Reason Roundup

Trump's Twitter Demands for Justice Department Prompt 'Constitutional Crisis' Chorus: Reason Roundup

Plus: What to watch in Southern state primaries, and the most popular streaming service is...

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Sipa USA/Newscom

Constitutional crisis or politics as usual? President Trump's Monday morning tweetstorm about the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has struck some critical observers as beyond the man's usual bluster. Trump has long posited as fact an Obama-era FBI conspiracy to eavesdrop on his campaign. This week he demanded that DOJ look into the alleged operation.

"Stop waiting for the constitutional crisis that President Trump is sure to provoke," writes Eugene Robinson at Real Clear Politics today. "It's here."

Robinson sees Trump's demands for a DOJ investigation as "transparently political" and a "gross misuse of his presidential authority," designed to cast doubt on special counsel Robert S. Mueller's probe into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election. "Rather than push back and defend the rule of law," laments Robinson, "Justice tried to mollify the president by at least appearing to give him what he wants," while "Republican leadership in Congress has been silent as a mouse. This is how uncrossable lines are crossed."

Indeed, this "may be the first Department of Justice criminal investigation ordered via Twitter feed," as Paul Callan writes at CNN.

And yet we've seen Trump behave like this quite a few times before, making grand proclamations about everything from transgender troops to world affairs without first consulting his cabinet or going through proper PR channels. In the end, Trump's wants wound up taking typical bureaucratic, legislative, and/or judicial paths to fruition—when they've come to fruition at all. Some people—perhaps including Trump himself—may think the president can change policy via social-media decree, but (so far at least) this isn't the case.

As usual, there are some folks taking issue not with the actual substance of Trump's demands but the way he made them. CNN's Callan writes that Trump using Twitter to announce important criminal justice news is "inappropriate" because it "trivializes the entire process."

Personally, I'd rather Trump keep "saying the quiet parts loud," so to speak. It gives the public a good insight into presidential priorities; gives Trump a good opportunity to self-sabotage by contradicting carefully crafted legal justifications for things; and sends his advisers and staff scrambling to clean up after or justify the president's outbursts, which seems like a more benign use of time than whatever else they might get up to in the White House. In a way, it diminishes the importance of presidential declarations. Rather than appearing as an all-powerful authoritarian nightmare, Trump seems an impotent, embittered senior citizen, isolated and ranting from behind his various screens while the machinery of government keeps churning out its typical crap and constitutional checks and balances do their thing.

I may be pathologically convinced that nothing is new and everyone should calm down (whatever it is we're talking about), but a lot of popular pundits and press have laughably goldfish-like memories when it comes to the president. Here's the New York Times editorial board yesterday:

Putting aside the cartoonish language ("I hereby demand"? Really?), consider the seriousness of the threat posed by a president ordering federal law enforcement officials to investigate the people who are investigating him.

Consider the seriousness! And yet… Trump has been calling for exactly that since he got in office a year and a half ago. On Twitter and just about every other medium. No constitutional crisis yet. Is it just the "cartoonish language" that has everyone so scared this time? (Are they actually scared, or is it a mix of moral performance and economic incentives to scare other people? I can never quite tell.)

In any event, things outside Trump's Twitter feed seem to be business as usual right now. White House officials announced yesterday that some Republican congressional leaders will be able to view some of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigative documents. Specifically, they'll get a glimpse of dirt related to the FBI informant who fed the agency information on the overseas activities of Trump-world folks in 2016.

Meanwhile, a Monday meeting in the Oval Office between Justice Department officials and the president ended with a promise that DOJ's inspector general would look into any "irregularities," according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Some are reading it as a response to Trump's tweets, but "the White House characterized the meeting as routine, and said it was scheduled last week," reports USA Today.

FREE MINDS

Another round of primary races run today. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas head to the polls today. Texans will re-vote on races where no candidate got a majority in March. The other three states see contests that "include a handful of congressional districts critical to Democrats' chances to win back the chamber," points out Politico.

Two battleground districts in particular—in Lexington, Kentucky, and outside Houston—feature examples of the continuing battle between establishment Democrats and insurgent candidates, who are proudly spurning party bigwigs in their efforts to win primaries. Meanwhile, in Georgia, Democrats are poised to nominate an African-American woman for governor five months after winning a special Senate election in neighboring Alabama—a victory the party credits, in large part, to black women, who voted resoundingly for now-Sen. Doug Jones. Former state Rep. Stacey Abrams would be the first African-American woman to serve as a governor, and the first elected African-American governor in the deep South of any gender.

FREE MARKETS

Cord-cutting consumers happier than cable customers. Cable and internet service providers are among the most disliked companies in the country—a 2014 survey found them at the bottom of the Consumer Satisfaction Index and falling. In spite—or perhaps because—of this, TV and movie streaming services earn extremely high marks from consumers. An April 2017 through March 2018 survey found "video-streaming services scored among the highest in the telecommunications categories tracked by the American Customer Satisfaction Index," reports Qz.

Twenty-eighteen was the first year the index assessed video-streaming services, and the category debuted with a score of 75 on the scale of 100; scores for both subscription TV and internet services fell 3% in the last year.

The Internet and Subscription TV satisfaction ratings were only 62 each. Faring slightly better (but not as well as streaming services) were "traditional pay-TV services like AT&T's DirecTV, Verizon's Fios, and Comcast's Xfinity," notes Qz. They got a 68. Among streaming platforms, Netflix, Sony Playstation Vue, and Twitch earned the highest consumer satisfaction marks (78/100), followed by Apple iTunes and the Microsoft Store with a 77, YouTube Red with a 76, and Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Hulu, and Vudu with a 75.

QUICK HITS

NEXT: Do Landlords Have a Duty to Evict Drug-Using Tenants (or Face Liability if Guests Die When Using Drugs with Them)?

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  1. I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!
    ? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018

    Wait. His tweets aren’t official?

    1. Hello.

      Lol. Of course Hollywood would do a movie on Fox/Ailes.

      Weinstein? Or the other endless stream of left-wing DNC shitheads? Nah.

    2. He has a stylus and an iPhone. He’s much more tech savvy than our previous king.

      1. Stylus? What is this, 2000?

  2. Outside the Defensible Perimeter
    ?We are the deplorables. All of my rancher neighbors have guns. Most are Evangelicals. To Democrats and open-borders Republicans, we are throwaway people. The Other. Disposable?.

    ?Neighbors are worried because an older couple on an isolated ranch (is there any other kind?) were in bed asleep, when they heard men ransacking their kitchen. This was the third time. A few months ago, the wife was forced at gunpoint to take a pregnant woman to the hospital to deliver an anchor baby. How much longer will they be able to keep the ranch??

    ?I take the story as a metaphor, even though it doesn’t meet the strict meaning of the term. When someone can walk into your country, enter your house, take your gun, your hat, and your clothes and the authorities aren’t allowed to arrest him?that’s not a metaphor for losing your identity, your home, and your country.

    It’s the real thing.

    1. All of my rancher neighbors have guns

      A few months ago, the wife was forced at gunpoint to take a pregnant woman to the hospital

      enter your house, take your gun

      I think I see a problem. Unless the author is making a case that the 2nd Amendment can safely be overturned.

      1. Most libertarians believe in the castle doctrine and the sanctity of private property. Given that, why can’t the people down there who own land on the border form their own militias and shoot anyone crossing the border and trespassing on their land? Wouldn’t that be a Libertarian solution to this problem?

        I can’t imagine the kittens the Reason staff would have if the people down there finally got fed up enough and starting killing the sacred Mexicans for trespassing on their land.

        1. Coming soon, Claymores

          1. +1 “Use it to protect your property” – Ron Swanson

          2. I believe the proper term, from a legal, liability reduction standpoint, is “there may be animal traps potentially harmful to humans is use on this land: no trespassing”.

        2. why can’t the people down there who own land on the border form their own militias and shoot anyone crossing the border and trespassing on their land?

          Apparently because the Mexicans come in the night and use their own guns against them.

          1. Sure, but that just means you are careful and make sure it’s not a fair fight. They can have all the guns they want and can come at night, but I guarantee you that if the landowners are organized, armed and waiting on them, the Mexicans wouldn’t stand a chance and would quickly decide to trespass somewhere else.

            1. So you’re going to just flat out ignore that these people are armed and are still unable to defend themselves.

              1. No. I am going to tell you that being armed isn’t going to do you much good when you are walking through a desert full of people who are organized and armed looking to do you harm. You don’t seem to understand how combat works or the advantages that go to the defender in such a situation.

                1. We’d be better off just declaring war on Mexico then drone bombing the shit out of them.

                  1. No. Why can’t I shoot someone who trespasses on my property? Why do I have to wait for them to get the drop on me and do me harm? You seem to think these people have a duty to see their quality of lives ruined. Bullshit. They have every right to shoot anyone who trespasses on their land. Fuck the Mexicans.

                    1. @John
                      Why can’t I shoot someone who trespasses on my property?
                      Why do you assume you can’t? We have four states that share a border with Mexico. California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. California is probably the only one where you wouldn’t get away with that.

                      That said, that “article” smells more then fishy. Won’t name names, but his neighbors have been murdered and kidnapped but somehow don’t make the news? Police catch a thief, but “can’t” hold him for a measly two hours?

                      Sorry, just can’t accept this at face value. Smells fishier then a sushi bar in New Mexico.

                    2. I agree, even if the stories are true, they are just narrative-pushing anecdotes, not a substitute for any sort of reasoned discussion.

                    3. Yes Jeff,

                      Those people don’t matter. They are just anecdotes. The fact that American citiznes have been effectively deprived of their ability for the quiet enjoyment of their land have nothing to do with reasoned discussion.

                      Jesus fucking Christ, you are a mendacious idiot. You honestly don’t think the actual effects of the policies you prefer belong in the discussion,. There is really no way to fully describe how stupid and dishonest you are. Fuck off.

                    4. Yes, even if the stories are true they don’t matter.

                      “Heard the Japs are bombing Pearl Harbor.”
                      “What an outlandish story!”
                      “Yea, smells fishy.”
                      “Even if true, anecdotes are no substitute for intellectual discussion.”
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      “Aren’t anecdotes a part of intellectual discussion?”
                      “Racist!”

                    5. “Why do I have to wait until someone harms me before I can shoot them?” –DHS employee

                  2. We actually did that, or its rough equivalent, 100 years ago when armed gangs of Mexicans raided rural Arizona.

                    1. Man, you are old!

                  3. God NO!
                    Then we would win and have to provide a gazillion dollars in ‘foreign aid’.

                2. I am going to tell you that being armed isn’t going to do you much good when you are walking through a desert full of people who are organized and armed looking to do you harm.

                  In the scenario you’re describing though both groups, the landowner’s militia and the Mexican cartel members, are organized and armed and looking to do the other group harm. And while it’s true that the defender has some advantages, I’m not sure I’m as sanguine* about the chances that a bunch of civilians – most of whom probably have little to no military training or experience and have never killed or even tried to kill another human being – have against cartel members who are actual trained killers; many of whom are former Mexican military or law enforcement who joined the cartel because they pay better. I’m not sure which group I’d bet on coming out on the winning side of a firefight.

                  *Unless you use on of the other definitions of sanguine: bloody.

                  1. That said, the landowners have the right to defend their property if they so choose, I just wouldn’t assume that they’d win in a combat situation.

                  2. I think you would be surprised. The drug cartels are used to shooting unarmed people. The tactical problem of crossing ground with people dug in and waiting on you is a very big one. You would need real tactical sufficiency at the company level to do that. Any civilian can sit in a blind and shoot anything that walks by. And without real tactical competency and heavy weapons on the part of the cartel, that is all that would be necessary.

                    1. You would need real tactical sufficiency at the company level to do that.

                      At which point, even if you do regard the illegal immigrants as citizens, they quite arguably represent an insurrection that the President alone has legal authority to dispatch full-fledged military troops to put down.

                      Whether you agree with all the rules and/or the imaginary lines or not, that’s a feasible/possible step-wise outcome that should, ideally, be avoided.

                    2. The tactical problem of crossing ground with people dug in and waiting on you is a very big one.

                      Sure.

                      But that’s not the situation. If these folks had enough forewarning to “dig in and wait”, they wouldn’t be caught unawares with folks at their doors, or wake up to find them in their kitchens, or any of the other presented stories.

                      The kind of defensive positions you imagine aren’t practical for border patrol, nevertheless individuals.

        3. The War on Drugs gives criminals enough $$ to buy more men and guns than the local residents.

          1. The residents have the element of surprise and ambush working for them. And the drug cartels are not interested in getting in a firefight every time they cross the border. Kill a few of them and they will move over to the next country.

            1. Did you read your own article? They clearly do not have the element of surprise and ambush.

        4. Or better yet, why can’t the “people down there who own land on the border” allow free and open access to their land from people regardless of whether they have a permission slip?

          1. Because they don’t want to and they own the land. I wouldn’t want those peole tresspassing. Why do you think they should do so? I guess that whole private property thing doesn’t mean a lot to you does it?

          2. “Why can’t these racists just let the poor noble brown people rob them at will?”

          3. If some property owners choose to allow anyone to cross their land unimpeded that’s their choice to do so. If others choose to defend their property, up to and including the use of lethal force, that’s their choice as well.

            1. Not according to current federal immigration law. Those that choose to allow anyone to cross their land unimpeded could be indicted for aiding and abetting an “illegal person” who hasn’t begged government almighty for their permission slip to be here.

        5. Given that, why can’t the people down there who own land on the border form their own militias and shoot anyone crossing the border and trespassing on their land?

          In a situation like this, the best solution would be to sell some land holdings and shrink it down to more defensible areas, muster once a month like a real colonial militia, and then smoke any trespassers that happen to enter their property. Send that fat beaner Raul Grijalva the photos with a note saying that just because he wants to see the ranchers dead doesn’t mean they’re going to sit and let it happen.

          1. If they did that, every open borders private property loving “Libertarian” on this site would have a fucking stroke. Property only matter if the Mexican wins.

        6. Shooting people for walking across your property is not the libertarian solution. Shooting would only occur if someone was a physical threat. You start by telling them to leave. If they refuse, you may then escalate to the use of force, but lethal force would be a last resort.

          1. Then you don’t believe in the castle doctrine. If my land is posted, why do I have to reveal myself and expose myself to you doing me harm? You are the one who is trespassing? Basically, your view is that these people have a duty to risk their lives so that no Mexican may ever be harmed.

          2. Someone wasn’t paying attention to the “Stand Your Ground” fuss of ten years ago. Check your own state laws, but in many cases you can shoot someone through a door without ever responding if you’re “scared”. Especially if it’s late at night.

            1. As you should be.

          3. Dude, I live in Grijalva’s (or near) district. The shit described in the linked article is not happening here. Its not happening in the Tucson sector either.

        7. Hey, look, it’s another meeting of Libertarians For Bigoted, Authoritarian Immigration Policies!

          As long as the regulars are here, it makes sense to follow it with a meeting of Libertarians For Military Belligerence or Libertarians For The Drug War.

          1. You are too retarded to own either a gun or any land. Even I am against allowing people with an IQ as low as yours to be armed.

        8. Because they don’t really want to be in the business of shooting women and children at night, and they don’t have the skills and resources to arrest them.

      2. The overwhelming problem with the various ‘armed response / militias suggestions is the notion that those beset by armed invaders are not on their land to fight off a continuing invasion. Doing that is a full time job, and that’s not what they’re there for.

        End the drug war, defund the invaders. That’s more practical than ‘take advantage of being the defenders’. Particularly so when it’s an ongoing stream of them.

        FWIW, I agree the story, as presented, reeks of dead fish. But this does not mean there’s no problem.

        1. I think there is a big problem. But it affects a small number of people that open borders people hate anyway. The cartels could murder all of those people and declare the area South of I10 a new country and the open borders people would want nothing done about it.

          1. John, I’m one of the people in that area. The shit described in that article is not fucking happening.

          2. John you do realize that one can be in favor of very lax immigration policy AND against cartel violence?

      3. The overwhelming problem with the various ‘armed response / militias suggestions is the notion that those beset by armed invaders are not on their land to fight off a continuing invasion. Doing that is a full time job, and that’s not what they’re there for.

        End the drug war, defund the invaders. That’s more practical than ‘take advantage of being the defenders’. Particularly so when it’s an ongoing stream of them.

        FWIW, I agree the story, as presented, reeks of dead fish. But this does not mean there’s no problem.

        1. Damn squirrels ? can we muster against them?

          1. SQRLY One did once. And now look at him.

    2. ?Neighbors are worried because an older couple on an isolated ranch (is there any other kind?) were in bed asleep, when they heard men ransacking their kitchen. This was the third time. A few months ago, the wife was forced at gunpoint to take a pregnant woman to the hospital to deliver an anchor baby. How much longer will they be able to keep the ranch??

      Yeah, I’m calling bullshit.

      ‘Hey, we don’t have a car, but we come out into the middle of nowhere, kidnap you at gunpoint, don’t steal your car, but force you to drive my pregnant wife to the hospital – where you promptly call the cops, she’s arrested, he’s picked up 30 minutes later skulking around town on foot in the middle of the night, and everyone is deported.

      The *first time* some strangers wandered into your house uninvited in the middle of the night should have been when you locked the door.

  3. Trump “uses at least two iPhones,” including “one capable only of making calls, the other equipped only with the Twitter app and preloaded with a handful of news sites.”

    Orange’s iPhone is the new Blackberry.

  4. Inside the World of Feminist Teen Girls Obsessed with Serial Killers
    But you identify as a feminist?isn’t men killing, raping, and eating women kind of the opposite of feminism? Or is it the fact that this is exactly the kind of thing you’re not supposed to find attractive that makes it appeal to you so much?

    I am a radical feminist who also happens to be highly attracted to people that abuse and murder women. Oops. I actually don’t find Dahmer attractive any more, I like Bundy and Ramirez a lot better, ha-ha.

    1. Just sounds like someone has a violent sex fetish.

    2. this story is amazing on many levels. Thank you for posting this link

    1. I do not know WHAT Obama would produce.

      Just that it will be boring as shit.

      1. But it will get awesome reviews. A movie featuring Obama taking a crap would win an Oscar.

        1. If Obama had been in the ‘Black Panther’ movie it would have gotten a 10/10.

  5. Florida city spokesman Ben Kerr would like to “reiterate that Lake Worth does not have any zombie activity currently,” after a middle-of-the-night alert told Lake Worth residents otherwise.

    Florida Man already took care of them for the Sunshine State.

    1. High five to whatever asshole sent that alert.

      1. You DO realize that there WAS in fact a zombie outbreak but the AUTHORITIES are doing everything they can to cover it up, as they ALWAYS do. The guy who tried to get the word out is likely DEAD right now. He is a HERO.

    1. “They’re buying these weapons in Indiana, I mean Switzerland! We need a continental gun control policy!”

    2. note that this story has dropped off the internet and news because it contradicts the anti-gunners stance that outlawed guns are never used to harm

  6. China is dropping all limits on how many children a family can have.

    This is your official ENB abortion link for the day.

  7. Actress Charlize Theron will star as anchor Megyn Kelly in a movie about Fox News founder Roger Ailes.

    Who would have thought Megyn would be played by an African-American.

    1. I see what you did, and I approve.

    2. Would you rather? Charlize Theron vs Megyn Kelly edition.

    3. dang it. I was about to say the same thing. bastard.

        1. Excuse the fuck out of me for having things to do other than being the first one to comment.

          1. I was about to say this exact same thing.

            1. YEAH TEN MINUTES LATER

              Also, “I could totally could have been super awesome but I had other things to do.”

              That’s you two.

              1. Fist, on the other hand, has absolutely nothing going on, ever.

  8. “Stop waiting for the constitutional crisis that President Trump is sure to provoke,” writes Eugene Robinson at Real Clear Politics today. “It’s here.”

    Broke: “It’s absurd that the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign! What nonsense! Accusing them of spying on him is a Constitutional crisis!”

    Woke: “The FBI was spying on the Trump campaign to keep him safe! What an ingrate! Demanding an investigation into the FBI is a Constitutional crisis!”

    1. It’s the way he talks!

  9. “If nannies were taxed the government would have more money to provide nannies with benefits.”

    Substitute “nannies” with “friends” and count me in.

  10. Ohio lawmakers want to raise the fine for soliciting prostitution from $500 to $2,500 and triple the jail time possible as punishment.

    Ohio lawmakers must be getting it for free.

    1. Politician A asks politician B “what do you think about this prostitution bill?”
      Politician B replies “oh, we’d better pay it.”
      Clearly a fantasy, Ohio’s approach is the real-world approach.

    2. No, the tricks were just offering to pay the fine instead of rendering their services for free. Now the politicians and cops know they’re far less likely to turn them down.

      Yeah for selective enforcement!

  11. I want a nanny with benefits! That should be my right, as an American!!

  12. “If nannies were taxed the government would have more money to provide nannies with benefits.”

    nanny state hardest hit?

  13. The Post Office is issuing scratch-and-sniff stamps.

    They smell like postal carriers at varying progressions along their routes.

    1. So they will be very collectible among dogs

      1. I wish someone could explain what makes cats and dogs love the smell of dirty underwear.

        1. Like most other non-primate mammals and Simple Mikey, cats and dogs do a lot of communication via smells released from the butt region. Smelling our butt regions, or things that have touched our butt regions, makes them feel connected to us.

          1. One of my cats gets more high from dirty socks than he does from catnip. He’ll just bury his face in a pile of sock and his eyes roll up until he damn near passes out. It’s both sick and hilarious at the same time.

            1. One of mine does the same with plastic bags that contain or have contained carrots. It’s bizarre.

  14. Trump “uses at least two iPhones,” including “one capable only of making calls

    Twice he asked Bill Gates what the difference between calls and tweets are.

    1. Trump likes people whose smartphones don’t go defunct.

  15. New economic study finds Twitter bots may have added about 3.2 percentage points to the vote for Trump in the 2016 presidential race

    Remember this next time any of you are tempted to use “Russian bot” ironically. Without Twitter bots, Drumpf would have lost the popular vote by an even bigger margin, and ? since the EC result came down to tens of thousands of votes in swing states ? probably the whole election.

    #NotMyPresident
    #StillWithHer

    1. Leggo my eggo!

    2. “Without Twitter bots, Drumpf would have lost the popular vote by an even bigger margin”

      Without bitter twats, Hillary would’ve lost even more…so it all evens out

      1. ^ You win the thread.

      2. *blinks, reads again, stands and enthusiastically claps*

    3. 1. Were there no pro-Hillary twitter bots deployed?
      2. Are twitter bots illegal?
      3. Didn’t Obama openly campaign against both Brexit and Netanyahu?

    4. “Remember this next time any of you are tempted to use “Russian bot” ironically.”

      And remember this the next time anyone suggests hag-backers had IQs in 3 digits.

      1. As opposed to IQs of the digit 3?

  16. Florida city spokesman Ben Kerr would like to “reiterate that Lake Worth does not have any zombie activity currently,” after a middle-of-the-night alert told Lake Worth residents otherwise.

    the undead lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  17. Actress Charlize Theron will star as anchor Megyn Kelly in a movie about Fox News founder Roger Ailes.

    who will play Roger Ailes?

    1. Charlize Theron, also. Oscar-bait.

      1. James Woods as Bill O’Reilly and Meat Loaf as Roger Ailes then.

        1. So it’s a musical comedy then?

          1. You are probably half right – – – – – –

          2. The soundtrack is a dirge with a laugh track.

            1. Oh, so it’s David Lynch’s Rabbits

      2. James Woods as Bill O’Reilly and Meat Loaf as Roger Ailes then.

      3. She’s no Cate Blanchett

    2. “who will play Roger Ailes?”

      Meryl Streep, with Harvey Weinstein as a body double.

    3. So let me see if I understand this?

      Hollywood and the entertainment industry was chock-full of powerful men abusing women at whim and getting away with it for years. Their misconduct was an open secret, and far from being condemned from it, at least one of them was worshiped as “God.”

      And how does Hollywood explain this away? By making a movie about the founder of FOXNews.

  18. Cable and internet service providers are among the most disliked companies in the country

    So let’s help them out with net neutrality, guys.

  19. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas head to the polls today. Texans will re-vote on races

    I don’t imagine the SPLC will like the result of this.

  20. Arizona could roll back teaching of evolution in classroom

    https://goo.gl/RsdmuB

    Conservatives “Evolution is a man-made hoax”

  21. Trump seems an impotent, embittered senior citizen, isolated and ranting from behind his various screens

    So your saying Trump is Hihn. Hihn is Trump. My head may explode.

    1. The Dotard tried to force the USPS to double Amazon’s delivery rates.

      He is also part Boss Tweed.

      1. Hey, turd! You lost.

        1. Which means nobody can criticize Trump except the people who lick his nuts? Do you have a point?

          I mean does your existence in this universe have a point?

          1. Hey Tony! You lost.

      2. So dumb you couldn’t even see the obvious Boss Tweet!

        1. I’ll embarrassed for him.

    2. Hihn-Trump=0

    3. So your saying Trump is Hihn. Hihn is Trump.

      Those sort of antics will get you put on a list mister!

  22. The Post Office is issuing scratch-and-sniff stamps.

    “Today, the USPS is proud to issue a stamp celebrating the 100th anniversary of America’s first sewer system…”

    1. I remember when a teacher (who was woke before it was cool) in the 3rd grade gave me a Strawberry Shortcake sticker for getting 10/10 on a spelling test.

      Wtf?

      I would have preferred skunk.

      1. Using such a stereotyping and cis-toned sticker like that in our bluer cesspits would likely lead to riots coupled with a walkout of grade school students.

        Just like the one I demanded when Ruffles released a terrible knockoff of all-dressed chips stateside. Such disappointment.

        1. Just like the one I demanded when Ruffles released a terrible knockoff of all-dressed chips stateside.

          Trump’s trade protection rhetoric forced Trudeau to abandon plans for exporting proper Canadian-made all-dressed chips.

  23. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015…..ermit.html

    Woman stabbed to death by her ex husband as she waited for a permit to own a gun in New Jersey. The guy was violent enough that she had a restraining order against him. But New Jersey refuses to grant gun permits to anyone and just sits on the applications. As a result, she was defenseless when he came to murder her.

    The fucking police chief who refused to act on the permit ought to be up on manslaughter charges along with the scum bag who killed her.

    1. That just proves we need knife control and/or to lock up any man on just the word of a woman.

    2. As a result, she was defenseless when he came to murder her.

      To prove this, you need to prove that ownership of a gun would have saved her life. See the story above about Mexicans invading ranches.

      1. The guy stabbed her to death. Bringing a gun to a knife fight is usually a good way to win. Regardless, I don’t have to prove shit other than the fact that she has a human right to defend herself and to do so with a gun. IF you want to live in fantasy land where guns don’t really help you defend yourself, have fun. But the rest of the world is not obligated to do that.

        1. Regardless, I don’t have to prove shit other than the fact that she has a human right to defend herself and to do so with a gun.

          Absolutely.

          IF you want to live in fantasy land where guns don’t really help you defend yourself, have fun.

          See the story above about Mexicans invading ranches. Now I’ll admit that that story may be pure fantasy which would make your point correct. If you’re going to stand by the narrative that simply owning a gun instantly makes you safer then you’re going to have to address the cases where it doesn’t.

          1. Just out of curiosity, who argues that “simply owning a gun instantly makes you safer”?

            1. John

              1. Yes I do. It does make you safer. Why would it not?

                1. Why would it not?

                  I’ve seen the argument made that because a high percentage of gun-deaths are suicides, that having a gun in the home makes you less safe. Because you could use it to kill yourself.

                  Also I’ve seen it argued that if you don’t have the cojones to squeeze the trigger, the gun will be taken away from you and now you’ve just armed your attacker.

                  1. Also I’ve seen it argued that if you don’t have the cojones to squeeze the trigger, the gun will be taken away from you and now you’ve just armed your attacker.

                    Supported by the numbers showing people (women in particular) with guns are more likely to be shot with their own gun then they are to shoot someone else with it.

                    Fact is that to be “safer”, it is not enough to have a gun, there’s a whole lot more that’s necessary. And most folks aren’t willing to do that “more”, and treat the gun as a “tiger stone”.

                    Which is, of course, a different (but related) question then that of whether or not people should be allowed to arm.

                    1. Enigma,

                      You assume that everyone is willing to bet their life that the person holding the gun won’t use it. I can assure that is a very bad bet with me, but with others as you point out it can be a good one. The problem is that you don’t know who is who. So, having a gun and pulling it out will likely save you before you ever have to find out if you would really use it. Most people don’t want to bet their lives on you not having the guts to use a gun. Would you?

                    2. I don’t have to assume, we have the numbers.

                      A gun is not enough.

                    3. The number of defensive gun uses, even the low estimates, outnumber murders by 10:1.

                2. I suppose it depends on how literally one interprets it. I doubt that you’re arguing that a gun, left unloaded and still in it’s factory package and stuffed in a drawer would do any good. Having a gun loaded and ready to use, on the other hand, for sure gives you a better chance.

                  But I suspect Sparky is being ludicrously literal.

                  1. Sparky is arguing that because it is not 100% certain that a gun would have saved her, you can’t say that it would have made her safer. And that is just absurd.

                    1. It absolutely would have improved the odds of her surviving

                    2. Hmm I’ve seen that argument before. Funny how that standard is never applied to “just trust the government to keep you safe”.

                  2. But I suspect Sparky is being ludicrously literal.

                    If you can’t defend your position against something so blatantly ludicrous, you may want to sharpen it up a bit. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when you keep losing ground.

                    It absolutely would have improved the odds of her surviving

                    I agree. And I think making absolutist statements like John keeps doing actually harms the argument.

                    1. I agree. And I think making absolutist statements like John keeps doing actually harms the argument.

                      Here is what I said

                      Woman stabbed to death by her ex husband as she waited for a permit to own a gun in New Jersey. The guy was violent enough that she had a restraining order against him. But New Jersey refuses to grant gun permits to anyone and just sits on the applications. As a result, she was defenseless when he came to murder her.

                      All of that is true. There is nothing absolute about it other than it points out the facts as they are. What harms the argument are pedantic morons like you who can’t seem to grasp what the argument is.

                    2. You’re making the case that if she had the gun she would be alive. Even willing to hold the sheriff responsible for her death. Nothing absolute about that for sure.

                3. “Yes I do. It does make you safer. Why would it not?”

                  Because there’s also a chance that the gun will be used against you, either by someone else, or by your own hand.

                  1. “Because there’s also a chance that the gun will be used against you, either by someone else, or by your own hand”

                    Yeah and you could trip over it and put your eye out!

                  2. The baseline in this case is that she is dead.

                    Having access to a gun could not possibly make her more dead.

          2. If you have a lunatic ex husband who is stalking you, owning a gun instantly makes you safer. Does it make you completely safe? No. But there are degrees of safety. And that woman had she had a gun and a conceal and carry permit, likely would have pulled a gun and killed him when he attacked her. He attacked her in her driveway as she walked to her car. It is not much of a stretch to say she would have had her gun with her and would have tried to use it. Might she have forgotten it that day or had it and missed allowing him to murder her? Sure. But there is a better than even chance she would have killed him and would be alive today. And that chance did not exist thanks to the state of New Jersey.

            1. If you have a lunatic ex husband who is stalking you, owning a gun instantly makes you safer.

              Only if you had previous training and experience such that, in a dangerous situation, you have the right reflexes, instincts and reactions. Lacking those, then adding a gun to the mix just makes it more likely it’ll be used against you.

              Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. And it takes more then just putting a tool in someone’s hand to make them good at it.

          3. Why are you so focused on specific consequences of exercising rights? You sound like a prog. Sometimes exercising free speech has unfavorable results too. It shouldn’t matter

            1. Why are you so focused on specific consequences of exercising rights?

              I’m not. I’m trying to convince people that they need to come up with better arguments. I believe that people absolutely have the right to own guns and use them for self-defense. Every time gun ownership fails to protect someone is a case that will be used against that position. If people on the side of ownership are incapable of countering that, the argument will be lost.

              1. If owning a gun would not have done this woman any good such that her example cannot be used to show the barbarity of gun laws, then what compelling need is there to have a gun?

                The only way you can say this is a bad argument is if you say that her owning a gun would not have helped her. And that is just fucking idiotic. Just because it isn’t certain it would not have saved her, doesn’t mean there isn’t a very good chance it would have and that the state denying her that chance was wrong.

                As usual, you don’t really understand how arguments work.

                1. As usual, you don’t really understand how arguments work.

                  Yeah, you’re right. That’s why everyone just flat out agrees with you. You’re just so damn persuasive.

                  1. No. I am just usually right. But being right doesn’t always persuade people.

                    1. I certainly can’t understand how shouting “I’M RIGHT, ASSHOLE!” fails to convince people.

                2. […] then what compelling need is there to have a gun?

                  Well that’s the problem right there.

                  Gun rights and the 2nd Amendment exist separate from any individual’s “need” for a gun. And trying to argue for gun rights based on such a “need” only sets you up for disaster if and when that “need” is taken care of in a different way.

                  Or to put it another way… you should never base an argument for a fundamental right in a utilitarian argument. Utilitarian arguments, by definition, are conditional, and you don’t want to make fundamental rights conditional.

  24. If Trump is creating the FBI spying on his campaign out of whole cloth to distract from Mueller’s investigation, that is possibly a constitutional crisis. If the FBI did spy on in Trump’s campaign at the behest of the Obama Adminstration, then we already have a constitutional crisis perpetrated by Obama.

    1. We know they were spying on him. They admitted as much. But the same people who two weeks ago were saying “of course spying would be a big deal but only a nut would believe it happened” are today saying “of course they spied on Trump and it was a good thing.”

      1. I don’t disagree with that. But if that is a fact, then Trump is not causing any constitutional crisis, he is not letting s preexisting one be buried.

        That is what annoys me, blaming Trump for the mess Obama’s crew made.

      2. Sean Davis has noted that somebody did endorse Hillary for President in Russian media.

        That somebody was Stefan Halper. Weird, huh?

        Also, Grassley is implying that Rosenstein gave FISA approval authority to Mueller (he, of course, cannot do that).

        There is also still no crime listed in the documentation allowing for the appointment of Mueller, which is a statutory obligation.

        1. Honest questions:

          1. Can Congress impeach a special prosecutor? If not, why not?

          1. If so, then is lack of appropriate grounds for appointment (e.g. no specified predicate crime) sufficient grounds for such impeachment? If not, then why not?

  25. An April 2017 through March 2018 survey found “video-streaming services scored among the highest in the telecommunications categories tracked by the American Customer Satisfaction Index,” reports Qz.

    Amazing how happy you can make your customers when you don’t have to do the work of maintenance on the infrastructure that your bandwidth-hogging content rides over.

    1. Amazing how happy you can make your customers when you don’t have to do the work of maintenance on the infrastructure that your bandwidth-hogging content rides over.

      It would also be relevant to note that your streaming service isn’t also obligated to make your local broadcast channels available as part of a collection of other channels in a basic package. If every streaming service were required to carry CNN or the program list of every service provider in a 35-mile radius as part of their offering, their programming would suck too.

  26. Former state Rep. Stacey Abrams would be the first African-American woman to serve as a governor

    ROFLMAO

  27. Cable … providers are among the most disliked companies in the country

    Oh, gee, that’s terrible…

  28. Consider the seriousness! And yet… Trump has been calling for exactly that since he got in office a year and a half ago. On Twitter and just about every other medium. No constitutional crisis yet. Is it just the “cartoonish language” that has everyone so scared this time? (Are they actually scared, or is it a mix of moral performance and economic incentives to scare other people? I can never quite tell.)

    Is it really the case that Reason no longer supports criminal investigators being held accountable and expected to explain their actions to the courts, Congress, and the public? Are they just neutral on this issue now?

    1. Apparently.

    2. Yes.

      But only right now.

      Updates as events warrant.

  29. Trump should just declassify everything.

    But his demands are more than reasonable,

  30. The people wailing about a “Constitutional crisis” are the exact same fuckers who insist that the Constitution is bogus because it was written by rich old white guys who owned slaves, or that it’s a “living document”, or “it’s not a suicide pact!”, etc.

    1. They’re actually referring to South Africa’s constitution. You know, the good one…

  31. CNN’s Callan writes that Trump using Twitter to announce important criminal justice news is “inappropriate” because it “trivializes the entire process.”

    If that’s the case, then I’m 100% for it.

    1. Didn’t we just hear for months how if Trump has nothing to hide, why should he worry about the investigation? Well, isn’t the same true of Mueller? If this whole thing is on the up and up, he should welcome the chance to show all of those deplorables how it is.

    2. “trivializes the entire press.”
      Fixed it for you

  32. From that opening I was expecting the author to explain that nannies aren’t willing to work on the books because at the bottom of the income scale income is taxed twice?first by Federal and State direct taxes and second indirectly because higher income causes workers to lose benefits.

    *sigh*

  33. In a way, it diminishes the importance of presidential declarations. Rather than appearing as an all-powerful authoritarian nightmare, Trump seems an impotent, embittered senior citizen, isolated and ranting from behind his various screens while the machinery of government keeps churning out its typical crap and constitutional checks and balances do their thing.

    I was with you until the “constitutional checks and balances do their thing” part.

    1. Is Trump Hitler who is starting World War III, destroying the judiciary, starting trade wars, and destroying the regulatory state that keeps us safe, or an embittered senior citizen ranting?

      It would be nice if these dumb motherfuckers would pick a narrative. But I guess doing that would require living in reality and that is just not a good role for them.

      1. It depends on what the meaning of “is” is.

      2. I thought Hillary was the senile old coot wanting to start WWIII.

        1. She was. That is why the country smartly didn’t elect her President.

        2. “Senile old coot who wants to start WWIII” is not an exclusive category.

          1. She was The Senile Old Coot who wants to start World War III. It was her turn!!

            1. Bernie was the senile old coot who wanted to start Cold War 2.0, but on the other side this time.

          2. True. Such a definition would include John McCain.

            1. Except now he is the Conscience of the Senate.

  34. An April 2017 through March 2018 survey found “video-streaming services scored among the highest in the telecommunications categories tracked by the American Customer Satisfaction Index,” reports Qz.

    In more important video-streaming news, Amazon looks likely to take over distributing The Expanse after retarded-ass nonsense channel SyFy canceled it.

    1. Hahaha good post.

  35. Well don’t I feel caught flat-footed. What would be a good cocktail for a constitutional crisis party? White Russians, or is that too on the nose?

    1. Manhattans might be more appropriate.

        1. Damn!
          +COSMOS

    2. Black Russians is more woke

    3. Rum-brandy punch was good enough when the wrote the thing, so it’s good enough for today.

  36. “Trump has long posited as fact an Obama-era FBI conspiracy to eavesdrop on his campaign. This week he demanded that DOJ look into the alleged operation.”

    Is ENB one of these people who understands that the FBI was doing surveillance on the Trump campaign and yet still believes Trump is a nut to think that his campaign was under surveillance by the FBI?!

    1. The NoVa-DC Conventional Wisdom, from which ENB and most of the other Reason columnists drink deeply, is that anything Trump does – even if he is supported by the facts – is somehow improper or unseemly or irrational.

      So for them there is no logical contradiction in recognizing the FBI spied on Trump, but Trump is a paranoid nut for pointing it out.

    2. The FBI wasn’t eavesdropping his campaign. It was merely surveilling certain individuals who happened to be members of his campaign.

  37. I really don’t get the scoffing at the “liberal economics” of the nanny tax/subsidy scheme. I thought we were in agreement that government can do a much better job of sorting out the right price of things to better match up supply and demand than just letting the market decide. Isn’t that why China is eating our lunch on trade, because they use a central planning scheme whereby Top Men decide which exports get subsidized and which imports get taxed and how much? Isn’t this why we’re applauding Trump for his mad negotiating skills, because Trump is much better at deciding what’s a fair deal for everybody rather than Walmart and Ford and Apple each individually deciding for themselves what’s best for them? If Trump can single-handedly manage the entire economy of the US, managing the nanny industry is child’s play.

  38. Another day, another day of the Reason clowns laughably pretending that they don’t know what “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” is.

    Heck, they won’t even say the words “Crossfire Hurricane”! It’s like they’re terrified that if they say the words something really horrible will happen, kind of like “Voldemort” in the Harry Potter books.

    1. We’ll get them together Papa.

  39. I’m a little surprised to not see anything about the end of the “trade war” with China.

    I’m sure plenty of you will go on believing there was a trade war–even though it never happened.

    I mean, if there wasn’t a trade war, why would you have read about it for weeks on end here at Reason and elsewhere?

    I guess the chicken little routine is hard to justify, so they just leave it hanging on the edge of a cliff–and hope you forget about it. The problem is you won’t forget. You’l go on believing in something that never happened.

    You’ll go around thinking that people who don’t know Emperor Xi slapped tariffs on soybeans and Boeing are ignorant and stupid–only they aren’t. It’s just your own lack of knowledge, intelligence, and critical thinking skills that led you to believe in things that never happened.

    You’ll be like those weird fucks say Trump is a nut for thinking the FBI was spying on his campaign–where does he get this stuff?! Does anybody know?

    1. I thought you were among the crowd saying don’t listen to what he says, pay attention to what he does.

      He hasn’t rolled back the steel and aluminum tariffs yet.

      1. And China has given our automobile industry better access to its markets. It is a back and forth where both countries try to get the best deal possible. We have a President who is willing to negotiate and get a better deal for the country. The horror. Also, he has used access to the US markets as leverage to get China to lean on North Korea. We will see how that turns out. But, that seems a lot more sensible than yelling “Free trade at all costs” and hoping for the best. There are values and interests beyond trade.

      2. Yeah, there’s a big difference between tweets and actions–just like there’s a big difference between Beijing announcing retaliatory tariffs and retaliatory tariffs actually being implemented.

        Looks like those announced tariffs (the trade war) ain’t gonna happen, and that’s what I was alluding to.

        A few tariffs aren’t a trade war like a few shots fired isn’t a war.

        All of this looks like it’s timed to ensure China’s cooperation through the North Korean summit, which is about two weeks away. As I’ve said before, I don’t approve of Trump’s trade brinkmanship at all–but if it brings about an end to the threat of North Korean ICBMs and nuclear weapons, then I’ll be as happy as any other patriotic American.

        I guess I see it this way:

        1) If Trump bets our farm on red, I hope he wins–even if I don’t approve of that bet.

        2) Trump didn’t bet it all on red. The headlines on trade were mostly TDS fluff

  40. Florida city spokesman Ben Kerr would like to “reiterate that Lake Worth does not have any zombie activity currently,” after a middle-of-the-night alert told Lake Worth residents otherwise.

    This is exactly what i would expect to hear from the spokesman of a city that’s about to be overrun with zombies.

    1. It would be an improvement.

  41. There will be a game 7.

    What are the odds that the Caps will win three away games to take a series in the semi-finals?

    I don’t know.

    I just know that they lost the last three games to Tampa because their goalie was hot–not because the Caps were playing badly.

    I just know that the Caps have been playing better on the road–I think the expectations of a collapse in the home crowd is palpable and it affects their play.

    I just know that the Bolts look like they’re exhausted and got beaten up in every facet of the game last night.

    I just know It takes a different kind of team to win a seven game series in the playoffs.

    If Tampa wins tomorrow night, expect the Knights to win big in the final series.

    But I wouldn’t expect Tampa to win tomorrow night.

  42. “Twenty-eighteen”?

    Guess I’m just an old fuddy duddy and language will evolve.

  43. “Christian schools get an exemption from the Obamacare birth control mandate.”

    They already had one.

    It’s called “The First Amendment”.

    1. Yes, but I’d go further.

      I don’t want to think of the First Amendment as an “exception” to a broad mass of government powers, but as the expression of one of the many limits on government power, express or implied.

  44. The only constitutional crisis I am aware of is the refusal of the Democrat Party to accept the results of the 2016 elections.

  45. Constitutional Crisis Chorus is my new band name.

    1. That sounds like a splinter group of the San Fransico Gay Men’s Chorus.

  46. “The President…may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices….”

    /U. S. Constitution, Art. II, Section 2

    So Trump may legitimately demand that Sessions give a written opinion about the subject-matter of a federal criminal investigation – or does that not relate to the AG’s “Duties”?

    1. Frankly, no one wants to hear Sessions’ opinion on anything.

      1. I don’t want opinion. I want facts. What is his secret that makes those Keebler Fudge Graham Crackers so damned good.

        1. Corn syrup, transfats, and the souls of unbaptized infants.

          1. Everybody Limbo!

  47. “YouTube Red”

    Was RedTube taken?

  48. The butter has slipped off the orange manically insecure, unhinged, pathological proven serial liars noodles.

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