temerity to call attention to it.

    Oh wait, I see they already have 😀

  46. becca says:

    @HarvardLaw92: gone full James Pearce, have we?

  47. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Haaretz is right-wing now?

    And I’d really love to hear how me, as a Jew, calling out someone for saying nasty things about Jews equates to racism on my part. That one strains credulity.

    I do admit to being a little surprised at you, because you certainly didn’t expend any effort on condemning him for it. I posted it just to see how far the principles around here really extend, and I wasn’t disappointed. Anti-semitism only matters to you if it becomes a political negative. Got it. Who knew? 🙄

    But for shame, sir. For shame …

  48. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Nope. As a Jew, it offended me that the probable next president of my country not only publicly met with an outspoken anti-Semite, but also has subsequently failed to denounce that anti-Semitism. Not. A. Peep.

    Maybe I should be asking you why it doesn’t offend you …

  49. becca says:

    @HarvardLaw92: you do have a pattern, dear.

  50. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Are you saying that, as a Jew, I shouldn’t be offended about this / should keep my mouth shut about it because it doesn’t jive with your “things I approve of being pissed off about” list?

    Because I can’t help but notice that none of you, save CSK, have bothered to condemn him for it either. You’re too focused on attacking me for calling an anti-Semite an anti-Semite, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. Since inferring things from statements seems to be the plan of the day around here, perhaps I should infer from that failure that you’re anti-Semites as well?

    And you didn’t answer the question, dear.

  51. Teve says:

    @becca: it’s always good to avoid HL when he’s talking about the schvartzes.

  52. becca says:

    @HarvardLaw92: because it wasn’t an honest question.

    But you knew that, dintcha?

  53. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Actually, it was. We are in the rare situation where I get to righteously be indignant about something, and you’re faced with a choice between attacking someone you dislike or agreeing with him about something that your so-called principles should compel you to equally condemn.
    Yet not. a . word, and you expect me not to wonder why you’re silent about it.

    Am I enjoying the irony and the commentariat hypocrisy? Sure, immensely, but that doesn’t make me wrong about this. Go ahead, you can do it. It’s just twelve little words, a hyphen and two periods:

    Jacob Blake is an anti-Semite. That makes him a racist too.

  54. HarvardLaw92 says:


    No dear, you got it backwards. This time, the schvartzes are talking about him.

  55. CSK says:

    At the risk of alienating practically everyone here, I’m going to stand with HarvardLaw92. Anti-Semitism among some Black people–notice I said some–is an issue, and we have to acknowledge that it exists. I don’t understand it, since, among other things, Jews were in the forefront of the Civil Rights movement. I hate it, but I can’t avoid it. And I have vast sympathy and compassion for two groups who have been so perennially persecuted.

    You might want to read this, although it’s far from the only commentary on the problem:

  56. becca says:

    Anti-semitism among some black folk has long been a sad case. Blake’s comments were reported some time ago. As a person proud of her Jewish heritage, I find it beyond distasteful, as I’m sure Biden and Harris do.

    So there.

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Northerner: The real problem was Obama. No fault of his, he got nominated and awarded the prize for the simple fact of not being GW Bush.

    Damn, if only somebody had nominated me.

  58. Kathy says:


    you’re absolutely right. This is much worse than calling neo-nazis “good people,” or running with the crowd claiming the infinite Soros-funded conspiracies.

  59. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Nope, it’s just about exactly – no, not just about exactly, it is exactly just as bad as those. Is it really that difficult for you to just condemn an anti-Semite for being an anti-Semite without qualifying it in some way (or, frankly, at all)?

  60. Kathy says:


    So, a voluntary proactive statement supporting neo-nazis is exactly the same as insufficient vetting of the father of a victim of police violence?

  61. Joe says:

    At the risk of going all Tom Lehrer National Brotherhood Week, no group is safe from its members having bigoted opinions about others. I have not heard any of Jacob Blake’s comments ever, but I will defend HL92 that anti-Semitic comments are inappropriate, even from the victims of other bigotry. I don’t need to deny Mr. Blake his pain to say – even parenthetically – that I will not defend is attacking other groups.

  62. HarvardLaw92 says:


    No, a voluntary proactive statement supporting neo-nazis is exactly the same as a voluntary proactive statement (more accurately, a whole lot of proactive statements) attacking Jews. The guy was nothing if not outspoken about his hatreds.

    The whole amateur hour aspect (it took media outlets about 5 seconds to discover a truckload of anti-Semitic Facebook posts the guy had set to public …) of them ever having been in a room with this person is a sideshow aspect that I don’t really care about, tbh.

    What I do care about is this – now that they know the guy is a virulent anti-Semite, neither of them has said a single word distancing themselves from him, condemning him for his statements, or, most tellingly, unequivocally disavowing them.

    Funnily enough, only one person here had the integrity to do that either.

  63. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Thank you *thumbs up*

    I won’t dignify his filth by repeating it, but if you want to see it for yourself, an Orthodox oriented news website posted the entire cache of material here.

    (Note that they posted this before Biden’s meeting …)

  64. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Thank you …

    Now if only Biden and Harris could find the integrity to make that sort of statement …

  65. Teve says:


    They’ll attack your homes if Joe’s elected.

    Text message sent by the campaign of Donald Trump, who of course doesn’t ever want to create panic with anybody.

  66. Sleeping Dog says:


    Hmmm, African Americans, antisemitism, that’s not surprising.

    But as a white, gentile, I don’t have the foggiest idea why. I recognize that in many urban areas, what are the black neighborhoods today, were the Jewish neighborhoods and perhaps the departing residents maintained ownership of the housing and businesses. But having been an impressionable kid during the civil rights era, I remember that Jews were among the most ardent supporters of the civil rights movement. Hell the reason I’m a liberal today is a combination of my horror on learning of the holocaust, watching civil rights activists having dogs sicced on them on TV and Catholic social responsibility ethos.

  67. JohnMcC says:

    Will do “I am Spartacus” with Ivy League and CSK. Have noticed in my life very little difference between the antisemitism in certain corners of society that includes the African American population. Have thought it was more related to socio-economic niche with a tendency to hang onto long-better-forgotten prejudices. But, yes, there it is — popping like corn in the rap community.

    Will also point out the alacrity of the Biden campaign in disavowing Linda Sarcour who I might think of as more pro-Palestinian than exactly anti-Jewish.
    And he should have done the same or more in this case.

  68. Teve says:

    Kumail Nanjiani is predicting an October surprise on the order of Barr announcing charges against Hunter Biden.

    Would that work on anyone?

  69. Kathy says:


    Please don’t move the goalposts.

    You criticized Biden for an action from one supporter. I pointed out Trump has done worse. You come back with a focus on Mr. Blake.

  70. Kathy says:

    On other things, I made chilaquiles with chicken, and rice with poblano rajas and corn (not mutant super-hot poblanos today). I used bottled salsa again, but I did cook three chicken milanesas I had left over, rather than precooked chicken.

    The funny thing is I was tired from a long week of tedious work, and I wanted to do something simple. Yeah, I forgot you have to blister the poblanos, let them cool, rub off much of the skin and char, then slice them into rajas and cook them.

  71. Mike in Arlington says:

    I also agree with HB92 here.

    From the little I did read (disclosure: I’m a white, middle aged, cranky, white gentile), he did espouse anti-Semitic views. I think it’s important that Biden addresses it, and honestly, it is possible to thread this needle, saying that what happened to Jacob Blake Jr. was completely wrong, that Biden had a connection with Jacob Blake Sr. because of Biden’s experience with deaths in his family, and that he wanted to try to comfort him. That we are all flawed and that in spite of that flaw, he still deserves that compassion. However, that now is a good time to start looking at himself and start probing that anti-semitism and recognize that racism against blacks and anti-semitism are symptoms of the same disease. As MLK Jr. said “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

    One thing I will take away from these 4 years is that racism isn’t like a weed, it’s more like mold, it grows in darkness. Left underground and undisturbed, it will grow and spread. We need to turn a bright light on it and excise it from our society as best we can.

  72. Mister Bluster says:

    Roger Stone Calls For Trump To ‘Declare Martial Law’ To Seize Power If He Loses
    Under martial law and the Insurrection Act, Trump will have “the authority” to arrest Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, “the Clintons” and “anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity,” Stone said. He also called for the immediate arrest of former defense secretary James Mattis for “sedition,” apparently because he feared Trump was unfit for office, according to Washington Post journalist’s to Bob Woodward’s upcoming book, “Rage.”

  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Will it work? Wrong question. Try who’s the audience and let me know what you think.

  74. Flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Late breaking news…

    A Clackamas County deputy is on leave after he was apparently caught on camera falsely claiming that antifascists have been starting fires around Oregon.

    Katu tv pdxb ch 2

  75. Teve says:

    Friend of mine last night:

    Not to take away from the impact of Woodward’s book, but is it REALLY investigative reporting when the guy you are investigating just….admits the crimes out loud because you asked once?

    I bet it took a little more caginess to trap Nixon.

  76. Gustopher says:


    I’ve seen Blake’s ugly sentiments. I think Biden and Harris would be wise to disavow him. Quickly. And with no equivocation.

    Even an anti-Semite doesn’t deserve to have his kid shot 7 times in the back by the police.

    Yes, the guy tweeted some hateful things, and Biden should acknowledge that if asked and condemn those tweets, and then pívot right back to the police shooting an unarmed man in the back 7 times. The police trying to kill someone who posed no threat.

    Biden met with the guy because it was the kind thing to do. Not because he endorses everything the man has ever said, but because he is kind.

  77. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Woodward and Bernstein got Nixon handed to them on a silver platter by Mark Felt at his initiative. Woodward gets credit for being much talented as a journalist than he actually is.