North Korea Talks With China, Walmart Caves to Crusade Against Cosmo, States Sue Over Citizenship Question: Reason Roundup

Meanwhile, Trump promises the Second Amendment will never be repealed and Mitt Romney disses DACA.

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KCNA/UPI/Newscom

Did U.S. sanctions force North Korea to talk? North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week, which is the first time since he took office that he's left the country or met with a foreign leader. President Trump announced earlier this month that he would meet with Kim sometime soon.

Of course, some American media are reporting that the visit to China is all about us. "Kim Jong Un's visit to China this week may have been motivated by US President Donald Trump" says AOL, reporting—with no evidence to back up the speculation—that the North Korean leader wanted tips from Jinping for his upcoming Trump meeting.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, has been crediting our sanctions against North Korean for forcing a talk. "There's no question these sanctions are working, and that's what brought them to the table," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. But this may just be wishful thinking or propaganda.

"There's certainly a lot of anecdotal evidence that growth [in North Korea] is, if not positive, at least flat," according to Daniel Ahn, who studied the sanctions as the head of the State Department's Office of the Chief Economist (a position he left in February). By all sorts of indicators, the country's economy is doing well.

In any event, the potential meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un will be unusual. "Under normal circumstances, lower-level diplomatic staffers from the U.S. and North Korea would spend months negotiating the terms of a potential agreement, and a meeting between the nations' respective leaders would come at the end," writes New York's Margaret Hartmann.

Instead, it appears Trump's plan is to get in a room with Kim and show off his famous negotiation skills (though so far, he's demonstrated little dealmaking ability as president). Some argue that in this case, that isn't the worst strategy.

On NPR, Frank Aum, a former senior adviser on North Korea at the Department of Defense, said:

… one positive of going big like this is that North Korea has a tendency and a preference to prefer big agreements. They're a top-down regime. Their lower-level officials don't have the authority to negotiate. Remember; in 1994, it took a meeting between Jimmy Carter and Kim Il Sung to lay the foundation for the agreed framework, and then later on lower-level officials hammered out all the details. So I think if we're going to hope for something big, it's better to do it at the highest levels."

FREE MINDS

Walmart stops displaying Cosmopolitan—for the children. The 1980s crusaders formerly known as Morality in Media are still fighting against stores selling Cosmopolitan magazine. Walmart—the country's largest peddler of magazines—has agreed to move Cosmo out of the checkout aisles. It comes at a bad time for the magazine, which saw single-copy sales fall 67 percent from the end of 2014 to the end of 2016.

The crusade against Cosmo is in part pushed by Victoria Hearst, of the Hearst media empire, an evangelical Christian who runs the website Cosmohurtskids.com and told the New York Post a few years ago that "Jesus Christ told me to get Cosmo out of the hands of minors."

But these days the old Morality in Media—now rebranded as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation—avoids this sort of religious talk in favor of zeitgeisty feminist framing. Cosmo "places women's value primarily on their ability to sexually satisfy a man," said NCOSE director Dawn Dawkins. "This is what real change looks like in our #MeToo culture, and NCOSE is proud to work with a major corporation like Walmart to combat sexually exploitative influences in our society."

FREE MARKETS

Free trade in Africa? As American tightens controls on trade under President Trump, at least some places are freeing things up. In Africa, leaders from all but 10 nations just signed an agreement to create the African Continental Free trade Area, establishing tariff-free trade across the African Union. As it stands, "Less than 20 percent of Africa's trade is internal," said Rwandan President Paul Kagame in a speech yesterday. The agreement must be ratified by 22 countries now.

QUICK HITS

  • Twelve states are suing the Trump administration over the addition of a census question about citizenship. The move has also drawn lots of condemnation from Congressional Democrats. "But with Republicans in control of Congress … Democrats have limited options if they want to undo Trump's actions through legislation," notes The Hill.
  • Trump Twitter Watch: This morning, the President resassured us that no matter what former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says, "THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!" Trump also suggested on Twitter this morning that we could pay for his big beautiful Mexican border wall with funds from the Pentagon's budget.
  • Mitt Romney told a Utah audience yesterday that while he's mostly "mainstream conservative," he leans to the right of Donald Trump on issues such as immigration. Romney said he's "more of a hawk on immigration than even the president. My view was these DACA kids shouldn't all be allowed to stay in the country legally….Those who've come illegally should not be given a special path to citizenship."
  • Russia's Ambassador to Australia warned Wednesday that "we will be deeply in a Cold War situation" if Western countries continue to expel Russian diplomats. (Right on Cold War cue, U.S. authorities are sounding the alarm that Russia and China are beating us in hypersonic missile technology.)
  • The NATO Secretary General announced that he's "withdrawn the accreditation of seven staff at the Russian Mission to NATO."
  • Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates was in touch with "a Russian operative" in fall 2016, say new court papers filed in connection to Alex van der Zwaan's sentencing. (Zwaan plead guilty in February to lying to Special counsel Robert Mueller.)

NEXT: When It Comes to Preventing Gun Violence, Good Intentions Aren't Enough

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    1. No alt-text, and in the picture you can see a woman being oppressed by three evil men. So it isn’t that new.

      1. Do you look george Google pay me $135 to 175$ every hour for web based working from home.i have made $21K in this month online work from home.i am a normal understudy and I work 2 to 3 hours per day in my extra time effectively from homelook here more

        http://www.richdeck.com

    2. Ta-da! ….. Welcome to “Reason Roundup.” This is the evolution of the AM Links?a slightly longer, slightly later, and hopefully better daily news roundup. (RIP PM Links)

      1. PS You guys are also stuck with me 5 days a week now 😉

        1. We’re not trapped here with you, you’re trapped here with us.

          PS, You might think a mouthwash chaser keeps it a secret, but everybody is going to know about the bottle of Gilbey’s in the bottom drawer. And nobody will blame you a single bit.

        2. PREDICTION: You’ll never be able to keep it up. Too much work. That 30 extra minutes is not enough time to put on your face and take your curlers out and put together all this content.

          YOU’VE BEEN MANPREDICTED. (Mandicted? No, when said aloud that doesn’t sound good.)

        3. Will there be alt-text?

        4. Well that’s ok then. It works the other way too ….. ya know …..

        5. Just be sure to throw in a little passive aggressive trolling of the commentariat. Britches was really starting to grow on me.

        6. Make mine a a grilled cheese, bacon and tomato, woman

          1. That’s so cute.

      2. RIP PM Links

        But… but…

        Oh and don’t care, everybody has gone home by then anyway.

        1. Britches finally went meta and submitted a list of blank links and the editors were like, OK, I guess that’s it.

      3. This is incredibly upsetting.

        1. I can write them code to randomly generate PM links if they need it. Don’t they know that the PM links are the meeting grounds for the Libertarian movements greatest minds!?

        2. We will have to designate a thread as the official PM links thread and post our own links. Crusty to the rescue?

          1. The first post after 1629.

      4. Someone tweet Trump and have him ban this outrage!

        1. Too much reading. Sad!

      5. Thank you. They look wonderful.

    3. Fist is going to wear out his mouse scroller trying to race down to be the first to comment.

      1. My days of accidentally posting first comment may be over. Finally.

          1. I think their renaming it breaks any contractual agreement and, more importantly, lifts the curse.

            1. The curse that banned you from Philadelphia? Finally, you can move back there and stop pretending you hate that wonderful city.

              1. Oh no now look what you’ve done

    4. Goddamn you, Britches!

      You have infected the rest of them …

  1. Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates was in touch with “a Russian operative” in fall 2016…

    But was he peeing on said operative?

    1. Do you think Trump has ever peed in someone’s butt? He seems like the kind of guy who’d try it.

      1. He calls is the golden enema.

        1. Isn’t that what everyone calls it?

          1. I guess I’m not as worldly as you are, Zeb.

            1. You knew what it was called.

  2. Russia’s Ambassador to Australia warned Wednesday that “we will be deeply in a Cold War situation” if Western countries continue to expel Russian diplomats.

    Is this viral marketing for the final season of The Americans?

  3. This morning, the President resassured us that no matter what former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says, “THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!”

    Kelo, of course, still stands as repealing property rights.

    1. Kelo?

      Zoning laws do that. The 1964 CRA did that. Anti-smoking laws do that.

      Kelo is just the latest.

  4. “Reason Roundup”? What the actual fuck?

    1. Look, Ron Bailey has covered this before. Monsanto is not poisoning the planet and there’s no reason to demonize a very good herbicide being used to increase crop yields, so just cool it with the Roundup hysteria.

      1. Many of the regular commenters seem to have been unethically genetically modified, though.

      2. Monsanto never paid up for my pro-GMO shilling of 10 years ago. I am starting to think that the Russian troll houses won’t be any more reliable.

        1. Mmmmm, troll house cookies . . .

    2. Is this why they got rid of Ed and Heaton? I want my donation back. I expect a check for 13.37 dollars within the week.

      1. BUCS celebrated the black plague any way he can.

  5. My view was these DACA kids shouldn’t all be allowed to stay in the country legally.

    Strap them to the roof of the country’s car and send ’em back to the home many have never known.

    1. “Mens rea”. The kids never intended to commit a crime and therefore can’t be held responsible just the same as Hillary never intended to commit a crime and therefore can’t be held responsible. Or the way if we were robbing a liquor store and you shot and killed the clerk I wouldn’t be held responsible for your committing a murder.

      1. “Or the way if we were robbing a liquor store and you shot and killed the clerk I wouldn’t be held responsible for your committing a murder.”

        I thought Glock was at fault in this case?

  6. Because of the $700 & $716 Billion Dollars gotten to rebuild our Military, many jobs are created and our Military is again rich.

    If contractors count as military, sure, I suppose.

    1. Our military is poor and needs money.

      Here is some money, Mr. President.

      Great, now that the military is rich, I’ll take all of that money and spend it on a border wall… #ForTheTroops

      1. What I find interesting is that we’ve been spending around 600B a year to maintain the military we have. I’m not sure how another 100B will rebuild it.

  7. …Russia and China are beating us in hypersonic missile technology.

    Mr. President, we cannot allow a sound projectile thingy gap.

  8. The NATO Secretary General announced that he’s “withdrawn the accreditation of seven staff at the Russian Mission to NATO.”

    They can no longer braid hair.

  9. Twelve states are suing the Trump administration over the addition of a census question about citizenship.

    We could always do away with the extra-constitutional questions altogether.

    1. This gives the retarded MA AG, Maura Healey, one more ridiculous thing to do. She loves bandwagons.

      1. Obviously the MA AG doesn’t want to MAGA.

    2. Yeah, I hate all the other bullshit questions; they’re only supposed to ask how many people live in the household to get as accurate a total head count as possible.

      But for years the leftards have been asking all these other bullshit questions about toilets and such, so to watch them blow a gasket now is pretty fucking rich.

      1. I always tell them I have 20 toilets. You can never be too careful.

        1. Flushed with pride!

        2. So you have 5 rooms with 4 corners each.

          1. Or maybe he lives in a yurt.

    3. Its a win win win.

      Either the legal resident question stays or it allows for all the other questions, besides a head count, to be removed.

      1. You would like to think so, but the judiciary is no longer beholden to logic or consistency.

  10. Cosmo “places women’s value primarily on their ability to sexually satisfy a man,” said NCOSE director Dawn Dawkins.

    Hey, ladies who need a dozen new tips every month on how to please a man in bed: you know how to please a man in bed? Have sex with him. It’s so simple!

    1. Pretty much. Though being somewhat enthusiastic about the whole thing helps too. Since when is caring about satisfying one’s sexual partner a bad thing?

      I would have thought that Cosmo places a woman’s value primarily on their proclivity to buy stuff advertised in the magazine.

      1. Is the phrase “you’ve got 10 minutes before my show comes on” a sign on enthusiasm?

        1. It’s not just a show of enthusiasm. It’s a goal. You’re empowering women to be the best they can.

        2. But what will you do for the other 9.5 minutes?

          1. Listen.

      2. I’m just saying, men are easy.

    2. According to Dave Chappelle there are only 4 things,
      1) Suck his dick
      2) Play with his balls
      3) Fix him a sandwich
      4) Don’t talk so much

  11. “THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!”

    Perhaps not, but there is another way to defeat the gun fetishists. If the Democrats ever manage to create a 100% Dem-appointed Supreme Court, then the idea of an individual right to gun ownership can be reconsidered. Remember that some of the most important SC decisions in history are reversals of earlier, incorrect decisions. I’d like to see the Supremes eventually admit they were wrong and that the NRA-backed intentional misinterpretation of the Second Amendment should be discarded.

    1. See you’re confusing a cosmotarian neoliberal with a standard issue progressive. If you are parodying the cosmotarian neoliberal they’re not going to attack the 2nd Amendment. That’s one of the few things that separate them from progressives. At worst they’ll be indifferent about the whole thing.

      You got to up your troll game, because this really disappointed me. ENB gave you so much good material to work with and this is the best you can do? I can’t even look at you right now

      1. I’m not a troll or a parody. I’m a left-libertarian who likes Reason for its uncompromising support of unlimited immigration and unrestricted abortion, but who is consistently disappointed by its refusal to get on the right side of history in the gun debate.

        1. You need to study your parody subject better. There are so many commentators here that offer you good material. Just follow the “thou shalt not ever say anything outside of the narrative” people here. You’ll get it. Keep at it, buddy

        2. I’ve been making this same criticism since he started his shtick.

          1. I enjoy OBL. Maybe it’s the imaginary tone I imbue his statements with.
            His quality does vary. The initial comment wasn’t top notch, but his rebuttal showed improvement.

    2. I am confident in saying that you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about concerning the 2nd Amendment.

      1. OBL is a straight-up intentional parody of Mary Stack and Dipshit Dave Weigel.

        1. I have no idea who Mary Stack is. And I only know Dave Weigel’s name because when I asked, people here told me he used to write for Reason years before I discovered the place.

          1. Mary Stack is a crazy woman down in Fort Worth, Texas who is always trolling us under about half a dozen different user names. At the moment, she is “Michael Hihn”, “David Nolan”, and “Reverend Arthur Kirkland” just to name a few of them.

            1. Are you sure you’re not just assuming that since you have voices in your head, everyone else does as well?

              1. Michael Hihn, at least, is a real guy, although his Facebook page only lightly hints at the Hihnsanity brewing inside him.

          2. “”I have no idea who Mary Stack is.”‘

            That’s exactly what I would expect Mary Stack undercover would say.

      2. See, this is why OBL constantly impresses me. She usually gets somebody to bite, no matter how obvious it should be to any lurkers that she’s bullshitting.

        1. You’re going to have to just forego the bracket and declare it the winner.

          1. I dunno, WCR’s creepy obsession with Dave Weigel makes my skin crawl.

            1. It was sort of funny at first, but it’s gotten pretty disconcerting lately. Especially once he got his main screenname banned for utter dipshittery and had to fall back on a sock handle that isn’t even messing around about wanting to envelop Dave Weigel’s penis.

              1. Not just envelop the penis, but make it so he can’t come unless HE let’s him come.

  12. “Walmart stops displaying Cosmopolitan?for the children.”

    And in other news, YouTube, Twitter, and Google are stigmatizing anyone who supports guns or anything to the right of Elizabeth Warren by removing their accounts, censoring their comments, or eliminating their videos from their platforms. But, OH MY GOD- WALMART WENT AFTER COSMO! Because, it’s still the 90’s apparently

    1. If you look into a mirror and whine three times that Reason isn’t covering what you want them to cover, Lew Rockwell will show up and give you a box of cookies.

      I dare you to try it.

      1. What kind of cookies are we talking?

        1. Some nasty-ass pecan sandies, and there’s a dead cockroach in the box too.

          1. How can a pecan cookie be nasty? Do you even pecan, brah?

            1. Have you ever had a pecan sandy? I’m pretty sure they call it that because the main ingredient is sand.

              1. What you just said there is nonsense. Sandies are delicious. You just hate girl scouts. Just admit it

                1. Whatever. Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs are the Holy Trinity. Sandies are better used as paving tiles or board game markers, or as a way to punish dogs.

                  1. Samoas no longer called Samoas in my neck of the woods. Now they’re called Carmel D’Lites, or some such. Because I guess cookies were offensive to Pacific Islanders.

                    I still buy ’em, but am sure to explain to the girls the history they’ve lost.

                    1. Caramel D’Lites are a slightly different cookie.

                      Believe it or not.

          2. It’s not a roach…

            1. And it’s not dead, just resting.

            2. Pining for the fjords of Madagascar is my guess.

    2. I wouldn’t let my kids read Teen Cosmo let alone the grown-up version.

    3. Well apparently there’ s the angle that the group pushi g Wal-Mart was explicitly Christian but has now afopted feminist language in their antu-Cosmo rhetoric. That Cosmo is apparently suffering weak newstand sales probably does not mean Wal-Mart gas much motivation for keeping it.

    4. “””Walmart stops displaying Cosmopolitan?for the children.””‘

      For clarity, they are no longer displaying it at the checkout. It will still be on their magazine rack.

      Doesn’t make it any less silly.

  13. http://slatestarcodex.com/2018…..-for-life/

    Good review of the Jordan Peterson Book “Twelve Rules for Life”. Libertarians and conservatives both too often rightfully remember Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom but forget Hayek’s other great work “The Constitution of Liberty”. In it, Hayek gives the best secular explanation for why morality exists and why traditional morals should be respected I have ever read. Hayek, rightly I think, sees morality as a product of collective wisdom. Different groups try different mores and the ones who adopt mores that work become successful and the ones who adopt mores that don’t work fail. Over time the successful mores accumulate and people forget why they ever worked or were adopted in the first place. They become tradition.Even though people don’t remember why the rules are what they are, the reasons behind them and their effectiveness remain.

    Peterson is a psychiatrist. It is no surprise that after years of seeing patients he has concluded that traditional morality is a way to be successful and content. That morality exists for a reason. If it didn’t work, it wouldn’t have become traditional.

    1. He’s a clinical psychologist, not a psychiatrist.

      If you are interested in his ideas about meaning an living a good life, I’d recommend checking out his Maps of Meaning lectures. I think he’s really onto something. And he gets the right nuance when it comes to the value of traditional culture and morality. He never claims it is all good or perfect. But that it works and it is very dangerous to try to destroy or radically modify it.

      1. I wish to FSM that the non-aggression principle becomes part of traditional culture and morality.

        1. It has. It is called the Golden Rule.

          1. I thought the golden rule was that 2 guys and and a girl is not gay because there is a honey in the middle.

            1. Fact: if you find yourself involved in multiple MMF threesomes with different women but the same other guy, it’s time to accept that you have a boyfriend.

              1. MMF, the devils three way.

      2. Both sides often make the same mistake of assuming every bad trend goes on forever. Individuals can be self-destructive and never learn. But, overall people over time figure out if something doesn’t work. Its like free love. Every so often someone runs off into the woods and forms a commune where everyone is free to screw everyone else. And every single time, it never lasts. People end up getting jealous and angry and such and the whole falls apart.

        I think to really believe in freedom, you have to have faith that people, if left to their own devices, will eventually figure out what works best.

    2. So most of the things you note here seem kind of obvious to me. Is there anything to be picked up from it that might not be as seemingly obvious? I’ve got some reading backup going on right now, but it sounds like it might be a mildly interesting future read.

      1. It is mostly a guy who seems to live in a leftwing bubble being surprised at how inciteful the obvious is. So in that sense, perhaps it isn’t so interesting. It does give a very fair rendering of what Peterson is saying and why it makes sense. Granted, that should be obvious, but sadly it is not to a lot of people.

    3. There is a piece of mind in keeping things as simple as possible when you can. Morality is one of those human mannerisms where you can easily live by the rules that murder is wrong and you should not do it.

      Saves mental energy for complex things like staying many moves ahead of socialists who are trying to destroy your way of life.

    4. This is about your burning compulsion to force others to live lifestyles you’re comfortable with, right?

      1. Part of the cultural tradition of the west includes tolerance and social evolution. You don’t see gay rights movements taking off and succeeding in other cultures very much.

        That’s one of the great ironies of the SJW types. They very “patriarchy” they want to destroy is the culture that allows them to exist at all.

      2. “”This is about your burning compulsion to force others to live lifestyles you’re comfortable with, right?”‘

        Forcing others to live a lifestyle is why I’m not a fans of liberals, progressives or the right wing.

        Most libertarians believe in having choices.

  14. …told the New York Post a few years ago that “Jesus Christ told me to get Cosmo out of the hands of minors.”

    Lord knows the kids love their sex quizzes.

    1. At some point, radical feminists and social conservatives are going to realize they are the ones each has been looking for all of these years.

      1. I’m just glad that we are upset with private actors for censoring other voices again. Granted, it is strange that a shopping mall refusing to carry a publication with few subscribers should rile up people rather than internet platforms with millions of subscribers censoring dissenting political voices. But, hey, it is ‘cosmo’

        1. I agree. It would be nice if people would remember that the government not oppressing you is only half the battle. It does no good to have a small government if you have a society that is conformist and oppressive.

          1. The “culture of free speech” is the bulwark against the government censoring speech. Once the culture is eroded only the whims of judicial interpretation are all we have left.

          2. Clearly there ought to be a law against anyone censoring anyone else ever.

            1. Or a law against anyone suggesting that there should be a law against anyone censoring anyone who is censoring anyone who is suggesting a law against censoring anyone.

              Wait, what are you talking about again? I don’t think you think what you think we think you think we think you are talking about

            2. That is why life is so hard. You can’t pass a law to fix people.

              1. I don’t even recall anyone mentioning a law. Unless a law is being offered to force Walmart to carry Cosmo. Hey, maybe Sparky can read minds like you, John

                1. Unless a law is being offered to force Walmart to carry Cosmo. Hey, maybe Sparky can read minds like you, John

                  I’ll tell you one thing for sure, life is a little nicer if you have a sense of humor. I know it’s hard, but I think you can do it.

                  1. I’m trying. That wasn’t funny? Maybe half decent?

      2. Apparently, Hearst’s organization is finding success because they have recently adopted feminist rhetoric in going after Cosmo.

    2. “get Cosmo out of the hands of minors”

      I hope this was a metaphor, and not to be taken literally.

  15. In Africa, leaders from all but 10 nations just signed an agreement to create the African Continental Free trade Area, establishing tariff-free trade across the African Union.

    If they think they’re getting more Vibranium out of this, they’ve got another think coming.

  16. Etherium prices have dropped from a high around $1,200 a pop circa January to about $450 a pop today.

    I’m starting to see some reasonable prices for video cards–and not just with the OEMs on Alibaba.

    Meanwhile, South Korea’s answer to PayPal is adding bitcoin payments, making it so some 6,000 South Korean retailer will now accept bitcoin.

    I’m bearish on video card prices, bullish on altcoins that offer some distinguishable advantages, and neutral on regulation.

    1. Is this the Ken Shultz market round-up? I like it

      1. Needs more Cramer-esque sound effects, lights, and buttons.

      2. Needs more Cramer-esque sound effects, lights, and buttons.

        1. And less squirrels.

    2. I’ve been seeing GTX 1080s in stock on Newegg consistently at $670-680 for the last week or two. And they have a gigabyte miniboard one that’s $610 in stock, but I think most people buying a 1080 want a big, impressive….video card. A month ago anything under $750 was out of stock in 20 minutes. Hope this trend goes down further! Not sure I want to wait for the alleged launch of new Nvidia GPU’s this spring/summer/year to upgrade from my 970.

  17. Bitcoin typically goes for 40% more on the biggest South Korean exchange than it does elsewhere. You’d think that would be a screaming arbitrage opportunity–were it not for South Korea’s capital controls. What’s the point of making a 40% profit if you can’t get it back out of South Korea?

    Same goes for China, where rumor has it that a lot of the world’s cryptocurrency is mined. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that cryptocurrencies took off just as China killed some of the most popular legal ways around its own onerous capital controls, foreign real estate being an obvious example. The residential real estate markets in Australia and New Zealand were bloated with Chinese buyers who had never been to those countries and were just looking for a way to get their money out of the country.

    Jamie Dimon has talked about an inevitable crackdown killing demand. I think he’s getting it backwards. Governments like China’s can crack down on trading all they want; until they get rid of their capital controls, I’d expect the demand for cryptocurrencies to have a floor somewhere north of zero. In fact, the more they crack down the means to get your money out of the country, the more demand there will be for a means to get money out of the country.

  18. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week, which is the first time since he took office that he’s left the country or met with a foreign leader.

    That we know of. North Korea is a Chinese puppet and who knows how often Kim has to meet with his handlers to get his marching orders. I mean, why else would he be meeting with Xi right ahead of his meeting with Trump if not to get his instructions and make sure his wire is transmitting properly?

    1. They’re doing a firmware upgrade and making his hands 40% larger.

      1. What about his penis? They have to do something because of Trump’s large American penis.

    2. Trump is going to China with a carrot and a stick.

      The carrot is trade with China.

      The stick is trade with China.

      The Chinese may be our adversaries, but they have as much or more to lose if trade with the U.S. breaks down.

      Right now, China is running the numbers on just how much their support for North Korea can cost them.

      Kim Jong-un better got to China and make sure they still have his back.

      1. Trump pushing to end this strife it what should have happened decades ago. Although the USA might be in the best position in history because China is so dependent on selling shit to America.

        The Communist Party in China has zero what would happen to their power if their economy went sideways. Or they do know and its the same thing that happened to every Communist country so far, except Cuba- Communism gets dumped.

        1. Oh they know. Why do you think they’re all buying luxury condos in NY and Vancouver.

    3. North Korea isn’t quite the Chinese puppet people think. North Korea has nukes. If it doesn’t listen to China, China can’t threaten invasion like it once could. I think a more stable peace is more possible than most people think. All the parties agree on the big issues

      1. No one wants a united Korea. North Korea doesn’t because it would mean absorbtion into the South. Japan and China don’t want it because it would create the potential of a united, very power powerful and possibly hostile Korea on their doorstep. And South Korea doesn’t want it because they know it would cost them a fortune to deal with the aftermath of a collapse of the North.

      2. No one wants war. War would be the end of North Korea, do untold damage to the South and cost Japan and China a fortune.

      3. No one wants the North to have nukes. China doesn’t want it because it takes away a lot of leverage they have over the North. Actually, the north doesn’t want nukes. They want to survive. They only have nukes because they see it as the only way to survive. Convince them they will survive doing something else, and they will give up their nukes for the right price.

      It is going to be hard, but it is possible to work something out.

      1. 1. The USA would be fine with a united Korea, if it was not Communist.

        2. NK will not give up its nukes because there is no promise from other countries that will guarantee Fat Boy-Un stay in power without being a military strongman.

        China is pressuring NK and the question is whether NK can hold out without China supporting it, which it cannot.

        1. To be honest, can anyone name a successful regime change in a dictatorship that happened due to external economic sanctions? I can’t think of one.

          Maybe it’s time to rethink what actually works…

          1. I cannot think of one.

            1. So, with that in mind, unless the Chinese are threatening invasion, what should we expect to happen when they lean on the Kim regime?

      2. In the latest confrontation, China moved massive troops to the North Korean border. No doubt, some of that was to counter the flow of refugees if the U.S. attacked, but some of that was to make sure the U.S. and its allies didn’t take all of whatever is left of North Korea after a war, too.

        And China’s support for North Korea was always a counterbalance to U.S. support for Taiwan. If we sold our support for them short, we might get China’s support to pull the plug on North Korea’s nuclear program. To whatever extent we had that support, it would be helpful.

        I can’t believe the fat kid wants to be an international pariah either. He can still execute political prisoners. He can still be president for life. He can trade with the rest of the world. He can get invited to all the best parties. President Xi does all that stuff. If he can be like President Xi, why would he want to be an international pariah?

        Anyway, hope for the best. Plan for the worst. Trump is just the guy to hit them harder on trade and schedule an official visit to Taiwan if they try to play him for a fool.

        1. As far as I can tell, no, the Beautiful Leader does not want to be an international pariah. But what choice does he have? If he gives up nukes, he has zero guarantee that the US or Chinese will let him continue to rule into old age. There is no way that this man is not aware of what happened to the leader of Libya when he decided to play ball.

          This kid was taught at Institut Le Rosey for a time–the most prestigious school in the world bar none. He’s not stupid by any means, is proficient in multiple languages, and was reported to excel in math. But he’s certainly been dealt a hand that can’t win. All he can do is play to not lose.

          1. The situation is a little bit different from Libya, I think. Even without nukes, NK could seriously fuck up South Korea. Nukes make it much worse, but war would be pretty awful either way.

            1. That will not protect them from the Chinese…

          2. He doesn’t need to open up entirely to the west overnight.

            I can run off a list of heads of state who are neither paragons of virtue nor international pariahs–with President Xi perhaps being first among them.

            Duerte, the generals of Myanmar, Vietnam, Venezuela, countries all over Africa and central Asia. He could be like any of them. He can keep his cult of personality. I think that’s a sad and awful state of affairs over there, but my primary concern is U.S. security.

            I want to avoid war with Iran, North Korea, and any other thug who comes along–and I’d prefer to do it with trade. Part of the problem with North Korea is that they have little to lose as a consequence of their misbehavior. We’ll need to give them something before they have something to lose.

            1. I pretty much agree with this Ken. But what are we going to give them, that could be taken away if they misbehave? Trade? They’ve gone so long without it that we’d have to get them addicted to it first–which would take a decade.

              Imagine back when Nixon opened up trade with China. Now, 6 months later, we tell them: DO THIS OR WE CLOSE OFF TRADE. How would that have ended back then? They’d have told us to pound sand. Thanks for the economic boost, we’ll take the money, and go back to the status quo. Now apply to the Kim regime:

              US: “Oh, we’ll take away your trade if you don’t stop terrorizing your people”.
              NK: Well, that’s what it’s been like for the last 60 years. Thanks for the short influx of goods and money, we’ll just go back to the way it was before.

      3. Yes, North Korea has nukes – where do you think they got them? If China didn’t want North Korea to have nukes, they wouldn’t have them. How can North Korea threaten China? By threatening to kill millions of Chinese? The Chinese killed tens of millions of Chinese, they don’t care.

        Nobody wants a united Korea? China and North Korea want a united Korea, a united Korea under Chinese domination. South Korea wants a united Korea because they think it’ll be a united Korea with them in charge. Sure, nobody wants war, but the threat of war is always a big bargaining chip.

        And as long as North Korea is a wild card in the area, it allows China to act as the Big Brother in the relationship, promising the neighbors protection from the maniac in return for certain considerations, of course, like allowing China to dominate the region. China’s playing the long game here, weaning East Asia away from US influence and replacing it with their own.

        The real consideration is China’s competitor in the area, India. Why the US isn’t focused on improving relations with India is beyond me.

        1. They got them from the US. North Korea got nukes because Bill Clinton gave them the money in 1994 and they double crossed him and built them anyway. If China wanted North Korea to have nukes, they would have had them long before the 1990s.

          1. I think this is a fair point. Moreover, I have never read any report that alleges NK got its nuclear material from the Chinese. It’s always someone else.

            There’s no reason to think the Chinese wanted them to have nukes. But the Chinese also didn’t care enough to stop them once the ball started rolling.

      4. I wonder what would happen if the Security Council offered immunity from prosecution to any NK politician who moved to a South Pacific equivalent of St. Helena. They have to take the offer by a given deadline – maybe “before your country collapses.”

        Then if they accept, protect them from revenge-killing like God did with Cain.

        Sun, sand and exile, immunity, loss of power – a mixed bag for them but better than taking a chance there won’t be a revolution or change of government.

  19. By all sorts of indicators, [North Korea’s] economy is doing well.

    Whew. For a minute there, I thought the Trump-o-sphere might not be lying.

  20. Walmart stops displaying Cosmopolitan?for the children.

    I would make the same deicion, but not because of naked ladies and sex talk on the cover. It would be because it’s turned into a garbage-filled progressive pro-Democrat political advocacy magazine.

    1. It was already leftist propaganda decades ago when I would borrow them from my sister’s room to jerk off to the perfume ads study the articles for school projects about media.

    2. Sociologically speaking, there seems to be some overlap.

      Maybe there are some conservative lad mags out there, and there’s Day by Day, and I haven’t done a full survey, but the odds are the more pornographic a magazine is, the more it’s into the prog cultural agenda and, by extension, their economic agenda.

  21. It’s gonna be harder for people like Little Robby to mail it in with the new format.

    1. Robby nothing, I wanna see Britches form of the links. Unless they got rid of P.M. Links or they’re keeping the same format.

      1. Aw, man, they killed P.M. Links!

        NOOOOOOO!

        1. Just form your own links in the comment section of every one of Robby’s articles

    2. I guess you didn’t read the comments. It’s all Lizzy all the time now.

  22. The NATO Secretary General announced that he’s “withdrawn the accreditation of seven staff at the Russian Mission to NATO.”

    Several countries have expelled Russian diplomats, all of them known to be Russian intelligence. What sort of game is it when we know they’re Russian intelligence and the Russians know that we know, do we assume that the Russians think the Russian intelligence we don’t expel are the ones we don’t know are Russian intelligence? And do we in fact know about the ones we don’t expel?

  23. Say farewell to your precious AM and PM Links! Fruit Sushi sends his regards.

    1. Fine! BE completely a dick about it!

    2. Haha. Best troll comment.

      Now you have more time to play Dungeons and Dragons!

    3. This is a better time for George Soros to check in on what his new magazine is doing.

    4. Really it’s only the PM links that are gone. This is the AM links with a different name.

    5. Proof that Robby should have won the award for best troll on Reason’s staff

  24. My view was these DACA kids shouldn’t all be allowed to stay in the country legally.

    Romney’s gunning for the Drumpkin crowd. And the scary thing is, he could actually be effective with policy and thus could win them over. Eating Drumpf’s lunch!

    1. Why “Drumpkin”? I thought it was “Trumpkin”?

    2. “Eating Drumpf’s lunch!”

      So far he’s just picking at the leftovers Trump left after finishing his lunch.

  25. Probably old news but The NYTs and its commenters are absolutely convinced that Trump hates the gays and has never had an opinion on gay marriage other than “ban it!”

    1. I saw a similar article about this last night that immediately went with the same meme that Trump is sooper anti-gay. What are you gonna do.

      Anyway I’m going to watch the show and hope it isn’t all politics after the first episode which I heard is all politics.

      1. The showed a double last night and my wife watched. Both episodes were pretty short on comedy and very high on politics. One daughter is divorced with a gayish son, one daughter is planning to be a surrogate for money, and the son was in the military, has a wife who still is, and has a black daughter. It looked to me like it was shaping up to be the opposite of the Will and Grace redo.

    2. I’m pretty sure even Mike Pence doesn’t give a shit about gay marriage and has no interest in banning anything. It is the gays who have a strange obsession with Mike Pence. They have turned into the bigoted assholes they claim Pence is.

      1. “the gays who have a strange obsession with Mike Pence”

        Well, in their defense, he does look a lot like Race Bannon.

  26. More old news(I presume) but, despite the Asheville commies, progs and hippies, I don’t think promising to kill gun owners is a winning political strategy in Western North Carolina.

    1. Killing people to save people?granted what else would you expect from a political movement that thinks it’s perfectly fine to kill babies. It’s par for the course. At the same time, it just shows why every election at every level is important.

      Self-awareness level: 0

  27. It comes at a bad time for the magazine, which saw single-copy sales fall 67 percent from the end of 2014 to the end of 2016.

    It comes at a tough time when most establishment media run two basic stories…

    1. Trump is Stupid
      Trump is Hitler

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