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 and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. MarkedMan says:

    My wife and I have decided to get interested in sports again after a two decade break. Given that we can see Camden Yards from our front window, we are going to start following the Orioles again. We have fond memories of the last time we lived in the city, pre-kids, and walking around the neighborhood on a weekday evening, trying to decide where to go to dinner, and able to follow the game the whole time because so many people were out on their stoops listening to the game on the radio or a little TV. We could tell if something exciting was happening and we’d pause for a moment at someone’s stoop, exchange some pleasantries and stay until the moment was passed.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Let me be diplomatic here, that’s horseshit.”

    Guess who?

    Here’s a hint: a former House Speaker who “reeks of cigarette smoke and wine breath” speaking about trump and the “Deep State”.

    He also says, “There is indeed “an entrenched bureaucracy that likes to protect the status quo”. what we peons would call “following the law.”

  3. SKI says:

    @MarkedMan: When I lived a few blocks away from Camden Yards during law school, I loved wandering over and waiting in line for the center field day of game seats (then $5) while studying. Was a magical time in Birdland…

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Baseball is kind of unique in that a radio broadcast is somehow better than TV. It’s a paced game, full of natural pauses. A good play by play announcer will paint a picture of everything that he sees so that the mind’s eye is actually there in the ballpark, and when something happens the excitement can ripple thru one as tho a homerun ball was coming directly to them. A good color man has plenty of opportunities to fill in the blanks about every move the manager makes, every pitch that is thrown, every shift of the infield to how deep the center is playing.

    Some of my fondest memories are of listening to Harry Caray call what was no doubt yet another losing effort by my old man’s beloved Cubs from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field with the old cuss in our backyard on a warm summer’s afternoon. Hell, no Cards game was complete without people in the stands listening to Jack Buck on their little portable AM radios.

  5. Jen says:

    Good grief. Republicans are losing what’s left of their minds.

    Governor Ducey in Arizona has signed a law barring the state, cities, and towns from enforcing federal gun laws. This is just so bonkers. (Also seems like it might run into Supremacy Clause issues, but IANAL.)

  6. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: @SKI: I completely lost interest in professional sports as an adult, something I was never very into in the first place–yet I was a pretty big Orioles fan as a kid, especially since it was the ’80s when they were the hottest team around.

  7. Teve says:


    New data from the Office of National Statistics in the UK, which has been doing some of the best #LongCOVID prevalence work.

    The previous estimate of 10% still sick at 12 weeks is updated to 13.7%. Instead of 1 in 10, now 1 in 7.

    This includes kids, so is higher in adults. 1/

    For the first time, they’ve released age-based prevalence numbers for the % of people still sick at 12 weeks. People (with PCR+ tests) still sick with #LongCOVID at 12 weeks, by age:

    2-11: 7.4%
    12-16: 8.2%
    17-24: 11.5%
    25-34: 18.2%
    35-49: 16.1%
    50-69: 16.4%
    70+: 11.2%


    Notably, like other longitudinal studies, there’s only a small percentage point difference between men & women: of those who test positive, 12.7% of males, 14.7% of females will be sick with #LongCOVID at 12 weeks.

    Of all the age groups, age 25-34 is most affected at 18.2%.


    Full link is here:

    Thanks to @Acertaintom for always reminding me of these when they come out 🙂


  8. Teve says:


    The people who cancelled Colin Kaepernick and Kathy Griffin now want to cancel voting, reproductive freedom, baseball and Coca-Cola. But if you ask them to stop being racist, sexist or homophobic, they scream about “cancel culture.”

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    We did it, Joe

    Interesting nugget. The US economy has added more jobs in Biden’s young presidency than during the presidencies of the last 3 Republican presidents combined.

    Probably just a coincidence that the last 3 republican presidencies culminated with recessions at the end of their terms. Just bad luck I guess

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: (Also seems like it might run into Supremacy Clause issues, but IANAL.)

    Also NAL but I don’t think so as it appears to only ban state and local police from enforcing federal laws pertaining to firearms, which I see as analogous to state and local police not enforcing federal immigration laws.

  11. Teve says:


    Poll: Majority want to see Matthew McConaughey, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson run for office

    They’d be crazy to do that.

  12. Teve says:

    “Caitlyn Jenner is thinking about running for governor of California as a Republican. What would her platform be? Banning herself from the restroom?“

    -Jimmy Kimmel

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: McConaughey has publicly speculated about doing such, I guess Dwayne Johnson has too? I had thought the Rock was smarter than that.

  14. Sleeping Dog says:


    …we are going to start following the Orioles again.

    The losing will be easier to bear without the memory of success.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    If this video doesn’t make you laugh, you are broken.

    Halt and Catch Feelings

    when you’re reading the LotR books and in comes Tom Bombadil

    the tiny clap breaks still completely murder me. bless this mesmerizing forest himbo

    the camera is definitely auto-stabilized onto his head but his buster keaton blank expression while being able to isolate his upper body while the rest of him busts out into any type of move is physical comedy dance magic

    lol i can talk about and break down this tiktok forever. this isn’t even the first time i posted it. i literally cannot stop watching anything else until i can break it down, this is tiktok excellence

    his robotic supermodel posing and stone face and yeehaw weirdo energy reminds me so much of wayne from letterkenny and also the dance climax from napoleon dynamite

  16. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I saw an interview with The Rock where he didn’t just talk about running for office, he went straight to running for president.

    I don’t know about you, but I watch 2Fast 2Furious for the incisive policy analysis. 😛

  17. SKI says:

    @Kylopod: First game I remember attending was Game 4 of the ’79 WS. Guy walking around with a big sign. On one side: “Beat the Bucs” (alas). Other side said “Cosell Go to Hell”

  18. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ah, okay.

    RE: McConaughey and The Rock–ugh, no. Just no. McConaughey apparently suggested running for governor of Texas, but he allegedly hasn’t even bothered to vote in primaries and hasn’t ever donated money to a campaign in Texas.

  19. Kathy says:


    I’ve no general objection to anyone running for office, but no one should start a political career with the top office in the land (see whatshisname 2017-2021). That’s an ego trip, not any serious sort of policy or even politics.

  20. This was expected but that doesn’t make it any less objectionable. As Governor Hutchinson said this is a decision that should be left to children, parents, and the proper medical and mental health experts.

  21. MarkedMan says:


    That’s an ego trip, not any serious sort of policy or even politics.

    I’d go a step farther. It’s prima facie evidence that the person is an unserious clown. And yes, I include Andrew Yang in there.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ohhh NOEEEESSS: Where’s the ketchup? US sees shortage as manufacturers rush to meet demand

    Whatever is a redblooded American to do??? Might we be reduced to dousing our french fries in mayonnaise like those commie Europeans? Or worse… Dipping them into Grey Poupon like that elitist Obama!

  23. Teve says:

    @Kathy: yep. Or just a publicity stunt.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Hey now wait a minute, this retired broke down union carpenter who never managed anything more than a framing crew is more than qualified to take over the reins of the US govt. If trump did it, why not me?

  25. Kathy says:


    can’t they just dissolve some sugar in hot water with a little vinegar and red food coloring?

  26. CSK says:

    I like my French fries with salt. No ketchup. What does that make me?

  27. Teve says:

    The ketchup conundrum

    (Longish Malcolm Gladwell article)

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: A pinko commie fag?

  29. reid says:

    Ah, sports. I was a big fan of Oakland teams, starting with the A’s in the ’70s. They had some great years. But then in the 2000s, I just started to not care anymore. It’s been so long now that I don’t recognize any of the players. That loss of continuity makes it hard to get back into it.

    In one sense, it’s liberating, but in another, it’s a shame to no longer have the excitement of waiting for and watching your team those rare times they’re televised.

  30. CSK says:

    Maybe. I’ve been called worse.

  31. Pete S says:

    With vinegar too. Good fries with a little salt and some malt or apple cider vinegar are a real treat.

    My wife’s family is from the Maritimes. Mayo on fries is a thing there too. She conned me into trying it once and, ewwwwww

  32. senyordave says:

    @Doug Mataconis: 50 years ago it was okay to go after homosexuals, now even most of the Republicans realize they can’t do that anymore. Tarns people are a smaller percentage of the population and more vulnerable, so they make an inviting target. The modern Republican party seems to always need an “other” to go after, so for now trans people will do.
    As for children getting hurt in the process, that is a feature, not a bug.

  33. CSK says:

    According to ABC and other sources, Matt Gaetz asked Trump for a blanket pardon during the last weeks of Trump’s presidency.

    He didn’t get it.

  34. CSK says:

    @Pete S:
    Fries have to be cooked just right. Undercooked fries are an abomination.

  35. Joe says:

    @Pete S: My ex is from the Tidewater area and she has convinced our kids that mayo on fries is a Southern thing.

  36. Kathy says:

    The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine is kind of what I expected from the rush to develop COVID vaccines last year. First there seems to have been problems with the way the trials were designed, then the figures for efficacy were very unclear, and now there is a small incidence of blood clots.

    These issues haven’t been seen in the other vaccines.

    I would still take an Oxford vaccine, but not if Pfizer, Moderna, or Janssen (J&J) were available instead. I don’t fully trust the various vaccines from China and Russia, though they seem to be free of major side effects.

  37. Teve says:

    @senyordave: and even 36 years ago.

    “Should homosexuals be keel-hauled? Should we pile up the faggots and let them burn?”

    Ralph deToledano, “The Homosexual Assault”, National Review, 1984

  38. Kylopod says:


    The modern Republican party seems to always need an “other” to go after, so for now trans people will do.

    There’s also long been a connection between the two in the public mind. Gay men, trans women, transvestites, and drag queens have always occupied a common space in our culture, and many people to this day are confused about the distinctions among them. When Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby said “I just went gay all of a sudden!” (in what’s believed to be the first recorded example on film of that meaning of the term), he was saying it in reaction to being caught wearing a women’s robe. The common denominator in all these things is that they are transgressions of traditional gender boundaries, and a lot of people feel threatened by that, seeing it as a disturbance of the natural order. It’s why part of the normalization of homosexuality involved people who did not fit the stereotype of the effeminate male or butch female becoming faces of the movement. When we hear that men are men and women are women, it’s rooted in much the same fear that drove those earlier attacks on gay people.

  39. Kathy says:

    When I make oven fries, I season them with a mix of paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper after they cool down a bit.

    With regular restaurant or fast food fries, I like to put some mustard on them. any kind of mustard.

  40. Teve says:


    Might the republic be better served by having fewer — but better — voters?

  41. Teve says:


    The 10 wealthiest people in the world now own $1,231,500,000,000 in wealth. They became $30,390,000,000 richer yesterday alone. 9 of them live in America – which has not raised the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage in over 12 years. Never lose your sense of outrage.

  42. Scott says:

    I’ve been hooked on fries and mayo since 1972 when I stumbled upon them off the Damm Square in Amsterdam while backpacking through Europe. My wife thinks it’s gross but, hey, we’re midwestern. Of course, any kind of picante sauce works too.

  43. Scott says:

    @Teve: @Teve: One dollar of net worth, one vote. Seems fair, right?

  44. Kathy says:


    Well, white voters were most responsible for getting Trump elected, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths, thousands of torn families, two impeachments, and one insurrection, among other disasters.

    Ergo fewer white people should be allowed to vote. Say those without a college degree.

  45. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan, et alia:

    I’ve come to appreciate the non-major leagues. AAA baseball is a fun watch, waay cheaper to attend, and pretty damn good baseball.

    I am especially fond of collegiate and D league hockey. I find NHL hockey style boring and constrained and with the beyond stupid “fights”.

    Good college hockey is much more free flowing and open. Akin to international hockey.

    Major league pro sports are too damn expensive.

    @OzarkHillbilly: Baseball is a perfect radio sport. Sit on a deck or a balcony jawing with your friends. Get your drink on and watch the sunset.

  46. Jen says:

    I love fries with mayo! Yes, it’s a holdover from living in Europe as a teen. I also like malt vinegar. Ketchup, meh–I like it when I make it myself, with a touch of curry powder in it (again, holdover from living in Germany–currywurst).

  47. de stijl says:


    I got a YT comment response I am proud of and psyched by.

    Har Mar Superstar himself gave my comment a “very hearted reply”.

    That is awesome and very, very cool. Made my month. I am a monster fan.

    For those of you who do not know Har Mar Superstar is a white-boy R&B singer. My fave is his cover of Prince’s Since You Were Mine.

    Made my month.

  48. Kathy says:

    I’ve been watching a four part documentary on the Challenger disaster on Netflix.

    It’s not that good. There is a lot fo behind the scenes footage of the crew, which is good. The focus of the documentary is the crew, most notably Christa McAuliffe, and then some people at Morton Thiokol, the company that made the ill-designed solid rocket boosters.

    There’s far less concerning the technical matters. Part one covered some of the reasons why NASA pressed ahead with the launch.

    I find it more interesting to note it’s been 35 years since Challenger blew up. Where did the time go?

  49. de stijl says:


    I could be down for Terry Crews. He seems like an all-around good human.

    Plus, he played President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho in Idiocracy.

    Man has bona fides like Reagan.

  50. de stijl says:

    I would have no prob with Dwayne Johnson running. That man strikes me as a good dude. Smart, savvy, charismatic as hell.

    Rs get ex-college SEC football coaches with no questions asked as to competency or intelligence.

    Why not?

  51. Kylopod says:

    One of my favorite Obama-era SNL skits featured Dwayne Johnson.

  52. wr says:

    @de stijl: “I would have no prob with Dwayne Johnson running. That man strikes me as a good dude. Smart, savvy, charismatic as hell.”

    He does a very good job of presenting himself that way. But remember: He’s an actor, and this is his public persona.

    What I’ve heard from people who have encountered him in the biz is a lot less flattering. Not saying he’s evil or one of the worst human beings ever born or Don Johnson, but not exactly That Guy either. (Oh, and everyone who has told me stories about him has also said they were really disappointed — because even they expected him to be the guy he played in public.)

    But even if he were good, savvy dude, how would that qualify him for president?

  53. Stormy Dragon says:


    Recent “I feel old” moment for me: Wil Wheaton, the actor who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, is now older (48) than Patrick Stewart, the actor who played Capt. Picard, was when the show first premiered (47).

  54. Teve says:

    @de stijl: I want to see a proven track record of executive competence for a presidential candidate. In recent years Obama had the least, though community organizing does count for some, but he powered through it on sheer brains, and they still made numerous mistakes. A lot of people can’t do that. As far as I know, Dwayne Johnson has none.

  55. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I think I posted this a few days ago, but my recent ‘feel old’ moment was immediately after I added to favorites a link to a 500 thread count 100% Pima cotton sheet set at bed bath and beyond. 🙂

  56. CSK says:

    I wish I could find the one where Maya Rudolph plays an Egyptian queen and Johnson plays a pharaoh.

  57. Stormy Dragon says:


    I really prefer successful governors as President, unfortunately they often fail purity tests vs. legislators since they have to compromise to get things done instead of just being able to loudly propose pie in the sky bills that never pass.

    Good governors particularly have trouble since “everything is going well” never gets news coverage. The fact Inslee, Hickenlooper, Bullock, and Patrick didn’t get a single delegate between them in 2020 makes me really sad.

  58. Teve says:

    Jesus. An epidemiologist friend just said, “public health people are telling anybody who wants a vaccine and can’t find one, to look in red counties because they have a much bigger supply than they have takers. It’s sad, but what are you gonna do?“

  59. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Too true.

  60. de stijl says:


    We are well into the unserious stage of American political life.

    Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, Al Franken, Fred Grandy, Arnold GD Scharzenegger. Ronald fucking Reagan. Donald fucking Trump.

    The Rubicon was crossed in 1980.

    Dudes who used to be lawyers before they became pols are a dime a dozen.

    I am not advocating that Dwayne Johnson should run, but if he did I would give him an honest look-see. I am not initially off-put by the concept.

  61. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Another “I feel old” moment: the F-14 Tomcat is now the same age a WW2 Spitfire was when Top Gun came out.

  62. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, Al Franken, Fred Grandy, Arnold GD Scharzenegger. Ronald fucking Reagan. Donald fucking Trump.

    You forgot Jesse Ventura. That just might the weirdest example, prior to Trump.

    I was struck by the fact that Kanye did so poorly in 2020. Of course, there was the fact that he was flippin’ insane, never could give a coherent explanation why he was running and practically admitted he was doing it to help Trump. (The first rule of spoiler candidates is you do not talk about being a spoiler candidate.) And of course he didn’t even make the ballot in most states that could even conceivably have mattered (the closest was Minnesota). Still, he seemed to violate the rule that celeb candidates ALWAYS overperform.

  63. Teve says:

    @wr: Johnson told a story of about 21 years ago when he was really a jerk to some fans and decided he needed to try to be a better person.

    I can sympathize. 25 years ago I was an A-Hole and had to learn to watch my behavior and be critical of myself, which is still an issue. Much less of one, but the A-Hole is always lurking right below the surface.

  64. de stijl says:


    Good bedsheets are god-sent.

    They make a remarkable difference. We spend a third of our lives in beds. It is worth the money to buy a good mattress and good sheets and pillows that function correctly.

    Sleep quality impacts our awake hours immensely.

    An investment rather than a luxury.

  65. Neil J Hudelson says:


    Make fun of entertainers running for office all you want, but in my lifetime I’ve seen Reagan, Schwarzenneger, and Trump all hold very high offices and their tenures turned out absolutely A-OK.

  66. de stijl says:


    I screwed that hard. I lived in Minnesota during that election and Ventura’s governorship.

    The D and R candidates were not very compelling and were selling shop-worn wares.

    Ventura was new and shiny with no baggage. Disaster from day one. He had no party legislative support.

    Looking back, no bad stuff happened, but no good stuff happened. That era was sorta a void.

    I know Jesse “The Body” Ventura, but I spaced it out entirely because he was so inconsequential.

    “I ain’t got time to bleed” became weird pleas to not investigate my fuck-up son.

    The era of inertia. (Inertia is not bad.)

  67. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @de stijl:

    I saw Har Mar at a very small club in Indy. His drummer was Macauley Caulkin. One of the most entertaining shows I’ve ever been to.

    Some of my favorites:

    Gangsters Want to Cuddle Me
    Dope, Man
    It Was Only Dancing (Sex)

    ETJustbeforeposting: Oof.

    Walking to his house from nearby Grumpy’s Bar after he invited her over for a cigarette, the woman warned Tillmann that she had a boyfriend. That nothing would happen between them.

    “Don’t worry,” she remembers him replying. “I’ll just [masturbate],” he said, using a vulgar term. And she laughed.

    But when the singer known as Har Mar Superstar emerged from a bedroom on that April 2017 night in northeast Minneapolis, he was naked and masturbating, said the woman, whose name is being withheld to protect her identity.


    (When did the link, quote, ital, etc. options disappear? I’ve stopped remembering html tags a decade ago.)

  68. de stijl says:


    I have to remind myself that standing up to assholes is generally a good thing.

    I’m naturally inclined towards avoidance which is a bad trait I fight continually.

    Actively trying to compensate for maladaptive traits is very healthy.

  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I must be broken. Not funny at all. Then again, I turned off Letterkenny 10 minutes into the first episode I watched, too. No accounting for taste (mine of course, yours and the tweeters is probably spot on).

  70. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: I still want George Clooney to run. America doesn’t want a President, America wants a figurehead, and I cannot think of anyone who can better play the role of good, firm, kind-hearted, loved-despite-his-flaws, liberal president.

    And put a real leader in the cabinet or VP slot. Someone Clooney respects enough to defer to. Secretary of Presidenting Obama, perhaps.

  71. CSK says:

    IIRC, Kanye West said he was running on the Birthday Party ticket.

  72. Gustopher says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    (When did the link, quote, ital, etc. options disappear? I’ve stopped remembering html tags a decade ago.)

    They disappear when you post a comment. Refresh and they return. At least, that’s what I see, but I expect that we all see a different collection of bugs.

  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: You need guar gum or some other emulsifier, too. It’s hard to boil sugar syrup with vinegar in it to the point that it will thicken enough. My recollection is that it turns into treacle and hardens.

  74. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Not funny at all. Then again, I turned off Letterkenny 10 minutes into the first episode I watched, too

    It’s a shame you didn’t make it to the hockey girls. They are the bees’ knees. 😀

    Isn’t that right Mary Anne?

  75. Pete S says:

    @de stijl:
    If you are close enough to Ontario to see OHL games, the price is right and the hockey is really good. The very top players head to the NHL when they are drafted, most play until they are 20 then head to university on the league’s dime. There are also leagues in western Canada and Quebec the three leagues are independent until the Memorial Cup at the end of the season which features the 3 League champions and the team from the host city.

  76. Gustopher says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    But when the singer known as Har Mar Superstar emerged from a bedroom on that April 2017 night in northeast Minneapolis, he was naked and masturbating, said the woman, whose name is being withheld to protect her identity.

    Also, god damn it, why aren’t we allowed to have just a few heroes? Just not be disgusting… is that so hard?

  77. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Comedy is extremely personal, I can’t stand Jerry Seinfeld, I just think his jokes are lame and tedious. Millions of people like him. (The show was good but that’s because Larry David is brilliant). I think Aziz Ansari is hilarious, my friend Stephanie can’t stand him. I like Tom Segura, but a lot of people are horrified by him. I believe if there is a hell, the bulletin boards are full of family circus comics, but it’s a very successful comic.

  78. Jen says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: I am *not* making fun of entertainers running for office. There are plenty who are quite capable and smart, and I’d be behind them if they did run. The name ID advantage is an excellent start.

    I *do* have an issue with dilettantes who expect to drift into the highest office without doing any of the work that provides a basis of experience and understanding of how government works.

    Reagan doesn’t fit in that category. He was the head of the Screen Actors Guild during the “red scare” phase in Hollywood–he got quite a bit of education and understanding of government during that period. It was after that he was elected Governor of California, then was reelected.

    Schwartzenegger did seem to take it seriously, but Trump–I’m still convinced he ran to try and bolster his monetization of his name and had no interest in winning, but he’s a perfect example of what I DON’T ever want to see again.

    McConaughey strikes me as being in the not-serious dilettante category. If he’s never donated to a campaign and doesn’t bother to vote in most (if not all) elections, I can’t take him seriously as a gubernatorial candidate.

  79. de stijl says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    Was he bare chested?

    You know dude is super down when he goes sans shirt. That’s gonna be an exceptional show. A fully clothed Har Mar Superstar show is one where he’s phoning it in.

    Or poncho. Dude loves ponchos. Which is also endearing.

  80. Teve says:

    You know that business where there was a pre-checked box to let trump steal as much money from your bank account as he wanted? Look at this fuckin tweet:

  81. de stijl says:


    I have respect for Schwarzenegger. A celeb pol who did not try to actively wreck things and tried to work with the legislative branch in a fairly positive manner.

    I did not like his agenda, but he comported himself quite well.

  82. Teve says:

    America’s Next Insurgency

    The January 6 violence could signal the start of nationwide conflict not seen since the Civil War. Can we stop it?

    Washington monthly

  83. de stijl says:

    @Pete S:

    Sadly, no.

    Northern tier US states have really good hockey. Even D3 hockey in Minnesota is damned good.

    The worst I’ve seen recently was a NHL D league feeder team that thought that dumping the puck into the zone and then see what happens was a strategy. So frustrating to watch.

    Any goal that occurred was happenstance. Highly skilled players encumbered by bad tactics. Aagh!

  84. wr says:

    @Teve: As the man said, the key to success is authenticity. If you can learn to fake that, you’ve got it made.

  85. wr says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: “Make fun of entertainers running for office all you want, but in my lifetime I’ve seen Reagan, Schwarzenneger, and Trump all hold very high offices and their tenures turned out absolutely A-OK.”

    Schwarzenegger turned out better than he might have, simply because he was an actor at heart and was driven by the actor’s need to be loved by everyone. His political instincts always brought him in synch with California’s right-wing Republican power brokers and he would try to do the things that would make him happy — and then the vast majority of the state would turn against him, and he’d backpedal furiously. He ended up governing as a moderate — because he knew people wouldn’t like him if he got too radical.

  86. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Yeah, true. And I’m a tough crowd to begin with. For his birthday, one of my friends had his party at a bar in Itaewon that was hosting a comedy nite featuring some comedians that people in Seoul thought were fairly significant (English language performers, Koreans seem to do mostly sketch comedy on TV with other comedians). When they had finished, my friend asked me why I hadn’t laughed at all during the performances.

  87. wr says:

    @de stijl: “I did not like his agenda, but he comported himself quite well.”

    Except, you know, with the help…

  88. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    I’ll confirm that for de stijl. That was the last election that we were in Minnie for. The debates were a disaster for Humphrey and Coleman, they stood there and parroted their poll tested and over rehearsed lines and sounded ridiculous. Jesse was the voice of reason, while the others appealed to their partisans, Ventura split the difference and appealed to the broad middle.

    At that time, my buddy lived on the West Bank and on election day, voted before going to work, the line for same day registration went out the door and down the block, he figured there were 300 people, mostly UofM and Augsburg students, excited to vote for Jessie. One thing about Ventura, unlike the Former Guy, he was pretty positive and it was hard to dislike him personally.

  89. Kylopod says:

    California under Arnold was the first state to set up an exchange under the ACA. He did it in 2010, years before a single other state did–probably because he’d been pushing for a Romney-style plan within the state for years. And unlike Romney, he stuck by it. I’m not naive–I’m not going to say it was “principle” necessarily. A lot may have hinged on the fact that he knew he wasn’t constitutionally eligible to be president, so CA gov was highest he’d ever go. He never did the contortions Romney engaged in to be competitive in a national GOP primary, but he didn’t have to.

    I also don’t think his career in CA would have survived the MeToo era.

  90. de stijl says:


    Oh yeah, there was that.

    How did the resolution play out? I believe he paid out and is paying support.

    Of misbehaviors amongst pols, not anything I would hold against them too highly unless coercion. Arguably, the imbalance and the fact she was a de facto employee is really quite bad.

    I really have little interest in politician’s personal lives beyond the bare minimum of consenting adult partners.

    The MTG allegations are immaterial. Don’t care.

  91. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: You do remember the sexual harassment allegations against him, right? That’s what I was referencing with my MeToo remark. I’m surprised how much that’s fallen down the memory hole. It isn’t even mentioned on his Wikipedia page.

  92. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    While Ventura was markedly ineffective, he never struck me as a bad guy let alone actively evil.

    I even sorta was behind some of his proposals. In parts, anyway.

    Dude did not do subtle well.

  93. de stijl says:


    Actually, I had forgotten most of that.

    I withdraw my half-hearted quasi-endorsement. Sexual abuse by the powerful over the relatively powerless is reprehensible and vile. Fuck him.

  94. CSK says:

    Trump is now denying that Gaetz asked him for a blanket pardon.

  95. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It didn’t make feel old, so much as a bit shocked that it’s been that long.

    This may not make you feel young, but it’s interesting:

    The time between the present and the reign of Cleopatra (30 BCE) is less than the time between the building of the Pyramids at Giza (2560 BCE) and her reign.

  96. Kathy says:


    By now, as far as I’m concerned, this counts as confirmation.

  97. CSK says:

    It’s truly astounding how many people have voiced the exact same sentiment as you have.

  98. Jen says:

    I have to keep reminding myself that there are people who fall for Nigerian Prince scams, too.

    Via the NYT:

    The political arm of House Republicans is deploying a prechecked box to enroll donors into repeating monthly donations — and using ominous language to warn them of the consequences if they opt out: “If you UNCHECK this box, we will have to tell Trump you’re a DEFECTOR.”

  99. Jon says:


    I believe if there is a hell, the bulletin boards are full of family circus comics, but it’s a very successful comic.

    I present to you the Nietzsche Family Circus.

  100. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: WWI, which I tend to regard as recent history is closer to the Civil War than to now.

  101. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    How about corn starch? Add enough, and you get ketchup oobleck.

    Republicans would have to eat it out of patriotism.

  102. JohnMcC says:

    Here’s a curiosity: TAC has a story up dated Apr 2d by Arthur Bloom that shows screenshots of texts from the Israeli Consulate in NYC to Scott Adams in which the basic story of Congressman Gaetz’s scandal and ‘extortion’ is clearly spelled out. These were sent on Saturday and the Times’ story came out the following Monday.

    Apparently the Israelis were in contact with the group trying the “rescue” Bob Levinson from Iran. It seems a possible interpretation of the texts that they were even attempting to do some management of the ‘extortion’ by making later requests for less that the initial $25M.

    There’s no explanation for Scott Adams poking his head up from this thicket.

    Will also mention that I read this in the WaPo story by Phillip Bump ‘When Did Matt Gaetz Know?’ and that looking for a bit more info I used the google and…you will be shocked!…there seems to be quite a bit of antisemitism expressed in the titles and first sentences of a lot of websites telling the story. So: Trigger Warning.

  103. Mimai says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:
    I assume you were referring to the Hi-Fi. Great venue.
    If only dogs could create music (and art). Alas, we are reliant on humans. And so it goes…

  104. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: FWIW, I think the Minors serve to de-asshole-ify baseball players. No matter how good you are, you still are in much closer contact to the fans than you would be in the Majors. And while you could argue that football and basketball players get that during their college career, there is a huge difference: rather than being the big-man-0n-campus with everyone breaking the rules for you and treating you like a king, when a Minor leaguer leaves the stadium he typically drives himself out of the parking lot in a used car, and maybe stops off at the local supermarket to pick up some milk and eggs, where no one knows him from Moses.

  105. Teve says:

    @Jen: isn’t that amazing? That reminds me of those fundraising emails like “I was talking to President Trump the other day and he said ‘why hasn’t _JAMES_ donated to us yet?’ He asked me to reach out to you personally to give you another opportunity…” Their target demographic is people who are 2 beers shy of a six-pack.

  106. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis: there’s a reason his own staffers called him Mike Dense.

  107. de stijl says:


    Minor league guys get paid diddly squat. They regularly live in rental units set up like barracks. Eight dudes to a unit.

    An ex-big league pitcher sent down to AAA lived in his RV in the parking lot in my town.

  108. Teve says:
  109. Teve says:
  110. Kingdaddy says:
  111. Teve says:

    So you know how I said I don’t feel the negative effects of Sudafed like some other people? Well we’re about to find out. All my life the Sudafed I’ve taken have been those little red jobbies and they were 30 mg. I take 2 at a time.

    I go to the pharmacy today and the guy says sorry we’re out of everything except the 24 hour Sudafed. I said well that’s fine just give me that, paid for it and left. Got home and looked at the box. 240 mg.

    I’m a little concerned.

  112. Teve says:

    @Kingdaddy: That was very interesting.

  113. reid says:

    @gVOR08: Not to make things worse, but you could just about say that about WW2!

  114. CSK says:

    That’s the most you can take in one day. It’s a single 24-hour dose.

  115. Kathy says:


    Check the box and/or the manufacturer’s website. Odds are it’s a time release type of pill, which will release the whole 240 mg over 18 to 24 hours.

  116. Kathy says:


    The first Star Wars movie (1977 CE) is closer in time to WWII (1939-1945 CE) than to today.

  117. reid says:

    @Kathy: One I was thinking about the other day, and similar:

    I was a teen in the ’80s. The ’80s were to the ’50s (ancient history to me) as today is to the ’90s (just a few years ago, really).

  118. de stijl says:


    If you really want to sleep for 18 hours and be groggy as hell for the next six, stay on path.

    But I would advocate following dosage recommendations on the 240mg pills.

    I do supposedly non-drowsy antihistamine for spring-time allergies and sleep like a kitten. Awake for two hours, sleep for two. Repeat.

  119. de stijl says:


    I watched the first Star Wars movie in a theater opening day.

    No offense to other folks, but I was not impressed that much, really. The visuals were astounding for the time, but the story was meh at best. The dialogue was sub-pulp par.

  120. Kylopod says:


    The first Star Wars movie (1977 CE) is closer in time to WWII (1939-1945 CE) than to today.

    Don’t get me started….

    (And that comic is closer in time to when Dubya was president than it is to today.)

  121. Kathy says:


    Yes, but back in the 80s we had computers and cell phones, while in the 50s they barely had B&W TV and didn’t even have cable.

    @de stijl:

    I was young enough not to care. I recall being impressed by Leia holding a blaster and taking charge.


    This year the war in Afghanistan will turn 20.

  122. de stijl says:

    Lucas thinks epic staging makes a movie epic.

    If the story is banal and the characters are wooden exposition explainers, it’s a crap movie even if it looks cool.

  123. Jen says:

    @Teve: It’s a time-release thing. That’s part of the problem for me, I take one of those and it literally still shows up in my blood pressure numbers days later–like, 72+ hours after I take one.

    @de stijl: Agreed, the visuals were great but in subsequent viewings I found Luke to be whiny and annoying, the dialogue stilted (and the dialogue in the Ewok one was even worse), and the lack of female speaking roles is jarring to me now.

  124. Kurtz says:


    Kanye… Oh boy. Pretty difficult to reconcile backpack Kanye with red hat Kanye.

    “The system broken, the school is closed, the prison’s open/ We ain’t got nothing to lose, motherfucker we rollin'”

    “Lost in translation with a whole fuckin’ nation/ They say I was the abomination of Obama’s nation/ Well that’s a pretty bad way to start the conversation”

    I like the way Candace Owen’s thinks.

    Trump and Kanye have some similarities–shameless self-promotion, egos dwarfed only by the chips on their shoulders. But the latter has talent; the former doesn’t.

    Kanye is a brilliant artist, lyrically, musically, and as a fashion designer. But expecting consistency from a guy who rails against materialism while simultaneously selling $500 sneakers is probably a fool’s errand. Reminds me of the presumed reason Chapman had a copy of Catcher with him.

  125. de stijl says:

    I know there are efforts afoot now that will likely succeed, but the US AUMF is still the law of the land for nearly 20 years.

    Bad, frantic, hurried, misguided policy then still applies officially now. In 2021.

    We need better government and legislators.

  126. de stijl says:


    Power is one of my favorite songs.

    I like songs that make you want to punch the powers that be square in the nuts. Always have.

    Kanye is truly gifted as he humbly notes in that song, but dude is really problematic.

    Power sounds great and is really well constructed. It is truly a great song.

    I love it and also find it quite creepy in 2021.

    “21st century schizoid man” is so disturbing now. Degenerated into such a parody.

    His life was a tragedy. Got everything he wanted.

  127. de stijl says:

    From that era I really like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

    Maps is a freaking awesome song.

  128. JohnMcC says:

    @de stijl:”We need better government and legislators.”

    After all the silly ‘this will make you feel old’ stuff, let me toss just one item in: The campaign theme of Jimmy Carter’s electoral victory was a promise to make ‘government as good as it’s people.’

  129. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: You don’t even want to know the things I’ve been called.

    @Pete S: My wife’s from Majorca. She hasn’t talked me into eating anything yet I was sorry for after.

  130. de stijl says:

    Compare and contrast David Lean or John Huston to George Lucas.

    Akira Kurosawa.

    He can do some of the visuals passably, but as a storyteller…

  131. Teve says:

    Well this is cool. It gives you a blank map and then asks you to point out country after country. It takes a little while because there are 159 countries quizzed, but it’s neat. I did better than expected, I got a 38%.

  132. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    This sounds mean but it cracked up a friend of mine back when:

    George Lucas does cargo cult versions of good movies

  133. JKB says:

    So with the latest release of the DC chief medical examiner, only one homicide at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. That was Ashli Babbitt, who was intentionally killed by a US Capitol police lieutenant, who stepped forward aimed at her head and discharged his firearm striking her in the neck. Two people died of heart attacks, one woman from a drug overdose. But 90 days on, still not official report of how Officer Sicknick died after collapsing at the Capitol. No blunt force trauma reported for Officer Sicknick.

  134. Kurtz says:



    So I assume you you’re equally concerned about these deaths.

    No harm, no foul, right?

  135. Teve says:


    Tucker Carlson calls trans people “a challenge to the perpetuation of the species”

    I’m a liberal and while I understand that with some conservatives I have legitimate philosophical differences, it’s hard to see something like this and not conclude, “they’re just fucking morons.”

  136. de stijl says:


    I know a dude who is convinced there is a police no-go, autonomous zone in Minneapolis and will not be knocked off that point by any evidence.

    It’s like debating an aardvark.

  137. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    I like the remix with Jay-Z about as much as the album version,the Snap! sample in the coda is perfect.

    For me, “Power” is kind of like “Humble.” A great, well known song, that is also the median song on a masterpiece. I would say I like about half of the tracks on MBDTF and Damn. more than I like either of those.

    “Gorgeous” and “Devil in a New Dress” are probably my favorite from the Kanye record. As for Damn., I would say “Lust” and “Pride.” The latter is Beatles-esque to me; the birds remind me of “Tomorrow Never Knows” and the single mix of “Across the Universe.”

  138. Kurtz says:


    Sometimes I genuinely wonder whether some of these commentators are just playing a public role like was pointed out about Dwane Johnson or if they really are as dumb as the appear.

  139. Teve says:


    President Biden will nominate David Chipman, an adviser to the gun control organization founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, to lead the ATF, according to two people with knowledge of the move.


    @Kurtz: That’s the eternal question, ‘are they stupid or just dishonest?’

  140. Teve says:

    @de stijl: there was a very amusing event that happened on Twitter a few years back, some right wing idiot was saying that the Swedes had lost control of several neighborhoods to violent Muslim gangs and the swedish people couldn’t even go in those neighborhoods without taking their lives in their own hands and so forth, and a swedish woman went outside and took a bunch of timestamped photos including street signs at an intersection showing that she was currently in that neighborhood, and basically said to him, ‘where are you hearing this stuff, this neighborhood is perfectly fine, I live here and as you can see it’s nighttime, there’s a few people walking around and that’s about it. There are no roving Muslim gangs terrorizing the citizenry here. Nothing is going on. Who told you this stuff?’

  141. Teve says:

    Ha! This literally just happened on Facebook. This moron showed up and posted a photo of Joe Biden with a Hitler mustache and Hitler haircut and the caption said “only a dictator governs by executive order” and immediately someone replied ‘Ronald Reagan signed 381 executive orders, which is more than Bill Clinton, more than Barack Obama, and more than Joe Biden. So you’re saying Ronald Reagan was a dictator, Huh?” and the guy bailed. 😛

    I ❤️ my FB friends.

  142. gVOR08 says:


    Their target demographic is people who are 2 beers shy of a six-pack.

    Why do Republicans target evangelicals, with their message they have to target the gullible.

  143. de stijl says:


    Some of my very favorite Somali restaurants are in the so-called no-go zone that does not exist.

    Somali cuisine as presented in America as far as I can tell offers braised meat and veg with flat bread as the utensil. The spice profile is similar to Ethiopian if you’ve tried that.

    I’m bad at nailing individual spices, but def cumin heavy.

    Highly recommended. Super yummy. I also recommend real social interaction with Somalis. I know Finland always scores high on the happiness scale, but that metric obviously does not include Somalia. Specifically Somali-Americans

    A very cool and vibrant addition to our mix.

  144. Teve says:

    @de stijl: I make a pretty decent Doro Wat, if I do say so myself. But I’m lazy and I don’t make the Injera. This county went 70% for Donald Trump, you think the Teff flour is just gonna be on the shelf at Winn-Dixie? 😀

  145. Thomm says:

    @JKB: awww…still crying over your dead traitor? Sure made the rioting crowd of thugs paise for long enough to clear out the chamber didn’t it?

  146. Teve says:

    Capitol riot defendant flips to help prosecutors against Proud Boys

    (CNN)At least one of the Capitol riot defendants has flipped against the Proud Boys, agreeing to provide information that could allow the Justice Department to bring a more severe charge against the group’s leadership, according to an attorney involved in the case.

    The development is the first indication that people charged in the insurrection are cooperating against the pro-Trump extremist group. Federal prosecutors have made clear they are focused on building conspiracy cases against leadership of the Proud Boys and paramilitary groups like the Oath Keepers.
    Court records have made murmurs for weeks about cooperators and plea deals in the works, and prosecutors revealed that a rioter wearing an Oath Keepers hat was in talks to cooperate earlier this week.


  147. de stijl says:

    David Lean told a major portion of the story with an empty desert. Isolation. Desolation.

    Lucas garbled his up with cool looking junk that needed to be explained and named. It added nothing beyond fan-boi lore.

    The two sun twilight on Tatooine with Luke being reflective was admittedly well shot and effective. I will grant him that.

  148. de stijl says:


    I hate the Oath Keepers specifically most amongst their peers like Three Percenters.

    Their whole shtick is more pure constitutional purity pureness than mere citizens and then they end up as the bad guys in an attempted illegitimate coup.

    I also hate Proud Boys mostly for their stupid couture choices. And their politics too if truth be told.

    Cops who sport III Percenter or Punisher swag can go directly to hell please. Do not pass Go.

  149. Mister Bluster says:

    I don’t see much TV other than Sports Bar fare. Tonight is an exception and I have stumbled on an episode of Star Trek: Voyager from 1998 featuring Ray Walston as the antagonist. I’m waitimg for the antenna to appear on his head.

  150. Mister Bluster says:

    Maybe this will bring up the EDIT function.

    ETA Yes. After two page reloads.

    If at first you don’t succeed…