Reason Roundup

Pot, Guns, Tampons, Narwhals, Bail, Bags, and More Face New Rules in 2020

Plus: Libertarianism in the 2020s, Trump's flavored vape ban, and more...

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2020 brings bail reform, bag bans, more marijuana, fewer tampon taxes, narwhal protection, higher minimum wages, and many other new laws. The 2019 holiday season has come to a close, and now here we all are looking into the start of a new year and a new decade. Will the 2020s really be as bad as everyone keeps predicting? Probably not, if you consider all the doom-and-gloom eulogizing that's been done over the 2010s, which actually turned out to be a pretty damn great decade, comparatively speaking.

Sure, if you listen to mainstream Republicans or Democrats, we're on a collision course with an imminent immigrant takeover, full socialism, mandatory drag queen story hours in public schools, unavoidable climate catastrophe, the Third Reich redux, or any number of other horrors. But these people thrive on creating a climate of partisan panic; it helps them consolidate their power. Conveniently, whatever bad things we face they are probably their opponents' fault.

In the real world, neither ruling party has a monopoly on bad ideas, silly bans, and detrimental public policies. Occasionally, one or the other passes a good policy too.

This becomes clear when you look at some of the new laws, both good and bad, taking effect in states around the country this week—red, blue, and in-between. For instance…

  • Non-medical marijuana use is now legalized in Illinois (the 11th state to allow recreational marijuana use).
  • In Oregon, standard plastic shopping bags are now banned.
  • New York will end cash bail for misdemeanor and nonviolent felony offenses. The law is already getting hundreds of pre-trial defendants released from jail.
  • Washington state will continue to micromanage car seat positioning, making it illegal to put a child under two years old in a forward-facing car seat and requiring them to use a rear-facing car seat instead. For those 2 to 4 years old, however, rear-facing car seats are illegal and forward-facing seats are required.
  • New Hampshire will start letting residents choose to mark "X" as their sex on driver's licenses instead of choosing male or female.
  • New Jersey has made it illegal for employers to ask job candidates about their salary history.
  • Colorado's controversial "red flag law" takes effect, making it easier for family members or local authorities to confiscate guns from people deemed dangerous.
  • Georgia will stop putting minors on its child-abuse perpetrator registry.
  • Ohio will stop taxing tampons and other menstrual products.
  • It's now illegal in Minnesota to sell "a tooth or tusk from any species of elephant, hippopotamus, mammoth, mastodon, walrus, whale, or narwhal."
  • Nevada is banning vaping in many public spaces and indoor workplaces.
  • Hawaii will force restaurants to offer water, low-fat milk, or no-sugar-added juice with children's meals, even if few families choose to order these options.
  • California's new "consumer privacy" law is setting up a host of new rules for tech companies that could burden digital services and users far outside of California (and potentially ushering in a legal battle over its constitutionality).
  • A lot of states are raising their minimum wage this year, including New York (where the rate will rise to $15 per hour), Maryland (where it will reach $11 per hour), and Missouri (where it will go up to $9.45 hourly).
  • In California, it's now illegal to fire people based on their hairstyles. Also, all new houses must be built with solar panels.
  • Minnesota's per-gallon tax on craft whiskey is going from $2.70 to $13.50.

Legislation isn't the only sort of rules we have to worry about, of course. The "triumph of the administrative state over the Constitution's vesting of all lawmaking power solely in the Congress is all but total, and it holds under President Trump," as Clyde Wayne Crews writes at Forbes.

In 2019, Congress passed 105 new laws and regulators put out 2,964 new federal rules. Alas, we can expect this to continue apace in 2020.

At the Supreme Court this year, we'll see justices determining whether one such branch of bureaucrats—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—should even be allowed to exist. SCOTUS will also consider cases on fair use and copyright law, discrimination complaints against religious employers, school scholarships, Trump's financial records, and (of course) abortion access.

What can we expect for libertarianism and the "liberty movement" in the 2020s?

Economist Tyler Cowen offers some predictions. He embraces something he calls "state capacity libertarianism," which differs from both Niskanen Center–style "liberaltarianism" and the trendy Trumpian elements that have swept like a highly contagious disease through the ranks of former Tea Partiers and Ron Paul revolutionaries.


QUICK HITS

  • On the pending federal ban on flavored vape-products: "It looks like [it] will exempt e-liquids used in refillable vaporizers and apply only to cartridges, the type of product that is most popular with teenagers," Jacob Sullum reports.
  • A new paper argues that "YouTube's recommendation algorithm actively discourages viewers from visiting radicalizing or extremist content."
  • "Joe Biden is the most gothic figure in American politics," asserts The New York Review of Books.

NEXT: Washington Court Strikes Down Ban on "Intimidating a Public Servant,"

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  1. 2020 brings bail reform, bag bans, more marijuana, fewer tampon taxes, narwhal protection, higher minimum wages, and many other new laws.

    Happy New Year!

    Hopefully next time you have to fend someone off with a narwhal tusk you don’t get prosecuted.

    1. Hello.

      “In California, it’s now illegal to fire people based on their hairstyles. Also, all new houses must be built with solar panels.”

      Tacitus should be required reading in California.

      This is mental and the state’s fetish for micro-legislating is out of control.

      1. Pretty soon, the only thing that will remain legal or unregulated in California is crapping in your pants

          1. Crapping on someone’s sidewalk will give you squatters rights.

            1. How Californians dont consider this a stain on their reputation….

        1. I’m at the point where I believe some sort of weird psychological fetish for control has set in and it’s in part because of the fact they vote for one-party. Eventually, it’s only normal a bankrupted, myopic, group think takes hold where you stat to see hyper-interventionism that crosses over into the directing people’s lives. It’s surprising Americans in places with one-party rule (obviously Democrat) haven’t found the courage to switch it up.

          1. Progressivism is literally utopian by ideology. They believe on the perfectibility of Man. If they can pass the right type of laws and regulations, paradise on Earth can be attained.

          2. At this point, it will take a youth revolt to change California’s culture of control. Its not really any of my business since I don’t live there – they’re welcome to make housing unaffordable, make work impossible for their kids and become a state where only the rich and powerful can exist.

            At some point, a counter-culture will develop.

            1. The revolting youths objections are that the control freaks aren’t going far enough.
              Time to revisit the voting age, Make it 28, that, according to Pelosi, is when kids turn into adults.

          3. I don’t think it’s that surprising. These urban Democratic machines in particular have been at it for decades, and they became institutionalized within the administrative infrastructure a long, long time ago, especially after whites largely abandoned the cities for the suburbs after World War II to raise their families.

            Before urban areas became minority-dominated, electoral swings could and did take place, because the machines were more concerned with self-preservation than devotion to a single party. If one party was looking like it was about to take it in the shorts, the machine would put resources into the other party to maintain influence. That all began to change during the Depression and accelerated further after the war. Short of a Depression-like collapse during a Democratic Presidential administration, there’s simply no inroads for Republicans to make with urban areas anymore.

            1. Interesting. Sounds pretty depressing to me.

      2. Next step: all hairstyles must include solar panels.

      3. Maybe California will make it illegal to move out of the state.

        1. Build the wall!

  2. “It looks like [it] will exempt e-liquids used in refillable vaporizers and apply only to cartridges, the type of product that is most popular with teenagers,” Jacob Sullum reports.

    If you don’t want to take it on the chin from the man, 16-year-olds, learn to vote.

    1. Or, you know, just start using a refillable vape. They’re tricky, but I’m sure the teens will figure them out eventually

      1. Kids are too lazy for that sort of thing.

      2. Who are you? Mister Make-Decisions-For-You-Kids?

  3. “YouTube’s recommendation algorithm actively discourages viewers from visiting radicalizing or extremist content.”

    Finally doing something about PewDiePie.

    1. I don’t know about that. I’ve been getting saturated by commercials by Grammarly, St. Jude Hospitals, and Dr. Squatch soap, and find that my homicidal impulses are drastically increasing.

  4. Joe Biden is the most gothic figure in American politics…

    Instead of a pitchfork he’s holding his trusty shotgun. And instead of a farmhouse he’s in front of an Amtrak terminal.

    1. I took gothic to mean he dresses exclusively in black, along with wearing black eyeliner and lipstick, while constantly walking around with a pouty and sullen expression, smoking clove cigarettes

      1. Why can’t it be both?

      2. I thought Gothic was a comment on his flying buttresses, gargoyles, and stained glass.

        1. Why can’t it be all 3?

        2. And I thought it’s because he lets his sack roam.

        3. I thought it meant he was literally present at the Battle of Adrianople and helped disrupt the cohesion of the Roman Empire.

        4. I thought it meant the way he writes letters, or the reading he prefers.

        5. No, it’s because he gets all his clothes at Hot Topic and drinks clamato juice

      3. Nah, he’s Visigoth. He wears a horned helmet and leads raids on his European neighbor’s lands to steal their crops and livestock.

  5. Non-medical marijuana use is now legalized in Illinois…

    I doubt it.

    1. Only if you buy the right amount in the approved place and keep it in the correct bag.

    2. So Illinois deregulated weed, not legalized it?

  6. In Oregon, standard plastic shopping bags are now banned.

    They have enough Douglas firs to cover with paper bags.

    1. When I was growing up they were pushing people to use plastic bags to save the trees.

      1. Reusable bags use more plastic and have the added benefit of harboring harmful bacteria if you don’t wipe them down after each use, so I guess they are even better for the econutz if they cause some deaths from salmonella

        1. This. I tried the re-usable bags. They get disgusting, so I started washing them after every use. I’m pretty sure I use more in energy, water, soap, paper towels (or wet wipes) using the reusable bags than I do if I were just using the thin plastic bags. I re-use the disposable plastic bags for my pet, backing and trash bin lining…

          I explained this to my friend the other day and showed her that Maryland’s $0.05 per bag “fee” is really just a tax that not only hurts the poor more than anyone else but is also environmentally unfriendly. Its literally the worst of all worlds unless you like increased taxes.

          1. Really, nobody needs bags since nobody needs to buy so much stuff. Cuz inequality.

          2. Have you tried putting your meat in a smaller plastic bag before soiling your reusable with it?

            1. Luckily, I live in a state that still lets me use the thin disposable bags.. so I went back to using those.

              That being said, yeah, I’d probably just pay the $0.05 tax per bag if it came down to it. At that point, there’s really no use for the reusable bags in the first place.

              1. Why pay the store?

                Buy thin plastic bags online and take them with you. Wrap all your stuff in them at the store right in front of all those lunatic Lefties and watch them freak out.

                1. If this stupid ban ever happens in my state, maybe I will!

                1. Not bad, that only 2.5 cents a bag!

            2. I hate wrapping my meat, and would never ever consider reusing

              1. Oh, we’re doing phrasing in 2020?

                1. I’m gonna phrase the shit out of 2020

        2. In 2012, there was an outbreak of norovirus in Portland that was traced to reusable grocery bags. Short memories there.

  7. New York will end cash bail for misdemeanor and nonviolent felony offenses.

    Won’t someone please think of the detention workers.

    1. Don’t worry. Flight risk allegation against defendants will continue to rise.

  8. For those 2 to 4 years old, however, rear-facing car seats are illegal and forward-facing seats are required.

    6-year-olds, just stay home.

  9. New Hampshire will start letting residents choose to mark “X” as their sex on driver’s licenses instead of choosing male or female.

    So long as they shave their head and ride a wheelchair.

    1. What about XXX?

    2. If NH really want to allow this, just remove gender from the licensing process altogether.

    3. Finally, the illiterates will have a voice.

    4. New Hampshire was one of the original 13 colonies and sent groups of men at high rates for that state population to fight the British.

      Now its comes to this.

  10. I cannot let FoE’s comment streak go unbroken!

      1. I’m only one man here! C’mon, Reason commentariat!

        Has the idea of FoE as AI been floated here before? I mean, that technically means FoE is still a employee of Reason, right?

        1. The artificial part is undisputed. It’s the intelligence that we can’t agree upon.

    1. You know what other Fist of Etiquette streak has gone unbroken?

  11. New Jersey has made it illegal for employers to ask job candidates about their salary history.

    “How’d you afford a Cadillac on a sanitation worker’s salary, Mr. D’Amico?”

    1. Nice roundup. In fact, it should be a feature post in my opinion.

      In addition to the idiotic CA law, the Hawaii and New Jersey ones are idiotic as well.

      1. They gotta leave some room for TDS.

  12. …making it easier for family members or local authorities to confiscate guns from people deemed dangerous.

    The 2nd Amendment’s precognition loophole.

  13. Georgia will stop putting minors on its child-abuse perpetrator registry.

    Another government database takes a hit.

  14. Ohio will stop taxing tampons and other menstrual products.

    But still won’t outright make those items free. The war on women’s health continues unabated.

    1. Ohio repeals Pink Tax

      Just in time, since men need tampons, too!

      1. Dude, tampons are right up there with duct tape as an essential. I don’t know why I get strange looks buying them together.

        1. Just snarl at them that your Tampons are intended to plug penetrating wounds.

    2. Will they stop taxing facial hair products as well?

    3. There’s nothing healthy about menstruating. Women’s bodies are evolved to stay pregnant or nursing through their prime years. The 400 or more menstrual cycles that modern women have to suffer through in a lifetime take a toll on their health.

      1. Never trust anything that bleeds for a week and doesnt die.

  15. It’s now illegal in Minnesota to sell “a tooth or tusk from any species of elephant, hippopotamus, mammoth, mastodon, walrus, whale, or narwhal.”

    Mastodon tooth fairy, you’re canceled.

    1. Ha, they missed gomphotheres.

    2. Narwhal tusks have been proven to save lives. Looks like Minnesota’s way of trying to subvert the second amendment.

      You can take my narwhal tusk when you pry it from your cold dead ass.

    3. I think it’s wonderful that the mastodons and mammoths of Minnesota will no longer need to fear being killed for their tusks.

  16. Nevada is banning vaping in many public spaces and indoor workplaces.

    They see vapor as a threat to the only draw they have: that it’s the heat not the humidity.

  17. Hawaii will force restaurants to offer water, low-fat milk, or no-sugar-added juice with children’s meals, even if few families choose to order these options.

    The families that do order the last two options better check the expiration dates.

    1. People that would order those things don’t eat in restaurants.

  18. …burden digital services and users far outside of California (and potentially ushering in a legal battle over its constitutionality).

    America doesn’t want the Golden State as its lowest common denominator.

  19. A lot of states are raising their minimum wage this year…

    They know those low-wage workers who get axed because of it can’t afford to join the exoduses to other states.

  20. trendy Trumpian elements that have swept like a highly contagious disease through the ranks of former Tea Partiers and Ron Paul revolutionaries.

    I’m not a fan or a hater of Trump, but I can see why he’s caught on among a large portion of the libertarian crowd. He’s the only top-level politician that has any ounce of respect for individual liberty, the common American and also can win. Individual liberty and respect for the “NAP” may not have anything to do with Trump’s motivations, but policy is the only thing that matters to most libertarians and Trump has been the most libertarian President since Reagan.

    Libertarians are used to being continually smashed in the public eye and at the ballot box. Libertarian “leaders” have done absolutely nothing but lose so now they lament that they’ve been left behind and forgotten, at least until November 2020 or November 2024.

    1. but I can see why he’s caught on among a large portion of the libertarian crowd

      No, it’s pretty much the “R” that follows his name.

      1. My totally anecdotal experience tells me that a portion of the libertarian crowd is not just voting for him because the Rs are better than the Ds, but also because they are genuinely enthusiastic about the guy. Admittedly, I think a lot of those libertarians are also caught up in the larger cultural changes that are happening, and see Trump as someone that is standing for their side in that fight.

        I suppose my comment above about policy being the only thing that matters to libertarians is incorrect.

        1. If you’re basing that on this comment section, then I would suggest maybe many aren’t as libertarian as they are conservative. The fact that Gary Johnson went from 1% in 2012 to over 3% in 2016 tells you something about the Libertarian electorate.

          And what exactly has Donald Trump done to advance liberty? Tax cuts and Neil Gorsuch? On the whole, an empty chair would have probably been more libertarian than Trump. He is less authoritarian than the Democrats for certain. But that doesn’t make him libertarian.

          1. “On the whole, an empty chair would have probably been more libertarian than Trump. He is less authoritarian than the Democrats for certain.”

            Back in the real world, an empty chair is not an option.

            1. Thanks for proving my point.

            2. So that’s why R Mac bought those five mannequins.

          2. Eh, I don’t play the whole true Scotsman game – I just take people at their word. I think libertarian obsession from disqualifying people from being libertarian is part of the reason why libertarians are so irrelevant.

            And what exactly has Donald Trump done to advance liberty? Tax cuts and Neil Gorsuch?

            Yeah, exactly. Both of those are huge. Plus, there’s the attempted roll back of title IX regulations, the rule requiring 2 regulations to be slashed for every new regulation to be put on the books.

            But that doesn’t make him libertarian.

            You’re the only one considering whether Trump is or is not a libertarian. I posed no such question nor said that he is.

            1. I’m challenging this quote from you, “Trump has been the most libertarian President since Reagan.”

              1. Ah, I guess you interpret that differently from me. What I meant to say was “Trump has been the most libertarian President since Reagan.”

                I think what you read was “Trump is a libertarian.”

                1. Leo will say whatever it takes to seem like he counters what you said.

                  Trump is the most Libertarian-ish President in over 80 years. Leo knows this but cannot admit it.

                2. It’s not the response he wanted, but it’s the fuck you he deserved.

              2. That was the point. Tallest midget, and all that.

                Everyone is more libertarian than Mao or Pol Pot. Most are more libertarian than Sanders and Warren. A big chunk are more libertarian than Bush or Romney.

                Trump is leading that race – but it isn’t like that is all that difficult.

                There are other Republicans that are far more libertarian than Trump. None of them have managed to challenge for the presidential nomination.

                There might even be some Democrats that are more libertarian than Trump out there…. but they certainly have not come close to capturing their party’s support.

                1. Apparently it is that difficult to win that race and get elected most places in the world, especially to such a high office as POTUS. Merely being more libertarian than others is not an achievement; bringing that into elected office by winning the favor of enough people who are not more libertarian than that is an achievement.

                  That’s the point. Making people in general more libertarian, or more anything, is intractable. The problem is how to get people to vote for those who are more libertarian than they, the voters, are. Trump’s done it, and is about to do it again.

                2. There are other Republicans that are far more libertarian than Trump. None of them have managed to challenge for the presidential nomination.

                  …because when they dare to run, the leftists who’ve thoroughly infected mainstream Libertarianism–especially the party, work against them as much as possible.

              3. First Step Act. nuff said. The only President in our lifetime who has done even one thing to lessen the drug war.

          3. An empty chair can’t do crony capitalism.

          4. Clint Eastwood disagrees with your empty chair’s libertarian tendencies.

        2. I’m a little like that. If I see some asshole acting like an asshole towards someone and I deem the asshole to be the true asshole, I’ll support that someone being bullied by the true asshole.

          I can totally see why he gets what I call the ‘fuck you’ voter.

          I did that with Bernier. I loathe the Liberals under that shithead Justin and thoroughly disappointed in the CINOs (conservatives in name only) in the Conservative party. Bernier is the only one who really stands by his convictions and talks about issues the other two parties refuse to discuss.

          1. At first I thought you were talking about Bernie Sanders, but then I realized you’re Canadian.

            I totally agree, Trump gets a “fuck you” vote 100%. I wish all you Canadians good luck, I really don’t know anything about the politics up there but I hear its very left.

            1. It certainly has an ideological left-wing bent since 2015.

              Not good.

              It also has helped galvanize a ‘Wexit’ movement. Western Exit from Canada.

              1. Oh, interesting. I didn’t even realize there was a Wexit movement… hopefully its fairing better than northern California’s desire to create the state of Jefferson.

    2. For many libertarians it’s just that the alternative is so much worse.

      1. I don’t doubt that, but I’d also say that some libertarian attitudes about Trump is not “hey, this guy won’t do anything while the other guy will do X, Y and Z”… its actually “hey, this guy will actually move in my preferred policy direction by doing A, B and C, while that other guy will do X, Y and Z which are counter to everything I believe in.”

        1. And again I ask, other than tax cuts (pretty much a standard Republican position) and Neil Gorsuch, what are the A, B, and C that Trump has done to move the needle towards liberty?

          I can point to a few things that Obama did or supported that led to more individual liberty, but that’s hardly an endorsement of him on the whole.

          1. And again I ask, other than tax cuts (pretty much a standard Republican position) and Neil Gorsuch, what are the A, B, and C that Trump has done to move the needle towards liberty?

            Yeah, exactly. Both of those are huge. Plus, there’s the attempted roll back of title IX regulations, the rule requiring 2 regulations to be slashed for every new regulation to be put on the books.

            I can point to a few things that Obama did or supported that led to more individual liberty, but that’s hardly an endorsement of him on the whole.

            I wasn’t really considering what Leo Kovalensky II was or was not endorsing.

            1. Killing him.

          2. “I can point to a few things that Obama did or supported that led to more individual liberty”

            Really?
            This should be interesting

            1. I mean, he had a chance, he could have just done it instead of claiming he COULD do it…

          3. I can point to a few things that Obama did or supported that led to more individual liberty, but that’s hardly an endorsement of him on the whole.

            And yet you didn’t. How strange.

        2. That’s the thing. I didn’t expect much of the Republican field for POTUS in 2016 in that regard, though I would’ve preferred Dr. Paul and then Mr. Cruz for the nomination over Trump. I just didn’t think either of them could achieve much positively in working with Congress and the bureaucracy. I thought even less of Trump’s chances to succeed there, but he surprised me pleasantly.

          Have some of my interests been thrown under the bus to achieve that? Yes. I think it’s been a very worthwhile tradeoff.

    3. [Trump’s] the only top-level politician that has any ounce of respect […]

      Sorry, I couldn’t keep reading. This is just too hilarious.

      1. It is pretty hilarious that YOU can’t read.

        1. Correct. It’s a miracle that my wildly-flailing monkey paws reliably hit almost-correctly-spelled words that form coherent sentences at all. My entire existence on this site is a grand cosmic joke to demonstrate that the so-called “Infinite Monkey Theorem” is wrong, it only takes one monkey and one slightly-used keyboard.

          1. I think its funny that you think “can’t read” means “fully illiterate” because you can’t read.

            1. I’m sorry, I can’t read your words over my flailing monkey-paws.

              1. “I’m sorry, I can’t read”

                We know, and you continue to demonstrate it by bringing up typing in response to observations that you can’t read.

          2. +1 blursed of times

              1. *Blirst

      2. Trump is POTUS. He’s quite literally the most powerful politician in the world. You might not like that and you might find it so funny that you can’t read anymore, but that sounds like a personal problem you’ll need to work through by yourself.

  21. In California, it’s now illegal to fire people based on their hairstyles. Also, all new houses must be built with solar panels.

    Bonus if your hairdo reflects the sun.

    1. I think this law benefits Trump the most. the unintended consequences of the laws

  22. “In the real world, neither ruling party has a monopoly on bad ideas, silly bans, and detrimental public policies.”

    Technically true, I guess. But this “both sides are bad” mindset isn’t helpful. Here’s what matters — Republicans run concentration camps and put kids in cages. Democrats don’t.

    #IMissObama

    1. OBL still trucking in 2020. I was talking to my Democrat friend yesterday, complaining that the Dems in charge of VA have focused solely on how to punish people (guns) so far since they’ve been put in power.

      I thought they were the party of “helping people.” Not one peep from them about MJ law, which is extremely harsh in VA. Nope, the Dems get the power and they just figure out more reasons to throw people in cages.

      1. One reason for this is that so many people abuse free speech. Once they get that under control, things will certainly be better.

    2. A truism in the service of sarcasm is still a truism. “Both sides are bad” doesn’t help.

      1. It’s usually the emptiest of virtue signaling

    3. Republicans run concentration camps and put kids in cages. Democrats don’t.

      Hold my beer, Eleanor.

      /FDR

  23. Minnesota’s per-gallon tax on craft whiskey is going from $2.70 to $13.50.

    Time to dress up like injuns and pour that whiskey into your many lakes.

    1. No taxation without intoxication!

    2. That is insane.

      And it could not possibly a protectionist measure to keep local producers from taking cash out of the pockets of those holding the distributorships for Jim Beam and Jack Daniels.

    3. Minneapolis Pee Party!

  24. Colorado’s controversial “red flag law” takes effect, making it easier for family members or local authorities to confiscate guns from people deemed dangerous.

    “Deemed dangerous”. Christ on a bicycle, what a shitty standard for having a civil right taken away.

    1. I wonder if anyone will be allowed to ‘deem’ a family member that works for some arm of government to dangerous to be armed.

      1. “too dangerous”

      2. There is probably an exemption for law enforcement. And if there isn’t, one will be added the first time someone tries to red-flag a cop.

        1. We won’t need an official exemption; the ‘hearing’ will clear the government agent in 30 sec for being a government agent.

        2. There is probably an exemption for law enforcement.

          Never underestimate the power of “Qualified Immunity”

    2. How about deeming *everyone* dangerous by default and requiring gun nuts to prove their innocence?

      1. You want to put your personal philosophy into law?

        1. Note to self: Use less-subtle sarcasm.

          1. Note to self: Have sarcometer calibrated.

    3. Come on, that’s just a logical extension of the progressive-nanny philosophy: We will restrict or confiscate anything we deem to be (too) dangerous.

  25. The #DrumpfRecession meant 2019 was the worst year in memory for the American economy. Want proof? Check out this alarming stat:

    Our billionaire benefactor Charles Koch only increased his net worth by $2,650,000,000.

    I blame Drumpf’s tariffs and immigration restrictions.

    #VoteDemocratToHelpCharlesKoch

  26. I think the most frustrating thing about our regulatory state is that so much is done by unelected bureaucrats, and that’s probably not changing soon, if ever.

    It’s a little depressing to think about how many people don’t care about that. Also, it’s depressing to think about how many people are for it as long as their team is winning.

    Happy New Year, everyone!

    1. “I think the most frustrating thing about our regulatory state is that so much is done by unelected bureaucrats, and that’s probably not changing soon, if ever.”

      In the progressives mind, the unaccountably of unelected bureaucrats is a good thing. After all, being a progressive is all about using the coercive power of government to inflict policy on the unwilling. They think the problem with politicians is that they care about the opinions of the voters. How can elected politicians force us to make sacrifices against our will if they’re worried about voters’ opinions? Unelected bureaucrats are perfect that way.

      1. Unelected bureaucrats

        The term is “credentialed experts”, you unlettered baboon.

      2. So who exactly is ruining “democracy”?

        1. Our “betters”, of course.

      3. Look, this just means we need more government oversight. We should create an office of government accountability to monitor the activities of the bureaucracy. So we need a bureaucracy dedicated to making sure the bureaucracy is properly executing their duties.

    2. I think the most frustrating thing about our regulatory state is that so much is done by unelected bureaucrats, and that’s probably not changing soon, if ever.

      The part you’re forgetting is that while the regulations themselves are coming from “unelected bureaucrats”, they are happening at the behest of and with the consent of elected legislators.

      Their authority and guidance comes from congress, and congress can step in and rein them in any time they want.

      And honestly, there really isn’t much of an alternative solution: the only meaningful difference would be to swap from “default approve” (that is, congress has to act to stop an agency) to “default deny” (the status quo, that inaction from congress is tacit approval). Which I’m not opposed to, but don’t fool yourself into thinking it would lead to much change.

      1. “Their authority and guidance comes from congress, and congress can step in and rein them in any time they want.”

        AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

        AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHA

        AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAH

        AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHAHHA

  27. “I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15. The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!

    —-@realDonaldTrump, December 31, 2019

    China slashing its tariffs a few days before was an excellent indication that this was coming. Even if the text of the deal doesn’t come through on intellectual property and forced technology transfers, I’ll be glad when this is over. This is probably the most important thing happening in the news right now. I’m not sure average Americans even know it’s happening. It’s sort of like heavily reporting that Richard Jewell was a suspect–and failing to report, later, that he’d been exonerated. Trump better toot his own horn on this or the media will use it as a spittoon.

    1. Like Trump’s massive victory on North Korea nukes?
      Or Iran?
      Or … anything?

      1. Looks like someone got their talking points today. Fuck off Hihn who whoever the fuck you are.

      2. TDS isn’t just the inability to see the world clearly because Trump exists within it. TDS is also the tendency to see every issue only as either pro-Trump or anti-Trump. I happen to be anti-tariff and pro-trade regardless of whether and how that impacts Trump’s reelection campaign, but because the rest of the Democrat field is so openly hostile to not only international trade but also to market capitalism, I hope Trump wins. In fact, as I’ve been arguing for a long time, if Trump doesn’t negotiate these tariffs away, there was no reason to think anyone on the Democratic side would do so. They’re far more hostile to international trade than Trump is, and they’re even more hostile to preserving a trade relationship with a nasty power like China.

        1. Trump has done as well with North Korea as any other President. Yet, to the TDS infected brain, Trump has failed because North Korea still exists.

          1. Trump has done as well with North Korea as any other President.

            Is that what he claimed? (lol)

            Yet, to the TDS infected brain, Trump has failed because North Korea still exists.

            Even dumber!!

            1. Bill Clinton paid them protection money only to then see them take it and build nukes anyway. Bush did nothing at all. And Obama through his nearly universal weakness encouraged them to demand protection money whenever they ran out.

              North Korea is no longer lobbing missiles over Hawaii and no longer conducting underground nuclear tests. So, Trump has done significantly better than his predecessors. If you were not retarded, you would understand that. You don’t have TDS, you are just that stupid.

              1. Obama through his nearly universal weakness encouraged them to demand protection money whenever they ran out.

                Didn’t Obama do even worse? If I recall correctly, he supported the killing of Qaddafi even though the dictator gave up his yellow cake. I believe this destroyed the possibility of NK ever giving up its nuclear capability. Now they know, if they give up on developing nukes, the US will fucking destroy them.

                Obama basically encouraged every dictator to get nukes as fast as possible.

                1. Correct, TripK2.
                  The combination of overthrowing Qaddafi, who’d completely cooperated in getting rid of his WMD program, with paying off Iran (and the way it was sold: “we’re unwilling to go to war, so we have to give Iran whatever it wants if they ‘promise’ to delay their development of nuclear weapons”) for developing WMDs sent the precise message that developing WMDs is rewarded, while giving them up is punished.
                  It is possibly the worst foreign policy “blunder” in US history

              2. COWARDLY DIVERSION (sneer)

          2. I would say Trump did better because he actually met with Kim instead of treating him like some second class national leader. Note Nixon meet with teh Chinese and it took years for anything to really happen. Trump took the first real step. And one of the most amusing items is now when Kim stomps his feet and tries to launch anything everyone yawns(excluding the TDS media) instead of panic like they did before Trump called his bluff.

            1. I agree. Unless you want to go to war, which no one in their right mind does, then you need to be willing to meet and talk with Kim. The criticisms of Trump for meeting and talking with him always struck me as bizarre.

            2. North Korea is on China’s payroll. They’re like the Chinese version of Israel.

              Israel doesn’t just do what we tell them to, but we have a tremendous amount of influence over them. When they retaliate, it’s often with our blessing. When they don’t retaliate, it’s probably most often because we asked them not to do so.

              It’s like that with China and North Korea, too. When it behooves China for North Korea to make some noise, they’re happy to do so. When China tells them to play nice, they do that, too. No question, the attack dog could jump the fence on run amok on its own, but that is China’s attack dog.

              We’re not really negotiating with the dog. We’re negotiating with the dog’s owner.

              1. luckily as the world cops we don’t shoot the dog.
                BTW some people might think you are also referring to Israel as America’s attack dog, I don’t but some might

            3. One more time: WHAT DID TRUMP CLAIM HE’D ACHIEVED?

  28. This is why Warren is my first choice for the Democratic nomination.

    Here’s a promise: I will go to the Rose Garden every year to read the names of transgender people of color who have been killed.

    As a woman of color herself, Warren is especially sensitive to the systemic oppression of other marginalized communities.

    1. Soon to be renamed (and re-landscaped) as the Rainbow Garden.

    2. how long can that list be?

    3. If she was really sensitive to the sensitivities of trannies she would use her married name, Mrs. Mann.

  29. But these people thrive on creating a climate of partisan panic; it helps them consolidate their power.

    Unlike today’s libertarianism, which works just as hard to foment hysteria, but has no power whatsoever. And no solutions for anything. Anything at all.

    “Complaining about a problem, without posing a solution, is whining.”
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    “Mass movements do not need a god, but they do need a devil. Hatred unifies the True Believers.”
    -Eric Hoffer, “The True Believers” (1951)

    “Throughout human history, the worst moral atrocities have been committed by those manipulated to BELIEVE they are defending some
    ‘greater good’ — the Collective, the State, the Master Race, the Party or a God. Zealots and fanatics. The militant self-righteous.”

    -Mike Hihn, “Liberty Issues” (1994)

    1. Did you just quote yourself?

      1. Does he ever do anything else? No one else spouts his bullshit, so he HAS to quote himself as a source.
        And his dementia is sufficiently advanced that he thinks that’s a good source!
        Hihn, fuck off and die.

        1. “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do.”
          –Benjamin Franklin

          “Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something”
          Plato

          1. And here comes the crazy.

          2. The Further Adventures of Fuck Hihn.

          3. “Fools speak because they have to say something”
            –Plato”

            So you know why you post but keep doing it anyway? Weird.

            “Some guy said some shit once” – some guy no one really cares about

      2. He feels on par with Roosevelt.

        1. That, too, is whining.

          1. Whine more about it.

            1. That too is whining.
              How large is your kindergarten class?

      3. Did you just quote yourself?

        Are you dumb enough to ask???

        1. Welp you sock puppet a lot…

          1. He quoted his name … in a post from his name, goober.
            So are YOU a dumbfuck too?

      4. He not only quoted himself, he plagiarized it from C.S. Lewis.

        1. Oh jeez, what a total buffoon.

        2. Sounds about right.

        3. STILL A SICK-FUCK PSYCHO LIAR! (smirk)

      5. You can tell from the all caps.

        1. SCORECARD: (lol)

          a) Shrieking Magpies = 13 (so far)
          b) FAILURE to name ONE libertarian solution, to anything = 13
          c) FAILURE to challenge a single point = 13
          d) Mindless robots of the Authoritarian Right = 13

          My victory laps = 13 (so far)

          When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers.
          -Socrates

          “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business
          -Eric Hoffer

  30. http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/353362/

    Lawrence Tribe thinks the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court should disqualify however many members of the Senate is necessary to ensure that Trump is removed from office.

    But remember folks, it is Trump who is the threat to the Republic.

    1. So disqualify any Dem who walked in wanting a conviction?

    2. Happy new year John. Did you see this court order from Justice Rosemary Collyer that proves that you, me, and Devin Nunes were right all along?

      https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/6600-fisa-court-demands-answers-fro/87f1132ddc399b0c99b1/optimized/full.pdf#page=1

      Not surprisingly, Ken “Dopehat” White and the fake libertarians had absolutely nothing to say about it whatsoever.

      1. Of course not. What are they going to say? The truth that they were nothing but front men for the FBI abusing people’s rights? Fat chance.

      2. “IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to FISC Rule of Procedure 62(a), that the government shall, no later than December 20 2019, complete a declassification review of the above-referenced order of December 5, 2019, in anticipation of the FISC’ s publishing that order. In view of the information released to the public in the OIG Report, the Court expects that such review will entail minimal if any redactions.

        Where is it?

        I want to read that review.

        1. This could also be a CYA for the court. They want the entire application released with minimal redactions. Maybe there is a sensitive Moscow source referenced that they really were hanging their hat on.

          In the early days of the “Russia investigation”, just after we found out the Trump was not an insane conspiracy theorist for saying his “wires had been tapped”, every news organization and every Democrat politician was telling us that there were sensitive sources from inside the Russian government that were telling us that Trump was working with the Russians.

          They said it came from multiple agencies…. then they changed that to 17 agencies agree…. .then they changed that to 27 agencies agree.

          It was just an absolute fact, verified by every agency of the American government, via secret sources.

          The fact that the American press has no memory of what they told me last month is infuriating. And the fact that the American people don’t remember either is scary.

          By December/January of 2016/2017, it was common knowledge that multiple US intelligence agencies had confirmed from classified sources that Trump was working with the Russians. Every single news organization told me that – not as some breaking news story, but as a flat fact that was obvious to all right-thinking people.

          None of those people have rolled over on their sources within the Obama administration who were lying to them. Instead, the fact that they reported that 17 different federal agencies had verified that Trump was working with the Russians has been memory-holed.

          1. It’s kinda like (but worse than) the new D talking point that Iran has become more hostile since Trump pulled us out of the JCPOA, using “they didn’t storm an embassy while we were in the deal” as evidence… while themselves forgetting the obvious retort that Iran instead took a dozen US sailors hostage immediately after signing the agreement

            1. using “they didn’t storm an embassy while we were in the deal” as evidence

              Which, of course, raises the question why were they doing fuck-all against the embassy in the last 19 months after Trump pulled out of the deal? Did they wake up from some hashish-induced coma?

              No, the truth is that the Iranians are simply trying to leverage their alliance with Iraq’s Shia politicians to force the US out of the country. To be fair, Trump could have headed this off months ago by simply pulling out of Iraq, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saudis have been begging him to keep a military presence there. You’d think these dopes would have planned ahead and spent their oil billions on funding their own Sunni militias, like Iran’s been doing for years, instead of setting up Wahhabi mosques in Europe that have been encouraging terrorism, just so their inbred offspring have a place to worship on jaunts to the continent.

      3. You know you’re helping to spread some of that “Fake News” – you’re pointing at the NYT.

        Collyer isn’t actually shocked – shocked! – to find out there was some shenanigans going on with the whole “Russian collusion investigation” thing, she was part of it. Now she’s trying to cover her ass and claim it was that darn FBI that tricked her into issuing the FISA warrants.

        Bullshit – Mike Rogers had seen some hinky shit going on with FBI inquiries to the NSA database and realized they were surveilling Trump under the pretext of spying on the Russians and warned her to be wary of FBI requests for warrants. After Clapper realized Rogers was interfering with their little coup attempt, he went to Obama and had Rogers fired, whereupon Rogers went to Trump and warned him Trump Tower was not safe, Trump moved his operations to New Jersey and Collyer kept signing off on the FISA warrant renewals.

        Rogers, so far, has avoided committing suicide under questionable circumstances but he is working with the Durham investigation as to just what the hell was going on and if Collyer isn’t subpoenaed to answer some hard questions it’ll be only because she’s agreed to an immunity deal. It’s not just the FBI and Jim Comey that were running this thing, Clapper and Brennan were in it up to their eyeballs and if Obama himself isn’t implicated as well it’ll only because they’ll be willing to fall on their swords for The One.

        And, of course, if you remember that odd little e-mail Susan Rice sent to herself “for the record” on Inauguration Day that seems suspiciously like your kid meeting you at the door when you come home to loudly proclaim that he didn’t break anything all day long and certainly not the bedroom window, you know damn well Obama knew all about this all along.

        1. hahahahaha … SUCKER.

          It describes a meeting of Obama officials, two months AFTER the election!>

          Foment hysteria much?

    3. all senate members who are running for president should recuse themselves. otherwise they are doing exactly what they accuse Trump of doing. meddling in an election

    4. “THINKS” PJMEDIA IS A SOURCE!
      As crazy as a lefty using Daily Kos as a source!

      Left – Right = Zero

    1. The same people who wanted us to go to war in Syria are now horrified that Trump hit Iranian forces in Iraq with a few air strikes.

      No one fears us? That is pretty rich coming after 8 years of every rogue nation in the world taking Obama’s lunch money. I am sure Iran was terrified of Obama as he sent them hundreds of billions in hard cash. Nothing says strength like protection money.

      1. In Obama’s case, it was more like tribute. Did you happen to read that Politico article on how he undermined a drug trafficking investigation on Hezbollah in order to get the nuclear deal done?

        1. Yes. That is another story that was sent down the memory hole by the media. Can you imagine if it came out that Trump was calling off the DEA investigating North Korean drug dealing in order to get a deal with North Korea? He would be out of office in a month. Obama did exactly that with Iran and no one said a damned thing about it.

        2. Wait….

          You are saying that Obama used the US government agencies to get something of value to him politically?

          That just can’t be right.

    2. Oh no, our influence and effectiveness continues to be abysmal in places we have no business being in.

    3. Note. now that the Marines are on the way the protesters are leaving unlike what happened in Bengazzi where people were left to die. Sometimes just letting people know you care makes a difference

      1. +1000

        As a former military member, nothing destroys morale faster than the civilian leadership and/or military brass leaving you to die when they dont have to.

    4. Iran has been trying to provoke a U.S. attack for a long time. That’s what they provocations in the Strait of Hormuz were about. That’s what the attack on Saudi oil production facilities was about, etc., etc. They’re trying to provoke a U.S. attack and drive a wedge between the U.S. push for sanctions and our European allies. They’re trying to get the Europeans to stop cooperating with Trump on enforcing sanctions against them.

      Trump has show remarkable restraint.

      Other excellent examples of presidents showing restraint are Bush Sr. restraint in not occupying and deposing Saddam Hussein, Bill Clinton’s decision not to occupy Rwanda, and Ronald Reagan’s decision not to get involved in the Lebanese civil war.

      All of those presidents retaliated against aggressors in various ways without getting involved in a war, and I hope Trump continues to show that kind of restraint. These “protesters” were anti-American, Iranian backed militia, and Trump restraining himself is an excellent example of good leadership.

      This is part of what Trump talks about when he talks about “America first”. We’re not here for the benefit of the Kurds, the Rwandans, or the Iraqis, and whether we’re justified in retaliating isn’t the end of the question. The important question is whether retaliating is in America’s best interests, and if the answer is no, then Trump should sit on his hands and breathe through his nose.

      1. You forgot to mention Bill Clinton’s restraint in not taking Bin Laden into custody when Sudan wanted to turn him over

  31. The infamous 9th decides moral agency IS a thing:

    “‘Diet’ soft drinks do not falsely advertise weight loss, appeals court in SF says”
    […]
    “…“Just because some consumers may unreasonably interpret the term differently does not render the use of ‘diet’ in a soda’s brand name false or deceptive,” the court said…”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Diet-soft-drinks-do-not-falsely-advertise-14940595.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Sorry, fatty, drinking a ton of “diet” soft drinks won’t make you thin.

    1. Sorry, loser, has nothing to do with their advertising.

  32. Pity the poor Washington mom who takes her 1.999 year old to a birthday party and brings him back 2.001 years old.

    1. You have violated the LAW!

  33. Just stopped by to see if REASON would at least mention that we are four years into an attempted coup and overthrow of the 2016 POTUS election that included the previous POTUS, and just about every person in authority then and now.

    Of course, something like this isn’t top 10 material. Still, thought it might get at least one mention in my lifetime.

    That which is not said really does speak volumes.

    1. The FBI spied on Carter Page continuously for 8 straight months. Understand, Page had been a reliable FBI informer. There is no reason to think he wouldn’t have told the FBI anything it wanted to know about his contacts with the Russians. Yet, the FBI insisted on getting a FISA warrant which they obtained via fraud.

      But, the FBI committing fraud to spy on an American and then try and frame that American as a Russian agent just doesn’t have a libertarian angle to it or something.

      1. If they reported on it, they’d lose a lot of their friends that work at media outlets they would rather be working at.

    2. Unlike yourself, Reason is not a manipulated tool of the ruling elites..

  34. Lefty mayor rigs ‘experiment’; Sevo foresees “proof that free money can make everyone wealthy”!:

    “Can $500 a month change a city? Stockton tests universal basic income”
    […]
    “What could you do with an extra $500 a month? Lorrine Paradela got a better night’s sleep.
    The 45-year-old single mother is one of the 125 Stockton residents receiving monthly cash disbursements as part of an attention-grabbing experiment on guaranteed income.
    Paradela has been able to pay for a new car after her old one was wrecked in a crash. She bought a video game console for her 16-year-old son as a thank-you gift for his help taking care of his 10-year-old sister…”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Can-500-a-month-change-a-city-Stockton-tests-14943872.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Hmm, let’s see. A selected group of 125 people, and limited to that, so we’ll miss the mass influx of free-riders, for a start.
    And Ms. Paradella, wanna tell us about that ‘crash’? Oh, and where’s daddy?
    The mayor goes on to claim no one ‘chooses poverty’. He leaves out the part where, if you ‘choose not to work’, you might well end up in poverty.

    1. Every one of my friends that finds themselves struggling with poverty either had a kid out of wedlock while young, decided to not finish school or had a brush with the law while young due to drug possession.

      1. But they ‘didn’t choose poverty’, right?

        1. Reason has decided its going to eat my comment if I try to post it as one. So I’ll split it up.

          I don’t know if they blame themselves, society or someone else. I do have sympathy for the ones that grew up in really terrible homes and were never really taught about the tools or the mindset to be independent. I also have sympathy for the ones that were fucked over by our terrible drug laws. (1/3)

          1. I have absolutely no sympathy for the one that had not only 1 kid out of wedlock, but 3 (actually 5 since she gave up 2 for adoption). Believe it or not, she’s a major Trump supporter. Not that it really matters here, I just think its interesting. (2/3)

            1. I haven’t had conversations with most of my friends about their financial situation. It would be rude to bring it up. (3/3)

              Holy shit reason’s tech sucks.

              1. Only a couple of them have complained about government’s lack of programs to help them – although the lack of programs are usually in rural areas. Urban areas tend to have more than enough programs for people to get by. Its not an easy or luxurious life to live on welfare, but it is one that asks less of a person than becoming productive does. (4/3)

            2. I know one person who is in poverty who didn’t choose to be there. They were involved in a auto accident where the person at fault had shitty insurance. This has basically ruined their health and ability to work. If your health goes and you don’t have either really good insurance or a family to take care of you, you are in a lot of trouble.

              1. That’s a pretty damn good reason to be in poverty and blame bad luck (or a person that caused the accident).

                1. Yeah. There are some real horror stories about people who have their lives totally fucked up by uninsured drivers, who are often illegal aliens. The other real horror story was of a guy I worked with whose wife was totally fucked up in an auto accident caused by a cop in a high speed chase. The cop was completely at fault but thanks to sovereign immunity, she got virtually nothing from the state. And while her husband had a job and could work, they went from solidly middle class to struggling to stay out of poverty thanks to that.

                  1. That’s totally fucked. We live in a really complex world, so of course these stories exist and we should do more to fix these real injustices. That being said, a lot of poverty is the result of really poor decision making. I don’t know how much, but that has been my totally anecdotal and non-scientific experience.

    2. If you play your hand right, poverty pays very well.

  35. Joe Biden is the most gothic figure in American politics,” asserts The New York Review of Books.

    He’s also apparently one of the most corrupt figures in American politics. Unless you seriously believe that his good-for-nothing cokehead son is really an expert on the Ukraine and the energy industry.

    1. “good-for-nothing cokehead son … Ukraine and the energy industry”

      FAKE SCANDAL

      #StopSmearingHunterBiden

      1. It’s a debunked conspiracy theory

  36. Liberaltarian Will Wilkinson made the mistake of expressing enthusiasm for Elizabeth Warren.

    OBL’s Reason comments are a spot-on parody of Cowen’s “State Capacity Libertarianism” .

    1. I’ll have you know my #LibertariansForWarren stance is 100% sincere.

      1. You really don’t want anyone to believe that.

    2. The fact that Wilkinson is called a “libertarian” is proof that at least among the beltway media, the term has lost all meaning beyond being a liberal in the culture war. There is nothing libertarian about Wilkinson. Libertarians should be embarrassed that he claims to be one. Instead, beltway libertarians embrace him as one of their own.

      1. (lol) How would you know what a libertarian is?

  37. I hate cable news. I hate CNN. I hate Fox. They recently added them to Sling for no extra charge, and I was disappointed. I liked especially liked Sling on Roku because I knew my money wasn’t going to support the sorry people on cable news! Now, I’m looking at other options–thank God for streaming.

    One of the reasons I despise cable news is that they have this undeserved glow of authority and influence. People watch these cable news shows and think they’re plugged into something authoritative and influential. What they don’t realize is that even the news outlets that aren’t owned purely to deflect criticism away from their owners (see Gates’ MSNBC or Bezos’ WaPo) are mostly vanity projects. It’s like having a trophy wife. They’re projecting a relationship to reality and influence with their viewers that’s mostly just fluff.

    Check out these stats:

    CNN’s beleaguered media show “Reliable Sources” with Brian Stelter hit an embarrassing new low on Dec. 22, when it averaged only 85,000 viewers among a key age group.

    Stelter regularly touts the significance of the news demographic of adults age 25-54 but the dismal performance marked his lowest viewership of 2019 in the category.

    The dismal performance from Stelter came as Fox News’ “Media Buzz,” a direct timeslot competitor, thumped CNN’s “Reliable Sources” across the board in 2019.

    . . . .

    Among the demo, “Reliable Sources” averaged only 167,000 viewers during 2019 compared to 227,000 for “Media Buzz” prior to the Dec. 29 episodes.

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnns-reliable-sources-with-brian-stelter-hits-rock-bottom-in-key-demo

    Average college age girls on YouTube doing ASMR or bikini try-on videos from their dorm roooms have more subscribers than that.

    If you read the rest of article, they say that Fox’s show averages 1.3 million viewers over the course of a year, with CNN’s doing half of that. Even at 1.3 million viewers, though, 1.3 million out of 330 million Americans, you’re talking about four-tenths of one percent of the U.S. population. There isn’t anything authoritative or influential about any of this. It’s a minuscule audience. They must be losing money on these shows and making up for it by selling time to infomercials past midnight.

    They sure as hell aren’t looking to maximize their profits.

    1. The point about the YouTubers is really important… something most people are missing.

      My kids watch YouTube channels about the most inane stuff… guys playing lame practical jokes on each other, kids opening toys, people playing video games with each other…. And they all have millions of subscribers.

      Millions. Some have tens of millions of views for their episodes.

      Compare with Rachel Maddow, who rode the conspiracy theory wave to as many as 2.5 million viewers. And these kids have 10-50 million viewers.

      How much does Maddow make?

      Also…. how are the Democrats targeting this new media? They have been consistent about taking over media sources – and when they were frustrated in AM radio they attempted to use the law to force the competition off the air.

      How hard are they lobbying people like Pewdie-Pie? Google tells me some guy named Germán Garmendia has 40 million subscribers. Compare and contrast with MSNBC numbers. That has to be a tempting target for the propaganda machine.

      1. Everything you said here is spot on.

        When the WSJ ran their hit pieces on PewDiePie, PewDiePie made a response video that got over 10 million views absolutely tearing them apart.

        The only thing the WSJ hit piece accomplished was to get every subscriber that watches PewDiePie to hate the WSJ. PewDiePie’s subscribers are mostly young people probably from ages 18 – 35 (some are probably minors too). These young 18+ year olds are the people that the WSJ should be trying to get as new subscribers. Instead, they did the exact opposite by printing flat out lies about someone that their target audience enjoys and trusts.

        Legacy media is over. Journalism as we’ve known it is over. The age of video and digital personality is here — the future of journalism is the 1 or 2-person outfit making videos and distributing them directly to subscribers,for better or for worse.

        This is why film criticism is dying too. Why should I trust what some random person on Entertainment Weekly says? I know nothing about them! I don’t know if they like the movies I like, if they’re consistent, if they’re competent or even if they watch the entire show/movie before reviewing it. I feel much more confident and connected to the individual personalities I watch because I know they don’t have bosses telling them what to do and I can follow them over long periods of time.

        1. So….. are you saying that “Max Headroom” was prescient?

          1. Max Headroom was before my time, but I’ll have to look him up!

            1. Max Headroom

              From the 80’s. A view of a digital talking head personality in a dystopian future.

              1. Ok, I didn’t actually click through that link. That may be the most annoying mix ever.

                Slightly better.

        2. And for comparison… The WSJ has a circulation of under 3 million. PewDiePie has over 100 million subscribers.

          Not apples to apples, since YouTube subscriptions are free. But his videos sometimes get over 50 million views, and a few are over 200 million. (it appears that he has settled in to a daily viewership of around 5 million, which is far less than his peak)

          But any way you slice it, his reach is far greater than the WSJ or the NYT.

        3. I give PewdiePie props for earning an estimated income of 8 million bucks, but I don’t understand the interest. The videos I’ve seen has him mostly playing other vids and snarking on them. The only controversies are when he accidentally steps over some P.C taboo. Carmen Miranda put bananas in her hat and was the highest paid woman in America for a time.

          1. The videos I’ve seen has him mostly playing other vids and snarking on them.

            That’s actually part of the joke. He doesn’t make original content anymore and doesn’t know why he gets so much attention. Not only does he not make original content, but he actually just views Reddit now (a website known for stealing content and reposting it to harvest “likes”) and records his reaction for YouTube.

            He’s essentially become a meme of himself and he openly acknowledges that.

      2. This channel has 42 million subscribers, and the episode linked has over 16 million views. For comparison, NBC’s flagship Today show has less than 4 million viewers. And they have a studio, production staff, and on-air talent all earning multiple millions of dollars per year.

        Kid’s Diana Show appears to have 2 preschoolers for on-air talent and a staff of maybe 2 or 3 doing the production. They come to us from Ukraine, believe it or not. So maybe this is the real Ukrainian conspiracy…

        1. Ummmmm ….
          Today has fewer than 300,000 viewers — AT ANY MOMENT.
          YouTube subscribers are NOT at the same moment.
          16 million views are the total, for almost a year! (Since last February)

          I assume you’re a typical Fox News loyalist, brimming with phony facts.

          Educate yourself:

          https://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/category/morning-shows
          Dec 27, 2019 · Today was the No. 1 morning show in all relevant categories for the 3rd straight week, and for the 9th week overall in 2019.

          Apples and apples … NOT apples and oranges.

    2. Typical goober!
      Opens by saying he HATES Fox News.
      Then cites a source … FOX NEWS

      Nobody could invent anything wackier than Trumptards and Bernietards!!

  38. Two women with kids and ‘where’s daddy’ problems have squatted in Oakland for about a month. Who ever does their PR came up with “Moms 4 Housing” rather than “Squatting Bums”, honesty not being one of the left’s attributes.
    Anyhow, given that it’s the Bay Area, what should be a clear-cut case of ‘vacate NOW!’ has gotten complicated; you find the continuing saga and check it out.
    What should make things more clear is being largely ignored:
    “Two Homeless Moms Occupy Vacant House to Protest Oakland Housing Crisis”
    […]
    “…“We believe that housing is a human right and we’re going to fight for that,” Walker said on Monday, as she stood in front of the house to announce the occupation.
    […]
    In April, she fled a domestic violence situation [in Mississippi], returning to Oakland with her two young daughters…”
    https://www.kqed.org/news/11787750/two-homeless-moms-occupy-vacant-house-to-protest-oakland-housing-crisis

    She seems to think the “right” to housing includes the choice of up to and including the most expensive market in the world.

    1. I keep looking at other places to live.

      You can get a decent house on the upper peninsula of Michigan for $175,000. You can buy an old house with character for $100,000 and renovate the fuck out of it, too.

      No, I don’t want to live on Lake Superior during the Winter, but at those prices, you don’t have to live there year ’round!

      And the coldest I’ve ever been was riding my motorcycle across the GG bridge in July.

      1. Winter isn’t the bad part, It’s even a tourist season. You don’t want to live in that region in the Spring.

        1. Is it the mosquitoes?

          What’s so bad about the Spring?

      2. Detroit might actually pay you to live there…..

        1. But you can’t kayak to a wilderness paradise from Detroit.

          1. You can, but it takes a few days.

  39. >>”Joe Biden is the most gothic figure in American politics,”

    saw him @ Cure / Pixies / Lemonheads show in 1989

    1. He sucked then and hasn’t gotten any better.

  40. According to my friend, the New York law is not as good as others since the city tells criminals who are out on bail the addresses of victims and then says not to victimize them again.

  41. “In California, it’s now illegal to fire people based on their hairstyles. Also, all new houses must be built with solar panels.”

    and you must pronounce it “sorrpals”
    https://youtu.be/aVYUPmjJ9bU?t=13

  42. “Minnesota’s per-gallon tax on craft whiskey is going from $2.70 to $13.50.”

    So much fail. Your link has the correct story. Nothing is changing in Minnesota taxes. The FEDERAL Excise Tax that was $13.50 and for the past 2 years was reduced to $2.70 for the first 100,000 gallons was scheduled to sunset at the end of 2019. The Congress did a 1 year extension that Trump signed into law. Minnesota (a STATE) just was vocal about their support for the extension of the FEDERAL Excise Tax Reduction to keep distillers close to the same levels as Craft Breweries and Wineries. I expect a little more reading comprehension from Reason.com of all sources.

    1. “…I expect a little more reading comprehension from Reason.com of all sources.”

      We’ve all learned to live with lowered expectations here.

    2. What do you expect? They’re journalists. You can’t expect them to actually read their sources, or really anything beyond 280 characters.

    3. Seriously. Here is the entirety of the relevant information from the linked article:
      Minnesota distillers got a reprieve at the end of 2019. President Trump signed into law a one-year extension of the tax cut. The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. calls it “a huge relief for Minnesota distillers” but will work in 2020 to make the tax cuts permanent.
      How the fuck does Reason get “Minnesota’s per-gallon tax on craft whiskey is going from $2.70 to $13.50”????? from that article?

      1. Because the writer is a whore without the guts to actually sell her body.

        1. Doubt she’d have any takers

        2. She should be earning her living making sandwiches in some second-rate D.C. deli.

    4. The local news article has changed.

  43. Tennessee actually made carrying firearms easier by introducing a new type of carry permit: it does not require a class, merely an online video.

    1. Since it is a virtual class, do you only get to carry a virtual gun?

  44. I had to google: Niskanen Center–style “liberaltarianism”
    First “liberaltarianism” doesn’t seem to be a real word.
    Apparently it’s ideology is to take the worst ideas from liberals and the worst ideas from conservatives and synthesize them into a new consensus of the center!

    1. Sounds very much like American politics of the last 70 years.

  45. Ohio will stop taxing tampons

    Tax? I thought they stayed in by themselves!

    sorry.

    1. Chipper suggested duct take above.

  46. and the trendy Trumpian elements that have swept like a highly contagious disease through the ranks of former Tea Partiers and Ron Paul revolutionaries

    We’re given the choice between Trump and a bunch of socialists; what do you expect?

    The “disease” you should be concerned with is the “left libertarianism”, which has swept through Reason and the LIbertarian party, and is really just socialism in disguise.

    1. Trump being the Libertarian-ish person that he wants to be co-opted a bunch of Democrat causes that they promise and then never do. This prevents Democrats from getting many voters that dont want Socialism.

      Libertarianism has always been a threat to the Democrat Party because Libertarianism actually values civil rights and social freedom.

      1. >>they promise and then never do.

        an accomplisher at the top bullying the swamp-rats i love it.

  47. I had to google: Niskanen Center–style “liberaltarianism”

  48. I think the most disappointing thing about our administrative state is that so much is finished by selected administrators, and that is likely not evolving soon, if at any point.

    It’s a touch of discouraging to consider what number of individuals couldn’t care less about that. Likewise, it’s discouraging to consider what number of individuals are for it as long as their group is winning.

    1. You think politicians are more trustworthy??

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