Donald Trump

California Democrats Seek to Divest from 'racist' Trump, Rebuke 'racist' Ted Cruz

State Senate is 'inciting' me to dream about woodchippers


I apologize. ||| Todd Krainin
Todd Krainin

As if to wrest the slogan of "stupid party" from the GOP, California's ruling Democrats have gazed upon the idiocratic spectacle of Donald Trump and decided to make their one-party governance even worse. Lawmakers last week introduced Senate Resolution 39, calling for the state to "divest from Donald Trump, The Trump Organization, and any affiliated entities," due to his "racist" remarks about immigrants, and also urging "private businesses and individuals throughout California to end all business ties with Donald Trump."

The resolution also "condemns in the strongest terms possible the racist rhetoric against immigrant families made by Presidential candidate Ted Cruz" (evidence for which is Cruz saying that U.S. "policies…have encouraged drug smugglers, child abusers, murderers, and other dangerous criminals"); while also calling for "an end to hate speech and racist rhetoric by all presidential candidates."

As a legal matter—and let's remember, this is a resolution written by lawmakers, a thick chunk of whom are lawyers—"hate speech" is vaporware. Popehat's Ken White recently put it this way: "In the United States, 'hate speech' is an argumentative rhetorical category, not a legal one….This is not a close or ambiguous question of law."

We would never demonize anybody. No, never, never. |||

Worse still is the resolution's whereasian couplet:

Negative, demonizing, and stereotypical rhetoric has no place in the national political discourse; and […]

Racist, hateful speech can incite severe and tragic consequences

That first bit is bunkum, as anyone who has covered California Democrats can attest. Here's the then-chair of the state Democratic Party, John Burton, excoriating President Barack Obama's intentions to even sit down across a table with Republicans back in late 2010:

Just as we do not negotiate with international terrorists, we must stand up to the political terrorism of the Republicans in the United States Senate.

As ever, such negative, demonizing, and stereotypical rhetoric has plenty of place in the national discourse, rarely stirring an eyebrow from righteous Democrats as long as it's directed at the Taliban wing of the Republican Party.

But what's this talk about incitement? Again, there are legal definitions here, which should be relevant to a resolution prepared by lawmakers. Here's Ken White again, in 2013:

speech can only be prohibited as incitement when it satisfies the Brandenburg test — when it is "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action." That's an outgrowth of the famous "clear and present danger" test.

Methinks this is not the standard that California Democrats have in mind. No, considering that SR 39's whereases just preceding the incitement bit include passages such as, "In 2015, the United States has also experienced tragic events that remind us that more work is needed to achieve equality and justice for all persons," and "Recent events throughout the country have moved the nation to engage in meaningful public dialogue on issues including racial equality, gender equality, LGBT equality, immigration, and other civil rights," the implication is pretty clear: We're basically talking about Dylann Roof here.

As far as we know, no one was preparing Dylann Roof for "immininent lawless action," so there is no evidence yet for anything approaching legal incitement. Instead, this inaccurate, speech-infringing colloquial definition of incitement is the same one used by the beseiged U.S. embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012 ("U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement"); the same that the Associated Press deployed in the related headline "YouTube Blocks Video Inciting Violence," and the same that President Barack Obama used in his historically awful Sept. 25, 2012 speech to the United Nations ("Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims").

It is the same bad definition of the word used by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in 2013 to complain to the Philadelphia Human Rights Commission about a magazine article entitled "Being White in Philly" ("its prejudiced, fact-challenged generalizations [are] an incitement to extreme reaction"). It's how lazy liberal writers describe such bland Republican statements as "take back our government." And it's how David Frum slimes the talk radio hosts he despises.

You need not be a fan of either Trump or Ted Cruz to find unseemly a legislature's attempt to politicize the investment decisions of America's largest pension fund. As Scott Shackford reported earlier today, the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS), has returned a meager 2.4% on its money this fiscal year, well under the 7.5% it unreasonably promises. And as Shackford pointed out,

One of the other reasons CalPERS underperforms is because the investment process has been highly politicized, with people calling for investment decisions based not on sound market decisions that will earn the most money, but on rewarding or punishing favored or disfavored options (such disfavored options as investing in guns and tobacco, for example). Why should they care if their social activism is bad business? The returns are guaranteed, so they'll never have to suffer negative consequences for them. Instead, the taxpayers will.

Using underfunded pension funds as a political piñata during a headline storm is one of the cheapest and most disreputable way for California politicians to hog headlines. It's as gross as Donald Trump's face, only more damaging.

And there's something downright unseemly about people who make the laws that send people to jail calling on "private businesses and individuals throughout California to end all business ties with Donald Trump." When the entity with a monopoly on force makes a suggestion about what you should do with your private decisions, the effect is a bit stronger than a throwaway tip.

(Link via the Twitter feed of Joseph Mailander.)

NEXT: Rand Paul Opposes Iran Deal, David Frum Declares His Candidacy Dead (Again)

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  1. Hmmm, let me look. Yep, that’s a First Amendment violation. Trump should sue.

    Oh, and Matt, “State Senate is ‘inciting’ me to dream about woodchippers” is ballsy. Good for you.*

    * In a nonviolent way. This disclaimer brought to you by a slightly less free America.

    1. but he used woodchipper in a way that wasn’t to make fun of us!

      They like us.. THEY REALLY LIKE US!

      1. Well, Matt could be just pandering to Gilmore for better sartorial reviews.

        Which is pointless, because Gilmore would never compromise on fashion. Not even in the face of Armageddon.

        1. NO PAISLEY.

          Or is it parsley?

          No, it’s paisley.

          NO PAISLEY.

      2. No they don’t. It’s all a charade to soften us up for the year end eg-athon Bay.


        1. maybe they should post videos of them wood chipping nannies of the month in effigy… I would pay to see that.

    2. Yeah, the woodchopper* thing is awesome. Way to go, Welch!

      *autocorrect wanted this, and I thought it was too funny not to let it be

  2. Why Welch not BellyFeel Democrat DuckSpeak?

  3. I’m currently enjoying my second campari/bourbon/lime/mint concoction and have a nice buzz going.

    Who can send me the Coles Notes on what Matt is talking about?

    Other than us all being racists now.

    1. Sounds good, but I hope you’re using cheap bourbon. Good bourbon should never be mixed with anything…

      1. ^^THIS^^

        If you must mix it, you shouldn’t drink it.

        1. I plan on mixing myself a Kentucky mule or two later on, and the bourbon I will be using cost $24 for a liter, which I think is pretty cheap.

          1. not a moscow mule?

            1. Vodka and I do not get along.

              1. I’ve been drying out for a couple of weeks. I think I’ll pick up some vodka on the way home.

      2. Fuck that. If I want to mix it, it’s my money. What are you, a communist?

        1. Of course, you can do whatever you want. Just seems like a waste…

          1. By that logic, you should probably switch to cheap bourbon after the first drink. Really, if you can feel it at all, you probably aren’t the best judge of its taste.

        2. no. I believe in public shaming ala Ron Bailey- but only for important things, like booze consumption.

          1. If you have the means, do what the fuck you want. Like change out your Maserati, just because the ash trays are full.

            1. well, My Maserati does 185. I lost my license now I don’t drive.

              1. But Sammy has people to drive for him. It’s win-win.

              2. That’s what happens when you tear hotel walls.

                1. you have accountants pay for it all?

      3. Unfortunately, all I have are Knob Creek and Eagle Rare.

        1. Sacrilege!

          1. On the flip side, good ingredients are the tools of a civilized individual.

    2. california wants the government to not do business with people who say things the government doesn’t like.

    3. california wants the government to not do business with people who say things the government doesn’t like.

  4. I shall change my nick to “The Welching Woodchipper”

    1. That sounds like an entry in the Steampunk Kamasutra.

  5. I believe the mayor of Boston said that Trump has to apologize or he will not be allowed to build hotels in the city.

    1. Trump should tell him, publicly, to such his dick.

      I loathe self-righteous assholes.

      1. Ha, suck his dick.

        I have no idea what suching a dick is.

      2. There are very, very few things that would make me inclined to vote for Trump. Publicly telling an elected official to suck his dick would be one of those things.

        1. and as Trump will tell you, his dick is much longer than what is being reported by the media.

          1. up to 100% longer.

            1. So four inches?

              1. You size queen, you!

    2. “I’m sorry you’re such a douchebag with no idea what class is. Like how Trump Tower oozes class, how my haircut projects class, how everything I do is about being classy.”

      *cuts ribbon on Trump Boston Mexican Village Tower*

    3. That alone should be actionable. Again, Trump can say anything he fucking wants, and government can’t legally do anything about it so long as it’s protected speech, which all of this is.

      Of course, government now routinely acts illegally.

  6. This nonsense really needs to end. The only way that will happen is if people stop fucking tolerating it. I swear to God that I think I’m living in a Fahrenheit 451 prequel. “Just a wafer-thin restraint on speech, sir.”

    1. Am I mixing up Fahrenheit 451 and The Meaning of Life?

      1. No, but I am. The end of Fahrenheit 451: The Beginning involves a fat guy exploding, purportedly because of a book he read. The outcry for bans begins then.

        1. Right. God, that is such an overrated book. Needed more hordes of topless women running around.

          1. First, I quite like that book. Second you aren’t reading carefully: All of the women are topless in the novel.

    2. Californians should all have a bumper sticker which reads, “i tolerate nonsense and I vote!”

  7. It’s amazing how the language they use quite clearly reveals what they actually think of 1) diversity of opinion within their state (it doesn’t exist, CA must be a monolithic progressive stronghold, because they won election, duh), and 2) themselves in relation to the state. They sure don’t seem to see any distinction between themselves and their opinions and what they think those of the state of CA should be. Which is sort of the attitude a sovereign has, isn’t it? The king is the state and the state is the king?

    Fuck, politicians are scum. Total scum.

    1. Of course, there are millions of Republicans and other forms of non-Democrat in California.

      1. millions? what’s that, like 12 per square mile?

        1. It’s true. Think about it, all of the crazy lefty shit imposed on all of those Republicans, independents, and libertarians. It’s actual oppression, just like they claim they fight against. Because a majority is all that matters. Nothing else. Not liberty. Not justice. Not ethics. Not reality. Just might.

          1. The scary thing is…I reckon we’re losing this battle.

            I’m impressed I can still type.

          2. Tyranny of the motherfucking majority, man. Tyranny of the MOTHERFUCKING majority.

            1. Tyranny is tyranny. It doesn’t matter how many people think doing something wrong is okay. It’s still wrong. The majority was all for slavery for most of human history, including a nice, big chunk of American history. And denying women the vote. Maybe even genocide in some cases. The majority can be just as oppressive and evil as one lunatic.

              1. It’s worse, because there’s no one to blame and they often don’t see the problem with it for generations.

                The tyranny of the majority is a way of life for we few, stubborn fools.

                1. What’s even worse is how much is happening here because of the silence of the majority. I think a good deal of the evil and stupid shit happens because most of us just want to live our lives and not deal with these horrible people, who aren’t even the majority.

              2. THIS. For virtually all of motherfucking history, every culture, every where was just hunky dory with slavery. Then some White Western Male Christians (mostly Quakers) decided hey maybe slavery sucks and they fought tooth and nail to get it abolished. And so now every bad thing is, of course, their fault.

                1. When has a majority ever advocated freedom? Even the founding was largely led by a minority.

            2. John Stuart Mill who?

              1. John Stuart Mill who?

                Probably some slave-owning jerk.

          3. Projection, ProL. They are the purest example of projection I’ve ever seen. If they accuse someone else of it, they do it. If they say you think it, they think it. If they say these are your motivations, those are their motivations. And so on. It’s really quite reliable, actually.

            1. I’d like to project them. In a nonviolent, friendly way. To the Moon.

              1. Whatever, Pro Kramden. As long as I’m not Ed. Or Alice. Or Trixie.

                1. No, you can stay. I have plans to breed you with a feminized SugarFree. You know, for eugenics purposes.

                  1. O Rly? You have my attention now. Of course, if he doesn’t end up looking like Deborah Ann Woll, you will have failed and will be punished. SEVERELY.

                    Ok, carry on.

                    1. She’ll look horrific, but, out of respect for our many years of commenting together, I’m supplying a very nice paper bag.

                    2. Obviously, this breeding program will last thousands of years, so this is just the beginning. We’re looking to develop weaponized semen, controllable by the mind.

                    3. Look, I already do the bag thing with your mom. Either get him looking like either Woll, Alison Brie, or Aya Cash, or you will be punished.

                    4. What about an overweight German bar maid? Does no one have that fetish? I mean, c’mon!

                    5. Look, I already do the overweight German bar maid thing with your mom. Try again.

                    6. The back of SF’s head looks a lot like the back of Ms Woll’s head, if you just concentrate on that, you have nothing to complain about.

                      Looking anywhere else is your own fault. You were warned.

                    7. Look, do you fucking love science or not?

        2. More like 11. Of which 9 are in hiding lest they risk having their cars vandalized and 2 are the ones driving around with the old Ron Paul bumper stickers.

      2. I’m beginning to feel like I’m the only Libertarian in California. It sucks because my intelligent, well-researched vote gets cancelled out by millions of uninformed idiot’s votes.

        1. Don’t be silly. There are a number of libertarians there. There are the ones at Reason’s HQ, and there are any number of insane hermits living in the desert.

          1. 4 is a number.

            1. Millions of Republicans and independents, many tens of libertarians.

                1. we can take solace in that what’s popular isn’t always whats right…

                  curiously, of those 10s, any women?

                  1. I believe at least one ten of women. It was two tens, but it turned out one ten had Y chromosomes.

                    1. And an 8″ clitoris.

          2. I’m one of the hermits in the Southern California desert.
            *sobs, looks at thermometer that reads 108… sobs more heavily*

          3. I’m HERE!!! And one of the kids is already a devotee of Uncle Milty – at 17. I think that counts as 2.

          4. How many of the people at Reason were stupid enough to vote for Obama? They flat out admitted that social signaling was more important than liberty to them.

    2. Can you condense this into easier language for me to read? I see a lot of words but not sure what they mean when read together. Something about Linus raping Sally….

      It’s now my third pseudo-Negroni.

      1. like she wasn’t begging to share his blankie

        1. When I watch the Peanuts Gang drunk I see future porn scenes.

      2. They think I’m slow, eh?

        1. Even with my wife giving me stern looks and drunk, I catch all Simpsons references.

  8. Can the government divest itself from dealings with companies and people who aren’t guilty of breaking the law/federal or state guidelines in any contract entanglements?

    1. I could swear I read something about this being litigated. It’s pretty hard to track all investment decisions, but if they flat out say they’re doing something due to speech alone, it really should be illegal.

      1. How bout we just stop letting the government make investment decisions period?

    2. Why couldn’t they?

      1. No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts ….

        Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution

        1. I’m sure Judge Humpty Penaltax would interpret that differently than you.

  9. Negative, demonizing, and stereotypical rhetoric has no place in the national political discourse; and [?] Racist, hateful speech can incite severe and tragic consequences[…]

    “Especially the speech we happen not to like! Which is the same thing, by the way!”

    1. It’s nice to have racist opponents.

  10. One of the other reasons CalPERS underperforms is because the investment process has been highly politicized,

    … and not just because of its silly name.

    Why should they care if their social activism is bad business?

    Just ask Macy’s

  11. calling for “an end to hate speech and racist rhetoric by all presidential candidates.”

    Ha! They missed banning “hate rhetoric and racist speech”!

    1. They should enact a law banning language that offends anyone. Really, let’s just get it over with. Who knows, maybe the Court will uphold it as a hallmark of the Tax power.

      1. They should enact a law banning language that offends anyone.

        Right on. “The STFU Act of 2015”.

        1. I think we should encourage that through petitions and favorable articles.

          1. Who could *possibly* be against banning language that serves only to offend people?

            1. Exactly. Really, California, why do you allow such offensive speech to continue? Do you, in fact, endorse it?

      2. I think they should enact a law banning speech that doesn’t offend white heterosexual males.

  12. This is all just so that democrats can blatantly attract brown people to their party; free speech is secondary to power.

  13. Just as we do not negotiate with international terrorists, we must stand up to the political terrorism of the Republicans in the United States Senate.

    “It’s not hate speech when we say it!”

  14. I thought they were the “evil party”

  15. typical leftards. Their arguments are so great and convincing that all other opinions, even obnoxious ones made by Donald Trump, must be banned for them to prevail.

    This is all just part of the Left’s continuing war on free speech and free ideas and its never ending quest to criminalize opposition.

  16. ‘racist’ Ted Cruz

    Finally, they admit that non-whites can be racist too.

    1. He’s like that guy who shot that kid.

    2. No, he’s one of those ‘white Hispanics.’

    3. He’s technically Hispanic, but his father opposed the government of our Hispanic ally nation to the southeast.

  17. Negative, demonizing, and stereotypical rhetoric has no place in the national political discourse

    Sure it does. Politicians use it all the time to gin up war fever. And progressives are incessant with demonizing their opponents as sub-human, stupid, racist, evil, etc.

  18. Judging from the 1% return CALPERS had in 2012, it seems that they have already divested themselves of all Trump companies — indeed, divested themselves of any company that even arguably makes a profit.

    1. No oil, no profit.

      1. Not true. According to the Economist, socially responsible investing does not result in lower returns.…..-gas-fight

        Makes you wonder where CalPers is putting its money.

        1. including blockades of offices, protests at art galleries sponsored by oil firms and a 1960s-style “love-in” in which agitators lay in a bed outside one of David Cameron’s offices in an effort to persuade the prime minister to become greener

          Just when you thought the US was becoming unbearably infantile, there’s the UK to show us how it’s done.

  19. Trump should jump in a private plane, fly somewhere, get picked up in an SUV, stop off at a McDonalds (preferably one located inside of a Wal-Mart), purchase ammunition at the Wal-Mart, and then head off to a shooting range. Just go all out.

    1. He lacks the credibility to do that, given his past looniness in other regards, but I think a true FUCK YOU ALL maverick could make headway these days.

      1. He does lack the credibility, and you are right a true fuck you all person could make headway. Trump is a buffoon and he is getting a pretty welcome reception, with someone like Sean Hannity saying he could win. And a fucking socialist is also being accepted. We need an out and out asshole, preferably a smoker.

        1. Um, Oba… Never mind, too obvious.

          1. Executive order says third term.

            1. No I doubt that. The whole President thing is starting to interfere with his golf game. Everyone’s got to have priorities.

              1. Plus, speaking fees pay way better.

        2. We already have one of those;

  20. The Market does a horrible job of punishing hate speech. It also rewards sociopaths and parasites in addition to forcing people to adhere to the majority opinion.

    *change one word to make this true

  21. So, Matt – that “libertarian moment” you and Nick swear is right around the corner . . . You were just joking around with us. Amirite?

  22. The problem with Californian politicians is the electorate agrees with their fascism.

    1. You realize if people would just agree with them they wouldn’t have to do this.

      1. Smile and nod, while inwardly seethe . . . Good thing Sacramento can’t read our minds

    2. Fascism of the people and by the people, with a happy face 🙂 I’m really not going to eventually miss this place.

  23. Just caught the Franchise Four during the MLB All-Star game.

    Fucken yeah, Dawson, Raines, Carter and Guerrero!

    /wipes tear.

    1. Tim Wallach is crying over his exclusion.

      1. I loved Wallach but he’s just behind them.

        Steve Rogers too.

    2. No Randy Johnson? I know they traded him early but sheesh was that the most productive farm system or what?

  24. Just out of curiosity, if lawmakers explicitly take action against a specific, named citizen’s 1A rights, can that citizen sue them directly and personally?

    1. Hey, if they can make a law to specifically target that Facebook guy, what’s disallowed?

    2. There’s no right to government investment in your business. California isn’t doing anything coercive to Mr. Trump, so no he can’t sue.

      1. Yes but encouraging private businesses to boycott Trump is certainly chilling. I hope he sues. Would be great comedy too.

        1. It’s just noise. Now, if they passed legislation preventing people or organizations from investing, that’s a different matter.

  25. I got to the party late but…

    “State Senate is ‘inciting’ me to dream about woodchippers”

    Welch you magnificent bastard! If I ever meet you, drinks are on me.

  26. What the heck is going on with the camera work at Fox? Lord me.

  27. So, when are they going to boycott Al Sharpton for inciting that anti-Semitic riot in Brooklyn that killed those two guys?

    1. Did Al incite with partner, Woody Chipper? If no, then – no. Like is not fair. Al Sharpton is not in shackles

      1. Life, dammit. Life is not fair

  28. “As if to wrest the slogan of “stupid party” from the GOP, California’s ruling Democrats …”

    I thought it was common knowledge that the absolute dumbest pols on the planet by several orders of magnitude were California Democrats.

    1. No, sorry Georgia Democrats still have them beat.

      Congressman Hank Johnson fears Guam will tip over, March 25, 2010

  29. “State Senate is ‘inciting’ me to dream about woodchippers”

    *** Reason Comments Theme Song ***
    To the tune of the Dr. Pepper song

    I need a wood chipper and i’m proud.
    I used to feel alone in a crowd.
    But now you look around these days
    and it seems there’s a wood chipper CRAZE!

    I’m a Chipper, he’s a Chipper, she’s a Chipper, we’re a Chipper!
    Wouldn’t you like to be a Chipper too?

    Us Chippers are an interesting breed.
    The thugs ground into paste is what we need
    Ask any Chipper and they’ll say “Only a wood chipper makes them pay!”

    I’m a Chipper, he’s a Chipper, she’s a Chipper, we’re a Chipper!
    Wouldn’t you like to be a Chipper too?

    I’m a Chipper, he’s a Chipper, she’s a Chipper,
    if you need a wood chipper you’re a Chipper too!

    1. LA Chippers vs LA Clippers? Chippers by 11

  30. Bill of attainder anyone?

  31. Matt, the word you were trying to use is “buncombe”, not “bunkum”. Haven’t you read H. L. Mencken?


  32. Republicans are not a race. They are a, ahem, diverse group of people united by the cause of shitting on all of humanity so they and their billionaire friends can steal as much money as possible from it. Not a race. Glad to clear that up.

    1. Says the tax loving, central bank supporting, kleptocratic state worshipping buffoon.

  33. This is great news. With the kleptocracy’s Inner and Outer party at each other’s throats in the State House, maybe Californians will rouse to the existence of a party that votes against the tax confiscations that caused the latest Bush crash and depression–and against the fanatical prohibitionism that provided the pretext and incentive for the mess.

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