Reason Roundup

I.G. Report Says Comey Was Insubordinate, Alleged FBI Efforts to Help Clinton Might Have Backfired: Reason Roundup

Plus: Steve Bannon believes in Bitcoin.

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comey
Justin Tang/ZUMA Press/Newscom

The Justice Department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, released his report yesterday on the actions taken by former FBI chief James Comey and his team during their investigation of candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. The report described Comey as "insubordinate" but did not find any evidence of bias.

The report was particularly critical of Comey's decision to hold a press conference announcing that Clinton wouldn't face charges for using a private email server. "We found none of his reasons to be a persuasive basis for deviating from well-established department policies in a way intentionally designed to avoid supervision by department leadership."

The report also criticized FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Strzok and Page, who were involved in the investigation, frequently texted each other about their manifest dislike of Donald Trump. Strzok even asserted that they "will stop" Trump from becoming president. This raises the possibility that Strzok improperly prioritized the Russia aspect of the investigation in hopes of turning up information that would damage the Trump campaign, but the inspector general didn't find hard evidence to support this theory. Still, "we did not have confidence that Strzok's decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias," the report said.

If Strzok wanted to keep Trump out of the White House, his strategy backfired badly. By failing to act swifty on the Weiner lead, he merely delayed matters, which meant that Comey's eventual decision to publicly announce the discovery ended up happening just days before the election. It's not actually clear whether this was what swung the election, though Clinton certainly believes it is. From her perspective, then, she should be pretty angry at a faction within the FBI that was possibly trying to help her.

Reacting to the news that Comey himself used a private email server, Clinton tweeted:

Comey says he respects the inspector general but believes he did nothing wrong.

FREE MINDS

A New York Times story highlights how Republican politicians in Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, and North Carolina have created new laws that force universities to punish students for heckling speakers. Ostensibly intended to protect free speech on campus, these laws create free speech problems of their own: They establish mandatory minimums for students who shut down speakers, and they prohibit university administrations from taking positions on controversial issues. But the line between heckling, which should be impermissible, and civil disagreement, which should be permissible, is not always clear, and universities don't always do a good job of extending due process protections to students accused of violating university policy. It's possible these laws will prompt universities to take actions against students who were themselves engaged in free speech, and this could have a chilling effect.

The Times notes that not everyone on the right favors such policies:

The model is not without disagreement on the right, however. Its mandatory punishment provisions drew a rebuke from the Charles Koch Institute, one of whose directors said conservatives were "giving in to the same fragility of which they so freely accuse their liberal counterparts."

FREE MARKETS

Steve Bannon is a fan of Bitcoin. The former Trump advisor described it as "disruptive populism" in a recent interview. According to The Wrap,

Bannon has been talking to investors and hedge fund managers about launching new coins. He threw out the idea for a "deplorables coin"—playing off the dig Hillary Clinton took at half of Trump supporters in 2016—recently at Harvard University.

Bitcoin's true believers look at the banking system with a wary eye, blaming it for financial crises like the 2008 collapse of the housing markets. Digital currencies have also attracted libertarians and others dubious of regulatory oversight of the monetary system—something that Bannon seems to side with.

"It was pretty obvious to me that unless you got somehow control over your currency, all these political movements were going to be beholden to who controlled the currency," Bannon told the NYT.

QUICK HITS

  • Rob Rogers, a longtime cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was fired after an editor rejected several of his anti-Trump cartoons.
  • Karl Rove discusses his mother's suicide in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.
  • A roller coaster at Daytona Beach Boardwalk broke down, seriously injuring six people.
  • A prominent feminist and literary theorist has been accused of violating Title IX—the reason is unknown—and celebrated feminists such as Judith Butler are rushing to her defense. The College Fix thinks there's some hypocrisy there.
  • Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown is getting married today, and the many, many D.C. journalists in attendance at the wedding have been instructed to avoid checking Twitter every five seconds. If you're a Trump official mired in scandal and hoping to avoid bad press when everything comes crashing down, now is the time.

NEXT: This Vermont Prosecutor Is Pushing Back Against the DOJ's Drug Warriors

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  1. Steve Bannon is a fan of Bitcoin. The former Trump advisor described it as “disruptive populism” in a recent interview.

    Back in our good graces.

    1. I think you need to double check your math.

      (literally Hitler) + (something good) = Now that’s literally Hitler

      Annnnnd…Bannon ruined bitcoin

  2. Rob Rogers, a longtime cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was fired after an editor rejected several of his anti-Trump cartoons.

    Friday Funnies is hiring.

    1. Sounds like a comment from the depleted human residue left behind in western Pennsylvania’s failed towns after generations of bright flight.

      Johnstown? Uniontown? Oil City? Waynesburg? Jeannette? Evans City? New Castle? Greensburg? Washington?

      Could be any one of hundreds of hollowed-out, shambling towns.

  3. Reason‘s Elizabeth Nolan Brown is getting married today…

    Hopefully not to a sex robot that displays Twitter feeds on its face. No, way, hopefully so.

    1. Hundreds of libertarian hearts are breaking today. Hundreds… almost 95%.

      1. What?

        1. Congrats to the newlyweds. And my condolences to Leo and the hundreds of the broken hearted

          1. Come on, we’ve all had at least a slight ENB crush.

            Congrats to the newlyweds indeed.

            1. Congrats to ENB! May she find hapiness and blossoming love in her union.

              1. ^ Look at this sentimental guy here

                *gives Chipper a noogie*

            2. “Come on, we’ve all had at least a slight ENB crush”

              Nope. However, marriage is testing, and rewarding, and I wish her and her new wife well.

      2. Mikey always called her a murderous Jew communist. And her fiance a beard and a cuck. But he only did it because he was in love. And now he will be crushed.

        1. Will it get him to shut up and quit making our skin crawl?

      3. Ima drink a bottle of whiskey and burn my white knight cloak.

      4. I thought it was 8%.

  4. The College Fix thinks there’s some hypocrisy there.

    They always think there’s some hypocrisy there. And they’re right.

  5. that may have influenced the decision to sit on the Weiner laptop for a month

    I don’t know, but I suspect a month is a long time to sit on a Weiner. Well played, Mr Tapper.

  6. But my emails. https://t.co/G7TIWDEG0p
    ? Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 14, 2018

    Yes, your effing emails. And all the other baggage.

    1. Saddle baggage

    2. I have no idea what she was trying to say with that Tweet. Two wrongs make a right?

      1. Still trying, isn’t she?
        Comey did not control that server (or farm, in the case of Gmail); her’s was under her direct control, which she proved by destroying evidence.
        Not
        The
        Same.

      2. She’s no swampier than anyone else in DC!

      3. That’s how I read it.

    3. Hillary is right. Throw Comey in a jail cell with her. Oh wait those are just for low ranking service members and employees of the DOD not cabinet officials.

  7. IG suspects Strzok was biased against Trump, and that may have influenced the decision to sit on the Weiner laptop for a month. Which might have ultimately set a course of events in motion that cost Clinton, his preferred candidate, the presidency.

    Do you even 5D chess, brah?

  8. In other words, IG suspects Strzok was biased against Trump, and that may have influenced the decision to sit on the Weiner…

    HA!

  9. Reacting to the news that Comey himself used a private email server, Clinton tweeted:

    Hillary Clinton
    ?
    @HillaryClinton
    But my emails.

    Kyle Cheney
    ?
    @kyledcheney
    IG found that on numerous occasions, COMEY used a personal GMail account to conduct official FBI business, according to source briefed on the report.

    Not that i believe for a second that Herself types out her own tweets, but it is an axiom of politics that one person’s shittiness cancels out or excuses another’s.

    1. She misspelled “muh emailz”

    2. I like how 21st Century politics is just basically an endless loop of hot takes. Everyone is just trolling each other.

      As an example, here were the first two comments to Comey’s Tweet in response to the IG report:

      “Now just get ready for the Republicans to twist and turn this report in their favor. Thank you for your honesty and integrity.”

      “Gargle his balls harder Krassenstein”

      1. It is truly a time of marvels, when the mighty can be told to gargle balls by just any douchebag with an internet connection. I am being completely serious.

        1. Even Bailey was trolling yesterday. Everyone is savage now. I respect that

          1. One could make the argument that most human communication is trolling, depending on how it is defined. But yeah, let’s not go down that road. Let us be good to each other and comminicate to build rapport and understanding.

            1. Why don’t you go gargle some balls!

              (seriously, one of the best troll remarks ever)

              1. It is pretty amazing that anybody who wants to can straight up yell at Trump, the fucking President of the United States, the most military powerful country on earth, to GARGLE A HOMELESS PERSON’S BALLS!

                1. It’s so beautiful it brings a tear to my eyes.

                2. Not only that, but the President of the United States is more likely than not to personally respond and call you a loser, in a manner that will then be preserved in the Library of Congress in perpetuity.

                  1. Better to own it. I want a wall of insults at the Trump Presidential Library to cement what it was really like for people who will have no idea down the road.

                    I picture two polished marble canvases with engravings, on one side “You’re a slob”; on the other “literally Hitler” etc.

        2. It is pretty amusing.

        3. You’ve almost convinced me to get a Twitter account.

    3. it is an axiom of politics that one person’s shittiness cancels out or excuses another’s.

      That does seem to be the case. Every time I try to talk to normal people about politics that is what it likely comes down to in their minds.

      1. It’s all tribal competition. No one gives a fuck about policy.

        1. I point out that Hillary broke the law and get “well Chaney did it too” or something. So, what does that mean? We should never enforce the law because it didn’t get enforced in some other case? Or is it more like you get a “get out of jail free” card when the other side does something bad and doesn’t get punished.

          1. Honestly, I’d rather no one get punished rather than one side have the law selectively enforced but in no way would I consider that ‘good’, just’ fair’.

            Now, about the IRS and it’s selective enforcement…

    4. Yeah, using an account on somebody else server is just like setting up and running your own server.
      I’d ask “how stupid does she think we are” but that’s hardly necessary at this point. It’s her very own twin set and pearls.

      1. “Yeah, using an account on somebody else server is just like setting up and running your own server.”
        Thank you.
        That slimy hag is still trying to weasel out of it.

      2. If she wasn’t thinking contemptuously of the “common man,” she wouldn’t be thinking of him at all.

        1. Howard Roark:Ellsworth Toohey::Hillary Clinton:common man

  10. Robby just did the best write-up of the IG report that I’ve seen. He basically combined the big takeaways that I’ve seen conservatives make with the big takeaways that progressives and the media (but, I repeat myself) have emphasized.

    Nicely done

    1. I knew that boy had potential.

      1. Robby gets a lot of undeserved grief. I imagine that he’s secretly an agorist and all the hair products and inability to change a tire are all an act. In reality he’s reading Konkin and Karl Hess every night.

        1. He keeps those silky-haired Yorkies around because their fur is a convenient place to surreptitiously stash Krugerrands.

        2. My theory? Robby is just a character written by 2chili

  11. “Rob Rogers, a longtime cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was fired after an editor rejected several of his anti-Trump cartoons.”

    No one here thinks this is a First Amendment issue, right?

    Because libertarians who can’t tell the difference between free speech and a hole in the ground are embarrassing.

    1. The first amendment doesn’t protect your right to speech on a private platform.

      Is it troubling that politics has infected the media so much? Yes. Is it a violation of Rogers’s rights? No.

      1. This pretty well sums it up.

      2. Is it troubling that politics has infected the media so much?

        The editorial page is where the media is supposed to be political.

        1. Do you think Robby thinks this is a First Amendment issue?

          1. I thought the point of the link was surprise that anything anti-trump was a fireable offense in the media these days.


      3. The first amendment doesn’t protect your right to speech on a private platform.

        Actually, after the Trump / Twitter ruling it apparently does.

    2. No one here thinks this is a First Amendment issue, right?

      Because libertarians …

      Seeing as how there aren’t any libertarians here, I’m not sure what the big deal is.

    3. “No one here thinks this is a First Amendment issue, right?”

      No. Just football players who are forbidden from kneeling is a First Amendment issue for reasons I can’t understand

      1. Just football players who are forbidden from kneeling is a First Amendment issue for reasons I can’t understand

        Reason never called that a 1A issue that I’m aware of. They were trolling the butt-hurt on the right over having their feelings offended by having to see something that they don’t agree with. I think that Reason has been consistent in calling out snowflakes on both sides of the left-right spectrum.

        1. Robby has been consistent, yes.

    4. The first amendment doesn’t cover every aspect of free speech. But it’s absurd for anyone to suggest that a newspaper (or any private organization) has any obligation to employ anyone or print any particular thing.

      Anyway, as far as I can tell, pretty much all editorial cartoonists deserve to be fired.

      1. ^ this right here.

    5. One can argue that it’s a violation of the *spirit* of the First Amendment, if that spirit is supposed to represent a commitment to free and open exchange of ideas.

      And as far as NFL players kneeling and the First Amendment goes, I don’t think anyone at Reason went farther than that.

      1. I agree, we should promote the “spirit” of free speech. But, that only works if it’s applied consistently. And I do have a slight problem with a cartoonist being fired for being too critical of the president.

        1. Well, based only on a blurb… apparently he turned in six consecutive anti-Trump cartoons. Then the complaint was that the editor didn’t want a diversity of views….

          I’d say that if your editor says “give the Trump stuff a rest and find something else to comment on” and you don’t… maybe it isn’t the editor that has the problem.

          Hitting the same note over and over again isn’t music any more. That’s why you have editors.

  12. Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown is getting married today, and the many, many D.C. journalists in attendance at the wedding

    Simple Mikey is bursting with so many dumbass things to say about this that his head is emitting a low whistling sound.

    1. Do you think Gillespie has a formal leather jacket that he wears only for special occasions?

      1. No, but The Jacket has a more formal Gillespie that it puts on when the occasion warrants.

        1. The Formal Gillespie has no hair anywhere.

    2. Nah, that’s just him standing cross-ways to the wind.

    3. “Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown is getting married today, and the many, many D.C. journalists in attendance at the wedding”

      It’s YUGE!

    4. I just realized that as much as he claims to hate her he’s never come up with a retard name for her. And she has an easy name to work with, Dizzybreath Nitwit Clown. Done.

      1. There’s definitely an element of latent twisted attraction there. Unlike other Reason writers who’ve encountered Mikey in the comments, she tends to react to him with bemusement rather than outright revulsion, which is no doubt the nicest treatment he’s ever received from any female, including his mother.

        1. I’ve seen enough suspense thrillers to know where this leads.

  13. Trump is the president, and Hillary’s just a big nothing burger.

    No one at the FBI is going to jail for this, so it’s a fake scandal.

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

  14. “giving in to the same fragility of which they so freely accuse their liberal counterparts.”

    If I know anything, I know that I’m not a snowflake.

    1. I’m a delicate flower.

      1. I think the “snowflake” thing comes from the idea the no two snowflakes are exactly the same (how do we know this?) and children are like snowflakes, each one unique.

        1. Feel free to use the motto of socialistic individualism (which was stolen from a cheap demotivational poster):

          You’re unique, just like everyone else

          1. I think the “everyone is special thing” got deformed into “let’s tell the children how special they are while soft-pedaling their responsibilities and not giving them the spankings they deserve when they mess up.”

            1. Everyone is in fact unique. The problem comes when people decide that means that everyone is good they way they are, or that anyone else should give a crap about other people’s uniqueness. Unique doesn’t imply interesting.

              1. Except for identical twins. Which is why Libertarianism explicitly denies them rights.

                1. Wrong!
                  One of them gets rights

                  1. …the one who exits the thunderdome.

        2. Once you get past the scale of molecules, no two of anything are exactly the same.

  15. “and the many, many D.C. journalists in attendance at the wedding have been instructed to avoid checking Twitter every five seconds”

    Skinny jeans and male flood pants are suggested attire. Please remember to remove your infinity scarf before entering the service.

    1. Will the 21 bun salute still be held as they exit the chapel?

      1. More importantly, is there enough fruit sushi in the entire world to cater the reception?

    2. Should I bring my own Mason jar for beverages, or will they be provided to the guests?

  16. Everyone should listen to Michael Malice’s podcast: “Your Welcome”. He had a good episode with Stephen Kinsella a couple days ago

    1. I disagree that everyone should listen to it. Just because.

      1. Also because we don’t know who’s welcome he might be talking about.

        1. I don’t know why he spelled it that way, but Malice is a strange guy.

          I learned that from Harvey Pekar

          http://www.amazon.com/Ego-Hubris-Mich…..0345479394

      2. You’re probably right there. “Everyone should listen..” is a pretty demanding tone to use with people who pride themselves on being individualists

        1. “Nobody listen to this, because you probably wouldn’t get it, you cosmos”

          ^ Better libertarian pitch

          1. [immediately downloads podcast]

    2. Kinsella is such a douche. I can’t stand that guy.

      1. You take trademark law very seriously, I take it

        1. It is not so much his ideas, as the tone he adapts when “debating” someone that disagrees with him. Also, he will not approve comments on his site that question/criticize his theories.

          1. I didn’t know that.

  17. … Comey’s eventual decision to publicly announce the discovery ended up happening just days before the election. It’s not actually clear whether this was what swung the election, though Clinton certainly believes it is.

    Statistics genius Nate Silver, employing his characteristic rigorous number-crunching analysis, has proved that The Comey Letter Probably Cost Clinton the Election. Don’t be an anti-intellectual science-denier and pretend this isn’t the case.

    #StillWithHer
    #LibertariansForHillary

    1. 538’s analysis may or may not be correct, but it doesn’t matter; that letter may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, but Hillary was the one who overloaded the camel in the first place. She did her damnedest to help Trump win the GOP primary. She did her damnedest to lock out Bernie. She thought the election was all but over, she got lazy and sloppy, she concentrated on the popular vote instead of the electoral college vote.

      When an election is as close as this one was, half the voters will be disappointed. You may as well have a coin flip. It was only that close because she fucked up her campaign something fierce. The only person who lost that election was Hillary.

  18. Sea Change
    Consider, for example, this poll question: “How serious a threat to Europe is the rapid population growth of Muslims?” Those who thought it a very or somewhat serious threat:

    Belgium 72 per cent;

    Netherlands 71 per cent;

    Germany 70 per cent;

    France 68 per cent;

    United Kingdom 63 per cent.

    When a policy concern of 65 to 70 per cent of the people is regarded as unmentionable by all mainstream parties, you have a crisis of democracy.

    1. The problem for European leaders is that they refused to compromise with the wishes of the electorate. If they had imposed some kind of limitation they might have avoided the reactionary backlash that is building. Open borders is a pipeline to fascism.

      1. That’s one of my many issues with the Reason writers. Their absolutist position combined with the “we’ll do what we want on this, peasants” attitude on the part of the political class, which Reason fully supports, is going to create a backlash that will be infinitely worse than a compromise position worked out earlier.

        1. You are reading too much into open borders, as if there is only one open borders position. I myself believe in open borders, but I also believe that if the government weren’t controlling the borders, we would would not have an huge influx of immigrants. The EU has a problem because governments are practically begging refugees to enter, especially Germany, as if in atonement for the Holocaust.

          1. “The EU has a problem because governments are practically begging refugees to enter, especially Germany, as if in atonement for the Holocaust.”

            I think it has more to do with their abysmal birth rates.

            1. It’s both. Don’t underestimate the collective national guilt that the Germans still feel for the Holocaust.

              1. Which is why it’s convenient, and not just for Germany, to import Muslims that ALSO hate the Jews…

          2. Europe also has the disadvantage of being right next to the most fucked up part of the world.

            1. Australia is thousands of miles from Europe.

      2. So Mission Accomplished or We Were That All Along?

    2. Mass hysteria over a scapegoated minority also tends to be a problem for democracy.

      1. True. Just look at Occupy.

      2. Restricting immigration is not “scapegoating a minority”. Burka bans and refusing to allow a food alternative other than pork in public schools is “scapegoating a minority”. Which have occurred regardless of the open borders policy and even shrugged off by the open borders crowd.

        “Democracy” has nothing to do with any of that other than allowing the ruled to have a say in who rules them. The more you refuse to allow the electorate to have a voice in the ballot box the faster you get bad results.

        1. Restricting immigration because the immigrants in question are political scapegoats is a problem not being addressed by rational thought but by easy fascist appeals to lizard brains.

          1. What you just said literally makes no sense. Seriously, I don’t get what point you’re making here

            1. I’ll break this down for you: if only fascists will discuss immigration then people will vote for fascists. It’s pretty simple. There’s no nefarious secret cabal orchestrating this. There are just a bunch of elites who refuse to listen to the electorate.

              1. The electorate are being duped by people who want to abuse them for their own purposes. Scapegoating minorities is literally the oldest play in the book.

                Do you not think there’s a problem if the “electorate” thinks there’s a major crisis with immigration when, in fact, there is no crisis?

                1. How is there not a crisis if the people believe there is a crisis? Have they imagined the terrorist attacks or the tent cities?

                  No one is “duping” anyone. You are duping yourself to believe that somehow you are correct, even after election after election has relegated your viewpoint to minority status.

                  This is why the Left is being relegated to the dustbin of history. They think anyone who doesn’t uphold their principles is somehow being duped.

                  1. *Millions of people flood across borders*

                    Tony: There’s no problem, because they can’t afford to live in my tony suburb

                    *Leftists lose elections throughout Europe*

                    Tony: You were all duped into believing there was a crisis

                2. At least Tony is admitting that electorate is being duped.

                  The Democrats have been fooling the lefties for decades.

          2. easy fascist appeals to lizard brains

            Whoa, don’t throw away the perfect title for your memoir on a Hit’n’Run comment!

        2. I think it is fair to say that a lot of people pushing for restricting immigration further do participate in scapegoating certain minorities, though. Whatever you think about immigration, you have to admit there are some pretty reprehensible views on both sides.

          1. If there are people scapegoating immigrants in European politics, which I don’t doubt that there are, they are winning elections because the other parties refuse to address the issue. There are people who have always scapegoated others in politics, but they don’t win elections unless they are discussing something of concern with voters.

            Open border dogma is leading to fascism

            1. I was thinking more of the economic and crime related scapegoating that goes on in the US. I got no idea what Europe should do about immigration.

              1. Oh. Well the original topic concerned Europe and that’s what I was addressing. Nonetheless, you’re point is right that scapegoating is occurring, but I contend that they would have no traction if elected leaders would at least address voters’ concerns with immigration

      3. Now you’re getting it.

      4. The problem for, really of, democracy is that it is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.
        Which, in practice, turns into tribal and identity politics as everyone tries either to get more wolves or to protect the sheep.

      5. “Mass hysteria over a scapegoated minority also tends to be a problem for democracy.”

        Holy shit the irony!

        1. “KILL WHITEY”
          -Tony, probably.

  19. “Some Canadians are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to seek peace with the U.S. president. Many others want him to hang tough even as Trump seeks to make political hay with his anti-Canada rhetoric.
    […]
    there’s broad agreement with this assessment by The Globe and Mail, a leading Canadian newspaper: “Relations between two of the world’s closest allies are now at a perilous low.”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/world/article/
    Canada-US-relations-at-a-low-after-
    Trudeau-Trump-12995010.php

    I haven’t bothered to read what Trump said, but what is Canada going to do? Build a wall to keep the Canuks from leaving for the US.

    1. Shut down the mail-order pharmacies?

      1. Shovel the snow south?

        1. Stop accepting illegal immigrants from the US. Wait, they already did that…

          1. They will still cross the border to the U.s. for medical treatment

  20. Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown is getting married today, and the many, many D.C. journalists in attendance at the wedding have been instructed to avoid checking Twitter every five seconds.

    I’m picturing the wedding scene from Veep where they confiscate the phones. But I guess that would be coercion, so you just ask nicely? Good luck with that! But seriously, congratulations

  21. “WASHINGTON?Beijing said it would retaliate immediately after the Trump administration announced Friday that it will move ahead with tariffs on $50 billion of goods from China, raising the potential for a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

    A White House statement said it would implement a 25% tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods “that contain industrially significant technologies.”

    China’s Commerce Ministry, in a terse statement moments after the Trump announcement, said Beijing will immediately launch tariffs on American goods in “equal scale and equal strength” to the U.S. measures.”

    —WSJ

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/wh…..1529065534

    1. Up top, we discussed how important it is to know the difference between the First Amendment and a hole in the ground. It’s also important to know the difference between announcements and things that actually happen.

      Let’s follow the information from above.

      The Trump administration made an announcement.

      The White House made a statement.

      In response, the Chinese made a terse statement.

      This is describing a war of words rather than a trade war.

      When you’re in a seedy pool hall, the guys to fear aren’t the ones who threaten to sock you in the mouth. Threaten the guys you should be afraid of, and they don’t respond with threats. They punch you in the mouth for threatening them. There’s an important difference between threatening to sock someone in the mouth and socking someone in the mouth. It’s important to now the difference.

      There’s an important difference between making threats and a trade war, too.

      Here’s to hoping there is no trade war.

      Anybody who reads this as a trade war itself needs to take a deep breath, should maybe join a yoga class.

      1. This is describing a war of words rather than a trade war.

        Do you deny that Trump has imposed a tariff on steel and aluminum imports? It’s moved beyond just words, it’s in effect. Reason even ran an article yesterday highlighting that InSinkErator (an American company) has already seen market share impacted because Chinese competitors are getting cheaper steel.

        1. Take the case of InSinkErator, a Wisconsin-based maker of garbage disposers. Thanks to the import tax, the production cost of the U.S.-made garbage disposers increased dramatically overnight. To survive, the company had to raise its products’ prices, making them instantly less competitive globally. It’s now losing consumers to Chinese companies that export much cheaper garbage disposers to the United States.

          So let’s ask the question I ask of my engineers when they describe something this way.

          Where in the set of real numbers lie the following words: “cost, raise, price, less competitive, now losing consumers?”

          While I agree that it makes them less competitive (assuming that steel-containing products imported from china are also not included in the tariffs–you sure about that?), the complete lack of quantification doesn’t help the case.

          1. Lack of precision in the reporting doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. It’s not even a stretch to anyone with any sense of economic thought that raising the prices of raw materials in America will put producers of goods at a disadvantage against those who don’t have to pay more for raw materials.

            Even if you added tariffs on imported garbage disposals, you have the government sopping up wealth through the price of goods both domestically produced and imported. Hardly a libertarian or conservative position.

            Domestically, reactions from elected officials often varied among regional lines rather than ideological lines.[8] The tariffs have seen widespread criticism from conservatives and Republicans.[9][10][11] Reception was mixed among Democratic officials,[12] with Democrats from Rust Belt states voicing support for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.[13]

            Keep defending the tariffs though. You’ll have something in common with the rent-seeking unionists. True bipartisanship!

            1. And never forget the transaction costs.
              Tariffs require tariff collectors, managers, auditors, managers of auditors, and desks, offices, computers, HR staffing, etc., etc.
              Nothing the government does is done for free, and those costs are a direct loss, even granting that what the government does should be or need be done.
              Anyone who thinks those costs are inconsequential hasn’t been paying attention.

              Then the iron law of bureaucracy kicks in.

        2. Shhhhhhh! He’s got his eyes closed and hands over his ears.

        3. “Do you deny that Trump has imposed a tariff on steel and aluminum imports?

          One side imposing a few tariffs is not a trade war.

          A trade war is more than one country trying to out do each other with escalating tariffs.

          That hasn’t happened yet.

          It may happen.

          I hope it doesn’t. China has already made numerous concessions in response to the Trump administration’s demands–and seeing Trump walk away from something he could crow about getting because of his demands seems unlikely to me, especially in an election year. Unfortunately, I’m not sure tariffs against China is likely to lose Trump many swing voters come 2020.

          Regardless, there’s a big danger of being the boy who cried wolf.

          There have been trade wars before, the run up to the Great Depression being one example. This isn’t that, not yet.

          1. I asked you this before. Could you please make explicit what you would consider a trade war. Because we now have one nation putting up tarrifs and another threatening to do so. Your argument is it’s too small scale to be meaningful.

            So I ask again. What is your line?

            1. If a Democrat does it.

              1. I don’t remember a lot of talk about tariffs when President Obama and Bush imposed some

            2. Trade skirmish?

  22. The talking points are clearly out:

    Even if the scales were tipped in Hillary’s favor, no worries, ’cause she didn’t win. But she didn’t win because she’s the real victim here.

    1. If I now visit eight other sites and pass your talking points along will I have good luck for the rest of the year? Did some poor girl from Kansas who didn’t pass your talking points along die in a car crash?

      1. Yes, those clearly are my talking points.

        Enjoy your pureed beets. Maybe they’ll have bingo this afternoon.

        Just don’t piss off your CNA.

        1. It’s generally a good idea to not piss off the network admin.

          1. The old lady changing your diaper is not a network administrator.

            But, if thinking that makes you feel better, go with it.

            1. Oh that’s right, you’re one of those guys. Never mind.

    2. And she broke the law maintaining her own comm system and destroying evidence, but we don’t want to keep a criminal from running for POTUS, ’cause it’s her turn.
      And the FBI was clearly biased toward her, but they really didn’t do too much, so we’ll just call them ‘insubordinate’ and let it slide.

      1. FOX News rots brain matter.

        1. RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA

          1. It’s all Hannity et al discuss.

          2. The investigation that’s ongoing was not conjured in a Rachel Maddow masturbation session. It’s actually happening, unlike The Hague trial of Hillary Clinton you morons all think is imminent just as soon as we rid ourselves of all those partisan Democrats at the FBI.

            1. Literally nothing related to your Russia fever dreams have been uncovered. And Maddow is insane now.

              1. …now? She has been off her meds for years.

    3. Where is that quotation from?

  23. Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown is getting married today,

    Gross.

    1. Fake news, Wikipedia refuses to cite it.

  24. Kelly: The IG report was good, Mr. President. It raised a lot of questions and justified your firing of James Comey

    Trump: I don’t need anyone to justify what I do. I’m very smart. Many people have told me

    Kelly: Yes, Mr. President

    Trump: I’m going to Tweet about this

    Kelly: For the love of God, please no

    Trump: I’m doing it. I’m going to Tweet about how Comey is scum

    Kelly: Please, Mr. President. You’re going to have a good news day. Just leave it be

    Trump: You know, Tom…..may I call you Tom?

    Kelly: My name is John, Mr. President

    Trump: Tom, I have a good brain. Some people don’t think that, but they’re all just haters and losers

    Kelly: Ok, Mr. President

    Trump: My Tweet is going to be classy. Don’t worry about it.

    1. Curiously plausible.

    1. That’s how you know she’s a Lady.

    2. Way to go 14 year-old!

      1. Where were all these wanton young teachers when i was a lonely 14-year-old? My confidence really could have used that kind of boost.

        1. I think any 14 year-old boy would like this kind of confidence boost, especially if there are pics he can share with his friends

      2. He was bitten by a snake and she was just sucking out the poison, you guys.

  25. I looked up the Georgia campus speech bill, one of those laws the NY Times was so catty about.

    It looks good to me. Which parts of the bill are objectionable?

    (a) The board of regents shall adopt regulations and policies relevant to free speech and
    14 expression on the campuses of state institutions of higher education that address the
    15 following:
    16 (1) To assure that freedom of speech or of the press is protected for all persons;
    17 (2) To foster the discovery, improvement, transmission, and dissemination of knowledge
    18 by means of research, teaching, discussion, and debate of different ideological positions;
    19 (3) Each such institution shall maintain and publish policies addressing content-neutral
    20 time, place, and manner restrictions on expressive activities with the least restrictive
    21 means, in accordance with relevant First Amendment jurisprudence, necessary for
    22 providing use of facilities and resources under the control of the institution to all student
    23 groups and invited speakers, including security and rental fees for such use, to foster the
    18 SB 339/AP
    S. B. 339
    – 2 –
    24 discovery, improvement, transmission, and dissemination of knowledge by means of
    25 research, teaching, discussion, and debate of different ideological positions;

    1. 26 (4) To assure that each such institution does not shield students, staff, or individuals on
      27 campus from speech protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,
      28 including ideas and opinions which such students, staff, or individuals on campus find
      29 unwelcoming, disagreeable, or even offensive;
      30 (5) To assure students and faculty are permitted to assemble and engage in spontaneous
      31 expressive activity, as long as such activity is not unlawful and does not disrupt or
      32 interfere with the functioning of the institution or classroom instruction, and complies
      33 with the applicable institution’s content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions;
      34 (6) To assure that each such institution is open to any invited speaker whom a student
      35 group or members of the faculty have invited, provided any such speaker complies with
      36 the applicable institution’s content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions; and
      37 (7) To assure that any student or his or her invitee lawfully present on campus of these
      38 institutions may peacefully protest or demonstrate, provided any such students or invitees
      39 comply with the applicable institution’s content-neutral time, place, and manner
      40 restrictions and:
      41 (A) Do not interfere with other previously scheduled events or activities on campus
      42 occurring at the same time; and
      43 (B) Do not prevent professors or other instructors from maintaining order in the
      44 classroom.

      1. 45 (b) Subject to notice, hearing, and due process requirements, the board of regents shall
        46 establish a range of disciplinary sanctions for anyone under the jurisdiction of the state
        47 institution of higher learning who is found by his or her conduct to have interfered with the
        48 board of regents’ regulations and policies relevant to free speech and expression on the
        49 campus of each such institution.

        1. Calm down with the numbered list there, Martin Luther.

  26. OT: how do you get rid of a raccoon hanging out in your trash can? I think he’s trying to get cool. Heat index will be over 100 today

    1. I’d say a .410, but depending on where you live that might not go so well for you.

      1. Larger gauges are equally effective, if more messy.

        1. We have a shotgun but hopefully it won’t come to that

          1. Is there a shortage of them in your area?

            1. Are you going to go clean up the can full of raccoon bits?

              1. That. Also, I’m not in the country so there are some restrictions on discharging a firearm. I’m not sure the “it was him or me” defense will fly

                1. Happily, he left so I didn’t even have to get the hose out.

                  1. There won’t be any raccoon murder, so I’m not taking my hose out, either.

                2. Well, that’s why I said .410. No need to clean anything up (assuming you don’t miss) you just leave it in there and let the sanitation people do the rest. It won’t smell any worse than the three day old chicken carcass.

                  Assuming you get local pick up.

    2. Spray him with a hose. He’ll either leave, or you’ll make a friend.

      1. Or, you’ll need shots.

        The good news is they don’t go into the gut anymore.

        The bad news is it costs a small fortune.

    3. This is why you don’t buy a house.

      1. Or maybe it’s why you do.

      2. I thought you don’t buy a house because the pet store gives you such a great deal on renting their dumpster

        1. He’s in the dumpster now? Did the chinchillas finally get sick of him?

    4. Start day drinking and then go after it with a baseball bat.

      1. Once, after consuming a Certain Amount of beers, i punched a raccoon in my backyard. This is not a euphemism, or a boast, just a statement of plain fact. I’m not proud of my action, but in my defense the raccoon was being kind of a dick.

        1. How much do you charge for your services?

          1. A Certain Amount of beers.

        2. Oh yeah? Well, one time I drank so much I knocked four teeth out of the giraffe in my backyard.

          1. This one is a euphemism.

            1. “Giraffe” and “backyard” are euphemisms, obviously, but by “teeth” he means actual teeth.

    5. If you can get close enough, throw in a chunk of dry ice and put the lid on the can. I’d be careful though, raccoons are pretty vicious when cornered. If he’s active in the middle of the day like that, it’s possible he’s rabid.

  27. Congratulations on getting married, ENB!

  28. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/se…..d=55866351

    Why does the #resistance always sound like Bill Kristol?

    1. That’s gotta hurt. You think you are being all high minded, and principled, and then you find yourself in league with Bill Kristol.

      1. …..on almost every issue

  29. Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown is getting married today

    I’ve lost all reason to live. Congrats I guess, *wipes away a tear*

    1. Friday weddings are garbage.

  30. Trump’s campaign chair just jailed.

    Now quick someone tell me how Podesta was the real criminal for his risotto recipe or whatever.

    Are the 90% of you who do nothing here but pathetically apologize for Trump just trying to bore me to death or what?

    1. Trump sucks. Just not for the reasons you want him to. Hillary lost. Sorry, Not sorry.

      Do you really want to get into a pissing contest over whose politicians are shittier?

      1. No need. Republicans are shittier. Trump is the shittiest. Fact.

        1. Simple Tony can’t conceive of non-binary situations. Sad!

        2. Tony’s “facts” are like what kids consider facts.

          Ah the innocent and naive world of an 8 year old.

    2. It is truly pathetic how the commentariat goes on and on about Podesta!

    3. You know they’re out to get you when they start throwing your furniture in the slam.

    4. You pimped Russia fever dreams because you butt hurt about an election. You made common cause with Bill Kristol.

      To this day no one has been charged with anything related to the bat shut crazy conspiracy theories that you and totally not insane writers here assured us were totally true.

      Congrats on busting people for campaign violations, lying to the FBI about something that isn’t illegal, and lobbying work that occurred before the campaign.

      I can tell you’re in a healthy place

      1. No one has been charged?

        FOX News pickles brains people.

        1. Who has been charged with colluding with Russia, Bill Kristol?

        2. “A federal grand jury indicted Manafort and a longtime associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, last week on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, adding to the multiple felony counts he already faced. The charges do not relate to his work on the Trump campaign or involve allegations of Russian election interference.”

          Yep, they got him for something totally unrelated to Trump and our resident shit-bag is creaming his jeans.

          1. That’s just what you say in a similar situation with an Obama campaign chair, right?

            Or would it be a scandal 10,000,000 times more sinister than Fast and Furious or whatever the fuck?

            Do you even realize how lame you are?

    5. Trump’s campaign chair just jailed.

      Was it made of Ivory?

  31. Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown is getting married today, and the many, many D.C. journalists in attendance at the wedding have been instructed to avoid checking Twitter every five seconds.

    The biggest Cosmo party of the year!

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