Donald Trump

‘Food Police’ Thriving Under Alleged Deregulator Trump

When it comes to the FDA and USDA, where's the scaling back of rules?

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Scott Gottlieb
Douliery Olivier/Sipa USA/Newscom

Last week, a fantastic front-page New York Times article looked at the phenomenon of regulatory fatigue, set against the Trump administration's claims to be focusing huge attention on many of the rules that lie at the heart of that fatigue. The in-depth Times piece looked at regulations impacting apple growers—including everything from water and labor rules to the "assortment of rules, guidances, standards and training requirements associated with ladders, including how to achieve proper angling and how to prevent falling when filling produce bags."

The ladder issue was particularly apropos because of the name of an apple farm profiled in the story, Indian Ladder Farms in upstate New York.

Many of the rules the article discusses are inane, costly, and unhelpful. Together, these rules, put in place by faceless acronyms—including the EPA, FDA, USDA, OSHA, and other state and federal agencies—can crush small apple growers, as I told the Times in the piece.

"So many of the farmers I've spoken with tell me that stricter and stricter regulations have put many of their neighbors and friends out of business, and in doing so cost them their homes, land and livelihoods," I say in the Times piece. "For many farmers, rolling back regulations is the only way they can survive."

Coincidentally, just days before the Times piece was published, President Donald Trump used remarks he made in the White House's Roosevelt Room to tout his purported deregulatory fervor and successes, touting his administration's first year as the "most far-reaching regulatory reform" efforts ever by a U.S. president.

"We have decades of excess regulation to remove," Trump said. "To help launch the next phase of growth, prosperity and freedom, I am challenging my cabinet to find and remove every single outdated, unlawful and excessive regulation currently on the books."

I have no doubt there are "decades of excess regulation to remove." There are. But I have no faith whatsoever either in the will or abilities of Trump or his appointees to carry out this rollback.

Consider, for example, that Trump made a campaign pledge to kick the "FDA food police" out of Washington. His controversial executive order mandating that agencies revoke two regulations for every new one they seek to adopt could be used as a tool to accomplish just that.

But like seemingly everything else Trump, his pledges and orders resemble little more than some sort of chintzy window dressing.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, appointed by Trump, appears not even to share the Trump administration's purported zeal to cut food regulations. As a Regulatory Affairs Professional Society post noted recently, the Trump administration "has yet to take a saw to its regulations, and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb seemed to walk back Trump's pledge" to do so.

The website Food Dive also described Gottlieb's position on food regulations as almost entirely nebulous.

"It hasn't been easy to get a clear sense of where the new FDA director stands on many food safety and nutrition issues," it reported.

There's good reason to be skeptical of the willingness of Gottlieb's FDA to cut food regulations. For example, he doubled down last fall on awful Obama administration menu-labeling rules, part of the Affordable Care Act, saying the FDA will act in part because Gottlieb is a "doctor" and "father." He's also continued the Obama administration's nannying pursuit of all things "Loko," going after the snortable chocolate Coco Loko with the same gusto Obama's FDA targeted the caffeinated alcohol beverage Four Loko.

It's not just Trump's FDA that stinks. His USDA has also been lousy. The Trump administration rolled back Obama administration rules on USDA school lunches—so that the rules are different than they were recently but still awful like they were before that—with the embarrassing claim to be "making school lunches great again." The USDA also recently targeted Maine after the state adopted a food sovereignty law that would have allowed cities and towns in the state to deregulate local meat sales.

When it comes to rolling back burdensome food regulations, Trump's promises appear to be hollow at best.

Despite his bold, unsupported claims of an historic year of regulatory reform, from where I'm sitting I see there are still about as many food regulations worth scrapping today as there were when Trump took office last year.

The so-called food police are still the law in these parts. The only difference now is that a new cast of characters reports to a new sheriff, President Trump.

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114 responses to “‘Food Police’ Thriving Under Alleged Deregulator Trump

  1. “… I am challenging my cabinet to find and remove every single outdated, unlawful and excessive regulation currently on the books.”

    Nothing left to cut. How can you possibly believe that any agency is going to believe a single one of their regulations is unlawful and/or excessive rather than necessary and proper? And outdated – well, with these rules governing the use of coal-fired steam engines on farms we haven’t had any problems with coal-fired steam engines on farms lately have we? Who knows what might happen if we got rid of those rules?

    1. Well, crap – messed up the close italics tag, I’m assuming the site is fucked now.

      1. We’re all italic now.

        1. The arrogance on this guy, thinking he has the power to bring down Reason.

            1. mwoo ha ha ha ha haha! HAHA HAHA!!! HAAAAAA HAAAAA AAAAAAHHHA HAAAHA AH!!!! (coughs)

              1. [hides all of GILMORE’s cufflinks, bowties, and argyle socks]

                Who’s laughing now?

                1. I only own one of those things. You must be thinking of Jeff Tucker.

                  I am laughing, because i can italicize you all at a whim. I HAVE THE POWER OF A GOD!!

                    1. Yeah man, I agree with you!

                  1. So you’re a poor God’s Jeffrey Tucker?

            1. No, “capiche”, like an Italo-American Bronxite who’d barely understand a word of real Italian.

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      1. He’s italicized the spam. Could he do that if he weren’t God?

        Also, how many Gilmores can dance on the head of a pin? Asking for a friend.

        1. Trick question. Gilmore don’t dance.

  2. Coincidentally, just days before the Times piece was published, President Donald Trump used remarks he made in the White House’s Roosevelt Room to tout his purported deregulatory fervor and successes, touting his administration’s first year as the “most far-reaching regulatory reform” efforts ever by a U.S. president.

    I find this to be particularly ironic and kind-of awesome considering regulatory policy of the Roosevelt admin included destroying livestock and crops to artificially inflate the price of food, which is only one the atrocious things he did as president. That ass-hat really hated poor people. He made so many of them. (as I like to remind my lefty gf’s lefty mother who thinks FDR is bae.)

  3. How dare Baylen criticize the FDA!?!?

    The FDA is properly the subject of our worship! To learn all about FDA-worshipping, see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/

    1. Everyone forgets how only a few short years ago the FDA saved us all from thalidomide that was routinely prescribed to all pregnant women.

      1. This is the standard proggie response. Thalidomide babies make sensational pictures in the newspaper. 15,000 dead from “Thrombin” post-heart-attack drug, dead for no good reason, while the FDA delays drug approval for 15 years, does NOT easily make a succinct picture in the paper. 10,000 years from now, FDA over-reach will still be justified by “Thalidomide babies”, while we suffer death by a thousand cuts.

        For one of extremely many “thousand cuts” of FDA over-regulation (jacking up costs & limiting access), research the “lung flute”, a silly, cheap plastic flute. Doctor’s prescription required! But only in the USA, the supposedly “home of the free”. “Lung flute” as a Google search string, or search string on http://www.churchofsqrls.com/ , will get you there.

        1. FDA over-regulation means that it will cost you about $30 million to get any new “medical device” approved for sale. This has very real (and very negative) impact for MANY people, including inventors!

          Just the other day, I tried to market, for FREE, a new “app” I wrote? Just snap a picture on your I-Phone and have the app analyze the picture you just took? And it SOLVES that age-old “bane” of husbands and boyfriends everywhere! “Does this dress make me look fat”? ? “Well honey, I dunno, let’s see what my I-phone and the ‘Does this dress make me look fat’ app has to say” SNAP and go!!!? Your opinion is taken OUT, you are OFF the hot seat!
          As publisher of this “app”, I was charged with “diagnosing obesity, a medical condition, w/o a Doctor’s License”. I am writing this post to you, Beloved Reasonoids, from jail? I apologize for my crimes?

        2. “Thrombin”‘s a lousy name for a post-heart-attack drug anyway. Why not name it “clotmore” or “plugmore” while they’re at it?

          1. I’m not sure about details,memory fails me… See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm…..MC2727895/ about use of this for clotting, as you say. It might have been thrombin-JMI, or some totally different drug. I just recall reading (writings of James Bovard?) of a heart-attack drug whose approval was delayed for about 10-15 years, and the delay caused about 10,000 deaths. Sorry, my memory fails me…

            1. Pump the following into The Google (Who Knows and Sees All Things!), and a boat-load of good web-site-hits will come up pronto:

              No results found for “deaths caused by FDA delay”.

              Results for deaths caused by FDA delay (without quotes):

              Blah-de-blah-blah…

        3. Like many other things, Lung Flute isn’t FDA’s fault but Congress’s. What reasonable reading can you give the FFDCA that doesn’t require FDA to consider it a medical device? A regular child’s flute can still be sold as such, but add those medical claims & it can’t escape being a med’l device under FFDCA & state pharmacy laws. If it were labeled as being just for congestion from a cold, then it’d be class 1 & hence sold w/o prescription. COPD (also known, ironically, as COLD) claim? Got to be category 2 (if they could find a predicate device) or 3.

          FDA’s hands are tied in this. If they tried to leave it unregulated, a “citizen group” (front for a competitor) could petition for them to regulate it as they actually have, & failing that, take it to court. & it’d wind up the way it was when the Reagan NTSB tried to rescind the passive-restraint mandate in passenger cars: having their inaction declared arbitrary & capricious, & a court putting into effect the regs the petitioner wanted.

          It’s damn hard to deregulate via admin. procedures, because of the admin. hx of regul’n. “The experts” have already decided, & it’s going to take evidence, not value judgment, to say they were wrong, not just that the regs have adverse effects. Congress is going to have to do something, the way they did w various transport modes in the 1970s. Either that or courts are going to have to say, “Statute? What statute? I don’t see any statute.” Or some factual lie like that.

          1. A “lung flute” is less intrusive into the body than a tooth-brush is! If a tooth-brush was invented today, we’d need a Dentist’s prescription every time we buy a new tooth-brush! The actual results here are absurd!

            The head of the FDA reports to Trump. If Trump means what he says, he could just tell his flunky to set straight the ridiculous crap of this kind, and fire everyone who stands in the way. There are MANY more examples of such absurd “medical devices”. Is anyone going to impeach Trump over the “issues” of Trump fiat-fixing such absurdities? Even if some lawyers say it violates the laws? I doubt it VERY much! So Trump needs to grow some balls, and get it done!

            1. If a tooth-brush was invented today, we’d need a Dentist’s prescription every time we buy a new tooth-brush!

              Depends if it was sold w health claims or only cosmetic claims.

              1. Possibly so, but either way, so long that our “betters” would stoop so low, in EITHER case, to pretend to be our moral superiors to such an extent as to require our other “betters” (doctors) to give us permission to do the equivalent of blowing our noses with mechanical assistance (lung flute), or pinch our noses and blow on them (“ear-popper”), or scratch our asses with an ass-scratching tool, this has all gone WAY too far, and we are being treated like babies!

                Short of some FDA assholes hanging from some lamp-posts, I see few fixes in sight. Congress is too married-at-the-hip with special interests (Doctors, the FDA itself, medical device makers that get to sell at inflated prices), that consumers are sucking WAY-WAY hind tit! And Trump don’t give a shit… Lamp-posts or chipper-shredders, I am not sure which are more effective… How many votes do we need to line up, to get Government Almighty to fire up the lamp-posts or the chipper-shredders, for the arrogant violators here?

                Meanwhile, our taxes and our soldiers go to fight for the “freedoms” of foreigners, while we are denied basic freedoms here in the USA! I can’t blow my own nose w/o a doctor’s permission!
                Go figure!

              2. Possibly so, but either way, so long that our “betters” would stoop so low, in EITHER case, to pretend to be our moral superiors to such an extent as to require our other “betters” (doctors) to give us permission to do the equivalent of blowing our noses with mechanical assistance (lung flute), or pinch our noses and blow on them (“ear-popper”), or scratch our asses with an ass-scratching tool, this has all gone WAY too far, and we are being treated like babies!

                Short of some FDA assholes hanging from some lamp-posts, I see few fixes in sight. Congress is too married-at-the-hip with special interests (Doctors, the FDA itself, medical device makers that get to sell at inflated prices), that consumers are sucking WAY-WAY hind tit! And Trump don’t give a shit… Lamp-posts or chipper-shredders, I am not sure which are more effective… How many votes do we need to line up, to get Government Almighty to fire up the lamp-posts or the chipper-shredders, for the arrogant violators here?

                Meanwhile, our taxes and our soldiers go to fight for the “freedoms” of foreigners, while we are denied basic freedoms here in the USA! I can’t blow my own nose w/o a doctor’s permission!
                Go figure!

  4. Purely OT:
    “Berkeley teacher ordered to pay legal fees of Republican group’s ex-leader”
    […]
    “An Alameda County court commissioner ordered a Berkeley middle school teacher and activist to pay $11,100 in legal fees to the former head of the Berkeley College Republicans after the teacher dropped a demand for a restraining order against the ex-leader of the GOP group.
    The tentative court order requires Yvette Felarca, national organizer for By Any Means Necessary, a group that led protests against conservative speakers at UC Berkeley in 2017, to pay the attorney and court fees for Troy Worden, whose group promoted the speakers’ events.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..475201.php

    This woman and her cohorts are “teaching” your children…

    1. We’re not insane enough to live in Berkeley.

  5. This article said, “Trump” 16 times and didn’t seem to name specific a single regulation that *should* be prioritized for immediate rollback. Just that the cats running the agencies don’t seem to be pleasing to you, yet.

    when the NYT is less bitchy and more substantial than you, you’ve got issues.

    1. I’m curious about specific issues as well. But your comment comes off as a defense of the FDA. As if not specific enough criticism is not valid.

      Probably couldn’t hurt Lennekin to be more positive though in their tone.

  6. “It hasn’t been easy to get a clear sense of where the new FDA director stands on many food safety and nutrition issues”

    “Oh, very well. I like food safety and nutrition.”

    1. As a libertarian I am against it.

      1. As a fat slob and terrible cook, I am definitely against food safety and nutrition. 🙂

  7. Maybe we can eliminate all the regs about what cheese is, or what beef means, or what peanut butter is.

    Then the public can sue every time they think they have been misled. That would be much better.

    1. Don’t laugh. The Pure Food Law of 1906 began as 1.5pp of truth in advertising. By May politicians amended it to define whiskey, etc, per the pharmacopoeia. Sears had to quit putting morphine in Soothing Syrup for export to Chinese babies. Once it came to questions like: what is a sardine? The Panic of 1907 was doing to the economy what the earthquake and dynamite did to San Francisco. At least in SF they shot looters. Not so in DC, hence the tragedy.

    2. Yes, yes it would. Because I really don’t need the FDA to jump in to ‘protect’ me against the scourge of ‘mayonaisse’ that’s not made with eggs.

      1. So you’d be really vexed by having to buy it under another name?

        Would you rather have case law made by judges determine what can be called mayonnaise? Provided they even follow precedent, that is.

        1. For anyone interested, this is the Lanham Act, a frequently used statute:

          15 U.S.C. ? 1125 – False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden

          (a) Civil action

          (1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which?

          (A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or

          (B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person’s goods, services, or commercial activities,
          shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.

  8. Observable Reality:
    Trump promises deregulation in campaign. Within 1st year in office begins reducing overall regulation to historic lows, and promises more of the same. Some notable exceptions exist that should be addressed.

    With Reason Mag Trump Filter on:
    Since Trump did not immediately rescind or change any and all regulations we don’t like, we must conclude he is a gigantic POS who made empty promises and his entire presidency is a blow to liberty and libertarian ideals, and no progress has been made. Plus we hate him. Did I mention we hate him ?

    Reason Mag, if Gary Johnson (stop laughing) had got elected and done the same thing:
    See ! We told you so ! Only a Libertarian can ever turn the federal colossus around ! Unevenly, yes, and surely there areas for improvement but by golly isn’t this amazing to see ? Regulations being reduced ? Who would have thought it possible ? Yay Gary !

    1. “Observable Reality:”

      There haven’t been any demonstrations by consumers demanding laxer health and safety regulations on the food industry. Why should Trump respond to a demand that doesn’t exist?

      1. Yes, you ignorant pile of shit, everybody LOVES the additional cost of unnecessary regulations!

      2. How have “demonstrations by consumers” driven or even remotely influenced Trump’s dereg priorities ?

      1. The cost of Aleppo is up to $12.00/can in dog dollars.

    2. I vote libertarian to force the looters to repeal rights-destroying laws. I couldn’t care less which looter gets to make faces at the camera. The key thing is when they lose by 2% in a race where the LP got 3%, you can bet those bastards’ll find some regulations and moronic laws to scissor out of their platforms and run through the chipper. LP spoiler vote clout is worth roughly a dozen votes wasted on looters by gutless dupes, judging by historical precedent. Hell, one electoral vote for Toni Nathan & Co. repealed every abortion law in These States and opened the doors to complete rights for women in Canada. Integrity works!

      1. Oh yeah, its plainly obvious Trump hangs on every word libertarians say lest he lose that critical voting bloc.

    3. Thanks for saving me the trouble.

      The US government sees biggest regulatory rollback ever, but because Trump, Reason throws a hissy fit over it.

      Reason has become such a joke.

      1. “biggest regulatory rollback ever”

        Sorry but there hasn’t been a “regulatory rollback”. Trump’s admin is increasing the number of regulations this year, just not as fast as Obama’s did.

  9. GILMORE, goddammit.

  10. Blame Fist for daring to challenge my powers

    1. Blaming Fist is equivalent to shouting at the sky. Which makes your action equivalent to rebelling against the sky.

  11. I find Baylen’s obsession with “food liberty” interesting. IMHO there are about 69 million more important liberty stifling regulations out there than those dealing with food. I can see lumping these moral infractions in with the rest and then advocating to get rid of all of them, but to focus on food alone seems odd. I guess everyone has their schtick.

    Perhaps the administration feels similarly when prioritizing?

    1. It’s interesting, because there is evidence that it drives up food prices, pushes people towards less healthy choices (Like the famous food pyramid pushing carbs as the major food source), and in general mucks with a pretty central item in our lives.

      The farm bill and food regulation is not glitzy for sure. But that perhaps makes it even more insidious because of how much it affects our day to day.

      Plus, FDA is probably one of the most destructive agencies for the tremendous retarding effect they have on health care and pharmaceuticals.

    2. It’s Baylen’s beat, so whaddya expect? Seems that in the area he’s looking in, he doesn’t see the gains. Of course it might be that at FDA the deregulatory focus for now is on drugs & medical devices, which I think most people would prioritize over food. As dumb as many food regs are, they’re minuscule in effect compared to those on drugs & medical devices.

      Linnekin complains that after the Obama era school lunch regs were rescinded, there were still regs left on it. Well, paaaardon me! Of course we should prioritize making sure gov’t-run schools have as free a hand as possible in delivering their choice of lunches. You know, it being a critical fx of gov’t & all.

      And no, I don’t think case law laid out by gov’t-employed judges is necessarily better than administrative law set forth in agency regs on the definitions of various specific foods. If someone’s going to go to court over “mayo” or “mayonnaise”, it’s going to be decided by gov’t 1 way or another. So saying gov’t should be silent on the meanings of those words is as naive as saying it should be agnostic on “spouse” & “married”.

  12. Excuse me, but is this the same Trump who–14 months before being sworn in on the Wholly Bauble–told Reason Teevee “Libertarianism? I like it!”

  13. I want my goddamn Persian Pistachios.

    Hurry up and get rid of those effing Mullahs.

    … and unpasteurized cheese; if it is good enuff for Kanukistan …

  14. Goddammit, Fist.

  15. Won’t someone think of the foodies?

    1. Bolded?

  16. Why does tReason keep giving Trump free press?

    1. Yeah, I wish they would focus more positively on changes to be made rather than getting negative and blaming for changes not made.

      This magazine often makes claims about things getting better. And oftentimes goes for a positive outlook on humanity and the future. I hope that they can pull away from fixation on Trump and move to more general positive outlook.

      1. Agree 100%

  17. Yes, the usual Reason bias is showing. But there really is reason to be underwhelmed by Gottlieb. Based on his past affiliations, he’s been getting nothing but effusive hosannas from pro-deregulation quarters–including Reason. This, as he’s announced a regulatory long game for tobacco control that goes beyond anything thus far announced in even the most radically paternalistic corners of the world: phasing out nicotine in cigarettes to trivial levels.
    .
    But everyone’s been portraying this inconvenient crusade as some sort of sideshow as they shower praise on the second half of his strategy: encouraging vaping. The idea (which happens to conveniently align with Philip Morris International’s corporate long game, just pointing that out) of separating the harmful substance from the addictive one through government regulation does indeed have the virtue of not being idiotic and outright homicidal in its blind, anti-science fanaticism, as the current anti-vaping puritanism is. But: (a) it is the strategy of a “good policy” paternalist-statist technocrat, not a libertarian; (b) the nicotine-phaseout half is actually pretty stupid and counterproductive, even from that point of view.
    .
    Stop licking this guy’s ass!

    1. And that hair.

      *I don’t know how to italicize. Embarrassing. I know.

      1. Hey!

    2. “Good policy” sentiment is held by far more people both in leadership & at grass roots, around the world, than is radical libertarian sentiment. Did you think we were going to progress by turning the world at large into radical libertarians? No, we’re going to progress mostly according as how individual liberty aligns w “good policy”?which, more often than not, it does!

      But not to worry, because nicotine phaseout won’t even be seriously attempted, while vaping will be liberated. It won’t be like lead in gasoline, because this would’ve been more like phasing out the gasoline in gasoline (while increasing water or sugar content) while allowing alternatively-propelled vehicles.

      You can have your italics, but you’ll get my emdash when you pry it from my cold, dead keyboard.

    3. DiegoF|1.6.18 @ 3:32PM|#
      “….This, as he’s announced a regulatory long game for tobacco control that goes beyond anything thus far announced in even the most radically paternalistic corners of the world: phasing out nicotine in cigarettes to trivial levels.”

      Hey, Diego!
      Try looking at what’s happened, rather than what is ‘proposed’!

  18. They’ll be no true food freedom in this nation until dog meat is legalized.

    “Eating dogs is icky” People said similar things about recent things that were legalized.

    1. Eat your pooches and BadDogs, all is OK with me…

      For those who like to eat “Little Tiger” instead, please see “The Cat’s in the Kettle at the Peking Moon”, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8zEfYbsrr0

  19. The author cannot see the forest for the trees. Are libertarians so ignorant to believe that exposing the Clinton/Bush political establishment as a vast network of vile corruption is AGAINST libertarian interests? The problem before was that too Americans trusted our government, our politicians, the FBI, the CIA, the FDA. Because of Trump, there is a vast distrust of government, and THIS IS A GOOD THING. There can be no effective reform without our knowing that many of our top government officials have been liars, cheats, and traitors. Otherwise, the globalists will continue to get richer at the expense of common Americans.

    1. Where is Trump increasing distrust of government? He wants you to trust government to keep you safe from foreigners, Chinese imports, and weed. His own stated motivation for wanting to reduce regulations isn’t because he thinks FDA is corrupt, but because the regulations hurt business. In that sense he is no different from the Al Gore “Reinventing Government” type crap from the 1990’s, where the idea was to create “business friendly” regulations which ended up just turning into corporate rent-seeking. I give Trump credit for wanting to reduce regulations, but I’m not under any illusion that he actually wants people to distrust government.

      1. Where is Trump increasing distrust of gov’t??! Sure, he wants you to trust gov’t, but people don’t trust him, so he’s greatly increasing distrust of gov’t. He’s doing a great job.

        Reminds me of the columnist who pined for a Mafioso prez. Instead of, “You have nothing to fear but fear itself,” he’d say, “You have nothing to fear but me.” I don’t think it was Art Buchwald or Norton Mockridge, but have no idea who else.

        1. But Trump is not the embodiment of the government. That is part of the problem. Once Trump leaves the stage, people will be free to “trust the government” again. He is not making the case that the government does not deserve the power that it has. He is only making the case that HE doesn’t deserve the power that HE has. That is the problem.

          1. Agreed. I feel like I see nothing more than intensified fervor over holding government rather than increased doubt in the concept of government.

          2. He’s an example of it. He embodies it for now. The more examples people see of that, the less they trust gov’t. Those who still trust gov’t after a majority of samples that go against them are hopeless cases you just have to wait for to die off or have accidents.

  20. OT: Told their treehouse must go, owners appeal to Supreme Court

    Before they began constructing the treehouse around an Australian Pine on their property in 2011, Hazen asked the city whether they needed a permit. The answer: No.

    So, with some help from the internet, Tran dreamed up the structure, which took six months to build.

    Soon, however, the city got an anonymous complaint about the treehouse. After an investigation, the city found the couple did actually need to go through the permitting process. And it turns out the treehouse was in an area where building is prohibited because of a city setback. The couple hoped to get around that by having local voters weigh in, but courts told them no.

    Holmes Beach Mayor Bob Johnson noted in a telephone interview that courts have sided with the city and he called the continued legal wrangling “quite honestly a waste of time.”

    “For some reason these people have this fixation on it,” he said.

    ‘Murca.

  21. “Within 1st year in office begins reducing overall regulation to historic lows,”

    See, this is just a bullshit statement, and just illustrates that you are shilling for Trump instead of trying to assess his record fairly. Here is a more unbiased look at his record.

    “Federal agencies have withdrawn 469 proposed regulations compared to a fall 2016 report when Barack Obama was president, according to figures from the White House budget office. This includes 19 regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more. Another 391 regulations have been delayed for further evaluation and consideration.”

    So he has delayed or withdrawn *proposed* regulations that were already in the pipeline. He hasn’t actually reduced the total number of regulations. In fact:

    “Federal agencies expect to complete 1,732 regulations this year, roughly a 20 percent reduction compared to the fall of 2016.”

    His admin is actually increasing the number of regulations, just not as fast as they increased under Obama. Which is a very low bar to cross, since Obama’s regulatory zeal was on overdrive. So Trump is “cutting regulations” in the same way that Congress “cuts spending”: by slowing the rate of growth. Which is better than increasing the rate of growth. But don’t pretend it is “LOWEST REGULATIONS EVAH” type crap. It’s not.

    1. Well, I was going by Welch’s earlier piece, which sure seemed to indicate actual de-regulation (pages of fed register down) and a few Obama ENACTED regs reversed (Net Neutrality), but hey, I’ll happily take a radical slowdown. Plus, he has promised to do more, and its only his 1st year.

      So, if it makes you happy, replace my statement with “sharply reduced pace of new regulation and reversed some key overreaches of the Obama era”. Thats still pretty good.

      I stand by the point I was making…Reason’s Trump Hatred Filter (RTHF from now on) means that even if he does the right thing, or starts things moving in the right direction, we’ll nevertheless hear a lot of snobbish sanctimony about how tsk tsk it just ain’t good enough and oh, by the way, he’s Satan. If anybody else had done the same thing, I guarantee Reason would be singing their praises.

      Meanwhile, what exactly has the LP ever got done or ever hope to ? What would HRC have done by now (shudder) ?

      Trump is exceeding my (very low) expectations handily, and indeed seems on the way to doing some consequentially good things.

      1. I agree that there are those here at Reason who treat Trump too harshly, and thereby undermine their own credibility. But those who treat Trump too favorably also undermine their own credibility.

        “we’ll nevertheless hear a lot of snobbish sanctimony about how tsk tsk it just ain’t good enough”

        Because it isn’t good enough. This isn’t a Republican website, it’s a libertarian one. Yes it is good that Trump is reducing the rate of growth of regulations. Yes it is better than Hillary would have been. But that ISN’T good enough.

        Reason isn’t an unbiased media source. They clearly have an agenda to push, and bully for them. I’m here because I agree with a large part of their agenda. And if they don’t push their agenda, and push people like us to demand more, then who will? Do you really want a place which advocates for the radical reduction of regulation, to see Trump’s record of “slower rate of growth of regulations”, and stop and say GAME OVER! WE WON HALLELUJAH??? No I would expect places like Reason to keep pushing harder and harder to reduce regulations more and more. That means being harsh on both Democrats and Republicans who continue to expand the regulatory state, even if one tribe does it slightly less than the other tribe. I want people like Ms. Linnekin to keep up the pressure on the “deregulators” in the Trump admin. Because Lord knows the Republicans won’t, they will be happy enough to spin whatever Trump does as “victory” even if it isn’t.

        1. “Do you really want a place which advocates for the radical reduction of regulation, to see Trump’s record of “slower rate of growth of regulations”, and stop and say GAME OVER! WE WON HALLELUJAH???”

          Yes, we have SIV and Mikey (bullshit just below), but I see no one else claiming ‘game over’.
          I, and others like me, are amazed at the positives Trump has already delivered. My best hope when he won was a SCOTUS appointee who wasn’t capsizing to port.
          Instead we get Gorsuch, DeVos, Pai, withdrawal from that Paris group-jerk, repeal of the insurance mandate, rules to allow medical insurance to be sold across state lines (and the content of that insurance unregulated), and 16,000 people who worked for the Fed Gov now NOT working there.
          Looking at the reality of what a LP could accomplish without a party base for help, I’m gonna go out on a very short limb and say the guy I voted for would not have accomplished half as much.
          So when somebody whines that ‘well, he doesn’t say enough bad things about the white supremacists’, you’ll forgive me if I call them full of shit (Yes, OM, that’s YOU).

          1. ‘Looking at the reality of what a LP *POTUS* could accomplish’
            Reason could have used my contribution to add one; they didn’t. My current contribution reflects that.

          2. “I, and others like me, are amazed at the positives Trump has already delivered.”

            Then I guess you had very low expectations.

            1. Then I guess you’re an ignoramus, which you’re proven to be many times.

        2. Can I call ’em or what ? Sanctimony right on queue, with a dash of self righteousness for flavor !

          If you look at my original post, its clear I am all for an honest assessment of Trump. Whatever shortcomings his dereg agenda have, by all means let’s hear them. The article goes well beyond that, genuflecting at the altar of Trump hatred as usual.

          Reason diminishes any progress because it falls short of perfection. Because its Trump.

          We ought to cheer progress from wherever it comes and in whatever size it comes. Carter deregulated trucking and the airlines. Bravo. Obama didn’t step in the way of state cannibas legalization. Bravo. I speculate that had similar deregulatory progress been made by anyone but Trump, Reason would be cheering it. It damn sure is good enough, and saying its good enough doesn’t mean I don’t want more.

          I’ve been reading Reason since the early Postrel era. It feels quite unhinged of late. I honestly never thought I’d read an article in Reason that took a shit on a guy who was deregulating like a mofo, but here we are.

          1. “Reason diminishes any progress because it falls short of perfection”
            Chemjeff claims to be ‘libertarian’ but has shown often to be more than willing to use government coercion to get what he wants; Tony-lite.
            In this case his claim of ‘pure Scotsmans-ship’ fails in that he offers no alternative to perfection which satisfies his claimed desires.
            I’m calling bullshit as I often have with Chemjeff, and Chemjeff has never once countered the claims of bullshit, right, bullshitter Chemjeff?

      2. What the Fed. Reg. publishes are changes proposed or adopted in fed regs. The Code of Federal Regul’ns is the repository for the consolidted accumul’n of them. So, if you wnted a crude measure of total fed regul’n, pages in the CFR is it, not pages in the Register. If you engaged in a whole lot of deregul’n over a given period, the Fed. Reg. would increase in vol. because it’d be recording a lot of changes.

  22. How come you guys never once asked Block Yomomma to stop passing so many damn regulations in the first place?

    Oh right, because he was your hero and your Messiah.

  23. Welcome to the new Swamp … Same as the old Swamp.

  24. Today I ate cake before a salad.

    FUCK THA FOOD POLICE.

    Jill Stein rebukes this message.

  25. The trouble w all of this is measuring total regul’ns in a useful, as opposed to rhetoric, way. Every deregulatory change requires a new regulation stating what the change is. The elimination of a reg from the CFR requires notice & comment in the Fed. Reg. The only way that wouldn’t happen would be by a change in statute, which is up to Congress.

  26. So what happens if I double the italics? will the internet explode?

    1. Just Reason’s router

  27. The only true libertarian solution is to drink more raw water to compensate!

  28. OK, there is BS in abundance on the web. Is this true?
    “Trump Exonerates Assange: “He’s Free To Come To America”!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyrbFxVi8G0

  29. I hate italics, this whole comments section is bullshit!

  30. When Trump comes out in favor of drug legalization — not decrim, not prescriptions for addicts, not more money for treatment, but full, across-the-board legalization of all drugs — then and only then can he pretend to be the great de-regulator.

  31. Isn’t it funny, though, how people are perfectly fine with their government literally killing the rest of us to control what drugs we use, but take away their Big Macs, and oh, my, god, watch the freedom fighters up in arms.

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