Reason Roundup

'This Should Never Happen to Another President Again,' Tweets Trump as House Preps for Impeachment Vote

Plus: the FISA court's FBI rebuke, lawsuit challenges California's AB5, and more...

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Impeachment day is here for the House of Representatives, with the full House scheduled to vote today on whether President Donald Trump abused his power and obstructed justice. Then we get to do all this again in the Senate in the new year. Happy holidays?

Trump has been bringing some A-game crazy in anticipation of today's vote, tweeting this morning:

Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!

This was followed up by him tweeting an extended flattering quote from Fox News.

On Tuesday, Trump sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) a six-page letter accusing her and Democrats of destroying democracy itself.

The letter's "most notable quality is its lack of any coherent structure. It does not build an argument, or even group like points together," writes Jonathan Chait, who thinks the letter supports the case for impeaching Trump:

First, he portrays impeachment as constitutionally illegitimate. By this, Trump doesn't mean simply that his actions do not rise to an impeachable offense, or even that the accusations are completely meritless. He repeatedly denies that the House has any constitutional right to undertake impeachment at all. …

Of course the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power to determine what presidential acts constitute impeachable offenses. Trump seems to believe that he as president has the power to determine whether a president's actions are impeachable. Trump argues that if Congress can impeach him, which is a clearly delineated power, then he can prosecute Congress for crimes of Trump's choosing, a power that exists nowhere in the Constitution.

Chait concludes that the letter "makes plain his mental unfitness for the job." Jonah Goldberg of The Dispatch offered a similar assessment, tweeting that the letter was "a pristine example of how Trump himself is patient zero of Trump Derangement Syndrome."

But no matter what Trump is doing or saying now, Congress still failed to make a sufficient case for his impeachment, suggest some.

"One can oppose President Trump's policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president," Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, told Reason's Jacob Sullum. "This is an exceptionally narrow impeachment resting on the thinnest possible evidentiary record."

Sullum writes that while "there is compelling evidence that [Trump] did both" things he's accused of in the articles of impeachment, congressional investigators failed to do enough to dispel Trump's defenses. Which leaves us in a bad place:

As the record stands, it is not likely to persuade anyone who was otherwise inclined to support Trump, meaning we will get a party-line impeachment in the House, followed by a party-line acquittal in the Senate. What should have been a debate about the limits of tolerable presidential behavior has instead become another bitter partisan squabble signifying nothing but reflexive allegiance to arbitrarily defined tribes. While impeachment is inherently a political process, it cannot properly function as a check on presidential power when the public believes it is driven by nothing but politics.

In any event, the House opened debate about impeachment at 9 a.m. today.

"After an hour of debate on the 'rule' governing the proceedings, six hours of debate on the articles will be divided equally between Democrats and Republicans, who could introduce procedural obstacles that would stretch the proceedings into the evening," notes CBS News.

After debate, each article of impeachment will be voted on.


FREE MARKETS

"Both parties will pass this swamp legislation."


FREE MINDS

"On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the average human freedom rating for 162 countries in 2017 was 6.89," write Ian Vásquez and Tanja Porcnik in the latest Human Freedom Index from the Cato Institute. The most free countries, according to the index:

1) New Zealand

2) Switzerland

3) Hong Kong

4) Canada

5) Australia

6) Denmark and Luxembourg (a tie)

8) Finland and Germany (a tie)

10) Ireland

11) Sweden and the Netherlands

13) Austria

14) United Kingdom

15) United States and Estonia

17) Norway

18) Iceland

19) Taiwan

20) Malta

At the bottom of the index were Burundi (145), Mauritania, Chad, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, the Central African Republic, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iran, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Venezuela, and Syria (162).


FOLLOWUP

The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is suing over AB5, the California law that is killing freelancer jobs (see yesterday's Roundup), on behalf of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association. "For journalists stuck in the 35-submission trap, the law's selective carveouts violate their rights to earn an honest living free from irrational government interference and regulation based solely on the content of their speech," PLF says.


QUICK HITS

  • The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court slammed the FBI's handling of applications for surveillance warrants for Carter Page.
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (D–Calif.) has officially introduced legislation to study the effect of FOSTA. (I interviewed Khanna about the legislation earlier this month.)
  • The Trump administration "is arguably responsible for fewer human tragedies so far than more high-minded, less personally degraded presidencies," writes Ross Douthat.
  • "Congressional Democrats are set to vote this week to restore a huge tax break that primarily benefits wealthy Americans—one that effectively shifts the federal tax burden onto middle- and lower-income earners," reports Eric Boehm.
  • A lot of journalists lost their jobs in 2019.
  • A 16-year-old girl allegedly kidnapped from the Bronx now says it was a hoax.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is proposing changes to the state's rape laws.
  • Protecting and serving:

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  1. AP count: House has the votes to impeach President Donald Trump, with majority now in favor…

    …of all but guaranteeing Trump a second term.

    1. Shocker!

      1. It’s hilarious seeing them go on and on about how horrible election interference and investigating one’s political opponents is.

        Self awareness is not a progressive trait

    2. Hello.

    1. So close!

      1. More like SLOWPOKELEE. Am I right, people?

        1. slowleebutsurelee

          1. Shirley Knott?

    1. The left freakout over Gorsuch giving a television interview was fucking hilarious. They showed complete ignorance to the normalcy of it.

      1. I’m amazed that they keep making the same mistake. You’d think that by now they’d have learned to Google whether anyone left of center has also done X, before going code red.

        1. The CNN legal reporter started it all to boot. Poor CNN.

          1. I am still surprised that AT&T has not cracked heads at CNN yet.

          2. don’t “poor CNN”, they chose to do this shit to themselves. Let them be an example to their own incompetence.

      2. And when Ruth Bader Ginsburg goes to a foreign country and publicly tells an audience of foreigners that if she were creating a new constitution she wouldn’t use America’s as a model, that means absolutely nothing. And don’t you dare for one second question whether or not that means she’s following the oath she swore!

    2. I would enjoy going one on one with Ainsley Earhardt. Though she is certainly welcome to bring an equally attractive friend. And if I get licked by the both of them, then so be it.

  2. Trump sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) a six-page letter accusing her and Democrats of destroying democracy itself.

    Maybe setting a standard of Congress immediately expending all its time attempting to undo elections they don’t like isn’t such a bad thing.

  3. Trump is not a lawyer – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Thank God Trump is not a lawyer or we would have another shitty lawyer President like Hillary ‘Snuke’ Clinton.

    1. Or Barack “Constitutional Scholar” Obama.

      Or Bill “Depends on the Meaning of ‘Is'” Clinton.

    2. Or Abraham “Fool All The People All The Time” Lincoln.

      1. Lincoln was a pretty good president but he also did some pretty (legally) horrible things like suspending habeus corpus.

        1. and instituting the draft.

        2. Federal takeover of Maryland even though Maryland never seceded.

    3. Trump is not a lawyer.
      HELLO! THAT’S WHY HE GOT ELECTED.

    4. While trump is not a lawyer, neither is Nancy Pelosi… though she does apparently practice medicine, or pretend to be a doctor, on the side

    5. She says that like it’s a bad thing

  4. But no matter what Trump is doing or saying now, Congress still failed to make a sufficient case for his impeachment, suggest some.

    The cry of the nullification juror.

  5. Bloomberg won’t disclose finances until after Iowa caucuses

    But Trump is supposed to release his tax records? Haha

    1. What is he hiding?

      1. I bet New York will not sue to get Bloomberg’s records released.

  6. Reason editors cant wait for the cocktail parties tonight. Using Chait as your argument? Lol.

    1. And Jonah Goldberg. Seriously? Couldn’t find somebody MORE laughable?

    2. We need somebody to do a recut of the last scene in “The Caine Mutiny,” with Alan Dershowitz as Barney giving hell to Schiff, Comey, Clapper, and Brennan, and then challenging Brennan to a fistfight.

      “I’m a lot drunker than you are, so it should be a fair fight.”

      1. He also had a broken hand, as I recall.

        1. You are correct!

  7. On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the average human freedom rating for 162 countries in 2017 was 6.89…

    Put a bag over freedom’s head and it’s a solid 8.

    1. Butterface.

    1. They were laundering bribes to Biden. Biden put US foreign policy up for sale.

      1. It is weird how many transfers there were between Burisma and Biden… what were they trying to hide?

        1. The other thing is that Hunter Biden got paid by China as well. Maybe Burisma was stupid and got taken in by Hunter Biden selling influence he didn’t have. But, I doubt both China and Burisma were taken in.

          1. No no. It is normal to have an investment banker fly into china on AF2 and be granted the first western fronted investment group. The fact the money was from the Bank of China, run by the government, should make us feel even better.

      2. Business as usual in the Obama administration.

        Hillary did it.
        Joe Biden did it.

        Burisma Holdings board:
        *Viktor Yanukovych was President of Ukraine until he was kicked out of office.
        *Devon Archer, a former senior adviser to the John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign.
        *Hunter Biden.
        *Joseph Cofer Black, former director of the Counterterrorism Center of the Central Intelligence Agency (1999–2002) in the George W. Bush administration and former Ambassador-at-Large for counter-terrorism (2002–2004).
        *Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Polish politician and journalist. He served as the President of Poland from 1995 to 2005. During Communist rule, he was active in the Socialist Union of Polish Students and was the Minister for Sport in the Communist government during the 1980s. After the fall of Communism, he became a leader of the left-wing Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland, successor to the former ruling Polish United Workers’ Party, and a co-founder of the Democratic Left Alliance.

    2. Meanwhile, crickets from the major media.

    3. Not trying to defend Biden (he’s scum), but is that anything like how the IRS seized Randy Sower’s , a MD creamery owner, bank account for structuring. This is the problem with the all the financial laws on the books, are they really criminal acts or just done in away not approved by governments. Financial crimes allegations are a joke.

      1. Nope. Not the same at all. They routed the money through various entities, they didnt structure the payment. If the dairy farmer was paying a corporation he owned, then using that Corp to pay another Corp he owned, then did that a few more times, it would be similar.

        1. Thanks

      2. If a law makes it illegal to deposit money into a bank in one manner but a different way is 100% legal… then you might be a redneck.

  8. Now, both parties will pass this swamp legislation, and the president will sign it into law.

    The president is too smart to fall for your childish goading into fiscal responsibility.

    1. You don’t tell a child “Eat your vegetables” because they are going to resist being told what to do. Instead, you ask “Would you rather have green beans, peas, or corn?” and that way the child thinks he’s the one making the choice. Congress could submit a choice of budget legislation the same way – “Would you rather cut the military, the TSA, the EPA, or Medicaid?” This way, all the fiscal conservatives and deficit hawks in Congress could rein in the President’s profligacy. the same way they got Obamacare repealed.

  9. After Being Impeached Himself, Congressman Looks To Impeach Trump

    In a nearly-unanimous vote of 413-3, the House adopted a resolution approving 17 articles of impeachment against Hastings, including bribery, perjury and falsifying documents.
    […]
    Two months later, the Senate convicted Hastings for conspiring to solicit cash in return for a light sentence and for making false statements.

    US Constitution, Article I, Section 3: Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.

    These Democrats dont even care that the Constitution bars him from even being a US Congressman.

    1. To be fair… I dont think anybody considers a congressional office to be an office of honor or trust.

      1. You got me there.

    2. I don’t think the constitution *requires* banning from office. It merely limits impeachment to such things. “shall not extend further” as opposed to “shall extend to”.

      1. “disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States”

        Banned from holding federal office. Seems pretty clear to me.

        1. I see that you inferring that the US Senate can pass “judgment” than can range to no punishment to maximum removal from office AND disqualification to hold federal office.

          I analyzed that “judgment” claim under Rossami‘s post.

    3. You are misreading that clause. Art 1, Sec 3 sets the maximum penalty for impeachment. As I recall, the penalty for Hastings’ impeachment was limited to removal from his position as a federal judge but did not include the bar from future office.

      But I can’t find a record of the proceeding right now to confirm my memory. Please correct me if you can find a cite showing his actual impeachment penalty.

      1. I cannot find an actual state of penalty either.

        If you read that section as giving the US Senate an ability to “sentence” the person impeached, then what you say it true.

        The Clause does mention “judgment” as to imply that the US Senate can pass down various forms of punishment but then eliminates all forms of typical criminal punishment.

        It appears that anyone impeached by the House and then convicted by the U Senate is automatically removed from office and not hold federal office again.

        I would say that Democrats dont think Trump could be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate and then still remain in office.

  10. “For journalists stuck in the 35-submission trap, the law’s selective carveouts violate their rights to earn an honest living free from irrational government interference and regulation based solely on the content of their speech,”

    Welcome to California. Good luck with that.

  11. For journalists stuck in the 35-submission trap, the law’s selective carveouts violate their rights to earn an honest living free from irrational government interference and regulation based solely on the content of their speech…

    Even if the content of their speech initially cheered the irrational government interference and regulation.

  12. “A lot of journalists lost their jobs in 2019” and nobody gave a shit.

    1. That’s not true. I think some people cheered.

    1. They got a stern talking to.

      1. They have to submit an official plan for not deceiving the Court in the future. So it’s a really serious rebuke.

        1. Super serial!

    2. You could hear the wrist slapping from 2 feet away!

  13. Judge sentences ex-Trump campaign aide Gates to probation and 45 days in jail

    Who needs Presidential pardons when you get 45 days in custody.

  14. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court slammed the FBI’s handling of applications for surveillance warrants for Carter Page.

    Those judges never would have slammed down so quickly their rubber stamp if they knew the feds would be so sloppily accustomed to it.

    1. That church gives a shit ton to charoty, same with the catholic church. I dont find it alarming they have a trust. They do far more to help than the trusts behind the ivy league schools.

      1. You might be correct. The Mormon Church keeps their books closed, so who knows.

        I personally don’t care much since I would never give a cent to any religious organization, including the Mormon Church.

        With that being said, me thinks the whole Churches being run like a business but not paying business taxes is kind of a scam. That and churches around the USA are violating that IRS rule about tax-free status in exchange for not engaging in political activities.

        Everyone should pay taxes, if we have taxes. FLAT TAX for all to have skin in the game.

        1. Consumptive tax for the win.

          1. Then people who grow and make their own stuff have no skin in the game.

        2. Everybody has to pay taxes! Even businessmen, that rob and steal and cheat from people everyday, even they have to pay taxes! Otherwise its like stealing from the government!

          1. Thats a weird way to look at it.

            I simply said that if you have taxes, everyone needs to pay that tax (no exceptions). So everyone is negatively/positively impacted by that tax scheme and has skin in the game.

            We partly have a welfare state because people on food stamps dont pay taxes on those food stamps even though any other money “earned” like that would be taxable.

          2. Additionally, religious organizations get a special tax break. If there was no tax break they would be paying taxes on their income and property like all other individuals and businesses.

            Liquor taxes on Catholic sacrament wine!

      2. “That church gives a shit ton to charoty, same with the catholic church.”

        I do have a hard time seeing what the complaint is. The church receives $7B (!!!) per year and saves $1B in this fund. The other $6B gets spent on Charity, and the remaining fund is ostensibly being saved for a disaster. Nobody is taking a profit. It isn’t being given to anyone. (Other than management fees, which I assume is taxed). So yeah, this fund isn’t being spent now on charity, but the vast, vast sum of their holdings are used on charity.

        1. Meh.

          I haven’t dug into the official complaint, so I don’t know if there’s actually something shady going on (it’s possible that it’s not them “saving” that’s the problem, but how they’re “saving”).

          That said, I suspect a lot of the public push-back is driven by animus. The LDS church has not done a good job, in America, of making itself look benign and harmless, and many people don’t trust them, which makes push-back for otherwise innocuous things likely.

          And it’s not like the Catholic Church is doing them any favors here… them infamously shuffling funds over the last three decades to avoid paying off the victims of their priests has soured a lot of people’s attitudes towards churches handling money, and damaged people’s trust not in just the Catholic church, but churches in general.

          To summarize? I have no opinion on the technical complain, that’s the IRS’s job. But the social push-back is because churches in this country have severely damaged the trust, so things just looking shady is going to get them in trouble, even if it is just an appearance thing.

          1. To be fair to the LDS church, it’s not like everyone else is innocent in their treatment of the church. They’ve had a history of being denied their constitutional rights for being a non-major religion. Missouri had an extermination order for them passed in the 1830s (part of an effort to kill or drive them all out of the state) that was on the books all the way till 1976.

            Add on the many misconceptions and stereotypes about them, and it isn’t surprising that they might be a little short with outsiders. That’s just basic human nature.

            1. Good points.

              I think America has a love-hate relationship with the only major American-born religion.

              If reason was Libertarian we could have some good discussions on LDS and how they should be left alone and bans on polygamy should have never been forced on them.

    2. I don’t think the LDS is going to like the second coming of Christ. Just saying.

    3. That’s a lot of cheddar. These are the “latter days” (according to them). I’m still waiting for 1/3 of the ocean to turn to blood, otherwise I think the rapture is still a long ways off.

    4. It may seem like a lot of money, but magical underwear ain’t cheap.

    5. As usual, the NPR reporter on this was rather coy, citing the scripture their supposedly following about the parable of the talents.

      But the fact is, the only differences between this and the average Mormon family stocking a year’s worth of food in their basement is the type and scale. Their religion explicitly encourages them to store up provisions and savings in the event that Christ’s return happens during their lifetime, because they expect all kinds of social disruption and upheaval to take place. It’s a big reason that they’ve always been insular and communitarian in nature, and your average reporter that has a Wikipedia-version understanding of their history isn’t going to grasp that.

      1. Utah would likely become the seat of government if the USA had an apocalypse. Provisioned for a long time.

        Not a crop growing state compared to other states though. Can’t live forever on honey. Get it, Beehive State?

        1. BEEZ!?!

  15. “…What should have been a debate about the limits of tolerable presidential behavior has instead become another bitter partisan squabble signifying nothing but reflexive allegiance to arbitrarily defined tribes….”

    No, it should not have been a debate at all, if we are to hold Trump the the standards by which the Obo administration is held.
    This has been a 3-year fishing expedition, purely partisan from day one, hoping to find something, anything, which they could claim justifies ‘orange man bad!’.
    And now they got him for littering and (maybe) creating a nuisance.

    1. “I’m gonna tell you something. Somebody messes with me, I’m gonna mess with with him. Somebody steals from me, I’m gonna say you stole. Not talk to him for spitting on the sidewalk. Understand? Now, I have done nothing to harm these people but they are angered with me, so what do they do, doctor up some income tax, for which they have no case. To speak to me like me, no, to harass a peaceful man. I pray to god if I ever had a grievance I’d have a little more self respect. One more thing, you have an all out prize fight, you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing. And that’s how you know who won.”

      Real Al Capone was a dipshit. Robert De Niro’s Capone was fucking awesome!!

  16. Men are showing up to the Wing and women are pissed

    Poor women. They want and legislate all these inclusion rules and then get upset when men expect to be included.

    1. “Conference rooms and telephone booths are named after feminist icons like Anita Hill and fictional literary heroines such as Hermione Granger of “Harry Potter” fame. It offers perks that other co-working spaces can’t match — showers stocked with high-end beauty products and events featuring big names such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”

      Holy shit. A liar and smearer of a good man, a fictional character, and a social media created lunatic. This is the feminist movement? These are your heroes? You want a seat at the table, but you deserve nothing but a high-chair.

      1. No worse than Marilyn monroe and amelia earhardt.

    2. “I think they’re just losers,” she says of the male plus-ones. “Or cucked boyfriends. It’s a legal fluke.”

      LMAO. She sounds like a Trumpista!

    3. That reads like satire… Everything said in getting women into country clubs and male only spaces is repeated. Laughable.

    4. what in tarnation did I just read? I had to double check and make sure it wasn’t a Babylon Bee article.

    5. Honestly, whats the big deal with women wanting a space of their own? Men should have men’s-only clubs and women should have women’s-only clubs.

      You know when you have a group of like 5 friends and then 1 of them brings their girlfriend and the entire dynamic changes? There’s a reason why people want to have spaces only occupied by 1 gender.

      Of course this all becomes hilarious when these same women want to claim that men should never, ever have a men’s-only club, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that they see the value in men and women each having spaces just for themselves.

    6. When she first joined, she says, she made the mistake of bringing in her cis male boss for a meeting, something that she now regrets.

      “I’ll never do that again,” she says. “He didn’t respect the space, acting like we were in a coffee shop or something. I was getting looks from other members.”

      Okay I have to start wondering what the fuck her “cis male boss” has been doing at coffee shops.

  17. Erica Tishman, architect, identified as woman killed by falling facade in NYC

    Good thing a woman has never been hired by me to build a building.

    1. Sad that that facade took someone out but the facade of a neutral and just FBI failed to take anybody out.

    2. That’s crazy – I could see her identifying as a woman, but specifically identifying as a woman killed by a falling façade in NYC? What the hell are the preferred pronouns for that? I’d like to identify as an asthmatic rapper killed by choking on a Kraft dinner, it would give me one hell of an interesting story to tell. My preferred pronouns would be wheezy, heezy and cheesy.

  18. Rep. Ro Khanna (D–Calif.) has officially introduced legislation to study the effect of FOSTA.

    He should try a bill to force such study on all legislation introduced for a vote.

  19. Man pleads guilty to setting local pizza place on fire knowing kids were inside

    PizzaGate conviction just in time for HouseGate (the laughable impeachment vote).

  20. The Trump administration “is arguably responsible for fewer human tragedies so far than more high-minded, less personally degraded presidencies…”

    Suddenly crass tweets aren’t human tragedies.

  21. short-url

    Snowden should sue for government illegal taking without just compensation.

  22. “A lot of journalists lost their jobs in 2019”

    Keep that in mind as you spout impeachment drivel

    1. I would teach ENB to code, if she made good sandwiches.

    2. And nothing of value was lost.

  23. This Should Never Happen to Another President Again,’

    Awww… now i’m Starting to feel bad for the guy {starts to tear up} i apologize, Mr. President, for calling you a probable kiddie Diddler when you are just a criminal and a liar.

    Hey, where’s OBL? People are saying the worst things in the world about his gay lover. Sad. #TheWallsAreClosingIn
    #Impeach.

    1. ” i apologize, Mr. President, for calling you a probable kiddie Diddler when you are just a criminal and a liar.”

      Your mom should apologize for not aborting you.
      Pay your mortgage yet, scumbag?

    2. Just gonna point out that it wasn’t a painting of Trump that was hanging in Epstein’s house.

      1. +100

  24. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/winning-trump-surges-to-best-odds-for-reelection-since-impeachment-started

    Trump’s chances of reelection highest since impeachment started according to the betting markets. What is the Democrats’ end game here? They are likely going to sacrifice their House majority by using Democrats from Republican leaning districts as crash test dummies and they are ending any doubts the Republican base may have had about the need to vote for Trump.

    The are going to end up with Trump re-elected with a Republican Congress. And not a Republican Congress like 2017 that is riddled with Never Trump establishment types. It will be a Republican majority that largely owes its existence to Trump. They are setting Trump up to be the most powerful second term President since FDR.

    1. “What is the Democrats’ end game here?”

      Like Labor in England, they’ll claim a ‘moral victory’, and still won’t understand why people hold there noses when they walk by.

      1. The talking point now is “being impeached is a stain on Trump’s record such that it doesn’t matter if the Senate removes him from office.” Sure, maybe if Trump did not run for re-election or was in his second term. But, Trump is not in his second term and is running for re-election. If the Democrats impeach him only to see him then win re-election, the stain will be on them not Trump. Trump’s re-election under such circumstances could only be seen as the country rejecting both the Democrats and their attempts to impeach him.

        These people are just morons.

        1. They are trying to compare Trump with Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

          Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 after he had won a second term as President.

          I seem to recall that because Bill was a Lame Duck President anyway, the DNC partly threw him under the bus. Gore could then rise from the ashes and be President in 2000.

          1. We will never know but I have always been of the opinion that had the Democrats thrown Clinton out of office allowing Gore to become President and run as an incumbent in 2000, Gore would have won easily in 2000. Once the Republicans got revenge on Clinton, they would have been like the dog who chased the care and caught it. They would have had no reason to turn out or care in 2000.

            1. I agree with you John.

              Americans took it as a slap in the face that Clinton committed perjury and the DNC tried to cover it up. Many Americans got out to vote to make sure that Gore would not be able to further wreck the USA.

              Plus, W. Bush was not a huge threat to Democrats anyways. He was New England elite.

              1. If you really want to see a Democrat go crazy, point out to them that Al Gore was more hawkish about Iraq than George W. Bush ever was and that not a single aspect of the US response to 9-11 would have been any different had Al Gore been President. They go insane when you point that out but they have no real arguments why it isn’t true. That is because it is.

        2. “The talking point now is “being impeached is a stain on Trump’s record such that it doesn’t matter if the Senate removes him from office.””

          The Chron featured a version of that this morning; it’s their ‘moral victory’!

          1. Charles Blow was claiming that in the Times last week. They know how to follow the party proscribed talking points that is for sure.

    2. “What is the Democrats’ end game here?”

      I haven’t been following the impeachment BS as closely as some, so I’ve been afraid to ask this and risk looking ignorant. But I’m glad someone else has. I don’t understand how this could possibly work out for them.

      1. Their end-game is to impeach Trump for being president and Pence for being Trump’s VP, preventing Pence from naming a VP with the excuse that he’s being impeached. This would make Pelosi president so that she can name Hillary her VP and immediately resign as President, be re-appointed by Newsome to fill her own seat in Congress and be re-elected Speaker.

  25. Congressional Democrats are set to vote this week to restore a huge tax break that primarily benefits wealthy Americans—one that effectively shifts the federal tax burden onto middle- and lower-income earners…

    Heaven forbid urbanites discover they’re being overtaxed by their local governments.

  26. “The letter’s “most notable quality is its lack of any coherent structure. It does not build an argument, or even group like points together,” writes Jonathan Chait”

    That letter is the best written speech since Patton’s address to the troops in 1944.

    “We’ll win this war, but we’ll win it only by fighting and showing the Germans that we’ve got more guts than they have or ever will have. We’re not just going to shoot the bastards, we’re going to rip out their living goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We’re going to murder those lousy Hun cocksuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket.”

    —-George S. Patton’s speech to the Third Army

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_S._Patton%27s_speech_to_the_Third_Army

    The purpose of Trump’s letter wasn’t to address Nancy Pelosi. It was to address the American people–and that is why it’s structured the way it is.

    Part I is about whey the impeachment is a sham.

    Part II is about why President Trump should be reelected.

    That letter is a summary view of how the President intends to make his case for reelection to the American public, and the Democrats better hope the American people don’t pay attention–because if that’s this letter is an indication of how Trump intends to campaign in 2020, then the Democrats don’t stand a chance!

    It’s amazing the language he uses. Like Patton addressing troops using the same colorful language they use among themselves, Trump uses the same language Americans use when they talk to each other about politics, too. My personal favorite part is when he accuses Nancy Pelosi of suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. Trump’s letter isn’t only colorful, it’s laugh out loud funny!

    That letter is QB Trump throwing deep and scoring on the first play of the Superbowl. Anybody who doesn’t understand why Trump’s letter is “beautiful” and “perfect” has no business writing about politics. Don’t they know their readership?

    1. Anybody who hasn’t read the letter for themselves, make sure you do:

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/17/politics/read-trump-impeachment-letter-to-house-democrats/index.html

      Even if you plan to vote against Trump and hate his guts, you better take a good luck at what you’re up against.

      1. Thanks. Great letter.

        Majority of states wanted a fighter for America and they got one. Trump clearly stood out as a fighter among the spineless RINOs but who would have ever thought that he will go down as one of the best presidents, even with an impeachment.

        BEST PRESIDENT EVER WITH AN IMPEACHMENT BADGE!

        1. And he isn’t just going after Republicans with that letter.

          If that’s what he’s going with, he’ll get more Democrats voting for him this time than he did last time.

        2. I have to laugh at anyone opining that that was a “great letter”. It was a barely coherent, rambling rant that made surprisingly few actual points.

          1. It was completely coherent. He even used common phrasing and structure. It was never intended to be a legal letter. It is obvious you didnt actually read it neutral mike.

            1. Read every last word.

              1. Bitch, you’ve been owned at every turn.
                You’ve got nothing – no brains, no character, no charm, no integrity.
                Nothing.

                Now go cry in the corner like your father used to

          2. Poor neutral Mikey.

            He comes here to defend reason articles that are shit.

            His opinion is suspect and garbage.

      2. You misunderstood Chait.

        What he meant was “I am on team blue and I have disdain for anyone or anything that opposes the removal of Trump.”

        When I understood from the proper perspective, all of these insane arguments make a lot more sense.

        1. I suspect the reason he doesn’t understand the letter is the same reason he doesn’t his readers.

          He’s writing about and for a society he doesn’t know or understand.

          1. +100

            I for one am glad America is still the America that Trump is reaching out to. These Americans will respond favorably to Trump’s statements and that gives me hope that the USA can withstand this desperate death spiral of the Democrat party.

      3. I can’t get that link to show me the letter. I just get a blank spot. Here is the link to the White House site where it comes up for me at least

        http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/letter-president-donald-j-trump-speaker-house-representatives/

    2. You know it is an effective letter by the fact that CNN and the rest of the partisan media are claiming it is terrible. If it really were a terrible letter, they would be claiming it was dignified and effective and playing it up knowing that doing so was actually making Trump look bad. The fact that they are claiming it is not just a bad letter but “crazy” and “strange” is just them admitting that it is an effective letter.

      And yes, Trump seems to understand and know how to communicate with the American people in a way that no President since Reagan.

      1. He accuses Pelosi of having “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, and he’s absolutely right on target.

        He explains not only that they’re impeaching him over nothing–but why they’re impeaching him over nothing in language that people who haven’t been paying attention will clearly understand.

        That letter is an historical artifact of greater significance than people know now. Reagan telling the Russians to tear down the wall became more significant after the wall fell. Reagan’s presidency became about defeating the Soviet Union. Trump’s presidency has been all about populism against the elite. That letter is his Gettysburg Address. It is central to the case for populism made by a populist to the American people on the eve of the day when the elitists would vote to impeach him. I believe identity politics by elitists will eventually become a thing of the past. It’s a maladaptation that the current batch of Democrats can’t pull away from–even though they know it’s a loser with the white, blue collar, Midwest, which they need to win. If and when the Democratic Party falters in the future, people will look back at that letter as a pivotal point. The case Trump made against elitism will seem prescient–maybe because it is. He’s a product of his time, and the times are achangin’.

        1. Let us compare with how the Democrats treated the Clinton impeachment.

          http://ethicsalarms.com/2012/09/07/the-ethics-corrupter-in-chief/

          It is as if they only care about the rule of law when it hurts their opponents!

          1. Bill Clinton was accused of the crime of perjury. What crime is Trump accused of?

            1. They also had physical evidence of the crime. But totes the same.

            2. IIRC one of the Clinton articles of impeachment was also witness tampering/intimidation.

          2. That’s a strange site to choose if you’re trying to make an actual point. Why not clarify your argument?

      2. Have you read it yet? It is objectively terribly written.

        1. No its not. By what standard is it terribly written? Do you not understand the points it is making? Is it unclear? It seems pretty clear to me.

          I do a lot of writing for my job. I also spend a lot of time doing what amounts to copy editing in the name of “legal review” of other people’s writing. I know bad writing when I see it. And I don’t see how this is bad writing. It is well organized. It makes points in a clear and understandable way. And as Ken points out, parts of it are quite funny and clever.

          So, tell me why it is not well written much less “terribly written”? I am starting to think that people and especially liberals are so poorly educated, they don’t know what good writing is.

          1. If I can find time later, I will point out specifics.

            1. In other words, you haven’t read it and were just repeating talking points.

              1. You know this because you are psychic or something? Actually, I read it right away yesterday when Ken Schultz posted a link.

                1. I know this because you just admitted it. If you had read the letter, you would be able to explain why you think it is a poorly written.

                2. If you say something that’s coherent and well written is incoherent and poorly written, it’s natural for people to suspect you haven’t read it. Meanwhile, the rest of us don’t need to pretend something is incoherent or poorly written just because we don’t like the person who wrote it or the arguments it makes. If you’re so out there biased that you think everything you don’t agree with is poorly written, the that’s nothing to be proud of. Dishonest people are capable of perceiving the truth. People who are so biased they can’t even perceive the facts haven’t yet graduated to dishonesty.

                  1. The Trump letter is so accurate and honest that it is causing a lapse in a coherent Lefty Narrative response.

                    Neutral Mikey is acting like the rest of them until he can find a good Narrative directive.

                    1. Or, you know, I had things to do other than posting on this website.

                    2. Poor mikey.

            2. If you find the time later it will be the first time you read it and you’ll parse it to simply try to win a point.

            3. Let’s start with the first page…

              Just plain wrong arguments:

              “This impeachment represents … and [sic] unconstitutional abuse of power” — The Democrats may be abusing the power of impeachment, but they are using a Consitutional power.

              “The Articles of Impeachment … are not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence…” — I haven’t defended the second article, and won’t, but the Democrat’s write-up of the first article outlines the House’s Constitutional powers and the long-established concept of “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

              “election-nullification” – Nobody is literally nullifying an election result. In fact, Pence would become President if Trump were removed.

              More in next post…

            4. First page, ranting and/or content-free claims, or pure matters of opinion:

              “no offenses whatsoever” — pure opinion
              “cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment” — semi-incoherent ranting
              “declaring open war on American Democracy”, “your spiteful actions”, “unfettered contempt” — opinion that Pelosi is acting from spite
              “you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense” — ranting about Pelosi’s personal motives in prayer that he couldn’t possibly actually know unless he is inside her head”
              “no offenses whatsoever” – opinion
              “is completely … meritless, and baseless” – opinion
              “totally innocent conversation” – opinion
              “[the phone call] was perfect” – meaningless phrase Trump often repeats
              Going on about how he used “us” and “our country” — extremely weak argument that his choice of the royal “we” somehow negates any personal implied benefits to him.
              “Every time I talk with a foreign leader, I put America’s interests first” — virtually un-falsifiable, therefore meaningless, self-serving claim,

              Amateurish writing that unveils poor ability to think:

              “strongest and most powerful” — These two things mean exactly the same thing
              “you will have to live with it, not I” — Actually, they both will have to live with it, as well as everyone in the country.

            5. Also on first page of letter, “I then mentioned the Attorney General of the United States”. As I have written here before, this one mention (and it is literally one mention), was Trump’s only effort, ever, to involve the Attorney General in seeking an investigation of Burisma/the Bidens.

            6. Page Two:
              “… prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars.” “… what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did.” — As we all know, Joe Biden’s claim is that he was pressuring Ukraine to fire the prosecutor because he was corrupt, and we also all know that there was consensus that he was corrupt. That may be a cover story, but Biden certainly hasn’t literally admitted to getting the prosecutor fired to protect his son.

              “President Zelensky…” — Some actual decent argument about Zelensky. It leaves out all evidence that Ukraine did feel pressured, but it’s not Trump’s job to present that evidence.

              “Ambassador Sondland testified…” — I have been told by more than one Trump defender in the commentariat that Sondland is no longer a trustworthy source of testimony. “No quid pro quo. I want nothing.” — As we all know, Trump supposedly said this AFTER the scandal was exposed, making the declaration of innocence suspect as mere self-serving cover up after getting caught.

              “The second claim…” I won’t defend the second article of impeachment.

              “Everyone, you included knows what is really happening.” — Ranting opinion
              “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, “You view democracy as your enemy!” — More, ranting personal attack on Pelosi.

            7. Third page: Long rant about all of the things the Trump administration is proud of accomplishing, which is irrelevant to the question of whether he abused the power of his office for personal gain. But understandable rhetoric to paint himself as a good President.

              Fourth page: “… when I speak to foreign countries, there are many people, with permission, listening to the call…” However, if anyone listening reports concerns about any such call, they are attacked as out to get President Trump and the Republicans.

              “You are the ones…” This is essentially a five-year-old’s “I’m rubber, your glue…” rant. No actual argumentation. Content-free.

              “Each one of your members lives in fear of a socialist primary challenger — this is what is driving impeachment.” — The logic of how worries about primary challengers would drive impeachment of an opponent to be faced in the final, not primary, race is not explained.

              Last paragraph — Fair argument about investigating the FBI.

            8. Page Five:

              “against every shred of truth, fact, evidence, and legal principle” — Lots of evidence was presented in the hearings; it is Trump’s opinion that the truth supports him; there are certainly legal principles supporting the House’s impeachment activities (their Constitutional powers).

              “the right to present evidence” — Trump was offered the opportunity to testify, and to let White House staff testify. The other complaints have some validity. It is not clear how exposing the whistleblower is necessary to refute the evidence and testimony presented in the hearings.

              [whistleblowers] “disappeared because they got caught” — That they “disappeared” is a peculiar interpretation of protection of whistleblowers.

              “your whole plot blew up” – Opinion

              “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.” — Ranty non-sequitur

              “This is nothing more than an illegal…” — It isn’t illegal. The House has been acting within its Constitutional powers.

              “… false display of solemnity.” — Rant, with what point? That Pelosi should act more like Trump and go on more rants?

            9. Poor neutral mikey.

              He did all this work and he still is a joke where his opinion is garbage.

        2. “Have you read it yet? It is objectively terribly written.”

          Have you read Patton’s Speech to the Third Army? Here’s more:

          “All through your army career you men have bitched about what you call ‘this chicken-shit drilling.’ That is all for a purpose—to ensure instant obedience to orders and to create constant alertness. This must be bred into every soldier. I don’t give a fuck for a man who is not always on his toes. But the drilling has made veterans of all you men. You are ready! A man has to be alert all the time if he expects to keep on breathing. If not, some German son-of-a-bitch will sneak up behind him and beat him to death with a sock full of shit. There are four hundred neatly marked graves in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job—but they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before his officer did.

          An army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, and fights as a team. This individual hero stuff is bullshit. The bilious bastards who write that stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don’t know any more about real battle than they do about fucking. And we have the best team—we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity these poor bastards we’re going up against.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_S._Patton%27s_speech_to_the_Third_Army

          One of the greatest speeches ever written.

          1. When Shakespeare wrote the “St Crispin’s Day” speech in Henry V, his audience wasn’t fighting men on the field of battle. He was writing for the people who came to see theater. It’s still a rousing speech if you’re watching Branagh’s version or Olivier’s version from 1943 on your couch or whether you see it given at a Shakespeare festival in Oregon. Patton wasn’t writing his speech for people like that.

            Trump’s letter is made in similar terms to average people–not the bullshit assholes who think the whole purpose of politics is to show contempt for average people. The case he makes is masterful, and people will be citing it and studying it a hundred years from now to learn about how to connect with average people.

            1. It’s way over Mike’s head

      3. Hey now… neutral mike also agrees with the media narrative. That has to count for something, right? He would never be partisan, it is why we call him neutral mike.

        1. No, I actually read the thing. It’s a six-page child-like rant. I formed that opinion without reading anything telling me what I was supposed to think of it.

          1. That’s how hivemind works

          2. It is weird bow neutral Mike’s analysis is exactly equivalent to the MSM media’s without actual explicit examples from the letter. But he totes read it

            1. Have the time now. Starting to post some concrete comments on the letter.

              It’s a really odd complaint to level on someone on an open, non-real-time Internet forum that they are somehow non-responsive just because they are off doing other things with their lives.

            2. +100

    3. “The letter’s “most notable quality is its lack of any coherent structure. It does not build an argument, or even group like points together,” writes Jonathan Chait”

      A really long way of saying the letter was ranting.

      1. Which is completely untrue. The letter flows fine and the points are grouped in a rational sequence. Which points are not grouped rationally?

        1. If you can’t be persuaded by facts and logic that the impeachment is a farce, then the argument seems incoherent.

          If you can’t be persuaded by facts and logic that Donald Trump should be reelected, then the argument seems incoherent.

          The operative condition is being incapable of being persuaded by facts and logic. Trump’s argument seems incoherent to people who can’t be persuaded by facts and logic.

          There are the same people, by the way, who are so stupid (in the technical sense) that they can’t really distinguish between what’s real and what’s fashionable.

          1. That’s right people. If you don’t agree with Trump, it means you are immune to facts and logic.

            1. If you think that what is being claimed amounts to a high crime or misdemeanor, yes you are immune to facts and logic. That doesn’t mean you have to like Trump. The fact that you can’t understand that you can even hate Trump but also see this as bullshit shows that yes you are immune to facts and logic.

            2. Trump made a rational argument.

              Here’s why the impeachment is a farce:

              Point A
              Point B
              Point C
              Point XYZ

              Here’s why you’re doing this:

              Point A
              Point B
              Point XYZ

              Here’s why the American people should vote for me in 2020.

              Point A
              Point B
              Point XYZ

              Because you don’t like or agree with him doesn’t mean what he’s said isn’t factual or rational.

              You seem to be falling victim to yet another fallacy (again). Because someone is so biased against Trump that they can’t even perceive a coherence of an argument by Trump–because it’s made by Trump–doesn’t mean that the argument must also be incoherent because people on the right are biased, too. If that’s the argument you’re making, then you’re wrong.

              1. +1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

      2. Chait is of the class of thinkers, I use that term loosely, who believe prose and voquaciousness is stronger than a single logic argument. Chait is more closely tied to post modernist writing than actual logic or rational thought.

    4. When I read the letter, it finally dawned on me: Republicans love Trump because he communicates like they are accustomed to seeing, as a paranoid victim writing on a comment board.

      1. Name one thing in the letter that isn’t true or can fairly be described as being “paranoid”? You possesses by far the poorest logic and writing skills of any actual person on this board. I don’t count the trolls.

        So, I think maybe you should sit this one out champ.

        1. Lefties like to discount actual crimes against people.

          In this case, Trump told the Americans public that he was being spied on and he was 100% correct. Trump has stood up to the corrupt officers of the CIA and FBI and come out on top.

          It just goes downhill for Lefties from there.

      2. Amazingly, White House staffers are claiming they helped craft the letter. It does not show signs of being crafted.

        1. Amazingly, after being asked multiple times to write a coherent and rational argument against anything in the letter, you have failed to do so.

          You realize blanket assertions and insults don’t count as rational arguments, right?

          1. I’m busy doing real-world stuff. I may have time later.

            1. So busy you have comments separated at over half an hour on this thread but cant recall one incoherent argument from a fairly short letter.

        2. Poor neutral Mikey thinks all Trump tweets are not interns or staffers.

          1. Wait, you think that someone else writes Trump’s tweets? It’s well documented that he writes them himself and is proud of doing so.

          2. ^^^ poor mikey.

      3. Lol. You’re such a dishonest fuck. Even after you finally admit you hate republicans and are irrational to their arguments you keep offering up analysis.

        1. Analysis is very generous and not something chemjeff is known for.

      4. At least a third of the letter is devoted to casting aspersions on Pelosi and the Democrats. It is remarkably parallel to how Trump defenders here in the commentariat deport themselves. I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen Trump accusing Pelosi of being a sock puppet.

    5. From the snippets I’ve seen of the letter, there’s no way in hell that letter was written by Trump.

      1. Do you think Trump writes all of his tweets?

        1. OK, maybe you are backing off to a more reasonable position. It’s possible he doesn’t write ALL of his tweets. You do agree that he writes many of them, though, don’t you?

        2. Haha. Neutral mikey. You can get him to admit he is stupid when reason needs more web traffic.

      2. Reportedly, he had assistance in writing it from White House staff, although he refused to consult with any legal counsel.

  27. A lot of journalists lost their jobs in 2019.

    Clickbait “journalism” was not sustainable, nor is the TDS craziness.

    Future headline:

    A lot of coders lost their jobs in 2020.

    1. 1) New Zealand
      2) Switzerland
      3) Hong Kong
      4) Canada
      5) Australia
      6) Denmark and Luxembourg (a tie)
      8) Finland and Germany (a tie)
      10) Ireland
      11) Sweden and the Netherlands
      13) Austria
      14) United Kingdom
      15) United States and Estonia
      17) Norway
      18) Iceland
      19) Taiwan
      20) Malta

      The countries were ranked by the following criteria:

      Rule of Law
      Security and Safety
      Movement
      Religion
      Association, Assembly, and Civil Society
      Expression and Information
      Identity and Relationships
      Size of Government
      Legal System and Property Rights
      Access to Sound Money
      Freedom to Trade Internationally
      Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business

      There are a number of criteria that would push the U.S. down further than they would be otherwise, with the trade war being especially conspicuous.

      Couldn’t help but notice that gun rights fell off the criteria list.

      Two of these criteria are in direct conflict with each other–and seem to neuter one indication of freedom. For example, how can you have freedom of association as a criteria and Identity and Relationships on the other? Either people are free to associate or the government forces association–sometimes in defiance of people’s religious rights. Seems to me that if you score high on one of those criteria (freedom of association), you necessarily score badly on the other two.

      Meanwhile, we’re comparing countries on the basis of their freedom of expression–countries that don’t Section 230 and the First Amendment to a country that does–and the country with the First Amendment and Section 230 comes in at 15th? Do you really think people in Germany–despite living behind the wall of a trade barrier, not having the First or Second Amendment, etc. are freer than people in the United States?

      I think this list is deliberately provocative and maybe counterproductive. If only we were subject to hate speech laws like they are in Germany, if only our Second Amendment was nothing, like it is in Germany, if only we were as heavily regulated as Germany, if only we ignored association rights on behalf of identity groups like they do in Germany, etc., etc. then we’d be more free? It’s neither a legitimate comparison nor a useful one for telling people what we should do to be more free.

      1. I have a couple of friends who are Finnish. The Fins seem to be embracing capitalism these days. They also didn’t open their borders the way Sweden did. It is still too socialistic for me, but if I had to leave the US, Finland would be high on my list of places to move. The Fins are also pretty fun and interesting people. They are more down to earth and fun than Swedes. Sweden gave the world that down syndrome kid who campaigns against global warming for a reason. The Fins are a lot cooler and more interesting. And they are tough as hell.

        1. Honestly, New Zealand might top my place of most desirable place to live over Switzerland–if only for the beaches.

          Regardless, I do not believe the United States is less free than Germany. Cato seems to be stacking the deck for whatever reason.

          Oh, and both racists and anti-racists could have a field day with the cultural implications of the list. There are three countries on that list that aren’t northern European or dominated by their descendants of northern Europeans, and one of those, Hong Kong, was dominated by a northern European country for a hundred years. What is it about Anglo-Saxons and northern Europeans that makes them have freer societies than others? Is it an accident? Is it a bias in the assumptions behind the statistics? Is it that the study is racist?

          Where are the French, the Italians, and the Spanish and why?

          1. The US is much freer than Germany. And the biggest difference is the right to own a gun. The fact that CATO considers Germany to be more free despite an enormous difference in gun rights shows you how little CATO values gun rights.

            CATO is no longer a serious organization. It is just a mouthpiece for the Washington establishment.

            1. Germany also has hate speech laws!

              They’re the center of a massive trade barrier–which is what the EU is to the outside world.

              The reason neither the US nor anyone else can negotiate a trade agreement with the UK is because they’re in the EU–and you can’t open trade with an EU country unless the other countries agree?

              Their list is fucked up about something, and it may be because of TDS. There’s certainly plenty of TDS flying around.

              1. It makes you wonder, is Cato saying Germany is freer than the U.S. because Germany has hate speech laws?

                1. Sex is more tolerated in Germany, immigrants are flooding into Germany, and most German men have tried drugs once in their lives, so Cato and reason are boosting numbers.

                  buttsex, immigrants, and drugs.

        2. I’m 1/4 Finnish and I approve this message

          1. Vittu niin

        3. I have been to Finland and a VERY underlying tone whether the Finnish know it or not, is that the USSR was a very real threat along its entire Eastern border.

          The Fins dont have all the territorial luxuries that Norway and Sweden do.

      2. Rule of Law
        Security and Safety
        Movement
        Association, Assembly, and Civil Society
        Expression and Information

        And Hong Kong still made it to near the top of the list?

  28. A 16-year-old girl allegedly kidnapped from the Bronx now says it was a hoax.

    Sharpton hardest hit.

    1. Jussie Smollett wants her PR guy.

  29. Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed new legislation Tuesday that would close a loophole in New York law that often prevents prosecutors from bringing rape charges when victims become drunk of their own volition.

    So watch out next time you take a drunk guy home with you, ladies. You could land in jail.

  30. Here’s a summary of my major predictions.

    2018 – I predicted a #BlueWave. I was right.
    2019 – I predicted Congress would #Impeach. Right again.
    2020 – I predict a Democratic victory in the Presidential election. With the economy in ruins and Putin’s Puppet’s corruption exposed, this prediction cannot possibly fail.

    #NotBadForAnAllegedParodyAccount

  31. Burlington police chief resigns after anonymously trolling critic; new chief axed hours later for same thing…

    We’ve found what offense rises to the level of getting law enforcement swiftly terminated: sockpuppets.

    1. They have a zero tolerance policy.

  32. “At the bottom of the [Human Freedom Index] were Burundi (145), Mauritania, Chad, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, the Central African Republic, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iran, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Venezuela, and Syria (162).”

    Wow, those places are even less free than Drumpf’s America, which is a combination of Nazi Germany and The Handmaid’s Tale? I find that hard to believe.

    Regardless, the Koch / Reason solution is to encourage the entire populations of those countries to immigrate to the US. Just think of all the highly skilled doctors and engineers who will boost our economy.

    #OpenBorders
    #ImmigrationAboveAll

    1. Wow, those places are even less free than Drumpf’s America, which is a combination of Nazi Germany and The Handmaid’s Tale? I find that hard to believe.
      Swap out “Nazi Germany” for “gay wedding cakes” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” for “public education”, and you’re not far off from what actual libertarians say.

  33. ╔════╗───────────────╔═══╦═══╦═══╦═══╗─╔╗╔╗╔╗
    ╚═╗╔═╝───────────────╚══╗║╔═╗╠══╗║╔═╗║─║║║║║║
    ──║║─╔══╦╗╔╦════╦══╗─╔══╝║║─║╠══╝║║─║║─║║║║║║
    ──║║─║╔═╣║║║╔╗╔╗║╔╗║─║╔══╣║─║║╔══╣║─║║─╚╝╚╝╚╝
    ──║║─║║─║╚╝║║║║║║╚╝║─║╚══╣╚═╝║╚══╣╚═╝║─╔╗╔╗╔╗
    ──╚╝─╚╝─╚══╩╝╚╝╚╣╔═╝─╚═══╩═══╩═══╩═══╝─╚╝╚╝╚╝
    ────────────────║║
    ────────────────╚╝
    ____________________________________________________

  34. A lot of journalists lost their jobs in 2019.

    Not nearly enough.

    1. “journalists”

  35. This is an impeachment searching for a rationale. Much like the attempted coup in 2000.

    Sadly, while the Progressives are irredeemable, and their Never-Trumper fellow travelers likely so, the rest of us will still need a long hot shower to clean this stain off of us and the Country.

    Clinton, Obama, Brennan, Biden, and Jr Biden all walk free, and Gen Flynn and Carter Page ruined and acceptable collateral damage because, of course, “Orange Man baaaaaaaaad”…..

    1. If Giuliani has the goods on the Bidens, as he claims he does, then they will not walk free. Are you doubting Giuliani? Trump says he has confidence Giuliani has solid dirt on the Bidens and others.

  36. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch current net worth: $61.8 billion

    He just cannot escape the $58,000,000,000 to $62,000,000,000 range. It’s so heartbreaking to watch this self-made man struggle in his twilight years. But that’s the human cost of Drumpf’s high-tariff / low-immigration policies.

    #HowLongMustCharlesKochSuffer?

    1. Nancy Pelosi should put that “sick” letter up for auction with all proceeds going to charity. I’d wager it would set a record for a TLS by a living person. It’s that damned good.

  37. That dried-up old Pink Pussy in the accompanying photo is Elizabeth Nolan Brown in about 25 years or so.

  38. I love watching all the journalists lose their jobs. What a bunch of hacks.

    1. Mighty Christian on you.

      1. What does christianity have to do with a specified field of employment?

      2. I’m not a Christian. Why the fuck would I want to be?

      3. You clearly haven’t read Revelations, then, considering the explicit glee it shows in its portrayal of the enemies of God finally getting what’s coming to them.

  39. Note that these same people who are pushing for this impeachment excused Bill Clinton. Jack Marshall explains it.

    http://ethicsalarms.com/2012/09/07/the-ethics-corrupter-in-chief/

    It is pretty fucking obvious that the Democratic leadership only care about the rule of law when it benefits them.

    To them, Clinton was just lying about a blowjob, while Trump was undermining the integrity of the elections.

    How is it that so many people believe them instead of people like Jack Marshall, Jonathan Turley, and Alan M. Dershowitz?

    1. And there are Republicans pushing against impeachment who supported it for Clinton. Partisans exist.

      1. True.

        But the Dems are more hypocritical, because the public agreed with them.

    2. Why is it that supposed “libertarians” now reject Judge Nappy and Amash now?

      1. They are supporting an unelected bureaucracy and claiming morality in doing so

  40. Lying journalist Chait says Trump argues that if Congress can impeach him, which is a clearly delineated power, then he can prosecute Congress for crimes of Trump’s choosing, a power that exists nowhere in the Constitution.

    the letter says You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense—it is no more legitimate than the Executive Branch charging members of Congress with crimes for the lawful exercise of legislative power.

    How dishonest . That is hardly making an argument that he *should* charge them. He’s making the point that it would be ridiculous to do so! Never trust what a journalist writes. Ever. Especially if it’s anything related to Trump.

    1. It is Chait. I think it is 50 50 whether he is being dishonest or is actually so stupid that he doesn’t understand the point that Trump is making. Trump often speaks in metaphor. And the media never understands what he is saying. For a long time I thought it was dishonestly. But I am starting to think that they are just not very bright or sophisticated. Someone like Chait makes a living repeating talking points and parroting conventional wisdom. It may be that he has lost whatever intellectual ability he had.

    2. Um, Trump has said, on numerous occasions, that he should charge members of Congress for treason when they don’t go along with his agenda.

      He’s always passed off him not doing so as him being magnanimous, not that it would be ridiculous.

      1. Nevertheless, in summarizing the content of the letter, Chait misleads by paraphrasing in a way that is the exact opposite of what was written.

        1. It’s misleading to remember the context of what President Trump has said and done when describing his actions?

          1. “And done “… your side is essentially saying they can take action on trump because of words. That is Chaits argument here. Trump has done nothing to charge the legislative branch.

            1. What “side”?

              Me, EscherEnigma, a solitary man, am saying that the argument from “I, Woodchipper” only makes sense if you forget that Trump has said that he can charge sitting congress-critters for doing their jobs in a way he doesn’t like.

              You’re making this bigger then it is.

          2. It’s misleading to say that’s what the letter says when it doesn’t. It’s pretty simple.

            1. It’s misleading to pretend that the letter exists in a vacuum. It’s pretty simple.

              1. sad.

              2. So let me get this straight. It’s ok to lie and dissemble about the contents of the letter because the author of the letter has said other things elsewhere? Is that right?

      2. Has he done so or is making a hyperbolic point?

        1. Ah, the classic “take him seriously, not literally” argument.

          1. So your point is context matters when it helps your point, but doesn’t matter when it goes against your point?

      3. Show me where he ever said that?

        Beyond that, even if he did, what he is saying speaks for itself.

        1. To be clear, even before you look at what he’s actually said and done, you’re saying it doesn’t matter?

          Gee, what incentive to do a Google search for you.

          1. What he said here speaks for itself. Chait is being dishonest. As for your claims, I will tell you if they matter when you produce some proof that they are true and I can see the context and what he actually said.

            And why do you have to google it if you already know he said it? You don’t remember where you saw it?

            1. As for your claims, I will tell you if they matter […]

              a few minutes ago, when you said they wouldn’t matter anyway.

              And why do you have to google it if you already know he said it? You don’t remember where you saw it?

              … would you take my paraphrase at face value? If not, then I’d need a link to a source you would trust, no? Look at your address bar. Is that something you’ll remember perfectly enough to use as a link in a few months?

              If so, hats off to you. But most folks don’t have an eidetic memory, and need to go find the relevant links.

              All of which is to say… you object to the weirdest things.

              1. I said what he is saying here speaks for itself. His saying what you claim he said, doesn’t make Chait any less wrong here.

                As far as your claims, I can’t prove a negative. It is not my problem to prove your argument. If he said it, show me where he did. If you can’t do that, then there is no reason to believe your claim that he did.

  41. Yeh. Trump has been subjected to endless investigations based on lies and bull shit and he’s the ‘crazy’ one and Reason cheers this on.

    Lovely.

    1. People in positions of power SHOULD be subjected to unending scrutiny.

      1. Not conservatives. Trump could shoot someone on 5th Ave blah blah blah and they would still suck him off and put his little pecker back in his pants for him.

      2. do you know the difference between scrutiny and kangaroo courts?

        1. Jeff supports the latter.

          1. Jeffey calls the latter the former.

  42. >>After debate, each article of impeachment will be voted on.

    your wood is not hidden.

  43. Poor Trump the victim.
    Poor poor Trump.
    He’s only the most powerful man on the planet. And still the victim.
    Even when Republicans are winning, they are still the victim.
    Always the victim.

    1. Oh, I didn’t see you. I just remarked on all the conservatives on here today. It is like Bratfart jr now.

  44. Just a quick look at the comments from the Peanut Gallery here shows there is nothing left but conservative Trump-Trash left.

    Impeach the Big Government Dotard already! Justin Amash is the only Republican with any dignity.

    1. “Impeach the Big Government Dotard already!”

      Glad to see you’ve finally joined the right side of history. I was surprised you said you were against impeachment even after Mueller concluded his investigation by proving that Russians are controlling our government.

      #TrumpRussia
      #TrumpUkraine
      #Impeach

  45. Trump has been bringing some A-game crazy

    Why should he stop now? His base loves crazy.

  46. >>A lot of journalists lost their jobs in 2019.

    fucking up the awesome unemployment numbers.

  47. Trump has been bringing some A-game crazy in anticipation of today’s vote, tweeting this morning:

    Let’s just whistle past the fact that this entire thing was fabricated by the security state using false witnesses, testimony and cooked FISA warrant requests.

    1. You’re either a nutcase or that is snark.

  48. Justin Amash

    Verified account

    @justinamash
    17h17 hours ago
    More
    Conservatives will someday face the horrible truth that the Republican Party fought so hard to justify and excuse an amoral and self-serving president, and what he gave them in return was bigger government and erosion of the principles and values they once claimed to cherish.

    1. Every Republican president since Calvin Coolidge has given us bigger government. At least Trump didn’t pomise smaller government.

    2. To the extent that I support Trump, it is entirely principled.

      I support Trump’s efforts to address the asylum seeker crisis–without a wall. He negotiated and won Safe Third Country agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. He pressured Mexico to start paroling their own border–and these efforts have been enormously effective. He started requiring sponsors to live by the promise they made to reimburse the government if the immigrants they took home with them ended up on welfare. He did all of this without building a wall.

      I support Trump’s “principled” stance on foreign adventures. The Powell Doctrine was the operative school of Republican foreign policy that won us the Cold War and stayed in effect–right up until George W. Bush and his merry band of neocons started inserting their Marxist desire for the U.S. to liberate the world at the point of a gun. Trump has made friends with Saudi Arabia despite their disgusting nature, pulled out of an active role in Syria–over the protest of neocons in both parties–and he worked with a scumbag like Putin to destroy ISIS in Syria because it was in America’s best interests to do so regardless of what the neocons said or what was best for the Kurds.

      I support Trump on principle for pulling us out of disastrous and unconstitutional treaties in Iran and the Paris Accord.

      I support Trump on principle for doing as much as could be reasonably expected to do little or nothing to our Second Amendment rights in the wake of mass shootings.

      Trump fought hard for a bill that would have cut $772 billion from Medicaid–the first time Medicaid eligibility has ever been scaled back. It was the Republicans in the Senate who voted that proposal down–not Trump. If you want to eligibility for a socialist welfare program slashed, don’t look to the Senate GOP for principles. They have none.

      I remain opposed to Trump’s polices on free trade and immigration on principle. I still think we should have a treaty with Mexico to allow Mexican citizens to come here without a visa (sans eligibility for social services) , I think the USMCA is inferior to NAFTA, and I fear that we may not get as much as we sacrificed from the Phase One China deal. All that being said, just because I oppose some of Trump’s policies on principle doesn’t mean I can’t support his policies on principle, too.

      If there’s a danger, it’s that Republicans become so rabidly anti-Trump that they miss principle for the trees. And the biggest forest of all may be the Green New Deal, even more so than Medicare for All. If the alternative to Trump is Sanders or Warren, then it would be unprincipled to ignore that fact.

    3. LOL – yeah, it’s going to be a “horrible truth” when the GOP realizes they’ve been lying all along about the principles and values they’ve claimed to cherish. For how many years has the GOP been claiming they’re going to cut spending, roll back over-regulation, downsize government, repeal Obamacare, fight back the Democrat hordes and their socialist ideology threatening the soul of this nation? Trump kept Hillary out of the White House and that alone means he’s accomplished more than the GOP all together has managed to accomplish in the last 30 years.

  49. Stupid as California’s AB5 is, the PLF is going to lose. AB5 irrationally limits journalists based on the quantity of their speech, not on the content. Discrimination on the basis of volume may be bad social policy but it is not unconstitutional.

    1. So would it be OK for CA to limit the number of emails each person can send?

  50. The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is suing over AB5, the California law that is killing freelancer jobs (see yesterday’s Roundup), on behalf of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association. “For journalists stuck in the 35-submission trap, the law’s selective carveouts violate their rights to earn an honest living free from irrational government interference and regulation based solely on the content of their speech,” PLF says.

    I bet Vox regrets writing all those glowing articles about AB5 and how it was going to stick to Uber and Lyft.

    1. I doubt Vox is capable of regretting anything.

      I bet you couldn’t get Gawker to admit they were sorry they ran a story about Hulk Hogan without a court order.

  51. Maybe the problem of “abuse of power” could actually be reined in somewhat if Congress did its job? Perhaps legislation providing aid to Ukraine should have specified “This aid is ‘no strings attached’ because national security demands it and no one, including the president, may make it contingent on investigation of corruption (especially of any U.S. citizen).” Guess it was just an oversight, what with them certainly being aware of a recent national security breach and abuse of power by President Obama that included sending pallets of cash to the Iranian foe.

  52. New “Turn in your guns” Zealand?!

    1. Second Amendment rights presumably aren’t on the criteria list for freedom because if they were, presumably, Cato wouldn’t get the results they want.

      1. When you presume you make an pres out of u and me

      2. +1000

  53. Chait concludes that the letter “makes plain his mental unfitness for the job.”

    Are you sure you want to go down *that* road, Jonathan?

  54. Right. The whole thing is way too partisan. They simply want to impeach Trump *because* he’s Trump, not for any legitimate reasons. If they went by legitimate reasons, they could have impeached the past dozen or so presidents, if only for violating the Constitution.

  55. “…the latest Human Freedom Index from the Cato Institute.”

    Well now we know that Cato doesn’t give a shit about the right to bear arms, because I would think that a country which just banned an entire class of guns and threatened their owners with prison time if they didn’t turn them in would be ranked several places lower than NUMBER 1.

    But hey, they probably have transgender polygamous marriage for illegal immigrants so it’s all good.

    1. +10000

    2. It appears they might also be ambivalent about that whole “freedom of speech” thingie.

      The idea that the U.K. is a more free country than the United States is laughable on its face. In the U.K. people can be and sometimes are put in prison for saying things that the government deems to be “offensive”, especially if it’s towards any of the various protected special snowflake groups.

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