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. DrDaveT says:
  2. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve long contended that something that has protected us from Republicans at least a bit is that they have no interest in governance, and so are bad at it. Their attempts at writing legislation often fail or are less effective than they intend. Here’s an example of why drafting legislation is a craft, although admittedly this can’t be laid at the feet of Republicans alone. It’s the language under which McHenry is acting as Speaker Pro Tempore, and is crucial to understanding the powers that gives him:

    The question partially hinges on how you interpret the last sentence of Clause 8(b)(3)(A), and especially the last three words:

    “Pending such election the Member acting as Speaker pro tempore may exercise such authorities of the Office of Speaker as may be necessary and appropriate to that end.” [emphasis added].

    Is “to that end” a reference to the election of a new Speaker? Or is it a general reference to the “acting as Speaker pro tempore”? Is his authority only to get us through the election, or does he have the full authority of the Speaker until we get through the election?

    It seems that whoever crafted this wording either, a) didn’t think through clearly how it might be interpreted and so we end up with ambiguity (i.e. was bad at the job), or b) didn’t agree what he was being told to do and so deliberately crafted in an ambiguous way in the hopes that it might be interpreted more aligned with his thinking (i.e.was good at the job and those checking his work were bad at theirs).

  3. MarkedMan says:

    This, from Josh Marshall, is for Andy and anyone else who somehow thinks there would be benefit in Dems reaching out to Republicans.

    I get the impulse. I really do. But it’s all illusory, I’m afraid. While there’s a core radical group that drives a lot of the House GOP madness, their numbers grow dramatically when faced with the prospect of cooperating with the Democrats whom they have vilified and demonized to the point of caricature. So any cooperation or prospect thereof collapses pretty quickly.

    But even if you don’t buy that, what you describe has already happened: Any Republicans who cooperated with Dems or weren’t totally MAGA lost primaries or didn’t run again over the course of many cycles. This is what’s left. So it’s already played out as you imagined and this is where you end up.

    You might argue, what’s the harm in trying? I would phrase that this way: “What’s the harm in spending time on this and giving the public and the media the impression that it could work, instead of moving on and making plans for things that could actually work?” That, of course, answers itself. On top of that, its failure comes back on the Dems as much as the Republicans and just contributes to the bothsiderism death spiral.

  4. Bill Jempty says:
  5. Bill Jempty says:
  6. Bill Jempty says:

    Had cardioversion for a 2nd time yesterday. It appears to have worked this time. Cross my fingers.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Bill Jempty: Best of luck

  8. MarkedMan says:

    @Bill Jempty: The mother should be in jail awaiting trial. Leaving an unattended gun in a car, unless it is in a locked gunsafe bolted to the frame, should be a criminal offense.

  9. CSK says:
  10. gVOR10 says:


    Their attempts at writing legislation often fail or are less effective than they intend. Here’s an example of why drafting legislation is a craft, although admittedly this can’t be laid at the feet of Republicans alone.

    I’ve occasionally had to write rules or policies. It’s hard. It’s impossible to anticipate all the contingencies that might arise. So you try to capture intent. This is why I find judicial “textualism” or “originalism” absurd.

    At the moment there are people dancing on pin heads over whatever “office under the United States” in the Fourteenth Amendment” includes the Presidency. Which is almost as precious as thinking any decision by the Federalists will depend on fine points of law as reasons rather than just rationalizations.

  11. Mister Bluster says:

    Another Brick in the Wall
    Biden administration waiving 26 federal laws to allow border wall construction in Texas
    The Hill

    (It won’t work)

  12. KM says:

    @Bill Jempty:
    It’s clearly environmental at this point and not just a training issue. *Something* has triggered two dogs multiple times and it’s obviously still going on. Once is happenstance but at this point it’s enemy action.

    Because here’s the thing – Biden and family are not the ones around the dogs all day. I’d be curious to know when the bites happened and if the family was not present or even in the WH at the time. Who’s the dog’s caretaker(s) when family is not present since, you know, the President can be jetting around the world at a moment’s notice and why aren’t they being held accountable for not controlling the dog? What is the SS and staff doing in the presence of multiple dogs that’s triggering aggression? Why has no one bothered to analyze what’s happening to try and reduce triggers/ stressors other then putting it on the Bidens to “control their dog”?

    We had a mailman that was always getting accosted by dogs everywhere he went. The man practically bathed in Old Spice; my normally extremely lethargic dog would sit up and bark when he was several houses away. I and several others tried to tell him his odor was provoking reactions but he would angrily dismiss us, telling us we were bad owners and dogs just hated him. There’s a social tendency to assume the fault is with the owners and animal, not the “innocent bystander”. Yes, a lot of dogs aren’t trained but they act for a reason – figure out the reason and you can stop the attack. The SS needs to stop blaming the dogs and put some effort into figuring out what the staff is doing that’s threatening their safety.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR10: I’ve spent years writing product requirements. You can’t imagine how often what you think is perfectly clear languages turns out to have multiple, and reasonable, interpretations.

    And don’t get me started about punctuation! I just asked our accounting, “I sent the invoice to **@co*****.com, was that incorrect?”, and she wrote back, “No invoices should go there”. What she meant to say was, “No, invoices should go there”.

  14. gVOR10 says:

    WAPO has an analytical story this morning. I was put off by the title which implies McCarthy had a plan, but it turned out to be a pretty good narrative of how Frankenstein built the monster. McCarthy thought he could harness forces of disruption. Instead they devoured him.

    “We ran our caucus to basically support members in swing districts. That’s how we got power,” said Tom Davis, the former Northern Virginia lawmaker who served as top GOP campaign strategist in the 2000 and 2002 elections. “Today, they run the caucus now to protect members from R+30 districts to protect them in primaries.”

    Referencing the Tea Party,

    It came in one of many accounts he (Boehner) and McCarthy have told over the years, meant as an apocryphal moment where they realized they could ride this political bull to power.

    The article begins with Boehner and McCarthy attending a Tea Party rally in 2009. The article doesn’t mention that the Tea Party was financed and astroturfed by the Koch Bros.

  15. CSK says:


    I think the Bidens’ dogs have multiple walkers and handlers. Nobody loves dogs more than I, but this is a problem. The Bidens have already had to send one dog back to Delaware permanently for biting SS agents.

  16. gVOR10 says:

    @MarkedMan: Eats, shoots, and leaves.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..(It won’t work)

    Building a wall can not stop desperate people from seeking asylum in the United States. This was true when Supreme Leader of the Republican Party Kim Jong Trump lived in The White House and it is still true today.
    Politically this will not work to attract votes from current opponents of President Biden.

  18. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Biden could get Poseidon to build an impenetrable wall at the border in one week, place a minefield behind that, place a trench filled with lava behind the minefield, and place every soldier in the Army and Marines, including reserves and National Guard, behind the lava with loaded weapons and orders to kill trespassers on sight.

    And the Republiqans would call that “open borders.”

  19. KM says:

    And when the next dog has the exact same issue because they keep rehoming the dogs instead of fixing the problem?

    I’d normally agree with you that he’s should go somewhere less stressful to prevent further incidents. That’s what would happen in a normal household. However, this is dog #2, of a different breed, background and temperament exhibiting the same behavior as the last dog exiled from his family for the easy solution. It’s not a coincidence. We’re very quick to send away animals we take into our care when they become inconvenient.

    If we were talking kids and not dogs, CPS would have been all over the place since it’s clear the issue is the home and not the individual. I’ve help train several therapy dogs and I can tell you it’s the humans causing this. Dogs don’t just randomly decide to take a chunk out of you for sh^ts and giggles. 11+ bites means a pattern, a trigger, and will still be there when dog #3 arrives. Are we just going to expect the Bidens to give up their pets for years because the WH isn’t willing to looking to fixing the behavior? Frankly, he’s their boss and it’s his home for the next few years – they’re employees, not residents. It’s also the dog’s home. This is being framed as bad dog behavior (and something to smear Biden with) but it’s really a staffing thing. He’s not biting everyone all the time for god’s sake – what the hell are they doing to provoke him? If the concern is employee safety then maybe they should figure out what some staff is doing to endanger themselves while others seem to be just fine.

  20. Chris says:

    @Bill Jempty: Great… I can see it now… the Republican’s in the House of Representatives will now schedule more impeachment hearings in an attempt to hold the President accountable for his dog’s biting crimes.

  21. Bill Jempty says:

    @KM: I have had limited experiences with dogs.

    When growing up, my family had a Kerry Blue terrier named Rosie for two years. Rosie was afraid of her own shadow.

    My maternal grandparents had a miniature schnauzer named Penny. Of all the dogs in my life, I knew Penny best but I don’t have any strong memories of her.

    Of my childhood friends or neighbors. The Bollantines had a GS/GR mix named Sandy, the Careys had a beagle named Snoopy and the Olivers had two dogs one of which was a Collie named Ladie. I was around Snoopy and and Sandy a bit. The Oliver dogs almost never. I heard one of them bit Vincent Carey as he and Ned Oliver roughhoused. Ned and Vinny were two of my best childhood friends in New York.

    Some of my Aunts and Uncles had dogs but I hardly knew them. I do however remember my Aunt Carol’s dog Brutus, a L Retriever. Brutus lived in a home where men only visited. He was so happy when I spent a couple of days at my Aunt’s home. He’d bring his tug toy to have a tug of war with him. If you growled at Brutus, he’d growl back as you had your tug of war.

    Before I left my Aunt’s home, Brutus made a dump inside the house. Aunt Carol said it was probably due to being excited by my presence.

    Where I live now, there is a french poodle who I call ‘the little monster’ because it yaps and acts aggressively towards me and the wife.

    Cats on the other hand I have been around and grown up with most of my life. Sam, Sam the 2nd, Missy, Felix, Spike, Cleo, Ten Ten, Eponine, and Misay.

  22. CSK says:


    It’s very difficult for me to imagine anyone provoking a dog that much, because it’s so cruel. (Yes, I know it happens.)

    I don’t think that the two dogs are different breeds; they’re both German Shepherds.My late aunt and uncle raised the breed. Lovely dogs.

  23. Mister Bluster says: borders

    I would agree to all those barriers if they would have prevented Rafael Cruz from reentering the United States after his winter vacation a few years ago.

  24. MarkedMan says:


    Are we just going to expect the Bidens to give up their pets for years

    I think the answer may be yes. My paranoid side says the dogs are perceiving real threats, given that the SS has been dysfunctional for years and seems to have had an unusual political affiliation with Trump. But more likely is that Biden or another of the dogs people is nervous around these agents, for whatever reason and the dogs are picking up on that. So if they are going to have a dog in the WH it needs to be a less protective one.

  25. KM says:

    @Bill Jempty:
    I’ve help training therapy dogs for a while now, ones for my family and been the assistant/tester for others. My current fur baby has more education and diplomas then I do – CGC from the AKC to start and specialized training for various therapy and environmental concerns. She’s even swim certified to rescue drowning people. She’s not particularly big but man, can she pull you around in the water! Her first mentor was a dog that rode with EMT and was trained to guard the bus. Dog loved us to death but once the command was given, he wasn’t letting nobody into the back till his owner gave the all-clear.

    We’ve had some dogs not pass due to temperament. One gentlemen really wanted this one rescue dog to be his therapy companion but he couldn’t settle on command, stay seated on the scooter floor board or not react to strangers (note, not be aggressive – not react at all). Not all dogs take to training for acceptable public behavior but aggression is different. Aggression can be breed=specific and each dog is their own individual – some have the canine equivalent of Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Even then, however, biting just doesn’t happen. Biting is something a dog doesn’t just decide to do. It’s always in reaction to stimulus, even if humans can’t understand what caused it. A large percentage of the time, bites happen because humans don’t bother to speak Dog but get mad when dogs misinterpret or misread Human. Human error, not canine malfeasance.

    That’s why I’m so skeptical of the fact that this is the second dog to have multiple incidents in about 2 years. There is clearly a problem the humans are creating and perpetrating. What’s more likely – two unrelated dogs that just happen to have poor temperaments doing the same thing to the same people or those people messing up frequently? One dog biting is a dog that needs to be removed from the situation, two is asking why this keeps happening and what needs to be done. They don’t get to kick (another) beloved pet out of his home when it’s becoming increasingly clear they’re causing it.

  26. just nutha says:

    @Mister Bluster: Yes, but only because opponents of Biden oppose him for reasons (or lack of reason) beyond the question of whether a wall is the answer to their “border problem.”

    The more interesting question involves why Biden is interested in building a wall all of a sudden.

  27. gVOR10 says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I would agree to all those barriers if they would have prevented Rafael Cruz from reentering the United States

    Which would only have worked if the wall went to 40,000 ft.

  28. CSK says:


    Champ, the first GS the Bidens owned, died at 13 in 2021. I don’t recall he had a problem with biting.

  29. CSK says:

    Trump is asking on Truth Social to be rescued from the NY fraud trial.

    What kind of “help” does he want, pray tell?

  30. KM says:

    That actually give weight to my point – if Champ was with Biden as VP while living in DC, he’d have been exposed to SS and professional staff. Not a WH levels but there would be a noticeable presence and the treatment of Biden by staff would be similar. POTUS gets a higher level of treatment, care and protection but a protective GSD managed to tolerate Biden being VP for years with no issue in a functionally similar environment.

    What were they doing differently back under Obama’s term or at the Naval Observatory that’s not happening in the current WH? What’s changed in staff behavior or attitudes to make this an issue now?

  31. MarkedMan says:

    @KM: We have very different perspectives on responsibility in cases like this. From my point of view it is not the responsibility of the humans to learn to “speak dog” in the work place, it is the responsibility of dog owners to ensure their pets don’t bite people. Equally important, it is the responsibility of employers to protect the health and safety of their employees when at the job site. Under no circumstances should an employee be obligated to put up with getting bitten or, even worse, blamed for the dog’s bite in the first place.

  32. CSK says:


    Yes. That’s the crux of the matter.

  33. Beth says:

    Yesterday at about 10:40 am I got my flu and Covid booster. Within an hour my arm hurt, bad. By about 6:30 pm I felt like absolute garbage. Went to bed at 10 pm sweating and feeling like I was dying.

    At about 4 am I woke up after having an intense nightmare that I was stuck in a FL convention center that was converted into an interment camp for Trans people and women who had abortions. I was drenched in sweat with a boiling headache. I got some ibuprofen and fell back asleep.

    Slept through getting the kids ready for school and woke up at about 9 am confused as all hell. Took me about half an hour to be able to sit up. 2 hours later I feel better than I did last night, but I’m basically non-functional today. I’ve got one work task to complete and the rest of the day will be playing Starfield.

    I don’t know what they put in that thing, but holy farts.

  34. Kathy says:


    British and German poets talked of the “topless towers of Ilium.” Why else have Poseidon build an impenetrable wall? One that can’t be scaled or flown over or ever ever be real?

  35. Kathy says:


    It seems you have a very reactive innate immune system. Localized inflammation tends to pinch nearby nerves, causing pain. Associated action includes fever.

  36. Stormy Dragon says:


    If I remember correctly, didn’t you have a significant reaction to the first vaccine to? Your immune system just may not like it.

    Anecdotally, I also got the new one and just had a sore arm for about 24 hours.

  37. Franklin says:

    @Beth: So I just got Covid, flu, *and* my first Shingles all at the same time.

    Yeah, that f’d me up for a day and a half. Lots of weird dreams, too! I feel your pain.

  38. just nutha says:

    @Beth: I did mass vaxxings yesterday, too. For the first time ever that I can remember, I have an ongoing pain/ sensitivity in both shoulders where the injections were given. I blame the flu shot (that I usually don’t take) even though it only went in one arm.

    Still have Hep A & B, RSV, and Shingrix I and II to go.

  39. gVOR10 says:

    I got COVID, RSV, and flu all under the same band-aid. My shoulder was stiff for a few hours. Nothing more.

    In FL I walked in with my reservation and got my shot right away. One other family getting in front of me. I could have gotten an appointment on the Walgreens website the same afternoon I looked. Relatives in MN have apparently had to stand in line, even with a reservation. What was that thing about red state / blue state health differences?

  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    Like many people I had fun ridiculing Trump’s wall. But TBH I’ve always believed we’d end up beefing up the border, whether by a physical wall or some more high-tech approach. It’s wrong to say walls don’t work. Walls work. Not perfectly, not impenetrably, but much like a minefield forces attackers into narrow channels, walls will channel migrants. A border wall is an ugly thing, but all nations have a right to secure their borders.

    The US and the developed world more broadly is a gated community. Security will be enhanced, it’s unavoidable. But we won’t have the worst of it. No one is going to enjoy seeing what measures Europe will eventually institute to respond to climate-driven African and Middle Eastern migration. It’s going to be ugly.

  41. DK says:

    WSJ: Russia Withdraws Black Sea Fleet Vessels From Crimea Base After Ukrainian Attacks. Pullout represents painful setback for the Kremlin, which seized Crimea in 2014.

    Russia has withdrawn the bulk of its Black Sea Fleet from its main base in occupied Crimea, a potent acknowledgment of how Ukrainian missile and drone strikes are challenging Moscow’s hold on the peninsula.

    Russia has moved powerful vessels including three attack submarines and two frigates from Sevastopol to other ports in Russia and Crimea that offer better protection, according to Western officials and satellite images verified by naval experts. The Russian Defense Ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.

    It is premature to talk of defunding Ukraine, thus a) abandoning free, democratic Europe to Putin’s genocidal warmongering and b) greenlighting whatever horrors China has in store for Taiwan.

  42. KM says:


    Under no circumstances should an employee be obligated to put up with getting bitten or, even worse, blamed for the dog’s bite in the first place.

    Even if they are teasing the animal? Deliberately ignoring warning signs and animal’s attempt to communicate “back off”? Pull the “I’m the human and you better obey” card even if they had zero idea what they are doing and are making it worse?

    Yes, human need to learn to speak dog, especially if they’re going to assert an absolute like “not get blamed for being bitten ever”.

    Yes, their responsibility is to their employee’s safety and guess what? Employees endanger themselves all the time by not following rules and doing dumb stuff. Part of being a good employer is understanding when your employees stupidity is going to hurt them and remove them for the situation. Not everybody gets to use the fryer, especially if you’re gonna toss ice and other stuff in it. We don’t remove the fryer, we remove access to it by those who aren’t properly trained or demonstrate they can’t use it safely. If I find out 11 people hurt themselves being around the fryer, two possibilities are in play: (1) the fryer is unsafe or (2) it’s not being used correctly. First is change out faulty equipment. When a new fryer arrives and MORE of the same injuries happen, guess what scenario’s happening? Why does changing the word “fryer” with “dog” suddenly change who’s at fault other then people’s need to blame dogs for bad human interactions?

    Removing Commander isn’t gonna change jack shit and I’m putting $50 down now that if the Biden’s get another dog, we’ll be hearing about it biting someone in a few months. Because it’s the employee’s behavior causing their injuries and denial means we’ll just have another round of victims in the future. You protect your people by dealing with the issue and sometimes the issue is THEM.

  43. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A border wall is an ugly thing, but all nations have a right to secure their borders.

    It’s more than just an eyesore, it’s an environmental disaster. Ecosystems and wildlife range are not closed. A wall across vast deserts uninhabitable by humans? For what? Migrants die thinking they can cross this land. That’s your wall.

    Trump’s wall remains a dumb idea, except as a metaphor for border security. We can secure parts of the border that are actually passable by funding high tech border monitoring drones and hiring/training more border agents. More than that, we need to more migrant housing facilities and more trained staff to process asylum seekers and others, including at legal ports of entry. But for whatever reason, Congress cannot get this done.

    Broadly, restricting immigration in an era of declining US birth rates is a recipe for economic disaster, however much it titillates xenophobes who scapegoat the powerless for societal problems.

    I suppose Republicans have been all talk on the border because behind closed doors their corporate backers need the cheap labor, especially in agriculture. Meanwhile, Democrats would be wise to note the history of unchecked migration fueling rightwing extremism; that should prompt action from those who claim to care about liberal democracy.

  44. DK says:


    Relatives in MN have apparently had to stand in line, even with a reservation. What was that thing about red state / blue state health differences?

    More blue staters are lining up to get vaccinated while more red staters are going “YOLO!”?

  45. KM says:

    RE: controlling your dog – it’s a major pet peeve of mine at how quickly people abrogate responsibility and blame owners. When doing public training, our dogs wear vest that clearly state “WORKING, DO NOT PET”. Wanna guess how often parents drag their kids over to touch the dogs without asking then don’t take no for an answer?

    A LOT.

    We were working on desensitization with a anxious rescue in a muzzle in Home Depot when this woman strolled up outta nowhere and plopped a toddler down right in front and placed the kid’s hand in his ear. When the dog predictably freaked, she tried to blame us and told us we endangered her kid. No idiot, you approached a “doggy”, didn’t read the situation and when it went south, got mad at the dog. She even demanded to speak to the manager like a true Karen and get us in trouble. TS for her, we work with the store and are well known for having classes there.

    I can easily picture staff not bothering to pay attention because “it’s just a dog”. The SS in particular should know better since they work with dogs professionally and having one in the WH is pretty typical; Trump was unusual for having no pet at all and I think training got lax in the last 4 year or new hires didn’t pay attention. That’s on the Admin to have a refresher and make sure they have proper protocols in place. The humans really dropped the ball here.

  46. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Border fencing may have an effect. But it’s not the one right solution that will solve 100% of the immigration issue for all eternity and two days beyond, which is what the GQP seems to think it is.

  47. Beth says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    @just nutha:

    Yeah, the last couple of rounds of Covid vaxes have hit me with increasing strength. I don’t recall any other vax putting me down like this. I must just be really sensitive to something in it. I hope that means that I’m as covid proof as possible.

    My whole shoulder around where I got the shot is hot and sore. This is miserable.

  48. Kathy says:

    As if we didn’t have enough to worry about.

    To my limited understanding, this supervolcano seems to pose less of a threat than the Yellowstone Caldera, not to mention I live much farther away from it, but any large eruption would be a major catastrophe on a global scale.

    The thing is, there’s nothing to be done about it. It can’t be prevented. At most, we can predict a range of time and intensity.

  49. Gustopher says:

    @Beth: I’ve found Moderna hits a lot harder than Pfizer, one of my friends claims the opposite (but he’s a difficult person in general). You might want to mix it up next time if you have been brand loyal.

  50. anjin-san says:


    I got both shots on Tuesday (after standing in a very long line to get in ahead of the Kaiser strike). Felt crummy yesterday and was sweating quite a bit, but I’m back to normal today. I’m hearing about lots of Covid cases where I live.

  51. gVOR10 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The US and the developed world more broadly is a gated community. Security will be enhanced, it’s unavoidable. But we won’t have the worst of it. No one is going to enjoy seeing what measures Europe will eventually institute to respond to climate-driven African and Middle Eastern migration. It’s going to be ugly.

    Republicans characterized opposition to the wall as advocacy for open borders. Much of the opposition accepted a closed border but recognized that a wall was an ineffective barrier, proposed for political, not functional reasons. And that what was really needed was a thorough reform of immigration law.

    A day or two ago I mentioned that Kevin Drum has looked at the thin data available and made his best estimate of the population of undocumented immigrants in the U. S. Since 2008 the number has stayed pretty steady, about 11.5 million then and actually just a bit less now. Any present border crisis in the U. S. is mostly smoke from FOX/GOP. Which is not to say it won’t continue to be a political problem and maybe grow in actual volume. Here and in Europe.

    Between the wars Libyan natives revolted against Italian occupation. To block movement of rebels and supplies Italy built a two hundred mile barrier along the border with Egypt. Four parallel lines of barbed wire fence with blockhouses and occasional forts. It was patrolled with armored cars and aircraft with orders to shoot anyone crossing. By some accounts, machine guns in the block houses fired automatically down the line if electric wires were cut.

    This is going to get uglier than you can imagine. And largely because we in the destination countries are destroying the environment their agriculture depends on.

  52. dazedandconfused says:


    I’ve seen the condition snowball with military dogs. Word gets out they bite, and everyone who comes close stares at them, which in dog language is a threat. Some even smile and show their teeth, which in dog is a challenge.

    The problem is Biden’s dogs have not been properly socialized and trained as their guard-dog breeding requires. If you GSP or Mali (some call them Maligators) have not been carefully conditioned to look to their handler to make the decisions they just might think they are making the decisions, and they have very limited ability to do that correctly in the human jungle. These dogs are not the happiest of dogs, btw. They are constantly stressed by the need to try to make these decisions in a world alien to their hard-wiring. It’s most common in the toy dogs whose owners never see a need to be an Alpha with. It’s not a big problem for a dog that weighs a few pounds.

  53. Kathy says:


    As I explained the other day, you need to have an innate immune response to any vaccine, because otherwise the adaptive immune system won’t respond at all.

    The innate response isn’t always the same. Sometimes you don’t even notice it. For instance, when you get a small cut, especially one that bleeds, affected cells produce cytokines, macrophages and neutrophils rush in, dendritic cells take samples of any bacteria that made it in, etc. But you won’t usually get inflammation or a fever.

    Nor is the immune reaction the same between different individuals. For instance, I’d never had any noticeable reaction to a flu shot. The Pfizer mRNA COVID shots got me a little soreness in the arm. The AZ boosters got me a sore arm and low fever (along with semi-lucid dreams).
    I am sure there was a response every time, and the pertinent T and B memory cells were created and took up residence where they should.

  54. DrDaveT says:


    I’ve occasionally had to write rules or policies. It’s hard.

    About 20 years ago, I was involved in drafting the implementing regulations for a piece of the Homeland Security Act. I took the executive orders regarding Plain Language seriously, and (with a partner who was a federal attorney) wrote the clearest, easiest to understand, least legalese, and most informative regs I could. I was really proud of them.

    The reaction of DHS Counsel when we presented our draft was (and I quote):

    What the f*ck is this? “See Spot Run”!?

    The regulations they then wrote and adopted were turgid, ambiguous, and incomplete — and I’m pretty certain that was considered a feature, not a bug.

  55. KM says:

    So then what are their handlers/ caretakers doing?? Are they professionals or are random interns doing it??

    Seriously, the SS doesn’t have a spare trainer to run over and work with them a few hours a day to prevent repeat bites in the workplace? This is sounding more and more like there’s plenty of solutions available and everyone just expecting someone else to deal with it. If SS agents keep getting bitten on duty by POTUS’ puppy, why in the hell isn’t SS higher ups offering in-house obedience training to Biden to save their own people? I know, I know “no one should get bit at work” but you know what? They can fix that but won’t. It’s easier to demand the dog be removed then offer to help train the dog of one of the busiest people in the world.

  56. Gustopher says:

    Sometimes Commander just wants to eat a Secret Service agent. We have plenty, just let Commander be Commander.

    This is like the “windmills kill birds” argument — birds are a renewable resource and if we need to feed our windmills some birds to sate their desires for flesh, so be it.

    All hail our carnivorous overlords!

  57. Jen says:

    @gVOR10: I am in NH, and I not only had to make a reservation with the first available spot well over a week away, when I showed up for my flu + covid shot, they told me they’d run out of the covid vax and had no idea when they were getting more. I got my flu shot, went home, looked online for a pharmacy that was still showing as having covid boosters, found one that was a 45-minute drive away, and booked it. Got that one today. The person in front of me in line said it was their third attempt to get the shot–so, I guess having just one appointment cancelled made me a lucky one.

    On the dogs: if Biden is insistent on getting a German Shepherd, he’ll need to be without a dog for a while. There’s some kind of negative cycle going on there. Secret Service deserves to work without worrying about getting bit, even if it’s their vibes/whatnot that are somehow contributing to this. I feel badly for the dogs–they are being set up to fail and this is unfair to them.

  58. Jen says:

    @Kathy: Oooh, would a phone alert be useful for that? 😀

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Anyone care to comment on this endorsement from the last “true” Republican left in the universe?

    Although opposed to Jordan as the next Speaker, Cheney called temporary Speaker Representative Patrick McHenry a “great” fit for the role.

  60. Joe says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: If Cheney’s assessment is correct, I assure you he will be replaced in an instant.

  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR10: People being innumerate about immigration seems to be a constant, at least in the US. I recall an article in The New Republic back in the 80s that showed that among people who thought there were “too many immigrants” the number of admissions that they would have considered an appropriate level was something on the order of 100% more than the total documented and estimated undocumented entries for the previous year.

  62. Jax says:

    My Dad was in a terrible accident this morning and has passed away. We were attempting to fix a hydraulic leak in the safety valve on the baler, as soon as the valve came out the hydraulic oil came out and the baler gate came crashing down, crushing him in the gate. I could not get the valve to seal back up because his arm was in the way, so I had no way to open the gate and get him out. The firefighters had to use all their strength to wedge it up enough to get him out.

    I believe I’m still in shock. The EMT’s gave me atavan. I managed to eat some food, now I’m going to try and lay down for a little bit.

    I don’t know what I’m going to do without my Dad. I still have so much to learn from him…..

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: The legal language items such as yours in today’s forum remind me of Chomsky’s comments on Buraucratese as a pseudo-language attempting to replicate communication in situations where communication is neither happening nor intended.

    ETA: So. yeah. Feature, not garden pest.

  64. CSK says:


    OMG, Jax, I am so, so sorry. This is just terrible. All my sympathies to you. We are here for you.

  65. Jon says:

    @Jax: Holy smokes, I’m so sorry to hear that. May his memory be a blessing.

  66. Mikey says:

    @Jax: I am so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing.

  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Joe: I’m more curious about why a person whose first act as Speaker was to order a member not even in DC at the moment to vacate her office within 24 hours makes a “great fit” and what that opinion says about Cheney (other than that apples probably don’t fall far from trees*).

    *And that you probably shouldn’t stand near her when she’s holding a shotgun. 🙁

  68. Kathy says:


    Sorry for your loss.

  69. steve says:

    Jax- That’s awful. So sorry for you and hope you have others around to help you. It’s gonna hurt like hell for a long time. You may not sleep much. It does get better.


  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: My condolences on your loss. That’s so sad.

  71. Beth says:


    Omg. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  72. Jen says:

    @Jax: I am so very, very sorry and am thinking of you and your family.

  73. JohnSF says:

    That is just so horribly sad.
    My condolences.

  74. gVOR10 says:

    @Jax: My God. You know you have the sympathy of this community. If there’s anything we can do, say so.

  75. MarkedMan says:


    Even if they are teasing the animal?

    Of course not, they should be fired.

    Deliberately ignoring warning signs and animal’s attempt to communicate “back off”? Pull the “I’m the human and you better obey” card even if they had zero idea what they are doing and are making it worse?

    Unless the job is specifically about working with animals (Vet, Pet Store, etc) then the animal should be removed. This is true in every workplace, but especially one like the White House, which has hundreds on staff and sometimes thousands of people a day visiting. A dog that bites should not be there.

  76. MarkedMan says:

    Jax, so very very sorry to hear this awful news. My thoughts are with you.

  77. Mister Bluster says:

    Peace, Love and Tears

  78. CSK says:

    According to ABC, Trump discussed secrets of our nuclear subs with an Australian member of Mar-a-Lardo, who promptly blabbed them tto dozens of others, incuding some foreign leaders.

    Someone shoot him and put me out of my misery.

  79. Michael Reynolds says:

    A fun little video of a Ukrainian tank commander getting Russian brass on the phone to complain about the quality of the Russian tanks he’s capturing.

  80. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Jax: I lost my dad to cancer when I was still pretty young, but this sounds much worse than that. So tough.

    Best wishes. Let us know if there’s anything we can do.

  81. reid says:

    @Gustopher: That was my experience as well, that Moderna, my first three shots, hit like a hammer for some reason. Pfizer, the last, was not nearly so bad. I never investigated it, but I assume they’re all roughly equally effective.

  82. reid says:

    @Jax: My god, that’s horrible, I’m so sorry.

  83. Grumpy realist says:

    @Jax: my heartfelt sympathies. What a shocking accident.

  84. charontwo says:


    That sounds so terrible, what a horrible thing to happen. So sorry for you

  85. dazedandconfused says:

    I imagine they are doing something, or trying to. It’s an intolerable state of affairs.

    Awful news. My sincerest condolences.

  86. Mister Bluster says:

    Former Chicago Bear Dick Butkus, 80, has died.

  87. Beth says:


    Yeah, I’ve been team Moderna since the start. I probably should switch it up. Especially since every time it gets worse. Oh joy, now I’m just randomly sweating.

  88. CSK says:

    Trump dropped his lawsuit against Michael Cohen.

    So much losing.

  89. MWLib says:

    @Jax: Wow, what a terrible thing. I am so sorry for you and for your Dad. Take care of yourself, it took me quite a while to get my head on straight after my Mom died when I was a teenager. I hope you know that you have people on here sending you our good vibes, best wishes and deepest sympathy.

  90. Monala says:

    @Jax: I know I’m late, but I’m so very sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  91. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Sorry for your loss and my sympathies seems empty, but they’re sincere. Please take care of yourself, and be especially gentle with yourself. This is going to be hard, but we’re all here for you.

  92. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: Oh, Jax, this is horrible. I’m so sorry.

  93. becca says:

    @Jax: Few of us will go through a traumatic tragedy like yours. Truly wish you strength and know you have a lot of friends here and home who care.

  94. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Jax: Our deepest sympathy. Sometimes life throws things like that at us. It’s no consolation, but we have to go on living.