Jeff Flake

Why Jeff Flake Matters

Principle and humility are shoved to the margins of the modern GOP.

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"These are challenging times," Sen. Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.) said with a little self-effacing chuckle. "The definition of what it means to be conservative has shifted dramatically over the last year or so."

We were at that most oxymoronic of Washington, D.C., events—a libertarian fundraiser for a major-party elected official. There are only about five people I'd consider doing this for, I have heard almost verbatim from hosts at two separate such gatherings in the grim political year of 2017. Los cincos amigos: Sens. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) and Mike Lee (R–Utah); Reps. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) and Thomas Massie (R–Ky.); and Flake.

And then there were four.

One week after the fundraiser, Flake made his exit from the world of electoral competition, announcing in an emotional Senate speech that he was no longer seeking re-election in 2018. "I will not be complicit," the shaky-voiced senator declared. "We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country—the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions; the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations." The headline on his Washington Post op-ed the next day said it all: "Enough."

In the moment, Flake's gesture was hailed as a "historic" rebuke to the president (Mike Barnicle), "the most important speech of 2017" (CNN's Chris Cillizza), and even "a history lesson for the ages" (Forbes' John Baldoni). Then, predictably, a Donald Trump–related bombshell blotted out all competing political stories, when news broke three days later that Special Investigator Robert Mueller would be handing out his first indictments in the Russia probe.

Even before that, though, the relentless gears of tribal politics had been busy busting apart Flake's stentorian pretensions and spitting out dismissive bile. "Jeff Flake was just fine with broken Washington until he couldn't win his seat," Pete Kasperowicz scoffed in the Washington Examiner. "Jeff Flake is not a hero, despite what he wants you to think," ThinkProgress cautioned its lefty readers.

The critics had some valid points. Flake, like Sen. Bob Corker (R–Tenn.) before him, only turned away from politics in disgust when faced with a stiff challenge in his own primary. (And in increasingly competitive Arizona, the Democrats are putting up a strong Senate candidate in Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.) Flake also declared in his Post piece that "We can no longer remain silent, merely observing this train wreck, passively, as if waiting for someone else to do something"—but what is shying away from a political contest if not passive?

And though the former Goldwater Institute executive director may be libertarian by Capitol Hill standards, he still has taken a number of questionable votes. Flake moved to confirm as attorney general Jeff Sessions and, before that, Loretta Lynch. Both are abysmal on civil asset forfeiture, a form of government theft the senator has long decried. He voted in favor of the authorization for use of military force in Iraq, though he later turned against the war. He advocated missile strikes on Syria in September 2013 and again when President Trump lobbed some in April 2017.

But Flake also embodies the best and arguably most endangered tenets of modern Republicanism. "It is clear at this moment that a traditional conservative who believes in limited government and free markets, who is devoted to free trade, and who is pro-immigration, has a narrower and narrower path to nomination in the Republican Party," he said on the Senate floor, accurately. "It is also clear to me for the moment we have given in or given up on those core principles in favor of the more viscerally satisfying anger and resentment. To be clear, the anger and resentment that the people feel at the royal mess we have created are justified. But anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy."

It seems Flake just wasn't made for these times, and not merely because of his ideological commitments. In comportment he is a bipartisan dealmaker, not an us-vs.-them bombthrower, the most famous sign of which was his work on the "Gang of Eight" immigration reform effort that passed the Senate in 2013 but stalled out in the House.

Flake believes that long-term fiscal reform, including entitlements, must be done in such a way that both parties have skin in the game. "I was in Congress between 2000 and 2006 when we had Republicans controlling both chambers and the White House," he told Reason in 2016. "I can tell you that whenever entitlement spending or Social Security reform came up, you'd hear, 'We've got a midterm election just around the corner, we're not going to take that risk.' And if you look over the past couple of decades, all of the serious budget agreements—Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, the sequester, and others—come when there has been divided government, where both parties have said we'll share the risk and jump."

Not only is Flake eager to seek out deals with the hated opposition, he has long been willing to criticize his own team in real time. In a 2006 interview with Reason, he confessed that "there's nothing we've done as Republicans that ought to make libertarians excited about our record." Asked what the GOP Congress could do to turn that around, he replied: "At this late date? Adjournment."

But arguably the biggest difference between Flake and the main players in both American political tribes these days involves a word certain to make many readers retch: decency. Flake is a milk-drinking nice guy in a chamber better known for its smirking wise-asses (Ted Cruz, Al Franken), barking socialists (Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren), dead-eyed wheeler-dealers (Mitch McConnell), and old men shaking their fists at clouds (John McCain). He winces visibly at both the insult-comedy trolling on the political/media right and the holier-than-thou condescension of the blue-state left.

"All right! Jeff Flake! Way to eventually go," late-night comedian Seth Meyers snarked after the senator's speech. "It took kinda-sorta guts to stand up only 11 months after the election and tell America not to elect Donald Trump."

Actually, Flake urged Republicans not to endorse Trump in June 2016, assessing as "beyond the pale" the then-presumptive GOP nominee's statement that the "Mexican heritage" of federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel is "an inherent conflict of interest." Two months before Election Day, Flake said he thought "Republicans do need to distance themselves from" their own candidate, and when the infamous Access Hollywood tape came out a month later, Flake tweeted simply, "America deserves far better than @realDonaldTrump." This summer, he wrote a bestselling jeremiad against ascendant GOP populism called Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle.

In a world where Republican Trump critics are treated to vein-throbbing lectures by figures on the left—MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell in August eviscerated Flake for not having done "enough" against birtherism, even though the senator was initiating symbolic legislative action against the pea-brained conspiracy theory as far back as July 2009—it's no surprise that a decent-minded fellow might choose simply to walk away.

The junior Arizona senator's retirement may not prove historic, but it's a watershed moment nonetheless. Nice guys who believe sincerely in limiting the size and scope of government, even when their own political party runs it, are an endangered species. But something tells me that in the shadowy stretch between here and November 2018, they will yet have an important part to play.

NEXT: Atlanta Targets Good Samaritans Sharing Food with Homeless

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  1. I live and vote in Arizona. I find Senator Jeff Flake to be uninspiring. Are there worse US senators? Yes: John McCain. Flake could have been so much better on US military escapades abroad. I hope Arizona gets a better replacement come election day.

    1. I live and vote in Arizona. I find Senator Jeff Flake to be uninspiring.

      A similar, if slightly more-colorful take from another Arizona resident

      if you’ll excuse his occasional hyperbole, he makes a number of good points.

      1. The Rageaholic is amazing. How he can keep that up for 5 minute sis beyond me, yet he does it over and over again. I don’t care if he rehearsed it for hours beforehand — it’s amazing.

        I usually can’t listen to him for more than a minute or two at a time, but I admire his ability.

        1. He mentions, twice, being re-elected every four years. Guess his rage rants are not all that accurate. Whodathunkit?

          1. He mentions, twice, being re-elected every four years. Guess his rage rants are not all that accurate.

            i re-listened, and the only incident i heard was when he said,

            “its not our fault you tried and follow the script of your wizened mentor McCain: every 4 years pretend to be Barry Goldwater, and every 4 years, upon being re-elected, you turn back into Ted Kennedy”

            he was obv. referencing McCain’s repeated-reelections, not Flake. But his suggestion was that Flake similarly tries to whip out this ‘moralizing conservatism’ shtick only during election-season.

            Its not a new trick for Flake. a funny example from his earlier career:

            In his campaign in 2000, Flake had pledged to serve no more than three terms in Congress which would see him serve no later than January 2007.

            Shortly after being elected for a third time, Flake announced in early 2005 that he had changed his mind on pledging term limits and was planning to run for reelection in 2006. “It was a mistake to limit my own terms,” Flake said.[10]

            it also notes he faced no Dem challenger in his re-election bid.

            1. Whether talking about Flake or McCain, Senators stand for election every six years.

        2. How he can keep that up for 5 minute sis beyond me, yet he does it over and over again.

          He is clearly reading a script. Why do you think he wears the sunglasses? That does not take away from the entertainment value, though.

      2. The only point he seems to make, is that Flake isn’t representing his conservative voters. But he doesn’t get into any specifics.

        I’ll agree that Flake is “shying away from a political contest” but it seems the Democrats and GOPe are the ones sundering our country from voters and citizens.

        And what is more offensive, Trump “telling it like it is” or Democrats, GOPe, and MSM telling us lies?

        Flake could have just stated his differences with Trump (and I’m on Flake’s side on immigration, spending, and decorum in general) and kept voting as he believed best. But he apparently couldn’t stand it.

        1. He’s waiting out Trump, he’ll be back when it’s politically ok to be a RINO again, to you know, vote his conscience again.

    2. Perfect is the enemy of the good. He was as good a Senator as there was in the chamber currently. It’s politics, not Thanitics.

      1. Perfect is the enemy of the good

        strange, then, for him to announce his inability to continue doing an inherently-dirty job because of his inability to deal with less-than-perfect executives.

        nothing should ever make you more skeptical than when a *politician* starts waffling about the sincerity of their principles. A politician is just a lawyer with cheaper-clients; they are puppets intended to represent the interests of their constituents. Gazing at their own navel and musing aloud about the difficulty their feel ‘compromising their principles’ makes you wonder how they ever got into the business of politics in the first place. If people needed a sermon they’d go to church. If you are unwilling to pursue policy in the people’s interest, just fucking quit and spare us the sanctimonious self-congratulation.

      2. Flake is a statist squish. I get why he was lauded as a Congressman, low bar and all. As s a senator he’s in the middle of the GOP pack, at best. That’s enemy territory to anyone who gives a rat’s as about individual liberty.

        1. On perhaps the most important issue and measure of the size of government (spending IMHO), Flake wasn’t a “statist squish”.

          Though he did vote for the Patriot Act, but said in 2000 that the war on drugs was abusing civil rights. And certainly he’s, unfortunately IMHO, somewhat of a social conservative. But compared to 98% of all the other congressmen, he was a better libertarian.

          1. SIV thinks Trump is the quintessential libertarian, trillion dollar deficits and all. No use arguing with him.

          2. I liked him more as a congressman and was disappointed to look at his last few years of votes and see how his fiscal voting record had worsened. Senate changed him.

            1. In light of Flake’s political metamorphosis, from congressman to senator, you could say he was unprincipled.

      3. Flake is a statist squish. I get why he was lauded as a Congressman, low bar and all. As s a senator he’s in the middle of the GOP pack, at best. That’s enemy territory to anyone who gives a rat’s as about individual liberty.

    3. Flake claimed to be libertarian but then supported spying on Americans. He is no loss. Hopefully Arizona voters will do better than he and warmonger McCain.

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  2. “America deserves far better than @realDonaldTrump.”
    You see, that’s where he’s wrong, America has exactly the government it deserves.

    1. Pretty fair.

    2. Trump has done more to shrink government than anybody in about 30 years.

      If Flake was President, would he have done the same? We all know he would not have.

      1. On spending Flake’s record is better than Trump’s. Flake seemed more fed up with “the sundering” of our country, but I think he misplaces his disgust with the wrong people.

        I think he’s been in DC for too long and actually believes the people that have been engaging in “the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions; the flagrant disregard for truth or decency …” is Trump instead of the establishment, and mostly Democrats.

        I didn’t believe Trump would prove to be such a good president, but I’m glad to see a lot of the changes he’s made. Still, he hasn’t changed spending.

    3. It was gerrymandering and not the American voter that got trump in

      1. How do you gerrymander STATES?

        1. You hear this all the time. People blaming things on “gerrymandering” in contexts where it makes no sense.

          whats bizarre is that many still don’t bother to look into why they’re wrong.

        2. Some states award EVs by district.

          1. please point to the single state which gained/lost electoral votes and so actually changed the results of any elections. Please. try.

          2. and, per this article:

            the states which won Trump the election; the rust-belt midwest + PA… lost electoral votes over time…

            …and the states which have gained the most tend to fall in already-blue territory. the ones that have been growing which are up for grabs are Florida and Texas.

            again: suggesting that ‘gerrymandering’, or the political monkeying with congressional districts during census periods, has had anything to do with Presidential-election victory … is fucking retarded and has zero basis in fact.

          3. No, it’s not “some” states, it’s two–Maine and Nebraska. That’s it.

      2. That you even try to use Gerrymandering with the EC reveals naught but your screaming ignorance. And we won’t hear from you again, Libs always hit and run.

    4. Just another politician who refuses to accept election results.
      Move along, nothing to see here.

    5. “God’s bodykins, man, much better. Use every man after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.”

  3. the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions; the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations

    E.g., half the comments you’re going to see on this post.

    1. If only Hillary had won, to continue the open and honest and ethical government of Obama.

    2. The other have are how “I’m more libertarian than you” and the NAP

      1. Fuck yeah. I’m way more Libertarian than naps.

  4. His sociopathy was less than the average politician at the level of power he managed to reach. He was filtered out. The Peter principle in modern politics: all else equal, all politicians raise to the level of their intolerance for manipulation, deceit, lies, unscrupulousness.

  5. “We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country”

    So he meekly quits.

    1. I get the part where the politics was just too disgusting to handle, so he quits to do something else…but that’s less of a courageous gesture than a purely natural reaction.

      1. He told you why. He is putting country over party.

        1. Wow, you didn’t even *attempt* to address my point, usually you a least make a gesture in that direction.

        2. Putting country over party by quitting one of the most powerful positions in the country, where he could actually affect change?

    2. Yeah, shows his Ayn Randian priorities 🙂 . Self preservation.

  6. One annoying thing was when he just announced that he’s so disgusted at Roy Moore he contributed to the Democrat.

    There is a Libertarian Party candidate in the race. Why not endorse him if you can’t endorse the Republican? If you’re making end-of career gestures of principle, why not endorse the “Party of Principle”?

    1. He told you why. He is putting country over party.

      (correct placement – disregard above)

      1. Wow, you didn’t even *attempt* to address my point, usually you a least make a gesture in that direction.

        1. Yes I did. Flake believes defeating the piece-of-shit Moore is more important than party politics. The only way to do that is with Jones.

          1. This time you attempted an argument, albeit a bad one, which you didn’t do before.

            Bipartisan is still partisan, just as bisexual is still sexual.

            1. He’s putting cunty over party.

          2. Who’s Jones?

            1. The person about to lose to Roy Moore

            2. The person about to lose to Roy Moore

    2. There is a Libertarian Party candidate in the race. Why not endorse him if you can’t endorse the Republican?

      because in Arizona, Democrats like Flake run on the GOP ticket

      1. I find Jeff Flake to be uninspring but I can’t say that I can name one US senator of the Democratic persuasion that is noteworthy, not a one.

        1. Russ Feingold was one of the less-awful ones.

          1. Wyden is also not spectacularly terrible on rare occasions.

            1. I agree. Wyden is better than the rest of his D cohorts.

          2. Despite his dislike of free speech in politics?

        2. I can think of several Democrats that are note worthily evil.

    3. you missed the part in the article about him talking about being pragmatic. Roy Moore is a shit show. They want him in so they can immediately kick him over ethical problems out and let the governor pick another Republican senator to replace him until the next election.

      1. The Republican party is political?

        GET THE FUCK OUTTA TOWN!!!

      2. “They want him in so they can immediately kick him over ethical problems out and let the governor pick another Republican senator to replace him until the next election.”

        So that way, Roy Moore is replaced *and* the Senate seat stays Demcrat-free? Sounds like a deal to me!

      3. The word “pragmatic” isn’t in the article.

        And that strategy only works if Moore wins, so why would Flake be so hot for Jones to win?

        1. Because he cares about his country, unlike people who prefer the Republican candidate to the Democratic candidate!

          /sarc

          1. Even the he donated 100$ I think. Hell, I donated almost 1/10th that to reason and I’m not even a big fancy Senator.

    4. Because he is auditioning to be the Left’s new pet ex-Republican. Chuck Hagel is getting long in the tooth.

    5. One annoying thing was when he just announced that he’s so disgusted at Roy Moore he contributed to the Democrat.

      There is a Libertarian Party candidate in the race. Why not endorse him if you can’t endorse the Republican? If you’re making end-of career gestures of principle, why not endorse the “Party of Principle”?

      There’s also more than one write-in Republican in the race, so opting for the famously abortion-extremist Democrat in the race (where he could could help direct GOP votes to an alternate channel on the Right) is deeply questionable.

  7. Saturday morning nut punch

    1. Reason already covered it, why subject my nuts to double jeopardy?

    2. This has nothing to do with the article and is useless in context.

      1. JB is an off-topic asshole.

        1. I haven’t clicked on the link, but it feels better than the topic.

          1. Believe it or not, Jeff Flake is less shocking than the guy who got shot in the hallway.

      2. Oh well, look everybody, it’s the “stay on topic” police.

      3. It’s like you’ve never seen a Reason message board before. This is what happens here

  8. I didn’t know much about him before all this recent flappery. Just another Senator with some non-mainstream views.

    What struck me most about his retirement speech was the hypocrisy of bragging about retiring out of principle while refusing to fight for that principle by staying in office. The only way I could square that circle was if polls had shown a Democrat would win if he ran for re-election — either because he was so unpopular that any Democrat would beat him, or because his staying in would give the Republican primary to an unelectable Republican.

    I never heard any of those in followup stories, and an incumbent has to be pretty damned squirrelly to not win re-election. So I am left with him just getting tired of fighting the good fight and deciding to play golf all day instead. So much for principles. Not a very satisfying conclusion, I don’t really believe it, but I haven’t heard any better theories.

    1. He was going to lose to a nutty conservative anyway – someone like Sharron Angle.

      1. So what? He suddenly believes in polls? He hasn’t got the cuts to go down fighting for principles?

        Sorry ass explanation. Typical for someone who hasn’t paid off his bets.

    2. Because somewhat dependable Senators are being replaced by Trump nazi sympathizers.

      1. The Nazi with Jewish grandchildren who just moved the US embassy to Jerusalem? That Nazi? I see the commentary has acquired s another dumb ass. Or is it one of the old dumb assess with a new handle? Either way, you’re a dumb ass.

        1. Transference. Nazis = socialists = Democrats. So you accuse the opposition of being everything you are.
          Jonathan Gruber was talking about you guys, not us.

          1. Replying to Devestator, not Denver.

    3. Flake is full of shit. He is retiring because he was way behind in the polls for the primary next year.

      This virtue-signaling about “country over party” is his campaign to become the left’s pet ex-Republican.

  9. We have to stop voting for incumbents,plain and simple. Stop giving them power ,then they won’t “matter”.

  10. McCain’s pool boy is conveniently blaming DJT for the fact he was going to get crushed. The man in the mirror is always the toughest one to face.

    1. I suspect that’s the real issue here. His poll numbers weren’t looking too good in the primary, and there isn’t even a guarantee that he’d win against the Democrat if Trump doesn’t leave their voters completely broken and exhausted by 2018.

  11. Flake became disgusted with the party of the economically illiterate p…y grabber and the illiberal yet heavily-endorsed pederast… I have to wonder why.

    1. Flake became disgusted with the party of the economically illiterate p…y grabber and the illiberal yet heavily-endorsed pederast… I have to wonder why.

      Flake is still friends with economically illiterate John McCain who is ALSO corrupt.

      1. John McCain may be one of my less favorite US senators but he opposed the minimum wage. Economically literate on one topic at least.
        https://goo.gl/zPdrMJ
        [Tucson Weekly]

        1. It’s fucked up. I have at least one friend in Tucson who lost a lot of hours from the minimum wage increase

  12. “Libertarian-leaning Jeff Flake” donates to Democrat and not Libertarian candidate.

    LIBERTARIAN MOMENT!!!

    I love that he’s retiring because of Trump, not polls showing he’s going to get shit-canned by Arizonans who can do significantly better,

  13. Why are there “deals” to be made when the path should be what is best for the country?

    1. Because you don’t get anywhere without compromise, just like you saw when the tea-party caucus of “no” failed. Also the country doesn’t need an authoritarian Trump with flunkies all through Congress.

      1. We lived 8 years with hyper-authoritarian Obama.

        We’ll survive Trump.

        Dodging Hillary gave us a chance.

      2. The Left was far more reluctant to compromise than the TP. The only compromise they made during Obama’s term was splitting sequestration between defense and social spending, which was still not a fair bargain.

  14. VIVA ANARCHY!

  15. here are only about five people I’d consider doing this for,…. Los cincos amigos: Sens. Rand Paul (R?Ky.) and Mike Lee (R?Utah); Reps. Justin Amash (R?Mich.) and Thomas Massie (R?Ky.); and Flake.

    Not Dana Rohrabacher (R-Cal.)?

    I think a lot of movement activists are suckers for group flattery. They feel less affinity w someone who’s distanced himself from the libertarian label (Rohrabacher), but have been objectively more libertarian, than they do w someone who was more recently an adopter of such a label but may not be as objectively libertarian. Plus, there’s the factor that makes them want to maintain affinity w someone like Flake whom they’ve anointed as libertarian even if they later turn out not to be as libertarian, because of the embarrassment of the anointer to admit the anointment was mistaken.

    Of course this phenomenon exists in every movement. They all like acknowledgment & want to be thought of as “with it”.

    1. Not only that, Rohrabacher is the “feds, get your hands off our state-legal medical marijuana!” guy.

      1. (which could simply be constituent service in the wake of California’s medical-MJ law, to be sure)

        1. Probably not “constituent services” as Rohrabacher has been pro-MJ for at least 45 years..

          1. Then I kind of prefer to think of him taking such a broad view. (if by pro-MJ you mean anti-WoD)

  16. Oh yeah, the leftist donors are getting their money’s worth. From both Flake and Reason.

  17. Los cincos amigos: Sens. Rand Paul (R?Ky.) and Mike Lee (R?Utah); Reps. Justin Amash (R?Mich.) and Thomas Massie (R?Ky.); and Flake.

    Have any of those other four come out in support of Flake the Fake on these matters?

    If not, what is your explanation? Have you considered that even these “free-thinking Repbulicans” have a problem with what FTF is up to? Or do you think they are just cowards or something.

  18. Losing Jeff Flake and Roy Mo winning a Senate seat is a small net gain for liberty.

    1. Exactly. Establishment republicans and Democrats have grow the government. As the government grows, liberties are lost.

  19. Flake supports tax cuts and can actually identify which countries he wants to bomb in the middle east, otherwise he might have a promising career as perennial libertarian candidate. He’s got the Muslims’n’Mexicans part down pat.

  20. OT: How hemp saved a steeltown

    “We found ourselves at a crossroads. We had to decide whether to leave or to stay,” says Fornaro. “We decided to stay to defend our land.” To do that, he turned to marijuana plants, which can absorb toxic substances from the soil and neutralize them. The first time hemp was used for environmental rehabilitation was after the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine.

    I hope this doesn’t start happening in America because some child is going to eat one of those plants and die.

    1. You mean that they’re selling giant mutant radioactive dope?

      Imagine a giant Rasta lizard belching smoke rather than fire.

  21. Fed Up With Mortal Men, Women Are Having Sex with Ghosts

    Realm’s fianc? broke up with her, and she and the ghost then decided to fuck everywhere in the house: “Once my fianc? had left, [we had sex] everywhere, [but] always within the building,” she said. That particular ghost romance lasted for a time, until the entity “started to appear less,” and Realm ended the inter-dimensional affair.

    After that, Realm began to have regular sex with a variety of ghosts, each as distinct in style and feel than any human mate might be. “I’ve got not interest in men now,” she proclaimed.

    Your reign of terror is over, fellas.

    1. According to Hawe, “more than 99 percent of these claims can usually be disproved,” with the majority being some form of “vivid dreaming, sleep paralysis and/or hallucinations.” But the remaining less-than-one percent of encounters, he insists, are real as hell.

      lol

      1. But the remaining less-than-one percent of encounters, he insists, are real as hell

        , which is some form of “vivid dreaming, sleep paralysis and/or hallucinations.”

        1. Why are we ruling out “lying attention whore” so early?

      2. waiting for the avalanche of harassment allegations against ethereal beings.

        1. Casper: “Hey Wendy, what’s the difference between a blowjob and a ham sandwich”

          Wendy: “I don’t know Casper”

          Casper: “Let’s Do Lunch” !

          1. I don’t get it.

            1. I’m needlessly bothered by him putting the exclamation outside of the quote.

    2. “Ma’am, I’m afraid that handwritten death certificate the ‘ghost’ showed you is not genuine.”

    3. So, you’re telling me that I should lead with “I’ve been dead before and came back to life in a manner that still baffles my doctors” when talking to women?

    1. Revelers braved the snow brought by Winter Storm Benji for New York City’s annual pub crawl

      “Winter Storm Benji”? When did this become a thing? What’s next — naming the times autumn leaves drop?

      1. “Benji” doesn’t sound like a scary name.

        1. But the name suggest “the Hunted” to those of a certain age!

      1. OK, Winter Storm Tiffani.

  22. Weird, I never heard once heard Welchie boy say that things were “grim” when his hero Block Insane Yomomma was in office. Imagine that!

  23. Dave Weigel achieves his journalistic apotheosis:

    Donald J. Trump? @realDonaldTrump

    .@DaveWeigel @WashingtonPost put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/ thousands of people outside, on their way in. Real photos now shown as I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!

    1. Fake News Weigel. Some of us were far, far ahead of Trump on that one.

    2. The media is just doing its best to report the truth!

      The fact that these errors only go one way says nothing st all!

    3. Trump doubles down

      Donald J. Trump?@realDonaldTrump
      43m43 minutes ago

      .@daveweigel of the Washington Post just admitted that his picture was a FAKE (fraud?) showing an almost empty arena last night for my speech in Pensacola when, in fact, he knew the arena was packed (as shown also on T.V.). FAKE NEWS, he should be fired.

      ruh roh, daaaaayveee

      1. Weigel’s story on this is problematic. He says he deleted the fake-photo tweet long before Trump’s initial tweet about it, but he only apologized after Trump’s tweet calling him out. Which seems to indicate that he didn’t intend to apologize for posting a false accusation that Trump lied about the size of the crowd.

        Oh yeah, and he’s claiming it was just on his personal Twitter account, so the WaPo shouldn’t be brought into it. Which is BS, since dishonesty and/or incompetence displayed on a “journalist’s” personal account reflects on them.

    4. What puzzles me is that they keep doing this when the fakeness of their news is quickly discoverable. Are they that arrogant and hubristic to think they won’t get caught or there won’t be consequences when they do?

      I think part of it is that they’re exploiting the ability to have the original false story retweeted a million times, then quietly issue a retraction the next day which doesn’t get retweeted at all. But you can only do that so many times.

      1. What puzzles me is that they keep doing this when the fakeness of their news is quickly discoverable.

        the people who believe them, want to believe them. everyone believes the headlines, no one reads the corrections.

        1. Did you hear about how Trump removed the statue of Abraham Lincoln?

          1. it was MLK

            the excuse was, “oh, someone was standing in front of it”. #ProfessionalJournalism

            1. Sorry, I got my fake news wrong.

              But I bet Trump was *planning* to remove the statue until the false – I should say premature – report – shamed him into keeping it. /sarc

              1. Hey, I’m sure somebody heard that he removed Lincoln too. Hell, I bet people have heard of him removing all sorts of iconography.

    5. If Trump were really as evil as they say he is, he would send a couple of guys just up the road to 1435 Euclid Street Apartment 2 and have them smash “Buttplug” Weigel’s face in.

      1. Your stalker-like obsession with Dave Wiegel continues to confound and disturb us all.

        1. He’s a pathological liar and an extremely mentally ill person (a “sad clown” is what he calls himself). I suspect these are big reasons why even Welchie boy had enough good sense to fire him.

          The fact that the Post would continue to employ and prominently feature such a disturbed individual speaks very poorly of their judgment, integrity, and trustworthiness.

  24. Welch is the Eric Dondero of former libertarian magazine editors.

    Congressman Jeff Flake could pass as “libertarian-leaning” but as Senator he’s a Republican Kirsten Gillibrand.

    1. Do you mean Welch makes a snap judgment on the horse & then rides it to doom?

      1. No, that’s Catherine the Great.

        1. Neigh means neigh, Catherine.

  25. An Illinois donated some letters he got from Charles Manson…to the Abraham Lincoln Museum.

    1. Illinois journalist

    2. As a criminal ,Manson was barely a mattress tag-tearer compared to Lincoln

  26. Greenspan / Beranke don’t understand bitcoin, and Jeff Flake doesn’t understand the issues with illegal or even legal immigration.

    Most advocates of increased border control and more vetting and less “chain migration” policies also don’t understand.

    It is wrong to say that the only libertarian position in the current discussion in the USA is unlimited open borders. It is doubtful that even the libertarians that advocate such policies would accept that they even advocate such a policy. However, if is rare to hear open borders and “path to citizenship” advocates give a figure for ideal maximum.

    If such were policy and publicly shared, then almost the entire population of the globe would be “coming to America”.

    What would be the economics of such a policy? Net immigration is not so clearly all positive.

    Some dismiss with a wave of the hand the objections based on culture, but you can just consider the situation in France. The news reports from France here are from what remains of European France.

  27. Greenspan / Beranke don’t understand bitcoin, and Jeff Flake doesn’t understand the issues with illegal or even legal immigration.

    Most advocates of increased border control and more vetting and less “chain migration” policies also don’t understand.

    It is wrong to say that the only libertarian position in the current discussion in the USA is unlimited open borders. It is doubtful that even the libertarians that advocate such policies would accept that they even advocate such a policy. However, if is rare to hear open borders and “path to citizenship” advocates give a figure for ideal maximum.

    If such were policy and publicly shared, then almost the entire population of the globe would be “coming to America”.

    What would be the economics of such a policy? Net immigration is not so clearly all positive.

    Some dismiss with a wave of the hand the objections based on culture, but you can just consider the situation in France. The news reports from France here are from what remains of European France.

      1. Weird that w3 schools was in the first link. Did you copy paste from their html tag tutorials?

        1. Did someone say tag?

  28. In future, to avoid controversy, experts recommend more statues like this.

  29. “…being a woman in this role is a tricky proposition. While liberal Jews have long been comfortable with female mohelim performing circumcision, more traditional Jews still prefer a male….

    “”I became aware that a lot of my Jewish patients were opting out of brit milah ceremonies because they preferred a doctor to perform the circumcision in a hospital, which they perceived to be a safer environment,” [Dr. Hadar] Waldman said. “Over time, this troubled me because I saw it as missed opportunity. Too many boys were not entering the covenant of Judaism.””

  30. Who said this about deep-dish pizza: “This is the best pizza in the United States and it’s not close:? The answer may surprise you.

  31. “What these cases are about is dignity. Systemic, societal dignity. Yes, the wedding cake might be obtained at a bakery down the street. But then again, African-Americans may have been able to find lunch at some other lunch counter down the street in the ’60s. The principle at stake is whether or not gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people are going to be accorded the same public dignity that is available to everyone else ? whether or not such treatment is commensurate with the personal opinions and even theologies of the vendors.”

    1. It’s like slavery all over again!

    2. I like the way you bake it,
      No dignity
      I got to box it up, box it up

    3. Also, the author may want to look into the history of Jim Crow…it was more pervasive than just having to go to a shop down the street. We’re talking about people sleeping in their cars because hotels and motels wouldn’t rent rooms to them. (and other abuses I don’t have time to detail)

      1. And also Jim Crow was a law. It wasn’t just an individual choice. It was government enforced.

    4. Our country was founded on recognizing the dignity in an individual, not forcing others to somehow confer it – no matter what Justice Kennedy may imagine.

      The principle here is whether every business owner is actually a government functionary in disguise, with no freedom, only rules.

  32. Donald Trump is calling on the The Washington Post to fire David Weigel.

    LOL

    http://thehill.com/media/36412…..rump-rally

    Weigel apologized for posting fake news, but Trump wants him fired anyway.

      1. I just can’t get over it: it’s just amazing how much collusion between Trump and the Russians that we’re just supposed to know exists before we see any facts, no matter how many false news stories we go through to get there.

        And these are the people against truthiness? OK.

        1. Just caught the edge of the TV news. There is some ‘civil rights’ organization or museum or some such. They are dis-inviting Trump, since he must have owned slaves at one time or another and he’s a poopy head!
          I am acquainted with a very successful black woman who is married to a jewish guy. She swore they were going to leave the country if Trump were elected since her husband would be subject to bigotry!
          She said that to my wife; it was a good guess on her part I’d have called her on her bullshit. She has not mentioned it to me or my wife since. They are both still here and benefiting from the market gains.
          FFS, can the TDS.

    1. It won’t happen, because under Jeff Bezos the Post has completely jettisoned whatever standards of integrity and honesty they still had remaining when he bought it.

      Remember, the Post already “fired” the Buttplug once after the JournoList got exposed and blew up in their face. But as it turned out, not really. The firing was just a P.R. move to buy themselves a little time.

      1. I don’t think Bezos is the cause of this, but he certainly hasn’t done anything to fix it. The Post went completely off the rails the minute, the second, the nanosecond that Trump won the Republican nomination. It was so annoying that I canceled my subscription. The news took third place to ranting about Trump, every headline, every story. It was like there was a Ministry of Propaganda dictate that every story had to start out with a rant about Trump, no matter the real subject.

        As one who voted for Trump as the only electable better alternative to the neo-fascists of the left, I found it quite insulting.

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  34. Following up on sevo’s post, it seems Trump dared to speak at the new Civil Rights Museum in Jackson Mississippi, despite the fact that activists and Democratic politicians asked him not to come. If you can imagine Trump’s arrogance, accepting a speaking invitation when the great and the good told him not to come.

    “Trump did not heed their calls….

    “[Former civil-rights movement activist John] Perkins stood for the president as he entered and exited. But his daughter, who came with her husband and two sisters, did not. “He’s up there saying the right thing, but look at what he is doing against everything the museum stands for,” Potter said.

    “”Ew,” she said, describing her reaction to Trump’s words.”

      1. Maybe she meant to say “ewe” in reference to Trump’s alleged habit of [the remainder of this joke has been deleted for reasons of taste].

        1. There was a President who wasn’t cheap
          So horny that he couldn’t sleep…

          OK, that’s about enough of that.

          1. I thought Trump had pisshookers and John Key was the sheepfucker.

    1. I’m surprised these dumb punks actually still seem think they can intimidate Trump. That will never happen, you fools.

    2. “He’s up there saying the right thing, but look at what he is doing against everything the museum stands for,” Potter said.

      “Trump doesn’t treat us like Faberge eggs and won’t give us mo money fo dem programs!”

  35. Libertarian moment, eh?

  36. Jeff Flake DOESN’T Matter.

  37. People, including Jeff Flake, should stop criticizing conservatives for not being libertarian or liberal enough.

  38. Why Jeff Flake Matters
    Principle and humility are shoved to the margins of the modern GOP.

    Humility? From the Cuckservatives and their endless moral preening? You have got to be kidding me.

    Flake is just too noble and pure for this fallen world, and so he flakes off. Good riddance.

  39. I live and vote in Arizona, and voted for Flake. Were he to run again, I would not.

    Flake became a #NeverTrump nut. This is a person so offended by Trump that policies no longer matter, only bitching about Trump. There are a lot of these sorts of “Republicans.”

    Flake also was seduced by Washington, agreeing to too many compromises with the Democrats, who are more totalitarian than any movement in the US in decades.

    Good riddance.

  40. I just wish the right would stick together like the left does and not have a war between each other so we can actually get things done quickly. Things are actually going pretty well with jobs and economy but could be better if politicians actually cared about the people back home.

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