Tuesday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor 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 was beginning to wonder.

  2. Kathy says:

    It begins.

    Wannabehitler claims covering up his misdeeds is an official act.

    He’s going to claim everything he did as an official act. there’s no power this pile of crap in vaguely human form won’t abuse.

  3. Mikey says:

    @Kathy: And he’ll succeed, because the final arbiter is his compromised SCOTUS.

  4. Kingdaddy says:


    I prefer human pustule.

  5. Kingdaddy says:

    @Kathy: Also, the Supremes knew exactly what they were doing.

  6. Chris says:

    Were they to be judged with the same care… they would be treated with hypocrisy, contempt, and under the influence of corruption.

  7. Kingdaddy says:

    Two more thoughts on the legal “reasoning” of the Supremes:

    (1) The immunity decision is based on the notion that the Presidency is such an essential and demanding role that the occupant cannot afford to be distracted for a minute by legal niceties. The fact that Trump was the laziest of presidents, indifferent to his official duties to the point of bungling the pandemic response (in large part because of his selfish interests, not the demands of the office) seems to have escaped them.

    (2) When overturning the Chevron decision, the greatest legal minds of our age demanded an extreme level of specificity in any regulation, lest it fall into the inexpert hands of lower courts, instead of the expert hands of civil servants who understand chemistry, climate, and other highly technical topics. In the immunity decision, they provide nothing precise about the difference between unofficial and official acts. In case of uncertainty, which they’ve created in droves, assume immunity.

  8. Jay L Gischer says:

    Well, my personal hobgoblin of consistency observes that the same political movement that insisted that the creation of rights not granted by the Constitution specifically was an overreach by “activist” courts – the primary example being Roe v. Wade, has now conferred on the President an absolute right to do whatsoever a President might wish as an official act, regardless of legality – which said right appears nowhere in the Constitution.

    Sigh. It has been a rough week. Let’s pick ourselves up and look to defeating Trump and this big bag of authoritarian enemies of America electorally. That’s still possible. I would even rate it likely. Yes, with Joe Biden at the top of the ticket.

    I’ve always understood originalism to be a sham principal, and we see that it was easily discarded when necessary.

  9. SC_Birdflyte says:

    To alter a quote from Andrew Jackson: “John Roberts has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.”

  10. Jen says:

    I have been swinging wildly from “oh, well, I guess Rome fell too so the end of the American Experiment was bound to happen at some point” to “good gawd we need to FIGHT like hell.”

    I’m just so TIRED. Which is part of the objective of jerks like those housed at the Heritage Foundation.

  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I’ve always understood originalism to be a sham principal, and we see that it was easily discarded when necessary.

    All conservative principles are sham principles. The Right has been intellectually bankrupt my entire life. The only thing they really believe in is me me me, mine, mine, mine, and to hell with everything and everyone else. The only part of the Constitution they really believe in is the right for White people to own lots and lots of guns in case they find an excuse to murder someone different from them.

    If Trump wins there will be death squads, targeting gays, trans, Blacks, Muslims, immigrants and liberals generally. Can’t have a banana republic without death squads. So liberals with means will hire armed security and arm themselves as well. At the apex of American global success, these troglodytes will turn this country into Guatemala, dragging us all down into the gutter with them.

  12. JohnSF says:

    Something amusing struck me while looking over the likely Labour team at No10 and key ministries.
    Quite a high proportion are Irish or of Irish descent: Sue Gray, Pat McFadden, Morgan McSweeney, Mat Doyle, Luke Sullivan.
    Well, after all, someone’s got to look after the English and stop them from mucking things up. ;).

  13. Kathy says:

    On things not (so) political, Boeing has agreed to “buy” Spirit Aerosystems (formerly Boeing Wichita), in a straight stock swap and assumption of Spirit’s debt*. Regulatory approval pending.

    There is a sticking point. namely that some Spirit facilities make components for other manufacturers, notably Bombardier and Airbus. The deal would involve airbus taking over these facilities. The aviation blogs suggest Airbus would be paid several hundred millions to do so.

    No question now, Airbus is the better company.

    On related matters, it’s little known that Airbus has instituted type rating commonality across its entire line. That is, the cockpit and controls of all its jets are very similar, all based on the original A320 design from the 1980s.

    This does not mean an A320 pilot is rated also for the A350. They’re not. But the two jets are piloted in a similar enough fashion, including almost all controls, switches, levers, displays, etc. being in the same place and working the same way, that obtaining type rating on the A350 is a matter of two weeks.

    In contrast, a pilot rated on the A350 would need about two months to obtain type rating in the B777. And viceversa.

    Boeing did try something similar. The 757 and 767 were developed in tandem, and have identical cockpits. A pilot rated on one can fly the other with no or minimal training for type rating (and many pilots are rated on both from the start). This left out the 747 and 737, though, which were kept in production for several decades since.

    When Boeing developed the 777, back when it was still an engineering company (before they were assimilated by McDD), they did not keep the type commonality. I think they did eventually carry it over to the 787.

    Had Boeing scrapped the 1960s era 737 design and gone clean sheet with a new mainline short-medium haul jet, they could have extended type commonality to that one.

    Alas, shareholder value uber alles.

    *I wonder whether this time Boeing will acquire Spirit, or whether Spirit will acquire Boeing with Boeing’s money, as McDD did in the late 90s.

  14. just nutha says:

    @Kingdaddy: “… seems to have escaped them.”

    Sure, but only because THEY DON’T GAF. They’re officially partisan hacks now. And will be for the next 30 or so years.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Rudy Giuliani has officially been disbarred in New York, marking a continued fall from grace for Giuliani. Previously, Giuliani served as the Mayor of New York City and as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. However, following Giuliani’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election by spreading false information, the New York State Bar moved for sanctions against Giuliani.

    This morning, a New York appellate court confirmed that Giuliani should be disbarred as a consequence of spreading false information regarding the 2020 election. As noted in today’s decision, Giuliani:

    ” . . . flagrantly misused his prominent position as the personal attorney for former President Trump and his campaign, through which respondent repeatedly and intentionally made false statements, some of which were perjurious, to the federal court, state lawmakers, the public, the AGC, and this Court concerning the 2020 Presidential election, in which he baselessly attacked and undermined the integrity of this country’s electoral process. In so doing, respondent not only deliberately violated some of the most fundamental tenets of the legal profession, but he also actively contributed to the national strife that has followed the 2020 Presidential election, for which he is entirely unrepentant.”

    As a result, the appellate court noted that Giuliani:

    ” . . . is commanded to desist and refrain from (1) practicing law in any form, either as principal or agent, clerk or employee of another, (2) appearing as an attorney or counselor-at-law before any court, Judge, Justice, board, commission, or other public authority, (3) giving to another an opinion as to the law or its application or any advice in relation thereto, and (4) holding himself out in any way as an attorney and counselor-at-law”

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww… Pobrecito.

  16. Kathy says:

    Speaking of Boeing, the reason offered by CEO Denis Muilenburg to develop the 737 MAX rather than a clean sheet design, was the very high costs of developing a new design.

    Now, estimating costs for developing a new airplane is tricky. The rule of thumb should be “at least double the most pessimistic estimates.” Bombardier had estimated $2.5-3 billion to develop the C Series (now Airbus A220), and it wound up around $5.2 billion (see rule of thumb).

    The size of the plane itself is not the main issue, but in general larger planes cost more to design. Especially when doing something radically new and different. Thus the A380 cost around $20 billion (part of the design cost involves building the tools and facilities to make the actual planes). On the other hand, the costs for the A350 were around $12 billion

    In any case, Muilenburg began citing a ridiculous amount, I think $15 billion, and that climbed all the way up to $50 billion. Whereas new engines and some tweaks on the 737 would be much cheaper. Namely $2 billion (narrator: it was closer to $4 billion).

    It’s important to note the short-medium haul mainline aircraft, like the 737 and A320 families, are by far the bulk of the sales for both manufacturers. So, it might seem to make excellent financial sense to spend less money in developing the best seller.

    Except Boeing was so incompetent and lax in the implementation, and in its desire to minimize type rating retraining, that two airplanes crashed due to Boeing’s actions. And then the type was grounded for two years, and that meant a delay in deliveries, and that meant penalties spelled out in contracts, etc. And therefore Boeing’s excellent financial move to save perhaps $1 to $5 billion in development, cost the company over $80 billion.

    It also cost hundreds of people their lives.

  17. Joe says:

    I find it fascinating that Mitch McConnell who has endorsed a candidate who has included Mitch on a list of enemies of the people who need to be prosecuted.

    But leopards won’t eat his face.

  18. JKB says:

    It’s fine, everything is fine

    On Saturday afternoon, DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison and Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez held a conference call with dozens of DNC members nationwide, and it did not go well. In fact, it arguably made things worse.

    “Multiple committee members on the call, most granted anonymity to talk about the private discussion, described feeling like they were being gaslighted — that they were being asked to ignore the dire nature of the party’s predicament,” the AP reported. “The call, they said, may have worsened a widespread sense of panic among elected officials, donors and other stakeholders.”

    Participants on the call said Harrison offered “a rosy assessment of Biden’s path forward,” and no questions were allowed during the call.

  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    I think it’s important to question the relatively anodyne and indirect ‘for the stockholders,’ line. These executives are the stockholders. These men were lining their own pockets at the expense of human lives. They deserve to be in prison.

  20. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It’s worse than that.

    The executives are shareholders, because they get shares as part of their compensation. So they don’t even invest in the company.

    But there are myriad other shareholders, some of which can hold very large stakes. See Xlon (more on that problem soon) with Xitter, or the company trying to flip Southwest. These are far more dangerous. They can buy large stakes, talk up the stock value, wreck the company while pretending to fix it, cash out and leave their mess behind.

    One tenet on the pro-business school of thought is that businesses have to think and act in long term time frames, as investments take time to pay off, markets take time to mature, products take time to grow in market share, etc.

    This may still be so of new companies. Older, established companies, though, are trapped in quarterly cycles. This leads to manipulating numbers, shoddy products that sell quickly, cutting corners, etc. just to make the all important quarterly stock numbers.

  21. Kathy says:

    As promised above:

    Texla sales fall for second straight quarter.

    I checked the prices for Texlas locally, and they are insane. The cheaper option costs between 20 to 40% more than a Corolla. One is supposed to make up the difference by spending less in fuel. I’ve no idea whether that’s true in mexico. Electricity prices are really high, and the kw/h rate climbs as you consume more energy. Recharging a car even once a week would add a lot to the bill.

    I think this goes for all EVs, not just Texlas’. It would explain why demand is going down.

    I remind all, though, this is the company that has voted to sacrifice $45-50 billion at the altar of Xlon Mars God Emperor Cisgender of Phobos, so he won’t leave the company.

    In heaven’s name, why?

  22. SenyorDave says:

    There is a regular feature that I see on Yahoo, I think it may taken from Redditt, called “Am I the Asshole”. It usually revolves around a family dispute, often a father and daughter, where one of the people ask the audience am I being an asshole, or is it the other party.
    This lead me to my question, “was I being a naive fool”? As bad as things have gotten withe GOP, I still thought guys like Roberts and McConnell had to have a limit of how far they would go along with the party. I truly thought they had some consideration about what would happen to the country if Trump and his people were to get power and hold it. Clearly, I was wrong. Was I foolishly wrong, and it was apparent to all that they were just two more conservative white males who really are fine with anything so long as they still have their power and money?
    I think that Roberts is in a bubble, conservatives on the SC seem to be able to justify anything. McConnell I thought might push back on Trump just because of his own legacy.

  23. SenyorDave says:

    @Kathy: I think your answer is Tesla stock price today. Tesla is up 19 points, or 9%, because deliveries beat expectations. Elmo’s $50 billion+ pay package is based on the fact that there seems to be an endless number of fanboys who will buy Tesla stock based on Musk’s presence, it doesn’t seem like there is a way to make lower quarterly deliveries good news but the street is still pumping the stock.
    Tesla’s market cap has increased annually by 50% since 2018.

  24. Matt says:

    @SenyorDave: The AITA subreddit has been around for a long time so I’m not surprised there’s a version that popped up on yahoo.

  25. Kathy says:


    Stock value is supposed to be related to the value of the company. I can understand a stock being overvalued as regards future potential for more value. Still it seems Texla is way overvalued compared to its assets and likely production volumes.

    It feels a bit like tulips or beanie babies.

    Or bitcoin.

  26. Kathy says:

    A couple of corrections.

    The costs to develop the A380 are estimated to be between $25 and $30 billion, not $20 billion. This is what happens when you go from memory and don’t double check before posting.

    And the A220 does not share type rating commonality with the rest of the Airbus line. This is because it was developed by bombardier, not Airbus. The latter acquired the program, then called the C Series, for a nominal payment as Bombardier divested of its commercial jets entirely.

    What this means is that, from a flight crew point of view, there’s no advantage for an airline with a large Airbus to buy the A220 rather than an alternative, like the Max 7 (should it ever be certified) or the larger Embraer E2 model.

    You may still get a better price or financing terms, but your pilots can’t switch between A320 and A220 easily.

  27. SJP NPC says:

    Angry Black Lady who gave the excellent legal analysis that a Presidential election is the same as legal discovery in court.
    Government Officials that are Appointed are the same as Government Officials that are Elected.

  28. Kathy says:

    A poll taken in several European countries, indicates most people believe the war in Ukraine will end with a negotiated outcome.

    No offense to the good people of Europe, but that’s how most wars end.

    In Ukraine, many still believe they can win militarily.

    It’s not out of the question, but it depends on what they mean by “win”. If they mean recover all territories and kicking all Russian troops out, even excepting Crimea, then it’s not very likely. If they mean tiring the Russians out and/or exhausting them so they’re willing to negotiate some kind of end to hostilities, then that might happen after a few more years and if Western support holds.

    So the big issue just now is the US election. If King Wannabehitler wins, he’ll side with Wannabestalin and end all support. He might also threaten to withdraw from NATO to get Europe to stop their support as well*.

    Another item is Ukrainians are concerned the US would strike a separate peace deal without consulting Ukraine.

    Of course that’s not possible because the US is not at war (for a change). So I assume they mean what I said above.

    *Until yesterday I thought it highly unlikely the US would leave NATO, but given recent events… Wannabehitler might do it just because it would please his master.

  29. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: I don’t think it’s as much a belief that they can win militarily as an acknowledgement that they must win militarily. A negotiated settlement won’t be worth anything. Ukraine’s situation is really pretty grim if negotiations with Putin are the end game.

  30. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    I get that, but there’s only so much that can be done. It’s simply not possible to do what you can’t do, no matter what the consequences might be. Having to do something does not confer the capability to do it.

    At this point it’s a war of attrition. I don’t see a way for Ukraine to recover all pre-2022 territories, much less Crimea. I also don’t see how Russia can take over all Ukraine, or even the rest of the Black Sea coast. They have a chance if both the US and Europe end all support, but maybe not even then.

    So it’s wait and see what happens.

  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    My occasional reminder that the war in Ukraine has been bloody awful for the Ukrainians, but it has been the best foreign policy deal we’ve had since the Louisiana Purchase, so Trump, being the great businessman who gave us everything from Trump Steaks and Trump Ties to Trump Bibles and his own special moron-bait NFTs, and managed to bankrupt a casino, will fuck it up.

  32. Jax says:

    @SenyorDave: You’re not wrong. I, too, expected the senior members of the Grand Old Party to see through Trump’s bullshit, and take the high road, if nothing else because of their “legacy” as the Grand Old Party. This is not what I thought Republicans were, but here we are. I think my first 2×4 to the head was when Scalia died and McConnell refused to let Obama nominate someone. It’s all been a cascading waterfall of WTF since then.

    And I’m tired. Somebody else mentioned they were tired on another thread, or earlier on this one, and JFC, it’s so true. I’m so emotionally exhausted from the constant firehose of political bullshit.

    But that’s what they want. That’s how they win. Make it so damn ugly and nasty that you feel like you’re swimming in a sewer, and you can’t even deal with it anymore.

    It makes me angry that I ACTUALLY HAVE TO CONSIDER THE SAFETY of myself and my family, and my livestock, should Trump win again and Project 2025 come about. There are people on the local Facebook pages celebrating the immunity decision. Already making lists.

    How long before I get turned in for being a “librul” and my daughter targeted because she’s gay?

  33. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy: Yeah, and on the topic of Ukrainian public opinion the difficulty Zelenskyy had in getting full mobilization says a lot. Barely managed to get the draft age reduced to 25. “Deeply unpopular”, as the Kyiv news orgs put it.

    Zelenskyy met with Orban recently, who appears to be playing the role of intermediary as direct communication between Putin and Zelenskyy remains politically fraught.

    Western support has been half-assed, the Ukrainians themselves appear not much beyond 3/4 assed, and if Trump wins his negotiating position will be a lot worse than it is now. I can’t blame him for seeking a deal or at least exploring the possibility.

  34. Mister Bluster says:

    Robert Towne 89

    Towne wrote the screenplay for Chinatown.
    My number 1 film.

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    Today in History. July 2, 1881
    20th President of the United States – James Garfield Shot
    He would die 11 weeks later.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: If the choice is “fight” or “lose,” you fight until it’s impossible to continue. There’s nothing to lose for following that course. How long it will take to get to lose, though, is anyone’s guess, and certainly, any surrender will still be negotiated–see the Confederate States and the Empire of Japan.

  37. Jax says:

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