Reason Roundup

Senator-Elect Mitt Romney, Welcome to the Resistance: Reason Roundup

Plus: The government shutdown continues, and Netflix caves to Saudi censorship demands.

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Romney
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

Romney v. Trump. Mitt Romney, soon to be sworn in as Utah's junior senator, took to the pages of The Washington Post Tuesday to register his dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump, whom he blamed for a number of recent bad policy maneuvers.

"On balance, [Trump's] conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office," writes Romney.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee notes that he agrees with many of Trump's policies—"[Trump] was right to align U.S. corporate taxes with those of global competitors, to strip out excessive regulations, to crack down on China's unfair trade practices, to reform criminal justice and to appoint conservative judges"—but thinks Trump himself is damaging the character of the nation:

To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow "our better angels." A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent's shortfall has been most glaring.

Reactions to the op-ed have been mixed. Some have branded Romney a hypocrite for accepting Trump's endorsement in the Utah Senate race and then turning on the president after he was safely elected. Fox News talking head Dan Bongino called him a sell-out, a fraud, a phony, and a fake.

On the other side, The Week's Damon Linker speculates that Romney might be positioning himself as an option for anti-Trump conservatives who could suddenly find themselves in power again if this presidency goes down in flames:

The most likely reason Romney has chosen to fire a shot across the president's bow at this moment, less than two days before he takes his Senate seat, is that he wants to set himself up as the de facto leader of the (sizable but mostly silent) faction of the Republican Party establishment that still stands strongly opposed to Trump as a person and as a president….

But it may well be that Romney's only motive is doing what he deems to be right. That might sound naïve in our age of all-pervasive political cynicism, but recall the brutal speech attacking Trump and his campaign that Romney chose to deliver on March 3, 2016. There was no reason for him to launch that broadside beyond the conviction that Trump was unfit to serve as president and the desire to do something about it.

Trump responded to the op-ed as well, of course. Needless to say, he was not pleased:

FREE MINDS

Netflix has complied with a demand from the government of Saudi Arabia to take down an episode of the show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.

The episode featured Minhaj—a Jon Stewart/John Oliver–style comedian who offers a smug liberal take on the news—urging the U.S. to revisit its close relationship with Saudi Arabia in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

Saudi Arabia claimed the episode violates its cybercrime laws, which prohibit the "production, preparation, transmission or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals and privacy." It's essentially a catch-all law that gives the government broad authority to censor critics online.

Netflix defended its decision thusly: "We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request—and to comply with local law."

Arguably, the company had little choice in the matter, but that doesn't mean it stings any less. At least Saudis can still view the episode on Netflix's YouTube channel.

FREE MARKETS

There's no end in sight to the government shutdown, which entered Day 11 on Wednesday.

Furloughed employees will likely receive back pay covering the days they missed, once a deal is reached. Contractors, though, are out of luck, according to The Wall Street Journal:

Lila Johnson, 71, is one of those contract workers. She works part time as a custodian at the Agriculture Department in Washington to supplement her social security and pension income and support her two great-grandchildren.

"I don't know if I'm going to be able to pay my car insurance, my life insurance, credit cards, rent and all that bills that I have being head of household," she said. "I am going to have to figure out how to get all this done without a paycheck."

But temporarily out-of-work government employees in Washington D.C. are receiving support from private enterprise. Celebrity chef Jose Andres, for instance, says that anyone with a valid government employee ID can receive a free sandwich at his restaurants "every day until back to work!"

The shutdown is also beginning to effect small businesses that rely on federal workers as customers, according to USA Today:

Sam Samhouri's corner cafe in Oakland, California, sits on what might normally be considered a prime piece of real estate: directly across the street from an 18-floor office building.

The problem for Samhouri is that the campus that supplies most of his customers is the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building. That means many of his lunchtime regulars have been furloughed by the partial government shutdown in its second week.

"There's nobody there," said Samhouri, whose City Cup cafe employs three people.

It's not all bad news: The FCC says its "activities will cease" on Thursday if the government is still shut down.

QUICK HITS

  • Trump has invited Congressional leaders to the White House to work on a shutdown deal.
  • Speaking of not making progress, Trump's negotiations with North Korea have stalled as well.
  • The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria will now take place over four months, rather than 30 days, according to the president.
  • Feminist writer and activist Amy Siskind reportedly tried to get a Boston College professor fired because he criticized her statement that she would withhold support from all white male candidates.

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  1. ,i>Romney v. Trump.

    HE’S RUNNING

    1. I’ll believe Democrats really consider Trump an existential threat when they all vote Romney.

    2. reason hasn’t updated their tag system to the 2019 specs for italicizing, i guess

      1. It’s a new emoticon I’ve been developing.

  2. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions…

    sigh

  3. Trump has invited Congressional leaders to the White House to work on a shutdown deal.

    Bring food tasters.

    1. I thought that was the list of Food Tasters?

  4. The FCC says its “activities will cease” on Thursday if the government is still shut down.

    then we’ll really see the shackles taken off of trump’s twitter account

  5. How do you make a sex scene sexy? (And keep the actors safe?) Five intimacy coordinators explain their craft

    For actors, filming sex scenes can be a job requirement ? and an uncomfortable one. When Sarah Scott was shooting an intimate scene for a television pilot, her costar placed her hand on his groin, she said, and later called her into his dressing room and masturbated in front of her. Samara Weaving is reportedly leaving Showtime’s “SMILF” in part because of concerns about how the showrunner handled a closed-set request during the filming of a sexual interlude.

    Both the costar and the showrunner have denied these allegations, which helps demonstrate how complicated it can be to orchestrate the performance of sex on set. But a new role has emerged to help directors, showrunners and performers navigate such scenes: the intimacy coordinator.

  6. The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria will now take place over four months, rather than 30 days, according to the president.

    Critics will appreciate the extra time to spin doom scenarios.

  7. Feminist writer and activist Amy Siskind reportedly tried to get a Boston College professor fired because he criticized her statement that she would withhold support from all white male candidates.

    That’s such a 2018 sentence.

  8. Union calls for more DEC police officers

    According to the union, the DEC’s police force has 260 members, while it once had as many as 330 officers and investigators. They argue that their ranks are low because of “a combination of factors, including attrition and pay and benefits far below what comparable police units offer.”

    “The decimation of enforcement at the federal level means state leaders must step up now,” Barber said. “There is an opportunity for New York state to take the leadership role away from the Federal Government and actually do something about the impending danger of climate change and have a lasting impact on New Yorkers.”

    1. DEC = Department of Environmental Conservation

  9. “A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.””

    Funny, I don’t see that in *my* copy of the Constitution.

    The reference to better angels sounds like Lincoln’s First Inaugural. He united the county, all right, but not by being nice to everyone.

  10. …Trump’s negotiations with North Korea have stalled as well.

    He wants to know how they did it without a wall.

    1. Funny how increasing interest rates do that every time. You would think that investors know that increasing interest rates result in increasing bond rates, and that bonds are a lower risk investment that stocks.

      whodathunk!

      1. Where was your tutorial on the stock market when Pres. Trump was boasting about huge increases?

        Carry on, clingers. For a bit longer, perhaps.

  11. Beverly Hills cop championed in VOGUE for bringing change to the force is accused by 21 employees of misconduct after ‘making anti-Semitic and racist remarks and having sex with subordinates’

    In the last two years, at least 21 current and former employees filed lawsuits or employment complaints against Chief Spagnoli for making racist and anti-Semitic comments, denying workers promotions, and engaging in sexual affairs with subordinate officers, according to Los Angeles Times.

    One filing said the number of complaints could rise to 30. As there are about 245 employees in the department, that would mean nearly 10 per cent of the department would have complained about Spagnoli.

    1. Or to put it another way, 90% *didn’t* complain about him.

        1. ……..Niccce

          1. Really, do we need to strive for 100% accuracy on something so fluid?

  12. There’s no end in sight to the government shutdown…

    And no end in sight of the parade of sob stories.

    1. I love it. Maybe if it goes on long enough some of those government employees sitting at home without pay will decide to get honest work.

    1. He’ll be a new Horatio Seymour, opposing a divisive Republican administration.

    2. Isn’t Ellis Island a National Park?

  13. The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria will now take place over four months, rather than 30 days, according to the president.

    They shouldn’t be withdrawn at all. Since Hillary Clinton isn’t a puppet of a hostile foreign power, she wouldn’t be making this disastrous strategic error. And whoever wins the 2020 Democratic nomination, I hope that candidate runs on a pro-military, national security message promising to reverse Drumpf’s mistakes.

    #StillWithHer
    #LibertariansForStayingInSyria

    1. “#LibertariansForStayingInSyria”

      A+, that’s awesome.

  14. Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!
    ? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2019

    YOU HAVE TO PLAY TO WIN. Or win to play. I forget which.

    1. Let me see now, the Liberal Romney, who inspired ObamaCare with RomneyCare in Mass. ….. the one who ran for president and was in no way even a contender …. who blamed his loss on prejudice against Mormans …. get elected to the Senate from Nevada BECAUSE he is a Mormon … is the new voice of Reason.

      Excuse me, whadda crocka shit.

      1. Senator from Utah but point made.

  15. The shutdown is also beginning to effect small businesses that rely on federal workers as customers…

    How DARE USA Today bring gross capitalists into this.

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      1. Do you rely now, or have ever relied on federal workers as customers?

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  17. To borrow the words of the Left, conservatives also “Resist, persist”… 😉
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

  18. Lila Johnson, 71, is one of those contract workers. She works part time as a custodian at the Agriculture Department in Washington to supplement her social security and pension income and support her two great-grandchildren.

    If only journalists were as dedicated to exposing the hardships of government-affected sex workers.

  19. The episode featured Minhaj?a Jon Stewart/John Oliver?style comedian who offers a smug liberal take on the news?urging the U.S. to revisit its close relationship with Saudi Arabia in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

    Even Jon Stewart/John Oliver?style broken clocks can be unjustifiably smugly right twice a day.

  20. Romney is such a coward. When Trump got elected and Romney was running for office, Romney was all about singing the praises of Trump. Now that he is safely elected, he is Mr. Resistence. He didn’t even wait to be sworn in as Senator before he stuck it to the people who elected him thinking he would be reasonable and not another Jeff Flake. That is just pure cowardice. If Romney really believes all of this, why didn’t he say something when he was running for office?

    1. Seriously, whoever heard of a politician doing and saying whatever it takes to get elected then doing and saying whatever they want afterwards?

      1. Romney is a typical shit bag politician. There is no denying that.

        1. At least you know he’s not doing this just for the cocktail party invites. He just wants the pat on the head and the “Who’s a good boy? You’re a good boy!” from the media.

          But it is funny that the WaPo gives him free space to criticize Trump, seemingly forgetting that Mitt – like McCain and any other “good” Republican who criticizes fellow Republicans – was Literal Hitler there for a short while and Mitt – being a “good” Republican – sucks it up and pretends to forget they called him Literal Hitler. Mitt is the guy for whom the term “spineless shitweasel” was coined.

        2. Obama was horrible as president but by 2012, a GOP controlled Congress had effectively locked Obama’s Socialist policies down.

          Romney would have had massive bi-partisan support to implement his shitty policies had he won in 2012.

          Then of course, Trump would not have been elected in 2016 as it would have effectively been impossible to oust a shitty incumbent president- as Obama, Bush, and Clinton proves.

          It was better to endure Obama 2012-2016, so we got Trump.

  21. Romney is sad and pathetic.

    How many millions were spent on his campaign that he lost solely due to a refusal to actually ‘fight’ and aggressively promote his platform? A wishy-washy loser who didn’t have the moral courage to stand up for what he believed in.

    And he now has the audacity to attack the sitting president of his own party in the WaPo of all places. He has ‘fight’ now when it only helps the dems.

    Romney doesn’t have a shot in hell of winning a Republican primary and any advisor he has who says otherwise has been hitting the booze a bit too much.

    1. He has ‘fight’ now when it only helps the dems.

      Someone has to take up the mantle of “noble Republican loser/maverick” now that McCain’s dead. No one better to do that than Milquetoast Mitt.

  22. My Son Is 11, Gender Creative and Proud. Here’s What Fellow Parents Still Don’t Understand.

    We’ve dealt with the gender binary since C.J. was 2 or 3. The binary was originally male-female, but then it became cisgender-trans. Either way, we can’t get away from it, because it doesn’t work for C.J. He’s in the middle. And those in the middle of that cis-trans binary are confusing to people.

    Got it.

    1. We now celebrate child abuse on the pages of magazines. Lovely.

    2. The fact that society is adopting Silicon Valley bugspeak to describe human beings is a great indicator that BigTech needs to be broken up and sold for scrap.

    3. You know who else didn’t have all the testicles that science said he should?

      1. Janet Reno?

      2. Bea Arthur?

      3. and Go-balls

        had no balls

        at all !

      4. Hillary?

      5. Tentacles. N-T.

        1. Gee, Ricky…Im reall sorry your mom blew up. I guess she just cant eat spicy food for awhile. Haha.

    4. In my day, gender creative meant I was willing to do the Baby Elephant Walk in public.

    5. gender creative

      So xe wasn’t born any particular gender? Xe just gets creative with it?

    6. It was so much simpler when some kids were just a little weird. Now it has to be a whole thing.

    7. Young children who are “gender creative” always have parents who are strongly, almost excessively supportive of it and coincidentally know all the sjw jargon. You never hear about non binary 3 year olds rebelling against their conservative gender normative parents. That’s how you know it’s legit.

      1. The comparison I’ve heard the most often is when someone says they have a vegan cat, you know the cat didn’t really make that decision. A 3 year old has absolutely no concept of gender or sex.

  23. http://www.washingtonexaminer……lity-index

    At year-end 2018, how is President Donald Trump’s regulatory reform project going? Better than Obama, Bush II, and Clinton in terms of fewer regulations; but not as good as Trump’s own first year,” said the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

    CEI regulations guru Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. said in a year-end report provided in advance to Secrets that Trump ended the year with 3,367 new regulations. That is the lowest since records were first kept in the 1970s.

    But Crews noted that Trump’s number of new regulations is lower. The reason: the government requires a “regulation” to kill a regulation, and Trump is continuing on his promise to kill two regulations for every new one he proposes. . . .

    In what Crews has dubbed the “Unconstitutionality Index,” Trump has has also slashed the percentage of new rules to new laws passed by Congress and signed by Trump, he wrote in a second report issued Monday.

    This is a very big deal and why Washington hates Trump so much. He is taking away their ability to steal.

    1. +1000

  24. She works part time as a custodian at the Agriculture Department in Washington to supplement her social security and pension income and support her two great-grandchildren.

    She should be blaming the typical wealth inequality that occurs in left-wing bughives that raises her cost of living to such an extent that SS and a pension aren’t enough to pay the bills. She should also tell her worthless grandchildren to take care of their own kids.

    1. She should also tell her worthless grandchildren to take care of their own kids.

      Or her children. This woman’s problem is that her family is an example of social breakdown. There is no reason why she should not be able to support herslef on a pension and SS.

  25. Yosemite visitors turn roads into toilets as shutdown crises mount at national parks

    Mountains of garbage and human waste are challenging efforts to keep U.S. national parks open during a partial shutdown of the federal government, National Parks Traveler reported.

    In California, Yosemite National Park officials have closed the Wawona and Hodgson Meadows campgrounds, along with the Mariposa Grove of redwoods, after finding human feces and urine beside Wawona Road, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    “With restrooms closed, some visitors are opting to deposit their waste in natural areas adjacent to high traffic areas, which creates a health hazard for other visitors,” National Parks Service spokesman Andrew Munoz told the publication in an email.

    “It’s a free-for-all,” said Dakota Snider, 24, a Yosemite Valley resident, reported The Associated Press. “It’s so heartbreaking. There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules than I’ve seen in my four years living here.”

    1. Maybe people should pick up after themselves? Some national parks are trash free. There are no trash cans and everyone is expected to take out whatever trash they bring in when they leave. At least at the ones I have been to, it works fine. Why can’t it work that way at every national park?

      1. Carrying around your own shit is a tougher sell. Though there are plenty of places that require that as well.

        1. Or shit in a hole and bury it. I’m no outdoorsman, I in fact believe that we should do all we can to destroy the evil that is nature, but I still know you can just dig a hole and bury it.

      2. The government does this specifically in order to hurt the public in order to sell the idea they are necessary. Closing bathrooms that pretty literally run themselves being a simple example of a ‘fuck you, public’ mentality.

        I have never once seen a park ranger clean one of their restrooms, and I’ve spent a whole lot of time at national parks. We also have a HAM radio and we’ve never heard them talk about cleaning restrooms while at the park either. That’s over the span of 30 years, too.

        1. The ones in places not connected to sewers get cleaned out by someone.

          I’m sure volunteers would be happy to keep many of the toilets running if they were allowed.

          1. I would guess that a major national park has too much throughput for a septic system, but I’m no expert on those.

            1. Those National Park toilets tend to be holes that need to be pumped regularly.

              Its why they all smell so bad.

    2. There’s a “does a human shit by the roadside?” joke in there somewhere.

      1. You can shit in the woods. You just dig a hole and bury it. I bet most of the people trashing the park out are hippy dippy earth loving Progs. They care about the earth so much they can’t be expected to pick up after themselves.

        1. In general, people don’t care about stuff that isn’t theirs.

          1. Sometimes people do. I live and work near the national mall. It really is true that the conservative rallies like the pro life one leave the place cleaner than they find it and the liberal ones, especially the earth day one, leave the mall completely trashed.

    3. What’s the problem? The tourists are just giving Yosemite that San Francisco flair.

    4. “There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules than I’ve seen in my four years living here.”

      Had to dig real deep for a meaningful sample, didn’t they? I mean FOUR YEARS!

    5. In other words, nowadays people literally can’t take care of their own shit. And they wonder why us old farts have so little use for them.

    6. Can’t help but notice that the only place there are concerns about fecal contamination are in California.

      Everyplace else seems okay, if you check the list.

      You’d think they’d be embarrassed–what with everyone else everywhere else being decent human beings, but Californians failing again.

  26. Romney is a liberal in his heart, and aligns more with the Dem platform than the Rep platform.

    Trump, while not a conservative or libertarian has made more progress for both conservative and libertarian ideals than any president in the last 100 years, bar none. Even Reagan played more to the middle on most things.

    Trump is a brash, abrasive, crude narcissist, but his administrative actions and accomplishments should be cheered non-stop by both libertarians and the GOP. Anyone who refuses to recognize this is neither a libertarian or conservative.

    1. Thank God Trump is president!

  27. The FCC says its “activities will cease” on Thursday if the government is still shut down.

    That better not mean they stop airing my stories.

  28. It’s a good start:

    “US, Israel leave UNESCO”
    […]
    “The Paris-based organization has been denounced by its critics as a crucible for anti-Israel bias: blasted for criticizing Israel’s occupation of east Jerusalem, naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011.
    Israeli U.N. envoy Danny Danon said Tuesday that his country “will not be a member of an organization whose goal is to deliberately act against us, and that has become a tool manipulated by Israel’s enemies.””
    http://www.thestandard.com.hk/
    breaking-news.php?id=119606

  29. Spinning job loss from higher M/W:

    “US retailers hope higher pay will buy more efficient workers”
    […]
    ” Walmart is automating its truck unloading to require fewer workers
    […]
    McDonald’s is increasingly replacing cashiers with self-service kiosks to free up workers for table service.
    […]
    Walmart has deployed robots that monitor stockpiles and can send photos of empty shelves to employees’ phones. […]
    The system has slashed the number of people needed to unload trucks.
    http://peakgossip.info/2018/12/29/
    us-retailers-hope-higher-pay-will-
    buy-more-efficient-workers/

    And a lot fewer of them, too.

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  31. Mitt Romney got skipped over for the position of Secretary of State.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news…..y-of-state

    Look at that picture!

  32. People keep referring to Romeny’s OpEd without quoting it. I suppose that’s because they don’t like what Romney says–only the fact that Romney is criticizing Trump. What does Romney’s OpEd actually say?

    “The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F.?Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.”

    —-Mitt Romney, Washington Post

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..tory.html?

    I could list all the things wrong with Romney’s criticism, there, but why not just point out that pretty much all of it is horseshit. Romney wants a neoconservative foreign policy, and he’s pissed off about Trump withdrawing from Syria.

    Any “libertarian” who’s cheering on Romney’s warmongering (because it criticizes Trump) should be ashamed of themselves for being so easily manipulated. Romney even has the gall to call for a balanced budget later in the piece–after excoriating the president for “the abandonment of allies” withdrawing from Syria. I guess Romney wants to accomplish that without cutting the defense budget?

    Pathetic.

    1. I guess Romney wants to accomplish that without cutting the defense budget?

      Is “conservatives” calling for the reduction of spending on things they don’t like while calling for increased spending on things they do while simultaneously trying to tell everyone else that they’ll be spending less not a thing anymore?

      1. It is not just a thing it is universal. Democrats are all about cutting defense spending and blowing the money on their various ponies. Indeed, when you consider Congress’ terrible record in controlling spending, you can’t blame either side. If you agreeing to cutting spending on your pony would result in overall spending going down and not the money just being spent on someone else’ pony, it would make sense to agree to it. But that is not what happens. I give up my pony and it results in you getting yours and spending continuing to increase. So why should agree to do it?

        1. If there’s a twist, here, it’s people who have been quick to denounce warmongers in the past who are suddenly becoming fans of our adventure in Syria–simply because Trump wants out.

          My grandfather used to say of my grandmother, “She isn’t really hard of hearing. She just wants me to repeat everything I say so she can be sure to disagree with it”.

        2. If had to use one word for Robby’s description of Romney’s criticism, I’d call it “gleeful”.

          As if going after Trump somehow made it great.

          “Senator-Elect Mitt Romney, Welcome to the Resistance: Reason Roundup”

          Does that mean Robby considers himself part of “the Resistance”? “The Resistance”, isn’t that what people with TDS call themselves?

          What’s next? Are we going balls out neocon now? Now that’s what libertarianism is about?

          1. Robby is a total Progressive pretending to be a libertarian for a paycheck. He is Dave Weigel with coifed hair and less testosterone.

          2. Does that mean Robby considers himself part of “the Resistance”?

            Yes, you intentionally assign the worst possible reason because Robby. Most of the commenters do, because Robby. Because it’s not possible that he could ever have just used a rhetorical device. Nope, it’s Robby therefore evil.

            And yes, me calling you out on this is me white knighting for Robby. Because Robby.

            1. Excuse me, but speculating that someone welcoming Romney to “La R?sistance” might suggest that such a someone considers himself part of La R?sistance is hardly wild speculation. When I welcome you to anything, doesn’t that suggest I think of myself as part of that thing?

              This is hardly ad hominem either. I’m not saying something about x, y, or z because of Robby. I’m saying something about Robby because of x, y, and z. Is this all new to you?

              Meanwhile, if you’ve got some evidence of Robby’s objectivity when it comes to Trump, I’m all ears. Have you ever seen Robby being objective about Trump? Go ahead and link to it.

              1. Link for you:

                https://reason.com/blog/2019/01…..x-shutdown

                speculating that someone welcoming Romney to “La R?sistance” might suggest that such a someone considers himself part of La R?sistance is hardly wild speculation

                Sure, when the person doing the speculating is unfamiliar with rhetoric and has an intense dislike of the person using the rhetoric. Just admit you don’t like Robby and so will never apply the Principle of Charity to him and get on with your life. What’s the big deal?

                1. So you have nothing? You can’t defend Robby, and you won’t even try.

                  Your defense of Robby is an attack on me, personally? That’s pathetic.

                  Here I am being objective about Trump:

                  “Trump deserves to be chastised for his reckless and wrongheaded trade policies and negotiation strategies–even if he’s successful.”

                  —-Ken Shultz

                  https://reason.com/blog/2018/12…..nt_7582053

                  You lose.

                  1. You lose.

                    So you’re insane. Ok.

                    1. You can’t even defend yourself because you suck.

              2. Come on, Ken. “Welcome to the resistance” isn’t a personal greeting from Robby wecoming Mitt to the club. It’s just a semi-jokey way of classifying his attitudes about Trump. It’s not a terribly unusual rhetorical construction. You aren’t this stupid.

              3. Yeah, but it was a good rhetorical device, painting Romney as part of the resistance.

                Robby’s signalling is more ham-handed. He says “to be sure” and then includes a gratuitous attack as a qualifier before saying anything that might be construed as positive about any enemy of the progressive left.

                But if you listen to the apocryphal materials, you’d learn that all of the writers at Reason view themselves as part of the resistance. Which, on one level isn’t so unusual. Libertarians are uniformly “anti-establishment” and generally entitled to complain about how awful everyone else is, after all. Although “the resistance” kind of connotes an alignment with “the establishment” Republicans and Democrats….. so it gets kinda complicated from that point of view….

                1. If “the resistance” means anyone who doesn’t like Trump as president, then they probably all are. But under that definition, I don’t see how that’s a bad thing at all. A libertarian publication shouldn’t be a fan of any big time politicians.

                  The whole “resistance” thing is pretty disgusting, though. It’s basically people comparing themselves to people who resisted an occupying army who wanted to kill them because a president got elected who is all icky and mean.

          3. I’m not seeing the glee. Reads like a straight description of what Romney wrote to me. It’s quite a stretch to imagine that he is actually, personally welcoming Romney to “the Resistance”.

      2. Romney is not now, nor has he ever been, conservative.

  33. Incidentally, anybody interested in what’s happening in the stock market right now and why? The government shutdown ranks no higher than third place.

    The two biggest factors are interrelated–it’s about declining growth in China and the Fed continuing to unwind the bond holdings it took on during the Bernanke and Yellen years. The Fed is trying to unload all that debt and keeping interest rates up can help with that–but they’re still increasing rates as commodity prices continue to fall, probably in relation to China’s growth slowing.

    1. It looks to be that the stock market is having a needed correction. Maybe it is the protent of a recession but maybe not. I am inclined to think that we are seeing a needed correction that will prevent a more painful one later. But, time will tell.

    2. And the fact that rising interest rates raise bond rates making stocks less attractive.

      Thanks bunches FED.

      1. We can’t get back to normal until the Fed sells that debt, but selling that debt is what makes this kind of volatility happening. It’s like there’s a bubble in government debt–and it’s all sitting at the Fed.

        Excellent, excellent, excellent article today:

        “When the recovery lagged, the Fed continued its monetary expansion by increasing the assets in its balance sheet to almost five times their prerecession level. By buying Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities, the Fed acquired or offset some 45% of all federal debt issued during the Obama era?about four times the share of federal debt the Fed purchased during World War II.”

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/th…..546374393?

        Nobody knows what happens to that liquidity when it returns to the wild, or, rather, nobody knows how bad it’s going to get. That’s one of the main reasons why we’re seeing so much volatility lately–markets hate uncertainty. The bad decisions we made in 2008 are coming home to roost. They said at the time what Keynes said, “In the long run, we’re all dead”. They said they had to do it to meet the crises of 2008 and to hell with ten years from now. Those ten-year treasuries are rolling over now, and the government still needs to finance deficit spending. Understand, however, these decisions were made ten years ago.

        1. I wouldn’t necessarily blame this bunch for trying to orchestrate a landing. I’d blame the jokers who jumped off the cliff ten years ago. We screamed about it at the time, but no one would listen.

          1. But it is suspicious interesting that they clung to their position all through Obama’s administration and only decided in his last six months in office that the position had to be unwound.

            1. To be fair, the economy was moribund for the entirety of the 8 year Obama administration, so “unwinding” wasn’t entirely possible. Unless they wanted to go ahead and “have the pain now”, during the Obama administration, rather than putting off the inevitable as long as possible….

              1. Yes, that’s what they should have done.

                They released $700 billion worth of bailout, and when it came back, then turned it into stimulus, by which we mean debt. Most of that debt was issued in ten-year notes, and those are part of the notes coming due.

                The argument now is about how to go about buying less of those treasuries now that they’re rolling over. The government is still rolling that debt over and adding to it through deficit spending. Now that we painted ourselves into this corner ten years ago, there may be a legitimate argument for making the stock market less attractive and treasuries more attractive just so they can finally start unloading all that debt. But, note, even the government buying less debt in the future is a concern.

                Again, they never should have taken that debt on in the first place, they never should have issued that debt to bail out home owners, Wall Street, and GM, and that needs to be said over and over again. Otherwise, the next time there’s a problem, how will we avoid making the same mistakes again?

                Hell, what was worse: Bear Stearns and Lehman going belly up or this? Bear and Lehman were scary, but so what? It would have been done, it would have been over, and we’d be in the clear by now. Instead, the slow motion trainwreck has been going on for ten years, and it still isn’t over.

  34. Lila Johnson, 71, is one of those contract workers. She works part time as a custodian at the Agriculture Department in Washington to supplement her social security and pension income and support her two great-grandchildren.

    “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to pay my car insurance, my life insurance, credit cards, rent and all that bills that I have being head of household,” she said. “I am going to have to figure out how to get all this done without a paycheck.”

    You’re 71 dear. You’re collecting *two* free paychecks (pension and SSN) *and* working. By this point in your life you should have enough savings along with that money to be able pay those things for a few weeks. Especially with a government job (even part time). You want help figuring it out? Go get another job. You don’t have to quit your current employer, you just get a second job and start working that. Once the furlough is over then you can go back if you still want. Or you collect your back pay and quit. Or you just quit and start working that second job and don’t worry about the ‘free money’.

    1. The shutdown is also beginning to effect small businesses that rely on federal workers as customers, according to USA Today:

      Yeah, that happens.

      1. The shutdown is also beginning to effect small businesses that rely on federal workers as customers, according to USA Today:

        The Hair musta been at a fruit sushi party until way late last night because confusing effect and affect isn’t something I’d normally expect from it.

        Reason needs to effect some personnel changes to positively affect the currently TDS infection rate.

        1. affect the currently TDS infection rate

          People in glass houses…

          When you correct someone’s grammar or usage, you should really proofread your own comment.

          1. Or he did it for effect. Or affect. Whatever..

  35. So Romney is the guy that Gillespie, Welchie Boy, and all the rest of the junior grade Block Yommomas of Reason are going to pretend they love now that Flake the flake is gone. I should have known.

    At least we got douchebag Soave to admit he’s part of the lefty “Resistance” though. It’s a small step.

    1. Note to Ken: do you see now who you’re being like? Do you really want that?

      1. Just admit that you’re a big government loving left liberal, just like Rico finally did today.

        You aren’t fooling anyone anyway, and the truth will set you free.

        1. Yeah, you got me. I don’t suck Trump therefore I’m a Hillary-loving proggy who loves big government.

  36. I can’t stop laughing at that video Elizabeth Warren made where she’s in her kitchen pretending to drink beer just like the working folk. About ten minutes before that was shot:

    Elizabeth, to her maid: “Consuela, where is the…uh…that room where lower class people cook food?”
    Consuela: “You mean, the kitchen?”
    Elizabeth: “Yeah, I think that’s it. We have one, right?”
    Consuela: “Yes ma’am, it’s right through that door.”

  37. #resistance is now nothing more than #war

  38. There’s no end in sight to the government shutdown, which entered Day 11 on Wednesday.

    America set free, day 11.

  39. But the Democrats assured us just a few short years ago that Romney was also literally Hitler and totes a racist so why should we listen to anything he has to say?

    Or, wait, is that down the memory hole already? I’m sure this play being on repeat has nothing to do with Trump.

    1. That one was down the hole as soon as the voting was over.

      1. Indeed it was, and it seem’s Mitt learned the lesson: become more liberal or people will say mean things about you.

        Not that I believed it at the time, either. I didn’t vote for Mitt for a lot of reasons, but “Romneycare” was chief among them. Romney is basically another George Bush without the twang.

  40. If only Mitt had used such harsh language on obama… but his gonads hadn’t dropped yet. Mitt’s that is.

  41. Does anyone else remember when Reason cheered government shutdowns and pulling our troops home?

    1. You mean other than for the past week?

    2. In a way, the PFLs finally coming out of the closet and admitting that they’re standard-issue big government loving lefty JournoList members of the “Resistance” is a good thing, both for them and for us.

      It’s got to be incredibly unhealthy for the mind, body, and spirit to spend every minute of every day of your live living this huge lie. We should celebrate. Who knows; maybe 2019 will finally be the year that Rico lands that gig with the Washington Post or the Atlantic that he so desperately covets!

    3. Do you read any of the posts, or just run with your established assumptions regardless of what is actually published?

    4. This is different. Trump is president.

      1. Maybe I’ve missed something. I haven’t been too tuned in the past week. But where has Reason published anything that was not positive about Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan?

        And they seem to be reporting as they always do about government “shutdowns”. That they are stupid stunts that don’t really matter.

        1. Sollum’s article Jan 2, 2019 Trump’s Right About ‘Ridiculous’ Misuse of U.S. Troops
          “Trump’s decision to stop American involvement in one endless war and curtail it in another provoked the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, which tells you something about the ‘adults in the room’ who supposedly were protecting the country from an erratic, ignorant president’s worst instincts. Sometimes, as in ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,’ adults are committed to upholding unexamined dogma, and it takes a child to point out the truth”

          Sollum cant help himself with TDS, calling Trump a child.

          1. I believe you misunderstood the rhetoric.

  42. On the “FCC shutting down” front….

    I’m going to assume that all of those employees are going to get back pay, even though they didn’t work. You know… because it is only fair..

    So… serious question…

    What if we just went ahead and actually shut the government down for a month?

    You know, like shutter everything that isn’t crucial or doesn’t end up costing 10 times more because of the shutdown (like construction projects, etc.), and don’t pay back pay. Close up Education completely. Shutter the FCC. Close up congress and all of their offices. Most of the DOD probably isn’t up to anything urgent… send them home.

    It would equate to an 8% cut across a big hunk of the government… maybe 20%? Who knows… Still, cutting 1.6% of the budget that way would be 1.6% more than they manage to cut by any appropriation process.

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