Reason Roundup

Republicans, Democrats Agree to Dump $738 Billion More Into the Forever War and Space Force

Plus: Tulsi Gabbard's new Afghanistan bill, SCOTUS rejects abortion case, and more...

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A cosmic adventure squad and lots of new military spending got approved by the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, while lawmakers rejected a host of measures meant to rein in endless war.

The bill, which passed the House 377–48, greenlights some $738 billion for Defense Department activities, military construction, and Department of Energy national security programs in 2020. It also lays out new policies regarding everything from "the establishment of the Space Force within the Air Force" to military personnel benefits, "election matters," sanctions for "foreign traffickers of illicit synthetic opioids," and more.

Voting against the 3,488-page bill were just six Republicans (including Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie), 41 Democrats (including Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, California Rep. Ro Khanna, and the so-called "Squad"), and Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, an independent.

Amash explained on Twitter that he voted no because the bill "allows indefinite detention of Americans without charge/trial, reauthorizes intelligence agencies without reforms to protect Americans' rights, violates the original budget caps, and makes no reforms to rein in unsustainable spending."

On the House floor yesterday, Khanna pointed out that when Obama left office the Pentagon budget was already $618 billion. "This defense budget is $120 billion more than what President Obama left us with," Khanna pointed out.

"The bipartisan provision to stop the war in Yemen? Stripped by the White House," he added. "The bipartisan amendment to stop the war in Iran? Stripped by the White House. The bipartisan provision to repeal the 2002…authorization for the war in Iraq, which is sending our troops overseas? Stripped by the White House."

He went on to slam colleagues who applaud when people say they want to stop our endless wars but then continue to vote to fund them.

Rep. Adam Smith (D–Wash.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, previously called the measure "the most progressive defense bill we have passed in decades."

Democrats are applauding the bill because it expands paid parental leave for some federal workers and ups reimbursement fees for military spouses who need new occupational licenses when they move.

President Donald Trump is excited about the bill, which contains authorization for the Space Force that he's been calling for. Read more on the Space Force here and here.


CORRECTION

Wednesday's Roundup described a New York Times report that Trump was going to declare Judaism a nationality. But a draft of the order out yesterday morning proved the Times got some things wrong. While the draft executive order does deal with Judaism and Title VI of Civil Rights Act, it does not define Judaism as a race or nationality. Rather, it clarifies that "discrimination against Jews may give rise to a Title VI violation when the discrimination is based on an individual's race, color, or national origin"—i.e., that anti-Jewish discrimination is not always rooted in religion. Slate has more details.


QUICK HITS

  • Happy Thursday, folks:

  • The Supreme Court will let Kentucky's contested ultrasound-before-abortion law stand.
  • Trump is giving up on a plan to kill the federal Office of Personnel Management.
  • The U.K. is holding elections today.
  • U.S. interest rates will remain unchanged.
  • Gabbard calls for an Afghanistan investigation:

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    1. PEW! PEW! PEW!

      1. No sounds in space… that’s why it is so scary.

        1. Scarier. The only thing you can hear ARE YOUR OWN SCREAMS!

        2. So why do they need the Stanford band then?

    2. Hello.

      Honestly, I’ve lost following opinion on the military. When Trump wanted to pull out of Syria, people went all ‘muh Kurds’ (even though it was the ‘bad’ Kurds). Now they hate spending on the military even though Trump made it clear from Day 1 he’s pro-military and law enforcement. It’s not like any of this is a surprise. He’s actually giving what he campaigned on for the most part. Am I missing something in the equation?

      I only barely passed calculus.

      1. You are missing nothing. Trump has always said he wanted to get the military out of conflicts in the Middle East and then increase its funding to repair the damage done to it by 18 continues years of war now.

        1. So why did Reason seem to not side with him on Syria?

          One would think they’d cheer that on.

          But I don’t recall an article in support of him.

          1. Reason has thrown away any and all credibility

          2. He’s Orange and Bad. What other reason is needed?

          3. That is a very good question Rufus.

          4. It’s like any case of cutting funding/support/whatever.

            Broad, vague declarations (“cut the budget!”, “take the troops home!”, “Cut wasteful military programs!”) are easy, and get broad support.

            When you get specific, things fall apart (“but I like that program!”, “but if we pull back from South Misunderstan, terrorists are likely to grab these revenue streams!”, “You can’t cut the F-35, my district relies on making a widget that goes into that!”), and support drops.

            It’s a non-partisan habit.

            1. Thank you Chinua Achebe

              1. You use the weirdest pet-names.

                1. Only if youre poorly read.

            2. Bingo. You nailed it.

          5. Had to do with the careless, impulsive way he went about it.

        2. Trump has always said he wanted to get the military out of conflicts in the Middle East

          Was this before or after he claimed he wanted to “bomb the shit out of ISIS”?

          1. Both.

            One way you get out is by ending them.

            God youre fucking stupid thinking youre not stupid.

            1. This was covered in the film “Starship Troopers”.

              “Your enemy cannot push a button if you disable his hand!”

              1. You can push a button with your foot.

                1. Or your face, or elbow… really anything with sufficient enough weight or momentum will work.

      2. I’m really good at calc and I am confused too. I dislike Trump but thought he would get us out of Afghanistan, but it hasn’t happened and I can’t blame the man for that. I don’t think he knows what to do either. The public says opposite things, and the Congress keeps voting for more spending. It’s crazy. If we could grasp the concept of “doublethink” maybe we could understand. Of course, that may require a lobotomy, so I will pass.

    3. What, if any, are the plans for implementing the Space Force program? Are we to expect giant laser satellites that can shoot down nuclear missiles before they leave the country of origin? Or orbiting Space Force stations equipped with the ability to fire the MOAB with pinpoint accuracy at any target? Space Force is military, after all. And we are not expecting a real-life War of the Worlds. Seriously, what will Space Force do? Is Trump going to hand over the command passwords over to Putin, Erdogan, Kim, and the Saudi Crown Prince?

      1. Of all the things we could spend money on this is one of the betters. I’m glad he’s pushing our civilization to space. There’s also a high probability that China has already launched weaponized satellites. Not to shoot us, but to destroy, disable, or hack our satellites.

        We also are scheduled to pass by some of the larger bodies in the Taurid meteor cluster in the next 15 years. So we should start developing the capabilities and technology to divert comets and asteroids from earths path.

  1. Republicans, Democrats Agree to Dump $738 Billion More Into the Forever War and Space Force

    Si vis space pacem, para space bellum.

    1. You took the verba right out of my os.

        1. It hurts only if you resist.

  2. But a draft of the order out yesterday morning proved the Times got some things wrong.

    Oy vey.

    1. Again.. it isnt bias. Just mistakes from a low level employee. No bias. Never bias.

    2. Dipsticks.

    3. Not to all reason editors, writers, and contributors; Citing the NYT is NOT journalism. It is very likely even the date on their pages is not correct. Investigate for yourselves, find multiple verifiable, reliable, sources, or don’t call it news, clearly label it opinion.

  3. No, not stripped by the White House. The White House has no control over House of Representatives legislation. It was stripped by House leadership or the bill’s authors or some other Representative.

    Stop blaming everything on Trump.

    1. Exactly. Congress should be made to own the budget not the President.

      1. But the next impeachment for ‘obstruction of congress’ will involve Trump actually putting out a budget as ‘required’ by the silly-ass law passed to get the house off the hook for all spending.

  4. The president has tweeted or retweeted others more than 50 times in the last hour.

    I hate that Trump is president and demand he spend more time doing his job!

    1. THAT IS HIS JOB!

      1. I dont know what the issue is… does it take reason editors more than a minute to read a full tweet or somethinf?

        1. Don’t forget they then have to read a thousand other tweets to find out how they are supposed to react to the President’s tweet.

  5. The Supreme Court will let Kentucky’s contested ultrasound-before-abortion law stand.

    In the pocket of Big Sonography.

    1. We’re molesting pregnant women for the children!

      1. science = molesting

        leftists gonna leftist

        1. Josef Mengele agrees! It’s just science guys.

          1. Ladies and gentlemen, your progressive ideology!

            Sonogram imagery of live fetus (for the purpose of discouraging abortion) = death camps

          2. Bro, you dont seem to realize what side youre on. Its the “finding euphemisms to avoid admitting we’re cutting up live fetuses side”

            I guess maybe youre so stupid that you dont realize youre mengele in this comparison

          3. As if it wasn’t obvious before now that you’ve never had kids.

            1. Y’all are forcing doctors to touch pregnant women. You’re interfering in the doctor patient relationship. You’re using violence and the threat of violence to coerce doctors and women. The Democrats should pass laws making doctors molest Republicans then maybe you’d wake the fuck up.

              1. You cut up fetuses for the sake of convenience.

                You can’t win this one bro. You can’t.

              2. You are boring, and an asshole.

              3. Like I said, it’s quite obvious that you’ve never had kids.

      2. “”We’re molesting pregnant women for the children!””

        Change the “for” to an “and” and you have the TSA.

    2. In the pocket of Big Sonography.

      *slides ultrasound wand to the left side of Big Sonography’s pocket*

      They’re that light-gray, banana-shaped spot, right there ->

  6. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/jersey-city-shootout-developing-details-3-2/2239660/?fbclid=IwAR3OtZ26zcoZos2XlY7NTbu7sUIML37TUWbzhLFvKmYwtwLL_16mB6sataM

    The shooters at the Jersey City Koshur deli were members of the Black Hebrew Israelite sect. This is the same group whose members were lionized by the media after confronting the Covington High School kids.

    1. Local news story.

      1. That is right. But a bunch of high school kids getting into an argument with some people totally national news and something everyone needs to know about.

        1. When capitalism and journalism collide in a country full of uneducated morons with absolutely no moral compass.

    2. Some people did some things.

      1. We will never know their motive. It is just a mystery.

        1. They were secretly working for Trump committing pointless errors to undermine the larger investigation. It’s a conspiracy!

          1. Fail.

            1. Pod has snapped

              1. Not everyone can write a good bot – – – – – –

    3. I don’t know if they were ‘lionized’ so much as conveniently ignored, glossed over, etc.

    4. OOOPS! Tlaib, on Twitter, “This is heartbreaking. White supremacy kills.”. She has since deleted her tweet but has nothing to say about Black Israelites heartbreaks.

      1. When Greta Thunberg got into a verbal altercation with the BHI, those cats covered their ears and muttered over and over: “Sweet Black Jesus, what an annoying voice” and packed up and left the street corner.

    5. Impossible. I’ve been assured by the news that black people never commit hate crimes.

  7. The U.K. is holding elections today.

    AKA Limey Independence Day.

    1. When life gives you limes….

      1. When life gives you limes lemons, don’t make limeade lemonade. Make life take the limes lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn limes lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson limes lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the limes lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lime lemon that burns your house down!

        1. Squeeze my lime lemon, til the juice runs down my leg.

        2. aye, ye’d be a scurvy crew without dese limes….

      2. Make margaritas?

  8. The Afghanistan War has been a gravy train for military contractors, corrupt politicians & warlords.

    AND WHAT’S YOUR POINT?

  9. http://www.insidernj.com/booker-statement-jersey-city-slayings/?fbclid=IwAR39_mQAK61QTQ-dmAhVgsh1SodPl4veb1XMzprmqgm5nsWWX9Jf_NhlLHs

    Corey Booker makes a statement about the Jersey City shooting and doesn’t blame the NRA. Way to go Spartacus.

    1. Everyone knows the NRA is just poor white rednecks, so blaming them for a couple of black Jew-haters would be a stretch even for him.

  10. Reason implied they would use Eric Ciaramellas name when it was openly said by Congress. Goehmert used the name last night during the impeachment mark up. Will Reason follow?

    1. When did Reason imply this?

      1. It was sometime between then and now.

      2. They stated they would not use his name dumbshit.

        1. At this point exposing the WB and letting the Republican dogs chew on him might actually help bring more attention to Trump’s criminal scheming.

          1. How so?

            1. People like spectacles. They like drama. The more eyeballs on this the better. Trump is guilty and it only takes a bit of attention to see it.

              1. Without fail, every Democrat attack on Trump has belly flopped harder and harder the more it is exposed. I’m sure this one is different though, idiot.

              2. I guess you don’t realize the whistleblower was point man on Ukraine when joe blows snow n his cokehead offspring were scheming around Ukraine lining their pockets?

                The dems don’t want him to testify because he’s a link that takes the biden scandal UP the ladder and starts pointing arrows at joe and others higher up than hunter. This is the downfall in a senate trial weve all known the democrats backed into. Not only will trump be acquitted, but this entire corrupt circle jerk of the bidens will also be exposed along with the corruption in the fbi.

                There’s a good chance trump triggers the downfall of the fbi deep state AND the corrupt Democratic establishment that has rigged debates, coerced the irs, and hired British and Russian spies to attempt a coup of a U.S. President.

          2. From a purely legal perspective and definition, there is no whistleblower. There is an anonymous informer. He is not so anonymous. His name is Eric Ciaramella.

            He should be summarily dismissed for making false statements.

      3. https://reason.com/2019/11/08/if-he-thinks-its-such-a-good-idea-why-wont-rand-paul-name-the-whistleblower-himself/

        All the hedging on not naming him and it not being the media’s job… what do you think the implication is “neutral” mikey?

        1. You linked to two different Reason articles. Where did either state Reason’s editorial policy about naming the whistleblower Specifically, where did anyone from Reason “[imply] [Reason] would use Eric Ciaramellas name when it was openly said by Congress.”?

          1. “Where did either state Reason’s editorial policy”

            Oh youre doing THAT again jeff.

          2. Where did I claim it was their editorial policy “neutral” mike?

            1. What did you mean then when you wrote, “Reason implied they would use Eric Ciaramellas name when it was openly said by Congress.”?

              1. It’s in ENglish motherfucker, what he meant is RIGHT THERE

                ““Reason implied they would use Eric Ciaramellas name when it was openly said by Congress.”?”

                There’s nothing vague or difficult to understand there jeff.

            2. The thing is, he cant stop himself from doing that. He does it as jeff, and as mike, and its exsctly the same way, but he thinks people believe him.

              1. The “THAT” that you are complaining about is asking JesseAz to substantiate his claims.

                1. He claimed someone said it was editorial policy in print?

                  Link to him saying that?

                  1. I asked the question in two different ways:

                    * “When did Reason imply this?” ; “Specifically, where did anyone from Reason ‘[imply] [Reason] would use Eric Ciaramellas name when it was openly said by Congress.’?; “What did you mean then when you wrote, ‘Reason implied they would use Eric Ciaramellas name when it was openly said by Congress.’?”

                    * “Where did either state Reason’s editorial policy about naming the whistleblower”

                    You are cherry picking only the second way in which I asked the question. JesseAz has not answered either form of the question, other than linking to two Reason articles with no further explanation of how they are supposed to substantiate what he said.

                    1. So he didn’t, or you just dont have a link?

                    2. You can look for yourself above. JesseAz linked to two Reason articles, neither one of which talk about Reason’s official policy nor unofficial stance on using the whistleblower’s name, and no other explanation of why JesseAz wrote, “Reason implied they would use Eric Ciaramellas name when it was openly said by Congress.”

                    3. So he never said it and you have no link.

                      Got it.

    2. Nothing to worry about. When the time is right, they’ll let us know.

    3. The name Ciaramella appears almost every day here. I;m surprised Reason hasn’t blocked it out.

  11. Schiff, who doesnt have classification authority, decided to classify some of the testimony from the closed door transcripts.

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/how-were-inquiry-transcripts-classified/

    First… why?

    Second… how?

    And lastly .. wasnt one of the whistleblowers claims that trump was illegally classifying material?

    1. If he doesn’t have the authority, it is not classified. It is no different than you or I making “super secret and only available to those who have a Little Orphan Annie special decoder ring” on something.

      1. He does have clearance though. And mismarking classified material is a violation up to a criminal violation.

        1. Yes it is, when it is done to evade FOIA. As a clearance holder he has derivative classification authority. If you as a clearance holder put classified information into a document, you then must stamp the document classified. This must have been what he did.

          1. He will have to cite the classification authority in the footer.

            1. Yes. And it doesn’t appear he did that. And it doesn’t appear that there is any actual classified material to base a derivative classification on.

              1. “This makes us look bad” is reason enough.

                “This makes Trump look bad” was plenty of reason for the Obama administration to lower the classification of wire tap info from “Crossfire Hurricane” and distribute it around the government in order to be strategically leaked after the inauguration. So Schiff is on safe ground here…. he has plenty of precedent to cite.

    2. Hey remember when Trump ordered his executive agencies to declassify materials and they told him to go fuck himself and Reason applauded our brave heroes in the intelligence community for guarding our very important state secrets?

    3. This article is just one more way of how right-wing media misleads you.

      The author of your article deliberately wants to conflate the ordinary meaning of the term “secret”, with the official national security designation of SECRET or TOP SECRET associated with EO 13526. Because a document is labeled “secret” does not necessarily mean it has been so designated according to EO 13526. After all I am sure plenty of organizations have documents that they don’t want being released to the public, which they might want to use the term “secret” to describe them. That doesn’t mean they are somehow OMG NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETS. And the rules for HPSCI permit the committee to keep certain documents a secret if they contain material that the committee doesn’t think should be made public. It doesn’t mean it is TOP SECRET according to EO 13526, just shouldn’t be made available. Now you can argue all you want about the propriety of such an act, but it is not an usurpation of executive prerogative to do so.

      But no, your article, instead of trying to argue the merits of whether it’s a good idea to make this info secret, wants to cast aspersions on Schiff that he is in this case somehow up to no good in getting stuff classified in ways that should be the province of the executive to do so. And that is how you’re being lied to, Jesse.

      1. When a government document is designated “Secret” or “Classified” that necessarily implies that it is designated so under the EO. If it isn’t, then the person is misusing the designations. I can’t declare a government document “secret” and then later claim “well I didn’t mean that kind of secret”. That is exactly what Shiff is doing here. He knows full well what the term means and how the public will take it.

        1. When a government document is designated “Secret” or “Classified” that necessarily implies that it is designated so under the EO.

          Maybe, maybe not. The article doesn’t make this clear, but definitely wants you to conclude this even though the author doesn’t actually try to prove this claim.

          I can’t declare a government document “secret” and then later claim “well I didn’t mean that kind of secret”.

          Why not?

          1. So you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about.
            Typical

      2. “chemjeff radical individualist
        December.12.2019 at 11:04 am
        This article is just one more way of how right-wing media”

        He can’t even make it past one sentence without blowing his cover.

      3. Jeff… you’re a fucking idiot.

      4. Literally everything you said is a lie. It is hilarious. You are either the dumbest fuck in the universe or being intentionally dishonest.

        Schiff was having the testimony in a classified SCIF. The meetings themselves were unclassified. Schiff damn well knows what a SECRET marking is.

        The fact you wrote those 3 paragraphs shows what a dishonest piece of shit you actually are.

        Government employees dont get to just mark secret on things. If it wasnt classified it would be open to an FOIA which is Schiffs purpose here.

        So I reiterate… you’re a fucking idiot.

        1. “”Schiff damn well knows what a SECRET marking is.””

          If a Senator turned Secretary of State doesn’t know what a SECRET marking is, why would we expect Schiff to know?

          The dems gave people cover for not knowing when they failed to charge Hillary.

          1. Look, that was Clinton. No reasonable prosecutor would bring charges against a Clinton. It is known.

            1. Not if they value their lives.

        2. As I said. It is totally possible for information to be regarded as “secret” without having it designated as OFFICIALLY TOP SECRET by Executive Order. Nothing in all of your fulminations disputes this.

          Government employees dont get to just mark secret on things.

          The HSPCI rules permit the committee to label documents as secret if they contain sensitive information.

          https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/CPRT-116-HPRT-IG00-CommitteeRules.pdf

          “(m) Requirement to Protect Sources and Methods. In bringing a matter to the attention of the
          House, or another committee, the Committee, with due regard for the protection of
          intelligence sources and methods, shall take all necessary steps to safeguard materials or
          information relating to the matter in question.”

          It wasn’t hard to find this stuff. Why didn’t you bother digging into this question a little bit, Jesse?

          1. If you actually read the entire document, you would realize that the paragraph you are citing is in the section titled:
            “14. Procedures Related to Handling of Classified Material”

            In federal law and regulation, the word classified has a distinct meaning. It doesn’t mean the committee chair decided something was sensitive. Or proprietary. Or contains personal information.

            So your argument is wrong. If a document is CLASSIFIED, it has been do so officially. Of course not all classified documents are TOP SECRET. There are levels of classification:
            Classified
            Secret
            Top Secret.

            But the use of the word “classified” means documents that fit one of these designations.

            1. You mean:
              Confidential
              Secret
              Top Secret

            2. He didn’t mark the committee document as “classified”, he marked it as “secret”. Sheesh. This is not hard to understand.

              1. Then why did you cite the requirements for classified?!

          2. Hilarious, jeff.
            You must be quite embarrassed

  12. This defense budget is $120 billion more than what President Obama left us with…

    If not bowing to every foreign leader costs $120 million then that’s a small price to pay!

    1. Oh wait that’s billion. GET TO BENDING, MR PRESIDENT.

    2. Who knew Obama was such a cheapskate?

      1. The key word there is “defense.” O was a cheapskate only in certain areas.

    3. Still less than what it was 2008 – 2013.

      However, the purse belongs to the house. Not the President.

  13. Democrats largely did something unethical and unfounded when they allowed their impeachment lawyer to serve as both a witness and a lawyer.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/12/11/why-allowing-a-democrat-impeachment-witness-to-cross-examine-an-opponent-was-completely-unfair-and-unethical/

    This is against legal rules based on current ethics regulations.

    1. That Republican lawyer did the exact same fucking thing. He was sitting right next to the Democrat lawyer. Did that occur to you?

      1. You didn’t read the story

        1. No I did not. Did I miss something?

          1. Ok.I read the title and sorta the first sentence. This ain’t a court or jurisprudence. It’s stupid to even compare this with courts. Trump would be under the fucking prison if this was a court for witness tampering etc, etc.

            1. Hey look, you DID cry more ahahahaahaha

              1. I’m having fun today. I did lose my temper yesterday. I even called Lindsey Graham and yelled at his voicemail.

                1. So many of your tears ahahahaha you cowardly fuck ahahaahaja

                2. Do you realize the rational people here who see the farce for what it is arent calling and screaming at senators? This is a good sign you’re both wrong and losing.

                  1. the rational people here

                    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHSH

                    1. I absolutely love that youve been reduced to being a bargain basement me!!!

            2. You just stated this was a grand jury investigation, ie a court, 2 weeks ago dimwit.

      2. Cry more shreek.

        1. Pod is no shreek
          Pod’s just a (necessarily) unstable true believer
          Shreek is a fucking child molester that should be summarily executed

          1. It really makes no difference if its Tony or shreek. That was never the point.

    2. It is my understanding that Castor and Berke took turns at being on the witness stand and asking questions. Am I wrong about that?

      That is an odd way to run a hearing, but it was symmetrical. The author of the article, John Lucas, describes it as an “ambush”, but I cannot find any sources talking about when the rules of how they were going to proceed were established and/or communicated to the Republican minority. Do you know of any article or source corroborating Lucas’ claim that there was an ambush?

      1. “but I cannot find any sources”

        Newsflash fucking aspie retard, not everything in the world is internet searchable

        1. Incoming jeffmike “I cant find any sources tthat say that”

      2. Yes, you’re wrong.
        The impropriety was objected to at the time, multiple times throughout the hearing. Nadler contradicted himself multiple times then simply ignored questions/objections.
        Watch the hearing if you actually want to know

        1. I’ll take your word for it. It was a really odd way to run a hearing.

          1. odd is not how you spell partisan.

            1. Fair enough. The Democrats were being partisan, not just odd.

              1. See? Shaming you does work.

              2. Summing up…

                They had lawyers make opening statements. Immediately after this, the democrat lawyer is allowed to interrogate the republican lawyer. The Republicans objected to this. They were told to STFU. The Republican lawyer was not allowed to question the Democrat lawyer.

                The republicans objected to this. They were told to STFU.

                The democrats have learned their lesson on the Russia report. Remember how angry they were that Barr got out in front of it and gave out the executive summary – “No Collusion”. The Dems and the Media wanted to frame the narrative, so they deemed this unfair.

                Witness their behavior on the Horowitz report… they have been shouting in unison – “FBI exonerated!… There was no bias! Trump has been lying!” This, despite the report specifically not saying that and Horowitz testifying that the neither the report nor his personal conclusion is that there was no political bias.

                The conclusion was that he didn’t have proof of any political bias.

                That is a very, very different statement.

                This is precisely why the Democrats took that action in the impeachment hearing. They repeatedly interrupted the Republican lawyer to prevent him from getting out any clean sound bites. They then put their guy in a position of power and authority over him to create an image of credibility for their side. This was all about salesmanship – something they call “messaging” in the political game.

                1. I’m looking at this transcript: https://www.rev.com/blog/house-judiciary-committee-impeachment-hearing-transcript-day-2

                  “They had lawyers make opening statements. Immediately after this, the democrat lawyer is allowed to interrogate the republican lawyer. The Republicans objected to this. They were told to STFU.”

                  I see that at about the 45:45 mark:

                  Jerry Nadler: (45:54)
                  Gentleman will state his point of order.

                  Louie Gohmert: (45:56)
                  We’ve been told that counsel for the Democrats was a witness, and that’s why he didn’t have to comport with the rules of decorum. And now he’s sitting up here-

                  Jerry Nadler: (46:08)
                  Gentleman will state a point of order.

                  Louie Gohmert: (46:08)
                  I’ve been a judge, and I know that you don’t get to be a witness and a judge in the same case. That’s my point of order. He should not be up here.

                  Jerry Nadler: (46:16)
                  It’s not a point of order. Pursuant to House Resolution 660 and it’s accompanying judiciary committee procedures…

                  Nadler doesn’t really address Gohmert’s objection about precedent. And then later in the transcript, someone proposes that since Resolution 660 doesn’t address whether lawyers can both be witnesses and ask questions, and Nader essentially tells him basically, as you said, “STFU”.

                2. “The Republican lawyer was not allowed to question the Democrat lawyer.”

                  At about 1:38:55, Doug Collins, not Castor, starts his 45 minutes and starts questioning Daniel Goldman. Even though it is not Castor asking questions, I think it follows the rules in Resolution 660, which seems to say that the Republicans could have chosen for Collins to yield all or part of his 45 minutes to Castor. I may be wrong about that.

  14. Amash explained on Twitter that he voted no because the bill “allows indefinite detention of Americans without charge/trial…”

    The Constitution has something to say about that.

    1. Don’t bring out that dusty old document written by oppressive white men.

      1. Apparently the only part of the Constitution worth saving is the part that lets you impeach your political enemies for whatever strikes your fancy.

  15. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/11/three-die-marauding-pakistan-lawyers-rampage-cardiac-hospital/

    Don’t fuck with Pakistani lawyers.

    Up to 200 lawyers wearing traditional black suits stormed the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), smashing windows, doors and equipment and setting a police van ablaze.

    Television reports showed some of the lawyers armed with handguns while riot police fired tear gas to try to quell the mob. Lawyers could be seen standing on the bonnet of a burning police vehicle and scuffling with officers.

    Doctors and nurses fled the hospital to escape the violence, leaving intensive care patients unattended.

    “Three patients including an elderly woman died after doctors failed to provide them timely treatment and remained engaged in averting the assault,” Punjab provincial health minister Yasmeen Rashid said.

    1. Fascinating. Pakistan is growing up. Reminds me of the wild west.

      1. They did this because the doctors beat up a lawyer who tried to cut in line. Doctors and lawyers are apparently rival gangs. I am not sure if that is growing up.

        1. Well at least they’re murdering each other in the vicinity of the courthouse. Baby steps.

          1. My bad they attacked the hospital. They should have subpoenaed the doctors and attacked them as they were entering the courthouse. At least they went to law school.

            1. They should just PAY THEM ALL OFF AHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAH

        2. Well, they are all cousin-brothers

    2. You know who else was a lawyer?

      1. Hillary?

      2. Bill was. Emphasis on “was”.

      3. Raymond Burr?

  16. The correction is fucking hilarious by the way. Reason should be embarrassed and learn to stop pushing narratives formed by the left.

    1. They were “confused”.

    2. it only happens in one direction, way over 17 times, but it’s not bias

    3. Example: Yesterday Soave wrote an article in which he claimed Horowitz concluded there was no political motivation behind the bogus FBI investigation.

      Horowitz concluded nothing regarding motivation. He merely reported facts and actions.

      Those are very different things, Soave knows it. Soave is a liar.

      1. The new low is Sullumn’s article yesterday. Sillumn says in so many words that Trump is guilty but there isn’t any evidence of it so impeaching him now would be bad. If there isn’t any evidence how does Sullumn know Trump is guilty? Orange man bad of course.

        1. He did not say he thinks there isn’t any evidence. In his lead-off paragraph: ” To my mind, there is compelling evidence that he did both of those things.”

          1. And then he goes on to admit that there isn’t any evidence that will convince anyone else. So there is all of this “compelling evidence” that somehow will only convince Sullumn, which is him admitting no such evidence exists outside of his imagination and determination for it to exist.

          2. Mike, have you ever read past an opening paragraph? Because you seem to also only quote opening witness statements and ignore actual testimony. It seems to be a trait of yours.

            1. Like here, where you quoted Sondland’s opening statement, I refuted your claim by linking to and quoting from the transcript of Sondland’s November 20th testimony, and Tulpa kept trying to refute his November 20th testimony with an article from October 17th?

              https://reason.com/2019/12/10/house-reveals-articles-of-impeachment-against-trump-abuse-of-power-and-obstruction-of-congress/#comment-8043636

              1. Lolol youre still upset you got made a fool of and lost that one AHAHAHAAHAHAH

                1. That was epic I owned the fuck out of you there, and I LOVE that youre still salty about it

                  1. Tulpa, when you look at a 2019 calendar, do you see the month of October as being before or after November?

                    1. Hey dumbbass who still doesnt get it, when you see TWO CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS BY THE SAME PERSON WHY DO YOU BELEIVE ON UNEQUIVOCALLY?

                      Get it now fucktard?

                    2. Right now jeffmike’s aspie ass is realizing that he fucked up, and how, and that he DID get owned, and has spent days getting laughed at for it but not understanding why. That’s gotta sting for ya jeffmoke.

                    3. If your position is that Sondland is sun unreliable witness, I’ll buy only that.

                      But I will expect that you be consistent about it.

                    4. I dont give a fuck what you buy OR want jeff, but thanks for admitting for everyone that you fucked up, didnt understand the discussion, and are an idiot.

              2. Have to walk back the part where I said you quoted from Sondland’s opening statement. You did make claims about his actual testimony, although you never substantiated those claims.

                1. You were lying, we get it, youre so fucking stupid you didnt understand the arguments in the first place, so lying is no surprise from you.

    4. Did they go back and change their own headline?

  17. The most subversive, explosive message you tell the Chinese people is something different. It goes like this:

    The Party is a racket. The guys at the top are not any different from the ones you deal with at the bottom. The Party exists to make sure their kids have a spot at the front of the line no matter how much more your kids deserve it. You are not forced to call Xi all these fancy titles because it will help him restore China to its ancestral glory: you are forced to do all of that so Xi Jinping’s daughter gets into Harvard and his family racks up homes in Hong Kong. All of the taxes, the censorship, the ridiculous rules and regulations, the blustering about war, the hero-worship and the propaganda, the detention centers and the cameras—it is all a racket. You live a slave so that someone else’s children can get ahead.

    That is the fissure in the facade. It is whispered of. It is wondered at. Sooner or later, it will explode.

    http://scholars-stage.blogspot.com/2019/12/fissures-in-facade.html

    Interesting article about China. Swap out a few things and doesn’t this paragraph apply equally well to the Democratic Party and minority and especially black voters?

    1. They all play the same game with different names.
      Vote everyone out, every time.

      1. What is sold as something to help the less fortunate always ends up with someone in an office in city hall getting rich.

        1. Yeah as a liberal I can tell you that I would rather money go directly to people as opposed to creating these agencies.

          1. How about they go make their own fucking money?

            1. They should do that but it’s not realistic to expect that and I don’t want my throat cut by a desperate homeless guy so I like the idea of redistributing some of the wealth. It’s like paying off Vikings.

              1. Ahahahahah the idiot thinks danegeld worked, and wants to be a vassal ahahahaahahah

                1. I mean OMG he literally is AFRAID OF HOMELESS PEOPLE ROBBING HIM SO HE WANTS TO PAY THEM OFF AHAHAHAHAHAHJA

                  WHAT KIND OF COWADLY BITCH FUCK ADMITS THAT AAHAHAHJA GET A SACK YOU GIANT PUSSY AHAHAHAHAAHAHA

                  1. HE ADMITTED HE WANTS TO PAY THEM BECAUSE HE’S AFRAID

                    AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                  2. In the normal course of things I would have died on a medieval battlefield ten years ago. I can feel it in my blood. I know exactly who my ancestors were. I would have chased the chariots into the woods and been ambushed. I would have charged the hill with the French knights at Nicopolis.


                    1. YOU LITERALLY ADMITTED YOURE A FUCKING COWARD BITCH AHAHAHAHAHAHA

                      HAHAHAAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHHAAHHAAJ

                    2. “I would have charged the hill with the French knights at Nicopolis.”

                      To PAY THEM OFF AND THEN RUN AWAY AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

                    3. “I can feel it in my blood”

                      AHAAHHHHHHH@HH@HHHAAHHHHHHHH@ AHAAHHHHHHH@HH@HHHAAHHHHHHHH@ AHAAHHHHHHH@HH@HHHAAHHHHHHHH@ AHAAHHHHHHH@HH@HHHAAHHHHHHHH@

                    4. Uhm, the medieval period ended 5 centuries ago . . .

                    5. I would have chased the chariots into the woods and been ambushed. I would have charged the hill with the French knights at Nicopolis.

                      But you just said you’d rather pay off the homeless so they wouldn’t attack you.

              2. Christ. Its like you’re a low-effort troll.

                It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
                   For fear they should succumb and go astray;
                So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
                   You will find it better policy to say: –

                “We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
                   No matter how trifling the cost;
                For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
                   And the nation that plays it is lost!”

                1. I like the way Miyamoto Musashi put it:
                  Bother no one.
                  If someone bothers you,
                  ask them to stop.
                  If they continue,
                  Destroy them.

          2. So youre for repealing all taxes, fabulous.

          3. Yeah as a [fucking lefty ignoramus] I can tell you that I would rather money go directly to people as opposed to creating these agencies.

            You’re welcome.

    2. It’s certainly applicable to any complex, large-scale society, political alignments aside. Swap out “China” for “the United States (not just corrupt ward or city council reps, but the celebrity class, for example),” “ancient Rome,” “the Soviet Union,” “19th Century Britain,” “the Abassid Caliphate,” what have you–the larger and more complex a society becomes, the easier it gets for the ruling classes to manipulate the systems to their advantage.

  18. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Yes yes, the White House stripped provisions out of a bill in the house of representatives. Just broke in there in the middle of the night with a sharpie and blacked those parts out. Dastardly!

    Good to see Reason has finally found a middle east war it doesn’t want to continue though. Aren’t you afraid of what might happen to our brave Yemeni allies if we abandon them in their hour of need?

    1. Trump broke into the Speaker’s office and changed the bill without anyone knowing about it. It is worse than Watergate.

      1. They had to vote to find out what was in it.

    2. Khanna’s complaints are even dumber considering it’s the Dems who control those committees. He’s actually admitting that the Dem reps are so weak and ineffectual that they weren’t able to keep all these amendments from being stripped from the bill before coming to the floor for a vote.

  19. “The U.K. is holding elections today.”

    Again? Don’t the Brits have anything better to do?

    1. They should just have a Queen, saves time.

  20. Should be “rein in”, like a horse. Otherwise, pretty good!

    1. All opposed, say “neigh”.

  21. http://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/spains-migrant-friendly-border-fences

    Looks like the razor wire fences are usually 50% or greater effective.
    That’s pretty good

    1. I’m curious about the effectiveness of those sharks with frickin laser beams on the coast

    2. Learning is fun. I did not know Spain has exclaves in Morocco.

      1. The article explains that the Moroccan illegal immigrants are technically inside the EU once they make it over the fence, but I’m curious about what the immigrants do about being on the African side of the Mediterranean.

        I googled for articles to fill in the story, but only found articles that seem to say that a lot of Moroccan illegal immigrants skip hopping this fence and simply catch a boat from the Moroccan coast in the first place.

        (Also, it sounds like the Spanish coast guard spends a lot of time stopping the boat or rescuing people from the boats.)

        1. Once over the fence, if they can scrape up the fare, they just take the ferry over.

        2. “Migrants who successfully scale the fences at Ceuta and Melilla are normally transferred to processing facilities in mainland Spain. Once there, many migrants continue on to wealthier countries in northern Europe, where social welfare benefits are more generous than in Spain. Only 30% of the migrants who enter Ceuta remain in Spain, according to Clemen Núñez, a director of the Red Cross in Ceuta. The rest normally move on to Britain, France and Germany. The border issue at Ceuta and Melilla is therefore one that affects all of Europe.”

          6th paragraph, barely a third of the way into the article

          1. Europe must be swarming with food trucks.

          2. Thank you, I missed where it said that.

            1. Because it isn’t in the first paragraph.

            2. You should ask yourself what else you’ve missed

          3. Is processing facility another name for concentration camp?

    3. “thousands of migrants equipped with gloves, spike shoes and makeshift hooks”

      The illegal immigrants from Morocco are not aware of the existence of wire cutters? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      1. Go try that shit on razor wire and get back to me dumbass.

        1. The photo in the article sure seems to show chain link fence with razor wire only at the top of the fence.

          1. You misunderstood idiot, i want you to go try it on razor wire and injure yourself for my amusement, give a fuck about your comment lololol

          2. A chain link fence, with razor wire atop. Followed by a 10-12 foot gap with rolls of razor wire on the ground. Followed by another chain link fence with razor wire atop.

    4. So who’s going to pay for the health care of migrants who are cut up by the razor wire?

      1. Gillette.

        1. Knowing Gillette, they’ll make a commercial out of it for broadcast in Spain.

      2. Themselves?
        Their families?

        1. You know that is not how it is going to work.
          They’re not just going to be left to die. Taxpayers will end up footing the bill. And it will be American taxpayers.

          I thought the goal here was to reduce the burdens on the welfare state, not to increase them.

          1. This fucking idiot just tried to claim that the money saved from deterrence will be eaten up and overshadowed by the cost of treating minor medical injuries.

            Ladies and gentlemen, he has reached peak retard and somehow exceeded it, and has exited the atmosphere on a galaxy wide search for higher peaks to retard upon.

            1. If trying to cross the concertina wire only resulted in “minor medical injuries” then it wouldn’t be a very effective deterrent, would it? Certainly not at the 50% level that Nardz is hoping for. Might as well save money and plant a bunch of cacti in the desert instead. “Oh no, we might get prickled to death! Better turn back to Guatemala now!”

              The only way it would be effective is if it yielded the possibility of serious medical injury by trying to cross it. And when migrants start seriously injuring themselves at the border, someone will have to pay to treat their injuries.

              The border restrictionist crowd continually dunks on the open border crowd by accusing them about not caring about the consequences of freer immigration into the country. “Oh, but all those migrants will have to eat and sleep! Who’s gonna pay for that? Huh?”

              Well, perhaps you could use a taste of your own advice. Who is going to pay to treat all of the injured migrants? Hmm?

              1. Notable recent incidents include:

                July 26, 2018. At least 800 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa tried to scale the fence at Ceuta. A total of 602 managed to enter Spanish territory. The migrants used unprecedented violence against Spanish law enforcement. Eleven police officers were injured when migrants attacked them with quicklime, homemade flamethrowers, sticks and sharp objects, as well as with urine and excrement.

                August 22, 2018. A total of 119 migrants successfully scaled the fence at Ceuta, after taking advantage of a diminished police presence on the Moroccan side of the border during a Muslim holiday.

                October 2018. More than 300 migrants tried to scale the fence at Melilla; 200 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, successfully entered Spanish territory.

                May 12, 2019. More than 100 migrants tried to scale the fence at Melilla; 52 migrants, mostly from Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mali, successfully entered Spanish territory.

                August 30, 2019. More than 400 migrants tried to scale the fence at Ceuta; 155 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, successfully entered Spanish territory.

                September 19, 2019. At least 60 migrants tried to scale the fence at Melilla; 26 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, managed to enter Spanish territory.

                November 18, 2019. A people smuggler transporting 52 migrants — 34 men, 16 women and two children — reached Spanish territory after driving his van at full speed through the border gate at Ceuta. The driver, a 38-year-old Moroccan with French residency, was arrested more than a kilometer inside Spanish territory. The migrants, who claimed to be from Congo, Guinea and the Ivory Coast, were taken to a migrant processing facility in Ceuta.

      3. Johnson & Johnson will sponsor it.

  22. As president, I commit to immediately bring our troops home, complete within a few months.

    This is why, even taking her other loony-tune policies into account, she’s a far superior candidate to any other coming out of Dem Clownworld.

  23. Trump is giving up on a plan to kill the federal Office of Personnel Management.

    TRUMP’S GITMO.

  24. Because, doncha know, electricity is generated from unicorn farts and stuff:

    “California regulators clear way for natural gas bans to take effect”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-regulators-clear-way-for-natural-gas-14900008.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    1. I think that is a negative commerce clause issue. Natural gas is a national market and interstate commerce. I don’t see how a state can ban its use.

      1. That they’re trying to do this in conjunction with PG&E basically admitting that blackouts are going to become a regular thing now, because the greentards won’t allow proper forest management to take place around the power poles, would be hilarious if California wasn’t actively exporting its political idiocy to the rest of the American West.

        1. The place is turning into a third world country. But environmentalism is such a cult that I am starting to think even the lights going out and their house burning down isn’t going to get its adherents to wake up.

          1. they consider Burning down entire towns a good thing as proof of climate change. its small price to pay to get people in line.

          2. It’s what they really want. No electricity, no houses. Just nature.

        2. “…because the greentards won’t allow proper forest management to take place around the power poles,…”

          I posted a link on this yesterday. The watermelons want the forest to re-grow ‘letting nature take its course’ (humans being un-natural, of course), which is EXACTLY the sort of mismanagement which CAUSED the fires.
          Oh, and their buddies on the left want me to subsidize the fire insurance, because ‘those people WANT to live there, dammit!’.

    2. “Menlo Park requires electric power for space heating, water heating and dryers in new homes but allows gas stoves.”

      Kinda knew it would say this before reading the article. There’s no way the upper-middle class are going to ban themselves from using gas ranges.

      1. SIX BURNER gas ranges at a minimum. None of that 4-burner prole shit.

        1. Or if you are a really hip “foodie”, an AGA stove that’s on all the time.

          1. Never heard of it so I looked it up.

            $14k to $20k for a heavy cast iron stove that works on the principle of having a large heat-storing mass that you always keep at baking temperature. Probably a decent idea for a commercial kitchen. Not so much for the rest of us.

            1. For a while it was totally a status symbol to have one in your Silicon Valley mansion. I’m not sure if that’s still true.

        2. Induction is good too. Thinking of getting one.

    3. they want everyone to use the already overburdened broken electrical grid. I swear their goal is to make California a third world state. I heat my house with propane which will be the next target. electricity is very expensive.

      1. “…electricity is very expensive.”

        There’ll be subsidies.

  25. Anyone who didn’t realize that the militarization of near Earth orbit space was inevitably going to happen sooner or later is just a complete fool.

    I would ask normal people how they would feel about Russia and China dominating this arena, but I would never ask the America-hating a-homes who work for Reason because most of them think it would be really awesome.

    1. It was militarized the day the Soviets put up Sputnik. Sputnik didn’t have to orbit directly over the continental United States. It only did as a way of sending a military message about Soviet supremacy.

    2. Wow, “America-hating”.

      Looks like ENB’s take was a criticism of spending, not the Space Force per se. I thought out-of-control government spending was supposed to be a shared concern of both libertarians and conservatives.

      1. Reason has attacked the idea of a space force before.

        1. I remembered that there were some articles like that, so I went back to look at them. They do make some good points, such as the cost and that there is already an Air Force Space Command with 36,000 personnel:

          https://reason.com/2019/01/16/at-least-trumps-space-force-is-giving-us/

      2. I thought out-of-control government spending was supposed to be a shared concern of both libertarians and conservatives.

        Then you must have been asleep for the past 5 years.

        1. We all know you are talking to yourself

      3. And don’t mind Wiegel here, he’ll call anyone “America-hating” if they don’t support excessive and exaggerated displays of American military superiority anywhere and everywhere as a giant FUCK YOU to the rest of the world.

        1. Cry more about him

          1. Very low energy. Very low.

            1. That explains s why your crying was so pathetic then, get your T tested guy

        2. Actually, were going to pass near some of the larger objects in the Taurid asteroid field in the next 15 years. It’s a very good idea to be developing defense capabilities in space. For earth, our satelites, and our astronauts.

          It’s also known that China is developing weaponized satellites, not necessarily to shoot us. But to disable or hack our own satelites. Protecting the billions invested in our satellites is a wise investment.

    3. What do you think ‘militarization of near earth orbit’ means?

      Because its been militarized since the 1950’s when we developed the first ground launched ASAT missiles. Or you could say since the 1980’s with GPS. And then there are the recon assets.

      Putting a dude up there with a gun – no matter how big – is actually irrelevant. He’s just a big target for everyone with no place to hide.

  26. I think the irony meter just broke:

    “ICE honors Human Rights Day”

    https://twitter.com/ICEgov/status/1204562328135458816

    1. It’s more of an aspirational thing?

      1. you talking to yourself like that and trying to be funny in the process is really the most pathetic thing ever posted on reason anywhere

    2. ICE literally runs concentration camps in which people are literally forced to drink from toilets.

      #AbolishICE
      #IMissObama
      #DemocratsDontCageKids

    3. Popular sovereignty is a human right. Go look it up

      1. It is? That seems weird. On what basis?

        Not because I don’t think popular sovereignty is a good idea, but I find it difficult to square the idea of popular sovereignty being a “human right” with the idea of negative liberties. If popular sovereignty is a human right, then it suggests that I as a citizen have a right to demand that government employees be my slaves in carrying out my wishes.

        Theoretically I think someone could be just as free living in a state of complete anarchy, than if one were living in a state with any type of government, even a minarchist one, irregardless of popular sovereignty.

        1. you’re an idiot finding things difficult is your entire life

          1. The use of irregardless proves your point.

        2. “…If popular sovereignty is a human right, then it suggests that I as a citizen have a right to demand that government employees be my slaves in carrying out my wishes.”

          That explains a lot.
          Fuck off, slaver.

        3. Popular sovereignty is the idea that the government derives its authority from the consent of the people.

          If you have a hard time squaring that with the idea that people should be free to make choices for themselves, then you’re mistaking your own ignorance of other people’s contradictions.

          Because you don’t understand what other people are talking about doesn’t mean other people are contradicting themselves.

          1. It is in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

            1. Okay? The UDHR includes a bunch of negative rights and a bunch of positive rights as well. Just because it’s in UDHR doesn’t mean that it is a right that libertarians can and should support as a fundamental human right. See my comment to Ken below.

              1. It includes legitimate rights as well. And the right to free movement contained in Article 14 does not include the right to cross borders.

                Popular sovereignty and the right to self determination has long been held to be a human right. It is kind of a big deal in places like Palestine, the Balkans, Northern Ireland and others.

            2. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has merit insofar as it approximates our actual rights that exist–even with the declaration.

              Our actual rights would exist as they are even if the Universal Declaration of Human Rights said otherwise, but I appreciate that this concept is both too simple and too complicated for ChemJeff to understand.

            3. Since when is anything done by the UN popular ’round here?

          2. Ken, I know what “popular sovereignty” means. Again we’re not talking about whether it’s a good idea or not (I think it’s a good idea). We’re talking about whether it ought to be considered a human right or not. If it’s a “human right” then it would have to be a positive right since a “right” to popular sovereignty would imply that government employees would be compelled to serve my interests. This is in contrast to negative rights, which don’t require compelling anyone to perform any affirmative action, they only require the absence of coercion restraining me from exercising my liberties. It was always my understanding that libertarians took a rather dim view of positive rights since they themselves constituted a form of aggression by the claimed rights-holder against the person compelled to provide the service. What is your argument for regarding popular sovereignty as a human right?

            1. “Ken, I know what “popular sovereignty” means”

              Except we have your posts.

            2. I think you’re using a lot of jargon because you don’t understand the underlying concepts, and the reason I think you don’t understand the underlying concepts is because you keep referring to phantom contradictions.

              My summary is that rights are the obligation to respect other people’s choices. There isn’t anything contradictory about being obligated to respect other people’s choices and believing that the government should only rule by the consent of the governed.

              In fact, the idea that if the government has any legitimate purpose at all, it is only to protect our rights is the fundamental foundation of small government libertarians. If you understand that statement, then the observation that government should only operate by the consent of the governed isn’t a contradiction. It’s practically redundant.

              Consent of the Governed + Individual Rights = The Legitimate Purpose of Government is to Protect Our Rights.

              Where is the contradiction?

              1. Consent of the Governed + Individual Rights = The Legitimate Purpose of Government is to Protect Our Rights.

                I agree with this. That’s not the issue.
                The issue is whether someone has a *RIGHT* to popular sovereignty – a government which reflects the will of the people.
                My answer is no. Popular sovereignty is a good idea, but it shouldn’t be regarded as a fundamental right.

  27. OMG! Economic disaster!

    Our billionaire benefactor Charles Koch is in danger of falling out of the top 10 richest people on the planet.

    His $61.2 billion net worth is only good enough for #10. Remember this the next time you’re tempted to complain about Reason’s constant tariff articles. In fact, tariffs should be denounced as frequently as possible because of the unimaginable suffering they’ve caused.

    #VoteDemocratToHelpCharlesKoch
    #DrumpfRecession

  28. Trump is giving up on a plan to kill the federal Office of Personnel Management.
    There was resistance from multiple parties. Without OPM, the government offices in Washington would remain open during inclement weather. Also China would need another source for identifying personnel with security clearances.

    1. Those stolen records are only good for so long if they are not updated.

  29. Tulsi thinks a congressional investigation would uncover abuses. Congress hides abuses through incompetence

  30. “Amash explained on Twitter that he voted no because the bill “allows indefinite detention of Americans without charge/trial, reauthorizes intelligence agencies without reforms to protect Americans’ rights, violates the original budget caps, and makes no reforms to rein in unsustainable spending.”

    Amash explained on Twitter because no one in Washington cares what Amash says about anything anymore.

    1. They never did. For what it’s worth, he’s always explained his voting decisions on twitter. It’s his thing.

  31. U.S. negotiators have offered to slash existing tariffs by as much as half on roughly $360 billion of Chinese-made goods as well as to cancel a new round of levies set to take effect on Sunday, according to people briefed on the matter . . . .

    President Trump wrote in a Tweet on Thursday morning: “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it and so do we!”

    The tariff-reduction offer was made in the past five days or so, the people said, and in exchange, the U.S. side has demanded that Beijing make firm commitments to purchase large quantities of U.S. agricultural and other products, to better protect U.S. intellectual-property rights and to allow greater access to China’s financial-services sector.

    Should China not carry out its pledges as part of the potential deal, the tariff rates would return to their original levels, a clause known in trade negotiations as a “snapback” provision.

    —-WSJ 20 minutes ago

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-says-u-s-is-very-close-to-a-big-deal-with-china-on-trade-11576162614?

    How many times have we heard this?

    It doesn’t matter. If they sign it with the “snapback” provision in place, Trump will only need to be right about how close we are to a deal once.

    Please take whatever deal you can get, Mr. President.

    1. Wait Ken….NO deal is better than a bad deal, IMHO.

      1. Lower tariffs are better for U.S. consumers and U.S. exporters than higher tariffs, and what I want to do is get rid of the tariffs more than anything else.

        Meanwhile, if Trump makes a deal (and those tariffs come down), it make the economy more likely to be growing and it makes his reelection chances more likely–which is important.

        If Trump doesn’t beat back this bunch of socialists scumbags, I fear the future of the country and its economy–no matter whether we have a deal with China or not. Moreover, if Trump doesn’t get rid of these tariffs somehow, I see no reason to believe any Democrat that replaces him will want to take those tariffs down.

        They’re legitimately socialists shitheads, which means they’re oblivious to the benefits of international trade in principle, too.

        1. China is the world’s largest market for most things these days… including cars. Access to that market is going to become a big issue for everyone soon, just like access to the US market has been a big deal for the last 80 years.

          China has a thicket of protectionism surrounding its domestic markets. Expect a lot more conflict in the future.

  32. “the establishment of the Space Force within the Air Force”

    Wait, what? That defeats the whole fucking *purpose* of the SF. All you’ve done here Trump is throw several billion dollars at the richest service – to do what its already doing. Oh, and to siphon that money off onto other pet USAF projects.

    So instead of blowing this money and (maybe) end up with a agency with a space focus, we’re going to blow the money to the AF can buy more kiddie pools and cappuccino machines? They’ve already got *warehouses full of them*.

    1. The space force will need to erect a giant antenna to communicate with future space travelers. Engineers estimate it will be about 1900 miles long and composed of concrete for stability and razor wire for the conductor. The best location seems to be along desert lands near our southern border with Mexico.

    2. Part of the issue is that a separate branch of service has to be approved by Congress, similar to the bill that created the Air Force back in 1947. That hasn’t happened yet, so they’re basically increasing AFSPC’s admin footprint and the guy running that is also going to run the Space Force.

      If and when this thing ever gets branched off from the Air Force, then they’ll stop dual-hatting the AFSPC commander, and it’s entirely probable that the Air Force’s space infrastructure will be completely taken out from under it.

    3. There’s a lesson here somewhere about presidents and their big ideas.

      I can think of pet programs like this from every president. They always start out as big ideas and they usually don’t work out because of the way things are funded.

      They usually have something to do with getting kids to volunteer to make the country or the world a better place.

      Reagan had Star Wars, which was much more important as a bargaining chip with the Russians than it ever was useful for anything. I guess this is Trump’s answer to that.

      If you were president, who was less than enthusiastic about communism, you’d probably have a big idea, too. Maybe it would be the space elevator.

      There are only two reasons people do anything: 1) because they want to, 2) because they can. I can say I wouldn’t make the taxpayers finance my personal space dreams out of principle, but it’s a lot easier to live by that principle when we’re incapable of making the government commit billions to developing a warp drive.

      If I could make the government spend billions on developing a warp drive rather than some of the other stupid shit they spend trillions on, that would be tempting. The main reason I don’t make the government chase my dream is because I can’t. It’s probably a good thing if the emperor can’t squander the taxpayer’s money building monuments to himself and his dreams for that reason. But let’s be honest with ourselves.

      If you could fund the Agammamon Memorial Space Elevator and take the money out of, say, a war you opposed or the drug war or something else you opposed, you probably would want to do that.

      1. If you were president, who was less than enthusiastic about communism, you’d probably have a big idea, too. Maybe it would be the space elevator.

        We outsourced that to Elon Musk and the hyperloop.

        1. And the Mars colony.

          Don’t forget the Mars colony.

  33. Pork spending in an election year shouldn’t surprise anybody, especially in a year when the president is up for election, too.

  34. New York Times reporter misunderstands Trumo Administration announcement to criticize supposedly weird thg honking by Trump and is found to be wrong in the following days is becoming a dog bites man story.

    1. “…weird thinking…”

    2. Look, if your job is to crank out a new “Trump is racist” story every day (per the 1619 initiative), you are gonna have to cut a few corners here and there. Not to worry, nobody is going to hold you accountable for that.

  35. “”Voting against the 3,488-page bill were just six Republicans (including Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie), 41 Democrats (including Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Californian Rep. Ro Khanna, and the so-called “Squad”), and Michigan independent Justin Amash.””

    So the Squad voted against paid maternal leave for the military, against the paycheck of everyone in uniform and is denying the funds to arm our troops conducting currently involved in combat operations.

    Well that’s how a they would spin it if was a bill they wanted.

    1. So you are saying the Squad wants…. people to die??

    2. they probably voted against it because it didn’t spend enough, or give unlimited parental leave to everyone

  36. Well, it’s only $738 billion.
    Americans have a lot of excess capital to waste.
    Just raise taxes to a stingy 100% for all of us, and then any and all problems America will be solved within a few short decades.
    Just ask any progressive.

  37. End the wars, but space force is promising.

    1. Kinda disappointing it is going to be under the Air Force. No Space Force Anthem.

      1. “”No Space Force Anthem.””

        Someone’s gotta get on that. Gotta be something catchy you can launch a space vehicle to.

        1. You know who else had a rousing piece of music for rocket launching?

      2. Turns out it is going to be considered it’s own independent branch of the military, so we get an anthem, a seal, an academy, the whole shebang.

        There’s only one place Space Force Academy can be located. It’s a shame they have to tear down the Bay Area Children’s Discovery Museum but it has to be done.

  38. The headlines on this article indicates that it is foolish to invest in a “Space Force”. I don’t see it that way. The way I see it is that the need for a “Space Force” will be a reality. If we let another nation, say China or Russia get a head of US then it might be very costly for the US to catch up if it can. If we could not then the US would be dominated by another nation.
    That, to me, is not acceptable.

    1. On the other hand, the Air Force already has a space division so it isn’t clear we really need a separate Space Force. But like Fist said, SPACE FORCE FUCK YEAH!

  39. They need to spend $738 billion to get $400 billion worth of goods and services. There is some $21 trillion unaccounted for since the late 1940s. When there is no accountability or responsibly attached to politicians, they do what they want. The system is broken and beyond corrupt and is going to be pulverized in the end. The sooner the better for the younger generations.

  40. $738 Billion? Good to see our elected officials on both sides of the aisle being financially responsible. They kept it under a trillion! (sarc)

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