Reason Roundup

Trump Seriously Considered Invading Venezuela: Reason Roundup

Plus: prisons vs. the press, plastic-bag bans in Somalia, and trade war with China

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RAYNER PENA R/SIPA/Newscom

Why can't the U.S. just invade Venezuela? That's the question President Trump purportedly pondered last summer, according to a new account from the Associated Press (AP).

At "a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela… President Donald Trump turned to his top aides" and asked the "unsettling question," AP reports, based on conversations with both a Trump-administration official and two officials from Columbia.

The suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, both of whom have since left the administration. This account of the previously undisclosed conversation comes from a senior administration official familiar with what was said.

In an exchange that lasted around five minutes, McMaster and others took turns explaining to Trump how military action could backfire and risk losing hard-won support among Latin American governments to punish President Nicolas Maduro for taking Venezuela down the path of dictatorship, according to the official. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

Trump reportedly refused to let it go, though.

The next day, Aug. 11, Trump alarmed friends and foes alike with talk of a "military option" to remove Maduro from power. The public remarks were initially dismissed in U.S. policy circles as the sort of martial bluster people have come to expect from the reality TV star turned commander in chief.

But shortly afterward, he raised the issue with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, according to the U.S. official. Two high-ranking Colombian officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing Trump confirmed the report.

Then in September, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, Trump discussed it again, this time at greater length, in a private dinner with leaders from four Latin American allies that included Santos, the same three people said and Politico reported in February.

The U.S. official said Trump was specifically briefed not to raise the issue and told it wouldn't play well, but the first thing the president said at the dinner was, "My staff told me not to say this." Trump then went around asking each leader if they were sure they didn't want a military solution, according to the official, who added that each leader told Trump in clear terms they were sure.

The White House refused to comment. Meanwhile, Maduro told Venezulan troops yesterday about the AP's report and the "supremacist and criminal vision of those who govern the U.S."

Even discussing military action "may play into the hands" of the oppressive Venezuelan government, worries Washington Post WoldViews analyst Rick Noack.

FREE MINDS

First Amendment "little help" for prison watchdogs. "It is tempting to see the limited access as an especially Trumpian trouble, of a piece with an administration that has labored since day one to delegitimize and marginalize the press," writes Jonathan Peters at Columbia Journalism Review. "But the problem of press access to prisons and the like…is a chronic one."

FREE MARKETS

Chinese tariffs take effect today.

Trump tariffs on Chinese goods "are scheduled to hit $34 billion of Chinese imports on Friday," reports The Washington Post, "and Beijing plans to swiftly respond with levies on an equal amount of goods. Border officers here could receive the order as early as midnight to slap new taxes on hundreds of American products, including pork, poultry, soybeans and corn."

QUICK HITS

NEXT: Good Riddance to Trump's Border Bouncer

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  1. Why can’t the U.S. just invade Venezuela?

    Why would it want to.

    1. Trump asks question. People freak out.
      The outrage machine is being fed recycled morsels.

      1. The outrage machine is environmentally conscious, at least.

      2. Third-hand morsels from “unnamed sources” at that. I swear there was a time when Reason was better than recycling yesterday’s gossip.

      3. Trump asks question. People freak out.

        You say that like The Dotard has never acted on one of his dumb-ass instincts.

        1. You say that as if he always does.

        2. Trump has yet to start new wars unlike Obama and Booosh.

        3. “You say that like The Dotard has never acted on one of his dumb-ass instincts.”

          You type that as if you were something other than a fucking ignoramus.

        4. Did we invade Venezuela?

          No?

          Good to hear.

          It’s good to see that the President cannot discuss options for actions without people freaking out.

          “Why didn’t he run this idea past (fill in name of person)?” Well, maybe because it will be leaked out by an asshole in his administration.

      4. Re: Trumpista Echo Chamber,

        — Trump asks question. People freak out. —

        Trump says “wall”. Xenophobes voted for him. Of course people are going to freak out.

      5. “Tell me again, which one of these buttons is for if I want a Diet Coke and which one if I want to nuke Moscow?”

      6. To me, hearing that Trump is now asking others’ opinions before acting sounds like he’s maturing a bit in his Presidentiality.

        1. And he’s being politically harmed in doing so, so he will do so less.

          1. Saying in to Latin American leaders is dumb, there is no way to make what he did into something intelligent.

      7. It is an objectively stupid ass thing to say especially to Latin American leaders who would be forced to deal with a collapsed state and loads of refugees.

      8. Trump asks question. People freak out.

        Trump does something else that doesn’t get noticed…

    2. So we can bring liberty and freedom to those vast oil reserves… duh.

      1. As if there is not a human rights disaster going on there.

        1. Oh yeah that too. Well we can drop a few bombs on the disaster while we’re at it I guess… for the children.

          1. I did not say it was a good idea, but Venezuela dies not have a just or even effective government right now. At some point, violence by someone may be justified to throw it out.

            1. Am I crazy or did I wake up in 2003?

              1. Personally, it feels like 1986 to me.

            2. +17 years in Afghanistan

            3. I’d say that someone would be the Venezuelan people, and they’d be justified right now. I don’t think the U.S. would ever be justified in that course of action, unless Maduro and company manage to mount an invasion of U.S. soil.

              1. They already are invading the US, according to Simple Mikey! Refugees are the same thing as soldiers, right?

                1. Worse actually, soldiers only use conventional weapons/firearms. Refugees bring disease… biological warfare. They should be tried as war criminals and deported.

                  1. As long as we try the adults and children together as war criminals everything should be fine.

                    1. According to Sarcasmic, he USA should shoot all the immigrants.

              2. I realise that historically this hasn’t worked all that well, and yeah, you face the Afghanistan situation all over again, possibly, but I’d consider it a reasonable use of my tax dollars to deliver large shipments of rifles and ammunition to the Venezuelan people.

                1. Food and medicine would be appreciated as well.

    3. Well, we could start a return to good old fashioned colonialism. I know people with shriek and faint, but think about it; it almost HAS to be better than the results of the last several decades of idiotic UN style appeasement diplomacy. And it really doesn’t take too many decades of rampant kleptocracy, inter-tribal genocide, famine as a tool of statecraft, and all around incompetence in former colonies to make Colonial Paternalism look pretty good by comparison.

      1. Situations like Venezuela do make it easier to see how, say, the colonial British viewed themselves as bringing order and civilization to the world.

      2. I am one of the last people to give a crap about killing people who need killing as it is sometimes necessary, but romanticizing colonialism is retarded.

    4. Well, the good thing is we know that our government leaders, having learned their lessons from Iraq, will have an end game all planned out before invading rather than just assuming that the Venezuelans will immediately embrace democracy and American values.

  2. “Why Roe v. Wade is likely not in grave danger no matter whom Trump nominates.”

    I’m not sure how sentiments like that help feed my outrage addiction.

    1. Easy: don’t read them and pretend Reason wrote the opposite.

      1. Pretend is for little girls and mental patients.

        1. Fortunately, you’re both!

          1. Come on, Mr. Gus. Everyone knows Fist is a BIG girl.

            1. If that were true, I think John would pay more attention to Fist.

    2. The Supreme Court will be reluctant to take away a constitutional privacy right, even if that right was granted with dubious reasoning.

      Or if that right doesn’t actually exist in the Constitution? If a majority of SCOTUS actually becomes comprised of people who don’t make shit up based on reading chicken entrails, of course RvW is in danger. To suggest otherwise is preposterous.

      1. The “dubious reasoning” is pretending the Ninth and Tenth don’t exist. Your rights don’t come from the Constitution, the government’s rights come from the Constitution. If you’re going to argue that the federal government has a right to prohibit abortion (or anything else) you’re going to have to show where the Constitution says the federal government has that right. (Spoiler alert: It’s the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause – those two sentences have rendered the entire rest of the Constitution moot.)

        1. The right to a jury trial comes from the Constitution.

        2. The right to non-excessive bail comes from the Constitution.

          The Constitution can limit government and grant certain rights that are not considered ‘natural rights’.

          1. I’m surprised by your wording here. The Constitution exclusively limits government and protects rights.

            1. The right to jury is a legislated right.

              There is no right to jury in nature. Its not a ‘Natural Right’ like protecting yourself and family via Arms.

              You’re right about limiting government and protecting rights.
              Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

  3. Merkel, to Survive, Agrees to Border Camps for Migrants
    BERLIN ? Chancellor Angela Merkel, who staked her legacy on welcoming hundreds of thousands of migrants into Germany, agreed on Monday to build border camps for asylum seekers and to tighten the border with Austria in a political deal to save her government.

    ?OPINION: Denmark’s new laws on immigrant ‘ghettos’ are a chilling look into what happens after the border
    “Starting at the age of 1, ‘ghetto children’ must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in ‘Danish values,’ including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language. Noncompliance could result in a stoppage of welfare payments.”

    1. So, mandatory schooling.

      1. Right? I liked this line:

        There is nothing OK about forcing Muslims to teach their children about Christian holidays.

        Which is funny because every public school student in America is “forced” to learn about other religions and their holidays, last I’ve heard.

        1. Why are you complaining if most natives are in favor of that?

          1. RACIST! (must be, some how)

          2. Because slavery is wrong.

        2. Are they? I’m not aware of any multi-cultural religion talking points in my child’s public education curriculum.

    2. Globalists find it “chilling” that migrants to a new country have to have a cultural stake in the new society to which they’ve migrated.

      1. People who care about freedom find it chilling that you think even natives to a country must share the same values and traditions.

        1. It must be exhausting being such a terrible student of human nature and knowing that natives typically do support such policies in every country on the planet.

          1. What makes you think I don’t know most people are oppressors?

            1. I know that is your belief, and it makes you churlish and unlikeable. You’re exactly like the dour leftists who want to throw themselves off bridges because everyone doesn’t share their correct beliefs.

              1. I’m sorry, are you not aware that most Americans are statists and hostile to core aspects of libertarianism?

                1. I’m sorry, are you not aware that most Progressives are statists and hostile to core aspects of libertarianism?

                  FIFY

                  1. Most progressives and most conservatives, and most non-ideological people as well.

                    1. 80% of all people feel 60% of all people need to change for them to be happy

        2. People who care about freedom find it chilling that you think even natives to a country must share the same values and traditions.

          Your ignorance of human society throughout history is duly noted.

          1. I’m fully aware of the long history of people oppressing their fellow men.

            1. I’m fully aware of the long history of people oppressing their fellow men.

              Native Americans could probably tell you what happens when immigrants don’t integrate into the cultures of their new homes.

              1. Like when the Navajos raided the Hopis?

              2. So…you are not disagreeing with me.

                1. Try reading a book that’s more complex than one that features teenage wizards and you might get it.

            2. Oppression makes their kids learn to not be assholes.

              Non-oppression leads to them raping women and murdering people.

              Yup, I see Cathy’s point here.

    3. Danish values?? So, cradle to the grave welfare, everything costs three times more than anywhere else in the world (except Sweden), and you can’t spank your kids? Also, remind them of your stunning victory in the 1992 European Cup.

      1. Danes are the only ones who seem to recognize that Scandinavian socialism works fine when it’s limited to Scandanavian socialists.

        1. or is works bad, but at least it only works bad for us.

        2. This is mostly true. I lived in Sweden in 1992, and my Swedish friends always bragged about how the homeless population in Sweden is 0. I told them they were lucky indeed to have a resource rich nation the size of the eastern seaboard of the United States, with a total population equivalent to that of Chicago.

      2. Well, yes. Americans might find those values distasteful, but they are the values that Denmark seems to have chosen for itself. Which I should think would be their right to do so.

        So, having chosen that they wish for their society to behave a certain way, it makes sense to work to inculcate those values in immigrants. Especially in young immigrant children.

        I know that when I was looking at emigrating, I spent a lot of time looking at the potential receiving culture to see if I’d be a good fit. Mostly, I found that, being upset at the state of personal and economic liberty in the US as insufficient, New Zealand was really the only place that worked out. And I decided, that if I were to move, I’d just give up on my firearms. It’s not my preference, but it is how things are there, and I’d be willingly subjecting myself to their preferences by moving there.

      3. I thought the word on the street is that Denmark is moving away from the all-encompassing welfare state.

    1. +1 over the cuckoo’s nest.

    2. +1 Clockwork Orange

    3. +1 It doesn’t stop until it gets 4 gallons

  4. New Jersey approves letting people change the sex listed on their birth certificates without a doctor’s note.

    Change all the gender identifications to Jerk. That’s right, a shot a New Jerksey right here in Links Roundup.

    1. The right to change the acknowledgement of an objective fact about yourself is recognized, without any proof that that acknowledgement was wrong.

      1. about yourself

        Says who? I’m not entirely unsure that we couldn’t identify as someone from New Jersey and switch genders arbitrarily. What are they gonna do, ask for documented proof?

        1. The birth certificate does not record “gender”, just the person’s sex.

          1. I say remove it. The left wants to use it as a club to beat the rest of country with until they submit to their delusions. Time to take their toys away and make them grow up.

            1. Right. Either it’s some manner of factual statement or a record of history, or it’s some state-sponsored, protected-and-enshrined personal fictional narrative. Dictionaries exist and have a purpose, so do choose-your-own-adventure books. While both have some element of the other, more wholly combining them defeats the purposes of both.

              1. Hah. Great line. 😀

            2. From a purely libertarian perspective, why does the government need a record of everyone’s sex or gender? It seems that if we wanted to avoid this situation altogether, then abolishing the state collection of personal information (like what gonads you’re born with) is the option that maximizes personal liberty.

              1. From a purely libertarian perspective

                Purely libertarian meaning ‘ancap’, ‘minarchist’, or ‘civil libertarian’? Working backwards from libertopia or starting libertopia from a post-apocalyptic wasteland going forward?

                If you’re gonna cover birth control and abortion, to prevent fraud, you’ve gotta know how many ovaries you need to medicate and uteruses there are to vacuum.

                1. Lessening the amount of government records in existence does not seem to be strictly an ancap thing to me.

                  And I’m pretty sure we have better methods than a notch on a birth certificate to deal with your later problem. Though, that’s once again a further complaint against the welfare state rather than a knock against this idea of government records.

                  1. No it’s too much of a stretch for mad.casual that the government might not know what parts someone has or had at the time of their birth. #Conservatarians4Documentation

  5. How FOSTA-SESTA is keeping sex workers off of crowdfunding sites, even when their projects aren’t promoting prostitution.

    A scarlet letter is ultimately for your own good.

    1. Just like tariffs.

  6. The Collapse of the Never-Trump Conservatives
    ‘It turns out that conservative intellectuals, living inside the “Acela Corridor” and funded exclusively by think tanks and foundations, are poor barometers of Republican voter concerns.

    This myopia has several causes. The first is a kind of cultural “capture” that occurs when conservatives live in blue districts and big cities too long. They become, in other words, clueless (RINOS). The second reason is more obvious: many of these people are paid to be openly hostile to Trump’s agenda. The free trade absolutists at AEI and Cato are on salary to oppose any protectionist trade policies. Likewise, hawkish interventionists such as Max Boot knew they had no professional future once Trump’s isolationist instincts became policy.

    There is also a low-testosterone, dilettantish strain of conservatism that has overdeveloped in the “mainstream” media to create such sterile hybrids as Michael Gerson and George Will and David Brooks. Nothing sunk these so-called wise men lower in the estimation of their fellow conservatives than their blithe indifference to the Clintons’ gangsterism.

    1. IOW, Never-Trumpers overwhelmed by Trump-Stupids.

      1. Doesn’t say much for the Never-Trumpers’ intelligence if they can be outwitted and outfought by such individuals.

      2. It is tres difficult to outwit Joe Scarborough, Max Boot, and David Frum.

        Just say “I don’t want to bomb somebody today” and they will ALL hate you. Passionately.

  7. If Trump thought invading Venezuela might be a good idea, but he was dissuaded by his staff and other foreign leaders from doing so, that doesn’t scare me.

    Scary is when leaders can’t be dissuaded.

    1. You’ll think dissuaded when USSF nukular starfighters and astrowarriors descend from the heavens and lay siege to Caracas. Big league.

    2. When your 4-year old wants to know why tying a towel around his neck like a cape and jumping off the roof isn’t a good idea, you worry that threatening to beat his ass if you ever catch him trying to get up on the roof might not be enough to dissuade him from jumping off the roof. When your 40-year old wants to know why tying a towel around his neck like a cape and jumping off the roof isn’t a good idea, you’ve got a whole ‘nother problem.

      The fact that Trump thought “seriously” about invading Venezuela and had to be talked out of it should be enough to make you wonder if Trump is capable of thinking about things beyond the level of a 4-year old. (The answer is “No.” That should be obvious from Trump’s “simple” plans for solving all sorts of problems – they’re the sorts of simple plans you and your buddies would come up with after 3 or 10 beers when you’re sitting around shooting the shit. They really aren’t real-world solutions. But they sure do appeal to the sorts of people that think there’s a simple brute-force solution to every problem.)

      1. You know military planners have an invasion plan for invading Russia?

        Its what military planners do.

        I would bet any conversation these ‘anonymous sources’ were party to was taken out of context.

        1. We had plans to invade the UK (and they did as well) through World War II.

          You know what is really stupid? Not making plans for a wide array of contingencies.

  8. The head of Poland’s Supreme Court is refusing to step down.

    Their very own Ginsburglar.

  9. Even discussing military action “may play into the hands” of the oppressive Venezuelan government, worries Washington Post WoldViews analyst Rick Noack, in the process of discussing military action.

    1. “Even discussing military action “may play into the hands” of the oppressive Venezuelan government, ”

      So let’s talk about it more!

      1. [IMG rainier_wolfcastle_thats_the_joke.gif]

  10. Trump might think invading Venezuela is a good idea, but millions of people apparently think allowing Venezuela to invade the United States is a good idea. I’m not sure which idea is more stupid.

    1. I’m old enough to remember when libertarians could tell the difference between state and individual action.

      1. Cathy L,

        WCR is no libertarian. Don’t be confused.

    2. Yes, those are exactly equivalent situations. Good catch, Simple Mikey.

  11. “A mystery client has been paying bloggers in India and Indonesia to write articles distancing” the president from “mob-linked former business associate” Felix Sater…

    The Streisand Effect doesn’t seem to have hit the Orient, I guess.

  12. Outrageous.

    Dude has a 17 year old gf when he is 20. Age of consent in Ohio is 16. Totally fine.

    But he takes a naked picture of her, and since the *federal* definition of minor is under 18, he’s facing production of CP charges. 15-30 years penalty.https://t.co/zpKx2RnGeW
    ? Guy Hamilton-Smith (@G_Padraic) July 4, 2018

    Life is made up of arbitrary numbers.

    1. Stating in court, under oath, that you have made child porn, is probably a stupid idea.

      Is it stupid that the guy can fuck her but not photograph her? Sure. But is there seriously anyone who doesn’t know what child porn is and what the definition of it is?

      1. And for that matter, that it’s one of the Great Boogeymen of the time?

      2. It is a fool who assumes that laws make sense.

  13. Trade war’s eve is upon us, folks.
    “It’s like a war where everybody points the guns at themselves.”https://t.co/BFbRNG63zv
    ? Danielle Paquette (@DPAQreport) July 5, 2018

    You don’t believe in war, but what’s that tariff you’re toutin’…

  14. “A mystery client has been paying bloggers in India and Indonesia to write articles distancing” the president from “mob-linked former business associate” Felix Sater, reports The Daily Beast.

    Nobody gets their news from blogs anymore. Now, Twitter accounts, on the other hand…

  15. Why can’t the U.S. just invade Venezuela?

    AND MAKE THEM PAY FER IT! STEAL THAT OIL.

    1. You don’t think it would be more expensive to invade than just BUY the oil, like we do now? Stupid.

  16. Two high-ranking Colombian officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing Trump confirmed the report.

    They don’t want Trump removing them from office next.

  17. I’m pretty sure the FBI understands warrants. But they also understand FYTW. If the penalty for doing stuff you’re not supposed to be doing is a stern finger-wagging lecture on how you’re not supposed to be doing that stuff, there’s really no reason to stop doing stuff you’re not supposed to be doing.

  18. …but the first thing the president said at the dinner was, “My staff told me not to say this.”

    Well, if the deep state refuses to do its job and quietly install different leadership in Venezuela…

    1. You mean send in a CIA assassination team? One that A) won’t kill Maduro, 2) will have several members of the team captured and immediately revealed as CIA agents, and iii) will have their plot exposed as a plan they found on a wadded-up scrap of paper in Rube Goldberg’s trash can involving a monkey, a jar of peanut butter, a Rubik’s Cube and a blacklight poster of David Hasselhof?

      1. In 1999, NATO asked the CIA to help pick targets in Serbia as part of a bombing campaign to force President Slobodan Milosevic out of Kosovo. The CIA pinpointed one of Milosevic’s military depots in Belgrade. The coordinates were uploaded into a B-2 stealth bomber and the building was summarily destroyed. But the analysts had relied on tourist maps for their coordinates, and they misidentified their target. The Pentagon had mistakenly bombed the Chinese embassy.

  19. Congrats to Sarawak on getting re-elected LP chair. I watched the LP convention in 2016. He was the adult in the room.

  20. I remain hopeful that Emperor Xi will find a way to both avoid slapping tariffs on soy, etc. and save face. There isn’t anything good that will happen to China because he slaps a 25% tariff on what amounts to imported animal feed. Meanwhile, the yuan is already hurting, making the price of all imported raw materials even more expensive.

    There are so many good reasons to capitulate. The biggest downside would be personal to Emperor Xi, making it seem to average Chinese people that he backed down to America. Same thing holds true for Trump, actually. Regardless of whether his tariffs on steel and aluminum hurt swing voters in swing states the hardest, . . .

    . . . that bunch didn’t vote for Trump because they wanted someone who would back down. If and when Trump blinks, anyone who criticizes him for capitulating on trade will be doing the Devil’s work.

    1. Re: Ken Shultz,

      —There are so many good reasons to capitulate.—

      That’s quite the risk, especially when the person playing the game is doing sonwith MY FVCKING MONEY!!!!

      Who the FVCK is Trump to make such decisions, anyway?

    2. “the yuan is already hurting”
      Wasn’t ‘China’s cheating at trade because the yuan is undervalued’ one of the original favorites on the Let’s Bash China playlist?

  21. Hey, Hihn put together the TEAM RED! H&R Mutual Handjob Awards.

    Red Rocks White Privilege

    Sevo (7)

    mad.casual (5)

    Elias Fakaname (3) Yes Fakaname says I’m a fake name! (snort)

    BYOBD

    Unicorn Abattoir

    Chipper Morning Baculum

    Joe Blow124

    Red Rocks White Privilege (13)

    MarkLastName (5)

    Weigel’s Cock Ring (3)

    Tom Bombadil

    Nardz (4)

    loveconstitution1789 (7)

    migrant log chipper (3)

    Last of the Shitlords (5)

    Hank Phillips

    Mr. Gus

    https://goo.gl/KkdUtT

    1. Damn Red Rocks White Privilege, you beat me with hatred from the resident lunatics Hihn and Buttplug.

      1. RRWP is listed TWICE!

    2. If there was one person who would think that Hihn’s keeping a written enemies list was something other than a sign of mental illness, it would be you (or possibly WCR). Dont ever change.

    3. Citing this is appropriate considering that neither of you retards read the links you post.

      *This message brought to you by Red Rocks White Privilege, Dumbfuck Hihnsano’s Public Enemy #1.*

      1. Its why there is a 2nd Amendment protection to keep and bear Arms.

    4. This raises two questions.

      1) Why does that dumbass not realize that I’m Red Tony?

      2) Why am I not listed on there under multiple names?

      1. Don’t worry about it. Hihn is sundowning hard.

        1. My new name reflects that.

      2. Why am I not listed on there under multiple names?

        Despite the strength of your scuzzing game, you’re not holding on to your handles long enough to make the list.

    5. Damn, I’m still not on the list.

    6. Mary used to categorize and track various individuals and their comments.

    7. Thanks for sharing – that website is so awesome!

    8. Finally the crazy bastard updates his list!

  22. This Venezuela story is yet another reason I’m proud to have voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. For her entire career, she has demonstrated wisdom and restraint when it comes to using military force ? quite unlike the Orange Hitler who stole the election from her.

    #StillWithHer
    #HandsOffVenezuela

    1. God bless you and the good work you do.

      1. Do you get the pamphlet on a regular basis or is it delivered intermittently?

        1. Well, OBL seems to put one in every comment’s section, so that sounds pretty regular to me. 😀

    2. #StillWithHim
      #HandsOnInterns

      1. #StillWanking
        #HandsOnPenis

  23. Why can’t the U.S. just invade Venezuela? That’s the question President Trump purportedly pondered last summer, according to a new account from the Associated Press (AP).

    At “a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela? President Donald Trump turned to his top aides” and asked the “unsettling question,” AP reports, based on conversations with both a Trump-administration official and two officials from Columbia.

    The USA probably has plans for invading most countries on the Earth. That is what military planners do. Plan military operations.

    More TDS to try and distract lefties from their crying sessions. The lefties are the only people that believe the media anymore.

  24. Why can’t the U.S. just invade Venezuela?

    Good for him for asking the question. I don’t support invading Venezuela but the people who claim we should not need to be able to articulate a reason not to beyond “we can’t do that”.

    1. The lefty media supported invading Iraq based on lies.

      The lefty media supported invading Syria because… Obama.

      The lefty media supported invading Libya because… Obama.

      The lefty media hates that Trump wants to evaluate all military options with regard to socialist tyrannies in the Western hemisphere.

      1. Remember when Putin annexed Crimea and almost overnight we were going to deploy the entire 6th fleet to the Black Sea? Neither do I.

      2. Conrad Black brought up a great point a couple of days ago.

        If this new Chavista president that Mexico just elected actually carries through on his threat / promise to allow the drug cartels to do whatever they want to, it might eventually put Trump in the position where he’s forced to deploy the Army to the border region.

        1. Declare war on the border!

          He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

          Happy 4th of July!

        2. …threat / promise to allow the drug cartels to do whatever they want to

          I’m confused – – the drug cartels don’t already do whatever they want to down there?? I thought that was the whole purpose of them stuffing the pockets of every politician and police officer down there.

          The death toll down there since 2006 is absolutely staggering – – I have read 150,000 murders, and over 27,000 missing – but those numbers may be low. They were chopping heads off, melting people in acid, and torching people with gasoline years before ISIS started copying them. If I ran the show down there I would have legalized drugs years ago. Even if the new Chavista president solves their murder problem on day one, the violence down there in the past 12 years has left a permanent scar on Mexico.

          1. And to think, Colombia could have just had the cocaine equivalent of the Budweiser corporation, instead, if America wasn’t so schizophrenic about trying to prevent itself from buying something it clearly actually wants very badly…

      3. Yeah. If Venezuela was a right wing dictatorship, there’d be demands to invade (the press WANTED the Bosnian thing so badly in the 1990’s). Trump seems to be a softie when it comes to suffering he sees.

        1. US invaded Panama in 1989 with less reason. And Haiti in 1994 to topple a right wing dictatorship and reinstall a left wing President.

    2. Kill that strawman, warmonger.

      1. How is it a straw man? I never said they could not articulate a better reason. I said they should have to do so. Moreover, which part of “I don’t support invading Venezuela” did you not understand? Do you even read a post before responding to it or do you just immediately throw a few buzzwords down and call it a day?

        1. Do you even think beyond “I gotta write more words” before you post stupid shit?

          1. I do all of the time. The problem is that I can’t make people like you understand those words. Or if you do, think beyond “I don’t like his point but can’t really say anything to contradict his point so let me throw sit all over the tread instead.”

            Do yourself a favor and try thinking about these issues a bit and then get back to me.

        2. “I don’t support invading, but” is pretty much equivalent to “I’m all for free speech, but” or “I’m in favor of freedom of association, but” and so forth. In fact, since you go on to say what “the people who claim we should not need to” do, but you don’t do it yourself, it almost makes it seem like you’re full of shit.

          And yes, you’re obviously implying that that’s the only reason they can or do articulate, which is absurd.

          1. Talking about it military invasion!

            Lefties try and destroy the 1st amendment at every turn.

          2. No it is not. I think there are lots of good reasons not to invade Venezuela. But, I absolutely want the President to expect the people who work for him to be able to articulate why. All options ought to be considered in these sorts of situations and no option dismissed without good reasons.

            And I am not implying anything. I am saying a lot of people, you among them, just mindlessly give the same answer to every question without really understanding why. I don’t want people like that in our government. Therefore, a President who asks basic questions like “why can’t we go to war” is a good thing. One of the biggest problems our government has is that too many times people in government engage in group think and stop understanding or having any reasons for the assumptions they make beyond “you can’t do that”.

            1. I guess I would prefer a president who believes it would be morally wrong to invade a country that has not attacked his own. Nothing “you can’t do that” about it.

              1. I guess I would prefer a president who believes it would be morally wrong to invade a country that has not attacked his own.

                That option was on the ballot, but you had to trade it for involuntary service to gay weddings and sensible gun control. And, even then, the odds of it winning relative to it’s “We’re going to war!” peers was well less than 5%.

              2. So, borders demarcate what collectives of people the US Government should care about? If the Maduro regime is using force to oppress, starve, and kill people on one side of the US border, it’s outright immoral to even ask if the US military should be used to overthrow it, but if he did the very same acts to people on the other side of the imaginary line, it would be okay?

                Cool, cool. Now, given the principle, established by you, that the US is morally allowed to care about the people making up a collective on one side of a border, but is not morally allowed to care about the people making up a collective on the other side of the border, what does a moral US immigration policy look like?

                1. So, borders demarcate what collectives of people the US Government should care about?

                  No. They demarcate the territory the US government is empowered to defend. Nice try though.

                  1. They demarcate the territory the US government is empowered to defend.

                    Is that your final answer? Asking for a friend (Hint: It’s Old Mexican and he’s an Open Borders fanatic.)

                2. DRM I bow down!!!

                  Do not worry about the temporary tactical victory though, open borders types refuse to deal in any form of what can be considered logic.

              3. If we are going to discuss morality, -It isn’t morally wrong to invade a dictatorship.

                1. It isn’t morally wrong to invade a dictatorship.

                  Enh. Depends on what the dictator is doing. Yes, most dictators tend to be unegalitarian assholes, but it’s not impossible to think that a country might luck into an actually enlightened ruler.

              4. The last time the US was actually attacked was December 7, 1941. Although I suppose you could call the takeover of the US embassy in Iran an attack on US territory.

                Otherwise, it was morally wrong to enter World War I. It was morally wrong to invade Korea. It was morally wrong to invade Vietnam. It was morally wrong to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. etc.

                1. Umm the “morals” banter. Fantastic barometers of fools and utopian goofs.

                  For the record, the United States did not invade THE REPUBLIC of Korea (colloquially South Korea) which was surprise attacked by the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of Korea (colloquially North Korea) with the explicit support of commie scumbags in Russia and China. But keep carrying the water of communists and totalitarians, it does a great service to the future of liberty in the world.

                2. I would agree that it was morally wrong of the US to join WWI. It was also tactically stupid.

                  There is a pretty good theory that if the US had stayed out of WWI, there wouldn’t have even been a WWII.

    3. Good for Manson for asking the question. I don’t support murder but the people who claim we should not need to be able to articulate a reason not to beyond “we can’t do that”.

      Good for Sutton for asking the question. I don’t support robbery but the people who claim we should not need to be able to articulate a reason not to beyond “we can’t do that”.

      1. War is a part of national policy. We do sometimes have to go to war. Having a clear understanding of why we should and why we should not go to war is essential to having a coherent foreign policy. It is a very simple and benign point. The fact that you and Cathy L are too dim witted to understand it and think anyone who believes that people who claim that we can never go to war need to be able to articulate reasons why beyond assertions and virtue signaling, just shows how shallow and stupid the both of you are.

        The fact that you made this response and think it is somehow clever or has any substance, shows just how unserious and substanceless most Libertarians’ thinking on these issues is.

        1. Oh, now it’s “people who claim that we can never go to war”?

          How heavy are those goalposts?

          1. If you think the President asking “why can’t we go to war” is some kind of outrage, then I don’t see how you could ever support going to war under any circumstances. How could you? You think even asking the question “why not” should not be allowed.

            1. What a complete fucking liar you continue to be. I never said asking the question shouldn’t be allowed. I said he should have the moral sense not to need to ask the question. And your pretense that he was asking his military advisors for justification, rather than whining to anyone who would listen about how he wanted to invade Venezuela, is pathetic and obvious.

              1. Is morality not fact-dependent? Then how can you determine what’s moral w/o finding the facts? & how can you find the facts w/o asking those who study such facts?

        2. Look at Mr. NeverTrump over here insisting we should have a coherent policy on…..anything.

      2. Good for Manson for asking the question. I don’t support murder but the people who claim we should not need to be able to articulate a reason not to beyond “we can’t do that”.

        Why did we keep Manson alive for another 4 decades?

    4. The president sees a man destroying his own country with suicidal economics and grave rights abuses and believes the way to save the nation is militarily removing that one man. He might want to think twice about legitimizing those kinds of notions here in the United States. Read the room, Mr. President.

      1. So someone might kill Trump because he is presiding over a booming economy and is enforcing the law as it was written by the government of a Constitutional Republic? Sure, but I don’t think that his invading Venezuela would have anything to do with that.

        1. The point is that many US crazies (who seemed to have had an affinity for Maduro and predecessor, by the way) would see what Trump has offhandedly suggested as a cure for Venezuela as a perfectly valid solution for the Hitler we now have in the White House.

          1. True enough. But they think that anyway. And they would also rewrite history and pretend that Maduro was a wonderful success until the US invaded to prevent socialism from working.

            I hate what is happening in Venezuela. But, it is their mess. And they are going to have to fix it. The only thing I would do is ensure that everyone associated with the Maduro regime was persona non-grata in the world and make sure when the government is finally overthrown, all of the money those assholes stole is returned to the people of Venezuela. Chavez’s bitch daughter is one of the four or five richest women in the world. All of that money needs to someday be returned once something besides a gangster government is in charge down there.

            1. you mean returned to the people who begged the govt to put forth policies that would enslave others and give them free stuff.

              This reminds me of people who get mad at the govt for raiding social security. “That stolen money was promised to me.

              Sure their are bad people, but bad people don’t rise to power without the existence of a lot of stupidity…and worse

            2. Chavez’s bitch daughter is one of the four or five richest women in the world.

              I have to wonder how much “social justice” could be done by hacking her bank accounts and then redistributing the money to the individuals of Venezuela.

              1. That money belongs to a lot of people who have already left Venezuela. Hack her bank accounts and use it to buy food and medicine and drop it into Venezuela like the Berlin airlift.

                Otherwise it just goes to enrich the current regime.

      2. If Americans were outraged by such things, they would have strung up our nation’s politicians and bureaucrat class long before now.

      3. I’m not much for pointing out the hypocrisies on the left, why they only seem to care about one identity group rather than the other, etc. That being said, . . .

        Why the fuck didn’t the left go up in arms over Venezuela being on the no travel list? Why isn’t the left screaming as much about refugees from Venezuela as they are about Muslims being denied the right to cross into the U.S.?

        I suspect it’s just about them not wanting to feed into a narrative about what’s happening in Venezuela.

        1. Do you…think opponents of the travel ban only wanted predominantly Muslim countries removed from the list?

          1. Do you…think opponents of the travel ban only wanted predominantly Muslim countries removed from the list?

            It’s the only thing they were chimping out about, so yeah. There’s a reason the left tagged it as a “Muslim ban”.

            1. Yes, and they noted that Venezuela was included merely as a cover for that, and that that was also wrong.

              1. Yes, and they noted that Venezuela was included merely as a cover for that, and that that was also wrong.

                You misspelled, “Made up shit out of thin air to justify the chimp-out”.

                1. if venezuealans were muslim, then yes they would be outraged.

        2. Obviously we don’t want to draw attention to Venezuela anymore.

        3. It is the same reason the Left didn’t say a word about what happened in Zimbabwe or what is happening in South Africa right now or why they sent Illian Gonzalez back to Cuba. They only care about “people” insofar as they can be used to further leftist politics. If people’s suffering can’t be used to further leftist politics or worse if its existence reflects poorly on leftist politics, leftists don’t care.

          1. Yeah, I have been waiting for the “APARTHEID IS BAD, YOU GUYS” folks to notice that, in S. Africa, they are actively seeking to bring back apartheid.

            They do not seem to care quite so much.

        4. “In the case of Syria, the international community was highly committed to mobilizing resources to assist refugees and their host countries.

          The opposite has happened with Venezuela. As Colombia and the rest of South America struggle with the massive daily influx of Venezuelans, the response from the international community has been largely muted. There hasn’t even been a discussion on the possible costs of resettling these refugees, let alone on fair and appropriate burden sharing.

          In part, this is because the international community has yet to formally embrace fleeing Venezuelans as refugees.”

          http://thehill.com/opinion/int…..isis-alone

          Note, I’m not commenting on whether these people should be treated as refugees. I’m commenting on why the left embraces one group but not the other. I’m pointing to the fact that these people are fleeing the same economic policies the left wants to implement in our country as a likely suspect, and I think we should be hitting them over the head with their hypocrisy.

          They don’t give a fuck about refugees. They care about pissing off the culture war right by embracing Muslims.

          1. They don’t give a fuck about refugees.

            ^This

            Which is why you see pro-abortion and anti-capitalism signs at so-called immigration protests. It’s just a convenient excuse for fellow travelers to outrage! at everything and giggle at the cameras.

          2. Note, I’m not commenting on whether these people should be treated as refugees. I’m commenting on why the left embraces one group but not the other

            Because they’re fleeing to a country that’s more culturally similar to their own, not the US.

          3. The UN HCR is coordinating relief.
            US AID has made contributions, as have many other countries.

        5. Ken, you may be correct about the motivation of the left.

          But, you failed to address an even bigger question. If Trump was considering potential military intervention in Venezuela, presumably because of the humanitarian crisis there, then why would he simultaneously think it was ok to prevent all refugees from Venezuela?

          Basically, I care about them enough to consider bombing them, but not enough to let them into my country. That’s some pretty sick thinking right there.

          1. I don’t see why the military would need to even use bombs. Ground forces should easily be enough. There are millions protesting in the street regularly.

            Venezuela is not Iraq or Syria or Afghanistan. It has a long history of democracy and an educated populace.

            1. Yeah. If you just showed up and started feeding people, I bet you could get them to rip Maduro and his cronies out of office pretty fast.

        6. The only Venezuelans banned were member and families of particular government agencies, it was not a ban on all Venezuelans. It was also mostly irrelevant to anything. Plus, few Americans have any positive things to say about the Venezuelan government.

  25. The new law allows the registrar to amend certificates based on how people identify themselves, as male, female or undesignated.

    “If no box is checked, the State will assume you self-identify as ‘male’.”

  26. “It is tempting to see the limited access as an especially Trumpian trouble…”

    …if you’re the sort of person who sees Trump in your breakfast cereal.

  27. War is always good for a president’s approval ratings (see Bush I and II and Iraq; also Clinton in Bosnia/Kosovo). So don’t be surprised if we do invade Venezuela sometime in the next year or two.

    1. I would be very surprised. There just isn’t any justification for it. The only way we ever would is if the Venezuelan government’s love affair with Iran ended up with them helping to facilitate an Iranian terror attack on the US. I doubt that would ever happen. Even Maduro isn’t that stupid.

      1. Castro would have been ecstatic if the Soviets had nuked the US and expressed his displeasure that they did not. Communists are definitely that stupid.

  28. Following California’s lead, Al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Somalia is considering a ban on plastic bags, as they “pose a serious threat to the well-being of humans and animals alike.”

    Radical Islam as we know it today is just the Middle Eastern spin on the Utopian Communist anti Colonial movements of the 20th Century. ISIS was nothing but the Khmer Rouge with a Koran rather than Marx. The far left and radical Islam are natural allies and will go more alike as time goes on.

    1. Think the plastic bag ban in Somalia has more to do with proggie NGOs bribing politicians to pass laws they like than radical Islam. They might not get them to ban beheading infidels, but they had better make sure that the bag they put the head in is 100% compostable and sustainably sourced.

      1. There is probably something to that as well.

    2. I still remember reading news stories in the 1970s about the Soviet Union’s progressive and enlightened environmental policies.

    3. Radical Islam as we know it today is just the Middle Eastern spin on the Utopian Communist anti Colonial movements of the 20th Century.

      A lot of Middle Eastern political and social movements attached themselves to socialist and Marxist ideologies in the early 20th century.

  29. One of the most remarkable things about the Trump presidency has been his ability to expose the bald-faced hypocrisy of his critics.

    For example, the local news this morning featured an interview with a state agricultural rep who said in effect, and without the slightest bit of irony, that markets should be free from government interference.

    This is why I roll my eyes at the hysterical predictions of Economic Doom emanating from the Media and their new favored industries: they’d be saying the same things if Trump were proposing cuts to federal programs which benefit them.

    And given the amount of TDS on this site, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reason standing up for dairy price supports if Trump seriously proposed eliminating them.

    1. And given the amount of TDS on this site, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reason standing up for dairy price supports if Trump seriously proposed eliminating them.

      Those theoretical fucking hypocrites.

      1. Actually, Reason would likely be supportive of Trump if proposed such a thing.

        But it would be faint praise, diluted even more by caveats and to-be-sures. And the next H&R post would be a hysterical screed from Shikha about how US immigration policies are destroying our food supply.

        1. And the next H&R post would be a hysterical screed from Shikha about how US immigration policies are destroying our food supply.

          Not hysterical enough. Racist US immigration policies are destroying our food supply and we should adopt more meritorious and immigrant-friendly trade practices like Canada’s.

    2. The nature of their TDS is telling.

      Trump is basically doing what the left wanted circa 2006. Back then, the left was upset about Wal*Mart and trade with China undermining the middle class. The left today isn’t upset at Trump because he’s anti-free trade. I’m not sure they’re as upset about immigration as they make themselves out to be either. It was the separating of families, that hit a sore spot on the left, but that was supposedly about Trump’s personal cruelty rather than a general stance against enforcing immigration laws.

      The TDS is just about groping allegations and campaign rhetoric and signaling culture war posturing.

      I have more problems with Trump’s policies than most of his critics do. The critics’ problem with Trump’s policies seems to be about those policies’ association with Trump.

      1. I have more problems with Trump’s policies than most of his critics do. The critics’ problem with Trump’s policies seems to be about those policies’ association with Trump.

        I nominate you for the panel to get TDS added to the next version of the DSM.

  30. Why can’t the U.S. just invade Venezuela?

    Many times media has said Trump said “X” and every time it turns out to be a lie so why should we believe them this time

  31. Following California’s lead, Al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Somalia is considering a ban on plastic bags, as they “pose a serious threat to the well-being of humans and animals alike.”

    Reusable shopping bags made from infidel skin strongly encouraged.

    1. Those bags are really bad at holding severed heads without tearing.

  32. Operation Urgent Fury, Grenada, October 23, 1983.

    Operation Just Cause, Panama, December 20, 1989.

    Operation Urgent Just Because Fury, Venezuela, date to be determined.

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