Reason Roundup

Trump Rant Replaces Infrastructure Meeting as Impeachment Talk Swallows All of Politics

Plus: Snowflakes in House Freedom Caucus continue to melt down over Amash comments, Michael Avenatti charged for stealing from Stormy Daniels, and more...

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Trump ditches White House policy meeting to rant at reporters. When congressional Democratic leaders showed up at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, they were expecting to talk with President Donald Trump about U.S. infrastructure. The president had other plans.

With Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.), and several others ready for the meeting, Trump instead took to a Rose Garden podium for a stream-of-consciousness rant about Russia, obstruction, and Pelosi's comments earlier in the day. That morning, the House speaker had said Trump had been part of a "coverup" regarding Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Pelosi and other Democrats have been talking a lot about conducting their own investigation into whether Trump obstructed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into the matter. But so far, Pelosi has rejected calls for impeachmenteven as many others, including libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), have been suggesting impeachment is appropriate.

"Whether or not they carry the big i-word out, I can't imagine that, but they probably would because they do whatever they have to do," Trump said during his impromptu press conference yesterday. The Washington Post reports:

He stayed about 10 minutes, almost all of it a monologue. He took two brief questions and turned to go, ignoring others.

Meanwhile, the infrastructure meeting went on without him. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, among others, remained in the room as Pelosi did some venting of her own, according to three people familiar with the session, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of the meeting.


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  1. Snowflakes in House Freedom Caucus continue to melt down over Amash comments

    “When everyone is a snowflake, no one will be.”

    1. Why would you expect members of the Freedom Caucus to be free to have different opinions?

      1. Why would you expect members of the Freedom Caucus to be free to have different opinions?

        The Freedom Caucus is about supporting freedom.

        Justin Amash is about expanding state power illegally.

        Not a good fit.

        Not a good fit at all.

    2. Hello.

    3. Winter is coming

    4. It’s cute watching her and Soave try to get that off the ground.

    5. Looks like we have another we can throw onto the pile of misused terms. Right there with “alt-right” and “neo-con”.

  2. I am calling on our good friend @RepMarkMeadows to promptly remove @justinamash from the @freedomcaucus, the central body of Tea Party activism in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    The shine had already gone off that caucus a while ago. He’s probably better off leaving it.

    1. @freedomcaucus, the central body of Tea Party activism in the U.S. House of Representatives

      The Tea stands for “Trump”.

      1. To be fair, has “Tea Party activism” really meant anything since about 2013?

        1. No, it hasn’t.

          1. Look, they said the words. I mean, basically, they said them. What more do you want?

            “Clatu… Verata… Neutax..”

            Close enough anyway….. you didn’t actually expect a hard line on balancing the budget, did you?

        2. Not really, they got a few people elected, but then those people got stomped by the GOP establishment in Congress.

        3. Nope- some would’ve thrown a fit over adding 2 trillion to the deficit with “tax reform” but nope, not a word.

          1. No, the tea party would have supported tax cuts and reforms. That was the whole fucking acronym Taxed Enough Already, Jesus fucking Christ do you understand that taxes are not the cause of the deficit, it’s overspending? Do we or the government own our money?

      2. There’s no Tea in Team.

    2. Tea Party movement kinda died following the Obamacare decision

      1. When did McCain single-vote sabotage the repeal of ObamaCare anyway?

  3. Meanwhile, the infrastructure meeting went on without him.

    Does this mean we won’t be spending billions of dollars we don’t have?

    1. If there’s one thing that is legitimate to finance, its infrastructure. Its a total shame that we’ve spent so much time and money financing other BS that we don’t really have the capacity to finance something so crucial to the workings of our economy.

      1. You mean, like pro sports stadiums?

        1. Pro sports stadiums =/= infrastructure, but that goes without saying and I’m sure you know that.

          1. You mean, like bullet trains in CA?

            1. Sure, if CA wants to finance that itself (however I think tested and verified methods of transportation would be much more preferable). I’m fine with city bus routes, metro systems, etc. That’s all fine.
              Shouldn’t be a federal funding thing unless the transportation is crossing state lines. Personally, I’d like to see the interstate highways repaired and more spending on internet infrastructure for rural areas.

      2. What the hell happened to the trillion dollars that was supposedly put into infrastructure in the “stimulus”? Looks to me like they just keep paving the same roads over and over while everything else falls apart.

        1. Only about $105 billion was allocated for infrastructure – only $27.5 billion of that was on highways/bridges, $21.5 billion on energy infrastructure, $27.2 billion on energy efficiencies/renewables (what a fucking waste), $18 billion on water/sewage/public land maintenance, $7.2 billion on government facilities, $10.5 billion on communications infrastructure (7.2 for internet in rural areas) $8 billion on rail project, $6.9B on other public transportation, $1.3 for Amtrack, and the amounts get more and more insignificant/immaterial from there. So we spent about 10% of what we estimate we need on infrastructure repair around the country.

          Something like $200 billion went to large and small banks (about a 55/45 split) and $250 billion was actually tax breaks.

          Only about 14% of the package was for infrastructure, and even that is generous when you consider that a large portion of that spending was on things like training programs for the government employees and law enforcement initiatives (i.e. not actually infrastructure).

          1. And remember that was nearly all paid at union or prevailing wages. So labor costs on all those projects were probably 50-100% more expensive than the private sector. Which means we got a lot less bang for our buck

          2. Some of it went to projects that were already underway long before Obama got into office, and they just tagged the sticker on those stupid propaganda signs after a renewal of funds passed. The highway overpass through Trinidad, CO comes to mind.

      3. Much depends on what you call infrastructure. A lot of it is/should be handled by the states.

        Having the Feds tax money out of the state’s populous and then give some of that money back to the state to spend on infrastructure is economically/financially inefficient. It would be better for the feds to tax less and the states tax more.

        And that’s assuming you are talking about legitimate infrastructure.

        1. I totally agree. I’m a huge fan of federalism. It would solve so many of our woes but people (1) are too stupid to understand that things can be done at the state level and (2) are too nosy to let Alabama be Alabama and South Dakota be South Dakota (“we must DO SOMETHING!”)

          1. Well California and New York seemed pretty convinced that anyone more than 50 miles from the coast are all the same and not worthy of listening to (except maybe Chicago and Austin).

    2. I have loved every infrastructure week thus far. It always starts with a big announcement, then Trump goes on a tirade, breathes hot fire at all the democrats, then sits back down without spending any money. Beautiful stuff

    3. At some point we are going to have to address infrastructure. I just finished a road trip passing through Illinois and Indiana and the interstate roads could definitely use some work. Like it or not we have to spend some money on these roads and we need to pay for the work.

      1. Stop spending it on choo-choos and bike trails and we’ll talk.

      2. Uh…. don’t we have this, like, highway fund that’s been collected from gas taxes for the last, well, forever? Isn’t that what’s supposed to pay for roads and bridges?

        Or did we just steal that money and use it for other things?

        1. Those gas taxes are USER FEES not actual taxes. You already received the benefit when you burned the gasoline to go from point A to point B. You have no right to claim what it is spent on – no more than you have the right to decide what a baker who just sold you a loaf of bread spends that money on.

          I agree that a gas tax is really the wrong way to structure user fees. Punishes rural areas (where the value of a 1 mile trip is much lower), the poor who can’t afford to upgrade to a more efficient vehicle, etc. But if you think a privately-run road system would charge anything less than magnitudes more than that gas tax, you are dumb as a rock.

          1. Your proof that privately financed roads would be more expensive is what? The Federal Government rarely is ever a better financial manager than private industry and rarely ever produces anything cheaper.

            1. Because private roads would have to pay property tax on that land – which means they would have to recoup that solely from users rather than partially in user fees and partially as an actual tax on increased land value of nearby land.

              And on the fixed cost side, govt debt is far cheaper than corporate debt and always will be as long as govt issues the currency that is the unit of account and banks will almost always choose T-bills as their collateral/reserve.

              The only way private sector can ‘beat’ those two elements is via corruption (a unique tax exemption – or free use of eminent domain – or debt subsidy/bailout) which is exactly how the economics of almost all ‘infrastructure privatization’ actually works.

              I agree that govt sucks at ‘operating’ anything – and public sector unions are their own source of rent-seeking and corruption. But in any ‘business model’ that is based mostly on fixed cost, on large capital/debt on balance sheet that depends on interest rates and periodic rollover of debt, or on getting revenue from the ‘positive externalities’ produced – govt has structural advantages. That stuff should be managed via ‘good govt’ type politics rather than ideological chanting or special interest rent-seeking.

      3. Drive on a toll road and get back to us.

      4. Georgia has plenty of existing money to keep the major roads paved so its smooth sailing.

      5. They have more than enough money to fix the fucking roads.

  4. Alan Dershowitz: Are investigations of Trump the new McCarthyism?

    When I came of age during the 1950s, liberals and civil libertarians were deeply concerned about the abuses of congressional investigations to expose communists and “fellow travelers.” Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy was using congressional committees to do his dirty work.

    Most liberals and civil libertarians saw through this ruse. The obvious purpose was to expose, embarrass, and unemploy left wing individuals associated with the Communist Party during the 1930s.

    It is quite fair to say that back in the day, virtually all liberals and civil libertarians, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, wanted to impose restrictions on the power of Congress to investigate, subpoena, and question individuals for partisan or ideological purposes. Now the shoe is on the other foot. It is the Democrats who are abusing their congressional investigations for partisan and ideological purposes. It is the Democrats who are putting forward the phony arguments about legislative purposes, such as the need for new laws and congressional oversight.

    The decision by Judge Amit Mehta to authorize broad congressional investigations of the Trump administration and President Trump himself, going back to well before he was a presidential candidate, could easily have been written by a right wing judge in the 1950s. It swallows, whole hog, the claimed legitimate legislative purposes put forward by those committees now led by the Democrats. It goes even further and suggests that a court has no power to probe the real motives behind legislative investigations, so long as the claimed motives are plausible. Under this decision that goes against civil liberties, Congress could investigate any person for any reason as long as it pretends to be doing so for a legitimate legislative purpose. The decision is an open invitation for abuse of power.

    1. Dershowitz: Snowflake.

      1. Everyone we disagree with is snowflakes now. I like how Reason has just resulted to name-calling right under their headlines. Its so professional.

        1. No, but everyone who whines about being disagreed with is a snowflake.

          1. And by “whining” do you mean, discussing the disagreement, or stating your points as to why the other group/person is wrong? You know, like in every disagreement ever?

          2. 90% of Reason articles are whining

            1. Whining is a tone of voice. I don’t think whining in text is possible.

        2. There certainly are fragile personalities that can’t take disagreement or insults to their favored political leaders on all sides of politics.
          But the whole “snowflakes” thing is getting pretty silly. Turnaround is fair play, I guess, but it’s also often stupid and boring.

          1. This is the same Reason that lamented “owning the libs.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure you can whine in print.

            1. Maybe. I think it’s easy to misinterpret tone and intent in text, so I to assume as little as possible about that when reading. I think that explains a lot about the wildly divergent opinions on what Reason writers supposedly believe and care about.

    2. Adam Schiff is the new Joe McCarthy.

  5. Fun fact: In a bunch of states, if you fall behind on student loans, you lose your license to work.

    A good way to get Trump out of office is to artificially raise the employment numbers along with any rise in loan default rates. Genius!

  6. Celebrity lawyer and erstwhile #Resistance hero Michael Avenatti has been charged with defrauding former client Stormy Daniels out of $300,000.

    Did we just lose our best resistance presidential candidate?

    1. Sleazy lawyer is also a crook. Who would have guessed?

  7. The NPC’s are becoming self aware!

    Just kidding, the comments are so revealing. A bunch of clowns blaming “the wealthy” for the dystopian shitholes that progressives created. The left, as always, bitch about the breadlines they vote for

    1. This is a cute comment from that article:
      “DFinMA
      CA8h ago
      @Mercury S
      “If you want to stop climate change, we need to get real about what that means — density.” Stating that means the root cause of climate change is lack of density, and that is not logical. The root cause is too many people. Unless overpopulation becomes the first and foremost conversation we’re not going to make progress.”

      Lest anyone ever doubt the progs’ true motives.

      1. It’s a death cult.

        1. Not really. You never see these people complaining about over-population standing in line at the Kevorkian clinic – the problem is always too many of you, just the right amount of me. They’re not so much a death cult as a killing cult. Which means they’re no different than any other murderous dictatorial regime.

          1. This is why I keep coming back to the three-ring circus that is the Reason commentariat. At the end of the day, other than Tony and Kirkland, the people that post here, even the ones who disagree on a lot of things, understand that socialism = communism = mass murder. Mostly people old enough to remember that 200 million people were killed by their own government over the last century, but some young people too, who are actually interested in real history and not the redacted bullshit that the media & Hollywood regurgitates.

            1. All high school students should visit the killing fields in Cambodia. A haunting experience.

              1. We watched that in high school.

                It was a drop mic moment for the teacher about how evil communism can become from theory to practice.

            2. The Pigeon doesn’t understand that.

      2. Something something final solution.

      3. Stating that means the root cause of climate change is lack of density, and that is not logical. The root cause is too many people. Unless overpopulation becomes the first and foremost conversation we’re not going to make progress.”

        Agreed. My solution, which I call Operation Thanos Did Nothing Wrong, is to blow the Bay Area, LA, Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle back to the pre-Oregon Trail/Gold rush age. Far, FAR fewer people consuming precious resources like water, the garbage heaps in these cities are incinerated, and the social capital of these states will increase 1000-fold by not being inhabited by hobos, Hollywood celebutards, Antifashits, and tech bugmen.

      4. I really don’t think there is a single set of “true motives”. Oversimplifying things that way isn’t useful.

        And concerns about overpopulation isn’t just for progressives. Robert Heinlein, for example, had a lot of Malthusian thinking in his fiction.
        I don’t think overpopulation is something we should worry about. But there are lots of reasons why people worry about it and lots of diverse ideas about how to deal with it.

        1. Heinlen has been dead for three decades. Your example sucks.

          1. Why is that relevant?

    2. I like Michael from Brooklyn’s comment: We’ve already experimented with hulking, mass-scaled affordable housing in this country. The results were catastrophic — not least because arrogant city planners, in an effort to scale up housing at an industrial scale, concocted vast tracts of imposing towers that proved alienating to their inhabitants. So I’m curious to know: which unlucky neighborhoods in New York would see the wrecking ball to make way for more soulless housing?

      I’m sure that the reason public housing turns into a shit show is because the housing was “alienating to its inhabitants.” Don’t you get it? If only public housing was more aesthetically pleasing, it would work perfectly! What a fucking moron.

      1. “Soulless housing”

        Imagine being that person

        1. Next up will be the The San Francisco Soulful Housing Certification Board complete with Housing Soul Inspectors.

          1. That already exists. 80% of the organized opposition to building in San Francisco comes from neighborhood groups that want to “preserve the character of the neighborhood”. This is, of course, a euphemism for “We don’t want rich whiteys moving in to expensive apartments and displacing the natives who live in small houses”.

            They do not want renovations. They don’t even want non-natives running businesses there.

            1. Haha, that’s fair!

      2. He is right about public housing being a disaster and destroying old neighborhoods to build them a catastrophic mistake.

        1. I do agree that destroying old neighborhoods to build public housing is a catastrophe, but somehow I don’t think that’s exactly what he’s complaining about here.

      3. If only public housing was more aesthetically pleasing, it would work perfectly!

        Seems like I saw a few comments waxing poetic about The Fountainhead this week. When I read this line, all I could think of was Ellsworth Toohey –

        It’s such a waste to be subtle and vicious with people who don’t even know that you’re being subtle and vicious

        1. I think its plenty of fun — I have no desire to create an account and comment at the NYT. I don’t want to raise their engagement metrics. 😛

      4. One could interpret that comment as meaning that public housing developments are “soulless” and “alienating” in the sense that they make it difficult or impossible to have a functioning community. Which is one of the big problems with the high density projects. There are plenty of others too, but that’s not insignificant.

        1. You could very well be right. We’ll never truly know, but I can appreciate your generosity in the interpretation. I am being a bit harsh to poke fun.

      5. Look at how well NYCHA has been running public housing in NYC.

    3. Here’s another good one:

      “McDiddle” from San Fancisco writes: San Francisco has long been more libertarian than liberal, despite what Fox news wants you to think.

      My god.

      You also fail to mention the disparate impact of the failure of extremely wealthy San Francisco suburbs such as Atherton, Hillsdale, Los Gatos etc, to shoulder any affordable housing obligations, What’s even more galling is that harder core Republican enclaves such as Dublin and further inland Central valley communities actually bus their homeless to Bay Area rather than build affordable housing. Yes, there’s a lot of NIMBYism in SF but it’s not entirely a function of “liberal” politics.

      So, its the Republicans and Libertarian’s fault San Fran is the way it is?! Wow, even with Progressive Democrats in total control of every branch of the government, somehow all of these Libertarian and Republican policies are getting getting put into effect. You have to be totally delusional to think this. Absolutely nuts.

      1. My favorite excuse is that they have so many homeless because the weather is good. Was the weather bad in California for its entire history when it didn’t have tens of thousands of bums shitting on the streets?

        1. Duh! Climate change.

        2. The general explanation for this is that California’s regular and cyclic mega droughts doomed agriculture in pre columbian California. It is noteworthy that the only indigenous agriculture in what is now the state was among the Mojave along the Colorado river, and in historic times among the Paiute in the Owens Valley, both of which are extreme deserts and involved major irrigation works. There is no indigenous dry farming in the state.

          Seemingly more favorable areas such as the LA basin, Santa Barbara Channel, Central Valley, and Lake County had no archaeological evidence of agriculture at all.

      2. Calling Dublin ‘hardcore Republican’ is insane. It’s as liberal there as anywhere you can find … outside of SF.

  8. Maria Butina

    An immigrant and Small fish trying to do the whole political networking thing in DC gets brought in by the Feds the day before Trump meets with Putin, pleads not guilty, and then gets thrown in solitary confinement until she cops to a plea for failing to register as a foreign agent. How does Reason feel about this one? Seems right up their alley.

    1. Oh… that’s probably an easy one. She was Russian, talked to people in DC, some of which may have talked to Trump. She talked to Russians, some of who talked to Putin’s peeps… ergo she’s literally Eva Braun.

      1. Eva Braun was German. Am I missing something?

        Maybe you are thinking of Natasha Fatale?

        1. She’s working with The Orange Hitler… but yeah, being Russian throws a wrench in it.

          Some jokes a home runs. Others are the ones I try to tell.

          1. Are… I hate typing on a phone.

        2. Natasha was hotter, but then she was an actual spy and terrorist

    2. Seems right up their alley.

      There was a young woman named Sally
      Who fancied a bit of a dally.
      When she sat on the lap
      Of a well-endowed chap,
      She said, “Sir, you’re right up my alley!”

  9. Florida prosecutors are appealing a ruling that secret surveillance footage taken inside the Orchids of Asia Day Spa is not admissible in the state’s case against Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft.

    “Gentlemen, we must save face! We can’t be left with nothing but inadmissible and weirdly well-worn video of Bob Kraft getting an old-fashioned!”

  10. Snowflake isn’t/shouldn’t be a reference to someone who has feelings of distaste for something or who suffers any degree of being offended. It was, or at least seemed to be, a reference to suffering un-due offense over slight issues and expressing the offense taken in disproportionate levels of outrage or dramatics.

    “He looked at me. It was LITERALLY trauma!” That’s snowflake.
    “I can’t believe they would do that!” Normal, every day incredulity.

    Not the same thing. “Justin Amash has said things we don’t believe and therefore shouldn’t be counted as one of us!” Not snowflake. If they had said, “Amash’s comments are LITERALLY the same as modern-day slavery!” Then that would be snowflake status.

    1. You want to trigger a snowflake? Ask ENB to make you a sandwich.

      1. THAT’S LITERALLY ENSLAVING ALL OF WOMYN KIND!!!! END THE PATRIARCHY ONE ABORTION AT A TIME!!!!

      2. She’s misusing the original intent of ‘snowflake’.

    2. Politics and the English Language

      DYING METAPHORS. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically ‘dead’ (e. g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves.

      5254 of the most important words you could ever read if you actually give a shit about communicating.

  11. Cory Booker: Pay attention to me, pay attention to meeeeeee.

    He gets what it means to be Spartacus.

    1. “I’m Spartacus! Me! Over here! Hey, Romans, pay attention! I’m Spartacus, standing right in front of you!”

      1. +100

  12. Trump ditches White House policy meeting to rant at reporters.

    Combining The Art of the Deal with All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. This is how deals get done!

    1. Combining The Art of the Deal with All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

      That’s a good one, I’m going to steal it.

      It was hilarious though seeing Trump whining and crying about mean ol’ poopy-heads saying hurtful things about him so he’s taking his bawl and going home. And the sweet teary glaze on that cupcake was hearing him say he doesn’t do cover-ups when everybody knows all about Stormy Daniels, the NDA and the hush money.

      1. People used to get killed for besmirching one’s character.

        Just saying.

        Notice how the media protects Lefties from accusations of misdeeds. Like Feinstein’s driver being a Chinese spy.

        Not a peep about this anymore. It was probably incompetence/negligence on her part to not fully vet someone who heard daily national secrets discussed via phone.

        1. >>>People used to get killed for besmirching one’s character.

          also nobody got Saddam’d yet for the failed coup.

        2. People used to get killed for besmirching one’s character

          They did. Reminds me of the asshats of today who go around declaring speech to be literal violence which can justifiably be met with force.

          1. When speech gets one sent to gulags without trial, makes you understand why people used to kill their defamers.

      2. Your whining about Trump is hilarious.
        Probably not in the way you think though

  13. More evidence that poor nutrition is a major contributor to cancer.

    Too few packets of Splenda.

  14. People are panicking about teens having less sex?

    I blame feminists.

    1. A smaller population of men are having a larger portion of the sex. As a whole, its not great for population growth.

      Personally, as someone ahead of the curve, I appreciate the increasing number of voids feminists allow me to fill

      1. Heh. I see what you did there.

    2. I am having enough sex on a weekly basis for the Incels out there.

      Thanks Incels for not muddying the vaginas.

      1. I don’t think kicking over Mabel’s walker at the nursing home so she can’t run away should count.

        1. Take your confessions elsewhere.

  15. Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s recent apology tour “noticeably stopped short of issuing any apologies…”

    He’s been in government long enough to know he can’t possibly be actually wrong.

    1. “I regret that Reason is too dumb to appreciate how much I care about women.”

  16. “Teachers Rally as California Lawmakers Limit Charter Schools”
    […]
    “California lawmakers have narrowly advanced a teacher-backed measure that would give local school districts more power to reject charter schools.
    The Assembly acted Wednesday as teachers rallied at the state Capitol. They’re calling for more money for public education as part of a statewide day of action.
    The California Teachers Association is backing the Assembly-approved legislation that supporters say will ensure charters do not siphon resources from traditional public schools.
    Critics argued it could lead to officials rejecting charter schools for political reasons….”
    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2019-05-22/teachers-rally-as-california-lawmakers-limit-charter-schools

    The Chron article claimed that 11% of CA kids are now opting out of government schools, which worries the union thugs no end. It also has images of kids holding well-prepared signs; you know they did that without prompting from the thugs, right?

  17. “Celebrity lawyer and erstwhile #Resistance hero Michael Avenatti has been charged with defrauding former client Stormy Daniels out of $300,000.”

    Last I’d heard, Stormy Daniels had been ordered to pay Trump’s legal fees. Didn’t he lose all of her cases? Maybe she thought that’s where the money was going? Apparently, he was also charged with identity theft regarding Stormy Daniels.

    For those who are keeping score, Avenatti was charged with 36 (thirty-six) federal counts last month, including tax fraud and bank fraud. These new charges may have been uncovered through discovery, and IF IF IF Avenatti did this to Stormy Daniels, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did it to other clients, as well. 38 charges and counting? I’m bullish on more charges for Avenatti. At some point, it will behoove him to cut a deal–if he’s guilty of anything.

    Just because an attorney is the kind of scumbag who would work for a porn star who, more or less, seems to have extorted hush money from the president, that doesn’t necessarily means he’s the kind of scumbag attorney who would defraud a porn star or try to extort $20 million from Nike. On the other hand, if I’m judging the relative credibility of witnesses and they’re giving conflicting testimony, subconsciously or otherwise, the scumbag attorney probably isn’t getting the benefit of my doubt.

    1. “Stormy Daniels Ordered to Pay Trump $293,000 in Legal Fees”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/11/us/stormy-daniels-donald-trump.html

      Now they’re charging him with defrauding $300,000 from her. That number is awful suspicious. Could he have been dumb enough to defraud the money the Stormy Daniels owes Donald Trump?

      That’s a personal vendetta thing. That’s Trump’s chance to make sure the public knows that if you fuck with him, you may end up paying through the nose. Trump is going to make sure he gets every penny of that $293,000.

      Taking that $300,000 and telling her that it was used to pay Trump would be one of the dumbest crimes ever. Like robbing a bank in front of a slew of news crews. I HOPE that’s what happened! I hope he was exactly that stupid.

      1. Prosecutors say he took the 300k and spent it on his Ferrari payments, travel, payroll, etc.

        He told her that he was working to get the publisher to fork over the payments that were due – he lied to her about the fact that the money was even payed.

        According to prosecutors this is all documented in emails, texts, etc.

    2. Avenatti makes me think of that great scene in Breaking Bad where Jesse and Walter are looking to hire Saul. Walter asks Jesse if this is the right guy to hire as his office looks like a used car lot. Jesse’s response was golden:

      “We don’t need a criminal lawyer. We need a criminal lawyer.”

      (FYI… I don’t interwebs too well… I may have TOTALLY botched the italics code. If so… oops. If not… I’m awesome.)

      1. Well hot damn! I got it!

        1. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.

        2. Good job and great quote!

  18. “Fake news changes shape as EU heads into elections
    […]
    “Fake news has evolved beyond the playbook used by Russian trolls in the U.S. election. As the European Union gears up for a crucial election, it is mostly homegrown groups rather than foreign powers that are taking to social media to push false information and extremist messages, experts say….”
    https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/fake-news-shape-eu-heads-elections-63195423

    I guess CNN is going to expand coverage in the EU to tell ’em about how the Russkis got Trump elected and how the walls are closing in on Trump.

  19. Odds Stormy banged Avenatti.

    1. 6:9

    2. Professional courtesy.

    3. I saw a comment somebody had made about Avenatti being charged with ripping off both Nike and Stormy – “Just Do It” meets “Just Do Me”.

    4. I was looking through my old porn stash and found 2 porn DVDs that had Stormy in them.

      I had never heard of her until she blew her NDA (pun intended).

      1. Or until you blew your DNA

        1. love it.

        2. You’re on fire today.

        3. *audible chuckle*

    5. it *is* her currency

      1. She’d be a natural in Galt’s Gulch.

  20. I’m failing to see how Trump is a snowflake here.

    1. She called the Freedom Caucus guys snowflakes.

      Trump is more like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

      1. Yeah! How dare he not negotiate with people accusing him of capital crimes and trying to destroy the lives of his family members!

        1. The grownup thing to do is to yell at a camera or take to Twitter!

          When they go low, we go louder!

          1. #BelieveAllWomen
            #Russia
            #Obstruction
            #HandmaidsTale

            Clearly the “grownups” are failing.

            1. I still would prefer that the president act like a grownup.

              1. I would prefer that the government doesn’t abuse its power by illegally spying on US citizens. Which of those two is more important?

                1. The latter, for sure. But I don’t think it’s an either/or situation.

                  I don’t think many politicians are acting like grownups these days. Trump is only different in not pretending to be something else.

        2. Yeh pretty much what I meant.

          Just take the bull shit we’re throwing at you snowflake!

  21. Good news from California.

    California lawmakers are to consider proposals that would make the state the first in the nation to offer government-funded health care to adult immigrants living in the country illegally.

    Of course, we Koch / Reason libertarians generally want to reduce government spending. However, our top priority is always to promote immigration. If government-funded health care can be shown to attract more immigrants to the US, we should seriously consider supporting it.

    1. Tip of the hat to you sir

      1. I think you mean xir.

    2. And a stipend, you know, basic income . We need to do more to attract immigrants to this shithole racist country of ours.

    3. I don’t understand why we’re limiting it just to immigrants. Seems pretty white supremacist to me. We should be providing welfare to anyone who asks, regardless of residence.

      1. Is that you, Gillespie?

        1. #ItWasntRealSocialism

    4. I hate to be this guy, but

      DON’T FEED THE TROLLS

      1. OBL’s not really a troll. He’s more like a jester. He amuses us.

      2. wow blast from the past. aren’t we all trolls here?

    1. I would believe this is true before I could believe that any one of those scumbags working in the ‘drug war’ don’t understand the havoc and harm they cause.

      1. None of the Holder story makes sense. They gave one cartel thousands of guns for what? To track what exactly? And they gave them high powered guns to boot?

        This was about weapons upgrades paid for by the american taxpayer

  22. Google censors out anti-abortion groups.

    “The policy changes come amid backlash from a report in The Guardian saying that the tech giant granted $150,000 worth of free advertisements to The Obria Group, which runs a network of clinics across the United States that are funded by Catholic organizations. Obria’s advertisements have suggested that the clinics (aka Crisis Pregnancy Centers) provide abortions and other medical services. But the clinics are in fact opposed to abortion and all forms of contraception, including condoms. According to The Guardian, the misleading advertisements are an attempt to bait “abortion-minded women” so that the clinics can then deter them from terminating their pregnancies.”

    —-Ars Technica

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/05/anti-abortion-clinics-that-try-to-trick-women-face-new-google-ad-policy/

    Obviously, Google shouldn’t facilitate groups that are trying to persuade pregnant women not to have abortions–because persuading pregnant women not have abortions is a terrible thing to do! It’s like kicking a puppy. We can’t have people using social media and targeted advertising to lure their intended victims in, when it turns out they’re really just trying to persuade these poor victims not to do thing that . . . um . . . aren’t really progressive at all.

    Those of you who don’t think Google should face antitrust scrutiny should do yourselves a favor and try to strip Google from your life. Don’t use any of their products for a week. Don’t email anybody with a gmail address. Don’t use Google sheets at work. Don’t do a search with Google. Don’t use Chrome. Don’t use an Android phone. Go ahead and see if you can do it.

    I’ve largely minimized my exposure to Google, but I’ve been unsuccessful in getting rid of them completely. A client, a consultant . . . a girlfriend, somebody somewhere always seems to need me to use Google for something.

    1. Those of you who don’t think Google should face antitrust scrutiny should do yourselves a favor and try to strip Google from your life. Don’t use any of their products for a week. Don’t email anybody with a gmail address. Don’t use Google sheets at work. Don’t do a search with Google. Don’t use Chrome. Don’t use an Android phone. Go ahead and see if you can do it.

      I’ve largely minimized my exposure to Google, but I’ve been unsuccessful in getting rid of them completely. A client, a consultant . . . a girlfriend, somebody somewhere always seems to need me to use Google for something.

      Precisely – things like work and certain social circles I run in would be impossible without google. For the longest time I was off of Facebook, but my job now requires me to have one for certain functions. I keep it minimal, but its still there gathering who knows what data. I’m okay with breaking them up, but I also don’t claim to be a libertarian in any sense of the word.

      1. “Google makes stuff that is so good, everyone wants to use it. BREAK THEM UP!”

        1. “Google bought so many companies that make good stuff, you cannot participate in the market without doing business with them first, BREAK THEM UP!”

          1. Good point. And they just magically got that money from nowhere

            1. Doesn’t really matter.

          2. ““Google bought so many companies that make good stuff”

            The google suite (Sheets, Docs, etc), Gmail, Google Search and Chrome were all built by google, not purchased. Among the few notable dominant products that were acquisitions by Google is YouTube.

            1. In addition, Google has released as Open Source numerous software products that are used by their competitors. These include the V8 javascript engine, TensorFlow neural network libraries, Closure scripting framework, and the Android OS.

              Android is a notable product that Google acquired. However, it was not yet a product and the company, Android Inc, was about to go out of business before google purchased them. It was only because of Google bringing them in house, and giving them a huge development team that the product eventually launched.

              1. That’s nice, we should probably break them up though.

              2. People do not use Google Sheets because they are a monopoly. They use it because it is a great product. Same with Gmail. Nothing about their dominance in search made people switch to it from Yahoo Mail or Hotmail. People switched because it was a superior product. I know, because I worked at one of their competitors. Our product team was happy to leave mail alone, convinced that there was nothing to be improved on something as droll as email. Gmail rocked that market with its innovations- clean interface, intuitive sorting, etc- and the old guard was obliterated by the effort.

                The same was true for the GSuite. Microsoft dominated the market with these expensive applications that had to run on windows. Suddenly there was an application that an entire team could collaborate on in order to accomplish 80% of the that people need it for.

                I think Google’s censorious impulses are wrong headed. And I know first hand how toxic the culture is in ALL silicon valley companies. But to ignore all the great things google has done, and to try using Antitrust to punish them for their political views is the wrong way to go.

                1. I’m not ignoring all the great things they have done. I’m actually kinda sad that such a great company that did all the great things has become too large, has way too much power, and now the time has come to break them up. They’re slowly becoming a defacto private government that can regulate the online public square via their search engine, and I’m not okay with outsourcing that kind of thing to a single company. Its too bad, it didn’t need to end up like this, but it has. And that’s a shame.

                2. “They use it because it is a great product”

                  Lollololololol

            2. Yeah, good stuff, very useful. We should probably break up google though. It’s nearly impossible to do business on the internet without them. Or, if you try to, you can be essentially erased from ever even showing up as an option to internet goers… that is, unless you pay the people that essentially own the internet.

              1. The fact that every one uses their products is not a reason to break them up. The fact is, these products are so successful BECAUSE they have unlocked millions of businesses and people to earn a better living.

                This conservative impulse to punish Google for their success is just proggy populism with a different mask. It is no different from the progs who wanted to bust up microsoft back in the day- only more transparently political.

                1. Yeah, this is one I agree with them on. They’ve gotten way too powerful off of their success, they are becoming a defacto foreign government with a bent to regulate speech and this wouldn’t be an issue if they weren’t so large. The center left, solid left and progressives are actually correct on this issue.

                  1. And this is why we will ever have an expanding government. No principles, just pragmatism. Everyone has their ox that this one time makes sense to throw ideals out the window, because reasons. And they find common cause to create government interventions that make things worse.

                    If you think government intervention into google will do anything but ensure that Google Search, Apps, Mail, Android, etc remains around for the long term, you are deluding yourself.

                    Look at Facebook. They see government sniffing around the corner, and they jump on the “Regulate Us” bandwagon, because they know this is their ticket to crowd out upstarts with legislated barriers to entry.

                  2. You won’t be able to express your opinions soon, or if you do, you won’t be able to share them. Have fun with that.

            3. Google maps: purchased
              Android: purchased
              Youtube: purchased

              Google docs are absolute shit. Their only saving grace is the collaboration features. Gmail remains worse than mail clients from over 20 years ago. And even more hilarious is their pathetic support (read no support) for wildcards in mail searches.

              They have a cozy relationship with a lot of big biz IT that gives them the inside track, but aside from web search they’re products are not that impressive.

              1. Google Maps: Was not a product anything like it is today. It was an obscure desktop application that few had heard of. The modern web app that is used today was developed in house by google. It was revolutionary because it was one of the first web maps that didn’t require flash, making it faster, more secure and more available to everyone using the web. This is a google product.

                Android: The same. It was not even a product yet when it was purchased.

                YouTube is about the only dominant product that was purchased by google after its ascendance.

                Your complaints about GSuite and Gmail are curmudgingly griping. You don’t like them, fine. But they are not popular because of cozy relationships with IT orgs. Indeed, the corporate offering of these products is a relatively new thing in the past 5 – 6 years. I personally hate Gmail, but when it debuted, it gained all of its market share via individuals choosing it over the existing alternatives.

          3. Google is in the service of Team Blue. BREAK THEM UP!

            1. This is one of the bigger litmus tests for how you can tell the libertarian commenters from Republican commenters.

              Do you want to “break up” Facebook? Not a libertarian sorry.

              1. Don’t be sorry, I’m not a libertarian because its impractical and childish to be one.

        2. “Google makes stuff that is so good, everyone wants to use it. BREAK THEM UP!”

          I’m happier with all my non-google alternatives. They’re harder to find.

          Cardi B may the most popular musician for all I know. She is not the best musician. Popularity can come about for all sorts of reasons. The reasons google is so popular may be because of anti-competitive behavior or because there are few choices.

          If you want to use a smart phone, you’re probably familiar with Android and Apple, right? There are non-Google flavors of Android out there, but hardly anybody knows about them. It isn’t necessarily because they aren’t any good. It may have as much to do with distribution and marketing.

          Anyway, I’m encouraging people to use their freedom of choice. Try to choose not to use Google and see what happens. Explore! There are better options.

          The overwhelming majority of people out there are still getting screwed by their cable company. It isn’t because the cable company’s service is better than the live TV you get from Sling, DirectTV Now, Hulu, Philo, YouTube TV, Playstation, Fubo, or a service like Tablo that distributes broadcast TV through your wifi. It may just be that a lot of consumers simply don’t understand streaming live TV and haven’t caught on yet.

          I think that’s what may be happening with Google. Consumers don’t know about or understand the alternatives yet, and Google has a huge advantage on brand recognition and distribution.

          I was in a thread at WSJ the other day about AppleTV’s new app. It takes all your music, podcasts, movies, photos, etc. and live broadcast TV and puts them all in one place for streaming! Isn’t that convenient?

          Both Plex and Emby have been doing the same thing for years. They work on every single platform, too. There’s no advantage to the Apple product–except for the Apple branding. Apple doesn’t want streamers going to another outlet, so they’re offering this to keep people in the Apple ecosystem with Apple branding. Yeah, consumers like that, for now. How long will that last?

          I remember when more than half the people on AOL believed that AOL’s website was the entirety of the internet. You had to make five or six moves to get off of AOL’s website back then and most of the people on AOL had no idea why they’d want to get off of AOL”s website. Why would they want to do that when AOL has email, weather, news, etc?

          When Netscape went public, they thought Netscape might generate huge profits because most people were too stupid to figure out how to change the default homepage in their browser.

          Consumers grow up and get sophisticated. That will happen to Google, too. You can’t depend on limiting your customers to your own ecosystem forever. That’s what almost sank Apple in the 1990s. That’s what sank AOL. That’s why Netscape had no future as a highly profitable company. And that will happen to Google, too. I just want to encourage people to exercise their freedom of choice. Don’t use Google services because they’re the default.

          This is that “nudging” thing we were talking about the other week. Make the default option Google for everything, and a lot of people will land on Google for that reason alone. It won’t last when people start exploring their options, and there are plenty of better options over Google. Just like there’s a lot better music than what Taylor Swift is putting out for general consumption.

          Some people genuinely love vanilla ice cream. I wouldn’t bet on that lasting for long once they start trying other flavors.

          1. The idea that google would ever let information about open phone OS alternatives to Google’s Android to be advertised to the general mainstream public is hilarious. They’ll let you search for this stuff just fine, but let it be distributed and advertised to you? Lol no way.

            1. Just in case anyone is interested . . .

              /e/ foundation is the OS. It’s Android stripped of Google in every regard.

              You can get the OS for your existing phone, or you can now buy refurbished phones with it preinstalled.

              They now have their own App store.

              https://community.e.foundation/t/e-app-store-is-here/3837

              It runs Android apps from Google Play just fine, but they have apps that will respect your privacy using non-Google sources for everything. You may decide you want to use a Google app from the Google store, and you certainly can. It’s just that with their app store, you can make an informed choice.

              At Google Play Store, it’s more a question of making sure you know you’re getting screwed before they screw you. With theirs, if you don’t want to get screwed at all, there’s more options available than just doing without any app or service.

              I hope more people find out about and join. Seems like it’s tailor made for libertarians who care about their freedom and privacy rights . . . just because.

          2. By and large google’s dominance came from an obsessive focus on usability. The google search page was super popular not only because the results were fantastic, but also because it was a simple interface, not crowded by banner ads, articles and other nonsense. In the day and age of flashing ads, blinking text, and marching ants, the google search page was completely focused on delivering a good search experience.

            Like any focus on design, google’s point of view alienates some portion of the audience. I don’t like android or gmail. But their dominant products also hit a sweet spot that appealed to the greatest crowds.

            The GSuite is a perfect example: When it came out, people were still using email to collaborate on their word documents and excel spreadsheets. Most people were just editing a simple doc, or creating simple project plans- they didn’t need to publish books or balance accounting ledgers. You could pop into a Google Sheet in a few seconds, and be working with your colleagues in less than a minute. It is noteworthy that this functionality was unheard of. For years after that, you still had to use Explorer and wait almost a minute to load the Web version of MSFT applications. Google focused on ease of use- innovating on the back end, to quickly get the sheet available for editing in a few seconds. These little tweaks made the application easier to use.

            You mention how everyone uses cable companies these days. While I agree that a lot of that has to do with awareness, it also has to do with those cable companies having a monopoly in their locality- and making it more expensive to get an internet-only package. Google does not have any of these enforced monopolies. I’d also note that even when you move to streaming only, it is a bit of a pain in the ass. As an IT guy, home networking is easy, but for a lot of people it is still a bit of voodoo. And you have to open all these accounts with netflix and hulu, yada yada. And many of these streaming apps aren’t great- trying to watch Naruto with my son on Amazon Prime is a pain in the ass because Amazon’s Fast Forward and Buffering are sub-par. Netflix has a better streaming interface, but their search is horrible and it is never clear when they will just drop a title.

            Alone, each little inconvenience is just that- little. But when you add all of these together, it becomes enough that a lot of people throw their hands up in the air. Way back in 2006ish I built my first home theatre computer. The number of times I dealt with DRM problems on its bluray player, or network problems, or windows deciding to fuck up my graphics settings, or stuttering images (etc) meant that every movie night was an exercise in utter frustration. I still pursue these efforts, but because it is also a hobby of mine. But it is not convenient. And google, apple and other players have dominant products not because they are the best, but because they are the most convenient.

            1. In Google’s case, specifically, I’ve seen what I consider collusive behavior, especially in regards to the way they treat content providers on YouTube. When multiple platforms deplatform a content creator on practically the same day for things they’ve done in the distant past, that reeks of collusion. It’s one thing to kick somebody off your platform. Quite another to join to together and blacklist content providers from every platform that matters–YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, and Patreon?

              And I hope the larger point isn’t getting lost, which is that if Google (or anyone else) isn’t acting like a monopoly or shoudn’t be subject to antitrust considerations, then substituting away from their services should be pretty easy. It isn’t easy. It’s difficult, and it’s getting more difficult all the time. At some point, some antitrust suit against Google may make an excellent case in the courts, and that’s where these questions probably belong–rather than with Congress or the Department of Justice.

              If you’re like me and you don’t want to see the government tinkering with Google, encourage people to use their freedom of choice to do for themselves what they want the government to do for them. Regulating Google isn’t the solution to our problems. Our freedom of choice is the solution, and people who want the government to solve that problem should do for themselves instead. Check out the /e/ foundation OS. Deprive Google of your participation, but it’s hard to do. It’s not easy. We should recognize that.

    2. Good. The more that Google pulls this shit, the sooner the market will provide a decent alternative.

      1. I really hope that this is the case. I know history says that it SHOULD be the case. But I think that “this time is different” as silly as it is. I hope that I stand corrected within the next 10 years. I don’t think I will be, though.

  23. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/23/american-taliban-john-walker-lindh-released-prison/1203550001/

    Trump admin releases terrorist into America!!! I knew he was a secret Muslim this whole time.

    1. They should have shot him and we wouldn’t have this problem.

      1. While I agree that shooting him on the battlefield would have solved many problems. The USA tortured that kid, denied him immediate medical attention, kept him from seeing an attorney, and paraded him before the media in violation of the Geneva Convention as he was a POW.

        This kid was allowed by his California parents to travel overseas at 16 to convert to Islam and I have no doubt he ranted about USA is evil this… and USA is evil that.

        We could get into a long thing about fucked up Bush’s policies were about avoiding the Geneva Convention and trying to skirt it by claiming they were “enemy combatants”. There is no such thing. Either a person is a soldier, out-of-uniform soldier, or a civilian. Out-of-uniform soldier are considered spies and can be shot as they have no protections.

        We invaded Afghanistan and the Taliban did not have traditional uniforms. The Taliban never attacked the USA, they harbored Al-Qaeda who did attack the USA.

        1. Additionally, the USA allowed Lindh to plea to 2 charges and get 20 years.

          If he was such a super terrorist rather than a Useful Idiot, he would be at Gitmo (which Obama closed).

          1. He should have never been allowed to plea to anything. There whould have an an hearing under the Geneva Conventions to determine if he was abiding by and was entitled to the protections of the laws of war, he wasn’t, and after that he should have been summarily hanged.

            You get more of what you reward. We have more terrorists and scumbags like this guy because we make it advantagious to be a terrorist rather than a solider.

            1. Then you have to hang every Taliban soldier for the same conduct of being “out-of-uniform”. Islamic garb is their uniform.

              The Taliban lost and all the attackers associated with 9/11 are dead. What more do you want?

              I would also like to bring up that American Patriots also didn’t always wear uniforms. The Continental Army did but the American Militia did not. This was before the Geneva Convention, of course, but the Colonists were considered terrorists by the British Army.

              America taking the moral high ground on this issue and not hanging everyone, is a +1 for the USA.

              1. US Special forces in Afghanistan were not always wearing uniforms either.

                1. US Contractors wore civilian clothes and killed civilians in afghanistan and Iraq.

        2. He fought for the Taliban. Sorry but I have about as much sympathy for him as I do the Nazis who were hanged at Nuremburg.

          As far as the Geneva Conventions go, he was caught on a battlefield not wearing a uniform making mischief. The Conventions do not and never were intended to apply to scumbags like him. He should have been hanged and his body left for the crows.

          1. Yeah no sympathy for him from me, although lovecon is right that they really fuck up that in the end. Love to just send him to Saudi Arabia and let them deal with him. They can put him on the front lines without a weapon in the fight against the Yemen rebels so he can die for the Sunni cause.

            1. Once you capture someone like that, you have legal obligations to protect them and give them some kind of Due Process under international treaty or the US Constitution.

          2. The USA has gotta play by the rules too.

            Americans are free to join any foreign army they wish. Americans joined the Spanish Republicans during that Civil War. Americans joined the Royal Air Force to fight Nazis. Americans joined the Wehrmacht to fight for the Nazis.

            You cannot just dismiss a Taliban uniform being Islamic garb just because you dont like to give those soldiers Gevena Convention rights.

            1. I am giving you the rules. He wasn’t in an army. He wasnt’ wearing a uniform and he wasn’t abiding by the laws of war. That means he was nothing but an ordinary criminal who should have been hanged.

              And no, the Taliban garb is not a uniform. Nothing about it distinguishes him from the civilian population. Indeed, the whole point is for it not to do so.

              1. I dunno… that’s a stretch. The Taliban actually was the government of Afghanistan at the time. Not much of a government, but the official government nonetheless.

                1. Yes, and since the specifically allowed the training of the 9/11 hijackers, and harbored Bin Laden afterwards, they were treated as an enemy government. And since they were the “government” of Afghanistan, it was legitimate to attack them. Their armed forces (such as they were) wore no distinctive uniforms to separate them from civilians. The laws of war have ALWAYS allowed for summarily executing combatants who were on the field of battle pretending to blend in with civilians.

                  1. The “Taliban didn’t attack us” thing is definitely a canard.

                    The Italians never attacked us during WWII, but you align with the Axis and you get war declared on you too.

                    That part should be pretty simple for anyone to parse.

                    1. Italy declared war on the USA first, just like Germany did after Pearl Harbor.

                      There is a very good chance that Americans would not have let Roosevelt declare war on Germany and Italy if they did not do that first. Americans wanted revenge on the Japanese for pearl harbor.

                      Once Italy and Germany declared war on the USA, we might as well declare war on them and quickly defeat them.

              2. You are right on, and I have to say this is one of the few times that I disagree with LC, though I still love him! 🙂
                The whole point of the Geneva Convention requirements regarding soldiers wearing distinctive uniforms is to distinguish them from civilians. We hear about the Geneva Conventions in regards to treatment of POWs, but the larger purpose is to try and minimize the damage of war to the civilian population. And when combatants don’t wear uniforms that distinguish them from civilians, then many civilians get killed. And that is NOT THE FAULT of the country attacking.
                For example: it is against the conventions to attack hospitals. If the enemy stored arms one time in a hospital, it still is illegitimate to target them. However, if 7 out of every 10 hospitals are used to store arms, then it absolutely becomes legitimate to target hospitals. Same thing with civilians. If the Taliban (or anyone else) engages in acts of war but hides among civilians, then it is NOT illegitimate when civilians get killed.

                And in reference to the American Revolution, LC was correct that a number of militia fighters were not in uniform. But, understand, they were taking risks. The laws of war have always allowed for proportionate civilian reprisals when that combatants hide among them. I know we like to think otherwise, but it has always been considered appropriate.

                1. I would add that how we handle bandits caught on the battlefield is entirely within our prerogative. Lindh should have been summarily hanged, if only to send a clear message about such circumstances obviating the need for a trial for treason.

                  But having executed one bandit that in no way obligates us to hang every other Taliban caught out of uniform. Particularly if the CiC, or other authorities determine that it is not in our best (military, or political) interests to do so. We can also grant clemency on a case by case basis.

                  1. I still don’t get how a citizen can travel abroad, enlist as an enemy combatant, participate in hostilities against US forces… and be allowed to return to the US (even if a prison sentence is involved).
                    You want to sign up with an enemy? Ok.
                    You want to come back afterwards?
                    Fuck that. You made your choice, you forfeit US citizenship.
                    Bye felicia

                    1. Americans served in the Wehrmacht and fought against America and were not permanently punished.

                      Confederates, same thing.

                      A hallmark of America is forgiveness.

                      Fuck eith us and we will destory you but we are quick to let bygones be bygones.

                  2. ThomasD, I would tend to agree that the battlefield is a separate place from a courtroom and the CinC should have more latitude on the battlefield to dish out summary judgment.

                    I would also say that the Constitution demands a Declaration ofwar, letter of marquis or reprisal, or invasion defense as the only Enumerated powers for American involvement in war.

                    With that being said, there is no specified definition of DoW or letters of marque or reprisal, so an AUMF could suffice.

                2. Thanks bear odinson. Love you too.

                  The fact is that the geneva convention needs to be updated. It was wrong to treat taliban soldiers as anything but soldiers. They are not soldiers like American soldiers but they are fighting for their home of afghanistan.

                  The US Marine Corps took numerous Japanese prisoners that had their uniforms burned off or blown off during combat. These POWs were taken into custody with effectively diapers on.

                  Plus, how does a military take the high ground on how an enemy is dressed when ypu blow up caves and buildings where civilians were killed?

                  The fact is that America has vered off a position of the moral high ground when it comes to warfare and prisoners of war and we have lost our way. Torturing people and treating POWs inhumanely is not okay for America.

              3. John, you dont have to be “in an army” to receive Geneva convention protections.

                Combatants and non combatants all receive protections under the geneva conventions.

        3. We could get into a long thing about fucked up Bush’s policies were about avoiding the Geneva Convention and trying to skirt it by claiming they were “enemy combatants”. There is no such thing. Either a person is a soldier, out-of-uniform soldier, or a civilian.

          I kinda wanna give LC1789 a hug right now. The dude is committed to freedom.

          He fought for the Taliban. Sorry but I have about as much sympathy for him as I do the Nazis who were hanged at Nuremburg.

          John, however, displays all the compassion of a sociopath.

        4. LoveCons is right for once. Stopped clock and all that

          1. Once again you demonstrate a lack of knowledge. LC is wrong on this. Non-uniformed combatants have no Geneva Convention protections. Terrorist also have no Geneva Convention protections.

            1. Terrorists are different than the Taliban.

              Combatants and non-combatants are protected by the geneva conventions.

              The Bush administration calling Taliban”enemy combatants” as a means to dismiss obligations under the geneva convention was unlawful and frankly unAmerican.

              1. The word terrorist gets thrown around WAY too much. It has become a catch all for any group that America hates and fights unconventionally.

                Terrorism: use violence or unlawful force, usually against civilians, for political gain.

                In WWII, The US Army Air Corps bombed Numerous cities that had no military targets which killed thousands of civilians, for political gain. That would make us terrorists.

        5. You need to actually read the Third Geneva Convention sometime, because you very clearly do not know what it actually says. Among other things, the only time it mentions uniforms is when specifying what clothing should be made available to detained POWs.

          1. Geneva convention

            Emblems are mentioned and that is what uniforms have on them or represent.

            The main point is that civilians are defined as people who do not engage in armed conflict. Combatants engage in armed conflict, not neccesarily as a military force. Armed forces are defined as a military force with fixed emblems, commanded by leaders, and fight according to their rules.

  24. Trump ditches White House policy meeting to rant at reporters. When congressional Democratic leaders showed up at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, they were expecting to talk with President Donald Trump about U.S. infrastructure. The president had other plans.

    With Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.), and several others ready for the meeting, Trump instead took to a Rose Garden podium for a stream-of-consciousness rant about Russia, obstruction, and Pelosi’s comments earlier in the day. That morning, the House speaker had said Trump had been part of a “coverup” regarding Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

    reason does not ask questions about what was said between Pelosi, Schumer, and Trump.

    TDS law states: Trump is ALWAYS at fault. Always!

    reason does not even realize that it is FY2020 budget season. Trump will stand with the Senate to shut the government down again.
    Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request

    1. Trump didn’t want to play nice with Pelosi and Schumer after they, mere moments earlier, accused him of criminal conduct and bandied about the possibility of impeachment. What a baby, right?

      1. I personally would have informed them that they are being sued for Defamation after they said such stupid unsupported bullshit.

        In most jurisdictions, all you need is for the Defamation to be heard by a third party. In this case, Schumer was if Pelosi said it or Pelosi was is Schumer said it. Falsely accusing someone of a crime is Defamation per se, in Georgia.

    2. shut it down.

  25. Name-calling in the headlines. Well done, ENB. A true model of professionalism.

    It still baffles me that Reason is more interested in taking petty jabs at Trump than the massive abuses, civil liberties violations, and police-state tactics by the national security apparatus under Obama.

    1. ENB has TDS real bad.

    2. The virtue signaling of craven Caucasians who would cower at the thought of another Caucasian even thinking of referring to a colored cat as a corrupt coon.

    3. We don’t pay the phone bills and keep the lights on. The Bros do. And The Bros do not like Trump.

      1. Wait until the Bros find out that Congress want to open a ‘legislative investigation’ of their business dealings/political activities, and a judge blindly signs off on it all.

        Principals vs. principles indeed.

        1. Trump to The Bros in 2025: “Miss me yet?”

  26. Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s recent apology tour “noticeably stopped short of issuing any apologies,” writes Zachary Siegel.

    “Zachary, I’m sorry you feel that way.”

  27. Teachers spark controversy after posing in sombreros, ponchos in yearbook photos

    A high school in California is embroiled in controversy after distributing its yearbook on Monday, which included photos of a number of teachers photographed wearing “insensitive” outfits.

    https://news.yahoo.com/high-school-world-language-teachers-spark-controversy-sombreros-ponchos-yearbook-photos-180245100.html;_ylt=A0geK9qGlOZcUJkAtblXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

    1. Wait, sombreros are offensive now? Every Tex-Mex restaurant in America is problematic.

      1. Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Chevy Chase hardest hit.

      2. These people have absolutely lost their minds.

        And they really, really believe this stuff. I’ve had a couple of “appropriation” interactions, and they are all-in. And completely crazy – as you’d have to be to believe this nonsense.

        So dressing in traditional Mexican garb is offensive. But dressing in traditional southwestern American garb is not. Dressing in Native American garb is offensive, but dressing in Celtic garb is not. Dressing up in Zulu tribal gear is offensive (even if it is an elementary school report on Zulu culture), but dressing up in caveman garb to do a report on Neanderthal culture is not. Wearing a kilt on St. Patrick’s day – not offensive. Wearing a Mexican poncho on Cinco de Mayo — offensive.

        But the SJW types are not the racists? Are we sure about that?

        1. traditional Mexican garb

          Are we really going to pretend that Mexicans invented wide brimmed hats and shawls? FFS, the word sombrero is Spanish for hat. If the ‘garb’ is ‘traditional’, wouldn’t it have a traditional name?

          What people should be asking is why the Spanish teachers dressed up as peasants while the French teacher dressed up as a slut.

          On the other hand, chicks with bushy facial hair? That is some serious cultural appropriation. Be assured the Persian community will issue an indignant statement.

  28. >>>libertarian-leaning

    oy. Justin is a *congressman* nobody does that for the liberty.

    what do you name a girl w/one leg? Eileen

    1. He’s “libertarian-acting.” Like when a gay guy puts “straight-acting” in his on-line dating profile.

  29. Just so you know I’m completely on board with this new trend of calling anyone who gets pissy over politics a “snowflake”- regardless of how the term “snowflake” came into the lexicon.

    1. Those 1 million muslim snowflakes jailed in China are super soft for their positions on religious freedom

  30. “When congressional Democratic leaders showed up at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, they were expecting to talk with President Donald Trump about U.S. infrastructure. The president had other plans.”

    where they’re going they don’t need roads

  31. Oh Jesus Christ. No one in the world is a bigger pussy snowflake than you are, lady.

    Do something useful and get your ass in the kitchen and make a sandwich, you fake libertarian cunt.

  32. Ah yes, just another meltdown from the teenage girl in the oval office. I bet he’ll continue tweeting about it like the baby he is.

  33. The only downside of POO* stroking out and dying tonight while ranting on the phone with his Fox News butt-buddies is that the rock-stupid fundamentalist Pence gets to take over. What are the chances of both of them dying at the same time, making Nancy Pelosi president?

    *President Orange Obstruction

  34. MAGA!

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