Reason Roundup

Mick Mulvaney Confirms, Then Denies That Trump Withheld Military Aid to Ukraine To Compel the Country to Investigate Democrats

Plus: Oregon's vaping ban is halted, fake rap video money lands a man in jail, and a Syrian ceasefire appears to have already broken down.

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On again, off again. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed and then denied that President Donald Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine until that country agreed to investigate the possibility that Democrats colluded with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election.

"Did he also mention to me in [the] past the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely," said Mulvaney during a White House press briefing yesterday, referencing an unproven theory that the American cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike spirited a server belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to Ukraine to hide Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

"No question about that. But that's it, and that's why we held up the money," added Mulvaney. The temporary suspension of nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, he said, was meant to compel the country to comply with Trump's demand for an investigation into this server.

This admission confirmed for many that Trump had engaged in an improper quid pro quo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, offering aid in return for dirt on Trump's political opponents.

House Democrats have opened an impeachment inquiry into whether Trump offered such a quid pro quo to Zelensky during a July phone call. Mulvaney's statements seem to confirm much of what the legislators are inquiring about.

Later in the day, Mulvaney walked back some of what he said during the White House briefing.

"Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election. The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server. The only reasons we were holding the money was because of concern about lack of support from other nations and concerns over corruption," Mulvaney said in a statement released several hours after the press briefing, contradicting his earlier statements.

The reversal hardly looks good for the White House. It marks yet another time that the president's defenders have vacillated between denying that Trump engaged in unseemly behavior and arguing that behavior was fine all along.


FREE MINDS

A Florida man was arrested and charged with a felony for possessing counterfeit bills—which he says were only props in a rap video.

In July, Alexander Binker, 20, was pulled over in the Miami suburb of West Kendall for reckless driving. During a subsequent search, the cops found fake bills labeled "FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY" in his wallet.

Binker is now trying to get the felony counterfeiting charge against him dismissed, arguing that he never showed any intention of using the prop money to buy anything.

"It's the opposite of counterfeit money, designed with safeguards so it can't be passed off as real. You couldn't buy a jar of mayonnaise with that 'money,'" George Pallas, Binker's lawyer, told the Miami Herald.


FREE MARKETS

The Oregon Court of Appeals has offered a slight respite from the vaping panic. It issued a temporary injunction yesterday that bars the state from enforcing its ban on flavored e-cigarettes and medical marijuana vaping products, according to the Salem Reporter.

A rash of people have developed lung disease, often after using black market THC vape products. So Oregon Gov. Kate Brown directed the two state agencies that regulate vaping products, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), to enforce a 180-day ban on the sale of vaping products.

Such crackdowns, as Reason's Jacob Sullum has noted, are the worst possible way to respond to recent vaping illnesses. Bans on vaping products will shift some consumers to buying black market products that are more likely to make them sick. Others, unable to get the flavors they prefer, might go back to smoking cigarettes.

The Oregon Appeals Court ruling stays only the OHA's ban on flavored nicotine and medical marijuana vaping products. The OLCC's ban on flavored recreational marijuana vaping products is not affected.


QUICK HITS

  • Fighting has continued in northern Syria between the Turkish military, its allied militias, and the Syrian Democratic Forces, despite Vice President Mike Pence's announcement that a ceasefire agreement had been reached.
  • Former President George W. Bush has criticized Trump for "isolationism":

  • Kamala Harris' failing presidential campaign got a little more pathetic yesterday after her press secretary tweeted and then deleted a badly photoshopped image of Harris in a White House meeting being yelled at by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • George Mason University's Mercatus Center has a new measurement of almost every state's regulatory burden.
  • Trump, who assures us that he is deeply interested in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, has also decided to host a G-7 meeting at his Trump National Doral resort in Miami.
  • The New York Times is trying to break its bad habit of re-reporting other journalists' scoops without giving them any credit.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed more local governments to adopt ranked-choice voting.

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  1. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed and then denied that President Donald Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine until that country agreed to investigate the possibility that Democrats colluded with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election.

    Always act crazy. Knocks them off their game.

    1. Trump should fire his ass.

      1. The FBI should arrest his crooked ass.

        1. “The FBI should arrest his crooked ass.”

          You should seek help.

          1. Laughable coming from you. You’re pathetic.

            1. Tide or Gain this morning? I’m not asking for a friend. I’m asking.

              1. Tide pods taste disgusting! Stay away from them! Gain?!?! Dunno about whut yer talkin’ ’bout…

                Anyway, just say NO to Tide pods! Even shit tastes better!!!

                1. https://prudentreviews.com/tide-vs-gain/

                  OK, now I learned something NEW today… They are BOTH laundry detergents! Which kinds of laundry pods taste the worst, which are worst for my health? Not that I really need to know… Not gonna eat EITHER kind, and the youngsters can call me a wussy, I don’t care!

                  Jimmy eat Tide-pods, and I don’t care…

                    1. Get a grip, you obsessive paranoid weirdo.

                    2. Oh I have a firm grip on his identity. It’s Mary.

                    3. Were you here for rctl/rather/Mary?

            2. Didnt you just state yesterday that the rich support crooks, then deny it applied to hillary and democrats?

            3. “Laughable coming from you. You’re pathetic.”

              You bet! I’m forever posting bullshit claims that someone in the Trump admin is guilty of some crime only I heard of!
              Seek help, you pile of shit.

              1. John Bolton called it a “drug deal” and he wanted nothing to do with it. It’s probably why he was fired by Trump.

                1. “John Bolton”

                  Suddenly we’re supposed to give a fuck what he thinks I guess.

                  1. Trump is turning all the liberals into Neocons.

                    1. Trump is only turning people into themselves.
                      The masks are dropping

        2. Don’t worry. His Presidency is effectively over.

          #TrumpUkraine is the tipping point. The walls are closing in. It’s the beginning of the end.

        3. Pod probably belongs in prison himself. He’s al ost certainly guilty of sedition.

      2. Really? Mick Mulvaney holds two jobs for Trump:

        (1) Chief of Staff, where competence is a bar against holding the job – John F Kelly can attest to that. How can you fire someone for bungling when bungling is a prerequisite of the job?

        (2) Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Can you imagine being the person in charge of making Trump’s numbers add up ?!? I bet calculators are forbidden within his office and confiscated at the door.

        Mike holds two of the most hack-tastic jobs in modern White House history. How can you complain about him being a hack?

      3. I am waiting for this poll question to be asked:

        is it okay for trump to break the law and violate the constitution?
        if you answered yes then is it okay for Elizabeth Warren to do the same?

    2. Hello.

      What was the photo shop supposed to convey in their minds?

      A photo shop of Harris as Nurse Ratchet with her signature disturbing giggle would be more in line I reckon.

    3. I was going to same the same thing except the “them” isn’t democrats, it’s mainstream media consumers. They do this on purpose to give journos material in order to drive clicks. We all fall for it, and it never amounts to anything but revenue for the media and wasted hours yelling at eachother.

      This is a nothing story.

    4. “On again, off again. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed and then denied”

      Anyone who reads it can see how stupid this take is.

    5. Google pay 370$ reliably my last pay check was $52000 working 10 hours out of consistently on the web.My increasingly youthful kinfolk mate has been averaging 20k all through continuous months and he works around 24 hours reliably.I can’t trust in howdirect it was once I attempted it out.This is my essential concern…:)
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  2. An isolationist United States is destabilizing around the world.

    So, it appears, is the opposite.

    1. Are we now to the point where Libertarians support the US as global police?

      1. Absolutely. They’ve already abandoned due process and favor taxes instead of reducing the size of government, so what’s one more principle when there’s the potential to ally yourself with the radical left?

  3. I have never had a cop look in my wallet. How do these things happen ?

    1. Two things:

      1) Are you Black?

      2) Looking for money to steal was probably the reason they pulled him over. They were pissed when they found only Monopoly money so they slapped a felony charge on him.

      1. ha, I was thinking the same exact thing

    2. You’re probably middle-aged, white and driving a decent vehicle.

      If you were poor, black or young (god forbid all 3) you’d know this happens pretty often. Cops are always looking to steal some cash when they search you.

      1. Exactly this. The one real privilege I have is that as a respectable looking white person cops generally don’t fuck with me like they do everyone else. Even that, is starting to change as cops get crazier.

        1. I say you probably also don’t speed and drive recklessly at 3:30 am with drugs in the car. In the article, it states it was found while processing them which is standard procedure from my white, well off privileged personal experience (was young though). Giving them the benefit of the doubt, cops need to do inventory of everything the confiscate in order to return at release.

          Still a shitty charge if the state doesn’t have evidence that he used that money to defraud someone.

          1. I was responding to the user’s comment regarding cops searching through wallets in a more general way.

            In regard to the specific story – These guys got nabbed for being morons. If you have contraband in the car, maybe don’t be an aggressive driver endangering other people on the road. I don’t feel sorry for them, even though the counterfeit money charge should not have been added on top of what they got hit with (and drug charges are stupid too).

            But I don’t feel sorry for people that get charged with reckless driving. Its also hard to feel sorry for reckless drivers that also get charged for drugs because it makes people that do drugs look like reckless drivers. So, although what these guys are going to get is probably too harsh (as is all of our justice system), they’re not exactly sympathetic cases.

            1. No I understand. It just didn’t really apply on this one and thought it should be pointed out this guy was an idiot. But perhaps the reckless driving charge should be examined if they are willing to charge him with counterfeiting for this then perhaps the rest of the arrest was bad. Shit I was arrested for DUI with BAC of .02 (no typo) because underage and the cop was just looking to pull over a young kid driving at 1:00 am from what I could tell; whole thing was bullshit.

              1. Wow, BAC of .02. You could have taken a Listerine breath strip to test at that BAC. I really dislike the police in this country. They are out of control.

                1. Is it the cops or the plethora of authoritarian laws? Many states now great any BAC in minors as a DUI. You took Communion off to prison for you.

                  1. AFAIK, cops seem to be opposed to decriminalizing every day normal human activity. So, in my book, they’re part of the problem.

          2. I drive very carefully when I have drugs in the car. And avoid being out at 3:30 AM when doing so.

    3. He and a friend, Sofia Rigal, were arrested in July after being pulled over in West Kendall for speeding and weaving in and out of lanes at 3:30 a.m. A Miami-Dade police officer searched the car and found suspected crack cocaine and marijuana. As the two were handcuffed and being processed, an officer searched his wallet and found the prop bills.

    4. well, first the cop has to be a corrupt asshole on the lookout for cash he can “civil asset forfeiture”. The felony is a result of the road pirate’s frustration at being cheated out of his rightful plunder.

    5. in FTW TX last week a cop shot a black women in her own home, thru the window, after a 2 sec warning. he has been indicted for murder.
      in Dallas a cop shot a black man his own apartment, that she walked into , for reasons no one understands . she was convicted of murder

      in 2 cities not known for their progressive views they found the cops behavior to be criminal.

  4. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/iowa-2020-just-7-call-impeachment-important-trump-beating-warren-biden

    Iowa poll finds just 7% of the voters care about impeachment. It is difficult to overstate just how flat this hysteria is falling with the actual voting public. No one but the faithful gives a shit or will ever give a shit about what some unnamed person says about Trump telling the Ukrainians they should look into the Biden boys robbing them blind.

    1. Back in the real world, the RCP average of polls shows impeachment favored by +8.8% of voters……

      1. Here grb doesnt understand that the poll cited is about who cared about impeachment, not the answer to a leading impeachment yes no poll.

        Grb is an idiot.

        1. grb is a lefty, therefore…

        2. Speaking of idiots, JesseAz was the number-one go-to guy for the “not quid pro quo” party line. The poor sap actually claimed Sondland’s (obvious) posturing “proved” Trump wasn’t strong-arming the Ukrainians for personal gain. Hell, even Sondland didn’t dare make that case, but Jesse can out-toady Gordon any day of the week.

          But then comes Mick Mulvaney, who pulls the rug right out from under Jesse’s feet. All that desperate weaseling destroyed in one flippant press conference.

          Which brings up the question I keep asking : Why support Trump when he makes you look like a fool over & over & over? I understand you excusing the compulsive lying, because most Trump supporters seem to have a problem with honesty themselves. But the man keeps treating you like a dumbass dupe; he humiliates you over and over. Don’t Trump supporters have any self-respect left ?!?

          1. Why support Trump when he makes you look like a fool over & over & over?

            It doesn’t matter anymore. Team Red has almost fully embraced the Dear Leader theory of politics now. Trump is THEIR GUY and he must be defended, right or wrong, like the captain of a ship or the commander of a batallion. Or, like Jesus leading the flock.

            You sometimes see these ridiculous quotes from some evangelical leader like “God told me to support Trump” or some such. Part of that is I think grifting, but I think part of that is also sincere.

              1. Oh look it’s Tulpa, finally awake, off his meds again, and here to ruin another conversation.

                1. Pedo Jeffy, you are the one everyone despises for shitposting. Not him.

                  1. It’s true, and doesn’t make sense because I shit post constantly, and yet there it is. He really is more hated.

                    1. I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Seems to me there are about 5 people who loudly hate jeff and everyone else actually just responds to what he’s saying, agree or disagree. I really don’t get the hostility toward chemjeff. Squirrly I kind of get, even though I find him amusing from time to time.

                    2. “I wouldn’t be so sure about that”

                      Literally no one cares, great equivocator.

                      “everyone else actually just responds to what he’s saying, agree or disagree”

                      This very thread shows how wrong you are fucko.

                    3. This very thread shows how wrong you are fucko

                      What, the fact that 5 assholes pile on every comment he makes? That’s kind of my point. The asshole crew comes and shits up every thread now with pointless personal insults and weird ideas about who is socking who.

                    4. “What, the fact that 5 assholes pile on every comment he makes?”

                      No, the fact that “everyone else actually just responds to what he’s saying, agree or disagree.” didn’t actually happen.

                      “That’s kind of my point.”

                      Your point is stupid. You blame other people shitting on him for the lack of response to him, when that isn’t the case with literally anyone else.

                      Peopel know he’s a liar and full of shit. Almost all of his posts were here, and NO ONE CARED, long before anyone shit on him today.

                      Go ahead. Check the time stamps. I’ll be here waiting when you realize you’re wrong.

                    5. Zeb, I pile on Pedo Jeffy at every turn in part because of the Pedo aspect of his persona. That shit can’t stand. Same with Buttplug.

                      Long before that, The little turd wore out his welcome with his sophist bullshit and disingenuous arguments. The sort of crap,where he expects endless citations proving humans need air to breathe or some other obvious nonsense. Then making the same idiotic arguments, usually about open borders. Every time he posts the same bullshit, then demands we disprove it. Over and over.

                      It got old. There is no point debating the little idiot. He is not worthy of respect or empathy on any level. He is a pedo loving little piece of shit.

                      I am also to understand that he is really cytotoxic. Who rebranded after Trump won the election. If true, then he is just some Canadians college student piece of suit and an even bigger lying shitweasel.

            1. So you are the Jeff guy that Trump apologists here keep accusing me of being a sock puppet for. Can you do me a favor and confirm that you are not me?

              1. Ahahah I love how unhinged you look talking to yourself

                “so you’re this guy” lololol it’s so obvious that it is you

              2. “Can you do me a favor and confirm that you are not me?”

                Ahahahahahahah Jeff I love it when you’re desperate

              3. It’s really believable you’ve been here since hit n run days and this is the first time you’ve seen Little Jeffy Schiff post. Jeff.

                1. Hush, I was gonna use that in minute lololol

                  But seriously…

              4. Ditto for me

            2. Hey, thanks Jeff for backing me up on this. :-/

              Still don’t he 14-year-old Trump fans posting from their mom’s basement must be an embarrassment to serious libertarian-conservative commenters like John.

            3. Science confirms right wingers tend to support dominant leaders, even when that support requires “faith-like” thinking (ignoring evidence).

              https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1048984318302297

              1. The Communists were right-wingers?

              2. In modern times I don’t think anyone has more slavishly worshipped anyone than the progtards have worshipped Obama.

            4. And due process never mattered to progressives like Jeff. The ends always justify the means for him.

            5. the question is , why is a New York real estate hustler their guy?

              the only sensible answer is because he is a xenophobe and they are too. they are too undereducated to understand how he is benefitting the wealthy and not them.

              china has the slowest economy since ,well since Mao died. beware the ides of March or 1.5% GDP.

          2. Speaking of idiots, JesseAz was the number-one go-to guy for the “not quid pro quo” party line. The poor sap actually claimed Sondland’s (obvious) posturing “proved” Trump wasn’t strong-arming the Ukrainians for personal gain. Hell, even Sondland didn’t dare make that case, but Jesse can out-toady Gordon any day of the week.

            But then comes Mick Mulvaney, who pulls the rug right out from under Jesse’s feet. All that desperate weaseling destroyed in one flippant press conference.

            Are you all retarded?

            Everyone is confirming the first part of the call transcript–wherein Trump asks if Zelensky would assist in investigating the irregularities in the 2016 election. Zelensky seemed okay with the idea so and let me be clear here– there was no quid pro quo. They may have been planning it–BUT THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO. Because Zelensky wanted to help.

            They got it ready–but they didn’t have to implement it. Because Zelensky wanted to help.

            So this latest ‘Ukrainegate’ bombshell is like all the bombshells before it–a dud. Because it explains crap that Trump pre-empted when he released the transcript.

            But here’s a Point to Ponder–

            When the Dems and the media were going after Russian collusion, Trump said ‘There was no collusion’. And that was that. And it was confirmed by Mueller (which led to the Quest for Obstruction of An Investigation Into Something that the Investigation States Didn’t Happen).

            All through it Trump maintained that there was no collusion.

            Now comes Ukrainegate and the search for a quid pro quo. And Trump maintains that there was no quid pro quo. The person supposedly pressured says that they were not pressured. Trump and the administration admit that the mechanisms to pressure Ukraine were, in fact, set up. But they weren’t used. Why? Because Zelensky was happy to help.

            And, once again, Trump maintains that he did nothing wrong.

            So, in both cases, Trump maintains that there’s nothing to find because nothing wrong happened.

            But the Dems and the media are insisting that Trump’s looking for dirt on Dems.

            So? If they did nothing wrong we’ve got the same situation as when the Dems thought that Trump had colluded with Russia.

            But they’re not claiming that they did nothing wrong.

            1. The Dems are totally guilty of all sorts of crimes. I doubt it would be very hard to out their entire party in prison if they didn’t have the influence to stop it.

        3. One other point : We were originally told impeachment would blow-up on the Democrats – even impeachment of a sleazy lying turd like Trump. We were assured the American people would rise in rage at the start of proceedings.

          Well, as with all Things-Trump the facts proved otherwise. So now the new party line is “no one cares”.

          Kinda wonder what the next fallback position will be?

          1. I personally don’t care one way or the other if Trump gets impeached. I don’t really see it as a major threat to our democracy if he does. President Pence wouldn’t be too bad… at least he sounds more educated and thoughtful.

            But I think you need the general population to be enthusiastically on board with impeachment if you don’t want to get punished for it at the polls. Otherwise, the besieged candidate can successfully cast themselves as anti-establishment and standing up to the corrupt politicians, etc. This resonates with a lot of people, whether you like it or not. That’s a real danger for the politicians you serve.

            1. And Pelosi knows this, it is why she has only started an investigation into whether to impeach. She wants to ding the president with this, placating the left wing but simultaneously also protect Democrats house seats in contested districts by not holding a vote.

            2. TripK2 : Two points : I think opinion on Trump is s rigidly divided you won’t see same change you suggest as with a typical politician (or normal human being). Also: I “serve” no politician. Perhaps you confuse me with the cult-followers I address. Yep, I’m partisan, but there are significant differences. One example : I’m not going to come into this forum and lie for anyone. Someone like JesseAz does it daily….

              Sometimes a Great Notion : The odds Pelosi won’t hold a vote are microscopic, if only from the politics of her own caucus. Is it possible you don’t know that? Or maybe it’s just a desperate hope on your part? This whole hold-a-vote shtick is just another Trump supporter dead end……..

              1. ” I think”

                That and a pile of shit, and you have two piles of shit.

              2. I think opinion on Trump is s rigidly divided you won’t see same change you suggest as with a typical politician (or normal human being)

                Perhaps, but I’d bet you’re wrong. Most people don’t care right now. If the Dems activate public impeachment proceedings, people will start to care and there’s absolutely no guarantee that they will support your side or the politicians you’re into. You’ll really be banking on people (that haven’t been paying attention so far) agreeing that Trump is a crook. You’ll also be banking that people won’t see themselves in Trump or identify with him (i.e. you’ll need to hope that Trump doesn’t activate people that don’t usually vote). There are a lot of people in this country who like the uneducated sounding non-politician politician. That gives the politicians you’re into pause.

                I don’t really follow any one user’s postings here or catalog what others have said on this board in the same way you have with JesseAz, so I wouldn’t know what you or other users have said on other threads/articles. I’m just calling it like I see it. You admit you’re partisan, so, as a partisan, you serve the politicians you like. It is what it is.

                1. “you admit you’re partisan, so, as a partisan, you serve the politicians you like. It is what it is”

                  I can’t objection to that formulation

                  “Most people don’t care right now. If the Dems activate public impeachment proceedings, people will start to care and there’s absolutely no guarantee that they will support your side or the politicians you’re into”

                  Maybe, but Trump seems a special case. During his entire presidency DJT’s approval ratings have barely moved. During the latest controversies – even after the bizarre bungled mess with Turkey – they’ve still barely moved. I think it’s presumptuous to believe Trump will garner any untapped support at this late stage. You could hope for sympathy, but that’s a hard sell given the narcissistic delusional selfish petty bully that is Donald John Trump. Plus, I’m guessing there’ll be a large number of people just damn tired of a Real-Housewives-of-New-Jersey style reality-TV president. His most dedicated fan are all in on that. For them “draining the swamp” never meant more than WWE grade entertainment. But the rest of us……..

                  1. Maybe you’re right, maybe you’re wrong. Honestly, I don’t think we’ll ever find out unless Trump gets re-elected and subsequently impeached.

                  2. “”but that’s a hard sell given the narcissistic delusional selfish petty bully..””

                    Never underestimates the partisan voters ability to accept someone you just described. Those words also describe Hillary Clinton. She just better at pretending she’s not.

            3. K2….Exactly my thinking = But I think you need the general population to be enthusiastically on board with impeachment if you don’t want to get punished for it at the polls.

              The electorate is not even remotely close to a consensus to move forward with impeachment. The ultimate check on impeachment is the ballot box. To impeach POTUS Trump in a pique of ‘spite politics’ will tear the country apart.

              My attitude is: let’s get this over with. Call the vote.

              1. That’s fair. Honestly I’m just of sick of the guy. I don’t think he’s this major evil racist boogeyman, but I hate hearing the guy talk. The way he speaks genuinely get on my nerves. And the idea that he’s the one “negotiating” on behalf of the country makes me nervous.

                I was hoping this would make congress take back its power as a check on the President (you know, take back its war powers, treaty-making powers, etc.), but that hasn’t happened.

              2. “”My attitude is: let’s get this over with. Call the vote.””

                If the dems were so sure of themselves, they would call the vote. But they would rather not, but do things as if they did. In secret.

          2. One other point : We were originally told impeachment would blow-up on the Democrats

            Let’s see what happen in a few weeks at the polls, k? I suspect that you’re so insulated in your bubble that everyone you know id red-faced from screeching ‘impeach!!!’–and that they have been this way since November 2016.

            We were assured the American people would rise in rage at the start of proceedings.

            And let’s see what happens when Pelosi finally calls for a vote.

            – even impeachment of a sleazy lying turd like Trump. We were assured the American people would rise in rage at the start of proceedings.

          3. “” We were assured the American people would rise in rage at the start of proceedings.””

            By who, and why would you believe it?

      2. >>>real world, the RCP average

        lol. collection of idiocy still idiocy

    2. What the poll actually says:

      The most important issue for voters in Iowa in deciding for whom to vote for president is the economy at 33%, followed by healthcare at 19% and social issues at 10%. Impeachment ranked 7 out of 9 at 6%, ahead of education at 5% and foreign policy at 3%.

      What the poll does not say, but John seems to think it says:

      Iowa poll finds just 7% of the voters care about impeachment.

      1. Either way. It’s above education. Yeesh.

      2. Impeachment is almost no one’s most important issue. That means no one is going to vote based on it. You only get one vote.

        Jesus Christ you are fucking stupid. Just dumber than a post.

        1. Solid strategy when you’ve been owned John…Move the goalposts and attack.

          1. I might be misreading but it doesn’t ‘7%’ care about impeachment. It says it’s ranked 7th of all issues. In other words, meh.

            1. And education is a sub-meh.

            2. I’ve seen you lot white knight each other better than this Rufus. John owes you a reach around…that’s all.

              1. Don’t you have some boys to molest Screech?

                1. Phew, we’re safe. Tulpy-Poo’s here to continue his anti-sock pogrom and cleanse this site of progs.

                  1. “Phew, we’re safe.”

                    Unlike the boys you molest.

                    1. You spend too much time on this site.

                    2. You spend too much time on little boys.

                  2. Eric, I see you’re continuing your run as an obedient ‘good one’ for your Marxist masters.

                    Perhaps you should consider suicide. Best thing for you really, your comments are going nowhere.

                    1. You magnificent bastard Shitty. I’ve grown low on your unique brand of lovin and need a hot-shitlord-injection pronto!

                      BTW. Don’t you know I’m Shrike? Just ask Tulpa.

                    2. Eric, perhaps you and Tony could get together for some sort of suicide pact. Also, he can give you that “lovin’” you seek., from behind.

              2. Sure. Whatever. I’m just pointing out one is a % and the other a rank.

        2. I thought it was an informative clarification. “7% of voters don’t care about impeachment” is vague and subject to various interpretations.

          1. I also found the original comment to not really be indicative of they survey’s findings. I’d rank education way down on my list when the economy, healthcare and the national debt are options, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care about education.

    3. The Democrats have nobody to blame but themselves for this. Their “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” approach to the impeachment narrative has turned it into authentic frontier gibberish.

      It would be interesting to do a random survey of impeachment supporters to see what they say is the reason Trump should be impeached. I’ll bet the answers would be all over the map and mostly incoherent to boot.

      It’s also silly to expect people who have real struggles in their daily lives to give a shit about these dumbass inside-the-Beltway games.

    4. Iowa poll finds just 7% of the voters care about impeachment.

      If you’re going to lie, try to link a source that doesn’t immediately rebut your characterization.

      Anyone following your link – to the Washington Examiner, no less! – will see that the 7% figure cited refers only to people who said that impeachment was the most important thing Congress should be focusing on right now. To give that number context, only 10% of Democrats similarly felt that impeachment was the most important congressional priority.

      So.

      Also worthy of note here is that, while WE tried to pitch Trump as “beating” both Biden and Warren in a head-to-head match-up, it neglected to note that the 2 percentage point-squeaker is a big change from Trump’s 10 percentage point victory in 2016.

      So.

    5. I’ve been in favor of impeachment ever since we found out the illegal-employing criminal-in-chief employed illegals.

      Not that I have anything against hiring those willing to work mind you. It’s that not hiring them is supposed to be the law of the land. If we’re going to have the law, we might as well go after the real criminals, those who take American jobs to give them to illegals.

  5. …a badly photoshopped image of Harris in a White House meeting being yelled at by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    It looks like she’s signaling to the cop at the door to come arrest Pelosi.

    1. If that is her message maybe Harris ain’t all bad.

  6. Trump, who assures us that he is deeply interested in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, has also decided to host a G-7 meeting at his Trump National Doral resort in Miami.

    A coincidence that providing the visiting leaders with the best America has to offer means staying at Trump digs.

    1. When has Trump ever shown the slightest concern about corruption before needing an excuse here?

      1. Now do Democrats, hicklib.

        1. This “hicklib” thing has a sorta reverse retro cool about it. Can I get tee-shirts with that?

          1. You’d have to be able to count above 20 without removing your shoes first, peckerwood.

          2. Can you smash your own head with a hammer? Can we see that?

    2. It’s the best. Camp David is for total losers.

    3. Except there aren’t enough rooms to accommodate all the foreign leaders so taxpayers will have to paid to build better rooms.

      1. No they won’t. Where do you clowns get this stuff?

        1. It’s speculation based on the fact that Trump has done this before with his personal jet. Taxpayers had to pay to upgrade his personal jet because Trump insisted on using it and the plane wasn’t in a condition to accommodate the presidential entourage.

          1. Pod
            October.18.2019 at 10:16 am
            ‘It’s bullshit…’

            Fixed;
            You and grb have a ton of it.

            1. Trump is crook. I’m sorry that you’re too stupid to notice. He’s practically throwing it in your face. The Trump argument now isn’t so much “I’m not a crook” it’s “Yes, I’m a crook but you can’t do anything about it because presidents are above the law”.

              1. Pod
                October.18.2019 at 10:24 am
                “Trump is crook….”

                You’re a fucking lefty ignoramus with voices in your head.
                Go die someplace where we can’t smell you.

              2. ““Yes, I’m a crook but you can’t do anything about it because presidents are above the law”.

                Pod got jealous of me calling Little Jeffy Schiff, he’s decided to make up shit and put it in quotes himself. Sorry Pod, I’m keeping Schiff with Little Jeffy.

                I know, I’ll call you Adam Pod! Keep making up shit and putting it in quotes Adam Pod!

              3. “Trump is crook. I’m sorry that you’re too stupid to notice. He’s practically throwing it in your face.”

                He made millions SOLELY off of access to political power?

                Really?

          2. So you are just making shit up. Thanks for letting us know that.

    4. Let’s face if, that’s where most foreign leaders really would prefer to hang out.

    5. Trump plans on refilling the swamp with his own water. The greatest water. Nobody’s got better swamp water than him.

      1. And those suffering from TDS are LIVID!
        Right, Eric?

      2. “”Trump plans on refilling the swamp with his own water.””

        Don’t they all?

      3. I also remember a first lady so petty she felt the need to drain the swamp at the Whitehouse travel office.

  7. The New York Times is trying to break its bad habit of re-reporting other journalists’ scoops without giving them any credit.

    All the news that’s fit to steal. (Has anyone used that yet? Go ahead, it’s yours for free.)

    1. It’s like John Wayne Gacey trying to break his bad habit of leaving the toilet seat up.

      Priorities, people!

    2. “ALL THE NEWS THAT’ S FIT TO PRINT FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY” should be the NYT’s new motto.

  8. You couldn’t buy a jar of mayonnaise with that ‘money,'” George Pallas, Binker’s lawyer, told the Miami Herald.

    But could you use it to buy a jar of Just Mayo? Fake money for fake mayonnaise?

  9. California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed more local governments to adopt ranked-choice voting.

    “California voters are too stupid to understand this.”

    1. I think his fear is that they’re smart enough to understand it, and the voters will see to it that he’s gone.

      1. I’m trying to do the math on what that means when voters due to how California’s primaries work get to choose in the general election between two Democrats for an open senate seat.

  10. “Former President George W. Bush has criticized Trump for ‘isolationism'”

    Orange Hitler wishes his Presidency could be as successful as Bush’s. Let me be clear — Bush wasn’t perfect. But nothing he did can compare to the depravity of Drumpf’s draconian war on immigration.

    #LibertariansForABetterGOP
    #PutTheNeoconsBackInCharge
    #(AtLeastTheyDidntBuildConcentrationCamps)

    1. PS — The Bush economy was much stronger than the Drumpf economy.

      1. He sent us checks in the mail, dammit! Not sure how that was paid for, but Las Vegas got most of my money back then.

        1. That check didn’t buy Michelle a decent pair of earrings.

            1. Or electrolysis.

      2. i got $300 and Futurama mocked it for a whole episode so that was fun.

  11. Oooh. Noted scholar and funny bot Trevor Noah! Tres chic!

    Please tell us more!

    1. Narrator: Trevor Noah is not funny.

      1. Not even remotely.

        Dude is one lucky sumbitch to get a gig like that.

        1. Is that even a good gig anymore? I haven’t watch comedy central in years other then South Park.

      2. Stewart to Noah is a perfect example of how the left lost their mojo. Stewart was a brilliant satirist who made the right look like the fools they are. Noah is a progressive scold who makes the left look like the fools they are.

        1. Stewart was very funny right up until the Democrats took over in 2009. Before that, he was satirizing the powers that be. After that, he was just a mouthpiece for the government. Government propaganda is never funny no matter how clever the person doing it.

          But you are right about Noah. Noah is just a hack and a scold. And nothing is going to make him funny or interesting.

          1. Bring back Craig Killborn!

        2. Eric said so meeting I agree with. I guess it can happen.

  12. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch current net worth: $59.8 billion

    Yup. Still stagnating in the $58,000,000,000 to $60,000,000,000 range. Like he has been throughout this #DrumpfRecession. It’s depressing how the best we Koch / Reason libertarians can do right now is point out how bad tariffs are. But the fact is, the economy won’t improve until a Democrat is back in the White House.

    #VoteDemocratToHelpCharlesKoch

    1. Do the one where you’re worried about how feminists in humanities courses threaten your hairy testicles, Trumpian. You sure have a lot of problems.

      1. The only “feminists” I dislike are the TERFs. And they’re not feminists at all, really. Because they’re transmisogynists who spew science-denying nonsense about how transwomen like Danielle Muscato “aren’t really women.”

        Can you believe that bigotry? To deny Danielle’s womanhood just because of her thick beard?

        #TransWomenAreWomen

      2. Please don’t liquidate another 100 million people.

  13. …the cops found fake bills labeled “FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY” in his wallet.

    And how does Hollyweird get away with all that violence?

    1. Guns labeled FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY.

    2. How do police and prosecutors get away with charging people for something like that?

      Is there any chance they could actually be passed as legitimate bills?

      1. I’m not a lawyer, but the references I’ve found on the Internet make it clear that according to Federal laws one has to attempt to use the fake currency, and that intent to defraud has to be proven. But then it says the states have their own laws about counterfeiting that go further.

  14. Mulvaney didnt confirm shit. Learn what words fucking mean. He stated they were reviewing corruption and seeing if the EU would chip in. He was explicit that those reviews disnt involve the Biden issue. How fucking fake does Reason want to be here? Atop pushing the mainstream narratives. Be a real journalist and watch the full video. The only group to use the word pid pro quo was the reporters.

    1. “referencing an unproven theory that the American cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike spirited a server belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to Ukraine to hide Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.”

      This wouldnt be an issue if the DNC handed the server over to the FBI. CrowdStrike is a partisan outfit who has been proven wrong in analysis multiple times. They report for what the customer wants them to report.

      1. “This admission confirmed for many that Trump had engaged in an improper quid pro quo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, offering aid in return for dirt on Trump’s political opponents.”

        Investigation into the 2016 elections isnt improper. What the fuck is this gaslighting? Wr just spent 40 million, 3 years and engaged with 13 countries on an investigation into the 2016 election. Barr had already stated late last year he was investigating the origins of the Mueller investigation. The DNC server is front and center as one of the items that led to the investigation.

        Why is Reason gaslighting so much on this?

        1. Why is Reason gaslighting so much on this?

          Because they hate you and want you to have an aneurysm and die?

          1. I’d like my Reason donation to be earmarked for this very purpose.

            1. You mean like the one you were supposed to send when you lost the bet, but have been lying about for years, Screech? You sad fucking pedo.

              1. You should take your show off the webs and into the streets kiddo. There’s a whole world out there for you to repulse. Think of all of the family gatherings you haven’t ruined, all of the Chad’s you could be envying, all of the women who could barely disguise their revulsion at your disturbing visage. And you keep it all locked-up for yourself in your mom’s basement. Go-live my grotesque little creature. The world is yours!

        2. It’s not improper if conducted in a non-partisan manner. The correct way for Trump to handle it would be to appoint an independent investigator, then recuse himself from any direct involvement in the investigation.

          1. Mike…do you really think that is even possible today? = It’s not improper if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

            Be honest.

            1. Yes, I think it’s possible. It wouldn’t be business as usual, that’s for sure, but it would be possible.

            1. Nope. I just make fun of the wannabe whore and out Jeff’s sockpuppets.

          2. You mean like the Ukraine.

            1. The Ukrainian government isn’t all that independent when they are receiving $400 million in US aid.

        3. Also, that “investigation” into the 2016 election mysteriously focused entirely on the Trump campaign, even though all of the evidence collected points to the Clinton campaign working with foreign entities and pushing foreign intelligence agency sourced dirt on their opponents. Not to mention the evidence that they corrupted the DNC and rigged the DNC primary.

          How do you investigate “Russian influence” on the 2016 election and completely miss the Steele dossier and it’s Russian government sourcing?

          1. I’ve said many times that I don’t understand why the Democrats haven’t dropped all matters related to the last election, since so many of the facts are embarrassing to the DNC.

    2. They really seem to believe that if you tell a lie often enough it will somehow become the truth.

      1. This whole roundup intro is a gaslight. It is just sad.

        1. Generously remunerated gaslight, that is.

          1. You guys actually read the roundup?

        2. This whole roundup intro is a gaslight. It is just sad.

          Says the guy who lives, thinks, and breathes inside a right-wing bubble.

          1. Don’t you have some radical left colleges to white-knight for?

          2. Says the guy who has no principles at all and will defend to his death anything any progressive does.

      2. The don’t just believe it, it is true….

        Don’t believe me?

        Just go ask anyone about that guy in Miami who ate that dude’s face off. You know…. the one who was on “bath salts”. Remember “bath salts”? You know… right before the opiod crisis.

        Yeah, you aren’t going to find anyone who knows that he was stone sober. But you’ll find plenty who remember the bath salts guy.

        So just ask any progressive about Kavanaugh. Guaranteed that most of them recall that he is a serial rapist. There was a credible witness and everything. None of them are going to remember that he didn’t even stand accused of anything that rises to the level of an actual rape… or even a serious sexual assault. It has been repeated enough in their circles. It is a fact.

    3. None of the news reports I have seen claim that Mulvaney confirmed holding up funds to get the Ukraine to investigate Biden. They only say he confirmed, then reversed himself later, that funds were held up to get the Ukraine to investigate the whereabouts of the DNC server.

    4. Britschgi’s roundup post doesn’t even mention “Biden”.

    5. He gave a 10 minute answer where he listed 6 different detailed reasons. And they use the last sentence.

      It’s “fine people on both sides” all over again

      1. What were the five other reasons? Or asking another way, can you link to your source? (Not looking for a “gotcha” to win an argument here. I’d just like to see it.)

  15. “until that country agreed to investigate the possibility that Democrats colluded with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election.”

    Republicans were also in on the collusion. Therefore, “…possibility that Americans colluded with Ukraine….” would not only be more accurate, it would also better reflect what Trump/Barr are pursuing. Unfortunately, Reason is unable to say anything about Trump that doesn’t imply Nazi tactics.

    1. It has been mission 1 for the democrats to discredit this Barr investigation since the moment that the Meuller report came out.

      They are not alone. All of the big-dogs from the FBI and CIA in 2016 are pushing hard every chance they get to discredit it.

      Makes me suspect that there is something they don’t want found.

      1. Well, let’s review.

        Trump fired Comey, when Comey refused to let Flynn off the hook or sufficiently disclaim any Russian interference in the 2016 election. This triggered the appointment of Mueller, with the task of investigating the latter question. When it became clear that Sessions lied to Congress about his own Russian contacts during the campaign, he recused himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation and generally protected it from Trump’s interference. Mueller’s investigation proceeded deliberately, resulting in several criminal charges for Russian malefactors and some people within Trump’s orbit, culminating ultimately in the production of his report.

        Barr, by then the Attorney General, took that report and purported to “summarize” it, resulting in a quickly-issued summary that clearly misconstrued several of Mueller’s actual findings. This served to shape the initial public discussion and likely contributed to the fact that a push for impeachment – despite several instances documented of the president’s obstruction of justice – never fully coalesced around it. The Mueller Report was eventually released, with some redactions. It didn’t clearly implicate the president in a criminal conspiracy with Russia to hack the DNC servers or elicit foreign interference in the American election, but it evidently cast enough of a cloud over Trump’s victory that Barr’s efforts to undermine it continued.

        Thus, Barr appointed Durham to investigate the origins of the investigation into Trump’s campaign. It is not yet clear to what extent this is a serious inquiry or just an attempt to keep Trump quiet about it, and initial thinking was that Durham would be a straight actor and not drudge up imaginary conspiracies where there weren’t any. However, Barr has done nothing to insulate Durham from political interference, and indeed Barr seems to have played an active role in moving that investigation along, including by engaging a kind of bizarre shuttle diplomacy, as he tries to persuade the Australian and Italian governments to cough up something incriminating.

        Given the conduct of Barr’s DOJ as essentially the president’s defense lawyer, it’s hard to disagree with Democratic skepticism that Durham’s fishing expedition is going to produce anything worthwhile, especially in light of the independence with which the Mueller investigation went about.

        1. Your exhibit A for repeated lies becoming truth.

        2. Comey arrogated the decision to not prosecute Hillary to himself without any authority to do so. He lied under oath and he lied in his warrants to the FISA court. The agents who interviewed Flynn under false pretenses (he was never informed in advance that this was an official interview) both wrote that he did not commit the crime he was charged with.

          Sessions did not lie to Congress, the question was not whether he had had ANY contacts with Russians, but contacts related to the campaign. He answered that truthfully, but as you twist and despise the truth I can understand why you find that unacceptable.

          Mueller’s investigation indicted several Russian entities, at least one of which did not even EXIST at the purported time of alleged intervention. And when the lawyers representing that entity asked for a speedy trial Mueller’s team actually delayed prosecution because it would have been even more embarrassing.

          Barr’s summary was absolutely correct and no one has refuted it. Regardless he released virtually the entire report after redacting grand jury testimony *as required by law* even though Mueller refused to do so when he was properly instructed. There was no obstruction of justice per the findings of DOJ and other government legal entities. Mueller (really Weissman because Mueller when he testified clearly demonstrated that he was a figurehead and knew nothing of what was in the report or part of the investigation) could have claimed it was present. There was no evidence that Trump or any American in any way conspired or coordinated with Russia to hack the DNC servers. The truth matters here because your kind will continue to rewrite history and insert your lies in true Orwellian fashion.

          Given the multiple irregularities in the Russia investigation from the Steele dossier, to what look increasingly like illegal FISA warrants, to probably illegal unmasking activities and violations of law at the CIA and NSA, to coordination of the DNC with both Ukranian and Russian nationals to influence the 2016 election, Durham’s charter is clear and broad. There is a tremendous amount of corruption and illegal dealing to be brought into the light of day.

          Given the documented and unparalleled illegality of the Hillary campaign, the Obama administration, and multiple US three letter agencies, it’s easy to see why power-hungry progressives like yourself are nervous when exposed to the sunshine. Cockroaches hate the light after all.

  16. “Fighting has continued in northern Syria between the Turkish military, its allied militias, and the Syrian Democratic Forces, despite Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement that a ceasefire agreement had been reached.”

    It’s almost as if 3rd world savages are only going to do what they know how to do and we should neither get involved nor invite them here. This whole Reason “save the them from themselves” narrative is very neo-con and I don’t understand how libertarians can justify any involvement

    1. These people ignoring a ceasefire agreement makes you really want the US to get back involved doesn’t it?

    2. It’s a bit off the way Britschgi phrased this in hr roundup. The news reports are that the Turkish forces are ignoring the ceasefire, not both sides.

      It’s also reported that the Turks say no ceasefire was negotiated, only a “pause”, whatever that means.

      The narrative lately, which is more of an Elizabeth Nolan Brown narrative than a Reason-wide narrative, is that withdrawal from Syria is the right thing to do but more thought should have gone into not leaving the Kurds exposed to immediate invasion from Turkey.

      1. That’s just rich = …withdrawal from Syria is the right thing to do but more thought should have gone into not leaving the Kurds exposed to immediate invasion from Turkey

        And what, pray tell, would more ‘thinking’ actually change on the ground. The Turks were explicit: We’re coming.

        Exactly how do you ‘think more’ and get a better result? This, I have to hear.

        1. I’m not sure it is a valid characterization that they were coming no matter what. They held off on invasion for years while our troops were in the way.

          I’m not a diplomat or military strategist, but things that could be done differently:
          – Gradual withdrawal on a time table, giving Kurds time to get out.
          – Making sure the President, and all military and diplomatic staff are on the same page and consistently giving the same messages.
          – Negotiating with Turkey within the NATO framework.
          – Not conducting foreign policy communications via Twitter.

            1. And that was a problem, resulting in Turkish forces threatening US troops.

          1. I don’t think any of our troops moved between Trump’s tweet and Turkey’s move.

            1. And that was a problem, resulting in Turkish forces threatening US troop positions.

          2. – Gradual withdrawal on a time table, giving Kurds time to get out.
            *how many years do you need beyond what’s already occurred?
            – Making sure the President, and all military and diplomatic staff are on the same page and consistently giving the same messages.
            *So send an email…. annnnnd done
            – Negotiating with Turkey within the NATO framework.
            *Fuck NATO, Turkey shouldn’t even be in it because it shouldn’t exist
            – Not conducting foreign policy communications via Twitter.
            *doesnt actually happen except in your mind

        2. The Larson sock puppet keeps making that talking point. And he can never explain what more thinking means other than never leaving.

          1. Wow, I didn’t realize you had also joined fake Tulsa’s mean girls squad.

            1. Ahahah OMFG you’re crying at John loloollo

            2. Yeah, it is disappointing to see John, whom I thought better of, resorting to mean girls behavior when he’s capable of real, insightful debate.

        3. exactly. lets think harder only means lets spend more time and money

          1. So, are you OK with a President who uses Twitter to communicate with foreign nations about major military and displomatic matters?

            1. Are you OK with endless commitments of US troops to be the world’s police force? Let me guess, if the withdrawal had been “better planned” somehow Turkey would have behaved differently. Of course you can never articulate exactly what that “better planning” is, nor can you do more than engage in counterfactuals.

    3. Yes, that racism surely helped motivate Trump’s racism.

      Anyway, the point of the American presence in Syria was to keep the Kurds in charge of suppressing ISIS. That’s why we were there – legitimate concern that a resurgent ISIS would target American interests or destabilize the region in a way contrary to American interests.

      It’s really not hard to understand this. This is like only two or three moves ahead, hardly n-dimensional chess.

      1. “legitimate concern that a resurgent ISIS”

        Oh fuck off.

      2. SimonP…Your premise is wrong. The American presence was not to suppress Daesh. Our presence was to exterminate them. We largely succeeded. So it was time to leave, because the job was done.

        1. I’m not sure you can “largely succeed” at extermination. Extermination is a total thing. That’s like being a little bit pregnant.

          1. Or like being a progressive libertarian.

            1. I’d like to progress toward the deficits we had at the end of progressive administrations like Clinton’s and Obama’s.

      3. The Kurds cleared out the last pockets of ISIS from the MERV and began redeploying troops back north in March. There wasn’t anything more to suppress.

      4. Simon, so we should NEVER leave Syria?

        That risk would exist whenever we left.

  17. George Mason University’s Mercatus Center has a new measurement of almost every state’s regulatory burden.

    It would be nice if they actually provided a ranking. I clicked through and couldn’t find one readily. Or do I have to pay to get it?

  18. It’s pretty clear that people need to start watching the news with their secret Trump decoder rings handy.

    1. That’s how we get dog whistles and the liberal media dumbfuck, see Schiffs “parody.”

      1. Sure, whatever you say.

      2. Are you capable of having a political discussion without resorting to personal insult right away?

      3. Given the number of Trump statements we’re supposed to laugh off as obviously non-serious, I can’t understand the Republican outrage over Schiff’s “parody.” Take him seriously, not literally, you guys – sheesh!

        1. I imagine it’s because of hwo much you bitch about what Trump says, and then Schiff, who is not Trump and is supposed to be serious, does worse.

          So, you know exactly why. It’s just that you hate it being true.

        2. Well I guess if Schiff wants to be known as a parody guy, fine.
          What’s his next parody going to be?

        3. Precisely how many times does Schiff have to be caught lying and intimidating witnesses before you will criticize him?

          Oh right, ends always justify the means.

        4. Schiff did it in an on-the-record Congressional hearing.

          When has Trump done that, out of curiosity?

          Let’s also ignore the attempts to interview the gossiper secretly and you have a tepid pool of shit going on.

    2. My decoder ring when watching the news says “FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY”

  19. Thanks for the insight, well written article!!!! .. Raha escorts

  20. “Former President George W. Bush has criticized Trump for “isolationism””

    If only…..

    1. Do we hate interventionism or Trump more?

      1. There is no quicker, or more sure way, for a despised Republican politician to gain “newfound respect” from the Media (including Reason) than to shout “Orange Man Bad!!!” at the top of his or her lungs.

        Next week on Reason: “How Donald Trump’s Incompetence Destroyed George Bush’s Hard-Won Stability in the Middle East”.

        1. “John McCain wasn’t actually a war criminal”
          “Obama’s drones of love are deeply missed”

  21. Can someone explain how the administration investigating what happened with the DNC server is unfairly digging up dirt on political opponents but this not quite impeachment inquiry which gives Democrat members of Congress subpoena powers but not Republicans a fair and above board investigation?

    1. You can’t beyond “Orange Man Bad”. They are not even trying anymore. And beyond your points, there is also the small fact that the Democrats in Congress went to the Ukrainian government trying to get dirt on Trump and Hillary paid Fusion GPS who paid the Russians for fake information on Trump. But somehow Trump reaching out to the EU and Ukraine to help an existing investigation is colluding with a foreign power, whatever that means.

      The whole thing is insane.

      1. The whole impeachment process is an attempt to dig up dirt on trump to use in 2020. They even admit it, see Rep Al Green. The NY investigation into stormy Daniel’s is another attempt. Subpoenas for his taxes is another.

        But people here are too fucking stupid to see it. See pod, jeff, sparky, etc.

        1. The whole impeachment process is an attempt to dig up dirt on trump to use in 2020…
          But people here are too fucking stupid to see it.

          Some people really just don’t give a fuck. True story.

          1. Politics is a shit show run by shitty people. Who knew?

          2. I respect our elections while hating most every politician. But I suppose there isn’t much harm in seeing a coup and ignoring it if you don’t respect elections

        2. But people here are too fucking stupid to see it. See pod, jeff, sparky, etc.

          I think that people that are hardcore left are too stupid to see it.

          I think that regular people that are tuned out of it simply don’t care, and a lot of them are kind of sick of hearing about it all the time. That’s the democrat’s issue, they’ve cried wolf and come up empty so many times that the general population is tuned out. Going full impeachment might just piss the GP off because then they’d have to hear about it even more than they already are.

        3. They have been trying to dig up dirt on him for three years. And the best they have come up with is this bullshit and the infamous pussy grabbing tape. I think it is safe to say they are pissing up a rope and there is no dirt to be found.

        4. And whataboutism…

          The true problem is we don’t care who will do the least bad job running the country.

    2. Because it’s Donald Trump. It’s a “special” case. Everything Trump does — even if the conduct in question falls squarely within the legally recognized scope of power afforded to the President — is wrong, bad, corrupt, and evil. Everything done to undermine Trump — even if it plainly violates operative rules, laws, and regulations — is honorable, necessary, and just.

      In their furious bid to oust Trump from office by any and all means, Democrats have demonstrated, above all else, their complete lack of standards, principles, and ethics. Beyond their natural base — an agglomeration of deranged socialists, leftist authoritarians, and obstinate “resistors” — the Democrats have nothing to offer the broader electorate apart from a front row seat to theatrical displays of their own corruption. My sense is that people that do not already hate Trump will have a very hard time accepting the notion that the Democrats are selling anything of value.

      And, the truth is, they’re not.

    3. It’s all clearly political fighting between the two major parties, but a couple of points:

      – A more proper way for the Trump administration to investigate the DNC server would have been to appoint an independent investigator, and for Trump to not be personally involved.

      – When news stories say something like “Democrats subpoenaed so-and-so” it’s actually shorthand for saying that a committee in which the majority of members are Democrats subpoenaed so-and-so. It’s a subtle difference, but the Democratic Party isn’t literally issuing subpoenas.

      1. From what I understand, the way this inquiry is set up, the chairman (who are Democrats) of the committees can order subpeonas, but the ranking GOP member cannot. If the Congress had voted for an impeachment inquiry, the ranking members would get subpoena power as well.

        1. To be clear, I agree that Congress should either vote for an impeachment inquiry or not. I’m not defending how the Democrats have been conducting their inquiry.

          1. To be clear, youre obvi3ghe one running the chemjeff sockpuppet.

      2. The POTUS is in a position to get foreign leaders on the phone to aid in an investigation.
        A special investigator is not

        Pretending you are serious and actually want an actual investigation

        1. That is true, but are you concerned about conflict of interest?

          1. Are you concerned about the conflict of interest with Hunter Biden? Were you concerned about the DNC soliciting the help of the Ukranian government in the 2016 election?

            The fact that you don’t reference those tells me that you’re not actually concerned about corruption and election interference and more interested in talking points to advance an agenda.

          2. There is none. Joe isn’t a political rival. He seems exceedingly unlikely to be the nominee.

      3. – A more proper way for the Trump administration to investigate the DNC server would have been to appoint an independent investigator, and for Trump to not be personally involved.

        Why? When the DNC and the previous admin decided to investigate Trump, the investigators were so partisan that they were setting up literal information sabotages in case Trump won. They are still trying to impeach him to this day.

        How dare you demand that Trump do what the left refuses to do.

        1. I thought the previous administration was improper, too.

          The American people should be holding both major parties to a higher standard of conduct. They’re not, because they have become jaded, but they should.

          1. But the past is the past now and the morals should only apply to Trump, right?

  22. http://www.politico.eu/article/angry-dutch-farmers-swarm-the-hague-to-protest-green-rules/

    The Dutch farmers revolt is a great story. It is a case of people actually standing up for their freedom and right to make an honest living. It deserves more attention than it is getting.

    1. This is the Kulaks all over again but different….and a slice of cantaloupe.

      And for DEMOCRACY and EARF.

      1. The Netherlands is a very small country that is mostly urban and look at the kind of mess the farmers protesting can create. Can you imagine what it would look like in the US or Canada if farmers ever got this pissed off? They could shut down the entire country and then some. Leftists are such morons. They have no idea the kinds of powers they are screwing with.

        1. In theory, yes, farmers could shut down the country. In reality, the farmers are just so far away from anyone in power, the urban centers. I think the Netherlands being small and mostly urban helps the farmers’ case here.

          Here in the states, I can’t imagine what tiny number of farmers are within tractor-driving range of one of the major seats of power, DC or NYC or LAX. No farmer here in the surrounds of Pensacola is going to block traffic in Pensacola; the city people here dislike the federal government to start with, and the farmers are smart enough [I think] not to antagonize their supporters. And if the farmers try to block traffic on the interstates, the police/national guard would clear them out quickly, probably leading to small-scale armed conflicts.

          It just seems that the urban/rural divide is too marked here in the US. The actual distances, and the work involved in farming, result in the crap flowing entirely one-way; from Washington out to the rural areas. Where, as much as possible, whatever crap Washington says is ignored.

    2. the tractor show of force was spectacular.

  23. Most of the things we do, we do for numerous reasons, and there may be more than one reason why the Trump administration delayed aid to the Ukrainians.

    The Trump administration has claimed that the reason the money to Ukraine was delayed was for the same reason the Trump administration has dragged its feet on everything else Europe related–Trump thinks EU members aren’t paying their fair share for their own defense–specifically in regards to NATO countries that don’t meet their NATO spending commitments on defense.

    https://time.com/4680885/nato-defense-spending-budget-trump/

    —-Time, February 2017

    For some reason, I remembered that Estonia, Poland, and the UK were meeting those NATO spending commitments, and I remembered that France and Germany were not. The reason I remembered this was because Trump has been making a big deal about this for a long time–but it may be for other reasons, too.

    Regardless, if Trump didn’t raise a stink about how much we were sending the Ukrainians–while France and Germany were paying nothing and freeloading off U.S. defense spending–I might think that were odd. After all, he’s been complaining about Germany refusal to pay up for their own defense within NATO, and he’s repeatedly complained about them from a trade barrier standpoint against the United States, too.

    In fact, even if Trump had never brought up the question of the EU’s financial commitments to Ukraine, I’ll bring up the question myself: Why is it always assumed that the U.S. taxpayer should disproportionately shoulder the financial burden for the EU? I know Merkel has been playing nice with Putin over building a gas pipeline to Germany with Nord Stream AG, controlled by Russia’s state owned gas company, Gazprom.

    How much in the way of financial resources has Germany committed to the defense of Ukraine, and if their commitment isn’t as strong as ours, isn’t it reasonable to ask why?

    1. It is totally reasonable to ask that question. The fact that the foreign policy establishment thinks even asking the question to be beyond the pale shows how far removed from reality they actually are. Trump seems to be the only one up there who has any ability to see the world as it actually is rather than how we want it to be.

    2. As a fairly average guy, I think its reasonable to ask that. I see total military budget figures in various articles and wonder why we’re spending so much on it while our allies are spending so little. Then I start to think we’re subsidizing other nation’s defense.

      I suspect we may be doing something similar with our healthcare spending. Is our enormous spending helping other nations spend less on healthcare?

      1. Germany has an economy exponentially larger than Russia and a nearly equal population. They are more advanced and wealthier than Russia by any objective measure. It is absurd to claim they are unable to defend themselves against Russia. They just don’t want to and expect us to do it for them.

        1. Well they aren’t about to stop us from picking up their bar tab!

          If they were willing to pay for our defense, I’d say we should let them, too.

          It probably doesn’t need to be said that Germany isn’t the aggressive society it was once thought to be. If there’s a culture in Europe less likely than Germany’s to support aggressive action against their neighbors, I can hardly imagine who that would be.

          We were there to contain that at first.

          We stayed to protect them from the Soviets.

          When that was no longer a problem, we stayed because of the infrastructure we had there and the ability it gave us to support missions in North Africa and the Middle East.

          We’re still there as a deterrent to Russian incursions into eastern Europe, but if the Germans aren’t worried about that anymore, then why should we be? And if they still are worried about it, let them fund their own military to whatever extent they think it necessary.

          NATO is primarily a deterrent force, and we can offer that deterrent from Poland just as well.

          P.S. Incidentally, this is the way it always goes down historically. During the Delian League, the closer you got to Athens, the more members complained about paying for the costs of their own defense to Athens and Athens flexing its naval might. On the other side of the equation, the cities that were closest to the Persians, and thus had the most to fear from Persian invasions, were begging for Athens to bring their military presence.

          The fact that Estonia and Poland have the most to fear from the Russians isn’t unrelated to their being two of the only countries in Europe that are meeting their spending commitments to NATO. If I had to guess why Trump hasn’t taken advantage of Poland’s offer yet, I’d suspect it has to do with uncertainty about Poland’s government. If Poland decides they don’t want us there five years from now, and we’ve bugged out of Germany, where do we go?

          1. Good post.

            If Poland decides they don’t want us there five years from now, and we’ve bugged out of Germany, where do we go?

            Good question. I think the answer is, we go home. Let them pay for their own shit.

            1. Yeah, I think it’s unlikely they’d want us to leave, but if they do, it’ll be because there isn’t enough of a threat to them anymore. It’ll probably be because we don’t need to be there anymore.

            2. Poland is mostly a big flat plain – a playground for armored columns.

              If/when they decide they no longer want protection from the Russians it will be because they are a greater threat to Russia than Russia is to them.

              So, yeah, at that point we go home.

  24. Screw that ‘awaiting moderation’; Godot shows up sooner

    “Boris Johnson gets EU Brexit deal; next hurdle is Parliament”
    https://hosted.ap.org/citizensvoice/article/e28aa5a31bc74a84844e7277821cf9b8/high-anxiety-brussels-will-brexit-deal-be-clinched

    So now the question is whether Parliament will give the voters what they voted for.

  25. It’s unfortunate that people don’t realize that the real 12th dimension chess master in Washington DC is Washington DC. Partisan hysterics are purposely being driven up so that more and more power can be gobbled up in the capitol. Members of Retard Party have to vote for their candidates otherwise a Fuckwad Party candidate will win. Members of Fuckwad Party have to vote for their candidates otherwise a Retard Party candidate will win.

    Every time some Ken Schulz comes along and says “I wouldn’t normally vote for Shitstain Candidate, but if I don’t then Assmaster Candidate will win,” all of Washington DC wins. Then the idiot voters can rationalize their newfound partisan hackery by continuously shouting about how this might be bad but the other guy would have been worse. And if you disagree with them then you’re a evil brainwashed idiot troll member of the other party.

    And through it all, the Capitol Building laughs and laughs.

    1. You’re a fucking idiot.

      1. I got you to post a single sentence. Who’s really the crazy one here?

        1. Still you, thinking that being lazy is the same as being principled.

          Cry more now.

    2. That’s true, we are laughing all the way to the bank like some sort of monolithic borg of bureaucrats with a particular goal in mind.

    3. Sparky is exactly right. The Team Red and Team Blue politicians in DC don’t *really* hate each other, the way that they want US to hate those of the opposite tribe. They are laughing all the way to the bank when they can whip up their supporters into a frenzy of hate against The Other. Because it means more power and influence for them.

      1. You’re going to love your government mandated doctor. Good news! He’s from Guatemala, your favorite place. Educated there too. Have fun!

      1. Ha.
        I especially liked their stand on ostriches.

        1. I esepcially like that I ruined your sockpuppet again Mike.

      2. I’m not much of a joiner.

        1. Based on what you’ve actually told us, you’re not much of anything, and your inability to change that is frustrating the shit out of you.

          1. C-, you can be more creative.

  26. An unwavering commitment to the NordStream 2 gas pipeline from Russia has angered the United States, Ukraine and eastern European partners. A freeze on arms exports to Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi led Paris to accuse Berlin of jeopardizing joint tank, combat jet and drone development.

    Germany’s long insistence on austerity and refusal to rein in its large current account surplus, which reflects its export prowess, have perpetuated a view among euro zone peers that they must play to Berlin’s tune.

    Berlin has also exasperated close allies by pouring cold water on deeper euro zone reform ideas from France, and especially by rowing back on NATO defense spending goals.

    Not to mention Merkel’s unilateral disavowal of EU rules in 2015 which let migrants enter Germany, a move which most commentators say contributed to the rise of the far right.

    Constanze Stelzenmueller, senior Robert Bosch Fellow at the Brookings Institution, said it is an “ultimately misguided and only semi-functional attempt” to articulate a foreign policy opposed to U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” stance.

    “No other country has been so deeply in denial about the tension between its high-minded normative convictions and its own selective compliance with them,” she said, adding that other European countries are looking to Germany for leadership.

    —-Reuters, April 4, 2019

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-politics-multilateralism-anal/double-standards-german-multilateralist-mantra-under-scrutiny-idUSKCN1RG1RH

    There is no wealthier country that benefits more from the United States’ generosity and its commitment to keeping eastern Europe as free from Russian domination as is necessary–which is presumably why we’re committing financial resources to Ukraine.

    If Germany isn’t participating with sufficient generosity of their own, we should ask why. It’s bad enough that we’re paying for Germany’s defense, even worse if we’re paying to defend them from Russia by committing financial resources to Ukraine–and they don’t care enough about the Ukraine or fear Russia enough to write a check.

    1. Maybe we’d be able to afford Medicare for All if we didn’t piss the money away on the DoD. Is that what you’re trying to say? I couldn’t agree more, friend.

      1. We can’t have peace with an isolationist foreign policy. Just look at the Kurds.

        1. Turkey will invade us if we scale back spending money to defend other countries?

          1. No. If you scale down the military there will be blood on your hands.

            1. Every aggressive action taken by other nations is America’s fault?

              1. That’s the price of winning WW2.

                1. Still stuck in the world that was 80 years ago, huh? I can tell.

                  1. Um, all your posts are within few minutes of his. Either you’re “incomprehensible bitching” or you’re sitting here f5ing for and hour and a half.

                    Leave more time between the posts if you’re replying to yourself. It gives the game away if you don’t.

                    1. Why should I care? I’m bored at work and I’m carrying on multiple threads.

                    2. Also, the readers here seem to have an obsession with “socks.” The amount of time you all accuse each other of being a socks is weird. Who even gives a shit? Just respond to what people write. Does it really matter what other nutcase is sitting on the other end? It’s the internet.

                    3. Just offering some friendly advice.

                      I see it struck a nerve.

                    4. Na, I don’t mind. Bit I am responding in 2 minutes to you. Does that mean you’re my sock now? 🙂

                    5. See what happens when I try to help?

                      I’m sorry I upset you so much.

                    6. Haha, no worries, you’re fine man.

      2. It’s true that if we stopped spending money on Germany’s defense, we wouldn’t be borrowing as much or taking as much money out of our future paychecks.

        Being in favor of cutting unnecessary spending, however, doesn’t require me or anyone else to support squandering more money a retarded socialist nightmare like Medicare for All.

      3. Please don’t send everyone to the Gulag to be worked to death.

      4. Maybe we can cut a few hundred billion in annual defense expenses and by doing so we could afford a 3.4 trillion dollar per year medicare program. Checks out.

        1. Common core math strikes again.

    2. “If Germany isn’t participating with sufficient generosity of their own, we should ask why.”

      You answer your own question:

      “they don’t care enough about the Ukraine or fear Russia enough to write a check.”

      It would be silly to expect Germans to shell out money on matters that aren’t important to them.

      1. Those matters aren’t important to Germans for the very simple reason that the US is basically currently guaranteeing Germany’s security. That’s why Germany can afford to get cheap gas from Russia and deal with China the way they are doing.

        The US should just leave NATO and let Europe fend for itself.

        1. “The US should just leave NATO and let Europe fend for itself.”

          Trump doesn’t have the guts to do something controversial like this. He can’t even leave Syria. Germans will continue to act in their best interests despite Ken’s handwringing.

          1. Trump doesn’t have the guts to do something controversial like this.

            Leaving NATO is something Congress has to decide. Of course, the spineless, greedy, war-mongering Democrats and RINOs aren’t going to do it.

            Right now, Trump also has more important things to do, like appoint more conservative judges, deal with illegal immigration, and figure out how to deal with the coming recession.

            Germans will continue to act in their best interests despite Ken’s handwringing.

            Of course they will, because, unlike the progressive fools in Congress, German parliament puts the interests of Germany first.

            1. “Right now, Trump also has more important things to do, like appoint more conservative judges, deal with illegal immigration, and figure out how to deal with the coming recession.”

              Don’t forget the rallies where he can bask in the adulation of rubes. Far more important than finishing off ISIS with extreme prejudice.

  27. — Mulvaney: “Let me be clear… I am lying to you now, just like the president lies to you all, you Trumpista bumpkin white supremacists, because yes, you’re that ridiculous and pathetic, you can be lied to so easily.”—

    But he wasn’t being clear, was he?

    1. As a libertarian, I cannot wait until Mexicans like you replace the Drumpf-voting white people who have ruined this country.

      #OpenBorders
      #MexicansAreNaturalLibertarians

    2. All those beans finally choked off the blood supply to your brain.

  28. I am shocked, shocked I tell you, at a politician using his political office for political gains.

    1. And by “political gains” you mean “trying to hurt the other party by attempting to uncover their association with foreign election interference, their mishandling of classified data, and their corruption”?

      Yeah, it’s shocking that any member of the RepubliCratic party would rock the boat like that. Good for Trump.

  29. “Mick Mulvaney Confirms, Then Denies….”

    Welp, that’s it; Trump’s a goner. He’ll resign before Christmas.

    1. There’s so much story here I can barely handle it

  30. In contrast to Germany’s freeloading, here’s what Poland is doing:

    “The Polish government is willing to pay up to $2 billion to establish a permanent U.S. military presence in their country, an offer that has piqued President Donald Trump’s interest . . . .

    There are currently more than 30,000 U.S. troops stationed in Germany.

    The comments push back against a Washington Post article from June, in which it was reported that Pentagon officials were conducting an impact analysis on “a large-scale withdrawal or transfer of American troops stationed in Germany.”

    That report came amid escalating tensions between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The Trump administration has been pushing its NATO allies to all spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense by 2024.

    German budget projections by 2024, however, estimate that the country will miss the mark, spending only 1.5 percent of its GDP on its military. That would be a large increase, but still short of what Trump expected . . . .

    “The majority of allies have put forward plans to reach 2 percent by 2024. I hope, of course, that as we get new and revised plans that we will be able to increase that number,” he added.

    Poland is one country that has already met spending priorities, possibly helping their argument for why they deserve a U.S. base.

    . . . .

    The proposal also stated that Poland was prepared to help with building schools and facilities for American military spouses and children who would be brought to the new base.

    —-Military Times, February 2019

    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/02/12/a-new-base-in-poland-wouldnt-take-us-troops-from-germany-us-ambassador-says/

    If Trump moves our forces to Poland, I’ll completely support that decision. We’ll continue to defend our NATO allies, but Germany can take on the expense of defending itself.

    Meanwhile, if and when Trump withdraws from Germany and heads to Poland instead, as sure as the sun rises tomorrow, the Democrats will accuse him of some kind of corruption.

    Regardless, to believe that how much and how quickly we send money to the Ukraine is only about the Trump administration going after Hunter Biden’s perfect, holy, innocent, unblemished ass, it’s necessary to ignore everything else that might have impacted those decisions–or just be completely ignorant about those other factors.

    I maintain that the inertia behind impeachment continues to dwindle by the day. I maintain that the primary explanation for why Pelosi hasn’t called an impeachment vote yet is because she doesn’t have the votes, and I maintain that the reason she doesn’t have the votes yet based on the evidence we have now is because the evidence we have now isn’t yet enough to get the votes she needs for impeachment.

    1. I think it is a pretty safe assertion that the Democrats in Congress have a good understanding of what their constituents think and will tolerate. If it was the case that impeachment were popular among the broad electorate, the Democrats would know this and been chomping at the bit to cast a pubic vote in favor of it. The fact that they won’t even hold a vote is definitive evidence that Impeachment is a political loser no matter how many fake polls say otherwise.

      1. There are plenty of Democrats who support an impeachment inquiry, but who won’t vote to impeach the President. Plenty of them are in swing districts that went for Trump in 2016. Those Democrats are afraid of voting to impeach Trump and angering Trump supporters to the extent that they’ll flood the polls and throw their Representative out on their ass come 2020. On the other hand, those Representatives are also afraid of enraging Democrats in their district by voting against impeaching Trump. While enraged Democrat voters won’t go to the polls and vote for a Republican because the Democrat voted against impeaching Trump, those Democrat voters will stay home–rather than vote–and that’s just as damaging to a Representative’s reelection chances.

        They don’t want a vote either way, and that’s why Nancy Pelosi hasn’t called a vote. If she does, it will hurt the chances of the Democrats keeping control of the House–either way the wing district Democrats vote.

        The people who want a vote are the deep blue districts. It can fire up their campaigns, but some of them also want that impeachment vote because it will hurt Nancy’s Pelosi’s chances of keeping her ass in the Speaker’s chair. Nancy Pelosi is now to the right of her caucus. She knows it, and she fears it.

    2. ” I maintain that the primary explanation for why Pelosi hasn’t called an impeachment vote yet is because she doesn’t have the votes”

      She doesn’t need votes, she has the Swamp, which is even better. Every day another hand-picked Trump minion undermines his boss just like Mulvaney does here. Why spoil the fun by voting?

      1. No matter what spin you want to put on Mulvaney’s statement, in what way is that an impeachable offense?

        Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate corruption and election interference in 2016. Seems reasonable to me. If that finds corruption by Democrats (or Republicans for that matter) and as a result hurts Democrats (or Republicans) politically, that’s good as far as I’m concerned.

        1. “in what way is that an impeachable offense?”

          A lawyer may be better suited to answer the question. There should be some in the Swamp which Trump chose not to drain while he had the chance.

          “Seems reasonable to me. ”

          The Ukrainians don’t work for Trump. The FBI and a whole slew of other agencies are answerable to people hand-picked by Trump to head them up. If Trump picks unreliable, disloyal people for vital positions, he has only himself to blame when things go wrong.

          1. A lawyer may be better suited to answer the question.

            Well, the lawyers I have heard comment on it have not been able to make an argument that it is an impeachable offense.

            The Ukrainians don’t work for Trump.

            The Ukraine has a treaty with the US that obligates them to cooperate with US investigations. But the Obama administration signaled that they didn’t want Biden or Clinton investigated, so in order to get the ball rolling, the Trump administration needed to tell Ukraine that they should cooperate fully with the US investigation.

            1. Maybe your lawyers and Trump’s lawyers should get their stories straight. And if anyone can produce the document where Obama does his signaling, that would be a great way to direct attention from Trump.

    3. “” We’ll continue to defend our NATO allies,””

      Will we? One of our NATO allies are fighting the Kurds, and we are not defending that NATO ally.

      1. That ally was not attacked by the Kurds.

        That ally attacked the Kurds.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe the North Atlantic Treaty requires members to attack whomever any member attacks. I believe it’s a defensive treaty that requires us to defend another member when they’re attacked by another country.

    4. Slight problem. Russian tanks have to go through Poland to get to Germany. We’d still be defending Germany, but the battlefield is in Poland instead of Germany. Merkle’s probably wondering is we’ll push on to Moscow if Germany’s military budget is eliminated.

      1. I wasn’t advocating pulling out of NATO.

        I was advocating maybe pulling our troops out of Germany specifically.

        If we can serve our NATO commitments just as well from Poland, then we should do so. And to whatever extent Germany wants to defend its own borders, it will still be free to do so.

  31. Former President George W. Bush has criticized Trump for “isolationism”:

    George W Bush takes a direct shot at Trump: “An isolationist United States is destabilizing around the world. We are becoming isolationist and that’s dangerous for the sake of peace.”

    — Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) October 16, 2019

    Is Reason now citing attacks by George W. Bush on Trump’s foreign policy as proof that Trump was wrong to withdraw troops from fighting in Syria?!

    LO fuckin’ L!

    1. Is Reason now citing attacks by George W. Bush on Trump’s foreign policy as proof that Trump was wrong to withdraw troops from fighting in Syria?!

      Or are they just reporting on something that might be slightly interesting to some people?

      1. Condemning Trump for abandoning northern Syria is consistent with what ENB has written all week, right?

        Right.

        1. I don’t know. I haven’t been keeping up with that.

        2. No. But you refuse to see that for some reason.

          1. Speaking of blinders…

      2. W rarely interesting.

      3. It reads to me like one of Shrike’s arguments.

        The other day, one of Shrike’s sock puppets was trying to convince me that pulling our troops out of the fighting in Syria was wrong because Mitch McConnell spoke out against it–as if Mitch McConnell saying something would change my mind since McConnell is a Republican?!

        LOL

        No, George W. Bush being against something isn’t a good reason for me to oppose it. In fact, I denounced what George W. Bush was doing in real time so often, during his term, I was often called a Bush-hater around here. The Bush administration’s revised torture policy was a war crime–certainly when it migrated to Iraq and was used on legitimate POWs who’d been captured in uniform. I denounced all the violations of our constitutional rights. I denounced his initiation of TARP. I denounced his expansion of Medicare to cover prescriptions. But of all the things I denounced, I don’t think I ever denounced anything as often as his neoconservative foreign policy.

        What Trump has tried to do throughout his terms–and is doing in Syria–is the exact opposite of Bush’s neoconservative foreign policy, and the idea that I would find George W. Bush’s tweet level opinion of Trump’s actions in Syria persuasive because he’s a Republican isn’t just insulting to my intelligence. It’s also ignorant.

        The only reason someone would quote George W. Bush to a committed pragmatist as if it were persuasive would be out of ignorance of both Bush’s and Trump’s foreign policy. It’s like discussing differential calculus with someone who can’t count to ten.

        1. >>TARP.

          the straw on the camel.

    2. Maybe George should sit this one out. just saying.

  32. The Mulvaney quote is an antecedent problem. He basically said that Trump withheld the money because (a) he doesn’t like foreign aid at all, (b) he was concerned other countries weren’t picking up their fair share, and (c) there were concerns about corruption in Ukraine. Then he said that Trump ALSO mentioned the Crowdstrike server in various conversations, “but that’s it, that’s why we held the money.” So it’s possible he meant “that’s it” to refer either to the first three things, the fourth thing, or all of them together.

    Transcript: https://www.rev.com/blog/mick-mulvaney-briefing-transcript-get-over-it-regarding-ukraine-quid-pro-quo

    Reporter: … And you were directly involved in the decision to withhold funding from Ukraine. Can you explain to us now definitively why? Why was funding withheld?

    Mulvaney: Sure. Let’s deal with the second one first, which is, look, it should come as no surprise to anybody. The last time I was up here … I haven’t done this since I was chief of staff. Right? Last time I was up here, some of you folks remember it was for the budget briefings. Right? And one of the questions you all always ask me about the budget is what are you all doing to the foreign aid budget? Because we absolutely gutted it. President Trump is not a big fan of foreign aid. Never has been. Still isn’t. Doesn’t like spending money overseas, especially when it’s poorly spent. And that is exactly what drove this decision. I’ve been in the office a couple times with him talking about this and he said, “Look Mick, this is a corrupt place.” Everybody knows it’s a corrupt place.

    By the way, put this in context. This is on the heels of what happened in Puerto Rico when we took a lot of heat for not wanting to give a bunch of aid to Puerto Rico because we thought that place was corrupt. And by the way it turns out we were right. All right. So put that as your context. He’s like, “Look, this is a corrupt place. I don’t want to send them a bunch of money and have them waste it, have them spend it, have them use it to line their own pockets.” Plus I’m not sure that the other European countries are helping them out either. So we actually looked at that during that time before. When we cut the money off, before the money actually flowed, because the money flowed by the end of the fiscal year, we actually did an analysis of what other countries were doing in terms of supporting Ukraine. And what we found out was that, and I can’t remember if it’s zero or near zero dollars from any European countries for lethal aid. You’ve heard the president say this, that we give them tanks and the other countries give them pillows. That’s absolutely right that as vocal as the Europeans are about supporting Ukraine, they are really, really stingy when it comes to lethal aid. And they weren’t helping Ukraine and still to this day are not.

    And the president did not like that. I know [inaudible 00:21:11] long answer your question, but I’m still going. So those were the driving factors. Did he also mention to me in the past, the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But that’s it. And that’s why we held up the money.

    1. Whoops – I read the next couple paragraphs, and it seems like Mulvaney pretty clearly gets walked into confirming that the Crowdstrike server was one of the reasons in the follow-ups.

      1. If he was a democrat he would just say he misspoke.

  33. If we didn’t have so many traitorous morons supporting this idiot, he’d be turfed out immediately (Trump and the whole entourage.)

    Yet the idiots would rather stay stupid than admit they were conned.

    1. Yet the idiots would rather stay stupid than admit they were conned.

      Which is clearly not something a member of your party of brilliant geniuses would ever do.

      1. Making you cry about mean girls, after you spent years as the Buckwheat of thd “Sugar Free Warty Episiarch” mean girls club is just about the best gift of hypocrisy you could have ever given me.

        Thank you so much for being such a bitch.

        1. C+, bringing in Our Gang is a nice touch.

          1. You’re wookin pa nub in the wrong place bud.

            1. OK, I’ll bump it up to B- for the Eddie Murphy Buckwheat impersonation.

              1. I like when I upset you so much that you resort to early 2000’s internet tropes like rating posts.

                1. F, that was boring and predictable.

                  1. You mean like rating posts because you got owned? Lololol

                    1. Pretty sad that you can’t even maintain originality beyond two posts before falling back to the same lame insults.

    2. I didn’t vote for Trump, but I am pretty happy with him so far.

      On the other hand, I’m glad I left the Democrats in 2016; they have gone full socialist and their positions on the economy, race, “LGBT rights”, and other issues are utterly deplorable.

      1. As the Democrats become more authoritarian and more socialist, it is reasonable for libertarian capitalists to become more Republican.

          1. I have zero problem with Trump compelling the Ukraine government to cooperate with investigating the Clintons, the Obamas, the DNC, or the Bidens, by any means necessary.

          2. Libertarians for corruption! Welcome to the 21st century. And just a week or so ago we had the Jacket arguing that just because the “whistleblower” lied in his application about having first hand knowledge and his contacts with Schiff’s staff (if not Schiff himself) prior to the complaint, didn’t create any “fruit of the poison tree” problem. Ends justify the means.

            But if Trump asks Ukraine to investigate corruption involving Biden or Hillary or the DNC, well that is beyond the pale!

            Libertarians for lack of rule of law is an even better look.

  34. Mulvaney knows when to hit the mascot with the next pitch.

  35. I guess Reason also thinks investigating corruption means investigating Democrats. Dishonest fake news. Reason has fallen so far…

  36. “A career State Department official overseeing Ukraine policy told congressional investigators this week that he had raised concerns in early 2015 about then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company but was turned away by a Biden staffer, according to three people familiar with the testimony.”

    —-Washington Post, October 18, 2019

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/diplomat-tells-investigators-he-raised-alarms-in-2015-about-hunter-bidens-ukraine-work-but-was-rebuffed/2019/10/18/81e35be9-4f5a-4048-8520-0baabb18ab63_story.html

    1. Toootallly unsubstantiated Ken.

  37. https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/18/pge-electricity-bills-due-to-jump-in-january-utility-advises-regulators/

    What do you get when you combine massive lawsuits, a heavy regulatory burden and extreme mandates in renewable energy generation?

    Well, you get a electricity bill of $130/month for an average residential home, paid to a company that has to turn off power for days at at time to protect the environment.

    PG&E just announced a big price increase to cover their increasing costs. Enjoy, citizens of California!

    Who wants to bet they propose more severe price controls in response, causing energy shortages in the next 5 years? Anyone? Anyone?

    1. What do you get when you combine massive lawsuits, a heavy regulatory burden and extreme mandates in renewable energy generation?

      And don’t forget that they are shielded from competition by the government.

      paid to a company that has to turn off power for days at at time to protect the environment.

      Here “protect the environment” means “not sparking massive wildfires that kill people and cause billions in property damage.”

      Who wants to bet they propose more severe price controls in response, causing energy shortages in the next 5 years? Anyone? Anyone?

      Not unlikely, but a lot of people still remember the rolling blackouts, and people are generally extremely pissed about last week’s blackout. Rates going up may well finally cause enough anger to actually kill PG&E and restructure power delivery in the area.

      But if that doesn’t happen, yeah – it’ll be price controls, more blackouts, more fires, and more people wondering why it’s just not working the way they thought it would.

      1. Here “protect the environment” means “not sparking massive wildfires that kill people and cause billions in property damage.”

        Lol, okay I’ll give you that.

      2. And don’t forget that they are shielded from competition by the government.

        I wouldn’t really want competition in energy distribution. Its one of the few areas that I think makes sense for government-enforced monopolies to exist.

        1. Its one of the few areas that I think makes sense for government-enforced monopolies to exist.

          I don’t disagree, but I think the PG&E model of ‘public-private partnership’ is exactly wrong. They are run essentially as a government agency, yet they have private investors they are beholden to.

          1. Ah, that’s fair. The Tennessee Valley Authority operates the same way and it looks like their member energy distributors are starting to bail out even if it means they have to pay a massive penalty.

          2. You’re blaming the private investors for this? All of PG&E’s problems are as a direct result of CA government interference from feed-in tariff requirements to shielding them from liability.

      3. Here “protect the environment” means “not sparking massive wildfires that kill people and cause billions in property damage.”

        That’s because California environmentalists (1) object to reasonable forestry preventing forest fires, and (2) also object to natural forest fires.

        1. That’s part of it, yes. Another part is PG&E’s neglect of routine maintenance.

  38. What Mulvaney said was perfectly reasonable: Trump withheld military aid over concerns of corruption in the country; part of that was cooperation with an ongoing AG investigation which, among other things, also happens to look at involvement by the Democrats.

    Trump didn’t withhold military aid specifically over Biden or any particular single issue.

    In what way is this hard to grasp or contradictory?

    1. When did the Attorney General ask Trump to approach the Ukrainian government because the AG thought that the DNC server is something the Ukrainian government would have information on? Seems Trump just kinda came up with it himself.

      1. Seems Trump just kinda came up with it himself.

        So? Either it’s true, in which case we need to know about it, or it’s not true, in which case the request doesn’t matter.

        1. If it’s not true, and it’s just an unfounded conspiracy theory as many news stories claim, it means the President of our country is a guy who believes in unfounded conspiracy theories. I find that a worrisome possibility.

          1. So explain how that is any different than the Russia collusion hoax? That was invented whole cloth with nothing to substantiate it.

            I’ll explain how it’s different. Representatives of the Ukrainian government actually tried to notify the US of illegal activity. The Obama administration was curiously not interested (and just how many criminals are?).

  39. So “we neither confirm nor deny” has been replaced with “we both confirm and deny”?

    That’s some 1-D chess right there.

    1. Nah, there was no confirmation of anything really.

      1. He clearly stated, “… and that’s why we held up the money.” That was a confirmation that the Trump administration held up the aid to the Ukraine on the condition that they investigate the whereabouts of the DNC server.

        1. So, up to now, the supposed problem with Trump was that he was asking to investigate a possible presidential rival.

          Is the DNC server a possible presidential rival as well?

          And what exactly is wrong with asking a foreign government to investigate wrongdoing? Either they find something, in which case US voters should know about it, or they don’t find anything, in which case the investigation doesn’t matter.

          So, can you please get your story straight about what the impeachable offense supposedly is?

          1. The offense is using a powerful Federal office to pursue partisan political goals. As libertarians, we are generally wary of power structures where those in power can consolidate their power against political opposition.

            1. As libertarians, we are generally wary of power structures where those in power can consolidate their power against political opposition.

              That’s only bad when Obama does it. When Trump does it, he’s being forced to because Obama did it, and it is therefore Good and Proper.

              1. That’s only bad when Obama does it.

                I had no objection to Obama investigating potential wrongdoing by Trump; obviously, they found nothing. Where I draw the line is fabricating evidence and illegal spying.

              2. Is it bad when Obama does it? You really don’t seem all that concerned. And after all, you really don’t like pesky laws and such. Rules are only for when they’re convenient.

            2. The offense is using a powerful Federal office to pursue partisan political goals.

              Investigating corruption isn’t a “partisan political goal”, it’s the job of the executive branch.

              As libertarians, we are generally wary of power structures where those in power can consolidate their power against political opposition.

              You mean like Obama or Clinton? People who engaged in actual corruption and tried to stay in power by misusing the state apparatus? Stop pretending that you’re a libertarian.

  40. Does anyone remember this article?
    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446
    Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.

  41. The only two questions that need to be asked regarding this article are: 1. Can the U.S. do what it wants with its own money? 2. Does the 1999 U.S./Ukraine Treaty authorize Trump to ask such questions of the Ukraine government. Answer: Yes and Yes. Next!

    1. 1. However, Congress controls the purse, including approving foreign aid. The Constitution doesn’t authorize the President to attach additional conditions before distributing the funds. Of course, Presidents do things like that all the time, but it is supposedly un-Constitutional.

      2. However, the accusation is that according to Federal election laws, Trump cannot use his office to solicit activities from foreign governments that might aid his re-election campaign. Of course, Presidents do things like that all the time, but it is supposedly illegal.

      1. However, Congress controls the purse, including approving foreign aid. The Constitution doesn’t authorize the President to attach additional conditions before distributing the funds. Of course, Presidents do things like that all the time, but it is supposedly un-Constitutional.

        No, it’s not unconstitutional. Congress had to pass a special law to force the president to disburse funds that were budgeted. But it’s unclear whether that law applies to foreign aid. Even if it does, the president has 45 days to seek permission from Congress.

        However, the accusation is that according to Federal election laws, Trump cannot use his office to solicit activities from foreign governments that might aid his re-election campaign. Of course, Presidents do things like that all the time, but it is supposedly illegal.

        Foreign financial contributions may be illegal. I don’t know of any law that makes requesting political support or information illegal. Furthermore, I don’t believe that should be illegal either.

        1. The head of the Federal Election Commission said as much in news stories last week. Of course, the FEC has a LOT of rules, as anyone who has ever been involved in a campaign knows. But it is the rules.

        2. You brought up what you think shouldn’t or shouldn’t be illegal.

          I personally think any foreign financial contributions should be legal, as long as they are disclosed. I don’t care how much money a candidate is getting, but I want it to be a matter of public record where they are getting the money, at least for foreign contributions. I don’t share the common belief that the person who raises the most money always wins.

          I do think directly requesting investigations or other activities from a foreign government that will benefit one’s own campaign or party should be illegal. However, I believe it should be legal to appoint an independent investigator to look into corruption on the part of one’s political opponents, but only if the powerful office holder (such as the POTUS) recuses themselves from direct involvement.

          1. You mean like Hillary and Obama did not? But I’m sure you were demanding an investigation into their activities, just like you’re demanding an investigation into the origins of the Russia collusion hoax.

            Oh wait.

            And if you can’t see the problem with it being legal for a foreign government to aid a US candidate, the logical extension is that you shouldn’t have a problem with a foreign government or entity providing gifts to government officials either, as long as they’re declared. I mean, just because it’s a gift that doesn’t mean it’s a bribe, right?

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