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. OzarkHillbilly says:


    “Donald’s an idiot,” Cohen told CNN of the former president. “Let me just be very clear when it comes to paying money, he is truly an idiot.

    “He has not learned yet that [there are] three people you don’t want to throw under the bus like that: your lawyer, your doctor and your mechanic. Because one way or the other, you’re going to go down the hill and there’ll be no brakes.”
    “Allegedly from Rudy’s own mouth, he claims that he has a smoking gun, information about Donald,” Cohen said. “Well, if that’s true … I don’t have to suggest anything to Rudy. He’s the one that basically came up with this concept of strong-arming when he was head of the southern district of New York. He’s going to need to speak and he’s going to need to speak before everybody else does.”

    Giuliani’s work for Trump also included digging for political dirt in Ukraine, efforts which contributed to Trump’s first impeachment.

    Cohen said: “The job that Rudy did for Donald, I don’t know if I would pay either. But at the end of the day, when your life is basically hanging on the line once again, you just don’t really want to throw another lawyer under the bus.”

  2. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:.. your lawyer, your doctor and your mechanic.

    In my drinking days I would add the bartender to that list. For a while my girlfriend was my mechanic so I had to be extra nice to her!

  3. Scott says:

    As I mentioned before, I follow my Freedom Caucus Congresscritter Chip Roy (Neo-Confederate – TX) on Facebook. About my only social media indulgence. For your amusement or disgust or alarm, here are some of the replies to his posts (actually his press office posts):

    We the People need ALL 4 Impeached NOW at the same time Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas, Merrick Garland, and arrest the Director of the FBI Christopher Wray and hold him in a secure area with 24 Agents to keep him safe. Congress needs to cut 50% of the FBI, DOJ and IRS Budget so anyone who wants to save their job can be connected to a lie detector and give them sodium amytal or sodium pentothal and asked them National Security questions. If they lie, they get fired and lose their retirement and maybe go to Guantanamo Bay for treason. If they tell the truth, they might get to keep their job. The 50% budget cut is necessary to ensure National Security and interagency cooperation. Some funds can be restored after testing.

    Biden sent the Taliban in Afghanistan $2 BILLION, $2 Billion, which will be usurped by these terrorists to purchase many guns, ammo, missiles, mines, drones that may kill our young soldiers, vacationers, Westeners, innocents, all for their ideology. Joe Biden released $6 BILLION to Iran, one of the most dangerous terrorist states in the world. These billions will fund many terrorist groups to carry out the attacks that Iran directs them to, providing guns, ammo, missiles, mines, drones, to attack innocents. Biden provided Palestinian Hamas with $800 million+, terrorists that frequently carry out attacks on innocents. WHY is Joe Biden FUNDING TERRORISTS?? When and where will the next attack occur? In a church? In a hospital? In a mall? In a packed stadium? Out on a busy street? More buildings taken down by bombs?? We realize Biden is demented, BUT he does have an administration, he does have a majority in the Senate. Can Congress NOT STOP him, STOP the funding of killing?? Biden frequently sends millions and billions to Ukraine, funding that just drags out that war, escalates that war which Ukraine can’t win. Biden is funding their mercenary soldiers. I read that Gen. Miley is working with Ukraine on war plans for 5-10 years into the future. We cannot afford that. WE ARE BROKE. War mongers in DC have itched to fight Putin for decades. Vote them out. Suddenly, Biden tells Netherlands and Denmark to send Ukraine their F-16 fighter jets, that we build. Big time war escalation. So now, we taxpayers must pay for replacement fighter jets for the two countries. It’s all a ploy to DECEIVE voters, to hide the truth that Biden and Dems escalate that war, risk dragging us into a major conflict, killing and disabling so many young soldiers. The military can’t recruit enough soldiers, so if major war escalates, our youth will be drafted, girls and boys. How can people support this mess that Biden and democrats have created, continue to push, lie, cheat, steal, delude, use people to continue?? For heavens sake, there IS a reason that Biden uses ALIASES in his dirty dealings. Is he committing treason?? Is he making money deals for himself with foreigners?? Is he selling us down the tube?? Why otherwise use aliases?? We have a crazy man in the most important job in this country, and we let him wreck all as he pleases, as democrats please. The liberal media hides it all, covers for them. So sad where we have gone. DC swamp is spreading through the county. We do have some republicans fighting for us, but they must have support of the people to move forward to save us.


    Just in case you don’t get the opportunity to be exposed to far right rantings.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    While in federal custody, disgraced cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried has been living off “bread and water” because he’s not being provided with the vegan diet he requested, his attorney told a judge Tuesday.

    During a hearing, Mark Cohen, lawyer for Bankman-Fried, said that improper diet and the jail’s failure to give Bankman-Fried the Adderall he needs to manage his attention deficit hyperactive disorder, will impact his ability to participate in readying his defense case.

    “Because he’s following his principles, he is literally now subsisting on bread and water,” Cohen said, adding that his client’s supply of the medication Emsam to treat depression was running low.

    While I can’t find wanting his preferred diet and meds to be an unreasonable ask, I never the less can’t help saying, “Tough shit, Bobo.” I mean, he’s following his principles? Are these the same principles that led him to steal hundreds of millions or billions of dollars? Bread and water? Awwwwwwww…

    As to this:

    Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said prosecutors mischaracterized his intentions in sharing Ellison’s writings, arguing he wanted to defend his reputation and that he had a right to speak to the press.

    Either he needs competent lawyers or they need a client who will listen when they speak. I rather suspect it is the latter.

  5. CSK says:


  6. Paine says:

    Utterly depressing WaPo article about a successful health department sex educator getting her life ruined and career accomplishments dismantled after her county Board of Commissioners was taken over by the religious right.

    Alberda had already endured months of scorn from the new commissioners, who had publicly accused her of promoting abortion and sexualizing children. What she’d been doing was her job, which required her to talk about birth control, sexually transmitted infections, abstinence and consent. She met with high school students, migrant farmworkers, teens in juvenile detention and people struggling with addiction.

    In her 21 years at the health department, the county’s teen pregnancy rate had decreased by 76 percent and is the fourth-lowest among Michigan’s 83 counties. The abortion rate for Ottawa County during the same period fell by 18 percent, according to state data.

    Alberda had never heard of Ottawa Impact when the group released a report in May 2022 accusing her and the health department of using county resources to promote abortion and sexualize children.

    She was accustomed to the occasional angry parent stopping her in a parking lot and haranguing her for promoting sin. But this was different. The report ran 59 pages and included photos of Alberda and emails she had sent to local school officials offering to help them develop their sex education curriculums.

    By early July, Alberda’s supervisors at the health department had largely shut down her work as a sexuality educator and assigned her new, bureaucratic tasks that mostly kept her confined to her office cubicle.

    Public school health teachers were still teaching sex-ed classes, but Alberda was no longer allowed to talk to their students about birth control or sexually transmitted disease. Alberda’s Wear One condom program was still running, but she was told not to add any new locations. Her parent guide, which had drawn the scorn of Libs of TikTok, had been taken down months earlier. Initially, her supervisors said they would review it and put it back online. It still hasn’t returned.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    Yesterday in the China thread, DK And Reynolds had a discussion about the effect of dissatisfied and angry Chinese citizens. DK pointed out, rightly in my opinion, that they were unlikely to rebel. FWIW though, I don’t think that’s what Xi is concerned about. China is an extremely hierarchical society and as such, replacing the people at the very top is likely to meet relatively little resistance at lower levels once they are gone. I believe it’s why we were so successful after WWII in Germany and Japan, and why we were unsuccessful in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Xi probably doesn’t fear an invasion so much as a quiet coup.

  8. charontwo says:

    This is such a great read, all of it, it’s scorching.


    The first Republican presidential primary debate of 2024 is tonight. Usually the events are chances to shape the future of a party by introducing voters to new ideas and faces.

    This time around, though, the run up to the debate has mostly been a way to reiterate that former president Donald Trump has staged a hostile, successful, embarrassingly thorough takeover of the party’s resources, heart, and soul. Rather than celebrating democratic processes, the debate is a tacit (and not so tacit) acquiescence to the authoritarian dominance rituals of the party’s singular overlord, who squats upon the face of the GOP like a giant blood-sucking orange xenomorph.

    The debate is not a contest, but a dominance ritual; the Republican Party’s new leader is the old leader, who feeds with much bellowing on his rivals’ vestigial spines.

    Lots more content, great read, then:

    The run up to the GOP debate, then, has not been a way for non-Trump candidates to get attention or a moment in the spotlight. Instead, it’s been a way for Trump to reassert his control. Fox, the RNC, his rivals, the GOP as a whole; they’ve all engaged in renewed rounds of genuflection and boot-licking at Trump’s behest.

    The GOP is in a pitiful state. But it’s a pitiful state it has chosen. Republicans have boasted for decades about how tough they are while they sneer at the left and the Democrats for being soft and weak. But faced with a bully of their own creation, Republicans have chosen to assiduously and consistently fold in on themselves like sad, soggy, deflating balloons. The party has had numerous opportunities to stand up to Trump and chart a new path — most notably perhaps during the impeachment vote after his coup attempt. But they’ve refused at every turn, choosing instead to kowtow, shiver, and crawl.

    At some point, such prolonged and determined cravenness stops even being craven. Republicans are the party of Trump because they’ve chosen to be the party of Trump. He may not be on the debate stage, but it’s his voice we’ll hear. The only tongue Republicans speak with now is orange.

  9. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Too bad Trump won’t spend any time in prison. Would like to see how he reacts to having his Diet Coke and Adderall taken away.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    An unusual suspect is being sought by police for a power outage in New Jersey: an osprey that dropped a fish on to power lines, causing a nearby community to temporarily lose their electricity.

    A fish that fell from the grip of the bird in question landed on a transponder in Sayreville, New Jersey, on 12 August, causing the coils within it to become misaligned, according to Jersey Central Power & Light, a utility company.

    This caused about 2,000 people to lose power, the company said. While animals can sometimes cause power outages, “fish are not on the list of frequent offenders”, a company spokesperson said. “We also send our thoughts to the osprey because if you’ve ever dropped your ice-cream cone at the fair, you know the feeling.”
    Police in Sayreville, somewhat tongue in cheek, posted a suspect sketch of an osprey on Facebook, along with a picture of the fish, which was given the name Gilligan, with a “police line do not cross” tape in front of it.

    “Please let us not forget the victim in this senseless death,” the police force posted. “Gilligan was a hard working family fish. He was a father to thousands of children. The suspect was last seen flying south. If you see him do not try to apprehend him. Although he isn’t believed to be armed he may still be very dangerous.”

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Yep. I think the loss of his cellphone so he can’t post to LiesSocial kinda makes up for it tho. Wasting away, hidden from his adoring fans will drive him absolutely bonkers. There’s gonna be a lot of ketchup on the walls.

  12. Kathy says:

    India managed to land a probe on the Moon today.

  13. gVOR10 says:

    @Scott: As part of my project to expose myself to other points of view (which led me to OTB before everyone turned D), or maybe it’s just enemy recognition, I regularly read comments at Volokh and FOX, and letters to my local, semi-pro, newspaper. I see that sort of stuff every day.

  14. gVOR10 says:

    @Paine: The people who did that are the same ones whining about woke cancel culture. Seems to me like every time I see a case of someone actually losing a job, in this case effectively losing a job, and having their career and life ruined it’s the right doing it very often to someone just trying to do their job.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    Stuart Stevens in a conversation with Frank Bruni and Anne Coulter in the Times this morning.

    Bruni: Should Clarence Thomas be impeached?

    Stevens: Is that a rhetorical question? A Supreme Court justice who acts like an oligarch’s girlfriend, flying around on special vacations. Of course. He’s a disgrace.

  16. Kylopod says:

    I have no intention of watching the debate tonight, but whoever does should hold a drinking game for the word “woke.”

  17. Kathy says:


    Not without a liver transplant on stand by.

  18. Michael Cain says:

    This past Monday Omaha, NE briefly reached a wet-bulb temperature of 93 °F (33.9 °C). Six-hour exposure to a wet-bulb temperature of 95 or higher is generally considered fatal. The Omaha-area schools have curtailed outdoor recess, and have advised parents to not let their kids play outside after school. My source on the school stuff didn’t know what they were doing if the kid was supposed to walk ten blocks home in the afternoon.

  19. Scott says:

    If you want to get out of domestic politics for about an hour, I just listened to a fascinating podcast WRT today’s Israel. And if you think our politics are screwed up….

    Israel’s Divisions and the Challenges Ahead

    Eric and Eliot are joined by Isabel Kershner, the New York Times Jerusalem correspondent and author of The Land of Hope and Fear: Israel’s Battle for Its Inner Soul (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2023). They discuss the division and polarization in Israeli society and the cleavages between the Ashkenazi and Mizrahi populations, as well as between secular and Haredi Jews, the emergence of identity politics and populism in Israel and, of course, the current struggle over judicial reform. They consider the judicial crisis in the context of Bibi Netanyahu’s political predicament and ruminate on whether Israel’s greatest challenges in the future will come from within the country or from the external security environment.

  20. ptfe says:

    @Kylopod: The Republican frontrunners saying “woke” are like the people who were saying “NOT!” in 2003. They think they’re tapping some sort of ongoing cultural phenomenon, but we’re about 2 years into it being shorthand for out-of-touch olds. Most GOP candidates will probably still be using it in earnest in the 2028 election.

  21. CSK says:


    That was terrific. Thanks for posting it, and the link.

  22. MarkedMan says:


    As part of my project to expose

    I think I’ll just read tomthere and then stop


  23. EddieInCA says:


    What will be said more often at tonight’s debate? “Woke,” “Radical Left,” or “Donald Trump.”

  24. Kylopod says:


    The Republican frontrunners saying “woke” are like the people who were saying “NOT!” in 2003.

    2003?! The “not” fad appeared–and peaked–in the early 1990s, having been popularized by the Wayne’s World skit and film. I was there, and remember when it happened. It was already seen as out of date by the middle of that decade. In 2006 when the Borat film satirized it in one scene, probably most viewers had long forgotten about it, assuming they were old enough to have any recollection of it.

    The right-wing use of “woke” is just a repackaged version of the much older term “politically correct” or PC. One crucial difference, though, is that a lot of liberals took the bait and began using the term “PC” themselves, applying it to things they thought were too extreme or cringey in the direction of cultural sensitivity and the like. It was the ’90s form of hippy-punching. The right used it to bash the left and promote their own reactionary views (as in Regnery’s “Politically Incorrect Guide” series), but they weren’t the only ones.

    I don’t see that happening much today with the word “woke”–it’s almost exclusively a buzzword of the right. I consider that progress.

  25. charontwo says:

    Apparently, the media has discovered Trump’s mob-like practice of paying lawyers to represent his co-conspirators only to have the lawyers tell them to lie to investigators to obstruct the investigation.

    This is, in fact, how he got off the hook in Mueller’s investigation.

    He used his cronies to obstruct the investigation long enough to find someone like Bill Barr who would come in shut down Mueller’s investigation and write up a bogus OLC opionion saying obstruction couldn’t be charged as a crime if there weren’t also any underlying crimes being charged.

    That basically made obstruction of justice illegal ONLY WHEN IT DOESN’T WORK. Just in case you were wondering where those Mueller obstruction counts disappeared to. Barr killed them.

    Anyway, it worked for Trump the first time so you can’t blame him for trying it again, right? There are couple of problems though.

    For one, ALL of your co-conspirators have to stick together and stay with your mob lawyers or else, they’re likely to flip in hopes of getting a light sentence by cooperating. We’ll get back to that in a bit.

    Second, it’s a great strategy *if you can afford it*. Legal fees get to be extraordinarily expensive in a complex criminal case. It becomes multiples of that number once you’re adding your own co-conspirators.


    His PAC is broke.

    So if you’re wondering why he’s not paying the legal fees for Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, and others who helped commit his crimes, that’s why. Of course, he’s supposedly a billionaire, so you’d think he could pay with his own money. Why he won’t (or can’t) is a discussion for another day.


    The fake electors in GA? Once they dropped their Trump lawyer, they took an immunity agreement and cooperated with Fani Willis.

    Yuscil Taveras, the Mar-a-Lago IT guy? He agreed to cooperate the second he got a new lawyer and reversed his grand jury testimony, instead telling Jack Smith’s team all about Trump’s plot to obstruct the classified documents investigation.

    Sensing a pattern? The question now becomes what happens to the rest of the co-conspirators and witnesses with independent lawyers?

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:


    The question now becomes what happens to the rest of the co-conspirators and witnesses with independent lawyers?

    My question is what happens to the lawyers who suborned perjury?

  27. gVOR10 says:

    I commented above,@gVOR10:, that I see examples of loony toon RW opinions every day, including in my home town paper’s “letters” column. They were kind enough to provide an example this morning.

    Editor: I am disgusted by all the hateful and anti-Christian comments from liberals in this paper. Examples are “minions, fascists, Nazis, Bible banging Evangelicals.” I believe the Bible is God’s holy authoritative word. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord God and also thy neighbor as thyself (see Matthew 22:3640) Jesus associated with outcasts and different folks. He always asked for repentance of sin (Mark 1:15, 2 Peter 3:9). The Bible tells us what sin is and it doesn’t have an expiration date, yet the liberals say we need to move on from Biblical values.

    I recently had a nightmare of where USA is heading. Pornographic books were no longer banned and parents surrendered children’s rights to the school. Children could order gender change kits from Amazon. Police were defunded and outlaws (the ones with guns) could walk up to you steal, harm or kill you while you have no right to defend yourself. Public restrooms had signs on the door, “His, Hers or Whatever.” The flags were either rainbow colored or featured the hammer sickle logo of our new form of government as a satellite nation of the CCP.

    I am convinced the moral compass of our society is pointing south. Is the scenario above what you really want for our country? Read John 8:31,32 it says to believe in God, the Bible and the truth will set you free. You do have a right to choose God or reject him.

    A second letter praises Trump for, amongst other things, raising a “beautiful God loving” family.

  28. CSK says:

    To keep abreast of MAGA babbling, I check in daily with It has the advantage of being one-stop shopping; it aggregates the most egregious crap from The Gateway Pundit, The Conservative Tree House, Breitbart, and other loon magnets.

  29. Kathy says:

    I got to thinking about scaling down energy generation. It’s not easy. An oil fired generator is more efficient at large scales, heating large amounts of water into steam to drive turbines. This can be done on a smaller scale, even using gas or diesel to directly drive a generator rather than producing steam, but at lower efficiency.

    Solar, though, is fully proportional. A square centimeter of solar panel, assuming similar meteorological conditions, will produce the same amount of electricity whether it’s part of a large solar farm, or stuck on the roof of a house.

    Therefore we could, in theory, cover the roofs of all buildings (houses, warehouses, office buildings, factories, shopping malls, etc) with solar panels and produce lots of electricity. These buildings are also already hooked to the electric grid, so the power can be distributed.

    Naturally there are tons of problems ranging from esthetic considerations to who pays for it and how the power gets commercialized. But we could replace a lot of fossil fuel generators this way.

    And then there are transparent solar panels that could replace windows. these would make far less electricity than regular panels, but look at how much sunlit window surface you’ll find in a city block.

  30. Kazzy says:

    @Paine: I can’t even put into words how this makes me feel.

    I’m a teacher. I’ve spent my entire adult life working with young kids. I have two degrees and umpteen hours of training/professional development to better position me to do this work. I *love* what I do. I’m also a parent. The only thing that has interrupted my teaching career was stepping away briefly when my own young kids were getting swallowed alive by hybrid learning. And even then I continued to teach remotely and support my school/community in other ways. I’ve volunteer coached numerous sport teams. As my own kids get older, I dip my toe back into the wee-ones-on-the-home-front by gleefully chasing the nieces and nephews around while teaching them how to eye roll with my terrible jokes. There is nothing I enjoy more than helping to make kids’ lives better.

    But all of that could be wiped away in moments if the government bodies in the states I inhabit tumble down that path. That’s unlikely but not impossible.

    Worse still will be people who will look at all that I’ve done, all that I’ve given in service of kids and families, and label me a groomer or a pedophile or whatever vile thing because I read them a book or told them the truth about the people in the world around them. To not only be stopped from doing what you’re doing… to stop the unappreciated work of serving kids.. but to then be vilified as everything you aren’t and everything you abhor about the world… ugh… there are not words.

  31. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I recently read a book about QAnon by reporter Will Sommers (who also did a good interview recently on Jordan Klepper’s podcast). Sommers was raised as a conservative, and while his politics shifted leftward as an adult, he’s remained obsessed with consuming content from right-wing spaces, which is what led him to study the Q movement.

  32. Kathy says:

    The much anticipated Ahsoka series premieres today on Disney+


    If I did things like that, I’m sure my brain would stop talking to me.

  33. Sleeping Dog says:


    That’s a hobby horse I’ve ridden when I read an article about NIMBY’s opposing the siting of a solar array. Buildings, particularly suburban retail and warehouses are already disturbed and mostly ugly facilities that won’t be any worse for having collectors on the roof.

  34. CSK says:


    Hey, I do it so you don’t have to!

  35. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    My very big problem with esthetic issues, is that the people least able to appreciate the external esthetics of a building, be it a house, apartment building, or office building, are those who live and labor inside of them.

  36. Stormy Dragon says:

    In the Leopard Eating People’s Faces Party news:

    Trans Jan 6 rioter is begging Marjorie Taylor Greene to get her into a women’s prison

    Jessica Watkins – who was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison in connection to her leadership role in the January 6 Insurrection – is worried about being sent to a men’s prison because she’s transgender. She’s asking her followers to get Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Jim Jordan (R-OH) to pressure the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) to place her in a women’s prison. Greene, Gaetz, and Jordan have all expressed anti-LGBTQ+ views in the past and are unlikely to support trans women being housed in women’s prisons.

    If getting Jessica Watkins moved to a women’s prison would lead to a general policy that trans inmates are housed based on their actual genders, this would be a worthwhile cause. But that’s not the case, she’s just trying to get a special exception for herself because she thinks she’s “one of the good ones”. In a world of limited resources, why should getting her a special exception be allowed to consume resources that could be spent helping people who aren’t directly involved in ongoing attacks on the queer community?

    Ultimately, she’s a traitor, and while I agree she should be housed in a women’s prison, she’s also renounced any claim to my aid, so I don’t really feel any obligation to do anything about her plight.

  37. wr says:

    @Kylopod: “One crucial difference, though, is that a lot of liberals took the bait and began using the term “PC” themselves, applying it to things they thought were too extreme or cringey in the direction of cultural sensitivity and the like. It was the ’90s form of hippy-punching.”

    I could be wrong about this, but it’s been my impression for decades that the term “PC” actually came from the left originally — that it was used as a term of self-parody to describe others (or themselves) when they were getting a little too pure. Then it got seized on by the right to be used as a cudgel…

  38. Scott says:

    It has been clear for some time that the Secret Service under Trump was compromised WRT to their impartiality or neutrality. Like the US Armed Forces, has there been an effort, even if ineffective, to identify potential far right actors in the SS?

    Emails reveal Secret Service contacts with Oath Keepers

    Internal Secret Service emails obtained by CREW show special agents in close communication with Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, while failing to acknowledge the group’s ties to white nationalists and clashes with law enforcement.

    In September 2020, a Secret Service agent sent an email to others within the agency, informing them that he had just spoken to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes about an upcoming visit by then-President Trump to Fayetteville, NC. The agent, who referred to himself as “the unofficial liaison to the Oath Keepers (inching towards official),” described the group as “primarily retired law enforcement/former military members who are very pro-LEO [law enforcement officer] and Pro Trump. Their stated purpose is to provide protection and medical attention to Trump supporters if they come under attack by leftist groups.” He went on to say that Rhodes, “had specific questions and wanted to liaison [sic] with our personnel” and shared Rhodes’s cell phone number.

  39. Kylopod says:


    I could be wrong about this, but it’s been my impression for decades that the term “PC” actually came from the left originally

    It did. It was Marxist jargon in the early 20th century. It wasn’t really until the 1980s that the right appropriated it for their own purposes.

    “Woke” began in the African American community as a positive expression of social/cultural awareness. Just like with PC, the right turned it into a pejorative.

  40. Mimai says:

    Comments about reading the “other” side has me wondering. Assume a person who grew up in a culture (in the USA) that mostly espoused conservative sensibilities. From social to economic to religious, etc…this person absorbed the mainstream conservative viewpoints on these issues.

    Now this person is a middle aged, functional adult who, unsurprisingly, continues to see the world through a conservative lens. And this person is genuinely interested in reading the “other” side.

    What would you recommend they read?

  41. DK says:

    So Threads and Twitter are in a tizzy right now, as some Russians are claiming Prigozhin’s business jet (RA-02795) was shot down in the Tver region, allegedly by Russian air defense. Supposedly, all on board died. Apparently, it is not yet known whether Prigozhin himself was on it.


  42. Stormy Dragon says:


    “some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses”

  43. CSK says:


    The BBC and Sky News are saying that Prigozhin was killed in the crash.

  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Mimai: The Atlantic

  45. Daryl says:

    Well, it’s more creative than saying he fell out of a window…

  46. Daryl says:
  47. Kathy says:


    If it was shot down, it had to have been by Russian forces. A jet at cruising altitude cannot be brought down by a portable weapon like the Stinger missile. A surface to air missile battery is large and conspicuous, so is a fighter jet. So no way it was Ukrainian forces.

    That said, planes do crash accidentally now and then. Add the sanctions, which are known to have degraded civil aviation maintenance.

    Not that there will be an investigation with other than Russian agencies and personnel. For commercial aviation, the country of manufacture is usually involved. I don’t know if this applies to private jets. It also seems to have been an Embraer plane, which is made in Brazil.

  48. gvor10 says:


    That said, planes do crash accidentally now and then. Add the sanctions, which are known to have degraded civil aviation maintenance.

    And bombs.

  49. DK says:

    @Kylopod: The left started to fall for “woke” as a pejorative, as if being more socially and politically aware is a bad thing (it is on the right, as Republicans would prefer its base remain blinkered and gullible).

    But “Black Twitter” — which I’m using as a catchall term for young, extremely-online pop culture addicts of all backgrounds who are members of or allies of the black community — pushed back, nothing that “woke” is originally AAVE. Anti-wokeness is actually a racist dogwhistle.

    Hence you got prominent lefty anti-wokers like Carville vowing to stop using the term.

  50. Jen says:

    @DK: NYT says that he was listed as a passenger.

    I guess Putin is varying from defenestration.

  51. Michael Reynolds says:


    Now this person is a middle aged, functional adult who, unsurprisingly, continues to see the world through a conservative lens. And this person is genuinely interested in reading the “other” side.

    What would you recommend they read?

    The news.

  52. Kylopod says:


    Hence you got prominent lefty anti-wokers like Carville vowing to stop using the term.

    I wouldn’t describe Carville as having ever been a “lefty,” but putting that aside, he’s hardly a very relevant figure anymore. (Ask President Michael Bennett.) He gets invited onto news programs, but mostly as legacy. And he is very much a product of the era when a lot of liberals did the “I’m not PC” bit.

    Then there’s Bill Maher, whose first show back in the ’90s was titled, literally, Politically Incorrect. I haven’t watched him in ages, though I’ve heard he went fully off the deep end after 2020.

    What’s striking to me is how few mainstream liberals have jumped on the anti-woke bandwagon, and how most generally recognize it for what it is, a buzzword for racism and queerphobia. It’s quite different from how “PC” was received back in the day.

  53. DK says:


    What would you recommend they read?

    Probably the conservatives turned either politically-homeless or functionally liberal: The Bulwark & Cathy Young, Outside the Beltway, Jennifer Rubin.

    I also like Robert Hubbell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Heather Cox-Richardson, Jamelle Bouie, and Michael A. Cohen (not Trump’s ex-attorney).

    Vox seems to be a go-to for mainstream liberal stuff. I don’t read it regularly, but many do. And you can read to see what the libertarians are up to. Writing is often sophomoric but sometimes good.

    @Kathy: Where to go for aviation insights, education and news? I know of some aviation blogs, are there other websites?

  54. DK says:


    I wouldn’t describe Carville as having ever been a “lefty,”

    Really? I guess times change. When the Clintonites first appeared, they were supposedly fire-breathing communist hippies, thanks to Bill and Hillary proposing that people should not die from lack of healthcare and that we should raise taxes on the rich to fund public healthcare.

  55. just nutha says:

    @Mimai: When I was in that situation growing up, I started with The New Republic and The Nation but that was 50+ years ago.

  56. DK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Michael Cohen (Trump’s ex-attorney) is one of the best rejoinders to those that say shame is not an effective change agent. Cohen decided to flip on Trump because Cohen’s father pulled the Holocaust card, saying he didn’t survive the Nazis just to have Trump “sully” the family name. Ouch.

  57. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Kathy: I always wonder how much power replacing the windows with transparent solar cells on the south side of the Willis Tower (f/k/a the Sears tower) and other massive skyscrapers in major cities would generate.

    It doesn’t have to be a complete solution, just move us a bit closer.

  58. Kathy says:


    Probably not at any of the blogs I frequent. they’re more geared towards commercial travel and aviation. but Simple Flying has been posting a lot about private jets lately, so maybe they’ll have something.

  59. Mikey says:


    To keep abreast of MAGA babbling, I check in daily with

    I am sure in your previous and current lives you were not so terrible a person as to need to subject yourself to this sort of extreme and egregious abuse.

  60. DK says:


    Probably not at any of the blogs I frequent. they’re more geared towards commercial travel and aviation.

    Those are the recommendations I’m looking for. General aviation for daily reading, unspecific to this Prigozhin incident.

  61. Mister Bluster says:

    A feel good story for you and anyone else who rides the Silver Bird.

  62. inhumans99 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Your response made me laugh but also say yup, great answer.

    Mimai, the problem with pointing out what news sites to go to, is that it makes it easy for this individual to say that all we are doing is trying to provide them with highly biased info geared towards liberals. However, if this individual just hits news sites (plural) in general they can get news from Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Breitbart, their local over the air news channel, etc..

    There are plenty of general news sites that are not all in on only presenting the news through a strictly liberal or conservative lens, this person just has to make the effort to check them out.

  63. Michael Reynolds says:


    Yesterday in the China thread, DK And Reynolds had a discussion about the effect of dissatisfied and angry Chinese citizens. DK pointed out, rightly in my opinion, that they were unlikely to rebel.

    The mystery element is time. What time frame? Uprising tomorrow? Nah. Next year? Probably not. But within 10-15 years? What I would suggest has changed is that Han peasants out in Ricepaddyville in earlier centuries could not turn on their TVs and see how the emperor and the emperor’s toadies were living. That peasant trudging behind his water buffalo never even considered the possibility of living in a high rise in Shanghai. But now that peasant has a brother-in-law who has a nice apartment with indoor plumbing and electricity that’s on all the time.

    It’s dangerous to give people hope, and then take it away. Xi was aiming for the Number One spot in the world and thought he had it, and convinced the Chinese people he had it. He’s not going to be #1. And he’s not getting Taiwan and his Belt and Road initiative is fast becoming a cautionary tale. China may have already peaked. Dictators always look indestructible until they end up hanging from a lamp post.

  64. Gustopher says:


    I am sure in your previous and current lives you were not so terrible a person as to need to subject yourself to this sort of extreme and egregious abuse.

    No kink shaming! If CSK likes that abuse that’s their thing and it’s not harming anyone.

  65. Gustopher says:

    @DK: The Clintonites were a product of the DLC, which aimed to bring the Democratic Party back from the liberal excesses of Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

    They were never Lefty McLefterson types.

  66. Kylopod says:


    When the Clintonites first appeared, they were supposedly fire-breathing communist hippies


    The Clintonites were a product of the DLC, which aimed to bring the Democratic Party back from the liberal excesses of Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

    You’re both right, of course. It just depended who you talked to.

    The Republicans tried to paint the Clintons as far-left commies, just as they try to do that to literally every Democrat who has ever won the presidency going back to FDR, but their mainstream image was definitely as moving the party toward the center, and that’s been overwhelmingly how the history books have judged them too.

    (I slightly disagree in including Carter on that list of liberals Clinton was moving away from. Carter was just as much of a centrist as Clinton, and he was generally perceived that way too, both during and after his presidency. There’s a reason he was the last Democrat to carry Mississippi and Alabama, and even when he lost them to Reagan four years later, it was by very narrow margins.)

  67. Mimai says:

    Thank you all for the thoughtful responses.

    I especially appreciate the response from @DK: — this seems a good approach if one is seeking to change minds.

    @inhumans99: I agree that there are plenty of sites that aim to play it straight (so to speak). I also agree with the value of sampling widely. I was (am) more interested in what folks would recommend to this hypothetical conservative chap for a perspective that is explicitly from the “other” side.

  68. CSK says:

    @Mikey: @Gustopher:

    Alas! I feel it’s my duty to keep track of the MAGAs. Think of it as my sacrifice to all at OTB.

  69. JohnSF says:

    IMO one of the best news outlets is the Financial Times.
    Their market is interested in accurate news, and fairly objective analysis, and they know it, so try their best to provide it.
    Comment wise largely “euro consensus” a smidge right of centre but inclined to be “trad liberal” as well.

  70. JohnSF says:

    He’s building up his positive karmic balance by his hours suffering in Magatic purgatory.

    (Indic/Catholic theology crossovers are the best!)

  71. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Mimai, the problem with pointing out what news sites to go to, is that it makes it easy for this individual to say that all we are doing is trying to provide them with highly biased info geared towards liberals.

    Interesting. I read the question specifically as where to go to find liberal bias. There’s hardly any “unbiassed” news, at least in my take. Everyone has agenda and everyone promotes it.

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: I would have picked Angela Davis, Tom Hayden, and disciples of Herbert Marcuse, but your characterization is probably more accurate in terms of actual effect.

  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I stumble across enough enlightened MAGA thinking by happenstance on a daily basis t0 not need to seek additional out. I used to seek it out for comic relief, but it’s just not funny enough anymore.

  74. Kathy says:


    Sorry to invoke pedantry.

    General aviation is the term for all non-military, non-commercial aviation. Private jets, crop dusters, helicopters, etc. Big airports that allow private planes usually have a dedicated general aviation area.

    If that’s what you’re looking for, take to Google and search. I know of no blogs focused on that.

    If you meant aviation in general, mostly commercial my go to blogs are (sorry, no links at work):

    One Mile at a Time. More focused on the passenger aspects, lots of reviews of business and first class as well as lounges, lots of posts on miles and points and credit cards, some commercial aviation news and analysis. Multiple posts per day.

    Cranky Flier. Run by a former airline revenue manager, so more analysis of industry trends. Some reviews of flights in coach. One post most days.

    Simple Flying. a little of everything, multiple authors, multiple posts per day.

    Fear of Landing. Mostly analysis of air accidents. one post per week.

    The Aviation Herald. Brief and technical notes on daily commercial aviation incidents (they post NOTAMs verbatim*). Multiple posts most days.

    That’s about it. There are many others a web search away.

    *I do not speak NOTAM.

  75. DK says:

    @Kathy: Dankeschön!

  76. de stijl says:

    The heat index in my neck of town is currently 119F. That is insane.

  77. DK says:

    @gVOR10: And I’m sure all the professional anti-woke “centrists” at the New York Times, under Matt Yglesias’s Twitter, on Bari Weiss’s Substack will be aghast at the Klanned Karenhood right’s latest attack on free speech and intellectual sanity.

  78. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I agree that it does get worse and worse. Sometimes, though, it’s still amusing, in a macabre way.

  79. Kathy says:


    I forgot Ask The Pilot. This one’s written by a 757/767 first officer (he doesn’t say, but I figure he flies for Delta). Posts are rather infrequent.

  80. Kathy says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    The big obstacles are who pays for it, and what’s done with the power generated.

    In my rather limited research on the subject, it seems fair to say a combo of solar panels and storage batteries, can provide between 90% and 100% of all the power for an average home (barring terrible gloomy locations, or too little anual insolation).

    All the examples I’ve seen, though, work with net metering. That is, power not being used by the home (either actively or for charging storage batteries), gets sent to the grid. This power is credited against use of power from the grid. Apparently if you put more power into the grid than you used, you don’t get paid for the excess. Essentially, though, you’ll pay only the connection fee, if there’s any. So all your power is free, once you’ve discounted the costs of acquiring and installing the solar panels and batteries, which can cost a lot of money. Figure years to make it back in savings.

    Seen this way, it’s an investment. I’ve no idea how good an investment it is, if the goal is to save money. That is, after 5 or 6 or 8 years, you’ll have extra money that would otherwise have been used to pay the utility bill. There’s also how you finance the installation (ie whether you borrow, pay in installments, etc). So it gets complicated, and there’s no way you’ll get every home owner to put up solar panels. Right now, it’s mostly people concerned about greenhouse gas emissions.

    So it’s something that utilities or government would have to undertake. And that brings up complications of its own. Why would utilities invest in solar panels, and how would they sell power to customers? What about those who already have panels or want to install more?

  81. de stijl says:

    I needed to buy groceries today. I went at about 10 AM.

    I walk (it’s about a third of a mile). The walk back is more trying hauling thirty pounds of crap is trying even in cool weather when the dewpoint isn’t 79.

    I thought I had it covered. Packed my purchases away in freezer, fridge, cupboard.

    Jumped into the shower again and quite cool. Stood there for five minutes. Wasn’t enough. After I toweled off I continued to sweat buckets for a half hour. I exuded sweat.

    I screwed up and underestimated. I should have done the cool bath cool-down. Reduced core temp instead of surface. I was impatient.

    When you need to reduce core temp never trust a quick shower. You need to soak in a cool tub of water for 20 minutes at least. My dumb-ass shower tub is tiny.

  82. gVOR10 says:

    CNN just now:

    (US District Judge Steve) Jones wrote that “the clear statutory language for removing a criminal prosecution, does not support an injunction or temporary stay prohibiting District Attorney Willis’s enforcement or execution of the arrest warrant against Meadows.”

    The broader efforts by Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark to move their cases to federal court will continue.

    That didn’t take long.

  83. JKB says:

    Alan Dershowitz is in rare form today over a NY Times opinion calling To Save Democracy, End Elections. He had a lot to say about the earlier writing James wrote calling for the “self-enforcing” insurrection amendment.

    Times writer urges end of elections to stop Trump
    The Dershow With Alan Dershowitz

  84. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kazzy: My response is and always has been, “Fuck ’em.” So said the immortal EF Goldman.

  85. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Precedent. Think about all the people who would benefit from the precedent set in her case.

  86. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    But within 10-15 years?

    I’m quite confident that the Chinese I know well, raised as Little Princes and Princesses, are not going to rebel. But you remind me that they represent only the top 200M in a population of 1.4B

  87. MarkedMan says:

    @Mimai: The reason I recommended the Atlantic is summed up in the fact that they gave a platform to Ta Nahesi Coates. I still consider him The Atlantics best representative, although he has long since moved out. Learn widely, listen deeply, develop your case and then back it up with concise sharp reasoning. They host liberal, conservative and writers who exist at right angles from all of that, but they never host BS. The reason I think your hypothetical (?) friend would benefit is that they aren’t limited to politics or to a liberal position on any subject, but they do demean receipts.

  88. Michael Reynolds says:

    I don’t know how strong the emotion of envy is in the Chinese. But if I were one of those princelings enjoying the tasting menu at Robuchon I’d worry that I could be seen, in real time or close to, by a billion people sharing sleeping quarters with livestock.

    But maybe I’m oversensitive on class issues. This place I live now has valets. Every time I have to ask a valet ‘could you bring me my car? The Mercedes not the BMW.’ I’m a bit surprised that he doesn’t just beat the shit out of me. I always tip 5 bucks which, somehow, at some level, just makes it worse.

    If I’m ever murdered by a homeless person, or just some guy stuck at minimum wage, my last thought will be, “Yeah, fair enough.”

  89. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Like you, albeit for completely different reasons, I’ve lived at the extremes and realize and appreciate where I am and where my family is at. I will always remember that in 1988, as a Peace Corps volunteer I was exposing the 400 citizens of my West African village to color news magazines (Newsweek) on a regular basis for the first time. No electricity, no running water and as far as I know, I was the only one who possessed a short wave radio and, as a PC volunteer, a subscription to Newsweek (I might get 10 at once, but no matter). And one day I was showing my compatriot an article that showed, yes, we had poor white people in America. “ But James”, he said, “they are so fat!” “Fat” wasn’t an insult. An English language synonym was “Prosperous”.

  90. Beth says:


    They host liberal, conservative and writers who exist at right angles from all of that, but they never host BS.

    All of their Trans related coverage over the last couple years has gone beyond BS and currently lives in the nightmare realm. They platform people who are calling for the elimination of Trans people. It’s bad.

  91. Beth says:


    Sorry to invoke pedantry.

    We sat down to watch the first episode of Ahsoka last night. Before we begin, my partner was like, “wait, she’s not a jedi.” I paused it and explained a bunch of stuff. Her eyes rolled back in her head. Unpause, get to the baddies tearing up the 1970’s nerd patrol and my partner says, “what are these guys, Sith?” I paused it, took a deep breath, and was about to explain the “Rule of Two” and the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise when she shook her head and said, “nope, NOOOOPE, don’t care.”

    I was sorely disappointed.

  92. Stormy Dragon says:


    There’s already many precedents. The problem is that each inmates case is reviewed on an individual basis and in most cases the people doing the review are straight up ignoring things like the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003.

    Changing the outcome of Jessica Watkin’s case won’t cause those people to start taking trans inmates seriously. It won’t help anyone other than Jessica Watkin. Like has the alt-right’s concern for the conditions of imprisonment for the Jan-6 defendants led to them adopting more general criminal justice reform? No, they just want “their people” treated differently and still want things to be horrible things to keep happening to everyone else.

  93. de stijl says:


    I am old enough to have seen the original trilogy in theaters at first release. The first was in early summer 1977. I was unimpressed. The visuals were outstanding for the time, but the storytelling was clunky and extremely trite and shallow. My local PBS station would show old episodes of The Shadow and Flash Gordon and other old-timey serials in marathons.

    I remember walking out of the first one super-duper impressed by the visuals, but extremely meh on the storytelling.

    It is a universe that never captured my imagination. The second one was best of the bunch, but I could never buy in. I was a film snob even in my early to mid teens. I thought the plot was painfully dumb.

    Do not expect your partner to love what you love. Gentle exposure is okay, but tastes differ, do not expect immediate love and Gushing Fandom. People have agency.

    A great partner will support and cheer your Fandom even when they think the source material is derivative and dumb.

    To this day I find it odd that folks have such strong opinions about Star Wars movies. I never was interested enough to engage

  94. Jax says:

    Soooo….did anybody watch the debates? I was waiting to hear how it went, I was in the hayfield with no internet.

  95. de stijl says:

    Locally, last night was the highest overnight low temp ever recorded. In history.

    Again, the highest overnight low in history.

    Yesterday sucked. Today will suck. It will be as hot and humid. It is predicted to be 120F heat index. Again.