Reason Roundup

The Only Thing Americans Agreed on Yesterday Is That John Bolton Sucks

Plus: How anti-tech lawmakers are beholden to "Big Telecom," the triumph of hard seltzer, "abortion reversal" law nixed, and more...

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John Bolton has been dismissed, and folks on the left and right are celebrating. The warmongering and walrus-mustachioed national security advisor lasted just 15 months in the Trump administration—thank goodness. As Christian Britschgi wrote here yesterday, "the fact that Bolton will no longer have a direct role in setting U.S. foreign policy is a huge win for those who think the U.S. should be fighting fewer wars."

Bolton claimed on Twitter that he had not been fired and the president only said so because Bolton had offered to resign. But even if that's the case, I have to say I'm with Stephen Colbert on this one.

"I have never been more grateful for the president's pettiness and stupidity," said Colbert on last night's Late Show. "Because today, he was stupidly petty enough to save us from a very smart warmonger."

Or, as Jacobin writer Liza Featherstone nicely puts it: "The disappearance of John Bolton from a position of power is a net gain for humanity no matter who made the decision and no matter what the reason."

Trump's decision to ditch his national security advisor comes as the famously hawkish Bolton butted heads with others in the administration about Afghanistan. Trump wanted to invite Taliban leaders to Camp David for peace talks, which Bolton opposed, and to withdraw more troops from Afghanistan than Bolton wanted to bring back. And this was far from the first time Trump and Bolton disagreed on foreign policy matters, with Bolton ballyhooing for interventions in Iran, Venezuela, and elsewhere. (The president apparently joked that Bolton even wanted to invade Ireland.)

"Washington can and will focus for days on litigating that question of who called off the relationship," notes Jim Newell at Slate. "The important thing, though, is that John Bolton, whose proximity to the president's ear made the world a more dangerous place, is gone."

Financial Times writer Edward Luce suggests that the firing of Bolton "ends Donald Trump's hawkish phase." With Bolton out of the picture, it "paves the way for the president to open talks with the Iranians, which he has long wanted and Mr Bolton has fiercely resisted. It would not be a wild exaggeration to say that prospects for world peace rose markedly on Tuesday."

On Fox News last night, Tucker Carlson—who has referred to Bolton as a "tapeworm" infecting Republicans—cheered on Bolton's dismissal, albeit with the nonsensical assertion that Bolton was a man of the left.

Laura Ingraham said on her show that she liked Bolton but he wasn't a good fit in the Trump administration, since "Trump's allegiance isn't to any particular process or to any particular cabinet member" and "he came like a freight train at the old GOP foreign policy establishment that had gotten us bogged down in two costly wars."

"With Bolton gone, the Trump administration is now almost free of influence and advice from the old Republican Party," writes The Atlantic's Graeme Wood:

Neither the so-called neoconservative wing of the party, which had influence under George W. Bush, nor the Cold War Republicans, who held power before him and of whom Bolton is a late example, remain, with the exception of Attorney General William Barr.

One gets the impression that Wood finds this to be a dismaying thing ("also absent is anyone other than Barr with pre-Trump White House national-security experience"). It's not hard to find similar sentiments in other establishment circles—especially among Democratic leadership.

Rather than revel in Bolton's departure as a good sign for global affairs, Democratic leaders have taken it as yet another opportunity to slam Trump. And in so doing, they're implicitly backing the belligerent Bolton mindset. Which I suppose should come as no surprise…

Bolton may well have been the GOP "tapeworm" Carlson conjured, but his brand of foreign policy machismo—blind optimism in U.S. intervention mixed with blithe indifference to the lives of both American troops and those we drop bombs on—could be better likened to a bunch of cockroaches. Pervasive. Seemingly indestructible. Indiscriminate in their infestations. And—no matter where they appear—needing to be stamped out.


FREE MINDS

"While Silicon Valley faces an endless cavalcade of outrage, the telecom sector is suddenly seeing no scrutiny whatsoever," notes Karl Bode at Techdirt. But it's been "Big Telecom" that has been driving calls for heightened action against internet companies.

It's routinely understated how telecom lobbying, not a sincere worry about market power or privacy, is what's driving much of this current policy paradigm in DC (including much of the hyperventilation over nonexistent Censorship of Conservatives). The telecom sector is pushing hard into an online advertising sector traditionally dominated by Silicon Valley. As such, telecom lobbyists have spent several years now pushing to hamstring their direct competitors with the help of cash-compromised lawmakers and full blown regulatory capture.

Yet somehow, there are still a lot of folks in tech policy circles who see the lopsided focus on "big tech" as entirely authentic, and any failure to police telecom as somehow coincidental.

More here.


FREE MARKETS

Spiked sparkling water is outselling beer among millennials: 

(I take back all my defenses of my generation.)

Interestingly, the way these beverages are made lets them avoid the stiffer taxes placed on spirits relative to beer and wine:

All of the seltzers are brewed, not formulated. It's an important distinction, because of the taxation regulations of the federal and state governments. If beverage alcohol is brewed, it is taxed at a much lower rate than beverage alcohol that is distilled after brewing. (Wine and cider are taxed at an intermediate rate.) If these seltzers were actually "spiked" with vodka or neutral grain spirits, they'd be significantly more expensive on the shelf thanks to higher taxes.


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  1. The Only Thing Americans Agreed on Yesterday Is That John Bolton Sucks

    No way! Why should he change? You’re the ones who suck.

    1. Hello.

      Does anyone else see the ridiculous irony of a magazine named after violent reactionaries ‘Jacobin’ talking about Bolton?

      1. Does anyone else see the ridiculous irony of a magazine named ‘Reason’ quoting a magazine named ‘Jacobin’ about John Bolton?

        But what’s a little Reign of Terror among friends, right?

        1. I don’t even know why Reason is quoting them.

          If it were me, no time of day they get.

          But that’s me.

    2. “I told that fudgepacker that I liked his hair.”

  2. This says more about woke reason than anything they’ve ever written.

    “But even if that’s the case, I have to say I’m with Stephen Colbert on this one.

    “I have never been more grateful for the president’s pettiness and stupidity,” said Colbert on last night’s Late Show. “Because today, he was stupidly petty enough to save us from a very smart warmonger.””

    Not shocking they use Colbert for political insight.

    1. Followed up by Jacobin. Lol, wtf. Way to expose yourselves.

    2. Colbert and the Jacobin, the magazine that named itself on purpose for the French political faction that went a little crazy with judicially murdering their political opponents.

    3. Where is Colbert getting the pettiness thing? It seemed like a genuine policy difference.

      1. The mirror?

    4. Colbert was great when he was parodying Bill O’Reilly – – his new show isn’t nearly as funny.

      1. the green screen of McCain was a funny bit

      2. “his new show isn’t nearly as funny”
        Because lefty’s can’t meme, and Colbert’s abandoned any small ‘l’ liberal beliefs he used to have, in favor of left-wing authoritarianism.

  3. Want to feel old? 9/11 was 18 years ago. Let’s try to be less of an a-hole to each other today.

    1. Thanks, Fist. Hugs!

    2. Back at ya, Chief.

    3. According to the NYT, some planes did something.

      “18 years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. Today, families will once again gather and grieve at the site where more than 2000 people died. “

      1. We common sense plane control, clearly.

      2. Fucking airplanes… I heard they pinned the blame on some helpless Muslim pilots too, the racists.
        Did you all notice that every plane that attacked on 9/11 was white or part white.

  4. California’s bill to ban freelancers and independent contractors has passed.

    California’s bill to ban _______________ has passed.

    1. The Democrats are moving towards society where everything that is not mandatory is prohibited.

      1. But isn’t that what the Social Contract says? I mean, we can’t complain just because we don’t get to read it and we’re supposed to consider ourselves bound by it even though we didn’t sign it.

  5. Even after Reason did a good job of debunking the hate crime study, many news agencies still havent retracted their stories.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/embarassing-newsrooms-all-ran-with-junk-study-purportedly-showing-trump-rallies-cause-hate-crimes

    Jeff will be here shortly to link the original study as valuable news.

    1. “news agencies still havent retracted their stories”
      And they won’t. The primary purpose of the American press is to smother stories that reflect badly on the Democrats, and punish their enemies.

  6. The Federal Trade Commission is going after a kid who reviews toys on YouTube.

    The day we are no longer allowed to monetize our children is the day what it means to be American is lost forever.

  7. A California church has been indicted by a grand jury for forcing homeless people into work…

    And Kamala Harris gets the weirdest boner.

  8. Millennials are drinking staggering amounts of hard seltzer instead of beer.

    They should be spraying it from bottles on each other while their dickeys roll up and hit them in the face.

    1. I spent the weekend with some trendy friends. All of us, millennials. I stuck with my staples of beer and bourbon. But the subject of hard seltzer did come up, and alicia was quite insistent that Natty Light made the best. This was humorous.
      I tried one.
      It wasn’t gross, but it was kinda gross.
      No idea how it compares to ther hard seltzers.
      This is a trend we could do without.

      1. To be fair, many people think beer is kinda gross. I believe those people may have only tried Budweiser, though.

        1. Beer is an acquired taste, sure

          1. you must have missed the 80s

            1. Well, yea – I’m a millennial

              1. where i was then by 8th grade beer was a goal.

        2. But Budweiser (not Bud Light!) is pretty decent beer if you give it a chance.

          1. I am by no means a beer snob but delete your account.

        3. To be fair, many people think beer is kinda gross. I believe those people may have only tried Budweiser, though.

          Probably only tried an IPA, actually.

    2. The unfortunate consequences of the over hopped beer trend.

    3. Zima by another name.

    4. The first time I drank Budweiser I thought “why the hell would people do this to themselves?” My opinion hasn’t changed. We shouldn’t be surprised when anything outsells Budweiser, because Budweiser is skunky toilet water.

  9. Want to know why Bolton’s firing is bad? Because mainstream Democrats like Pelosi are concerned, while phony progressives like Tulsi Gabbard are celebrating:

    Good riddance. If Trump really was for peace, he never would have hired Bolton, Pompeo, Haley, and the rest of those neocons in the first place.

    And of course #TrumpRussia denialist “Tulsibros” like Glenn Greenwald and Michael Tracey are happy as well. That’s never a good sign.

    #LibertariansForBolton
    #PutTheNeoconsBackInCharge

  10. Spiked sparkling water is outselling beer among millennials

    I started with drinking Canadian whiskey and never looked back.

  11. Yet somehow, there are still a lot of folks in tech policy circles who see the lopsided focus on “big tech” as entirely authentic, and any failure to police telecom as somehow coincidental.

    I wonder why.

  12. albeit with the nonsensical assertion that Bolton was a man of the left

    You know, ENB, if you’re going to cover a topic, it’s usually worthwhile to know something about the salient heredity of ideas before mocking someone else’s commentary.

    1. it’s usually worthwhile to know something about the salient heredity of ideas before mocking someone else’s commentary”

      Unfamiliar with contemporary “journalists” I see.

  13. They need to drink seltzer to burp up their snowflake-angst reflux.

    1819. Slams down hard gold coin: Whiskey. And keep it coming.
    2019. Slams down gift card. Seltzer. With some lemon and spearmint.

    1. My girlfriend, like many women, drinks gin and soda or vodka and soda to stay thin while not giving up liquor. We jokingly referred to that drink as “the basic bitch.” Label still fits now that this is a mass market product.

      To be fair, it’s easy to drink and I have to admit as someone who drinks seltzer White Claw is pretty good for off the shelf hard soda.

        1. They have calories, but distilled liquors tend to have fewer carbs than most beers. I am partial to Gin and Tonic. With the added bonus that I haven’t contracted malaria yet.

        2. Have you ever seen a fat wino?

    2. “”1819. Slams down hard gold coin: Whiskey. And keep it coming.
      2019. Slams down gift card. Seltzer. With some lemon and spearmint.””

      The first came with a pistol. The second comes with a skirt.

  14. 9 / 11 is, of course, the anniversary of Hillary Clinton’s minor fainting incident — which the media blew completely out of proportion to promote the sexist narrative that she “wasn’t physically capable of the job.” Always remember that the 2016 election result wasn’t Clinton’s fault. Besides the biased pro-Drumpf media, she had to deal with Russian hacking and the Comey letter. And she still won by 3 million votes.

    #StillWithHer

  15. “Financial Times writer Edward Luce suggests that the firing of Bolton “ends Donald Trump’s hawkish phase.” With Bolton out of the picture, it “paves the way for the president to open talks with the Iranians, which he has long wanted and Mr Bolton has fiercely resisted. It would not be a wild exaggeration to say that prospects for world peace rose markedly on Tuesday.”

    The fact is that Donald Trump has been the most dovish president we’ve had since the Cold War–even with Bolton on board. To talk about Trump having a “hawkish phase” in that context is absurd. To double down and imagine that Trump’s dovish responses to Iran’s provocations is in any way indicative of Bolton’s influence is (absurd)^2.

    Note, all of this is taking place against the backdrop of Iran’s failed multistage rocket launch last week and Iran’s promise of a few days ago to violate both the NPT and Obama’s revised agreement by enriching more uranium.

    This is an excellent example of silly people in the media imagining they have influence over us with the profound weight of their pronouncements. Edward Luce enunciating his wish list has no influence on anyone. Against a backdrop of the facts, this statement just makes him look delusional.

    1. I read an article recently, I can’t remember where, maybe National Interest, which concluded that Trump marks the end of the Wilsonian form of foreign policy that has dominated the US for the last 100 years. It had some decent arguments for why the era should be called the Wilsonian era and why Trump is the antithesis of this style of foreign policy.

  16. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch current net worth: $58.9 billion

    This terrible Drumpf economy has our billionaire benefactor still stuck under $60 billion. Totally unacceptable. But I’m confident when the next Democratic President abolishes tariffs and implements the Koch / Reason open borders agenda, Charles will once again prosper.

    #VoteDemocratToHelpCharlesKoch

  17. https://www.businessinsider.com/another-iranian-rocket-launch-apparently-ended-in-failure-2019-8

    Incidentally, this is one of times when I question whether Trump is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth–when he claimed the U.S. had nothing to do with the failure of that rocket launch.

    It may just be wishful thinking on my part, but the fact is that the Iranians have successfully put satellites into orbit using multistage rockets in the past. They violate the NPT, a president who is hostile to them comes to power, and suddenly all their rocket launches fail in succession? Meanwhile, we all know about the Stuxnet virus and what it did to Iran’s nuclear program.

    If the CIA isn’t trying to sabotage Iran’s multistage rocket / ICBM research program, then it isn’t doing its job.

    Incidentally, Stuxnet is thought to have been a joint operation by the U.S. and Israel, and that may be why Trump is technically accurate about his statement saying that the U.S. didn’t have anything to do with Iran’s multistage rockets suddenly exploding all over the place. It may have been the Israelis.

    Trump mocking the Iranians to rub it in with condolences for their failure after we (or our allies) fucked their shit up would certainly be consistent with Trump’s personality.

    On the other hand, as a general rule, it’s typically not a good idea to assume nefarious motives when simple incompetence would explain the same thing. Government bureaucrats tend to do incompetent things for bureaucratic reasons, even when it’s not in their best interests to be incompetent. Iran, like Venezuela, could rarely pump their OPEC quota, which is why they have always favored OPEC cutting production and bringing the price per barrel up. Their production capacity isn’t limited because the CIA is sabotaging their oil industry. It’s limited because government autocrats can’t run an oil industry competently, and their space program may merely be suffering from the same disease.

  18. >>I’m legitimately shaken by the grave instability of American foreign policy today.

    Bolton Shrugged.

  19. Antonio Brown is now being sued for rape.

    I don’t know anything more about his culpability than what’s being reported in the news, but given his erratic behavior over the past several months, . . .

    There’s gotta be something like a Godwin’s Law for rape allegations in the #MeToo era.

    As a public figure’s actions become increasingly erratic, the probability of a rape allegation approaches 1.

    I’m not saying anything about the validity of those allegations. It may be that erratic behavior in public makes legitimate victims feel more comfortable about making legitimate allegations than they were before. I’m also not saying that erratic behavior, like Antonio Brown’s, necessarily means that we should believe allegations against him–just because he’s been erratic in one way doesn’t mean he’s erratic in other . . .

    On the other hand, it’s a civil suit, and that means it’s a majority vote by a preponderance of the evidence, and if you want to bring Antonio Brown’s state of mind into evidence, all you need to do is show a highlight reel of the stories about him since the Steelers released him over the summer. The Raiders walked away from the two draft picks they traded for his crazy ass–rather than deal with his brand of crazy anymore.

    1. dude you didn’t read the emails yet? ick.

      1. I don’t know anything about the emails.

          1. The best part is the twitter thread featuring attempts at translation

            1. Excuse me sir, I speak jive.

              1. chump don’t want da hep? chump don’t get da hep.

                1. In Airplane II one of the black guys from that scene testifies in court with subtitles. When he finishes a sentence with “shit” the subtitle is “golly”.

                  Those movies were so awesome.

                  1. >>“shit” the subtitle is “golly”

                    one of the better subtitle funnys of the era.

              2. Would you please translate?

                1. I know we’re all kidding about the translation, but in all seriousness, from what I’m reading in that email, he’s alleging that she stayed the night with him afterwards–suggesting that means it couldn’t have been rape.

                  He’s also saying he’s glad he dissed her by climaxing on her back and humiliating her–because the alleged victim and her mother are both contemptible opportunistic trash–which will almost certainly be read a confession in civil court.

                  His defense will do everything they can to get that email suppressed in court. The last thing you want the jury to see in a rape trail if you’re the defense is the defendant saying he’s glad he sexually denigrated the defendant.

                  In a civil case, evidence that the defendant is the kind of person who wants to sexually denigrate women when he feels threatened by them is exactly what the jury is looking for–when they’re considering a preponderance of the evidence rather than a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

                  This is why attorneys tell their clients to shut the fuck up. It appears that Antonio Brown may have even sent this email AFTER he had an attorney, who almost certainly told him to STFU.

                  Based on this email alone, I’d expect the league to suspend Brown under the auspices of the NFL conduct policy. And I wouldn’t expect the BLM players in the league or the NFL PA to make any waves about it either.

                  1. >>>His defense will do everything they can to get that email suppressed in court.

                    (shockingly?) his attorney put the roadmap of their defense on twitter. on his letterhead.

                    she did this … she did that … she did more

                  2. It is an admission against pecuniary interest by a party opponent. The defense isn’t going to keep this email out of court.

                    The fact that she continued to associate with him is actually not inconsistent with him having raped her. It is not uncommon at all for rape victims to continue to associate with and sometimes even have consensual sex with their rapists. That sounds crazy as shit but it is true and the defense will have no problem getting an expert to testify to that effect.

                    1. I agree 100%.

                      This isn’t quite Aaron Hernandez level stupid, but it’s up there.

                      I bet that’s who Belichick is thinking about right now.

                      We’re not dealing with another Randy Moss.

                      We’re dealing with another Aaron Hernandez in that you can’t play past or fix what’s wrong with some people.

          2. The Patriots traded Demarious Thomas, an aging but still very effective wide receiver literally the night before all of this came to light thinking they didn’t need Thomas anymore since they had just signed Brown.

            Karma really is a bitch sometimes. Brown is never going to play a down this year assuming those emails are what they appear to be.

            1. I question whether Belichick or Brady is gonna put up with that sort of bullshit; IOWs, what were they thinking?

              1. They were thinking the Chiefs are going to roll over their asses in the playoffs if they didn’t do something to improve their passing game.

              2. The Patriots have repeatedly gotten great production out of players who were cancer in the locker room elsewhere in the league. The Patriots’ can do that because Belichick and Brady are the undisputed leaders in that locker room, and so entrenched because of their success that no one tcan upset their position with their crazy. A guy like Randy Moss could throw his weight around anywhere he wanted–except in New England.

                They didn’t realize the kind of crazy they were getting with Antonio Brown.

                As crazy as they are, Euronymous had total control of the Norwegian Black Metal scene. He was always able to bring them under control. Are you crazy enough to run with Mayhem? Then this Burzum kid shows up, starts burning down churches, and eventually stabs Euronymous to death.

                Belichick thought he’d seen everything. Thought he had it under control. I’m not sure he’s dealt with this level of crazy before.

    2. I’m inclined to be skeptical, but the emails were… odd

      1. Also, they suspended Zeke for 6 games even though their own investigator said the accusations were probably bs.
        So f AB, and f the Pats

      2. odd in a “stupid can’t spell one word right” way? geez dude get one.word.right.

          1. he’d fuck up “so”

            1. Lol.
              I enjoyed the part where he mentioned a “lien”.
              Thanks to Twitter, I was disappointed to discover that he wasn’t referring to bank enforcement actions, but rather calling his accuser (and her momma!) liers.
              Still can’t figure out if his baby’s momma tricked the ho or if he was questioning the ho’s assertion that the baby’s momma tricked her.
              At least we know Antonio Brown’s baby’s mother is a discerning judge of character and can help Antonio decide which groupies to kick to the curb after the fact

              1. lien made me lol yes. and i also got lost in the momma-ho maze

      3. So in the civil suit, will the court admit an expert in urban jive to translate those emails? Will both parties be allowed an expert in jive?

        1. Now there is a market opportunity!
          “Your honor, the defense calls to the stand John Smith: expert witness in jive linguistics”

  20. And just like that the North Carolina special election went from bellwether referendum on Trump to memory holed outlier.

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/341719/

    1. The way these silly buggers can’t keep a straight face when their candidates lose even though they expect us all to believe they’re objective journalists makes me wish I could get into a poker game with them. And I’m shitty at poker.

    2. They are memory holing it because it is fairly obvious Trump’s rally (even upper echelon members of the DNC stated such) won the seat for the Republican. This scares them about 2020, it destroys their narrative that Trump can’t win because of Democratic enthusiasm. It shows Trump still draws huge crowds and still knows how to campaign.

    3. 115th Congress had 236 Republicans and 196 Democrats.

      116th Congress has 235 Democrats, 199 Republicans and 1 Independent (Amash).

      The #BluePeeStream couldn’t even get as many House seats as the GOP had in the previous Congress.

      1. Gluten is in everything.

  21. “Nearly 2 million more uninsured under Trump”
    […]
    “…The overall rise in the uninsured is the first increase recorded by the Bureau since the one that occurred from 2008 to 2009, and the first decline since Obamacare started expanding coverage in 2014. According to the agency’s presentation, the change in the uninsured can be attributed to economic trends, changes in demographics, and changes in health policy that affect access to care….”
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/healthcare/nearly-2-million-more-uninsured-under-trump

    Might also have something to do with the fact that you are no longer required to buy insurance at the point of a gun

    1. Somehow the fact that 25 million remained uninsured at the end of the Obama administration, despite all the headache they put us through to make sure that everyone had coverage, goes unmentioned.

    2. Yeah, that seems likely the main reason. People who wouldn’t have bought insurance if there wasn’t a penalty won’t buy insurance when there is no penalty.

  22. also didn’t zima do a take over the chick world thing for like 6 weeks in 1993? same stuff no?

    1. There have been lots of alternative alcohol beverages over the years. Don’t forget about wine coolers and those cocktail-in-a-can things (which are actually all malt beverages and don’t contain wine or spirits).

      1. >>Don’t forget about wine coolers

        the Jersey girls loved Bartles & Jaymes.

  23. As such, telecom lobbyists have spent several years now pushing to hamstring their direct competitors with the help of cash-compromised lawmakers and full blown regulatory capture.

    If only Comrade Stalin knew!

    I swear, Techdirt spends half their time bitching about how we need more government regulation of the internet and half their time bitching about how terrible Ajit Pai and the FCC are. When you run to the wolf to protect you from the fox, well, you’re probably too stupid to figure out where you made your mistake.

    1. We just need to have the right people in charge Jerry. The right people.

  24. The End of the Wilsonian Century?

    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump had unexpected success campaigning against the Wilsonian tradition in its entirety. He argued the United States had borne disproportionate costs for its expansive world role going back many years. He maintained that multilateral free trade agreements had harmed the interest of American workers. He stated that post–Cold War U.S. military interventions had been generally botched. He insisted that America’s allies had not carried their share of the common burden with the United States. And bundling the issue of immigration into these concerns, he proposed a hard line against illegal migrants, drawing a clear line between benefits for U.S. citizens and benefits for those who are not.

    Now three years later, liberal internationalist critics argue that the foreign-policy record of the Trump administration is one of relentless assault on the rules-based world order. In fact they regularly lump the United States government together with prominent autocracies based in Moscow, Beijing, and elsewhere as part of an overall nationalist authoritarian assault on rules-based liberal order. But setting aside the fact that American nationalism is democratically expressed—in other words, the opposite of authoritarian—there are still some profound problems with this common liberal understanding.

    Trump moves up and down the escalatory ladder, trying to carve out what he views as relative material gains for the United States. A lot of observers have a hard time turning the volume down. But watching his behavior as president, there is really no more evidence that he is hell-bent on destroying what liberals describe as the “rules-based world order” any more than he is on upholding it. The concept is obviously not his primary reference point one way or the other. Rather, he is undertaking a kind of portfolio reassessment of America’s international commitments, and its outcome is not predetermined.

    1. The entire article you linked is a very good piece with several points worthy of serious thought. Thanks.

      1. The pleasure is all mine.

    2. Outstanding article….thank you!

      I don’t think a return to Wilsonian geopolitics is coming. POTUS Trump has effectively made it so there is no going back, completely.

  25. Goodbye Bolton!
    Good riddance. Most sensible thing Trump has done in months.

  26. Anyone defending Bolton just because Trump didn’t like him is being stupid. Bolton was bad no matter how you spin it.

  27. Hey Boehm, the DOW Jones is back up: 27,137.04 as of Sep 11, 2019 at 1800.

    July 15, 2019 high of: 27,359.16

  28. Bolton is born of the same belligerence that lead Hillary to tip over Tunis, Libya and Egypt and make a try at Syria, filling the Euro continent with rape-u-gees. The Democrat ranks are filled with as many warmongers as the Republicans if only because all are owned by Israel. So Democrats oughtn’t be too proud of themselves. And they all, with only a couple of exceptions, voted with the monsters who instigated the Iraqi war to tip Saddam. Shame on all of them. Getting rid of Bolton is good. Keep going to Pompeo and the profit-driven Generals, clean out the whole rats-nest. We’ve done enough damage. Now we’re only chasing profits for Lockheed and Boeing with these wars.

  29. Put Bolton back at the UN where he belongs.

  30. I still haven’t tried White Claw. I’m told Mango is the way to go but I’m skeptical. If it’s anything like Zima, that’s sad.

  31. ‘Medication abortion reversal is “devoid of scientific support,”‘

    Zombie babies are how the apocalypse begins.

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