Reason Roundup

Meet the New Federal Crypto Czar: Reason Roundup

Plus: the upside of Trump blocking Twitter critics and why Paul Manafort could be headed back to prison

|

EPN/Newscom

Potentially bad news for fans of Bitcoin and other digital currencies: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission just appointed its first crypto czar. Valerie Szczepanik's official title at the federal agency will be senior adviser for digital assets and innovation and associate director of corporation finance.

In the newly created role, Szczepanik will "coordinate efforts across all SEC Divisions and Offices regarding the application of U.S. securities laws to emerging digital asset technologies and innovations, including Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrencies," according to an SEC press release.

"Valerie recognized early on the securities law implications of developments like blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, and of cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings, tokenized securities, and other digital instruments," said SEC Division of Corporation Finance Director Bill Hinman.

So can we now expect increased SEC scrutiny of cryptocurrencies in a way that impedes their dynamism and usefulness? That seems inevitable. But some are suggesting the up front attention from the SEC could be a good thing, providing clear rules that cut down on the number of confused crypto scofflaws the agency will have to investigate.

The SEC's enforcement unit "has been increasingly going after initial coin offering fraudsters," Axios reports. Yet "SEC commissioner Hester Peirce recently said she hopes further guidance will come from the commission's corporation finance division rather than its enforcement unit."

In May, Pierce said she was not "willing to make a blanket statement that everything other than Bitcoin is a security"—going against pressure from SEC chairman Jay Clayton and fellow commissioner Mike Piowar, who have said no initial coin offerings other than Bitcoin should be counted non-securities. The distinction makes a big difference, as classifying them as securities leaves blockchain token developers, sellers, and exchange facilitators subject to strict securities laws.

"There's incredible diversity in what's out there," she said, mentioning that some crypto coins operate like securities, some like money, and some as other functions.

Pierce's May talk to the Medici conference in Los Angeles highlighted many nuanced considerations the SEC should take note of when determining digital currency status. For instance, what happens when a coin's creator "is not involved anymore"? For the SEC enforcement division "to pursue that promoter doesn't make sense," she said. Pierce also pointed out that a cryptocurrency could start as something and then shift in usage or categorization, and expressed a hope that SEC regulators wouldn't micromanage new technologies.

So right now, the regulatory approach to digital currencies is still being debated, and it's unclear whether light-touch advocates like Pierce or the typical technophobic and heavy-handed approach will prevail.

The appointment of Szczepanik as SEC crypto czar "comes during what is perhaps a pivotal point on the crypto front for the SEC," notes Coindesk. "Many of the agency's public-facing actions have focused on alleged scams and fraudulent behavior, while officials have also come out in support of a more balanced approach to regulation."

FREE MINDS

Think twice before bellyaching about social media blocks by Trump. Constitutional law professor Noah Feldman suggests that we should be wary of courts "beginning to experiment with expanding the First Amendment, proposing that its protection of political speech applies even in privately controlled virtual spaces" like Twitter. His New York Times editorial comes in the wake of a May federal court decision holding that President Trump can't block people on Twitter.

"This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the First Amendment has ever been applied to a private platform," writes Feldman, who does not think this is a desirable development. More:

At present, free speech law ensures the platforms' own freedom of expression and association. That gives them the constitutional right to set their own terms of service and community standards, which they can use to address everything from spreading deliberate falsehoods to harassing people based on their sex, race or religion.

But if courts determine that the Constitution trumps the private decisions of the platforms with respect to regulating speech, the platforms will not longer set their own standards. […] There is thus a fundamental trade-off at stake. If, on the one hand, courts treat social media platforms as private actors with the constitutional right to regulate what is said on their platforms and who can say it, then we must accept that only a combination of moral, public and market pressure can help ensure that the platforms take appropriate measures to protect truth and civility. This is a system of private, voluntary regulation.

If, on the other hand, courts take over regulating social media, that essentially guarantees the same free-for-all on social media that exists on the internet as a whole—not to mention in real life. In that scenario, we should be prepared to accept the inevitability of fake news, online harassment, expressions of bigotry and all the rest. This would be a system of total free speech.

Read the whole thing here.

JUSTICE WATCH

Paul Manafort could be headed back to prison after alleged witness tampering. Manafort is currently on house arrest while awaiting trial on conspiracy and money-laundering charges. But lawyers with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team are asking a federal judge for pre-trial detention for Manafort, saying they have probable cause to think the former Trump campaign manager and business associate to Russian oligarchs "repeatedly" contacted two witnesses "in an effort to secure materially false testimony."

The witnesses were both "principals in a public relations firm that worked with Manafort in organizing a group of former European officials, known as the Hapsburg group, who promoted Ukrainian interests in Europe as well as the U.S.," the Associated Press reported.

QUICK HITS

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

144 responses to “Meet the New Federal Crypto Czar: Reason Roundup

  1. Think twice before bellyaching about social media blocks by Trump.

    NEVER!

    1. I’d be happy if there were any signs of people thinking once, as opposed to emoting and signaling.
      (Flying pigs would be so awesome.)

    2. Hello.

      Mueller. Hero to the left. Zero to the people.

      https://howiecarrshow.com/2018/03/22/2322/

    3. Too late! You had to think once to click “COMMENT” and a second time to click “SUBMIT”!

      Mission accomplished!

      1. That restriction has never been true of Fist.

  2. New York City may become the latest place to allow residents to choose a non-gendered driver’s license.

    So for the first time you don’t have to admit to NY cops when they pull you over whether you have a pistil or not.

    1. You’ll be stamen for an encore of course.

    2. i’d be mortarfied if i was asked to prove i have a pestle.

      1. You need to back petal away from that pun switch.

        1. Blooming idiots.

  3. given pornography a sense of moral credibility that it previously lacked.

    Yes, the great philosophers of the future will opine on the moral credibility of double penetration in society.

    1. Artificial intelligence will ponder the A2M influence on society.

      1. We were taught to love it by our superiors in government first.

  4. Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz is leaving the company?and feeding rumors that he has political ambitions.

    Starbucks, government… I guess they do treat minorities in the same way.

    1. Yeah but under Schultz we’re going to win… grande-ly

    2. Will this mean I can use the White House bathroom without buying anything?

      1. Not only that but you can hang out on the lawn whenever you want.

        1. Free WiFi!

  5. “Another explanation” for American’s growing moral acceptance of pornography “is that Stormy Daniels, adult film star actress and fierce critic of President Donald Trump, has given pornography a sense of moral credibility that it previously lacked.”

    Breitbart regularly (and positively) cites that Israeli porn actor who disses the left on its acceptance of anti-gay Muslim cultures. You can’t get much more 180 degrees on the topic than that.

    1. Stormy Daniels, adult film star actress and fierce critic of President Donald Trump, has given pornography a sense of moral credibility that it previously lacked.”

      An absurd assertion if there ever was one. Pornography’s been mainstreamed for quite a while now. Daniels was even cast in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, over ten years ago, and Jenna Jameson is arguably more responsible for opening the industry up to greater public acceptance than Daniels ever was. Hell, Howard Stern has been bringing them on to his show for decades, and for all his goofball horndog theatrics, his ultimate goal in doing so was to humanize them.

      Daniels admitting that she was paid to have sex with Trump and then keep quiet about it doesn’t make her any more morally upright than her fellow porn stars who turn tricks on the side to supplement their income.

      1. I’d suggest the “moral credibility” comes from the idea that as long as she’s attacking Trump, she’s on the side of the angels. This has got nothing to do with pornography per se, it’s just the usual leftists who would attack pornography as exploitation of women by the patriarchy have no problem handling the cognitive dissonance of applauding the same as long as it’s used in the service of their agenda. It’s not much different than the pro-choice people squawking “my body, my choice” who wouldn’t dream of applying that principle to prostitution, drug use or minimum wage laws.

        1. I’d suggest the “moral credibility” comes from the idea that as long as she’s attacking Trump, she’s on the side of the angels.

          I’d concur that the patina of righteousness is certainly coming from that, rather than the notion that porn stars have gained it organically through greater public acceptance, which was already growing long before Daniels decided that going after Trump had a greater upside than sticking to the NDA she signed.

      2. Daniels admitting that she was paid to have sex with Trump and then keep quiet about it doesn’t make her any more morally upright than her fellow porn stars who turn tricks on the side to supplement their income.

        Except that’s not what happened.

        At all.

        Daniels asserted that she had sex with Trump and then was paid to keep quiet about it

        She didn’t ‘turn a trick’. She fucked a celebrity. And so did Trump. Totally different.

        1. Still…. Functionally services traded for money. After all, he didn’t pay for dinner and silence.

  6. If, on the other hand, courts take over regulating social media, that essentially guarantees the same free-for-all on social media that exists on the internet as a whole?not to mention in real life. In that scenario, we should be prepared to accept the inevitability of fake news, online harassment, expressions of bigotry and all the rest. This would be a system of total free speech.

    It will be decided on a case by case basis depending on what the left needs right then and there.

    1. This would be a system of total free speech.

      Bahahahahaha……

      BAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

    2. Yeah, that quote made me laugh. The left is not too many ratchets away from toppling the 1st amendment altogether.

  7. “It isn’t a legitimate approach to deal with the issue as much as it is a violation of sex workers’ rights.”

    A government’s rights are paramount.

  8. Paul Manafort could be headed back to prison after alleged witness tampering.

    Only prosecutors get to manipulate people.

  9. DOCUMENTS: MURDERED ILLEGAL ALIEN HEROIN DEALER WAS SOMEHOW A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT
    A Dominican illegal alien murdered gangland style last year in Lynn, Massachusetts, was a heroin trafficker, an identity thief, a welfare fraudster and, according to federal records obtained by The Daily Caller, a registered Democrat….

    1. He also enjoyed pina coladas and getting caught in the rain

      1. And will do his civic duty and vote for the next decade or more.

        1. He was an identity thief. He’ll likely be able to vote multiple times.

    2. But was he counted as part of the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration?

    3. more than half of heroin trafficking arrestees in the city are from the DR.

      Another job Americans won’t do.

      1. The heroin trafficking is just a stopgap until they are legal, then they’ll open up food trucks /Shikha

  10. In that scenario, we should be prepared to accept the inevitability of fake news, online harassment, expressions of bigotry and all the rest.

    Done.

  11. Stephen Colbert mocks Melania Trump’s disappearance: “This is just weird”

    Colbert is AWESOME!!! Probably the greatest comic talent working today. The entire media needs to be covering this story.

    #Where’sMelania

    1. So brave. He’s going after the First Lady.

      Colbert got used to Michelle sticking her face yapping about turnips at every turn.

      Maybe she’s just, you know, private?

      Colbert is just another partisan hack at this point.

      1. The poor woman has kidney surgery and seems to be genuinely ill. And the Never Trump Right and Progs in the media speculate that she was beaten up or has disappeared. They are all about decency you know. Not like that bastard Trump. These people are just depraved.

        1. I saw some defamatory statement that Trump beat her up. The media already publicized that she went in for kidney surgery and now they are flipping it into TDS.

          These lefties deserve to lose every political race they lose this election year. They are real shit bags.

          If anyone would have dared to accuse Obama of beating Michelle, the accusations of racism would never end.

          1. It all started with David Frum. Frum is just a strange guy. What a weirdo.

            1. He’s Canadian.

              Like Samantha Bee.

              Krauthammer.

              Kunher.

              Crowder.

              McInness.

              Wtf with all these Canucks? Worse than that, they’re mostly from Montreal!

          2. If anyone would have dared to accuse Obama of beating Michelle, the accusations of racism would never end.

            Well, to be fair, it’s hard for me to imagine Obama beating anybody. He might get in a girly slap-fight; that would be the best he could manage.

            1. On the other hand, it’s very easy to picture Michelle slapping Barry around some.

              1. I think the correct word there would be mauling.

              2. I’ll be charitable, and say that while I dislike Obama’s politics I think he’s probably way too nice of a guy to mistreat either Michelle or his two kids.

                Plus, you’re kind of right that I’m pretty sure Michelle would win such a fight if it occurred. That’s not to say she’s ‘mannish’ but rather I’m pretty sure she works out way more than Mr. Suit.

        2. Projection. Always projection with those losers. And that’s what they are: losers.

          And what did she do to them exactly to be the target of their scorn? Aside of course being married to Trump.

          They’re mentally retarded.

        3. Trump killed her and fed her to Kim Jong Un. That’s why he’s talking about self-pardons so much. This would be obvious if you weren’t such s Trump apologist.

  12. Potentially bad news for fans of Bitcoin and other digital currencies…

    The government has accepted the challenge that cryptocurrencies can’t be regulated.

    1. They will stay anonymous. We promise.

  13. I don’t have a problem with porn, but saying that it’s respectable now because a porn star is the standard-bearer for the Heroic Antifa Resistance is just painfully dumb.

    1. Lizzie is even more painfully dumb than Pink Floyd was comfortably numb.

      1. Yeah, linking to a Gallup poll is something only stupid people do. Amirite?

      2. What really hurts is knowing that you typed that out, saw what you’d written, and then hit “Submit” anyway.

    2. “Tolerated to an extent” and “respectable” are pretty far from the same thing.

    3. just painfully dumb

      Welcome to 2018 in America.

    4. And she is being a bad sex worker, she took the money and did not go away.

      1. If Daniels is going to spill the beans about politicians she’s fucked for money, it would be nice if her colleagues would open up about their own politician tricks. It’s not like Trump is the only one in the media spotlight who’s paid whores to fuck them–not just the actual porn stars, but most of these women who work as “Instagram models” and go “yachting” with the rich and famous are basically just high-class courtesans.

        The Boomers and their Gen-X progeny have been trying to mainstream this behavior for decades now, might as well put it all out on the table and stop pretending that this is supposed to be scandalous.

        1. Yeah. She’ll make short term cash on this, but she proves to future employers that even a signed contract with penalties will not stop her if she so chooses.

          Is short: she’s publicly announced she’s untrustworthy.

          Though doubt she sees that.

          1. She stands to make millions on a tell-all story, true or not, so it’s more than just a little ‘short term’ cash for a washed up porn ‘star’.

            Normally that would be considered reason to question her motives for trying to get out of an NDA (that she’s already apparently broken).

            1. She’ll have to subtract whatever amount the penalty for reneging on the NDA is though, correct?

    5. No kidding, what were all those censorship and free speech debates of the past 40-60 years by pornographers?

      Chopped liver I guess.

      Not only that, but Stormy is a far past her prime ‘porn star’ but I imagine there’s a fetish that finds her attractive.

  14. “Valerie Szczepanik’s official title”

    That’s got to be a crypto-name.

    1. I demand this woman release the password to her last name.

  15. “has given pornography a sense of moral credibility that it previously lacked.”

    Huh?

    I’m no tight ass but, um, no.

  16. If, on the other hand, courts take over regulating social media, that essentially guarantees the same free-for-all on social media that exists on the internet as a whole?not to mention in real life.

    Not only does everyone have the right to speak, everyone has the right to attention! No more walking past the crazy man shouting at the wall, you’ve got to stop and hear him out.

    Thanks Uncle Sam!

    1. I don’t understand what is bad about a free for all. Isn’t freedom in general just a free for all? You know the term is “free for all”, right?

    2. Everyone knows that the true measure of freedom is how regulated it is by old dudes in robes.

      1. unelected old dudes in robes

  17. New York City may become the latest place to allow residents to choose a non-gendered driver’s license.

    As a non-binary person, this is terrific news. My driver’s license says “male” or “M” just because I happen to have a Y chromosome, but that does not accurately capture the subtlety of my gender identity.

    The next step is for public schools that have, for example, male and female soccer teams to also establish non-binary teams. Either that, or just have a single team called “soccer for everyone” and let all gender identities play together. Some science-denying right-wingers might try to convince you this is a bad idea because “males are generally better than females at sports,” but as a feminist I reject this sexist, misogynistic notion.

    1. But then the Williams sisters would have to give up their lavish lifestyles and live on the salary of a YMCA tennis coach.

    2. This is problematic for the gender-fluids. Are you suggesting I don’t get my gender represented on my license just because it can change on a whim? BIGOTRY!

    3. And no score keeping!

  18. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.c…..-iron-u-s/

    BMW looking into buying American steel due to tariffs. The thing that bugs me about Reason and many supporters of international trade is that they are not honest in their arguments. Tariffs are just taxes and economies adjust to them mitigating some but not all of their costs. I support international trade. But, that doesn’t mean every tariff is Smoot Hawley or that the economy won’t adjust making the cost less than it seems or certainly very debatable. By constantly claiming otherwise and crying wolf on this issue, trade advocates are discrediting their own case. Lying never helps your cause.

    1. Those who have never had to make a sale or meet payroll don’t know how things work.

    2. I will go out on a limb and guess that BMW has experience working with forceful government policies…

  19. So I have a hot 2005 CLUB magazine with a Stormy Daniels gallery pre-Trump spoiling the meat.

    I photoed it (haven’t scanned it yet) and wondering if I should post the pics to Twitter or Flickr (I don’t do Instagram or Pinterest) or if I should throw it on eBay while the stock is up.

    1. Yes, because pictures of naked women are so rare.

  20. Valerie Szczepanik’s official title at the federal agency will be senior adviser for digital assets and innovation and associate director of corporation finance.

    Her surname is already encrypted, apparently.

    1. “It’s pronounced ‘Fronkensteen’.”

    2. It’s pronounced “Shit’s Panic”. Doesn’t take much decoding.

  21. Cryptocurrecies are not securities.

    1. No they are not. I am not sure what to call them other than crytocurrencies. They are not securities because they are not secured by anything. They certainly have value. But their value is entirely the result of perception. Securities can have value due to perception but there is always at least some of their value that is based on owning something. I own the right to claim money from a company. I own part of a company. There is now ownership aspect to cryptocurrency. It is only as valuable as other people think that it is.

      1. “It is only as valuable as other people think that it is.”

        So what you’re saying is it’s really not any different than dollars?

        1. Well, except that Satoshi Nakamoto isn’t going to show up at your house with armed men, unlike some other creators of currency out there.

      2. But their value is entirely the result of perception.

        That’s true of almost everything. Practically all value is subjective. Stocks and bonds are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them, just like pretty much anything else. I just wouldn’t call a currency a security because it’s its own thing. Well, I wonder about silver and gold certificates as currency. If the exchange rate is fixed, then maybe it’s a security, I guess.

        1. Gold isn’t money, Bernanke told us so.

        2. No. it is partially true of almost everything. My home’s total value is partially the result of how much other people value it. But even if no one wanted to pay anything for it, it still has value because I can live in it. There is an underlying value and thing there that isn’t present for cryptocurrencies.

          1. That in fact is what distinguishes currency from other goods that can be exchanged: other goods have inherent value in the way they can be consumed. Currency by definition has no inherent value, other than as a medium of exchange for other goods and services.

          2. But that is true of anything used as currency. More so if the physical currency has no material value as a commodity ( fiat versus hard currency). If it was not, inflation and deflation would not be possible.

      3. The only reason to not call it “currency” is so that the government can have more power over regulating it. It’s really no different than other foreign currencies in any practical way, and therefore should be treated as such.

        The government absolutely hates competing currency, and this SEC thing is a result of that. If the government owns the definition of a thing, it can control it as such.

        1. It is different in the sense that the US government has a ton of guns that says people have to take my dollars, at least in this country. These don’t have that. My dollar is just a piece of the credibility of the US government.

          Government’s hate competing currencies because it makes it so people can dodge taxes. It is the same reason they hate bartering.

    2. Insecurities and Exchange Commission

      “Does this wallet make my butt look big?”

  22. OT: Keith Ellison is reportedly resigning to run for AG of MN. He reportedly dislikes Perez and is tired of being in the minority.

    Given that he has access to their internal polls and the election is in less than 5 months…seems that the Dem numbers in November dont look too good.

    1. Democrat leadership know they’re in trouble.

      That is evidenced by their utter desperation all around the USA.

  23. Mueller 101: Try and get all defendants in jail pending trial to leverage them into plea bargains. Stack charges. Use the media to contaminate a fair trial. Prevent Trump from pardoning all defendants before they go to jail.
    The day after Gates’ plea, Manafort messaged and called one of the witnesses and continued reaching out over the next several days, according to a sworn affidavit filed by an FBI agent in the case.

    In one call, the agent wrote, Manafort said he wanted to give the witness a “heads-up about Hapsburg.” The individual immediately ended the call “because he was concerned about the outreach,” according to the affidavit.
    Article about Mueller’s new direction
    US District Court document

    1. “Try to” not “Try and”

    2. It’s taking longer than I would have hoped, but I’m confident Mueller will eventually nullify the results of the Russia-hacked 2016 election and remove Drumpf from office.

      #TrumpRussia
      #ItsMuellerTime

  24. The hockey gods laugheth at the sin of pride. The hockey gods loveth to create envy in true believers.

    The hockey gods are fickle, fickle bitches.

    O Fortuna [Lady Luck],
    like the moon
    you are changeable,
    ever waxing
    ever waning;
    hateful life
    first oppresses
    and then soothes
    playing with mental clarity;
    poverty
    and power
    it melts them like ice.

    Fate ? monstrous
    and empty,
    you whirling wheel,
    you are malevolent,
    well-being is vain
    and always fades to nothing,
    shadowed
    and veiled
    you plague me too;
    now through the game
    I bring my bare back
    to your villainy.

    Fate is against me
    in health
    and virtue,
    driven on
    and weighted down,
    always enslaved.
    So at this hour
    without delay
    pluck the vibrating strings;
    since Fate
    strikes down the strong,
    everyone weep with me!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXFSK0ogeg4

    It’s even better in Latin

    There is no win until the fourth game.

    There is no win until the fourth game.

    The only win that matters is the fourth one, and it’s the hardest one to win–and it hasn’t happened yet.

    Yes, the hockey gods loveth those who pay 45 years of dues!

    The hockey gods also loveth to reward them with another 45 years of wandering in the desert–not to enter The Promised Land–because of their sin of pride!!!

    Empty thine hearts of pride. It is poison. It is evil. Fools! Drink from the cup of pride, and we may never drink from The Cup. Do not listen to pride’s siren call. Pride is Mind-Killer.

    Pride is Death.

    1. “Yes, the hockey gods loveth those who pay 45 years of dues!”

      The St Louis Blues would like to talk…

    2. Caps will blow it. Sorry too many heartbreaks to change my default setting. But damn they looked good last night.

      1. No they won’t. They are the better team. There is no such thing as “curses”. There are just teams that are good but not quite good enough to overcome the bad luck that happens to every team.

        1. I look forward to the next game.

          I wouldn’t expect to win the next game in Vegas.

          That’s too much to expect.

          I remain cautiously optimistic with due reverence for the old saying about how we should never underestimate the subconscious desire to fuck up.

          1. I think they will. I expected Vegas to put up a much better fight last night than what they did. If Vegas can’t do better than being down 4-0 in the second period in a game to keep from going down 3-1, I don’t see how they are going to win the next one even at home. If they had the ability to dig deeper, they would have done it last night.

            1. It’s an emotional and psychological game, and it’s a game of confidence and momentum.

              Vegas didn’t take shots they should have because they lost their confidence. The whole playoffs changed for Washington when Tom Wilson went to battle over that guy that ripped off Kutz’s jersey and threw it on the ice. No, we won’t let you treat us like that. Everything changed!

              The Caps are not more talented than they used to be.

              Fleury went from allowing one or two goals a game to allowing four or five–because we have far more confidence than we used to.

              The team that scores first has a huge advantage in the psychological game. Vegas is a cornered badger. If they score first on us in the next three games, we could collapse, and they could get their confidence back.

              1. When you’re playing a game a goal behind (even in the first period), you’re thinking, “If things stay as they are, we’re going to lose”. You play differently in that state of mind. You’re taking more risks. You’re losing the puck in the neutral zone. You’re committing penalties you wouldn’t commit otherwise.

          2. “I remain cautiously optimistic with due reverence for the old saying about how we should never underestimate the subconscious desire to fuck up.”

            Did you not see those lyrics from the Carmina Burana I posted up top?

            That’s from the 12th Century!

            Hockey gods are fickle bitches, and they demand your respect.

        2. Holtby is the Conn Smythe winner in my view. Kuznetsov has been good and Ovechkin a beast but Holtby was the man. You needed him to be the difference maker and he was. Although any of them would be fine. Heck, even Carlson has been solid.

          1. You have to have a great goalie to win a title. And Holtby has been that. That is what the Caps have never had in the past.

          2. If they give Kuznetsov the MVP, he should give it to Ovechkin.

            I’m just saying this as a fan.

            This wasn’t a seven game series for Ovechkin or the fans. Getting to where we are now took us ten years, and Alex Ovechkin is the reason why we’re where we are now in this ten year series.

            1. If the Caps win, Ovie’s contract will probably be the best long-term contract in sports history.

              I’m not kidding. He’ll likely be a force for the full 13 years.

      2. Honestly, I would say that Vegas looked better at times last night (especially the 1st period). They certainly had a ton of scoring chances early. The big difference seems to be in goaltending. Holtby has stood on his head since “The Save” and Fleury has fallen off the map compared to where he was in previous rounds.

        1. Fleury’s 95% save percentage coming into the series was unsustainable.

          91% saves means you’re letting in one in ten shots.

          95% means the other team has to put 20 shots on goal to get one through.

          A 95% save percentage is unsustainable over the length of the playoffs–against so many good teams.

          It’s like a batter sustaining a .500 batting average through the playoffs or a pitcher with an ERA under 0.5. The law of averages meant that what Fleury was doing was unsustainable.

          1. They call it ‘reverting to the mean’.

    3. I’ll celebrate when the fourth win is locked up. Anything else is hubris.

  25. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt allegedly had a staff member inquire with the Trump International Hotel whether there was “an old mattress that he could purchase.”

    Even CNN staff must be embarassed at publishing trivialities like this as if it’s gonna bring down Der Drumpf at last.

    1. It’s revealing.

      They don’t actually oppose Trump on his policy.

      They might oppose all deportations on principle, but they won’t say so in public.

      You’d think there were some deep ideological divide between Trump and the White House press corp on policy, but it isn’t about that at all.

      They hate Trump because he isn’t a social justice warrior.

      They hate Trump because his supporters are not social justice warriors.

      It’s revealing that they don’t oppose Trump on the issues, or they’d go after him on the issues–rather than go after the “issue” of buying used mattresses.

      1. Their criticisms are just petty, bitchy, and lacking in any real substance.

    2. I think to work for CNN you must have your sense of embarrassment surgically removed.

    3. You’d think the head of the EPA *should* look at every opportunity to recycle instead of throwing still-usable goods into a landfill.

    4. I was like, “Huh?” Trying to figure out whether there was supposed to have been something hidden in the mattress, or what.

  26. “Another explanation” for American’s growing moral acceptance of pornography “is that Stormy Daniels, adult film star actress and fierce critic of President Donald Trump, has given pornography a sense of moral credibility that it previously lacked.”

    When murderers suffer from TDS, murder will be acceptable!

    1. When? Did you not see all the blowjobs the D’s were giving MS-13?

  27. “This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the First Amendment has ever been applied to a private platform,”

    The free speech restrictions on printers regarding pornography, sedition, incitement to riot, libel and slander, etc. were side-stepped by the simple expedient of declaring that free speech didn’t apply to those sorts of things, the free speech restrictions on radio and television broadcasts were side-stepped by the simple expedient of declaring that the public interest in regulating the public airways meant that free speech didn’t really apply there, either. If you can infringe the right to free speech or, in the case of the Fairness Doctrine, compel speech, while claiming that you’re not at all infringing the right to free speech, why can’t you just claim that you’re not imposing free speech constraints on Twitter but merely on the government officials that use it? See, the First isn’t being applied to Twitter, it’s being applied to Donald Trump.

  28. “has given pornography a sense of moral credibility that it previously lacked.”

    Other things that have moral credibility in pop culture: taxes, violent activist groups, suing someone who hurts your feelings, being a self righteous douchebag, the list goes on

    Maybe pornography is better off not having that association

  29. There a piece in Foreign Policy about Trump realism. It gets things right in a lot of ways. If the psychological neocons at Reason understood realism and themselves, they might write the same thing.

    “Washington remains for the most part a realism-free zone, with few genuine realists in positions of influence. Moreover, the realist perspective is almost entirely absent from the commanding heights of U.S. punditry. This column, and the consistently insightful writings of people such as Paul Pillar or Jacob Heilbrunn, does not make up for realism’s exclusion from the New York Times, Washington Post, or Wall Street Journal.

    Instead of relying on realism, both Republicans and Democrats tend to view foreign policy through the lens of liberal idealism.

    . . .

    “Realism tries to explain world politics as they really are, rather than describe how they ought to be.”

    —-“The World Wants You to Think Like a Realist”

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/…..a-realist/

    The authors can’t restrain themselves from calling Trump stupid and crazy, but then they keep pointing out that all the stupid and crazy things Trump is doing make perfect sense from a realist perspective.

    I should add, the press had the same reaction to Reagan’s realism. There’s nothing new under the sun–not even the press’ rationalizations for eschewing realism as if it were depraved insanity.

    In this manner, the Cold War was won.

    1. The thing about Trump is that he is forcing people to live the counter factual of several articles of faith held by the establishment of both parties. The reason why people still support bad policies even after they fail is that they tell themselves “it would have been worse had we not done this”. And as long as no one implements another policy, they can continue to believe that. Our establishment believes in three things; 1. internationalism and the US responsibility for enforcing a system of collective security, 2. Free international trade even if it is unilateral on the US’s part, 3. and a general resignation that the left is destined to win the culture war and standing up to them over it is at best a waste of time or at worst a sign that the person is racist or a fascist.

      Trump rejects all three and is now forcing the establishment to live the counter factual. The more he succeeds the harder it is going to be for them to pretend that these things are true.

  30. Perhaps the most ironic thing about a Crypto Czar is that all the important functions of that job can be done without anyone in charge by way of smart contracts and Etherium.

    I’d expect the Etherium Alliance and all the big players in that to colonize and run any and all regulation over the industry very soon–if they haven’t done that already.

    The members of the Etherium Alliance are the biggest companies in technology, banking, energy, manufacturing, etc. It’s full of some of the biggest rent seekers on the planet.

    People imagine that when we’re talking about Crypto, we’re talking about small startups, or that the thinking on platforms like Etherium is all being driven by the 20-something entrepreneur who launched it. It ain’t so.

  31. One of the biggest stories of the day: Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub.

    When I set out to rid myself of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, etc., it was tough, but a lot of that had to do with using open source projects that are coming out of Github.

    You’ll read about all sorts of rationalizations for why Microsoft won’t do to GitHub what China did to Hong Kong.

    Arguments about how Microsoft’s influence isn’t as nefarious as it used to be miss the point–the fact remains that people who want to escape Microsoft’s influence may have far fewer options in the future because of this acquisition.

    1. But not Git which is still open source. Some other alternative will arise. BitBucket ain’t bad.

    2. Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub

      GTFO

      That is seismic. I can’t even process it.

    3. Ultimately it’s good this happened now, because GitHub was getting way too pervasive.

      Time to take all the knowledge learned from GitHub and use it to come up with a diverse set of similar services.

  32. I’m getting a kick out of the spinners trying to make Trump’s disinvite of the Iggles all about their disrespect of the flag and the anthem and America. Look, the NFL season was over 5 months ago and Trump still invited these unpatriotic bastards to the White House, it wasn’t until most of the players said they weren’t interested in going that Trump withdrew the invitation. Meaning it wasn’t their disrespect for our sacred symbols that got Trump’s goat – or Trump wouldn’t have invited them in the first place – it was their disrespect for Trump that the thin-skinned, petulant, whiny little cry-baby couldn’t handle.

    1. So if I invite you somewhere and you dick around about it and go back and forth about coming until I finally say “just forget it”, that makes me petulant and whinny? Really?

      Trump isn’t being petulant, the Eagles are. If they don’t want to come, then say so. Trump is under no obligation to beg them or do anything. I don’t blame him for telling them to forget the whole thing. At some point, not everything Trump does confirms your beliefs about him.

      1. Why do you hate satire?

        1. Because I never get it when it is in print. Just when said.

          1. John needs to be able to see his interlocutor making quotation marks with their fingers.

    2. Eh, for all the hand-wringing about this from the trickle-down media whores in the sports journalism world, one side benefit of Trump being in office is that a lot of the ridiculous jock-sniffing that’s taken place in the White House since Nixon will be shunted for another 2-6 years. This sort of silliness arguably reached its nadir with Obama doing March Madness brackets on ESPN. The whining about how “divisive” Trump is coming from the same people who have spent years fracturing society along various lines of personal identity, and demand “unity” only insofar as it’s on their terms.

      There’s really no civic purpose for inviting sportsball teams to the White House other than as a mutual masturbation session. It it takes Trump trolling these people to discredit the practice, it’s probably more beneficial in the long run.

      1. It is a nice thing to do I guess. But not doing it is really no big deal or loss. This is a perfect example of the kind of bullshit culture war story the media plays up at the expense of reporting on things that actually matter.

  33. So can we now expect increased SEC scrutiny of cryptocurrencies in a way that impedes their dynamism and usefulness?

    If crypto-currencies worked as they were advertised and sold by their proponents, they can’t be regulated or scrutinized.

  34. Hupp, who works as a scheduler at EPA, said it was mostly on her lunch break, which she felt was appropriate, but Democrats on the committee are alleging it’s a violation of rules that prevent federal employees using public office for private gain. They’re asking Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, to issue subpoenas for communications related to her work.

    This seems like a bad idea for any politician who has ever sent the intern out for coffee.


  35. Think twice before bellyaching about social media blocks by Trump. Constitutional law professor Noah Feldman suggests that we should be wary of courts “beginning to experiment with expanding the First Amendment, proposing that its protection of political speech applies even in privately controlled virtual spaces” like Twitter. His New York Times editorial comes in the wake of a May federal court decision holding that President Trump can’t block people on Twitter.

    Jesus fucking Christ, we were saying this at the time. In fact, it’s amazing that anyone could have their heads so far up their own ass that they don’t notice that it just became illegal for Twitter to ban or moderate anyone for any reason since one day they might decide to go to Trumps twitter feed.

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.