Reason Roundup

Trump Apologies for America Ahead of Helsinki Summit With Putin: Reason Roundup

Plus: Judge censors story about crooked cop, cities get tough on home-based businesses.



Presidential summit between Trump and Putin today. Displaying an interesting diplomatic tack ahead of his Monday morning meeting with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump opined that America's relationship with Russia "has NEVER been worse"—cold war, schmold war, amirite?—and that this situation is all our fault. These historically strained U.S.-Russia relations come "thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity, and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" Trump tweeted at 2:05 a.m.

Reactions from folks across the political spectrum were full of disbelief and scorn for Trump's statement, which comes on the heel of a new indictment of Russian intelligence officials for alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Here is The Guardian's Moscow correspondent, for example:

And Cato Institute policy analyst Julian Sanchez:

But at least some stakeholders—like, uh, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs—seemed satisfied with Trump's assessment:

The Trump-Putin summit takes place in Hesinki, Finland, where residents weren't exactly rolling out the welcome mat:

Putin made Trump wait for him, arriving in the country around the time their meeting was supposed to start.

The very fact of the meeting taking place has raised suggestions of impropriety, though this has more to do with everyone's feels than the meeting per se taking place.

Trump told reporters at the start of the meeting: "I really think the world wants to see us get along. I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that frankly we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years."


Newspaper must pull details about mob-linked cop's plea agreement. After failing to file plea-deal documents under seal, prosecutors found details about detective John Sara Balian's alleged ties to the Mexican mafia now running in the Los Angeles Times. On Saturday, a judge granted Balian's motion for a temporary restraining order, which means the Times must remove any details from the article that were gleaned from the published plea agreement. "To the extent any article is published prior to issuance of this order, it shall be deleted and removed forthwith," ruled U.S. District Judge John F. Walter.

This is unusual. "Typically, courts take into account if information was already published," Times attorney Kelli Sager said in a statement. "Where it is no longer secret, the point of the restraining order is mooted. To order a publication to claw it back doesn't even serve the interest that may be intended."


Overzealous regulators quashing entrepreneurship. What happens "when the city comes for your home-based business?" An increasing number of people are finding out, note the R Street Institute's C. Jarrett Dieterle and Shoshana Weissmann in a new Wall Street Journal op-ed.

As more people work from home in fields that traditionally required office space, U.S. municipalities are increasingly turning their attention toward these home-based business owners. Without seeing clients at home, putting up advertisements, etc., freelancers and small-time entrepreneurs seldom see themselves as people in need of special licenses just to do the work they do from desks tucked inside their primary residences. But officials often see things differently.

"In 1992 there were about 16 million home businesses in the U.S., according to census data," report Dieterle and Weissmann. "By 2012 that number grew to 27 million. Today about half of all American businesses are home-based, according to the Small Business Administration. At the same time, local governments have become more aggressive in cracking down on home-based businesses."