Tuesday’s Forum

Apologies for the continued site woes. The downside of a 20-year-old site with 57,465 posts and 1,418,642 comments is that there are a lot of moving parts. We’re running out of storage on the server and will likely need another solution soon.

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:

    Something to put a smile on your face this AM:

    Donald Trump is expected to be represented at his first court appearance to face federal criminal charges for retaining national security materials and obstruction of justice by two of his existing lawyers, after struggling to recruit a local Florida lawyer willing to join his legal defense team.

    The lawyers making an appearance with Trump on Tuesday will be the top former federal prosecutor Todd Blanche and the former Florida solicitor general Chris Kise, according to people familiar with the matter. Trump’s co-defendant, his valet Walt Nauta, will be represented by Stanley Woodward.

    Trump and his legal team spent the afternoon before his arraignment interviewing potential lawyers but the interviews did not result in any joining the team in time for Trump’s initial court appearance scheduled for 3pm ET on Tuesday after several attorneys declined to take him as a client.

    Trump has also seemingly been unable to find a specialist national security lawyer, eligible to possess a security clearance, to help him navigate the Espionage Act charges.

    The last-minute scramble to find a veteran trial lawyer was a familiar process for Trump, who has had difficulty hiring and keeping lawyers to defend him in the numerous federal and state criminal cases that have dogged him through his presidency and after he left the White House.

    After interviewing a slate of potential lawyers at his Trump Doral resort, the former president settled on having Kise appearing as the local counsel admitted to the southern district of Florida as a one-off, with Blanche being sponsored by him to appear pro hac vice, one of the people said.

    FAFO he did.

  2. DK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Why doesn’t Treason Trump’s ever-loyal Epstein Island buddy “Democratic” lawyer defender Dershowitz go represent Trump?

    Dershowitz has been all over rightwing media insisting the Florida grand jury’s indictment of Drama Queen Donnie is unjustified. Seems a natural fit. And where’s Rudy Giuliani these days?

  3. charontwo says:


    Trump has also seemingly been unable to find a specialist national security lawyer, eligible to possess a security clearance, to help him navigate the Espionage Act charges.

    He needs one with TS clearance, or able to get it, these are scarce.



  4. Kathy says:

    Benito knew what kind of crimes he committed, and that an investigation was going on and an indictment was likely for several weeks at least.

    So, naturally, the time to look for qualified legal counsel was just before his first court appearance. only a crazy person would begin to prepare any earlier than that.

  5. Charley in Cleveland says:

    A lawyer’s dream client: won’t listen to you, won’t pay your bill, might get you disbarred.

  6. CSK says:

    Actor Treat Williams, 71, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Vermont. RIP.

  7. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Wow…that’s a shame.
    He was killed in Dorset, VT on his motorcycle Monday evening.
    I just went thru there on my bike on Sunday.
    Look out for motorcycles, jerks.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charontwo: And they don’t want to lose their TS clearance because trump starts blabbing about classified matters during a live Hannity interview.

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @Charley in Cleveland: I’ve mentioned it here before, but the first lawyer in charge of Rod Blagojevich’s defense quit half-way through prep for the first trial, saying “I don’t insist that my clients TAKE my legal advice, but they should at least LISTEN to it!”

    Trump is even worse than that. Won’t listen, won’t keep his mouth shut, and won’t pay his bills.

  10. Kylopod says:


    Why doesn’t Treason Trump’s ever-loyal Epstein Island buddy “Democratic” lawyer defender Dershowitz go represent Trump?

    Here are three possible reasons:

    (1) Trump doesn’t want anyone stealing his spotlight.

    (2) Trump blames him for not stopping the first impeachment.

    (3) He’s old AF.

  11. Jax says:

    What happens with the jury not having security clearances? They’re presented with a pile of highly redacted papers showing only what level of classification they have stamped on them?

  12. Daryl says:

    Inflation continues to cool. The all items CPI increased 4.0 percent for the 12 months ending May; this was the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending March 2021.
    Way to go, Brandon!!!
    Gavin Newsom sparred with Hannity on this last night.
    I think Newsom will turn out to be one of Biden’s strongest surrogates in ’24, and will be President in ’28. And just wait to see what Newsom does to DeSantis.

  13. Daryl says:

    damn…I forgot to post under the name Daryl, and now I’m in moderation hell.
    Anyway…Wow…what a shame.
    I always enjoyed Williams…kind of an “everyman” actor.
    He was in a motorcycle accident in Dorset, VT on Monday night when a driver in a car turned in front of him.
    I just went thru Dorset, on my motorcycle, on Sunday morning.
    Watch out for motorcycles, jerks.

  14. Mister Bluster says:

    OTB site is working properly this morning.
    Experienced several glitches last night (Monday, Jun 12) just before midnight CDT.

    Just made two edits to correct errors in this post.

  15. CSK says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: @Daryl:

    Both posts came through fine. Williams lived in Manchester Center, VT. Yes, it is a shame. He was a very versatile actor.

  16. DK says:


    Inflation continues to cool.

    Cut in half since last year.

    Since many in our nation were blaming it all on Brandon, do those same folks now credit him or nah?

  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    Trump heads to court today and the RWNJs are promising to retaliate. Here’s a question; does DeSantis choose to protect the public of FL and uphold its laws or does he pander the the MAGAt base in the primaries and let Miami burn?

  18. DK says:


    I think Newsom will turn out to be one of Biden’s strongest surrogates in ’24, and will be President in ’28.

    Out here in Cali, many of us are upset with Gavin (again): his new budget cuts public transportation funds, exactly what we do not need right now. He has been the opposite of a visionary on mass transit and it’s maddening.

    But I must admit, begrudgingly, he was very very good at dismantling Hannity’s GQP talking points. Cleaned his clock really, and he looked and sounded good doing it, like a young Biden. Newsom will run and he might be viable once people get to see and hear him. I want to win, and I could see Newsom chewing up DeSantis or Youngkin on the debate stage.

    Pains me to say, because I am not a fan and would much prefer a true forward-thinker like Jared Polis or Gretchen Whitmer. But it’s more important to defeat whomever Republicans pick to be the face of their proto-fascism.

  19. Kathy says:


    If we ever get a photo of El Cheeto inside a cell, I would make a meme of that photo with the sticker of Biden pointing at the scene and the caption “I did that!” next to it.

    It wouldn’t be true, but it would be hilarious.

  20. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    That nut Laura Loomer is already outside the courthouse, hoping that thousands of MAGAs show up and make a ruckus. Sadly for them, Trump will be driven in through a concealed entrance.


    I doubt that about the cell photo, unfortunately. A mug shot won’t be taken either, dammit.

  21. Mr. Prosser says:

    @CSK: The first movie I remember Williams in was 1941. If I remember correctly he played a psycho soldier waiting for the Japanese invasion of Southern California. It was a weird movie but had a huge cast of good character actors and SNL members of the time.

  22. Daryl says:

    When I was a kid, growing up in VT, Manchester’s claim to fame was being the biggest tiny town between Rutland and Bennington on RT 7. My grandmother used to take us to a restaurant there that had a Norman Rockwell painting. (He lived in nearby Arlington.)
    But now…jumpin’ jiminy.
    It’s just the quaintest little Outlet Mall in the whole damn country!!!
    Not one, not two, but THREE traffic circles!!!

  23. Kathy says:


    I know.

    For all his mindless whining, Benito is getting a great deal of special treatment not afforded other felony defendants. I would like to see and contrast how Nauta, the co-conspirator in half of the indictment, gets treated.

  24. CSK says:

    There was a bomb threat at the Miami courthouse at 11 a.m. today. The protesters and reporters had to move back from it.

  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    My biggest issue with Newsom in two words: Kimberly Guilfoyle. I mean, WTF?

    As for the transpo funds, we’d have plenty if we’d stop trying to build high speed rail from nowhere to nowhere. BART needs the money, but no one in Fresno need a train to Merced.

  26. CSK says:


    I would TOTALLY settle for a mug shot of a scowling Trump holding a sign under his chin.

  27. CSK says:


    Apparently the bomb was a tv set attached to a pole with a sign on it reading ” THE COMMUNIST-CONTROLLED NEWS MEDIA.”

  28. Bill Jempty says:

    Daryl: When growing up I had cousins living in Wilmington Vermont, around halfway between Bennington and Brattleboro. Been to Wilmington 3 times in my life but the last time was 40 years ago.

  29. SenYorDave says:

    @Daryl: Core inflation was 0.4%, which is where it has been for almost the entire year. Not time to celebrate anytime soon. I still think we will have a recession, the bottom quartile of people have run out of money and are burning through their credit.

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    A mug shot won’t be taken either, dammit.

    If Trump had any sense of marketing at all, he’d photoshop a mug shot and sell it twice–under his own label to the MAGAts and through a dummy corporation to you and Kathy. Fortunately for you, Trump has no marketing sense at all and won’t set this up, so you don’t have to worry about inadvertently supporting him.

  31. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I think I heard he’s been selling fake mugshots. But those won’t capture his utter defeat, so who cares. His base buys all his sh*t regardless (literally).

    If he had any business sense, he’d market toilet paper with his face on it in blue states and cities. It would sell out.

    BTW, the indictment did make the daily papers here, but not the front page. I forget what the NY indictment rated. But Benito’s less heated now that His Majesty made nice with him.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DK: Nah.

  33. Daryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Out here in Cali, many of us are upset with Gavin (again): his new budget cuts public transportation funds, exactly what we do not need right now. He has been the opposite of a visionary on mass transit and it’s maddening.

    Understood…but seriously…I’ve never been 100% happy with any elected official, from my town’s first-selectwoman, to our Governor, to any POTUS. As I look around the political horizon Newsom seems to be the brightest up and comer in the country, in general, not to mention being head and shoulders above anyone the MAGA Party currently has to offer.

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Kimberly Guilfoyle. I mean, WTF?

    WTF indeed.

  35. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Oh, I wouldn’t have bought it. Never. I’d have enjoyed seeing it, though.

    But you’re right. He’d monetize it.

  36. Daryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    My biggest issue with Newsom in two words: Kimberly Guilfoyle. I mean, WTF?

    I literally laughed out loud.
    Imagine thinking Fredo McFailson is an upgrade from Newsom?
    But look at the poor woman…someone used an Acme High-Volume Centrifugal Pump to inject her lips with botox.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl: For my own self, I’m pretty impressed with Whitmer, I haven’t read enough about Newsom to have an opinion either way.

  38. CSK says:

    Trump is on his way to the courthouse now. According to the visual from ABC, there are no howling mobs of Trumpkins outside it.

  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl: Y0u don’t inject lips with Botox; you inject the lips themselves with collagen. You inject the Botox into the muscle tissue at the corners of your mouth to control “smile lines.” I only know this because I had a co-teacher in Korea who used Botox. I thought it was sad that a young woman who wasn’t even 4o yet thought she needed it, but to each their own.

    But other than the product detail, a good description. I always thought that it was funny when the Fox News personalities looked like they were dipped in plastic when they were on the HD TVs Woosong had in the lobbies of the classroom buildings.

  40. Mister Bluster says:

    Just heard a report on the WGN TV web site that Special Council Jack Smith has “flown down” to Florida and will be in court when Trump appears. Tried to find a second source for this but so far no luck. The WGN talking head said that this is not unusual.
    One of Trump’s mouthpieces Hobbit? Hobo? Haba? Just gave statement and said Trump is “defiant”. A TV talking head noted that she did not give one legal argument against the charges in her statement.
    I do see one “Lock Him Up” sign in the back of a crowd of Trump Flags and paraphernalia.

  41. Jax says:

    I have Trump toilet paper, and a toilet scrubber with his head as the scrubber. I quite enjoy cleaning my toilet with it, even though it does a pretty (cough cough) shitty job. I haven’t used the toilet paper, I’m certain the ink probably causes a rash. 😛 😛

  42. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    She didn’t give a single legal argument. All Ms. Haba-Daba-Doo spoke of was that Trump’s arrest has turned into a political persecution the likes of which is only seen in dictatorships.

  43. Mister Bluster says:

    If you want to get to President Trump, you’re going to have to go through me and you’re going to have to go through 75 million Americans just like me,..
    Kari Lake

    Well he’s been arrested so I’d say he’s been got.
    What’s her Plan B?

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Joyce Alene@JoyceWhiteVance
    2/ Today in my newsletter, I explain how CIPA works & how provisions authorizing an immediate appeal of adverse decisions may let prosecutors challenge Judge Cannon’s decision to remain on the case, without incurring additional delay. Sign up for free: https://joycevance.substack.com/p/handling-cla

    I think this Jack Smith guy knows what he is doing.

  45. becca says:

    ABC cut away from Yabba Habba before she finished her rant, which sounded like Trump wrote it. Also reporting Jack Smith is in the courtroom with two other federal prosecutors.

  46. Daryl says:

    Trump has now been arrested one time more than he was elected.

  47. DK says:


    I would make a meme of that photo with the sticker of Biden pointing at the scene and the caption “I did that!” next to it.


  48. DK says:

    @Mister Bluster: I mean, who wants to tell her that most of that 75 million voted for the Orange Menace mostly because he had a R next to his name and wouldn’t lift a finger to help her?

  49. CSK says:

    Trump will be holding a press conference at Bedminster at 8:15 this evening, before or after the $100,000 a plate reception and dinner he’s throwing.

    “We the People for Trump” will meanwhile be rallying outside the local public library. Guess they’re not welcome at the din-din.

  50. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    My biggest issue with Newsom in two words: Kimberly Guilfoyle. I mean, WTF?

    Ha. Literally said this to my boyfriend on Saturday, when he was hyping Newsom to me.

    The construction of the interstate in the late 1960s, and its expansion through the treacherous Tejon Pass, is an example of the vision Newsom lacks. If he had make the mistake of cancelling the SFO to LAX — because he does not have what it takes to rally, cajole, browbeat, beg and bribe the stakeholders — he should’ve just canceled it and taken his lumps. Canceling most of it except a route nobody needs is classic Newsom.

    The California assembly will not approve his public transportation cuts. Why would he even propose this? Come on bro.

    I think Newsom is good at media politics, very slick, but maybe deficient in actually getting things done, the anti-LBJ. He likes the performative aspects of the job, and that is precisely why could possibly run an effective presidential campaign.

    Would much much prefer Whitmer. Or Polis. But first order of business is re-electing Uncle Joe.

  51. CSK says:

    Jake Tapper on Alina Habba’s statement outside the Miami courthouse: “Well, that’s a lot of crazy.”

  52. Modulo Myself says:

    Cormac McCarthy has died at the age of 89. Outer Dark, Blood Meridian, and Suttree are absolute masterpieces. He published two books last year–The Passenger and Stella Maris. Both were as good and far-sighted as anything written in English this century. RIP

  53. JohnSF says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    “If you want to get to … Trump, you’re going to have to go through me…”

    Dark Brandon: “Your terms are acceptable, Ms. Lake”

  54. Kathy says:

    I’m currently reading a very long book, The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (it’s over 38 hours long according to Audible). The thesis is there are seven basic plot types (with subtypes in some) in literature, going back the at least The Epic of Gilgamesh.

    The author states some works might combine any number of plot types. So, if there are seven basic types, how many combinations of two or more plots can there be, not including sub types?

    I think the answer is 7!/6, or 7x6x5x4x3x2x1/6 = 840

    That’s a lot more variety than seven. And we haven’t touched on genres, yet. Consider the following:

    A huge threat hangs over a nation. The hero is summoned to confront it. They visit an armorer to obtain weapons, and set on a quest to find the source of the threat. When they find it they are trapped, and seemingly all is lost. But through a supreme effort, they manage to vanquish the threat and find the happy ending.

    Was that Beowulf going after Grendel, or James Bond after Dr. No? Or maybe the plot of almost every superhero movie?

    Interesting stuff.

  55. Kathy says:


    They’ll be fine, I expect. They have a lot of crazy to spare.

  56. JohnSF says:

    And makes me think of Lord of the Rings, and how Tolkien was actually, in many respects, subverting the hero-myth. A point a lot of people seem to miss, but is common in lot of his tales, one way or another.

  57. BugManDan says:

    @Modulo Myself: I had heard that he was sick. Sad to hear that he passed. The two new books are on my list to read. Loved his other books. Suttree was great.

  58. Kathy says:


    Early on, Booker says Lord of the Rings uses all seven plots.

    I wouldn’t know.

    Here’s a list of all 7 plots. I’m almost finished with Comedy.

    While I’m far from finished, I thought at the outset that the author should have said plot types rather than plots. As noted, Captain Marvel, for example, is not the same story as Jaws, even if they both use the same plot type (overcoming the monster).

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Modulo Myself: Fuck me.

  60. Jen says:


    will meanwhile be rallying outside the local public library.

    This actually pisses me off.

  61. dazedandconfused says:


    More FAFO.

    Jean Carroll gets another pay day.

  62. DK says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Outer Dark, Blood Meridian, and Suttree are absolute masterpieces.

    Welp. My reading list is getting longer.

    R.I.P. to this man of letters.

  63. CSK says:


    Yes. It does me as well. What pathetic fools these people are. Trump not only doesn’t give a damn about them, he is actively contemptuous of them.

  64. CSK says:


    Indeed. A sad day for those who admire good writing.

  65. Modulo Myself says:


    I would start with Blood Meridian. Just dive into the deep end…

  66. dazedandconfused says:

    Categorization is tricky stuff. How would The Sopranos, where the protagonist IS the monster fit in to that? I suppose tragedy, and whether or not the monster wins or loses.

    That series reminded me of John Gardner’s Grendel.

  67. Modulo Myself says:


    The structure is still the same, except that it’s ironic and subjective. (Or David Chase intended it to be.) Tony opening the fridge and staring into it is about as Freudian and solipsistic as one can get. And other than interiority, what’s the difference between the psychopaths who work for Tony Soprano and the psychopaths who were camped outside Troy?

    It’s like comparing Madame Bovary to a moral tale about a frivolous and immature woman. It’s the same narrative structure, except when she asks why she married that man, we understand: because we too are frivolous and bored.

  68. Kathy says:


    A lot of categorization winds up with exceptions and arbitrary placements. Just look at biological classification. Much of it is incomplete, too, as for instance biological classification.

    And yet it does serve some purpose. The periodic table serves to categorize elements of similar chemical properties, and helped a lot in developing atomic theory as well (that’s a long and fascinating story).