Trump Could Pick Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, John Bolton Would Be Deputy

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Rex
ALESSANDRO DELLA BELLA/EPA/Newscom

The next secretary of state will be Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, NBC News reported. Former U.S Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton will serve as Tillerson's deputy.

That's according to two unnamed sources within the Trump transition team. NBC was careful to note that nothing is final until President-Elect Trump makes a statement. There's reason for some amount of skepticism, in other words.

The news follows recent unconfirmed reports from the CIA that Russia acted covertly to throw the presidential election to Trump. But, as U.S. Rep. Justin Amash pointed out on Twitter, people should be skeptical of such claims until presented with concrete proof.

As for Tillerson and Bolton, there are good reasons to be concerned about both developments. Tillerson is an incredibly close business partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was even awarded the Russian Order of Friendship in 2012 after negotiating a $500 billion energy partnership with Russia. According to The Hill, that deal has been halted as a result of sanctions levelled against Russia due to Putin's military aggressiveness in Crimea, but Tillerson would now be well-placed to lift those sanctions.

To be clear, lifting economic sanctions is often a good idea—economic interdependence is the foundation of mutual peace and prosperity—and Donald Trump's comparative reluctance to restart the Cold War was one of the better things about his candidacy. But Tillerson's very direct business interests are hopelessly entangled with the Russian state, and his selection creates a real possibility for diplomacy based upon crony corporatism. The U.S. should be less hawkish toward Russia because it's the smart thing to do, not because it enriches the mega-corporation recently helmed by the secretary of state.

Then there's Bolton. As Daniel Larison writes at The American Conservative, "The fact that Bolton is receiving a top job anywhere in the administration is an indictment of Trump's judgment and a sign of just how reckless and aggressive U.S. foreign policy is likely to be in the coming years."

But remember: We don't know for certain that Tillerson has been chosen to be secretary of state, and we certainly don't know whether the Senate will confirm him.

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451 responses to “Trump Could Pick Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, John Bolton Would Be Deputy

  1. The news follows recent unconfirmed reports from the CIA that Russia acted covertly to throw the presidential election to Trump.

    Those are not “reports from the CIA” = those are claims made by the NYT based on un-named sources.

    Its not even clear that their sources claims even support the headline conclusions.

    It is unclear how many files were stolen from the Republican committee; in some cases, investigators never get a clear picture. It is also far from clear that Russia’s original intent was to support Mr. Trump, and many intelligence officials ? and former officials in Mrs. Clinton’s campaign ? believe that the primary motive of the Russians was to simply disrupt the campaign and undercut confidence in the integrity of the vote.

    headline says X – article says Y.

    1. That’s because Robby is full of horseshit.

      1. i just think the whole post-hoc “apply skepticism” disclaimer is sort of silly, when if you read the actual article its clear that there’s little real substance to the claim to begin with.

        1. This isn’t the first time.

          How many times have we seen this?

          If he’s being honest, then he’s honestly oblivious.

          If he’s being dishonest on purpose because he thinks his intentions are good, then he’s just making the rest of us look evil and stupid for other reasons.

          How many times have we seen this?

          Hey Robby, did they actually tell you to lay low for pledge week?

          Did they send you on vacation?

          1. I think when even i feel like saying, “take it easy”, something’s wrong.

            1. “Tillerson is an incredibly close business partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was even awarded the Russian Order of Friendship in 2012 after negotiating a $500 billion energy partnership with Russia.”

              That’s what Robby wrote.

              It’s indefensible.

        2. Is introducing it as “unconfirmed reports” count as post-hoc?

          1. please don’t turn this into some bullshit niggle.

              1. pointing out the gap between the NYT headline claim and their actual story wasn’t bullshit. trying to niggle about how well robby qualified said bullshit is.

                1. Robby’s next story.

                  “SJWs want to ban the world niggle.”

                  1. My niggles are hard

                    1. My niggles are getting medieval.

                2. “Pointing out the gap between the NYT headline claim and their actual story wasn’t bullshit.”

                  No, it wasn’t.

                  And pointing out that this happens a lot isn’t bullshit either–not that you said it was.

                  We should start keeping track. I don’t have it in me to go back through the archives for this, but starting now . . .

                  People who disapprove of the job Rolling Stone did on Jackie shouldn’t link to stories that don’t say what he says they say–and they shouldn’t do it over and over again either.

                  We’ll start keeping track.

                  Counter +1

        3. But Trump must be stopped. FOR HUMANITY!

    2. Those are not “reports from the CIA” = those are claims made by the NYT based on un-named sources.

      C’mon, man – we all know the “unnamed source” was the Washington Post, the same way WaPo is reporting “growing evidence” of the Russian involvement by citing the NYT. Once CNN and ABC et al report what the NYT and WaPo are saying, why, that’s practically an unimpeachable source.

      1. Consensus!

      2. WaPo is way above board. They never disseminate bad info. They fight fake news, as well as do a bit of retro fake news

    3. Well, the left have already ran with this to the extent that there’s no going back for them. In other news, what happened to the recount? Where’s Jill Stein?

      1. the left have already ran with this to the extent that there’s no going back for them.

        ^ This. At least not until some distance gives them the space to claim that they were lied to.

      2. “Where’s Jill Stein?”

        Picking out her awesome super expensive new car?

        1. Green technology ain’t cheap, you know. That’s why we have quantitative easing.

        2. That’s an odd way to spell private jet.

      3. I think they’re hoping for dozens of faithless electors now.

        1. Well, I am hoping a dozen faithless college cheerleaders will soon knock on my door and want to party. But I live in reality.

        2. There’s rumor that there’s one in TX. Good luck with that overturning Trump’s yuuuge win in TX. Also, some of the electors seem to be a little upset about receiving death threats. The left’s ideas about persuasion seems to be just a bit misguided.

          1. Well we wouldn’t have to threaten you if you weren’t such a shameless, irredeemable rapist and islamophobe. Now vote for us goddammit or we will burn your town down.

            /lefty persuasion

            They are the same everywhere all the time throughout history

            1. I wonder how they got control of trade unions with an attitude like that.

              1. They brought something to the table then. Of course, the unions were bargaining with someone else’s money but they at least knew they had to offer something to get something. Nowadays the left seems to think insulting/screaming at/threatening people is persuasive on its own.

              2. birds, feathers, flocking, etc

            2. The left has fallen under the mistaken belief that yelling and bullying works, because the response of rational, normal people has been to either half-hardheartedly agree or ignore. The left confuses the disengagement of dissenting voices as assent and then acts dumbfounded when the people they screamed at until they shut up don’t vote the way they were supposed to.

    4. Those are not “reports from the CIA” = those are claims made by the NYT based on un-named sources.

      The CIA briefed senators on the report this week.

      “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”

      1. my point was that there is no one with any firsthand information here being quoted. these are all thirdhand characterizations of “reports” that the journalists have never seen. And while one describes “consensus”, others assert that its “Far from clear” what exactly anyone’s motives were.

        1. Which is why there should be skepticism. The response from the Trump team is funny:

          The Trump transition team dismissed the findings in a short statement issued Friday evening. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again,’?” the statement read.

          1. I like his use of “move on”.

          2. thats awesome. Bye next week I bet something will be added something about if they did hack us it’s because they don’t respect us and nothing like that would ever happen to now that trump in charge

        2. If the story is correct, this information would almost certainly be classified, meaning any “leaks” to NYT were illegal.

          It appears they’ve changed their mind about whether it’s ethical to publish illegally obtained information.

        3. You are correct Gilmore and I am betting the whole thing is a fabrication; you know, fake news.

          You can always tell what the left is up to by listening to their accusations leveled at their opponents.

          1. You can always tell what the left is up to by listening to their accusations leveled at their opponents.
            This.

          2. Right on! Like “increased violence” if Trump is elected, etc.

            1. Yeah, and absolutely no one in the immediate aftermath was willing to point out how bloody ridiculous that was.

              They were running covers like this in late october…

              …and yet when there were riots breaking out in portland, no one bothered to note that there was some irony to it.

      2. Is Harry Reid still considered a senior US official ?

        Maybe it was Pelosi.

        1. Yeah, he’s not retired yet, right?

    5. Steven Glass was ahead of his time. He understood that the narrative was more important than the facts in modern mainstream journalism. He’d be on his way to becoming senior editor of WaPo or Time if had started his career a few years ago.

      1. Once VOX cracked his code, he was no longer needed.

  2. I can work with this.

    /Takes deep breath

  3. I think there is reason for encouragement.

    1) John Bolton is not being given the top slot. Yes, it’s bad that he’s even in the building, but he won’t be calling the shots.

    2) If we’re going to go full-bore crony-capitalist, Tillerson has a definite interest in maintaining and even creating more peaceful relationships in some delicate parts of the world.

    3) We’re finally getting the government the left has always assumed that we have: corporate CEO’s directly running government agencies. What we now have that we didn’t used to have is a mass media that is outraged by this and that is determined to watch and criticize every conceivable move. A Clinton administration would be doing the same shit, but the appointees would be politically correct “achievement” appointments with the real power going on behind the scenes with a complacent media demonizing any critics.

    IOW, the whole thing is coming above-board, and I have at least a slight hope that the media will actually start doing its job, which will be easier now that the cronies are right out in the sunshine.

    1. Disclaimer: make no mistake that the Team Blue media are being first-order hypocrites. But you have to start somewhere.

    2. Tillerson should donate his stock options to the Clinton Foundation.

    3. Just like with GWB, they’ll attack him for stupid shit like not telling them about his dinner plans, or saying he wants to build the Keystone pipeline, while not touching his awful protectionist and federal spending increase policies.

      The MSM is worthless even when they’re opposing the president in power.

      1. I would have thought so, too, but I have heard many opinion pieces on NPR in the last couple of weeks decrying protectionism and populism and taking the Trump administration to task for its hostility toward free markets, which they now think are awesome and preferable to any other system in ability to help the poor and downtrodden.

        So anything can happen. I’m keeping an open mind, and digging a bomb shelter.

        1. Strange. I’m keeping a sheltered mind and openly getting bombed.

    4. Clinton’s appointees would be people who bought their titles through the Clinton Foundation. Straight up.

      1. I first read that “bought their titties”

      2. Haha undoubtedly!

        I’m in two minds about this – while I think friendlier relations between the US and Russia would be better for the world and deter intervention abroad, I’m equally cynical about Tillerson’s ties to Putin.

        If Medvedev were the current president of Russia and Tillerson was close to him, I would not mind at all. Medvedev atleast tried to mend relations with Europe and the US, and I’m sure (based on the policies of his premiership) would not have instigated the military intervention and subsequent international crisis in Ukraine. I feel uneasy the next POTUS can so blatantly cuddle up to a strongman like Putin.

  4. Trumpkins were traumatized by their leader’s disavowal of Birtherism – the cherished central doctrine of their movement. As a result they were demoralized and weak and highly susceptible to manipulative Russian propaganda that corrupted their morals and poisoned their ethic and made them vote for Trump. Fortunately all parties at least can agree that the real threat is Radical Islamic Terror, and the only solution is to eradicate… eradicate…. eradicate……

      1. You forgot to go off on a long tangent about ‘marginal yield’ in oil production ending with “but I have no dog in that fight.”

    1. Go post that on your website shreek, and then ague with your AddictionMyth sock about it. There are intelligent people here, none of whom are not laughing at you every retarded post you make.

      1. Careful with that ridicule, hype – it can quickly turn to chagrin.

        1. BLOOP BOINK BLOP DERP! Fuck off, shreek.

  5. Was Joe Scarborough always the “one sane voice” @ MSNBC?

    I recall him tarding things up during the bush admin, but lately he seems to have created a new persona for himself telling the rest of the Left that they’re being batshit crazy and they’re not helping anyone.

    Maybe he’s been reading Freddy DeBoer’s twitter.

    1. I can’t stop looking at that brown dude’s hair long enough to listen to anything being said in that video.

      1. Seriously. He looked like a South Park character come to life.

        1. He looks like Syndrome from The Incredibles. But brown.

      2. theory: He is super old and has found the fountain of youth. Turns out it doesn’t work too well for hair.

    2. Does looking like Clark Kent get you a free pass for tardness?

  6. “The fact that Bolton is receiving a top job anywhere in the administration is an indictment of Trump’s judgment and a sign of just how reckless and aggressive U.S. foreign policy is likely to be in the coming years.”

    No, it isn’t.

    If I were running a business, I wouldn’t surround myself with a bunch of people who just agree with me on everything every step of the way. Why the hell is that expected in government? Bolton probably has very different ideas with regards to Putin than Tillerson.

    1. Well, we already know what his idea is, invade Iran. So basically Bolton = Hillary with a lot less power than she would have had if she would have won. I think you’re right, but 2nd guy is actually 3rd guy behind Trump and Tillerson, so not quite as worrisome. Still a terrible choice period for anything.

    2. I have a similar hope, but I’m not ready to put a lot of faith in it.

      There can be many explanations for why the appointments are shaking out the way they are, and I think everyone has justifiably gotten a little skittish about offering interpretations.

      It’s been observed that Trump has to take people who are willing to associate themselves with him, but OTOH, he’s turned a lot of people away, so that perspective doesn’t totally hold water.

      He didn’t make Bolton #1, which he could have done (although he probably couldn’t have gotten Bolton confirmed), and he picked someone who probably has very different ideas from Bolton on how things should be done overseas.

      We’re so used to presidents filling their cabinets with like-minded people that Trump’s picks appear fairly chaotic.

      It may, in fact, be an indication of a certain level of chaos. But it may, as you suggest, be an intentional move to make sure many conflicting perspectives are represented on the cabinet, which could be a good thing.

    3. If you were running a business would you pay a pathological liar for his advice? Because Bolton has zero credibility due to his past of history of deliberately misleading his superiors.

      1. Psh, like invading Iraq was a bad idea.

        1. Actually, the ‘invasion’ itself went really well and they basically had overwhelmed the place in a few days.

          But they should have just gotten the hell out of the place afterwards.

          Sticking around for the ‘nation building’ is what led to a prolonged horrible war/occupation.

          ‘Wham bam thank you, ma’am’ might have been a better strategy.

          1. This despite Turkey denying an entire army the opportunity to open an entire additional front in the war; when one army was taking Baghdad, the other army was… on naval ships…

            1. +1 Republic of Kurdistan. Fuck Turkey, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

              1. I would have said the Republic of Kurdistan welcomes us, and we support them against all enemies.

      2. Not to mention someone who can use leaks to discredit any “appeasment” initiative.

  7. But Tillerson’s very direct business interests are hopelessly entangled with the Russian state, and his selection creates a real possibility for diplomacy based upon crony corporatism.

    Unprecedented! Who could imagine the Secretary of State might someday be using the office for personal gains, dispensing official favors in return for personal gains in some sort of “pay to play” scheme. Sad and shocking and tragic. I can’t even.

    1. Who could imagine the Secretary of State might someday be using the office for personal gains,

      that comment was like

      1. Everybody?

    2. The left are already screaming that Tillerson is a Putin puppet. How predictable is that? Wow, Putin has taken over the world, it’s amazing.

      1. Sounds like Tillerson is the right one then. Bravo leftoids!

      2. Would a Putin puppet be so bad? No war with Russia in the foreseeable future? I’ll take it.

    3. At least Tillerson has a history of making deals and building things instead of a history of a foreign policy involving murdering US citizens in drone strikes, dubious concepts like R2P, failed interventions in Libya and Syria, and intentionally lying about Benghazi.

  8. A Secretary of State that’s friendly with foreign leaders. The horror. Also, he should either divest himself of all stock and stock options in Exxon or recluse himself from any negotiations concerning the sanctions.

    1. Would anyone in a Hillary administration have done that? Just one person, including Hillary? No, and the media would be silent.

      1. He still should

    2. He should, yes – but as Hyperion points out, no one would be batting an eye if something similar happened in a Clinton administration. In fact, this is far from the first time such apparent conflicts of interest have been lurking around high-level administration officials. This is just the first time (in my memory, anyway) that appointees have been subjected to this level of scrutiny about such things.

      Which is not a bad thing – but it not being a bad thing doesn’t make it any less hypocritical coming from Team Blue.

      But your first sentiment is what gives me hope – Tillerson is someone who has extensive experience negotiating deals with foreign governments in which a peaceful, productive outcome was the goal. And he seems to be good at it.

      That, by itself, is a refreshing change from the status quo of thinking of Sec. State as primarily a military position.

      1. Republicans would be “batting an eye” at conflicts of interest, and Vox would immediately respond with a list of reasons why such conflicts make no difference. The rest of the media would report that it was a phake skandul.

  9. “Tillerson is an incredibly close business partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

    Oh no, the CEO of Exxon negotiated an oil production deal with Russia, an oil production powerhouse?!

    Does Robby have any idea what oil exploration and development entails?

    The deal is an agreement to develop Russian oil fields. It’s with the Russian government.

    Jesus Christ, he isn’t in a business partnership with Vladimir Putin!

    This is ridiculous. Do you guys think Robby really believes the shit he writes?

    Calling it dishonest is giving his intelligence the benefit of the doubt.

    1. “Oh no, the CEO of Exxon negotiated an oil production deal with Russia, an oil production powerhouse?! Does Robby have any idea what oil exploration and development entails?”

      Robby’s been reading HuffPo again. Come on, Robby, can’t you make up your own conspiracy theories? What about lizards, doesn’t Trump have any lizards on this cabinet shortlist yet? Putin can’t get credit for everything, or can he? Journalists need some new material, they’re all out.

    2. Plus, he doesn’t even say if we should like Putin or not!

      1. Much of what Putin has done should be condemned, to be sure . . .

        1. Especially the downing of that commercial airliner. The guy is an asshole and possibly a psycopath. Does that mean we should follow the left’s advice and enter into a new cold war with Russia? No. Just remember, the left’s current faux hostility towards Russia is all about creating a boogeyman to blame their electoral woes on. Scary Clowns faded out too quickly and so they had nothing left. None of it is based in reality.

          1. Just remember, the left’s current faux hostility towards Russia is all about creating a boogeyman to blame their electoral woes on. Scary Clowns faded out too quickly and so they had nothing left. None of it is based in reality.

            No doubt.

            I’m reminded of a recent comment that I think was from Ken about how pathetic it is that Team Blue still holds up the KKK as some serious force to be feared when it’s really a couple of dozen toothless guys in rural Idaho who can’t find jobs.

            We now know that it was silly to have still been afraid of Russia in the 80s, let alone now. Communism did not create a superpower – it hamstrung one. They have stabilized, and even regained some territory, but to pretend it’s 1963 again is just dumb.

          2. The guy is an asshole and possibly a psycopath. Does that mean we should follow the left’s advice and enter into a new cold war with Russia? No. Just remember, the left’s current faux hostility towards Russia is all about creating a boogeyman to blame their electoral woes on.

            To be fair, though, the neo-Soviets are nasty dictators and petulant assholes. They went on a DDoS attack against an entire country when the country had the unmitigated gall to stand up for itself by moving a statue of an occupying Red Army officer from a central square.

            1. Omg DDoS attack?!?!?!

              Start the new cold war.

          3. Ironically, the far left has been defending Putin, blaming the West (capitalism) for the Ukraine situation, maybe because RT let’s them rant on air and that’s as close to real media that they get.

    3. The deal is an agreement to develop Russian oil fields. It’s with the Russian government.

      Jesus Christ, he isn’t in a business partnership with Vladimir Putin!

      It is known that Putin has very little influence within the Russian government.

  10. “He was even awarded the Russian Order of Friendship in 2012 after negotiating a $500 billion energy partnership with Russia.”

    The Russian Order of Friendship is given to people in the arts, business, conservation, etc. for fostering cooperation between Russia and the rest of the world.

    The Order of Friendship doesn’t mean Putin and Tillerson are best friends, you dolt!

    Try this for comparison:

    1) The Order of Friendship is awarded to Russian and foreign nationals for special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations, for fruitful work on the convergence and mutual enrichment of cultures of nations and peoples; for the active conservation, development and promotion of the cultural and historical heritage of Russia; for great contribution to the implementation of joint ventures with the Russian Federation, major economic projects and attracting investments into the economy of the Russian Federation; for broad charitable activities.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Order_of_Friendship

    2) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is the “order of chivalry of British constitutional monarchy”; rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the Civil Service.[2]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Order_of_the_British_Empire

    This post is so retarded.

  11. Cheney was a Halliburton exec and we still blew stuff up.

    1. Yeah, but Halliburton didn’t directly benefit from that.

      1. So this guy might still blow sht up…

        1. True.

          An encouraging difference in incentives is that Halliburton builds oil-drilling infrastructure, whereas Exxon depends on actually getting the oil out of the ground in a steady flow. Halliburton gains from blowing shit up, Exxon not so much.

          Those are my rose-colored glasses and you’re not taking them off!

  12. The news follows recent unconfirmed reports from the CIA that Russia acted covertly to throw the presidential election to Trump.

    Has anyone explained how? It does make me uneasy that a foreign government might try to steer the electorate in one way or another, but as far as I know, Russia is only accused of releasing *true* information about Hillary Clinton, but not Trump. But there was an endless stream of critical information about Trump from traditional news outlets, so it’s not like the electorate was uninformed one way or the other.

    I guess what I’m saying is, it’s worth investigating, but absent outright vote fraud it doesn’t seem like any potential Russian action was really all that consequential.

    1. From the WaPo story I also linked above:

      Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

      1. In summary, the voters were swayed by direct evidence of how the Clintonistas conducted themselves. If it swayed them at all.

    2. Has anyone explained how?

      Easy = people are sheep and are easily swayed into voting against their interests by deceptive propaganda.

      Which would be very convincing…

      …. if not for details like, “entire news networks operating on behalf of the Clinton campaign“, and “media shilling reaching epic proportions”, and “newspaper editorial-board endorsements going 20-1 to Clinton

      etc.

      The idea that the *Russians* could have some effect on voters that completely dwarfed every other source of epic-bullshit? is absurd. Even if they were the ultimate source of the wikileaks dumps – you can’t “Sway” voters unless there’s raw-material which is “swayable”. and the real source of that was Clinton herself.

      1. Somehow the left does not realize that while all the bullshit they can make up will be easily believed by their useful idiots, it will have the opposite effect on everyone else. They learn nothing, double down on old mistakes, salty prog tear barrel reserves reach record highs.

      2. Sounds like the crying the left was doing about 15 years ago wanting cable news regulated. Didn’t matter that all but one network was pimping their cause, that one little upstart FOX needed to be brought into line, with federal marshals if needed, just for playing it down the middle.

    3. I suspect the story isn’t Russia, it’s our laughable cybersecurity problem. It’s easier to point fingers than fix the problem, and BUT RUSSIA is a convenient red herring.

      1. Communism is a red herring.

        1. That’s awesome, and you are awesome for posting it.

    4. “Has anyone explained how?”

      It’s sort of like this. Archaeologists just excavated a new Mayan site. They discovered that Mayans had wireless technology! They excavated the entire site and didn’t find any wires at at all!

      When your premise is ridiculous to the point of absurdity and 100% fabricated, how do you explain the why? Make up an ever more gigantic pile of bullshit? Now you’re buried in even more bullshit. The left are going to wind up with eggs all over their stupid faces over this one.

    5. “Has anyone explained how?”

      They did it in the most insidious way imaginable–by showing the voters the truth.

      Those sick bastards–how could they?!

    6. You see, when a news organization meets an audience, it doesn’t lead with the truth, it covers up for one candidate while providing a constant stream of bullshit for another candidate. And a year later, a President is born.

      1. Metaphorical hate fuck.

  13. Regarding Tillerson, I said this in another thread

    One way of looking at Trump’s cabinet picks is as a much-needed infusion of real-world experience and a rejection of career politicians. But I worry that a bunch of these people will prove to be cronyist hacks.

    1. Yep, both interpretations are fair. We’ll have to wait and see.

    2. Well said.

      1. What concerns me is at some point in the discussion of the Interior Secretary nominee mention was made of “opening up federal lands to more mining and forestry operations.”

        Which is a good refresher on how this shit tends to go with Republicans.

        Proper goal: privatize federal lands and hand them into the permanent custodianship of private interests who have pre-existing incentives for sustainable practices.

        What a Republican administration will do: temporarily lease federal land to cronies to exploit as many resources as they can in as short a period as they can with an incentive to exhaust those resources if at all possible.

        While Greens always scream about free market capitalism, the worst ecological disasters happen when the government leases its land.

        1. Leasing can be done by administrative action. Divestment would take acts of Congress.

    3. But I worry that a bunch of these people will prove to be cronyist hacks.

      Don’t cronyist hacks become and stay cronyist hacks by getting government jobs and shaking down people who want to do business?

  14. To be clear, lifting economic sanctions is often a good idea?economic interdependence is the foundation of mutual peace and prosperity?and Donald Trump’s comparative reluctance to restart the Cold War was one of the better things about his candidacy. But Tillerson’s very direct business interests are hopelessly entangled with the Russian state, and his selection creates a real possibility for diplomacy based upon crony corporatism. The U.S. should be less hawkish toward Russia because it’s the smart thing to do, not because it enriches the mega-corporation recently helmed by the secretary of state.

    Doing good thing for bad reasons is bad, mmkay.

    You know, I could be sold on the idea that the CEO of Exxon is a cronyist who will sell us all with a smile on his face, but I’m asking here. Can we get a better argument?

    1. /gives HoD a refund for tin foil hat.

      1. DoomCo gives Hamster of Doom a refund?

        I thought refunds were not permitted to immediate family members.

      2. No refunds, credit notes only.

    2. I had the same reaction.

      The U.S. should be less hawkish toward Russia because it’s the smart thing to do, not because it enriches the mega-corporation recently helmed by the secretary of state.

      Okay. If we do a smart thing for a stupid reason does that make it stupid? I don’t think it does.

      If Tillerson does something illegal in the course of doing said smart thing? He should go to jail.

      There’s really no reason for this to be difficult.

    3. Who owns Exxon?

      1. Evil.

      2. here:

        http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/xom/ownership-summary

        Most of the company is owned by institutional investors.

        The biggest is The Vanguard Group, a mutual fund company

        1. Therefore, it is owned by The People and The People have spoken.

          Next red herring.

    4. I’ll try: If Putin things he’s got a buddy in the state department he will be more aggressive because he’ll assume the US will let him get away with more.

      That’s the downside of having someone friendly with a rival in a position of power I guess.

  15. As I’m sitting here reading with the old dog snoozing next to my chair (as he mostly does these days since he’s about 112 and deaf and half blind and getting pretty creakily arthritic) the fucker let out a fart that I swear to God stunk so bad I went temporarily deaf.

    The more you know.

    1. Um, … what has he been eating?

      1. If you feed an old dog raw eggs it will fix that gas problem. Try it, you’ll see.

        1. Does any online forum has a better eclectic mix of knowledge?

          1. No. Except for gay websites.

    2. Wait, you are my house Jerry?

      *Adjusts gas mask*

    3. I blame Russia. Putin snuck in and fed him vodka and goulash while you were looking away to post!

      1. Recipe or GTFO.

  16. In other TDS news. I literally just heard an older gal refuse to buy plastic bags at the grocery store (here in CA where they’re now “banned”, aka ‘not free’) since that’s what ‘Trump would want her to do’ and something about that money going to him. Yeah lady, don’t blame the person to your left and right for the ban, blame the NY real estate guy for you now needing to carry shopping bags around.

    1. that’s what ‘Trump would want her to do’

      mass-psychosis is not a pretty thing.

    2. Did you burst out in laughter?

      1. Just sported a disbelieving, wide grin for about 5 mins.

        1. You should have said, “Do you think Trump cares if you buy a bag? No. What he cares about is that right now I grab your pussy” and then chased her out of the store doing the crab claws over your head.

          1. *shudders* This chick (?) looked like Jackie Gleason with a pony tail.

            1. would

            2. You wouldn’t grab pony tailed Jackie Gleason’s pussy? That is not very inclusive of you. I’m not sure your fellow Californians would approve.

              1. What happens when the person who you connect with so well looks like Jackie Gleason with a ponytail? You might be surprised to learn it’s not a deal-breaker . . .

              2. I would grab She-Gleason by the ponytail ? it’s nature’s handle!

    3. Why are you still in California? Are you one of Them?

      1. Military and No

      2. Just out of curiosity, is your handle a reference to the Soul Coughing album?

      3. Hey, some of us were unfortunate enough to be born here, and getting one’s self setup for leaving takes a little time, especially in this anti business state. (I’m hoping to be ready to move outta here next year).

    4. Were you surprised? Thinking that Trump wants people to use plastic bags is no more idiotic than believing Putin is behind Trump’s victory. Once a person has reached a certain level of naivete, they’ll believe anything as long as the right person is saying it.

      I hate going out on a limb like this and I’ve heard time and time and time again, oh this party is done, that party is done, but the left appear to be in the throes of a death knell.

      1. I hate going out on a limb like this and I’ve heard time and time and time again, oh this party is done, that party is done, but the left appear to be in the throes of a death knell.

        I think it really is, and the Trump victory has really exposed it. Most of us have been operating under the assumption that Hillary Clinton would be next president for about a year at least. It was the Republican Party that was looking like it was in shambles.

        But now that the Dems don’t have the presidency anymore, you look around and say “huh. Where are all the Democrats?”

        Lowest ebb since before the Depression, which means:

        1) they’ve spent FDR’s political capital
        2) they’ve spent the CRA’s political capital

        What do they have left? A core of shrieking supporters without a shred of ideological consistency. They toy with the hard left, but eventually the hard left is going to find out that Sanders, Warren, and Reich are phonies.

        The name will continue, but I’ll bet the Democratic Party of the 2020s resembles the Democratic Party of the 1980s about how the Democratic Party of William Jennings Bryant resembled the Democratic Party of Grover Cleveland.

        1. Also, most of the Dems at the federal level are ancient, and they have no bench of young Democrats at the state level

          1. They have a bunch in CO. They gerrymandered my district. I saw your question from a few days ago, and I know wasted state well. I grew up in that town. I even did two semesters there after getting out of the Coast Guard. I now live further west where it is warmer. Gunnysack is cold as a feminists stare. There is one county on the Western Slope that went Clinton. Guess which one?

            1. Whichever one Gunnison is in?

            2. Also. There are a few Dems at the state level that could go on to federal terms. Hickenlooper might be one, but I don’t he could be president, and I think once you’ve been chief executive, running for Congress has little appeal.

              1. Ya, Gunnison went Clinton. Too many damn Californians moved there. Ruined the place.

                1. That’s the entire front range, guy. Sorry the infection is spreading over the divide.

      2. It all makes sense. Plastic is made of oil, which means Exxon.

        If I knew musicals better I could fit that into that thing about trouble and playing pool.

        1. We got outrage right here in Corruption City.
          That’s outrage with a capital “O”
          Which rhymes with “O”
          Which stands for “Oil”

    5. The new (reverse) guiding principle of the left: WWTD

      1. Lick Melania’s cunt? I have no problem with that.

  17. Certainly Putin would have the *motive* to oppose Clinton’s election, after she made what seems to be the one sincere promise in her campaign: Her promise to engage in dick-measuring foolishness with the Russians in Syria.

    I can see why Putin would want to stop a candidate who is into that sort of thing.

    But as discussed above, I don’t think that stealing and leaking evidence of Hillary’s corruption would in itself turn the country from Hillary-supporters into Trump-supporters.

    “Until recently I thought Hillary and the Democrats were honest, but thanks to these leaks I know better!”

    1. Also, maybe the US should be more hesitant when it comes to meddling in other countries’ elections…it might set a bad precedent.

      1. As a patriot, I would hate to think that we needed a foreign despot to protect this country against Hillary.

        1. Why? A foreign despot helped us get rid of King George.

          1. I hadn’t thought of it that way.

            Of course, we were openly *asking* for France’s help.

            I’m not aware of patriots saying, “please, Vladimir, help us show how corrupt Hillary is!”

            1. You need to spend more time at Lew Rockwell’s site then.

              1. His guys occasionally show up at BWI airport handing out propaganda. I stopped and talked to them once. They’re completely fucking insane.

              2. If only I had a *like* button for HM’s posts.

                And for some of Eddie’s, also. You’re both lovable, eloquent scamps.

                1. I on the other hand am waiting for Facebook to add a ‘hate’ button so I can ‘hate’ pictures relatives post if their ugly kids.

  18. Russia hacked the election according to the CIA, the same folks who gave us the Iraq war.

    1. Well, there seems to be a good possibility that the CIA said nothing in regards to that.

    2. “Hacked the election” would imply that they actually hacked into voting machines/optical scanners and altered the vote totals. They are not saying that.

      1. All hacks are not in computers. Could have been an SE hack, or it could merely be the intentional use of a word with a loose meaning to hack the unsuspecting readers.

  19. Even assuming that the Wikileaks revelations were part of a concerted Russian effort to get Trump elected, how does that constitute “interference in an election”? Dredging up secret information about wrongdoing by political parties and officeholders and candidates for office is a major function of the press — the main reason why we have freedom of the press, in fact. It’s not fucking interference. Wikileaks was picking up the slack, doing the stuff that the media should have done in a healthy democracy.

    Now, if they had hacked into voting machines and altered the counts, then yeah, of course that would be interference in an election. But there doesn’t appear to be any evidence for that.

    1. In general, countries should butt out of each others’ elections, and that includes Russia and the U.S.

      I want to leave myself room to criticize Putin if he should try to swing elections a way I *don’t* like.

      1. Again, I don’t know if Putin *did* interfere, simply that he would have had motive to do so.

      2. I find that to be baloney that aids the statists in both countries. True, relevant information about the candidates and parties cannot be considered as “interfering” with an election.

    2. DHS on the other hand

      Not machines, but WTF?

      1. oh fer fuck. Not sure why the link now has a subscribe wall. sorry

    3. Because, by god, you do not need to know the truth about how corrupt and partisan CNN and MSNBC are and how the DNC rigged their own goddamn election.

  20. It should be pointed out, as well, that the Obama Administration was unusual (and unusually stupid) for not having hardly any business leaders in his cabinet.

    “The under-representation of business experts obviously fuels the impression that Obama is more hostile to private industry than his predecessors. George W. Bush appointed at least six business leaders to Cabinet posts, and Bill Clinton at least 5, according to Bloomberg.”

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blo…..ss-leaders

    If there hasn’t been a problem with apparent conflicts of interest over the last eight years due to people’s former work in private enterprise, that’s probably because Obama didn’t really have anyone with business experience. They were all academics, politicians, lawyers, and career bureaucrats.

    Hillary had a conflict of interests, but that wasn’t because of her work as a CEO in the private sector. Hillary Clinton couldn’t run a fast food franchise successfully.

    1. “Hillary Clinton couldn’t run a fast food franchise successfully.”

      Of course not, it’s too much work.

    2. “They were all academics, politicians, lawyers, and career bureaucrats.”

      AKA Top Men

      That is a progressive lineup.

      1. Pinko Ideologues.

    3. But if he had business leaders in his cabinet, they might have advised him that ACA would be money loser for the insurance companies and the consumers. Yes men have the courage to tell the president what he wants to hear.

    4. It should be pointed out, as well, that the Obama Administration was unusual (and unusually stupid) for not having hardly any business leaders in his cabinet.

      Because businesses don’t give leadership roles to 23-year olds with creative art degrees?

      1. Business people are obsessed with profit–but subjecting the efforts of government to absurd notions like cost/benefit analyses is insane.

        Obama knows this because an academic somewhere told him so.

    5. It should be pointed out, as well, that the Obama Administration was unusual (and unusually stupid) for not having hardly any business leaders in his cabinet.

      This. We’ve had rule by professor. No wonder things have sucked so badly. Mrs. Clinton may have actually been an improvement over President ‘O’.

      1. Oh, I thought you were talking about the Wilson administration. Carry on,

    1. I haven’t heard his voice in 40 years. I watched it thinking it was going to be a spoof and turn funny. Damn.

      1. The little black girl seems to know exactly what’s up.

  21. The oil industry pushes hard for ‘hate speech’ laws because they can use them to incite violence in the middle east. Here’s how it works: the US enacts a law against insulting muslims. People say nasty things about muslims and the US doesn’t persecute. So then a muslim says, “The US refuses to enforce it’s laws against islamophobes. This is why we must attack and kill them.” Yes they literally will use that argument like they already do in Europe. (E.g. Flemming Rose – the patsy for the Danish Secular Caliphate.)

    Does that seem far fetched? Remember, Keith Ellison is a strong supporter of anti-BDS laws. Why could that be? Trump will pretend to resist ‘hate speech’ laws but eventually he’ll give in and sign it. He’s and Schumer are becoming fast friends.

    And the Trumpkins say, “Bleep blop borp”:

    1. Newsweek lied. People died. Yea, saw how it works.

  22. Altogether now

    “You can’t hack voting machines that don’t have internet access”

    Russia apparently couldn’t stop Clinton from winning the popular vote, so they presciently intervened on the 4 rust belt states to give Trump the victory.

    Something in the lefty brain doesn’t click and say “If we make election fraud an issue, we end up validating Trump’s position, and makes us look like fools for ridiculing him”

    1. If they make election fraud an issue and too much light is shined in that direction the dems will never win another election local, state, or federal.

      Why does everyone think it was Stien that asked for the recount and not Clinton?

      1. Because Hillary is an honorable person, in no way a bad loser, and she just wants the country to heal.

        1. This message is provided by “The Office of the President Reject”.

    2. Altogether now

      “You can’t hack voting machines that don’t have internet access”

      Sure you can. Stuxnet is the most famous example of a virus jumping an airgap; see here and here for more info/examples.

      More specifically regarding voting machines:

      It doesn’t matter whether the voting machines are connected to the Internet. Shortly before each election, poll workers copy the ballot design from a regular desktop computer in a government office, and use removable media (like the memory card from a digital camera) to load the ballot onto each machine. That initial computer is almost certainly not well secured, and if an attacker infects it, vote-stealing malware can hitch a ride to every voting machine in the area.

      Now, whether anyone is likely to, and whether teh evul Russians actually did, are both other matters.

      1. That’s technically true, but it would be orders of magnitude more difficult than what Stuxnet did. Stuxnet had as its ultimate target only one kind of machine, one kind of behavior to force it into, no need for coordination between the infected machines, and no worries about leaving behind a trail as the damage was already done. This putative attack would have to hit many disparate types of machines. It would have to coordinate them so as to avoid the appearance of any anomalies. Not only voting machines themselves, but also optical ballot counters in Michigan where the election is paper only.

        And Stuxnet was the Normandy Invasion of malware, something that many experts previously considered impossible. So this supposed Russian hacking of the election has the probability of a mile-wide asteroid impact.

        1. Now, whether anyone is likely to, and whether teh evul Russians actually did, are both other matters.

          Why do I bother adding caveats if folks always just blast right past them?

          1. I did say you were correct, and it IS generally important to understand that not being connected to the Net isn’t an absolute barrier to malware. Just fleshing out your caveat, that’s all.

            1. So basically he was correct, and everything you posted was stupid pontification with no purpose.

              Go away Tulpa.

    3. It is kind of funny that until the backward states finally started using electronic voting machines, hacking wasn’t an issue. It is as if writers from California and New York were unaware that people in Tennessee were using electronic machines in the 1990s.

  23. All of this “Russian influence” is horseshit.
    *EVEN* if it was true, what they are claimed to have done is release actual data. So “influencing the election” is providing honest information?
    We should thank them; they did us a favor compared to that hag’s campaign of lies and obfuscation.

    1. So “influencing the election” is providing honest information?

      Why do you think TEAM BLUE is shrieking about so-called “Fake News”?

  24. The U.S. should be less hawkish toward Russia because it’s the smart thing to do, not because it enriches the mega-corporation recently helmed by the secretary of state.

    I see. & you’re afraid the right thing might get done for the wrong reason. Because intentions Trump all.

    1. This^. The road to hell gets less travelled, and that made all the difference.

  25. The goal of these monsters is to incite a war with the middle east and North Africa to reduce their oil production and thereby raise the price for US energy. It’s their wet dream.

    1. I agree, dajjal. That’s why I’m glad you and me supported Trump through it all. I’m looking forward to roasting those savages, just like you.

      1. That is a threat, flak. It has been recorded.

  26. Some details on the rationale for Tillerson’s Russian exploration deal:

    “Despite the riches on offer in the Arctic, the Russians cannot explore on their own. Their expertise is largely based on onshore fields ? but these basins are extremely deep, some 6,000 feet below sea level. To reach them, the Russians need to draw on the expertise and technology of the large international oil companies, used to drilling in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil. Then there is the additional peril of ice floes, a particular problem when the oil platforms cost up to ?10 billion apiece. Putin flattered Tillerson by observing that one of Exxon’s platforms can withstand being struck by a million-ton iceberg ? but the total exploration bill for the Arctic could still be as much as ?200 billion.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/ oil/8733104/Vladimir-Putin-plays-for-high -stakes-in-the-oil-game.html

    From what I understand, Exxon has won the right to some of the oil in exchange for discovery, expertise, and their investment.

  27. Some details on the rationale for Tillerson’s Russian exploration deal:

    “Despite the riches on offer in the Arctic, the Russians cannot explore on their own. Their expertise is largely based on onshore fields ? but these basins are extremely deep, some 6,000 feet below sea level. To reach them, the Russians need to draw on the expertise and technology of the large international oil companies, used to drilling in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil. Then there is the additional peril of ice floes, a particular problem when the oil platforms cost up to ?10 billion apiece. Putin flattered Tillerson by observing that one of Exxon’s platforms can withstand being struck by a million-ton iceberg ? but the total exploration bill for the Arctic could still be as much as ?200 billion.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/ oil/8733104/Vladimir-Putin-plays-for-high -stakes-in-the-oil-game.html

    From what I understand, Exxon has won the right to some of the oil in exchange for discovery, expertise, and their investment.

  28. There’s something very childish about insisting that we only deal with nice people.

    The first priority of American foreign policy should always be American interests, and if and when it’s in America’s interests to play nice with a vicious shithead like Putin, that’s exactly what we should do. Someone who has a working relationship with Putin should be a plus . . . if you want a Secretary of State who can deal with Russia over Syria, Iran, ISIS, etc.

    Remember when Obama was going to reset our relationship with Putin? Back then, normalizing our relationship with Russia was supposed to be a good thing. What changed?

    1. I hold that the real policy of England?apart from questions which involve her own particular interests, political or commercial?is to be the champion of justice and right; pursuing that course with moderation and prudence, not becoming the Quixote of the world, but giving the weight of her moral sanction and support wherever she thinks that justice is, and wherever she thinks that wrong has been done…I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow…

      Lord Palmerston

      1. And with that justification they went to Africa in the name of abolition–and the horrors of British Imperialism commenced.

        The world is still reeling from the aftermath, from Zimbabwe to Pakistan, and from North Africa through the rest of the former Ottoman Empire.

        Would have been better if they’d simply pushed their commercial interests. You don’t have to shoot so many elephants that way.

        1. Paul Johnson does an excellent job of dissecting the official abolition policy of the British government in Birth of the Modern.

          And, yes, Palmerston was not a non-interventionist. However, I think his idea of interest vs. allies ties–somewhat–into your original point.

          1. I think he’s going in the opposite direction.

            That statement is pure neocon to me. That’s Condoleezza Rice.

            I’m saying that if it’s in the best interests of the United States to leave Saddam Hussein in power, then we should leave Saddam Hussein in power. If it’s in our interests to support Pinochet, then we should . . .

            1. Agree on the last para.

            2. I would draw the line at ‘not overthrow’ rather than ‘support’ in many such cases. No statesman with a conscience should support Hitler or Pol Pot because it’s in the ‘national interest.’

              Frankly, I’m not a big fan of the idea of ‘national interest’ beyond keeping foreign armies behind the lines on the map inside which we live.

              1. “I would draw the line at ‘not overthrow’ rather than ‘support’ in many such cases. No statesman with a conscience should support Hitler or Pol Pot because it’s in the ‘national interest.’

                What is and what isn’t in America’s best interest is up for debate, and just like with a business, life is a marginal analysis–what’s in our best interests during the Cold War may not be in our nest interests after the Cold War is over.

                You would be hard pressed show how supporting Hitler or Pol Pot could ever have been in our best interests.

                I can see how supporting Pinochet might have made sense during the Cold War, and I can see counter arguments to that, as well. Reasonable people can disagree on that issue, but the issue shouldn’t be decided on the basis of neocon dogmatism–we’re not doing business with nasty people even if refusing to work with them is bad for American security. The question of whether or not to support someone like Pinochet should be decided on whether doing so is in the interests of American security.

                . . . in business and in life, sometimes we have to work with people we don’t like to get the job done.

                I’d also add that it’s this neocon dogmatism that leads to elective and aggressive wars of liberation. The idea that we need to spread democracy at gunpoint is the natural flip side of the idea that we can’t pursue our own security interests because another country’s government is insufficiently democratic

                1. “You would be hard pressed show how supporting Hitler or Pol Pot could ever have been in our best interests.”

                  You only have to know a little history. The US under Reagan and continuing under Bush supported the Pol Pot regime. Despite Hun Sen’s takeover, the KR maintained its international recognition and seat at the UN thanks to US support. America’s ‘national interest’ at the time was anti-Soviet. Pol Pot was a thorn in their side and a feather in Uncles Sam’s cap.

    2. There’s something very childish about insisting that we only deal with nice people.

      So we shouldn’t be dealing with Obama or Clinton, then.

    3. ” Back then, normalizing our relationship with Russia was supposed to be a good thing. What changed?”

      The Trumputian team has not brought out a piece of plywood with a clown nose on it to symbolize reset?

    4. What changed?

      Among other things, Syria.

      Putin made the Obama admin look like morons there. they tried to foment the civil war at a distance and insisted “Assad must go”. Russia stepped in to aid Assad and the US was forced into a position to either escalate or back down, and they backed down.

      1. Watched a couple Razorfist rants last night. It doesn’t appear he’s reading off a script, but he doesn’t make grammar mistakes or mix up idioms like I certainly would going that fast. Quite impressive.

        1. He used to do political radio. He has an incredible capacity to rant. Obviously he writes some of his barbs in advance, but he sprinkles them in so fluidly that you don’t get the impression he’s setting up his witticisms like Dennis Miller.

          1. Demosthenes got accused of writing his speeches “by the lamp”. IOW he had obviously spent a lot of time working on them and so they came off as stale. When accused of that, his answer was, “Yeah, I did spend my time by the lamp. What the hell were you doing at that time.” I prefer to believe he was calling them midnight strokers. Zing!

            1. Here is Razorfist’s Gawker Rant from 2015 (before the decision)

              Reason magazine is flagged (*not favorably) in the midst of it.

      2. The difference was that a Republican was elected.

        When Obama was in power, no one talked about the corrupting influence of playing nice with Putin.

        1. Some people were. The country not so much. The Uranium One deal comes to mind. That deal will never get hailed from the roof tops or on the front pages though. It could never get out mainstream that there was one person running for the presidency that actually did a favor for the Russians while in the office of SS and lost because she is a corrupt vile lying detestable human being and the people rejected her.

          It doesn’t matter much, it is all the wrong people who rejected her if you ask the right people.

        2. You don’t remember the Bush II regime. Rice was the secretary of state, and she was so close to Exxon that she was named after an oil tanker. Also much hope was placed in her abilities as a ‘Russian expert.’

      3. That doesnt sound right. I remember when team Obumbles said their foreign policy is ‘Don’t do stupid shit’, so that cant be right Gil.

        Christ what an embarrassment and disgrace the moron has been. Eight long years of fuckuppery. Once again I would like to congratulate every single sucker who was duped into voting for the guy.

    5. I remember when satisfying people’s nicotine cravings while reducing the amount of smoke they inhaled was a good thing too.

    6. The first priority of American foreign policy should always be American interests

      That’s a very vague criterion.

      Which American’s interests? e.g., what’s good for consumers and international travelers is bad for exporters.

      Is our interest defined in purely monetary terms, or also in terms of security, freedom of travel to and investment in other countries, etc?

      Long-term? Short-term? Can you even really predict what the effect of your policy down the road is going to be well enough to know how it turns out?

      1. There really is no such thing as ‘national Interest’ I think other than that people living in the nation all more or less agree that they don’t want other nations coming over uninvited with their armies.

        People can just as easily argue that we should invade Iran for ‘national interest’ as for the sale of democratization.

  29. NBC was careful to note that nothing is final until President-Elect Trump makes a statement.

    Nor after.

  30. “US to add 200 troops to Islamic State fight in Syria”
    […]
    “The United States is sending 200 additional U.S. troops to Syria, nearly doubling the Pentagon’s presence there, to help thousands of Kurdish and Arab fighters massing for an assault on the Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/world/ar…..788369.php

    You’d think with about a month before Mr. Carter goes back to selling insurance or whatever he did, he’d be a little cautious regarding these sorts of commitments.

    1. It is called ‘shitting in the nest’. Laying a nice turd for Trump to deal with. No matter if Americans get killed in Syria, if Obumbles cant score political points at least he can keep Trump from scoring some.

      1. So soldiers as political pawns. What a pathetic PoS.

    2. nearly doubling the Pentagon’s presence there,

      that’s bullshit.

      I’ve paid attention every time there were any mentions of US forces in that area and from the dribs and drabs that have come out, I’d guess there’s been as many as 1000 there since early this year.

      surprisingly – one thing you can occasionally rely on the hard-lefties for is to similarly fact-check US claims about our military

      Journalist Kristina Wong reported Thursday for the Hill that a Central Command spokesman acknowledged “that some troops that temporarily deploy aren’t counted”?and this number could be far higher.

      According to Wong’s reporting, defense officials are making the conscious choice not to reveal the final tally of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria. “There’s been a decision made not to release that number,” spokesperson Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters in March. “The number that we release is our force management level… I don’t have a reason for not releasing this number other than it’s the orders that I’m under.”

      they estimate between Iraq and Syria that there’s probably around “8-10,000” in the area (most in iraq), compared to the official number which is about half that.

      1. So like every other number out of the Obama administration. Got it.

  31. We should declare war on anyone that tricks us with a phishing scam. Right, Mr. Podesta? We’ll even call it a sophisticated and wide ranging hack of our voting system.

  32. I love women.

    1. My niggles are hard

    1. I’d recommend Walter Block, but I don’t like being called “racist” by a jacket.

    2. They want another Weigel.

      They don’t want a genuine Trump supporter = they want a lefty who spends enough time around Trump supporters (or even the *real* ‘online alt-right) that he knows what the fuck he’s talking about. Unlike basically 99% of people @ the Times or WaPo, for whom the world beyond the confines of HuffPo politics is a vast uncharted wasteland.

      1. They might want another Weigel, but I suspect we will see a whole lot more National Review staff in unusual places.

        Those guys are undisputed Right and it is hard to find one who has anything nice to say about Trump.*

        *I am still ant-Trump.

    3. My opinion is that I should be paid for my opinion.

      1. That one was for free; the next opinion of mine will cost you…

        1. Trust me, that first one cost me.

              1. That only pulls up a blank page, thankfully. Dude, you gotta issue a trigger warning before linking to Krugman.

                1. Not intentional, but it is fitting Krugman’s Twitter feed is a blank page. *Cheers*

              2. Is that another Mr Rogers video? I am never clicking one of your links again.

                  1. I hesitated and then clicked. Right on. The world needs more of him and less of the other.

                    1. He’s saying the same thing Mr Rogers had said. Just a bit more forcefully.

                    2. I must have missed that part about Mr Rogers saying don’t stone people to death. Although he should have said it.

                    3. True fact: Mr Rodgers always wanted to live next door to me. Yes, I’m that cool.

                    4. Mr. Rogers never talked much about his crazy cousin Achmed.

                      Achmed did videos where he came home, changed out of his suit into a turban and robe, and then invited the kids to follow along as he slaughtered Mr. Infidel.

                  2. We need more Sir Charles Napiers

                    “Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

    4. “An even more daring theory: The lack of advocates for Trump in the mainstream media helped create a breach that has been filled by scurrilous “fake” news stories. As it happens, conservatives seem to be the most receptive to fake news stories, especially those that attack liberals and Democrats.”

      Yep, it is only fake when you attack liberals. Wake up people.

    5. “Let’s get some opinion columnists who are objective.

      “Oops, it looks like they’re all progressives. Well, all we did was recruit all the smart and reasonable people we knew!

      “Still, it might be useful to get some right-wingers, just so we won’t get attacked for being quote-unquote biased against those troglodytes.

      “Look, our proggy and our right-wing columnists don’t like Trump. Obviously there’s no reasonable arguments that could be made in Trump’s behalf, since both sides don’t like him.

      “Wait, Trump won the election! Who could have seen that happening? None of our columnists supported him…the voters must be stupid.

      “Hold on, those stupid voters are potential consumers. Maybe we’re turning them off with out unbiased coverage of how much Trump sucks.

      “OK, fine, let’s find some columnists who support Trump. There must be *some* who can at least write in crayon or something.”

      1. That’s an awesome idea. Seriously, a whole newspaper written in crayon with handwritten graphs.

    6. Why not name names? Brakeless MAGA Train, SIV (who voted for Darrell Castle anyway), PapayaSF…that’s three in the pro-Trump corner. Those are the only ones I can recall. Oh, and HazelMeade.

    7. Love the party line in the comments that there can be no intelligent Trump supporters. I didn’t expect it, but maybe this election will have some positive results in the media. If they really do try to get some more voices in the press room, we could see a shift in how the MSM functions.

  33. My niggles are hard.

    1. What on earth does that mean?

      1. Gilmore and Ken and circle (I think), we arguing at the beginning of the thread, and somebody said something about not wanting to niggle.
        So, now my niggles are hard.

        1. Come on, Eddy, you can’t just jump in at the end of the thread and expect to get all the references.

          1. You see, replying to yourself is fun!

            1. Oh, i never give you crap for that. I do it all the time, and not just online.

  34. Hey Reason – how’d the fundraising go this year? Ask yourself WHY???

      1. no no no. from what I have discerned, the answer “Hitler” could only be given if the question was phrased, “Who else fund raised this year?

        In which case NPR could also be an acceptable answer as well as being semi synonymous.

        1. Actually, i believe it has to be “you know who else fund raised?”

            1. Gilmore for the win

            2. I so need to quit clicking links here. Now I have Nazis on my browser.

              1. What difference, at this point, does it make? Just by logging in to reason, you’re on like at least 4 watch lists.

          1. That’s being kind of niggly picking in phrasing in my opinion.

  35. Niggle, please!

    1. I ain’t saying that she’s a gold digger, but she ain’t going with no broke niggle.

      1. Cutie Exxon, met him at a beauty salon

  36. I for one look forward to the increasingly unhinged editorials criticizing Trump. It’s like an eccentric wheel at high speed that gets ever more off center and out of balance until it flies apart. I want to see just how far they can go. Hell, we are nearly in Weekly World News territory now. Between that and the prog tears I feel like it’s christmas morning all day every day.

    Supposing Trump has an even moderately successful presidency all the people who foamed at the mouth over him are just going to pretend they never said any of it, that none of this ever happened. I won’t let them forget any more than I am going to let them forget that I saw what they had under their mask during the campaign.

    For most of the MSM none of this is any surprise. For Reason to join in was an especially bitter disappointment to me. They rail against the status quo and when someone finally comes along threatening to take a wrecking bar to it they lose their minds.

    1. Not really a wrecking ball. More like he’s going to adjust the status quo a bit here, keep it a bit there, and basically you’re gonna love the new status quo.

      1. You’re going to love the new status quo. It’s going to be a big, big status quo. A big status quo. And you’re going to love it. It’s going to be the greatest status quo ever. Great status quo.

      2. Remember how the progs screamed like banshees about a so-called right-wing president who strengthened affirmative action, created the EPA, froze wages and prices, and went off the gold standard, said we’re all Keynsians now, and went to China.

        If they can freak out over a de facto fellow leftist in the case of Nixon, they can do it in the case of Trump.

        Of course, in both cases there’s a possibility of change at the Supreme Court level.

        1. Nixon a leftist? As a fairly left-wing libertarian, I’ve heard everything!

      3. C’mon Eddie. The head of the EPA is a guy who has fought the EPA tooth and nail for years. A pro-school choice head of the DOE? The FDA head that wants to end the onerous testing that keeps life saving drugs off of the market for decades. A labor secretary that opposes MW. The list of his cabinet members that want to cut the nuts off of Fed agencies just keeps growing. I cringe at the Sessions appt but I am willing to wait and see. The rest of them, the list reads like a realistic libertarian dream. Imagine if they accomplish one fifth of what they want. The cause of the slavers will be set back a century. There is no mythical perfect bunch of libertarians out there hiding in the shadows. This is it, this is what it looks like.

        It’s a wrecking ball.

        1. Hmmm…it might just work out that way.

          It might not. But it might.

          Only time will tell. /newscaster voice

        2. I forgot to mention his asking for a list of fedgov employees that endorsed global warming or attended global warming circle jerks. Can you imagine how much pants shitting is going on right now in the apparatchiks ranks from one end of the government to the other? All of the pinkos in every agency are trying to figure out what their post fed employment is going to look like, having tearful conversations with their spouses, drinking themselves blind, screaming at their kids and throwing and breaking things around their house.

          It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

          1. When I get a warm feeling from a politician, he usually follows up by saying what a nice rain we’re having.

          2. As long as they don’t kick their dogs. Of course, they sound like cat people, and I don’t have a problem with them kicking their cats.

        1. I clicked expecting the worst, but I did not adequately prepare myself. *shudder.*

              1. Jeremy Corbyn is that you?

              2. In all seriousness, symphony no.6’s 1st mvmt. is one of the greatest melodies in all music

          1. Is it mylie? Not clicking

            1. It’s worse, like I said.

            2. *scoffs*

              As if I’d link to Miley.

              *scoffs*

              1. still not clicking. time to cook a steak. Out.

    2. I forgot to add a disclaimer for John Stossel. His is the only rational voice in an ocean of insanity. Since Frank doesnt seem to be around I will say it: Have I mentioned that I like Stossel?

      1. Not really. By the way, Suthen, I was going to ask you there other day, what do you think about Stossel?

    3. I for one look forward to the increasingly unhinged editorials criticizing Trump.

      I made a comment the other day…which was that writers for Reason magazine may discover that all their friends that expressed passive interest and tolerance for “libertarian ideas” on occasion…

      …will suddenly decide that they’re nothing short of barbaric-nazi-fuedalist-oppression when those same ideas (e.g. ‘allowing terminal patients access to experimental drugs’, ‘school choice’, ‘market-friendly approaches to environmental regulation’, etc) are actually being put into practice by Trump people.

      Its that it was just too convenient and easy to praise libertarian ideas when they only exist ‘in theory’. When they are made manifest, they’re simply unconscionable.

      Hell, i expect even the Cato institute to express horror at some point. if they haven’t already.

      1. Yeah, Cato is alright. They do have the shallowest column section for what is supposed to be the premier libertarian org in the US, while Reason has great articles, while being rather thin on the principled libertarian thing.
        Of course, one is a think tank, the other a magazine.

      2. “…will suddenly decide that they’re nothing short of barbaric-nazi-fuedalist-oppression when those same ideas (e.g. ‘allowing terminal patients access to experimental drugs’, ‘school choice’, ‘market-friendly approaches to environmental regulation’, etc) are actually being put into practice by Trump people.”

        Unregulated speech? Ditto.
        Now all we need is for Trump to recall the troops from the Near and Mid-East to see a total lefty melt-down as per Little Black Sambo’s tiger.

      3. Gil, we may find that some of the Reason writers behave the same way, not just their friends. There have been a lot of masks clattering across the floor lately.

        For a while the only principle that seems to matter to them is the insane notion of open borders. Trump is not an open borders guy so none of that other stuff matters.

        1. Open borders is not that insane, in and of itself. It’s “open borders” + “welfare state” that leads to madness.

    4. For most of the MSM none of this is any surprise. For Reason to join in was an especially bitter disappointment to me. They rail against the status quo and when someone finally comes along threatening to take a wrecking bar to it they lose their minds.

      Like all libertarians humans, it’s a purity thing. Being anti-establishment is great, but he acts in an icky way and I don’t like some of his positions? Yuck, it’s the worst thing ever!!

      1. I think Gil hit closer to home. They like it in principle as long as it is only a principle. The real thing scares the shit out of them.

        1. Gilmore explained it better than I did, but we basically agree. People like to say that Trump was this historically awful buffoon of a candidate, but in all honesty he was more unpredictable than bad in my eyes (to me, no two candidates were worse in my lifetime than Bush/Kerry ’04). The thing is, most humans, including Reason writers, HATE unpredictability, which is why I was so surprised about how the election turned out.

  37. Wait, I just learned who Trump will *really* appoint as AG.

    The media had the wrong Bolton.

    1. Was expecting a GOT reference – still left satisfied

  38. I’m in two minds about this – while I think friendlier relations between the US and Russia would be better for the world and deter intervention abroad, I’m equally cynical about Tillerson’s ties to Putin.

    If Medvedev were the current president of Russia and Tillerson was close to him, I would not mind at all. Medvedev atleast tried to mend relations with Europe and the US, and I’m sure (based on the policies of his premiership) would not have instigated the military intervention and subsequent international crisis in Ukraine. I feel uneasy the next POTUS can so blatantly cuddle up to a strongman like Putin.

    1. “I’m equally cynical about Tillerson’s ties to Putin.”

      You should be really careful not to believe anything just because you read it in one of Robby’s articles.

      1. Type in his name on google images and the first pic you’ll see is of him shaking hands with the Glorious Leader; never mind he was awarded the Order of Friendship medal by the guy only 3 years ago!

        1. “Type in his name on google images and the first pic you’ll see is of him shaking hands with the Glorious Leader; never mind he was awarded the Order of Friendship medal by the guy only 3 years ago!”

          Ohhh Kay!
          That says ‘way more about you than it does about either Putin or Tillerson.
          I hope you’ve seen the photos of Obo bowing to one poobah or the other; did that make you shout and scream?
          And shame on him for be awarded something or other!

        2. He had his picture taken and was given an award, after making a commitment, apparently, to investing 300 billion euros into developing Russia’s arctic oil fields.

          That’s what oil companies do. They go into foreign countries, where the oil is, and they cut deals to drill for and extract oil. That you found a photo of Exxon’s CEO doing his job isn’t even . . . um . . . mildly thought provoking.

          If Exxon committed to investing that much money in the UIK, they’d have initiated him into the Order of the British Empire.

          So what?

          1. Do those business ties not concern you? You don’t think Tillerson would serve his own business interests above the will of the people if, let’s say, a dispute between the US and Russia over the Arctic came into being?

            1. “Do those business ties not concern you? You don’t think Tillerson would serve his own business interests above the will of the people if, let’s say, a dispute between the US and Russia over the Arctic came into being?”

              Care to define “will of the people”?

              1. Will of the people essentially means US interests

                I think it is in the will of the people that the US have greater power and influence over the Arctic than Russia does, since it’s their own country

                1. “Will of the people essentially means US interests”
                  As defined by whom and at what time? THAT sort of happy horseshit gets a courtesy F; I can’t find a worse grade.

                  “I think it is in the will of the people that the US have greater power and influence over the Arctic than Russia does, since it’s their own country”
                  What is “the arctic”? And why do you presume the US should have grater power over this area?

                  1. Lol jesus christ mate you’re nitpicking every word I’m saying, do I need to have source for everything I say – didn’t see you question a previous assumption that the CEO of Exxon would be getting an OBE if they invested in the UK, so please make sure to question every assumption you come across next time

                    And what is the Arctic? Fuck me do you even geography

                    1. Thank you; I can tell you never thought about a lot of things.

                    2. The feeling is mutual!

                2. “Do those business ties not concern you? You don’t think Tillerson would serve his own business interests above the will of the people if, let’s say, a dispute between the US and Russia over the Arctic came into being?

                  I doubt Russia will disregard the value of a 300 billion euro investment in their arctic by an American company with specific expertise.

                  The other company with deep water experience who can commit to that scale is BP. They demonstrated their deep water acumen in the Gulf of Mexico a few years back–maybe you heard about it?

                  Regardless, the fact is that trade and investment tends to make countries avoid conflict, and Russia is the biggest beneficiary of that investment by Exxon.

                  American investment in China and Chinese investment in the United States is why relations between our two countries have been so calm over the past 15 years. Before, China used to finance Maoist rebels all over the world. Now, they’re more interested in stability than we are.

                  Russia has a lot more to lose because of Exxon’s investment–not less. And 300 billion euros is only a little less than Exxon’s entire market cap. It’s not like they’re writing a check and sending it all in one payment. That’s a commitment over a period of decades.

                  1. I see what you mean, but do you think such business/investment interests should be enveloped in the role of SOS?

                    Remember Clinton’s interests regarding Saudi Arabia et. al. – this shit happens

                    1. “Remember Clinton’s interests regarding Saudi Arabia et. al. – this shit happens”

                      Hillary Clinton had no interest in Saudi Arabia apart from the Clinton Foundation.

                      “In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records.”

                      http://www.motherjones.com/pol…..arms-deals

                      Hillary was getting money from countries (Saudi Arabia being one) that had weapon sales pending that required her approval as Secretary of State. She was also taking money from American defense contractors that wanted to make those sales but couldn’t without her approval as Secretary of State.

                      Shortly after getting the donations, she approved the arms sales–some of them were record highs and some of them were to countries she had criticized before receiving the donations to the Clinton Foundation.

                    2. If Tillerson sells his Exxon stock, he won’t be in a position to profit from . . . whatever.

                      What Hillary was doing would be as if she had kept her Exxon stock–and were doing business for Exxon as Secretary of State.

                      Check out the article and the table at the link above.

                      The following tables created by the International Business Times show the flow of money and arms deals involving 20 nations, the Clinton Foundation, and the State Department:

                      Anybody who is the Secretary of State will always be in a position to take bribes, but there’s no reason to think Tillerson will do that, and if he divests himself of Exxon stock, then he won’t benefit or be hurt directly by any actions he takes regarding Exxon–one way or the other.

            2. I think most people, even total douches like HRC, if presented with a black or white decision to either support the nation they represent as SOS, or side with their nation’s enemies for profit, would choose the first. The second is called treason.
              You should ask if it might influence his views. Assuming he would sell out is… what’s the word I’m looking for? Pants shitting nonsense? Libel? Partisan hackery?

              1. Foreign policy is hardly ever black and white though – just take Syria as an example

                1. kaddish|12.10.16 @ 11:44PM|#
                  “Foreign policy is hardly ever black and white though – just take Syria as an example”

                  Boy, am I glad you showed up to explain things!

                  1. What’s your opinion on the optics of foreign policy then?

                    1. My opinion is you’re misusing the word “optics”.

                    2. No, the sanctifier is asking you your opinion about how the ‘genesis and propagation of light, the changes that it undergoes and produces, and other phenomena closely associated with it’ affects our foreign policy.

              2. It will be interesting to see what happens to donations to the Clinton Foundation now that Hillary is no longer in office.

        3. We are going to have to deal with Putin one way or other. You want to do it with diplomacy through a guy who won’t be punked at every turn or with fists? As we have seen over and over the last year, anyone who thinks they can get the better of Trump ends up on the floor and wondering how they got there.

          I am more than comfortable with his choice.

          1. “…anyone who thinks they can get the better of Trump ends up on the floor and wondering how they got there.”

            He did get told to stuff it when he wanted to condemn that house for limo parking, so it’s certainly not 100%. But it’s obvious that the hag and her crew are STILL trying to figure out what hit them.

          2. As I said below, if this leads to less intervention I can support it – but if there comes a point where US interests and Tillerson’s interests (oil in the Arctic for example) collide, then I’d be very concerned about where the Secretary of State’s loyalties would lie

            1. “…but if there comes a point where US interests and Tillerson’s interests (oil in the Arctic for example) collide, then I’d be very concerned about where the Secretary of State’s loyalties would lie…”

              Hypothesis and innuendo don’t get you high marks here.
              Now, specifically: WIH are you suggesting and why?
              Or you could admit you have no idea what you’re posting about and STFU.

              1. Ah thanks! That’s the way to have a rational discussion! STFU, I never thought about that!!!!

                1. Tillerson will presumably divest himself of his Exxon stock before he takes the job.

                  He won’t actually own any Exxon stock to lose money on if we go to war with Russia.

                  Trump divested himself of all his common stock back in June. It’s assumed that his underlings will do likewise.

                  1. Ken Shultz|12.10.16 @ 11:43PM|#
                    “Tillerson will presumably divest himself of his Exxon stock before he takes the job.”
                    I’m betting this won’t solve kaddish’s whining.

                    1. “I’m betting this won’t solve kaddish’s whining.”

                      I think he’s regurgitating the shit Robby wrote, which is infuriating.

                      Reading Robby’s articles makes people know less than they did before if it makes them believe things that aren’t true.

                    2. Mate jesus christ it’s a disagreement over policy! Think you take arguing to seriously, I’m just trying to state my opinion while you ridicule every chance you get and take a holier-than-thou, libertarian-purity position to try and give yourself the moral high ground

                      I’ve not name-called once until you piped up, so sit down and try and have a civil conversation until I retreat into my safe space

                    3. Did I call you a name?

                    4. Not you Ken you’ve been civil haha

                  2. Again, I think a lot of people aren’t used to seeing adults business people in charge because over the last eight years, Obama relied almost entirely on lawyers, academics, and career bureaucrats for his cabinet.

                    That is not the norm.

                    1. “Again, I think a lot of people aren’t used to seeing adults business people in charge because over the last eight years, Obama relied almost entirely on lawyers, academics, and career bureaucrats for his cabinet.”

                      Agreed.
                      But to show up on a libertarian web site, hypothesize all sorts of circumstances and assume the outcomes of those as a result of bizz connections suggests kaddish and reality are but distant acquaintances.

                    2. Because he read it in Robby’s post!

                      Here’s what Robby wrote:

                      “Tillerson is an incredibly close business partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was even awarded the Russian Order of Friendship in 2012 after negotiating a $500 billion energy partnership with Russia.”

                      It’s horseshit.

                      Tillerson and Putin are not extremely close business partners.

                      And getting the Russian Order of Friendship isn’t evidence that they’re extremely close business partners either.

                    3. As I said, I’m very happy to be proven wrong about Tillerson, and I’m not against businessmen becoming involved in govt, I mean why not after the failure to deal with ISIS, the Middle East over the past 4 years? It’s these specific connections with this specific leader I’m concerned with, but again if nothing dodgy happens (more Exxon contracts and what have you) and leads to calmer relations, I’m all for it

    2. How is the next POTUS “cuddling up” to Putin? This whole meme is so stupid. If Russia really wanted to interfere in the election, I’d figure they’d prefer Hillary had won, since they hacked her server when she was SOS and they’d be able to blackmail the POTUS.
      If Putin did want Trump to win, maybe it’s because he wasn’t real keen on getting into a war between two nuclear armed countries over Syria, and realized that HRC shouldn’t be anywhere near the nuclear football.

    3. “I feel uneasy the next POTUS can so blatantly cuddle up to a strongman like Putin.”

      I’m sure that must mean something, but why don’t you put it in specific terms rather than innuendo?

      1. The speculation about Tillerson, for one, his kind words for Putin, Paul Manafort etc. – albeit, if this all suggests a less interventionist desire in collapsing states I’m all for it, but I’m just concerned that about allowing Vladimir to think he has a free hand to do whatever the hell he wants in these places

        1. “…but I’m just concerned that about allowing Vladimir to think he has a free hand to do whatever the hell he wants in these places”

          Uh, yeah, me too. Does that have anything to do with reality, or did you score some really good shit this evening?

          1. *perks up ears

            1. Ket – not even once

          2. ?? don’t get where you’re coming from mate – if Trump’s gonna appoint someone that’s been fairly close to Putin in the past, then the Kremlin are gonna take that as a symbol that the US are gonna stand aside and acquiesce, thereby making Russia think they can get away with more and more concerning shit

            1. kaddish|12.10.16 @ 11:34PM|#
              “?? don’t get where you’re coming from mate”

              You obviously don’t and you are not adding to your rep.
              You’ve been clutching pearls over hypothetical situations and assuming your desired outcome from that situations represents ‘the will of the people’. And then presuming the agent in question would act the way you assume to begin with.
              This is a libertarian website; we are well used to people showing up and pointing out that evil business people will thwart the ‘will of the people’ and poison their customers for short-term gain; you are doing exactly that with even less evidence.

              1. So I can’t be libertarian and disagree about this decision about SOS, is that what you’re saying?

                Because if you go back to my OG post, I don’t say that I’m against business interests per se, just about this particular because it’s Vladimir Putin. Since I live in Europe, I’m gonna have a different perspective to this than most Americans due to the fly-bys, plane downing over Turkey, Swedish naval incident, Estonia/Baltic border build-ups, Ukraine etc. – Putin to me is very dangerous, and I fear that he’s gonna take this decision as an approval to do what he wants without opposition

                I am very happy to proven wrong about that though

                1. kaddish|12.10.16 @ 11:49PM|#
                  “So I can’t be libertarian and disagree about this decision about SOS, is that what you’re saying?”
                  You’ll have to find someone else regarding your pedigree.

                  “I am very happy to proven wrong about that though”
                  So far, you’ve offered nothing other than hypothetical situations with assumed outcomes and suggested that we should be very concerned about those!!!!!!!!
                  Prove you wrong about what? You’ve got the same TDS which has infected the press and TV in the US.
                  I didn’t vote for the guy, but so far, he’s exceeded my (and a lot of folk’s) expectations. None of what you’ve hypothesized suggests we need to worry about Tillerson.
                  Regarding your location and worries, there’s no doubt the Bear is dangerous, and I assume you are petitioning your government to increase defense spending as a result, right? I am hoping Trump might cut NATO ties; I’m tired of paying to defend Europe.

                  1. > You’ll have to find someone else regarding your pedigree.

                    So I guess you were just assuming about my pedigree huh?

                    > he’s exceeded my (and a lot of folk’s) expectations

                    An assumption – who else has he exceeded? Please provide proof

                    > I am hoping Trump might cut NATO ties; I’m tired of paying to defend Europe.

                    Never mind the fact my country contributes to the agreed 2% of defence spending NATO requires – agree many countries are slacking, but leaving would not solve the problem of European defence rather than exacerbate it

                    1. “Never mind the fact my country contributes to the agreed 2% of defence spending NATO requires – agree many countries are slacking, but leaving would not solve the problem of European defence rather than exacerbate it”

                      I guess someone might find this worth a response.
                      Not me.

    4. When you say that Tillerson has “ties” to Putin, what do you mean?

      They cut an exploration deal?

      Or are you worried about Tillerson and Putin being in a business partnership together?

      Because Putin and Tillerson aren’t in a business partnership together.

      Exxon is doing an oil exploration deal with a state owned oil company. That bit about Putin and Tillerson being in a business partnership together was just horseshit Robby made up.

      1. Putin has very close connections with Russian oligarchy https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com /2012/04/19/putin-the-richest-man-on-earth/ (hidden wealth part) – so although Putin and Tillerson aren’t involved in direct partnership, any dealings between oil companies would benefit the two.

        Not saying this is going to happen, but I would prefer that the possibility it could happen wasn’t there in the first place

    5. I feel uneasy the next POTUS can so blatantly cuddle up to a strongman like Putin.

      Libertarians often suggest that the most-libertarian foreign policy is “Trade with all, alliance with none”; free trade and diplomatic neutrality.

      That concept basically guarantees a lot of ‘cuddling up’ with shitty world leaders. If by “cuddling up” you mean “Not imposing sanctions on anyone who rubs us the wrong way”

      Libertarians need to make up their minds whether they want a world where the US maintains neutrality relative to the biggest shitbags on earth, or a US that constantly passes judgement on others and uses every tool in the toolbox to fuck with people we dislike. They are not compatible positions.

  39. Jesus. Ken got some sand in his Chipotle.

    1. My niggles are hard.

    2. Robby’s full of shit.

      Again.

  40. If this Tillerson rumor is true, it will continue my slow but steady progression from a Trump skeptic to a Trump fan (it’s far from over, however). What he’s doing so far may not entirely be “draining the swamp”, but it is a very good sign to me that we have a president that is willing to look outside the career politician bubble for cabinet picks.

    1. Yeah, I’m not happy about Sessions, and possibly Bolton, but he’s made some great picks.
      My fingers are crossed for a Justice Napolitano.

    2. My brother is a design engineer. I could go on all night telling about the grief the EPA gives everyone. Everyone from a homeowner wanting to build on a lakefront to the farmer trying to plow his field to the large corps trying to build a plant. The staggering costs they incur, the stalling and wasting of time to the outright destruction of people’s lives and fortunes. The EPA has been co-opted by Friends of the Earth/Sierra Club types who are hell bent on destroying civilization and tha tis no exaggeration. It seems pretty clear that Trump has their number and they know it. If that is all he ever does is cut the nuts off of those scum I will be satisfied. It would be the biggest blow struck for liberty in the last 50 years.

      It looks like someone is about to hit the release switch on the ratchet, even if it’s just for a notch or two. I feel very hopeful.

      1. If anything, Pruitt for EPA may have been the most encouraging sign for liberty that we have seen in the federal government this decade. It’s not saying much, but it gives me some hope that the eco-fanatics working there will have to slow down just a little bit.

        1. I agree. Trump could have nominated some boring Republican flak who would trim things around the margins and it would be the politically safe thing to do.

          instead he picked a firebreather who despises the institution and seems likely to gut the place.

          Its a good sign for a variety of reasons; the most significant of which seems to be that Trump actually *does* mean what he says, politically. If his only goal was to get re-elected in 4 years… he would be doing things a little differently with his cabinet. I DO expect that he’ll pass some bloated monstrosity of an “infrastructure” legislation in the first 100 days…. because handing out money is what all new parties do. But these people he’s picked for the agencies seem to be the types of people aiming to slash and burn some of the legacy institutional culture. which is nice.

          1. “Politics is downstream from culture”, so short-term cultural shifts toward liberty may hopefully turn into real political change later. Being pro-liberty was probably a minority ideology even when the US was founded, so therefore I savor the news for even small amounts of liberty in my life.

          2. “…instead he picked a firebreather who despises the institution and seems likely to gut the place….”

            Read something today pants-shitting over “Trump appoints people who don’t like the agencies they are to lead!!!!”
            As opposed to “the last X presidents appointed people who loved them and expanded them without limit!”
            The unstated assumption is the latter is preferable.
            Not to me.

      2. I took a watery shit recently. Well I didn’t, but Swiss did. It is now navigable waters of the United States.

        1. So what you’re saying is that someone finally spruced up Lake Michigan?

        2. *discharged* a watery shit. FTFU

    3. I didn’t vote for the blowhard, but between what he’s doing (with noted exceptions) and the continued whining of the left, I wish I had.
      And no, SIV, the fact that the guy seems to be better than any expectations does not mean you’ve somehow been converted from a tiresome asshole.

      1. Is SIV some resident Trumpkin on the Reason boards? I’m definitely not him if that’s the case; I was incredibly close to voting for Johnson/Weld until the very last minute, after Weld endorsed Hillary and I decided to myself, “Well, why not?” and pushed the Trump button. I still have low expectations, but I’m getting intrigued by many of his moves post-election. That’s all that I’m saying.

        1. “Is SIV some resident Trumpkin on the Reason boards?”
          SIV is well beyond that, and forgive me if I gave the impression that I confused you with it.

          1. No worries, I get it. The one thing that I know from being libertarian is that the derp bleeds out from both sides (but mainly from the progs; the derpiest of Breitbart commenters generally stay to themselves with the exception of a few).

  41. Glenn Greenwald echoes my same complaint way above at the top = that the “unconfirmed reports” of Russian meddling Robby refers to don’t even merit being referred to as “reports”, given that they’re nothing more than 3rd hand characterizations by anonymous admin officials….

    or, in his words =

    Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence

    ….classic American journalism of the worst sort: The key claims are based exclusively on the unverified assertions of anonymous officials, who in turn are disseminating their own claims about what the CIA purportedly believes, all based on evidence that remains completely secret.

    …Needless to say, Democrats ? still eager to make sense of their election loss and to find causes for it other than themselves ? immediately declared these anonymous claims about what the CIA believes to be true, and, with a somewhat sweet, religious-type faith, treated these anonymous assertions as proof of what they wanted to believe all along… That Democrats are now venerating unverified, anonymous CIA leaks as sacred is par for the course for them this year, but it’s also a good indication of how confused and lost U.S. political culture has become in the wake of Trump’s victory.

    1. it is critical to keep in mind some basic facts about what is known and, more importantly, what is not known:

      (1) Nobody has ever opposed investigations to determine if Russia hacked these emails, nor has anyone ever denied the possibility that Russia did that. The source of contention has been quite simple: No accusations should be accepted until there is actual convincing evidence to substantiate those accusations.

      There is still no such evidence for any of these claims. What we have instead are assertions, disseminated by anonymous people, completely unaccompanied by any evidence, let alone proof. As a result, none of the purported evidence ? still ? can be publicly seen, reviewed, or discussed. Anonymous claims leaked to newspapers about what the CIA believes do not constitute proof, and certainly do not constitute reliable evidence that substitutes for actual evidence that can be reviewed. Have we really not learned this lesson yet?

      (2) The reasons no rational person should blindly believe anonymous claims of this sort ? even if it is pleasing to believe such claims ? should be obvious by now.

      To begin with, CIA officials are professional, systematic liars; they lie constantly, by design, and with great skill, and have for many decades, as have intelligence officials in other agencies.

      (insert long list of clips of CIA ass-covering for the administration)

      1. There’s much more there. I started copy-pasting good bits before i realized how long it was.

        Also very interesting =

        A UK writer today argues something that i’ve speculated before – that the leaks from the DNC to Wikileaks were not at all from “the Russians”, but rather insiders @ the DNC, likely former bernie supporters. He cites a Guardian journalist, who writes =

        The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations, while the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said the DNC leaks were not linked to Russia. A second senior official cited by the Washington Post conceded that intelligence agencies did not have specific proof that the Kremlin was “directing” the hackers, who were said to be one step removed from the Russian government.

        Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims “bullshit”, adding: “They are absolutely making it up.”

        “I know who leaked them,” Murray said. “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things…..

        1. “I know who leaked them,” Murray said. “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things…..

          “Her actual words:
          1) “Where is the God damn flag? I want the God damn fucking flag up every morning at fucking sunrise”. Hillary to staff at the Arkansas Governor’s mansion on Labor Day 1991.
          From the book “Inside the White House” by Ronald Kessler, p. 244.

          (2) “Fuck off! It’s enough I have to see you shit-kickers every day! I’m not going to talk to you, too! Just do your Goddamn job and keep your mouth shut.” Hillary to her State Trooper bodyguards after one of them greeted her with “Good Morning.”
          From the book “America Evita” by Christopher Anderson, p.90.

          (3) “If you want to remain on this detail, get your fucking ass over here and grab those bags!”
          Hillary to a Secret Service Agent who was reluctant to carry her luggage because he wanted to keep his hands free in case of an incident. From the book “The First Partner” p. 25.

          (4) “Stay the fuck back, stay the fuck back away from me! Don’t come within ten yards of me, or else! Just fucking do as I say, Okay!!?” Hillary screaming at her Secret Service detail.
          From the book “Unlimited Access” by Clinton ‘s FBI Agent-in-Charge, Gary Aldridge, p.139.

          That’s not the half of them; is it surprising that between her carelessness and nastiness that someone said: ‘screw it; up yours, you miserable witch!’

        2. The Murray article is incredible.

        3. I think we’re giving credence to this shit by arguing with it.

          Trump won. Game over. Good bye Hillary.

          She’ll be lucky if she doesn’t go to jail. If I were Trump, I’d privately threaten to go after Hillary to Obama–just to make him disgrace himself by pardoning her.

  42. I’ve long argued that most of the opposition to climate change solutions by the left isn’t really about the science at all. It’s that people aren’t willing to make sacrifices of their standard of living–and they tend to rationalize that decision through debates against the scientific consensus.

    I’d expect the left to demonstrate something similar on the Tillerson confirmation. They’ll say all sorts of things that we’ll argue with, but in the end, it won’t really be about what they say it is. They’ll just be against confirming Tillerson because they don’t want a former Exxon CEO to be in charge of international climate change deals.

    P.S. Sometimes, I don’t want to go over to visit the gf’s sister, but it isn’t because the weather, because I’m not feeling well, or because I have work to do. Sometimes it’s just because the Redskins are on and I hate her sister.

  43. “Six donors Trump appointed gave almost $12 million with their families to campaign, party”
    http://www.sfgate.com/politics…..788636.php

    And here Putin gave $10m to the hag and all he got was that crummy T-shirt!

    1. And a Reset Button!

    2. Usually huge donors only get ambassadorships, not cabinet positions.

      1. Few people are willing to work with the clown and risk getting his stink on them. His donor pool is bound to have major overlap with his cabinet selections.

  44. The “Presidential Medal of Freedom” appears to have been so watered down that it’s not that special anymore.

    “President Obama has not stinted on handing out the Presidential Medal of Freedom during his time in office: He has bestowed it on at least 114 individuals, more than any of his predecessors. Nearly half of the latest honorees were artists, actors or musicians, including singer Bruce Springsteen, actor Robert Redford and “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels.”

    1. Oh yeah, don’t forget Ellen Degeneres.

    2. Well, the dude got a nobel peace prize for doing nothing. Of course he thinks prizes are handed out like green energy contracts – for political reasons.

      That piece of shit cant go away fast enough.

      Speaking of going away I think Trump made a mistake by announcing he wouldn’t prosecute Hillary. He should have just left that hanging over her head with the implication that if she doesnt go away and keep her fucking mouth shut he would drop the axe.

    3. I actually don’t mind him giving out medals to stupid Hollywood idiots like chewing gum.

      The more time he’s spending on silly crap like this, the less time he’s spending on passing “midnight regulations” specifically intended to fuck America over, or wasting more taxpayer money on family vacations.

  45. I no longer enjoy reading these comments. The fuck happened to this place? Oh well, dump’s about over anyway time to wipe.

    1. “I no longer enjoy reading these comments. The fuck happened to this place?”

      Libertarians tend to argue with each other. It’s always been like that here.

      1. BLOOP BOINK BLOP DERP!

        Fuck off, hype.

    2. “Worst chat room evarrrrr”

  46. Some idiot at Reuters keeps spamming sadface charts proving the US doesn’t offer NEARLY as much free munny to PR’s disabled as it does to those in America. As if I give two shits about Duterte’s third-world craphole not having enough US taxpayer money.

  47. I love checking facebook in the morning just to see what idiotic post my lefty friends have shared. Today it’s Patton Oswalt’s take on the election “hacking.” It’s so breathless and angry.

    1. Hack into what exactly? Can those voting machines even be hacked?

      1. I musta missed something. These can’t be the same people who derided Trump for not swearing he would accept the results, can they? They just can’t.

        1. I was assured over and over by the Dems that voter fraud isn’t a thing and we have nothing to worry about. I’m just trying to keep them to their word.

    2. The narrative has gotten ahead of itself.

      One unsourced Washington Post article full of rumor and innuendo, and now it’s repeated as fact.

  48. It’ll be ok, Trumpkins.

  49. But Tillerson’s very direct business interests are hopelessly entangled with the Russian state, and his selection creates a real possibility for diplomacy based upon crony corporatism. The U.S. should be less hawkish toward Russia because it’s the smart thing to do, not because it enriches the mega-corporation recently helmed by the secretary of state.

    So

    fucking

    tiresome.

    Robby Soave is a social justice puke who fears and despises free enterprise and those who engage in it.

    Prove your innocence, Robby. PROVE IT.

    1. When you’ve lost The Late P Brooks, . . .

      Has Robby ever even claimed to be a libertarian?

      He’s a guy that works for a libertarian magazine. That’s okay, it’s just that . . . no one should be surprised that libertarians take issue with him when he goes off on a free association untruthiness binge.

      I disagree with lots of writers on various issues. Gotta be intellectually honest around here, though.

      It’s like he’s trading on a tremendous amount of good will that other Reason staff have built up over the years. People go after Sullum, Bailey, Young, Welch, et. al. for their past work, and they’ve all been able to stand proud behind their work because of its rigorous honesty. Robby, on the other hand, makes associations that simply aren’t so.

      There’s a guy up yonder who believed shit that wasn’t true because of what Robby wrote. I see Reason as a means for libertarian outreach. Libertarians aren’t libertarian because of where they land on the issues. They’re libertarian because they get there in a libertarian way.

    2. It isn’t called The Freedom Foundation. It’s the Reason Foundation. Few of us agree on much of anything, but as a vehicle for libertarian outreach, we do expect intellectual honesty and reason. I happen to think the truth is biased towards libertarianism. I’m no objectivist, but the extent to which our society values reason is the extent to which our fellow Americans are susceptible to libertarian arguments. Seeing somebody sell that intellectually honest standard short in the name of libertarianism is revolting. We all make mistakes. Robby does the same shit over and over again.

      I try to avoid his work.

  50. Free Minds, Free Markets

    Somebody should tell Robby about that.

    Too bad Gawker went tits up. That’s where he belongs. He’d be better off at WaPo, but I guess they don’t want him.

    1. “Robby” is a verb now?

  51. “?economic interdependence is the foundation of mutual peace and prosperity?”

    “The U.S. should be less hawkish toward Russia because it’s the smart thing to do, not because it enriches the mega-corporation recently helmed by the secretary of state.”

    In other words, peace through interdependence sounds like a good idea, but we don’t dare actually try it in the real world.

  52. Owner Name Date Shared Held Change (Shares) Change (%) Value (in 1,000s)
    VANGUARD GROUP INC 09/30/2016 282,067,800 7,741,079 2.82 25,104,034
    STATE STREET CORP 09/30/2016 142,082,547 (42,805,276) (23.15) 12,645,347
    BLACKROCK INSTITUTIONAL TRUST COMPANY, N.A. 09/30/2016 110,801,185 759,315 .69 9,861,305
    BLACKROCK FUND ADVISORS 09/30/2016 64,355,268 2,161,601 3.48 5,727,619
    BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON CORP 09/30/2016 57,864,879 (1,766,818) (2.96) 5,149,974
    NORTHERN TRUST CORP 09/30/2016 54,437,635 649,145 1.21 4,844,950
    WELLINGTON MANAGEMENT GROUP LLP 09/30/2016 51,104,897 2,976,158 6.18 4,548,336
    BANK OF AMERICA CORP /DE/ 09/30/2016 42,786,051 (7,599,963) (15.08) 3,807,959
    PRICE T ROWE ASSOCIATES INC /MD/ 09/30/2016 39,834,252 2,530,920 6.79 3,545,248
    STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO 09/30/2016 37,126,800 0 0.00 3,304,285
    GEODE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LLC 09/30/2016 36,300,676 1,523,763 4.38 3,230,760
    NORGES BANK 12/31/2015 35,225,433 767,972 2.23 3,135,064
    BLACKROCK GROUP LTD 09/30/2016 34,473,054 (337,694) (0.97) 3,068,102
    JPMORGAN CHASE & CO 09/30/2016 31,484,292 (833,026) (2.58) 2,802,102
    CAPITAL RESEARCH GLOBAL INVESTORS 09/30/2016 27,898,520 10,934,457 64.46 2,482,968

    1. Huh. I don’t see Rex Tillerson’s name on the top 20 Shareholders of Exxon.

      That’s fucking weird. People are talking about him like he owns the company.

    2. “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”

      — Paul Krugman

  53. I didn’t vote for Trump (of course) but between his election causing the disappearance of swastikas

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12……html?_r=0

    and the drive to recall socialist politicians,

    http://touch.latimes.com/#sect…..-92057061/

    I’m happier than ever that Hillary lost.

    1. She’s the first socialist elected to the Seattle City Council in 100 years, and she campaigned on a platform that included rent control, a revenue-raising tax on millionaires and a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Now, Kshama Sawant is raising eyebrows well beyond the Northwest.
      [snip]
      Sawant an India-born, second-term council member who was once arrested….

      That’s impossible, everyone knows that immigrants are all libertarian at a fundamental level.

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