Thursday’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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I hear Ron DeStupid had a little problem with his presidential campaign announcement. Hoocudanoed?

  2. CSK says:


    I didn’t listen to it, but by all accounts it was a disaster on an epic scale.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The good news is that this morning everybody’s talking about what a disaster DeUseless’ big Twitter reveal was. The bad news is that this morning everybody’s talking about DeUseless.

  4. CSK says:

    It says there are 3 comments, but I only see 2 above this one. With this, it should be 4.

    Edit function seems to be working fine.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Perhaps. But I wonder if more people are mentioning his name because Twitter Spaces broke than would have happened if all went well? And the positive spin writes itself: “… so many people logged on it broke the system!” And finally, it seems that Twitter’s estimate of audience size is being accepted without question, and 500K is a lot more than I think most people would have expected for such a niche venue. FWIW, I don’t believe it for a second and think 50K is more likely, but that is not what’s being reported. All in all my guess is that it is a net win for him.

  6. Mikey says:

    Musk BFF and big DeSantis donor David Sacks pulled a Spicer and said the Twitter thing was “the largest group that has ever met online,” to which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez replied “We had more people join when I played Among Us.”

    Also humorous was the Biden fundraising email simply titled “This Link Works.”

  7. DK says:

    @CSK: Tiny D’s Twitter launch fiasco got him a new nickname: Ron DeSaster.


  8. Kylopod says:

    Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake. But if your enemy trips on his own shoelace and falls into a ditch, let everyone know you’re laughing your ass off.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: The #s I’ve read are it started at 600,000, crashed, and the best they could manage after the crash was 135,000. It doesn’t really matter, he could have announced his campaign at the Crawford County fair and made a better impression. Right now his team looks like a bunch of idiots.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot: I’ve also read that his campaign website is still being assembled.

  10. CSK says:


    I think this is the campaign website:

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Looks finished to me.

    To reiterate, don’t believe everything you read. Which is why if I have only read of something I say as much. If somebody else wants to check it out, fine. Most times I really don’t care enough to bother.

  12. CSK says:


    I’d like to give you a thumbs-up, but alas…


    It depends on how much effort I have to expend on checking.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    AG Ken Paxton likely committed impeachable crimes, Texas House investigators say

    A Texas House committee on Wednesday heard explosive new testimony from lawyers investigating Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, including that he appeared to provide a friend with confidential FBI documents and committed other potentially impeachable crimes in an effort to help him retaliate against adversaries and federal officials.

    Many of the details have been outlined in a whistleblower suit that accuses Paxton of firing four top aides as retaliation after they reported the alleged misconduct to federal authorities.

    But Wednesday’s testimony painted the fullest picture yet of the ways in which Paxton allegedly leveraged the resources of his office to help the friend and campaign donor, Nate Paul. It also created a new and immediate threat for Paxton, who has denied all wrongdoing, since the House General Investigating Committee could recommend that the chamber censure him or begin impeachment proceedings.

    “Would it be fair to say the OAG’s office was effectively hijacked for an investigation by Nate Paul through the attorney general?” asked Houston state Rep. Ann Johnson, D-Houston.

    “That would be my opinion,” said investigator Erin Epley, a former Harris County prosecutor.

    The investigators listed a number of laws that Paxton may have violated, including abuse of official capacity and misuse of official information, both of which are felony offenses. The FBI is reportedly investigating the allegations, though no charges have been filed.

    Why… I never!

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: For me, it’s more dependent on what else I have up on my screen, for instance the Paxton piece I posted above. That was more important to me than the depth of DeSantis’ competence or lack there of.

  15. Thomm says:

    @Mikey: @CSK: @OzarkHillbilly: in case you guys missed the most surreal part (since it was intentional) the candidate introduction video his campaign released is a bit under 3.5 minutes made of the same about 45 seconds of video clips on a loop with Musk being almost as prominent as Ronnie Meatballs. Guess Musk is his Grand Vizier whispering sweet nothings in his ear.

  16. Mikey says:


    A Texas House committee on Wednesday heard explosive new testimony from lawyers investigating Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, including that he appeared to provide a friend with confidential FBI documents and committed other potentially impeachable crimes in an effort to help him retaliate against adversaries and federal officials.

    And yet his name somehow absent from all the GOP blather about “weaponization” of law enforcement. Imagine that.

    Also, obligatory “every GOP accusation is actually a confession.”

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sure, but it is Twitter that is reporting the numbers. I don’t have much faith in that. But if there were actually 600K people trying to log on that is impressive. Given the percentage of population that use Twitter, the percentage of that that do more than passively react to their stream, and the percentage of that which has used Twitter Space or would be willing to make the effort to use it for the first time for this, 600K seems like a really high number. CNN gets significantly less than that, and all you have to do is change the channel on your TV.

  18. CSK says:

    Tina Turner’s life in pictures. Still looking hot at 80.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The Guardian’s Tina Turner spread.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: The last I’ve heard is that the DS campaign has inflated the # to over a million.

  21. DK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’d buy it. Millions flocked to theaters in 1997 to watch the Titanic sink. We love a good disaster movie.

  22. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Recent Presidential Campaign Announcements
    Reagan – Statue of Liberty
    Clinton – Old State House, Arkansas
    Bush43, Romney, McCain, Kerry – in important primary states eg. Iowa, NH, SC
    Gore – Carthage, TN in front of throngs of supporters
    Obama – Old State Capitol, Springfield, IL referencing Lincoln
    Trump – Golden Escalator with paid audience members
    DeSantis – technically deficient and widely ridiculed Twitter announcement

  23. Sleeping Dog says:


    And a year ago R primary voters renominated him and he was reelected. TX voters, only the best people.

  24. CSK says:


    You’re right. That’s bizarre.

  25. daryl and his brother darryl says:


    But if there were actually 600K people trying to log on that is impressive.

    Not when you consider that Musk has 140M followers and even DeSantis has over 4M followers.

  26. CSK says:

    Schoolkids in the Dallas area have been given a book in which Winnie the Pooh instructs them on how to survive school shootings. God help us.

  27. Kylopod says:

    I would not have imagined a presidential candidate could humiliate himself more thoroughly than Rick Perry’s “oops.”

  28. Kathy says:

    Suppose one fine day you read that ten people in one city have been diagnosed with a respiratory disease, caused by a new heretofore unknown virus.

    Would you think:

    a) Just ten people (no big deal)
    b) It’s a cause for concern
    c) We have a major medical emergency in our hands again.

    The really big problem is what to do next.

    Over the course of the trump pandemic, we learned deaths are a lagging indicator of case numbers. What I noticed, is that case numbers are a lagging indicator of infections. that is, there is a lag between the time someone is infected and the time they’re counted as positive. That’s because tests tend to happen when symptoms appear.

    So given ten confirmed cases, one has to assume a larger number of infected individuals as well.

    Next health authorities should trace all contacts from the ten patients for several days, locate them, test them for the virus, and get them to isolate until they test negative.

    And then do the same for every person you managed to trace and locate, as they might have infected others while presymptomatic.

    this is not easy at all. We’re talking at least hundreds, and maybe even a thousand people. Suppose one contact traced to a 10 year old who’s been going to school. The exposure for others is really high.

    Chances are that won’t happen, and the new virus will spread.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: did you mean to say “…died of an unknown virus”? Because it wouldn’t surprise me at all that on any given day in a big city there are dozens of people hospitalized with unidentified viral infections.

  30. just nutha says:

    @gVOR08: @MarkedMan: All part of the “no such thing as bad publicity” phenom.

  31. just nutha says:

    @DK: Yeah. That’s funny! 😀 😛

    And thumbs up yesterday for you comments on the “Tabs” post. I’m convinced that “we’re not winning” is a refrain that the left is going to be hearing/saying frequently and for the long term. It will take people made of stern stuff to stay the course (though it’s not like there’s any other choice).

  32. Kathy says:


    No, I meant diagnosed with a new virus.

  33. just nutha says:
  34. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And you never will, either, if impeachment is the method for correcting the abuse.

  35. senyordave says:

    Before people get too excited about the number of people on twitter waiting for DeSantis’ announcement, it should be remembered that Ronnie is Elon’s choice (as of now). I wouldn’t be surprised if many of those 600k were Elon fanboys. And his fanboys are loyal to a fault.

  36. senyordave says:

    This was a shocker:
    Republican-controlled Louisiana votes to kill bill that bans gender surgery for minors
    And this is from thh Republican who voted with Democrats to kill the bill:
    “Always in my heart of hearts have I believed that a decision should be made by a patient and a physician. I believe in the physicians in Louisiana,” Mills, a pharmacist, said. “I believe in the scope of practice. I believe in the standard of care.”
    I feel like writing this guy a fan letter.
    By the way, the headline is the usual Fox treatment, the bill is the standard “ban any gender-affirming care” law.

  37. Scott says:

    @CSK: Someone needs to complain to the school board on the obscenity of an elementary school age character wearing no pants.

  38. CSK says:


    Oh, someone’s guaranteed to take offense at that.

  39. CSK says:

    Poor Junior, desperately seeking ways to make Daddy love him. It’s never going to happen, dude.

  40. Jen says:

    @Kathy: That actually happens rather frequently. I’ll see if I can track down the piece I read on it, but hospitals find people have unidentifiable viral infections all the time.

    Edit: Found it.
    “For example, if you have a respiratory infection in the U.S., doctors can identify the pathogen causing the infection only about 40% of the time. There’s growing evidence that the other 60% of infections could be caused by animal viruses such as a dog coronavirus found in Malaysia, Haiti and Arkansas, or even possibly the same virus Hause and his colleagues found in those pigs. Recent studies have made clear that this virus floats in the air at farms and is likely infecting people who work there.”


  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Stewart Rhodes, 18 years. The blow by blow of the hearing. (scroll to the top to get all of it).

  42. grumpy realist says:

    So stealing a luxury car gets the same number of years in prison that trying to overthrow the US government does?

    Something’s wrong here.

    (wow–I got an edit button! )

  43. Kathy says:


    He’s going about it the wrong way.

    Here’s what he has to do:

    1) swap brains with Ivanka
    2) make himself younger
    3) get a tubal ligation
    4) seduce Benito

    Granted, but for step 3 a lot of research would be required.

  44. Kathy says:


    Doctors often won’t run tests to identify an infection. If they do it will be more common blood work stuff . To be fair, most doctors don’t have access to labs that can isolate and identify a virus.

    My scenario is of a new virus, identified as much as the trump virus was early in 2020. Not an unknown virus.

  45. Jen says:

    @Kathy: Right, but the point of the article is that spillover–new viruses from animals–used to be thought to be rare. They now believe this happens far more frequently than we thought. Lots of potentially new to us diseases just never fully take hold…until they do.

  46. CSK says:


    He’d have to change sexes and become an Ivanka clone.

  47. Mister Bluster says:

    @Scott:..Someone needs to complain to the school board on the obscenity of an elementary school age character wearing no pants.

    I have always thought that the streakers of the ’70s were the result of growing up in the ’50s watching Disney cartoons with Donald and Daisy Duck running around with no pants on.

    (Don’t tell DeSantis.)

  48. dazedandconfused says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Depends on if it’s my car or someone else’s. Trying to be honest here…

  49. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: There are lots of new viruses every year. Whether we do anything is dependent on the severity of the associated illness and whether there are deaths directly associated with it. The vast majority of viral infections are handled with no testing whatsoever, and the small percentage that gets tested is usually because they are causing severe illness or death. For a health agency to act it wouldn’t be enough to see a new virus, it would have to be one associated with mortality.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @senyordave: Good point. Elon was no doubt pitching it to his 100M followers.

  51. DK says:

    @just nutha:

    It will take people made of stern stuff to stay the course (though it’s not like there’s any other choice).

    That part. QFT.


  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Which really pisses me off. I know there are good people in Texas, but really? This corrupt piece of shit? Between the many people like him and trump I just refer to the GOP as an ongoing criminal enterprise.

  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I would say, “God help them.” but god is MIA.

  54. CSK says:


    I use the phrase more for emphasis than as a request.

  55. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I don’t see it as much a plaintive cry for his Daddy’s love as a ploy designed to have the MAGAts remember that he is loyal to the cause and for future benefits still to be imagined/created. I realize that’s giving him a lot of credit, but he’s pretty old to be still having the daddy issue (or I’m a stronger example of NPD than I realize). Still, that issue does present in some people even at Jr.’s age.

  56. just nutha says:

    @grumpy realist: Maybe not, stealing a luxury car is a crime against “your betters” and their property. Unless you’re not going to be for sale when you take over, I’m not sure that the luxury car cohort care whether you succeed or not.

  57. JohnSF says:

    Kathy! Stoppit!
    I now have horrid mental images that are going to need industrial quantities of gin to erase.

  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I know. It’s just that it really sticks in my craw how morally bankrupt a society has to be to stoop to having Winnie the Pooh tell kids how to survive a mass shooting, as opposed to doing something about it.

  59. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    Oh, I agree that it’s partially a ploy to boost his cred with the MAGAs, but mostly I think even that’s part of his strategy to win Daddy’s love. “Look, Dad, you fan club likes me!” He is also competing with Ivanka and Eric. Tiffany and Barron don’t count, with Trump or anyone else except their mothers.

    Trump’s made it plain he lusts after Ivanka.

  60. CSK says:


    That we even have to think seriously about this is appalling.

  61. just nutha says:

    @Mister Bluster: I think Daisy’s presentation is more ambiguous. From Wikipedia:

    Daisy Duck is a cartoon character created by The Walt Disney Company. As the girlfriend of Donald Duck, she is an anthropomorphic white duck that has large eyelashes and ruffled tail feathers around her lowest region to suggest a skirt. [emphasis added]

    TBH, I’m more concerned about what will happen when somebody eventually suggests that Donald and Pooh have had bottom surgery and what that means. (And yes, this IS why I don’t get to play with the “nice” kids.)

  62. Beth says:

    @just nutha:

    I realize that’s giving him a lot of credit, but he’s pretty old to be still having the daddy issue (or I’m a stronger example of NPD than I realize)

    In all seriousness, it was wild for me to realize as a 40+ year old woman how deep and ingrained my daddy issues were. I spent the majority of my life chasing approval from a serious of absolutely useless men. Men who were so absolutely sure of their absolute perfection, but completely unwilling and unable to deal with reality. None of this was sexual. I stayed in abusive job because of them. Hell, I still seek approval from that boss and I’ve been gone for years. I’m sure Jr. had one hell of a traumatic childhood and has intense Daddy issues. And as @CSK: pointed out, Daddy is never going to love him. It’s up to Jr. to do the work to heal from that. He won’t, and will die miserable.

  63. Beth says:

    @just nutha:

    So what you’re saying is Daisy Duck trans’d me. That old man Disney, what an evil genius. Lol.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: @CSK: I gotta side with CSK here.

    I had a… difficult relationship with my father. Yeah, that’s the word. I know he loved me. How? Because he never killed me. Over the years, I gave him plenty of reason to. There were probably other moments but the first time I remember him being happy to see me, I was in my mid 20s, we were at 11,000’+ and he and the rest of my family had lost the trail.

    My buddy and I had arrived at our destination a day earlier and we heard my parent’s beagle barking it’s ass off deep in the willows. We found them and the look on his face was one of utter relief. It is sad to say that that is one of the few pleasant memories I have of my father.*

    I remember many times, I doubt very much all the times but certainly many, that I pissed him off. Maybe there was a part of me that did it on purpose, but I don’t really think so. Mostly, I just wanted to know, that he knew I existed.

    So, fwiw, a part of me empathizes with Junior.

    *my mother always said, “Your father got off the boat in 1900.” He didn’t, but his parents did and he was raised by their eastern European standards.

    ETA: and when he died? I cried like a baby. As much for the father I’d always wanted to have, as for the father I did have.

  65. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    But on the other hand Winnie the Pooh is a mass murderer. They’re bound to like that, even if he doesn’t appear to have used guns.

  66. Kathy says:


    Yes, that’s the root problem.

    How do you know an unknown virus is relatively harmless or deadly dangerous?

    Case numbers lag infections. Severity lags, too. The first cases of COVID-19 happened in China around November 2019 (hence the 19 in the disease’s designation). No one raised any alarm or saw any major problem until some time in January. By then it’s likely the pandemic was unstoppable.

    But even then measures could have been taken globally By and large they weren’t, and we saw what happened.

  67. Kathy says:


    Just remember there’s no such thing as eye sanitizer.

    Besides, did I not specify tubal ligation? that way you don’t have to imagine the spawn of the Cheeto family with double recessive genes.

  68. JohnSF says:

    Gin works as a mind sanitizer.
    At least, for a while.
    Trust me on this.

  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: I thought what I was saying was that Donald and Edward* are transed you, but I may be wrong and whichever works best for you is fine by me. And it’s not only Walt but Milne’s illustrator, E H Shepard. Both should share in the credit for being evil geniuses.

    ETA: *Winnie the Pooh’s given name. (Almost forgot to include this. 🙁 )

    @OzarkHillbilly: Okay. Stronger example of NPD than I realized it is. I can live with that.

    I saw a line in a story from a The Shadow that spoke to me earlier today: “The monks taught me to look into my own soul to see the extent to which evil controls men.” YMMV, but I can see that.

    ETA 2: And your experience with your father dying and mine is completely different. My dad had suffered so much pain and debilitation that I was relieved when he passed. It happened on the weekend of my birthday, and it was almost like having gotten a present I’d been wishing for him for years. I’m sorry for your loss and your sorrow at his passing. I hope you got some closure from it.

  70. Kathy says:

    Speaking of anatomically ambiguous cartoon characters, the obligatory Donald Duck observation: when he gets out of the shower, he has a towel to cover himself from the waist down.

    Oh, and related: what about Barbie and other dolls? And the Green M&M?

  71. Beth says:


    I haven’t spoken to my dad since 2009ish. I just had my partner see if she could find out if he was dead. I don’t really care if he lives or dies. I’m just sad that he will never own up to what a terrible person he is. Oh well.


    I saw an ad for that movie briefly, I noped out immediately. I did wonder about the copyright issue though.

  72. Kathy says:


    As I recall, the copyright for the story and original illustrations for Winnie the Pooh ran out last year or early this year, so anyone can now make whatever use they want of the story, dialogue, settings, and characters.

    Disney’s copyright for the movie is still valid, so you can’t portray the characters as drawn in the movie.

    BTW, there’s a satire of Winnie the Pooh in en ep of Pinky and the Brain (Brainie the Pooh). I don’t know the story or the movie well enough to say how good or bad a job it does of parody*. I think in that case, parody/satire falls in fair use or something.

    *I never liked children’s stories or books, even when I was a child. I find most of them creepy and disturbing. Pinocchio I regard as out and out horror.