Wednesday’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. Bill Jempty says:

    The Florida headline of the day- Palm Beach Central principal, 4 staffers charged with failure to report student child abuse

    Another astonishing case of adults not taking action that they required to do when a child may be abused.

  2. charontwo says:

    There are visuals with this:

    Sicily is ablaze…Italian cities are left without water, w/out electricity, without public transportation, & Catania airport has closed…days after Italy’s far-right PM Meloni endorsed Spain’s Neo-Fascist:”We need patriots to stop climate change fanaticism”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A Democrat’s obsessive quest to change the way America is farmed and fed

    “Every year is an uphill battle. We’re up against entrenched, wealthy, strong interests,” said Blumenauer, known for his signature bowtie, circular glasses and bicycle enamel pin. He’s the spitting image of a progressive environmentalist and doesn’t shy from discussing some of agriculture’s most divisive issues.

    But he remains optimistic and steadfast in his vision for the American food system. Now more than ever, he feels momentum and support surrounding the future of farming and food production. People care about where their food comes from and what kind of impact their food is having on the climate, he says.

    Blumenauer’s newest plan, the Food and Farm Act, was introduced earlier this year, as an alternative to the farm bill – the package of food and agricultural policies passed every five years that is up for renewal this fall. His proposal would redirect billions of dollars away from subsidies for commodity farms towards programs that support small farmers, climate-friendly agriculture and increasing healthy food access.
    At the heart of Blumenauer’s bill is farm subsidy reform. In the most recent iteration of the farm bill, approximately $63bn was dedicated to subsidies. These mostly benefited the largest farms and agribusinesses, with 70% of subsidy payments going to just 10% of farms, most of which produce commodity crops like soy, corn and wheat, which are often used to make animal feed, processed foods and even fuel for cars.

    This means that taxpayers are subsidizing processed food, but not the fruits and vegetables you buy in the grocery store – and that commodity farms have little incentive to switch to more sustainable modes of production or more nutritious foods that people will actually eat.

    “Most of us don’t even know that the public dollars initially designed to protect farmers and keep supply managed to feed a hungry nation in the Great Depression are now reinforcing wealthy agribusiness corporations to grow commodities that are not even meant for human consumption,” said Joshua Sewell, a policy analyst at the nonpartisan watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.

    It sounds Quixote-esque, big Ag will fight it tooth and nail, but damned if I can find anything to disagree with. If he can just get one or 2 items into the Farm bill, I would consider it a success.

    Much more at the link.

  4. charontwo says:

    It’s not that Ron DeSantis just had to fire a Nazi from his staff. It’s that Ron DeSantis hired a known Neo Nazi to begin with. That staffer’s disgusting ideology is perfectly in step with the campaign.

    The DeSantis campaign has fired Nate Hochmann, who produced DeSantis videos with Nazi imagery did it in the DeSantis HQ, who had people who cleared it, saw it, approved it, vetted it. Lawyers looked at it.

    “We will no longer discuss it” is a response reporters should reject.

  5. Scott says:
  6. CSK says:

    Jill Lawrence on ways to get rid of Trump:

    What’s to prevent Trump from reneging on any deal he strikes? Immediate imprisonment if he does?

  7. Daryl says:

    President Ron DeNazi will put an end to THAT woke practice.

  8. Kathy says:

    These past few weeks I’ve been watching tech and gadget review videos on Youtube. I had a minor epiphany about why some gadgets sell, even though they’re not that useful.

    To begin with, we hear of a gadget that can do something that seems unlikely and often weird. It’s a bit hard to believe it works. Not something impossible like perpetual motion, or turning base metals into gold. Just something that 1) you may not have thought of, 2) seems more like something that would happen in a cartoon or a comedy, 3) you’ve no idea how it could work.

    But then you see it demonstrated, and it does exactly what it claims. At that moment, you may feel a desire to get your hands on it, and see for yourself that it does work.

    This may not lead you to take into account whether it’s convenient, or even whether you even need it.

    Take, for instance, the lazy reading glasses. They’re twin periscopes mounted on eyeglass frames, that allow you to look 90 degrees downward. Put that way, you may wonder why anyone would want that. Well, you can lie flat on a bed and watch the TV positioned 90 degrees off your visual axis.

    The demonstration is limited. You cannot see what the person wearing them does. But they get enthusiastic, totally are able to watch TV while lying flat, or read a book they don’t hold above their head, etc.

    I was curious enough to look them up online, even though I watch TV from my desk chair 99% of the time. Then I wondered why I felt drawn to something I’ve no use for and, I was sure, could not possibly work as well as claimed (what if you shift, or want to lie on your side?). And then i realized much of what I said above.

    The gadget lifecycle gets completed when the novelty wears off, or the convenience is shown to be limited, or ancillary issues manifest which were not covered in the ads, or a combination of these.

    BTW, some of the same thing happens with many of the weird hacks one sees online.

  9. Daryl says:

    Colludy Rudy has admitted (is no longer contesting) that he lied about “suitcases of ballots” in GA.
    It’s a hail mary attempt to get the case against him dismissed.
    IANAL – but I don’t think it will work. His claim is that the lies are constitutionally protected free speech. I’m not sure the 1st is a valid defense for “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” I predict he ends up paying Ruby Freeman and her daughter a boatload of money, or going bankrupt, because of this trial.

  10. Kathy says:


    What’s to prevent Trump from reneging on any deal he strikes?

    Did you ever see the Suicide Squad movies?


    I should think a former prosecutor knows how to strike a deal for damning testimony on the bigger fish.

  11. Modulo Myself says:

    Here’s a fascinating poll about public schools. Takeaway is that people with kids are satisfied with their local public schools, but people without kids are very much not.

    It’s hard not to draw bigger conclusions about the MAGA culture war being fueled by people who have no connection to what they are showing up screaming about.

  12. Kathy says:

    Seriously, UFO hearings?

    There’s no bread, not even cake, but they have the circuses part down pat.

  13. CSK says:



  14. Daryl says:

    Yes, agreed.
    But this is a defamation suit…flipping on Trump won’t help him here.

  15. Kathy says:


    Then you won’t find the solution as cruel, gruesome, or funny.


    Yeah, I kind of realized that a bit after I posted.

  16. Daryl says:

    MTG, Gaetz, Andy Biggs, and Scott Perry are all calling for Bidens impeachment for something.
    MTG, Gaetz, Andy Biggs, and Scott Perry all asked for a pardon from Trump.
    You do the math.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: How WOKE!

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:


    I see you figured it out.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:
  20. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Stereotypically, UFO nuts are supposed to be on the left. I’m not sure that stereotype was ever accurate, but at the very least it’s outdated. Just a few weeks ago Tucker pretty much affirmed his belief in the existence of space aliens (and somehow tied it into his stance on Russia and Ukraine). You’d think this would run into conflict with Christian fundamentalists who have long found the notion of extraterrestrial life threatening to their belief in an earth-centric universe. But currently these claims do seem to be coming almost entirely from the right, probably because they feed into the larger conspiracy theories, and the narrative that “the government has been lying to you.”

  21. Kathy says:

    The headline on this piece is misleading, as the study referenced only looked at two states, Florida and Ohio.

    We can’t extrapolate to other red states from this, or to Republiqan voters in general. But the results, in the limited areas, make perfect sense. In brief: excess deaths among GQP voters rose after COVID vaccines were made freely available, as compared to Democratic voters. Meaning the former group took up vaccination at lower rates.

    The lesson is that opposing vaccination is stupid and dangerous, regardless of the motivation.

    But the datum that caught my eye is that excess deaths were pretty much on par before vaccines were available. Here’s the quote:

    As they calculated excess death rate data for Florida and Ohio, the researchers found only small differences between Republican and Democratic voters in the first year of the pandemic, with both groups suffering similarly sharp rises in excess deaths that winter.

    Now, this doesn’t look at what preventive measures the disparate sets of voters took before vaccines. That I would love to know. The piece does reference an earlier study that finds death rates climbing in red vs blue states through 2020, as the former took fewer, if any, preventive measures.

    My takeaway is that non-vaccine measures, like distancing, isolation, masking, etc. do work, but nowhere near as well as effective vaccines.

    But we lack a controlled study where one area takes zero precautions vs others that take all precautions. Even if a state mandated no masks, closed no businesses or schools, and didn’t even recommend testing and isolation, lots of people took such measures on their own. And this includes large and small companies that closed their offices or plants, not only individuals masking up and not going to the movies.

    Maybe for the next pandemic we can get on of the brownshirt states to mandate going out during the worst of it.

  22. Daryl says:

    It seems that Tommy Tuberville, who is raising hell with our military preparedness in spite of never serving himself, is also stealing some valor for his Father.

  23. Daryl says:

    In news that should surprise no one…a Trump-appointed judge has blown up (for now, anyway) the H. Biden plea deal.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl: I think the defense lawyers and the prosecutors had far more to do with blowing up the deal than the judge did. They couldn’t agree on what the plea deal meant.

  25. gVOR10 says:

    Via Political Wire, Larry Sabato wins the day with a Tweet, or an eX, or an er, or whatever.

    So far Ron DeSantis has run a failing campaign. But here’s the good news: DeSantis has developed skills which, in some instances, can be applied for his personal benefit.”

  26. gVOR10 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: From her lips to God’s ear.

    It does, though, remind me of a long term concern. Romney claims that in 2016 he wrote in his wife rather than vote for Trump or Hillary. (It should be noted A) that the ballot is secret and Romney has been known to lie, and B) he still reliably voted with Trump on everything.) But how many times a have we seen some GOP say he hates Trump but he couldn’t possibly support a D? Why, in their minds, is it impossible to vote for a D? Is it just partisanship? Is it that they believe the FOX/GOP stereotype of Ds? Is it that they feel admitting to preferring a single D would call down the wrath of the MAGA, who already hate Romney anyway? Would it piss off the Billionaire Boys Club GOP donor class?

    What did Ds ever do to deserve this scorn?

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Don Winslow@donwinslow
    This is a truly wonderful story from Bruce @springsteen
    and I hope you listen to the end of it.

    It’s a reminder to all artists…be humble, be grateful.

    You gotta love Bruce.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR10: I can’t speak for the particulars of what she is saying, but if otherwise reliable R voters decide to stay home because their 2 choices both suck donkey D, they are toast. And right now there are a whole lot of women, obviously all the Ds but a whole lot of Rs who will not vote for an R in this election or the next and maybe never again. Something about being treated as 2nd class citizens rubs them the wrong way.

    What did Ds ever do to deserve this scorn?

    They tried to help those people, instead of further enriching the already rich.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Too good to not share.

    Especially for the Monty Python fans, too too f’n funny.

  30. CSK says:

    Sinead O’Connor has died.

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    This song has always haunted me


  32. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:


  33. Mikey says:

    @Mister Bluster: I can’t listen to that song. It was a huge hit at the lowest point in my life, and it is so intertwined with those feelings that I just can’t.

    In the 30+ years since it came out, I have tried from time to time, but…no. Still can’t.

    So I guess it haunts me, too, in a way. Which is kind of sad, really. It’s not O’Connor’s fault, it’s not the song’s fault, but I simply can’t separate it from what was happening at the time.

  34. Kathy says:

    I’ve been wondering about the short season form for streaming TV. It makes sense given the single story told during the arc of the season, But it applies to non-arc shows like Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks, which at best have multi-season character arcs (different from story arcs). Same goes for sitcoms like How I Met Your Father.

    This also appears to be damaging economically to writers and actors, who get less work per series to begin with, and lower residuals than they do on broadcast or cable.

    Partly I suppose it’s the binge model, and the need to have new content to draw in and/or keep subscribers.

    A few years ago, before streaming came to be how we think of TV, Cartoon Network ran a Green Lantern animated series (in CGI). This was made up of 26 half-hour eps. It was not one arc, but two. The first 13 eps dealt with the Red Lanterns, the last 13 with a rogue AI (or two?)

    I don’t see any reason why streamers can’t copy this model. Say 16-20 eps for 1-hour shows, 24-26 for half hour ones. It would mean more work for writers and actors, it preserves the arc nature of the shows, and allows less immediate bingeing as it can be spread out over two massive releases (if needed).

    Of course, I’m ignorant to the economics of the whole enterprise, and the greed of executives/shareholders, etc.

    On a more personal note, I do get the instinct to binge. When I enjoy a show, I want to see more of it. If ten eps are available, I’ll pretty much watch them all in as few sessions as I can manage. I did this even before streaming, when one could return whole seasons from Blockbuster on DVD, or buy seasons on DVD (besides, Blockbuster sets had to be returned in 5 or 7 days as I vaguely recall).

    There are downsides, like easily forgetting details of eps later on. That’s one reason I like that some new shows on streaming are released weekly rather than en-masse. Of course, older shows will be available whole, even if they were released weekly on first run.

    I think something along these lines will happen, along with ad-supported subscriptions. History doesn’t often reverse course, but we might end up with something that looks more like traditional broadcast or cable, only all eps are available for viewing at any time rather than only at set times.

  35. Kathy says:

    I’m not a doctor (still?), but I’m putting money on transient ischemic attack as concerns the incident Mitch suffered today at the Capitol

  36. JohnSF says:

    Maybe relates to their horror at the perils of illegal aliens?

  37. Gustopher says:

    From yesterday… @DrDaveT:


    How many folks on the left have thought through the implications of Medicare4All? They’ve absorbed a few bullet pointed lists at best.

    This isn’t some weird hypothetical that you are being asked to take on faith. We can see how it works in other countries. If you want to argue that it can’t work here, you need some actual analysis of how America is different in ways that will prevent the existing, proven solution from working here. Even those whose comprehension is limited to bulleted lists can understand “it already works elsewhere”.

    If you think there are no consequences to completely changing the structure of 1/7th of the economy, you are wildly incorrect. The final state of Medicare4All is well known and understood in countries that have been doing it for decades.

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do it, I’m just saying that the vast majority of people on the left haven’t thought through the consequences, and those that think they have have missed a lot.

    Conservatives aren’t uniquely unable to think through complexities — everyone just aims at a destination and tries to muddle through in that direction. Conservatives aren’t had because they don’t consider all the complex interactions, they’re bad because their goals are bad.

  38. Kylopod says:

    O’Connor sang the theme song to the most recent season of Outlander. I would not have guessed it would be one of her last musical performances.

  39. Jax says:

    @Kylopod: I wondered who sang it, but I kept forgetting to look! It’s interesting how much her voice has changed but not changed.

  40. Jax says:

    @Kathy: You’d think Barrasso would’ve noticed him glitching and hustled him off the stage a little faster, being a doctor and all.

    Not to be a ghoul or anything, but McConnell looks like hell!

  41. Beth says:


    I think I like the shorter season model a little better. I remember watching a couple of episodes of Buffy and getting sick of the monster of the week filler episodes or when they’d do a couple of filler back to back with like 5 minutes of pushing the story arc ahead at the end of an episode. I’d rather have less of a particular show and no filler and maybe more shows in general. I bet the economics of that sucks though.

  42. Beth says:


    He’s an evil human being. I hope he is suffers terribly and painfully before spending years in a bed unable to do anything before he shuffles off. Screw him.

    Edited to add: The best part of McConnell dying is that there is no one as intelligent or as skilled to replace him. Who’s gonna wrangle the morons? Cruz thinks he can, but he’s a Tuberville. The whole lot of them, morons with over inflated egos.

  43. Kylopod says:


    It’s interesting how much her voice has changed but not changed.

    I noticed she had a bit of a quaver, which happens to some singers as they get older. I also thought she was slightly off-key, which I assume was a choice.

  44. Jen says:

    @Kathy: Someone on Twitter said “has someone tried to turn him off and then back on again? ’cause this happens to my router sometimes…”

    More evidence we’re in a simulation?

    All kidding aside, that seems worrisome.

  45. steve says:

    Jax- Barrasso was an orthopedic surgeon. That’s only sort of like a doctor. Ordering ancef is as close as they ever come to acting like a medical doctor.


  46. Jax says:

    @Kylopod: It fit perfectly with the story line. Claire and Jamie aren’t spring chickens anymore! Claire’s even got some grey hair and they’re grandparents!

    Yes, I love Outlander. 😛 😛

  47. Kathy says:


    Still not a doctor. A transient ischemic attack is like a mini-stroke, a momentary interruption of blood flow to an area of the brain. These can be precursors or indicators of future, major strokes.

    It’s hard to say for sure, and Mitch will likely get good medical care. Still, balancing blood thinners and old age is tricky. he may bleed out internally in an effort to avoid a stroke, too.

    Cruz thinks he can, but he’s a Tuberville.

    He can’t even sneak put of a disaster area without creating a scandal.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    On Mitch’s freeze up: That is just plain sad. Having seen my grandmother suffer a stroke, watched my mothers slow decline with heart disease, nursed a father thru the worst of dementia I can’t think there are better times ahead. I wouldn’t wish a stroke on anybody, not even Mitch McConnell.

    And my loathing for him knows no bottom.

  49. Kathy says:


    I never saw Buffy.

    Arc series, like Babylon 5, are still rare. Arc seasons have become common. This can be good, or you can have elongated multi-part eps. The last season of Picard, IMO, had a lot of fan service filler. On the other hand, season 1 of Severance was just right (given the need to get used to the world’s most bizarre workplace).

    There are shows without a story arc, as I noted previously. Strange New Worlds could easily do 22 eps per year like the older Trek shows.

    But even with arc seasons, there’s no reason they can’t do two seasons per year, even at ten eps each. They don’t have to be back to back. You could have one ten-ep story released in March, for instance, and a second ten-ep story in September.

  50. Mikey says:


    Strange New Worlds could easily do 22 eps per year like the older Trek shows.

    Oh gods yes. I wish they would. I love that show.

  51. Michael Reynolds says:

    Went to see Barbie. And would like to say this to men who were triggered: for fuck’s sake, what is the matter with you? This movie is not anti-male, it was sweetly affectionate toward men while simply telling the truth about the balance of power between the sexes. It was written by a couple, a grown-up couple, in a relationship – something incels don’t understand. No wonder they can’t find partners.

    In attracting women it helps to be decent looking, though of necessity women tend to be very forgiving in that area. It helps to have a job. Beyond that: sense of humor and confidence. Not the fist-pumpy confidence, not the brittle ‘I’m a manly man’ bullshit, none of that speaks of real self-confidence. Like the movie said: know who you are. Self-confidence born of accomplishment, self-confidence born of honest self-appraisal, it’s like a superpower. You’re better off being a nerd who knows he’s a nerd, and is happy being a nerd, than to try and come off like some strutting peacock.

    If what you’re doing is playing a part, a role, that will read to women as phony and to other men as weak. It’s kind of amazing how far off-base so many men have gotten. I was almost tempted to buy into the whole, ‘it’s all different now, dating is impossible!’ but my youngest daughter found a guy, they’re a great couple. So, not exactly impossible.

  52. steve says:

    We grow lots of herbs for our cooking. We always plant an extra parsley or two since black swallowtails love them and we love butterflies. We have tons of larvae now so butterflies should be here soon.


  53. Beth says:


    You’re a better person that I. I think there are tons of truly bad people that don’t deserve to suffer. Then there’s people like McConnell. That man has spent his entire life and boundless privileges to make life immeasurably worse for almost everyone. There isn’t enough hell on earth for people like him.

  54. Kathy says:


    I never wish anything bad on anyone, because I know that my wishes make absolutely no difference in what does or does not happen to anyone.

    I do make light of things when bad people have bad outcomes, because they tend to do much worse than that to many more people.

  55. Jax says:

    Why can’t I buy Quickbooks desktop anymore? We don’t have good enough internet out here to subscribe to Quickbooks online.

    Are there any viable alternatives for a standalone system with infrequent internet?

  56. MarkedMan says:


    Seriously, UFO hearings?

    God help me, a friend was texting me during the hearings. He is a true believer and felt the testimony was compelling a conclusive. My guess is that it is a rehash of everything we’ve had since Project Blue Book 60 years ago: absolutely sincere people who have lurid tales but no actual evidence and, most importantly, no explanation as to why everyone involved for 75 years, every President, every Prime Minister, every Premier, every Minister, as well as every General and Admiral and anyone else you can think of, has kept it all secret for 75 years. With murders if I understand my friend correctly.

  57. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: It’s why I can’t take Jazz Shaw seriously anymore on anything besides good home BBQ recipes and the occasional liquor reference. It’s all UFO this and UFO that, with a side serving of Get Off My Lawn.

  58. gVOR10 says:

    I ask above @gVOR10: what Ds have ever done to deserve the scorn of anti-Trump GOPs who say they won’t vote for Trump, but would never vote for a Democrat. Kevin Drum cites a survey that says 16% of Republicans believe the government is controlled by pedophiles.

    I’m actually surprised it’s not higher among GOPs. But seriously disheartened that 12% of the public at large believe it. That implies some Ds believe it and a lot of “independents”.

  59. Kathy says:


    You know, if this has been going on for soooooooo long (and without evidence!), the committee should have called Benito the Orange Cheeto, as well as all his secretaries of defense, all his national security advisers, directors of the CIA, and NASA administrator, to explain why they took a four year part on a decades long ongoing cover up.

  60. Jax says:

    @gVOR10: It’s most likely children who have been molested by a person in position of power over them (the government/church) and are now of voting age. That’s a lot of voters.

    Definitely not molested by a person in drag, though. Unless it’s like “Criminal Minds” drag. In which case, the drag queens are most likely the victims.

  61. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jax: Yeah, unfortunately as of this year you have to pay $800+ per year if you want the “luxury” of using Quickbooks offline. Ugh.

    My suggestion would be to either contact your tax accountant or use to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor in your rough geographic area, and contact them to find out what desktop based solution they are migrating their customers to who are unable to use a cloud-based version. That way if you do ever need to consult with them regarding your accounting system, you know they’ll be familiar with how it works.

  62. Jax says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Our accountant said “good luck”, and he’s super excited to get a flash drive instead of my Mom’s paper accounting records, sooooo…..

    I guess I’m fucked.

  63. de stijl says:

    I am guaranteed to see 115F heat index tomorrow. 99F ambient plus 75 dewpoint.

    I never bought a window unit. I don’t have central air

    #1. Insulation mean a lot. Today was 96F. Dewpiint 76. Interior temp in my house is currently 83. (I know from years past that a sustained heatwave will eventually overcome insulation-it takes about a week to ten days for my house. Even then it will lag by about 10F

    #2. The beauty of cold water. Any time I want I can stand beneath a cold shower. Or submerged in a cold bath. Water sucks away heat about 25x than air does.

    #3. It’s my own damn fault. I can afford it. I talk myself out of it. “It’s what, maybe 2 weeks, 3 weeks out of the whole year. Push through!” I tell myself that every year.

  64. DrDaveT says:

    @One American:

    Hahahahaha the Biden’s are so corrupt he’s checking out for 10 days

    The apostrophe is the clinching proof that this was written by a genuine human moron and not by a generative AI.