The Independents

Tonight on The Independents: A Very Special Presidents' Day Episode

It's a Fox Business presidentapalooza.

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Presidents' Day and Valentine's Day: What a match!
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It's February 14, so tonight's episode of The Independents is devoted to love and romance the presidents of the U.S.A. Starting at 9 eastern on the Fox Business Network, your hosts Kennedy, Kmele Foster, and special guest anchor Michael C. Moynihan—sitting in for Reason's Matt Welch, who's out cruising—will spend an hour discussing the nation's chief executives with an assortment of interviewees, including:

• Historian Thaddeus Russell, author of A Renegade History of the United States, who makes the case against the Founding Fathers.

• Judge Andrew Napolitano, author of too many books to list here, who makes the case against Abe Lincoln.

• Former Secret Service man Dan Bongino, author of Life Inside the Bubble, who talks about threats against the president, drunk guys writing dumb stuff on Twitter, and what Kmele Foster's Secret Service code name should be.

"We are the adequate, forgettable/occasionally regrettable/caretaker presidents of the U.S.A.!"
The Simpsons

• Coolidge biographer Amity Shlaes, author of Coolidge, who talks about Coolidge. (And also about Hoover and FDR.)

Reason's own Jesse Walker, author of this very blog post, who talks about paranoid presidents and fictional presidents.

• Gene Healy, author of The Cult of the Presidency, who talks about the dangers of executive reverence and executive power.

Plus presidential trivia, presidential myths, and everything else you need for an all-around presidential spectacular. That's The Independents, coming your way on the Fox Business Network at 9 o'clock tonight.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

454 responses to “Tonight on The Independents: A Very Special Presidents' Day Episode

  1. Now, if PotUSA was actually on the show, that would get the asses in the seats.

  2. Michael C. Moynihan?sitting in for Reason’s Matt Welch, who’s out cruising

    Umm, phrasing?

    Judge Andrew Napolitano, author of too many books to list here, who makes the case against Abe Lincoln.

    At least it’s the Judge and not that crackpot DiLorenzo. Sorry, but Lincoln hating is the one area where a lot of libertarians lose me.

    1. I don’t hate Lincoln, but he gets a lot of passes on some really dastardly shit.

      1. +1 dastardly shit pass person

    2. …”Sorry, but Lincoln hating is the one area where a lot of libertarians lose me.”

      The more I read about him, the less I like him.
      If they give him time, you might start to see why, but I’m afraid since it’s TV, you’re going to get 5 sec and “CUT!”

    3. Not deifying != hating, but I take your point. I hold no special contempt for Lincoln, just the same baseline mistrust for politicians + dislike for his unconstitutional trespasses + disgust with his apotheosis.

      1. Pointing out Lincoln’s flaws and challenging his hagiography is good and necessary.

        Taking a blatantly pro-Confederate position and calling him the worst tyrant in history like too many libertarians do is just retarded. There was nothing noble about the Confederate way of life even if secession is legitimat and no government that codifies slavery is legitimate.

        1. Agreed, and although I mourn the death knell for federalism sounded by Lincoln I don’t hold a torch for the Confederacy. That really isn’t a front worth fighting on for anyone interested in restoring states’ rights.

          1. Although I think there are many legitimate things to criticize Lincoln for, his effect on federalism is IMO overstated. There were plenty of instances of federal overreach prior to the Civil War, and against states who were doing far more legitimate things than seceding to protect slavery. Ex: McCulloch v. Maryland, the nullification crisis over the tariff in the 1830s, Dred Scott, etc. And it’s not like the federal government was some massive leviathan immediately after the Civil War. It wasn’t really until the Progressive Era of the early 1900s that it began to grow into an entity resembling the one today, culminating with the New Deal and Great Society. Overall, the country was far more free in the second half of the 1800s than it was in the first half (and in spite of the growth of government over the past 100+ years, our country is still far more free today than it was 200 years ago).

            I will agree that the Civil War discredited secession, unfortunately, but IMO that’s more a consequence of the South seceding for the reasons they did, not Lincoln’s response or the North winning the war. Had the war not happened, or had the South won, I still think secession would be looked down upon in the North like it is today, as something associated with those traitorous Confederates. And it’s not like the Confederate government actually gave a shit about states rights either.

            1. I shoulda figured I’d get my ass handed to me within half an hour of posting that.

              1. Just so we’re clear, I wasn’t calling you out personally for holding a different opinion (which usually happens on this topic). Just offering my take on the subject.

                1. Oh, not at all. I’m just underread on the subject.

        2. There’s nothing wrong with despising Lincoln. However, there are a metric fuckton of low foreheads out there who will instantly accuse you of being pro-slavery if you let them know you think Lincoln was a piece of shit. They’re not exactly deep thinkers, so it’s best to either shy away from such conversations, or mock the fuck out of them for being unable to make the distinction.

          1. +1 Victorian Christs

        3. I’ve read and heard quite a bit of DiLorenzo, but I’ve never heard him–or Tom Woods, or Napolitano, or Rockwell, or Rothbard, or any Austro-libertarian–refer to Lincoln as “the worst tyrant in history.” Speaking as a dyed-in-the-wool Lincoln hater, he’s not even the worst tyrant of the 19th century, as Napoleon killed many more people than Lincoln two generations earlier.

          Nor have I read any pro-confederacy material from DiLorenzo, Woods, or other ancaps outside of the right to secession. That’s a given when you realize that they’re anti-statists and have no allegiance to any state. The best thing that DiLorenzo wrote about the Confederacy was in the Real Lincoln when he notes that the Confederate constitution excluded the general welfare clause. Knowing how it was abused, most of us would blot it out of the Constitution today, so that’s not exactly going out on a limb.

          It’s sad that libertarians have to tiptoe around the legacy of a President whose actions led to the unnecessary deaths of 850,000 Americans, the destruction of an entire economy, the deaths of many of our ancestors, and the rise of Woodrow Wilson, who was as great a contributor to WW2 as any single Nazi.

          Lincoln was a villain who killed hundreds of thousands in an unnecessary war. He was a dictator who deported a sitting senator and who intimidated newspapers into silence. Libertarians should have the stones to condemn him without worrying about what the NYT crowd and other statists think.

          1. Libertarians should have the stones to condemn him without worrying about what the NYT crowd and other statists think.

            I for one, do. The more I have read about Lincoln and the War, the more I despise him. He is solely responsible for initiating the leviathan state we have today. That position may make me a “Confederate sympathizer”, but so be it. And please, no “you must be defending slavery” responses from anyone as they are the pinnacle of intellectual dishonesty. It is possible to defend the Confederates w/o defending that abominable institution.

            1. “He is solely responsible for initiating the leviathan state we have today.”

              Absurd

              “It is possible to defend the Confederates w/o defending that abominable institution.”

              I’d love to hear one that says something besides “Lincoln did bad things too!”

              1. I’d love to hear one that says something besides “Lincoln did bad things too!”

                I don’t have time to write a book in a comment thread. Though, there are many on the topic, you should read one.

                1. What? One that denies that the South seceded over slavery? Or one that thinks secession to protect slavery is somehow a legitimate right?

                  1. This is the intellectual dishonesty that I was talking about. They did not secede to protect slavery. They seceded over economic reasons: to avoid tariff taxation and an overall mercantilist system that the republican party of the time wanted to institute. The Confederate Constitution specifically outlawed protectionist tariff taxation. Lincoln literally threatened to invade states and murder people to collect the federal tariff in his first inaugural address. Some states, including my own, did not vote to leave the union until Lincoln called on them to raise military forces to assist his invasion of seceding states. That is all.

                    1. The actual declaration of causes of secession are contained in this link. Count how many times the words “slavery” or “institution” are used. Compare that to the number of times the word “tariff” is used. (I’ll give you a head start: The answer to the latter is zero). It’s absurd you accuse me of being intellectually dishonest when you serve up this easily-disproved bullshit.

                      http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html

                      “The Confederate Constitution specifically outlawed protectionist tariff taxation.”

                      It also explicitly protected slavery. And let’s not pretend like Confederates cared about the tariff for liberty-related reasons. They cared about it because it was in their interest as an economy based on agricultural slave labor. That’s it.

                      “Lincoln literally threatened to invade states and murder people to collect the federal tariff in his first inaugural address. Some states, including my own, did not vote to leave the union until Lincoln called on them to raise military forces to assist his invasion of seceding states. That is all.”

                      As I said above, I don’t agree with Lincoln’s motives for fighting the war. That doesn’t make the Confederacy morally superior or mean that they were somehow blameless in the war. The secession of the Southern states was not legitimate. Invasion was justified, admittedly not for the reasons Lincoln and the North invaded for.

                    2. They cared about it because it was in their interest as an economy based on agricultural slave labor. That’s it.

                      Everyone cares about their economic interests. The tariff taxation was a means of New England states to plunder the southern states. And it is well known that slavery was becoming economically un-viable. Not to mention that it was only a small percentage of secessionists that owned slaves. That is why I suggest that slavery was not THE issue.

                      The secession of the Southern states was not legitimate. Invasion was justified, admittedly not for the reasons Lincoln and the North invaded for.

                      In what way was secession not legitimate? The charter that created the federal government of the united States did not give it the power to prevent said states from voluntarily leaving something that they had voluntarily joined. Are you really suggesting that it is OK to harm someone (or a group) who choose to no longer associate with you in order to force them to remain in association? (consider this last question on a personal level, as a matter of principle.)

                      I will have nothing further to say as I grow weary of the totalitarian enablers among us. Finally, I implore you to think outside the “gov’t approved” box once in a while.

                    3. “Everyone cares about their economic interests.”

                      Okay. All I’m saying is don’t use the tariff to portray the Confederacy as somehow morally superior. Their economic interest was based on slavery. Not all interests are morally equal.

                      “And it is well known that slavery was becoming economically un-viable.”

                      In the long-run, and for the society as a whole, yes. But it made a lot of money for many powerful people, and slave population was growing every year. Slavery in the South had gotten to the point where it was not purely economic – it was a cultural institution. Read the writings of prominent Southerners – they viewed blacks being enslaved by whites as the natural, morally virtuous state of being. There’s also the fear of the aftermath of freeing the slaves, who were 40% of the population and a majority in many areas. They were rightfully pissed at their oppressors. In any case, how many more generations deserved to be born, raised, and live their entire lives in slavery?

                      “Not to mention that it was only a small percentage of secessionists that owned slaves.”

                      Not true. Read the link in one of my replies below to Knarf Yenrab. Almost a third of white families in the South owned slaves and about half in Mississippi and South Carolina did. And many of those who didn’t opposed secession.

                    4. “That is why I suggest that slavery was not THE issue.”

                      I see you didn’t read my link

                      “In what way was secession not legitimate?”

                      Because they seceded to protect the enslavement of human beings. This wasn’t a group of people seceding so they could just be left alone. It’s disgusting that you would make that equivalence. And in the case of South Carolina, the first state to secede and the place where the war began, 60% of the population was enslaved – how can secession possibly be legitimate when a majority of the people are in chattel slavery and have no say in the matter?

                      “I will have nothing further to say as I grow weary of the totalitarian enablers among us.”

                      Clearly, I’m the totalitarian enabler for viewing the Confederate government as illegitimate. If you seriously think the Union or the post-war US govt. was more totalitarian than the Confederacy you have your head up your ass.

                      “Finally, I implore you to think outside the “gov’t approved” box once in a while.”

                      Almost every opinion I express on this board would be frowned upon by public school teachers. The fact that I don’t make excuses for the Confederacy doesn’t mean I have any trouble thinking outside the box.

                    5. Because they seceded to protect the enslavement of human beings.

                      Um…YOU obviously did not read what I had to say, ignored clear logical basis, and have sufficiently ‘memed’ yourself into a corner.

                      Clearly, I’m the totalitarian enabler for viewing the Confederate government as illegitimate. If you seriously think the Union or the post-war US govt. was more totalitarian than the Confederacy you have your head up your ass.

                      You absolutely have absolutely got your head up your own ass. The Confederate government was absolutely legitimate. And the post-war union gov’t was totalitarian BECAUSE it murdered people in order to coerce others to remain a part of it. It also divided the CONQUERED STATES into MILITARY DISTRICTS. In what way is this not totalitarian?

                    6. “Um…YOU obviously did not read what I had to say, ignored clear logical basis, and have sufficiently ‘memed’ yourself into a corner.”

                      You have presented zero evidence to support your position and I have posted overwhelming evidence that refutes it.

                      “You absolutely have absolutely got your head up your own ass. The Confederate government was absolutely legitimate.”

                      Really? A government that enslaved 40% of its population (and in some states, a majority of the population) was legitimate? It wasn’t totalitarian? And you call yourself a libertarian? At what point is a government not legitimate? Was Nazi Germany? The USSR?

                      “And the post-war union gov’t was totalitarian BECAUSE it murdered people in order to coerce others to remain a part of it.”

                      I’m not saying the Union didn’t act in a totalitarian manner in some ways. I’m saying that it’s transgressions were nowhere near as bad or totalitarian as the Confederacy’s.

                      “It also divided the CONQUERED STATES into MILITARY DISTRICTS.”

                      Bitching and whining about how unfair Reconstruction was to the South is very common, and to be fair, there were many unjust acts that took place at that time. However, the most unjust act was that the federal government ultimately allowed the South to institute Jim Crow laws. Ultimately, Reconstruction’s biggest flaw is that it did not go far enough.

                  2. Any state, municipality, community, church, family, or person can secede for any reason he/she/it desires.

                    And that’s as true of slaves as it is for confederacies, states, or colonies.

                    1. Any state, municipality, community, church, family, or person can secede for any reason he/she/it desires.

                      THIS. Only if we truly believe in freedom of association.

                    2. “Any state, municipality, community, church, family, or person can secede for any reason he/she/it desires.”

                      No, they can’t. Secession to oppress others is not a right. And to take the example of South Carolina, the first state to secede and where the war started, how was their secession possibly legitimate when 60% of the population was enslaved and had no representation in government?

                      “And that’s as true of slaves as it is for confederacies, states, or colonies.”

                      Damn, if only the slaves would have thought of seceding this all could have been avoided!

                    3. No, they can’t. Secession to oppress others is not a right.

                      It is, and more than that, it’s libertarianism 101.

                      Voluntary associations are, by definition, voluntary. Either you believe in self determination–whether that’s secession of the slaver colonies against the British gov, the secession of slaver confederates against the Union, and the secession of slaves against slavers–or you don’t.

                      You’re taking a page out of the progressive playbook in picking and choosing which moments of self determination are morally legitimate. This moral error doesn’t even rise to the level of the slippery slope, as you’re openly justifying aggression by one state against another, the result being that innocents on both sides who are victimized by the state via conscription or invasion lose their lives, while the statesmen who initiate the violence don’t suffer in the trenches or endure the reality of total war.

                    4. “It is, and more than that, it’s libertarianism 101.”

                      Clearly, the freedom to enslave people is libertarianism 101.

                      “Voluntary associations are, by definition, voluntary.”

                      Slavery is not voluntary.

                      “Either you believe in self determination”

                      I do. Which is why I believe that the black slaves in the South had that right. Which superseded the right of white Southerners to a self-determination that included the “right” to enslave black people.

                      “whether that’s secession of the slaver colonies against the British gov, the secession of slaver confederates against the Union,”

                      If the colonies had seceded to protect slavery, you might have a point. Slavery was legal in the British Empire, was more common in other areas of the Empire than it was in the American colonies, and wasn’t abolished in the empire until 50 years after the war ended (58 after the war started), which was 29-56 years after it was abolished in the Northern states. Had the British promised to abolish slavery if they won the war, they would have gained moral superiority, at least in any colony/state that didn’t abolish or promise to abolish slavery. (Both sides did promise freedom to slaves who joined their armies, which wasn’t always respected after the war).

                    5. “You’re taking a page out of the progressive playbook in picking and choosing which moments of self determination are morally legitimate.”

                      There’s nothing “progressive” about consistently-applying the NAP. And once again, even on a simply numbers-based analysis, how was the secession of South Carolina in any way legitimate? A solid majority of people there did not want to secede and be independent or join the CSA. Since they were enslaved and had no say in government, it doesn’t count?

                      “This moral error doesn’t even rise to the level of the slippery slope, as you’re openly justifying aggression by one state against another”

                      When one state secedes from another to enslave people, it is not aggression for the latter to use force to prevent its citizens* from being enslaved (I know that wasn’t the Union’s motivation, and it’s fair to criticize them for that, but the Union’s motivation for fighting the war has no bearing on whether the South’s secession was legitimate or whether an invasion in response could be legitimate).

                      (*Yes, I know slaves weren’t technically citizens, but that was only because of insane, unjust, racist laws that denied them citizenship, even though they had been born and raised in the country, and in most cases, their ancestors had lived there for hundreds of years.)

                    6. There’s nothing “progressive” about consistently-applying the NAP. And once again, even on a simply numbers-based analysis, how was the secession of South Carolina in any way legitimate? A solid majority of people there did not want to secede and be independent or join the CSA. Since they were enslaved and had no say in government, it doesn’t count?

                      I’ll bite: I’d like to hear how the NAP justifies an invasion. Re: SC, individuals had a right to secede from SC, as moral institutions are voluntary. It remains that the Union had no legitimate moral power to coerce the state of SC to remain, much less to invade or kill hundreds of thousands of people.

                      When one state secedes from another to enslave people, it is not aggression for the latter to use force to prevent its citizens* from being enslaved (I know that wasn’t the Union’s motivation, and it’s fair to criticize them for that, but the Union’s motivation for fighting the war has no bearing on whether the South’s secession was legitimate or whether an invasion in response could be legitimate).

                      The Union did not go to war to free southern slaves, as the invasion was two years old before Lincoln announced emancipation. As Lincoln announced time after time in letters and speeches, his focus was the preservation of the Union by any means necessary. Those means took the form of invasion and total war against civilian populations.

                    7. *Not to mention the complete destruction of civil liberties in US-controlled states. Jailing thousands of writers and dissidents is not the mark of a man who values the freedom of the downtrodden individual.

                    8. Regarding your second post, I agree that Lincoln unjustly violated many civil liberties. That’s besides the point I’m arguing regarding the legitimacy of Southern secession or whether an invasion to end slavery would have been morally defensible. Furthermore, the violations of civil liberties in the North, as egregious as they were, were still nowhere near as bad as they were in the Confederacy.

                    9. “I’ll bite: I’d like to hear how the NAP justifies an invasion.”

                      When a state is oppressing the another nation’s people, that nation is justified in invading. Slaves were born and raised in the USA, and their ancestors had lived their for hundreds of years. They were entitled to all of the protections that other Americans were.

                      “Re: SC, individuals had a right to secede from SC, as moral institutions are voluntary.”

                      They had that moral right, they had no way to exercise it. Not sure what solace there is to gain in that. Slavery was not a voluntary institution.

                      As to your last paragraph, you’re restating, in more detail what I said. The Union’s motivations for fighting the war have no impact on whether or not secession was legitimate, or whether an invasion to end slavery would have been morally justified.

                    10. When a state is oppressing the another nation’s people, that nation is justified in invading. Slaves were born and raised in the USA, and their ancestors had lived their for hundreds of years. They were entitled to all of the protections that other Americans were.

                      Southern slaves were not “another nation’s people.” As you have noted, they weren’t ever citizens. As I have noted, they remained slaves even in the eyes of the Union for two years following invasion.

                      This justification for invasion is an utter anachronism.

                      They had that moral right, they had no way to exercise it. Not sure what solace there is to gain in that. Slavery was not a voluntary institution.

                      You are precariously close to restating the popular neocon rationale for US aggression abroad. Although you’re flirting with it while claiming to hold true to the NAP, which is a bold thing to attempt on a libertarian forum.

                    11. “Southern slaves were not “another nation’s people.” As you have noted, they weren’t ever citizens. As I have noted, they remained slaves even in the eyes of the Union for two years following invasion.

                      This justification for invasion is an utter anachronism.”

                      I am speaking from a moral, not a legalist, perspective. I am, once again, not referring to the Union’s actual motives for the war. If you’re arguing that since the US or Confederate government not recognizing black slaves as citizens somehow supercedes the basic human rights of those slaves, then this discussion is over and I can’t believe you actually have the nerve to call yourself a libertarian. And for the sake of argument, the US government could have gotten around your objection by simply passing the 14th Amendment in 1861.

                      “You are precariously close to restating the popular neocon rationale for US aggression abroad. Although you’re flirting with it while claiming to hold true to the NAP, which is a bold thing to attempt on a libertarian forum.”

                      The guy defending the right to secede to protect slavery is calling me out for not supporting the NAP. Priceless. Once again, comparing the US government’s moral obligation to Southern slaves to it’s nonexistent obligation to Iraqis (most of whom didn’t want the US to invade) is asinine. It’s like saying that if Russia invaded and conquered Alaska, then colonized it with Russians, that the US would have no right to invade Alaska to take it back later

          2. As I’ve said in this thread (and other CW threads), I have no problem criticizing Lincoln where he deserves blame, whether that’s suspending habeas corpus, the draft, his motives for the war, etc. That said, there is no equivalency in this war. Both did bad things, but the Confederacy was far worse. It’s not even close.

            “It’s sad that libertarians have to tiptoe around the legacy of a President whose actions led to the unnecessary deaths of 850,000 Americans,”

            I know this is nitpicking and besides the point, but IIRC death estimates for the war are closer to around 600,000.

            “the destruction of an entire economy,”
            The Southern economy needed to be destroyed.

            “and the rise of Woodrow Wilson, who was as great a contributor to WW2 as any single Nazi.”

            Seriously? Lincoln was responsible for WW2? Hell, I despise Wilson and think he definitely contributed to creating conditions that led to WW2, but holding him as responsible as Hitler is ridiculous. Even holding Lincoln responsible for Wilson is absurd. The only plausible reason to think Wilson would never have been president if not for Lincoln was because he was from Virginia. Other than that, he was a member of the opposite party, and swept the South in both of his elections. And while Wilson represented the worst of the Progressive movement, he wasn’t the beginning or the end-all-be-all of the movement.

            1. I know this is nitpicking and besides the point, but IIRC death estimates for the war are closer to around 600,000.

              Those numbers have been revised the past year. The NYT (the irony!) had a good article about it a year or so ago.

              The Southern economy needed to be destroyed.

              That’s idiotic.

              Most people in the South were unskilled subsistence farmers, many of whom lost their breadwinners and means of subsistence when the union destroyed their fathers, sons, and farms.

              Seriously? Lincoln was responsible for WW2?

              That’s a particularly lazy straw man.

              Hell, I despise Wilson and think he definitely contributed to creating conditions that led to WW2, but holding him as responsible as Hitler is ridiculous.

              Without WW, there is no Versailles. Without Versailles, there’s no Hitler who would embody the triumph of the German will and Germany’s recovery from hyperinflation and the vindictive terms of its surrender following WW1.

              Even holding Lincoln responsible for Wilson is absurd.

              Ridiculous. Wilson wouldn’t’ve wielded nearly as much power had Lincoln not destroyed federalism and instituted the imperial presidency.

              1. The Southern economy needed to be destroyed.

                I have to come back to this, as this highlights the sort of brainless, heartless bullshit you always hear about the Civil War.

                The South wasn’t just rid of its slaves when the North invaded–it lost a whole generation of men, farms, houses, and the limited number of capital goods that a primarily rural people prior to the war. The devastation of total war and reconstruction is difficult for the modern American to understand, but the people who suffered most weren’t the Davises, Lees, and other powerful political figures who propped up the states–it was the poor farmer who had little before the war and wound up losing most of it to invasion or conscription, and southerners suffered from the outcome of that economic catastrophe for generations.

              2. “Those numbers have been revised the past year. The NYT (the irony!) had a good article about it a year or so ago.”

                Unless there’s a newer article, we were both wrong, it was about 750,000.

                http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04…..wanted=all

                “That’s idiotic.”

                No it isn’t. I didn’t say every Southerner deserved to have their farm taken. I said the economy deserved to be destroyed. The Southern economy was based on slave labor. There’s no way around that. The fact that not every Southerner owned slaves does not change that.

                “Most people in the South were unskilled subsistence farmers”

                Almost a third of white families in the states that became the CSA owned slaves (about half in a few Deep South states), which means that slaves (who were about 40% of the population in the CSA) and slaveowners combined were a majority of the population.

                http://civilwarcauses.org/stat.htm

                1. http://opinionator.blogs.nytim…..-the-dead/

                  I’m going with the higher number and the US census.

                  No it isn’t. I didn’t say every Southerner deserved to have their farm taken. I said the economy deserved to be destroyed. The Southern economy was based on slave labor. There’s no way around that. The fact that not every Southerner owned slaves does not change that.

                  Do you even understand what you’re writing when you say that the southern economy “deserved to be destroyed”? The way you destroy an economy is to destroy capital (farms and infrastructure), consumer goods (crops), and, as occurs during war, human capital.

                  You’re casually conflating freeing slaves with destroying land, crops, and hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and families. That you offer the apology so glibly and piously is particularly offensive to anyone who has lost family to war.

                  Almost a third of white families in the states that became the CSA owned slaves (about half in a few Deep South states), which means that slaves (who were about 40% of the population in the CSA) and slaveowners combined were a majority of the population.

                  To be clear that we’re on the same page, you believe that a nation with legalized slavery may be justifiably invaded by a nation that has outlawed slavery provided that a significant portion of the population is or occupies the same house as a slaveowner?

                  1. “Do you even understand what you’re writing when you say that the southern economy “deserved to be destroyed”? The way you destroy an economy is to destroy capital (farms and infrastructure), consumer goods (crops), and, as occurs during war, human capital.

                    You’re casually conflating freeing slaves with destroying land, crops, and hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and families. That you offer the apology so glibly and piously is particularly offensive to anyone who has lost family to war.”

                    It’s not my fault you have a different definition “destroying” an economy than I do. You’re reading stuff into it that I’m not saying. IMO, abolition by itself constituted the destruction of the antebellum Southern economy. I’m not saying all the other stuff was deserved.

                    “To be clear that we’re on the same page, you believe that a nation with legalized slavery may be justifiably invaded by a nation that has outlawed slavery provided that a significant portion of the population is or occupies the same house as a slaveowner?”

                    First off, you totally moved the goalposts. I was simply pointing out that your characterization of most Southerners being subsistence farmers who didn’t own slaves isn’t true. Most were either slaves or belonged to a slaveowning family. Secondly, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that if one part of a country secedes from that country to enslave people, the initial country has every moral right to stop them from doing so and protect their citizens.*

                    1. It’s not my fault you have a different definition “destroying” an economy than I do. You’re reading stuff into it that I’m not saying. IMO, abolition by itself constituted the destruction of the antebellum Southern economy. I’m not saying all the other stuff was deserved.

                      Given that slavery isn’t cost-effective, you know as well as I do that freeing the slaves wasn’t what destroyed the southern economy. The wanton destruction of infrastructure, farms, and a generation of men and boys and then piling on with reconstruction debt was what destroyed the southern economy for generations.

                      First off, you totally moved the goalposts. I was simply pointing out that your characterization of most Southerners being subsistence farmers who didn’t own slaves isn’t true. Most were either slaves or belonged to a slaveowning family. Secondly, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that if one part of a country secedes from that country to enslave people, the initial country has every moral right to stop them from doing so and protect their citizens.*

                      The goalposts are right where they always were. Under what conditions can one state aggress against another in keeping with the NAP? Is invasion of a nation with legalized slavery by a nation without legalized slavery justified?

                      We’ve already established that Lincoln did not invade to free or protect slaves, whom he was working to deport just before his assassination.

                    2. “Given that slavery isn’t cost-effective, you know as well as I do that freeing the slaves wasn’t what destroyed the southern economy.”

                      By “economy,” I’m simply referring to the preexisting economic arrangement in the antebellum South. I think the USSR’s economy was destroyed when it collapsed, but that wasn’t a bad thing.

                      “The goalposts are right where they always were. Under what conditions can one state aggress against another in keeping with the NAP? Is invasion of a nation with legalized slavery by a nation without legalized slavery justified?”

                      When the invading state is protecting its people from enslavement or other aggression.

                      “We’ve already established that Lincoln did not invade to free or protect slaves, whom he was working to deport just before his assassination.”

                      I’ve acknowledged this on multiple occasions. This entire argument has been about whether an invasion to stop slavery was morally justified. The Union’s motivations deserve criticism, but their transgressions still pale in comparison to the Confederacy’s, and the Emancipation Proclamation makes this no contest (even if the motives for it weren’t out of purely abolitionist sentiments). However, this last part is beside the point I’ve been making that an invasion to end slavery would have been justified.

                    3. By “economy,” I’m simply referring to the preexisting economic arrangement in the antebellum South. I think the USSR’s economy was destroyed when it collapsed, but that wasn’t a bad thing.

                      You’re backtracking, and you know it. When the Soviet system collapsed, the people of the former USSR didn’t lose more than two percent of the population, most of its infrastructure, its means of feeding its families, and its representative government.

                      The region claimed by the Confederacy was devastated by total war–comparing how those people suffered to a nation that moves from failed communist totalitarianism to crony capitalism is ridiculous.

                      When the invading state is protecting its people from enslavement or other aggression.

                      Too bad for your argument that this wasn’t the US goal and that it didn’t happen.

                      I’ve acknowledged this on multiple occasions. This entire argument has been about whether an invasion to stop slavery was morally justified.

                      It isn’t, as the US didn’t invade to stop slavery. Lincoln himself supported a Constitutional amendment that would institutionalize slavery provided that it preserved the Union.

                    4. The Union’s motivations deserve criticism, but their transgressions still pale in comparison to the Confederacy’s,

                      Which is irrelevant, given that no one has said jack shit about supporting the Confederacy. The Confederacy was an evil state that institutionalized slavery. Bad. The Union was an evil state that engaged in a war that murdered 750k+ people. Bad.

                      The difference between us, if it’s not clear already, is that I condemn both parties for violating the NAP and self-ownership, whereas you’re making excuses for one state over the other.

                      and the Emancipation Proclamation makes this no contest (even if the motives for it weren’t out of purely abolitionist sentiments). However, this last part is beside the point I’ve been making that an invasion to end slavery would have been justified.

                      Again, this is a response to something that I haven’t argued. I have never stated that the Confederacy was in a superior moral position to the Union, which was the point of the Saddam/Bush comparison. I stated that the Confederacy had the moral power to secede from a voluntary union for any reason, and the Union had no moral power to invade.

                      What the war demonstrated beyond all doubt is that political institutions–states–are not voluntary, no matter the pretty rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence or Jefferson’s optimism.

                      And to repeat, thousands died in ditches before the EP became a twinkle in Lincoln’s eye.

                    5. “The Union was an evil state that engaged in a war that murdered 750k+ people. Bad.”

                      You say that as if the South had no culpability in any of those deaths, which is absurd.

                      “The difference between us, if it’s not clear already, is that I condemn both parties for violating the NAP and self-ownership, whereas you’re making excuses for one state over the other.”

                      I have condemned the Union’s motivations for invading, and their transgressions during the war. All I have said is 1) The North’s transgressions were nowhere near as bad as the South’s (though I agree that this is mostly besides the point, as you agree, and I would like to focus the discussion on my second point) and 2) that the invasion itself would not have been a violation of the NAP were its purpose to end slavery. The South initiated the aggression by enslaving Americans. At that point, the North was justified in invading to end that enslavement (again, let’s not get sidetracked by the North’s actual motivations. We’ve discussed that and the main point I’m making here is a moral one regarding the illegitimacy of the Confederacy’s secession and the morality of a hypothetical invasion to end slavery).

                    6. You missed this part:

                      Which is irrelevant, given that no one has said jack shit about supporting the Confederacy. The Confederacy was an evil state that institutionalized slavery.

                      You say that as if the South had no culpability in any of those deaths, which is absurd.

                      So hundreds of thousands of people committed suicide? Brilliant. I’ve already told you that the Confederacy was an evil state and that I’m not defending it.

                      I’m talking about people of the South–civilians–and you’re either confused about the distinction between the state and the people or you’re being disingenuous.

                      1) The North’s transgressions were nowhere near as bad as the South’s

                      We both keep agreeing that this has nothing to do with the price of tea in China, and yet you keep bringing it up as though it’s germane. All states are illegitimate to the extent that they are not voluntary.

                      that the invasion itself would not have been a violation of the NAP were its purpose to end slavery

                      The purpose was not to end slavery, so irrelevant.

                      The South initiated the aggression by enslaving Americans.

                      Slaves weren’t Americans according to the Union or the Confederacy. You’re arguing like a neocon again: “the US has the moral authority to invade Iraq because Iraq initiated aggression against Iran.”

                    7. “So hundreds of thousands of people committed suicide? Brilliant. I’ve already told you that the Confederacy was an evil state and that I’m not defending it.”

                      No, but you’re holding the Union exclusively responsible for everyone who died on both sides. Hence my comment.

                      “The purpose was not to end slavery, so irrelevant.”

                      That’s not at all irrelevant. The entire point of this argument is whether their was any justification for the invasion, not whether the one that was actually used was valid.

                      “Slaves weren’t Americans according to the Union or the Confederacy.”

                      Only due to unjust, racist laws. Laws aside, they were just as entitled to all the rights and protections of the government as any white person in the country. To argue otherwise is to embrace legalism or racism, neither of which is libertarian. How many times do I have to say that I’m not arguing about the Union’s actual motivations for fighting the war?

                    8. At that point, the North was justified in invading to end that enslavement (again, let’s not get sidetracked by the North’s actual motivations.

                      I see. So, despite the fact that slaves weren’t citizens, the US had the legitimate moral power to invade to free them and destroy the Confederacy.

                      And since Union soldiers were almost exclusively taken via conscription–itself state slavery, albeit temporary and far more likely to end in the slave’s violent death–a volunteer army from any other nation would have had a moral right to invade the North and free the conscripts by destroying the Union. The same for WW1. And WW2. And Korea. And Vietnam. Prior to 1973, violent invasion of the United States by a volunteer army was morally acceptable according to the Calidissident reading of the NAP.

                      With as much respect as I can muster at this point, you don’t understand the fundamentals of the NAP, and you’re making excuses for the monopoly on violence that is the state.

                    9. And silly me to miss the obvious coup de grace, namely that the Union used the draft to enslave civilian soldiers to fight its war.

                      Meaning that Cali’s support of the US Gov, an institution that enforced slavery via the draft, as a means of indirectly ending chattel slavery is internally inconsistent as well as inconsistent with the NAP.

                  2. *Again, I’m aware slaves were not technically citizens. I offer the same explanation I did above. Unless you’re going to adopt a legalistic or extremely racist argument, that’s not relevant.

                    Also, regarding the number of war dead, I’ll go with the modern analysis, although it doesn’t really matter either way with regards to the argument.

                    1. Also, regarding the number of war dead, I’ll go with the modern analysis, although it doesn’t really matter either way with regards to the argument.

                      We’re in agreement here.

              3. “That’s a particularly lazy straw man.”

                Why even mention that if that wasn’t the implication?

                “Without WW, there is no Versailles. Without Versailles, there’s no Hitler who would embody the triumph of the German will and Germany’s recovery from hyperinflation and the vindictive terms of its surrender following WW1.”

                Preaching to the choir. Nonetheless, holding Wilson as responsible as the guy who actually did it is idiotic. Furthermore, it’s not as simple as “No Wilson = No Versailles.” Roosevelt finished second in 1912 and he was even more eager than Wilson to join World War 1.

                “Ridiculous. Wilson wouldn’t’ve wielded nearly as much power had Lincoln not destroyed federalism and instituted the imperial presidency.”

                Read my comment above in response to Dweebson. Federalism took many blows before Lincoln, several presidents majorly abused their power before Lincoln did, and the federal government was hardly a gargantuan leviathan in the late 1800s. I also don’t see why there’s any reason to think federalism doesn’t take a blow regardless of what Lincoln does in response to the South leaving. He still would have had free reign to impose his domestic agenda, and I don’t see how secession wouldn’t have been looked down upon in the North either way.

                1. Why even mention that if that wasn’t the implication?

                  The point was that Lincoln’s actions reverberate throughout history and enabled future authoritarians, not that he was personally responsible for WW2.

                  Preaching to the choir. Nonetheless, holding Wilson as responsible as the guy who actually did it is idiotic. Furthermore, it’s not as simple as “No Wilson = No Versailles.” Roosevelt finished second in 1912 and he was even more eager than Wilson to join World War 1.

                  Actions have consequences, and Wilson’s motivations for entering WW1 and personally negotiating at Versailles are irrelevant (not that they were good). More than anyone else in his generation, he was responsible for crushing Germany and creating an environment in which national socialism could thrive.

                  Federalism took many blows before Lincoln, several presidents majorly abused their power before Lincoln did, and the federal government was hardly a gargantuan leviathan in the late 1800s.

                  It certainly was a leviathan compared to 1) its stature prior to the war and 2) state governments, as reconstruction demonstrated throughout the former confederacy and as gov spending %s before and after the war show. More than that, the Civil War permanently put states in a subordinate position relative to the federal government, as the Union was no longer a voluntary union of independent states, but a powerful centralized state.

                  1. “It certainly was a leviathan compared to 1) its stature prior to the war”

                    Citation needed. In any case, any government that doesn’t enforce a Fugitive Slave Law is automatically less of a leviathan IMO than one that does.

                    “reconstruction demonstrated throughout the former confederacy”

                    Ultimately, Reconstruction didn’t go far enough. Jim Crow was established, and grossly unfair voting and legal systems were put in place. In addition to being totally immoral, these laws were blatantly unconstitutional, and the feds did nothing about it for 100 years.

                    “the Civil War permanently put states in a subordinate position relative to the federal government”

                    Were they not already? Look at McCulloch v. Maryland. Look at the Nullification crisis 30 years before the war. Look at the Fugitive Slave Laws. Look at Dred Scott, where the feds denied states the right to ban slavery within their borders. I could give many more examples.

                    And once again, what reason is there to think that federalism would have prospered in a Union without the South? Or that the South, with their laws mandating slavery, outrageous Fugitive Slave Laws, banning abolitionist literature, etc. somehow would have been better on that front? As much as I despise the growth of government in the last 100+ years, all of it combined doesn’t hold a candle to how bad slavery was. Slavery alone makes it no contest as to whether the country is more free today than it was 200 years ago.

                  2. “Actions have consequences, and Wilson’s motivations for entering WW1 and personally negotiating at Versailles are irrelevant (not that they were good). More than anyone else in his generation, he was responsible for crushing Germany and creating an environment in which national socialism could thrive.”

                    I didn’t say they were good or that he was good. Just that he wasn’t as responsible as the people who actually implemented Nazism. Regarding your last sentence, I only agree if you’re only talking about Americans of his generation. The French and the British weren’t bystanders at Versailles. Lastly, you ignored my point that no Wilson does not necessarily equal no US entry into WW1 or no Hitler. As I said, the runner-up in the 1912 election attacked Wilson for not entering the war sooner.

                    1. I didn’t say they were good or that he was good. Just that he wasn’t as responsible as the people who actually implemented Nazism. Regarding your last sentence, I only agree if you’re only talking about Americans of his generation. The French and the British weren’t bystanders at Versailles. Lastly, you ignored my point that no Wilson does not necessarily equal no US entry into WW1 or no Hitler. As I said, the runner-up in the 1912 election attacked Wilson for not entering the war sooner.

                      The French were vindictive, but Wilson negotiated the terms personally rather than leaving it to diplomats. It isn’t difficult to see why the most powerful man in the world’s most powerful nation (and one of the few first-world nations that hadn’t destroyed itself) personally negotiating a harmful treaty is most responsible for the treaty’s outcome. Whether Wilson intended for the terms to be severe or if he was merely incompetent isn’t relevant. No bonus points for good intentions in politics.

                      As I said, the runner-up in the 1912 election attacked Wilson for not entering the war sooner.

                      And FDR ran on the grounds that Hoover was too much the interventionist. A hypothetical president may well have been worse than a Wilson or Lincoln, but we’re limited to judging Presidents according to their own actions.

                    2. I think you’re underselling the role Britain and France played, but this is all beside the point of the original discussion.

                      “Whether Wilson intended for the terms to be severe or if he was merely incompetent isn’t relevant. No bonus points for good intentions in politics.”

                      Didn’t say they did; I’m saying his (incompetence or malice, take your pick) doesn’t make him as responsible for WWII or the Holocaust as the people who actually perpetrated it. That is all. I’m offering no defense of Wilson beyond that.

                      “And FDR ran on the grounds that Hoover was too much the interventionist. A hypothetical president may well have been worse than a Wilson or Lincoln, but we’re limited to judging Presidents according to their own actions.”

                      You’re the one who brought up historical counterfactuals. You can’t do that and then say I can’t bring one up in return. There’s plenty of reason to think that the US still would have gotten involved in WWI without Wilson, given who his runner-up was, and there’s far more reason to think TR was serious about intervening in WWI than his cousin was about cutting spending in 1932.

                    3. Didn’t say they did; I’m saying his (incompetence or malice, take your pick) doesn’t make him as responsible for WWII or the Holocaust as the people who actually perpetrated it. That is all. I’m offering no defense of Wilson beyond that.

                      What I said was that Wilson was as much a contributor to the war as any Nazi, as Nazism likely would not have been a thing without Wilson there to ensure German desperation.

                      You’re the one who brought up historical counterfactuals.

                      Pinning blame on Lincoln/Wilson for the consequences of their actions is not engaging in a counterfactual.

                      There’s plenty of reason to think that the US still would have gotten involved in WWI without Wilson, given who his runner-up was, and there’s far more reason to think TR was serious about intervening in WWI than his cousin was about cutting spending in 1932.

                      And yet, for all that, Wilson remains the one who took us into WW1.

                    4. “Pinning blame on Lincoln/Wilson for the consequences of their actions is not engaging in a counterfactual.”

                      You’re the one saying that federalism would be alive and strong and WW2 wouldn’t have happened without Lincoln. That is a counterfactual.

                      “And yet, for all that, Wilson remains the one who took us into WW1.”

                      Ok. But if you’re going to argue that no Lincoln means no US entry into WW1, you have to prove that no Lincoln = no Wilson, and that no Wilson = no US entry into WW1. You have failed to do either, especially the latter. The burden of proof is on you, not me.

            2. Tell me, who else out there needs killin? We’ve got the nukes, let’s use them!

          3. “Lincoln was a villain who killed hundreds of thousands in an unnecessary war.”

            You say this as if he was singlehandedly responsible for the war. As if the Southern states seceding to protect slavery, attacking Fort Sumter, kidnapping free blacks in the North, etc. mean nothing.

            Again, I have no problem criticizing Lincoln. But saying or implying that his flaws mean the South was in the right (or more right) in the war is ridiculous. Stalin was a monster, that doesn’t mean Hitler wasn’t worse in WWII.

            1. Stalin was a monster, that doesn’t mean Hitler wasn’t worse in WWII.

              That’s a bad example; those two are pretty damn close in terms of monstrosity. The only reason Stalin isn’t remembered in the same way as Hitler is because of a bunch of Stalin apologists that infested the western media and intellectual circles.

              1. That and Stalin was able to hide the full scope of his activities until the downfall of the USSR, where as Hitler’s crimes came out far sooner.

                1. When you successfully conduct genocide, there’s no one around to complain afterwards.

                  See Hitler and Romany as an example.

              2. Notice that I added “in WWII” to the end of that. Both were bad, both were bad in WWII, and you could argue which was one was worse overall (I would still argue Hitler, but I agree that the acceptance of Stalin apologia is disgusting), but I don’t think there’s much debate over who was worse between 1939 and 1945.

            2. You say this as if he was singlehandedly responsible for the war. As if the Southern states seceding to protect slavery, attacking Fort Sumter, kidnapping free blacks in the North, etc. mean nothing.

              None of which necessitates invasion of a foreign state, much less total war against a civilian population. Your apology for murder is embarrassing.

              Again, I have no problem criticizing Lincoln. But saying or implying that his flaws mean the South was in the right (or more right) in the war is ridiculous. Stalin was a monster, that doesn’t mean Hitler wasn’t worse in WWII.

              Who was more right during the 2003 War in Iraq, Bush or Saddam? If we say Bush, does that mean that we’re pro-Saddam or can’t condemn Bush for actions that led to the deaths of seven figures worth of Iraqis? And if we say Saddam (because Saddam, no matter that he was a monster, was invaded), does that mean that we don’t have sympathy for American soldiers who were forced to fight and die in an illegitimate war?

              And what do you mean by “the South”? Are you suggesting that the poor farmers who left home–many of them conscripted–to fight an army that was marching toward their farms, homes, and families had a real choice as to what they were going to do? You’re really not understanding the circumstances of war or how it affects civilian populations.

              1. “None of which necessitates invasion of a foreign state, much less total war against a civilian population. Your apology for murder is embarrassing.”

                Ignoring Fort Sumter for the minute, and granting that the Southern states were foreign states (which implies their secession was legitimate. Again, I go back to the example of South Carolina: How on Earth was their secession possibly legitimate when a majority of the people of the state were enslaved and had no say in the matter? You have dodged this question every time I’ve posed it), foreign states oppressing your people is legitimate grounds for an invasion.

                “Your apology for murder is embarrassing.”

                I have not apologized for murder, nor have I said that every Northern action in the war was justified or virtuous. But your apology for slavery is disgusting.

                Overall, Sadaam was worse than Bush, but the invasion was not justified. This is a bad comparison, because Iraq was not a part of the US that seceded to guarantee the enslavement of 40% of its population.

                By the “South” I mean the Confederacy. Quit the histrionics about how I’m being so mean to the poor, oppressed white Southern farmer. You’re building an army of strawmen every time you go there.

                1. Ignoring Fort Sumter for the minute, and granting that the Southern states were foreign states (which implies their secession was legitimate. Again, I go back to the example of South Carolina: How on Earth was their secession possibly legitimate when a majority of the people of the state were enslaved and had no say in the matter? You have dodged this question every time I’ve posed it), foreign states oppressing your people is legitimate grounds for an invasion.

                  Dodged it? Let me reiterate:

                  “Any state, municipality, community, church, family, or person can secede for any reason he/she/it desires. And that’s as true of slaves as it is for confederacies, states, or colonies.”

                  And it’s anachronistic to contend that the people of SC–regardless of whether they agreed with secession and regardless of secession’s popularity in other states–were “the Union’s people.” The Union was a union of the states–the citizens of SC were citizens of SC first and foremost, and for the Union to justify the invasion of SC under the guise of “defending its citizens” would be like the UN invading Texas by proclaiming that Texans are citizens of the world. It’s a bizarre misreading of political identity.

                  1. “‘Any state, municipality, community, church, family, or person can secede for any reason he/she/it desires. And that’s as true of slaves as it is for confederacies, states, or colonies.'”

                    There is no right to secede to oppress others. Telling the slaves, who were kept in their bonds forcibly “well, at least you guys have the right to secede even if you can’t exercise it and even if the government of the country you were born into has no right to stop your slavers from leaving their government to ensure that they can oppress you, because they would violate their liberty to enslave you” is absurd.

                    1. It’s absurd to think that people of a state are entitled to defense from the federal government that they are a citizen of, but the feds have no right or obligation to protect them as soon as the majority of people around them (or a minority oppressing the majority and preventing them from voting) decide to leave just so they can oppress everyone else. It’s absurd to think a state has the moral right to strip citizenship of its people from the larger entity (what happened to moral institutions being voluntary?) and then use that to deny the larger state the moral authority to stop it from oppressing those people.

                  2. Regarding your second paragraph, yes, (white) people were citizens of their states, but they were also citizens of the United States. That’s why the United States government assumed responsibility for defending the whole country, and why they had sole power over granting citizenship to immigrants. Black slaves were denied citizenship by their state and their country due to injust, racist laws. Those laws do not mean the US government had any less obligation to them. If anything, it increases that obligation. In any case, you’re using a legalist argument that has no relevance to a libertarian like myself. Laws, whether regarding citizenship, secession, or whatever, passed by legislatures (without the representation of the people being enslaved) are not somehow more legitimate than natural human rights. Your example about Texas is erroneous. A far more apt comparison would be if Texas seceded so they could put people of Mexican descent in concentration camps (just an example, I’m not saying they would do such a thing, and you could replace Mexicans with any other group) and the US invaded to stop them from doing so. The only difference between the two situations is that slaves were not technically citizens. As I said earlier, unless you adopt a legalist or racist perspective, that distinction is not relevant.

                2. I have not apologized for murder, nor have I said that every Northern action in the war was justified or virtuous. But your apology for slavery is disgusting.

                  Recall, I have repeatedly said that slaves have the right to secede from slavers and slave states. While I was upholding the NAP at all levels, you were justifying invasion and warmongering between states, knowing that civilians and unwilling combatants would be caught in the middle.

                  At least three quarters of a million of them, as it turns out. Though that’s just a statistic.

                  Overall, Sadaam was worse than Bush, but the invasion was not justified. This is a bad comparison, because Iraq was not a part of the US that seceded to guarantee the enslavement of 40% of its population.

                  The Confederacy was not a part of the US beginning at the moment of its secession. And to say it again, the Union did not invade to free the slaves, as the invasion was two years old before that became a strategic goal for Lincoln.

                  By the “South” I mean the Confederacy. Quit the histrionics about how I’m being so mean to the poor, oppressed white Southern farmer. You’re building an army of strawmen every time you go there.

                  That’s not what the term “strawman” means. And the point, since it zoomed past you, was to demonstrate that “the South” that suffered and died were hundreds of thousands of innocents, not some abstract state or political elites.

                  1. “The Confederacy was not a part of the US beginning at the moment of its secession.”

                    First off, that’s not relevant. The US still has a moral obligation to the people of that state who would wish to leave and/or not be enslaved. They were still born in the United States of America. If not for unjust laws, they would have been American citizens. A majority (or in the case of a few states, a minority) cannot simply vote to take away the American citizenship of the people in that state who do not wish to secede or remain in South Carolina. You keep saying that moral institutions are voluntary and that everyone has the right to secede? Why didn’t the slaves have the right to maintain their status of being American? It’s absurd to say that South Carolina or any other state somehow has the right to deny American citizenship to people born in the United States of America.

                    Secondly, the Confederacy did not secede all at once. South Carolina was the first to do it. It served as the powderkeg. How was their secession legitimate when 60% of its population had no say in the matter? How can the minority claim the right to speak for everyone else, declare the whole state independent, and then somehow assume the moral high ground to oppress the majority without interference from the entity it “seceded” from?

                3. *How on Earth was their secession possibly legitimate when a majority of the people of the state were enslaved and had no say in the matter?*

                  Did the majority of the Northern population get a say in whether or not to invade the South?

                  Besides your assertions that the South was less moral, because of slavery falls flat, when you yourself admitted that the North supported slavery, as well. Certain states may have tried to ban within their borders, but the Corwin Amendment to the Constitution indicated they had no real problem with slavery’s existence in the South. If the Southern economy “deserved to be destroyed” because it relied on slavery, then the North’s economy deserved the same fate, for the same reason.

                  Calidissedent’s argument in a nutshell: “I’m more moral than those people, so I can enact all sorts of atrocities against them to punish them and/or make them as moral as I am.”

      2. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that DiLorenzo legitimately hates Lincoln.

    4. Lincoln sucked, but happily, the chickens came home to roost.

    5. Michael C. Moynihan?sitting in for Reason’s Matt Welch, who’s out cruising

      Umm, phrasing?

      I assume that phrasing was intentional. For humor purposes.

  3. Weather in Albuquerque hit a near-record high today in the 70s, and seems to be staying there for the weekend.

    Is it too early to hope for a mild, early spring? I don’t know, but I’m refilling the propane tomorrow.

    1. It got well into the eighties here. Those schmucks who are freezing their balls off must hate us.

      1. 77 today in Long Beach. Which is next to the beach, so envy us!

        1. Fuck you. 50+ today and sunny in Seattle, but it started out with pouring rain. I won’t be seeing 77 for months. That reminds me, I need to get my ass to Hawaii for the umpteenth time.

          1. Fuck all of you. 16 inches of fresh snow, on top of a good eight inches on the ground.

            Not that I particularly mind snow; it’s just that it’s getting to the point where it’s a bit problematic moving the snow that needs to be moved

            1. Hell, I wish it would actually snow when it’s cold enough. The lack of snow is a boil on the wintery ass that is the southwest between late November and early March.

      2. That sounds awful. Anything above 65 is bad, but 80s? Yikes, I’d be homicidal at that temperature. And in winter, so it would only get WORSE in the future. No thanks.

        It was 40 today and felt hot. I had to open the car window.

    2. Just talked to my wife, who’s driving throught NM as we speak. Says it’s 75 (5 minutes ago). Must be nice.

      1. It will be! Unfortunately I spent the day in a windowless, overly-AC’d concrete vault and didn’t get to enjoy a minute of it.

  4. Reposted from a dead thread where I also SF’d the link: Slate wants Big Government to be their Valentine

    1. “Stealth fighter shmealth shmighter, we’re talking 30 extra yards off the tee, baby.”

      ‘Yep, you’re spying on me every time I pick up a phone, groping my balls when I get on an airplane, picking my damn pocket, but I don’t care!
      I get golf clubs I might not have gotten for another year right now!’
      Give this guy some ice cream and he’d probably turn over his wife for the weekend.
      Pathetic.

    2. That is one sick, perverted mix of authority fetish, daddy worship, and…so many false assumptions that I don’t even know where to start.

      Am I insane, or would a journalist have been utterly embarrassed to write such a snivelingly ball-licking article just 15 years ago? I’m almost embarrassed for this guy, and then I remember what he is and am merely glad he showed his pathetic nature to the world.

    3. You deliver my mail, plus the odd cruise missile.

      Such gravitas. Such a sobering take on weighty issues. Are all Slate writers luminaries of our era, or is Mr. Garfield uniquely talented in winnowing away the distractions and cutting to the quick?

    4. Notice how he praises government for taxing us so little relative to other countries.

      That’s like praising your spouse for beating you less severely than the guy next door while still putting up with daily beatings and serial philandering.

      1. And hilariously it’s a constant sneer from pro-gov lefties that we’re taxed so much less than enlightened European nations.

  5. …what Kmele Foster’s Secret Service code name should be.

    Sexual Chocolate?

    1. Kmeleon. DUH.

    2. Also:

      Sexual Chocolate?

      RACIST. This is why there are not black libertarians.

      1. Shaft?

        He’s one bad mother*SHUT YOUR MOUTH*

  6. Moynihan is sitting in. So we can expect inappropriate giggling and the pallor of a vampire?

    1. Well, it’s either that or Suder-Man’s shit-eating grin and Alfalfa hair. Your pick.

    2. I take it you won’t be making dolls of him?

      1. Any Moynihan doll would need to burst into flames when exposed to sunlight or sugar. I don’t have access to that kind of technology.

        1. I’ll bet you could find someone around here who could work it out, though. But then you’d have to cut them in…

          1. Well, with your cut my profit margin is already squeezed too much…..

            1. Eh, the Kmele ones are way more popular. Just stick with those.

  7. I don’t get this superfluous “business” channel for my $150 per month. Is there a live feed link?

      1. Thanks

  8. I come here for the conversations.

    /shrugs.

  9. By the way, there’s no such thing as “Presidents’ Day”.

    1. Tell that to the unions.

  10. Why aren’t you all out with your lovers

    1. I’m picking your mom up in an hour.

    2. Wife and I getting in the mood with a Dexter marathon.

      1. stop before the final 2 seasons…

      2. stop before the final 2 seasons…

    3. Because we hate humanity?

    4. I got to call in for jury duty tonight and then go to a memorial service.

      Needless to say my evening sucks.

      1. that’s pretty brutal

      2. Sorry. Hope it wasn’t someone close.

        1. Thank you. It’s for my dad’s stepbrother, a fun guy I’ve known all my life and will miss, but his alcoholism ultimately caught up with him.

          It’s sad but unsurprising. Addiction is no joke.

          1. (Huggs)

            I have a whole lot of addicts in my family, so I feel your pain.

            1. Again, thank you. 🙂

              Reading and participating here really does make me feel better.

      3. Oh and for the first time I get to fulfill my civic duty by reporting to court Tuesday morning.

        Sucks, but I’m glad it’s on my day off and won’t make me miss work. The only question is what will disqualify me first: my belief that a disproportionate number of cops and prosecutors are sociopaths that sneer at justice or the fact that I’m temp employed and don’t get benefits.

        1. Just ask them questions about jury nullification. That should get you off.

          1. Nothing makes judges and prosecutors go into full panic mode like a prospective juror uttering those 2 magic words. At least that’s my impression; never been through the process myself.

        2. I had to go to the courthouse one day the last time I was called in for jury duty, but the case was settled just before it would have gone to trial, and they didn’t need any jurors the rest of the week.

          My exemption ends later this year, and I have a terrible fear I’m going to get called in again soon after.

          1. Why dodge jury duty? This may be your chance to right the injustice of a victimless crime law or a thuggish cop.

            1. Or tell one of Ken Nugent’s clients he didn’t win the redneck lottery and should have taken the fair offer from the insurance company 😉

    5. I’m at home with mine. He’s sitting in the chair next to me watching Lilyhammer on netfix.

    6. That reminds me. Gotta ditch the wife.

      1. That reminds me. Gotta ditch the wife.

        Honey? Is that you?

        1. Depends.

          1. They’re in the lower left drawer, under the sink.

  11. Forget Valentine’s Day

    A more interesting celebration, a new one, is that women’s groups have made this day an international celebration of women from every corner (it seems) of the world. Last year, I wrote on 14 February about the One Billion Rising campaign. I was in Gujarat, celebrating the day, dancing and singing with a few thousand women and their supportive men. There was music, folk dancing, everyone swaying to the beat. The atmosphere was electric. The entire group was vibrant, joyous and upbeat. It made you forget, for that brief shining moment at least, the hardship, injustice, cruelty and domestic violence that our women ? and women everywhere ? deal with for the larger part of their lives. – See more at: http://newint.org/blog/majorit…..DaEZa.dpuf

    1. Sounds like a drum circle.

      1. “You know, I had a guy in Jackson county. He had a little drum circle in his backyard. It turned into a drum circle four miles in diameter. You get a few hippies playing drums and next thing you know, you got yourself a colony.”

        1. “You get a few hippies playing drums and next thing you know, you got yourself a colony.”

          Is that what happened to CA? Buncha hippies with drums?
          Damn!

    2. Somehow, I think Black Day on April 14 would be more appropriate for the H&R commentariat.

  12. So Jesse did they fly you first class to NYC and put you up in the Waldorf-Astoria or are you appearing via webcam?

    1. So Jesse did they fly you first class to NYC and put you up in the Waldorf-Astoria or are you appearing via webcam?

      NOTA. I took a train up on Tuesday, pre-taped the segment, and returned to Baltimore in the evening.

      1. Are you shitting me? This is from Tuesday?

  13. So while we’re all hanging about in this thread, I need some advice. My dad has finally decided to (sort of) join the real world & get a new computer. He wants a laptop so it can go with him on business trips, but at home (which is most of the time) it will serve as just a desktop because he plans on hooking up his monitor & keyboard to it.

    My own laptop is pretty ancient so I’m entirely out of the loop on what’s good & what’s to be avoided nowadays. Suggestions?

    1. Just go to hp.com and get him a basic one for 400-500 dollars. Or spend a little more for some extras. I do all my computer shopping at Cyberpower, but that’s because I know exactly what I’m doing.

      1. That website is too busy. C-

        1. You don’t need to be bitchy just because you don’t know how to configure an SLI bridge.

        2. But their computers are the shiznit.

          1. I put together my gaming computer with them. My total cost, including shipping (free) and an nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti, was $725.

            That is why they are the shiznit.

            1. Oh, and I forgot to add that this was two years ago to put the video card price in perspective.

            2. I forget how much my last PC with them cost, but it was worth it. It will be time for an upgrade soon…

      2. Be still my heart. Epi being helpful? Someone catch me, I may faint!

        (Thank you for the input.)

      3. I bought dell and they have always been there in 24 hours after a problem. That’s enough for me to at least say they aren’t bullshitting about what they claim. Are the machines as good as the rest. fuck if I know, and I doubt it’s a cut and dry issur

        1. We have had bad experiences with Dell in my family, though they may have changed since then.

      4. Holy shit, I also bought my most recent PC from cyberpower. Good prices and config options; I spent about $80 more than I would have if I bought all my components from newegg and put it together myself.

    2. We have 3 HP and 1 Samsung laptops of various ages that have served pretty well, no major complaints about any of them.

      The innards aren’t all that different as long as you don’t go low-budget. Most of the difference is in size, screen, and case material. Windows 8 is just trying to make touch screens “a thing” but I’m not sold on that concept.

      I’d showroom the Best Buy to see what he likes by way of size and form factor, then buy straight from the manufacturer.

      1. Showrooming is a most excellent idea, I hadn’t thought about doing that! A good way for him to get a feel for what he’ll be lugging across airports!

      2. Please stop verbing your nouns.

        1. Please go throw yourself off a tall building.

        2. Quit nouning my verbs

    3. Thinkpad X series
      I have a personal one and a company one so it isn’t too bad carrying both.
      I like the T series too but they are kinda big

      1. Never heard of these. I will take a look. Thank you!

        1. Thinkpads are tough as hell and last forever, but they are also very expensive and (depending on the model) very heavy.

          My laptop is an HP, and has been flawless for 5 years (it was totally jacked when I bought it, so it’s still perfectly acceptable now). I understand that the Samsungs are pretty good too. You might want to also consider a tablet for him, depending on what he wants to do with it.

          1. My T61 was under 5 lbs. The X series are around 3 lbs (bigger batteries add weight though). They are pricier than consumer laptops but you really do get what you pay for. I have to have the pointer thing ’cause I can’t use a touchpad efficiently. I actually prefer it to a mouse most of the time.

        2. They’re Lenovo “business” machines.Successors to what used to be sold as IBMs.They are light, more durable than consumer laptops, offer all sorts of configurations and have the pointer-stick mouse thing that is so much better than a touchpad. You don’t want the Lenovo “consumer” laptops.

          1. I have one of these also; light and small enough to fit in a briefcase but about as fast as my old business desktop.

    4. For business travel, light and thin. These days, no reason for spinning disk unless you’re editing videos and need that much space.

      More memory the better. I5 CPU is fine, I3 probably is fine, i7 overkill.

      I really like my MacBook Air, but I’m a snob.

      1. Ewwwww Macs! This is actually very helpful, I will keep it in mind.

    5. Oh, and I don’t know what type of user your dad is (ie, if he’s the type running the screen at 800×600 “so he can read it”) — but as someone who stares at screens for way too long, I *really* recommend going high resolution on the screens. A nice, high res, *bright* screen is *much* easier on the eyes.

      My laptop screen (just a plain old Air, not even high-res) puts my work monitors to shame.

    6. What will he be doing with it? A lot of old (or old-ish) people — not sure how old your dad is — more or less just browse the web.

      Actually, that is true of a lot of young people…

      Anyway, if that is the case, it might be worth looking at a Chromebook. Its functionality will be limited compared to a regular PC, but for a neophyte it will be a lot simpler to use, and harder to infest with malware.

      1. harder to infest with malware.

        This should be a prime consideration.

        1. Yup. Old people are, err, really “good” at doing that.

      2. My parents run an academic association, so there are a lot of necessary business software things they require.

        The malware thing….yeahh. He’s a guy.

  14. ok…I’m listening to a moron explaining how NFL cheerleaders are exploited…does it get better?

    1. I can think of nothing better than personally exploiting an NFL Cheerleader.

      Yowza!

  15. Apparently, Bryan Cranston is going to star in a movie about LBJ. Talk about a waste of a fine actor – almost certainly lionizing one of the biggest piece-of-shit Top Men in modern history.

      1. No, I redact that. FDR was America’s Hitler.

      2. Hitler was Germany’s LBJ, that’s how bad LBJ was.

    1. I wonder if they’ll include LBJ talking about how he would have “those niggers” voting Democrat for the next 200 years?

    2. It’s a play, I think, not a movie.

    1. I actually do need to refill my water.

      I see your purpose now.

      1. I need to our myself a glass of “water”

    2. Excelsior!

    3. Going the extra mile for you people by posting this from my phone.

      http://youtu.be/Vvy0wRLD5s8

  16. Anybody have advice for removing scratches from a car? I was too careless this morning, and some of the ice on my car slid down the hood and fucked it up. Is there any hope of a body shop buffing them out for a reasonable price? Doing it myself is a last resort, because I suck at that sort of thing.

    1. Auto paint tech has been changing like crazy; how old?

      1. Brand new: 2013 Honda Accord.

        1. Too new for me. I’d go directly to the dealer; they’ll know what can be used without causing more damage.

          1. Okay, that’s 2 recommendations to check with the dealer. I shall do so. Thanks, folks.

            1. The absolute worst paint work I ever had done was by a dealer (warranty).

              YMMV of course if you have a great dealer, but personally I’d check a trusted independent body/collision shop first.

            2. How bad are the scratches?

              If they aren’t thru the clear-coat, you can rub them out or get one of the little pens and then polish it out. If you can see primer, or steel, then you need a pro.

    2. Don’t know about buffing but you can get touch-up paint from the dealer. They should have your exact color in a little nail polish like container. You might be able to touch it up if the scratches aren’t horrible.

    3. I usually just throw it out and get a new one, but if you really want to hold onto it for sentimental reasons, rubbing compound.

      1. Hey, not all of us are government employees.

      2. A lot of the new paint is too flexible for rubbing compound; you’ll end up with ‘rub marks’.
        Now, good ol’ Nitro-cellulose lacquer! Well, let me tell ya!

        1. They’ve got stuff like ‘Imperial Glaze’ that works great on new paints.

    4. You could try buffing it out yourself with a rag and a scratch removing compound, it’s basically a mild abrasive.

      http://www.amazon.com/Mothers-…..ch+remover

  17. AHHH! Cavut…. oh.

    1. Premature Independentation

  18. Yup, judge’s hair is darker than Tuesday or Monday or whatever damn day that was. He’s aging backwards.

  19. Kennedy, the shape of this shirt-like thing is not flattering on you at all, my gosh. You’re so much hotter than this.

    1. This is why… Oh wait

  20. Is it just me or is the Judge somewhat . . . cool to Kennedy?

    1. (psst. He’s gay)

  21. Didn’t start the Republican Party. One of the early adopters.

  22. Producer Decides = Empty chair more interesting than Suderman?

    1. It was when Eastwood was talking to it.

  23. He fought the slaves and freed the vampires.

    1. This sounds like the first line of a Broadway musical.

      1. The Book of Lincoln?

  24. The Judge’s solution? Throw money at it.

  25. He wanted to abolish slavery gradually and peacefully. The war kind of blindsided him.

    1. The Cotton Gin would have abolished most of the demand for slavery.

  26. I think they locked the Judge in a closet (no pun) because he’s wearing the same suit AND tie.

    I notice these things.

    The hair we’ve already discussed. I vote = salt&peppa; is better.

  27. What the show really needs to do to add to its rabid fanbase is create more opportunities to accuse libertarians of racism.

    1. Tariffs!

  28. Kmele…just call Lincoln an asshole

  29. Assholes are complex men

  30. The Judge is on a roll!

  31. Finally, Wilson! No more ambiguity about a President’s assholeness!

  32. Couldn’t the segment have just popped the bubble of Wilson and FDR, first? But nooooooo we had to Go Full Lincoln…

    1. You never go full Lincoln.

  33. Jesus, you can’t say that stuff about Progressive Hero Woodrow Wilson! Segregating the army? Only because the conservatives made him.

    1. TCM is showing the 1944 movie Wilson next week (I’d have to look up the exact day and time). There’s a scene in which he and Edith are serving coffee to troops going off to World War I, and Wilson gives a speech to them about Americans of all races coming together, because there’s an Irishman and an Italian assembled, among others. Or some similar collection of various European immigrant groups But no black people. And of course, the military was still segregated in 1944.

      The movie is thoroughly hagiolatrous, but Alexander Knox who plays Wilson does a damn good job, and would have been a worthier Oscar winner than Bing Crosby.

      1. That movie really sucks. I tried to watch it last time TCM aired it and even recorded it to try again.

        Franklin D. Roosevelt showed the film at the September 1944 Second Quebec Conference with Winston S. Churchill. Churchill was unimpressed, however, leaving in the midst of the film to go to bed.

      2. “Paris 1918” did a better job than most of honestly presenting his incompetence and hypocrisy.

  34. Look at that…as I type, they transfer to Wilson..

  35. Uh, Lady President from 24 was the best fake president. Hands down. Or Tiny Lister. Or Jimmy Carter.

  36. I hate to say this as the resident Welch fangirl, but while I’ve missed him this week, I haven’t really noticed he’s been gone.

    Clearly someone needs to contribute more to discussions.

  37. Why do I feel so Protestant after that diatribe?

  38. Moynihan doesn’t get a regular guest shot tonight? I smell behind the scenes problems.

  39. Those two things he just said are contradictory.

  40. The founding fathers created the culture of SLAVERY

  41. The founders were libertarians, except they had one problem, the oppression of…prostitutes, drunks and promiscuous women!

      1. what’s wrong with oppressing prostitutes? I pay extra when I do it.

  42. omg, just do him

  43. Bash Lincoln some more!

    Holy *&^%!

  44. I’m beginning to not like Daniel Day-Lewis now.

  45. Freed slaves oppressed to work hard and marry – because they wouldn’t want to do this on their own!

    1. Freedman’s Bureau? Public school, sounds like.

  46. Phew! I was worried we were getting off the “how racist are libertarians?”-subject for 5 mins.

  47. Obama is behind the curve then.

  48. Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, without a doubt. He knows shit’s bad right now, with all that starving bullshit, and the dust storms, and that we’re running out of french fries and burrito coverings. But he’s got a solution.

      1. Were you planning on going fishing later?

  49. I always wondered what happened to that kid after Eight is Enough

  50. Do you know who else named Thad was involved with Reconstruction?

  51. Okay, I feel like a cog in a lengthy retarded dna experimnent. You realize people actually admire house of cards, right?

    1. Yes. Spacey is an oddly appealing sociopath. Like a dialed-down Tony Soprano sense.

      We’ve watched two hours of S2 already tonight. It’s a terrible guilty pleasure, but I enjoy mocking the characters and the way overheated plot, particularly the hapless weather vane of a president and all the other characters who occupy the world for the purpose of being manipulated by Veep Spacey.

    2. I’ll guess that’s the TV show? I can’t even bother to watch this one.

      1. It’s actually pretty good. My wife is Russian, with no political aspirations, and she loves it.

  52. I’m pretty sure Obama gets more death threats than all other presidents combined. Because he’s blackish.

  53. I, too, am an imbiber of twelve oz. “things”

    1. I think there is even a ban on talking about “getting drunked” on TV

  54. A Cosmo-style quiz on whether someone is a potential assassin?

  55. “We have a zero error rate”

    I beg to differ.

  56. Stick your questionaire into your gigantic asshole.

  57. Mike makes good point = do we need a new “idiot patrol” in the secret service…?

    …and also, some people to check on the twitter threats?

  58. Ya know, I don’t think the results of screwing up would actually be all THAT catastrophic. Except in terms of unbearable media saturation obviously.

    1. This. What problems have presidential assassinations caused?

      1. The two Johnsons.

        1. And Teddy Roosevelt.

      2. GASP! but… James Garfield?!

      3. I guess you could count the Brady Campaign…

      4. “The two Johnsons.”

        I’ll rephrase: What problems have presidential assassinations caused that couldn’t have been fixed by more assassinations?

      5. I cant buy rifles through the mail. Fuck you Lee Harvey Oswald.

        1. No C&R license?
          I don’t have one only because it would destroy my 33%+ income savings plan

    2. I lost track because Mrs.Gin was talking, but if you’re saying what I think you’re saying, it would be *catastrophic*.

      Thompson Biden would champion the anti-dog-eat-dog law, and ram it through (because otherwise the republicans are racists).

      1. Yeah, but no one is afraid of laughing at Biden; they can’t be called racists!

      2. Given how absolutely awful Obama is , the words President Biden no longer inspire fear. In fact, if Biden were Pres and Obama Vice, that argument would be stronger.

  59. That headlight costs you, taxpayer.

  60. Everyone’s favorite president is a commie, apparently.

    1. Kind of depressing, isn’t it?

    2. In the 21st century, we don’t call people retarded or communists anymore.

      They’re just intellectually disabled.

    3. That’d be FDR? That suggests he actually had a consistent thought; let’s say the “accidental communist”.

      1. A president that will live in infamy…

  61. WTF

    Kmele put on a tie during the break?

    They’re definitely drunk already.

  62. I got a tour of the limo when the SS stopped to get fuel at Ellsworth. Hung out with them for about an hour.

  63. Tell us something cool about the presidential limo.

    “It’s a Cadillac Escalade.”

    Um…so? No cool gadgets or gizmos? Like a beer fountain or something?

    1. Only got to walk around the outside, it was strapped down in the back of a C-130. It weighs a shit-ton. I think they said something like 20K lbs? Had windows that were over an inch thick.

      1. It weighs a shit-ton.

        I remember watching a special on it one time. The only thing they really conveyed was that it is sufficiently armored, as it should be.

  64. Hey all! Longtime lurker, first time poster. Had a question for the keen minds of the Reason commentariat… I’m looking to buy some prescriptions from Canada. Any recommendations for a reliable website to purchase through?

      1. Haha yeah sorry that sounds like a huge trap. I really am just that much of a square.

        Would it help if I told you that I’m actually watching the Independents?

        1. Well, shit, then you’ve already seen all the advertisements for boner pills you need on there.

          1. I was hoping for some of those high-grade Canadian boner pills.

            1. I spose I can just do some Googling. Thanks anyway. Back to lurking.

              1. I have nothing to offer except snark.

                1. But what beautiful snark it is.

                  1. Good, I was worried I had offended you. Welcome aboard. I have no sources for black market boner pills. I have sources for black market light bulbs, though.

                    1. Nah, if I were easily offended I would know better than to dip my toe in these waters.

        2. Who won the 92 Libertarian World Series?

          1. The White Gloves!

          2. Pssh easy. The Dream Team.

          3. The West Idaho Monocles?

    1. If you like your Topical Storm, you can keep it!

  65. Any idiot can fly a biplane.

  66. If we can’t have the Judge, the sassy, well-dressed pedestrian should be a permanent panel member.

  67. Moynihan: “what was hoover on?”

    I’m going for Opiates. Laudanum.

    1. SweatingGin|2.14.14 @ 9:33PM|#
      “Moynihan: “what was hoover on?””

      Clyde Tolson?

  68. “High on tarrifs” is actually a good joke.

    Slow clap.

  69. That ruined Spider-Man for me.

    1. Uh, the really creepy Obama/Marvel crossover shit hadn’t already done that?

      1. I thought he was the villain in that.

        1. I wouldn’t know. Marvel is beneath me.

  70. Two presidents died. Jefferson and Adams.

    1. Is that all? Whew!

    2. TRICK QUESTION ALL OF THEM REAGAN AND PRIOR ARE ALREADY DEAD SO THE NUMBER IS….

      …shit… come on…

      ….uh…..

      40

  71. “African American Express Black Card”

    *yow*

  72. Jefferson, Adams…who was the third?

      1. Google says Monroe.

    1. James Monroe, evidently.

      1. WHY DID YOU ASK IF YOU ALREADY KNEW?

        1. I SEARCHED AFTER I ASKED GEEEZ.

          1. YOU OWE ME ONE GOOGLE.

            1. YOU CAN PRY IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS.

    2. The president from Armageddon. (Little known fact: he was also the president in The Rock.)

      1. Bill Pullman?

        1. You two are idiots. His speech announcing they were launching Ben Affleck into space was greater than anything that ever came out of Obama’s pie hole.

          1. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm002….._fc_cl_t66

            Stanley Anderson.

            nice reference tho. That gets …something points.

        2. Morgan Freeman was the Pres in the other asteroid movie, the one that was even worse than the ‘greatest movie ever’.

  73. I have no doubt whatsoever that Kennedy wouldn’t mind having him use that paddle.

  74. “Thank you gentlemen, and thank you, Thad”

    zing!

    1. …”and aren’t *you* the clever one”

  75. Amity looks like everything Kennedy said to her was a surprise.

    1. She put her eyebrows on too high today.

      1. She put on her shocked face.

  76. We are finally keeping cool with Coolidge.

  77. This lady has a voice like she’d be a fucking riot to drink with.

    1. Excellent observation.

      1. I think its a boston thing? just a guess. She teaches @ NYU business school, writes for the WSJ

  78. Did she just say that Nixon and Clinton masturbated most in office?

    1. In Nixon’s case, golf filled that gap for him.

    2. This is why Nixon always looked so sweaty.

      Clinton didn’t get so sweaty, because he was using someone else’s hand.

  79. Coolidge killed Sandino, didn’t he?

  80. Harding was the second best 20th Century President

  81. I really like Moynihan behind the desk, interviewing.

  82. I really like Moynihan behind the desk, interviewing.

    1. I mean *really*.

      I may buy her book.

      1. I’m tempted to get The Forgotten Man just to read in front of my irritating progressive professors.

        1. The forgotten man is very good.

  83. I didn’t really like Moynihan behind the desk, interviewing.

    1. This is invalid because you didn’t post it twice. Sorry!

  84. Kmele seems to have problems getting his maroon tie with white spots and his maroon hanky with white spots to appear in the same ensemble together.

    Scheduling issues.

    1. Don’t be na?ve. They’re the same piece of cloth.

      1. (Shocked face!)

        DUUUM DUUUUM DUUUUUM DAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!

  85. Belize is looking for immigrants. Or their money, anyway. The Belizan Lou Dobbs is sputtering with rage.

  86. That’s what Jesse Walker looks like?!?

    I pictured him more as … Sullum

    1. This happens a lot. We talked about this.

      its like the Nolte/Busey effect.

      1. We did? I gotta stop blacking out for this show.

  87. Has anyone mentioned that it’s not “President’s Day”, it’s “Washington’s Birthday”?

    … Hobbit

  88. Have they covered the guy in Absolute Power?

  89. If I was president I want to know how McCain still gets elected.

  90. HAH

    I TOLD you.

    1. dweebston wins the thread.

      1. Can I get it wrapped up to go?

    1. Max Frost in Wild in the Streets

  91. Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho

    !!!!
    GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER!

  92. The president from Escape from New York is the best.

    1. Donald Pleasance. 😛

    2. His chimp could wield a mean straight razor.

    3. Good choice.

      Mr. Thompson, from Atlas Shrugged?

    4. Another man duck-walks across the flight deck…. He’s about sixty, with a dirigible of white hair that was not ruffled in any way by the downdraft.
      “Hello, everyone,” he says cheerfully.
      “Who are you?” Tony says.
      The new guy looks crestfallen. “Greg Ritchie,” he says.
      Then, when no one seems to react, he jogs their memory. “President of the United States.”
      “Oh! Sorry. Nice to meet you, Mr. President,” Tony says, extending his hand….

      “Who are you?”
      Snow Crash. If only.

    5. How about the one from Independence Day?

        1. Damn, I forgot about Deep Impact.

          1. Incidentally, “Deep Impact” is also what I call my…well…you know…

  93. “…and, here to set a new low in the Independents attire-contest, we have Jesse “I don’t even button by goddam collar” Walker here, wearing a gym shirt under his… thing… we’re going to roll him back into bed in a minute…”

    1. If it weren’t for The Independents I would never have known that Gilmore was a sartorial hardass. I’m keeping away from you on casual Friday.

      1. I worked for the British for 9 years.

        They have a certain disdain for people who don’t know how to wear a fucking suit. which is another way of saying, “Americans”. They have a point.

        1. In America Lawyers and politicians wear suits.

          1. That’s like saying, “only scumbags wear suits” in the US –

            Politicians/lawyers in America mostly do a very self-conscious “American” thing with ‘the suit’ = they try and make it appear ‘boring’ and uniform-y – they try and strip the ‘class distinction’/personality OUT of it, and boil it down to the most boring, ‘box-shaped’ fundamentals such that it eliminates any kind of social signals. It becomes a completely neutral, boring, !@#$* cookie-cutter BAG they strap on.

            Note that NO ONE in politics wears double-breasted suits? No one wears spread collars? Shit, they hardly ever even have any pattern on their ties, unless they’re on their 10th term and don’t give a fuck.

            Every single one of them is required to strap on square-tailored, 2 button, navy-or-charcoal, Madison-lapelled suit with a white/blue button or point collar, and tie in shades of red or blue. Its boring *by design*.

            Private Lawyers might ‘dress up’ but it usually means they’re EXTRA scumbag.

            This is pretty much exactly what the brits meant by how Americans ‘don’t get it’. We used to have a robust ‘men’s dress’ culture in the 1950-1960s (see: Mad Men); but its been given a sort-of near-death blow by ‘business casual’, and people who DO wear suits for business are either perceived as ‘stiffs’ – or poncy fops. (hipster fashion people = see ad on H&R of beardo-dude with suit)

            I for one seek the liberation of the suit from this political tyranny and social marginalization.

            also, chicks dig it.

    2. Gilmore, please meet Kibby; you two have a lot to discuss.

      1. We will not be discussing anything until he desists from this terrible, awful, no good idea he keeps shouting about replacing Matt.

        1. Oh, stop. No one listens to me. also, I think Matt is the sine qua non of the program. (sorry Kmele. You just keep lookin good, tho)

  94. I VOTE MOYNIHAN FULL TIME

    We can let matt go now. Matt needs to spend more time with his family.

    1. just get Matt some amphetamines to get him talking. Can’t just underbus him, even if is he out cruising tonight.

      1. Moynihan maintains a angry-gerbil-like level of intensity that really brings some spark to the show

      2. Is it all the gin that’s causing the double posts?

        1. First one might have been too much caffeine earlier. This one… I blame the squirrels.

          Maybe the gin.

          1. I like to blame the gin as often as possible. It’s sure to get you some fun looks!

    2. just get Matt some amphetamines to get him talking. Can’t just underbus him, even if is he out cruising tonight.

    3. I warned him on Monday to think about cutting the cruise short.

      1. I wonder what terrible clothes he’ll bring back from this trip to blind us with!

        (Just kidding, Matt. Kind of…)

        1. kibby, please meet Gilmore:
          “…and, here to set a new low in the Independents attire-contest, we have Jesse “I don’t even button by goddam collar” Walker here, wearing a gym shirt under his… thing… we’re going to roll him back into bed in a minute…”

          1. Yeah but Matt dresses up. He just does it in colors & patterns that make our eyes bleed.

            1. Someone please find the clip where Matt appeared in the black-shirt/yellow-tie combo. that was… EPIC

              I think I came up with a name for his fashion-ethic at the time =

              “Pretentious Party Magician”

              it was that, or “ma?tre di of Chez Beetlejuice”, or “Hitman for Gay Mafia”

              1. At least he buttons his shirts.

                Even Kmele seems to misunderstand that open shirts require v-neck t-shirts.

                (I should not be laughing so hard at these monikers for Matt’s terrible fashion sense!)

                1. …I think another one was

                  “Matrix, w/ broken V-Hold”

                  I’m guessing very few people even get that one.

                  1. I don’t. But there are a lot of references around here that I just sort of skip over.

                    1. ha.

                      V/H – hold/shift were the color-adjustment knobs on old analog color TVs

                      These knobs were famous for husbands occasionally tinkering with (“to improve the color!”) – usually during baseball games – despite having absolutely no idea how they actually worked.

                      What inevitably ended up happening is that a family television would take on an entirely unique color palette which people just came to accept over time. it was often subtle and only noticed by strangers who would go, “I thought Starsky and Hutch drove a *red* car…?” or, “When did they start playing tennis on Blue courts?”

                      So = think of it this way:

                      “yes….Morpheus… I heard you…. but I only see a green pill, and that other thing’s hot pink…”

                      like matt’s shirt/ties. They actually don’t clash at all… its just, see, the Matrix.

                    2. ha.

                      V/H – hold/shift were the color-adjustment knobs on old analog color TVs

                      These knobs were famous for husbands occasionally tinkering with (“to improve the color!”) – usually during baseball games – despite having absolutely no idea how they actually worked.

                      What inevitably ended up happening is that a family television would take on an entirely unique color palette which people just came to accept over time. it was often subtle and only noticed by strangers who would go, “I thought Starsky and Hutch drove a *red* car…?” or, “When did they start playing tennis on Blue courts?”

                      So = think Morpheus. Only someone’s jiggled the knobs on the V-hold.

                      “….ok…. you said ‘Blue Pill’?…. all I see here is green… and that’s…uh…. hot pink…. also, nice tie, dude.”

                    3. OK, see? I KNEW you two would have a lot to discuss.
                      (and boy, am I glad neither of you see how my mother dresses me)

                    4. Ahhh, I see! That actually is pretty funny!

                      My grandma had a really old tv at her house that definitely had some funky colors & now I know why…

  95. Glad they mentioned Bob Newhart. Best bonus: Gilda Radner.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Family_(film)

    … Hobbit

  96. “Gene, you have 20 seconds before the end of the show. Go!”

  97. gene really looks like a bundle of laughs. I wonder who he works for??
    ….

    1. He’s no Amity Shlaes.

      1. I liked her! She was fun. and smart as fizzuck.

        1. Her books don’t sparkle, but I’ve yet to leave one unfinished.

        2. For real fun, check out her blood feud with Krugman from a few years back.

          IIRC, Krugman finished by proclaiming that there were no federal stimulus attempts during FDR’s rule, which was probably only the third craziest thing he said before breakfast that day.

          1. I like her even more now.

  98. Healey is right on Harding

  99. Who coined TEAM RED/BLUE?

    First time I heard that was here.

    1. Provenance will be impossible to determine, but Epi gets the nod for making the usage de rigueur around here.

      1. And now they’re using the term on nationally televised news shows.

        Who says libertarians make no positive contribution to the national agenda?

        1. I suspect it was probably more common than we think. Although, like you, I heard it here first.

  100. Moynihan says “out” like a Canadian.

    1. He has some bizarre accent/affectations that I think stem from his time living overseas/his Swedish wife.

      he’s a dude. We met once in BKLYN briefly.

      1. Ah. Makes sense. It’s like hearing American soccer players who’ve played abroad speak… weird mashups of accents.

      2. he’s a dude. We met once in BKLYN briefly.

        “a dude”

        What?

        “We”

        What?

        1. dude = nice guy

          we = (royal)me

  101. Chet Roosevelt (John Ritter) from Americathon.

  102. DOBBS!!(covers eyes)

  103. LOU DOBBZ!!!

    On the plus side, The Matrix is on BBC.

  104. So, what do you think of Abe Lincoln, bewhiskered, joke-telling fascist?

    1. I suspect this episode will get flagged in Right Wing Watch.

      1. I didn’t know that RWW had a problem with libertarianism. The few things I’ve seen about us on there were about how all the socons consider Grover Norquist a dangerous radical (and how!) and that Ron Paul would’ve signed DOMA.

        1. “Napolitano: Syria’s Use Of Chemical Weapons Is Just Like President Clinton’s Murder Of The Branch Davidians”

          http://www.rightwingwatch.org/…..k6HtB.dpuf

  105. Oh look, another one.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..olice.html

    1. I think this might have been on H&R earlier last month. I remember the gumby pic.

      My brother is severely schizo. every time I hear one of these stories I feel sick. Or, even more sick than normal when hearing about this sort of thing.

      I think maybe he’s gotten lucky that he’s had 1-2 episodes over the years and the local cops know what the deal is. Still. Shit happens.

  106. from memory:

    “There’s Taylor, there’s Tyler, there’s Fillmore and there’s Hayes.
    There’s William Henry Harrison.
    I died in thirty days!”

  107. Roll on over that hill over there dude.

    http://www.RealAnon.tk

  108. Sounds like a pretty solid plan to me dude. For sure.

    http://www.GoAnon.tk

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