Reason Roundup

Warren Endorses Afghanistan Withdrawal As Trump Spews Soviet Propaganda About the Country: Reason Roundup

Plus: a public domain bonanza, Khashoggi killers on trial, and Super Bowl sex-trafficking panic starts early

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@MaddowBlog/Twitter

"What seems to be the answer from the foreign policy establishment?" asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) about U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Syria. "Stay forever. That is not a policy. We can't do that."

Warren's comments came on The Rachel Maddow Show, where the host was trying to goad Warren into criticizing President Donald Trump's decision to pull American troops from Syria and (reportedly) to reduce the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

Her statements seem to have strengthened criticism against others on the left—such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.)—who have been thus far been quiet on Trump's pivots on Syria and Afghanistan.

"Now that Warren emphatically supported Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria & Afghanistan—ignoring @Maddow's desperate bait to bash Trump & instead condemned Endless War—the silence on these issues of Sanders (&, to a lesser extent, @AOC) becomes harder to maintain," tweeted The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald on Thursday morning. "I emailed Sanders' office on Dec 26 to ask his view on Syria troop withdraw—was told they were discussing it but he didn't yet have a position. As I said, people are entitled to time to address complex matters, but these debates are central & ongoing silence is hard to justify."

Trump also offered comments on Afghanistan yesterday, while seated in front of a Game of Thrones–style poster of himself at a White House cabinet meeting:

Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there.

That last bit is, as the president might say, fake news. The reason the Soviet Union—and the U.S.—started meddling in Afghanistan a few decades back was in service of the Cold War. The Soviet Union wanted to aid the country's then-communist government; the U.S. wanted to prevent that.

Trump also suggested that he "fired" former Department of Defense chief Jim Mattis (who resigned) because Mattis failed on Afghanistan:

FREE MINDS

The public domain is expanding. "What makes January 1, 2019, particularly interesting is that it marks the first year in which works protected under U.S. copyright law, whose entry into the public domain was stayed for a time under the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (also known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act or, more cynically, the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, since it had the effect of keeping the movie "Steamboat Willie" protected by copyright until 2024), will no longer enjoy that benefit," notes The IPKat blog. So "works first copyrighted in 1923 or thereafter, which were still protected by copyright in 1998, will enter the public domain in 2019."

FOLLOW-UP

Khashoggi killers on trial. Saudi Arabia says that 11 suspects in the torture and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will face trial and have had their first court hearing. A prosecutor is demanding the death penalty for five of the suspects.

"This death sentence decision seems to be nuts," says Turkey-based Al Jazeera journalist Sinem Koseoglu. "It will mostly likely not be welcomed by Ankara, because it will mean that Saudi Arabia will prevent those people from talking."

In other tales out of Saudi Arabia:

QUICK HITS

• "Super Bowl LIII isn't due until February 3, but anti-trafficking groups are already out in force" spreading baseless fears about sporting events causing a spike in human trafficking.

• It's day 13 of the partial government shutdown, and Trump doesn't look like he's backing down on border wall funding demands.

• A lot cheaper than that wall…

• Trump's pick to replace Jeff Sessions will face Congress soon:

• Here's a novel way to address a push for increased transparency:

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  1. “Super Bowl LIII isn’t due until February 3, but anti-trafficking groups are already out in force” spreading baseless fears about sporting events causing a spike in human trafficking.

    It’s their biggest event of the year. Let’s see if their ads are any good.

    1. Hello.

      All the best!

      Elizabeth Warren grabs a beer:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjDEPtS68CM

    2. Do they still break out the “Spike in domestic violence against women.” shibboleth every year, or does it become too hard to resurrect when all the limbs have fallen off? I know that one carried on for years after it was decisively disproven.

  2. It’s day 13 of the partial government shutdown, and Trump doesn’t look like he’s backing down on border wall funding demands.

    Also stated as not looking like the Democrats are backing down from their (rare) non-funding demands.

    1. Trump should pledge to have the wall built and maintained by unionized minority contractors.

      1. And with a rainbow motif?

        1. Well, he did promise that The Wall would not only be big, but beautiful as well. Plus, it would remind YHWH not to flood us out again.

      2. Haaahahah!! That’s perfect. With plenty of female representation. Announce the proposal under a big poster with a black Rosie the Riveter against a rainbow background!

  3. “This death sentence decision seems to be nuts,” says Turkey-based Al Jazeera journalist Sinem Koseoglu. “It will mostly likely not be welcomed by Ankara, because it will mean that Saudi Arabia will prevent those people from talking.”

    They said the same thing about Timothy McVeigh.

  4. Save the date: January 15-16 will be Bill Barr’s confirmation hearings https://t.co/YxcIYwZ3Gf
    ? Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 3, 2019

    Plenty of time to find his high school calendars.

    1. The Devil’s Triangle was a drinking game!!!!!!!!!!

  5. State marijuana legalization starting in 2014 did more to reduce marijuana smuggling than the doubling of Border Patrol agents or the construction of hundreds of miles of border fencing did from 2003 to 2009. https://t.co/AQT35S50WM #CatoDrugWar #CatoImmigration pic.twitter.com/AZ54CEMJKR
    ? Cato Institute (@CatoInstitute) January 3, 2019

    Sure, why don’t we just legalize all drugs, then suddenly crime will go down overnight. What is Cato smoking?

    1. Drugs. They’re smoking drugs.

    2. Exactly what crimes now connected to prohibitionist drug policies would not go down?

      1. If you make doing smack legal, suddenly nobody doing smack is doing the crime of doing smack. That crime goes away instantly. It’s crazy!

  6. The Long Beach Police Department engaged in a destruction of decades worth of internal investigation records just days before they would have become public under a new law. The contempt for the public, democratic accountability is stunning. https://t.co/8J37KPgnw1
    ? David Menschel (@davidminpdx) January 3, 2019

    They needed the shelf space for new investigations.

    1. Who do they think they are the FBI, IRS or the State Department? Don’t they know destroying evidence is only good when it promotes team D?

    2. With so much drama in the LBC…

  7. “What seems to be the answer from the foreign policy establishment?” asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) about U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Syria. “Stay forever. That is not a policy. We can’t do that.”

    Why do we need her if she’s just going to parrot the current president’s position?

    1. Jesus Christ, Fist, lay off the caffeine a little bit, let somebody else get a word in edge-wise here.

      1. A full seven minutes of dead air if I wasn’t here. Is that what you want?

  8. DREAMers tell of going ballot-harvesting in California to flip the House blue
    Today, non-citizens vote ? by getting hold of indifferent Americans and in a perfectly legal setup in California, filling in the ballots by proxy, with no fingerprints visible. Who knows what kind of coercion may be employed by some of them?

    And even more disturbingly, if DREAMers can do that to promote their own political agenda, what’s to stop other foreigners, with far more malign agendas, from doing it? Shall a team of Russian or Chinese agents, Arab terrorists, or Mexican cartels, be next to help harvest the ballots? (You know the Chinese are thinking about it.) They’re as foreign as DREAMers, and it would be perfectly legal under current California law. Ballot-harvesting, which is illegal in most states, makes this all possible. What’s to stop the Chinese from running an agent (as recent CIA busts show, it doesn’t need to be a Chinese-American) and then sending their goons and agents to the houses of Chinese-American voters in Chinese-American neighborhoods, to insist that they vote for Beijing’s candidate? They’d have the additional pull of being able to warn those voters about repercussions against family back home and don’t think they wouldn’t dream of using it.

    1. I’ve been told by many “well educated”…”libertarians” … on this site that not only do latin americans not bring their stupid voting practices with them, they don’t break voting laws and even pay more taxes than I do.

      They have no proof, but if you disagree with them then you’re a stupid backwoods slaver

      1. So a DREAMer who may have lived here his/her entire life is no different than a penniless Guatemalan seeking asylum? They’re all just “latin americans” who all vote for socialism, right? Who gives a shit about them. They’re just furriners. Right? This is the type of revolting collectivism that unsurprisingly drives many Latino voters away from the GOP. And then you wonder why they vote for Democrats.

        1. Pointing out the risks to election integrity of CA’s voting laws is now racist? Is this hitting a bit close to home?

          1. Lumping in all “latin americans” as enemy agents intent on undermining America is bigoted, yes.

            Your article goes way beyond just suggesting there’s a problem with CA voting laws. It deliberately stokes fears that DREAMers are no different than enemy spies or terrorists. THAT’S the problem. You can’t just leave it at an analysis of the problem. You have to bring your paranoid xenophobia into it as well.

            1. How are they different?

        2. “So a DREAMer who may have lived here his/her entire life is no different than a penniless Guatemalan seeking asylum?”

          That’s what people keep telling me on this website. We’re all individuals, floating around unaffected by local cultures, families that provided for us, or countries in which we grew up.

          “They’re all just “latin americans” who all vote for socialism, right?”

          Are you suggesting an american citizen and a pennliess Guatamalan might vote differently based on their circumstance?

          1. We’re all individuals, floating around unaffected by local cultures, families that provided for us, or countries in which we grew up.

            This is a strawman. No one seriously argues that individuals are completely unaffected by their individual circumstances. My argument is that individuals ought to be tread like individuals and not just lumped into a collective blob based on superficial characteristics.

          2. And even if you want to treat “latin americans” as a collective blob, there is a very plausible reason why the majority of them vote for Democrats, that doesn’t rely on this cultural bullshit: it’s because the GOP, in general, treats them like crap.

            I swear, these arguments about “brown people vote for socialism because they are culturally programmed to do so” are just post-hoc rationalizations blaming these voters for why they don’t embrace a party that continually blames them for the country’s problems and threatens to deport them and their relatives.

            1. By treating them like crap do you mean attempting to refuse welfare?

              1. No, by scapegoating them and blaming them for America’s problems.

                “They’re rapists, they’re murderers…”

                By obsessing over literally the poorest and weakest and most powerless individuals in America for the problem of illegal immigration, when they don’t even constitute the majority of the overall problem.

                Let me put it to you this way. If, say, a President Hillary Clinton decided to crack down on tax cheats, and if 20% of the tax cheats came from Texas while 80% came from everywhere else, if Hillary kept obsessing and fuming and tweeting over all those darn Texan tax cheats while saying relatively little about all of the other tax cheats, one might come away with the valid assumption that Hillary may just have something against Texas, regardless of the legitimacy of her concerns about cheating on taxes.

                On issue after issue, Republicans find a way to make immigrants and foreigners the villain.

                1. Hillary lost.

            2. “and threatens to deport them and their relatives.”

              So the logical conclusion to this line of thinking is legalize them all because we now have a pressure group of voting Americans with illegal relatives who also live in America. Can’t lose a voting block, need to offer them more goodies to keep them voting! Who gives a rot about the consequences.

              Perhaps this is reason number 1,008 not to grant legal status to people who disregard immigration laws.

    2. See, this is where you go off the rails.

      You go from “some DREAMers may have done something wrong”, all the way to “they’re collectively guilty” and “they’re just as bad as terrorists” and “it’s a part of a conspiracy to destroy America”.

      1. Or “CA is allowing foreigners to influence elections in the interest of open borders”. Is that not 100% factually correct?

        1. And that justifies comparing DREAMers to enemy spies, or terrorists?

          And besides, where is your evidence that these DREAMer ‘ballot harvesters’ actually filled out the ballots in lieu of the legal voter?

          1. The same laws apply to them and foreign spies. Is that not 100% correct?

            From the article:

            Half an hour later, she was helping Silva look up candidates as he filled out his ballot by the light of her phone. “I’m glad you guys came,” he said. “I was going to leave it in my drawer.”

            1. as he filled out his ballot

              So the ‘ballot harvester’ didn’t actually fill out his ballot for him then. So then what is the problem?

            2. So let’s review:

              1. There is a news article which discusses DREAMers going around as ballot harvesters, and suggesting that this may have helped boost turnout to flip the House blue
              2. You and your right-wing xenophobic media then twist that article into meaning that DREAMers actually committed voting fraud by filling out the ballots on the voters’ behalf (even though there isn’t any evidence for that)
              3. And then you are “just asking questions” when you say “but what if they were spies or terrorists?? (wink wink)”

              1. The TDS is strong in this one. If you aren’t entitled to vote, you shouldn’t be near the ballots, let alone have them in your possession. Period.

                Open borders extremism is going to cause a backlash that will be way worse than any compromise on the part of the extremists would have been.

                1. If you aren’t entitled to vote, you shouldn’t be near the ballots, let alone have them in your possession. Period.

                  Why not? Because non-voters *may* engage in some hanky-panky with the ballots? Sure, they might. So could registered voters. So could anyone. Your complaints are an argument in favor of more ballot security in general – WHICH I FAVOR – not an argument for keeping non-voters specifically away from the ballots. But your xenophobia automatically leads you to conclude that the real problem here is that the ballot harvesters are, in this case, non-citizens. As if their lack of proper papers from the state means that they are of lower moral quality and therefore deserve heightened scrutiny.

                  This article has NOTHING TO DO with “open borders”. That you interpret it in this way shows how irrational your fear of foreigners has become. This is what I have come to believe: the core argument of Trumpism is that foreigners are inherently inferior to Americans. You demonstrate this every day.

                  1. “As if their lack of proper papers from the state means that they are of lower moral quality and therefore deserve heightened scrutiny”

                    too many words….

                    “their lack of proper papers from the state means that they deserve heightened scrutiny”

                    FTFY

                    1. “their lack of proper papers from the state means that they deserve heightened scrutiny”

                      Why? Does being born in America automatically make one a good and virtuous person? Does lacking the right papers from the state automatically make one a scoundrel and a villain?

                    2. It just makes them not an American citizen.

      2. Right on cue

        #NotAllNazis
        #NotAllHezbollah
        #NotAllMongols

  9. Bah. No alt-text.

    How about: “Should I use both hands?”

    Or maybe: “If you show me yours I’ll show you mine.”

    Or maybe: “These hands are as soft as a babies butt.”

    1. “No, no, the bongo drums you play like this, the tom-toms I grew up with were entirely different.”

      1. Heh. Nice.

    2. I never realized how much from the back Rachel Maddow looks like Chris Hayes.

      1. Is that Maddow? *literal lol* I thought it was Joe Scarborough! I’m glad I excercised my editorial function and didn’t post the alt text I was thinking of…

  10. “Now that Warren emphatically supported Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria & Afghanistan – ignoring @Maddow’s desperate bait to bash Trump & instead condemned Endless War – the silence on these issues of Sanders (&, to a lesser extent, @AOC) becomes harder to maintain,” tweeted The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald on Thursday morning.

    The Resistance is cracking.

  11. New York Times “Reporter” Spoke At Meeting Organized by Democrat Dirty Tricks Operation Where Other Speakers Revealed Plan to Inject Fake Russian Bots Into Campaign to Hurt Roy Moore
    The New York Times also pushed the group’s claims as if it endorsed them, claiming it was merely an experiment and couldn’t have affected anything because a mere $100,000 was spent on the effort.

    Even though they previously hyped up Russians spending $100,000 for FaceBook ads in a national (not state) election as being very, very important indeed.

  12. “This death sentence decision seems to be nuts…because it will mean that Saudi Arabia will prevent those people from talking.”

    How do you say “dead men tell no tales” in arabic?

  13. “Now that Warren emphatically supported Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria & Afghanistan – ignoring @Maddow’s desperate bait to bash Trump & instead condemned Endless War – the silence on these issues of Sanders (&, to a lesser extent, @AOC) becomes harder to maintain,” tweeted The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald on Thursday morning.

    Be careful about believing anything written by Glenn Greenwald. Although he may try to pass himself off as “progressive,” many people suspect he’s on Putin’s payroll. Or at least, he’s too sympathetic to Russia to offer worthwhile analysis of current events. For example, he’s been known to downplay #TrumpRussia and suggest Clinton lost because she was a terrible candidate. Which is just absurd (and sexist) since Clinton was literally the most qualified Presidential candidate ever.

    Michael Tracey is another phony “progressive” who serves up these same idiotic talking points. People like that have no place in the progressive / libertarian alliance.

    #StillWithHer
    #LibertariansAgainstGreenwald

  14. Texas Judge Doubles Down on Obamacare Ruling
    If the judicial power encompasses ignoring unambiguous enacted text ? the text citizens read to know what their representatives have done ? to approximate what a judge believes Congress meant to do, but did not, then policymaking lies in the hands of unelected judges.? This the Constitution does not allow. This the Supreme Court does not allow? the Fifth Circuit is unlikely to disagree.

  15. Follower Of Joseph Smith Urges Nation To Reject Morally Flawed Leaders
    SALT LAKE CITY, UT?Mitt Romney, incoming senator for Utah and follower of Joseph Smith, lectured the nation in an op-ed Tuesday on the need to reject morally flawed leaders.

    The man who has devoted his life to the teachings of a con artist encouraged the nation to examine its leaders to see whether they are worthy of our devotion and respect.

    “A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect,” wrote the man who follows Joseph Smith, a false prophet, notorious polygamist, and scam artist. He pointed out that the president hasn’t shown himself to be honest or forthcoming in his dealings with opponents and other countries, while Joseph Smith’s own prophecies failed to come true over and over again, and while the Mormon Church continues to deceive its members by covering up its past.

  16. New Documents Suggest The Steele Dossier Was A Deliberate Setup For Trump
    The dossier operation has not only damaged institutions like the FBI and DOJ, it has also poisoned the public sphere, perhaps irremediably. As a result, it is now accepted journalistic practice to print, and reprint, any garish fantasy so long as it’s layered with Russian intrigue and Trump team treason. Even as the rest of the country sees an institution that has made itself a laughingstock, the press continues to salute itself for its bravery?or the courage and industry required to take leaks from law enforcement and intelligence officials and Democratic operatives in an effort to topple a president it doesn’t like, elected by neighbors it holds in contempt.

    1. Everyone who was near that Steele Dossier should have been fired from government immediately.

      It totally backfired on Lefties.

      Hillary lost.
      More and more Americans dont believe the media on most things.
      Trump turned out to be a great president.
      Hillary losing gave time for Socialists and SJWs to nearly completely take over the Democratic Party direction.

  17. More bad economic news.

    U.S. Stocks Drop on Apple Warning

    #DrumpfRecession
    #UnbanPalinsButtplug

  18. Watching Trump bloviate about the Soviet Union and Afghanistan a day later….it’s even worse the second time around. It’s a gold medal performance in historical ignorance and revisionism.

    Gold Medal? Honorable mention at best and that’s if you’re only counting Shit Trump Says from this week. Otherwise this ain’t even Top 10 material.

  19. ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Exposes How the R&B Singer Got Away With Sexually Abusing Girls for Decades

    In one of the more shocking moments in the series, Jovante Cunningham shares that she saw Robert “having sex with Aaliyah” on their tour bus. Aaliyah was 15 at that time, making this alleged encounter statutory rape. Asked to elaborate on what she saw, Cunningham replies, “Things that an adult should not be doing with a child.”

    Oh boy.

    1. This isn’t anything revelatory. Everyone in the industry and most of hip-hop’s fans at the time knew he and Aaliyah were fucking, and they were perfectly fine with it.

    2. I’ve never watched Lifetime Network.

      Is that the one with Ancient Aliens, The Secret of Oak Island, and Rachel Maddow?

  20. Trump also suggested that he “fired” former Department of Defense chief Jim Mattis (who resigned) because Mattis failed on Afghanistan

    This is actually a fair criticism, considering that Trump went along with the DoD’s request for a surge which, unsurprisingly, failed to reduce the Taliban’s control of the country to a sufficient degree that the US could call it a victory and pull out.

    As I’ve told others, if the only way to keep the Taliban from taking over large swaths of territory is to have tens of thousands of our troops patrolling the countryside, we might as well make Afghanistan a colony of the US. At least then we’d be able to tax their opium industry.

  21. ‘They treat planes like their living rooms’: Former flight attendant calls out feral passengers – and reveals the WORST thing she’s seen on board

    But the worst behaviour award certainly goes to flyers who think the perfect time to clip their finger or toe nails is when they’re seated on a busy plane.

    Fucking savages.

    1. I am surprised that you are not aroused by the sight of those feet. I mean, are they sexy, or what.

      1. When your habits are enough to make even Crusty retch, it’s time to re-examine your life.

  22. I’d go with Trump any day over Warren a.k.a “liawatha”… Her dishonesty turned me off long ago…
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

  23. Rachel Maddow = “Give War A Chance !!!”

    Fakehontus 2020 !!!

    Tear down the White House and build me a TP!!!

    1. I don’t really believe that she’s anti-war because of what she said. I always find progressives unpersuasive on their antiwar creds. Like a libertarian who wants political power, antiwar just doesn’t flow from progressivism.

      If they think using the coercive power of government to force people to make changes for their own good works great in Newark and Oakland, why wouldn’t they want to share the goodness with other countries?

      And shouldn’t she know her good intentions don’t count for shit? Given her generation, she presumably read, “Shooting an Elephant” in high school. She read Heart of Darkness in college. She saw Apocalypse Now and lived through the Vietnam War . . .

      . . . and, yet, if the Rwanda genocide were happening today, who would you trust more not to invade Rwanda: Trump or Warren? I don’t believe her, and it’s not just that I don’t believe her because I think she’s lying about using her fake heritage to game the affirmative action system. What’s she saying only jibes with her political philosophy insofar as others who’ve shared similar philosophies got sucked into shitty quagmires by their good intentions and belief in the power of coercion.

      1. I suspect she would use some variation of the Obama argument: this war over here is a “dumb” war, that war over there is a “smart” war.

      2. War is how statists proselytize. They are just good Christians of a different religion.

  24. That guy Trump is a BUILDER, I tellya!

    “Israeli settlement activity appears to surge in Trump era”
    […]
    “”The feeling of the (Israeli) government is everything is allowed, that the time to do things is now because the (U.S.) administration is the most pro-settlement you can ever have,” said Hagit Ofran of Peace Now’s Settlement Watch program.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/
    middle_east/israeli-settlement-activity
    -appears-to-surge-in-trump-era/2019
    /01/02/f3eecd56-0e55-11e9-8f0c-6f878
    a26288a_story.html?utm_term=.abf07dcb1d3a

    I wonder if WaPo can find a rising infestation of locusts to blame on Trump.

  25. “After the fires, solar power advocates seek greater role in California electric grid”
    […]
    “California has taken great strides to expand the use of solar power. But, advocates say, the state could still do much more.”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/

    1) Looks like the interest is among those who will tell you that you ARE interested.
    2) Forests =/= good places for solar.

    1. Demonizing PG&E as having started the fires, and charging them with murder and arson, is part of their plan to get rid of the old before you can force the new down their throats. Any fire which can burn 70,000 acres in its first day is indicative of a dry forest just waiting to go up on the slightest provocation, and if power lines didn’t start it, something else would have.

  26. Pelosi and her Democrats are pushing two changes under the heading of “ethics” legislation, both of which should be controversial and one of which I find especially revolting from a libertarian perspective.

    1) “It also calls for establishing a nationwide automatic voter-registration system.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/de…..546511400?

    This would mean that people are registered by default when they interact with certain government agencies, e.g., the DMV. There are 12 states that grant driver’s licenses to immigrants and a number that gives them to immigrants regardless of their legal status.

    http://www.ncsl.org/research/i…..rants.aspx

    What would the effect of nationalizing such default registration be? Is that even constitutional? Don’t the states get to determine this?

    Whatever connections the Democrats’ support for this have to do with influencing elections and candidates on immigration issues is purely coincidental, I’m sure. To think otherwise would be . . . unwoke.

    1. An automatic voter registration system would put immigrants in a very bad spot since registration could be used against them if they ever face Millerites(*) when attempting to apply for citizenship.

      (*) Stephen Miller acolytes. You know, Nazis.

      1. “An automatic voter registration system would put immigrants in a very bad spot since registration could be used against them if they ever face Millerites(*) when attempting to apply for citizenship.”

        C’mon.
        Grasping at straws that thin pretty much says you don’t have an argument.

    2. I’ve long been puzzled by the argument that “it’s too hard to register/vote”. It’s not that damn hard. I question whether anybody who can’t figure out how to do it should even be voting; that hardly sounds like an “informed citizen”.

      1. Indeed. I wouldn’t mind going back to owning property or some other proof of assets to vote, because if you aren’t serious about your own life and future, why should you have any say in other people’s lives and futures?

        I’d settle for a third chamber in every legislature, where people assign their taxes to any representative they want, who votes however many dollars he’s been proxied. Every level of government. People only — no trusts, no businesses, no charities.

      2. I rode down a street in Las Vegas the other day–away from the casinos–in a part of town that is dominated by immigrants.

        For five blocks, on both sides of the road, just about everything on the street was tax return services, DMV services, and immigration attorneys–many of them offering all three along with Western Union and mail box rentals.

        All the signs are in Spanish.

        What I’ve been told is that they aren’t using their real addresses on their tax returns, so they can’t get their refunds through the mail. Many of them don’t have banking accounts. So being able to use a tax service that will pay them their refund up front is a big deal.

        Also, their English may not be so good, so having someone they can “trust” to do their tax returns for them is a big deal.

        DMV services are the same way. They don’t even want to go into the DMV. If they can pay someone who speaks Spanish to go deal with the DMV for them, they will.

        Western Union lets them send money back home.

        These people would probably register to vote if there were no perceived chance of opening themselves up to the possibility of deportation, but why take a chance? If these people were registered automatically, a lot of them would vote–especially against an anti-immigration president.

        It could very well flip a state like Florida from one candidate to the other.

        1. How did Nevada election go again?

        2. Florida will be as blue as California in a decade or two. The present purple-ness is an illusion.

    3. US Constitution, Article I, Section 4:
      The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

  27. 2) “The bill also allocates a pool of taxpayer money to match certain small-dollar donations 6-to-1; aides didn’t disclose how much money would be set aside for that initiative, which is meant to encourage grass-roots campaigning.

    —-Ibidem

    Any suggestion that I should be forced under threat of IRS harassment to provide progressives with campaign funds is unacceptable on its face. Libertarians should be free to choose not to support the process that supposedly legitimizes the evil shit our elected officials do to us, and forcing me to match other people’s small-dollar donations 6-1 doesn’t allow for that freedom. This is forced speech.

  28. Trump says he “essentially” fired Jim Mattis. He did not. Mattis resigned due to policy differences. Trump also says of Mattis: What’s he done for me? How has he done in Afghanistan? Not too good. Not too good. I’m not happy with what he’s done in Afghanistan.” Via Fox. pic.twitter.com/TG5N34E7gO
    ? Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 2, 2019

    Because the civilian authority decided to cut and run, Mattis decided to cut and run.

    1. “Because the civilian authority decided to cut and run, Mattis decided to cut and run.”

      Could be, but it also might have been:
      ‘You can’t fire me; I quit!’

  29. “Tesla Tanks After Missing Sales”
    https://start.att.net/player/article/
    ap_select-ap_top_stories_january
    _3_a-apsel-2/category/finance

    In CA where you are practically PAID to buy one, and they still can’t get ’em out the door.
    One of these days, we’ll see if that ‘genius’ Musk can actually run a company rather than a tax-recycling bureau.

    1. My understanding is that they cut those model 3s by the amount of the subsidy that’s expiring.

      In related news, the $50 billion plus tax subsidy that Obama gave GM the UAW in the wake of the GM bailout is expiring.

      I see the bailout of GM like the wall on our southern border in a way: Just because you oppose them doesn’t mean you have to pretend they don’t work.

      . . . if by “work”, you mean keep a company alive that should have gone the way of the Packard.

  30. “Watching Trump bloviate about the Soviet Union and Afghanistan a day later….it’s even worse the second time around. It’s a gold medal performance in historical ignorance and revisionism.”

    –Jay Caruso

    Isn’t watching people bloviate in ignorance what Twitter is all about?

    Incidentally, I haven’t checked because it doesn’t really matter, but I wouldn’t buy into the suggestion that there was no anti-Russian terrorist activity in Afghanistan before the Russians invaded–just because a bunch of people on Twitter say so.

    And I wouldn’t oppose Trump’s drawdown in Afghanistan because he got something wrong about world events in 1979 either.

    P.S. Didn’t Gary Johnson once eat at a great BBQ joint right outside of Aleppo? Isn’t Aleppo in Oklahoma somewhere?

    1. In a past time, liberals were using a kid from Aleppo to note the toll of war on children. Now the same liberals are like fuck that kid, more war!

      1. There’s a time to wave the bloody shirt, and a time to keep it behind your back.

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  32. “It’s a gold medal performance [by the president] in historical ignorance and revisionism.

    He’s an award winning bloviator, after all.

    1. Orange Man bad, eh Beaner?

  33. “This death sentence decision seems to be nuts,” says Turkey-based Al Jazeera journalist Sinem Koseoglu. “It will mostly likely not be welcomed by Ankara, because it will mean that Saudi Arabia will prevent those people from talking.”

    That’s my usual pragmatic reasoning behind despising the death penalty (the philosophical one being that the State should not be able to murder people) — it’s all too easy for the State to cover up its mistakes by executing embarrassing people. It’s pretty damned funny that Turkey brings up the same reason.

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  35. Warren Endorses Afghanistan Withdrawal As Trump Spews Soviet Propaganda About the Country

    Who cares what Fauxahontas says.

  36. That last bit is, as the president might say, fake news. The reason the Soviet Union?and the U.S.?started meddling in Afghanistan a few decades back was in service of the Cold War. The Soviet Union wanted to aid the country’s then-communist government; the U.S. wanted to prevent that.

    1979 -Soviet tanks roll into Afghanistan

    “On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan, under the pretext of upholding the Soviet-Afghan Friendship Treaty of 1978.”

    ENB is such a hack writer.

    1. Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there.

      The Mujahidin (Taliban) was trying to overthrow the Afghan Communists. They were also sending Muslim religious fighters into Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbeckistan, Kyrgystan, and other Central Asia regions.
      How the USSR’s effort to destroy Islam created a generation of radicals

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