Sunday’s Forum

The beginning of another week. Or is it the end?

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kylopod says:

    On another forum the other day, I gave my cool-headed analysis of how the tanking economy will affect the November election. Someone responded to me as follows:

    The economy is not tanking in the sense in 2008. Completely different circumstances and recovery will be different. What I do here is Democrats would rather it hit bottom, Americans lose everything even have bread lines, to win. Their greed for power is dangerous to a Republic. Those that have no clue about economic would put this on same par as 2008 or even 1930. No. Once everyone sees it is okay to go back to work things will turn around. Trump is the person to do so, and Americans will remember this innNov. Couple that with Biden who has clear Dementia and can’t even speak in sentences and has cognitive decline that will be worse, high Tax agenda , rejecting democrat agenda to the tune of very low debate viewers, all the “ investigations” and Leftwing Press unconscionable behavior and outright lies in Russian collusion and FISA that leads to Democrats, well Trump is not out, and if you think so, you are very delusional!

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  2. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    I don’t think republicans invented projection, but damned if they haven’t perfected it.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From the NYT, Home Alone at the White House: A Sour President, With TV His Constant Companion, the phrasing really struck me:

    He has been up in the White House master bedroom as early as 5 a.m. watching Fox News, then CNN, with a dollop of MSNBC thrown in for rage viewing. He makes calls with the TV on in the background, his routine since he first arrived at the White House.

    But now there are differences.

    The president sees few allies no matter which channel he clicks. He is angry even with Fox, an old security blanket, for not portraying him as he would like to be seen. And he makes time to watch Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s briefings from New York, closely monitoring for a sporadic compliment or snipe.

    Confined to the White House, the president is isolated from the supporters, visitors, travel and golf that once entertained him, according to more than a dozen administration officials and close advisers who spoke about Mr. Trump’s strange new life. He is tested weekly, as is Vice President Mike Pence, for Covid-19….

    Our president is in need of being “entertained”. Everybody needs a break every now and again, but I would have thought grappling with a pandemic and a collapsing economy would be more than enough to fill his days. I guess he gets bored in his playpen after a while and all the adults in the White House are too busy dealing with the crisis and don’t have time to bounce him on their knees.

    Wait a minute, are there any adults in the White House? Or are they all just the big kids who won’t let him play with them?

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: That was painful to read. Must have been like giving birth to an 800 pound gorilla to write it.

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  5. Teve says:

    Biden be is havings Dementia and ,are nots talk good!

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  6. Teve says:

    Your Facebook self is an airbrushed image of you and your life, with soft lighting and a layer of Vaseline smeared across the lens. Facebook is a platform for strutting and preening. Users post about peak experiences, moments they want to remember, and be remembered by—their weekend in Paris or great seats at Hamilton. Few people post pictures of their divorce papers or how tired they look on a Thursday. Users are curators.

    A study found that on Facebook, the top descriptors to complete the phrase “My husband is . . .” are “the best,” “my best friend,” “amazing,” “the greatest,” and “so cute.” On Google, under the cloak of anonymity, one of the top five ways to complete that phrase is also “amazing.” The other four: “a jerk,” “annoying,” “gay,” and “mean.”

    -Scott Galloway

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  7. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Trump believes his duties consist of watching television for 10-12 hours a day and spending the rest of the time rage-Tweeting and demanding praise from his minions.

    Now that is truly presidential. Right?

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  8. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: It beats having him actually doing anything.

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  9. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    Hey, gibberish like that is a sign of a real American! Only those fancy commie coastal elitists speak and write proper English!

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  10. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Given a tautological definition of presidential (eg what a president does), it would be.

    For it to be good presidential, we’d need to demolish the English language and rebuild it according to Bizarro World standards.

    In one of his many essays, Asimov explains that science is a process, not a collection of facts. He makes an analogy much like “Facts aren’t science any more than standing at the finish line is racing.”

    I’ve had much chance to think of this since 2016, as El PITO pequeño seems to believe that having the title is all it takes. As though winning the election were everything, rather than the beginning. And as though governing were not a process, but one lone event every four years.

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  11. Jax says:

    @Kylopod: That must be on a “talking point” sheet somewhere, because a Trumpie friend I regularly talk to about politics repeated the same thing almost verbatim the other day.

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  12. gVOR08 says:

    Tom Sullivan at Digby has a little meditation on the ending of The Martian, which I watched myself last night, ending in a practical way we can each help the Postal Service survive. Republicans have been angling to shut down the PO for years. Why? They can’t get political contributions from the USPS. While the coronavirus has made the PO’s services more critical, it has also killed a lot of the PO’s routine business, leaving them short funded and in need of help. GOPs may withhold help, or join Trump in forcing stupid restrictions on thePO. Don’t let them.

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  13. Mister Bluster says:
  14. Kathy says:

    About the disinfectant and UVC embarrassment by Trump the other day, and his attempt to pass it off hours later as mere sarcasm, think about it a minute:

    It would mean El PITO used a briefing on the pandemic to play a prank on the media. So taking up time meant to inform and help protect the citizenry to play pranks is okay?

    That’s why I said Trump reached a new depth of idiocy, which could not possibly be spun in any way which makes it look any better. Any attempts to do so won’t look like putting lipstick on a pig, but rather like putting lipstick on a pile of pig crap.

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  15. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: I like “ El PITO pequeño“. I said in the primaries that Trump was the candidate of people who have no idea what the president does, including Trump himself.

    Science has often been wrong. The whole point to science is that it can be wrong. Falsifiability is the foundation. Some religionists believe the Eucharist is the body and blood Some believe it’s symbolic. It can never be settled. (As near as I can figure out my familial Lutherans believe that it is, but that would be icky, so it isn’t really, but it kind of is anyway. Youbetcha.) How do we know when science has been wrong? Science.

    Also, as someone pointed out, no amount of prayer, meditation, revelation, or theological philosophizing was ever going to discover UV light. Which is very useful stuff, but best not taken internally.

    Actually, someone commented there is a serious project to deliver controlled UV internal to the lungs, but I seriously doubt Tiny ever heard of it, or understood a word if he did.

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  16. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    He should have a dog. On second thought, maybe not. Tiny would be the kind of dog owner who would chain the dog behind the house and never pay attention to it.

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  17. Scott F. says:

    @Kathy:

    I’ve had much chance to think of this since 2016, as El PITO pequeño seems to believe that having the title is all it takes. As though winning the election were everything, rather than the beginning. And as though governing were not a process, but one lone event every four years.

    Combine this idea with his pre-existing needy narcissism and I think you have the Unifying Theory of all Trump’s behavior. He won in 2016 and therefore was owed a full term of the deference, loyalty, honor, and adulation being President is due. “Being President” is what he signed up for and all the responsibility and accountability that comes with the office he sees as a petty annoyance.

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  18. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott F.: He sees it as like being Queen. A whole lot of respect, pomp, and circumstance with no responsibilities. But with lots of opportunities for graft. He seems genuinely puzzled that anyone expects him to actually do anything about the virus.

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  19. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Jax:

    That must be on a “talking point” sheet somewhere, because a Trumpie friend I regularly talk to about politics repeated the same thing almost verbatim the other day.

    That should be obvious from the way a typo like “low debate voter” is suddenly getting repeated everywhere. They’re just parrots; they may be making noises that sound like words, but they don’t understand what those noises actually mean.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I realized a while ago that the defining quality of National Republican leaders is that the want the title but have no intention of doing the job.

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  21. Bill says:
  22. CSK says:

    @Scott F.:
    This is why I thought Trump would get so bored and frustrated during his first year in office that he’d resign. The presidency is work, and he’s not used to work. That was wishful thinking on my part, I suppose.

    It didn’t occur to me that he’d consider lying in bed, eating bags of cheeseburgers, watching tv, and Tweeting as work.

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  23. Stormy Dragon says:

    @CSK:

    I think people also underestimated how shamelessly criminal he’d be in office, which creates a problem that he can’t leave because if he’s not their to prevent himself from being prosecuted, he’ll go to jail.

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  24. Slugger says:

    A guy on my local radio station was just saying that we have to be careful to make sure that unemployment doesn’t kill more people than the virus. Does the United States actually allow unemployed people to die of starvation or exposure? Does that happen in first world countries? I might be hopelessly naive about the reality of the lives of the underclass.

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  25. Michael Cain says:

    @Slugger: I’m not sure about starvation or exposure, but it seems a pretty sure thing that people will die as a side effect of millions losing their employment-dependent health insurance.

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  26. de stijl says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Maybe we shouldn’t link employment to health insurance.

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  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: The spiral into incoherency as the message progresses is the most striking feature in my mind. Yikes!

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  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    It didn’t occur to me that he’d consider lying in bed, eating bags of cheeseburgers, watching tv, and Tweeting as work.

    Did he have different things than these to do at Trump Enterprises? (Asking for a friend.)

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  29. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    No actual paragraph breaks because crazy people assume a huge block of undifferentiated text is power.

    Not axiomatic, but a fairly reliable rule of thumb akin to many serial killers have the middle name “Wayne”. Many more than should be statistically. Way more. It’s quite creepy.

    It does not convey power or inexoribleness; it conveys that your 8th grade English teacher failed you badly.

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  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Slugger: A fair # homeless people are unemployed and hungry, and quite a few of them die on the streets. So I suppose so. That whole mental illness thing has nothing to do with it.

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  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Yeah, No dog. I can just see the Secret Service agents walking the dog, feeding the dog, petting the dog, picking up the dog’s messes… They’ve got enough to do, doing all that for trump.

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  32. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    You just Randy Jacksoned up with the “Yeah, no dog” and thought no one would notice.

    That was cool. Neatly folded in.

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  33. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Slugger:

    As the statistic from The Big Short goes, each 1% increase in the unemployment rate results in about 40,000 additional deaths in the US.

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  34. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: that is a serious problem we should be working on. Losing your job, in a decent society, wouldn’t drastically increase your chance of death.

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  35. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    This is why I thought Trump would get so bored and frustrated during his first year in office that he’d resign.

    You weren’t the only one.

    Although I thought Pence would quietly run things in the background, while Trump just made an ass of himself and had his weekly Nuremberg moments with his base.

    In a way I was right, except for there being an actual adult running things.

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  36. Kathy says:

    I’ve a feeling Papa Trump implanted a shock collar on Donnie’s genitals, and shocked him whenever he admitted making a mistake.

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  37. Teve says:

    @gabriel_zucman

    Following Denmark, France announces that corporations headquartered in tax havens (or with empty shells in tax havens) will be barred from government coronavirus bailout

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  38. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: To be fair, Trump also believes that taking off on a whim to fly somewhere on Air Force One is work.

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