Reason Roundup

More Holes in the 'Imminent Threat' Story on Soleimani

Plus: the Supreme Court's latest religious freedom case, a White House weather report, FDA follies, Vermin Supreme wins one, and more...

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NBC is reporting that President Donald Trump was mulling the hit on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago, with war hawks such as John Bolton urging him to go for it. This further erodes the administration's claim that the assassination was done to stop an "imminent" attack on U.S. lives.

"According to five current and senior administration officials," NBC reports, Trump gave the order in June 2019, "with the condition that Trump would have final signoff on any specific operation to kill Soleimani." Trump said that signoff would come if any Americans were killed, their sources said, which "explains why assassinating Soleimani was on the menu of options that the military presented to Trump two weeks ago for responding to an attack by Iranian proxies in Iraq." That proxy attack killed a U.S. contractor.

The strike was carried out on January 3. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly and repeatedly attributed it not to retribution but to an alleged imminent threat to dozens (sometimes "hundreds") of American lives.

The killing looked like something former National Security Advisor John Bolton would have hatced, but Bolton has been gone since September. Now it seems that Bolton's imprint may have been on this operation after all. From NBC:

After Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June, John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser at the time, urged Trump to retaliate by signing off on an operation to kill Soleimani, officials said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also wanted Trump to authorize the assassination, officials said.

Yesterday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Face the Nation that he knew of no "specific evidence" to support the claim that Iran was planning embassy attacks. Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.) has been blasting the Trump administration for continuing to push this story:


FREE MINDS

Anti-Catholic law in Montana comes to Supreme Court. When it considers Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue later this month, the U.S. Supreme Court "has the opportunity to do more than just settle the fate of one controversial tax credit; it could also junk Montana's Blaine Amendment, finding it in violation of the Constitution's religious-freedom and equal-protection clauses," writes Nick Sibilla at The Atlantic. "In doing so, it would set a strong precedent against any law born of bigotry."

The case concerns "a modest tax-credit scholarship program in Montana," notes Sibilla, but it "could have major ramifications for educational-choice programs across America, which help nearly half a million students attend private schools."


FREE MARKETS

Times editorial board lays out plans to "fortify" the FDA. On Sunday, the New York Times editorial board praised the Food and Drug Administration while worrying over its (lack of) leadership and admitting that it often fails. Its proposed solutions for "fortifying" the agency? Giving it even more power, of course. (Sigh.) To fix the FDA's flaws, the paper claims, "the agency needs to be made stronger, not weaker."

"Fortunately," they write, "options for fortifying the F.D.A. abound":

For instance, laws that would make it easier for regulators to police the cosmetics industry and to hold medical device companies to account have been floating through Congress for years. A group of former F.D.A. commissioners last year proposed an even bolder fix: Restore the agency's autonomy by extracting it from the Department of Health and Human Services. The F.D.A.'s decisions used to be final, but for decades now they have been subject to layers of political interference. Making the agency independent, as the Federal Reserve and the Social Security Administration are, could help reverse that trend.


ELECTION 2020

Vermin Supreme won the New Hampshire Libertarian Party convention's pick for the party's presidential nomination. Heavy explains what this means:

The Libertarian Party hosts a series of primaries and caucuses where non-binding votes are cast, indicating a state party's preference for its presidential candidate. These preferences are not binding and delegates who are sent to the national convention can vote for whichever candidate they prefer. New Hampshire had the first primary. This self-funded presidential preference primary was actually conducted by mail, with results announced on January 11….

So the voting of Vermin Supreme was a statement of preference, but it does not bind the delegates when they vote at the national convention on May 21-25, 2020 in Austin, Texas.


QUICK HITS

  • It was sunny and reached 70 degrees in Washington, D.C., yesterday. The White House then tweeted this picture:

Presumably, it's a picture from earlier last week, when it did snow, although the conspiracy theorists of Twitter are having a field day:

  • Baylen Linnekin explores the FDA's changes to food nutrition labels.

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  1. This further erodes the administration’s claim that the assassination was done to stop an “imminent” attack on U.S. lives.

    Sure, in the timeline where Climate Change is going to kill us all in 12 years, this might not be imminent…

    1. Irrelevant. Sulemaini was a mass murderer. Trump took a risk in killing him, and it’s paying off handsomely. Anyone notice the demonstrations in Teheran where they refused to trample the US and Israeli flags? Reason sure ignored this monumental development. TDS anyone??

      1. Know what else?

        It wouldn’t surprise me if the Iranians feel as though Trump unwittingly did them a favor. There was a cult of the personality forming around the guy and he had gone rogue a couple of times taking action without authorization raising the ire of the Mullahs and the Ayatollah himself. He was increasingly cavalier like Nick Santoro in ‘Casino.’ But they, and this is just me having fun with this aloud, couldn’t risk whacking him because of his popularity.

        In other words, there never was going to be an ‘escalation of war’ over this guy.

        They’re loathsome retards but not irrational.

        1. Georgy Zhukov was more popular and powerful than Stalin and Stalin couldnt do much about it. Zhukov controlled huge swathes of the Russian military with his cult of personality.

          Stalin tried to strip Zhukov of positions and put him in backwater military assignments since Stalin couldnt dare murder Zhukov.

      2. Wait, so the U.S. President can now assassinate anyone his staff determines to be a mass murderer, without a trial or Congressional approval, even if that person is not a threat to national security? It always amazes me when people think moral standards only apply to Americans.

        1. Bin laden. Al Bagdadhi. al-Awlaki. Qaddafi. It’s not the first time.

          1. Not the first time. How is that a moral argument?

            1. So “Let the terrorist live so he can continue to kill people” is a moral argument?

              Perhaps you should reconsider your personal definition of the word “moral”.

              1. Solid question. Apparently, allowing a murderer to continue murdering is moral now.

                1. How the fuck did you from “let’s not assassinate without proof and due process” to “let murderers continue murdering”? What is wrong with you?

                  1. What “due process” is he entitled to? We gave him more than his own country would have.

                  2. Yo Chippie, you made the completely asinine statement Wait, so the U.S. President can now assassinate anyone his staff determines to be a mass murderer, without a trial or Congressional approval, even if that person is not a threat to national security? It always amazes me when people think moral standards only apply to Americans. so don’t bitch when people actually call you out for your idiocy.

              2. This man is worth more than the tens of thousands he killed.- Chipper

        2. Are you seriously asking this question?

        3. “Wait, so the U.S. President can now assassinate anyone his staff determines to be a mass murderer, without a trial or Congressional approval, even if that person is not a threat to national security? It always amazes me when people think moral standards only apply to Americans.”

          I can imagine how outraged you were over the killing of bin Laden.

        4. So you missed the ongoing attacks by Qud forces in the area? I know you’re usually dumb, but not this dumb.

          Qud forces – designated terrorist group
          Ongoing attacks in region on American troops
          Active planning and coordination of attacks against troops

          Yeap, covered easily by the AUMF.

          Stop being stupid.

        5. Eunuch conveniently ignores the series of attacks, murder of an American, and attack on the US embassy ordered by the Left’s new martyr

        6. Chip, you’re applying a civilian standard to a military situation. It’s absurd. He became an enemy combatant who was on a bad place to be an enemy combatant.

          Now he is a casualty of that.

        7. How is this a moral question? Seems more like a military one.

        8. Serious question:

          Per libertarianism, if someone punches me in the face, can I punch him back, or do I first have to prove that he’s going to punch me in the face again if I don’t?

        9. Not “now”. It’s been this way for at least 12 years, if not longer.

          Not saying that’s right, but it really shouldn’t shock anyone, especially anyone that frequents this website.

      3. Who did he ‘mass murder’?

        1. Mostly Iranians, but a lot of Iraqis and Americans too

        2. Maybe serial murderer and terrorist is slightly more precise than mass murderer. Point taken.

    2. When is it going to be 11 years? I got to make a five year plan, a ten year plan …

      1. Making plans reduces the time we have.

        1. No, no, no, I have things to do, and places to see. And, if I only have 10.77 years left, I gotta fly everywhere, drive really fast, make sure I get everthing done. Samsung is soon releasing a phone with replaceable battery tech of the 2000s, next year … maybe soon they can make an airplane with the supersonic technology of the 80s!

      2. You didn’t build that plan!

    3. Hello.

      Not a single mention of the passing of Neil Peart on Reason. Very strange given his libertarian views. Not even the in the AM links.

      Never mind he’s one of the most influential and revered percussionist and drummer of all time.

      1. unreason didnt want to Rush to the aid of Libertarianism.

      2. Too Canadian?

        1. Hey! There is no such thing as “Too Canadian”!

          1. Lovecon89 considers anyone above the Mason-Dixon line Canadian.

            1. HOW DARE YOU SIR!

              I’m not from one of those Northern states like Vermont or South Carolina.
              Buford Calloway

            2. Reminds me of when I used to visit Italy and talk with people there. When I was in Milan people would tell me anything south of Milan is ‘Africa’. Then when I went to Florence, they said anything south of them is ‘Africa’. And so on….until you hit Rome.

      3. Very sad to see him go. But he wasn’t so much of a libertarian later in life.
        And do you think the nerdy hipsters of Reason would listen to Rush?

        1. The last album they put out that I enjoyed was Counterparts. Was there anything good after that?

        2. Funny you say that. I wrote something along the same lines but erased it. The hipsters at Reason probably don’t like Rush.

      4. If even if Lizzie was really a libertarian (which she isn’t), there’d be about zero chance she’d have any idea who Neal Piert was or be familiar with Rush. She’s too young, and they were always more of a guy band anyway. I bet most of the fake libertarian millennial retards at Reason aren’t very familiar with them.

        Gillespie certainly knows though. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s working on the obituary as we speak.

        1. Mikey’s unrequited love for ENB continues into the new decade.

          1. At least it resulted in him quoting that hilarious tweet of hers where she’s crying that people who didn’t have a problem with Soleimani getting pasted had never opened a Bible.

      5. Exit the warrior…

        1. ‘His mind is not for rent….for god or government’.

          If that’s not a libertarian sentiment I don’t know what is.

          1. “I will choose Free Will!” – NP
            Peart did become an American citizen, BTW.

            Neil Young is finally applying, but an old marijuana bust is blocking that.
            https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/neil-young-american-citizenship-911730/

    4. Orange man bad. We’re all gonna die.

  2. To fix the FDA’s flaws, the paper claims, “the agency needs to be made stronger, not weaker.”

    Giving man godlike powers seems the best way to fix him.

  3. These preferences are not binding and delegates who are sent to the national convention can vote for whichever candidate they prefer.

    Who is the party to tell me how to vote?

  4. If Trump wanted to cause Iran trouble and shut up Congress at the same time, he could have said that details could not be released to anyone who might leak them, because the information comes from a mole high inside Qud.

    1. The Steele excuse…

  5. “More Holes in the ‘Imminent Threat’ Story on Soleimani”

    Orange Hitler literally started World War 3 to distract from impeachment.

    #TrumpRussia
    #TrumpUkraine
    #TrumpIran

    1. Good thing it didn’t last long.

  6. Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign just posted *amazing* B-roll footage of the majority leader frolicking in a field of cannabis plants.

    After which he J-rolled.

    1. McConnell is totally lit

    2. In his defense, he thought it was a new variety of lettuce.

      1. Cocaine Mitch was pushing hemp and CBD oil before you were born.

  7. Can we please put the imminent threat meme to rest, Reason?

    General Soleimani was the leader of an officially designated terror group. As such, he was fair game. Now he is transitioning from red jello to fertilizer.

    1. Winnning electoral message: “Yes, Soleimani is responsible for killing or maiming hundreds of US servicemen, and he was going to keep doing it, but taking him out was reckless because we’re afraid of the response of the terrorists crossing the border we’re fighting tooth and nail to keep open”.

      1. I know, right? Its like….go ahead Fauxahontas, run on that. Same for Crazy Bernie. WRT Creepy Joe, he get neutered because this is a mess his team left behind. Mayor Butthead hasn’t a clue.

        I have no doubt that POTUS Trump will use this as a cudgel to bash the shit out of Team D….successfully.

        1. As he should. Can’t wait for Pedo Jeffy and the rest of the idiot open borders gang to make their insane sophist arguments.

    2. unreason and the MSM are losing every Propaganda battle they start with Trump.

      unreason staff just cannot come to grips with the reality.

      #NeverTiredofMAGA

    3. Just wait until a Democratic President designates some conservative militia a terrorist group and then assassinates its leader with a drone. What will you say then?

      1. Good riddance to an evil piece of shit who needed killing = What will you say then?

        Thde two situations are not even remotely comparable. Try harder.

      2. “…What will you say then?”

        Need help dragging that hypothetical around? Must be heavy.

      3. Obama killed MULTIPLE people like Solemani.

        Reason had no problems.

        1. It was almost as if he kept a list on his desk

          1. And personally authorized each hit, and bragged about that to make it more legitimate.

      4. I bet your fingers are crossed.

        You also seem too dumb to understand the difference between citizen and foreign.

        1. “You also seem too dumb to understand the difference between citizen and foreign.”

          Well, can you blame him? His hero Obama had the very same problem.

      5. Well, if the leader of said militia group had spent the last two decades planning and executing attacks causing the deaths of over 600 police and military personnel then I’d say “Good Shoot” and give them a pass.

        1. The Democratpresident would get a pass, not the militia group.

      6. I wonder what Democrats would say. Wait. No, I don’t.

      7. Just wait until a Democratic President designates some conservative militia a terrorist group and then assassinates its leader with a drone. What will you say then?
        Well at Waco they used tanks and a sniper with a gun at Ruby Ridge. What did you say then?

      8. Chip, that’s weak, even for you.

      9. Fingers crossed, eh, CMB?

        Christ, between the hand-wringing over World War III starting, a draft being reinstated, and now this prissy hypothetical, the cosmos are definitely not bringing their A-game the past few days.

    4. Trump is the one who claimed an imminent threat. Ask him to put it to rest.

      1. No.

        Because you would refuse to see.

        In the past few months tensions have escalated. Recently Iran killed an American contractor and attacked an embassy.

        THAT is an imminent threat. Ongoing hostilities count.

        1. An imminent threat means a near-future threat, not past hostilities. That would be called retribution.

          So, why is there no evidence of this imminent threat, and why are people who are privy to the highest intelligence saying that they received no evidence of an immediate threat? Which 4 embassies are going to be attacked? The answer is “none”. Trump lied, again. Reporters are going to report the lies. Sorry you are triggered.

          May I suggest breitbart.com for a more accommodating news experience?

          1. “May I suggest breitbart.com for a more accommodating news experience?”

            Idiot proggies just can’t help themselves with this line. It’s like you all have Tourette’s syndrome.

            1. I’m not a proggie. I just like the truth to be known. You guys are swallowing yet another lie from your demigod. It’s gross.

              1. Please. You’re still ass-blasted that this didn’t turn into World War III like you were hoping.

  8. Scientific American: Don’t Fact-Check Scientific Judgment Calls
    They’re not meant to be taken as gospel truths

    By Naomi Oreskes
    With the election cycle in full swing, it’s open season for journalists hell-bent on catching candidates out in lies and misrepresentations. In a world that has become relentlessly “truthy,” to borrow Stephen Colbert’s apt neologism, we need journalists, scientists and other experts to stand up for facts and keep the public debate honest. But when it comes to climate change, there is a tricky gray zone between facts and expert judgments.

    1. Naomi Orestes in Sci Am??

      Wow!! They have completely abandoned science. Subscribers should sue for fraud. If there are any left.

      1. Scientific American went in the tank for climate change about twenty years ago. There was an editorial saying that it was too important an issue to publish sceptical articles on, no matter how scientifically rigorous.

        I stopped reading that magazine right after.

        1. GLOBAL COOLING!!

          For Its 40th Birthday, Let’s Retire Newsweek’s Global Cooling Story

          These Lefties refuse to admit that what they did with the Global Cooling false narrative is exactly what they are doing with the climate change Narrative (which was global warming a decade ago).

          Science can change based on the facts you find out. Most rational people understand and accept that. These lefties have added the religion of Socialism into Scientific Theory and that is unacceptable.

        2. I explicitly dropped my subscription because of their socialist political turn. Not global warming, but the expansion of Michael shermer’s progressivism out of his column that was originally about skepticism into all of the magazine.

          They pretty much were at the cutting-edge of politics supplanting facts. Pretty soon they were running the same article 5 times per issue.

          1. his column that was originally about skepticism

            And in fairness, Shermer’s “Skepticism” is the exact opposite of skepticism.

            1. Now it’s “I Fucking Love Science!”-American.

        3. I was a subscriber from 1966 until about 1975 when they went all in on Unilateral nuclear disarmament. 90% crap since then.

    2. Remember… leading climate change professor Oreskes is not a scientist, shes a historian. She just acts like one because Democrats are dumb.

      1. Imagine if history only consisted of a period from 1880 to yesterday.

        1. Imagine if history only consisted of a period from 1880 to yesterday.

          You’d make those idiots who insist that the Devil put dinosaur bones in the 6,000 yr. old Earth in order to test our faith look like scientific geniuses.

    3. So the new standard is “so what if we were hilariously wrong in the past? You should totally listen to us now!”

    4. She thinks Stephen Colbert coined the term “truthy?” I’m guessing the “scientific” in Scientific American doesn’t include computer science lol

      1. These people continue to craft their narratives as if it’s still 2005.

  9. Candidates like Vermin Supreme are precisely why the Libertarian Party is going nowhere, fast. Great ideas…terrible candidates.

    1. That and the LP is full of non-Libertarians who dont want Libertarianism to replace the Democrat Party or the GOP.

      1. Libertarianism is a collection of peoples’ 3rd preferences. Lots of people want a balanced budget. But they prefer it less than cuts to Military or Taxes or Social programs. Lots of people want the government to scale back. They just want it less than telling someone to bake a cake or say a prayer.

        Libertarianism is full of a lot of great ideas on paper, to which everyone has an excuse for why their specific hobby horse should be excepted. Shrug.

        1. I don’t think Libertarianism is even a bunch of 2nd preferences. I think it is a ton of people who think ‘structuring the best argument’ is the way society functions. With more than a few who are either solely in it for the attention-seeking or solely in it to destroy societal institutions (starting with the LP).

          Shame too. Cuz there is an entire generation that is completely pissed about their parent’s DeRpitude. But after 40 years of L, there is almost nothing organizational built with L.

          1. That is the libertarian movement, yeah.

            I guess what I was saying is that the primary issues of the libertarian platform are agreeable to most people, but low on their list of priorities. A restrained government is a primary libertarian issue, and most people will agree with that as an issue, unless it interferes with national security or welfare or whatever.

    2. I dunno. I think most people here could benefit from a little mandatory toothbrushing. And a pony.

  10. It was sunny and reached 70 degrees in Washington, D.C., yesterday. The White House then tweeted this picture… Presumably, it’s a picture from earlier last week…

    You people bitch when he tweets knee-jerk; you bitch when he contemplates his content before sending. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS.

    1. Their minds ARE made up.
      TDS 4 eva!

      1. TDS. Ok. Think about this. You have designated criticizing dear leader as a disease. Just stop and think about that concept for a second.

        1. The syndrome comprises of multiple behaviors that expose a disease of the brain.

          The first willful disease in human history. It should be studied.

        2. You have designated criticizing dear leader as a disease. Just stop and think about that concept for a second.

          What makes you think it hasn’t been thought about?

          “It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.”

          In a world where a pre-teen can be simultaneously treated for a disease and defended from being labeled as having a disease, all against one or both parent’s wishes for saying, “I think I’m the opposite sex.” TDS makes perfect sense. Especially, when it’s applied to the extreme and obvious cases.

        3. When someone’s first instinct is, “how can I criticize the President for this?” for even the most innocuous shit that no one should care about, it’s pretty obvious that they’re suffering from a form of mania requiring treatment. Preferably, that treatment would be the Full Cobain, but if they want to waste their money crying to a therapist about how Trump made them grind their teeth to stumps, that’s fine, too.

  11. Called it yesterday. Reason is more concerned that trump is wrong than discussing the protests ongoing in Iran. They also dont. Care about the truth as Reason helped push the trump shot down the plane narrative.

    Take a look at the protests… this is kind of bigger news.

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/the-morning-briefing-iranian-protesters-let-loose-with-soleimani-hate/

    1. Indeed! And Reason ignores this.

      How dare you!!!

        1. Anything that might remotely make Trump look good is bad.

          Revolutionary truth is the only truth!

    2. Called it yesterday. Reason is more concerned that trump is wrong than discussing the protests ongoing in Iran.

      Unfortunately, trophies for “Most Prescience In Diagnosis and Advancement of TDS in TDS Sufferers” are on back order. Hannity, Coulter, and Wead got the last 3 back in 2016. More are expected to be back in stock in 2024 or so.

    3. The fact that Trump might have worked out the revenge killing of an American murderer (Soleimani), found an ‘honorable’ way out of Iraq, and fanned the flames of an Iranian revolution 2.0- WILL NEVER BE DISCUSSED BY UNREASON.

      Because #Resistance

      1. Didnt Trump also fan the flames of Hong Kong protesters?

        Hmm… what ever happened to that challenge of Chinese Socialist power?

    4. Trump is doing a MUCH better job backing down on escalation (ie creating problems for IRan that Iran now has to ‘deal with’) than he did on ramping it up.

      That doesn’t mean he’s playing 4D chess here.

      1. It also doesn’t mean he’s not.

    5. Those protests are actually a pretty huge deal, even if they lead nowhere.

      These people are straight-up badass. Even more so than the people in Hong Kong. This regime killed 1500 people just a couple of months ago for doing the exact same thing. It takes a pretty big brass set to get out in the streets after that.

  12. IMPORTANT RUSSIA UPDATE!!!!

    “U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are assessing whether Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden in its ongoing disinformation efforts with the former vice president still the front-runner in the race to challenge President Donald Trump…”

    Biden isn’t my first choice. However we must be aware that criticizing him too harshly — he voted for the Iraq War, he’s obviously declining mentally, he’s been in Washington for half a century, etc. — is basically spreading Russian propaganda.

    #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia

    1. True. The DNC should be the sole determinant of acceptable topics of discussion and narratives. All media outlets should coordinate with them for approval before publishing anything.

    1. I wish I was lucky enough for a deep pockets group like this to infringe on my rights so I could teach them a valuable lesson.

    1. I saw that. We should all email Boehm with links to that article and demand he write a new one addressing it.

      1. Future Boehm headline:

        Trump wins trade war with China, but was it worth all the damage it caused?

  13. Immigration officials, including acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, gathered here to celebrate the 100th mile of border barrier

    Haha unreason. 100 miles of 1954 mile border. Almost 5% in spite of all the Lefty judges and other Democrat nonsense to prevent securing the US-Mexico border.

    1. Enjoy it while it lasts. In approximately one year we’ll have a Democrat in the White House who will implement the Koch / Reason open borders agenda.

      1. How is the Democrat cook for the White House going to help the Kochs when Trump is a second-term President?

    2. Great, so it should be all done in another 75 years or so.

      1. All the ridiculous opposition to securing the border is falling away.

        Especially after Trump wins the 2020 Election, the Lefties will be out of steam and tears to fight Trump on all fronts.

        1. They’ll never run out of steam. Psychopaths have boundless energy.

        2. I still pray for the day when the electorate turns on the democrats enough to bring back something along the lines of McCarthyism.

          It needs to become very unsafe to be a progressive in this country.

  14. Anti-Catholic law in Montana comes to Supreme Court.

    Scholarships are for indoctrination into the state’s church of ideas only.

  15. FNC’s Pirro: Admit It, Nancy Pelosi — You Simply Caved

    I am sure that unreason will do multiple daily articles about Trump not being removed from office in the US Senate as they have about the joke House Impeachment.

    1. Her interviews over the weekend renewed my discussed at the media.

      Her talking point was that if the Republicans don’t put on a propaganda show for the DNC oh, that is a cover-up. Over and over she called it a cover-up. That must have been their poll tested term.

      If there was a competent interviewer anywhere in this country, he would have immediately asked her follow up questions on that. I mean, the entire impeachment is an effort to block the administration from uncovering corruption from a prior Democrat Administration.

      So it’s a really odd time to bring up the term cover up. There were dozens of follow-up questions that could have been asked along the line of “so do you think it is ever ok to ask questions about democrat politicians?”

      I mean, this is a case where the Democratic president and the Democratic presidential candidate and the Democratic National Committee all committed major violations of the principles they are espousing now. Their candidate spent three and a half million dollars getting dirt from foreign governments. Their National Committee was involved in the same effort. They’re president actually used the FBI and the CIA to spy on the opposing presidential candidate. They also used foreign diplomats in foreign spies to set up members of that campaign.

      Now we have the vice president caught red handed getting payouts to relatives. We even have a putative action taken in response to those payouts. There is no dispute or debate about whether or not the payoffs happened. Yet the media claims the entire story has been debunked because Biden claims that he took the actions he did for other reasons.

      In that environment, we are saying that asking about Biden’s actions and the payoffs that occurred to his relatives is horrible. So horrible that we must spend tens of millions of dollars investigating that.

      And you are going to push a narrative that discounts the importance of those actions as a cover-up. This, when the entire Democrat Party is working double time to cover up Biden’s actions, the Obama administration’s actions, and the Clinton campaign and Democratic National committee’s actions.

      Is Nancy Pelosi sits there and says that not conducting an impeachment trial according to her prescription is a cover-up, you are completely remiss in your duties if you do not bring any of that up. The phrase cover-up is too big of a red flag in that scenario not to dig in on that.

  16. “…NBC is reporting that President Donald Trump was mulling the hit on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago, with war hawks such as John Bolton urging him to go for it. This further erodes the administration’s claim that the assassination was done to stop an “imminent” attack on U.S. lives.”

    Nice try. The United States and Israel have been trying to kill him for way longer than that. In fact, both Bush II and Obama nixed the plan to do so if I recall.

    But keep in standing that the modern world began in November of 2016.

    As for presenting evidence to Congress, well, in fairness (and this is why I hate everyone since 2016) it’s not like the Democrats have behaved responsibly. They’re in the middle of soft coup attempt as they impeach the President. They sealed that fate in doing so. Why would he go to them and risk them politicizing it by not authorizing force in order to humiliate him? They’d side with Iran in a flat second if it meant sticking it to Trump. Never mind he doesn’t have to because of the AUMF. Don’t like it? Then propose a rewrite.

    1. Reason doesnt do logic. Both can be true, soleimani was planning ongoing attacks while his killing was okay in case of ongoing attacks.

    2. The saddest (and funniest) part of all of this. POTUS Trump flatly stated he did not share the intelligence because he knew the Team D assholes would leak it. Notice the deafening silence from Team D?

      Because they would leak it, knowing they were risking American lives.

      1. Fits right into Lefties hiding and covering for the murderers of the Weather Underground.

        1. Iran is now in the midst of an uprising, and Team D has nothing to say.

          Unreason…..what do you have to say for yourselves?

          1. Coming soon……..

            “The Reason case for status quo in Iran”

            1. It is now known as ‘Unreason’. Logic and Rationality left Reason.

    3. This whole episode reminds me of the underrated 90s comedy, Quick Change. There is a scene in the early movie where Bill Murray has taken over a bank, and he has demanded that the police bring him a city bus, a motorcycle, helicopter and a monster truck. After several hours, he has actually (unknowingly) escaped the bank and he calls the police and says the monster truck is unacceptable because it does not have a hydraulic tilting body.

      The whole setup of this scene is perfect- the monster truck is this great symbol- it is a device that absolutely no one intends to use. Murray has already escaped, and the police think they will kill Murray the second he gets out of the bank. It is a bunch of kabuki theater, and it is made more absurd with each demand that Murray can come up with because playing that nonsensical game is exactly what will allow him to get away with the money.

      The media is playing this same game. Everyone knows that there is ZERO chance that a democrat or journalist is going to say, “You know what? Good job Trump.” So they keep shifting the goal posts. Now they want a Harley, not a Ninja. And now it needs to be an imminent threat. They want to keep the public and Trump playing this game that on its face is nothing but an absurd cover.

    4. It is remarkable they knew months ago he would be in Baghdad at just the right time

  17. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch current net worth: $61.6 billion

    The high-tariff / low-immigration #DrumpfRecession still has him stagnating in the $58,000,000,000 to $62,000,000,000 range.

    #HowLongMustCharlesKochSuffer?

  18. NBC is reporting that President Donald Trump was mulling the hit on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago

    Bullshit. We all know Trump is an impulsive child with an eight-second attention span and if he were “mulling” anything, the headline would be “In major bombshell, NBC reports uncovering evidence Trump is in fact capable of abstract thought, leading experts stunned to find Trump not as retarded as previously reported”.

    1. Reminds me of the “Bush: Retarded Chimpanzee Or Evil Genius? Why Not Both!” paradox posed by the national media on alternate news cycles.

      1. Didnt they handle that by calling cheney the evil genius?

        1. Yeah, Cheney was supposed to be the guy actually running the government while Chimpy McBushitler went out golfing. Bannon robbed them of that same meme when Trump fired him, which is probably why they can’t help freaking out every time Trump sneezes.

    2. ” Trump not as retarded as previously reported”

      At this point that is probably the most positive Reason would ever be when discussing Trump.

    3. Cool story bro.

    4. That is a really funny take.

      On the reason Round Table they said exactly those words over and over.

      TDS really is a thing. I have been shocked to learn in my adult life that Huxley and Orwell were not being hyperbolic. People really do have the capability to hold completely contradictory ideas in their heads simultaneously as long as it fits their narrative.

      In this case Trump both flies off the handle impulsively and has no plan, and simultaneously has plans and machinations in effect for months.

  19. Is this Soleimani thing really the hill Reason wants to die on? Give it up. It is absurd and ridiculous.

    1. unreason died months ago.

    2. Reason is dead and buried. What we are seeing is Reason’s tanned carcass being ritualistically worn by various progressive shaman.

    3. Pretty sure they died on the Blaise-Ford’s ‘credible allegation’ hill last year.

      1. I was so embarrassed for them.

    4. Trump claimed there was an imminent threat, and that 4 more embassies were going to be attacked. Don’t get mad when people fact check the president’s claims and find them to be completely false.

      1. Oh well. Soleimani’s dead and you’re mad about it. I’d say that’s a win all around.

  20. NBC is reporting that President Donald Trump was mulling the hit on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago, with war hawks such as John Bolton urging him to go for it. This further erodes the administration’s claim that the assassination was done to stop an “imminent” attack on U.S. lives.

    To hack writers, an attack cannot be pre-authorized for this kind of wait for target to appear type deal.

    NBC is such a joke.

    Another win for Trump since Americans trust Trump over the Lefty media.

    1. What’s interesting is using NBC as a source.

      Discredited, partisan and left-wing.

      I’m sure they could have found another source.

      I literally have not read or watched any of the broadcast services in over 20 years and I feel great!

  21. Sanders surges as progressives flock to him over Warren

    Haha. Sanders is gonna be the Democrat choice and he will give Trump that Reagan-esque Electoral College win for his second term. No way Bernie “Commie & heart attack” Sanders even gets as few states as Hillary did.

    1. It would be really awesome if Trump pushed him hard in a debate and the fucker dropped dead on the spot. That would be so hilarious.

      1. No. Trump would get blame from some, and the Donkey VP might be a better choice, particularly with the pity voters.

  22. The four embassies claim seems to be totally made up. And they have never presented evidence of imminence—a necessary condition to act without congressional approval—

    Imminence is not necessary to act without congressional approval. This is just what people who oppose killing Suleimani repeat hoping for it to become generally accepted.

    1. Oh look- Bees are at a crisis point, and the only way to save them is to- you guessed it- abandon all of our economic progress and adopt a form of agriculture more suitable to communis- er, environment.

      1. And if you read and parse the article, it is clear- the bees are being killed by parasites. But they can’t help but explain that the key problem is almond cultivation in the Central Valley. While almond cultivation may be contributing to the spread of the parasite, it is in fact the parasite that is killing them. It’s like saying “Hey we have more fatal traffic accidents on Highways, so let’s dismantle the interstate system.”

        So much stupid.

  23. “NBC is reporting that President Donald Trump was mulling the hit on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago, with war hawks such as John Bolton urging him to go for it. This further erodes the administration’s claim that the assassination was done to stop an “imminent” attack on U.S. lives.”

    As someone who thinks the Green New Deal and Medicare for All are almost as disgusting from a libertarian standpoint as they are stupid, I almost hope whomever emerges from the Democratic convention really campaigns on the argument that Soleimani shouldn’t have been killed because the threat he posed wasn’t imminent. There are a couple of big problems with that argument:

    1) It’s easily conflated with the argument that Soleimani shouldn’t have been killed because it was unconstitutional, which is to say that it unfairly paints strict constitutionalists as guilty of defending a mass murderer like Soleimani for no good reason. Far as I can tell, President Trump was acting in his capacity as Commander-in-chief under the auspices of an authorization that was given to the president more than 15 years ago. The president was authorized by Congress to bomb, invade, and occupy Iraq. I don’t see anything in the authorization or the Constitution that says the president can only exercise his powers as Commander-in-Chief when the threat to Americans is sufficiently imminent.

    2) It takes away from legitimate criticism of the decision to take out Soleimani, which has nothing to do with whether the threat to Soleimani was imminent and everything to do with whether the risk of escalating our conflict with Iran to the level of direct engagement was in the best interests of the United States and our security. I know criticizing the policies of the president on the basis of whether his decision was smart requires knowledge, rationality, and the willingness to look at foreign policy from the perspective of national interests, and that can be intimidating for aspiring media personalities who have no idea what they’re talking about. The alternative, of course, is people looking at these issues as if all they were mere gotcha moments in an election year, and we end up involved in conflicts the American people didn’t want–because they weren’t really judging candidates or their policies. They picked their candidates on the basis of gotcha moments.

    There are legitimate reasons to question whether the risk President Trump took in taking out Soleimani was worth it. Why not focus on one of them?

    1. Why not focus on one of them?

      Because they aren’t provable. A legitimate opinion (that the killing increases risk) doesn’t generate a Trump backlash because the facts don’t support it. Even people not willing to accept the current circumstance as definitive will have to predict negative future events to support their conclusion. That it might turn out wrong is insufficient to feed TDS whose adherents need a definitive statement now.

      1. Yup. I think the USA should get out of Iraq and Afghanistan in the next 30 days AND I support the droning of Soleimani and those American killers he was traveling with.

        The MSM has also not provided any evidence that any of the guys droned were innocent of having participated in the planning of killing Americans. So, more and more Americans support Trump over this issue. This is a growing theme for Trump.

        1. You’ve never provided any evidence you aren’t a child molester, either.

      2. If they don’t get the historian’s fallacy argument from Reason, where will they get it?

        I thought that’s what we were doing here: preaching reason to the heathen.

        I do not believe the historian’s fallacy is beyond the average person’s capabilities–it’s contained in the old saying, “Hindsight is 20/20”.

        I should say, too, we’re getting this on both sides of the ball. Because the president won the bet, he was smart to bet the farm on red!

        Actually, dumb luck is dumb because pure luck isn’t about being smart, and the actions of religious fanatics can be and have been unpredictable.

        1. It’s not dumb luck, Ken, as several of us here have been arguing for two weeks.
          It’s ok to be wrong.
          Refusing to admit you missed something then blaming results on luck, when they were intentional and predictable, is idiotic

          1. If you think the results of provoking Iran with a direct attack against someone in their leadership was worth the risk of war–not knowing what their reaction would be–you have a really tough argument to make, starting with why it’s in the best interests of the United States to risk going to war with Iran.

            If you think the results of provoking Iran with a direct attack against their leadership were predictable, then there’s not much point in listening to your argument at all.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historian%27s_fallacy

            1. Bullshit, Ken.
              You make/assess decisions by looking at the factors involved and using those to determine probable results.
              We were here, on various threads, talking about those factors and probable results based on various assessments of the situation.
              Your argument was that the US should do nothing for fear of possibly upsetting someone/the status quo.
              Others, such as myself, argued that the US had to do something significant because the status quo, doing nothing, was leading to increased conflict.
              Trump chose to take out Suleimani and the result has been de-escalation – which is exactly what many of us said it would be.
              This was not luck, it was not random, it was not hindsight – it was a fucking prediction based on analysis.
              So far it looks like you were wrong this time, Ken.
              Man the fuck up and admit it.
              What’s the use of your writing if you insist on demonstrating a refusal to learn and reassess?

            2. So Ken….who took the risk, the US or Iran? Using your logic, it was ludicrous for Iran’s leadership to think the US would fail to respond to an attack on their embassy.

              I don’t see a downside risk to waxing Soleimani?

              You see something that I don’t see. What do you see?

              1. Given how things have (mostly*) gone I’d say the only real question is why didn’t we wax him much. much sooner?

                *Excepting Iran’s ‘oopsie’ of shooting down a commercial airliner full of people.

                1. Historians are going to write about this period of time, and this POTUS for a long time.

                  Can you imagine a Bush, Clinton or Obama doing this? Not a chance. And it has nothing to do whether I think they’d do the right thing or not. They all would. It is just the men who have elected to the position have made so many trade-offs and compromises to get where they were – The Oval Office. I don’t think Reagan would have even done it (well, maybe Reagan or Nixon would have waxed him). The entire mental calculus POTUS Trump uses to make his decisions is completely different than any other POTUS in history, Washington excepted. He has made no trade-offs or compromises to anyone to get where he is. Hell, he did not expect to win. The present moment is an incredible time in US history.

              2. “So Ken….who took the risk, the US or Iran? Using your logic, it was ludicrous for Iran’s leadership to think the US would fail to respond to an attack on their embassy.”

                I don’t think you’re aware of Iran’s intentions.

                The reason Iran has been provoking the US over recent months is because the sanctions regime is crushing their economy. Remember all the turmoil of our last recession? That was when the economy contracted by 2.5%. The World Bank estimates that Iran’s economy contracted by 9.5% in 2019, and they say the pace of the economic collapse is accelerating. In October through November, protests erupted all over Iran against the government. Iran is desperate to end the sanctions against them, which has not only cut off 90% of their oil sales but also cut them off from world credit markets.

                They’re trying to provoke the United States in the hope that if the United States retaliates and is seen to be rattling its saber, the Europeans will cave on the Trump led sanctions regime that is crushing them. The reason the Iranians have been provoking us by shooting down our drone, seizing oil as it passes through the Strait of Hormuz, attacking Saudi oil production facilities, etc. is because they see provoking responses from the United States as the best way to end the sanctions regime against them.

                The reason Donald Trump willfully refused to retaliate against Iran for those earlier provocations was because Trump saw what they were trying to do and resisted the urge to retaliate because keeping the sanctions in place was of greater benefit to the interests of the United States than retaliation.

                “I don’t see a downside risk to waxing Soleimani?

                The downside risk was a terrorist war between the United States and Hezbollah, a terrorist organization under Iran’s control and sponsorship that has actively avoided targeting Americans since the early 1980s. The downside risk was that retaliating could have led to an escalation, and Europe ending their participation in the sanctions against Iran. In fact, the basis of their participation is already dubious–since they’re still parties to Obama deal and Iran hasn’t broken it yet (although they’ve threatened to do so). Why should Europe continue to punish Iran for an agreement that they’re abiding by?

                1. Exactly correct Ken. Iran is trying to separate Europe from us.

              3. There was the risk that Iran could have some suicide bombers here in the USA. Or other blowback.

                Trump gambled, and he won…..big time. He probably added a couple of hundred thousand votes by this.

            3. I think , Ken, that to YOU there was a risk. And to me, and to those not privy to the information the folks not involved in deciding this.

              I don’t think it was a risk to Trump at all. Not because he didn’t see it. But because he saw more than you or I do.

              When I look at how many times Trump has
              ‘lucked’ into the right thing happening, I have to accept that maybe this isn’t luck.

              And so do you.

              1. The things we’re talking about Trump estimating, for instance, Iran’s willingness to use Hezbollah to aggressively target Americans, weren’t something that Trump could have estimated. Even so, if the odds were only one-in-ten that the United States would end up in another terrorist war but with Hezbollah and radicalized Shiites rather than Al Qaeda and the radicalized Sunnis, then it was too much of a risk. And that’s without even considering that the Europeans might have exited the sanctions regime against the Iranians if we were seen to be dragging them into a new conflict a la the War on Terror. And that’s just the top two quantities on the down side risk

                The pay-off on the upside was way too small. Our retaliation was likely to enhance the risk to Americans in Iraq and elsewhere rather than deter it.

                This is a country that is a state sponsor of Hezbollah–the guys that invented suicide bombing in the Middle East. This is a country that regularly funds an army of terrorist fanatics to hurl rockets into Israel killing civilians all the time. This is a country that tortures and murders their own people. The willingness of the religious fanatics who run that country to retaliate against American civilians or escalate to war–even as their economy crumbles around them–was not something President Trump could have gauged or known. He took a big risk, and that was a mistake. Thank God he didn’t respond in kind to Iran’s retaliation.

                Given that the Democrats are promoting authoritarian socialism by way of the Green New Deal and Medicare for All and the fact that the alternative to Trump is not the LP nominee, I’ll probably vote for Trump when it comes time anyway–but that will be in spite of this mistake in judgement. Certainly, just because I’d rather see him reelected than any of the Democrats front-runners take office doesn’t mean I have to pretend that he’s never made a mistake. And this was a mistake–may he never repeat it.

                1. Not a mistake at all. A gamble that paid off handsomely. The lucky part is that the Iranians shot down that Uke plane. This has inflamed the anti government people and brought all their pronouncements into question. Add the sanction pain and this looks f*ing brilliant.

                  1. “Not a mistake at all. A gamble that paid off handsomely.”

                    One more time with feeling: gambling with U.S. Security on a single hand of blackjack is a foolish thing to do–and it doesn’t become a smart thing to do in retrospect just because you won.

                    Because I’m glad we won doesn’t make it a smart bet either.

                    If we’re in the NFL playoffs and there are only 30 seconds left in the game, and we’re ahead by seven points, on our own 20 yard line, and we decide to go for it, rather than punt, and it’s on fourth and ten, then going for it on fourth and ten is a foolish thing to do. And if we go for it on fourth and ten in that situation and we make a first down on fourth and ten, that doesn’t change the fact that going for it on fourth and ten was a foolish mistake.

                    Trump could not have known the outcome of his decision before he made it, and, therefore, knowing the outcome of his decision afterwards cannot be used to evaluate whether making his decision was a mistake. If the only thing that makes a decision not seem like a mistake is hindsight, then you’re looking at a mistake–because only God can make decisions with the benefit of hindsight. The rest of us, Trump included, make our decisions without the benefit of hindsight. His decision should only be evaluated against knowing what he knew at the time he made it, and without knowing how big Iran’s and Hezbollah’s reactions would be to his attack, provoking Iran with a direct attack on their leadership was a mistake. The downside risks far exceeded the benefits, and we’ll all be better off if he never repeats this mistake.

                    1. Ken, your analysis of the situation is wrong.
                      Doubling down on your flawed take makes you look fucking stupid

                    2. Also, insisting that all risk taking is blackjack makes you look fucking stupid.
                      Man up, and learn poker

    2. Rand Paul has captured my thoughts pretty well on this issue. You can think that Trump’s foreign policy has been pretty good (I tend to think it’s been ok) and still think that he should have consulted Congress on expanding strikes to include Iranian government officials.

      Paul, who agrees with Trump’s overall strategy in the Middle East, said Trump has been measured in response to Iranian aggression in the region.

      “That’s why I’m willing to stand up,” Paul said. “Not because I distrust President Trump. I actually think he has shown remarkable restraint. But I’m willing to stand up even against a president of my party because we need to stand up and take back the power.”

    3. “whether the risk of escalating our conflict with Iran to the level of direct engagement was in the best interests of the United States and our security”

      You now agree that it was the correct move, Ken?

      1. Knowing, now, that Iran’s retaliation would be limited does not make the decision to risk war with Iran any smarter, before we provoked them, in the past.

        Because hindsight is 20/20 doesn’t mean that foresight was, too.

        If you still don’t get it, it’s probably because you don’t want to get it.

        1. You ride a motorcycle, Ken.
          Do you always pause at your destination and think “gee, I’m lucky I didn’t die. Hindsight is 20/20”?
          Or do you get on your bike before heading to your destination with the thought “while there is a chance that I die in a crash, it’s probable that I’ll arrive safely at my destination”?
          All action is based on more or less informed predictions of the results of that action. The strike on Suleimani and our assessment of it is no different.
          Refusing to admit that others’ assessments were correct, and your opposition appears to have been incorrect, isn’t wisdom – it’s the opposite, just being butthurt that you weren’t right this time.

          If you still don’t get it, it’s because you don’t want to

        2. It’s the Brett Favre Rule. Scrambling right, falling down, side-arms a desperate pass across the field in the general direction of a double-covered receiver. If the receiver somehow catches the ball, it’s a brilliant play only someone as great as Brett Favre could have pulled off. If the ball gets intercepted, well, obviously he never should have thrown the ball and he made a stupid mistake even trying such a wild-ass throw.

          1. Except it doesn’t really apply here, since the QB read the coverage, found the open receiver, and threw the ball where it needed to go.
            The result the play call aimed for was a TD pass, the QB intended to throw the ball to the receiver in the endzone, and the receiver caught the ball in the endzone like he was supposed to.
            Or you could ignore the entire process that separates teams, athletes, and coaches, then chalk everything up to luck or hindsight bias.

    4. Why not focus on one of them?

      The news media doesn’t do nuance or subtle policy arguments because they’re looking for a clickbait headline that’s easy for the average low-information infotainment consumer to absorb. Much of the time they are probably banking on a large percentage of people to not bother reading their article past the headline.

      . . .criticizing the policies of the president on the basis of whether his decision was smart requires knowledge, rationality, and the willingness to look at foreign policy from the perspective of national interests . . .

      Oh, but you had basically already said that. Well-considered points as usual, Ken.

    1. MBZ is the leader of the United Arab Emirates, FWIW. Interesting quote in the article:

      [M.B.Z.] seems to believe that the Middle East’s only choices are a more repressive order or a total catastrophe. It is a Hobbesian forecast, and doubtless a self-serving one. But the experience of the past few years has led some veteran observers to respect M.B.Z.’s intuitions about the dangers of political Islam writ large.

      So his goal is that the various countries of the MidEast are ruled by strongmen, but secular or at least non-fundamentalist, strongmen.

      1. I guess Mohammad Bin Salman is close enough to non-fundamentalist for government work.

        Interesting article. Thank you for sharing it.

    2. More Saddams and Khadaffis and Assads, fewer Ayatollahs? I think I’ve heard that somewhere before in reference to why it is the US seems to favor deposing secular Westernized brutal dictators in favor of religious nutjob anti-American brutal dictators.

  24. This further erodes the administration’s claim that the assassination was done to stop an “imminent” attack on U.S. lives.

    This is not true. Contingency planning is standard in every military. Discussions about what would sufficiently trigger taking the planned action would also be discussed in advance. That doesn’t change the nature of the trigger.

  25. “This further erodes the administration’s claim that the assassination was done to stop an “imminent” attack on U.S. lives.”

    Adults do not debate evidentiary points with birthers, superstitious slack-jaws, and disaffected right-wing-fringe-dwellers.

    1. If you had to rank Drumpf’s foreign policy blunders, which would you label the absolute worst — starting World War 3 in Iran, or betraying the Kurds? I recall you were quite upset about the latter. But I think WW3 might end up being even more disastrous.

      #Resist
      #StillWithHer

      1. Trump is slowly turning you into a neocon.

        1. He turned YOU into a crybaby, so there’s that.

          1. The difference between me and you is that I complained just as much about Obama.

        2. No, I remain a Koch / Reason left-libertarian. Although I certainly respect neocons (David Frum, Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and so on) as long as they advocate voting Democrat.

    2. Do you, like, ever contribute anything of value besides stupidity?

    3. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
      January.13.2020 at 10:29 am
      ‘More bullshit from the asshole bigot’

      Not worth the two seconds’ reading time; fuck off.

    4. This is why I don’t bother to debate your dumb ass. You’re too stupid for that. Now crawl back under your rock you ducking progtard, and pray that we will continue to be merciful to your kind.

    5. Vermont just nominated one of your betters for LP president. You’ve been demoted to Rev. Vermin Vulgaris.

  26. This Iranian general thing is starting to become like the Obama birther issue. Obama seemed to keep that issue alive because it made his critics look so crazy. I am starting to wonder if Trump isn’t doing the same thing here.

    This guy is one of the biggest killers and notorious terrorists in the last 40 years. I am dumbfounded that the Democrats and the media are so stupid they think criticizing Trump for killing the guy is the hill to die on. Trump whacked the guy and Iran backed down. There isn’t going to be a wider war or if there is certainly not over this. Killing this guy is the last thing the Democrats should want in the news. Yet they can’t seem to help themselves. What the hell? Really what the hell?

    1. Asking Obama to provide a valid Birth Certificate or proof of being a Natural Born Citizen as required by the US Constitution is not crazy.

      Giving conflicting info about your birth and citizenship to get into various schools and other perks and then thinking Americans wont demand the US Constitution be followed is crazy.

      Lefties keep thinking that most Americans dont want this Constitutional Democratic Republic and Lefties shocked when they get smacked down.

      1. I agree. I would pay $100.00 dollars in gold or currency to see Obama’s application to Harvard.

        1. #Metoo. And it would cost me about $130 CDN!

        2. Or his transcripts at Occidental. Wouldn’t it be a pisser if Wayne Allan Root’s rantings were true about nobody remembering Obama in their classes in Columbia undergrad?

          Let’s be honest here. Would anyone be shocked if it did turn out that Obama was either: not born in Hawaii or that someone other than Obama, Sr. was his actual father? I mean, you’d think if it were a secret to be discovered then Hillary would have discovered it in the 2008 primary fight, but the bitch isn’t omnipotent.

          I think the foreign whiff to Obama centered around him committing fraud with some foreign student grant while he was either in undergrad or at Harvard Law, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he actually wasn’t natural-born.

          Crazy to spend as much time as the Right did bitching about it though. Either disclose your evidence or move on already.

          1. I am also surprised that his documentation has never been stolen and revealed. How lame are the neocons?

      2. No, the birthing was pretty stupid.

        It doesn’t really matter what the location of his birth was. Unless you want to dispute that his mother is his actual mother, he is a natural born citizen because she is a citizen of the United States. It really isn’t rocket science.

        1. Right.
          What was concerning wasn’t that he may or may not have been born in the US, it’s that he advertised, and considered, himself as something other than primarily American.
          A “citizen of the world” is not a good candidate to be the chief executive of the US.
          I always doubted his loyalty not because of the circumstances of his birth, but because of the circumstances of his life.

          1. I give the American people a lot of credit for being forgiving. Not many countries would have elected to their highest office, seven years after the worst civilian attack in the nation’s history was committed by Muslim zealots, someone who had been educated partially in a Madrasah.

            That or the collective racist guilt get-out-of-jail-free card people thought they were buying by voting for Obama, was too good to pass up.

    2. It’s all about “orange man bad”. It’s all the Democrats have, and it does appeal to the MSM and a substantial portion of Democrat-Socialists. 2020 is gonna be a well-deserved massacre for the Democrats.

      1. I am not expecting the GOP to retake the House until all the Census 2020 changes are tallied but as we get closer to Election 2020, I am almost there.

        1. *that the GOP will retake the House on Election 2020.

    3. The interesting thing to me is the reaction on the Iranian street to the Iranian government admitting that they shot that commercial airliner down by mistake.

      Those spontaneous demonstrations of support in the aftermath of Soleimani being killed were in direct opposition to the spontaneous demonstrations that erupted all over Iran over the last few months in opposition to the Iranian government.

      The demonstrations against the government for shooting down that commercial airline haven’t been as big or broad, but I think all the good will capital the government booked in the aftermath of the Soleimani strike is probably spent because of that commercial airliner.

      It just makes Iran look typically incompetent in the minds of average Iranians. If even when they retaliate against the United States, they just end up shooting down a commercial airliner full of innocent civilians, then who are they going to accidentally kill the next time they want to retaliate against the United States? They didn’t even kill any Americans. They can’t seem to do anything right. The last argument for an authoritarian government is always that if it weren’t for them, there would be chaos. Once the people come to believe that instead of making the trains run on time, you’re the cause of the chaos, you gotta think your days are numbered.

      1. For the most part people will tolerate dictators if they are competent and at least not obviously corrupt or openly bloodthirsty; Pinochet in Chile comes to mind.

        But once they descend to African President-for-Life levels of excess, then that’s when the people or the military start looking for a chance to string them up at the nearest lamppost.

        1. The tide may have turned for Mussolini once his people started thinking he he was an idiot or a buffoon.

          They need to project a certain aura of competence.

        2. For the most part people will tolerate dictators if they are competent and at least not obviously corrupt or openly bloodthirsty; Pinochet in Chile comes to mind.

          Or if the alternative is massive civil disorder. Liberty is nice, but being able to go about your day without getting ganked is essential.

          Also, dictators seem able to keep on running things as long as they keep the repression cranked to 11. It’s when they try to liberalize, or meet their opponents part of the way, that they run into trouble: perestroika, the Shah actually giving the mullahs the time of day, Ortega and Marcos holding semi-fair elections, etc… Contrast with Kim Jong-Fat. Or Saddam. Or even Bashir Assad, though his dad actually would have stamped out the revolt (see Hama, 1982) instead of half-assing it.

      2. “Those spontaneous demonstrations of support in the aftermath of Soleimani being killed”

        AYFKM?

        1. Other than that, your point about the necessity of competence is apt

      3. There were no “spontaneous demonstrations of support in the aftermath of Soleimani being killed”.

        1. I see no reason to believe that the huge crowds that turned out to his funeral were an optical illusion.

          Hugo Chavez enjoyed a tremendous amount of popular support. Plenty of Russians were genuinely sad to see communism go.

          Because I like or, in this case, don’t like somebody, doesn’t mean I have to pretend the facts are other than what they are.

          If half a zillion people turned out to mourn Soleimani, then that’s what happened. The moment we start pretending that the facts are other than what they are just because we don’t like them, we stop being intellectually honest.

          What’s the difference between someone who pretends that Trump wasn’t authorized to act by Congress because they don’t want to see him reelected and someone who pretends Iranians didn’t turn out in droves to mourn the death of Soleimani because they like what Trump did and they want to see him reelected?

          A: Not much from where I’m standing–they’ve both sold their intellectual honesty short.

          1. I think they were more like the North Korean demonstrations when Kim died. People are afraid of sticking out.

            1. I was thinking about that example, too.

              I’m a big fan of Jeane Kirkpatrick. The distinctions she draws between authoritarianism and totalitarianism are still informative today. One of the big ones is that where authoritarian regimes seek to control what people do, that isn’t good enough for totalitarians. Totalitarian control what people think–and, yes, they’re successful.

              “He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

              —-George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

              In a totalitarian society like that, I don’t think people can tell the difference between their own feelings and those of the state. They may authentically feel what they’re told to feel. Those may not have been real tears those North Koreans were crying when the eldest Kim died, but I’m not sure there’s any way to tell the difference between real tears and fake ones–least of all by the people who are crying them. It’s nice to think they have thoughts of their own, but we have behavior like that here in the U.S., too. Have you ever seen a battered spouse bail their abuser out of jail over and over again?

              There are cult members who spend all day begging for money, give everything they get to their church, and are absolutely sure that’s what they want to do with their lives. If you get them out of their commune, they’ll run back to it as fast as they can. The Heaven’s Gate people killed themselves in stages over a period of days. The ones who killed themselves later did so after taking care of the others who had killed themselves earlier. Their beliefs superseded their survival instincts. They made farewell videos of themselves. They knew what they were doing, and they did it on purpose.

            2. To a certain extent, too, the Iranian religious establishment keeps itself separate from the government to a certain extent. It’s something like the difference between the UK’s Prime Minister, who is head of the government, and the Queen, who is the head of state. The idea is that you can hate the government and still love the state.

              I’ve read that plenty of the victims of Stalin’s purges thought that there was just a mistake someone had made, and that if they could just talk to Stalin for a moment, he’d set the record straight. They’re write letters to Stalin from the gulag telling him where they were and there had obviously been some horrible bureaucratic error. The bureaucracy of the secret police or the government, they made a mistake, but there’s no way Stalin would have let this happen, right? In their minds, they’re still on his side–and can’t believe Big Brother would send them off to the gulag for no good reason.

              There’s something like that going on in Iran, as well. The religious leaders, none of this is their fault. It’s the government and the people in power right now! They’re the ones who are in the wrong–not the Ayatollah. if the religious leaders knew what was going on down at the police station, they’d have this situation fixed in a second! I’m sure plenty of people genuinely believe in the Kims in North Korea, just like plenty of Shia in Iran genuinely believe in Islam and the clerics in Qom.

    4. 3rd straight day of protests, spread to over a dozen cities, live fire use reported

  27. “When it considers Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue later this month, the U.S. Supreme Court “has the opportunity to do more than just settle the fate of one controversial tax credit; it could also junk Montana’s Blaine Amendment, finding it in violation of the Constitution’s religious-freedom and equal-protection clauses,” writes Nick Sibilla at The Atlantic. “In doing so, it would set a strong precedent against any law born of bigotry.”

    Are we talking about individuals making charitable contributions in lieu of paying taxes? Why is the participation of Catholic schools “problematic”?

    “This tax-credit scholarship—Montana’s first school choice program—was enacted and launched in 2015. In 2018, the Montana Supreme Court ruled the program unconstitutional and rendered it inoperable, and the ruling is being appealed. Although the program has universal eligibility for students, the current funding restrictions has limited its impact. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.”

    Why is this bigoted?

    I don’t see that students are ineligible for any reason, but if Catholic schools don’t admit openly gay or transgender students, people should feel free to not make the donations in lieu or paying taxes.

    From a libertarian capitalist standpoint, of course, transitioning to a system of private charities is vastly superior to government bureaucracy, and using the government to discriminate against religious organizations because of their beliefs is indefensible. The people of Montana’s participation in the program should be voluntary, and there is no reason why the government should exclude a religious group from participation–certainly not because of their religious beliefs. If there’s anything bigoted about this, it appears to be the idea that the Catholic church shouldn’t be allowed to participate in a voluntary program run by the government because of their religious beliefs.

  28. I know we aren’t supposed to take what Trump says literally but to take it seriously – except in the cases where we’re supposed to take it literally but not seriously or take it both literally and seriously or neither literally nor seriously or fantastic watermelon toaster bigly and by the way a lot of people have said – but I am concerned that Trump made some suggestion NATO could get involved in the Middle East because entangling foreign alliances are such a great idea and since NATO was designed to defend the West against the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union no longer exists, well, obviously NATO has to find more and bigger and more expensive and more fucked-up shit to get involved in because it’s not like any government program can ever be allowed to wither and die. “Excelsior!” says Trump to the eternal war of the omnipresent Deep State.

    1. The main problem is Trump’s speeches are filtered through the Lefty Propaganda Machine.

      Trump mainly uses Twatter to troll the Lefties.

      1. Twatter is for pussy grabbing guys.

  29. that irony when your argument is that they were mulling a strike prior to the embassy attack, therefore there wasn’t immanency after the embassy attack. The lengths that people have gone to try and argue that killing Soleimani was bad and not allowed. It’s eye roll inducing at this point.

  30. Well, I guess it depends on the definition of “imminent”.
    – Billy Jeff

  31. http://www.nationalreview.com/2020/01/wages-soar-fastest-among-those-with-the-least/?fbclid=IwAR1PYCMzGL-k7zwAjIR_4OnXi8xuQOmNQQnsqv3ZRC_m7QpXFgATdgbyGE0

    Wages growing fastest for the those with the least

    In terms of age, the young and the restless rule. Those ages 16 to 24 saw wages climb 8.4 percent. Americans 25 to 54 enjoyed 3.9 percent higher paychecks. And the typically higher-income 55-plus crowd was behind the curve, with 2.5 percent wage growth.
    Bachelor’s degrees generated 3.7 percent wage boosts for those who held them. But those who went no further than high-school graduation also savored 3.7 percent higher pay. Those with associate degrees saw their checks grow just 3.2 percent.
    While those in finance and business services scored 4.1 percent higher salaries, workers in manufacturing, construction, and mining were in a photo finish with them at 4.0 percent.
    While job stayers earned 3.2 percent more money, job switchers scored an extra 4.3 percent.
    Interestingly enough, those with low, medium, and high skills all shared 3.6 percent wage increases, matching the nationwide bonus.

    Democrats either pretend this isn’t happening or don’t care if it is. They are the party of the gentry left now not the working class.

    1. I saw a bunch of Tom Steyer ads going after Trump over the economy.

      I think, for registered Democrats, these are people who are motivated by imagined suffering that’s happening to other people.

      You’re just a middle class, socialist brat
      From a suburban family and you never really had to work
      And you tell me that you’ve got to get back
      To the struggling masses (whoever they are)”

      —-Oingo Boingo, Reagan era

      In the UK, they’ve got this thing called “Merrie Olde England”. It was a time when everyone lived a pastoral way of life, in a thatched roof farmhouse, ate well with little work, and with people spending most of their spare time dancing around Maypoles. There was never a time like that, but the idea that this place and time once existed persists.

      Socialists have “the suffering masses”. It doesn’t matter if the unemployment rate is higher than its been in 50 years, the labor participation rate is up there, too, and it doesn’t matter if wages are rising for manual laborers faster than they are for their managers, that there’s an obesity epidemic among those with the lowest incomes, or that homeless people now typically have smartphones.

      No, “the suffering masses” are still there suffering. The belief in their suffering takes more faith now than it has in the past, but believing in the victimization of victim class was never entirely about facts and logic anyway. You can’t really understand a progressive’s facts until you believe in their vision, and once you start believing in that, the validity of that visions doesn’t really matter anymore. You just drive to your gated community in your hybrid SUV and vote for policies that make life harder for unskilled workers (like ObamaCare did) because you feel sorry for the “suffering masses”.

      1. I think, for registered Democrats, these are people who are motivated by imagined suffering that’s happening to other people.

        You reminded me of something I haven’t seen since the Reagan years, when Mitch Snyder could straight-facedly claim there were 14 million homeless people in America and the media could straight-facedly quote this as an actual totally-not-pulled-out-of-my-ass number. There was some publication, I don’t remember which one and it might have been this one, that would do an occasional “What Are The Biggest Issues Facing The US?” survey which included the follow-up question of “How Is [Big Issue X] Affecting You Personally?” and invariably there was a big disconnect between what people thought were the biggest national issues of the day affecting everybody else and what were actually the biggest issues affecting them personally. It’s sort of the exact opposite of the “if it’s not happening to me, it’s not a concern” effect.

        I’m pretty sure if the national media got together and decided that Africanized Killer Bees were a mortal threat to the country, Africanized Killer Bees would suddenly become one of the biggest public concerns going, even if nobody had ever personally seen or in any way been affected by an Africanized Killer Bee and, for all intents and purposes, Africanized Killer Bees might have been an entirely fictitious concern. They’d just believe “if the media says it’s a big deal then I guess it must be a big deal” with no thought that the media deliberately makes mountains of molehills in order to sell papers.

    2. But, John, can the working class REALLY enjoy higher wages when moral paragons like Soleimani are unfairly murdered for only killing a few hundred Americans and masterminding the assault of our embassy in…well, not HIS home country, ironically enough.

  32. ENB, you need to either resign, or get the banner changed from “Reason” to “Hysteria”.

    1. “PMS Today”, by ENB.

      As directed by KMW to get clicks.

  33. “It was sunny and reached 70 degrees in Washington, D.C., yesterday. The White House then tweeted this picture:”

    It was posted on 1/7 to Flickr. It was a Twitter glitch. For fuck’s sake ENB.

    1. Still Trump’s fault. Get with the program.

  34. Vermin Supreme won the New Hampshire Libertarian Party convention’s pick for the party’s presidential nomination.

    When people think of unserious presidential candidates, they think of Donald Trump. They don’t think of guys who brag about fucking whales, guys who wear rubber boots on their head, of guys who go everywhere naked. This is why the Libertarian Party will never be a thing.

    Add to that the fact that anyone who calls themself a libertarian can be a libertarian except for the other people who call themselves libertarians calling the others fake libertarians. This is why there will never be a libertarian moment. There are no libertarians to have a moment.

    1. “When people think of unserious presidential candidates, they think of Donald Trump.”

      When people post bullshit like this, you can think ‘advanced TDS’

      1. So you’re saying people chose Trump because he was a polished politician and not because he was an outsider who would “shake things up”?

        1. If your intent was to discuss that proposition you sure had a funny way of leading into it.

          1. Yes, I understand the “Thou shalt not speak ill of Donald Trump” commandment. But just this once I hoped the NPCs would not immediately jump to screeching about TDS and orange man bad.

            1. Shit in one hand, hope in the other…

              1. When you fail to capitalize the “the” in “the ‘Thou shalt not speak ill of Donald Trump’ commandment” you might leave the impression that you might think there’s more than one commandment.

                1. “When you fail to capitalize the “the” in “the ‘Thou shalt not speak ill of Donald Trump’ commandment” you might leave the impression that you might think there’s more than one commandment.

                  Fuck Off, and seek treatment (note caps)

        2. “So you’re saying people chose Trump because he was a polished politician and not because he was an outsider who would “shake things up”?”

          So you have difficulties reading also?

          1. Lay off the sidewalk chocolates.

      2. Seriously? Trump ran for president on a lark. I don’t think he nor anyone else thought he could be elected when he initially sought the nomination. He is the definition of an unserious presidential candidate.

        1. Yea, I’m sure he put hundreds of millions into something he didn’t intend to win.
          C’mon

          1. You do know what “initially” means, right?

        2. It’s hard to claim that he did it for the hell of it when he’d been making noise about it for decades in interviews as self-promotion, and even did a run for the Reform Party nomination.

          You can make the argument that he wasn’t being serious back then, but it’s pretty obvious, to me at least, that he was positioning himself to actually make a run when he started constantly slagging on Obama, especially with the birther stuff.

        3. “Seriously? Trump ran for president on a lark…”

          Do you also offer crystal ball reading with your bullshit attempts and mind reading?

    2. I think there are plenty of libertarians.

      The conundrum is that people who would like to reduce the power and scale of government aren’t the kind of people who seek power. They don’t want it. What do they call that? Self selection or something?

      1. I think people are too concerned that their neighbors might be up to no good to be libertarian.

        1. Time to break out the Heinlein…

          “Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”

          1. So Heffalumps and Donkeys on one hand, and rational, respectful adults on the other. Bout right.

    3. Which is exactly what a fake libertarian I would say.

      1. Google is starting to get on my last nerve. They seem to have made an update to their keyboard and voice recognition. The last couple of weeks it has been changing my text long after I am finished dictating. My last two posts changed after I proof read it and as I was hitting the submit button. And they changed for the worse.

        Add that to the new bug where every now and again it double or triple enters my text, and I might have to find another keyboard app.

  35. FISA Court picks FISA abuse denier to tackle FISA abuse:

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/01/12/spy-court-picks-fisa-abuse-denier-to-tackle-fisa-abuse/

    ROFLMAO, what a fucking sham. This is how seriously the FISA judges take the law and due process: about as seriously as Reason does.

  36. Soleimani is dead, as is the horse you keep beating…

  37. if all you do is live to kill are you an imminent threat by being?

  38. “BEIJING—The world’s biggest auto market, China, is likely to shrink further this year following two straight years of decline, a state-backed industry group said Monday, after sales fell 8.2% in 2019 from a year earlier.

    A total of 25.8 million vehicles were sold last year in the country, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. In 2018, sales declined for the first time in decades, falling 2.8%.

    . . . .

    Ford and General Motors Co. have been among the hardest hit by the prolonged ebb. Ford said Monday its 2019 sales fell 26% to 567,854 vehicles, having sold less than half of the 1.27 million vehicles it sold at its peak in 2016.

    GM posted its biggest-ever China sales drop, roughly 15%, last year.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-auto-sales-slid-8-2-last-year-11578898123?

    This is why the Chinese are coming to sign a trade agreement with President Trump the day after tomorrow, and this is why China will have a big incentive to abide by that agreement.

    I’m not predicting a recession for China anytime soon, but someday, China will have its first recession since joining the world economy in 2001–and what happens politically during that recession is anyone’s guess.

    1. This is why the Chinese are coming to sign a trade agreement with President Trump the day after tomorrow, and this is why China will have a big incentive to abide by that agreement.

      This. The Chinese have some titanic structural holes in their economy that they’ve managed to paper over with equal parts bullshit and government encouraged growth. They don’t really have a middle consumer class yet, though they are trying, and they haven’t been through a recession since…before Deng took office?

      I don’t think a government composed of mainly only children (little emperors), with a large parvenu complex, is going to take either rejection or adversity especially well. I hope the trade agreement makes things better for both sides, because I see uncomfortable parallels between the PRC economy and military, and the Japanese economy and military circa January 1941. Minus invading their neighbors for the last 10 years, of course, with accompanying infant bayonet volleyball.

      1. “…The Chinese have some titanic structural holes in their economy that they’ve managed to paper over with equal parts bullshit and government encouraged growth…”

        They have a population large and obedient enough that they’ve sustained the 3-card-monte game for quite a while. But all those empty buildings generating no income will have to be paid for one day, like it or not.
        One of the Austrian economists gave the USSR a 70 year life-span, and he was just about right.

    2. 2001–and what happens politically during that recession is anyone’s guess.

      They return to socialism, just like we are.

    3. Recession, Hell! I’m waiting for the world’s biggest traffic jam.

  39. The day the LP nominates a guy wearing a rubber boot on his head is the day I send back my lifetime membership card.

  40. “The killing looked like something former National Security Advisor John Bolton would have hatced” Hated? Hatched?

    1. Soleimani was on borroed time. He’s engineered the murder of thousands, regional unrest for decades. Finally a President who saw the nasty dick had to go.

  41. NBC is reporting that President Donald Trump was mulling the hit on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago, with war hawks such as John Bolton urging him to go for it. This further erodes the administration’s claim that the assassination was done to stop an “imminent” attack on U.S. lives.

    Does it?

    1. Impetuous Trump jumped the gun, he should have waited until John Kerry showed up.
      A threefer.

  42. Presumably, it’s a picture from earlier last week, when it did snow, although the conspiracy theorists of Twitter are having a field day:

    The fact it turned that useless soy vacuum Aaron Rupar into a burbling, furniture-chewing mess made the whole thing worth it.

  43. “In one of the more dramatic protests, students at Tehran University reportedly shouted on Saturday that “They are lying that our enemy is America! Our enemy is right here!””

    http://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/you-killed-our-geniuses-regime-crackdown-intensifies-iranians-flood-streets-third-day

    1. Reason won’t report that.

      1. Neither will the NYT, WaPo, ABC, NBC, …….

  44. Reason….Trump has broken you so bad you’re defending fucking Iranian terrorists.

    Fucking insane.

  45. “NBC is reporting that President Donald Trump was mulling the hit on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago, with war hawks such as John Bolton urging him to go for it. This further erodes the administration’s claim that the assassination was done to stop an “imminent” attack on U.S. lives.”
    So does Reason now prefer knee-jerk reaction in the spur of the moment over long term evaluation?

    1. Depends on who’s doing it. Obv.

  46. “More Holes in the ‘Imminent Threat’ Story on Soleimani” That some kind of pun? I mean forget holes, that murdering piece of scum was vaporised. He was in so many pieces Allah didn’t know whether to schit or go blind putting him back together. How do you reward that mess with virgins? “Holes”? They should’ve lead with something else like “Imminent Threat Story on Soleimani Blown Apart”.

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