Reason Roundup

Libertarians and Never Trump Republicans Court Justin Amash to Run for President

Plus: Democratic candidates still in shock about Daenerys Targaryen


The House Freedom Caucus voted to condemn Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) over the latter's suggestion that President Trump did indeed commit obstruction of justice, and should be impeached for it.

Amash is one of the founding members of the House Freedom Caucus, which came into existence in 2015 with the aim of pushing a Tea Party agenda in Congress. These days, it is little more than a pro-Trump cheerleading squad. Every member who attended the Monday meeting voted to formally oppose Amash, according to The Washington Examiner. (Amash was not in attendance.)

With the president and his sycophants in full attack mode, the effort to persuade Amash to join the Libertarian Party and run for president is intensifying. According to The Hill:

"There are a lot of Libertarian Party members actively encouraging Rep. Amash to switch parties and seek the Libertarian nomination," said Nicholas Sarwark, the chairman of the Libertarian National Committee. "This is probably the most organized recruitment effort I've seen going back to 2012 when people were trying to recruit [former Texas Rep.] Ron Paul."

If he were to run as a Libertarian, Amash could have a big effect on the 2020 presidential race. He would be expected to perform well in Michigan, which is one of Trump's must-win states. For this reason, those in the Trump orbit might come to regret running him out of the Republican Party, if that is indeed what happens.

Amash's principled stance on Trump has already drawn a primary challenge from a state representative, Jim Lower, who describes himself as "Pro-Trump, Pro-Life, Pro-Jobs, Pro-2nd Amendment, and Pro-Family Values," in that order.


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY), one of two dozen or so Democrats running for president, is very unhappy about the ending of Game of Thrones.

"I hated it," she told NowThis, a news video site. "I hated the last three episodes."

SPOILERS: Gillibrand took issue with the last season's treatment of Daenerys Targaryen, who suddenly became a psychotic dictator, killed thousands of innocent civilians, vowed to bring fire and blood to every corner of the world, and was assassinated by Jon Snow.

"She came to power over many years and many struggles as the Breaker of Chains," said Gillibrand. "She's someone who made sure the lowest income, the least empowered, could have a voice and that's who she was. Her goal was to reform government and make sure it represented the people first."

That's true but it is not at all inconsistent with Dany's turn toward illiberal means to achieve her ends. Many a mass-murdering tyrant has professed to doing only what is necessary to rescue the enslaved, provide for the poor, and reform government to obey the people.

With several Democratic presidential candidates signaling that they love Game of Thrones—likely part of a misguided effort to seem relatable to young people—we should hope they internalize the lesson that power corrupts even the well-intentioned.


Google is complying with the Trump administration's decision to blacklist Chinese tech company Huawei as a threat to national security. According to CNN:

Google is restricting Huawei's access to its Android operating system and apps after the Trump administration blacklisted the Chinese tech firm.

The move is a huge blow to Huawei, whose goal is to be the top smartphone brand by the end of 2020.

Last week, the Trump administration barred American companies from selling to Huawei without a US government license in a significant escalation of the trade war with China.

"We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications," a Google spokesperson said on Monday. Huawei, the world's No. 2 smartphone seller, relies on a suite of Google (GOOGL) services for its devices, including the Android system and the Google Play app store.

The Silicon Valley giant is suspending much of that access, according to multiple reports, after Washington placed Huawei on a list of foreign firms deemed to undermine American national security or foreign policy interests. Listed companies are barred from receiving components and software unless the trade is licensed.


  • President Trump instructed former White House Counsel Don McGahn to refuse to testify before Congress.
  • Snowflakes on the right: Alabama Public Television decided not to air the most recent episode of the kids' program Arthur, which features a gay wedding.
  • Actress Emilia Clarke discusses the Thrones finale and the burden of knowing for two years that her character was going to break bad.
  • DCist, a local news site, doxed the proprietor of the popular Unsuck DC Metro Twitter account, which tweets about the unreliability of DC's public transportation system and the lazy incompetence of its employees. (We stand with you, Unsuck!)
  • A new Knight Foundation survey finds that 41 percent of college students believe hate speech should not be protected by the First Amendment.