Reason Roundup

Bloomberg Goes for Brokered Convention

Plus: red spots in blue states, blue spots in red states, the White House admits tariffs have hurt manufacturing, and more...


If you thought one miserable debate performance might force former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reconsider his $360 million (and counting) bid for control of the Democratic Party…that's not happening.

All those TV ads are just the start of Bloomberg's plot. Politico reports that Bloomberg's campaign has been quietly lobbying party officials to back him at a brokered Democratic convention. The effort appears to be focused not just on the so-called "superdelegates"—activists and officials who automatically receive delegate status—but on delegates pledged to former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and other moderate candidates.

The Democratic National Committee changed its rules after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and his supporters complained about the potential influence the superdelegates had in 2016. (Most of them backed Sanders' rival, Hillary Clinton, although she didn't need them to win the nomination.) This year, superdelegates won't be allowed to vote until the second ballot, if there is one.

If Bloomberg is serious about becoming the Democratic nominee—and all indications are that he is quite serious—a brokered convention is his most likely path. The forecasters at FiveThirtyEight say Bloomberg has less than a 10 percent chance of coming into the convention with enough delegates to win on the first ballot. But no candidate is currently in a good position to win on the first ballot.

On the other hand, the fact that Bloomberg is already making plans for a brokered convention is more than a little presumptuous. He has yet to earn a single delegate, after all, and he just got his clock cleaned at Wednesday's debate. Can he really survive another atrocious debate and still emerge as the most viable non-Sanders candidate after Super Tuesday?

Yes, argues Andrew Egger at The Dispatch, for the simple reason that not many people watch the debates:

In an ordinary presidential primary, a single bad debate performance can be enough to sink a candidate. Think of Rick Perry's failure to remember the name of a federal agency he would abolish, or Chris Christie savaging Marco Rubio for his robotic recitation of talking points before the New Hampshire primary in 2016. Taken purely on the merits, Bloomberg's performance certainly ranked among those: He looked consistently lemony and defensive, out-of-touch and mean, a far cry from the jovial, confident Trump-terminator he's portrayed himself as in campaign branding.

But this Democratic primary isn't an ordinary primary, and Bloomberg's electoral strategy has never hinged on scoring an effervescent victory on the debate stage. In fact, there's a sense in which the whole thesis of the Bloomberg campaign is that, in a divided field that overwhelms voters with options, a big enough infusion of cash can short-circuit the system and render sorting mechanisms like debates irrelevant altogether.

Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016 not because he was an outstanding debater—though he did have some memorable zingers, and he never had a performance quite as thoroughly bad as Bloomberg's was—but because he got gobs of free advertising from a media fascinated by his seeming train wreck of a campaign. Bloomberg has to buy his eyeballs, but the principle is the same. Being on TV a lot is better than being on TV less.

We won't begin to know whether Bloomberg's strategy is working until March 3. We probably won't actually know whether it worked until the convention. But if you think one bad debate will make him go away—hey, it's 2020, you should know better.


Seeing America as a collection of "red states" and "blue states" does little except encouraging tribalism, and ignores the reality of places like Leona Valley, California, or Beckley, West Virginia—two of the places where voters split most dramatically with the rest of their state, according to an analysis by The Washington Post's Philip Bump:


In its annual economic report, the White House quietly admits that President Donald Trump's trade policies have contributed to a global manufacturing slowdown. "At the heart of the current global slowdown has been a manufacturing downturn," the report says. "Uncertainty about trade policy is one often-cited culprit in the manufacturing slowdown, particularly uncertainty surrounding the Administration's negotiations toward a bilateral trade agreement with the People's Republic of China."

Despite the headwinds created by Trump's trade war, the report notes that "economic output has accelerated over the past 3 years…with output growth rising from 2.2 to 2.5 percent at a compound annual rate."


  • The number of people serving life sentences in American prisons is now larger than the entire prison population in 1970.
  • Intelligence officials worry Russia is trying to meddle in another election. Trump is mostly worried this might make him look bad.
  • Trump is unhappy about Parasite winning Best Picture at the Oscars.
  • Lawrence Tesler, who invented copy/paste, has died.
  • Would you buy tickets to see a hologram of Whitney Houston perform?
  • Incentives matter!

NEXT: Virginia Is Poised To Let Cities Remove Confederate Monuments. It's About Damn Time.

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  1. US intelligence warned House members Russia is working to get Trump re-elected – reports

    I’m sure Shikha and other unreason staff would wrote article after article about support for tens of thousands of Russia illegal aliens being brought to the USA to vote in support of Trump.

    1. Hello.

      If by ‘strategy’ you mean ‘throwing money at it’ sure by all means.

      But that isn’t strategy. It’s buying your way into love.

      And we all know what happens to such people. They end up on People’s Court asking for their gifts back from their ex.

    2. It’s odd to think the Russia would prefer Trump to win over Bernie, considering the woody Bernie gets over the old Soviet Union. (Yeah, I know that technically the USSR is gone, but Russia kept a lot of the features of its predecessor.)

      1. Russia loves the democrats and their open attacks on the president. Much more likely russia prefers to have democrats keep pushing this narrative. Democrats are openly doing what Putin hoped for all along.

        1. Putin took over The Crimea and Eastern Ukraine under Obama.

          No such thing happened while Trump is President.

    3. A semi-serious question: why should we care if a foreign government, or any other entity, “meddles” in a US election?

      Assuming meddling does not include distortion of vote counting or other direct interference with the mechanics of voting, are we just fearful of how information from a certain source might change public opinion? Are we concerned that average adults are so susceptible to random ideas? Do we think people need to be protected from certain sources? If so, then what good is a democratic system, which is based on the premise that citizens can contribute to better decision making?

      Or is this just a smoke screen for normal partisan power grabbing?

      1. The media usually doesnt care. Look how democrats always tout foreign endorsements of their campaigns. It is one of their primary talking points.

      2. We shouldn’t.

        Russia probably isn’t trying to help Trump. They know buying a few Facebook ads and posting some BS on Twitter isn’t going to swing an election. They just want “election interference” to be amplified by the mainstream media so that regular Americans lose confidence in our democratic systems. Notice it’s always called “meddling”, never “advertising”.

        1. If we got an honest journalist review of every US election since we bought Alaska from Russia, there would be Russian attempts to influence Americans elections.

          It’s what Russia does. Russia has an inferiority complex even though they are the largest nation on Earth. Russians act stronger by projecting political strength since they cannot do that militarily. Every time Russia tries they lose: Russo-Japanese War, WWI, Cold War, Afghanistan, coup of Ukraine….

      3. Is it interference when BBC America runs stories on the election? The are funded by the British Government. How about Canada Broadcasting? The stupidity of those arguing against Russian meddling (by posting stories on Facebook nonetheless) while being perfectly happy with the British government funded media’s American branch running stories has to be considered selective outrage.

    4. “Russia illegal aliens”

      What color are they, and how are they and their offspring likely to vote?

      Asking rhetorically.

      1. Oh yee, of little faith.

        1. Just what I wanted to say

      2. So Trump fired an intelligence agent, who works for him, because the agent decided not to brief Trump, his CiC, about the intelligence but instead had his subordinate brief the House. Trump had to learn about the intelligence from a House member. When does the next impeachment begin, how dare he fire anyone for gross negligence of duty?

    5. Is this a British newspaper’s attempt to meddle in our election?

      Sure Russia is probably up to something. How exactly is Russia trying to do this. The article does not mention anything.

  2. Intelligence officials worry Russia is trying to meddle in another election.

    In Russia, election trumps you.

    1. “Intelligence officials worry Russia is trying to meddle in another election.”

      If they repeat the earlier efforts, I say bring ’em on! The world can never have enough lame gifs.

    2. “Intelligence officials want to meddle in another election, are planning to scapegoat Russia… again”

  3. Democratic Presidential Candidates Ended January Short on Cash

    You know who wasn’t short on cash when they ran as a Democrat Presidential candidate?

    1. Andrew Jackson

      1. Truman. He left office broke. Truman and Eisenhower are the last two Presidents who didn’t see the office as a cash register.

        1. Carter, I think it’s safe to say didn’t cash in.

    2. This is another reason the Dems are playing footsie with Bloomberg and let Steyer buy a debate seat a few weeks ago– the DNC is flat broke and their big-money donors are waiting to see if they nominate a comm-symp. They need a new sugar daddy with the Clintons out of the picture.

      1. Yes it is. The problem is that the commie commands a huge chunk of the actual voters but the money people hate him. My guess is that the money people will suck it up and support the commie when push comes to shove. When haven’t they been willing to sell the rope commies use to hang them with?

        1. Yeah, it’s not an accident that Bloomie’s support has grown proportionate to Biden’s going down. It’s also notable that every single nominee but the commie is fine with a brokered convention.

          If Bernie kicks ass on Super Tuesday, though, it’s all over. And the problem is the last debate showed how easily goaded Bernie is. The other candidates aren’t hitting him that hard because his supporters are so violent, but Bloomberg made that mild dig about his homes and Bernie nearly had a stroke. Trump’s shit-talking might very well give him another heart attack.

          1. Bernie also jumped in to defend “not communism” as a cheap shot

          2. Bernie is nuts. If he wins the nomination, there will be some kind of mask dropping “oh my God that man is dangerously crazy” moment, likely in the debate when Trump goads him into it.

          3. You know what will happen in that case: “Trump assassinated Senator Sanders!!! Impeach! Impeach! Impeach!”

          4. Bernie winning the Democrat nomination pretty much means the Democrat Party is now Communist. Not everybody but that would be the new sheriff in town.

            As I said, the Democrat Party is not going to be a force in national politics anymore. All but the Bernie Bros know it . Not sure exactly how it will play out but the factions wont be united under the DNC anymore so they wont win nationally anymore.

            This might change if the Democrat Party implodes and there are more and smaller parties like the Socialist Party, the LP, the Green Party, and the GOP loses people to some Tea Party or something.

            1. Quo’s prediction:

              1. Brokered Convention first slate
              2. The DNC [superdelegates, Butkegkeg, Clobuchar, et al] will throw it to Scrooge McSuck. Berniebros be damned and they can get with Antifa and have their collective tantrum in the nearest Milwaukee open space, safe or not.
              3. He will make Stacy Abrams his running mate

              They will get at least as many votes as Clinton did.

              1. I would says that’s a good guess.

                1. Just watched some old clips from the ’68 Democratic Convention. Brought back some good memories; I wonder how this one will measure up?

                  1. I just linked a story down below about Bloomberg campaign office vandalized. Bernie Bros suspected.

                    Stuff is already getting Lit.

              2. Bernie decides to run as an independent. Massive violence scares suburban soccer moms.

                1. If Bernie gets fucked over again, I guarantee he will not make an independent run. The DNC isn’t even trying to hide this time that they’re desperate to scuttle his candidacy, and he hasn’t said a single thing in regards to it.

                  Hillary hates his guts, and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if she’s the one who’s actually behind Bloomberg’s run. Bernie becoming the candidate represents once and for all that the Clinton hold on the DNC is over. But at the end of the day, Bernie is still a jobber, just one that’s being given a push right now because he has a dedicated following. The DNC will work every trick in the book to get some other candidates some wins on Super Tuesday, because if they don’t, Bernie WILL be the nominee barring a heart attack caused by a bullet to the back of the head.

              3. “Quo’s prediction:

                1. Brokered Convention first slate”

                If they want a brokered convention, they need to—NOW—get a lot of these lower level candidates to drop out. You don’t get delegates in a race unless you pull at least 15%, and nobody but Bernie has the base of support that can guarantee them at least 15 percent.

                Leave things as they are, and it’s easily conceivable that Bernie will ‘win’ races with 30-40 percent of the votes, yet get all of the delegates. Get rid of some of the choices, force people to pick Bernie, Il Duce, or Mayor Blankslate, and you stand a chance that no candidate can win on the first ballot.

                Or hell, maybe TPTB want Bernie to win? He’ll not beat Trump, in all likelihood, but will discredit the Maoist wing of the party. And even if he does win, pick the right VP, and it won’t matter. Does anyone see this guy living through a term as President? In one of the toughest jobs in the world?

        2. Oh God, I hope the dems don’t go the marathon route again.

  4. “White House admits tariffs have hurt manufacturing”

    That’s a start, I guess. But will Drumpf admit his high-tariff / low-immigration policies are hurting Reason’s benefactor Charles Koch? His net worth has been stagnating in the $58,000,000,000 to $62,000,000,000 range during this #DrumpfRecession.

    It’s so unfair.


    1. Listen, OBL. Bad news, bud. Today the market dipped a bit. How much is Koch down this week? You think the Unreason money spigot will get turned off if Charlie loses too much?


  5. Trump Fumes at Fox News For Comments From Cavuto Guest, Blames ‘Fox Board Member Paul Ryan’

    Stoddard, as part of a panel discussion analyzing Wednesday night’s Democratic Presidential debate, ripped Trump’s performances from four years ago in the context of Mike Bloomberg’s struggles.

    “I think that Donald Trump had disastrous debate performances,” Stoddard said. “Many answers were so cringeworthy. You just couldn’t even believe that he was standing on the stage. And he’s president.”

    I only watched clips of Trump in debates and he did great against other Republicans and certainly against Hillary “Mao Suit” Clinton.

    1. “Many answers were so cringeworthy. You just couldn’t even believe that he was standing on the stage. And he’s president.”

      Some people never learn.

      1. Especially bitter shrews

  6. U.S. and Taliban announce first step in Afghanistan peace process

    We know Never Trumpers at unreason wont give Trump credit for pulling US troops out “honorably” but keep your fingers crossed about an end in Afghanistan.

    1. NPR was saying that there’s a partial cease-fire for a week to hammer out the final details, but if that gets met that will pretty much be it.

      Don’t be surprised if we actually end up giving them aid to supposedly fight ISIS cells.

      1. If Trump ends the war there, it is going to be quite entertaining watching the Democrats and likely the reason staff become the war party.

        1. Expect complaints about abandoning our allies when the Taliban inevitably take over again.

          1. Well, they do oppress the womens.

            1. Islam is right about the womenz!

        2. Trump is going to pull out and Reason is going to write a million articles decrying how long it took him to get out. With the one exception of maybe Gillispie or Welch who write the one token “just happy it’s over post”.

      2. Red Rocks White Privilege, I have not decided if we should give the Taliban some money but we really fucked up by not giving Afghanistan money when we helped them kick out the Russians.

        We had the most good will with Afghanis than the USA probably ever had and we blew it.

        I don’t think we should give foreign aid out like we do but it might in American best interests to do it sometimes and with a clear end goal.

        Making sure everyone knows that America invaded Afghanistan to go after Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda because the Taliban wouldnt give them up, is very important. Help heal the war wounds might smooth over the Afghanis still alive.

        Of course, maybe the Afghanis will say whatever to get us out and then hate the USA. I get that position too. We killed too many brothers, sisters, and kids to ever smooth this over.

  7. Twitter is testing new ways to fight misinformation — including a community-based points system

    Twitter is experimenting with adding brightly colored labels directly beneath lies and misinformation posted by politicians and other public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features sent to NBC News

    Twatter will be all brightly colored labels!

    FYI: I refresh NBC to get rid of block popup that hides text of article. There is no way I am giving any Lefty Propaganda outlet money.

    1. They really see China as a Utopia.

    2. Community based systems are great for liberals. see “neutral quora”, the hill, wapo’s comments, etc.

      1. I knew this trend of non-anonymous commenting on websites would come back to haunt the dissidents.

        Lefties want to know who you are and what you are doing, so they can shut you down to comply.

  8. US farm industry stabilizing as China trade war cools: Deere

    Boehm must be so tired of crying over his soy drinks.

    1. What is almost never discussed is the agricultural market took a hit before the China trade war when India slapped huge, unprovoked, tariffs on US chickpea, field pea and lentils. There is growing talk that India may be willing to lift those tariffs, just as the Japanese trade deal (which is a huge deal in agriculture but gets little press) begins to pay dividends in increased wheat and frozen beef sales. We should be seeing some impact from the first phase of the trade deal by this summer as well (or at least see how serious the Chinese are in honoring it). Paired with flooding last year in the upper midwest and poor weather during harvest in the same region, this should eliminate some of the surplus in grain inventories. If we have the predicted flooding this spring again in the same region…
      All of this will be good for farmers, but may increase grocery prices going into the fall.

  9. Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in prison as judge slams him for ‘covering up for’ Trump

    “He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president,” said Judge Amy Berman Jackson about Stone…

    Statements like these from judges are how you can tell how biased they are.

    1. At least she didn’t “Hold my beer…” compared to Ross Ulbrich’s judge and call for the firing squad. It wouldn’t have surprised me one bit.

  10. “$360 million (and counting) bid for control of the Democratic Party”

    This is exactly how we Koch / Reason libertarians want American politics to operate. Because most of the problems in this country are the result of billionaires having too little influence.


  11. Ilhan Omar DID marry her brother and said she would ‘do what she had to do to get him “papers” to keep him in U.S.’, reveals Somali community leader

    To bad Mittens is not in the House of Representatives. He could vote to not expel Omar from Congress for lying on an Immigration form and incestuous marriage, which is illegal in the USA.

    1. I was informed that was just right wing propaganda and racist slander. I guess now it will just be “old news”.

      1. Ilhan said it was anti muslim just yesterday.

    2. Does that make her an honorary hillbilly?

      1. The Somali Hillbillies

        Worst reboot ever.

        1. Maybe someone will teach these Somali Hillbillies to code.

        2. Did you see the episode where the dumb one keeps blowing himself up trying to kill the infidels? That was a good one.

        3. A long time ago SNL actually did a skit somewhat like that, “The Bel-Arabs”.

          I don’t remember the whole thing. I recall that Howard Hesseman was the guest, and he was visiting the mansion. While he was talking to the men in the family, one of the women in the cast (Laraine Newman I think) came into the room in a swimsuit. Howard Hesseman said “Your daughter looks very…” then the men drew their scimitars, and he finished the sentence with “…chaste.”

          1. +1000

    3. Asshole Rev hardest hit.

      1. Like he wouldn’t marry his sister if she hadn’t gotten a restraining order against him.

        1. That would make him a bigamist having already married his brother.

    4. Well, they do all look alike.

  12. “—but on delegates pledged to former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and other moderate candidates.”

    Moderate, you say

    1. “Moderate”does seem to have a slightly (completely?) different meaning to an inside the beltway unreason writer than it does to you or me.

      1. I suppose, in a world where all things are relative, and Omar married hers.

        1. Ouch.

  13. “he got gobs of free advertising from a media fascinated by his seeming train wreck of a campaign.”

    No, the “media” discovered that when they covered Trump, their ratings improved, which meant that they could charge their advertisers more money. Kind like a “free market,” if you know what they are. The notion that Trump somehow slipped in when no one is looking is silly. The 2012 Republican primary showed how hungry the Republican “masses” were for an outsider candidate. In 2016, Bernie Sanders showed how hungry the Democrats were.

    1. By God Vanneman said something that isn’t stupid. Did someone hijack his account?

  14. I take it Elizabeth is out and Eric is in?

    Reminds of me of when we used to get a new teacher in class to deal with us.

    1. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  15. Rome to unveil tomb that may belong to wolf-suckled king

    Roman King was raised on wolf milk!

    1. That’s why he killed his brother, Remus, and the world is better for it

  16. “Incentives matter!”

    That’s awesome

  17. “ the so-called “superdelegates”—activists and officials who automatically receive delegate status”

    Some Democrats are more equal than others.

    1. But they all squeal when they lose.

      1. “Squeal, like a pig.”

        Never saw Ned Beatty the same way again, did we?

  18. Would you buy tickets to see a hologram of Whitney Houston perform?

    Jimi Hendrix maybe. But not Whitney.

    1. Hologram Elvis

  19. The number of people serving life sentences in American prisons is now larger than the entire prison population in 1970.

    They didn’t know how to do industrial complexes right back then.

    1. Three strikes horror stories aside, you don’t get life for stealing candy. The reason why we have so many lifers now is that we stopped executing murderers and rapists.

      1. It always goes the same way with death penalty opponents,

        1. “We can’t take away the life of these poor serial murderers (who totally haven’t even killed anyone since they were put on death row and the victim’s second cousin forgives them and btw, what if they’re innocent!) ”

        2. So we get rid of the death penalty

        3. “OMG look at our massive prison overcrowding!”

        I guess we’re just supposed to sternly reprimand them and hope for the best.

        1. ha, and right on cue Reason posts about the guy who shouldn’t have been executed for killing four because some other people thought he was such a nice guy

          1. there are other reasons to oppose the death penalty including the fact that the state can make mistakes and also gets to decide which crimes receive the death penalty. Bill Clinton signed a bill making the death penalty apply to people who sell too much of a substance the govt doesn’t like….

          2. I am against the death penalty right now because the criminal justice system is so corrupt and unconstitutionally unfair.

            Fix about 5 things and I am back on board with the death penalty.

      2. If there aren’t a bunch of career criminals on the streets committing crimes, how is the government supposed to come in and make things better worse.

    2. Is it based on raw numbers or do they compare percentages?

  20. Local news story.

    Trump issues two orders to help eliminate bureaucratic rule making. First order eliminates guidance documents to bypass rule making, a practice greatly increased under Obama. The second eliminates use of new rules without first alerting those the divisions target. Basically no lawsuits without an attempt to alert first.

    Damn authoritarian.

    1. “…Basically no lawsuits without an attempt to alert first…”
      If this applies to ADA lawsuits, one guy in SF has just lost his meal-ticket.

      1. If this applies to ADA lawsuits, one guy in SF has just lost his meal-ticket.

        And there will be great rejoicing.

    2. I have to admit i was lukewarm on him when he was elected. But damn he’s been great overall.

  21. Seeing America as a collection of “red states” and “blue states” does little except encouraging tribalism, and ignores the reality of places like Leona Valley, California, or Beckley, West Virginia—two of the places where voters split most dramatically with the rest of their state…

    And once we do away with the electoral college, we can ignore whole states!

  22. Anyone else catch this from Jacksons stone rant?

    ‘He was not prosecuted for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.’

    Covering up what? Nobody is stating Stone was involved in the russian hacks. Nobody, except maybe maddow, has accused trump of hacking. So what coverup is she implying?

    Likewise she still has a standing gag order on Stone. So he cant even talk about things like say… a biased jury forewoman.

  23. This is MSNBC…

    O’Donnell said, “The president is a Russian operative. That sounds like the description of a bad Hollywood screenplay, but it is real. It is Vladimir Putin’s greatest achievement, decades after America’s victory in the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union, the president of the United States is now helping the president of Russia help the president of the United States to get re-elected. So that the president of Russia will have four more years of the president of the United States who he wants in the Oval Office, this is one of those shocking news days if you retain the capacity to be shocked in the Trump era by the Trump regime, which might be better labeled the Trump-Putin regime.”

    1. And here we thought OBL was the only ‘parody account’! MSNBC has its own!

    2. It’s weird reading that and not feeling anything. I wonder if that’s what it’s like being old and having seen the same old shit happen in Washington for 40 years. Having already heard this slander, having seen it debunked, who is still holding on to this idea?

      These news rooms test out their material before running it. It amazes me that they ran studies and it showed that this narrative will still work. The only people following along with that must also be the same type of person who pays a dominatrix to humiliate them. At this point, its not about politics. its about getting off.

      1. It is crazy. I agree. It is hilarious that the news still bring up pizza gate as they still push this crap. And even more hilarious Reason seems to be a prime recipient of the putin puppet theory.

        1. Propagandaists have nothing else.

          Do you really see Gillespie flipping burgers? I would not eat anything that gorilla made. He is a walking warning poster from 1970.

    3. Which is why Trump just sat around doing nothing when Russia annexed Crimea. Being a Putin puppet ‘n all.

      1. No facts allowed, just narrative.

    4. I’m still waiting to see one fucking thing Trump has done for Putin. I mean, I wouldn’t put it past Putin to put a puppet in the White House if he could, but he wouldn’t do it just for funsies. He’d have a purpose.

      1. There is also the fact that Putin is Russian and does not consider the same things good/bad as Americans do, so there would likely be some disconnect between what Putin wants in a puppet and what Americans want in a President.

  24. This year, superdelegates won’t be allowed to vote until the second ballot, if there is one.

    What has the party become when a weak candidate can no longer buy her way to a losing bid for the White House.

  25. This is the biggest story of the day:

    “The U.S. government and the Afghan Taliban reached an agreement on a weeklong reduction in violence to begin later Friday that could be followed by a permanent peace deal a week later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

    The agreement—which covers elements such as roadside bombs, suicide bombs and rocket attacks—marks a further milestone after months of talks toward ending a war that has endured for more than 18 years.

    . . . .

    A permanent peace deal could involve a reduction in U.S. force levels in Afghanistan, a U.S. official said. There are about 13,000 U.S. troops now in the country.

    . . . .

    If successful, it would allow for the signing of a broader “political settlement to end the war in Afghanistan, reduce United States and Allied Forces presence, and ensure that no terrorist group ever uses Afghan soil to threaten the United States or our allies,” Mr. Pompeo said in a statement.

    There are all sorts of good reasons to get out of Afghanistan. From a libertarian perspective, one of them would be that if we were no longer in Afghanistan, there wouldn’t be much of an argument for keeping the AUMF in place. Maybe we could finally sunset that awful thing.

    1. Well, Steyer claims he’s going to beat Trump on Trump’s ‘weak’ economy.
      Perhaps Bloomie is going to beat Trump on a his ‘terrible’ efforts at finding peace.

      1. I think average Americans are far more neocon than they realize. They love neocons–they just don’t want their neocons to speak with a drawl like Bush. Neocons aren’t for making allies of dictators like Pinochet and Putin, and they aren’t for making deals with the likes of the Taliban either.

        And this peace deal could still go south, too, which may be why Trump isn’t giving the deal all kinds of emphasis in his tweets or his speeches. No way he withdraws the last of our troops before he’s reelected either–for that reason. If this deal blows up in his face, he won’t suffer as much for it if he doesn’t toot his horn about “Mission Accomplished”, like Bush Jr. was said to have done.

        I’m glad he’s keeping it on the DL. If touting his achievement here makes it less likely that he can actually go through with it. His instincts always seem to be about getting American troops out of harm’s way, but every time he does that, there’s a big backlash from the media and his political opponents. In fact, there’s a backlash against him when he’s aggressive, too, like when he went after that Iranian general.

        If getting us out requires him to keep it quiet, then he should definitely just keep it quiet. We’ll talk about his latest tweet instead. Bloomberg called somebody “horse faced”. Trump should probably keep that one in his back pocket for when he needs a nice distraction.

        1. I think Americans would not blame Trump if the USA left Afghanistan under some peace treaty and the day after we leave the Taliban starts throwing gays off buildings.

          Nixon was not really harmed by getting US troops out of the Vietnam quagmire under the Paris Peace Accords. Ford was not really hurt by the Fall of Saigon and they were throwing Hueys off ships into the South China Sea.

          Americans dont like to “lose”, so leaving under a peace agreement is in some nebulous between winning and losing.

          1. “I think Americans would not blame Trump if the USA left Afghanistan under some peace treaty and the day after we leave the Taliban starts throwing gays off buildings.”

            I don’t think there was a Democrat on the podium of the Nevada debate who wouldn’t use that as a wedge issue and say that’s why America should vote for a Democrat rather than Donald Trump.

            I’ve seen Trump repeatedly take chances on politics because he’s doing what he thinks is in the best interests of the United States, and I think this is one of those times. He’s taking a big risk–for the best interests of the United States–and if it blows up in his face, we should all feel bad about that, Democrat and Republican alike.

            If I were a Democrat and they wanted to impress me, they should give Trump a ton of credit for this–and say they’d do the same thing if they were in Trump’s shoes. One of the reasons we’re still in Afghanistan is because Obama didn’t have the balls to do what Trump is doing by cutting a deal with the Taliban. Obama cared more about his reelection chances than he did about the United States of America.

            1. I have my fingers crossed that this will work out.

              I think China, the Taliban, Iran, the EU, and all the other entities now are 99% sure that Trump will win election 2020 and they had better come to the negotiating table while Trump is not focused on them.

  26. Intelligence officials worry Russia is trying to meddle in another election. Trump is mostly worried this might make him look bad.

    Yes. We totally believe anonymous sources in the NYT. And this totally makes sense since Trump has basically caved to russia by arming the Ukraine, increased LNG to Russias customers in europe, increased development of tactical nukes, allowed for missile defense deployment in Poland and europe, gone after Iran who works openly with Russia, etc. Rusisa is much more scared of russian honeymooner Sanders and Pete the son of cultural marxists. This report makes total sense when you break things down. Or simpler explanation… russia has loved Democrats openly attacking the presidency for 3 years and constantly claiming America’s elections as corrupt and want more of it.

    1. Or Russians plan to do what they – and China, Iran, North Korea, Europe, Israel, etc – have been doing regarding US elections for decades

  27. Would you buy tickets to see a hologram of Whitney Houston perform?

    Comey might. But after a hologram Mariah Carey.

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

      Fuck that and fuck you

      1. He is the only spammer I flag.

    2. Yay. Neutral mikey made an appearance.

      1. No, No, No Jesse. It is Neutral, Non-partisan Mikey! You need to get that right. 🙂

    3. Neutral Mikey.

  29. “Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016 not because he was an outstanding debater…but because he got gobs of free advertising from a media fascinated by his seeming train wreck of a campaign.”

    “train wreck”? Pathetic, bullshit analysis, akin to the fake news spin.

    Trump led in the primary polls pretty much from day one by force of personality, non-p/c speak, and his focus on restoring the USA in manifold ways, beginning with immigration and trade.

    His “train wreck” of a campaign induced the highest viewership/ turnouts ever recorded (with some exceptions) in the debates, campaigns rallies, and voting booths.

    Bloomberg ( and the losers athwart him) should wish for such a train wreck.

    1. Many saw it as a “train wreck” simply because it wasn’t what they were used to.

      1. I don’t think he’s going to understand your explanation if he doesn’t understand the word “seeming” as it modifies the term “train wreck”.

      2. The point is the misdiagnosis in his conclusion. It’s an ideological thing. Just flip the sentence around, and it’s easier to spot the flaw:

        – The excessive media coverage associated with the Trump campaign’s putative train wreck is why he won the nomination.

        Uh, huh.

        Your point speaks to how the liberal media, etc., wanted to desperately airbrush the authentic (more valid) reasons why Trump won, by way of spin; i.e., using a political trope, which is what is being done here in his faulty conclusion.

  30. Well, if nominating a party-switching billionaure from New York worked in 2016…

  31. Lawrence Tesler, who invented copy/paste, has died.

    Kirkland must be really upset about this. We should all get together and sign a card for him.

  32. Woman accused of calling 911 after parents cut off cellphone

    CANTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman was arrested for calling 911 when her parents cut off her cellphone service, authorities said.

    Seloni Khetarpal was arrested Feb. 13 by Massillon police and charged with disrupting police services, a fourth-degree felony, The Canton Repository reported.

    Jail records show that Khetarpal, 36, repeatedly called emergency dispatchers because her parents had terminated her cellphone service, which they paid for.

    An officer contacted her and advised she call emergency services only for emergencies.

    Two hours later, she called again and “was belligerent and stated she believed it to be a legitimate issue,” according to jail records.

    Fucking Millennials!

  33. Bloomberg Office Vandalized, Campaign Immediately Suggests Bernie Sanders Is To Blame

    Damn the Commies have not even lost yet and they are already setting Knoxville Lit AF?

    1. Screw that, will there be enough jobs open at Unreason for these illegals? Could be a step up.

  34. FBI Arrests Hacker Linked to Katie Hill Campaign

    Federal agents have arrested Arthur Dam in connection with a hacking spree that disrupted the 2018 Democratic California primary that ultimately nominated Katie Hill, according to a new criminal complaint.

    Dam, in the criminal complaint, is linked directly to the Hill campaign. Hill won the general election in California’s 25th district, and then later resigned from Congress amid controversy.

    Damn! Not this lesbo hotness again!

    1. I have been informed repeatedly that Democtats do not, ever, under any circumstance, or in any way hack, cheat, distort, steal, or otherwise act in a way that undermines the validity of elections.

      You, sir, are a liar!
      … or so I have been told.

  35. Jury in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial deadlocked on 2 counts, sent back to deliberate

    Who called that Weinstein would not be convicted?

    The jury was deadlocked on most serious charges. Defense attorneys were fine with a split verdict but prosecutors said no to a split verdict. I think the jury will deadlock on the entire verdict now. A few jurors were trying to compromise but now they might hold out on the 5 charges for hung jury.

    The counts against Weinstein are as follows:

    Count 1: Predatory Sexual Assault (related to Miriam Haley and Annabella Sciorra)
    Sentence: minimum 15-25 years to life
    Count 2: Criminal sexual act in the First Degree (MH, 2006 at HW apt)
    Sentence: 5-25 years
    Count 3: Predatory Sexual Assault (related to Jessica Mann and Annabella Sciorra)
    Sentence: minimum 15-25 years to life
    Count 4: Rape in the First Degree (rape by forcible compulsion, JM, March 2013)
    Sentence: 5-25 years
    Count 5: Rape in the Third Degree (without consent, JM, March 2013)
    Sentence: Minimum probation and up to 16 months to max four years in prison

  36. Bloomberg Goes for Brokered Convention

    Does this mean the Democrats have gotten over Hillary’s loss in the last presidential election and are okay with the person who gets the most votes not winning?

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