Sunday’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. Kathy says:

    Can you believe Curiosity has been roving around Mars for ten years?

  2. de stijl says:

    I was cutting through the Drake campus on my way to Walgreen’s on University.

    A lot is shut down in the summer, but they run this little diner / cafe thing out of a big glass architectural cube in the middle of campus. That’s still open for summer school.

    Some folks were gathered up. A song bird had flown into the window and broken it’s wing. It was flapping around in great distress and vocalizing big pain. Probably a girl because she was colorful, a meadowlark I think going by the mustard colored wings.

    Dunzo. A goner. Ain’t no coming back from that. People are idiots. They were standing there gawking. Being useless. Doing nothing.

    I talked to her for a half minute and stroked her head than told the folks gathered to please walk away or turn away. I did the right thing. A quick mercy. It was kinda gross. The crunch sound / vibration was palpable. I felt the crunch in my foot.

    I picked her up by her foot and gently deposited her in the nearby trash can. She weighed maybe five ounces. So tiny.

    An undeserved death that made me kind of emotional. I said goodbye. Poor little awesome beautiful bird. That was sad.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: And was built to last only 5 or 6 years. We deserve credit for this much: We do space right.

  4. Kathy says:


    I’ve a suspicion the time lives calculated for space probes are more like a warranty and/or what’s necessary for mission planning.

    Like the Voyagers, for example. The mission was to fly by Jupiter and Saturn, with a secondary objective of doing the same for Uranus and Neptune. Nearly forty five years alter, they’re still transmitting data.

    Point is if you say Curiosity will last twenty years, but ends through mechanical or electronic failure after 8 years, there will be plenty of mission objectives left unaccomplished. Whereas by saying 5 to 6 years, you can cram all objectives into that time frame. And the rest is seen as a very nice extra.

    I say this because I can’t think of a single NASA probe, save those that crashed or otherwise failed before taking observations, that hasn’t lived past its estimated life time.

  5. de stijl says:

    No idea why, but sometimes in late summer when it’s hot and humid my feet puff up like balloons. They look like ravioli boiled too hard too long.

    It’s been hotter than this and as least as humid 5 or 6 times this year already, so it isn’t a new contributing factor, but I had the same thing last year in August.

    But this morning my feet are 20% bigger and puffier than they should be and, like I said, look like overstuffed ravioli. My feet are ricotta cheese stuffed into a pasta shell minus the red sauce.

    It’s kind of disturbing. Not painful, but uncomfortable. So puffy.

  6. CSK says:

    At the CPAC meeting yesterday, Trump said of Dr. Ronnie Jackson, “He loved to look at my body. It was so strong and powerful.”

    All I can say is…Jesus.

  7. BugManDan says:

    @de stijl: My wife has the same problem. Her’s are usually caused by travel (car or plane) and a big change in humidity. A couple of things she finds helps a little. Drinking more water, cutting the salt, and putting her feet up higher than her heart.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Ummm, go see a doctor. You have a circulation problem that could lead to blood clots which can lead to… Well, you know, death. Seriously tho, I’ve had circulation problems for last 15 to 20 years, starting with blood clots that went from my legs to my lungs where they propagated like apples on a tree. This past winter I got stents in my femoral veins and they have made a big difference for me. Regardless, it’s an ongoing issue for me, one that needs to be managed.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Probably so.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: He has quite the imagination. Too bad he can’t keep it to himself.

  11. CSK says:

    I’d say Trump was joking, but given his 35-year obsession with proving to Graydon Carter that he has long, aristocratic fingers and assuring the general public that his other parts are all in proportion, perhaps not.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US jury finds in favor of pharmacist who denied woman morning-after pill

    A Minnesota jury found that a pharmacy did not discriminate against a woman when it denied to give her the morning-after pill.

    The pharmacist gave “belief” as the reason for refusing to fill the prescription for emergency contraception. Although the jury decided that the woman’s rights had not been violated, it did say that the emotional damage caused by the decision amounted to $25,000.

    In pro choice Minnesota. I really can’t wrap my head around this verdict at all. It would seem this jury wanted to have it both ways: A pharmacist has the right to impose their religious beliefs on customers but the company will have to pay for the crime of hiring them? I despair.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: trump couldn’t tell a joke if his life depended on it and a self deprecating joke? His head would explode.

  14. CSK says:

    Of course. Sometimes I bend over backward to be fair. It won’t happen again.

    Trump also claimed that Jackson said he was the healthiest president ever to occupy the office. Funny, but I seem to recall Trump forcing his former doctor Harold Bornstein to make that exact same statement.

  15. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: That is just wrong on so many levels…

  16. CSK says:

    Me or Trump????? 😀

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Sometimes I bend over backward to be fair.

    There’s no need to be fair with trump. See that it doesn’t happen again.

  18. CSK says:

    I did say it wouldn’t happen again. Just for you, I shall reiterate it: It won’t happen again.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I know you did, I just wanted to make sure you knew how important it was to me. And aren’t I the only person who really matters?

  20. CSK says:

    Of course you are.

  21. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve read several things about employment law and how it intersects with religious belief.

    I believe the upshot of this court decision is that pharmacies will begin asking anyone who might be involved in dispensing this drug, “Can you think of any reason that might prevent you from dispensing drugs such as the morning-after pill to customers”

    A question framed this way is not understood by the legal system as discriminatory about religion. It is a form of “can you carry out the duties we expect you to carry out”. A “yes” answer can disqualify someone from holding that job.

    Pharmacies are going to learn about this because otherwise it’s gonna cost them money in multiple ways.

  22. al Ameda says:


    At the CPAC meeting yesterday, Trump said of Dr. Ronnie Jackson, “He loved to look at my body. It was so strong and powerful.”
    All I can say is…Jesus.

    Seriously, that’s a line that could be used in ‘Springtime For Hitler In Germany.’

  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    You really should think about writing, in the profit-seeking sense. You have an eye and you have heart. Don’t know if you have the imagination for fiction, but you know how to use words. Maybe more poet than novelist, but you wouldn’t know unless you tried.

  24. CSK says:

    @al Ameda:
    Good point. What struck me, too, was the homoerotic nature of the comment. Surely Trump would never imply that he and Jackson had a liaison.

  25. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Although “writer in the profit-making sense” and “poet” are rarely two ideas that go together…

  26. CSK says:

    Well, there’s always Rod McKuen, if you consider him a poet.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul (from yesterday’s Sinema post): Indeed the Doctrow thread makes an interesting argument/set of revelations, but just to be clear,

    The idea that people who make money from toil should be punished because they didn’t make money by owning things is obviously fucked up – not least because if you tax workers’ wages it leaves them with less money to buy capital on which to realize gains.
    And if you let the ownership class retain more of their income, it lets them buy more stuff on which they can realize those tax-preferenced gains. Preferential tax rates for capital gains are a way to make workers poorer and owners richer, period.

    These are features not bugs and that fact is what makes it so difficult to change the system.

    And in other related news, Bernie is now trash mouthing the “deal” that Biden and Manchin came to, and Sinema gutted yesterday. Beyond that, Senate Republiqans are working to eliminate whatever is left of the new “treatment” of carried interest according to headlines I read last night and this morning. Those who were holding their breath waiting for this to pass should be unironically turning blue at any moment. 🙁

  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    If only Shakespeare, Whitman, Dylan Thomas et al had Disney’s IP lawyers.

  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Strange, that’s not at all like what Melania says. Hmmm…

  30. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, I doubt that Melania’s seen Trump’s nude body since she conceived Barron, her insurance policy.

  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Alas, I know evangelicals who will lie to get the job and then still claim that their rights being trampled on. Oh well.

  32. JohnSF says:

    Well, are you not fortunate that Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is protecting your interests?

    “They want to know if you’re eating a cheeseburger, which is very bad because Bill Gates wants you to eat his fake meat, which grows in a peach tree dish,” Greene said. “So you’ll probably get a little zap inside your body that’s saying, ‘No no don’t eat a real cheeseburger; you need to eat the fake burger.’ The fake meat from Bill Gates. They probably also want to know when you go to the bathroom and if your bowel movements are on time or consistent.”

    I’d snigger more, only I’m trying to build up sufficient resilience to tell you what nonsense the Conservative leadership candidates have been spouting this weekend,
    OTOH, it’s a lovely evening, the lilies and agapanthus are in flower on the patio, the Proms are on BBC radio (Mozart!), and this bottle of Crozes Hermitage is very nice.

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I only have speculation, too, so I won’t elaborate.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: While I DO happen to like “Impossible” burger in a cheeseburger (“Beyond” is only so so 🙁 ), I insist that it must be have actual fake cheese (as in manufactured from dairy products or Swiss, Jack, or Muenster, Cheddar separates in a manner I find distasteful). Vegan fake cheese is only a source of fat and sodium (it has no nutrients–check the label) and doesn’t melt worth a good gosh darn.

    As to why I like “Impossible” burger, I can only assume it’s related to the microchip implantation from the Gates/Soros vaccine.

  35. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: The thing is, if you are asked that question and lie in your answer to it, they can fire you on the spot when you refuse to dispense. Because you lied to them. They might claim religious discrimination, but the court will have none of it. This has, in fact, been tested in state courts, IIRC.

  36. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    And in other related news, Bernie is now trash mouthing the “deal” that Biden and Manchin came to, and Sinema gutted yesterday.

    Sinema didnt gut it. Switching carried interest out for taxing stock buybacks is a really minor change. Marginally worse, but not gutting.

    That said, until this passes both houses and gets signed into law, I won’t count on it. (Ok, it’s probably going to be fine once/if it passes both houses)

  37. CSK says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    If you lied to get your job, what would your argument be if you sued to get your job back? That the teachings of your religion command it? That you lied to save lives? That God told you to lie so you could fulfill your mission of preventing abortions?

  38. Gustopher says:


    peach tree dish

    The peach tree dish is kind of endearing. It’s a mistake anyone can make and the older you get the more delighted you are when it happens to you.

    I wish people would stop repeating the only endearing thing about MTG. She’s ignorant in lots of less endearing ways, like everything else in that quote.

  39. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @de stijl: As we Episcopalians say, “You earned another star for your crown.” Flying into windows is a major bird-killer. Alas, few victims get the merciful killing you gave that songbird.

  40. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Okay, so maybe there’s some money in being a dead poet. Still not a career path I’d aspire to!

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Interesting results from the Washington 3rd Congressional District:

    Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez (D) Candidate Connection 31.0 49,202
    Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) 23.3 36,854
    Joe Kent (R) Candidate Connection 22.0 34,909
    Heidi St. John (R) Candidate Connection 15.7 24,808

    My conclusions: Firstly, the Have Ds support JHB to triangulate out Joe and Heidi seems to have been shown to be an idea without much merit.
    Secondly, giving MAGAts two choices for candidates seems to be a good tactic to split the vote between them, but not much for eliminating a “traitorous” incumbent.
    Thirdly, in relatively evenly-balanced districts, top two voting will function as the originators of the system hoped in that the 2 most reasonable candidates did, indeed, win. Not a guarantee of duplication of results in other venues, though.
    My prediction, JHB for a sixth relection win. Not enough MAGAts will stay home for Gluesenkamp Perez to win outright as the district still leans roughly 60/4o GQP. JHB is not terrible on GQP agenda (she’s no DeSantis or Abbott, for example, but is firmly GOP) and is strong on constituency service. The district could do worse.

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Given that the “reform” was modest to begin with, this may be a “you say potayto and I say potahto” thing. In any event, your objection is noted and accepted. If I had edit available, I’d delete “gutted” and substitute “hobbled” or some other suitably lefty-ignorance-about-real-world economics (h/t, Lounsbury) term.

  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Too easy. All of them. 🙁

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: A question framed this way is not understood by the legal system as discriminatory about religion. It is a form of “can you carry out the duties we expect you to carry out”. A “yes” answer can disqualify someone from holding that job.

    I have been saying this ever since what’s her face refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple and yet I continue to read of people asserting religious objections to doing their job.

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Senate passes $739bn healthcare and climate bill after months of wrangling

    They got it over the Senate hump. Now for the House.

  46. Beth says:


    If be happy to tell Margie that since my gall bladder removal, mine are neither.

    We also tried to make tacos using impossible meat. They turned out pretty, pretty, pretty, gross. This weekend we tried mixing ground beef and ground turkey for our burgers and tacos. Worked much better. Well, I mean, so good so far. I miss my gall bladder.

  47. MarkedMan says:

    @Beth: Tangential question: what were your symptoms that led to gall bladder removal. I’m asking because my niece is in a bad way, they have diagnosed gall bladder but they are using meds rather than removal

  48. Jax says:

    I got a letter in the mail Friday. A very important, time-sensitive letter dated from June 30th that I had to have returned within ten days, from the office of the Utah Attorney General regarding my ex’s failure to pay child support. The envelope has a boot print on it, looks like it found some water, and basically just looks like it’s been through hell and back. What are the odds they’re gonna believe me and consider filing for contempt charges against him? (sigh)

  49. Beth says:


    Honestly, nothing. I basically had no symptoms until it died*. I’ve always had a, um, questionable GI system. In the fall I had diverticulitis. When the gall bladder failed I thought it might be another attack of that.

    When it failed it felt like I had the worst gas of my life. Over the course of the night I tired Imodium, simethicone, 7Up and a steam shower. It was after the steam that it went really bad. I basically felt fine for about 5 minutes and then I collapsed on my bathroom floor in the worst pain of my life. And I’ve broken my neck. I’m glad I had my phone cause I had to call my partner to wake her up to take me to the hospital. Do not recommend.

    * I have this urge to be dramatic as possible when dealing with doctors. They don’t care for it, but I get a thrill. I also make a lot of jokes, which they also tend not to care for. In my defense, they can either have me being dramatic and making jokes, or they can have me straight up panicking. I only have two settings. I apologize to the drs here.

  50. al Ameda says:


    Good point. What struck me, too, was the homoerotic nature of the comment. Surely Trump would never imply that he and Jackson had a liaison.

    The homoerotic nature is what caught me too.
    Basically, Trump wants everyone to think that he’s worshipped.
    Also, important to remember that Trump’s ‘mentor’ was Roy Cohn, the pugnacious and extremely malevolent attorney, who happened to be gay.

  51. CSK says:

    @al Ameda:
    Trump abandoned Cohn when it was revealed Cohn had AIDs.

  52. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I don’t care about the tax shuffling part of the deal, honestly. It’s the environmental stuff that’s important, and Sinema didn’t touch that.

    And everyone who understands the details of the environmental stuff seems to be pretty pleased.

    Except for the people who wanted bike lanes everywhere and single occupancy vehicles banned.