Saturday’s Forum

Do we even have weekends anymore?

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:

    Pence Threatening Journalists With Retaliation

    Mike Pence is trash, but you already knew that.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Dennis Kosuth, RN@Dennis_Kosuth
    This was one of the signs at the “Re-open Illinois” event today. She assured those that she was not a Nazi, and stated, “I have Jewish friends.” Thank you for representing yourself and your “movement” for what it is.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Yesterday I said, “Nothing screams WHITE PRIVILEGE like armed protesters storming the Michigan statehouse.” John Pavlovitz gets it: The White Privilege to Terrorize

    As a white man watching the Michigan protests of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders, all I could think was:

    Black people don’t get to do this.
    Muslims don’t get to do this.
    Latinos don’t get to do this.
    People who don’t look like this don’t get to do this.

    They don’t get to swarm American capitol buildings in tactical gear with high-powered weapons, screaming in close proximity to police officers.
    They don’t get to dress up like Call of Duty cosplayers and attempt to physically intimidate politicians into bending to their wills.
    They don’t get to get to stop traffic in city streets decked out like they work at the Death Star and brazenly wield semi-automatic rifles.
    They don’t get to terrorize decent people and walk away.

    Only white people get to do this.

    A truly righteous rant.

  4. Michael Cain says:

    Happy Blursday, everyone.

  5. Mikey says:

    @Michael Cain: Is it the fortyteenth of Maprilay already? Where does the time go?

  6. Mikey says:

    In the Trump maladministration, truth-telling is always a fireable offense.

    Trump Moves to Replace Watchdog Who Identified Critical Medical Shortages

    WASHINGTON — President Trump moved on Friday night to replace a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services who angered him with a report last month highlighting supply shortages and testing delays at hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The White House waited until after business hours to announce the nomination of a new inspector general for the department who, if confirmed, would take over for Christi A. Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general who was publicly assailed by the president at a news briefing three weeks ago.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Times has a couple of articles today on colleges and universities that touch on the inadequacy of distance learning, along with the larger issue of value of the educational and university experience when the student is not on campus. Here and

    Since distance learning during my academic years would have meant setting up an 8mm film projector or at minimum a reel to reel tape recorder I don’t have much to reference. My experience with internet enabled learning has been limited to a few technical certifications and a class I took because I was curious on the subject. From that experience, I felt I would have been as well served by obtaining a syllabus on the matter and following that.

    Anyone here have any extensive experience to share? James, Steven thought from your side of the desk?

  8. Bill says:

    The headline of the day-

    All roads into Gallup, New Mexico, are closing over “uninhibited” COVID-19 spread

    I drove through Gallup in the mid 1980’s. That’s where you get off I-40 to go to the Four Corners where the state lines of AZ, NM, UT, CO meet and accounts for my one time ever visit to Utah. I have been to all 50 states if you count brief border crossings (WI, ME, WA) or a plane I was traveling on stopping there (AK).

  9. CSK says:

    Trump says that our corona virus death totals are “really, really strong.” What the hell is wrong with him? Can’t he speak basic English? The English of a non-toddler?

    I know I go on about this, but Jaysus, it drives me mad listening to him butcher the language.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Just do what I do: Don’t listen to him. Of course that means no late night shows (Colbert, etc) but my heart appreciates the effort.

  11. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: I’ve observed before that people speak the way they think. Which in Trump’s case is really scary.

  12. CSK says:

    The funny thing is, I don’t really listen to him–at least, not in the sense of tuning in to any of his press briefings. But the reporting on them is very hard to avoid if you want to keep even minimally informed about what’s going on in the world. And I have to admit to being curious about the origin of his bizarre speech patterns. Where did he learn to talk in that very strange way he does? It’s not just that he can’t spell and has crappy grammar–that’s true of a lot of people. His locutions are just plain weird.

  13. Sleeping Dog says:


    Short answer is that his synapses don’t snap properly. I don’t believe that Tiny has learned to speak the way he does, as much as it is how his brain processes information. A bit of dyslexia, some attention deficit disorder, i.e., he forgets how he started a sentence or what the point he wanted to make but the time he ends the sentence. Add in his narcissism and blocking of information that doesn’t conform to his reality and you have a great recipe for word salad.

  14. Kathy says:


    Save yourself the time and ask “What is right with him.” It’s bound to be a very short list.

    Related, this piece from Scientific American: Masks and Emasculation.

    Taken all together, the piece does not only make the case that Trump is a weak, insecure, small man, but implies so are many of his followers.

  15. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Actually, only white CONSERVATIVES get to do this. When (primarily) white liberals protested in the Wisconsin state capital against the war on labor rights, they were beaten and dragged out.

    Of course, they were singing, not peacefully aiming semi-automatic weapons at legislators, so they were probably considered dangerous.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: And I have to admit to being curious

    There’s a 12 step program for that. 🙂

  17. CSK says:

    @gVOR08: It is indeed scary.
    @Sleeping Dog: I agree.
    @Kathy: Thanks for the link. I’m going to read that now. It looks fascinating.

  18. CSK says:

    My name is CSK and I’m a curioholic.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @wr: I remember that for the first women’s march the website had a page on what NOT to bring. Basically anything that might be construed to be a weapon. I blamed it on all the black people in attendance. If they hadn’t been there I could’ve really let my freak flag fly.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: My house is jam packed FULL of curios!

  21. Teve says:

    I highly recommend Narcoeconomics

  22. DrDaveT says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    The Times has a couple of articles today on colleges and universities that touch on the inadequacy of distance learning

    When I was an Assistant Professor, back in the early 90s, the semi-public university I taught at was very interested in the idea of distance learning. They saw it as a way to charge tuition to a much broader base of students without needing to build the usual infrastructure to support that. It would also let them eliminate their unprofitable branch/regional campuses by shifting those students to distance learning provided by the main campus.

    I left academia very shortly thereafter, so I don’t know how it turned out.

  23. Mister Bluster says:

    I noted this recently.
    Fifty three years ago today. May 2, 1967.
    Armed Black Panthers invade California Capitol.

  24. EddieInCA says:


    Trump says that our corona virus death totals are “really, really strong.” What the hell is wrong with him? Can’t he speak basic English? The English of a non-toddler?

    On a purely psychological level, it’s intriguing to listen to Trump speak. If you took a shot of whiskey (or Tequila. Vodka, or your booze of choice), every time Trump said the word “powerful” during ANY press briefing, you wouldn’t make it through the briefing. He doesn’t talk about companies, he talks about “very powerful” companies. He doesn’t talk about testing. He talks about ‘strong powerful” testing. He doesn’t talk about the virus. He says “powerful virus”. Almost everything is “powerful”. It’s an odd tick/tell. It’s not natural.

  25. Teve says:

    Well, I’m in Facebook jail for 24 hours. After he said that my coworkers who install 5G were murdering people and the Jews were behind it, I told a David Icke supporter to fuck off and die. FB says that violates their Community Standards. 😀 😀 😀

  26. Kathy says:


    If you took a sip every time Trump lies, you’d need a central line and a tanker truck.

  27. CSK says:

    Indeed. He seems to latch onto certain words and beat them to death. At one time, his word du jour was “beautiful,” as in a “beautiful” letter from Kim, a “beautiful” piece of chocolate cake, a “beautiful” door in the border wall. Then it was “perfect,” as in the “perfect” phone call he made to the Ukraine. I don’t know how many times he said that.

    Whatever the word is he latches onto, it’s never used appropriately. Who the hell has the “best” words, as he claims to do?

  28. CSK says:

    But accusing Jews of being behind a conspiracy to kill people isn’t a violation of FB standards?

  29. Teve says:

    @CSK: they said I violated their policy on bullying. You betcha.

  30. CSK says:

    Oh, ffs.

  31. 95 South says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I propose the phrase “reverse gaslighting” to describe when someone tries to convince other people that he himself is crazy.

  32. Mister Bluster says:

    “reverse gaslighting”

    Kinda’ like when someone says:
    “I’m not s (sic) Trump supporter.”
    And then claims:
    “Republicans will do what is morally right without regard to party.”

  33. Tyrell says:

    “New normals” that we went through back in the day:
    1970 or about:Soft drinks went up to 25 cents. Coffee went to 50 cents/cup
    “I’ll never pay fifty cents for a !#?%! cup of coffee” was heard often. I do have a problem with the 20oz soft drinks being $1.79 each. At the theme parks it is $4.75: talk about a perfect crime!
    Late 1960’s: Seat belts: I can remember when seat belts were only worn by race car drivers and fighter pilots. Then they put them in cars, but most people connected them up around the seat and did not use them. Then states passed laws that they had to be used, but it was into the ‘80’s before it was really accepted.
    The shoulder harness was the real life saver: one of the best safety inventions ever.
    1973: High gas prices: in the gas “shortage” crisis of ‘73 , people pitched a fit when the price per gallon doubled. After that there was plenty of gas. We got used to $1 a gallon, then $2. It went up to over $3 for a while and people were literally celebrating when it went below $3, even though the oil companies make plenty of money at $1/gal.
    9/11 Baggage searches: This one still gripes me every time I stand in line to let some stranger go through my belongings. Especially if the line is long and slow All of that brought on by a few idiots from another country. I wonder now if that is still even necessary.
    9/11: Airplane travel: I have not flown in several years, so I have not gone through that hassle. That was another 9/11 effect, but not totally. Some screening procedures were already in effect because of hijackings back in the ’60s and 70’s. Nuts were actually hijacking planes to get to Cuba!
    Will these face masks be a normal thing now? Maybe for a while, but around here when the temperature hits 96 degrees, 90% humidity, and your sandals are melting into the pavement and those masks won’t be none too comfortable soaked with sweat. I don’t think that would be healthy. People will be shedding those things faster than Blalock’s bull!

  34. 95 South says:

    @Mister Bluster: They’re more likely to.

  35. 95 South says:

    @Mister Bluster: I was probably writing about impeachment.

  36. Gustopher says:


    This was one of the signs at the “Re-open Illinois” event today. She assured those that she was not a Nazi, and stated, “I have Jewish friends.”

    If the Jewish friends were to come forward and say “yup, she was trying to be edgy or ironic or something, but oy vey…” I would believe that.

    If she said she has Jewish friends, and they all looked at her and shook their heads… I might believe that.

    People do stupid things that appear hateful all the time — but they are appalled and embarrassed when someone points it out. I see no reason to give this woman the benefit of the doubt.

  37. de stijl says:


    A lot of it is second hand Roy Cohn appropriations. Trump was a mentee and a fanboi.

    A lot is his own pathology.

  38. de stijl says:


    Curiosity is the best trait.

    It informed my whole life.

  39. Scott O says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Gustopher:

    “CLAIM: Pittsburgh protester waves sign stating Nazi slogan “Work Sets You Free.”

    AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The image has been manipulated. “

  40. Teve says:

    @Scott O: That fact check was initially talking about a different image. They had to update it at the bottom:

    In a separate incident in Illinois, some protesters were, in fact, holding up signs with Nazi slogans.

    At a “Reopen Illinois” protest on Friday in Illinois, Nazi slogans were present. At least two signs bearing Nazi slogans were displayed. One sign that was widely shared stated “Arbeit macht frei, J.B.” Another said “Heil, Pritzker” and featured a swastika.


    This item has been updated to add details about a separate protest in Illinois where Nazi slogans were, in fact, used, to avoid confusion with the doctored photo from Pittsburgh.

  41. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Which prompted then governor Ronald Reagan to sign gun control laws.

    White people understand that they get a pass on provocative political direct action.

    Lynchings were a political statement. Illegal by any measure, but unpunished.

    What would be labeled as terrorism by any other domestic group, is shrugged off as misplaced activism if by RW white folk.

    See Ammon Bundy.

    Imagine legally armed black men and women protesting like that in Lansing over the Flint water crisis.

    Would it be reported in the same way? What would the reaction be?

  42. de stijl says:

    @Scott O:

    Beware cognitive bias!

  43. de stijl says:


    Sometimes cognitive bias is true.

  44. Scott O says:

    @Teve: @de stijl: My bad, I didn’t read the article through to the end. I do have a cognitive bias. I would prefer to think that nobody could be so effing clueless despite daily evidence to the contrary.

  45. de stijl says:

    I am mostly listening to music today but watching a Person Of Interest marathon muted.

    Aaron Stanton aka Ken from Mad Men is a dude in this ep.

    What is freaky is that the Mad Men finale was 2015. No way.

    That was two or three years ago max. Memory is a slippery, elastic thing.

    I remember that as if it were last week.

    Don’t even remind me when Breaking Bad wrapped up. Memory is freaky.

  46. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    While it’s true that Trump was Cohn’s mentee and fanboy, I don’t think Trump picked up the toddler locutions from Cohn. Roy was awful, but he sounded like an adult.

  47. de stijl says:

    @Scott O:

    No worries.

    If you are cool to getting busted on stuff like this, you are a decent person well worth engaging with.

    Don’t believe uncorroborated info that seems too true. Our brains eat that shit like candy up because it feels like it should be true.

    It is easy to get fooled. Our brains kinda like it.

  48. de stijl says:


    Cohn was Yoda, but Dark side.

    Trump was a really poor student. He does a pissant mimicry.

    He’s a lightsaber guy meme version of Cohn.

    All bluster and aggression and punch back with zero of the flair and brutal charisma that Cohn possessed. Trump lacks the brains to be more than a mimic.

    Kind of a cargo cult version of Cohn.

  49. Michael Cain says:

    @Tyrell: I am a long-time — something over 30 years — Diet Mountain Dew addict. A few years ago I discovered that Kroger’s Diet Citrus Drop knock-off actually tastes better, so that’s my current vice. 89 cents for the two-liter bottle, a dime less than that if you buy it five bottles at a time.

  50. de stijl says:
  51. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Everything is red and some is bolded. Sorry! Not intentional.

  52. Mister Bluster says:

    @Michael Cain:..89 cents for the two-liter bottle,..

    You must live in the Rich Folks neighborhood. All the 2 liter bottles of Big K Soda at the local Kroger here in Sleepytown are 79cents/bottle everyday price.
    If there is a discount for multiple bottle purchase I have not seen it.

  53. Bill says:

    The headline of the Day-

    Trump hits 49 percent approval rating in Gallup poll

    Economy is doing bad and Trump’s poll numbers are up. Don’t forget what polls what Trump’s support was going into the 2016 election aka his approval rating could be higher.

  54. de stijl says:


    You can skate to the box with your head held high.

    Do it without the swears and you won’t get sent to the box in future.

    Ignore Facebook, and the box doesn’t phenomenally exist.

    I understand the impulse to be a 21st digital street fighter; get it, but not my thing.

    You can never get banned off Twitter, etc. if you never set up an account.

    Saved multiple steps through judicious inaction.

  55. de stijl says:

    @Michael Cain:

    There used to be a knock off of Mountain Dew called Mello Yellow. Came out in the late 70s.

    Saw it in a dollar store recently. Apparently that brand is still active in Mexico.

  56. senyordave says:

    @Bill: A couple things to remember: National polls really have very little meaning, even a Gallup national poll. They are actually subject to much bigger swings than state polls because getting accurate representation becomes much more difficult as your target becomes larger and more diverse. Large swings are very common with national polls.
    That being said, this is incredibly depressing. When it comes to coronavirus response, Trump has failed at virtually at level, and that is not a subjective statement. He has failed to meet even his own meager standards. Anyone who thinks that Trump will ever get below 40% approval is kidding themselves.

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott O: We all have cognitive bias. Am I correct that the picture I linked to (which was supposed to be in IL) was NOT the manipulated one (from Pittsburgh)?

  58. Teve says:


    Trump plots economic pivot at Camp David
    The president is expected to meet with aides to plan for a televised town hall and weigh tax policy and regulatory proposals to boost the economy.

    Yes! Deregulation! Capital gains cuts! If we can just eliminate the restrictions on mercury in drinking water and requiring e. coli tests at meat packing plants the economy will go through the roof!

    How brain-damaged do you have to be to believe Republicans at this point.

  59. Tyrell says:

    @Michael Cain: Have you tried a soft drink named Sun Drop? Has a citrus taste, better than Mountain Dew.
    Does anyone remember Upper Ten?
    Does anyone drink 7UP?

  60. Kari Q says:

    A local politician has been removed from his position on the planning commission for saying we should just let COVID_19 take its course and remove the dead weight from society. I am not exaggerating his statement:

    “If we were to live our lives, let nature run its course, yes we will all feel hardship, we will all feel loss,” he wrote on Facebook. But “as a species,” he continued, the deaths would alleviate strain on the country’s healthcare and Social Security systems and free up jobs and housing.”

    I’ve seen the whole statement, and his later defense of it, and this is actually putting his opinion in the best possible light.

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @95 South:

    “Republicans will do what is morally right without regard to party.”


    @Mister Bluster: I was probably writing about impeachment.

    So, how’d that work out for ya?

  62. Scott O says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I believe that picture is real. When I posted my reply to you earlier I didn’t mean it as a rebuke, I meant it as good news. As in, look at the bright side. At least the wackos aren’t carrying signs with Nazi slogans. Sadly I was wrong and my faith in the humanity of my fellow citizens has been diminished a bit more.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I like to think of it in terms of my real life being full enough that I don’t have any need or use for a virtual one.

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: Upper 10 never took off up here. We only had RC and Diet RC (originally called Diet Rite IIRC). I drink 7up occasionally, but prefer Sprite, which I think has more carbonation and so is a little more refreshing. The most important reason that I don’t drink much 7up, though, is because it’s not available in drive ins any more up here. I don’t buy soda to drink at home, only unsweetened carbonated water/seltzer.

  65. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: Trump has had several ties to Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioners. The concept is to seed those adjectives into his speaking so the listener through inference makes an association between Trump and those descriptors.

  66. CSK says:

    @Kari Q:
    What’s Turnage’s position on abortion?

  67. Michael Cain says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    You must live in the Rich Folks neighborhood.

    It’s getting there. My sister and her husband would have liked to retire here, but say the real estate prices make that impossible.

  68. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Well, it’s failed spectacularly with me.

  69. de stijl says:

    It has yuuugly failed to move my super powerful mind processes. I am a stable genius.

    It is under control. One day it is like a miracle it will disappear.

  70. Kari Q says:


    I don’t know, but I’m making the same guess you are.

  71. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Cannot buy a coffee with likes or retweets. Yes, there are ways to monetize this, many are doing it now.

    It is an obvious snake oil scam. Get the rubes attention and then try to sell them shit.

    Paramore had a mid naughties hit in Misery Business.

    I refuse. I refuse. I refuse.

    Well said, Hayley.

  72. de stijl says:


    I drink 7-Up or Sprite with a meal out quite often, but I never buy it for home consumption.

    Cannot say why because I don’t know why.

    Just something I do.

    We behave in odd ways for unexplainable reasons.

  73. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    What is Upper 10?

    Never heard of it.

  74. 95 South says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I think the Republicans made the right decision all three times in recent history. Even if you don’t agree, you have to admit that the Democrats made the choice that helped their party every time.

  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I had to look it up on the interwebs myself, but Upper 10 seems to have been a 7up clone marketed by RC Cola. (Which probably explains why you’d never heard of it.)

  76. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Not a branding expert by any means, my job was to give those folks information, but I can have uninformed opinions.

    Upper 10 is a really bad product name for a soda.