Reason Roundup

Elizabeth Warren Is Here To Be Queen of the Ashes

Plus: Bloomberg's rough night, libertarian Catholicism, Philadelphia's soda tax still sucks, and more...


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) is a fan of Game of Thrones' heroine-turned-villain Daenerys Targaryen, and the presidential candidate did her best impression of the Dragon Queen during Wednesday night's Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas.

Warren came out swinging at the opening bell. She interrupted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's first response with an absolute slobber-knocker.

She was just getting started. She would torch Bloomberg again and again during the two hour debate—including one particularly effective broadside on Bloomberg's history of requiring employees to sign non-disclosure agreements about sexual harassment, which Warren said effectively silences women who have been subjected to workplace misogyny.

But she saved plenty of fire for the rest of the field too. She cremated former Vice President Joe Biden for having the audacity to work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) to pass legislation. She burned Pete Buttigieg for daring to offer an alternative to universal government-run health care, which he calls "Medicare for all who want it." Warren accused him of having nothing more than "a slogan that was thought up by his consultants." Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.), with whom Warren had previously shared some debate state camaraderie, took a turn in the barrel for having a health care plan that was…not long enough, I guess?

Some of those attacks were more legitimate than others. (Realistically, the fact that Biden had good relationships with some Republican senators was a benefit for the Obama administration, as Warren would quickly discover if she managed to win the White House.) Still, it was a fiery and energetic performance from a candidate who seems to know she has nothing to lose at this point. The fundraising boost will help too.

Once Warren threw the first punch, everyone wanted a piece of the action. Buttigieg and Klobuchar sniped at one another throughout the night. Bloomberg torched Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) for being a socialist who owns three houses. Even Biden showed a bit of life!

Bloomberg had the worst night of all. One that might—if debates matter, and I'm not sure they do—raise serious questions about his viability going forward. "If the argument for Bloomberg's candidacy is that he's more electable than Sanders and Warren—and more energetic than Biden—then that argument has suffered a significant setback. Maybe a fatal one," offers Reason's Robby Soave.

Even when he wasn't under attack from Warren and the other candidates, Bloomberg suffered from being "a stiff, incompetent political performer with a record in office that's so-so at best and who is aware that what seem to be his authentic policy views are too politically toxic to run on," as Vox's Matt Yglesias put it.

Bloomberg's presence on the stage likely helped Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), who would otherwise have drawn the majority of the other candidates' fire after winning (or nearly winning, depending on how you count Iowa's results) the first two states. It's becoming clear that Sanders is the frontrunner now, but the bigger question is whether he can get an outright majority of the delegates. When asked last night, he was the only candidate on stage to say that a candidate with the plurality of the delegates—that is, the largest pile but not an outright majority—should be the nominee. Everyone else is now angling for a brokered convention, an outcome that the forecasters at FiveThirtyEight say is the most likely outcome of the race right now.

That brings us back to Warren. Her "Dracarys" approach to last night's debate could be seen as a way to say "if I can't win the nomination, no one will"—or maybe "let's take this all the way to Milwaukee." On the other hand, it was notable that she didn't go after Sanders with the same venom she brought for the others. Might that be a sign that she's playing fullback for Sanders?


Regardless, Wednesday's debate was evidence that the Democratic presidential race has entered a new, more dramatic phase. One that will last for (checks calendar) a whole six days before we get to do this all over again.


"For secular libertarians, human dignity is taken as a given, and freedom flows from that. Catholic libertarians go one step further, believing our freedom comes from our dignity—but our dignity and our freedom come from God," writes Reason's managing editor, Stephanie Slade, in a piece exploring the overlap—and the occasional tension—between her Catholic faith and her belief in the merits of limited government.

Not here for theology? Do yourself a favor and read far enough to get to Pope Leo XIII's elegantly devastating critique of socialism.


Sure, Philadelphia's "soda tax" is a total disaster for businesses and consumers, but at least it's providing revenue for important public programs, right?



NEXT: Hemp Is Legal. What If Cops Don't Care?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) is a fan of Game of Thrones’ heroine-turned-villain Daenerys Targaryen, and the presidential candidate did her best impression of the Dragon Queen…

    Spoiler alert: That didn’t go too well for her.

    1. Hello.

      Warren came armed with a tomahawk sounds like.

      1. An insensitive commenter would say that big chief squaw took many scalp.

      2. She peepeed in Bloomberg’s teepee?

        1. His tipi is wee

      3. I saw the smoke from many of her campfires.

      4. Very mature guys.

      5. Warren knows her campaign is essentially DOA now. She’s bleeding support like crazy, and last night was a combination of a hail Mary to spark some viability, but also to angle herself as a potential VP candidate for Bernie. That’s why she hammered everyone but him.

      6. She was counting coup off of Bloomberg all night.

      7. Hatchet job.

    2. Question: What do you call 64 Cherokees in a tent?
      Answer: A full blood.

      1. How do you get a full Crip?

        1. Cervical spinal injury?

          1. Ba-Dum Tsssh!

    3. Sounds like she went after everybody. Did she berate herself for Native American appropriation?

    4. Dragon Queen? She’s more of a Scolding Librarian…

      1. Truly America’s Mother-In-Law…

  2. “I’d like to talk about who we’re running against, a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse faced lesbians. I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”

    Trump immediately perked up: “They’re acknowledging I’m a billionaire?”

    1. Hey Reason… quoting Vox exposes you more than usual. Especially true when you quote Matt Yglesias who is openly proud of gaslighting Voxs readers.

      1. Love early morning Squirrels. Not sure why this went as a reply.

    2. What’s amusing about it is she’s saying that like it’s a bad thing. Trump won the election, so clearly those particular “failings” aren’t bad enough to be a deal-breaker.

    3. True words my friend

  3. ╔════╗───────────────╔═══╦═══╦═══╦═══╗─╔╗╔╗╔╗

  4. Bloomberg torched Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) for being a socialist who owns three houses.

    When children are hungry in this country…

    1. But one of them is just a lakeside cabin mansion.


    This is interesting. The guy was trying to get a picture of a license plate. I bet Russian govt can access those nationwide license plate scanner databases.

    1. They could just ask the Chinese for them…

      1. You’re right. We need better privacy protection.

        1. Well, just don’t have a cell phone, get a driver’s license, register to vote, buy or rent a place to live, have a credit card, have any bank accounts at all, use over $4,000 in cash at one time, or go out in public where there are “security” cameras, and you will have all the privacy you think you can get.

          1. We need to come together for the issues we agree on and get something done.

            1. A true leftist understands that more data needs to be collected and shared with the government so we can find and end various disparities happening in the country. You can’t prove disparity without the data to back it up.

            2. A hilariously vague statement that ignores the last 25 years of information technology advancement.

    2. I can’t wait until 2021 when we have a Democratic President who will punish Russia for attacking our democracy in 2016.


      1. Keep waiting

      2. Bernie being sent back for a second honeymoon?

        1. maybe he found interesting person on

    3. Was it as interesting as wapo advocating for elitists deciding who the president is? As interesting as the chinese propaganda wapo openly publishes?

      1. Fuck China. The Democrats don’t like China. In contrast Trump literally praises the Chinese dictator.

        1. “The Democrats don’t like China. ”

          So you’re fucking ignorant then. Feinstein, Clinton’s, biden, gore… do I need to go on?

          “Trump literally praises the Chinese dictator.”

          “ Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, ‘No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.’”

          Are you openly full of shit?

          1. Obama wasn’t praising the dictator merely pointing sarcastically that dictators have unchecked power. Trump was praising the dictator in a seemingly way.

            1. “genuine” way

            2. Obama said he had a phone and a pen referring to a way to get around Congress.

              If Trump has abilities to act like a dictator, it’s because of executive power growth from the presidents before him.

              1. And now that the GOP has officially endorsed corruption, the next president will have even more power. But you won’t hear the brownshirts in here criticizing him for it.

                1. I didn’t hear dems criticizing Obama’s either. I do see the left claiming that FDR was the best president ever. A president that used an executive order to put people in concentration camps (liberal definition) because of their race.

                  1. Hell the “Being Liberal” Facebook page still has his portrait as their profile pic.

                2. If the dems were more concerned with it, they could have done something about it before Trump was elected. But they like the imperial president when the president is in their party.

                  So this isn’t a GOP thing.

            3. You are boring, and an asshole.

            4. You can rationalize your ignorance completely it seems. Do you want to hear about the Mao Christmas ornament?

              1. “President Xi, who is a strong man, I call him King, he said, ‘But I am not King, I am president.’ I said, ‘No, you’re president for life and therefore, you’re King.’ He said, ‘Huh. Huh.’ He liked that.”

                “And I like President Xi a lot. I consider him a friend, and — but I like him a lot. I’ve gotten to know him very well. He’s a strong gentleman, right? Anybody that — he’s a strong guy, tough guy.”

                On Duterte’s mass killings of drug users:
                “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem.”

                And don’t for get this gem:

                Trump even said China’s brutal crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989 “shows you the power of strength,” contrasting the Communist Party’s action with the United States, which he said “is right now perceived as weak.” Trump made those comments in 1990. When asked about the remarks during the presidential debate in 2016, Trump defended himself and appeared to take the Chinese Communist Party’s view of the events at Tiananmen. He dismissed the deadly military response as a “riot.”

                Trump loves him a dictator. Your denial of this is sad.

                1. Your citation fell off again for some reason.

                  You’re a lying sock troll, so when you quote things, you need a citation.

                  1. Pick any quote and google it. Or do I have to embarrass you again, like when you called me a liar for pointing out that Trump used to be in the D party?

                    1. Thats not how things work around here with supporting citations.

                      I said youre a liar in general.

                2. “”Trump loves him a dictator.””

                  So does the Dem front runner.

        2. No, that’s Bloomberg. He works hard to please his constituents

        3. The hell they don’t. Some of their biggest donors have their manufacturing base there. The Clintons traded military tech for campaign donations. We outsource almost all our recycling and resource extraction for “green” technology to them.

          The Democrats don’t like China? China is one of their biggest supporters.

      2. Spend some time at hobbyhuren kaernten to have huge fun

  6. Sen. Klobuchar to Buttigieg: “I wish everyone were as perfect as you, Pete. But let me tell you what it’s like to be in the arena.”

    Buttigieg responds: “You don’t have to be on Capitol Hill for your work to be significant.”

    Mayor Pete’s blow against elitism should have been the definitive punch but I’m guessing misogyny was the takeaway there.

    1. Can it be a blow against elitism when he is blowing 40 billionaires and mainly backed by hollywood and other self declared elites?

    2. I’m guessing the best search for videos of the debate are under “I know you are but what am I?”

  7. The question isn’t “did Bloomberg do well in the debate?” The question is, how will it be covered.

    Because nobody watched the debate. I mean, a bunch of political nerds did, but nobody else. Everyone is going to get their take from their news outlet of choice. So the important bit is, “how are the networks covering it?”

    NBC tipped their hand this morning. They definitely were not in the Bloomberg camp. But they didn’t go all-in either. They covered it as “Bloomberg did poorly in the debate”, but didn’t dig in on the details too much. Just the horse face bit as attacks, but they didn’t go for the jugular by doing follow up pieces on the NDAs that he revealed and Warren sliced and diced him with.

    1. CNN definitely piling on with their coverage. “Bloomberg’s Bad Night”

      But they also are going after sanders. Headline article: “No, Bernie Sanders, most voters aren’t comfortable with socialism”

      1. Bloomberg has proven that he is only good at one thing-spending money. At least when Ross Perot ran he had his infomercials and was pretty engaging. Bloombutt has the communication and social skills of a pile of horse droppings.

        1. Ross Perot knew how to get a problem solve. I know this by how many times he said “problem solved”.

          1. Perot knew how to Clinton elected, haha.

            I think he would have made an interesting president, and maybe even a good one.

    2. My office has a TV with the Stock market always on, they were covering the debate a bit today. My coworkers are about apolitical as you can get (I think 2 are democrats and the rest are independent or don’t care enough) and everyone’s reaction this year has been pretty much the same: Trump needs to just shut up already and the Democrats are a disgrace, they’re spending time fighting like children instead of actually trying to improve the country.

      1. they’re spending time fighting like children instead of actually trying to improve the country.

        If nothing else good comes from all this nonsense, at least there’s this.

  8. Sad beard?

    The only time I ever see his name anymore is when Reason quotes him.

    What happened to the David French fetish?

    1. He became less hardcore anti trump as did national review in general.

  9. Do yourself a favor and read far enough to get to Pope Leo XIII’s elegantly devastating critique of socialism.

    “Lighten up, Francis.”

    1. Biden: “I rarely wear underwear and when I do it’s usually something unusual”.

      1. Also Biden: “Oh God, I wish I were a loofah.”

        1. Warren: “It’s like going into Wisconsin.”

        2. Biden: My best points are my hairy legs…

  10. “Reason’s managing editor, Stephanie Slade, in a piece …”

    Stephanie Slade literally wants to turn this country into The Handmaid’s Tale by denying access to abortion care. She’s not a libertarian.


    1. Kinda like, “Socialism isn’t socialism unless it’s my brand of socialism which is always successful”, substitute for libertarians and with a side of ad hominem fallacy. Love it!

  11. Activists in canada have shut the railway system down for more weeks now.

    Local news story.

    1. How in the world does he stay in office?

      I suppose if you support the goals of the protestors, you don’t really feel that sense of urgency to protect the rights of others.

      1. He has the Canadian black face vote.

        1. I don’t want to ever hear you bitch about political correctness again.

          1. I dont fucking care what you want jeff.

            1. Lol, I’m not Jeff and were more discerning you could figure that out.

              1. Yes you are.

                1. We’re all Jeff down here.

                  1. Don’t want to be labeled a dumbass don’t act like a dumbass.

                  2. Hivemind gonna hivemind

          2. The hilarious part of Jeff’s post is he doesn’t realize I’m making fun of woke hypocrisy. He thinks I’m actually outraged at black face.

            1. No I realize you’re a pos.

              1. No jeff. You dont realize anything. You just do the standard sophist bullshit based on ignorance.

      2. It’s racist to kick Black Face people out of office.

        That shoe polish came from Africa.

    2. the rail lines are protesting a gas pipe line not because they care about teh natives and the environment but because it takes away work from the the rails and pipe lines are safer than rail. Trudy needs to step in and stop this like Reagan did to the air traffic controllers.

    3. I wish Canada would hurry up and break apart so we can learn how better to split the US.

      1. I wish they’d break apart so we can continue the next step of Manifest Destiny and absorb the rest of the continent.

        1. Well, that would save money on the wall, eventually…

        2. Or we could form 2 different countries out of the 2 different countries.

  12. Nearly four years after City Council passed the beverage tax, little construction work has begun.

    On the plus side, Filthadepthsia got to do what it does best: pointless assholery.

    1. So have the obesity rates in Philadelphia dropped in the four years since the beverage tax was passed? After all, that was the pretext — oops, I meant “science-based rationale“ — for the tax in the first place. I can only assume that every Philadelphian is now as slender as William Powell in “The Thin Man.”

      1. They did determine that soda sales were down by 38%, but the Bloomberg study didn’t bother with health. However, childhood obesity rates went from 14.2% the year before the tax went into effect to 17.4% a year after the tax had been in effect.

        Interestingly, for the first year of the tax, DUI accidents were up 14%, so one can argue that maybe some of those soda sales went to beer sales.

        Again, government fucking up the marketplace rarely does what is intended [or at least stated as the intent]. Want to be whether Philly has taken this to heart and removed the tax?

  13. Apparently kidnapping white people and forcing them to watch roots is a form of activism now.

    1. HEY! If you’re not against all White people naturally being racist then are for White people being naturally racist!

      1. I’m against all people regardless of their skin color…

  14. Police say attack suspect killed nine people at two shisha bars then killed his mother and himself at home

    This guy said in a video that uncontrolled immigration into the Germany was a problem and the USA has underground bases where the Clintons and Obama have sex with children.

    Of course, the Social media outlets took down his video to make sure the Narrative went thru Gatekeepers. They are calling this guy a Right-Wing shooter. Which means that he was the typical German Socialist who hated so many foreigners undermining good German Values.

  15. The White House is quietly considering a tax hike on corporations.

    That shit talk is working out so well for the Dem candidates.

  16. Ivy league university. Where you go to learn objective analysis and how to openly discuss issues. Such as having a 2a debate featuring a panel that includes no 2a supporters.

    1. Those elites better be as fair and balanced as everyone else!

      1. You probably actually do think they are elite.

    2. UCONN’s Ivy League?

      Note I couldn’t open the article so I’m going off of the URL.

      1. You’re right. Read and bookmarked the article 2 days ago. Only a shit left leaning school, not a ahit ivy league left leaning school.

        1. At this point are there any not-left-leaning schools?

      2. Agreed. U Conn is not an Ivy. They’re not hopelessly inept at athletics, for one thing. You get a “Well, acktually… ” goodie point.

        Now address the substance of the point.

        Not like UConn’s behavior is unusual there. I saw at a oil industry conference, an unintentionally hilarious panel on climate change where one side had guys like Kevin Trenberth and a numerical modeling guy from NOAA, and the other side was represented by some poor old bastard who’d seemingly been given the task an hour prior. It wasn’t a fair, or even educational, presentation. It even did a poor job of convincing the audience that man made climate change was a thing.

        1. Hey, as a UCONN alumn I just wanted to know if I got to be a more arrogant ass about it than I am. As I said, I couldn’t open the article because I’m at work behind a firewall.

  17. There was an interesting moment in the debate – Chuck Todd asked them if they would support whoever won the popular vote, or did they want to take it to the convention if nobody had enough delegates. He made each commit to “following the rules”.

    Bernie stood alone in saying the superdelegates were a problem and they should follow the vote of the people.

    As they went to commercial, Chuck Todd turned to his colleagues and said with some emphasis “We got him!”

    I’m not sure what he meant, or even who he was referring to….. but it seemed to be a quite revealing moment of candor – that a moderator felt they were supposed to “get him”.

    1. They were very clearly out to get Bernie. That was obvious the whole time.
      He held up ok, until he jumped on the communism mine Bloomberg laid for him

    2. A quick google search turned up at least one other person who noticed. It is a little harder to see in this clip than it was live.

      1. It’s like the news wants Milwaukee to burn down.

        They realize their cameras don’t make them immune from mob violence, don’t they? Lara Logan should have been a clue, or because it happened overseas, it doesn’t count?

        1. She works for Fox now, thus retroactively asking for it

    3. Bernie stood alone in saying the superdelegates were a problem and they should follow the vote of the people.

      This comment of his is hilariously dense, considering that Hillary actually beat Obama in the popular vote in 2008.

  18. MSNBC continues to fill the gap left by the shunning of Alex Jones. Maddow accuses Trump of possibly attempting what Obama actually did.

    1. Good lord…..

      I just can’t even with these people. Can you even? Because I can’t even….

      You guys gotta watch it… the amount of smug oozing off of her as she warns of the Tyranny of Trump using the DOJ to open a criminal investigation of political opponents… wow.

      The lack of self-awareness is stunning.

      1. Haha, yeah, well if Trump does end up doing that (which I personally warned that he probably would after all the nonsense in 2016) it will only be because that’s the new normal he inherited.

        Not that it’s a good thing that this is the new normal, but that’s what happens when you plan a coup that fails I suppose.

        If you inherit a political agency that lets you snoop on opposition candidates, you’re going to snoop on opposition candidates. QED.

        1. I have it on good authority that people never abuse power they’ve been given.

          I was told that this is the “slippery slope fallacy” when we passed the second version of the USA PATRIOT act and upped the ante on domestic surveillance. I was assured that it was absolutely impossible for this process to be abused.

          1. Trump was investigated by his own appointees!!!!!!!!!!!! Y’all are just so fucking craxy it’s painful.

            1. A leftist
              February.20.2020 at 10:13 am
              Y’all are just so fucking craxy it’s painful.

              Kettle – pot

            2. Trump did not appoint Weismann, Mueller, page, etc.. the process started during the transition period when he had many hold overs including comey. The people lied to him for their intents.

              You are pretty fucking stupid.

              1. Trump appointed Rosenstein and Sessions and they decided to appoint Mueller, well Rosenstein specifically but Sessions probably understood what his recusal meant. You are the fucking idiot.

                1. Mueller is not the one who signed off on FISA warrants against US citizens because they were associated with the Trump campaign. That is the salient bit of information here.

                2. Sessions recused himself, he didnt appoint anybody. Rosenstein apparently lied to Trump on the intent of the investigation, same as comey.

                  But keep going with your ignorant narrative.

                  1. I didn’t say Sessions appointed the mfer. I said Sessions probably understood the implications of his recusal

                    1. It implied he is a giant tiny pussy.

            3. What the hell are you on about? We are talking about the USA PATRIOT act and domestic surveillance as an example of how power is always abused. It is like gravity. It is inevitable.

              The lady at the DMV who can make you wait an extra 15 minutes just because she can is the same phenomenon writ small.

              As in that apocryphal bureaucrat told the apocryphal important politician who asked her “Don’t you know who I am?”….. and when she asked him the same question in return, he said “No.”. She said “I’m the person who decides when you get helped. Now go have a seat.”

              What the hell is wrong with some people… “Giving the government unsupervised power is bad!”…. “You are wrong!! Trump is bad!!!”

            4. Who did Trump appoint in April of 2016, you blithering dipshit?

          2. Plenty of us saw the writing on the wall with the PATRIOT Act and resulting nonsense. The government has had twenty years to figure out what to do with expanded surveillance and FISA.

            Twenty. Years.

            1. So you’re saying they had plenty of time to learn how to game the system. A system hidden from the disinfectant of sunshine.

      2. I can barely read her transcripts without seeing the smarmy half stroke like smile of hers. Then o lut on her crying on election night 2016 and laugh my ass off.

        1. I honestly had no idea that she was still on tv.

          Goes to show that lying about taking small arms fire (Brian Williams) and be discredited (Rachel Maddow) does not end your career in the Propaganda game.

      3. The lack of self-awareness is stunning.

        Not 100% sure it’s lack of self-awareness as opposed to presumption of the stupidity of her/your audience.

        1. I guess you haven’t watch Limbaugh or Jones lately? They’re all idiot talking heads who preach to their followers.

          1. I guess you haven’t watch Limbaugh or Jones lately? They’re all idiot talking heads who preach to their followers.

            Not recently, no. Never once with Jones, but Limbaugh (and I haven’t listened to him since the Clinton Era) was frequently hearkening back to events in recent and distant history. He certainly had spin for his audience but I don’t recall him having such brazen selective memory with regard to such central narratives.

      4. Well he’s currently using it as his personal law firm to release his buddies, why wouldn’t he use it to investigate his presidential opponent? I mean the Justice Department works for him now, it’s not longer even attempting to be a neutral investigatory entity.

        1. Haha, it’s cute that you think it ever was. The Horowitz report blew that notion out of the water.

        2. How cute. You only know about the pardons to the ones MSNBC tells you to know about.

      5. He’s a fellow wingnut. Embrace him. Don;t watch maddow, don’t listen to Rush. They are both designed to make us emotional, divided, and easily manipulated.

        1. So are the Russians

        2. “”and easily manipulated.””

          Like believing a detainment center is equivalent to a German concentration camp? Or that we are going to have a fascist sized military parade? Or electing a president that will not leave office when his term is up? And that’s naming just a few.

  19. Trump allegedly offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in exchange for a personal favor.

    Assange already handed him the White House.

  20. “”Trump allegedly offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in exchange for a personal favor.””

    What? To repeat his claim that the Russians did not provide the DNC Emails?

    1. They got him this time!

      1. Yes another brazen use of a public office for personal benefit.

        1. You do know Assange has been saying from day one it wasn’t the Russians. So why would a president need to ask him to do what has already been done?

          The claim doesn’t make sense.

    2. Indeed

      What he didn’t say was who his non-Russian source was which would potentially be very useful in prosecuting the person or persons who stole the DNC emails. Surely the DNC wants to know who did it so they can identify the mole, and maybe get some restitution.

      I hear they make this sort of offer all the time to people in organized crime networks so they can get the ringleaders.

      1. They don’t offer a presidential pardon, no.

  21. Another day another set of emails showing Hunter Biden using his name to help Burisma.

    Now with direct connections to Joe.


    “Per my conversation with Tony at the Truman event, Karen Tramontano and I would like to have a brief coffee with Tony at his earliest convenience regarding some troubling events we are seeing n [sic] Ukraine,” Painter wrote in a June 27, 2016 email to Russo, who serves as director of communications for the Joe Biden presidential campaign.

    “(He said yes),” Painter said in her email to Russo of Blinken, who serves as foreign policy advisor to Biden’s campaign.

    1. Daily Caller? lol

      1. I literally quoted the evidence listed in trial documents. For fuck sakes some of you are ignorant. It isnt opinion. They are emails filed at a trial. How dumb do you want to advertise yourself to be?

        1. As dumb as he possibly can.

  22. If America boycotts the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, would China stop abusing its own people?

    Didn’t China just host an olympics?

    1. Why would America do anything besides freely trade with China?

      Just yesterday I was told that my personal belief that slavery is a bad thing should not be used to encourage our government to do anything about it. I’ve been told that the worlds largest violator of the NAP (China) can do so freely, and we should just sit back and watch because ideological consistency. Watch communists enslave millions and do nothing, because principles.

      I learn so much here. USA! USA!

      1. In other words, you’re demagoguing the entire issue and refusing to listen to rational arguments that counter your emotional hyperventilating.

        1. “Everybody who disagrees with me is a deMoGOgUE!!!”

        2. Rational to me means to determine a minimum threshold of acceptable behavior when it comes to determining trade with other countries. Slavery is on that list. I don’t see anything that China does for the US that we can’t do here, or many other countries for that matter, and I’m not willing to put my head in the sand and praise an ideology so people can trade with slave holders.

          Call me a slaver for hating slavery and suggesting the people we vote for have the ability to act on said slavery through trade policy. I’m fine not being that “libertarian”

        3. By the way, this is a similar conversation to the one we had previously about border security, when I asked if murderers and convicted pedophiles should be able to come and go to the US as they please.

          I’ll also be a slaver in suggesting that’s a bad idea.

    2. The Olympics are finding that relatively free societies are no increasingly uninterested in being doormats for the IOC’s costly demands.

    3. 2008 is now twelve years ago.

      But more importantly, it was a different Olympics. Olympics held in years divisible by four (same years as Presidential elections and leap years), like 2008, are the Summer Games, also known as the “real” or “good” Olympics. Olympics held in years not divisible by four, like 2022 are Winter Games, also known as the “Canadian” or “special” Olympics.

  23. Brokered convention, huh? Boy, those younger Democrat voters are going to pissed about that. Again. Maybe one day they’ll learn how their own party functions, but they’ll just forget again instantly.

    1. That’s the thing about “younger voters” ….. every 4 years it is a different crop of “younger voters”.

      That’s why they are so coveted. They have absolutely no context, no knowledge of not only US history, but even the very recent history of their own candidate. Bloomberg can run as the “Champion of Minorities” with these folks, because they were in middle school the last time he was in the news.

      1. The only problem is that their ignorance cuts both ways; it makes them persuadable but also makes them less passionate and less likely to vote in most cases. All my life the media and Democrats have been yapping about the youth vote and never once has it made a dime’s worth of difference in an election.

        The closest it came to making a difference was for Obama in 08. Even then, however, Obama won because of a huge turnout among minorities and a small turnout among Republicans demoralized by 8 years of Bush and the party nominating McCain. The Youths were just along for the ride.

        1. Yeah, courting ‘the youth vote’ is stupid since they might support you but they’ll never bother to show up to cast the ballot. It’s been a truism for a long time, and I doubt it’ll change soon. ‘The youth’ are more concerned with getting laid and trying drugs, last I heard.

          1. ‘The youth’ are more concerned with getting laid and trying drugs, last I heard.

            As it should be. I don’t know about you but I really don’t want to live in a world where young people have nothing better to do than go vote. My God what a dystopia that would be.

          2. gotdarn kids with their loud music and trashy clothes, get off my lawn!

            I’m sorry, I had to.

      2. “That’s the thing about “younger voters”

        And that’s the thing about high school girls. Every year I get older, and every year they stay the same age. ahright, ahright, ahright!

        1. “A child is wonderful. You see, sometimes, people mistake a child as an answer for something. You know, like a way to change their story.”

        2. Man, times have changed. I used to think, “They could never get away with making blazing saddles today.” Now I think, “They could never make dazed and confused today.”

          1. Nobody cares.

            1. Nobody cares.

          2. “”Now I think, “They could never make dazed and confused today.”””

            That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age. – David Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey)

            Yeah, you might be right.

    2. They don’t really vote anyway. I remember being an anomaly when I was younger (say 18-25 or so) and went to vote.

  24. “Bill Kristol, currently editor-at-large of The Bulwark, has been funded from the start of his rebellion by big left-of-center donors like Pierre Omidyar and the Hewlett Foundation.”

    1. Let’s give him some credit. That Bulwark article advocating a 3rd party Romney/Bloomberg ticket, to ‘unify America’, was pretty funny. I laughed reading it.

    2. On February 1, 2020, Kristol tweeted out that, at least until Trump is out of office, he considers himself a Democrat

      Bill Kristol
      Not presumably forever; not perhaps for a day after Nov. 3, 2020; not on every issue or in every way until then. But for the time being one has to say: We are all Democrats now.
      11:09 AM · Feb 1, 2020

    3. Funny that Trump trolls these Lefties.

      Bill Kristol
      Feb 17
      Happy Washington’s Birthday.

      Donald J. Trump
      · Feb 17

  25. A bit shocked Reason has ignored the local news story of Congress meeting with Iranian foreign ministers without consultation of the Executive.

      1. You don’t but might want to realize that Trump was doing exactly this when he was running for office and in the time after he was elected but before he was sworn in. Kushner was doing it. Flynn committed this offense. Probably dozens of Trump campaign officials committed the offense of “unauthorized negotiation”.

          1. Trump violated the Logan Act when he was underminimg American foreign policy on Russia before he became president. Trump was asking the Russians not to respond to the Obama sanctions because he would lift them once he assumed office. Cut and dry.

            1. I love a good bedtime story. Tell the one about how the bad orange man was taken down by Mueller and his do gooder FBI

              1. I mean, that really happened. You could look it up? You think Flynn (and the Kush) did that on their own initiative?


                1. That link does not say what you want it to say.

                  It describes what the Logan Act is and throws in some unsubstantiated suppositions about trump transition team.

                  You remember, after he kicked Hillary’s ass in election 2016.

                  1. You only ever see what you want to. There’s no point in talking to a blank-eyed cultist.

                    1. Poor sock troll. I throw you a bone and point out that you need a new citation to support what youre claiming and you get mad.

                      Your coder will have to work harder.

            2. No he didnt. He was never even charged with such. Every president elect has met with foreign leaders to discuss incoming policy.

              How are you so fucking ignorant?

              1. I can’t even…

                1. Think? Apply logic? Be fair? There’s a lot to work with at face value.

                2. “I can’t even…”

                  We can see that in every one of your posts.

              2. Why do you lot keep engaging with it?

                I thought the Logan Act didn’t apply to legislators acting in their legislative, fact-finding capacity? Shrug.

                Teddy Kennedy should have been one of the indicted, after asking Andropov for help deposing Reagan. E.g.,

                1. Applies to Mr. Heinz.

            3. Trump violated the Logan Act when he was underminimg American foreign policy on Russia before he became president

              No he didn’t. It was never meant to prevent candidates from campaigning on foreign policy. Beyond that, even if you think it was, then Obama should have been impeached and thrown in prison in 2008. Obama toured Europe in the summer of 2008 telling European leaders to ignore Bush and making promises about what he would do as President.

              Do you think everyone is too stupid to remember that?

            4. Was this before or after the peeing?

              1. Lefties jackoff to the dream that is was during the peeing.

        1. Your citations keep falling off for some reason.

        2. Every transition president has met with foreign leaders you ignorant fuck. The congressional members here are not on transition to lead the executive Jeff. God damn you’re fucking dumb.

          1. Where in Logan Act do you find an exception for “transition teams”?

            1. There isn’t. But Trump had permission from Obama to do all of that. So that means it by definition was acting as agents of the US and didn’t violate the law. It is not a violation if the President tells you you can do it.

            2. There are also no exceptions for Congress to negotiate on behalf of the USA.

              1. Certainly no exceptions for state Governors to negotiate on behalf of US interests.

        3. That’s what I call TREASON.

        4. There is no “offense” with incoming officials meeting with foreigners. There is no “offense” in campaigns meeting with foreigners. You are a nitwit without an ounce of consistency or honesty in your body

    1. Apparently Kerry was there too.
      His meetings with Iran, due to the advice he’s been giving them, legitimately constitute treason

      1. Remember when Democrats were all about enforcing the Logan Act? Good times.

        1. I’m still open to it. You just don’t understand. We’re not in a fucking cult like you are. There’s no dear leader. I would gladly accept the prosecution of any democratic politician if it meant we could use the precedent to put Trump and his crime family in prison.

          1. I understand perfectly. The Logan Act was passed to keep Americans from going abroad and representing themselves as agents of the US government in order to undercut American policy and diplomacy. It was written to make exactly what Kerry and this Senator did illegal.

            Now, the Logan Act has never been enforced. And there are serious constitutional issues with it. But, the Democrats spent all of 2017 claiming Mike Flynn was guilty of violating it because he talked to the Russians while the President elect’s national security adviser and did so with the President at the time. So, gee if you think the Logan Act is so great and so broad it applies to Flynn you sure as hell ought to think it applies here. Oddly, none of you dumb asses seem to be saying that.

            Now go away and post your stupid talking points somewhere else.

            1. “I understand perfectly. The Logan Act was passed to keep Americans from going abroad and representing themselves as agents of the US government in order to undercut American policy and diplomacy. It was written to make exactly what Kerry and this Senator did illegal. ”

              But Guilianni’s actions in Ukraine were totally above board.

              1. Citation?

                1. For what?

                  1. Yeah, correct as your claim is bullshit so no need for a link from you.

              2. Not exactly right. The Logan Act was passed to keep unauthorized Americans going abroad. Unauthorized being the key term.

                If Trump authorized Rudy to do so, then it’s not a Logan Act violation.

                1. Why do ambassadors and attorneys general need to be confirmed if the president can just point at anyone, pay them from his personal funds, and tell them to do diplomacy? You guys know that shit is shady as it gets, just admit it.

                  1. Sock troll doesnt understand what cabinet positions are.

                2. +1000

          2. So your entire philosophy is to put political opponents in jail. Yeah, you’re not authoritarian at all Jeff.

          3. ^^^ Get this Lefty. No cult “dear leader” among these politicians:

            Jefferson Davis
            Bill Clinton
            Al Gore
            John Kerry
            Hillary Clinton
            Joe Biden

          4. In other words, a leftist would be happy to sacrifice anyone to sate his resentful lust to get Trump.
            Totes not cultish!

          5. “” I would gladly accept the prosecution of any democratic politician if it meant we could use the precedent to put Trump and his crime family in prison.””

            I noticed you didn’t say you would accept the prosecution of democrats for wrong doing.

          6. IF IT MEANT, so you admit, you have zero interest in justice or upholding the law, just interested in sacrificing some Ds to go after OrangeMan

          7. Someone calling himself “A leftist” said . . .

            We’re not in a fucking cult

            . . . between swigs of grape Flavor Aid.

          8. Then I say lock her and Obama up!

            High five?

      2. Hes been meeting with them often since 2016. Not sure how he is able to he hasnt registered under any foreign relations laws. Flynn has to be wondering what the fuck is going on.

        1. Sec of State isn’t a job, it is a lifetime title of nobility.

          1. Uh oh… emoluments!!!!!!

          2. What’s better than ‘fuck you’ money? Ketchup money.

            1. Milk Money?

      3. “Apparently Kerry was there too.”

        He was just tasked with bringing the Heinz condiment pack to the pot luck.

    2. Congress is an independent branch of government, they can meet with whomever they like. This isn’t Trump’s 1000 year Reich just yet.

      1. That’s not what the Constitution says

      2. So you havent read the constitution. Got it

  26. women fat broads and horse faced lesbians.

    In New York that translates to: “Good morning, what nice weather we have today.”

    1. I doubt he would be so redundant.

  27. Then-CIO Bill Mann appeared on a Motley Fool financial podcast in 2016, discussing the Bloomberg Terminal apparatus that accounts for a vast majority of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s immense wealth – much of it from clients funded by the Bush/Obama-era bailouts.

    “Until recently, all Bloomberg employees could access information about when and how terminals were used by any customer. But after complaints by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, Bloomberg says its 2,000 or so journalists no longer have access to that information, though other staff still do. Bloomberg has more than 15,000 employees,” Quartz reported.

  28. On Monday morning, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign launched an online ad targeting Bernie’s excitable online supporters. The spot features Sanders fans at their worst: calling for the creation of “lists” of Bloomberg’s campaign staffers in the effort to intimidate them out of working for his candidacy, crafting tombstones for Joe Biden, mocking Pete Buttigieg’s appearance, and hurling epithets at just about every Democrat who failed to genuflect at the altar of democratic socialism. It concludes with the implication that, despite Sanders’s appeals to civility, the toxic climate around his campaign did not evolve ex nihilo.

    1. Sanders claims that those are not his supporters and are just Russian agents. I am not kidding.

      1. Sanders spent his honeymoon in Russia. That’s good enough evidence he is a Russian agent in today’s environment.

      2. Nevermind the overlap on that venn diagram.

        1. It’s how I teach my students about concentric circles.

    2. how about the guy who shot up the Republican baseball team?

      1. That’s too local a story. And it’s such an outlier, everyone knows that Republicans are the real violent party.

    3. it’s funny that they forgot to mention the assassination attempt at the baseball field a few years ago. I was really hoping they would have mentioned that at the debate when they were hammering Bernie over it.

  29. And finally to counter the orange man is a spendaholic….

    In the next decade, our discretionary spending is due to fall by 0.8% as a percentage of GDP. A small subsection of mandatory outlays, including unemployment and food stamps, will also fall by 0.4%. But Social Security spending will skyrocket by 1.1%, and major healthcare program spending, including Medicare and Medicaid, will soar by 1.6%.

    Until a party gets 60 votes to take on entitlements, this problem wont go away. But please keep focusing on discretionary spending.

    1. I hate the term “discretionary spending”. It is all discretionary. To say set aside only some of it as discretionary just lies to the public and pretends that Congress somehow has no choice but to spend the money. Bullshit.

      1. I agree that all programs are discretionary. But courts have allowed a carve out for automatic funding of programs like medicaid. Not sure how since courts have also ruled congress can not bind a future congress. But it takes an active vote to stop those programs. I personally think each program every year should only be funded with an active vote.

        Also get rid of baseline budgeting and their 4% growth baseline.

        1. The fact that Congress is specifically prohibited from appropriating more than two years’ funding to the Army by the Constitution establishes, under the usual canons of construction, that it can appropriate other things for longer terms.

          (This canon is the Roman legal principle that gave rise to the saying “The exception proves the rule”; the existence of a specific carve-out implies the general case is the opposite. A law against selling alcohol on Sundays would prove that it is legal to sell alcohol the other six days a week, on the logic that there would be no need for a law banning sales on Sundays if sales in general were illegal. This was more important in Roman and early English common law than in modern law because of the general level of illiteracy, lack of printing, and lack of codification of laws made it harder to prove if a law against something actually existed)

        2. Congress by and large want the American public to believe that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid spending are out of their control and therefore they are not responsible.

  30. More bad economic news.’s benefactor Charles Koch has lost $1.57 billion this year.

    Drumpf’s high-tariff / low-immigration policies are to blame.


    1. DRINK! It’s the OpenBordersLiberal-tarian drinking game! Take a shot every time OpenBordersLiberal-tarian exposes his huge Koch fetish.

  31. Trump allegedly offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in exchange for a personal favor.

    So does this mean that the leak didn’t come from Seth Rich?

    1. The Congressman in question says Assange made the offer to him not the other way around. And Assange has been saying that it wasn’t the Russians to anyone who would listen from day one. So, why would Trump offer him a pardon to say something he was already claiming?

      1. It’s just a reminder to Trump that Assange could be veeerrryy helpful.

      2. Rohrbacher already confirmed the story. Sorry, John.

        1. “”“I spoke to Julian Assange and told him if he would provide evidence about who gave WikiLeaks the emails, I would petition the president to give him a pardon,” Rohrabacher told Yahoo News. “He knew I could get to the president.”””

          So Trump didn’t offer anything and wasn’t involved.

          1. That’s the story so far. Trump has also said that he doesn’t know Rohrbacher, haha. Given the absolute reliability of this admin to lie, even when there is no point in it, I’m not buying it.

            1. Rohrabacher’s own words tell us he’s suggesting he has access to the President. Not that the President asked him to do it.

              Now if you want to question Rohrabacher’s validity go ahead.

        2. Keep in mind, Assange always said it wasn’t the Russians. He just never said who he got it from.


    Bloomberg is the smirking id of America’s elites. This is a great article. The money quote is the take down of the “socially liberal fiscal conservative”.

    Bloomberg is the opposite of a libertarian, yet he defines himself as a “fiscal conservative and social liberal.” Often confused, these two terms are fundamentally different. Libertarianism is concerned with the liberty and dignity of the individual, whereas “fiscal conservative and social liberal” has less philosophical connective tissue. Under its shotgun marriage of terms, “social liberal” can mean, as Bloomberg once told a pregnant subordinate, “kill it,” while “fiscal conservative” can mean reducing people to piggy banks in order to feed finances. What links them is the flowchart. Children are bad for efficiency; so are smokers, drinkers, and fast food diners. This is the ideology of the corporate boardroom. It’s dehumanizing, in that it flattens people into mere budget figures and values of life expectancy.

    Bloomberg really is the Suderman/McArdle dream candidate. He is pro capitalism, wants a steady stream of cheap labor from abroad and cheap goods from China. He wants to tax everything that moves in the name of fiscal responsibility. Sure he has some authoritarian views on sodas and smoking. But, Megan can explain to Suderman the need for a firm hand on the tiller so to speak. And it is not like Bloomberg’s edicts will ever be applied to them. No, he would just give the deplorables guidance like they need.

    1. People are icky and need to be controlled until we get the camps built.

      1. Or until AI/guided robotics can build itself, and perform self-guided tasks roughly equivalent to an 80 IQ human.

        Then the gene-tailored plagues will start.

        Until then, the goal is neofeudalistic Brazil.

        1. I have thought for a long time that American elites were envious of Latin American elites. If you go to Latin America, the real elite live in a different world than even American elites. The laws don’t apply to them. If anyone doesn’t like it, they can get out and go to the US or stay and complain and end up in jail or dead. There is none of this BS democracy and rule of law crap or people demanding their rights or a say in things like their is in the US. I think many American elites want an open border not just for cheap labor but more because they want to import such a docile and easy to dominate population. Americans suck. They never do what they are told. They don’t know their place. And worse, they are armed and they vote. If you are a typical asshole elite, that really sucks.

          1. “I think many American elites want an open border not just for cheap labor but more because they want to import such a docile and easy to dominate population.”

            Bingo. Many of the people they wish to import want large paternalistic socialist government, and at the same time, think they can rely on family or other small group ties to avoid being subject to the worst parts of it.

            E.g., “Oh, don’t worry about that. I know a guy/my cousin’s in that office…”? It’s how things are done in the 3rd World, and as the forces atrophy that required assimilation into the United States’ dominant culture, it will be how things are done here.

            1. The Progs I know are never subjected to the laws they support. They either don’t do the activity like smoking or owning a gun or if they do they will never interact with police such that it will be enforced against them.

              To give an example, I own a sports car. And like a lot of sports cars it doesn’t have a place on the front bumper for a license plate. The state I live in has a law that you have to have plates on both the front and back. It is a typical gentry left kind of law. I mean God forbid the cops not be able to identify a car going the other way or something. And all of the good little gentry leftists happily comply.

              I don’t. I just said fuck it and didn’t put the ugly thing on the front. I look and act like a good respectable gentry leftists white person. I have gotten speeding tickets and never had a cop say a word about my missing front plate much less had a cop pull me over for it. And this is over 6 years of owning the car.

              So, to get to the point, one day I am filling up my car with gas and this very well dressed black guy who is filling up a corvette asked me about my missing plate. I told him I just didn’t put it on and had never had an issue. He tells me he tried that and he got pulled over twice a week over it. This guy was better dressed and probably had a better job and was more important in the world than I am. Yet, I drive around ignoring the license plate law with impunity and he can’t get out of his driveway without some cop harassing him about it.

              And that sums up all of these paternalistic laws that gentry leftists love so much. They are nothing but an excuse for cops to screw with poor people and minorities and are never applied to the gentry whites. And they know that. If they ever were, the laws would get repealed or the cop who did it would be looking for a job.

              1. Great comment.

              2. The Police and Nanny State require a bunch of obscure laws on the books, so officers can harass people at will.

                Technically you might be breaking the law but even lawyer dont know all the laws on the books. When there are so many laws that even a professional lawyer has to look up laws, there is a major problem.

                1. You learn how to practice law in law school. You do not learn “all the laws.”

                  1. He has a point. Law school is designed to teach you—in theory!—enough about the law that you could conceivably educate yourself enough to represent a client in a given area of law, given enough time to research. In practice? LOL. To pick on one area, federal criminal sentencing is sufficiently arcane that even established criminal law practicioners would be doing themselves and their clients a disservice if they didn’t deal with it fulltime and didn’t consult an expert.

                    There are too many laws. And way too many cases taffy-pulling the law to achieve a desired result. I couldn’t tell you what a ‘seizure’ is any more, in 4th amendment terms, since I was informed, when we were discussing the recent Torres Supreme Court case out of New Mexico, that a police officer knocking on a driver’s side window of an automobile, and ordering the driver to show them their hands, didn’t constitute a seizure. Shrug.

                    A seizure by law enforcement is something that sounds simple.

                  2. Thats not what they teach you in law school or law schools would have classes on running your own small law practice which many, if not most lawyers try.

                    Law school teaches you that the Constitutional limitations dont apply, judges are the Nazgul, and how to make the legal system worse.

                    Lawyers are considered a very sleazy and corrupt occupation in the USA. Most politicians are lawyers.

  33. The Taliban has an official opinion piece up at the New York Times about the peace deal with the Trump administration.

    “When our representatives started negotiating with the United States in 2018, our confidence that the talks would yield results was close to zero. We did not trust American intentions after 18 years of war and several previous attempts at negotiation that had proved futile.

    Nevertheless, we decided to try once more. The long war has exacted a terrible cost from everyone. We thought it unwise to dismiss any potential opportunity for peace no matter how meager the prospects of its success. For more than four decades, precious Afghan lives have been lost every day. Everyone has lost somebody they loved. Everyone is tired of war. I am convinced that the killing and the maiming must stop.

    We did not choose our war with the foreign coalition led by the United States. We were forced to defend ourselves. The withdrawal of foreign forces has been our first and foremost demand. That we today stand at the threshold of a peace agreement with the United States is no small milestone.

    . . . .

    We are ready to work on the basis of mutual respect with our international partners on long-term peace-building and reconstruction. After the United States withdraws its troops, it can play a constructive role in the postwar development and reconstruction of Afghanistan.

    We acknowledge the importance of maintaining friendly relations with all countries and take their concerns seriously. Afghanistan cannot afford to live in isolation. The new Afghanistan will be a responsible member of the international community.

    Sirajuddin Haqqani, Deputy Leader of the Taliban

    The United States should do what’s in our best interests regardless of what it means for the people of Afghanistan, and it’s in our best interests to leave regardless of whether the Taliban can be trusted to do as they say. If President Trump manages to get us out of Afghanistan, that will be a tremendous achievement. I expected we’d be out of Afghanistan sometime after we got out of Germany and Japan.

    That American Dharma film I saw the other day was interesting in regards to Bannon’s media strategy. He talks about how the press can only keep track of one story at a time. That’s why Bannon (and the Trump administration since) tends to “flood the zone” as he said with garbage stories — tweets and such. They distract the media.

    Hardly anyone knew that Trump was negotiating with Mexico to end the migrant crisis. Hardly anyone knew Trump was negotiating safe third country agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Hardly anyone knew that the Trump administration was cutting Medicaid eligibility. Hardly anyone knew that President Trump was negotiating with the Taliban to make it easier for us to leave Afghanistan behind for good. Hardly anyone knew, . . .

    They were paying attention to Trump’s tweets. They were obsessing over whether John Bolton would testify about nothing. They were crying about the president expunging Michael Milken’s criminal record, etc., etc. When it’s time for dinner and you don’t want the dog milling around under your feet, but the dog knows food is coming and some might drop off the table, you might chuck a ball out in the backyard, let Fido chase after it, and shut the door behind him so he won’t be a distraction.

    If I had a shopping list of libertarian priorities when President Trump came into office, it might have included cutting corporate taxes and regulation, getting rid of ObamaCare as much as possible, cutting Medicaid eligibility, avoid foreign wars, get us out of Afghanistan, get the border more under control, . . .

    President Trump hasn’t solved all our problems yet, and his trade war was a mistake, but he’s been the best president we could have reasonably hoped for from a libertarian perspective. He even respected recreational marijuana laws in the states. If we ever see a president who makes more progress on libertarian goals, we’ll be lucky.

    1. WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday named Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany who quickly antagonized the establishment after arriving in Berlin in 2018, to be the acting director of national intelligence overseeing the nation’s 17 spy agencies.

      Mr. Grenell, who has pushed to advance gay rights in his current post, is also thought to be the first openly gay cabinet member.

      1. Please see my theory a few posts below (or don’t).

      2. “Mr. Grenell, who has pushed to advance gay rights in his current post, is also thought to be the first openly gay cabinet member.”

        More proof to TDS victims that Trump is anti-gay!

      3. Huh…

        That ain’t how it is being covered….

        NBC has it that this is a dangerous person who is terrifyingly unqualified and is a direct affront to the Senate’s role. (that’s their 90 second take boiled down to a sentence)

        1. Trump is appointing his supporters to his administration. That is literally the spin the media is giving this. These people are unbelievable.

          1. Apparently they have it on good authority that no president prior to Trump ever appointed people who supported them.

            1. I’m sure the next one won’t either.

          2. That’s a deliberate ” fuck you” to Romney. He fired Grenell after he came out, and Trump’s not only hiring him, he’s putting him in charge of the NSC.

      4. Grenell is sharp.
        It’s a good choice

    2. “The United States should do what’s in our best interests regardless of what it means for the people of Afghanistan, and it’s in our best interests to leave regardless of whether the Taliban can be trusted to do as they say.”

      The US is NOT the world’s cop.
      If a country, say Venezuela, elects a socialist thug and allows him to remain in power, it is their problem, not ours.
      If a country, say Afghanistan, turns over the governance to some feudal religious leaders, it it their problem, not ours.

      1. Which was exactly where we were back in 2001 when they allowed the Al-Quaeda leadership to set up camp in their country.

        Unfortunately for both of us, they chose to side with Bin Laden instead of just saying “he’s all yours”.

        It is shocking how poor the decision making of despotic governments is.

        The Taliban could have had their caliphate in Afghanistan unmolested if they’d just turned a blind eye to the US special forces taking out Bin Laden.

        Husein could have had his throne and freedom from sanctions if he had just not played games with the inspection regime. The whole thing would have been done in 2 years.

        Iran could be a full trading partner with the west by simply making a few outward changes that really don’t impact anything. Instead they insist on standing for the destruction of Israel and funding terrorist groups. And they keep flirting with US led regime change because of it, and are suffering under economic isolation.

        It is kind of astonishing how hard it is to do the “hands off” thing with foreign relations.

        1. After all that they have been through, what does the Taliban say to the next Arab who shows up wanting to use Afghanistan as a base to attack the US. You would think they would shoot him on sight. But as you say, these people are not often or ever rational.

          1. “…[W]hat does the Taliban say to the next Arab who shows up wanting to use Afghanistan as a base to attack the US?”

            Does he promise to rid them of their hated rival, and guy they’d been fighting ever since independence? And he actually succeeded?! Then they’ll give him what he asks for.

            If the Arab can’t help them fuck over the guys living in the valley next door, he’ll be held for ransom or noisily killed on Saturday after being the previous days’ entertainment.

            1. I have not been to Afghanistan. The many people I know who have all tell me that the average Afghan has zero interest in there being a central government or any kind of western style society or any interest in the world beyond the valley where they live.

              1. I’ve not been either, but the first case is what OBL gave to guys like Mullah Omar when he managed to kill Shah Massoud for them. Evidently, that bought him quite a bit of Pashtun goodwill.

                I think we have to distinguish between the Pashtun and the others like the Tajiks, Hazaras, etc… Doesn’t 1970 Afghanistan show that at least the latter can be induced to want some form of 3rd World Socialist Westernized civilization? Agreed the Pashtun are unlikely to participate, especially as their strongholds in Pakistan remain inviolate and manipulated by the ISI, Wahhabi money and religious influence.

              2. Ever see the documentary “The Battle for Marjah”?
                It supports the premise.

              3. This is true. I knew the war would never be won when I saw an Afghan government billboard in Kandahar province that showed a woman in a blue burqa casting her ballot into a ballot box. Apparently, the coaltion and/or Afghan propagandists thought that image would be something that would inspire the local populace to support the Afghan government. That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. That billboard was an advertisement for destroying the Pashtun way of life, of radical change from how they currently view society and women’s role in it.

                1. “Apparently, the coaltion and/or Afghan propagandists thought that image would be something that would inspire the local populace to support the Afghan government. That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. That billboard was an advertisement for destroying the Pashtun way of life, of radical change from how they currently view society and women’s role in it.”

                  I am agreeing with you. Mark this down somewhere, as it is unlikely to happen again. I think I need to go lie down.

                  Anyway, yeah, you’re absolutely right: both about the silly image about Afghanis and the Pashtun that the Coalition leadership had, and the effect of billboards like that. Or of beatifying women like Malala Youstafzai.

                  I said back in 2002, maybe even here, that victory in Afghanistan, as the Bush Administration wanted to define it, was unachievable without killing a fuck ton of Pashtun. The last time I looked it was something like 4-5 million or so. Now, per the wiki, it’s 12.5 in Afghanistan, 25.6 million in Pakistan.

                  (Aside, after seeing the latest population estimates: holy fuck; what do they feed those people?!)

                  Anyway, achieving that kind of victory was unwinnable after May 28,1998.

                  So, go for the victory you can get. Which would be eradicating Al Qaeda from AfPak—and not trusting Pakistan to guard the winter-navigable passes out of the place—and letting the chips fall wherever. Or as I put it back then, “We want these 100 motherfuckers who bombed us. We really don’t care how we get them, except we’ll kill every last person who gets in the way between us and them.” And then go home. That a good chunk of them resided in KSA, is a problem to be solved another time.

                  Nope, the US instead decided they were going to bring democracy, women’s rights, and universal literacy to Afghanistan. Along with keeping the region as a permanent Red Team for training SOF and the like, while not doing anything so rude as interrupting the enemy’s bases, leaders, or motivation/logistics/money in NWTA or KP.

                  You know, for as much time as Bush the Lesser spent getting out of going to Vietnam, you’d think he would have learned about not starting another one.

                  1. Right on. We could have achieved victory back in ’03 or so, or when we killed OBL at the latest by your (and my) standard. Too bad the military industrial complex got addicted to that sweet, sweet war money. I made a joke a few years ago with some friends who are still in that they keep the Afg war going just to have really good interactive live fire ranges to demonstrate the newest guided arty shell or whatever.

                    “You know, for as much time as Bush the Lesser spent getting out of going to Vietnam, you’d think he would have learned about not starting another one.”

                    That’s the problem. He never went to Vietnam to learn his lesson about war. Well, that and he was a suggestible buffoon.

                    1. “”We could have achieved victory back in ’03 or so, or when we killed OBL “”

                      I really want to agree with that, but it’s more complicated. If we left the goal as just getting OBL, then yes. But when the goal went to nation building then getting OBL was just a small part of it.

                      I don’t blame the military industrial complex. The blame lays at the hands of people that were in Congress, and the presidency. They are the ones that have the power to end it.

              4. I also have never been to Afghanistan but I have seen satellite images and videos of that country. Except for Kabul, most towns in Afghanistan look like ancient cities like Pompeii. HUndreds to thousands of single story buildings made of soil, stone, or brick with some buildings having a second story.

                Roads are barely that.

                If there was such a thing as 4th World country it would be that.

                Most Afghans want to live in the Stone Age or cannot get organized enough to move past the Stone Age. Whatever works for them.

                1. LC, go see pictures of Afghanistan in the 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. You’ll see a broke country, but one looking much like other Middle Eastern countries before the takeover of the Great Mosque of Mecca, and the general reactionary rise of fundamentalist Islam. Western dress, women going to classes, roads, hotels, etc…

                  I had a friend who claimed he backpacked throughout the region in the early 70s, places like Mazar-i-Sharif, Kandahar. Tons of history. Dirt poor, lots of hitchhiking on jangle trucks, lots of laced hash: he had a ball. But no different than stories of bored coeds hitchhiking/trekking through Nepal.

                  Then came the fundies.

          2. The Taliban was our (de facto) ally in the fight against ISIS when they came to Afghanistan. Taliban was terrified of ISIS, and local Taliban warlords happily ratted ISIS out to SOF forces.

        2. Like the Ds, these despots won’t just stfu with regards to the US because they’re not confident they can control their people, thus need The Great Satan to play off

        3. “”The Taliban could have had their caliphate in Afghanistan unmolested if they’d just turned a blind eye to the US special forces taking out Bin Laden.”‘

          I believe Bush’s ultimatum was hand over Bin Laden or else. Not turning a blind eye to special forces. He gave them an option to prevent the use of military force.

          1. TrickyVic…I am not sure sure about that option. The way that Bush 43 ‘asked’ was not going to prevent what happened next. The administration had to know that the Afgan culture would find the manner of Bush 43’s request repellent. The culture of honor and shame thing. My point is not meant to criticize; only provide some context.

            Then again, after the deliberate murder of 3K Americans, no POTUS is going to be inclined to ask politely.

            1. An ultimatum is not asking politely.

    3. “…After the United States withdraws its troops, it can play a constructive role in the postwar development and reconstruction of Afghanistan…”

      Money, money, money,…MONEY! is the easiest way to translate that screed. Leave, but give us an Obama-esque cargo container full of cash, ‘or I’ll fuckin’ do it again!’

      I propose, a la Michael Corleone, (and I think Ken would agree), that my offer is nothing. We leave, you get no more aid, you better learn to speak Chinese. Any more shit from that part of the world, and our next diplomatic missive will be thermonuclear.

      Haqqani. Of the Haqqani Network, I presume. How the fuck is this guy still breathing after all of this time? Sigh. Mike Vickers, Charlie Wilson, and Joanne Herring really should have done something else with their time.

      1. They would be foolish not to at least ask for money. I find it comforting to think that they’re motivated by such things. I’m not convinced that the religious fanatics who run Iran are susceptible to greed, and I find that the opposite of comforting. If they can’t be motivated by their financial interests, then we’re not negotiating with a reasonable adversary. Incidentally, while bin Laden and company were still alive, reaching an agreement with this bunch of relatively reasonable leaders may not have been possible. If wars are ultimately negotiations, negotiating with an unreasonable partner sucks.

        1. The Guardian Council in Iran, is motivated by greed, but of power. Specifically, the power to both do what they want in their sphere of influence, and the power to not be annihilated by Sunnis. Oh, and the power to not be torn limb from limb by their populace, should things degenerate further economically. Independent financial interests and markets are to support the above three, and are not worth establishing in and of themselves. Nor are they worth establishing as methods of decision making: Trump doesn’t do many things because the market will punish him for it, and he needs a strong market to convince voters to get letting him rule. That idea that the independent economic forces might guide rulers’ decision making, doesn’t seem to me to be considered at all in Iran.

          I share Cyto’s lament in another thread, I think, that this would be much easier if these despots were reasonable. It’s not that Iran is a religious dictatorship and theocracy that’s bothersome—we have a very close relationship with a Sunni equivalent, that’s actually tortured Americans, and we blew it off—it’s that they do shit like support Hezbollah, or mine tankers, or threaten to build devices that can destroy cities.

          That said, Pakistan has nukes, and no one has threatened or did threaten to seriously sanction them. Even before they had ISAF by the balls post 9/11. Will Iran getting the bomb, by itself change things that much? Except that it will mean KSA and the rest will publicly announce they have them, and the silly bastards will end up using them on each other.

          With Afghanistan, I think you could have made a deal with whatever nasty group was playing with Bin Laden—we certainly didn’t have any problems giving Gulbuddin Hekhmaytar as many weapons as we could, and that guy is the definition of evil bandit warlord—except that OBL took care of Massoud for the guys running the Taliban, and they felt they owed him. When I’ve written “KP” it stands for Khyber Pakhtunkwa, and it basically means, ‘those people of the Khyber that are Pashtun/live by the Pakhtunkwa’. Which is an elaborate code for governance, and how those people live. Hospitality can be a large part of that code, ask Marcus Luttrell. So can gratitude. Despite their often fluid loyalty, they couldn’t go back on a debt that OBL made them incur by killing Massoud.

          All of which is to laboriously say, I think you can negotiate with people like Iran, or the tribal leaders that rule the Taliban; you just have to figure out what coin they value, because it often isn’t money.

    4. I actually find your comment pretty convincing. If Trump gets us out of Afghanistan, I will be very happy. Undoing Obama care would be great, but he hasn’t done that, and the piecemeal fashion (getting rid of the mandate while leaving the rest intact) by which he’s going after it has made insurance much more expensive.

      What I cannot overlook from Trump, and no libertarian should, is his ignoring of oversight, blatant lying (16,000 lies in public so far!), using the justice department as his personal vendetta/protection squad, and last but not least, his undermining of the very foundation of any Republic: faith in elections.

      1. A reminder that progressives value fantasy over reality

        1. He’s improving. When have you ever seen SQU-whatever or jeff or Hihn write anything nearly so coherent?

          I mean, I agree with the first (get out of Afghanistan). The second (get rid of Ocare, and that it hasn’t happened). I disagree with the third, but it’s a disagreement that can be discussed.

          We’ll skip the second paragraph.

        2. I’m not a progressive; so far, I’ve never voted for a D for federal office in my life.

          Which part is fantasy? Repealing just the mandate portion of ACA did make premiums go up:

  34. Question:

    Who were the folks protesting against Biden last night? I didn’t catch a word of it.

    1. What difference, at this point, does it make?

      1. Apparently none.

        When Trump’s speech got inaudibly protested, we got detailed bios on the protestors. Somehow whatever Biden’s detractors were on about is not newsworthy.

        (in almost every instance, this is the correct answer. Still, I found the contrast interesting, having come so close temporally)

  35. Trump wants to appoint Richard Grenell as DNI.

    Theory: Despite being CEO of America, Trump is being given the finger by the alphabet agencies, especially the spy squads. They’re hiding all their dirty secrets.

    Grenell is his access.

    1. That is exactly what he is. Notice, Trump appointed Grennell who has already been approved by the Senate to be an ambassador. That means he can move to DNI without being confirmed by the Senate again. Why send Grennell to DNI if not because you want to have your guy there without the IC being able to use its allies in the Senate to hold up his appointment?

      1. ^ What he (I) said.

    2. How is a DNI who doesn’t know where the bodies are buried going to gain some rein on the various agencies and government contractors that constitute the US intelligence apparatus? He can give all of the orders he wants. How will he know they’re being followed?

      Or is the goal to redo the Church Committee hearings, and clean out Langley, Meade, et al with a diverted Potomac?

      1. He can’t do it alone. He has to have people around him who are loyal. But he can do a lot. What he can do more than anything is make sure that the agencies comply with subpoenas and requests from Congress. Yeah, they can and will ignore him but there is a limit to even that. If say Dunham issues a subpoena for something or to have someone testify and the DNI orders it complied with, they will have to do it.

        Also if he asked to see something specific, they will have to show it to him or if he gives them a specific order they will comply. Think of his power more as a small flashlight in a giant dark warehouse. Yes, he can’t see everything but he can see a lot if he knows where to look.

        1. I see that. And I think Trump had some pretty savvy ex-IC contractors helping him during his campaign run. Consider, his campaign offices had what Richard Nixon tried to get CREEP to do to the Democrats: read his campaign’ mail, and listen to his phone calls. He had to have advisers who suspected this would happen, set up dummy traffic to be eavesdropped upon, and set up other, clandestine communication lines. If only to sandbag Clinton about Trump’s campaign strategy in the Rust Belt.

          We are agreed that, considering the razor thin margins of Trump’s victories in PA, MI, WI, that if Clinton had bothered to consider those states might not go for her—as she would have learned if she was listening to Trump’s campaign strategy calls—she would have spent more resources there to win those states, and we would be shooting at Madame President’s men around now?

          So he has somebody from the IC helping him, at some point. Maybe it was only Flynn? Maybe there were others.

          1. I think Hillary did know his strategy. I just don’t think they thought it would work. The other thing is that I wonder if her staff realized that sending her to those states would have done more harm than good. Hillary was a terrible campaigner especially with independents and blue collar people. I don’t know but I am skeptical that they just forgot to send her to those states or didn’t send her out of arrogance. I think it is more likely they understood her limitations and made a conscious choice not to send her there. They figured her appearance wouldn’t do them any good and they were better off sending her where her appearance might do them some good.

            I think her campaign grossly overestimated the effectiveness of the databases and tech stuff that Obama used. But I don’t think they were totally stupid either. I think they did the best they could with a really bad candidate.

          2. “”she would have spent more resources there to win those states, and we would be shooting at Madame President’s men around now?”‘

            Her husband was allegedly telling her campaign they needed to do just that and they were ignoring him. I read an article that he got so pissed they ignored him that he threw his phone towards the Arkansas river. I could see him getting pissed about that too. He’s won seven elections I can think of. Two for AG, three for Gov, two for president.

            1. Hey what would a guy who won two Presidential elections know that some 20 something dipshit who once took a statistics and polling class in college not know?

              I can’t stand Bill Clinton but you have to respect his ability as a politician. It takes a special breed of millenial retard to look at Bill Clinton and tell him “ok Boomer” when he offers you advice on how to run for President.

              1. If Bill Clinton were advising Bloomberg, he’d tell him not to apologize for being tough on crime. He’d say it was a shame there wasn’t a functionally retarded guy Bloomberg could execute–just to show everyone how tough on crime he could be.

              2. “”can’t stand Bill Clinton but you have to respect his ability as a politician.””

                Yep. Possibly the best politician in my lifetime.

                That’s not a compliment.

                1. A particularly talented liar…so great politician.

      2. You gotta start somewhere, and starting at the top is a good place. At this point, Trump is looking for information that exists but has been stonewalled. There are FOIA requests out the wazoo. Grenell can break the logjam or ax those manning it. If you don’t have one of your guys on-site, you don’t have a chance.

  36. Breathlessly watching debates and following the zingers, tweet wars, and polling results of the primaries is for people who think they are too sophisticated to read People and watch the Oscars.

  37. Trump is specie-ist!

    “BAKERSFIELD — President Trump swooped into California farm country Wednesday and, with a flourish, signed off on a plan that would take water away from fish and ship more to farmers in the Central Valley.”

    The Chron pretty much ignored that the change would favor humans who eat along with the farmers.

    1. He who smelt it, dealt it?

    2. Taking water from fish? That dirty bastard!

    3. Yep, he just PO’d the Ca Mafia and used Fed influence to help farms start making use of fallowed fields again……pretty rotten eh….enjoy your meals….

  38. Turns out AG Sessions was a better AG than Barr, by a long shot. And he was a better AG than senator too! I am still kind of in shock about that.

    1. Turns out your wrong. Please see all my enclosed proof to counter your proof.

  39. So Bloomberg:
    1. Has no delegates
    2. Has no donors
    3. Has no stage presence
    4. Has no clue

    If they weren’t out to take away all my freedoms, I would feel sorry for the democrats.

  40. Good Good let the debate flow thru you democrats.

  41. Discuss this article on Quora:

    Quora is a vibrant community where everyone must use their real names and a “be nice, be respectful” policy is strictly enforced.

    1. Not commenting here anymore, Mike. Can’t say I blame you.

      1. Meant the first sentence to be a question.

  42. I’m a libertarian and a Catholic and I loved Slade’s piece.

    To me, the most important idea for everyone (not just Catholics) is that libertarians carefully distinguish between illegality and immorality. This seems to be something that is commonly gotten wrong by people of all political persuasions.

    1. This for sure.
      I would also add that most people fail to distinguish between society and the state.

  43. This was a debate? All I saw was interruptions, candidates waving hands like “call on me teacher, call on me,” and little effort to explain their program vs. that of the other candidates. Can’t the “professional” moderators demand order, equal time, and dignity?

    1. Circus. Dems seem to like them. The impeachment for example.

    2. If the moderators wanted order and dignity they would invite different people to these things.

  44. “The story of this debate is Elizabeth Warren eviscerating all of her rivals except the one who happens to be the frontrunner and also happens to be directly obstructing her path to the nomination.”

    On the other hand, since Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are both courting the same far-left base of support, she risks turning them off if she goes after him too aggressively. Probably her best tactic would be to use Bloomberg’s line about him being too rich, but then she opens herself up to Bernie pointing out that she was paid six figures to teach one class about income inequality.

    Oops, my bad. According to Snopes, she actually taught TWO classes during the period in question.

    1. “According to Snopes, she actually taught TWO classes during the period in question.”

      Snopes Rating: Mostly False.

  45. our freedom comes from our dignity

    So if you have no dignity, then what?

    our dignity and our freedom come from God

    Taken at face value, this says absolutely nothing. If you realize that “God” here is the Catholic version of the Christian god, then you realize that it’s bullshit. That god (that thankfully doesn’t exist) would torture you for eternity if you don’t worship it, or “accept it as your lord and savior”. Savior from what? The eternal torture that it threatens you with. So dignity. Much freedom.

    1. I like the god concept. When my father was in the Air Force they made everyone attend religious services. The point was to take people, give them the power to kill, and also get them to respect a higher authority. Warriors instead of killers. When you’re part of the organization that is right because of might, you have almost godlike powers. I’d rather those people restrain themselves out of “Fear of God” than not.

    2. “That god (that thankfully doesn’t exist)”

      You realize your faith is as blind as the deist’s, no?

      1. Kay, soory. Let’s say it like this. That very specific version of a supreme being is so extremely unlikely to exist that we may as well consider it nonexistent. We cool now?

  46. Sure, Philadelphia’s “soda tax” is a total disaster for businesses and consumers, but at least it’s providing revenue for important public programs, right?

    Mayor Jim Kenney promised $500 million to fix up Philadelphia parks, recreation centers, and libraries.

    Excuse me, but in Philly it’s pronounced “lyberries”. Probably because no Philadelphian has even been in one.

  47. Warren the non-indian, is becoming unhinged just as HRC the crook did when she found out, no one believed her and her lies were falling on deaf ears….The diamond marking on her back tells me she could strike at half her body length to make use of her venom….
    There is a lot to worry about for the left, their medicine wagon slide show selling snake oil mixed with mule whizz is like puzzle pieces of the Fraud Barry Sotero…..Worry about the non transparent DNCommunist Party as a whole it is a ball of rattle snakes….

    1. Agile, you know you don’t need a sock to post here.

  48. It was entertaining and appropriate that the two corporatist darlings of the Dem elites got beat down like red-headed stepchildren. Now the voters need to put them out of their misery.

  49. But for Bailey, the only halfway decent writing at Reason for the last couple of years has been ENB doing the Roundup.

    Boehm is a moron.

    And by the way, where the hell is Shika When the Walls Fell?

    Why isn’t she ranting about Trump’s trip to India to see Modi? I keep tweeting her updates on the trip from Katie Hopkins, but still no article from Shikha or Reason generally.

    Has Reason decided to stop coverage of brown countries?

    Seems kinda racist.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.