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. James Joyner says:

    Turns out I was able to do this via the iPhone. The Windows 11 install that was supposed to take place overnight required a manual reboot at 6am that’s still ongoing.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: Thanx James, we appreciate it.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Miss Sweden and Bugs Bunny add up to a bad day in court for Ghislaine Maxwell

    First on was Cimberly Espinosa, who had worked in Jeffrey Epstein’s Madison Avenue office from 1996 to 2002. But the key witnesses, “Jane”, who says she was then 14, “Kate”, then 17, Carolyn, then 13 or 14, and Annie Farmer, then 16, who say they were groomed by Maxwell leading to sexual abuse by her paedophile one-time lover, Epstein, never said anything happened in that office. Much of it was in his Palm Beach house, one he shared with Maxwell for years. In their cross examination, the prosecution asked Espinosa: “Have you ever been to Palm Beach?” “No.” “No further questions.”
    The second witness was a travel agent who booked flights for team Epstein from 1999 onwards. Jane, Kate and Farmer all flew on Epstein’s dime in the mid-1990s – ie, his evidence could not knock out what they had to say. (Carolyn never flew because she was, in her mother’s view, too young at 14 to get a passport.) So the travel agent was irrelevant
    The third witness was Professor Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist and specialist in false memory….
    Prosecutor Lara Pomerantz noted that Loftus was being paid $600 an hour by the defence and that she’d written a book, Witness for the Defense.
    “You haven’t written a book called ‘Impartial Witness’, right?” said Pomerantz, whose voice is so high-pitched she sounds like a very scary bat.

    “No,” said Loftus, glumly.
    The second day was no better.

    I guess $7 million just doesn’t buy what it used to.

  4. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:
    Thank you.

  5. CSK says:

    Either that, or, as the author of the piece pointed out, there IS no defense.

  6. Kathy says:

    @James Joyner:

    Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: As Al Gore said so well, “When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, holler.”

  8. CSK says:

    Well, here’s a surprise. Noah Bookbinder, the head of a watchdog group, says that Trump’s D.C. hotel was an “epicenter of corruption.”

    If you could flash the cash, you were in like Flynn.

  9. CSK says:

    Sorry, wrong address, and no edit function. Anyway, this is Top in Trump news today.

  10. CSK says:

    Indeed. I’ve heard that as: “When you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. When you have the law on your side, pound the law. When you have neither, pound the table.”

  11. CSK says:

    Breaking news: Manchin says he won’t vote for the BBB bill.

  12. Jax says:

    @James Joyner: I haven’t made the jump to Windows 11 yet. Do you like it?

  13. Jax says:

    @CSK: This is my shocked face. I’ll be super shocked when he’s a no on voting rights, as well. 😐

  14. mattbernius says:


    Breaking news: Manchin says he won’t vote for the BBB bill.

    On Fox News no less. Also more or less suggested that he’s not in favor of altering voting rules to get the Voting Rights Act passed.

    Ok, so assuming that this is the final nail and not a strange negotiation topic, I need to eat some crow. After the infrastructure bill I argued (I think with either Ozark or Stormy) that I thought the deal reached there also involved getting everyone on board for BBB. Definitely was wrong about that one.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius: I don’t think that was me. I rarely weigh in on parliamentary tactics because I am mostly ignorant of them.

  16. CSK says:

    I got it from CNBC, but I’m sure it’s all over the place now.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    Re Manchin, can’t say I’m surprised. If Dems manage to pick up a couple of Senate seats in Nov, they should simply strip Manchin of his committee memberships and let him walk across the aisle.

    Ef em

  18. senyordave says:

    @mattbernius: On Fox News no less.
    So much for negotiating in good faith. There are two thing that Joe Manchin cares about, staying in power and making sure that the Manchin family is enriched. He can go back to talking about how unfairly his daughter is portrayed when her company jacks up costs for essential items thousands of percent as they donated to Manchin’s campaign.

    A recent investigation by The Intercept revealed that Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.V.)’s daughter worked with Pfizer Inc. in 2016 to monopolize and raise the price of the EpiPen while the company gave generous campaign donations to Manchin.

  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    I maintain that Manchin may be thinking of running for president. If he’s staying in politics it’s the only path forward. He’s topped out in WV and unlikely to survive his next election in a deep red state. I don’t think he’s likely to get anywhere, but if (big if) he’s staying in politics, an independent run for POTUS would make some sense of his intransigence.

    Of course it’s more likely he’s just an amoral corrupt asshole being an amoral corrupt asshole.

  20. Kathy says:


    The surprise, or perhaps shock, will be not that El Cheeto was bought, but rather for how small the asking price will turn out to be.

  21. senyordave says:

    @senyordave: Sorry, they only raised the price by 500%. But her company (she was CEO of Mylan, a pharmaceutical company that specialized in generic drugs) literally conspired with Pfizer to keep the price artificially high.

  22. CSK says:

    Well, Trump was one of only two guys (the other was an arms dealer) who cashed a 13 cent check Spy magazine sent him in 1990.

  23. Kathy says:


    On Fox News no less.

    I assume the man knows where his target audience is to be found.

  24. Stormy Dragon says:


    As I saw a former congress person remark in a recent article. “The biggest lie in Washington is ‘don’t worry, we’ll do X in the next bill'”

  25. gVOR08 says:

    I get a chuckle out of WINDOWS every time I power up my laptop. I get a message “Press and hold the power button, and then press the volume down button to unlock. (Or you can unlock by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete.)” It seems so very Microsoft to say, “Here do this new thing for no reason OR, if you’re a curmudgeon, you can do what we’ve trained you to do since 1985.”

    Last night I discovered Apple can do worse. My wife’s new iPhone 12 locked up. If all else fails, reboot. So I held down the Vol Dn button and the Sleep button like I do on my iPhone 7, and 3 or whatever it was. Turns out on the 12 that action triggers the Emergency SOS function and you get a screen that says it’s calling 911, with no way to stop it. Had to search to find the new reboot is tap Vol Up, tap Vol Dn, then hold the Sleep button until the Apple logo appears. (Or in this case do that about four times to step back to a working Login screen.)

    Seems to me when you improve stuff, especially stuff that’s supposed to be intuitive, you should remember there are legacy users who intuitively do what you’ve trained them to do.

  26. gVOR08 says:


    I thought the deal reached there also involved getting everyone on board for BBB. Definitely was wrong about that one.

    You may well have been right. That Manchin didn’t do X doesn’t seem to be evidence he didn’t agree to a deal to do X. I’s guess he’s doing the same thing with his funders. “Oh, thanks for the check, I’ll stop BBB for you. Well, maybe I will vote for BBB anyway. Oh, thanks for the new check, I’ll stop BBB for you. Well, maybe…” And they’re rich enough to go along with this and expect he’ll come through in the end as long as they can dangle another check in front of him. If Ds want his vote for voting rights, some D donor’s gonna have to come through with a bigger boat.

  27. Stormy Dragon says:


    A big part of the problem here: while stubbornly refusing to ever budge is counterproductive for getting things done, the other extreme is just as counterproductive. We’re stuck in an endless loop of Manchin making demands, getting them, and since there was no cost to them in the previous cycle making a new set of demands.

    At some point the Democratic leadership has to start extracting a cost for the intransigence. One idea would be a bill to “reduce excessive federal spending” that includes zeroing out all the WV specific goodies Manchin got in the BIF. Let Manchin watch all his Republican buddies stab him in the back.

    I’d also like to see Biden start using his executive power to steers federal funding away from areas that didn’t vote for BIF, instead of letting the recent trend of Republicans who voted against BIF taking credit for the funding as part of their campaigns.

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Unfortunately, it’s like sanctions against Putin. It’s easy to hurt the Russian people. It’s hard to hurt Putin. It’s easy to hurt the people of WV. But it’s hard to hurt Manchin. If he cared about what’s best for the people of WV, he’d have voted for BBB.

  29. Stormy Dragon says:


    Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Why is it okay to hurt much larger groups of people in NY, CA, etc. to avoid people in WV experiencing the consequences of their own voting decisions?

    We just end up enabling Republican terrorism because they’re free to be as ruthless as they want, safe in the knowledge there will never be a cost for it.

  30. becca says:

    The future is not bright for the Manchin clan. Defending the coal industry, Manchin’s raisin d’etre, is becoming untenable. Just like the Doomsday Glacier is crumbling, so will the fortunes of coal barons.

    For the most part, I want to like people and don’t wish them ill, but when I look at my darling grandkids and think of their future, I curse Joe Manchin.

  31. matt bernius says:

    Looks like Manchin’s statement was a complete surprise to the White House and they are throwing him under the bus. Here’s the complete statement:

    The first two paragraphs are definitely some shots fired:

    Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances. Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework “in good faith.”

    On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted—to the President, in person, directly—a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President’s framework, and covered many of the same priorities. While that framework was missing key priorities, we believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all. Senator Manchin promised to continue conversations in the days ahead, and to work with us to reach that common ground. If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.

    If this ends with Manchin switching parties, Breyer’s decision not to retire this year–especially after RBG–is going to really come back to bite the entire country.

  32. Jax says:

    @matt bernius: Maybe he’s planning a Christmas surprise for Mitch, he’ll choose now to switch parties and throw the Senate.

  33. gVOR08 says:


    The future is not bright for the Manchin clan. …
    For the most part, I want to like people and don’t wish them ill, but when I look at my darling grandkids and think of their future, I curse Joe Manchin.

    While I concur with cursing Manchin, I fear he and his children’s’ futures are bright. And his grandchildren will get rich the old fashioned way, by inheritance.

  34. becca says:

    @gVOR08: Spending your fortune protecting yourself from a world of blame (it’s what we do) when the shit hits the fan is not my idea of a bright future. Maybe I’m a bad American for believing this, but money isn’t everything to everyone.

  35. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: Maybe he just wants the bill renamed, so he can say to the voters in WV that he opposed Biden’s socialist agenda, but put forth and passed common sense solutions that will help the people of West Virginia.

  36. Dude Kembro says:

    @Kathy: Manchin had to go on Fox. Jake Tapper at CNN or Margaret Brennan at CBS were likely to ask why he’s never “concerned” about the deficit when he votes for corporate tax breaks or for military budgets 4-5x times as costly as BBB.

  37. Mu Yixiao says:

    So, on a whim I bought a hand-cranked pasta press. I make my own Chinese dumplings (with store-bought shells), so I thought… Why not make my own pasta for ravioli?

    Today was my first attempt*. I’ll call it a “worthwhile learning experience”.

    The biggest issue I’m having is getting the dough right. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like, and I’m ending up with it too sticky. Which also means I can’t get it thin enough. It’s either going to take a lot of practice (and ugly ravioli) to get it right, or I need to find an Italian grandmother to teach me. 🙂

    I’m also realizing I should have started with meat rather than cheese. If there’s any weakness in the shell, the ricotta just melts and slides out.

    The big bonus from this experiement (other than cost, and the fun of making stuff from scratch) is that I can start making my own fillings. That’s when things will start getting fun.

    * Yesterday did not happen, it was a fever dream, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.

  38. MarkedMan says:

    @becca: Manchin just always seemed so obviously corrupt to me. All due respect to James, but sometimes when a politician exhibits all the signs of corruption it means he’s actually corrupt and not “trying to survive ina conservative state”. How much was it worth to the Billionaire hobbyists to have Manchin oppose this? I’m sure he or his family got every dollar . And how much is it worth to them to have him switch parties? I suspect Manchin and his family will be going from merely West Virginia rich to East Coast rich.

  39. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I recently started making my own pasta too (although using the Kitchenaid attachment instead of a hand cranked one) and this video was very helpful to me:

    Biggest bit of help was measuring by weight instead of volume, and that includes weighing the eggs

  40. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Biggest bit of help was measuring by weight instead of volume, and that includes weighing the eggs

    I’m weighing the flour by weight (on a gorgeous antique balance), but not the eggs. I’m thinking that I may step away from the eggs and just use water–more control that way. The book that came with the machine says that mineral water can be substituted for eggs, and all the pasta in the store is 100% wheat (no egg), so that should be doable.

    But I’m pretty sure this needs to be a “this is how the dough should feel and behave” learning curve rather than a “here’s a better recipe” thing. It’s a much better fit for how I cook.

  41. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The video I recommended actually goes in to that, which is why it was so helpful to me: doing it by feel is great if you know what you’re doing already, but telling you how the dough should feel over the internet is useless, which is why she was focussed on a super exact recipe.

    (She has a separate video on water pasta too if you want to go that way)

  42. Jax says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’ve always had the best luck with a mixture of semolina flour and regular flour. My advice on the dough is to get it as dry as possible and still have it make a cohesive ball, let it sit for a while, covered, and if it’s still sticky, slap a little dusting of flour on on each piece you cut as you’re running it through the press on the widest setting, fold it, dust it again, run it through again, and eventually it’ll get a satiny-smooth feel that indicates you can start narrowing the press. Then just keep running it through on narrower settings til you have a long enough and thick enough piece for your ravioli. Are you using a ravioli tray, or cutting them by hand? I’ve used a tray, which is faster, but the ravioli weren’t as good as when I cut them out and filled them by hand.

    Have fun! I miss my little hand-cranked press….it was a lot of work, but kinda therapeutic running the dough through over and over again. 😛

  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    @matt bernius:

    If he wants to stay in the Senate, he won’t switch parties. There are too many WV R’s that want that Senate seat, starting with whoever TFG is favoring this week. McConnell can’t guarantee he wouldn’t face a primary challenge that Manchin quite likely wouldn’t survive.

  44. Michael Cain says:

    The NFL has changed its Covid protocols to allow vaccinated players to get back on the field more quickly w/o as many tests. Part of me believes that they looked at the early Omicron numbers and saw the January playoffs vanishing because teams wouldn’t be able to field enough players.

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    The third witness was Professor Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist and specialist in false memory….
    Prosecutor Lara Pomerantz noted that Loftus was being paid $600 an hour by the defence and that she’d written a book, Witness for the Defense.
    “You haven’t written a book called ‘Impartial Witness’, right?” said Pomerantz, whose voice is so high-pitched she sounds like a very scary bat.

    “No,” said Loftus.

    Ouchies! That’s gonna leave a mark. Maybe even a bruise.

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Wait a second. Who thought Manchin was going to vote FOR BBB? And is that person under the care of MH professionals?

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: EXACTLY!

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @mattbernius: I think you were right about people thinking that the deal was for everybody to be in on BBB, too. It just happens that SOME (not naming any names of course–can’t see into people’s intentions and all that) people are also fabulists (in observance of yesterday’s comments about calling people liars–can’t see into people’s intentions and all that).–

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: My Italian grandmother never made raviolis from scratch (and used dried pasta from a box her entire life, too). She said it was too much work to get the dough right, so she always bought premade ravioli–which meant that we ALMOST NEVER had ravioli for Sunday dinner at her house as she passed away just as store bought ravioli was becoming a specialty item in some stores.

    The one thing that frustrated her was that she was never able to get potato gnocchi right either. (That didn’t bother me because I was allergic to potatoes until I was about 2o or so). I can’t make gnocchi either, but it doesn’t matter because I can buy them–even at the discount warehouse grocers.

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “the ricotta just melts and slides out.”

    IIRC, you’re supposed to put a beaten egg into the pint or so of ricotta when you use cheese for the filling. That way it shouldn’t melt out if the pasta ruptures or tears. Again, IIRC, one egg will be enough for about a quart (or 4 pounds) of cheese.

  51. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’ve had better luck making butternut squash gnocchi than potato gnocchi. I always add too much flour to the potatoes, I think.

    Your grandma was right on getting the dough worked right. It takes sooo long to run each piece through over and over until it reaches the right consistency that it won’t fall apart and let all the filling out as soon as it hits the water. Even if you’re not making ravioli, you gotta work the dough pretty hard so it stays together as a spaghetti or fettucine noodle. I preferred my 1970’s pasta machine with the deadly mixing paddle for that. There was so much torque on that thing, I can see why they recalled it because people were dumb enough to stick their fingers in there and lose one. That’s me, living on the edge with recalled pasta machines. 😛

  52. Mikey says:

    Well I guess it was inevitable given she refuses the vaccine and hangs around other anti-vaxxers, but my mom has COVID. Her age and status as a cancer survivor don’t bode well, but at least she is all in for the antibody treatment. All I can do now is hope she can get it and it works.

  53. Michael Cain says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I’ll continue to say that this is simply a schism that was first shown in 2019 playing out. Pelosi lacked the votes to pass a reconciliation bill that didn’t include hundreds of billions for climate change — see the Squad vs Pelosi over the initial Green New Deal resolution in 2019. Schumer lacked the votes to pass a reconciliation bill that included hundreds of billions for climate change — see the GND floor vote that McConnell allowed in 2019.

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I maintain that Manchin may be thinking of running for president.

    That would be SO COOL!!!!! America would be forced to choose between an incompetent huckster posing as a neoCON (with special emphasis on the “con”) and an incompetent backbencher political hack who had managed to thrust himself into the limelight.

    What to choose; what to choose.

  55. Jax says:

    @Mikey: I’m sorry to hear that. My Dad refuses to get vaxxed, he said he had enough shots when he went to Vietnam and a lifetime of accidentally getting stuck with cattle vaccines. So far he’s not gotten it, but I suspect it’s just a matter of time.

    Hope the antibodies do your Mom some good!

  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: The biggest problem that my grandmother had with gnocchi was getting the things to hold that gastropod shell-ish shape as they cooked. She tried lots of things to get them to hold the curve around that seam/indent that commercially produced ones seem to have, but her’s always flattened out. I’ve always suspected that the shape comes from pressing them through an extrusion mold of some sort, but as I said, it’s not a problem for me as store-bought ones eat just fine (and hold their shape excellently! 😉 ).

  57. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I had the best luck getting them to hold their shape by running them in my dehydrator for an hour or so before I cooked them. They seem to be too wet to throw them in the water right away.

  58. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: My two kids, despite being girls, can put down some serious gnocchi. I bought FIVE packages of the store bought ones last time I was in civilization, boiled them and then fried them in butter with some nutmeg and white pepper, then made a white sauce with fried prosciutto ham crumbles, peas, and pine nuts. There was very little left over for the next day, I had to hide it so I had some for my lunch!

  59. qtip says:


    Isn’t the “power + volume” thing for devices without a keyboard where you can’t press control alt delete?

  60. Sleeping Dog says:


    Sorry to hear this, best to your mom and your family.

  61. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Jax: shoot, sounds like mine is related. She makes the spuds for family gatherings. Always 5 lbs mashed and 5 lbs cheesey scalloped… For gatherings of 5-6. And most of the leftovers go home with her…

    And don’t get me started on gnocchi…

  62. Matt Bernius says:

    That is incredibly difficult. Sending support FWIW.

  63. gVOR08 says:

    @qtip: You’re probably right that Vol Dn + Pwr is a mobile device thing, put on my laptop in an effort at commonality. I don’t know, as I’ve never used a WIN device without a keyboard. And looking at market share, apparently no else has either. I’ve thought about replacing my old iPad with a Surface. I love WINDOWS because it has, well, windows. But the prices seem out of line.

  64. Gustopher says:

    I was pondering the origin of “fuck around and find out” in an aside on one of our covid threads.

    The first searches claimed it was a Proud Boys thing, borrowed from biker gangs, before it hit mainstream.

    However, Google Books has a few references to “fuck around and find out” in the going back to at least 2007 with “Finding Platinum: A Magic City Memoir” by Sonya Taylor. The 2007-2015 examples seem to all be African-American romance novels.

    And there are a few people on discussion boards who claimed the family members used it in the 80s and 90s. For what it’s worth, the avatars of the posters are black.

    So, my guess, based on limited “research” is AAVE, adopted by Proud Boys trying to sound “street” and tough (perhaps picked up by the alt-right groups from members who were in the army with Black folk?), and then spun around when the alt-right Nazi wannabes started facing some consequences for their actions (covid, mostly) and then into general use.

    My more confident theory is that white folks have no idea what black folks are saying, and when they are picking up bits of slang from them.

  65. Gustopher says:

    @Mikey: Oof. Sorry to hear that — hopefully your mom has a mild case and will be fine, at least with the antibodies.

  66. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08: I’ve met three people with Windows phones in my life. All three windows phone users were black.

    That seems like a deeply weird correlation, so I’ll add this bit of explanation: all of them also worked at Microsoft on Windows phones. Lots of reasons why that cluster might exist, ranging from it being a place where there was less discrimination, to people hiring their friends. I don’t begrudge them their safe spaces, I just wish they didn’t have to work on Windows phones. What a waste of talent.

  67. James Joyner says:

    @Jax: I haven’t played around with it enough to know yet. By the time the install was done, I had to get on to other things. The interface seems cleaner but I haven’t really tested out the new features.

    @Mikey: So to hear this. The frustrated “serves them right” sneering at the unvaccinated getting sick forgets the impact on loved ones who had no part in that decision.