Reason Roundup

Vape Shops May Be Excluded From Ban on Flavored Vaping Products

Plus: Buttigieg just behind Warren in Iowa, sex work in Scotland, anger in Russia, Trump impeachment news, a call for regulatory reform, and more...

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There's hope for mango, cucumber, and creme Juul pod lovers yet. Vape shops may be exempt from the expected restrictions on flavored vaping products.

Talking to reporters Wednesday, presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway suggested that a pending crackdown on flavored vaping products would not include menthol after all—and that certain sorts of vape products and retailers could avoid flavor sales restrictions entirely.

Conway pointed out that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have prerogative "over cigarettes and e-cigarettes under the Tobacco Control Act" but "do not have jurisdiction over vaping and vape shops." (Update: read Jacob Sullum on how the FDA disagrees.)

While "vaping" and "e-cigarettes" are often talked about interchangeably, Conway's comments suggest that the Trump administration may not see it that way—and could allow different rules for products considered e-cigarettes and those considered vapes.

"If we're talking about e-cigarettes, the president, yes, he's been discussing this with his team, and he will, or HHS will, make an announcement soon," Conway said.

Restrictions on all but tobacco- or menthol-flavored vaping products would be disappointing (and pointless). But as Bloomberg notes, Conway's comments represent "a softening of a plan announced by HHS Secretary Alex Azar in the Oval Office in September, when he said menthol, mint and every flavor other than tobacco would be banned."

Conway indicated that menthol would be allowed. But mint would still be in the off-limits category, along with such popular flavors as vanilla, mango, and cucumber.

So that's where we're at now: Federal officials are parsing the difference between menthol and mint flavoring.

Paul Blair of Americans for Tax Reform told Bloomberg:

My hope is that this is an acknowledgement that vape shops should continue to exist and sell reduced-risk nicotine products to adult smokers. If there is an exemption for vape shops, I think the administration has acknowledged the political and policy importance of preserving vaping for adults.

Read Reason's Jacob Sullum for more on the ridiculous vaping panic, what the data really say, and what the FDA is poised to do regardless.


FREE MINDS

Russians are growing more dissatisfied with their government, according to new research from the Carnegie Moscow Center and the Levada Center. "The number of Russians wanting 'decisive, large-scale' changes has risen for the second consecutive year," reports The Moscow Times. In this year's survey (conducted in July), the figure was at 59 percent, up from 57 percent in 2018 and 42 percent in 2017. More:

Some 53% of the respondents said only serious reforms to Russia's existing political system could bring about the needed changes. Another 34% said the changes are possible within the existing system, according to Carnegie and Levada's research….

Respondents were more likely to name state bureaucrats as most resistant to change (69%), followed by oligarchs and big business (67%) and President Vladimir Putin (25%).


FREE MARKETS


JUSTICE FOR ALL?

Lessons from sex workers in Scotland and New Zealand. Advocates against prostitution decriminalization often argue that removing criminal penalties would enrich "pimps" at the expense of "prostituted women."

But "in comparing sex worker experiences in Scotland and New Zealand, women working in a decriminalised context were much more able to access health, safety and support," says the Scotland-based researcher Anastacia Elle Ryan. And "most importantly," they had "access to justice as they were protected by the law."

Read Ryan's full paper here.


ELECTION 2020

Warren, Buttigieg on top in latest Iowa poll. Quinnipiac found Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) on top in Iowa (20 percent), with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg just behind her (19 percent). Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden took the third and fourth spots, with 17 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

Other candidates to pull more than 1 percent support were Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota (5 percent), Sen. Kamala Harris of California (4 percent), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii (3 percent), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang (3 percent).


FOLLOWUP

Giuliani says his Ukraine work was all about clearing Trump's name. President Donald Trump's messaging about Ukrainegate has centered on the claim that he was merely trying to ferret out corruption, ensuring that U.S. aid to Ukraine wasn't fueling improper activity. In other words, a perfectly legitimate policy interaction.

Meanwhile, here's what the president's personal lawyer has to say about it:

In other Ukraine/impeachment news, Trump reportedly wanted Attorney General Bill Barr to hold a press conference saying Trump didn't break the law in his conversation with the Ukrainian president. The press conference did not materialize.

And here's what we're looking at in the House impeachment investigation next week:


QUICK HITS

  • Here's a rundown of Libertarian Party candidates who were elected to public office on Tuesday.
  • Two California Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives want to create a new federal agency. The Digital Privacy Agency would be authorized to hire up to 1,600 employees.
  • Las Vegas is essentially trying to ban homelessness, making it a crime to camp or sleep in public areas downtown and around the city. "This ordinance won't help reduce homelessness—it will criminalize it," tweeted 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro. "Punishing desperation isn't good policy, it's shortsighted and cruel."
  • J.D. Tuccille reminds us that the FBI has always been terrible.
  • New York City is banning school programs for "gifted" students. An op-ed in Education Week explains why this is a bad idea.
  • Kamala Harris wants to make school days three hours longer.
  • Arizonan Marcos Rodriguez just became "the fifth Phoenix police officer to be terminated over high-profile misconduct incidents since August. Rodriguez has been accused in a federal lawsuit of stalking a woman and making unwanted sexual advances," the Phoenix New Times reports.
  • A federal judge ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit over Trump administration rules around health care workers with religious objections.
  • Godspeed and good luck:

NEXT: Extraordinary Jewish Chronicle Front Page Editorial Opposing Jeremy Corbyn

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  1. Vape shops may be exempt from the expected restrictions on flavored vaping products.

    The best bans are the ones that can be used to pick marketplace winners and losers.

    1. It’s just too dangerous to have gas stations and convenience stores selling this stuff. We need to leave it to the professionals.

    2. No worries, the progs will be sure to ban vaping for everyone; vapes don’t bring in the sweet tax revenue that cancer sticks do

    3. I don’t believe it, Kellyanne Conway is an adviser to the president, not part of the FDA machine determined to get people to quit quit smoking. I believe she is conflating vape shops with cannabis shops, because the FDA has ruled they have authority over all e-cigarette devices and liquids, even if it is a battery, mod, coil, tank, or juice, with or without nicotine. They only care about the MSA money that funds their projects or how they can get some of that sweet sweet tobacco-less nicotine money, not the health of former smokers. Time to get my home brew started again, it is cheaper, but I just liked the store bought flavors better than anything I could cook up.

      1. So you’re saying the permanent government is more powerful than the elected one?

    4. Hey listen, don’t say anything derogatory about the impeachment or clowns running it, we have a super hero playing board police again and he’ll cry at you for being a Trump apologist.

  2. Russians are growing more dissatisfied with their government…

    Have they tried accusing their politicians of being Russian agents?

    1. NO WAIT, better one:

      I guess unlike Americans they don’t see their leaders as Russian assets.

        1. NOTA vote FTW

    2. No wonder, the Russians are the only ones left out of sitting on Burisma’s board.

  3. “Las Vegas is essentially trying to ban homelessness, making it a crime to camp or sleep in public areas downtown and around the city.”

    Homelessness is a direct result of the #DrumpfRecession. Once Democrats retake the White House and implement the Koch / Reason open borders agenda, the economy will improve and homelessness will decrease.

    #OpenBordersWillFixHomelessness

    1. No problem – they can just be bussed to San Francisco. It isn’t as if they actually have no place to go.

      1. Bus them to NYC. Give the city a taste of its medicine.

  4. There is no better remedy for abuse of market power than an entrepreneur with a competing technology.

    Why would businesses invest in bureaucrats if regulatory capture loses power?

  5. Advocates against prostitution decriminalization often argue that removing criminal penalties would enrich “pimps” at the expense of “prostituted women.”

    Decriminalize women’s agency and see what happens.

  6. http://thefederalist.com/2019/11/06/testimony-transcript-shows-william-taylor-never-talked-to-trump-wasnt-even-on-july-25-phone-call/

    William Taylor, the charge d’affairs of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, told lawmakers in secret testimony two weeks ago that his opinions about an alleged quid pro quo demanded by Trump were formed largely from conversations with anti-Trump staffers within the diplomatic bureaucracy.

    [Y]ou’ve never spoken to Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani?” Taylor was asked.

    “No, no,” he replied.

    “Has anyone ever asked you to speak to Mr. Giuliani?”

    “No,” Taylor said.

    “And if I may, have you spoken to the president of the United States?” Taylor was asked.

    “I have not,” he said.

    “You had no communications with the president of the United States?”

    “Correct,” Taylor said.

    He also admitted he had never spoken to Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s chief of staff.

    Zeldin noted that the only reference to Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden in Taylor’s opening statement stemmed from that convoluted game of telephone. The New York lawmaker hammered Taylor for relying on third-hand information about the state of mind of an elected official to whom he had never spoken.

    “So do you have any other source that the president’s goal in making this request was anything other than The New York Times?” Zeldin asked.

    “I have not talked to the president,” Taylor said. “I have no other information from what the president was thinking.”

    You are reading that correctly. The guy wasn’t on the call, never spoke to anyone who was, and based his opinion on what the President was thinking on what he read in the New York Times.

    The game seems to be to leak a lie to a compliant media and then use that media report as a basis to claim Trump did something wrong.

    Farce is too weak of a word for this. The Stalin show trials were more credible.

    1. The game seems to be to leak a lie to a compliant media and then use that media report as a basis to claim Trump did something wrong.

      They used leaks to poison the well before any public hearings.

      1. They leaked to the media and then used the media reports in the FISA applications to spy on Trump’s people. At this point, the media is literally an arm of the IC and FBI.

    2. It doesn’t even matter.
      If the totalitarian’s allegations about Trump are 100% true (stop laughing, its just for the sake of argument), Trump still didn’t do anything wrong.
      The progressives and outrage mobs will only be appeased when they cease to exist.

      1. If the accusations are 100% true and successfully proven, Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to do free opposition research benefiting Trump’s 2020 Presidential campaign.

        This is a violation of FEC campaign laws and arguably a violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

        No matter how many times anyone repeats “he did nothing wrong”, the allegations of what he did wrong have been explained.

        1. Definition of success for you seems to be multiple people believe the same narrative.

          1. Nope, that is not my definition of success. But if Trump apologists are going to try to create their own reality by ignoring aspects of the allegations that they don’t like to acknowledge, I will point out what is being ignored.

            1. Which aspects? The fact not even democrats are pointing to emoluments dumbass? You’re pointing to such a twisted version of lawfare that youd bring a tear to Maduros eye of you were his supporter.

              The fact is no laws were broken here. That is why Nancy and Schumer attempt to call this an abuse of power not a crime.

              The other fact is the evidence so far is basically hearsay and opinion. The only contemporary document of pid pro quo was Sondland flatly saying trump dodnt want a pid pro quo.

              You’ve asserted nothing of value. You’re just a useful idiot in the attempt to criminalize politics.

              1. I’m not a constitutional scholar or something. The accusation that Trump violated the Emoluments Clause comes from numerous news articles I have read about the impeachment inquiry. A quick Google search this morning turned up at least five articles discussing something you claim I just made up.

                1. Oh…news story being used to justify an investigation? That seems to be a trend…

                  1. I’m not justifying anything. I’m not a Democrat nor am *I* investigating the President.

                    When I see that Trump apologists are omitting or oversimplified the accusations that have been made, I am going to point it out.

                    1. Because you’re a prog..

                      I mean a superlibertarianherro.

                      I mean, what kind of fucking loser idiot literally says, “I don’t know what I’m talking about, but will repeat it because I don’t like Trump supporters saying things”

                      Like you JUST DID.

                      Oh right you pathetically think you’re doing God’s work TAKING THE BOARD BACK AHAHAHAHAHAYOU ACTUALLY SAID THAT AHAHAHHHH

                      That would explain why you feel it necessary to lie. It’s a cause for you and you need to win.

                    2. ^This mike laury is a concern troll.

                      If you point out how reason is fucking up… he comes to reason’s rescue.

                      If you point out the MSM is fucking up… he comes to their rescue.

                      If you point out the Deep State is fucking up… he comes to their rescue.

                      If you point out trump fucking up…not a fucking peep from this guy.

                      It’s almost like real reason commenters would never have the other side of the story without this concern troll. Hahaha.

                    3. “When I see that Trump apologists”

                      What a stupid, shitty motivation to ever do anything.

                    4. You have pointed out how Trump is fucking up? Can you link to that?

                    5. Poor mike laursen troll.

                2. “The accusation that Trump violated the Emoluments Clause comes from numerous news articles I have read about the impeachment inquiry. ”

                  Mike, pause a moment and consider that you are being punked by a news media that loves nothing more than to tell you what you want so that you click-click-click through.

                  Seriously. Those same articles that are talking about the VERY SERIOUS violations of the emoluments clause, are written by the very same people who wrote about the VERY SERIOUS evidence of obstruction in the Mueller Report.

                  Haven’t you asked yourself why, if those obstruction reports were SOOO true, Trump isn’t already impeached? Because obstructing justice is WAY more serious than asking Ukraine to “dig up dirt” (which by the way is very different than continuing an existing investigation into a specific crime). The reason is that the media is wrong. Lawyers will argue that the Law requires X until blue in the face, when in fact it says no such thing. And the media will repeat it. They repeat it because you click through.

                  1. Biden literally admitted to the criminal conduct on a video for all to see.

                    It’s laughable that having the jurisdiction where the criminal conduct happened investigate the crime that Joe Biden admitted to is itself illegal or unconstitutional.

                    We get it Lefties, you’re scared of Trump’s political strategies and the fact that you cannot own him.

                  2. Overt, I didn’t say I agree with the analysis. I’m not a Constitutional scholar. But there are many commenters here who say lazily dismissive things like “Trump did nothing wrong!”, without addressing what accusations have been made and what testimony has been given.

                    1. Those accusations and testimony have been noted and dismissed, much as your constant parroting of literally the most untrustworthy people alive has.
                      Get new talking points

                3. “I’m not a constitutional scholar or something.”

                  Then maybe you should stop screeching “emoluments clause!!!” like you don’t sound retarded.

        2. Oh.. and once again you show an unwillingness to accept actual facts such as no court has ever deemed information to be a thing of value for a campaign. But keep pushing that idiocy. Also ignore the fact that the news of Hunter was already known.

          1. Someone else (De O Liber?) who knows election law much more thoroughly than info refuted this claim last time you made it. I don’t claim to know FEC case history well enough to know.

            Of course it was a matter of public record that Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma. The open question is how did that happen? It reeks of corrupt ethics, since he had no qualifications to be there, but it’s an open question whether any laws were violated.

            1. “who knows election law much more thoroughly”

              You’re not a constitutional scholar how could you have any idea how thoroughly he knows anything.

              Oh right because you AGREE with him.

              1. Nope. I said I don’t know.

          2. Considering the difficulty of proving a negative, how do you claim to know that no court has ever deemed information to be a thing of value for a campaign? Where did you get this fact from?

            1. It’s not proving a negative hero.

              Find a court that had deemed information value in a ruling.

            2. Because people have reviewed existing case law and found no cases where that was the ruling?

              1. Has JesseAz done that? He asserts that he knows “no court has ever deemed information to be a thing of value for a campaign”. How does he know that?

                1. Reason itself has reported on this last month when this latest bruhaha started.

                    1. Google Scholar

                      Here ya go mike laursen, this is Google Scholar so you can look up caselaw.

                    2. I asked for a link to Reason’s reporting on the matter.

                      Earlier I asked for JesseAz to give his source for claiming to know all the case law.

                      Still waiting.

        3. If the accusations are 100% true and successfully proven, Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to do free opposition research benefiting Trump’s 2020 Presidential campaign.

          So what? That “opposition research” involved Biden laundering bribes through his son in return for using his position as VP to pressure the Ukrainian government into leaving the company that was paying his son alone. If that is true, that is a very big deal. The President had every right to US use influence to get the Ukrainian government to look into that. Your claim rests on the assumption that it is wrong for the President to work with foreign nations to investigate corruption if the corruption involves someone who might some day run against him. What if instead of Joe Biden, the matter had involved someone who wasn’t in politics. Is it your position that the President has no legal right to use US influence to get the Ukrainian government to investigate anyone? If not, then what is so special about Biden? Nothing. To say that there is is to say that politicians are immune from the investigative scrutiny that every other American is subject to.

          Your position is absurd.

          1. Was he really concerned about a real investiagtion, or did he just want an announcement of an investigation of the Bidens to cause them embarrassment?

            Why did he wait four years to address this, so that the timing just happens to coincide with election campaigns? Was there any reason for Trump to be personally involved in talking to the Ukrainians about the investigation, as opposed to appointing an investigator whose job would be to consistently and thoroughly investigate?

            1. Doesn’t matter, “mike”
              Your concern trolling is noted and dismissed

            2. You seem to have settled on a specific assertion sans evidence. Weird.

              Now do the same for the Mueller investigation and the impeachment investigation. ask about ukraine working with the DNC on Manafort in 2016. Figure out why State was name dropping Hunter Biden based on lobbyist contacts in regards to Burisma.

              You have a narrative you’ll believe despite any evidence aside from hearsay.

              You’re also willing to twist and manipulate laws in order to back this narrative despite the laws never before being used in said manner.

            3. The assertion isn’t sans evidence. We know Biden’s son was getting paid $80,000 a month at a do nothing job for a Ukrainian gas company and we know Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire the prosecutor who was investigating that gas company. That is very good evidence.

              Now Biden’s defense is that the prosecutor was corrupt and needed to be fired and his son’s employment had nothing to do with his pressuring the Ukrainian government to fir the prosecutor. And that may be true. To find that out, however, is why we have an investigation. The fact that Joe Biden has a defense doesn’t make the investigation illegitimate or a fishing expedition.

              You are acting as if Trump just asked the Ukrainians to investigate Biden without any reason hoping they could find something. And that is clearly not what happened. There is good reason to think that there something wrong with the firing of the prosecutor and then ending of the investigation into the gas company that hired Hunter Biden. Even if it somehow turns out that Biden is innocent, that doesn’t make the investigation illegitimate because there was clearly good reason to believe Biden wasn’t innocent.

              1. We even now have evidence from an FOIA that Burisma was lobbying state department on behalf of Burisma. There are now multiple instances of state being the vehicle to enrich Kerry’s son and Bidens son. It was also the vehicle used by Blumenthal to help fund the Clinton foundation.

                The FOIA emails were from 1 month prior to Ukraine firing the prosecutor.

                Far more evidence against Obama’s white House than there is against trump.

              2. I have said many times here that I think Hunter Biden’s landing a spot on the Burisma board reeks of corruption. It warrants investigation.

                I have said many times, to you, that my criticism of Trump is about *how* he allegedly pursued an investigation.

                1. I don’t see how he pursued it was wrong. The only way he did anything wrong is if he was pursuing an illegitimate investigation.

                  1. That’s fine that you have an opinion about whether it was wrong or not. But you know my position, so please don’t misrepresent what I said.

                    1. Yes your position is that you want to take the board back from “Trumpists.” So, you’ll lie. It’s a mission for you. Progs like you lie when they are pursuing a mission.

                  2. Mike considers anything Trump does bad and wrong.

                    Of course, Joe Biden admitted on video for all to see. Of course, Hunter Biden was on the board of a holding company that specializes in using political influence to get business.

                    But it’s been election season since 2016 and Trump is just now getting around to investigating the Bidens? IMPEACH!!!!!!!

                    1. When did I ever say I consider anything Trump does to be bad and wrong?

                    2. I said that YOU “consider” anything Trump does bad and wrong.

                      Mike laursen: “If the accusations are 100% true and successfully proven, Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to do free opposition research benefiting Trump’s 2020 Presidential campaign.

                      This is a violation of FEC campaign laws and arguably a violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

                      No matter how many times anyone repeats “he did nothing wrong”, the allegations of what he did wrong have been explained.”

                      You don’t convince people with what you say.

                    3. Encouraging some other country to investigate Joe Biden for crimes that Biden admitted on video is not against the law or some violation of the US Constitution.

                      Go ahead and cite some federal law that Trump would be guilty of violating.

        4. The allegations are of Trump doing something that’s not wrong.
          I know how invested you are in rule by your superiors in the mandarin class, but that ain’t American and, success or failure, ends up with a bullet in your head

        5. Even if he did all of the things you assume…if the investigation into hunter and joe bidens activity, or information subpoenaed in this hearings, shows criminal or corrupt activity then its all moot anyway because the investigation, or request for one, is completely legit.

          But that’s what you idiots dont understand about how flimsy this all is. Chances are, even stretching the fact that a guy whose losing polls and yet to win the nomination is a “political opponent”, what trump did was perfectly legal and comes nowhere close to “high crimes and misdemeanors”. But in order for these flimsy accusations to even stick on trump, you have to ASSUME hunter biden did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING SHADY. Which given what we know, joes own quotes about strong arming and “quod pro quoing” a billion dollars in aid to fire a prosecutor, and hunters other shady deals in China, seems unlikely and very worthy of an investigation.

          But it’s the same as the Mueller probe. The Clintons and dnc hired foreign intelligence assets to dig up dirt on trump. No liberals or media care. Hillary Clinton accuses trump of doing exactly what she and the dnc did…and we get 3 years of investigations that find no wrongdoing on trumps part. Yet no libs or media people still care to investigate.

          It seems the dnc playbooks simply do a bunch of shady, untowardly, corrupt things. then accuse trump of doing the same thing and tell the media to only investigate into trump, not them.

          1. I don’t assume he did it or not. I’m just pointing out when Trump apologists here mischaracterize or omit aspects of the impeachment inquiry.

            1. No, you’re lying and trying to take the board back from Trumpists. Fuck guy, you scree he’d about the fucking EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE, then when proven wrong, retreated to “I’m no constitutional scholar”

              How about you get past your sad fucking TDS and stop doing things just because you hate Trump and his apologists.

              1. “scree he’d”?

          2. Mikey Laursen was all over reason when Obama was also accused of violating the Emoluments Clause (Article II, Section 1, Clause 7)
            The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.

            Obama’s financial disclosures reveal that he owns United States Treasury bonds, and that he has received interest payments from the United States. See Page 3 of 2015 Disclosures (reporting between $500,000.00 and $1,000,000.00 of Treasury bonds held by Obama directly or through an IRA). The interest income paid by the United States to President Obama is not part of the fixed compensation attached to the Presidency. Consequently, if an emolument includes any payment, Obama’s receipt of interest income from the United States violates the Domestic Emoluments Clause.

            1. If Obama violated the Emoluments Clause he should be busted on it.

              1. That’s NOT what I said Mikey.

                I said that you are a concern troll but only when it comes to Trump.

                If Obama violated the Emoluments Clause he should be busted on it.”

                Luckily, Obama left office already so it’s no skin off your nose.

        6. If the accusations are 100% true and successfully proven, Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to do free opposition research benefiting Trump’s 2020 Presidential campaign.

          Not quite. It’s become very clear that there was zero pressure.

          And the fact that Ukraine would have gotten something for doing it means that it wasn’t free.

          What else you got?

          This is a violation of FEC campaign laws and arguably a violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

          And that’s just a no.

          See, investigating foreign interference in elections and foreign corruption is part of the executive branch’s job. The Bidens don’t get a pass on their publicly admitted and filmed criminality simply by running for office against Trump.

          But you know this. You’re just desperately trying to create a reality wherein Trump doing his job is a crime in and of itself.

          And it’s not working.

          1. “And the fact that Ukraine would have gotten something for doing it means that it wasn’t free.”

            So, you’re saying because they received money from the public treasury, the Trump campaign paid them for the opposition research?

  7. Quinnipiac found Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) on top in Iowa (20 percent), with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg just behind her (19 percent).

    Phrasing?

    1. He’s hot on her tail in Iowa.

  8. Warren, Buttigieg on top in latest Iowa poll.

    The economy is a power bottom.

    1. You have to be a special kind of useful idiot or useless moron to actually support that disingenuous liar.

      Her and Kamala. Just two terrible people.

    2. Someone wants a cabinet position. Or a hit off the peace pipe?

      1. Maybe. She’s a first-term Rep who’s been the one member of the Squad to actually keep her head down and act like a Representative instead of a media personality. Getting something like the head of HUD or Commerce, for example, would position her for bigger things down the line; she’s only 45 years old, after all.

    3. “This election is a fight for the very soul of this nation.”

      She’s right, you know. But so was the last election and just because we won that one doesn’t mean we won’t have to fight the Dark Ones again.

      1. I can’t wait until 2024 when the Republicans nominate Literally Hitler and the democrats ask why they can’t just nominate a reasonable republican like Donald Trump.

  9. The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven.

    Get a load of Robert Mueller Jr. over here.

    1. Only Democrats can investigate foreign influence in elections. Didn’t you know that?

  10. Here’s a rundown of Libertarian Party candidates who were elected to public office on Tuesday.

    The most egregious of vote-stealers.

  11. Las Vegas is essentially trying to ban homelessness, making it a crime to camp or sleep in public areas downtown and around the city

    That is how it should be everywhere. That is a quality of life issue. By all means provide people shelter and an alternative to living on the streets. But living on the streets should not be an alternative. Understand, these people do this by choice. They don’t want a job or to live off the streets. it is a lifestyle choice and one that should not be tolerated.

    1. What a stupid fuck you are sometimes John.

      There is not one town/city in the US that provides even remotely the same alternatives to living on the streets as say 20-30 years ago. An atrociously presented article – but some good facts – re the decline in eg SRO housing once we decided to define/subsidize ‘housing’ as something based on ‘family’ as a unit rather than ‘bed’ as a unit.

      Those used to be 20-40% of total housing stock. As recently as the 1980’s, when I was moving more frequently from city to city for different early-career jobs, those boarding houses and upper-scale SRO’s were where I lived when I first moved to cities before settling in to either roommate (which is basically a self-selecting family unit that really is entirely a common age peer-group – anyone who doesn’t fit that won’t find those now either) or apartment stuff. Now they don’t even exist.

      1. You are a stupid fuck and a perfect example of why libertarians are ridiculous. People living in the common areas like that destroy the quality of life for everyone. And time and again, it has been shown that these people don’t want homes. People who are homeless and are not mentally ill are nearly always homeless by choice. They have been running programs to get the homeless off the streets for decades. None of them succeed because some people would rather beg and do drugs than have the responsibility that comes with working for a living.

        How you can be so fucking stupid not to understand that boggles the mind. Moreover, Vegas has been in the midst of a fucking housing crash for ten years. I am not sure there is any large city in America that has cheaper and more available housing than Las Vegas. Las Vegas has a homeless problem because it is warm and there are tons of tourists to beg from. It is that fucking simple.

        A bum camping on the sidewalk in front of your house and shitting in the gutter is the exactly the sort of retarded hill you dumb asses choose to die on. There is a reason why Libertarians have a point about 80% of the time yet everyone still can’t stand them. It is because they spend all of their time on the other 20% and the other 20% is mostly about telling the world how it is okay to be a bum and shit all over the common areas of the world.

        1. I am not sure there is any large city in America that has cheaper and more available housing than Las Vegas

          That may be. But on trulia, there are a grand total of 46 rooms for rent right now in Las Vegas. From what I can see, none of them are in an SRO but are a room in someone’s house. Which means the owner is going to be very selective about who they let live there. So that leaves precisely ZERO rooms for rent for someone who can’t spiffy up for a ‘housing’ interview. If as you assert LV is the city with the most abundant available housing in America, then you are admitting the problem.

          Of course if one wants to pretend that it is merely their stubbornness that prevents the homeless from renting a 3000+sq ft McMansion…

        2. JFree aint no Libertarian.

          1. That’s somewhat true. I think of myself as more a classical liberal since I have zero interest in the anarcho crap. And since I really don’t give a rats damn about expanding the liberty of those at the top but do give a rats damn about expanding the liberty of those at the bottom (who need it a hell of a lot more), that can certainly make me look, to assholes like you R’s, like whatever you twits call everyone who disagrees with you.

            1. ” I think of myself as more a classical liberal”

              I feel like we’ve heard a different obvious prog lie the same way before…

              1. Well you would certainly know lying

      2. Here’s another article re the SRO’s that remain in one city – Chinatown in SF. These are no longer SRO. They are families of 6+ living in one room and having to jostle with the other families re the communal bathrooms, shower, kitchen, etc. But obviously they can afford to pay more rent (whether via multiple income earners or child welfare payments) than a single occupant – so guess who gets kicked onto the street.

      3. You think that the relative decline in Single-Room-Occupancy type dwellings has contributed in some sort of substantial way to homelessness?

        1. Absolutely. There are different levels of SRO ‘quality’. But the ones at the bottom – the flophouses and ‘cage’ hotels – have always been the one absolute step above living on the street. And for older unskilled mostly-single-men, that was the housing that allowed them to be transient labor. Provided an address, a place to clean up, sleep at night without wondering whether they are going to be attacked, and store some stuff – unlike ‘shelters’ – which allowed them to work enough to pay for housing. In a time when ‘rent’ took up about 15-20% of income rather than 30 to even 50+%. There was even a genre of literature by authors like Jack London, George Orwell, Henry Miller, Neal Cassidy, John Steinbeck, etc who wrote about or were shaped by their own down-and-out ‘skid row’ experiences.

          Once those bottom two or three rungs of housing/bed are eliminated in a misbegotten attempt to force people to ‘become respectably hard-working and ambitious’ – or increase the local prop values by ‘cleaning up skid row’ – or somesuch; then the inevitable result is that it won’t work for everyone. Nor was it ever intended to.

          And when those folks fall off that new higher bottom rung – which keeps getting higher each year cuz ‘rent’ goes up much faster than income now – with not even a part of town called ‘skid row’ anymore, they hit the street and can’t get back up.

          1. Well, as someone who’s a professional in the field of architecture and urban planning, I find that to be an interesting take on the problem, but I disagree with you on several aspects.

            I do appreciate your link to CityLab, which is a good place to find data on our urban environment. But it’s also a source that tends to look at any issue from the very specific viewpoint of urban planners. Which isn’t to discredit anything they say, but just something to keep in mind – they’re a carpenter with a hammer and everything looks like a nail, so to speak.

            I think that you’re ignoring a few potential causes of change when you attribute the percentage drop in ‘SRO’s’ to “a misbegotten attempt to force people to ‘become respectably hard-working and ambitious’ – or increase the local prop values by ‘cleaning up skid row’”.

            For new construction, you have a combination of market forces and government interference that come into play. Developers of new residential construction get paid more per unit – and per square foot – for multi-bedroom residences, especially for rentals, because you can charge more for them. That makes them more appealing to build. In addition, building codes and local zoning ordinances can be a big hurdle in developing new low-end, affordable units – SRO or otherwise – in the quality, quantity and density that would make them appealing to construct.

            For existing residential housing stock, there is also pressure on the landlords, realtors, and management companies to either upgrade or convert existing SRO’s into multi-bedroom units. It gives them more flexibility in who they can rent to, and as with new construction, they can charge more. There are also unscrupulous people who will take an existing 1-bedroom unit and list it as 2 bedrooms, even though the extra ‘bedroom’ is in fact an office, living room, enclosed sun porch, large walk-in closet, etc. So the existing 1-bedroom stock appears to dwindle, even though it remains in reality.

            If you’re suggesting that the lack of new affordable housing, especially in densely populated coastal cities, is caused by the confluence of government forces and private interests, I’ll at least agree that it’s a contributing factor. If you’re suggesting that the lack of SRO’s makes people homeless because they don’t want a roommate, I think that’s off-base. That’s like me complaining that everything I want to buy at the grocery store is typically portioned for a family of four.

            Apologies for the long post.

            1. Developers of new residential construction get paid more per unit – and per square foot – for multi-bedroom residences, especially for rentals, because you can charge more for them.

              I’m sure. But the fact remains that the number of single-person households has risen from 20% of households in 1970 (prob near all-time low) to 28% now (actually a return to a more historic norm). The % of housing stock that is 1 or 2 room (room not bedroom) has gone from 5% of housing stock in 1973 to 1.5% now. In the early 70’s, 75% of singles either had to find roommates or they were (likely) older living in a unit with more than 2 rooms. Now – 95% of singles have to do that. And the % of 3-room unit has also declined (11% to 8.5%). AND 4 room (21% to 18%). Further, the number of units of less than 750 sqft has gone from 8% in 1985 (much higher earlier) to 4% in 2005. Data here So now, they also likely have to find MORE roommates than they did then (which is its own problem since ‘roommates’ are a form of ‘family’ with many of the social dynamics/complexities and singles would prob form a different family if they were good at and wanted that) or have a significantly higher income to rent more rooms and more space for themselves.

              So there is a huge mismatch between what is being built – and at this point now what exists – and the ACTUAL demographics of the market. That mismatch exists in large part imo because of the tons of tax perversions that goes along with housing now. And for the last 10 years it has gotten far far worse since only ‘luxury’ apts are being built in most places cuz of land prices (ie interest rate BS AND prop tax BS). And the folks who fall out of the bottom of all that are the homeless.

              And unfortunately – the usual solutions I always hear are to add yet more layers of tax BS. Most of which are easy to see cronyism which will make it all worse. Everything about housing has become bubble on bubble on bubble.

              1. It sounds like you’re arguing for a return of tenement-style dwelling units. Ghetto 1-room flats where there’s maybe some kitchen cabinetry with a sink on one wall, and the restrooms are shared facilities on each floor. If you are, I think you have more to contend with than just the tax policies.

                First thing, right out the gate, is that no one actually wants to live in a dwelling like this. They wouldn’t be feasible anywhere but the most crowded, most expensive coastal cities because most people would not rent them. I know a lot of people who are single and live by themselves, myself included. They all have full fledged apartments or even houses. I rent a 1-bedroom apartment myself – but it also includes a living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, etc. The last time I toured one of these ghetto-flats you’re waxing nostalgic about was when I was fresh out of college. I decided that having a roommate for a year or two wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, after I saw it. Yikes.

                Second, besides the tax incentives, if you want these units to be a housing option, you are going to have to take a good hard look at the building codes and local zoning codes.

                Most major cities in the US have adopted some modified form of the IBC (International Building Code, don’t let the name fool you, it’s US-based) either 2012, 2015, or 2018. There are a lot of requirements for even modest new residential construction that are much more expensive than what has been allowed in years gone by. I’m not sure you could even build the tenement style housing you’re asking for without a major remodel to the codes. For instance, while the modern residential building code allows for “efficiency units”, it requires things like individual separate bathroom facilities for each unit. They have minimum allowable sizes for each apartment, and lots of other requirements. The buildings can only be 3 stories tall if they are built out of wood, 4-6 stories if they are built out of non-combustible material AND have a whole slew of additional fire protection requirements added to them, beyond what’s already required – fire sprinklers in each apartment, hardwired, interconnected smoke detectors, fire alarm systems etc. These are not cheap systems. It’s not like the 80’s where you just slapped a battery powered smoke alarm outside the bedroom area and called it a day. If you want to go above 6 stories, you’re into some very expensive commercial type construction, which is why it’s typically reserved for business use or luxury apartments. It’s going to be difficult to get the density you’re looking for with the codes written as they are.

                Local zoning codes are even worse. Most of these coastal cities that are having these crises of housing have caused their own issues through ridiculous zoning codes. They have maximum allowable densities, sometimes a maximum number of units per property. Yard / Open space requirements. One apartment building I recently inspected was out of compliance because the city it was located in had increased the number of parking spaces required by code to 2.5 parking spaces per apartment – and these were single occupant efficiency apartments. Ridiculous. (BTW, they still had a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bath, and were about 450 SF, so I guess they weren’t SRO’s.)

  12. The Digital Privacy Agency would be authorized to hire up to 1,600 employees.

    The DC suburbs need a cost of living boost.

    1. The Digital Privacy Agency would be authorized to hire up to 1,600 employees to spy on people.

    2. They need to keep federal worker numbers up to keep Virginia in the D column now that Trump is moving federal workers at the USDA and BLM to more western areas to better serve the people they are supposed to serve. Of course many are criticizing this move as Trump punishing them. Yes making them move to Missouri and Colorado is punishment so that they actually see the people the serve and regulate. It is worse than the Inquisition I tell you. SMH.

  13. Las Vegas is essentially trying to ban homelessness, making it a crime to camp or sleep in public areas downtown and around the city.

    I thought that’s what the Vegas tunnel was for, to send the homeless underground.

    1. And thus the background for the sci-fi movie about the Mole People.

      1. No “fi” about it . The Mole People exist and are laying the groundwork for the invasion of the Lizard People.

  14. J.D. Tuccille reminds us that the FBI has always been terrible.

    It’s his people’s heritage in this country to hate the g-men!

    1. You got a problem widdat?

  15. New York City is banning school programs for “gifted” students.

    I hope it’s because of the inequality.

    1. Gotta make sure anyone can make it there.

    2. We need to keep the smart kids with the dumb kids so we can make sure the dumb kids are reminded of how fucking stupid they are.

  16. Is Russia still hacking our elections?!

    Tucson voters reject sanctuary city initiative in landslide

    This cannot be right. According to Nick Gillespie, more Americans than ever agree with the statement “Immigration is a good thing.” This proves the Koch / Reason open borders agenda has gone mainstream. Sanctuary city policies should be popular with everyone except rabid white nationalists.

    I suspect a combination of Russian hacking and Republican dirty tricks produced this result. We need to demand an investigation.

    1. Utopia takes a big hit. Reality for the win.

  17. “This ordinance won’t help reduce homelessness—it will criminalize it,” tweeted 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro.

    Did that guy just admit that making something illegal doesn’t reduce occurrences of it?

  18. Kamala Harris wants to make school days three hours longer.

    And to offset solitary for middle schoolers by giving them an hour daily in the yard.

    1. Microsoft showed that shorter work weeks boosted productivity. So yeah, kids should stay in school longer each day.

      1. One of the best ways to improve school (if we must have public education, which I am not arguing for) is to change vacation. Not shorten it but change it. Instead of a large 3 month block, spread it out, e.g school for 3 months then 1 month vacation and return. This would cut down on how much knowledge or backslide occurs while on vacation and decrease how much time teachers spend on refreshing lost skills.

      2. Oh and a number of schools have also gone to slightly longer school hours but decreased the week to four days with pretty good success. I would love a 4 day week with ten hour days. I loved when I worked 12s, my schedule, by choice was 6 days on 8 days off. I rarely ever took vacation. And it made picking up an extra shift when I wanted money easier to.

  19. “J.D. Tuccille reminds us that the FBI has always been terrible.”

    Except when they work with the CIA to overturn elections, amiright?

    Hey, anybody got an update on that whistleblower? Heard he’s got a twitter account and has been bragging about a coup since 2017. It’s almost like this whole investigation, like the last one, is a total farce created by the intel community and the media. Don’t worry, I’ll be back tomorrow to update you on this collective stupidity.

    1. It was one of his attorney who said literally within ten days of Trump taking office “the coup has begun”. I would be very interested to hear him explain under oath just what he meant by that.

      1. You right, my bad.

        I’m sure it will be a similar hearing to the Strzok hearing in which he snarls and lies and democrats fellate him for his service.

    2. “Except when they work with the CIA to overturn elections, amiright?”

      I don’t think Tuccille belongs in the same boat with some others here on staff.

      1. I’m not going at him. That’s a pretty good article. Refreshing and a great reminder to the lefties currently cheering on unelected assholes.

    3. Link to where you heard he is on Twitter?

        1. Thanks. That makes more sense than an anonymous whistleblower outing himself on Twitter.

    4. As stated, that was the attorney. But the whistleblower was also involved with Nuland on the pee tape dossier as well as helped push the narrative that Putin asked Trump to fire Comey with bad, possibly forged, intelligence.

      1. Wonder if he was involved with McCain and Nuland way back in 2014, when CIA/State turned Ukraine into a government colony for money laundering…

        1. Would anyone be surprised? This is why I hate the red/ blue narrative of this issue. It’s much more about the leftist/ neoconservative imperialists. They hate Trump so I assume he is doing something right.

          1. “leftist/ neoconservative imperialists”

            For clarity, these are one in the same

        2. He was at the NSC at that time, yes.

          1. They REALLY don’t want that Maidan coup looked into.
            All these government officials suddenly have best buds in Ukraine?
            Ukraine, Egypt, Libya, Syria all just “spontaneously” erupt into civil war at the same time?

            I’m sure it’s all in the up and up though…

  20. From Taylor’s testimony… one of the smoking guns… seems like his evidence is a NYT story. Def a smoking gun..

    Zeldin: What was the goal of requesting investigations into 2016 election and [Ukrainian company that employed Hunter] Burisma?

    Taylor: As I understand it from one of the maybe the article in the New York Times about [Trump’s private lawyer] Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani’s interest in Burisma, in that article, he describes, and I think he quotes Giuliani at some length, that article indicates that Giuliani was interested in getting some information on Vice President Biden that would be useful to Mr.Giuliani’s client. I think that’s what he says. He says he’s got one client, and he’s useful to the client.

    Zeldin: And then it’s your inference that Mr. Giuliani’s goal would be the President’s goal?

    Taylor: Yes.

    Zeldin: And your source is the New York Times?

    Taylor: Yes.

    Zeldin: So do you have any other source that the President’s goal in making this request was anything other than the New York Times?

    Taylor: I have not talked to the president. I have no other information from what the President was thinking.

    1. In other news.. the other smoking gun.

      It appears Vindman and the Whistleblower know and work together… so why is Vindman the one corroborating the information? Is this another FISA corroboration where they used an article about the Steele document to corroborate the Steele document?

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/vindman-and-whistleblower-still-work-together-on-u-s-policy-towards-ukraine

      1. Presumably, Vindman was subpoenaed because he was actually in the July 10th meeting and on the July 25th phone call, and he is the NSC coordinator covering the Ukraine.

        1. And most likely the whistleblowers source. Try comprehending what was written.

          1. But that doesn’t advance the deep state, I mean “Mike’s”, narrative

          2. You asked the question why is Vindman the one corroborating. I did assume by “corroborating” that you meant why is he the one of those two that is testifying.

            1. Read the question before the link dumbfuck. then read the article.

  21. Rodriguez has been accused in a federal lawsuit of stalking a woman and making unwanted sexual advances…

    Her refusal to stop resisting his courtship made him fear for his life.

  22. A federal judge ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit over Trump administration rules around health care workers with religious objections.

    This smells of reproductive health.

    1. Also bans healthcare workers from assisting in sex changes, abortions and euthanasia, even if they object to these procedures.

  23. Today, we join over 50 civil rights and civil liberties organizations highlighting critical Civil Rights Concerns about Social Media Monitoring by Law Enforcement.

    This is about Katie Hill, right?

  24. Apparently when you let kids choose instead of forcing them to be your woke transgender accessory… kids generally choose their actual sex and name. Maybe 6 year olds dont understand transgenderism and play pretend? This has to come as a shock to liberals.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/7-year-old-at-center-of-transgender-custody-battle-opts-to-attend-school-as-a-boy

  25. Meadows hilariously breaks into a live narrative build of an MSNBC reporter stating Republicans are struggling with impeachment.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/im-not-struggling-on-anything-mark-meadows-interrupts-msnbc-reporter-to-defend-trump

  26. When common-sense standards are set to match the expectations of performance in either academic or extracurricular endeavors, we are not practicing discrimination. Instead, we are recognizing that different kids have different levels of gifts and talents, plain and simple.

    Check out the alt-right bigot over here.

  27. I noted that ABC news reported the story about Trump asking Barr to hold a press conference saying he broke no laws.

    I guess that story met their editorial standards…

    Meanwhile, on the record, first person eyewitness accounts from Epstein’s victims that implicated the Royal family, the Clintons and others was too weak to meet their editorial standards… for 3 years.

    1. A member of the British Royal Family and a former US President being involved with a billionaire who was running an under age sex slave ring is just a local story Cyto. ABC is interested in the big, important, stories like Trump tweeting a photo shopped picture of a dog.

  28. Have I mentioned how much I hate Glenn Greenwald?

    In terms of the political climate and pretty much every other metric, the first term (at least) of Bush/Cheney was about 1,000 times more repressive, destructive and evil than anything Trump has been able to accomplish (see Iraq, torture & GITMO)

    His analysis is completely backwards. In fact, Drumpf’s draconian war on immigration is far worse than any of Bush’s missteps.

    #LibertariansForABetterGOP
    #PutTheNeoconsBackInCharge

    1. When a mostly left-wing progressive writer who puts civil liberties at the top of his list is more libertarian than the editors and writers at the magazine that is entirely a paid shilling organization for libertarians and libertarian ideas…..

    2. Why can’t the Intercept hop on the Epstein investigation? Hate em or love em they’ve got people willing to put in the time and money to uncover the truth.

  29. The big financial news of the day is that China, which usually refuses to comment on the progress of trade talks, has confirmed that a graduated phase out of tariffs is part of the upcoming phase one deal, and they’re negotiating now over where to hold the signing. Anyone who’s ever done an arbitrage trade on a merger knows that deals don’t happen until they happen, but if the news that talks had broken down was bad, news that progress is being made up to including phasing out tariffs must be good.

    On another China note, about a month ago, we discussed a story showing that China had pulled out of a $5 billion natural gas project in Iran. I mentioned that this seemed to be directly related to Iran going after Saudi Arabia’s oil production and threatening oil as it passes by the Strait of Hormuz on its way to China. I pointed to it to illustrate the point that markets tend to ally nations’ interests. Helping the Iranians defy sanctions against them because of their nuclear program was all fine and dandy–right up until the moment the Iranians started threatening China’s oil supply and its ability to export manufactured goods to the United States and the rest of the world.

    Yesterday, another data point emerged.

    “Chinese state-owned entities are reportedly in talks about investing a combines $5 billion to $10 billion in Aramco’s initial public offering.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2019-11-06/china-said-discussing-at-least-5-billion-investment-in-aramco-ipo-video

    For those of you who don’t know, Saudi Arabia is in the process of privatizing a huge portion of their state owned oil company by way of an IPO. They’re planning to use the money they earned to diversify their economy away from oil. Regardless, what we’re seeing here is China basically changing sides. Iran and Saudi Arabia are in a proxy war stretching from Syria to Yemen, and while both of them would seem to offer oil reserves to feed China’s economy, there are two obvious reasons why China might prefer Saudi Arabia to Iran.

    1) Where Iran attacked Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities, Saudi Arabia actively refused to escalate the situation and retaliate–because it wasn’t in the Saudi’s best interests to do so. They just repaired their production facilities and went back to work. If you have to choose to ally yourself with one of two adversaries, you want the reasonable partner.

    2) Because Saudi Arabia is an ally of the United States, it means that if conflict breaks out between the United States and Iran or between Saudi Arabia and Iran directly, China’s oil supply will not be a target of American or the Saudi military if China’s oil supply is on the same side as America and the Saudi military. Why choose the oil supply that’s at greater risk if you can choose the one that isn’t at risk?

    Regardless, the point remains that as great as trade for Chinese manufactured goods is for our economy, there are security benefits that aren’t as easily quantified but just as real. It is in the best interests of the United States for China to withdraw its state support from Iran, but China isn’t doing so because it’s in the best interests of American security. China is withdrawing its support from Iran because it’s in China’s interests to do so–and that’s what trade between our nations does: it aligns our interests so that they’re more often the same.

    1. As long as we contintue to be the guarantor of oil flowing out of the Middle East, China has every incentive to ally itself with Iran and let Iran cause us problems right up to the point that a war breaks out and cuts off the flow of oil.

      If, however, we stop doing that and create the real possibility that Iran will no longer be deterred from settling its beef with Saudi Arabia, it is no longer in China’s interests to ally itself with Iran to cause trouble for the US.

      1. I’d say that Iran made a huge mistake when they attacked Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities, but it’s not like they have many cards left to play.

        Earlier this week, they announced they would start enriching uranium in secret again (without supervision), which is exactly what prompted the sanctions against them in the first place and is a direct violation of the NPT.

        They won’t capitulate on compliance with the NPT–despite all the economic pain their violations are causing them–until there’s nothing left to do but capitulate and comply with the NPT. However, there probably isn’t much left for them to do.

        Oh, and it really still needs to be said to all the silly people out there, I guess, that the reason Iran is willing to suffer under sanctions that are crushing their economy is because the intentions of their nuclear program are entirely nefarious.

        This is the NPT doing what it’s supposed to do. This is the alternative to war. Trump’s leadership on this has been optimal.

        1. China will never tolerate Iran cutting off the flow of oil from the Middle East. It would do to their economy what the 73 embargo did to the US economy. With all of China’s other problems, it cannot afford that. Russia would not have a problem with it, but I do not think Russia is going to alienate China by standing up for Iran or allowing it to happen. So, the Iranians are in a tight spot. Their only real leverage is the threat to cut off middle eastern oil supplies. But its only allies are unlikely to support it if it really tried that.

          1. +100 John and Ken.

    2. Good post Ken.

      1. Good post indeed. I’m so focused on domestic politics that I never take the time to look into this stuff.

  30. Lessons from sex workers in Scotland and New Zealand.

    Mint jelly makes a good lube?

    (I don’t feel too baaaaad for that, just a little sheepish.)

  31. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch current net worth: $61.8 billion

    Still stagnating in the $58,000,000,000 to $62,000,000,000 range. Know why? It’s because of Drumpf’s tariffs and immigration restrictions.

    #HowLongMustCharlesKochSuffer?

  32. Russians are growing more dissatisfied with their government, according to new research from the Carnegie Moscow Center and the Levada Center.
    /snip
    Some 53% of the respondents said only serious reforms to Russia’s existing political system could bring about the needed changes.

    I wouldn’t necessarily assume this is good or even hopeful news. There’s a large portion of the American electorate dissatisfied with government and calling for serious reform, but that includes both me and Bernie Sanders. You might want to be careful what you wish for.

    1. That and they might not be disatisfied for the reasons we think. Putin was popular in Russia primarily because he gave the Russians a sense of pride and they felt he was making them a great power again. The Russian people were willing to tolerate the corruption and the poverty that came with Putin because he at least was restoring Russian pride. Maybe they are now not happy because they think Putin isn’t doing that anymore. If that is true or partially true, this is likely to make Putin more aggressive and more dangerous as he tries to reestablish his claim to restoring Russia with the public.

      Also, even if the Russians hate their government and manage to overthrow Putin, there is nothing to say the replacement will be any better and significant reason to think they might be worse. Putin is a thug with a big mouth but really hasn’t made nearly as much mischief in the world as he could. Putin took a piece of Ukraine and Georgia. The next guy could decide to take back the Baltics or Ajerbajan.

  33. “Yesterday it emerged that Zaid, who previously “bragged about his connections to John Podesta” according to lawyer Robert Barnes, tweeted in 2017 that it was vital to “get rid” of Trump and that the “coup has started.””

    http://www.zerohedge.com/political/whistleblower-attorney-disney-girls-and-visiting-amusement-parks-alone

    I’m sure they’ve never been to a pizza party together…

    1. The channel, which is named MarkSZaidEsq, contains uploads of clips featuring Zaid, including interviews on Russia Today, that stretch back over 10 years.

      Russia Today is the Putin owned Russian propaganda show. I thought anyone associated with the evil Russians was bad or something?

      I still would not be surprised if it turns out that the Democrats and their agents in the Deep State are actually the ones colluding with the Russians and the entire Trump Russia thing was a joint US KGB disinformation operation to cover that fact up. I am not kidding.

      1. Maybe, but if your opinions on the Russians are formed using Western corporate media (as seems to be the case), then you’ll be misreading them.
        The global socialists at the heart of our deep state, NATO, the EU, UN, etc need Putin gone to advance their one world government goals.
        I think Putin would’ve liked nothing more than to work out an alliance with the US and actually improve the prospects for peace and stability in the world.
        If that possibility weren’t such a threat, they wouldn’t have needed to kneecap any possibility of that through the direction they went with their coup attempts against Trump.
        When did this “suspicion” of Trump working with Russians start?
        When Trump remarked about improving relations with Russia in his campaign, and they became aware of the possibility of a US president not irrationally hostile to Russia.

        1. I have a simpler explanation; the people you mention are all on China’s payroll and they want the public to see Russia as the enemy so that they don’t notice what China is doing.

          1. Explains some aspects but not others.
            Both are true

          2. +100 I have thought that for some time.

            The USSR and now Russia have never directly attacked the USA and killed a bunch of Americans.

            The Communist Chinese have. October 1950, the Communist Chinese sent hundreds of thousands of troops into North Korea which had been beaten back to the Yalu River in defeat. The North Koreans invaded South Korea and the UN troops assisted the South Korean troops.

            China now has over 50 amphibious landing ships on active service. Add in artificial islands in the South China Sea and you get a clearer picture of China’s military is not guided by a peace strategy.

  34. The channel, which is named MarkSZaidEsq, contains uploads of clips featuring Zaid, including interviews on Russia Today, that stretch back over 10 years.
    Ref: https://www.fastdelhi.com
    satta king

  35. I saw on the news this morning that lefties in Seattle are squealing because Amazon kicked in a bunch of money to unseat socialists in the city government. Totes unfair for rich people to spend money to influence elections!

    Hell, at least Amazon is IN Seattle, and is thus directly affected by whatever the city government does. Meanwhile, out here in Virginia we had a billionaire who doesn’t even fucking live here spending millions to make sure gun-control freaks get elected, to disarm people Bloomberg doesn’t know or care about. But that’s totes okay, am I right?

    1. And yet, the only advertising I saw in my mailbox was the incumbent Trotskyists caterwauling about the opposition. I saw zero ads from the challengers. Not one.

      Fuck ’em.

      1. Seattle’s Socialist City Councilwoman Loses After Amazon Dumps Money Into Race

        The MSM are such liars. For some reason every Election 2019 race in America where Republicans lost was a referendum on Trump but when a supposedly loved Socialist loses in Seattle, it’s Amazon’s fault!?!

        Haha. It’s so funny that more and more Americans are not falling for this shit.

  36. Buttigieg just behind Warren in Iowa, sex work in Scotland

    Even with the comma, this made me wince.

  37. >>Buttigieg just behind Warren in Iowa

    do you write these *for* the riffs?

  38. Good article re what questions non-intervention really has to answer if it is to become a foreign policy. With a link to the 200+ foreign interventions the US has engaged in since 1789.

  39. “Las Vegas is essentially trying to ban homelessness, making it a crime to camp or sleep in public areas downtown and around the city.”

    Las Vegas is booming again, real estate is soaring, and when tourists hear people fighting below the sewer grate it makes them feel uneasy. I haven’t been downtown in over a decade, but from what I see Paradise becoming I don’t think they have a choice. I imagine Winchester and North LV are pretty bad now. About 5 years ago I either saw a person sleeping or a corpse in a shopping cart in that drainage ditch across from the Hardrock Casino. When you have that kind of activity between two resorts that people can view from their balcony or window then it really hurts sales. “Honey, do you want to stay at the Bellagio or that other place? Yeah, the one where we saw the corpse in the shopping cart.”
    No owner wants guests to have that discussion before booking a vacation.

    When the homeless know they won’t get busted then they show up in droves.

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