Reason Roundup

Biden Gets Pummeled for Obama's Ugly Immigration Record

Plus: Tulsi Gabbard is most searched candidate, Kirsten Gillibrand attacks Biden's record on women, and more...


Many top Democrats now favor decriminalizing "illegal entry." During the second night of the second round of Democratic Party 2020 debates, former Vice President Joe Biden was asked to answer for immigration policy under former President Barack Obama.

Moderator Don Lemon asked, "Vice President Biden, in the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly 800,000 immigrants were deported, far more than during President Trump's first two years. Would the higher deportation rates resume if you were president?"

Biden said "absolutely not" to that. But he also disagreed with many of his rivals about decriminalizing undocumented border crossings. "The fact of the matter is that, in fact, when people cross the border illegally, it is illegal to do it unless they're seeking asylum," said Biden. "People should have to get in line."

Democrats overall have come a long way from Obama's immigration policy since he left office. Both this round of debates and the first featured questions about whether unauthorized border crossings should be criminalized. And both times, former Housing Secretary Julián Castro has called for the repeal of Section 1325 of the Immigration Nationality Act. Last night, Castro also chastised Biden for not having "learned the lessons of the past."

Section 1325 is what makes entering the U.S. without permission a federal crime, rather than merely a civil infraction. As immigration reporter Dara Lind explained after the first 2020 debate,

Castro wants to get rid of it—so that being an unauthorized immigrant in the US would still be a civil offense but no longer a federal crime.

And he's pushing the rest of the Democratic field to join him.

In that first debate in June, only Beto O'Rouke opposed the repeal of Section 1325 among that night's debaters. "In a Democratic primary that has shown the party has shifted leftward on several issues since the Obama administration, this exchange was still remarkable," Lind commented. "In fiscal year 2016, immigration offenses—illegal entry and reentry chief among them—made up a majority of federal criminal prosecutions." (Emphasis mine.)

Last night, several candidates agreed with Castro, several candidates were unclear, and Biden and Michael Bennet emphatically disagreed. Here are the most relevant portions of their statements:

Joe Biden: "If you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back. It's a crime."

Michael Bennet: "I disagree that we should decriminalize our border."

Cory Booker: "An unlawful crossing is an unlawful crossing, if you do it in the civil courts or if you do in the criminal courts. But the criminal courts is what is giving Donald Trump the ability to truly violate the human rights of people coming to our country….Doing it through the civil courts means that you won't need these awful detention facilities that I have been to."

Julian Castro: "The only way that we're going to guarantee that these kinds of family separations don't happen in the future is that we need to repeal this law. There's still going to be consequences if somebody crosses the border. It's a civil action. Also, we have 654 miles of fencing. We have thousands of personnel at the border. We have planes; we have boats; we have helicopters; we have security cameras….What we need are politicians that actually…have some guts on this issue."

Bill de Blasio: "Why are we even discussing on one level whether it's a civil penalty or a criminal penalty, when it's an American reality? And what we need is comprehensive immigration [reform], once and for all, to fix it."

Tulsi Gabbard: "We will have to stop separating children from their parents, make it so that it's easier for people to seek asylum in this country, make sure that we are securing our borders and making it so that people are able to use our legal immigration system by reforming those laws."

Kirsten Gillibrand: "I don't think we should have a law on the books that can be so misused. It should be a civil violation and we should make sure that we treat people humanely."

Kamala Harris: [At border detention facilities] "I saw children lined up single file based on gender being walked into barracks. The policies of this administration have been facilitated by laws on the books…that allow them to be incarcerated as though they've committed crimes. These children have not committed crimes…and should be not treated like criminals."

Jay Inslee: "We have to make America what it's always been, a place of refuge. We got to boost the number of people we accept. I'm proud of being the first governor saying, 'Send us your Syrian refugees.'"

Andrew Yang: "We can't always be focusing on some of the distressed stories. And if you go to a factory here in Michigan, you will not find wall-to-wall immigrants; you will find wall-to-wall robots and machines. Immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with in our economy."

A full transcript of the debate is here.


  • Tulsi Gabbard was the most-searched candidate on Google in every state following Wednesday night's Democratic debate.

  • Kirsten Gillibrand tried to have her Biden-attack moment during Wednesday night's debate, criticizing the former vice president's record on women's issues. Biden looked baffled, saying she had always championed his work with women and been part of his efforts in the past. Indeed, in old tweets, Gillibrand praised Biden for things like his "unwavering commitment to combating violence against women."

  • Bill de Blasio took his closing speech time last night as an opportunity to promote, a site that announces de Blasio's plan to "tax the hell out of the super rich."
  • Columbus, Ohio, police "brought departmental charges on Wednesday against five officers who were involved in the arrest of Stormy Daniels at a strip club last year."

NEXT: Mark Sanford Gives Himself Two Weeks to Decide if He Wants to Be Trump Roadkill

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  1. Moderator Don Lemon asked, “Vice President Biden, in the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly 800,000 immigrants were deported, far more than during President Trump’s first two years. Would the higher deportation rates resume if you were president?”

    He was told there would be no math.

    1. Hello.

      Soooo….Democrats unwittingly admit Obama sucked?

      “I saw children lined up single file based on gender being walked into barracks. The policies of this administration have been facilitated by laws on the books…that allow them to be incarcerated as though they’ve committed crimes. These children have not committed crimes…and should be not treated like criminals.”

      Wait. Did she giggle or laugh when she said this?

      Fucken evil twat.

      1. “I saw children lined up single file based on gender being walked into barracks.”

        Which is exactly the scene repeated all over the country every day when recess ends in elementary school.

        1. What about the non binary kids? Don’t we need at statute requiring a third line? Or possibly more?

      2. How did she know their gender without asking?

    2. Biden is a sensible guy. Trump is mere shit.

  2. Hello

    1. /slap!

      1. What did 5 fingers say to the face?

        1. ….go on….

          1. SLAP!

  3. Scarborough blasts 2020 Democrats for attacking Obama’s policies more than Trump’s

    Haha. Even Democrat candidates 2020 know how shitty Obama was.

    1. She noted former Attorney General Eric Holder’s cautionary note to Democrats.

      Scarborough expressed amazement that some candidates portrayed Obama as “more heartless than Donald Trump on immigration.” He argued that Obama and ObamaCare remain wildly popular with the party’s voters and criticized Democrats for deriding criticism of their far-left positions as “Republican talking points.”

      “Give me a break! What’s wrong with you people? You’re going up against Donald Trump, and you’re talking about defending ObamaCare as Republican talking points? Who is advising you?” he asked.

      Later in the show, Rev. Al Sharpton agreed about the misguided nature of the criticism of Obama.

      “This whole suicide mission of going after Barack Obama smells like desperation, and I think it certainly shows that some of them are just not ready for where they are,” he said.


      “You and I, Joe, have built a career taking shots at people, but we also know how to take a shot without throwing our mama in front of the bus,” he said.
      FOX news

  4. Dammit!

    1. I’m beginning to suspect there was an ulterior motive to your nice greeting up there.

      1. Rufus, hardest hit.

      2. I think I’m doing it rong.

  5. And if you go to a factory here in Michigan, you will not find wall-to-wall immigrants; you will find wall-to-wall robots and machines.

    Finally, someone who not only saw but also understood the Terminator movies.

    1. Generally, they do not give the robots the ability to move about. At least not very fast.

      Also, there are people overseeing the machines.

    2. The robots are imported so 6-of-one, half-a-dozen of the other.

    3. To find wall to wall immigrants head to your local ER.

    4. Yeah but it’s the Mexican robots that are stealing our jobs.

  6. Castro wants to get rid of it—so that being an unauthorized immigrant in the US would still be a civil offense but no longer a federal crime.

    Ceding federal authority and therefore power? What a cuck.

  7. Reagan Called Africans ‘Monkeys’ in Call With Nixon, Tape Reveals

    I can’t wait until The Atlantic and the National Archives release recordings of other presidents.

    1. Something about a Democrat POTUS and getting the “nigger vote for a hundred years?”

      1. “I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years.”
        Allegedly said to two governors (whose names were not given) regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to then-Air Force One steward Robert MacMillan. As quoted in Inside the White House (1996), by Ronald Kessler, New York: Simon and Schuster, p. 33.

        I forgot about that one!

        “Son, when I appoint a nigger to the court, I want everyone to know he’s a nigger.”
        Said to an aide in 1965 regarding the appointment of Thurgood Marshall as associate justice of the Supreme Court. As quoted in Dallek, Robert (1991). Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 519. ISBN 0195054350. Retrieved on 5 July 2014.

        “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”
        Said to Senator Richard Russell, Jr. (D-GA) regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1957. As quoted in Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream (1977), by Doris Kearns Goodwin, New York: New American Library, p. 155.

        1. And everyone of those racist idiots, if they were living today, would be registered Republicans.

    2. Deflect, deflect, deflect.

    3. I wonder what FDR and Truman called them?

      1. ”I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman,” the young Truman wrote in a 1911 letter to his future wife, one of 1,400 Truman letters recently opened to scholars.

        Referring to an uncle, Truman wrote: ”He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I. It is a race prejudice, I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion that negros ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia and white men in Europe and America.”
        AROUND THE NATION; Truman’s Racial Ideas Changed, Letters Show

        1. Give-’em-hell-Harry indeed.

          1. I’m glad he refrained from nuking Gary, Indiana

      2. On Jan 14, 1942 FDR issues Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring aliens from World War II-enemy countries–Italy, Germany and Japan–to register with the United States Department of Justice. Registered persons were then issued a Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationality. A month later, a reluctant but resigned Roosevelt signed the War Department’s blanket Executive Order 9066, which authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps.

        In case you’re still not convinced, read the following indirect quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt in a note to the military Joint Board on August 10, 1936:
        ” What arrangements and plans have been made relative to concentration camps in the Hawaiian Islands for dangerous or undesirable aliens or citizens in the event of national emergency?”

        1. It is better than that

          Soon afterward, demagogic appeals by politicians and media pundits led much of the public to begin demanding the incarceration of all ethnic Japanese, U.S. citizens or not, and by early 1942 FDR signed an executive order shipping some 120,000 Japanese-Americans off to grim concentration camps, with those individuals sometimes being forced to leave their homes on very short notice. As a result, they lost nearly all the property they had steadily accumulated over two generations, most of which was either seized or otherwise ended up in government hands. Similar government edicts led to the confiscation of numerous German-owned businesses throughout America, many of which had enormously valuable assets.

          Within a couple of years, these federal holdings had swelled to include half a million acres of the state’s best farmland, some 1,265 small Japanese-owned hotels, and numerous urban parcels throughout Los Angeles, San Jose, and other cities. In 1942 the federal government estimated the value of these former Japanese-American properties at around $3 billion in present day dollars, but the huge postwar California economic and population boom would surely have greatly increased the worth of this real estate portfolio by the early 1950s. The business assets and patent holdings of the seized German companies were worth additional billions.

          Following the end of the war, all this property needed to be sold off, and powerful Chicago interests recognized this tremendous opportunity. The 1946 elections had produced a crushing national defeat for the ruling Democrats, with the Republicans regaining control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1932. President Truman thus faced a desperate battle for reelection, and Chicago’s powerful political machine deployed its considerable political clout to place the sales process in the hands of David L. Bazelon, a young Chicago lawyer and leading Democratic fund-raiser with deep Syndicate ties. Bazelon had taken a pay cut of 80% to enter government service, but he soon boasted to the Washington Post that he had become “one of the largest businessmen in the country.” His motive quickly became apparent as he arranged the sale of assets for a fraction of their real value to his circle of Chicago friends and associates, sometimes apparently receiving a secret slice of the lucrative ownership stakes in return.

          As an extreme example, Bazelon almost immediately sold Chicago’s Henry Crown a twenty-six thousand acre California mine site, containing tens of millions of dollars worth of coal, for a mere $150,000. A private $1 million sale of seized German property in 1948 to a group formed by his lifelong best friend and former law partner Paul Ziffren was worth $40 million by 1954, and Ziffren soon rewarded Bazelon with a 9.2% share of his multimillion-dollar real estate holding company. Another major beneficiary of Bazelon’s unusual sales practices later told a Congressional investigating committee that he gave Bazelon a 25% share of his large hotel holding company because he “was just feeling good and generous and was grateful.”

          1. And liberal hero Earl Warren got a piece of the action

            Meanwhile, the earliest and most prominent advocate of the internment policy was California Attorney-General Earl Warren, who used the political issue with great effectiveness to unseat the state’s incumbent Democratic governor in the 1942 election. And we should note that Warren’s successful gubernatorial campaign was masterminded by Chotiner, a Beverly Hills attorney with strong underworld connections, who later became a good friend and sometime business partner of Korshak and the other members of the Chicago Syndicate circle.

            Perhaps Warren and his backers merely believed that demonizing a small and powerless racial minority and demanding that they be placed behind barbed wire would represent an excellent path to statewide political victory in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. But they may also have considered that the concurrent seizure of billions in accumulated property might provide lucrative later opportunities for unscrupulous individuals, opportunities that were indeed fully realized just a few years later.

            1. Impeach Earl Warren?

              1. He meant well and he felt bad about it later. Since he was a liberal, that makes it all okay.

          2. Sounds like a Big Green new deal to me.

    4. oh noes someone said a bad about a political opponent who embarrassed the us on a national stage. IN FUCKING 1971, that’s checks notes 50 years ago? That probably wasn’t even the most racist thing either of them said that day.

  8. “People like Kamala Harris need to be held accountable for their record.”

    What do you mean ‘you people’?

    1. What do you mean, “What do you mean?”

  9. Presidential Hostage Affairs Envoy Robert C. O’Brien greeted A$AP Rocky’s mother with a handshake as proceedings began.

    Uh oh. Trump’s actions are supported by Black Americans? This does not bode well for Democrats.

    1. yeah, the mother is going to tell everyone what to think at the next meeting.

      1. It’s already out that Trump tries to help Americans. All Americans, including Black Americans.

        Trump being so Pro-American is already negatively affecting the Democrat party.

  10. Indeed, in old tweets, Gillibrand praised Biden for things like his “unwavering commitment to combating violence against women.”

    Look, you can’t hold her accountable for anything whatever staffer in charge of her social media accounts said.

  11. Bill de Blasio took his closing speech time last night as an opportunity to promote, a site that announces de Blasio’s plan to “tax the hell out of the super rich.” redirects there.

  12. Columbus, Ohio, police “brought departmental charges on Wednesday against five officers who were involved in the arrest of Stormy Daniels at a strip club last year.”

    Didn’t the department initially defend the action?

    1. Why yes, and I an sure the union will back them,

    2. Was she held for observation?

      1. Quarantine.

    3. What’s the offense, did they take repeated turns patting her down?

    1. I entered a bunch of combinations of words in google and the video you are referencing showed on the first page 100% of the time. You should sue google in the only court with national jurisdiction, SCOTUS.

      1. Poor jcw.

        Got assigned to follow me around today.

        1. Let go of his toddler leash and hope he walks into traffic.

  13. Harris’ press secretary, meanwhile, tweeted that Russia is supporting Gabbard.

    Learning the the lesson that it’s never too early to start de-legitimizing a would-be president.

    1. OBL must have climaxed over that.

      1. #LibertariansForHarris

    2. At least with McCarthy, there WERE Communists in the government.

      Harris is hitting Palmer levels of idiocy.

  14. This is all for show; they are pandering to the wokes now because that seems to be what matters most at this point; avoiding social media outrage and condemnation.

    Biden just has to sleep through it all and not say anything overtly, well at least not major news worthy stupid and he will be the nominee. With someone like Harris as his running mate. Then it will be getting to the business of everyone overcoming their differences and pulling together to beat Trump. Not Republicans, conservatives, Independents, just Trump. Socialist, huh, what? Who said?

    That is what the election will be all about.

    And the MSM will be all on board with it.

    1. Yup, appeal to their base during the primary, then the race back to the middle and downplaying extreme things they said during the primary. Or not racing back to the middle and just plain losing.

      The Democrats, if they want to take on Trump, might want to, I dunno, display a little party unity?

      1. The plan is as it always is to memory hole all of this and become “sensible moderates” once the nomination is secured. The problem is that thanks to the internet and social media and a Republican President who actually tries to win, memory holing this is not going to be as easy as it once was.

        1. It’s going to be fun.

        2. and a Republican President who actually tries to win

          “He doesn’t know it’s a show. He thinks it’s a damn fight!”

        3. But Google, the MSM, and Snopes sure will try

      2. PUMA

  15. I’m proud of being the first governor saying, ‘Send us your Syrian refugees.'”

    “And by ‘us’ I mean not necessarily me or my state…”

    1. The NIMBY clause on the Statue of Liberty is often overlooked. Read the fine print, people.

      1. ^Supreme Law, like the US Constitution, according to Leo

      2. Yea Leo, some words on a statue is the law of the land!!!

        1. Haha. Yeah. A 140 year old statue. When there were maybe 1.5 billion people on the planet.

          In between that and 50s tax rates it’s hilarious how people who call themselves “progressive” love to live in the past.

      3. Emma Lazarus’ ad for cheap domestic help escalated beyond her control.

        1. Fuck that bitch

  16. “Many top Democrats now favor decriminalizing ‘illegal entry.'”

    See? I’ve been saying for months the Democratic Party is rapidly moving toward the Koch / Reason position on immigration. I’m more confident than ever in my prediction that by the 2020 election they’ll explicitly endorse open borders.


    1. Someone cleverly put a new aid for kid transportation on the border. I wonder what kind of range they have?

  17. Gabbard is obviously not corrupt enough to be the Democrat pick

  18. I so wanted to kiss Gabbard for having the courage to shove Harris’s putrid record in her asshole face.

    1. I so wanted to kiss Gabbard…

      You’ve discovered the reason for the Google searches, Rufus.

      1. If Gabbard did a tasteful spread on Me In My Place, she would be a shoe in for the nomination.

        1. A “tasteful” spread….

          Where is Crusty when you really, really need him?

          1. There are pictures that catch her in a bad light and make her look unattractive. But generally she is very hot. She looked great last night.

    2. Joe Namath style?

  19. More bad economic news.

    US weekly jobless claims rise moderately


    1. Oh FFS; what are the, the energizer fucking bunny?

  20. Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? And the good news is It only takes 13-seconds! Here it is—>>­­

    1. Is that detox using AI? So the machines are trying to market their brainwashing as a fat burning regimen? Pretty clever

    2. We all already know plenty about jerking off

      1. Go on….

      2. In 13 seconds?!

  21. How can any serious person still deny the #TrumpRussia connection? WaPo reports:

    From the Magazine: Even one of Trump’s favorite foods has a hidden Russia connection


  22. Takes Malibu Harris doll out of box. Pulls chord. “I’m just a corrupt prosecutor”. Giggle.

    1. You better have gotten positive consent before pulling that cord, buddy.

      1. Dolls aren’t people

  23. I cannot believe that in 2019 there are still science-denying bigots who think a Y chromosome provides an “unfair advantage” in female sports. Fortunately the ACLU is fighting for transgender athletic rights.

    Let’s make this loud and clear: Transgender people have the right to participate in sports consistent with who we are.


    1. And no woman born as woman ever won a sport again.

      1. There’s a guy a little bit down the thread there who did an interesting analysis of how gender-neutralizing a professional athletic competition might play out. In his case, he took 3 years of Boston Marathon results, all of their money prize winners, and re-ordered them by the same categories for everything but gender.

        Biological males won 95% of the cash

  24. YAF just won a first amendment lawsuit against the University of Florida. Maybe Robby will cover it while everyone else completely ignores the daily attacks that the left makes on our civil liberties. I’m sure there’s plenty of time for articles about how wonderful non-Americans are though

    1. You need to give the link if you want anyone to follow up on your lead.

      1. ugh. Fair point.


  25. At one point last night Gillibrand said she was the sole provider for her children. She has a husband. You know, Mack daddy gigs are hard enough to come by but being a Mack daddy to a US Senator is about as good as it gets. Bravo Mr. Gilibrand, Bravo.

    1. They’re not easy to come by, but it’s not the dream vacation many think.

      Kinda sucks much of the time, actually. Often you feel like your biggest contribution to society is being a taxi cab for your kids. It certainly lends a certain amount of perspective as to why women want to work.

      1. The good gigs come with nannies and hired help. I am sure a US Senator gig comes with that.

        1. ” The good gigs come with nannies and hired help”

          Thus the desire for open borders.

    2. Living the dream

  26. “Democrats overall have come a long way from Obama’s immigration policy since he left office.”

    TDS has a wide range of symptoms.

    1. That is just a Republican talking point!!

      1. This is why I laugh when people discuss how the Right has gone WAY right.

        Obama 2008 would be “right wing” right now. The Right has gone right some…but the Left has gone WAY the hell left.

    2. They always seem to rediscover their integrity and principles whenever Republicans regain control

      1. Yet another reason to believe the two parties really aren’t that different.

        1. Yet another reason to believe the two parties really aren’t that different.Yet another reason to believe the two parties really aren’t that different.

          Whenever I hear this I realize just how little people understand this system.

          The party system in the US is designed to force the point to the middle–to win you have to get votes from people of all states, and all parties–which results in a candidate and positions that have to appeal to a broad cross section rather than small special interests.

          This means that, ideally, the two parties really aren’t that different.

  27. News stories from The Wall Street Journal and ProPublica Illinois get to the root of it: corruption in the college financial aid business.

    The Journal’s story is headlined “College Financial-Aid Loophole: Wealthy Parents Transfer Guardianship of Their Teens to Get Aid.”

    The stories tell us that the U.S. Department of Education is investigating dozens of parents who are sneakily, unethically taking advantage of a loophole and transferring legal guardianship of their college-age kids to others, mostly friends or relatives, so the kids can scarf up financial aid.

    And who pays? Eventually it is the person who looks at you from the mirror in the morning.

    The scheme, said the Journal, quoting federal officials with knowledge of it, has “led to awards of scholarships and access to federal financial aid designed for the poor.”

    This scam comes on the heels of the so-called Varsity Blues scandal, which traveled on that same 1% highway.

    Varsity Blues is a scandal in which the wealthy — including politically liberal Hollywood social justice warriors — allegedly paid bribes to cheat on their children’s entrance exams, or have them pose as athletes, thus leveraging their kids into top universities at the expense of others who believed in merit. The whole thing is perverse. They’re even making movie about it for Lifetime, according to breathless reports in celebrity news accounts.

    Taken together, these represent the canaries in the coal mine.

    The Journal tells a story of a Chicago-area family whose household income is greater than $250,000. They live in a home valued at more than $1.2 million.

    The mother transferred guardianship of her then-17-year-old daughter to her business partner last year.

    The daughter claimed only $4,200 in income that she earned from a summer job. The daughter was accepted into a private university, and received a $27,000 merit scholarship, and on top of that, $20,000 in need based financial aid, including a Pell grant that she’ll never have to pay back.

    Nice deal, if you can get it. And those who don’t get such a deal can still dwell on it, and look in the mirror and see a sucker, as they anguish over helping their children at the expense of their retirements.

    Once again, the elite get the breaks, and use the poor as shields to protect their leverage. And the middle class? They’re laughed at.

    Meritocracy is a myth that the republic cannot live long without. History tells us that when the middle class not only stops believing in a nation’s myths, but also has its face rubbed in the mess while being mocked by the elite, bad things can happen.

    In France more than 200 years ago, it started this way: With a hand reaching for a rock.

  28. All the major television networks filed a case against Locast yesterday (amid the cable industry collapsing), and that case and its history is illustrative of some really big lessons about consumer protection and government efforts. I hope people take some of those lessons to heart before we give it to Facebook and Google good and hard. Get to know the background on that Locast case–even when central planners are legitimately trying to protect consumers from monopolies, given changing market forces, time, and creative destruction, their best efforts will still look embarrassingly stupid.

    Locast is an app you can install on Roku (for instance), and it streams your local broadcast television stations to you like they were Hulu, Netflix, or a live TV streaming service like Sling or DirectTV Now. There are other services like this, that will make your local broadcast stations available to your TV through an app and a wireless router (I use Tablo), but with them, you need to go buy an antenna and a box to convert the signal for distribution to your wireless router. With Locast you don’t need any of that. Oh, and notice, we’re talking about local broadcast television signals that don’t cost anything to access with an antenna anyway. The local broadcasters make their money on that with advertising.

    It always bugged me that the cable company would charge for channels I didn’t want, but what really bothered me was that they were apparently charging for local broadcast stations that I could get for free with an antenna. Why do they do that? Turns out it’s because the federal government wanted to protect me from the monopoly power of cable companies! The law has an Orwellian name, too: The Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, and it requires cable operators to carry your local broadcast station and prohibits them from charging the local stations for the privilege. From the perspective of 1992, before the internet, really, cable companies were natural monopolies, and there was no way anyone could compete with them. We can’t have cable companies coming in charging monopoly rents to carry the local news broadcast. We need the government to protect us—and to protect ideological diversity!

    1. Thanks Ken.

      I always hated the government intervention for “natural monopolies” because there is really no such thing. Sooner or later some technology can come in and destroy what people thought was a “natural monopoly”.

      Examples include cable companies and network companies. The internet streaming destroys any notion that there is a “natural monopoly”. Companies like Netflix and Amazon creating content destroys the notion that popular tv content can only be created by networks like NBC, CBS, FOX, etc.

      Electricity utilities needing to exist because of “natural monopolies” are destroyed by solar systems and microgrids.

      Government protecting these companies and services just delays the future technology to solve the problem created by monopolies.

  29. Fast forward to 2019, and people are dropping cable television service for streaming services by the tens of millions. Note, that while the government prohibits the cable companies from charging local broadcasters to carry their signals and requires them to carry it, it doesn’t prohibit the local broadcaster from charging the cable company to carry the signal. The networks are suing Locast to try to stop them from taking away those fees they get from cable companies—the advertising is carried as is. Meanwhile, Locast’s model is only legal because of a Supreme Court ruling against a similar service. They’re legal because they don’t charge fees; they only ask for donations.

    The only two Locast “donors” of any size happen to be DirectTV (also DirectTV Now, the live TV streaming serivce) and Dish Networks (they stream SlingTV), and, no, that’s not a coincidence. They want to be able to offer consumers local broadcast channels with the rest of their live TV streaming packages at lower costs than the cable companies can offer. The networks don’t want to lose the pricing power of the fees they charge cable and satellite providers—even as streamers abandon the whole system. Isn’t it ironic that the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 ended up protecting consumers from getting free television content? Isn’t it ironic that the means to protect consumers from rent seeking by monopolies ended up being the basis of a rent seeking arrangement for broadcasters?

    No, not if by “ironic”, you mean unexpected. Libertarians shouldn’t find any of this unexpected. If anything is truly ironic about this, it’s libertarians who imagine that when they do this to Facebook and Google, it’ll be different this time.


    The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on Tuesday published its annual revisions to personal income data, and the surprise was the huge jump in disposable income and employee compensation.

    The revisions show that employee compensation rose 4.5% in 2017 and 5% in 2018—some $4.4 billion and $87.1 billion more than previously reported. The trend has continued into 2019, with compensation increasing $378 billion or 3.4% in the first six months alone. Wages and salaries were revised upward to 5.3% from 3.6% in May year over year. And in June wages and salaries grew at an annual rate of 5.5%, which is a rocking 4.1% after adjusting for inflation. . . .

    The BEA also revised overall personal income up by 1.7% for 2017 and 2018 and transfer receipts down 0.7%. In sum, Americans are earning more and relying less on government. Personal savings estimates were also increased by $217 billion for the last two years and are now $1.3 trillion, which means Americans are socking away more of their earnings.

    The personal savings rate was revised upward to 8.1% from 6.1% in May, which is much higher than the roughly 5% before the last two recessions. This should make the current economic expansion more durable since consumption isn’t being pumped up largely by increased household debt. Instead consumer spending has increased as wage growth has accelerated amid a tight labor market.

    This is why the elites hate Trump so much; he sending wealth back to the dreaded masses and away from them.

    1. I think the reason the elites hate Trump so much is because he’s the poster-boy for anti-elitism, and the only thing elitists hate more than actual anti-elitists is symbols of anti-elitism. A single anti-elitist is just one voice. A symbol of anti-elitism is seen by hundreds of millions of people every day, and they can’t stand the thought of anti-elitism being an acceptable norm. In fact, wanting to control the limits of social norms is what being an elitist is all about. They hate Trump for being beyond their control and, worst of all, making that seem acceptable.

      In regards to Trump’s reelection chances and consumer sentiment . . .

      When I saw the following statistic trotted out ahead of Trump’s election in 2016, I thought it was horseshit. Maybe it still is! On the other hand, the idea that both the market and the voters react to their immediate expectations seems reasonable enough.

      Anyway, here’s the statistic (generalized):

      If the S&P 500 has increased in the three months ahead of an election, the incumbent party wins.

      If the S&P 500 has fallen in the three months ahead of an election, the challenging party wins.

      This indicator has been correct in 20 of the last 23 presidential elections.

      1. It is deeper than that. A lot of people get very rich off the stagnation of the middle class.

  31. Kamala Harris: [At border detention facilities] “I saw children lined up single file based on gender being walked into barracks.”

    Kind of like public schools?

    These children have not committed crimes…and should be not treated like criminals.”

    It killed her to have to say that.

    1. Unless they are truant from school, then they and their parents need to be locked up.

      1. I know right.

  32. If this exchange doesn’t sink Harris’ chances of the nomination, I don’t ever want to hear how Democrats are concerned about the criminal justice system again.

    As Harris spoke about her time as former Attorney General of California, Gabbard tied Harris’ record to the “broken criminal justice system that is disproportionately, negatively impacting black and brown people all around the country.”

    “I’m deeply concerned about this record,” Gabbard said. “She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.”

    The crowd applauded as Gabbard continued to accuse Harris of blocking evidence to exonerate a man who was on death row, and that she “kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California.” When Harris was given a chance to respond, she said she was proud of her work as she insisted that she led a major reform of California’s legal system.

    “I am proud of making a decision to not just give fancy speeches or be in a legislative body and give speeches on the floor but actually doing the work of being in the position to use the power that I had to reform a system that is badly in need of reform,” Harris said.

    Gabbard took another shot: “The bottom line is…when you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not.”

    “In the case of those who are on Death Row, innocent people, you blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so,” she said, as the crowd applauded loudly. “There’s no excuse for that, and the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology.”

  33. If I gleaned anything from the Nixon/Reagan tape is that each wasn’t as racist as I thought. This was the most racist thing they could find either said? It was fucking 1971. Christ want a non-troversy two dead men said bad words about people who embarrassed them on the national stage. I thought Nixon was supposed to be some kind of profane knuckledragger? where’s my profanity laced racial rant?

    1. A tape of two guys who have been dead for over a decade talking nearly 50 years ago is a really big deal. The current governor of Virginia found to have been known as “Coonman” in college and to have dressed in blackface is just one of those things that happened in the past and is no big deal.

      1. It’s more fun to say he was the one in the hood. Makes more sense he apologized for the blackface and than said that wasn’t the time he wore blackface. And than wanted to run a facial analysis to prove his innocence. All would be truthful if he was the one in the kkk hood.

        1. That is a good point. I love calling him Governor Coonman in front of my liberal friends who live in Virginia. Even they really have no defense for him and are embarrassed by him but could never go against the party and kick his sorry ass out of office. And the fact that his not resigning is preventing the black LT Governor from becoming governor is more proof of God’s sense of humor.

          1. I didn’t think he should resign at first he just should have owned up to it and apologized but when he walked it back he totally lost me. And now he’s on a lecture tour calling other people racists and malcontents is a bridge to far. Say what you want about the Charlottesville Nazi’s even they didn’t have enough poor taste to dress in klan hoods.

            1. He ran one of the most dishonest racebaitng campaigns I have ever seen to get elected. For him to have done that and lied about Gillespie being everything up to and including a white nationalist all the while knowing he spent his college years known as “Coonman” and running around in KKK garb disqualifies him from having any business in office. What a scumbag.

          2. Coonman. All his friends are brown and red.

        2. He WAS the one in the hood. He stated that he WASN’T the guy in blackface, but that he’d done blackface when he dressed as Michael Jackson.

          That leaves the hood.

  34. Tulsi Gabbard. I won’t vote for her but I would do her. She looks good in that video. I do like her foreign policy positions so far and she’s probably my favorite in the Democrat race, but that’s not hard to do.

    1. She is by far the least crazy one up there. Not only is she a strong would, she is the only one of the them sans maybe Williamson who is a kook but in a fun way, the only one I could spend ten minutes in a room with without wanting to vomit, and or harm myself or others. She is the only one of them who seems like anything close to a normal human being or anyone you would want to meet or know personally.

      1. Let’s have a Gabbard and Williamson cat fight for the nom.

  35. The only thing that will stop this invasion is capital punishment for illegal entry.

    1. LOL

  36. Obama’s immigration record?
    How about these?

    Say it aint’ so, Joe.
    Say it ain’t so!

  37. The difference now is, democrats are in-your-face laying out their plan to make this country a single party system with all immigrants coming in signing up as democrats. The democrats no longer care about our system, fairness, capitalism or how long before the USA collapses into the country that their constituents are fleeing.

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