Reason Roundup

Is Another Recession Coming? Or Does Elizabeth Warren Just Want to Scare Us?

Plus: Lucy Steigerwald explains libertarianism to New Republic readers, Donald Trump and Al Sharpton trade Twitter barbs, nutrition science is imploding, and more...

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Are we due for another recession? As President Donald Trump continues to tout (and take credit for) America's current stretch of economic good fortune, other onlookers are getting nervous. "Whether it's this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high—and growing," wrote Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) last week.

It's been "10 years since the Great Recession ended, making this officially the longest expansion in American history," points out Ben Casselman at The New York Times. Does that mean we must be due for another downturn?

It's complicated.

"Economists are notoriously terrible at forecasting recessions, especially more than a few months in advance," notes Casselman, adding that "it's possible (though unlikely) that a recession has already begun, and we just don't know it yet." But there are a few "indicators that have historically done the best job of sounding the alarm."

These indicators include the unemployment rate, the state of Treasury bonds, the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Index, and consumer confidence levels. And on three out of four fronts, things are looking a tad bit rough.

The good news is that the unemployment rate remains low and hasn't seen any recent spikes. ("Not only is it low, it's trending down," the Times points out.) But interest rates on 10-year Treasury bonds have fallen below rates on three-month bonds, and that's not a good signno reason to "panic yet," but a "storm warning," writes Casselman. So are tepid consumer confidence levels. And on the manufacturing front, things are also murky.

It is almost always a sign of recession if the Manufacturing Index falls below 45 for a sustained period, writes Casselman. Right now it's above 50. "Many economists think it will fall below 50 in the coming months but don't expect a steeper drop."

Put it all together and…lol, nobody really knows anything! Or at least that seems to be the consensus among cautious econ types. But some Democrats reading the tea leaves are seeing much more assured signs of trouble.

Warren in particular has been issuing warnings. "I went through this back in the years before the 2008 crash, and no one wanted to listen. So, here we are again," the presidential candidate told reporters last week.

Of course, Warren and her ilk have good reason to portray things as particularly fraught. The more Trump's team relies on campaign messaging that suggests he has helped the economy flourish, the more Democratic presidential candidates—and opponents of Trump more generally—will reach for a message that combats that. But if their predictions are too dire, it could cost them credibility.

Warren's predictions "could help her win over primary voters by tapping into anxieties about middle-class economic stability despite broad gains over the past decade," says the AP.

But Warren's opponents could seize on her warning to undermine her credibility should a crash fail to materialize before next year's election, and some economists sympathetic to her agenda say that—for the moment—her conclusion of a looming recession is overblown.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is poised to cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade. The Washington Post calls it "a highly unusual action" and a big gamble. "Typically, when the Fed slashes interest rates, borrowing costs drop for mortgages, business loans, auto loans, and credit cards, leading to more homes being sold, more businesses investing, and more economic activity overall," writes the Post's Heather Long.

But loans are already cheap and few industries are asking for lower rates, suggesting that other factors outside the Fed's control—a labor shortage, trade wars, a lack of housing supply—are capping the economy's potential.

"A Fed rate cut will have zero impact on the housing market," said Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at Lending Tree. "Mortgage rates are already at three-year lows."

As the American Enterprise Institute's James Pethokoukis pointed out in May, it's certainly "better to be running during an expansion rather than a contraction"—but that's far from an insurmountable obstacle for Trump opponents:

That doesn't seem to be how things really work anymore. Recent research finds the relationship between the economy and presidential approval has weakened in recent decades. Perhaps, as the study "Motivated Reasoning, Public Opinion, and Presidential Approval" suggests, rising polarization means partisan[s] are more likely than ever to view presidents from their party through rose-colored lenses. They're less likely to blame their guy for the bad times, just as the opposition is less likely to give credit for the good times.


FREE MINDS

Lucy Steigerwald tackles "Justin Amash and the Libertarian Future" for The New Republic:

The great danger is that, in America's two-party system, standing outside a party means relegating yourself and your movement to insignificance. There is a reason that Bernie Sanders, an independent, is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, instead of pursuing a third-party bid. But the Sanders example, in fact, is instructive in more ways than one, showing the ways an outsider can make inroads once his party is prepared to face a great reckoning—which, if there is to be any hope for the republic, is exactly what awaits a post-Trump GOP.

When the president isn't a party loyalist but the party is loyal to him, it makes someone like Amash, who is above all loyal to his beliefs, both an oddity and a potential hero. Like Sanders, he is remarkably consistent in his views, so much so that he has grown increasingly out of step with his party as it has been drawn into the orbit of the Trump supernova. According to FiveThirtyEight, Amash has voted with Trump about 60 percent of the time; the rest of the Republicans are closer to 90 percent. His supposed fellow libertarian travelers in Congress have also grown closer to Trump, despite being bullied by him in the 2016 Republican primary. Ted Cruz, whose libertarian credentials were always shaky anyway, is fully lost to the right wing. Rand Paul, at best, is whispering in Trump's ear for the greater good on issues like criminal justice, at worst flattering him because he knows it's the only game in town. What we know for sure is that Paul has never tweeted, as Amash has, "Dude, just stop," at the president.

More here.


FREE MARKETS

Foreign investors in U.S. housing aren't the problem, argues Scott Beyer at Governing. "Absentee property owners from abroad take much of the blame for rising housing prices in America," the magazine notes. "But they're really a net win for cities." How so?

Foreign investors thus get lumped in with other scapegoats who are thought to "take" housing from more deserving recipients. These include Airbnb guests, college students, techies and immigrants, among others. Some cities impose regulations against these groups, cracking down on Airbnb, outlawing student housing in certain areas, or taxing foreign speculation.

But this mindset is impractical, because it ignores the complexity of modern urban housing markets. At a time when global travel is easy and labor more fluid than ever, cities are full of temporary workers and visitors. With rising global wealth—and instability—there are also many foreigners looking for second homes, or wishing to diversify their assets by purchasing U.S. real estate.

Cities can respond in either of two ways. They can view these unorthodox housing uses as a legitimate form of demand, and allow enough construction to accommodate it, alongside the more traditional demands. Or they can nitpick about the "right" and "wrong" uses of housing, and write laws accordingly. But one thing's likely: Neither strategy will stop the activity or cool the market, because no city can just wall off people or capital.

And why would cities want to? Foreign speculation is a net win for municipalities. This kind of development generates impact fees, tax revenue and construction jobs. If units are left empty, it may create bad optics, but it also means the absentee owners are giving money to the city without using services.

Read the whole thing here.


QUICK HITS

  • Dan Coats is resigning as director of national intelligence and Trump has nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe (R–Texas) to replace him.
  • The president is tweeting that Al Sharpton is a con man who "hates Whites & Cops!" Sharpton responds:

  • Three people, including a six year old boy, were killed by a shooter at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.
  • "'Nutrition' is now a degenerating research paradigm in which scientifically illiterate methods, meaningless data, and consensus-driven censorship dominate the empirical landscape," say researchers Edward Archer and Carl Lavie. A new study on eggs helps highlight this; see Salon for more.
  • A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann against The Washington Post.
  • The CEO of Overstock.com defends "Russian spy" Maria Butina:

  • Why, Rand, why?

NEXT: Section 230 Is the Internet’s First Amendment. Now Both Republicans and Democrats Want To Take It Away.

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  1. “Whether it’s this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high—and growing,” wrote Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) last week.

    (Her fingers crossed that it will happen before next November.)

    1. Hello.

      That Sharpton tweet and pic. Wait a sec. I thought Trump is a racist!

      1. Trump is obviously laughing at a minstrel show in that pic.

        1. Right after that pic was taking he put on black face and started shouting ‘nigger’ while pointing at everything and everyone.

          Eyewitness: “It was ‘nigger’ this and ‘nigger’ that! He also did it in Sylvester’s voice which made it extra crispy creepy!”

      2. Look for the picture of him with Shabba Ranks, Supa Cat and Cyndi Lauper.

    2. Well, yes. That is the way the business cycle works. A recession will come. Recessions always come eventually.

    3. 1929, 1987, and 2007/2008 just called and said to tell you that no one needs to cross their fingers because the inevitable result of Conservatives’ failed policy of too low tax on the parasite class and lax to no proper financial regulations is always economic death, destruction, and misery.

  2. Of course, Warren and her ilk have good reason to portray things as particularly fraught.

    They might want to watch how they talk about the Obama boom.

    1. The irony of it is that even if she’s right, and she probably is, what would she do any differently? The business cycle is a result of government injecting fiduciary media into the economy. Is she saying she’d actually have the nerve and political will to stand off and let the market self correct? I don’t think so.

      1. The business cycle is the natural result of positive feedback loops in investor psychology. All the government can do is shift the timing a little bit and make the recessions worse with desperate flailing.

        1. The business cycle is the natural result of positive feedback loops in investor psychology. All the government can do is shift the timing a little bit and make the recessions worse with desperate flailing.

          A mild business cycle may result from investor psychology.

          The economic shitfests we have had since the 1930’s, however, are almost entirely due to government intervention. And it’s going to get worse and worse.

  3. Rand Paul, at best, is whispering in Trump’s ear for the greater good on issues like criminal justice, at worst flattering him because he knows it’s the only game in town.

    Pragmatism can be a virtue when it leads to good results. Amash the outsider isn’t doing anyone – including seemingly himself – any good.

    1. So Rand is Wormtongue now?

      1. If one liked Wormtongue’s agenda, I suppose.

    2. It’s pretty obvious that Trump is having more influence on Rand than Rand is having on Trump. If you would whisper in the tyrant’s ear, beware of echoes from inside his head whispering into you.

      1. “It’s pretty obvious”

        Hint: no one cares what you, the dad joking clown, thinks about serious subjects. Every time you try it we get a 90’s Era geocities page about gut bacteria.

      2. “Trump is having more influence on Rand than Rand is having on Trump.”

        Why specifically, is this a problem? (Other than OrangeManBad)

        And might it not be the entirely expected consequence of the outcome of the last Presidential election?

        Do you think Rand doesn’t understand the same things you don’t understand?

        1. It’s a problem if you are a libertarian. Which, admittedly, you are not. So, it’s not a problem for you.

          1. Lol he asks you why and you come back with literally nothing.

          2. You’re not a libertarian, so no problem then.

  4. As far as I can tell, the sum total of this man’s intelligence background is seven months on HPSCI. His primary “qualification” appears to be attacking the Mueller investigation.

    Julian Sanchez: Deep State Enthusiast.

  5. “This is pretty repugnant”

    Right, doesn’t Rand Paul realize she is black and therefore squalor and horror follow her wherever she goes? What a racist!

  6. “But Warren’s opponents could seize on her warning to undermine her credibility should a crash fail to materialize before next year’s election”

    How does Warren have any credibility left after the Cherokee thing?

    1. I have no freaking clue.

    2. And yet , no solid plans are presented by her to prevent said recession.

      1. Spend, baby, SPEND. Government spending is the solution!

      2. Crazy too that families tend to cut back on spending when financial difficulties hit the household. Not Lefties and RINOs. They want to spend MORE when the government is getting into debt that cannot easily be paid off.

    3. She didn’t build that.
      She never built anything.
      The only thing she’s ever run is her mouth.
      But she wants to tell everyone else how.
      How!

  7. Dan Coats is resigning as director of national intelligence and Trump has nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe (R–Texas) to replace him.

    On the other hand…

  8. Trump at NAN Convention 2006 telling James Brown and Jesse Jackson why he respects my work. Different tune now.

    The extortion game ain’t what it used to be?

    1. NAN Convention? I didn’t know they were all fans of Indian cuisine.

      1. NAN Convention? Who decided to divide by zero anyway?

        1. NAN Convention? People are still interested on Old Nan’s tales, after the White Walkers turned out to be total pussies?

          1. Jesus Christ was a pathetic sad fucking reach that was.

        2. Sponsored by Trick Daddy

        3. NAN convention? Much preferred over the Bangkok Convention, amirite?

    2. Nobody is allowed to change opinions about me!

  9. “Is another recession coming?” It’s much worse, I’m afraid — we’re already in a global recession with no end in sight. Exactly as Paul Krugman predicted.

    #DrumpfRecession
    #KrugmanWasRight

  10. Did you just mention Lucy.

  11. A new study on eggs helps highlight this…

    They’re hiding the fact that eggs are delicious!

    1. Yes and the link is to a Salon piece about a JAMA article which is under a paywall. JAMA will publish anything these days. These things are just nonsense. Ignore that stuff.

      Eggs.

      Heck even I can cook up eggs. We humans have been doing this forever.

      A fun and easy thing for any time of day if you have eggs, some peppers, garlic, onions, canned or fresh tomatoes few spices and a frying pan. you can be creative, from North Africa and Israel. Looks kinda weird but really good healthy food.

      Shakshuka.

      https://feelgoodfoodie.net/recipe/shakshuka/

      Shakshuska

  12. A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann against The Washington Post.

    He saw the hat.

    1. HE SMIRKED!!!

    2. And the judge did not want to lose his Prime privileges.

  13. Why, Rand, why?

    HE TALKED SHITE ABOUT SOMALIA???

    1. Kill him! Sure he said to only look at their policies and outcomes… but minorities live there! Why Rand?!? Amash would never do this!

    2. Hanging out on the golf course with Trump is one thing, but when criticize Libertopia that’s a bridge to far.

    3. Libertarians are not supposed to badmouth Somalia. It is known.

      1. Yes dumbass, that was the joke.

    4. Like all politicians, Rand can understand polling data.

  14. We anti-racist libertarians need to get on the right side of history on busing. Allow Vox to explain: Segregation in America keeps poor students of color out of whiter, richer nearby districts. See how your local school district compares

    #LibertariansForBusing

    1. Can it be The Big Bus?

  15. Or they can nitpick about the “right” and “wrong” uses of housing, and write laws accordingly.

    Cities will be choosing this option, thank you very much.

  16. Or Does Elizabeth Warren Just Want to Scare Us?

    Duh.

    1. She’s a bad guy?

      Duh.

      Billie Eilish is a prognosticator…

  17. IMPORTANT RUSSIA UPDATE!!!!!

    The report encourages states to “take urgent steps to replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems.” Yet #MoscowMitch is blocking all election security bills in hopes the foreign help will be there again for the @GOP in 2020.

    As Robert Mueller definitively proved, Russia hacked our 2016 election and installed a Kremlin asset as President. Patriotic Americans must demand nothing like that ever happens again.

    #TrumpRussia
    #MoscowMitch
    #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia

    1. And from The Young Turks: Russia Hacks All 50 States

      These Russian attacks on our democracy must be understood in the context of other atrocities like Pearl Harbor or 9 / 11. We need a Commander in Chief who will confront Putin — with military force, if necessary.

      1. Time for the nuclear option!

    2. So what’s the reasoning here – Russians favor the Rs because… the Rs aren’t going to war with Russia?
      “Vote Democrat: we’ll declare war on our only nuclear weapons rival!”

  18. …and some economists sympathetic to her agenda say that—for the moment—her conclusion of a looming recession is overblown.

    Unless we redefine what constitutes a recession.

    1. It will be 1/1024 of a recession.

      1. +100

      2. Look at Chief Doom-and-Gloom over here.

  19. Ahahahah idiots actually exist that think sending a US Rep abroad on humanitarian missions with donated money is “repugnant” ahahahahahahh

    You morons have finally reached peak “Boy who cried racism”

    1. You are boring, and an asshole.

  20. Butina is the most disappointing honeypot I’ve ever seen.

    1. +1 Anna Chapman

    2. More like a molasses pot at best.

      1. Eww

    3. In situations like this one has to look beyond outward appearance and consider what she is willing to do for the powerful man vis-a-vis what the powerful man’s wife is willing to do; e.g., Monica vs. Hillary.

  21. Are we headed for another recession?

    But of COURSE we are headed for another recession. SOMEDAY. We always are, just as sure as the sun will rise (though a lot less predictable as to when).

    1. Actually, we are all headed towards death.

      1. All except Ron Bailey.

        1. What’s Keith Richards, chopped liver?

      2. Well, yeah, that, too. But I have a couple of more recessions to look forward to before that happens lol.

    2. I predict there will be a major earthquake on the San Andreas, too…

  22. Now reason is going with any criticism of a minority is racist while pointing at Rand? It’s not Reason, its Woke.

    1. Well, repugnant, anyway. There are other repugnant things besides racism.
      If I had Rand’s ear, I would have encouraged him not to make that comment, but it’s really not racist or particularly insulting or offensive.
      I wish people would articulate that point better, though. Despite many problems, the US is about the best country to live in. People interested in radical change need to think long and hard before tearing down the culture and system that has created the most prosperous and free society ever.

      1. “Well, repugnant, anyway. There are other repugnant things besides racism.”

        Speculate as to what other thing it could be plz.

        1. I don’t know. Nativism maybe. I’m not the one who called it that.

          1. You’re the one who said “Well, repugnant, anyway. There are other repugnant things besides racism” though, so I thought maybe you’d have some other options.

            My mistake.

      2. Well, repugnant, anyway.

        What is repugnant about it? It is a valid criticism.

        1. I was just quoting “repugnant” as Reason’s opinion on it. That’s not my judgement.

          1. Look again.

      3. He shouldn’t have made the comment if his goal was to not offend anyone. But no Republicans should say anything ever if that is really their goal

      4. Not seeing anything repugnant in the statement.

    2. Justin Amash is a Person of Color, so any criticism of him is also racist. When I took Biology, seemingly back in WH Taft’s time, 97% of scientists said there were three races: Caucasian, Negroid, and Asian. Why are there so many science deniers today who think every ethnicity is a separate race?

    3. I still have yet to have a Lefty explain how an American can be racist.

      What race are Americans?

  23. I suspect another recession is coming (there’s always another recession coming) and Elizabeth Warren is trying to scare us.

    1. She is only 1/1024 scary.

      Its mainly her face.

      1. I got no problem with her face. Just the shit that comes out of her mouth.

        1. She says things?

          I one-time heard blah blah, spend SPEND, I’m Native American, and I never heard her speak again.

          It could be that I never watch any videos with these Lefty presidential candidates in them. I only see her in the pictures that reason shows.

  24. lol, nobody really knows anything!

    “Economics is the science of explaining why your predictions were wrong.”

  25. “Amash has voted with Trump about 60 percent of the time; the rest of the Republicans are closer to 90 percent. His supposed fellow libertarian travelers in Congress have also grown closer to Trump, despite being bullied by him in the 2016 Republican primary. Ted Cruz, whose libertarian credentials were always shaky anyway, is fully lost to the right wing. Rand Paul, at best, is whispering in Trump’s ear for the greater good on issues like criminal justice, at worst flattering him because he knows it’s the only game in town. What we know for sure is that Paul has never tweeted, as Amash has, “Dude, just stop,” at the president.”

    Not sure what this is supposed to prove.

    So what’s the percentage supposed to be to look cool and get invited to cocktails?

    I’m not suggesting it’s good to just follow the President but it’s also not helpful to be a contrarian for its own sake. What if the politicians voting with Trump actually like the policies he pushes?

  26. If you’re like me, you regularly use links to Shikha Dalmia columns to convince your friends and family to support the Koch / Reason open borders agenda. Sometimes, though, a picture is more effective.

    A Guatemalan mother begged and pleaded with the National Guard to let them cross the U.S. border after traveling with her son some 1,500 miles from Guatemala

    This heartbreaking photo perfectly captures the draconian cruelty of the racist policy called “border enforcement.” Please share it with everyone you know.

    #OpenBorders
    #NoBanNoWall
    #AbolishConcentrationCamps

    1. The best part of that story was the guard wasnt even stopping the woman, just warning her of.the danger from crossing the river.

      1. The best part of the story was the caption that identified the man as a member of the National Guard without bothering to mention which National Guard. (Hint: It was south of the river, in Mexico. The US National Guard does not patrol the Mexican side of the border.)

        1. Nations are so 18th century.

  27. Another recession is always on the way and it is a good thing. Recessions are needed for a healthy and dynamic economy.

    1. Like a forest fire, to clean up the underbrush, so you do not eventually get a really bad forest fire down the road.

      1. There is that famous quote from I don’t know whom, “recessions find things that auditors never could”. A recession kills off weak businesses and speculators. This is a necessary thing because money going to speculation and weak businesses can be better spent elsewhere.

        1. Signs of speculation abound around my area: another 410 “luxury apartment complex” was announced in today’s paper. There are already three underway in the same general vicinity. The last couple that were completed took more than a year to fill.

          1. five homes under construction were recently burned down here in California. It was arson and If it turns out to be the owner then thats the first sign of a recession. I’ve seen if three times and the forth is due any time.

        2. +100

  28. Imagine if we had an elected official who had lived in Venezuela, perhaps when it was less horrible, and they were espousing more government control. Now imagine another politician saying they should visit the country now to see the bad effects of their policies in action. I think Reason would bend over backwards in their praise for them. The only difference with Ilhan is that she is black, which I guess means she must never be criticized about anything.

    1. Why lap83, WHY!?!?!?

    2. She is black and Muslim. Ilhan advocates policies that are totally opposed to liberty and would do untold damage to the country. Telling her to go back to the country she was born and see the effects of these policies is not only not racist, it is entirely reasonable.

      Indeed, as you point out, telling socialists to go live in Cuba or Venezuela to experience the benefits of their policies is an argument Libertarians and those on the right have been making for years. Yet somehow it is now RACIST because Orange Man Bad or something.

      1. Omar is one of the most libertarian-friendly members of Congress. She’s exactly the type of leader Shikha Dalmia described in her excellent piece Why Minorities Will Save American Constitutional Traditions in the Age of Trump.

        #VoteLikeBlackWomen
        #LibertariansForOmar
        #LibertariansAgainstIslamophobia

      2. Aren’t Somalia’s problems more down to tribalism and religious fanaticism?
        Should probably tell her to go to Cuba or Venezuela instead.

        1. Somalia was ruled by Mohamed Siad Barre from 1969 until 1991. Barre was a Marxist and had a cult of personality along the lines of the Kims. It was a client state of the USSR until the USSR went broke and Barre asked the west for help and was turned down because of his appalling human rights record. Barre was overthrown in 1991 and a civil war began that has not really ended until this day.

          So yes, socialism is largely to blame for their problems.

          1. Somalia is actually three different countries now: Somaliland, Puntland, and the rest of the old Somalia. Somaliland is actually doing all right, with a democratic government, despite no international recognition. Puntland is also doing well, with the lowest poverty rate of the three regions.

            1. “Doing well” is of course relative here.

              1. That’s a lot of stupid nothing just to say “John is correct”

          2. Note that Omar’s family came to the US in 1992; that is, they had to leave Somalia because they were employed by the Marxist government that the people were revolting against. They should never have been allowed to immigrate to the US in the first place. And sure enough, Omar is now peddling the same Marxist shit that the Somalis rebelled against.

    3. Maybe Reason admires her because she came up with a unique way to sneak an illegal alien into the country, by marrying him. Plus she participated in 1/2 of a gay marriage. Plus she advanced the cause of incest marriage. Freedom!

  29. “Or Does Elizabeth Warren Just Want to Scare Us?”

    Trick question? If she could she would happily destroy the entire economy if it would give her any chance at all.

  30. “I went through this back in the years before the 2008 crash, and no one wanted to listen. So, here we are again,” the presidential candidate told reporters last week.”

    Poor Warren. No one listens to her.

    They should make a movie of idolatry for her and Gore and how the world never listened.

    It would end with one major cow fart that explodes us into oblivion.

    1. Big Bang —> Today —> Big Fart

      1. Moo (to Moop grinning): Pull my finger.
        Moop (reaches for finger).
        Moother (knowing Moo’s condition): Don’t pull that fin…….

    2. Is she admitting that the Democrats, who controlled Congress in 2007, refused to listen to her? Keep asking progs what legislation did they propose, before 2008, to head off the looming mortgage meltdown? The great recession was proudly bi-partisan but then, with media connivance, who can remember things that long ago?

      1. I think the evidence is pretty irrefutable that a huge part of the US Great Recession was caused by “toxic assets”. Homes and securities that were overpriced and people walked away from their debts.

        Who forced financial lending businesses to accept higher risk loans? Democrats!

        Can I get a loan with no down-payment, no job, and no securable assets…NINJA-please!

    3. Always Cassandra, never Priam.

  31. “Trump at NAN Convention 2006 telling James Brown and Jesse Jackson why he respects my work. Different tune now.”

    Perhaps he just remembered Tawana Brawley.

  32. Nancy Pelosi continues to be one of the best Congressional allies to us Koch / Reason libertarians.

    This evening’s Supreme Court ruling allowing @realDonaldTrump to steal military funds to spend on a wasteful, ineffective border wall rejected by Congress is deeply flawed. Our Founders designed a democracy governed by the people — not a monarchy.

    Military funds must be reserved for truly essential purposes, like preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia.

    #LibertariansForPelosi

    1. “Our Founders designed a democracy governed by the people — not a monarchy.”

      IIRC, they designed a Republic, Madam — if you can keep it.

      1. “a democracy governed by the people”

        As opposed to a democracy governed by ….

    2. Yes, let’s have new Democrat president push the button the minute he or she returns from the inaugural parade. Catch those Russkies napping before their military buildup is strong enough to retaliate.
      New Democrat diplomacy: “One pro-Trump tweet in 2020, Mr. Putin, and Moscow disappears.”

    3. In protest of Trump’s racist tweets concerning rat infested poverty in Baltimore, Nancy Pelosi is treating herself to 5 star accommodations in Venice. She will send the bill to Trump’s MAGA taxpayers. I hope she tips well. Then on to Ghana to “celebrate” the 400th anniversary of the first African slave imported to America. Maybe she can pick up a few bargains . On a low point, Ilhan Omar is accompanying her. Somewhat Racist of Nan to drag that poor woman back to Africa.

  33. A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann against The Washington Post.

    Defamation lawsuit against Alex Jones still going. Woke enough?

    1. The judge ruled the speech in question is opinion. I doubt the ruling will survive on appeal.

      1. I don’t know all about this issue but I understand the WaPo didnt mention the kid by name and the judge honed in on that. I would say that was only because the media usually does not mention kids by name become some states have laws protecting the privacy of minors. Otherwise, the WaPo would have been doxxing this kid more than they did.

        Lefties have for so long been using media to further propaganda lies directed at people while simultaneously using Lefty lawyers to sue for defamation, they don’t like the Rule of Law turned back on them.

        1. I could have sworn they did start using his name later.

          The judge didn’t allow for evidence to be adduced which is strange.

          Hello. Everyone and their retarded gold fish knows WaPo tried to weave a narrative.

          1. Hulk Hogan taking down Hawker scared the shit out the media propagandists. It could happen to them.

  34. We know another recession will happen at some point. What scares me is who will be in charge to handle that recession. While President Trump has proven he can maintain a good economy I do not trust him with an economy going into recession. He has been careless in handling the economy with unnecessary tax cuts, pressuring the Fed for lower interest rates, and unnecessary tariffs. I worry he will goose the economy to get reelected and then we will have a harder fall after the election. Do I trust Elizabeth Warren more in a falling economy, yes I do.

    1. In my humble opinion, as a rule, the best thing the government can do, in the midst of a recession, is, probably, nothing at all. There are some seriously good economists who share that view. Whether it’s the Great Depression, or the Great Recession, many argue that government trying to “fix” things only made them longer.

      1. I am willing to compromise that in a recession government does nothing. No drastic cuts or increases, unless all citizens flee the government jurisdiction. Let the recession reset the economy and then go back to gutting government and slashing spending.

        TARP and bailouts in general fail every time. They prop up people and business that should fail. This way people and businesses who have a better strategy can come in a buy the bankrupted assets and be more efficient with the assets.

  35. Three people, including a six year old boy, were killed by a shooter at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.

    Santino William Legan, 19, was evidently the shooter.

    Hispanic male? If so this shooting will be #MemoryHoled
    If he’s a white male, this will be a call to make the Commifornia the most restrictive gun rights state in the Union. Oh wait…

    1. <a href="https://heavy.com/news/2019/07/santino-william-legan/&quot;Legan … Identifies as Being of Italian & Iranian Descent

      1. *** gets coffee ***

      2. “Look what they did to my boy.”

        1. “That’s for Billy Batts.”

      3. I told you guys it was a bad idea to let those Italians in here!

        1. Fo get about it!

  36. Supreme Court: Trump can use Pentagon funds for border wall

    This happened on Friday, so reason staff will cry a lot this week.

  37. American Movie Studios Are Wrong to Appease Chinese Censors

    Haha. Socialist propagandists here in America helping Socialists in China.

    Even funnier is that US movie attendance has dropped to such low levels that movies need Chinese money to survive.

    1. I think the last time I went to a movie theater was when the wife dragged me to see The Help.

      1. Let me guess, you were thinking the whole time, “this title fits my situation perfectly- HELP”?

      2. the last movie I saw at a theater introduced JarJar to the world of star wars some 20 years ago

        1. Me thinksa you ain’t missing mucha masa.

          1. RACIST!

  38. Dan Bongino on Trump’s Baltimore criticism: ‘Don’t you dare run away from this argument’

    Baltimore IS a shithole for anyone that has been there. Baltimore tried to lure people by fixing up the pier area but most of these US cities run by Democrats are shitholes. Some super large cities have a few semi-redeeming qualities but usually have high murder rates. See Chicago, NYC, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles….

    1. Baltimore is floating face-down in the water.

    2. It’s a shithole for sure but its got its charm too. I was down there this weekend having a drink at a corner pub whose neighbor had the police called on him for the 3rd day in a row and they still didn’t arrest the dirt bag (all the locals in the block hate and fear him). The people I talked to in the bar weren’t Trump fans but they didn’t disagree with him.

      Oh and don’t ask what charm I find in the place. Its probably just nostalgia.

      1. I find charm there too. You are not alone in that irrational belief.

      2. People find charm for miles in New Orleans. Doesn’t mean it’s not a festering shithole.

        1. +1000

    3. Who would want to run away from it? Yes, let’s have an argument about why Baltimore is a crappy city to live in and who has been running the place for 100 years.

      1. I blame the Republicans.

        1. They really need to get some rich gay people in there to gentrify the place quick.

  39. As the mainstream media hardly reported over the weekend, Guatemala entered into a “safe third country” agreement with the U.S. on Friday after all. Those outlets that even bothered to mention it still seem confused about what such an agreement is, and attack it with ridiculous observations–like that, “Guatemala isn’t a safe country”. Others, here in comments, seem to imagine that these agreements are toothless if they aren’t implemented by Mexico. If and when Trump makes the determination (due today or this week) that the Mexican Senate needs to put a safe third country agreement up for a vote in order to avoid tariffs, the story is likely to move into the mainstream news. Just for your information . . .

    First, note that “safe third country” agreements ultimately derive from an “exception that proves the rule” reading of Article 31 of the 1951 Convention regarding the Status of Refugees, specifically where it reads this:

    “The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened . . . . ”

    The Contracting States shall not apply to the movements of such refugees restrictions other than those which are necessary and such restrictions shall only be applied until their status in the country is regularized or they obtain admission into another country.

    https://www.unhcr.org/3bcfdf164.pdf

    If the Fourth Amendment states that the police can’t arrest you without probable cause, that’s the exception to the rule that says you can be arrested by the police if they do have probable cause.

    If the Convention says that we can’t deport refugees who are coming directly from a place where their lives and liberty are threatened, guess what we can do if they’re not coming directly from a place where their lives and liberty are threatened? If we can’t put restrictions on their movements until their status in another country is regularized, guess what we can do if if their status has been regularized by agreement with a country where they’re safe from persecution?

    Notice, the term “safe third country” doesn’t appear anywhere in the convention, but then the term “Miranda rights” doesn’t appear in the Fifth Amendment either. Miranda rights aren’t simply based on nothing either. They’re derived from the clear text of the Fifth Amendment. It would be silly to argue that Miranda rights don’t exist because they don’t appear in the Fifth Amendment or that the defendant doesn’t have any Miranda rights because his name is “Shultz” rather than “Miranda”.

    In regards to the observation that even if the Mexican Senate does enter into a safe third country agreement with the United States, it won’t mean anything if the Mexican government doesn’t have the desire or the means to enforce it, those sad people are missing the point, completely, that the enforcement mechanism of a safe third country agreement with Mexico wouldn’t be the Mexican government–it would be immigration courts in the U.S. In other words, asylum seekers from elsewhere, other than Mexico, might not even be eligible for a hearing in the U.S. if they came to the U.S. by way of Mexico–much less asylum.

    1. +100

      Thanks Ken. I saw one article over the weekend and then it got #MemoryHoled

    2. Why is Trump being responsible by hating Guatemalans?

    3. There is no excuse now for asylum seekers from countries other than Mexico, Belize, Canada, Cuba, and Bahamas to seek asylum in the USA. Guatemala now effectively blocks all Central and South American nations from not having a “safe third country”.

      THIS is another reason Trump should be re-elected. This was a well thought out strategy to curb faux US asylum requests and it was accepted by Guatemala and Mexico. Trump deserves a bunch of the credit.

      I predict the Lefties will raise the level of insanity once they realize what this agreement with Guatemala means for slowing illegal immigration to the USA.

    4. The missus was going on about how the immigrants needed to come north because gangs were threatening their children to join or be killed. As usual, it took me a while to think about it, but: I’m sure the Central American gangs here in the US will make sure that these children get into the right after-school programs, and will help them fill out college applications…

      1. Gang violence is NOT a valid reason for asylum.

        I feel sympathy for them, I really do. My advice is to get guns and defend themselves. You just cannot come to the USA for that reason as we have our own gang problems.

        Massive Gang problems from 1st and 2nd generation Hispanics and Black Americans. Democrats wanted cheap slave labor so they brought Black Africans and some of their relatives became gang members. Democrats wanted cheap Hispanic labor so they allowed in tons of Hispanics and some of their relatives became gang members. This has happened with all sorts of groups including Irish and Italians just they are minor in comparison.

        1. I wonder why Irish and Italians are minor in comparison.

          1. California prisons have tens of thousands of Hispanic gang members locked up. More revolving thru that state’s criminal justice system.

            But yeah, the Irish and Italian gangs should be major in comparison.

          2. The Immigration Act of 1924 slammed the door on the Italians before there were enough of them to cause a more serious problem. Yes, we got La Cosa Nostra in some major cities, but the damage was limited when the immigration quotas were imposed.

      2. I hope she’s hot as fuck because she sounds painfully stupid.

      3. Yeah, escaping crime is a great thing, and if someone is being specifically targeted by a gang and the government of Guatemala refuses to protect them, specifically, I suppose that might be the basis of a legitimate asylum claim. Escaping a general level of high crime, however, is not a legitimate basis for asylum. Asylum is for people who are being persecuted by their government because of whom they are or because they exercised their human rights. If the government of Guatemala sent a gang to get you because you criticized them in the newspaper, yeah, that’s a legitimate basis for an asylum claim.

        It’s also reasonable to assume that you would be safe from the government of Guatemala if you were granted asylum in Mexico. If the government of Mexico isn’t out to get you because you criticized the government of Guatemala, then you’re safe–from that persecution–if you’re given asylum in Mexico.

        People want to immigrate here because we have more opportunities, less crime, etc. than a other places in Central America, but that just isn’t what asylum is about. We have a standard immigration system for that. If she or anyone else wants to streamline the immigration system and open it up for people who are coming here to escape crime and poverty, there’s a way to do that–but that isn’t about asylum. These people are abusing the asylum process and crowding out legitimate asylum seekers when they should be applying for immigration like everyone else. They’re just claiming asylum to get around the legitimate immigration process.

        If feel really bad for legitimate asylum seekers who have to contend with all these opportunistic phonies.

        1. President Obama said that gun violence only happens in the U.S..

          the anti-gun cult claims that the U.S. has the highest rate of gun violence in the world.

          Why would these people, fleeing violence, flee to a more violent country?

          1. We don’t see them fleeing to South Chicago or North Indianapolis, do we?

  40. “I went through this back in the years before the 2008 crash, and no one wanted to listen. So, here we are again,” the presidential candidate told reporters last week.”

    Right.
    I’m sure the comments were along the lines of ‘something bad is gonna happen sometime’.
    I’ll believe otherwise when I see the quote and where is was recorded.

    1. I don’t know what she said or when she said it, but I was warning since 1992 that there was a big recession coming. 16 years later, I was proven to be absolutely correct.

  41. its been 10 years since the great recession? for most its only been two to three years

    1. +100000

      It propaganda that the Great recession was over 10 years ago. Most of Obama’s administration we still had not recovered from the great Recession. Certain areas did but most of the USA was stuck as taxes rose.

    2. Obama’s Lost Decade.

  42. You guys have heard about deepfakes, fight?

    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywyqab/ai-text-editing-talking-head-video-siggraph-2019

    They can take a photo or video of someone and make it say anything they want. This ability is only likely to get easier over time. If the Russians aren’t working on a Pissgate video of Trump or making videos of Elizabeth Warren agreeing to drop sanctions against the Russia in exchange for sexual favors, they’re really dumb.

    Can you imagine what a troll might have done with video of the Ferguson incident or the Florida “Stand Your Ground” shooter? Mayhem is coming.

    I’m thinking that the only solution to validating the authenticity of video has to be blockchain. Certainly, congress will look like fools for trying to water down encryption, install backdoors that can be exploited by bad actors, and generally rail against encryption technologies–if and when it becomes easy for average people to manipulate video to make anybody their ex-wives say anything they want. She’s planning to flee the country with the kids, your honor, and I have video to prove it!

    1. they predicted all this in “the running man” movie.

    2. hope was Rand a deepfake. sticking one’s toe into a black hole not usually a good idea.

      1. “Well, she came here and we fed her, we clothed her, she got welfare, she got [schooling], she got healthcare, and then, lo and behold, she has the honor of actually winning a seat in Congress, and she says we’re a terrible country? I think that’s about as ungrateful as you can get”

        —-Rand Paul

        https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/07/26/rand-paul-maybe-ilhan-omar-would-appreciate-america-more-if-she-visited-somalia/

        I’ll criticize, um . . . eviscerate Rand Paul when he’s wrong, but I’m looking for the problem here, and I’m not seeing it.

        Being hated by progressives for speaking openly and honestly isn’t necessarily a bad place to be, and just because the progressives have tried to turn it into a black hole doesn’t necessarily make it so.

        P.S. America hates ingrates. Our second biggest holiday is one where we expect poor people to sit around a table and count their blessings.

        1. 100% agreement w/you and Rand. still would have maybe thought twice about jumping in *that* pool.

          who knows maybe Omar will be the tipping point on the absurdity. difficult to defend her idiocy and T and now Rand have kept her the face of (D).

          1. Rand and Ron are already past the tipping point on the extreme right. Ron created the Trump Presidency.

            1. Trump’s political positions are basically those of Bill Clinton. If you think that’s “extreme right”, you’re really out of touch with reality.

  43. This is a great story. The context is this guy got some kind of grant to study monetary policy and as a condition of the grant had to go to these seminars with everyone else who got a grant. They turned out to be giant wokefests. Finally one day the question of “how do you deal with your intersectionality” came up and the fun began.

    I thought about it for a second and decided to take a stand (paraphrasing): “I don’t think about my intersecting identities. It simply isn’t useful. It’s more useful to think of myself as an individual and not subject myself to imaginary group pressures because that leads to pathology. I prefer to grant myself agency and allow that I have the power to determine my course regardless of these happenstance characteristics.”

    The circle became visibly tense and the people next to me were physically repulsed. The moderator looked at me and sneered, “White male.” Seriously, she said that.

    I was a bit taken aback. I smirked a bit (it is rather funny) and said something to the effect of, “There are words to describe people who make assumptions on the basis of skin color and gender, and they aren’t particularly nice. And I’m actually Mexican–” She interrupted me, saying, “Well, you have very light skin.” Can you imagine the nerve of this woman? Seriously, she said that.

    Of course, I’m paraphrasing my own words here because I don’t remember exactly what I said. I responded, “That’s quite the observation. What you can’t tell by my skin color and gender [she assumed my gender! The nerve of some people] is that I am on the autism spectrum. What you can’t tell is that my parents divorced when I was very young, that my family lost everything in the Great Recession, that my grandparents grew up in boxcars, that my parents never finished college, that my parents were abused as children, that I have had many personal struggles. These aren’t the things you can get out of melanin and genitalia…” I went on for some time like that and we went back and forth a few more times, with other students jumping in to tell me how insensitive I was being.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/wokeness-drives-latino-libertarian-to-trump/

    1. I hope it was one hell of a grant.

    2. The conformity of thought and action we see today rivals or surpasses what we saw during the McCarthy era. And the McCarthy era was mostly directed at public figures, be they in Hollywood or government employees.

      This time, they’re going after everyday people.

      Are you now or have you ever been a communist sexist?

      1. Hmm, I thought you were a Trump apologist.

  44. I’m not sure if another recession is coming, but Elizabeth Warren sure has succeeded in scaring me.

  45. There will be a recession within 6 to 20 months.

  46. There’s this thing called an economic cycle. There’s always a recession on the way.

    Which of Trump’s economic policies does Liz Warren oppose? Is she pro-trade with China?

    1. Just trust Warren! She has a plan! It involves printing lots of money and confiscating lots of property! And when the economy craters anyway, it’s all Trump’s fault!

  47. Warren is saying that if the Democrats come to power in 2021 there will be a recession. Sounds about right to me.

  48. “Whether it’s this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high—and growing,” wrote Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) last week.

    I think that this statement by Warren (and other democrats) are more of a prayer than a prediction. They think that they have a better chance to get elected during a depression than in the times of economic good times which is correct. Hopefully their prayer will not be answered any time soon. I also think that if for some strange reason they democrat/progressive do win the presidency that this nation is for some very distressful times. It will be economically distressful but that will not be all. It will also be militarily stressful also. The US military will suffer greatly under the progressives while the national spending will blossom. This will mean that there will not be any nation to stop the expansion of a nation such as China. When the US can no longer our allies they will no longer be our allies. Our allies are our allies because of what we can do for them. When that is no longer true the US will find itself alone.

  49. • Why, Rand, why?

    He has no choice, since he shares Trump’s alt-right base, created by his father.

    This is pretty repugnant.

    But totally predictable, that he shits on the very concept of a free society … also like his orange god … and his father, who sponsored a bill to forbid SCOTUS from even considering a challenge to DOMA, the first group denied a defense of constitutional rights since slavery!

  50. I mean, it’ll come when it does but it doesn’t mean that cutting taxes and incurring 2 trillion more in debt was a sound decision in a booming economy anyhow.

  51. Another recession is coming. Whether it is next month or next decade, it will happen. It is a pretty safe pronouncement if you don’t give a time limit.

  52. “Absentee property owners from abroad take much of the blame for rising housing prices in America,” the magazine notes. “But they’re really a net win for cities.”

    Yeah, I mean what could be more “free market” than the US and Chinese governments debasing their currencies and inflating the money supply like there’s no tomorrow, while simultaneously threatening people and their wealth with confiscation, bringing in millions of migrants into the country, and subsidizing infrastructure up the wazoo from tax dollars!

    When that drives up housing costs in US cities to astronomical heights, it is clearly just a free market equilibrium outcome and anybody who questions the role of government in this must be a dirty rotten fascist and xenophobe! — Reason staff

  53. That’s mighty White of you to conveniently pretend to forget to mention that the yield curve inverted not that long ago and that recessions have ALWAYS followed a yield curve inversion.

    But hey, why not engage in disingenuous obfuscation if it helps attack an uppity woman who poses a threat to the economic terrorists and their jihad against shared prosperity and the middle class.

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