A.M. Links: GOP Debate Tonight, Bernie vs. Hillary, Apple vs. FBI


  • CNN

    The remaining Republican candidates will face off tonight at a presidential debate in Houston.

  • Mitt Romney is challenging Donald Trump to release his tax records. "We have good reason to believe that there's a bombshell in Donald Trump's taxes," Romney said. "Either he's not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn't been paying taxes we would expect him to pay or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to vets or to the disabled like he's been telling us he's been doing."
  • Bernie Sanders "is blaming America's poverty crisis on Hillary—for her husband's welfare policy."
  • "Fearing that the government may be able to order it to bypass security features in newer-model phones, Apple has quietly begun working on enhancements that would prevent the company from updating the software of an iPhone without knowing a user's password, according to individuals familiar with the effort."
  • Ammon Bundy and nine others involved in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon appeared in federal court yesterday, where they entered pleas of not guilty to federal conspiracy charges.

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  1. The remaining Republican candidates will face off tonight at a presidential debate in Houston.

    Ironic that Trump’s two remaining rivals are brownish.

    1. Hello.

    2. Bit of a stretch for Cruz. I think his father was 100% Spanish.

      1. So white, but not white-white.

        1. My cousin, who is Spanish/American dual citizen, lives in San Francisco. Someone actually said to her “you can’t be Spanish, you’re white”.

          1. I get this crap a lot, because my grandfather is half Basque, half Mexican. The Basque half is what he looks like, typical northern Spanish, Southern French looks, in other words, white. And my mom and I inherited those looks, not the Mexican part.

          2. I get this too. My father was from Brazil. People sometimes tell me, “You don’t look Brazilian.” What does a Brazilian look like?

            1. You know who else looked like a Boy from Brazil?

              1. Hitler’s son after he moved there?

          3. I’m 1/4 Mexican, and other than a tendency to tan rather than burn, look about as white as can be. If course, I don’t “identify as” Mexican, so nobody cares.

            Mutts rule, I say.

  2. Good morning

    1. Good morning Rufus.

      *stops, checks handle*

      *Voice rising with suspicion* Where’s Rufus?

      1. I’m right here.

        The question is, how is Ted taking Man City’s win yesterday!

        1. Whew! “Everyone, cancel the search parties.”

          Apparently, Pellegrini’s comments amount to “I told you so.”

          Next year will be interesting for Guardiola if Man City wins the League Cup and the Champions League this year.

          1. I don’t think anyone is taking out Barca and even then, Man City does not have the class to take out Bayern or even Juve.

            The only two teams left with any hope of beating Barca are the two sides contesting a R-16 tie – the aforementioned Bayern-Juve.

            I don’t know how you can stop Barca. Juve did a great job (sans Chiellini) in the final in 2015 containing their wound-up, high pressure tactic but one of those three is bound to break through over 90 minutes.

            Arsenal had the right mind to try and match and pressure but they couldn’t do it for the whole match.

            1. By three, of course, I mean the attack of Messi, Suarez and Neymar. One (Messi) is lethal coming up the middle slicing through with through-balls given, the other is clinical in the air (Suarez) and the other (Neymar) devastating coming off the wing and cutting/weaving in and out of the box – all accurate in their kicks.

              You would need Baresi, Maldini, Cannavarro and The Kaiser to stop that.

        2. We need to clear this up, what team does everyone follow?

          I am a Spurs guy, in case anyone cares.

          1. in case anyone cares.

            Speaking for everyone that posts here, and I mean everyone, we do not care.

            1. *Sadly deflates soccer ball he is holding, walks away weeping*

          2. In England? Liverpool. *ducks*

            Loathe both Manchesters and Chelsea.

            1. It’s ok to hate Arsenal too.

              1. Pity, maybe. No hatred here.

            2. (looks scathingly upon Rhywun through fishy London is Blue eyes)

            3. A fellow traveler, Rhywun. Excellent. Sturridge staying fit for the last month is quite the feat. Three games in a week, though, so we’ll see.

            4. Same YNWA

          3. The take on Fiorentina today!

            That should be a fun one.

            1. They are great to watch this year with their relentless attacking. A lot of guys out today, but should still be a good match.

              Also nice to have Kane around until he is inevitably transferred to Real.

              1. “Real Madrid’s Harry Kane!”

          4. It’s well known here that I’m a suffering Liverpool supporter.

            We’ll make it 19 one day.

            1. I hope they let Klopp spend this summer.

          5. I like Fulham, so I’m in the market for a new team since it’ll be two decades before they make it back to the Premiership. Maybe longer if Khan’s health holds up.

            I was partial to the turn of the millennium Man U teams, but I keep getting told that appreciating a mostly homegrown team that could play any type of game makes me a bad person.

            1. makes me a bad person

              Or hopelessly nostalgic. Those days are long gone.

              1. Yeah, “kept getting told” would have been more accurate. I could only care a little bit less about Man U than I do right now.

                I’ll still watch soccer when it’s on, but I just don’t care to follow it like I did ten years ago. It’s too much effort.

          6. Everton.

            The first game of theirs I saw was the infamous, possibly fixed, game vs Wimbledon to avoid relegation.

          7. Stoke. Looking for a mid-tier team that could surprise one year.

            1. I like Stoke this year – they did some clever acquisitions.

            2. You should have gone with Leicester.

              1. +1 Jamie Vardy



            sorry, not sure what came over me there.

          9. Man City.

            Though I would be totally not sad if Leicester City managed to pull it off this year.

          10. Chelsea. KTBBFH! Pride of London, and all that other shit….

  3. “We have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes,” Romney said.

    Romney isn’t paying attention. It won’t matter what’s in there.

    1. His not understanding this, is another example of the clueless leaders of the GOP.

      1. It’s also kind of a dick move since the Dems used that against Romney in 2012.

        1. Yeah, when did he turn into Harry Reid II?

          1. It’s Harry Reids all the way down.

        2. My thoughts as well.

          Romney’s an asshole, who woulda thunk it?

      2. Yeah, he doesn’t get that if you’re popular enough, your followers will excuse any indiscretion. He doesn’t get this because he has no experience with this level of popularity.

        1. Other than the fact that his opponent in the last presidential election was able to take advantage of it.

          1. Of course, maybe the only reason Obama’s popularity appeared to increase in the months prior to November 2012 is that people were unconsciously or consciously adjusting their answers based on their perception of Romney.

        2. Robby’s hair could have told him that it takes more than mere fabulousness.

    2. There is a bombshell, only it’s in my pants.


    3. “We have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes,” Romney said.

      Assuming his taxes are in good shape, Donald should sue Romney for defamation. Let’s find out who sent Romney to drop this steaming pile on Trump’s campaign.

  4. Bernie Sanders “is blaming America’s poverty crisis on Hillary?for her husband’s welfare policy.”

    Scapegoating a man, a classic case of manscaping.

    1. Being a leftist means never having to prove your narrative like there being a poverty crisis.

      1. Compared to western-style democracies, the rest of the world is a poverty crisis.

    2. The pure, concentrated evil required to mention manscaping in regards to Bernie….

      Truly, you belong among us.

      1. Bernie keeps it trim down there, it is known. For the ladies.

        1. Trims below, glues remains on top.

          1. *frantically searches for barf bag*

          2. OH NO…Bernie’s pasted on pate vs Donald’s Hair?!?!?!?!

          3. Jewish ingenuity.

            1. And frugality.

    3. *smile spreads across face, rises to applaud*

    4. manscaping.

      I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  5. There’s a poll making the rounds today on how 20% of Trump supporters oppose the emancipation proclamation, and another 37% or some such wish the South had won the war. The pants shitting and pearl clutching articles will write themselves. No articles will be written as to why anyone would bother asking these moronic questions.

    1. OK, but are they legit** poll results?

      ** Assuming such things exist

    2. Or the reasons for their opposition. The Emancipation Proclamation was just a clever piece of propaganda that had no real legal effect and was not applicable to slaves in states fighting for the Union.

      1. Yeah, I’m sure that’s the reason.

        And you could say the same thing for the Declaration of Independence.

        1. Expending limited government resources on a then-divisive waste of time?

          1. How was it a waste of time? I’ve never gotten this argument. It didn’t free that many slaves immediately (it’s a myth that it didn’t apply to any – there were some areas already under Union occupation that it did apply to), but it meant that slaves anywhere the Union took would be free. Which is both moral and helpful to the war effort. I don’t see how the fact that most of the benefits weren’t immediate means it was a waste of time.

            1. Meh. Whatever. I’m fine with Emancipation Proclamation. I’m just pointing out that there is room for criticism.

              1. But your criticisms are absurd. The war was already divisive, by definition, orders of magnitude more than the Emancipation Proclamation. The resources expended issuing it were miniscule.

                And, again, all your criticisms apply equally the Declaration of Independence.

            2. “There were some areas already under Union occupation that it did apply to”

              Where? Could you link an article or book? As we know this wasn’t true for Union occupied Hampton Roads, New Orleans, and the state of Tennessee.

              As William Seward said “We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.”

              It definitely wasn’t a waste of time though, it served as an excellent piece of propaganda.

          2. Wasn’t a waste of time for the slaves who escaped to Union territory, and/or wanted to join the Union forces.

    3. So 6% / 12.25% of the Republican electorate, and 2% / 4% of the country? Sounds about right.

      It’s pretty well known that the racist elements of the Right are in the bag for Trump.

      1. How do we know that, KDN?

        1. Well, since you have apparently not been paying attention to the internet for the past year, SugarFree just posted the following in the Erickson thread:


          The Stormfront brigade has been all about Trump since the moment he declared. All who dare oppose him are cucks and race traitors.

  6. …Apple has quietly begun working on enhancements that would prevent the company from updating the software of an iPhone without knowing a user’s password, according to individuals familiar with the effort.

    Looks like the government needs a modern day Turing to thwart them.

    1. I almost want an iPhone now. Almost.

      1. Me too. A year-and-a-half before I’ll be upgrading, but if they stay firm I would consider one now.

  7. An estimated 45 percent of Americans will pay no federal income taxes this year.

    It’s not 47% anymore? Libertarian moment, incoming.

    1. So, an estimated 45% of the IRS can be eliminated?

      1. Your jib, I rather like the cut of it.

    2. Don’t be ridiculous. It takes a lot of manpower to pay those 45% their EITC’s.

      1. That income doesn’t transfer itself, you know.

      2. Don’t forget about the ObamaCare subsidies.

    3. t’s not 47% anymore?

      Always get skeptical when these numbers are mentioned as “Income Taxes”. If you go to the data sourced in the link’s article, you see that when you add in payroll taxes, the percentage of people with zero or negative taxes drops to 27%.

      I still believe it is ridiculous that a sizeable amount of our population doesn’t pay any taxes at all, but ignoring Payroll taxes is the best way to discredit these numbers in any intellectually honest debate.

      1. Agreed. I prefer the argument of “well, your much-loathed 1% already pay nearly 50% of the taxes in this country.”

      2. Except supporters of those taxes will argue until they’re blue in the face that they are payroll contributions (they aren’t), and that they aren’t taxes since they go into the SS trust fund (which is a running joke). So sorry, if you want to argue that it’s not an income tax since you don’t want the poor people to catch on to the scam you can’t turn around it is an income tax when somebody calls you a free rider.

  8. where they entered pleas of not guilty to federal conspiracy charges.

    Hopefully they didn’t enter those pleas on Twitter because they’ve most likely been deleted already.

    1. They were conspiring to do what … hang out?

  9. Posted last night but this is a new crowd!

    I don’t want you people thinking only your campuses have all the fun. McGill – albeit a tiny sliver of them – has jumped on the unfortunate ‘ban Israel’ BS:


    I hope the university knows what it has to do here.

    1. That should go over well with Montreal’s large Jewish population.

  10. The remaining Republican candidates will face off tonight at a presidential debate in Houston.

    Houston, this is a problem.

    1. Bee Tagger, there is a *narrowed gaze*

  11. An estimated 45 percent of Americans will pay no federal income taxes this year.

    Some turnips refuse to bleed.

    1. On campus gardens 1 in 4 do.

    2. From the looks of my paycheck this year and my impending tax bill, I’ve got them all covered.

    1. Clicked link expecting Hand Banana, was not disappointed.

      1. Misread your comment and clicked link expecting Hannah-Barbara. Was very disappointed.

        1. Now i need an animation of Handbanana doing the old Hanna-Barbara stationary foot-shuffle running start with the accompanying sound effect.

  12. Apple has quietly begun working on enhancements that would prevent the company from updating the software of an iPhone without knowing a user’s password, according to individuals familiar with the effort.”

    In 10 years, we’ll all forget there ever was a time that we didn’t have to get our iphones inspected every year to legally continue to use them.

    1. We’ll tell stories to children, when we’re in the camps. About the times we had, the way things were.

      “People used to shrug and say, “It’s a free country” to show how little they cared what you did.”

      And the children will not believe us.

      Have a chocolate ration.

      1. These harsh measures are needed to keep us safe because of Goldstein!

      2. Soylent Brown is not chocolate.

        1. Soylent Brown is people poop!

  13. Should Prostitution Really Be a Crime?

    The faux intellectuals over at The Atlantic have been debating whether or not they should allow it. Thankfully, Reason’s own ENB could be educating those snobs, which is promising.

    1. The accompanying stock photo doesn’t frame the narrative in any manner whatsoever.

      1. She looks rather safe in there.

    2. I would squee with joy if this is our next culture war. Bans on prostitution won’t be able to survive the sex outside of marriage is okay morals of the modern generation if it’s debated widely in public.

      1. I would never have accused you of optimism.

        1. I’m in a good mood today. I let a CNN gal interview me yesterday, and amazingly her edit didn’t make me look like a buffoon when it aired last night. Everything is sunshine and roses today.

          1. You were on tv?

            I suppose asking for a link would be out of the question?

            1. My name is Sam. Congrats, you can all stalk me now 😀


              1. Also fun facts. I ended that conversation by shouting Deadpool rocks (they didn’t add that part in the bastards), and the other people at the table are my Bernie supporting boss and Cookie Monster supporting coworker both of who encouraged me to take the interview (got to love my workplace).

                1. Redhead.

                  Totally unscientific theory: We have proportionately more redheaded women here than in general population.

                  1. Totally unscientific theory: We have proportionately more redheaded women here than in general population.

                    It’s because of the the libertarian anger issues.

                    1. Totally unscientific theory: We have proportionately more redheaded women here than in general population.

                      Oddly, my wife’s hair has gotten redder as she’s become more libertarian in her politics. You may be onto something here.

                  2. All of you ladies who have been touched by fire should immediately, and I mean immediately, send me many photos, from many different angles, for research and stuff.

                  3. My hair is reddish, does that count? I’m only missing part of my soul

                    1. That was not supposed to look like a response to Crusty

                    2. That was not supposed to look like a response to Crusty

                      Too late. I recommend heavy curtains and security shutters.

                    3. That was not supposed to look like a response to Crusty

                      Too late for you. I am sorry.

                    4. I recommend a shotgun and a dog lap83.

                    5. I recommend a shotgun and a dog lap83.

                      Get a short-barrelled shotgun – my dogs really struggle with the longer barrels.

                    6. That was not supposed to look like a response to Crusty

                      Don’t be ashamed. Many women have fallen under my spell, which is why we have so many female-to-male individuals making the transition.

              2. We all know you’re really the grizzled bearded guy in the overalls, aka Tulpa, but nice try (kidding!)

              3. Great job!

                1. Thanks guys, and yeah, I thought the grizzled bearded guy was a nice touch. Also the flag, I’ve been to that place a dozen times and never seen a flag on any of the tables. I’m wondering if the manager put it up for advertising while the camera crew was there, or if it was done by request.

              4. It’s too bad they cut the part where you yelled “FUCK YOU, CUT SPENDING,” kicked over the table, and mooned the camera.

              5. La-dee-daw. We have a celebrity here!

              6. Well done. I’m always struck dumb by people (the other interviewees) who say they are conservative yet want a candidate who will “work well with others to get things done.” Unless those “things” involve a flat tax and gutting the federal government by about 75%, I don’t actually want shit TO get done.

                1. Celebrity, fine, but no hat tips FOR ANYONE!

                  1. As an aside, you did well. I used to be interviewed a lot and it took a while for me to understand their game. Now, if they come for me I am prepared. Make no mistake, they are never out to make you look good. Even if they like you. They are out to make themselves and their station look good.

                    I gave a dumb ass flippant response to a friend reporter once…she printed it. Lesson, don’t blow off a reporter no matter who they are.

                    Simple shit like if you are outside turn around so the sun is at your back not your side. Always look in a mirror before going on, they will gladly put people on whit shit in their teeth. Don’t ramble, editing can be a bitch. Also, know you points cause saying “I don’t know” wont get used, which is fine if you don’t know but you go off the cuff and you are likely to shit on yourself.

                    Even Reason can be brutal. They interviewed me a couple of times but I was much better at that point. I did see Wayne Root get eviscerated though. And he should have known better.

                    1. Why are you getting so many interviews? Are you a werewolf or something?

                    2. This was years ago. I used to be more involved politically. Heavily involved…but I got better.

                    3. Are… are you… DONDERRROOOOOOOOOO?

                    4. Lol, I WISH I was that short. No, but I have worked with him. He is everything you think and so much more.

              7. Sign my Candide by Voltaire please!

          2. Now you have to tell us what tie you wore. These things are important.

    3. My concern is this: Will legalization make more desperate, poor women turn to prostitution because we offer them no other alternative? Are we turning poor women’s bodies into commodities to be legitimately bought and sold, and further dehumanizing them? It doesn’t feel like empowerment so much as another form of coercion and exploitation to me.

      So, keeping prostitution illegal and harassing poor women who do it anyway won’t help those who are poor already, but removing an option where they could decide to make money without fear of harassment from cops and thugs is exploitation? Got it. More emotional pandering and signalling where upper class leftists/feminists pretend to care about the poor and so deny them avenues of advancement they find icky.

      1. If we legislated away all employment, we could end slavery forever.

      2. Will legalization make more desperate, poor women turn to prostitution because we offer them no other alternative?

        So without prostitution they must have no options at all then? But I’m sure that is much better.

        Are we turning poor women’s bodies into commodities to be legitimately bought and sold, and further dehumanizing them?

        Um, are you mistreating prostitutes? No? Then the answer is no, you are not doing anything to them.

        It doesn’t feel like empowerment so much as another form of coercion and exploitation to me.

        Coercion, agency. Exploitation, self-ownership. Po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to

        1. “It doesn’t feel like empowerment so much as another form of coercion and exploitation to me.”

          Wait until post-legalization government regulations and taxations kick in. Talk about getting fucked!

    4. Sex Trafficking is a perfectly cromulent phrase.

      1. Agreed. Thank you for embiggening my vocabulary.

      2. Is a ‘sex traffic jam’ a soundtrack, or a multi-person act?

        1. a condoment.

          1. CMON SWISS!

            That was good!

            1. I’ll narrow my gaze. Bravo!

              1. thanks…
                jeesh, what has this board come to that you must beg for a narrowed gaze?

      3. Doesn’t he play for the Jets?

    5. The faux intellectuals over at The Atlantic have been debating whether or not they should allow it. Thankfully, Reason’s own ENB could be educating those snobs, which is promising.

      No, it should be illegal because…um…. human trafficking and stuff.

  14. Romney is challenging Donald Trump to release his tax records.

    The other night Hillary said she’d release her Wall Street speech transcripts if the Repubs did (Bernie claims to have none). Any chance of them calling her bluff and doing that?

    1. Are there actually republican candidates who made hundreds of thousands of dollars giving speeches to Wall Street firms who are now running a campaign demonizing Wall Street? Otherwise I don’t see the relevance.

  15. Birth of an island.

    This is because of global warming, obviously. Bonus life experience warning: never sail your boat into a mysteriously growing field of floating pumice.

    1. Liars! That was just another one of Warty’s spawn coming to life.

      1. We really will be able to vote Cthulhu 2016!

        1. The stars have come right! Ia! Ia!

    2. never sail your boat into a mysteriously growing field of floating pumice

      Don’t you dare tell me what to do!

      1. Hey man, i’m just offering advice. If you want to risk boiling yourself away into a mass of leftover unmetabolized sugar, it’s your choice.

        1. A vote for Trump will save me from boiling pumice death.

      2. That’s super cool

    3. That’s actually really common in the West Pacific. That island will be gone by the end of the year.

      1. So you’re telling me it ISN’T a viable candidate for Libertopia?

        Thanks, Debbie Downer.

  16. Democrats finally embrace trickle down economics.

    Local rag has been running some articles about the regional pension fund for Teamsters being so underfunded that they are going to make cuts to the retirees benefits. Lots of howling from retirees who seem to to think that since someone made a promise to them that they are entitled to those benefits no matter what.

    The best howler was one retiree who said:

    Ham Lake retiree Tim Huettl thinks the collective hit of the proposed pension cuts will leave a mark on Minnesota’s economy.

    “It’s going to trickle down really deep as times goes on,” Huettl said.

    1. They’ve always supported their own brand of trickle down economics. It’s just the government distributing money instead of the private sector. What they call ‘Keynesian economics’ (panderers such as Krugman and his ilk) is all about giving the banks and rich money which will then magically reinvigorate the economy.

      They will ignore that the correlation between their inflationary policies and pumping with the growth of ‘income inequality’ or wage stagnation and just blame the rich people they give money to for not distributing it correctly or fairly, though.

      Leftist policies always boil around tax and spend. Inflation is just another form of backdoor taxation that is very hard for most people to recognize.

      1. + 1 x 19T

      2. “backdoor taxation”….hmmm… gonna use that on my girlfriend…

        1. “Hey, baby, I feel some inflation coming on. Time to collect some of them backdoor taxes.”

    2. Hey PJ, I was responding to the article and not you per se when I opened my comment with ‘whatever’ the other day. Just wanted to make that clear.

      1. Rufus, Rufus, Rufus…..

        First, I wasn’t offended by your remark.
        Second, never show weakness on HyR.
        Third, a Canadian apology? What is that worth?

        1. Third, a Canadian apology? What is that worth?

          About 85% as much as an American apology.

      2. You bet.

    3. since someone made a promise to them that they are entitled to those benefits no matter what

      Don’t most states that are run by the pubsec union machine have laws enshrining this?

      1. The article said there used to be a similar restriction in fed law, but evil republicans snuck in an amendment to a bigger spending bill. How horrible to slip things into huge bills that are passed in crisis mode.

        The long-standing federal law that once forbade pension cuts changed in 2014 with a piece of legislation slipped into the federal budget by Minnesota Republican Rep. John Kline and California Democratic Rep. George Miller. The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act never came to a debate or vote on the floor of the House.

        Instead, it was tacked onto a massive budget bill that needed to pass to keep the government running

        1. Ah, that seems to concern private pension plans. I was thinking of pubsec workers – I imagine they are still free to continue to run every municipality into the ground.

          1. If they are unionized, their pension plan could be a union/private plan. I have no idea if this happens, but I could see the union wanting the pension because it will be a huge pile of money from them to graft with.

  17. “Bernie Sanders “is blaming America’s poverty crisis on Hillary?for her husband’s welfare policy.

    That’s actually really racist. Jesus. No the blaming Hillary part. The other part.

    1. The “Bernie Sanders ” part?

  18. The Power Struggle Over Transgender Students

    The new most important issue in the history of issues is going to come down to how the Department of Education interprets Title IX. Also, religion, safety, fairness, etc etc.

      1. Though, I should note that Thailand’s mean is .5 points higher than America’s, which may be all the difference.

        1. Transgender people are unusually visible in Thailand, where the annual Miss Tiffany transgender beauty contest is a national event, and people come from all over the world for gender reassignment surgery.

          Find a niche, and fill it?

          1. Or create a niche, in this case.

      2. Aren’t ladyboys like one of Thailand’s primary resources and attractions, though? There are a lot of incentives at work here.

        1. Aren’t ladyboys like one of Thailand’s primary resources

          Unless “ladyboy” is another way of saying Jasmine rice, then, no.

          1. White jasmine rice is white, has a jasmine aroma and, when cooked, a slightly sticky texture.[10] The aroma is caused by the evaporation of 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline.

            Sounds like Jasmine is in fact a ladyboy. But caucasian.

            1. They probably mean Asian “white”. Pictured: Jasmine Rice

              1. Eye makeup tips and tricks, eh? “Jasmine, why you always smear mascara in my eyeballs before we have anal?”

            2. What about Basmati, huh?!?!!?

    1. Don’t you mean Title Xe?

  19. An estimated 45 percent of Americans will pay no federal income taxes this year.

    I’m not sure whether this is good or bad. The good part–obviously enough–is that almost half of Americans don’t have to pay income tax. The bad part is that that same 45% don’t pay income taxes and, therefore, have little to no skin in the game. Better to replace it all with user taxes, but that’s only dreaming.

    1. This is why I don’t like earned income tax credits. Tax time should be unpleasant for everyone. If it doesn’t then people don’t have incentive to look at the system as anything but a sugar daddy.

    2. Would someone *kindly* explain why this “skin in the game” can not be a fixed amount rather than a percentage of income?

      1. Inflation and deflation. Fixed amounts could easily become utterly worthless or a budget destroying burden depending on how things go. Plus on a national level a fixed amount will mean vastly different things between a country dweller in Texas and a hipster in New York. Incomes takes into account changes in inflation and deflation as well as local costs of living, so you don’t have to micromanage the number quite as much.

        1. Why not just have inflation and locality multiplicative factors for the fixed amount?

          You could even modify the amount depending on the budget. For instance it could be reduced as the Debt is paid HAHAHAHAHAA!! Damn, couldn’t quite get it out!

          1. Because that would end up being an extra thousand pages and a minimum of five hundred new bureaucrats to create in our system. Percentage basis gives a lot less opportunity for extra cronyism and red tape.

            1. Disagree. See TABOR in Colorado. A decent answer to a shitty thing. Unfortunately, the government hasn’t stopped trying to circumvent it since it was enacted.

      2. Can someone explain why “skin in the game” would make lead to any notable difference in taxation or spending rates?

        1. My hope would be that the more voters there are who pay relatively (relative to their income or wealth) exorbitant taxes, as many of us do now, the more would vote to lower taxes and remove taxing authority. That’s what I mean by “skin in the game.”

          1. I know that that’s the theory. I don’t know how much real world data support it. There could be some changes on the margin, but I doubt it would be significant, especially given the holistic nature of elections (I want lower taxes, but that other guy is promising me more goods, so…).

            For example, why won’t people with skin in the game simply demand more for their money, and support even more spending? This does not do much to change the free riding nature of redistribution.

            1. For example, why won’t people with skin in the game simply demand more for their money, and support even more spending?

              Good point. This seems actually to be very common. Given the responses of the folk in the CNN interview that Illocust posted earlier, it seems that even Republicans were wanting more for their money rather than less money for what they get.

        2. In Washington, Team Blue has repeatedly tried to stroke more tax revenue out of license plate tabs/registration. When people got the bills, they freaked and passed initiatives to repeal the law. See, virtually everyone has cars, and when we all have to cut a check and give it to the tax man, we start to reassess whether we feel we’re getting good value for our dollar.

          The fastest way to convert the country to a bunch of fiscal conservatives would be to end direct withholding from paychecks and required that you mail in a quarterly tax payment or visit a government collection office to remit your taxes.

        3. Right now the FedGov spends about 3.80 trillion per year (soon to be 4.1, but I’ll keep the math simple). The USA has about 380 million people. If everyone had to pay 10,000 dollars in taxes, we would all have “skin in the game”. And there would be a lot more resistance to increasing spending. (But it’s still a bad idea.)

    3. Is social security and medicare and medicaid not a “tax tax”?

      1. Yes they are. and regressive at that. I had them in mind when I wrote “little to no” skin in game. But you’ve reminded me that these taxes are very large for many in the 45%.

        1. The percentage of people with 0 or negative taxes when you factor in payroll taxes is actually ~27%. It’s still unfortunate that 1/4 of the population is able to vote for more free shit, but it is much smaller than the bandied about 45%.

          1. While I’m reluctant to call for more taxes on more people, I do believe that making most everyone pay taxes is better. Notwithstanding John’s point about payroll taxes.

            Could we amend the Constitution to allow only those who pay taxes to vote?

            1. +1 Starship Troopers

          2. A quarter is disturbing enough. I don’t know why people feel the need to lie and use the 45% figure.

      2. They are taxes that nobody thinks about because they don’t have to file complicated paperwork with the government and write a check to go with it.

        1. It’s still important. It forms a huge amount of our budget- we all know that SS/Medicare/Medicaid dollars end up being spent by the government- and so if you use the 45% number to complain about people not paying their way, there will be a lot of people holding up their paycheck and saying, “Excuse me?”

          This is one of those insidious shell games that the Federal Tax system plays. Since taxes are split up in so many different ways, even having a rational discussion becomes difficult. If you point out that people don’t pay income tax, others reply, “Yeah but that doesn’t include SS or Medicare. I’m sure it all evens out”

          It is rare to see percentile distributions of tax burden that include all of the Federal Taxes. The last one I saw was back in the early 2000’s and still showed that the Rich pay an inordinate share of our taxes- making us one of the more progressive in the world. But it is difficult to do because the record keeping is not designed to allow these comparisons.

          1. The system is designed to be opaque for a reason.

      3. Isn’t social security a payroll tax and not an income tax?

        1. Half and half

        2. It is both. SS is 7.5% of your income up to around 100K. And your employer has to kick in the same amount. It is effectively a 15% tax on all income under 100K.

          1. And people wonder why employers are automating or sending jobs overseas. Employment taxes and mandated benefits

            1. And why so many lower skilled people are not working and why so many of those jobs are going to illegal aliens.

              The whole “they are jobs Americans won’t do” thing drives me nuts. No, they are jobs employers rationally hire illegals to do because hiring illegals avoids the mandated taxes and benefits that come with hiring a native.

      4. Those are payroll contributions. They people that support those taxes refuse to acknowledge they are income taxes, so they don’t get to claim credit now.

      1. Occupy Salvation Army!!

  20. I’m confused. Did Obama’s brilliant policies fix the economy, or do we have a poverty crisis?

    They should straighten this out before the election.

    1. Whenever I listen to Hillary or Bernie I start to wonder if maybe I missed it and the country in fact re-elected Bush in 2008 and again in 2012. I seem to remember some half black guy being elected both of those years and a lot of people claiming it was a really big deal that was going to solve a lot of problems. Was that just some TV show I confused for being the news?

      1. The reactionary racist thugs in the GOP wouldn’t let Him get anything done, John. Duh.

        1. A couple of prog friends of mine gave me that spiel last week. The fact that the Democrats owned the Congress for his first two years has gone down the memory hole. They won’t even respond to the point and just pretend I didn’t say it.

          1. Elections only have consequences when TEAM BLUE wins. Otherwise, it’s evidence of America’s racism.

        2. “The reactionary racist thugs in the GOP wouldn’t let Him get anything done, John. Duh.”

          Always remember – everything good that happened since 2008 is because of Obama’s brilliance and everything bad is because the GOP didn’t let him pass any legislation.

          1. You know who else was racist?

            1. Irish?

      2. Whenever I listen to Hillary or Bernie

        Well, there’s your first mistake. 😉

        1. Some people like to be tied up and whipped. Then there are the real deviants like me who occasionally listen to Hillary or Bernie. I am a sick man Tarran. I need help. I admit that.

          1. I recommend you alter your tasted in a more vanilla direction.

            1. John can’t get off unless a 300+ lb woman sits on his chest reading passages from It Takes a Village.

    2. The good news is he did an outstanding job of fixing the Washington-Wall Street economy.

      The bad news is that in doing so, he created a (perhaps permanent) poverty crisis through most of the rest of the country.

  21. Exactly what is different about what Romney is saying about Trump’s taxes from what Reid said about Romney’s taxes in 2012? I don’t see any difference between the two. If Romney believes Trump has cheated on his taxes, he should say why he believes that. If he is unwilling to do that, he should shut the fuck up. I would think Romney of all people would be sensitive to slandering people about their taxes. I always thought of Romney sort of noble loser. Now he has shown himself to be just a loser.

    And lets not forget all of the members of the Republican hack media who were rightly appalled about Reid but now think Romney doing the same thing is just great. I really have to thank Trump for ending any allusions I had that the right wing media was any less disgusting than the left wing one.

    Regardless, I think they are pissing in the wind if they think this will hurt Trump even if it is true.

    1. They can hurt him in the general by giving Dems ammunition. They refuse to accept that he’s going to be their primary winner and keep attacking.

      That said, there’s reasons Trump usually dropped out in the past right around when it came time to disclose his taxes. And when he claims to be so charitable to certain causes in his campaigns, its relevant.

      1. They can hurt him in the general by giving Dems ammunition.

        I think this election is different than those in the past. The usual ammunition that works in politics, especially for Democrats (the old “he is evil” or “he is the RACIST”) won’t work on Trump. The only thing that will hurt Trump is to go out and talk to lower and middle class people like they are human beings and you are interested in listening to their concerns or being another outsider whom Washington hates and whose election would be perceived as an eff you to Washington. The Democrats and most Republicans are incapable of doing the first and Hillary will never be perceived as an outsider.

        Trump is a different kind of candidate and the old tricks that worked on losers like Romney won’t work on him.

        1. go out and talk to lower and middle class people like they are human beings and you are interested in listening to their concerns or being another outsider whom Washington hates and whose election would be perceived as an eff you to Washington.

          I’m pretty sure that perfectly describes Bernie Sanders for a lot of people.

          1. It does. And that is why Bernie has a better chance against Trump than Hillary. The problem is Bernie isn’t getting the nomination.

            1. Its difficult to say whether Bernie would do better against Trump than Hillary. Bernie would have to deal with Republicans running that whole “open to raising taxes on the middle class” interview, plus the whole “socialist” label wouldn’t go over well with at least 50% of the population.

              In addition, I’m not as convinced as you that Bernie won’t win the nomination. The odds are not in his favor, but I wouldn’t rule him out just yet. Super Tuesday will tell us a lot more about his chances.

            2. I’m still not clear on how Bernie can even run for the Dem nom, since he isn’t even a member of the party, as far as I know.

    2. Yeah, it really is pointless and stupid of him to say that. If it is true, the media will dig it up. If it’s not, then they just sound like stupid assholes. And as you say, most Trump supporters won’t give a fuck anyway.

      1. It is really nasty and wrong. There are few things lower than slandering someone without even putting your name behind it.

        1. I’m just sayin’. Other people are talking about it.

        2. The fact that it is Mitt after all of the calumny and slander he was subjected to by that asshat Harry Reid makes it doubly appalling for me. Truly, you can’t make this shit up…

        3. For real. Some people are saying Cruz isn’t eligible for the presidency. I don’t know, that’s what I hear.

          1. Who is that? Trump has accused Cruz of being ineligible but he has put his name behind it and said why. I don’t think he is right about that but I can’t accuse him of doing what Romney did here.

            Try again that was a poor effort.

            1. It’s strange that we’re trashing on Romney considering he was able to avoid putting his name behind this attack.

              Both are slimy idiots. Which should be uncontroversial, as they’re politicians.

              1. It’s strange that we’re trashing on Romney considering he was able to avoid putting his name behind this attack.

                Why is that strange? The fact that he didn’t put his name on it is what makes it sleazy. I don’t have a problem with Romney or anyone else attacking people. It is politics. The problem arises when you do it in a way that allows you to avoid responsibility for the charge and without providing any details that allow the public to evaluate the charge.

                And the debate has nothing to do with Trump. Trump could be the worst human being on earth and that wouldn’t make what Romney did here any better.

                1. So we know Romney thinks Trump is lying about his wealth and his donations, because he said so, but Romney was not putting his name behind the accusation?

                  “I think we have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes. I think there is something there.” I count a “we” and an “I” in there.

                  1. So we know Romney thinks Trump is lying about his wealth and his donations, because he said so, but Romney was not putting his name behind the accusation?

                    No he is not. Romney never gives the reasons why he thinks that. Romney gave a variation on the old “I have heard…” dodge. Since he never says why he thinks that and just makes the bear allegation, Romney avoids any responsibility for making the charge should it be false.

                    If it turns out that everything Romney said is not true, Romney is free to say “well that is what I had heard” and walk away from the allegation. Worse still, Romney made the allegation in such sleazy and vague terms (just what the hell is a bombshell?) that he can always claim that he was just wrong about the public’s reaction to it.

                    If Romney thinks Trump is a liar and a tax cheat, he should say why he thinks that. Just what is the “bombshell”? It must be something. Romney is a cowardly sleeze bag for not saying what. He just made the allegation but made it in such a way if it turns out to be untrue he will be able to escape responsibility for it.

    3. I still go back to the theory that Trump is either a cynical Democratic plant sent to self destruct and hand the election to Hillary, or basically The Joker.

    4. Am I misremembering 4 years ago? I thought Romney did release his tax records, and Reid accused him of lying on them about foreign income?

      Simply refusing to release tax records while boasting about how rich and brilliant you are seems a different thing to me. Trump should expect to get called on this straight up to election day if he’s the nominee.

      1. To me both things are the same because both Reid and Romney made an accusation while refusing to provide any details or reasons why they think that. If Romney has reason to believe Trump cheated on his taxes, he should say why and how he knows that just like Reid should have been willing to offer why he thought Romney had paid no taxes and how he knew that.

        Both Romney and Reid did they same “i have heard…” slander. I didn’t know that Trump had not released his taxes. Romney has every right to criticize Trump for that. And if Romney has facts that show Trump is a crook, he should put them out there. Romney did neither of those things. He just made a baseless slander of “I know there are really bad things in there but I won’t tell you what they are or how I know” and that is the same sleazy shit Reid pulled.

        1. Also, Reid made his comments on the floor of the Senate, where he receives immunity to slander suits. Romney could find himself in legal trouble if Trump is so inclined.

          1. Trump is a public figure so he would have to prove reckless disregard of the truth to win. And Romney never made any specific allegations. He just said it was “a bombshell”. And that makes his actions even sleazier. He clearly thought about them and made sure he skirted the line but did not cross into slander.

            1. A “bombshell” could be a lot of things. Anything from cheating to his income being much less than he makes it out to be.

              1. Exactly. And that is why what Romney said is not actionable. And don’t think Romney didn’t know that when he said it.

        2. Well, I too have heard that Trump isn’t nearly as rich as he brags – a millionaire, not anywhere near a billionaire.

          Trump sued a biographer who called him a “millionaire” and lost badly in court and on appeal. Trump the lawsuit he filed so badly because he refused to comply with discovery requests that would actually prove his net worth – such as tax returns.


      2. I thought they accused Romney of having too big of a 401k. No one “needs” more than 3 million in retirement savings, so let’s take it.

    5. Yeah, I thought Reid’s ploy was utterly disgusting, and my opinion of Romney (as a person, not as a governor or potential president) has dropped significantly in view of this.

      And you’re correct – this will not hurt Trump. Attacks like this usually tend to invigorate his supporters.

  22. Does anybody have a credit monitoring service they like? Thanks.

    1. I use Mr. Ray’s Credit Street Cred, a subsidiary of Mr. Ray’s Hair Weaves.

      1. Is it because Mr. Ray has good services, or because when things go wonky Mr. Ray is an expert on straightening out the nappiest of credit issues?

        1. It’s mostly because if he tries to go to someone else at this point, Mr. Ray is gonna have to cap a mothafucka.

    2. They are all free once a year. Go to the website that lets you check all 3 at once. You do NOT need to pay anything. Just keep clicking “no” for the add ons and up sells.

      1. Serious question: How often does Equifax and its ilk get hacked?

        1. I got a letter from equifax that they had a breech. I think that is how the Indian scammers got my info.

          1. I don’t think you got compromised.

            They buy that info from data brokers and public records. I’ve gotten the exact same phone call several time, and it seems that other people here have too.

            They’re fishing with a really wide net and a cheap VoIP line. How many people do you think fall for that? 1 in a 1000? And yeah, they have to do it from another part of the world because it’s really funking illegal.

            How long do you think it would take me to find your address? People were talking about another bet. Any takers?

            1. Dude, were you in your front yard when the google maps car drove by?

              1. Yup. Washing a trash can.

                1. Pl?ya, Florida Man is a Florida Man. He’s pretty much ALWAYS in his front yard, except when he needs to hide from the cops.

              2. Don’t tell the fellows where I live. They believe I live in a single wide trailer.

                1. They believe I live in a single wide trailer.

                  That’s right, it’s only a 3/4-wide trailer since the chemical toilet exploded.

      2. And if you rotate them, you get one every 4 months, which is how I monitor mine.

      3. I’ve done that before, but I was curious about the monitoring. I’m going to freeze my credit today just to be safe.

        1. Would this be an inopportune time to ask for a loan?

          1. I can give you a loan, but I’ll need some collateral.

            *looks down*

            Give me your shoes.

          2. I’ve got a better deal for you, Crusty. You see, a bunch of my assets got frozen by the Nigerian government, and if you give me your bank account information so that i can wire $52 million into it, i will let you keep $5 million. How’s that?

            You totally won’t get stabbed to death in Johannesburg because of this, probably!

    3. Hang on, let me look; I keep that information with my list of favorite skin diseases and favorite political action committees.

    4. I had a year of free credit monitoring after my Visa was compromised twice in a year (thanks, Home Depot and Target!).

      It is absolutely worthless. Just check your report, you’ll see what accounts are open in your name.

      The credit monitoring services are designed to make you feel good, and do absolutely nothing. They are a complete rip off.

      1. Their reason for existence isn’t for regular people. They exist on behalf of the government, the banks, and the other moneylending industries.

        1. Yes, this was part of a class action settlement. Total grift.

          This is one of the reasons I will NEVER do business with Capitol One. They signed my wife up for the “credit monitoring service” without her permission, and it went unnoticed for several months on a card she never used.

          The service actually ruined her credit.

    5. Credit Karma. It’s completely free.

      1. ^ I use this as well. Great service.

    6. I have a subscription to CSID Identity Protection, which Uncle Sam gave me because of the OPM hack (they had my info because I clerked for a judge after law school). I’ve been satisfied with it.

      1. Yeah, the PLA has all my, and my families’ info …. I am so happy. Thanks OPM!

    7. Many credit cards are offering credit monitoring and credit scoring as part of their standard perks nowadays. Paying for credit monitoring today is pretty unnecessary- they don’t really do anything you can’t get with the free stuff- or even credit karma.

  23. TW: Salon – University of Houston Campus Carry Law is Suppressing Academic Freedom, lol.


    1. Professors, you may want to….

      1. ? carry also?

      2. Fun Fact: 2nd Amendment is the only right in the Bill of Rights which requires a (purchased) implement to exercise.

        What, you don’t have to purchase houses? The 3rd gets shafted again!

        1. I’m also pretty sure when the 1st Amendment was written, you’d have to purchase a printing press if you wanted to take advantage of the ‘free press’ parts.

          You can also build your own gun…

          1. I think it also worked for handwritten newsletters alleging Alexander Hamilton’s micropenis.

        2. Fun Fact: 2nd Amendment is the only right in the Bill of Rights which requires a (purchased) implement to exercise.

          Yeah, this is just incorrect. For one thing, the Second Amendment is a restriction on what the government can do. You don’t have to buy anything for the government to not pass laws restricting your right to bear arms.

          Also, the BOR also mentions presses, houses, papers, effects, and private property. Were those given out for free in 1787 or something?

          1. 1789

        3. That’s sort of almost true. But so what? Do they think they are making some interesting point there?

          Also, I’m pretty sure it’s possible to make a gun or be given a gun as a gift.

    2. “An unofficial forum of professors suggested that teachers may want to “drop certain topics from your curriculum,” and “not ‘go there’ if you sense anger,” the Houston Chronicle reports.”

      If the reason for this were to protect student feelings, Salon would be applauding the progressiveness of the faculty.

      And what percentage of students are ever going to bring a gun to class anyway? I don’t think this is even going to impact the number of people carrying guns around all that much. Cowardly administrators seek yet another reason to limit speech and avoid hurt feelings only this time they’re trying to pawn responsibility off on their political opponents.

      1. The comments on another article about this were hilariously clueless – they were gleeful about all the “gun massacres” that are about to happen in Texas, and how they will be well deserved.

  24. “An estimated 45 percent of Americans will pay no federal income taxes this year.”

    Given the percentage of those people who will get federal benefits, it looks like Romney’s “47%” comment was only off by a few percentage points.

    1. Again, unless you consider social security and medicare not really taxes, that figure is bogus.

      1. Good point. A large portion of those people probably aren’t paying SS taxes either though because of America’s low labor force participation.

      2. It’s true if you consider that they are talking only about the tax that is called “federal income tax”. But you are right that these figures are abused and a bit misleading. Most of those people are still paying SS and Medicare and lots of state and local taxes as well as other federal taxes like liquor and tobacco.

        I also wonder how many of the 45% are children or bums or old and retired.

        1. Or in jail. the only way a working person pays “no income tax” is if they are getting the earned income credit. There you get money back from the feds that often exceeds the amount you have paid in SS and such. Those people really are paying no income taxes. There are millions of people getting the EIC but no where near 45% of the working population much less the entire population.

          I also wonder if that 45% figure counts spouses who stay home and take care of the kids as among those paying “no income taxes”. If it does, it is especially bogus.

          1. the only way a working person pays “no income tax” is if they are getting the earned income credit.

            Or working part time, esp. at minimum wage. I didn’t pay any income taxes until I was almost 30 and had left Buffalo to find a real job.

            1. You paid SS and medicaire. So you were paying taxes.

        2. The use of “federal income tax” as the figure they reference is also confusing to most people. The average person doesn’t make a distinction regarding the type of tax that is withheld from their paycheck and doesn’t really give a fuck whether the money Uncle Sam is extracting constitutes an “income” tax versus a “payroll” tax. They see a check of their wages being taken away then hear that 45% of people aren’t paying “taxes,” conclude that they are among the 55% but still can’t get ahead and therefore the system is unfair.

  25. The Politics of Ignorance

    Poll: Fans of Sanders Single-Payer System Change Minds When They Hear What “Single-Payer” Means

    A slim plurality of 39 percent supports replacing the private health insurance system with a single government-run, taxpayer-funded plan that would cover medical, dental, vision and long-term care, with 33 percent opposed.
    In other words, more people than not support the idea of change in the abstract. But:

    Asked whether they would continue to support Sanders’ plan if their own taxes went up, under a third of initial supporters of the plan would keep backing it. About 4 out of 10 flipped to opposition.
    About the same share of initial backers would ditch single-payer if it meant that people had to give up employer coverage. Twenty-eight percent would continue to support it.

    1. But, but, but, there are dank memes!

    2. Americans are way less responsible than Europeans about this stuff. Americans want all the stuff Europeans get from the state, but they don’t actually want to pay European tax rates to get them.

      1. Ode to a Grecian unurned.

        1. Don’t force Swiss to give you his sturn look.

        2. *classically narrows gaze*

      2. Europe more consistently taxes more income brackets with fewer deductions et cetera. The Americans’ “progressive” tax structure, relatively behind-the-scene payroll taxes, ss, medisuck, and tax “refunds” are distorting the low income earners perception of what government services actually cost them.

      3. Americans have a worse media than Europe. I have Prog friends who are very intelligent and successful people. And they are not night of the living dead Progs like you find on college campuses. The problem is they get up every day and read the New York Times and the Washington Post and maybe watch CNN and they think they are being told the truth and are informed people for reading those sources. After doing that for decades, they now live in what can only be described as an alternative reality from the rest of the country.

        Just to give a small example, I had dinner with three people of this type last Friday. All of them had no idea that Hillary had 1700 or whatever classified emails on her server and honestly believed that what Hillary did was no different in kind than what Colin Powell or Condi Rice did. And they were not being partisans. They honestly believed this to be the case because that is what the lying hacks at the NYT and WAPO told them and they have no idea that said hacks are not honest journalists.

        1. Americans have a worse media than Europe.

          I agree in the sense that Americans don’t get to see tits and ass on PBS at 6pm. But in terms of news media, absolutely not. The European media runs the gamut from outright pro-socialist/multicult censorship of news to basic socialist groupthink promoted by the government owned outlets or socialist weasels running the ostensibly free outlets. In Europe you’ll never see a “news” program with libertarian panelists. You’ll never see conservatism, social or fiscal, being discussed in any terms other than ridicule. And I know Fox Business or whatever NBC has that passes for a business network, both aren’t exactly promoting the Austrian school of economics, but respect for the free market in European newscasts are virtually extinct. My libertarian friends in Holland and Germany despair.

        2. I saw a CNN talking head say “Lots of Republican voters out there think that Hillary is going to be indicted before the election. It’s like they’re living in an alternate reality from the rest of the country.” Actually, he was probably right. Hillary will never be indicted.

          1. Strictly speaking, the CNN guy might be right. Even if he is, he has no idea that he is living in his own alternate reality where what Hillary didn’t commit multiple felonies and wouldn’t be facing life if she were anyone else.

            Its alternative realities all the way around.

            1. Yeah, seems likely enough that she won’t be indicted. But you have to be in serious fantasy land at this point if you truly don’t think she broke the law as SoS.

        3. I understand that your friends are merely basing their opinions on what they’ve been fed, but as “very intelligent and successful people,” shouldn’t they be expected to pepper their information intake with alternative sources? Otherwise, they are admitting by their choices that they either: prefer sideloaded news and commentary; or that they are unaware that news sources tend to be partisan and that there are other options.

          And, yes, most news consumers choose to read from sources that tickle their ears. So your friends are not out of the ordinary. There are even some commenters here who cling to their true beliefs from the left or the right despite the opportunity afforded them to expand their intellectual horizons.

          Nonetheless, should we expect more from the “intelligent and successful”?

          1. I completely agree. I am not letting them off the hook. They should know better and do better than just reading whatever dreck the NYT and WAPO feed them. Their responsibility to know better does not, however, take away from the NYT and WAPO’s responsibility for being lying partisan scumbags.

            1. …NYT and WAPO’s responsibility for being lying partisan scumbags.

              I agree wholeheartedly, yet shouldn’t we presume that news outlets will settle into an audience and then play that following for all they can get from them? After all, their professional assertions notwithstanding, shouldn’t we expect them to supply their customers with the best of what their customers desire? Which brings us back to your point.

              They are “lying partisan scumbags” for allowing and encouraging their customers to believe that they are professional, objective and balanced. But their customers want to believe that they are these things. So, we have a company providing customers with a product that their customers want, and what they want includes the belief that this source of news is professional, objective, and balanced. Bullshit all around. We have the holy trinity of Truth, priesthood, and believers.

    3. But its the Trump supporters who are “uneducated”.

      1. Or both sides are a bunch of idiots. It’s not a see-saw, it’s a bell curve.

        1. True. But the amount of formal education an individual has in no way correlates to how big of an idiot they are. In fact, if it correlates to anything, more formal education correlates to the person being a dangerous idiot rather than a garden variety idiot who just doesn’t know a lot.

          1. COLLIJ 4 EVRYWUN!!!!! FEELTEHBERN!!!!

  26. OT: Some a hole called in a bomb threat to all the elementary schools and city offices in my burb in Tokyo. They claimed the bomb(s?) will go off at 3:34pm. Not used to this kind of stuff, but do I let my 1st grade daughter go to school tomorrow? What a goddamn prick.

    1. Bomb threats are 99.99% hoaxes. If there really was a bomb, why would a threat be called in? You wouldn’t want to scare people away if you actually wanted to set the bomb off.

  27. Home again today – this time from a school shutdown. Have fun and play nice, Reasonoids.

  28. “Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is,”

    Obviously Romney doesn’t prepare or read his own tax returns. I just don’t recall a Federal tax return that requires you to list your assets. So we couldn’t measure Trump’s wealth by his Form 1040 and schedules. Nor could we find out how charitable he is because much of his giving is probably through close-held corporations.
    There is an actual problem with “he’s wealthy so he can’t be bought.” Frequently “we,” being special interests, want our politician to be financially beholden to us for our support. What makes the Trumpers believe that Trump can be trusted to “build a wall” if he’s financially free to tell his supporters to go f*** themselves once he’s elected? Give me someone I can buy who will stay bought!

    1. Exactly that. You can’t tell how much money someone has by looking at their taxes, at least not if they are wealthy.

  29. Remember Reason TV’s softball interview of Stephen Prothero about his culture-war book? The one where Protheo said that conservatives are always starting culture-war battles and losing them to the forces of liberal enlightenment?

    I read the book myself and saw an intelligent historian waste his skills by fitting all sorts of events into a Procrustean bed of liberal vs. conservative. While the definition of “conservative” is famously elusive, Prothero’s conservatives only rarely meet any reasonable definition of the term, and in fact some of the “conservative crusades” he profiles were promoted by proggies (anti-Catholicism, anti-polygamy, prohibition of booze).

    This review takes the book to task for its hackery.

  30. Abortion Clinics Are Closing at a Record Pace

    “At least 162 providers have closed since 2011.

    “Abortion access in the U.S. has been vanishing at the fastest annual pace on record, propelled by Republican state lawmakers’ push to legislate the industry out of existence. Since 2011, at least 162 abortion providers have shut or stopped offering the procedure, while just 21 opened.

    “At no time since before 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, has a woman’s ability to terminate a pregnancy [sic] been more dependent on her zip code or financial resources to travel. The drop-off in providers?more than one every two weeks?occurred in 35 states, in both small towns and big cities that are home to more than 30 million women of reproductive age….

    “Bloomberg’s reporting shows that the downward trend has accelerated to the fastest annual pace on record since 2011, with 31 having closed or stopped performing the procedure each year on average.

    “State regulations that make it too expensive or logistically impossible for facilities to remain in business drove more than a quarter of the closings. Industry consolidation, changing demographics, and declining demand were also behind the drop, along with doctor retirements and crackdowns on unfit providers.”

    1. Democrats suddenly get bothered by the government regulating industry out of business.

  31. Reason should have guest writers to debate stuff. The contortions (and apologetics) of Robby and ENB alone are just irritating.

    1. I think Reason should have to debate some of their readers. It would be funny as hell watching them get their asses handed to them by the peanut gallery.

      1. I would donate for this.

      2. I would be happy if they would respond to comments. Bailey does an ok job, and Cavanaugh used to, even on articles he didnt write.

      3. Worth considering, but it’s different.

        One of the nice things about debating is, that it unleashes people, it brings out things more purely. And, simply, it has to be refreshing – for Robby, ENB, et al. – to be allowed to disregard balance, because that’s what your opponent is there for.

    2. I haven’t really read anything too awful from ENB. She does have a few dead horses she likes to beat, but I haven’t read any of the pandering or mental gymnastics I’ve come to expect from Robby.

      1. I don’t think Robby is anything near as bad as Weigal was. Robby has the same problem all of them do; his desire to look even handed and above the partisan fray has become a fetish such that he can never call out even the most appalling behavior on the left for what it is. No matter how bad the left behaves, it must be tempered with “the right is just as bad”. Robby has put a new spin on this tactic by instead of saying the right is just as bad he will say “some could believe the left has…” so that he doesn’t have to come out and say it but still reports on it.

        1. Robby is young and good looking so I think he has that youthful optimism. Give him some time and wrinkles and he’ll start to become more realistic. He reminds me of my liberal younger brother. Every year of experience brings a little more harsh reality.

          I don’t mind him nearly as much as, say, Richman….who should know better at his age

          1. Robby seems like a nice guy and I would happily have a beer with him or have him in my home. Richman in contrast is a fucking scumbag whom I could never associate with in good conscience.

          2. “Robby is young and good looking so I think he has that youthful optimism. Give him some time and wrinkles and he’ll start to become more realistic. He reminds me of my liberal younger brother. Every year of experience brings a little more harsh reality.”

            Proviso: I tried several of the breakfast recommendations from yesterday. That said, are you hitting on Robby? That may have implactions for your brother, too.

            1. *[implications]* (Not sure what I mixed there. “Placate” seems unlikely.)

              1. I don’t see how implications come into this, unless lap83 has a boat.

      2. ENB, I have no idea where her “feminism” fits in. I’d like to see some open conflict, contrast, something enlightening.

    3. I nominate SugarFree

        1. Oh my god, thirded. John can be his backup.

  32. The Sixth Circuit federal appeals court just struck down an Ohio censorship statute.

    The statute looks good on paper – don’t lie or tell reckless falsehoods about a political candidate – though when you put it that way, that’s already illegal.

    The fun part of the law is where a special commission investigates complaints, no matter how frivolous, by candidates against their critics. Not only do candidates have to spend time and money defending themselves before an extra-judicial administrative panel, billboard companies have been known to pull ads once they get informed certain political claims are under official investigation.

    The commission also has the power to order an investigation based on the equivalent of probably cause. That order, and the expensive proceedings it imposes on the candidate – can be issued before the election. The ultimate exoneration, if it comes at all, will come *after* the election.

    So this is all struck down because the court says it suppresses legitimate political speech (they’re also worried about the effect on false but non-defamatory speech, but they also focus on the impact on truthful speech).

    1. To clarify – first the commission investigates to see if there’s probable cause, and if it makes a probably cause finding it orders a full hearing (probably after the election).

      1. full hearing (probably after the election).

        Correct. But if my memory serves correctly, the ad in question is subject to an injunction for that entire time, effectively giving this commission censorship powers through their use of non-judicial injunctions.

    2. The statute looks good on paper – don’t lie or tell reckless falsehoods about a political candidate – though when you put it that way, that’s already illegal.

      It is almost like they want to use the threat of prosecution or litigation to deter legitimate criticism of the political class. Surely they wouldn’t want to do something like that, right?

    3. Interesting case. (Cf. the current FIRE one.) Thanks for sharing.

  33. Trump = an un-PC democrat that isn’t into identity politics.

    1. He’s a street-smart fish-out-of-water in a world he never made.

  34. Doesn’t Bernie present an awkard convo for the Dems?:

    On one hand:

    Barack you have been doing a great job, need to continue your policies and praise you for economic recovery.

    Bernie turns around

    – Income inequality, wage stagnation, middle class being destroyed, oligarchy, broke seniors, poverty crisis, lack of healthcare

    Bernie again

    But totally you did a great job!

    1. Not necessarily. Possible rationalization: “Well obviously any problems resulting from liberal policies are just because we didn’t implement the policies hard enough.”

      1. Thus, Bernie can criticize Obama for not using his full ass, while praising him for still using half an ass more than conservatives

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