Markos Calls Us Out

Libertarian Democrat* Markos Moulitsas asks where just-plain-libertarians—like the editors and readers of this magazine—are on FISA.

Here we are engaged in a huge civil liberties issue, and progressives are being forced to fight this thing alone. It's easy to talk about "liberty". It's much more impressive to actually do something about it.

Reason has been on the FISA beat for a while, but Moulitsas is right: the hated Orange Line Mafia is not doing near enough to pressure Congress on this. The Ron Paul campaign has captured much of the libertarian imagination and the controversies about his newsletters have alienated various sides of the libertarian thinksophere. We need to get over ourselves. The arguments over who wrote what in 1989 or 1990 are less important than whether the Senate retroactively legalizes and forgives international surveillance.

Last week I posted, via a link, the numbers of the senators to pressure on FISA. Here are the numbers of possible Democratic swing votes, as well as the numbers of Republicans who've shown spine on these issues. I'm not telling anyone what to say, but there's been plenty of interest about this in the comments.

  • Tom Carper (202) 224-2441
  • Larry Craig (202) 224-2841
  • Daniel Inouye (202) 224-3934
  • Tim Johnson (202) 224-5842
  • Barbara Mikulski (202) 224-4654
  • Bill Nelson (FL) (202) 224-5274
  • Ben Nelson (NE) (202) 224-6551
  • Mark Pryor (202) 224-2353
  • Ken Salazar (202) 224-5852
  • John Sununu (202) 224-2841


*I've clarified this to stress that Moulitsas, himself, self-identifies as a libertarian Democrat.

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  • stephen the goldberger||

    we are not your personal army

  • TexMex||

    Can I SMS those #s? That would be gr8

  • ||

    "Kos" is now a "Libertarian Democrat"?!

    Wow!

    things are getting more and more weird ...

  • Seer||

    I thought Reason chastised Markos for trying to co-opt the term libertarian into something it's not.

    And Larry Craig is going to vote 100% with his party for at least the next 20 years.

  • ||

    Weigel: "The arguments over who wrote what in 1989 or 1990 are less important than whether the Senate retroactively legalizes and forgives domestic surveillance."

    I agree completely. Let's sweep this piece of offal into the dustbin of history. In 30 years, when someone asks, "where were you during the war on personal liberties, grandpa," I want to be able to tell my grandchild that I was on the right side -- and that the good guys won.

  • ||

    At this link, you can read an editorial by a Cato Institute's Constitution Chair in which he endorses the bill in question. Markos might not be much of a libertarian, but he's got this Pilon fellow beat, apparently.

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9119

    I'll 'get over [my]self' when people like this guy are torn from their thrones of power.

  • anon||

    Jacob Sullum in the previous post says, "...Protect America Act, a temporary measure that gave the executive branch the unilateral authority to order surveillance of international communications ..."

    and Weigel says "...domestic surveillance"

    Get it straight and consistent.

    In another news, Libertarian War-monger McCain and Libertarian Conservative Romney are slinging mud at each other.

  • Really Naughty Boy||

    How much fun must it be to be the guy who answers the phone at Larry Craig's Office? Wow, that individual must have some really interesting stories to tell.

  • ||

    Why stop at FISA? Let's go all the way by pushing vigorously for impeachment so that no future president has nerve to abuse our civil liberties the way this one has.

  • ||

    I just checked the Roger Pilon/CATO post ref'd above. Not much there about protecting our freedom, and mostly using the beware-the-boogeyman scare tactic arguements to say that the Executive branch should be able to spy however they want without checks from the pesky micro-managing Legislative branch. What a bunch of phonies at the CATO institute. I searched around their site, and there's hardly anything at all about the FISA battle. I'm a regular reader, poster, and occaisional diary-poster at DailyKos, and the FISA battle has been front and center for quite some time.

    When there are important legislative events like what went on today, you people should check out the live-blogging that goes on at DailyKos.

    People power worked today, and we got a temporary extension of our civil liberties. Let's hope we win some more battles.

  • Peter||

    Seriously? Reason is making the word "Libertarian" about as usefull as the word "Facist".

  • ||

    Hey don't pick on the orange line mafia at CATO they are the real libertarians, it doesn't matter that they support spying on you. real libertarians know that our freedom from spying is not as important as our freedom from dying...the great libertarian thinker Mitt Romney told me that...boy those uneducated guys over at mises.org don't have a clue...us cosmopolitan libertarians are sophisticated enough to know the government wouldn't really use this stuff against us.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    You know, a lot us are still pissed that liberal came to mean something other than what we think it ought to. So much so that we now make it a point to say classical liberal.

    Well, if we keep on calling people who'd sell us down a rathole in a heartbeat to get Aunt Gertrude a welfare chit libertarians and see what that word comes to mean in a decade.

    That's not to say there isn't common ground sometimes--but that's all it is. A little common ground sometimes. Your gonna get a little of that with almost anyone on any issue.

    Buying some exposure for our ideas? Just gonna get sunburnt cheeks.

  • ||

    I can't believe I actually subscribed to Reason many years ago. Sheesh. The fog of youth. Live and learn.

  • cynic||

    This is all about the trial lawyers. Permit the civil suits but on condition there are no contingency fees and the kos crowd wouldn't lift a finger.Or just retitle it the Women's Choice For Safe Reproductive Clinics Act and rescind all Constitutional rights for anti-abortion protesters and kos would be begging for it to pass.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    we got a temporary extension of our civil liberties

    Uhh, I don't think we got many of those anymore. And they didn't vanish when Junior swore the oath, that was all a long time coming. Once he's gone, it'll just get worse.

    I wanna know when Kos is gonna agitate for my right to open-carry a .45 in DC. Better, maybe we can get his take on IRS collection methods.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I can't believe I actually subscribed to Reason many years ago.

    DRINK!

  • the innominate one||

    I tried to call Sen Bill Nelson, but his voice mailbox is full.

    anon: they aren't mutually exclusive

    John Campbell: I agree completely. Impeach Bush and Cheney!

    The Wine Commonsewer | January 28, 2008, 9:43pm | #
    You know, a lot us are still pissed that liberal came to mean something other than what we think it ought to.


    You can thank the classical conservatives for that, I believe, TWC.

  • Roger||

    Markos the Chavez-lite, all the way down to his Army photos. Prat.


    progressives are being forced to fight this thing alone.

    What is it exactly that you're doing other than blabbing from the top of the blabbocratic alarmist tower of your ineffectual "blog", asshole? Spade calling a spade a spade. I hate that guy.

  • Jacob||

    While we're calling out the Orange Line Mafia, a Cato writer came out in favor of the "Protect America Act" today:

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9119

    Disgusting.

  • dodsworth||

    Will Cato's valentine for the Protect America Act by Roger Pilon generate even 10 percent of the righteous outrage used against moldy ghostwritten newsletters? Will Pilon's defenders be demonized to the same degree as kooks, non-cosmopolitan, unlibertarian. I think we know the answer

  • ||

    Reason has been on this issue. Ron Paul hasn't. It's a shame, it's an issue that libertarians are 1) on the right side of the public and 2) in an position, especially Ron Paul, to have some influence.

    In the Reason threads, it's mostly been an exercising in bitching that the Democrats can't pass it along with 51%.

  • dodsworth||

    Joe:

    Ron Paul has been "on" this issue far more than any presidential candidate or, for that matter, the Cato institute.

  • ||

    Nonsense, dodsworth. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have each mounted major press events and made public stands on the side of the angels. What's Ron Paul been doing during this debate? His stump speech in Oklahoma?

    We'll see this week.

  • ||

    The Wine Commonsewer Quote:
    "'I can't believe I actually subscribed to Reason many years ago.'

    DRINK!"

    I think it is sad that criticism of Reason, specifically statements about canceling subscriptions, is so common as to become cliche. This is the same type of dismissals that marked the death of FreeRepublic, Redstate, etc. Echo chambers.

    I honestly can't believe that I find myself consistently disappointed by the magazine that defined my own internal libertarian compass.

  • dodsworth||

    Well....I'm disappointed too that RP hasn't done more in his ad campaign on civil liberties issues though he's still leagues ahead of ther other GOP candidates or Cato, who don't give lip service to this issue.

  • ||

    On 15 October 2007, Paul introduced the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007, which among other things would "bar the use of evidence obtained through torture; require that federal intelligence gathering is conducted in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA); prohibit kidnapping, detentions, and torture abroad; and protect journalists."

  • ||

    Markos Moulitsas is no libertarian. He's a big-government pinko commie rat bastard.

    -jcr

  • ||

    "Libertarian Democrat" is about as awkward and oxymoronic (it's a word, look it up) as "Conservative Democrat" or "Liberal Republican."

    I knew I shouldn't have read this article before I even clicked on the link, but I guess I still hold out some hope that Reason will someday surprise me with, I don't know… some logic? Please?

    Oh well. I guess I can't expect the decline of the DC libertarian establishment to be anything other than pathetic and pleading. I sure don't regret convincing my brother to cancel his subscription.

    At least the LP is still somewhat respectful. God help us if fake libertarians hijack every part of this movement and pervert it the way they did with liberalism.

    Damn socialists, start your own ideological movement. Oh, I forgot, a sustainable ideological movement requires ideas that are sustainable. Socialism had its turn and failed miserably. From this point out their greatest achievements will be the capture and perversion of sound and principled ideas.

    Here's hoping the information revolution will constantly remind people of the roots of libertarianism.

  • LevStrauss||

    I hear though that Libertarian Communist Josef Stalin supports this.

    Libertarian Fascist Adolph Hitler also supports the Administration on FISA.

  • Windypundit||

    I honestly can't believe that I find myself consistently disappointed by the magazine that defined my own internal libertarian compass.

    I guess I just don't see what the problem is. Maybe I havn't been around long enough. How was it different?

  • Joe Allen||

    "Kos" is now a "Libertarian Democrat"?!

    Yes, the word theives are at it again.

    I wonder why Reason would cooperate in torpedoing the candidacy of an outspoken FISA opponent like Dr. Paul.

    Reason seems to object to his tactics and strategy, yet offer little by way of replacement. Sure, I'll call my congressman like you suggest, but since Reason has done all possible to ensure that libertarians aren't taken seriously, I doubt it will do much good.

  • javier||

    libertarian democrat??? FUCK! the progressives stole liberal from us and now they are after libertarian.

    they realize they need liberty names to trick people into thinking they won't be taking our liberty.

  • J. P. Carlo||

    I love how Larry Craig is listed as a "swing" senator.

  • ||

    Joe,
    You obviously know nothing of Ron Paul, what he stands for, the legislation he has sponsored or the books and essays he has written.

    "Reason has been on this issue. Ron Paul hasn't." (Possibly the most inaccurate statement ever made)

  • Roger||

    I am indifferent on the whole Reason "smear campaign" and am still now 4 months up in the air about getting a subscription. My main apprehension isn't that my mail carrier will know I get the literature, but I might get Ayn Rand mailers and conspiracy nut junk mail. Anybody have some input on this? Love the articles here.

  • MK||

    "The arguments over who wrote what in 1989 or 1990 are less important than whether the Senate retroactively legalizes and forgives domestic surveillance."

    Yeah, if the mainstream media don't care that Ron Paul courted a bunch of racist, homophobic Nazis and assorted wackos to get their money, why should libertarians care? Just because Ron paul calls himself a libertarian? Whi kows or cares what that even is?

  • ||

    "the progressives stole liberal"

    Not to mention stealing the word "progress" to mean reversion to feudalism.

    -jcr

  • matt||

    It's worth noting that I found out about Pilon's chicanery over at the LewRockwell.com blog. I wouldn't have found out about it here, and it was relevant.

  • MK||

    John C. Randolph

    What a load of shit you spout. You won't know feudalism if it snaped your balls off, you pompous fanatic.

  • ||

    So we've established that MK is twelve, and also that it makes a huge difference to some people whether oppression is done by federal bureaucrats or feudal lords.

    That's enough learning for one evening, I think.

  • ||

    And I ought to use preview.

  • ||

    MK
    Good argument. I'm convinced! I hate it when people use facts and logic to prove a point. I am persuaded much more by overly general insults, and if references to "Your mom" are made, all the better!

    P.S.
    Your mom is fat

  • ||

    In the Reason threads, it's mostly been an exercising in bitching that the Democrats can't pass it along with 51%.

    True. I'll give the Dems credit for at least filibustering successfully, though. Let's hope it holds up.

    Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have each mounted major press events and made public stands on the side of the angels. What's Ron Paul been doing during this debate?

    Ron Paul can't get a major press event, joe. He can make public stands all he wants and he still won't get media coverage comparable to Hillary Obamwards.

  • ||

    We need to get over ourselves.

    No shit.

  • Philip Blumel||

    "The Ron Paul campaign has captured much of the libertarian imagination and the controversies about his newsletters have alienated various sides of the libertarian thinksophere."

    Well, no, that's a bit of a stretch. It merely reanimated clashes between a dozen or so people who basically believe the same things but hate each others guts. It was silly and painful to watch from the outside, but thankfully short-lived.

    "The arguments ... are less important than whether the Senate retroactively legalizes and forgives international surveillance."

    Quite right. I'll make the calls tomorrow morning.

  • ||

    joe:

    Reason has been on this issue. Ron Paul hasn't. It's a shame,

    I know that Ron Paul objected to civil liberties intrusions in the name of national security in his campaign commercials for the New Hampshire primary.

  • ||

    "We need to get over ourselves."-dw

    OK! That does it! This is now (officially) the gayest site this side of the Bravo blog!

    And D.W. answering the booty call of CIA plant Markos Moulitsas...

    Where will Matt Drudge sleep?

  • dodsworth||

    att, David, Julian,Nick, etc. etc.

    When do you guys intend to do an "investigative" story on why Cato not only tolerates, but features, the anti-civil libertarian ideas of Roger Pilon? News flash: this didn't happen back in 1992. It is happening now. Heck, none of you guys has even seen fit to writing a blog about this.

  • ||

    MK:

    John C. Randolph

    What a load of shit you spout. You won't know feudalism if it snaped your balls off, you pompous fanatic.


    MK,

    If you think you can construct an argument against John C. Randolph's contention, try that cuz your juvenile nay saying and name-calling doesn't work around here.

  • ||

    Reason = suck-city

  • Brandybuck||

    Dear Reason,

    Fuck you!

    Sincerely,
    Brandybuck

    p.s. Nine out of ten Reason editors, plus a former editor, have been doing their damnedest to torpedo the Ron Paul campaign for weeks now. You guys don't have to support him, but neither do you have to go out of your way to deliberately hinder him. Any normal person would have posted the newsletter story, and then moved on. That's what the mainstream media did, when they bothered to notice the campaign at all. But you kept bringing it up day after day after day. Almost like you had a special animus against him. And now you say we should all just get along because a "democratic libertarian" made a blog post? My mind reels at the effrontery.

  • Nathan||

    Ooooh, so it's time to get "over ourselves". The great Dave Wiegel is ready to move on, now that his hit job is complete.

    Dave, when are you going to get it? There is a reason why the "l"ibertarian imagination has been captured by a 72 year old country Doctor.

    It's because you Cosmos don't actually stand for anything but your own narcissistic lifestyles, which only on the (web) pages of Reason would such a thing be a definition for freedom.

    Ironic that you would be leading a call to arms, when kneecapping spontaneous and enthusiastic activist movements is your mode de guerre.

    (T)Reason indeed.

  • Rick Fisk||

    You can spend whatever time you wish to "get over yourself."

    We who have been watching your waning credibility with amusement and your smears with disdain, have long gotten over you.

    Fact is, Reason, CATO and the rest of the beltway libertarians haven't inspired jack-shit. The country doctor from Texas who can intellectually run circles around most of the "think-tank" crowd but has been slandered as of late, is actually inspiring people to do stuff.

    I'll take the Southern-centered Von Mises institute over Cato or Reason any day of the week.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Markos Moulitsas is no libertarian. He's a big-government pinko commie rat bastard.

    DRINK TO THAT!

  • thoreau||

    Hey, former Red Line libertarian (Twinbrook station) here. I've been blogging a lot about FISA the past few months, and I've repeatedly called my Senators to urge them to vote on the side of James Madison.

  • ||

    Cato is a waste. I'm glad I've never given them any. Cato also hasn't done anything. All that Koch money has been completely wasted.

  • Jacob||

    I've been reading works from the Cato Institute for 5 years, and I have never read anything so disgusting as the Pilon piece. I feel betrayed. Cato's brand is certainly damaged from this.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I would disagree that Cato is a waste. There will always be personal opinions that somebody disagrees with. On balance, CATO is a force for good in this world. We need rabble rousers, we need idealists, we need true believers, we need behind-the-scenesers, we need incremental change, we need firebrand revolutionaries, we need antichrists, and minichrists, each plays a part, and to whatever extent we can push the blocking sled in the right direction we all prosper.

    To be sure, the fargin glass is half empty, but as somebody said (NoStar I think), that just means the waiter is coming with another bottle of red. For the record, Daily Kos ain't gonna fill the glass.

  • Jacob||

    Cato is a waste. I'm glad I've never given them any. Cato also hasn't done anything. All that Koch money has been completely wasted.

    I almost donated to them. I probably would have after the Paul campaign was over. Now, let's see them repudiate the Pilon piece first. I will not support an organization that supports warrant-less, unsupervised wire-tapping of American citizens. Sick, sick, sick. God.

    And I gave them $300 to attend their last monetary conference.

  • ||

    cynic writes: "on condition there are no contingency fees..."

    The Wiretap Act specifies Statutory Damages, at $10,000 per plaintiff, plus an award for fees, (at the Atty's basic hourly rate.) For the pending cases, the Attys are EFF and ACLU.

  • MK||

    Yeah, Ron Paul isn't a homophobic racist conspiracy monger just because he brought out some newsletters with raving homophobic, racist, conspiracy mongering diatribes in them. You beltway libertarians are so unreasonable. If Hillary had allowed her name to appear on homophobic, racist newsletters but assured us that she didn't herself write them, who earth would make an issue of it? Why this persecution of Ron Paul? Why are you holding him to higher standards than you would ever hold Hillary or any other politician to? Are homophobia, racism, and conspiracy mongering that Ron Paul isn't even guilty of the ultimate sins?

  • Sol Rosenberg||

    Reason and Cato need to just get it over with and become wholly-owned subsidiaries of AEI.

  • ||

    The House is most likely not done on the PROTECT Act either, unless, unlikely, the Senate just passes the House version, which does not contain immunity or blanket warrants. This is the 2nd best possible outcome, after passing nothing, and letting the FISA revert to it's pre-July state.

  • Jacob||

    The people on this thread attacking Reason are full of shit. Reason rode the newsletter story for a loooooong time, sure. But there was nothing wrong about that. It was in their self-interest to distance themselves from any fall-out if the story exploded.

    However, Cato seriously harmed their brand cache among libertarians today. If Cato wants to be part of the libertarian movement, then they need to stop putting out trash like what Pilon wrote today.

  • Mark||

    Another former Orange Line libertarian here. I've been pretty vocal in my blogging about this issue for months. Of course, I didn't come up with a clever catch-phrase about Chris Dodd to go along with it like Thoreau did, but at least I've been doing what I can.

    But I do agree with this much- where the hell has Cato been on this?

  • ||

    I sure don't regret convincing my brother to cancel his subscription.

    That's a new one. Everyone but me, drink!

  • Franklin Harris||

    Just to put myself on record: The Pilon article is appalling.

  • ||

    The PROTECT ACT deals with both international and domestic communications, but differently.

    The original "emergency" which inspired it was a ruling by the FISA court that foreign to foreign communications transiting the US could only be monitored by the FISA process. (A large percentage of calls between Canadians transit the US.) This is the part that even those Dems on the "right side" consider necessary. On this I disagree with my friend Russ Feingold. Canadians may have no 4th Amendment protection from the US Govt, but I fasil to see why they should not have Statutory Privacy.

  • ||

    Key House Republicans

    Presuming the Senate passes some version, the next step is a Conference Committee. Likely Republican appointees would be the Ranking Members of the House Judiciary and Intel Committees, Sensenbrenner (WI) and Hoekstra, (MI)

  • iRony||

    I would like to thank Kos for giving us libertarians the heads up that they are co-opting the term libertarian.

    We need to take the time between now and when his book comes out to come up with a new name for our small or no-government philosophy of freedom.

    May I suggest Rothbaradianism? It would be very difficult for Hillary to start calling herself a Rothbardian Democrat. But I guess it could happen.

  • ||

    It's kind of funny how any thread with the slightest mention of Paul brings the lurker trolls out of the woodwork, and how so many of them feel the need to come here and tell Reason that they're, like, _totally_ over Reason. And when I say funny, I mean pathetic.

  • ||

    I read the Pilon article more than once. Is this a case of Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Has an alien inhabited Pilon's mind and infected him with big government foolishness? Bill Kristol, meet Roger Pilon. You'll get along great.

    As for the rest of us, where do we go to get our Constitution back? Well, Ron Paul would be a start. Oh, sorry. Forgot that Reason and Cato cut him off at the knees during the primaries. Great job, guys.

    So now we get to choose between democratic socialists and brown shirt fascists. The news keeps getting better and better!

  • Puke||

    Ron Paul's so-called racist newsletters don't define the man. He loves gays and blacks just as he loves racists and Nazis. Ron Paul doesn't think in collectivist categories. He judges each black or Nazi on his or her individual merits. That's the libertarian way.

  • ||

    "Moulitsas, himself, self-identifies as a libertarian Democrat."

    In related news, a ham and cheese sandwich self-identifies as a kosher meal.

    -jcr

  • Lew Rockwell||

    Reason could care less about liberty as long as sodomy is legal.

  • ||

    " You won't know feudalism if it snaped your balls off, you pompous fanatic."

    Fanatic? Pompous? Moi?

    Feudalism is a system where all property belongs to the king, and the people are only suffered to keep what they create at the king's pleasure. The king has lesser thugs who do the dirty work of looting the producers periodically.

    "Socialism" is nothing but a repackaging of feudalism where instead of a king, you have a "collective" which robs the individual (not surprisingly, through a hierarchy of thugs which mirrors the medieval style of top-down thuggery.)

    Now, would you care to try to refute that, or should I get on with pointing out that your socialist heroes have a habit of killing people like you as soon as your mental deficiencies are apparent?

    -jcr

  • ||

    "I'll take the Southern-centered Von Mises institute over Cato or Reason any day of the week."

    I've been thinking for a couple of weeks now that the world could use a Libertarian periodical that's based in a city more conducive to actually living like free people. Somewhere like Zurich, Singapore, Las Vegas, or the Silicon Valley.

    -jcr

  • ||

    So you've decided to get over it? You finally recognize that you fell prey to the nasty little trap set up to divide and conquer the libertarian threat. Now you realize how unimportant the newsletter smear is in light of the catastrophic infringements to liberty our citizens are facing. This epiphany thanks to "libertarian Democrat" Kos? Oh my! This on the same day as the Cato Pilon piece- could it get any more wacky?

    Go back to your ivory towers of babbling and bellyaching. Your rag is not advancing Liberty. Cato is quite possibly aiding the enemies of Freedom. What a waste and a sham you "Cosmopolitans" are!

  • DavidS||

    I've been thinking for a couple of weeks now that the world could use a Libertarian periodical that's based in a city more conducive to actually living like free people. Somewhere like Zurich, Singapore, Las Vegas, or the Silicon Valley.

    Zurich? Singapore? Las Vegas?

  • ||

    The arguments over who wrote what in 1989 or 1990 are less important than whether the Senate retroactively legalizes and forgives international surveillance.

    I'm not exactly trying to be a smartass here, but...you DO recall that you and your co-workers spent a bit of time throwing rubbish on that particular heap, do you not?

  • Perry Willis||

    DownsizeDC.org has been campaigning against the "Protect America Act" for months. Our members have sent nearly 36,000 messages to Congress, plus countless phone calls, asking for the PAA to be repealed, or that it be allowed to sunset.

    You can send a message too, here . . .
    Repeal PAA

  • Steve Real||

    The FBI had an informant living with one of the highjackers on 911.
    The moron didn't even know what was going down.

    Now when I break the law
    I get screwed
    up the yee-ooh.

    The telecoms and the administration broke the the law.

    It's time to account.

    Everybody knows an informed public beats out
    spying everytime.

    Let's be honest here
    the man writes horrible policies.

    (10.5 trillion dollar defecit
    two wars on our hands
    need i say more?
    The man is a Wilsonian democrat)

    I want a Judge with my fisa
    everytime.
    The free for all is over.

  • ||

    It would seem that Kos being a "commie bastard" and calling out libertarians would be a non-issue if he weren't right about this. Reason has covered the issue, but not with daily updates. Ron Paul has taken real action on this issue, but is probably worried about the district back home to make a big push during the election. Let's stop whining about commies and Ron Paul and do something.

  • Jacob||

    I would love to see Reason stand up for principle and call Cato out on this shit. Even if it's just a blog post. Cato is a storied libertarian institution that has been central to the movement for years. Now, one of their writers is lining up with the neocons on government surveillance powers. A post from Reason would send angry traffic their way that wasn't the foaming-at-the-mouth Rockwell type.

    I previously posted this comment on the wrong thread, for which I apologize.

  • ||

    Go back to your ivory towers of babbling and bellyaching. Your rag is not advancing Liberty. Cato is quite possibly aiding the enemies of Freedom.

    Somebody went off of their meds.

    I know, I know, it's OK that you're an extremist because you're oh-so-moral, goddammit, and everybody else fails your personal brand of purity.

    Fuck. Libertarian extremists piss me off just as much as eco-extremists and Islamic extremism.

    Gain some perspective.

  • DavidS||

    Ayn_Randian - that's you up against the wall come the revolution... or rEVOlUtIon... or however you're supposed to write the fucking thing.

  • Fluffy||

    I am rapidly losing whatever minor sympathy I might have had for the Rockwellians.

    The way they try to fill these threads talking about Reason's supposed war on Ron Paul is laughable.

    I read every item posted here on the newsletter scandal. And you know what? In post after post, Paul himself was given a pass. The only guy not given a pass was...Rockwell. So don't come around here trying to claim that there was a war on Paul, when what really happened was a war on Rockwell. And don't try to use sympathy for Paul to rehabilitate Rockwell's mistakes.

    You hoped for a revolution during the Clinton years. It didn't happen. Now you get to live with it. Too bad. It wasn't the first time Rockwell miscalculated and had to pay later for running off his mouth, and it won't be the last.

  • Episiarch||

    What Weigel has to say here is perfectly sensible.

    The supposition that Kos is actually doing anything other than his usual daily ego-stroke is laughable, however. Maybe Weigel should have exhorted Kos to get over himself, as well. But maybe Dave is practical and realizes that would never happen.

  • ||

    Am I the only one here who -- despite my feelings on the current dustup(s) -- is really getting a kick out of this LRC/LvMI vs. Cato/Reason feud?

    I visit both sites daily, and can't wait for the latest diatribe on DeCoster, Kinsella, Woods or whoever against the "Kochtopus" and "(T)Reason", just like I can't wait to see the latest comment on H&R referring to racist, homophobic Nazis. I just wish the LRC blog would allow comments. Now *that* would be fun.

    Oh, and Pilon is a tool.

  • ||

    Erm. I would like to see some reporting on what Cato's Pilon was thinking there. I'm a fairly moderate libertarian, but I'm just as shocked at that appeal for executive power as many of the Kossacks seem to be. I don't get it.

    If I don't get an explanation, I'm going write a letter requesting my donations back and ask that Cato issue a mission statement more in line with whatever it is advancing these days. I don't get it at all.

  • ||

    the latest diatribe on DeCoster, Kinsella, Woods or whoever

    -> the latest diatribe by DeCoster, Kinsella, Woods or whoever

    [insert standard boilerplate about using the Preview function]

  • ||

    Ayn_Randian - that's you up against the wall come the revolution.

    yeah, yeah, viva la revolucion; defend Mother Earth..uhhm, I mean, long live the Proletarian...errm, I mean, Liberty and Freedom.

    Terrorism is terrorism and death threats are death threats.

    and you're a tool.

  • ||

    If I have to go searching to find statements from Ron Paul that relate to the issue of wiretapping, and none of them relate at all to the actual bill now in front of Congress, then you know what? That makes him MIA on this bill.

    "joe, you obviously know nothing about Ron Paul..."

    Get over yourself. I know a great deal about Ron Paul. For example, I know that he shoots his mouth off about issues like this, and files cranky bills and sends in cranky no-votes AND HASN'T DONE SHIT ABOUT THE REAL-WORLD, ACTUAL, EXISTING EFFORT TO DEFEAT THIS BILL.

  • ||

    He calls himself a libertarian democrat? Doesn't he read the comments of his minions? They despise libertarianism. A little common ground is one thing, but he better be careful not to lose his following. I've never seen such a collection of statists.

    Oh, I get it, they don't know they're statists. They're just progressives and liberals. But they sure as hell don't call themselves libertarians. Careful, Markos. Careful.

  • ||

    I, for one, have already gotten over myslef
    so NYEAH! *sticks tongue out*

  • ||

    It's good to see that y'all have your priorities straight.

    1. Territorial pissing.

    2. Ron Paul is just dreamy

















    8,125: Opposing the administration's efforts to cover their tracks by getting Congress to grant immunity to the telecoms.

  • DavidS||

    Ayn_Randian - that's you up against the wall come the revolution.

    yeah, yeah, viva la revolucion; defend Mother Earth..uhhm, I mean, long live the Proletarian...errm, I mean, Liberty and Freedom.

    Terrorism is terrorism and death threats are death threats.

    and you're a tool.


    Sorry - wasn't being serious. My bad. Just weak splittist humour.

  • Fluffy||

    Joe -

    Maybe the reasons he's MIA on the FISA filibuster are:

    1. It's a Senate issue [hence Dodd's leadership]. A House member can do exactly Jack and Shit during all of this "place a hold", "ignore the hold because I'm a dick", "filibuster" gamesmanship going on in the Senate.

    2. You can't find public statements by Paul on this issue because virtually none of his public statements on any issue end up quoted in the mainstream press.

    Paul has introduced legislation every year to roll back Bushite attacks on civil liberties. Once a year, everyone in the House laughs and then goes about their business.

    It is true that Reason is not like Kos, where 25% of the front page entries end with a list of Congresspersons to prank call about a particular issue. Why is that? I don't know, really. But Reason is not an activism forum like Kos. It's a magazine. Frankly if H&R was run that way, wouldn't that create the potential for a crackdown on Reason's nonprofit status? I don't know what the rules are but I imagine the editors here do.

  • ||

    DavidS - sorry about that. They've been coming out of the woodwork lately so I'm a little touchy.

    Oh, I get it, they don't know they're statists.

    My biggest beef with my namesake is popularizing this relatively meaningless term.

    I mean, someone please point me to an operational definition of "statist" that DOES NOT imply that the opposite of that word is "anarchist".

  • Fluffy||

    Joe -

    Find a list of Republican Senators who are subject to libertarian pressure on this issue, and we'll all call them.

    I'm serious.

    Other than Spector [who wouldn't listen to libertarians anyway], there are no Republican Senators who give a damn what any libertarian or libertarian group has to say about anything.

    There are Democrat Senators who have to worry about the progressive left. There are no Republican Senators who have to worry about the libertarian right. That's just a fact of life.

    People mock Kos for his primary challenge record, but Kos has about a trillion times as much influence on Democrats as libertarians do on Republicans.

    That's one big reason I have been excited about the Paul campaign. It is precisely because it reveals the disdain the Republican party has for libertarians, and creates animosity between libertarians and Republicans. The Republicans don't care what we think and wish we would shut up and go away.

    So we could call some Senator's offices and get laughed at, or we can work for the destruction of the Republican party in general. Seems like an easy choice to me.

  • ||

    Fluffy,

    It's a Congressional issue, and he could be using the soapbox he gained from his credible, respectable presidential run to shine the light on it, and make it ok for Republicans to be against it in public, the way he has for the war.

    He was given the opportunity to ask any question of any candidate in the last debate, and he asked about the freaking President's Something on Something. Whiff!!!

    I know he's good on the issue of civil liberties and the 4th amendment, Fluffy, but this was his chance to do something more than talk or make pointless gestures. It was the perfect combination of man and moment, and he's nowhere to be seen.

  • ||

    Any Randian,

    As it turns out, there is an actual, meaningful definition of statism: the worship or admiration of the state itself. Think of, for example, the beloved traditions that surround the State of the Union speech, or some of the ritualistic behaviors people in DC engage in to show respect to "the office" of the President.

    Of course, none of that has anything to do with how the term is commonly used in these threads.

  • ||

    I agree that, out of principle, Ron Paul should have used his soapbox to denounce the Protect America Act. However, isn't it a little inconsistent to suggest that he should use his soapbox to preach the perfect and then simultaneously criticize him for voting against things based on goofy perfection standards? (Free trade agreements come to mind)

  • B||

    I guess Markos calling you out is a lot better than him cheering your death like he did those contractors in Iraq. I guess if one of you (ie Reason editors) ever gets hit by a bus, you can expect a eulogy from Markos "I've never met a jew I didn't hate" Moulitsas to contain the words "Screw 'em". What an eloquent spokesman he is for the cause of freedom. I guess he somehow found time from his busy schedule of extolling the virtues of Palestinian terrorism on his site to lecture you guys.

  • DavidS||

    On trade, has Paul said what he'd actually do if he became President. Withdraw from all trade agreements? Unilaterally remove all tariffs and other barriers to free trade? Or would it be more incremental than that?

  • ||

    I just read that Pilon thing, which is, as advertised, a pathetic, steaming pile of dog shit; however, what everybody forgot to mention is that it appeared in the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal, which is exclusively a forum for hysterical bedwetting cowards.

  • ||

    Reinmoose,

    I'm not talking about him preaching "the perfect," but about a very real, muddy, sausage-style bill that is actually before the legislature. Too much "preaching the perfect," too little real work. He could be doing something real, using his political line to actually effect something meaningful on the ground.

    I don't think he's interested in doing that, though - he's more of a philosopher-type than a work-a-day legislature. Which is a little unfortunate right now.

  • ||

    This thread is hilarious, everyone spends sooooo much time talking about how they hate Markos and a lot less time talking about the actual fucking issue. You Libertarians are no different than Republicans, just cheering on a football team and talking about who you don't like, well guess what a very left wing progressive has been way out ahead of you on this issue while you bicker about your own perfect little theoretical worlds...

  • ||

    It's funny, James; you never see them do that when the Republicans are backing a tax cut.

  • JC Denton||

    Get over yourself. I know a great deal about Ron Paul. For example, I know that he shoots his mouth off about issues like this, and files cranky bills and sends in cranky no-votes AND HASN'T DONE SHIT ABOUT THE REAL-WORLD, ACTUAL, EXISTING EFFORT TO DEFEAT THIS BILL.

    Maybe you should encourage Ron Paul to call himself to voice his opposition to the bill.

  • ||

    James -
    The issue is something of a foregone conclusion in these parts. If you're for the Protect America Act, go ahead and argue for it.

  • Tom Walls||

    I'm not defending the piece, but I see what Pilon is saying. Sometimes they have to wiretap due to urgent national security reasons and cannot wait for a court order or be hamstrung by Congress. But if I'm not mistaken, the Executive already has this power and can already spy on just about anyone; they just need to justify it.

    Given the Administration's record for running roughshod over civil liberties and their eagerness to set up the surveillance state (with or without telecoms), no self-respecting libertarian can think this is good. The power you give Bush will also be in the hands of his successor.

    The same people who think Bush should have the power to wiretap people think Oliver North and his gang were the greatest thing since sliced bread. And wasn't it Admiral John Poindexter who headed the dreaded Total Information Awareness project?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, I'm no good over the phone. So I wrote:

    Dear Senator Nelson,

    I remember happily voting for you in 2000 over Bill McCollum. The reason I did so was McCollum's support of Eschelon, which I viewed as an unconscionable affront to the civil liberties this country was founded upon.

    Now we are faced with the Bush administration's ever increasing encroachments in the name of a War on Terror. I ask you to stand against the "Protect America Act", which does little to protect this country, but a great deal to undermine its freedoms.

    Thank you,

    BakedPenguin*

    *I used my actual name in the email.

  • ||

    Does anyone have any substantiative critcism of the Pilon piece, or is reactionary knee-jerking de rigueur around here?

    Just a link to some intelligent criticism, maybe?

  • ||

    You Libertarians are no different than Republicans, just cheering on a football team...

    Go Giants!

  • Jacob||

    1) Only evil fears sunlight. We should not have to trust that the executive branch is respecting constitutional and statutory limitations on its power. There should be oversight. There is no good excuse for no oversight.

    2) The FISA system allows for retroactive warrants in emergency situations, so "ticking-bomb" scenarios are accounted for.

    3) Americans should not be spied on without a warrant, whether talking to Aunt Selma in Canada or Uncle Fred in Wyoming.

    4) Once you allow some warrantless wire-tapping of Americans, how do you know the executive branch isn't wire-tapping other Americans? There is no oversight.

    5) Pilon argues that the executive branch should be able to conduct drag-net surveillance of communication systems (read: the internet) to catch terrorists we don't know about yet. If you don't see how that is totalitarian, I can't help you.

  • Daniel||

    How neat. A hardcore statist-communitarian can call himself a "libertarian" and be validated by a beltway publication so-labeling itself. It reminds me of how that creep, Eric Dondero, feigns credibility by claiming that his dubious choice for president, Rudy Giuliani, is the most libertarian candidate running. (It was satire, right?)

  • BakedPenguin||

    Randian - this:

    Congress increasingly inserted itself into foreign affairs,



    Is pretty well contradicted by this.

    ...as with the 1973 War Powers Act. With the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, passed in 1978, Congress began micromanaging foreign intelligence gathering. That produced the "wall" between foreign and domestic intelligence gathering - with foreign-intelligence agents focused on security, and domestic agents on prosecution and hence on obtaining "admissible" evidence. Neither side talked to the other. Many believe the resulting communications failures played a role in 9/11.



    Slate discusses this: heir.

    In the aftermath of 9/11, believing FISA to be hopelessly inadequate...



    Hopelessly inadequate? From the SF Gate:

    The court, which has been operating for more than 20 years, has approved more than 10,000 government applications for clandestine searches and surveillance of foreigners, immigrants and U.S. citizens -- and only one request has ever been denied.



    One request denied, out of 10,000. Even that was too much for the Bush administration. Or they just didn't want anyone in their bidness.

  • ||

    A hardcore statist-communitarian can call himself a "libertarian" and be validated by a beltway publication so-labeling itself

    Names, names and more name-calling.

    And reason never validated anything. And, oh by the way, why would you de facto give them that authority, anyway?

    Anywho, come on guys. We're supposed to be smarter than this.

    Substance, please.

  • ||

    A hardcore statist-communitarian...seems to care a lot more about protecting us from government snooping than you do.

  • ||

    substantiative critcism of the Pilon piece

    I don't know about you, but giving this President (not to mention any and all of his successors) the power to carry out surveillance on anyone, anywhere, based purely on his solemn vow that he will only use his boogeyman detecting superpowers for the good of mankind, strikes me as a really stupid plan.

    And giving the telecom companies immunity is a bad idea, unless you believe the "following orders" defense is legitimate.

  • Charles Hueter||

    Does anyone have any substantiative critcism of the Pilon piece...

    Sure, but I have a feeling mine is too "extremist" for you to contempate digesting.

    Since the state does not have a right to the taxes it coerces from us, it's wholly moot to argue over the best uses of that stolen money in specific realms, such as intelligence gathering. Pilon incorrectly assumes every taxpayer has a duty to pay for the safety services the state attempts to provide. He implicitly endorses security socialism.

  • Jacob||

    A Cato blogger responds. It seems my assumption was right, Cato picked up this Pilon guy for his resume rather than his principles.

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2008/01/29/the-need-for-judicial-oversight-of-domestic-intelligence-gathering/

  • ||

    the worship or admiration of the state itself.

    Of course, none of that has anything to do with how the term is commonly used in these threads.

    Oh, I dunno. "Statism" is usually used in these parts to deride the reflexive recourse to the State as the only real source of a solution to any given problem. I think that's consistent with joe's definition.

  • ||

    Okay two questions here:
    1) When and where did "Orange Line Mafia" become a synonym for libertarian?

    2) What is the, ahem, acceptability of contacting representatives from states other than your own. See, my state reps are all about civil liberties until they get to the floor, then they vote party line come hell or high water.

  • FSM||

    joe, have you heard of the American Freedom Agenda Act? Most liberals have and, since you appear to be a stereotypical liberal, I'm assuming you have. If I were to judge based on what I read on liberal websites, the left appreciates Paul's record on civil liberties as much as his position on the war. You liberals should be worrying about your great hope, Barrack "I voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act" Obama. I hear Paul rail against a National ID every time he gets a chance but, for some reason, Mr. Obama didn't feel the need to vote against it.

    And I enjoyed Paul's question about the "freaking President's Something on Something". It showed that McCain has no clue what the group is, who is in the group nor what it does. Your comment shows you are just as knowledgeable as McCain on the "freaking President's Something on Something".

  • FSM||

    Oh, and this is cool.

    But, not as cool as this.

  • ||

    you're right, Charles; I've had quite enough of the NAP dictating every answer. It smacks of religion.

  • Brandybuck||

    Okay, I flew off the handle above. I've got hot buttons and they can be pushed. But dammit man, Reason's effrontery still burns!

  • Tom Walls||

    Pilon has been with Cato at least since the early '90s. I once rode in a canoe with him at a party at Crane's house. No idea whether he had a wire on him on behalf of the President, but his studies and opinions are available here.

    http://www.cato.org/people/pilon.html


    > Cato blogger responds. It seems my assumption was right, Cato picked up this Pilon guy for his resume rather than his principles.

  • ||

    "We need to get over ourselves."

    I got over Reason during the newsletter smears in which you were complicit. Good luck getting over yourselves.

  • Charles Hueter||

    I've had quite enough of the NAP dictating every answer. It smacks of religion.

    Who cares what it smacks of? I'm an atheist and I have objective moral standards. One of them is disapproval towards anyone who initates force against others. Either you accept that standard consistently or you don't.

  • Joe Allen||

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/finally-action-ron-pau_b_69042.html

    Paul is not silent on this issue.

  • Paul||

    Here we are engaged in a huge civil liberties issue, and progressives are being forced to fight this thing alone.



    Man, that's exactly how I feel on the First Amendment. We're soooo simultaneous, Markos!

  • ||

    I'm an atheist and I have objective moral standards.

    That, of course, isn't the point of the criticism at all. Of course, you're going to have a dickens of a time explaining in what way it's "objective", but I digress...

    The real point is that if you want to just derive every answer on modern-day policy from one sentence, and you feel like dropping the current political and philosophical context, that's all well and good but no one will listen to you and you won't change anything.

    "Principles are not a substitute for thinking" - Nathaniel Branden.

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