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. Teve says:
  2. Teve says:

    Gizmodo has a story about trump starting his own social network, and this is from the comments:

    First of all, Trump is not going to build any sort of platform, he will license his name, the man can’t even use a computer, he can not intelligently access a technology platform. Second of all, Trump is a greedy idiot who has surrounded himself with other greedy idiots and only a group of other greedy idiots would give him large amounts of money to brand their social media platform, so this should be an exciting train wreck.


  3. Teve says:

    The federal government should announce a prize for whichever state has the most vaccinations each month. Something wild like “no cops for 30 days”.

    -Ed Burmilla

    State with the most vaccinations citizens gets to raid and loot the state with the fewest vaccinations for one day. It’s the carrot and the stick.

    -Jennifer Green

    I think we need to target the prizes to the vaccine-denying demographics on a state by state basis. I’m thinking free sides at Cracker Barrel for a year, Blu ray edition of “Atlas Shrugged” or “Mystery Box” full of random pills

    -Gavin Miller

    Your choice of any Judy Blume book and a poster of a Ferrari or a horse.

    -Micah Salmon

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ari Berman

    Mar 23

    2 cases of voter fraud in 2020: let’s make it harder to vote
    38,000 gun deaths a year in US: let’s make it easier to buy guns

    The stupid, it hurts.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: Add to this that social media platforms lose money for years. What he may create is a highly tuned fundraising effort in which “TrumpTweets” relay propaganda and then an ad to donate to some PAC “coincidentally” pops up.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    So it turns out that the reason the Feds chastised AZ about their data is that the AZ Data And Safety Monitoring Board responsible for the clinical trials sent a letter revealing that they had warned AZ not to publicize the preliminary results, but rather to wait two days for the new data. Remember, AZ already had a huge black eye for the way they spun an initial flawed clinical trial.

    I don’t even know how to process this. In my medical device career it wouldn’t even have occurred to me it was even an option to go against a DSMB or it’s equivalent.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with the AZ vaccine but the company executives are shady as hell.

  7. Teve says:
  8. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: This is entirely accurate.

    He sees Zuckerberg and thinks that a social platform is a path out of his money troubles, but doesn’t bother to understand how long these platforms bled cash before they really took off.

    Trump is nothing if not the arse who looks at the end result without the effort (and brains) it took to get there.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In mid-March, Flaten said as he left his house with his girlfriend he noticed the pile at the end of his driveway. He said the coins were covered with some sort of oily substance and an envelope containing his final pay slip and an explicit parting message.

    His nightly routine now consists of cleaning the pennies so he can cash them in. He said it took him about an hour and a half to clean several hundred coins.

    “I think that’s going to be a lot of work for money I’ve already worked for,” he said. “It’s definitely not fair at all.”

    The owner of the shop, Miles Walker, spoke with Atlanta’s WGCL-TV briefly, stating he didn’t know if he did or didn’t drop the pennies off at Flaten’s house. “I don’t really remember,” Walker told the TV station. “It doesn’t matter he got paid, that’s all that matters.”

    Walker went on to call Flaten a “weenie”.

    It’s a terrible thing when fires happen.

  10. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: @Jen:
    Apparently Trump told Newsmax the other day that he actually preferred press releases to Tweets because they’re more “elegant.” Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    He also couldn’t resist adding that, unlike any other press releases, the world awaits his with bated breath.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Has he had any?

  12. CSK says:

    Press releases? Yeah, he’s issued a few of them. Don’t ask me what about; I forget.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    Just a prediction for the record: When Florida finally updates their mortality statistics for 2020 there will be a huge bump in deaths due to diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and maybe a few others. It will turn out that thousands of COVID deaths were reported as being due to underlying conditions.

    I’m not sure if it is unusual or not that we don’t have those updates already, as I couldn’t find any indication of when they are normally posted.

  14. Teve says:

    Wonder what’s going on over at Gateway Pundit…

    The Corrupt and Political DOJ Is Over-Charging Oath Keepers and Patriots Like they did Targets in the Mueller Russia Hoax Investigation

    Psaki Brushes Off Reporter Asking Why Hunter Biden Received $3.5 Million From the Mayor of Moscow’s Wife – Sen. Ron Johnson Responds! (VIDEO)

    It’s Worse Than We Thought: FOX News Reporter Says Joe Biden Was Asked But Had No Idea He’s Holding a Press Conference on Thursday (VIDEO)

    Looks about right.

  15. CSK says:

    And still not a peep about Sidney Powell and her you’re-an-idiot-if-you-believed-me defense, right?

  16. Teve says:

    @CSK: actually there is a story over there about Sidney Powell, something like the main stream media or the Washington post is lying about what she really said or something.

  17. CSK says:

    Oh, that’s interesting. I guess GP could no longer ignore it. I also checked, and someone posted a piece from that shreds Powell. It will be amusing to see the reactions.

  18. Teve says:

    Utah governor signs divisive measure to require porn filters

    Well it’s over for porn in Utah then.

  19. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: It’ll be like Pence. They’ll eventually come around to having always been at war with Sidney Powell. Or she’ll go completely down the memory hole.

  20. charon says:


    so this should be an exciting train wreck

    I give better odds for this take:

    I do not believe there are any platforms stupid enough to license Trump’s name. Trump’s name is becoming toxic.

  21. Teve says:

    @charon: yeah the article I linked to in my 7:50 AM post explained that if you got enough resources to successfully launch a new social network, there’s no way you would alienate half of America and even bigger percentages of the rest of the world by attaching his name to it.

  22. charon says:


    Well it’s over for porn in Utah then

    Na ga hoppen

    The measure won’t go into effect unless five other states enact similar laws, a provision that was added to address concerns that it would be difficult to implement.

    Even if it did happen, people would just buy their computers somewhere else.

    Hardly anyone wants flaky intrusive software on their computer even if they don’t watch someone else’s notion of “porn.”

  23. Teve says:

    @charon: i was being facetious.

  24. charon says:


    The measure won’t go into effect unless five other states enact similar laws, a provision that was added to address concerns that it would be difficult to implement.

    So it looks like a cynical performance to impress the rubes, they know it will not happen.

  25. Teve says:

    When I’m at the Local Public library I don’t use their Wi-Fi anymore because they installed this god-awful porn filter called barracuda and it overreacts and blocks some perfectly ordinary websites.

  26. Kathy says:


    Those are all good points.

    On the other hand, I can recall many, many pieces from 2015 through 2016 detailing why Trump would never win the nomination and then the election.

  27. CSK says:

    The most hilarious revelation in this piece is that Michele Bachmann is Dean of the Robertson School of Government (that’s Robertson as in Pat Robertson) at Regent University.

    Please take the opportunity to watch the embedded video of an unhinged Bachmann raving about God smashing the delusion that Biden is president.

  28. CSK says:

    After five years, I still can’t believe Trump won.

  29. Kathy says:


    I know the feeling.

  30. Loviatar says:


    The stupid, it hurts.

    The people who support these types of views are not stupid, they are malevolent

    The malice, it hurts.

    coda: not only themselves, but others

  31. Teve says:

    Just got Moderna #1!

  32. CSK says:

    Excellent. My brother reported no side effects. My sister said her arm was sore after shot #2.

  33. CSK says:

    I vividly remember calling a friend the morning after the 2016 election and asking:”Did that just happen?” I didn’t even bother to watch the returns because I figured Clinton would walk away with it. Total disbelief on my part.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: I think everyone is missing the point. If there is a Trump social media platform, it will not have ambitions of replacing twitter or facebook. It will be about gaining access to millions of easily duped and impulsive suckers. That’s going to be great for Trump and his buddies to scam them directly, and to sell off the info to other scammers. And they can coordinate. Generate and promote a lot of talk about how the Libtards are wrecking the stock market and soon only gold will be valuable, and then suddenly there is a post from Trump asking for help in fighting this socialism, and meanwhile everywhere the TrumpTwits go on the internet there’s an ad for yet another gold scam. Essentially the Fox business model but refined to an even higher purity level.

  35. CSK says:

    That sounds like something he’d do. My question would be if it would siphon money off the pac he’s already operating.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: The medical device company I worked for had a porn filter, not too bad in general, but given that medical devices are used on the human body and even various genitalia or mammary tissue, it sometimes blocked important sites. The IT department would promptly unblock that site upon request. It so happened that the Gates Foundation reached out for help with a very specific project. Research has shown that circumcised men are less likely to transmit HIV, and they wanted to encourage adult circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa, and wanted a device and procedure to make it safe, hygenic, and easy to administer at a local health clinic. It was assigned to a young but rising star of an engineer and got a lot of senior level attention because of the Gates connection. Sit back for a moment and contemplate the terms you might have to google to get started on this…

    So you can imagine the difficulties she faced and the constant back and forth with IT to unblock sites. They finally managed to unblock her computer entirely. After a few weeks she was begging them to come up with a “real porn filter”, something that could detect actual porn and weed it out. In the end she had to give up on general searches entirely and was limited to what she could find in journals, as if it was still 1975.

  37. Mike in Arlington says:

    @MarkedMan: That might be how it starts out, but as they found on parler, interacting with people isn’t fun unless you have someone to argue with. Presumably such a platform wouldn’t be a passive information provider but a place where you can interact with one another.

    The only people likely to join are Trump’s rubes and both liberal and conservative trolls. And everybody will lose interest over time.

  38. charon says:


    If there is a Trump social media platform, it will not have ambitions of replacing twitter or facebook. It will be about gaining access to millions of easily duped and impulsive suckers.

    That is a big if. I say it’s vaporware.

  39. CSK says:

    Well, given that Trump is lazy, disorganized, has the attention span of a flea, and seems incapable of hiring even minimally competent people (probably because no one halfway competent would work for him), I’m tending to think that, like so may of his projects, this will either never get off the ground or fail miserably if it does.

    Another thing: Trump has said that he likes chaos around him. I suspect he likes it because if all his employees hate and distrust each other, they can’t conspire against him. It is not, however, a great environment for a start-up.

  40. Joe says:

    @charon and Teve:
    They can certainly find 5 more states that will pass this, but none of them will be contiguous to Utah.

  41. Kathy says:

    Some random notes:

    While the current quest for a commercial supersonic plane looks plausible, I don’t think we’ll have widespread supersonic travel until hydrogen jet engines are commonplace (if ever). The fuel and environmental costs are just too high otherwise.

    I miss cooking. I still have enough frozen meals to last me another week, but I may dare to cook some eggs for breakfast this weekend. Next weekend I’ll have to cook, and I’m thinking something quick, simple, and which doesn’t weight much in groceries.

    I’m torn between traveling north for a COVID vaccine, and waiting til I get a turn down here. In theory, I should get one in April. If I travel, it would also be in April. The difference is the certainty I can get one in April if I travel. On the other hand, it involves going to a certain red state that dropped its mask mandate. It may be that waiting an extra month for a shot would be less risky.

  42. CSK says:

    Well, it’s March 25, so April isn’t far off. It may be simpler just to wait, especially if you can’t travel till next month anyway. I know you’re observing all the safety protocols.

  43. Mister Bluster says:

    President Biden is on the air.

  44. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Pfizer vaccine #1 done. #2 scheduled 3rd week of April.

  45. Teve says:

    Jesus, I just realized I haven’t thought about Kayleigh McEnany or Kellyanne Conway in weeks.

    It feels good.

  46. Teve says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: my second dose is 4/20 😛

  47. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Teve: I may have to reschedule. Inadvertently set appt for same morning I meet my new oncologist.

  48. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    The Saudi official who is alleged to have twice issued threats against the independent UN investigator Agnès Callamard is the head of the kingdom’s human rights commission, and formerly served as an aide to the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

    Sigh. Cracker’s right. We definitely need a better grade of people. Ver 1.1 program very buggy.

  49. gVOR08 says:


    So it looks like a cynical performance to impress the rubes

    Whaa!? By Republicans!? Say it ain’t so.

  50. charon says:
  51. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan: I have run into much milder collisions with the company firewall and filters on legitimate business, but that one is epic. Thanks for sharing.

  52. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Do it quickly. Maybe you can schedule the vax for the day after.

  53. Kathy says:


    Because I get tasked with finding all sorts of information*, my work PC is supposed to be free of all restrictions. For the past three years, I’ve had to email IT about every three months to remind them of this fact.

    * The strangest thing I was asked to find were beef prices in Brazilian supermarkets in 2008. I never found out why the hell for. We don’t export at all.

    It also turns out I’m the only one who can look up flight schedules in airline websites.

  54. flat earth luddite says:

    @CSK: Frankly, I’d rather reschedule the oncologist. I’m over 5 years NED (i.e., in remission – YEAH!!!!!) and I know nothing about this person, other than the fact that she’s new to the department, and abruptly replaced the doctor who led my life saving treatment. Hers is a routine new patient visit.

  55. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Good idea. Tell the receptionist that you have your vax scheduled for that day. That person will probably tell you to get the shot. That’s what happened to a couple of people I know who had routine appointments that conflicted with a vax appt.

  56. flat earth luddite says:

    Yep, routine follow-up, every 6 months with oncologist, annual visit with surgeon who did the last lifesaving surgery. That one’s always bittersweet, ever since he told his assistant that he likes seeing me because I’m the only 10 year colon cancer survivor he, and his fellow doctors in the area, have ever treated. Even with the improvements in diagnosis and treatment, the 3-year survival rate of 15% is shocking. And the idea that an overweight, over-smoked, over-drunk leaping gnome of a Luddite is in that group is astounding.

  57. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Wa! I’ma pass on that one. I lost track when they changed the name from CBN University. I’m sorry that they felt the need to smear Regent College a decently reputable school in Van BC. 🙁

  58. Joe says:

    Just because Idaho hates social justice, charon, doesn’t mean they don’t want their pornography!

  59. Teve says:

    LOL seen on Twitter:

    “Sorry for Tokyo drifting my ship into the Suez canal”

  60. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    There’s no circumstance under which I’d watch it, other than the mercifully brief embedded video of Bachmann losing her shit. But I enjoyed reading about it.

  61. CSK says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Good genes.

  62. Mister Bluster says:

    Before Glenn Close and the rabbit. There was Play Misty for Me.
    Jessica Walter

  63. MarkedMan says:

    Steven, a suggestion for a column. Israel has just had its fifth election with an inconclusive outcome, one where extremist groups must be brought into any coalition that can form a government. I’m curious about Israel’s parliamentary system and how it compares to those you consider having better structures.

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: That’s so sad. 🙁 She played the roles of the women that I wanted to meet when I was younger. Never did though.

  65. Kathy says:


    If they open a sign-up list April 1st for my age group, I would be more tempted to wait.

    the other thing to consider is that in the US I’d get either Moderna, Pfizer, or J%J. Down here it’s more of a crap shoot between Pfizer (low odds), CanSino, Sputnik V, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac.

    The latter has rather unimpressive efficacy of just 50.4% in preventing mild cases. It does better in preventing serious cases, hospitalization and death.

    And last, there’s the expenses for two trips abroad.

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: If an ex president gives a press release and nobody reads it, did it happen at all?

  67. Teve says:

    Oh this is interesting. There’s a Vox article that makes a point identical to one I’ve made for a while:

    Game theorists have known for decades that one of the best ways to generate cooperative behavior in a prisoner’s dilemma-type game is a tit-for-tat strategy: If your opponent cooperated last time, you cooperate, and if they defected last time, you defect.

    Democrats have effectively been offering to cooperate and pay for all their budget proposals, or even entertain (as under Obama) and enact (as under Clinton) big bipartisan balanced budget deals — even as Republicans repeatedly defect and show no interest in paying for anything. The rational move in such a game is to start defecting yourself, and declare that you’re not going to pay for anything either.

    So even if you want to generate balanced budgets in the future, Democratic deficit spending might be a way to get Republicans more on board with that going forward. And MMT just strengthens Democrats’ bargaining position in this regard, as it lets them send a credible signal that they don’t even think it’s a good idea to pay for everything.


  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: That poor girl, I can only imagine what she was subjected to.

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @flat earth luddite: Happy to “meet” one. My BiL didn’t make it 3 years.

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Misty has always been a very disturbing movie to me, one to avoid even. I guess that’s how a lot of women feel about more than a few other movies. (same for The Beguiled)

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I just got the J&J vax. In another month, traveling no more than across the border might be enough to get it.

  72. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I’ll know more about the setup after I take my daughter for her shot this next Wednesday, but it looks to me like you pick and choose which shot you want to make the appointment for. They didn’t even question that we were from a different county. And that town has an airport.

  73. Teve says:

    Well. I wondered how it was going with the conservatives about Biden‘s press conference, so let me give you a little taste of what’s going on at the gateway pundit right now:






  74. Mikey says:

    @Teve: My conservative friends are basically saying the same, of course. From this I can only assume, even without having watched the press conference, that President Biden sounded fine and was in full command of his faculties.

  75. Jax says:

    Trumpies are pretty determined to paint Biden as senile. It doesn’t matter how many press conferences he does. I say make that the last one, and let them read and weep.

  76. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: I knew someone who worked on a porn filter. He was a man of eclectic tastes, so he was fine with it.

    He was also a deeply depressing, casually racist and misogynistic man. It was a bit of a shame that he was fine with it.

    He’s also a Democrat, and retweets all of the #metoo things, with absolutely no understanding that a lot of it is about him. One of those “well, I didn’t rape anyone, so I’m a feminist” kind of feminist men.

    (I keep in touch with him on LinkedIn, just so I can watch his career get worse and worse, and also so I never accidentally work at the same place as him when his career has the inevitable upswings. Smart, interviews well, but horrible)