Reason Roundup

In Rebuke to Saudis and Trump, Senate Votes to At Least Talk About Pulling U.S. Troops From Yemen: Reason Roundup

Plus: good signs in Supreme Court case on asset forfeiture and Ashley Judd talks prostitution.

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ALEX EDELMAN/UPI/Newscom

Finally a bit of bipartisanship with merit: Senators yesterday decided to at least debate ending U.S. sponsorship of Saudi Arabia's aggression in Yemen. With a 63–37 vote, the Senate moved to advance the resolution, which was sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), Mike Lee (R–Utah), and Chris Murphy (D–Conn.).

Specifically, the resolution "directs the President to remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in or affectingYemen, except those engaged in operations directed at Al Qaeda, within 30 days unless: (1) the President requests and Congress authorizes a later date, or (2) a declaration of war or specific authorization for the use of the Armed Forces has been enacted."

Yesterday's "procedural vote sets up the beginning of a floor debate on the resolution next week," explains the AP.

The vote stems from political anger over Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump's response to Khashoggi's death, and Trump's derision of intelligence reports that the prince was involved, as well as ongoing Saudi aggression in Yemen and the humanitarian crisis it's created there. (Alas, the latter seems a lower-priority offense for most in Congress.)

What form the final measure could take is unclear. Republican Sen. Bob Corker, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, tells Roll Call he doesn't necessarily endorse the resolution as is but wants the "ability to have a debate as it relates to our relationship with Saudi Arabia." More from Roll Call:

If the Sanders-Lee resolution does not pass, Corker said he could see members of the Appropriations State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee adding language regarding Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi to the final fiscal 2019 foreign aid spending bill.

Another possibility is new legislation from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., that would require the Director of National Intelligence within one month to issue an unclassified report into the individuals that participated in, ordered or "were otherwise complicit in" the death of Khashoggi.

The resolution does not explicitly halt U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as folks like Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) have proposed, and it does not end all U.S. millitary operations in Yemen. Still, it's something.

Of course, neither the White House nor Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were pleased.

FREE MINDS

Scapegoating Section 230. Cato Institute analyst Julian Sanchez comments on incoming Sen. Josh Hawley's bad rhetoric around internet law:

I wrote about this here yesterday. Unfortunately, self-interested calls to weaken Section 230 are an increasingly common (and bipartisan) affair.

FREE MARKETS

Very good signs from Supreme Court on asset forfeiture case. The Court heard oral arguments Wednesday.

"The big questions before the Court are whether the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment is 'incorporated' against state governments and, if so, whether at least some state civil asset forfeitures violate the Clause," explains lawyer and Volokh Conspiracy blogger Ilya Somin, and "if the answers to these two questions are both "yes," the Court could also potentially address the issue of what qualifies as an 'excessive' fine."After oral arguments yesterday, it's "clear that the Court will almost certainly rule that the Excessive Fines Clause does indeed apply to the states," Somin concluded.

"Civil asset forfeiture is such a farce that it took Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer only about 100 words to twist Indiana's solicitor general into admitting that his state could have the power to seize cars over something as insubstantial as driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit," notes Eric Boehm. "Here's how he set the trap":

QUICK HITS

• Ashley Judd continues in the great Hollywood tradition of swooping into serious issues with very strong and bad opinions:

Kate D'Adamo, a sex-worker rights advocate and partner with Reframe Health and Justice, called her out, tweeting, "Congrats, ?@AshleyJudd, on your hard work trying to make ?#MeToo a space where those most likely to face and harm are unwelcome and unsafe. ?#sexworkerlivesmatte?r."

Judd eventually responded to D'Adamo's thread, writing, "Hi, Thanks for your perspective. I disagree. I believe body invasion is indeed inherently harmful, and cash is the proof of coercion. Buying sexual access commodifies something that is beyond the realm of capitalism and entrepreneurship: girls and women's orfices [sic].

• In Pierce County, Washington, "Jessica Ortega repeatedly told deputies that her boyfriend threatened to kill her," reports Reason's Zuri Davis. "She died following their negligence." Now her family is accusing the Pierce County Sheriff's Office of being "grossly negligent in their efforts to serve and enforce a domestic violence protection order on a known, violent criminal."

• Los Angeles has finally passed a formal plan to legalize street food.

• The Reason 2018 Webathon is still ongoing—donate here!

NEXT: Donate to Reason, Because Charlton Heston Says So! (No Really, There's Video)

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  1. I’ve been at this for 3 years, and I am blown away by this.

    By a big bipartisan margin, 63-37, the Senate just voted, for the first time, to move forward with a debate on ending American involvement in the Yemen war.

    Thanks to @SenMikeLee @SenSanders for their partnership.
    ? Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 28, 2018

    Because they saw the error of their ways.

    1. Hello.

    2. Where is Rand on this?

      1. Here’s the roll call

        He voted for – with every D and about 10 R’s.

        1. What’s more interesting to me is that this bill is 10 months old. Long before Khashoggi – or the election – or bluntly before most Americans had even heard of Yemen (assuming most have now – which I doubt). And of the 18 co-sponsors, only Lee is R.

          Rand Paul is really turning into a disappointment.

          1. In principle, I’m in favor of Congress stepping up and asserting their Constitutional authority to decide such matters of war and peace over the Executive, but then I realize this means giving people like Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi the power to make these sorts of decisions and I have to wonder if Madison was being too generous in his assessment of human nature when he decided nobody was fit to wield this sort of power and that mere words on a piece of paper might suffice to safeguard our liberties from the sorts of power-hungry evil bastards government tends to attract. If Madison were a little more cynical he might have written into the law that periodic elections should result in the winner taking office and the loser being hanged, followed by the winner being hanged as well upon the completion of his term of office.

            1. Oh, no, we learned this in school many times: “The articles of confederation were a good try, but didn’t give the government enough power. It needed more power to work well. So they threw it out and tried again, this time with more power to get things done. Some people wonder if they should have given it even more power.”

              So, according to my government school education, at least some of them were more skeptical, but to no effect.

              We didn’t learn the hanging solution, but it makes a lot of sense.

  2. Judd eventually responded to D’Adamo’s thread, writing, “Hi, Thanks for your perspective. I disagree. I believe body invasion is indeed inherently harmful, and cash is the proof of coercion. Buying sexual access commodifies something that is beyond the realm of capitalism and entrepreneurship: girls and women’s orfices [sic].

    Women can have all the agency they want so long as money doesn’t change hands.

    1. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

    2. I wonder how she rationalizes actresses kissing actors for money, or simulating sex, or singing songs about sex.

      1. She probably calls it “artistic expression”.

      2. Or anyone doing any kind of work for pay. If payment is coercion, then all employment is slavery.

        1. Hell, every paid transaction is coercion! Buy a magazine, food, anything — it’s all coercion by their definition.

          If it’s the orifice that makes it coercion, then all women should shut up. Is that what she’s saying? Of course, I am assuming this only applies to women, because only women have no agency.

          1. Except, hmm, if payment is also a required part of the definition, then women can speak (literally!) freely, just not for pay.

            I don’t know where this leads. I can only follow illogic so far.

        2. now you are getting it!

      3. The answer is that she has spent many turns on the casting couch in exchange for money. She feels like she was a victim in this arrangement.

        That’s the awkward truth. Is it ok to sell sex for money? Is it therefore ok to demand sex for job opportunities? Libertarian answer to both is probably yes. I think society’s answer to the second is no, and by extension it isn’t comfortable saying yes to the first one, either.

        I don’t think many people in the US would be comfortable endorsing a situation where women were routinely pressured into having sex as part of a job responsibility. “Just quit” isn’t a compelling argument.

        1. I don’t see why you can’t be a libertarian and still have an issue with the latter. If the job itself doesn’t involve sex, you shouldn’t demand that someone provide sex in order to get the job. That’s ACTUALLY coercive, as opposed to giving someone money for what they are actively selling. If you’re not willing to be a prostitute, don’t take money in exchange for sex.

          It would be same as firing someone because they’re not willing to play on the company’s softball team. It has nothing to do with their job so holding it over their head is coercive.

  3. Los Angeles has finally passed a formal plan to legalize street food.

    But the roadkill will still have to have an expiration date.

  4. So they want to pull some nearly non-existent troops from Yemen, where they aren’t directly fighting, but keep all our troops in Afghanistan where they are getting killed routinely. Fucking assholes..

  5. The Reason 2018 Webathon is still ongoing…

    TELL ME ABOUT IT.

    1. MOAR POPUPS NEEDED

  6. The Reason 2018 Webathon is still ongoing

    rand paul hasnt had to pee yet?

  7. Republican Sen. Bob Corker, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, tells Roll Call he doesn’t necessarily endorse the resolution as is but wants the “ability to have a debate as it relates to our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

    President Trump’s greatest foreign policy achievement.

    1. “President Trump’s greatest foreign policy achievement.”

      Is not starting any new wars unlike his previous 5 predecessors.

      1. Ronald Reagan did not start any wars. Sorry but Grenada was not a war. It was knocking over a taco stand with an aircraft carrier.

        So it is his 4 prececessors not 5.

        1. Pretty damned sorry excuse — “It wasn’t big enough”.

          It was US troops invading a foreign country. That’s a fucking war.

          1. No it wasn’t. It was the US coming to the aid of a foreign country after it had been invaded by a hostile force of Cubans. We went to Grenada at the invitation of the lawful government and did so to oust a hostile invasion sponsored by Cuba.

            Sorry, but the Communists really were the bad guys in the Cold War as painful as that is for so many Libertarians to admit.

            1. Once again you fail to have any logic. Communism is of course a sin against liberty. To jump to the conclusion that I give communism a pass is typical John-illogic, just as you seem to think that invading a foreign country is not war.

              What are we, the world’s policeman? That’s what you’re saying, except that leads to the logical conclusion that we should have come to the aid of every country taken over by communists. How do you feel about anti-communist dictators and despots? Should we over throw their governments too?

              Invasion is invasion in invasion.

              1. Invasion is invasion in invasion.

                No, it’s not.

                If all our foreign wars were of Grenada scale, there would be no opposition.

                If all of them were Vietnam, there would be no support.

              2. If you come at the invitation of the government, it is not an invasion. Words have meaning.

          2. I was in the Navy during Grenada…

            According to the VA, VFW, and Congress, it’s not considered “wartime service”.

            Note: Congress has not established formal periods of war for participation in U.S. operations in Lebanon, Grenada or Panama. Service in these theaters alone does not qualify as wartime service. A veteran who did not serve during one of these designated periods is considered to have had peacetime service.

            … but I could’ve sworn, at one point it WAS recognized (at the time, I remember chuckling about being a “wartime vet” for that).

            1. Gee, maybe Congress should actually declare war before significant military actions happen.

        2. Your here to tell me that Clint Eastwood only knocked over a taco stand?? RIP Profile.

  8. If the Sanders-Lee resolution does not pass, Corker said he could see members of the Appropriations State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee adding language regarding Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi to the final fiscal 2019 foreign aid spending bill.

    lol, nothing will come of this, will it?

    1. No.

    2. World’s greatest deliberative body.

  9. …and “if the answers to these two questions are both “yes,” the Court could also potentially address the issue of what qualifies as an ‘excessive’ fine.”After oral arguments yesterday, it’s “clear that the Court will almost certainly rule that the Excessive Fines Clause does indeed apply to the states,” Somin concluded.

    Federalism demands that states be able to confiscate all the stuff within their borders.

  10. “Civil asset forfeiture is such a farce that it took Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer only about 100 words to twist Indiana’s solicitor general into admitting that his state could have the power to seize cars over something as insubstantial as driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit,” notes Eric Boehm. “Here’s how he set the trap”:

    what if hitler was driving the car? boom, you just got supremed.

  11. Buying sexual access commodifies something that is beyond the realm of capitalism and entrepreneurship: girls and women’s orfices

    Go fuck yourself Ashley (you were hot in 1991, BTW). If a woman, man, or ze wants to rent their orfices, that is their fucking business.

    1. Vaginas should never be used for something as crass as commercial transactions, they should only be used for the sacred purpose of attaining political office.

      1. Or getting a part in a movie.

  12. I think I’ll go down to the corner store and coerce a cup of coffee out of the clerk with my pocket change.

    1. As long as your penis isn’t involved. Your nasty awful penis.

      1. What’s he supposed to do, leave it at home?

  13. BOMBSHELL from the Miami Herald absolutely DESTROYS Jeffrey Epstein and prosecutors over old underage sexual assault allegations
    Once behind bars, #JeffreyEpstein didn’t go to state prison like most sex offenders in Florida. He didn’t even spend much time in his cell.

    ? Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) November 28, 2018

    He was allowed to leave for work release six days a week. His year of “house arrest” included trips to New York and the Virgin Islands.

    Part 3 of #PerversionofJustice: https://t.co/lsynvA1rPr

    ? Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) November 28, 2018

    1. There’s law for the connected and laws for the unconnected and disconnected deplorables.

      ‘Lock her up’ is a symbol of this obvious double standard.

    2. Someone needs to just blow his head off and be done with it.

  14. New York Times Celebrates Muhammad as ‘Paragon of Compassion’
    “Happy Birthday, Muhammad,” the New York Times proclaimed happily last Tuesday in a propaganda piece by Haroon Moghul, the author of a book confidently entitled How to Be a Muslim. I’d say it was a new low for the Times if the Gray Lady didn’t keep stooping lower every day.

    Moghul details how he rediscovered Muhammad during a time of doubt, marveling “that he buried the least loved of his fellow Arabs with his own hands. That he put two of his fingers together and promised that he and the orphan would be that close in the life to come. That he so loved the vulnerable that God loved him in turn.”

    1. Muhammad riding that buraq up into the starry cosmos is kinda cool if you ax me.

    2. Court cites ‘cultural norms’ in acquitting Muslim rapist
      “Yes indeed, his ‘cultural norms’ are ‘different,’ but why are they paramount?” Spencer posed in his report on the incident on Jihad Watch. “Why can’t France enforce its own ‘cultural norms?’ ? Why can’t any Western country?”

    3. Yeah, Muhammad loved the vulnerable; specifically, he loved a nine-year-old girl, physically.

  15. The idea that Kashoggi in and of itself should mean anything more to U.S.-Saudi relations than a nice opportunity to lean on them and use our leverage when they are in a weak spot, for whatever use we want to put it to, is ridiculous. But I am glad that it has provided political will for a contraction of U.S. overseas operations–any such contraction–and that it pretty much means that MBS’s international charm offensive–which the mainstream media was completely taken with whether or not they want to admit it now–is pretty much dead permanently. The worst thing the Trump Administration did was to fall in love with him and (further) facilitate his rise within the Saudi power structure in the first place. They should (though they will not) avoid interfering with any internal opposition to him in favor of the more conservative rivals who should have (here the American foreign policy establishment was right) been in charge from square one. But Kashoggi? Nah, son.

    1. Yeah, the way media, especially liberal pundits, fawned over MBS was both disgusting and entertaining. But not as entertaining as the double speak and grasping going on in the media now.

  16. CNN’s Ground-Troop Allies, Antifa, Arrested for Beating, Macing, and Robbing Marine Reservists
    Here are some other recent Antifa attacks for CNN to provide cover for:

    Antifa accused a Jewish man of being a Nazi and beat the shit out of him.

    in Tucson, a Trump supporter was attacked from behind. The man the stomped on to his ankle, breaking it in four places. A group of people dragged the attacker off.

    1. That is unbelievable. These people always turnout to be freaks.

    2. Awww. No pics.

    3. I have been trying to understand this no pants business. It goes without saying that people on the news who know they will not be shot below the waist often wear jeans. (Though as a proper East Coast snob I do not think I could get myself to do it even if no one was the wiser. Blazer, or suit jacket with suit pants. Do not sin against propriety.) But no pants? Is this really a thing?

      I don’t know if anyone here has actually been on TV except John (who it seems likely has). But I am curious.

      1. Don’t you people watch Seinfeld?

        It’s to avoid creases in the pants!

        1. Or Casino. Dinero goes and puts his pants on before he meets the crooked county commissioner about firing Joe Bob Briggs.

          1. I always liked that movie more than Goodfellas. Dick Smother plays a great Harry Reid in that movie.

            1. Don Richols is great as the Casino underboss as well. The cast is great. I tend to agree with you on that. I can understand why people thing Goodfellas is the better movie, but I find Casino to be more rewatchable. Whenever I stumble onto on cable, the next four hours of my life are shot, even though I have seen it a dozen times at least.

  17. http://twitchy.com/samj-3930/2…..tchywidget

    The still lovely Kristy Swanson turns blond jokes on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    What do you call Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in an institution of higher learning? A visitor.

    Why did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put her iPad in the blender?

    She was trying to make apple juice.

    Why did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez buy a BMW?

    Because she can spell it.

    1. Does AOC’s playing the part of dumb blonde make her guilty of cultural appropriation?

    2. Even after the better part of a year, I am still unsure from looking at her exactly what species of unearthly creature Ms. Ocasio-Cortez belongs to. But whatever it be, Ms. Swanson sure can slay it.

      1. Jessee Kelly of recently banned from Twitter fame was saying he thought she was hot. Only a marine could be hard up enough to think she is hot.

        1. She’s fuckable. Hot? No.

          1. If you just got out of prison maybe.

            1. Nah she’s ok. Your politics are clouding your judgement.

              Now, you don’t give her your real name and you go to her place, because she’s crazy and it’s a one nighter, but she’s pokeable.

                1. No. I really wouldn’t. I think she is really odd looking.

              1. She is skinny. I will give her that. But she has that weird face and those crazy eyes.

                1. You obviously didn’t look at the picture.

                  1. The way I know? I specifically selected a picture where her face is neither weird nor her eyes crazy.

                    You’d rail her. But whatever.

                    1. No. Her face is really a turnoff.

                      Maybe if you had a picture of her in yoga pants.

                  2. Yes I did. There is just no accouting for taste. I think Kristen Dunst is hot as hell for example. A lot of people swear up and down she is a buther face.

                    1. A lot of people swear up and down she is a buther face.

                      She’s cute but her grill is jacked up.

        2. Daaamn! You didn’t even capitalize Marine. You are a ruthless man, sir! And you wonder why it was such a short matter of time before putting you and the Glibs in the same room was going to end badly.

          1. My dad was a Marine. And having been in the Army, I feel quite comfortable insulting them.

            1. I had actually thought Navy for some reason–until that very Army insult, which confused me.

              1. Insulting other services is half the reason anyone joins the military.

                1. LOL my Dad was a Marine, and my older brother and I both went into the Navy. He’d call us “swab jockey” and we’d call him “sea-going bellhop”.

  18. DHS: 110 percent surge in migrant men using kids to enter US, ‘rampant fraud’
    Educated on a legal loophole that lets migrant “families” with kids enter the United States, the Homeland Security Department reported Tuesday that men showing up with kids at the border has spiked 110 percent in just the last two years.

    The department noted that children could be used by smugglers and drug traffickers to enter the country.

  19. Speaking of Operation Choke Point, I blew my load down my gf’s throat the other nite.

    1. And then she choked you?

      1. I presume it was simultaneous. That is how it’s supposed to work. Just be sure not to kung-fu your own throat if you wish your legend to continue.

    2. So did I!

  20. A Muslim refugee from Bangladesh was acquitted of the rape of a high school girl ? with a French court excusing the sexual attack due to the young man’s “different cultural norms.”

    The young Islamic migrant was also charged with sexually assaulting another young girl, but his defense argued that he should not be held responsible because he could have misinterpreted his aggressive sexual contact with the girl due to his Muslim “cultural codes.”

    Open borders and multiculturalism is such a great combination.

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/lega…..ural-norms

    1. Literal rape culture is charming and noble when brown people do it.

      1. By the way, I don’t think you can continously let rapists go free and assume the peasants will always be fine with it for the sake of tolerance. Just a hunch

        1. At some point, the mob is going to step up and start hanging these animals from trees. When that happens, things are going to get ugly.

    2. So Believe Her but Excuse the Opressed Immigrant. Got it.

    3. So, they’d be okay with the girl’s family castrating the bastard and hanging him from a tree if that’s their “cultural norm”?

    4. You anti-immigrant people don’t differentiate between voluntary immigrants (legal or not) and forced refugee resettlements. The difference is crucial because when the government brings in refugees who would not come on their own, they have tremendous incentive to cover up any crimes, just as they do with all government mistakes.

      Voluntary immigrants try to fit in and they at least have some idea of what they are coming to. Forced resettlement refugees probably don’t even want to be in the new country and have every incentive to make their new residence adapt to them instead of vice versa.

      1. I doubt that guy was a refugee. Most Muslims immigrants in France came there voluntarily. Migrant is not the same as refugee. Just because you show up to get a job or sponge on welfare doesn’t mean you have any desire to fit in.

      2. “You anti-immigrant people”

        We are complaining about rapists going free and you immediately think of that as being anti immigrant. What does that say about you?

        1. Maybe I can read?

          A Muslim refugee

          The young Islamic migrant

          Open borders and multiculturalism

        2. You also misunderstood my larger point, that there is a difference between voluntary and coerced immigration. Refugees brought in by the government did not choose to come to that country.

          Choosing to harp on the crime itself instead of the reason for it is a sure sign of a weak argument.

          1. I was choosing to “harp on the crime” because it is seriously fucked up. The reason is pretty self explanatory since they give it in the ruling. As for your point, I don’t know where you got the idea that the refugees were forced to move halfway around the world. It was widely publicized that they wanted the welfare benefits that countries like Sweden offered.

      3. “Invasion is Invasion is Invasion”

    5. France isn’t an example of multiculturalism. It’s an example of forced integration being a total failure. The reason Muslims are so much better integrated into American society than they are in France is that we’re multicultural where France has devoted itself to forced integration. There are all sorts of reasons for this, from France’s fucked up misapplication of religious liberty (they’re a secular society that tried to enforce freedom from religion rather than freedom of religion), they imagined that forcing immigrants to accept French culture was like forcing them to stop being barbarians, etc., etc.

      That being said, injustice like this in the name of multiculturalism is why multiculturalism loses its legitimacy.

      The real problem is injustice and the government’s failure to protect people’s rights. The real problem is that France’s immigration and asylum policies have been inflicted on the French people over their objections and against their will. The real problem is the French government’s forced integration policies. If France goes to the hard right, those will be the ultimate reasons why.

      A government that legitimizes rape in the name of inclusion is just begging to lose its legitimacy with the people. That’s why France’s xenophobic party has huge support. If they don’t learn from their mistakes, then it’s gonna get worse.

  21. Marc Lamont Hill Calls for Destruction of Israel at UN

    “[We must] commit to political action, grassroots action, local action, and international action that will give us what justice requires. And that is a free Palestine, from the river to the sea.”

  22. In fairness, we probably shouldn’t talk about Saudi aggression in Yemen without talking about Iranian aggression in Yemen. Here’s a primer on the current iteration (the aftermath of the Arab Spring) courtesy of the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-44466574

    Going back even further, during the Cold War, Yemen was two countries: North Yemen and South Yemen. One was predominantly Shia and backed by Iran, Syria, and the Soviets and one was backed by the U.S. and its allies.

    Whether you support American troops in Yemen (I don’t) or using Saudi Arabia as a proxy against Iran, talking about Saudi aggression without talking about Al Qaeda or Iranian backing of Shia militia there is . . . um . . . an error of omission at best and a half-truth at worst.

    1. Obama made a deal with Iran. Pointing out Iran’s involvement in this makes Obama look bad. And that is just not something that the staff a reason does.

  23. Crab boats run on Unicorn farts!:

    “Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change ”
    […]
    “On Wednesday, associations representing California crab fishermen like Beardon filed suit against 30 fossil fuel companies seeking to make the companies pay for the harm global warming has caused to California’s fisheries. The suit demands that petroleum interests finance the changes that will be needed to sustain the crab fishing industry in the future.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment
    /2018/nov/14/crab-fishermen-sue-oil-
    firms-exxon-chevron

    Hint to Beardon: Learn to flip burgers, if this is the best you go.

    1. Taking all the crabs out of the ocean has nothing to do with less crabs in the ocean.

      1. Just ignore the fleet of Japanese fishing trawlers just outside of the US economic zone.

  24. “The vote stems from political anger over Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump’s response to Khashoggi’s death, and Trump’s derision of intelligence reports that the prince was involved, as well as ongoing Saudi aggression in Yemen and the humanitarian crisis it’s created there. (Alas, the latter seems a lower-priority offense for most in Congress.)”

    That’s an interesting assumption–that the motives of Trump’s critics are pure as snow.

    I have another explanation that makes more sense.

    How ’bout the possibility that the Democrats are in it to score political points by a highlighting an embarrassing position Trump is being forced to take (ignoring a murder) if he wants to pursue a pragmatic foreign policy against Iran, and neocon Republicans are taking advantage of this situation to try to shut down Trump’s pragmatism because it runs counter to their neoconservative goals of direct U.S. involvement.

    I’m sure there’s a principled soul or two among Trump’s critics, here, but for goodness’ sake, let’s not get carried away, Pollyanna.

    1. The Neocons would love to see us pull out and the conflict smoulder and eventually explode requiring massive US direct involvement. They have not given up their dream of remaking the middle east into their own image.

      1. You’re right. They haven’t given up at all.

        That’s why McCain and the other neocons became Never Trumpers before Trump was elected. It wasn’t because of Stormy Daniels and accusations of groping. It wasn’t because they were principled free traders.

        It was because Trump was campaigning on collaborating with Putin to destroy ISIS, their big hope to justify invading Syria.

        I don’t think you were here the other day when ENB was suggesting that the neocons in the Republican party were opposing Trump’s collaboration with Saudi Arabia because Trump is too hawkish for the neocons.

        Um . . . no.

        The neocons oppose Trump’s pragmatism because it precludes a U.S. invasion. I don’t think it’s that she was trying to mislead anybody. I just don’t think she understands what neconservatism and pragmatism are all about, and she thinks that opposing Trump justifies saying whatever about him because he’s evil.

        In the past, I suppose Reason had a more learned commentariat, but even then, we could depend on the staff knowing at least as much about those things as we did. I see some of these regulars around here these days repeating stuff that I know is wrong–and they’re getting it from the staff here. It’s kinda scary if you’re someone who really believes in libertarianism and that change comes through persuasion. Well, it’s discouraging anyway.

        1. The US will never send more than a few advisors and drone strikes to a civil war in Yemen. If, however, that war moved to Saudi Arabia, which it would if the Saudis walk away from Yemen, the US would be forced to intervene and intervene massively. That is the long game the Neocons are playing.

          1. Most neocons have been very pro-Saudi. Scoop Jackson was. All his acolytes, who ended up advising the Reagan and then GWB Administrations, were. McCain was. Bush himself loved the Saudis. Joe Lieberman and anyone who actually cares about the welfare of Israel long ago shifted, as did Netanyahu between his premierships, to a hardline anti-Iran alignment. (There is certainly tension between American neoconservatism and the interests of Israel, but not in this case.)

            1. I think you’re mostly talking about Saudi Arabia vis-a-vis as a foil for Iraq and Iran.

              To the extent that Saudi Arabia could be portrayed as a victim of Iranian and Iraqi villains, back then, they may have been portrayed as good guys in the neocon universe. Also, remember that especially before the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq, Saudi Arabia was a huge staging area to project American power in the region. We built huge air bases and stored the equipment to operate them there. Yeah, the neocons weren’t so dogmatic in their hatred of pragmatism that they would turn on an important ally in the wars they wanted against Iraq and Iran, but that was a temporary thing.

              Fast forward to 2018, and, no, the neoconservatives are not pragmatic about the Saudis getting in the way of their goals. In fact, they always were and always will remain fundamentally opposed to pragmatic alliances when a U.S. led invasion would suffice.

              1. When did McCain turn against KSA? When has Lieberman to this very day? When did Graham do anything but spew red-hot, continuous fire in thundering righteous support of the war in Yemen right up until Kashoggi? You want to see real hardline opponents of the Saudi alliance, go back to Glibs.

                1. It seems to be tied to the election of Trump, doesn’t it?

                  I’d suppose the reason for the inflection point is Trump’s pragmatism.

                  Maybe Saudi Arabia is all good so long as they’re a staging ground for neoconservative conquest and a vile dictatorship when they’re a party to a pragmatic president that gets in the neocons’ way.

                  Surely, you see that the Never Trumpers were full of neocons, right?

            2. Also, one of the things that are fundamental to neoconservatives goes back to the philosophy of Leo Strauss, especially as it regards his mutually unassailable towers.

              In Strauss’ formulation, western philosophy hit a dead end with Nietche, his interpreter Heidigger, relativism generally, etc. That there didn’t seem to be any way to go forward from this, relativistic reality based on perspective.

              Except for one!

              For that, you need to go all the way back to Plato and his ideas about the “noble” lie. If we can’t account everyone’s unique perspective by revealing the “truth” because there are so many truths, maybe we can start manufacturing the truths we need in order to get things done.

              1. This is from 6 months after we invaded Iraq:

                “WASHINGTON (AP) ? Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists’ strike against this country.

                Sixty-nine percent in a Washington Post poll published Saturday said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents believe it’s likely Saddam was involved.”

                —-Washington Post, September 6, 2003

                People didn’t believe these things for no reason, but most of those reasons were fed to them by neocons. There was an anthrax attack. There were bogus photos of mobile WMD labs. There were phony stories about yellowcake in Niger. There were phony stories about Iraq training people to hijack on airplanes in the Iraqi desert.

                Point is that feeding these kinds of stories to people is fundamental to neoconservatism, so we should be careful what we believe about what the neoconservatives are telling us about any country they believe in–with the only exceptions being the U.S. and Israel. We need to use our critical thinking skills with this bunch especially because when they need the American people to believe certain things in order for their goals to be realized, they will find those things. Reasons to support or oppose Saudi Arabia could easily be one of those things.

                1. Oops, forgot the link:

                  http://usatoday30.usatoday.com…..iraq_x.htm

                  And it wasn’t the Washington Post. It was a poll commissioned by the Washington Post.

      2. They want to remake the Middle East into a place where rulers consider the concern of their rule to be primarily waging an endless series of wars with everyone in sight, with little mind paid one way or the other to the domestic matters concerning their subject peoples? Well, history suggests they will certainly have their work cut out for them!

      3. What does a bunch of people on a cruise ship have to do with the middle east?

        1. It must have been so humiliating for those self appointed “serious publications” to have to start hawking cruise packages to keep the lights on.

  25. I hope that bill passes for a few reasons, but pretty high on the list is to see Congress assert it’s damn Constitutional authority over the executive branch for a change.

    1. It only matters if Trump signs it. So even if it does pass, it will not be Congress asserting anything the President hasn’t agreed to do.

  26. Huh. That’s cute. Congress thinks that they have a say in whether we fight wars or send troops someplace.

    1. Congress read the ennumerated powers clause right out of the Constitution. Hard to see how they can complain when the President decided to read the war power out of Article 1

  27. Unfortunately, self-interested calls to weaken Section 230 are an increasingly common (and bipartisan) affair.

    Which means it’s a pretty safe bet that it’ll happen sooner or later, and the congress creatures responsible will break their own arms patting themselves on their backs for their bipartisanship.

    Example #1,542,778 of why bipartisanship sucks.

    1. Why does anyone owe social media platforms immunit from laws that apply to everyone else? The argument was that these platforms were like the telephone company. We don’t hold the phone company responsible for people conspiring to commit a murder using the phone. The telephone company, however, doesn’t listen to your phone calls or disconnect your service because it doens’t like your politics.

      It is very clear that these platforms want to freedom to refuse their services to people for whatevery reason they like. If they want that freedom, they should then have to assume the corresponding responsibility for whatever content is posted on their platform.

      And somehow Reason only sees self interest in other people. The media and internet providers who benefit from section 230 immunity are not self interested but only thinking of the common good I guess.

      1. The plain language of Section 230 does not predicate civil immunity on a platform’s supposed fairness or impartiality.

        1. Yes it does. We went through this yesterday. The language defines a specific, inclusive, and detailed set of reasons that you are allowed to remove content if you want the immunity.

          Beyond that, even if you are too thick to understand what 230 says, that is besides the larger point, which is that there is nothing that says this immunity should be granted to these platforms and that the law shouldn’t be repealled altogether.

          1. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230

            (c) Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material
            (1) Treatment of publisher or speaker
            No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

            (2) Civil liability
            No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of?
            (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected;

            Section 230(c)(1) says that platforms won’t be considered publishers or speakers. It doesn’t place conditions on this statement.

            Section 230(c)(2) says that IF a platform decides to remove “objectionable” content, they won’t be held liable. It doesn’t REQUIRE them to remove objectionable content, and it doesn’t mandate that they remove objectionable content according to some “fair” or “neutral” standard.

            1. I never said it requires them to remove content. There is nothing I said that even implies that. I said just the opposite. If they want to remove content, they can only do it for those reasons.

              I said, . The language defines a specific, inclusive, and detailed set of reasons that you are allowed to remove content if you want the immunity.

              That statement does not mean nor does it reasonably imply the are required to remove content. It is saying if they want the immunity, they can only remove content for those reasons. If they choose not to remove content at all, they get the immunity. They only risk losing it when they start removing content for reasons other than those stated.

              You are just throwing shade here. There is no way you are so stupid that you can’t understand what I said. Just stop it.

              1. Yes, “objectionable content”. Which is very broad, and ultimately in the eye of the beholder, and does not mandate that the platform’s owners follow any sort of fair or neutral standard for what constitutes “objectionable”.

                You are reading into the statute some sort of “fairness” or “impartiality” standard. It just isn’t there.

                Furthermore, Section 1 says that the platforms are not publishers, full stop. That statement doesn’t have any sort of qualification on it.

                1. WE had this discussion yesterday. You are wanting to read the statute in a way contrary to how courts read them. You read a statute in the way that gives every term in it meaning to the greatest extent possible. So, you don’t take one clause or term of a statute and read it to make other parts of it meaningless if you can avoid it. In this case, reading “other objectionable content” as meaning anything the carrier wants, renders every other term moot because it gives them total discretion. That is clearly not what Congress intended and not the proper way to read that statute.

                  Beyond that, once again, even if it were the proper way to read the statute, that just begs the question of whether the statute should give them immunity at all. And I think the answer to that question is no so long as they want to exercise control over the content of what is posted on the platforms.

                  1. I cannot find a court case that affirms your interpretation. Can you?

                    As I mentioned yesterday, I think an equally valid way of interpreting that statement is, “Here is a list of items that are commonly cited as objectionable, and all platforms are explicitly shielded from liability for removing those, but since we can’t think of everything, we will allow you to also remove content that you think is objectionable, without liability.”

                    1. No one has litigated this issue. It was just until recently that these platforms started to indiscriminately kick people off their services.

                      That statute has never been interpreted by a court as far as I know because no one has ever been able to make a case that they were acting outside of the allowed reasons. That seems to be changing. If and when the day comes that someone makes that case, the courts will not read the statutes to give the providers complete discretion, because the statute doesn’t say that.

                    2. no one has ever been able to make a case that they were acting outside of the allowed reasons.

                      Which lends credence to my interpretation of Section 230(c)(2).

                  2. Furthermore, even you would have to admit that there is no “fairness” or “impartiality” standard required for immunity. So even if we only talk about platforms removing content that all agreed was “obscene” by some objective measure, if a platform only removed “obscene” content haphazardly or inconsistently, that would not be a problem from a Section 230 point of view.

                    1. It is not a fair or impartial standard. It is a reasonable and consistent standard. They can call anything they want obscene, they just have to be consistent about how they do it.

                      For the second day in a row, the problem is not Twitter has decided that only leftwing views are welcome on its platform. The problem is that it is claiming to be a content neutral platform and then not living by that promise.

                    2. The problem is that it is claiming to be a content neutral platform and then not living by that promise.

                      That is a ToS/breach of contract issue, not a Section 230 issue.

                    3. No. Their breach of contract means they are not eliminating conent in any rational way that is consistent with the statute.

                    4. WHERE does Section 230 say “if you remove obscene content, you have to do so in a ‘rational way’ if you want the immunity”?

                    5. So once again, Section 230 does not require “fairness” or “impartiality” when it comes to removing content, even content that all would agree does fit under the definition of Section 230(c)(2). Agreed?

                  3. FURTHERMORE, John, Section 230(c)(1) says that platforms aren’t publishers, PERIOD. Regardless of whether they remove content or not. So EVEN IF a platform removed content that wasn’t permitted by Section 230(c)(2), they STILL wouldn’t be held to the standard of publisher, as per Section 230(c)(1).

                    1. Section 230 says they are not publishers so they get this special grant of immunity. What is and what is not a “publisher” in this context is a legal term of art that can be changed by changing the law. So, if Congress wants to say that yes they are publishers, they can. And if they want to exert indescriminate control over the content of these platforms, that would be a reasonable action by Congress.

                    2. What is and what is not a “publisher” in this context is a legal term of art that can be changed by changing the law.

                      Well sure, the law can be changed in any way that Congress wishes.

                      But as far as things stand right now, Section 230 declares that platforms are not publishers, whether they decide to remove content or not. Agreed?

                    3. FURTHERMORE, John, Section 230(c)(1) says that platforms aren’t publishers, PERIOD.

                      Wrong.

                      It says that they are not treated as publishers or speakers of CONTENT FROM ANOTHER PROVIDER. Like when Reason posts tweets. Reason is not treated as the “publisher” of the tweet….

                      … but Reason is certainly a publisher.

                    4. * Like when Reason reposts tweets. Reason is not treated as the “publisher” of the original tweet….

        2. John what is the source of the phone company’s lack of responsibility as you describe? Is it statutory?

          1. Yes. The Communications Act of 1934

            1. Interesting! What protected the telegraph lines before that though? Another statute presumably. And did Pony Express need a statute? Presumably Wells Fargo (and today FedEx, etc.) are indeed assigned some responsibility for policing the shipping of contraband, so that is different. But what about the shipping of printed material? We talk about the government crushing Spooner’s letter service with their (invented) monopoly powers, but did they even need to do that? Couldn’t they have just set him up for allowing a murder to be coordinated by post, with any industry involving the transmission of information requiring positive statutory action by the government to exist in practice in the first place?

              1. Forgot to make clear I was asking what the statute enabling the telegraph industry was.

              2. Common carrier immunity is an old concept. It started with shipping companies not being held responsible for contraband they shipped. The communications act just codified the law that was already there and fully and clearly applied it to telephone companies.

                1. I see! So in your opinion 230 is well written as is? Why is it giving us problems then? Why are these companies being allowed to abuse it?

                  1. They are being allowed to abuse it because the courts are not enforcing the statute. Also, there really isn’t a good means for enforcing the statute. The only way to enforce it would be for someone who is damaged by the posting of libalous or copyrighted material to sue the providers and get a court to strip it of its immunity. But since these services are maticulous about taking such content down when requested, you are at best going to get statutory damages. That would get very painful if this clause didn’t exist and they had to deal with 1000s of such suits. But since it does and you can’t be sure that a court will strip them of the immunity, no one brings the suits nothing happens.

      2. It is very clear that these platforms want to freedom to refuse their services to people for whatevery reason they like. If they want that freedom, they should then have to assume the corresponding responsibility for whatever content is posted on their platform.

        Why is this a necessary result?

        What is wrong with the position of, a platform should be free to refuse service to anyone that it wishes, based on private property rights, and also that a platform should not be held responsible for content on their platform that is written by a third party?

        1. What is wrong with that position is that it gives these platforms a special status that no one esle gets. Newpapers are responsible for what they print but have complete discretion over what it is. Common carriers are not responsible for how their service is used but give up the freedom to deny service for any reason. Interet providers would be allowed to exist in this sweet spot where they get the protections of common carriers and the freedom of publishers. What entitles them to such special treatment under the law?

          Being a Progressive it shouldn’t surprise me that you can’t grasp the idea that freedom and responsibility are necessarily associated. The internet providers just want a free ride where they get immunity for their actions but are still given complete discretion in what actions they take. It does not and should not work that way.

          1. Because newspapers and online forums are fundamentally different. Newspapers pay reporters for their intellectual property, and the words that they print are owned by the newspaper itself, not by the reporter. By contrast, like here, Reason is not paying you nor I for our words, and Reason does not retain the intellectual property rights to the words that we type here.

            Now when Matt Welch posts an article because Reason has paid Matt Welch to write something for them, then Reason is on the hook for the words in that article. But Reason shouldn’t be on the hook for the words that you or I write in comment forums.

            1. Some newspapers pay reporters. But not all do. Some newspapers are community ones and take submissions for free. The fact that they pay their reporters is not what makes them liable. What makes them liable for the content is the fact that they control it. If you control something, you own the responsibility for the consiquences it creates.

              1. How dare you threaten their right to have their cake and eat it too!

    2. I would love to have seen Zuckerberg go on the offensive in front of Congress. He could have made a speech about how he refuses to sit there smiling while his platform is derided for spreading fake news by a bunch of politicians professional liars.

      He could have talked about how Facebook has no substitute for critical thinking in the face of fake news because there is no substitute for critical thinking–and how dare the people’s representatives treat their own constituents like children, who shouldn’t be expected to think for themselves.

      But nooooooOOOOOOOOoooooo.

      Instead, Zuckerberg used it as an opportunity to argue for rent-seeking regulation of Facebook.

      Fuck Facebook.

      1. those who lust for control use regulations to maintain their control. with regulations Facebook wouldn’t have to keep buying up competitors

      2. Process over substance. It’s not just politicians who do this.

  28. So Ashley Judd is a dumb cunt, I mean, orfice.

  29. , “Hi, Thanks for your perspective. I disagree. I believe body invasion is indeed inherently harmful, and cash is the proof of coercion. Buying sexual access commodifies something that is beyond the realm of capitalism and entrepreneurship: girls and women’s orfices [sic].

    So is Ashley Judd is against a women’s right to choose to have an abortion, because a doctor gets paid to insert objects into a women’s orifice?

  30. >>>The vote stems from political anger over

    one guy from New York destroying an entire class of career politicians at their own fucking game. pussies.

  31. everyone quits twitter, 230 doesn’t matter. and ashley judd stupider than previously believed.

    1. Twitter is a big nothing. People yelled about Jesse Kelly getting kicked off but the guy has a radio show and is on TV all of the time. What did he care if he could be on twitter?

      To me Youtube is a much bigger deal than Twitter. It has a virtual monopoly on uploaded video. Getting kicked off of Youtube really matters. Twitter? Who gives a shit.

  32. “…cash is the proof of coercion.”

    So I guess pimps are coerced to?

    It’s coercion all the way down and up. Who knew?

    1. Apparently incentives are the same as coercion. The only time any action is not coerced is when there is no possibility of reward or bad consequences.

  33. “Politics should be kept out of private contractual relationships” can be read two ways. And I believe there are important points around both of them.

    Meaning (1): “Government should not interfere in private contractual relationships for political reasons.” To me this is pretty much absolutely correct, and I would even strike out the last three words as redundant. But there’s an important exception, and that is where the contract arises in a type of business that is a monopoly, or at least is concentrated in only a few hands, because of overregulation.

    Meaning (2): “Private parties should not be allowed to impose contract conditions on one another that confer no reasonable economic advantage to either of them, but are motivated merely by unrelated political ideology.” I would never impose this on most people or businesses, but it may be justifiable or even morally mandatory to impose this limit on a business that is concentrated as I’ve described above.

    Banking is a perfect example of a business concentrated in only a few hands. That ought to be changed, but for so long as it remains true, the law needs to impose meaning (2) on the banking business. That is the lesson I would have us draw from Operation Choke Point.

  34. The vote stems from political anger over Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,

    Ahem, alleged role. Just because the CIA thinks someone’s responsible for a crime does not actually constitute a conviction.

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