Reason Roundup

In South Carolina Debate, Democratic Primary Descends Into Chaos

Plus: Barr's backdoor to throttling encryption, a ban on swingers clubs, why a viral econ chart is wrong, and more...

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What did we just watch? Last night's Democratic presidential debatethe 10th so far this election seasonwent awry in a spectacular way…as long as you weren't rooting for any particular candidate to look good.

Former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg was probably the king of statements so jaw-droppingly tone-deaf we had to check with each other that we had heard right. But former Vice President Joe Biden had no shortage of awkward interjections too, and couldn't stop grumbling impotently at the moderators about how he wasn't getting his fair share of time.

Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) just seemed to want everyone to be normal, but no one else on stage (with perhaps the exception of former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg) was really having it.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) got accused of being aided by Russia within the first few minutes of the show, first by Bloomberg"Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States. And that's why Russia is helping you [Sanders] get elected, so you will lose to him"and then in a question one of the moderators posed to Buttigieg:

Why would the Russians want to be working on behalf of Bernie Sanders?

Teed up perfectly, Buttigieg (bless his heart) refused to play into the new coalescing Russia panic:

I will tell you what the Russians want. They don't have a political party. They want chaos. And chaos is what is coming our way.

Buttigieg was referring to a potential 2020 match-up between Trump and Sanders. But it would also prove an apt foreshadowing of the ensuing debate. It wouldn't be long, for instance, before Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) accused Bloomberg of telling a female staffer to "kill it" when she said she was pregnant.

WARREN: When I was 21 years old, I got my first job as a special education teacher. I loved that job. And by the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant. The principal wished me luck and gave my job to someone else. Pregnancy discrimination, you bet. But I was 21 years old. I didn't have a union to protect me. And I didn't have any federal law on my side. So I packed up my stuff, and I went home. At least I didn't have a boss who said to me, "Kill it," the way that Mayor Bloomberg is alleged to have said…

BLOOMBERG: I never said that. Oh, come on.

Moderators moved on to whether Bloomberg's office jokes were offensive and to non-disclosure agreements before coming back to the alleged abortion comments.

KING: Senator Warren, that is a very serious charge that you leveled at the mayor.

WARREN: Yes.

KING: He told a woman to get an abortion. What evidence do you have of that?

WARREN: Her own words.

KING: And, Mayor Bloomberg, could you respond to this?

BLOOMBERG: I never said it, period, end of story. Categorically never said it. When it was accused—when I was accused of doing it, we couldn't figure out what she was talking about. But right now, I'm sorry if she heard what she thought she heard, or whatever happened. I didn't take any pleasure in that. And we've just got to go on. But I never said it. Come on.

WARREN: What I asked the mayor to do is to do a release of all people who have discrimination claims…

BLOOMBERG: We are doing that, Senator.

O'DONNELL: We want to get to the—we want to get to the issue—we want to get to the issue of electability and the ideological difference within the Democratic Party.

We would later see Klobuchar and Biden argue for an embarrassingly long time about whether or not Biden authored a particular bill and a whole lot of shouting about doing math.

Though candidates did manage a minor bit of substantive talk, on things like health care and Bernie Sanders' comments about Cuba, the night concluded with contenders being asked about the "the biggest misconception about you." That ended things on a perfect encapsulation of candidate and campaign anxieties (and bad jokes):

STEYER: The biggest misconception about me is that somehow I'm defined by business success and money.

KLOBUCHAR: The biggest misconception is that I'm boring, because I'm not.

BIDEN: I have more hair than I think I do.

SANDERS: Misconception—and you're hearing it here tonight, is that the ideas I'm talking about are radical. They're not. In one form or another, they exist in countries all over the world.

WARREN: Well, I suppose one misconception is that I don't eat very much. In fact, I eat all the time.

BUTTIGIEG: Well, I think the biggest conception—misconception—is that I'm not passionate. I get that I'm kind of level, some say unflappable.

BLOOMBERG: Misconception, that I'm 6 feet tall.

Full debate transcript here. Other Reason coverage:

See also: Who won the Democratic debate in South Carolina?


FREE MINDS

More on Bill Barr, Section 230, and encryption. At techdirt, Berin Szoka, Ashkhen Kazaryan, and Jess Miers follow up on an explainer about last week's Justice Department (DOJ) "workshop" considering this online communications law with some speculation about "what DOJ's real objective" was. "The answer to us seems clear," they write:

use Section 230 as a backdoor for banning encryption—a "backdoor to a backdoor"—in the name of stamping out child sexual abuse material (CSAM) while, conveniently, distracting attention from DOJ's appalling failures to enforce existing laws against CSAM. We conclude by explaining how to get tough on CSAM to protect kids without amending Section 230 or banning encryption.

Ultimately, "the workshop will allow Barr to claim he's getting tough on CSAM without actually doing anything about it—while also laying the groundwork for legislation that would essentially allow him to ban encryption," they suggest.


FREE MARKETS

"It's worth considering the possibility that both the Trump and Sanders phenomena are more or less about what their leaders say they are about," writes Matt Yglesias at Vox. But:

Sanders's basic point about the threadbare nature of the American welfare state is clearly true, as is Trump's basic point that the nature of American society is changing. It's not surprising that they may cause worries for people.

Indeed, one might expect to see people worry more about this kind of thing during a period of prosperity, which allows them to vote their values and ideals rather than worrying so much about economic management.

This is all by way of Yglesias debunking a popular chart purporting to show "why people feel financially stressed in a booming economy."


QUICK HITS

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  1. Last night’s Democratic presidential debate—the 10th so far this election season—went awry in a spectacular way…as long as you weren’t rooting for any particular candidate to look good.

    Then it didn’t go awry.

    1. Hello.

      Descends into chaos? The DNC was already there. Hello! McFly!

      Is this thing even on?

      When is Reason gonna come to terms with the fact these ain’t your mommas Democrats but a bunch of faux-centrist, ideological illiberal whack jobs?

      Up here, I’m gonna start a petition demanding the Liberal party change their name to the Progressive Retard Party. The PRP!

    2. It’s starting to overlap with it’s own SNL sketch.

    3. went awry in a spectacular way…as long as you weren’t rooting for any particular candidate to look good.

      Also this grammar is a logical mess. I think they’re trying to say no one looked good, but this grammar implies that things went awry in that someone DID look good. [shaking my head].

      Fixed would be

      went awry in a spectacular way…if you were rooting for any particular candidate to look good.

      1. Poor bastard slipped up and forgot to lie.

        1. Lefties will open up if they think they are among their own. Their true desires of tyranny and authoritarianism come out.

          I think Trump experienced this over the decades hanging with Democrats and RINOs alike. Trump clearly wanted to expose this for Americans.

          1. At its core, the political fight in America today is between those who think America is mostly good vs. those who think America is mostly evil. And somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of the “mainstream” media is squarely in the latter category. And that now includes the Reason staff as well. It didn’t used to many years ago, but it does now.

            And when you think America and it’s citizens are mostly evil, it pretty much inevitably becomes only a matter of time until you openly start discussion “solutions” such as mass murder, like Matt Welch does with his friends on Twitter.

            1. Translation: If the unreason staff don’t salivate over Trump, they hate America.

              1. Nah, your antipathy towards America long predated Trump’s election. It’s the result of all those years of brainwashing you got from your schools and the press.

            2. What’s amazing to me is the constant reverberation that the media is out of touch and their response is along the lines of, “Sure, cause you’re all a bunch of racist hicks!”

            3. That’s a funny assessment when the MSM is up in arms about Sanders and trashing him and downplaying results at every opportunity. They pretty much undeniably prefer Trump to Sanders.

          2. Wow, you can read Trump’s mind and see all his wonderful, altruistic motivations for his actions. No wonder you are such a slavering supporter.

            1. You realize you’re pathetic, right?

        2. I’m not sure what he said that is so bad. He’s actually complaining that he doesn’t get to report “the truth”, that all they do is report on negative Trump stories that are an inch deep. That’s true.

          He also complains that they don’t report about any of the positive things Trump does. Also true.

          Then he says he’s a socialist. That is supposed to make him an outlier among political reporters? He also says he supports Sanders but thinks Warren is a better practical choice. This puts him over the line? Is there a single political reporter for any of the major news agencies that does not fit this description?

          If anything, he’s way more introspective than the rest.

          1. I don’t see how it is bad either. His bosses must be amazingly thin skinned.

      2. Wright: “You Can’t Watch ‘Good Morning America’ Without a Disney Princess or a Marvel Avenger Appearing.”

        Dooooh!!!

        1. Why would anyone watch GMA?

          1. What’s GMA?

            1. Genetically modified aardvarks.

              1. Sounds delicious.

              2. Pretty sure I saw them open for The Aquabats, killer show.

  2. TOM STEYER: “I will declare a state of emergency on climate on the first day of my presidency. I will use the Executive emergency powers of the presidency to tell companies how they can generate electricity, what kind of cars they can build — on what schedule, what kind of buildings we’re gonna have, how we are going to use our public lands.”

    Steyer urges “environmental justice’ and warns climate is “a human issue with a huge racial overtone.”

    “We need to rebuild this country in a climate-smart way…we don’t have a choice on this.”

    1. But remember Bernie is the radical one.

      1. Exactly, how is Bernie really any different from the rest of them.

        1. He is honest and doesn’t pay homage to the Silicon Valley assholes. That is it.

          1. Bernie is the best of the lot. Not on policy…. but on being a man of conviction. His convictions are kooky, but they are honestly and deeply held, and he as no trouble defending them.

            I always respected Denis Kucinich for that reason. I like my politicians to have an ideological core that informs their actions. It is exceptionally rare these days. Party affiliation should not be the primary determinant of a politician’s stance. I particularly hate the way they spin around based on where the other side is. Bush wanted to do immigration reform and suddenly the democrats wanted nothing to do with it. The same thing happened with social security reform.

            Watching the republicans tie themselves in knots trying to tack behind the president has been sadly hilarious.

            1. In general I agree, but I worry when a politician has a strong conviction to an ideology that caused 100 million people to be murdered by their governments in the 20th century.

            2. I agree that Sanders and Kucinich are sincere in their beliefs. And that’s a big part of the problem. This has been posted before but it’s worth repeating.

              “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
              – C. S. Lewis

            3. True believers have done a lot more damage than opportunists ever have. I am fine with opportunists and phonies. They at least can be counted on doing the right thing for the wrong reasons sometimes. But true believers are terrifying.

            4. Opportunists at least are keeping the populace in mind. Those with conviction don’t give a rats ass about what anyone else wants.

        2. He’s not. As John correctly pointed out yesterday (gotta give props) there isn’t a specific policy position Bernie has that the rest of the Democratic field agrees with in part or pretty much all the way.

          1. Sorry, I wrote that while in a meeting… there isn’t a specific policy position Bernie has that the rest of the Democratic field DISAGREES with.

            They don’t like Bernie because he’s a bit of an outsider from the DNC’s perspective and he has a history of spouting Stalinist philosophy and ideologically cozying up with the world’s worst dictatorships. But on a policy-by-policy basis… nuts and bolts, they agree with him.

            Universal Healthcare
            Tax the Rich
            Vastly expanded welfare system
            Free College
            Free universal preschool/childcare
            $15 an hour national minimum wage

            They just get nervous when they hear Bernie Sanders say “bread lines are a good thing.”

            Bernie’s just being honest. That all of those things are what lead to bread lines. The mainstream Democrats want to have all that stuff, but somehow avoid the bread lines.

            1. There is no greater danger to the Democrat party than honesty

    2. “a human issue with a huge racial overtone.”

      I kinda agree, its about keeping the worlds poor as poor as they are now. We cant let them enjoy the same standards of living as “westerners” or mother earth will literally die.

    3. It’s funny that people who can endorse this will still say that Trump is a “dictator” when he sends a snarky tweet about CNN.

      1. Socialists have no choice but to rule by decree when Congress won’t “do their jobs” and pass whatever laws Socialists want.

      2. It will be horrible though if/when a democrat gets elected and they levy tariffs on all products that aren’t “carbon neutral” coming into this country for “national security” reasons.

        1. ^ This guy gets it

          1. Gets what? It is not a clever point at all. Could a Democrat do that? Maybe. I wouldn’t venture to guess how such an action would play out in the courts. Suppose for the sake of argument he could. Yeah, Democrats support really destructive policies. We know that. How you think that somehow says anything about Trump using the same powers on a much smaller scale for different reasons is beyond me.

            Bernie could also get Congress to make the margin tax rate 90% on all income over $100,0000. I guess that means Trump getting Congress to lower taxes is a bad thing or something.

            Neither one of you get anything.

            1. John, you know the Ds totes always wait for someone else to set a precedent, and if no one does they totes won’t set it themselves…

              1. If only the Rs would use their time in power to actually limit Presidential power instead of just exploiting it for themselves.

            2. How you think that somehow says anything about Trump using the same powers

              At least you concede that he’s using the “same powers” that the eco-nuts want to exploit to impose their world view on the rest of us. Just because you agree with his worldview doesn’t make the process right.

          2. Gets that they’ve never actually listened to Trump on his discussions of tariffs? He invokes national security solely for steel at this point. Generally he is saying the tariffs are reality and meant to undo tariffs on American goods in other countries, ie retaliatory tariffs. He has stated multiple times he is working to end tariffs for both trade partners, the last time on Tuesday.

    4. My fucken Lord.

      This guy is bananas.

      1. He had a great chance to be the adult in the room, and he chose instead to use the phrase “Emergency powers of the President”, and come off as a wannabe caudillo.

        What a complete fucking idiot. At least Biden has the excuse of working through (probable) dementia .

        1. Steyer is anything but an adult.
          It’s kinda funny, watching his boyish earnestness.
          “I just wanted to say hi Bernie”

      2. And the fact that he didn’t say he’d explicitly nationalize everything makes him a fascist.

        He wants to organize industry and the results of production toward national goals. Fascism.

    5. “I pledge to out fascist the fascists.”

    6. The lesson we should learn in this is that to someone, every issue demands radical action. Whether it’s immigration, a trade deficit, gun violence, or climate change everyone has their pet issues.

      The problem is that we let the President unilaterally decide what constitutes “national security” and act on it. Leaving it to be almost a given that whatever his/her pet issue is on the campaign trail is sure to get the #NationalSecurity executive order treatment.

      Whether you agree with the goals of the policy or not, the biggest problem is in the process. And we’re already sliding down the slippery slope.

      1. Yes. If you listen to what all the Dem candidates claim to do on their first day in office through executive orders it’s utterly terrifying. They have spent three years calling Trump a dictator, and now they are openly speaking like dictators. I’d say Congress needs to step up, but the only try to exercise the constitutional authority when a president from the other political party hold the executive.

        1. Totally agree.

          And what about every Republican who bemoaned Obama’s “pen and phone” only to cheer Trump’s?

          1. Let us know when Trump’s pen and phone is an attempt to end run creation of legislation because Congress wont cooperate and simply write new laws from the white house.

      2. The lesson we should learn in this is that to someone, every issue demands radical action. Whether it’s immigration, a trade deficit, gun violence, or climate change everyone has their pet issues.

        What radical action has Trump taken? Is enforcing the immigration law radical? Is building a wall across a desert that is already enforced as a border and a wall that you claim will never work, radical? What action would you not consider radical?

        Same goes with tariffs. Trump put a few tariffs on products from one country and one product from Europe. Trump’s action on trade are minuscule in comparison to US policy historically. Again, if that is “radical” in your mind, what isn’t radical?

        The lesson here is that you think anyone who supports a policy you don’t like is supporting “radical action”. To equate the Green New Deal to anything Trump has done on any issue is a false equivalence that would make even the reason staff blush.

        1. Enforcing the no public charge rule is apparent the end of the world.

        2. Trump has pushed us further down the slippery slope though, that’s for sure. Just like every President before him has nudged us along.

          And again, it’s not so much that Trump’s tariffs or border wall funding diversions are radical, inasmuch as they are unilateral executive action for his pet issues. It’s the process, not the policy that is the problem.

          If you have a compelling case for tariffs, go to Congress and make your case. If you have a compelling case for the green new deal, go to Congress and make your case. There’s a reason we have the form of government that we have, and it’s not for one person to be able to unilaterally impose their will even if it is “right” or justified. For every Trump that thinks tariffs are justified there’s a socialist who thinks socialism is justified.

          1. You didn’t answer my point. Trump isn’t doing anything that other President’s before him haven’t done. There is nothing radical about it. If you don’t like it and disagree, that is one thing. There is nothing unreasonable about that. What is unreasonable is to claim that his positions are “radical” or in any way comparable to the Green New Deal is not reasonable.

            And your bitching and moaning about the tariffs is absurd. Congress gave him the power to do it. He acted in an entirely legal manner. And he is not the first President to do so. Reagan used the same power to put levy much more significant tarriffs than Trump has. So, no he hasn’t pushed us down any slippery slope. He has just done things you don’t like.

            Lastly, the same people who are crying about Trump using legal powers to levy tariffs cheered Obama to totally ignore and unilaterally rewrite immigration law through DACA. So don’t tell me you care so much about exectutive power. You don’t. If you did, you would have been ten times more angry about Obama and DACA. And as far as I remember you were not. Moreover, even if you were, you are nowhere near as outraged as you are about this even though Obama’s action was orders of magnitude more of an abuse of power (even if you think Trump’s tariffs were, which I don’t)

            I am sorry, You are just don’t like his policies but would rather make false equivalencies and fake concern over executive power than make a substantive argument against them.

            1. I did answer your point. I conceded that the policy isn’t radical. As usual, you argue the strawman in your head and not the words.

              DACA is just another great example of executive overreach. Obama should have went to Congress with his DACA proposal. DACA isn’t “worse” from a process standpoint than Trump’s tariffs as an example, just because you prefer one policy over the other. Both should go through Congress, good or bad. If you want an easier example to consider, consider Trump’s bumpstock ban. Go ahead and defend that one.

              You seem to think I’m arguing about policy, when I’m arguing about process. Trump is just as bad as Obama in terms of executive action. I fear the next President will likely be worse, and how can anyone stop him when they’ve cheered for their own party’s overreaches on their pet issues.

          2. Enforcing the immigration laws passed by Congress is totes unilateral.
            For serial

            1. “Trump has pushed us further down the slippery slope though, that’s for sure. Just like every President before him has nudged us along.”

              “You didn’t answer my point. Trump isn’t doing anything that other President’s before him haven’t done.”

              You are so bad at reading before arguing John.

        3. Is building a wall across a desert that is already enforced as a border and a wall that you claim will never work, radical?

          And Trump took this one to Congress and lost, by the way. Building a wall may not be radical… but implementing your wall through diversion of funds that were earmarked for something else is at least approaching it, given our Constitutional separation of powers with respect to spending.

          1. Trump reprogramed money in a perfectly reasonable way. And Congress could have stopped that reprograming and refused to do so. Congress was just fine with him doing that they just didn’t want to take responsibility for it.

            To claim that Trump’s reprograming was not lawful you have to claim that protecting the border is not a legitimate national security function. You probably believe that. But no court ever has. What he did was entirely legal and done with the sanction of Congress. Reprograming happens all of the time. The fact that Congress didn’t give him a specific appropriation doesn’t preclude him from legally reprograming other money.

            You are just wrong in your contention here. Moreover, the same people complaining about this action which is 100% legal and at worst Congress giving the President more power than you wish, were just fine with DACA which was the worst abuse of executive power since World War II. So if anything Trump has pulled us back from where we were under Obama.

            1. Please keep bringing up DACA. It’s the only time you’re making valid points.

              “And Congress could have stopped that reprograming DACA and refused to do so.”

              Maybe Congress having to vote for disapproval instead of approval of something is a good idea after all? Gee, I wonder if a President might veto a bill that disapproves of his extra-Constitutional actions.

              1. Should read “…isn’t a good idea after all…”

    7. If only I had a surplus of cash I could use to build my own eco-friendly city and demonstrate how it could be done. But, no. I’d rather take charge of the government to pass laws that allow me to make more money by skimming from the top.

  3. Why would the Russians want to be working on behalf of Bernie Sanders?

    The CCCP will rise again.

    1. /spins scratchy Soviet anthem on record player.

  4. In a sign of real reporting on the Volokh tab…

    https://reason.com/2020/02/25/the-federal-judges-association-tells-members-that-emergency-meeting-was-not-called-to-discuss-president-trumps-intervention-in-stone-sentencing/

    Remember that FJA freak out last week where they were meeting to discuss how awful Trump’s intervention into Stone’s case? Turns out it was just one judge, Judge Rufe who was upset. The FJA doesn’t even discuss politics, but is an association in regards to judicial pay and such. And Judge Rufe got correctly smacked down by other members of the FJA.

    1. I expect that will run as the top story on tonight’s evening news……

      1. Doubtful, it another local story.

        1. *it’s

  5. In a closed-door meeting with Goldman Sachs back in 2016, Mike Bloomberg told the bankers that they were his “peeps,” and that the activist left was at least as “scary” as the far-right in Europe. To make matters even worse from a Democratic candidate’s perspective, he added a couple of jokes about using drones to take out his personal enemies. Oh, and then there’s Bloomberg saying he purposefully gave President Obama a “backhanded” endorsement in 2012 because he secretly thought more highly of Mitt Romney.

    The source of the audio recording of these remarks was apparently at the event. He sent the files to CNN, who happily ran with it.

    If he were running, Bloomberg further explained, “my first campaign platform would be to defend the banks, and you know how well that’s gonna sell in this country. But seriously, somebody’s gotta stand up and do what we need. A healthy banking system that’s going to take risks because that’s what creates the jobs for everybody. And nobody’s willing to say that. The trouble is, these campaigns in this day and age, really are about slogans and not about issues anymore.”

    1. Just how committed is Michael Bloomberg to winning the Democratic primary? Enough to have his adviser Tim O’Brien drop this bombshell on a stunned Alisyn Camerota this morning on CNN’s New Day. Just as Camerota made an argument that Democrats might not want to go full tilt against Bernie Sanders if he’s likely to end up the nominee against Donald Trump, O’Brien promised that Team Bloomberg would hammer Sanders with everything they have.

      And it’s remarkable how much information a news-media mogul can find, isn’t it? Such as advice for parents of toddlers to allow them to run naked and explore each others’ genitalia, for instance, O’Brien offers.

  6. No real news today.

    See ya tomorrow.

    1. Breaking news: You are Trump fellating prick.

      1. Poor unreason. Such mad hacks at this rag.

  7. Justice Department: 45% of black and latino students at harvard are only there due to racial quotas.

    https://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/justice-department-45-of-blacks-at-harvard-admitted-through-illegal-race-preferences/

  8. In South Carolina Debate, Democratic Primary Descends Into Chaos

    I blame the moderators. The clip I saw of the debates they looked shell shocked. Gail King looked like Snoop called her a dog headed bitch again.

    1. Why is Gayle King moderating a debate?

    1. Truth just has a way….every time Clinton let you what she really believed [i.e., “basket of deplorables”] it jumped up and bit her right on her fat ass. I think bloomers is even better at that.

  9. I will tell you what the Russians want. They don’t have a political party. They want chaos. And chaos is what is coming our way.

    “Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair.”

  10. Fourth, life in Denmark isn’t as great as the American democratic socialists claim it is. Otherwise, why would Danes be second only to Iceland for antidepressant consumption in Europe?

    [A]ccording to the OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] they also work fewer hours per year than most of the rest of the world. As a result, productivity is worryingly sluggish. How can they afford all those expensively foraged meals and hand-knitted woollens? Simple, the Danes also have the highest level of private debt in the world (four times as much as the Italians, to put it into context; enough to warrant a warning from the IMF), while more than half of them admit to using the black market to obtain goods and services.

    Perhaps the Danes’ dirtiest secret is that, according to a 2012 report from the Worldwide Fund for Nature, they have the fourth largest per capita ecological footprint in the world. Even ahead of the US. Those offshore windmills may look impressive as you land at Kastrup, but Denmark burns an awful lot of coal.

    https://www.bookwormroom.com/2020/02/23/the-truth-behind-bernies-shtick-that-he-just-wants-to-make-america-like-denmark/

    1. According to the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment rankings (Pisa), Denmark’s schools lag behind even the UK’s. Its health service is buckling too. (The other day, I turned up at my local A&E [Accident and Emergency Room] to be told that I had to make an appointment, which I can’t help feeling rather misunderstands the nature of the service.) According to the World Cancer Research Fund, the Danes have the highest cancer rates on the planet.

      According to a report in Politiken this month, the proportion of people below the poverty line has doubled over the last decade. Denmark is becoming a nation divided, essentially, between the places which have a branch of Sticks’n’Sushi (Copenhagen) and the rest. Denmark’s provinces have become a social dumping ground for non-western immigrants, the elderly, the unemployed and the unemployable who live alongside Denmark’s 22m intensively farmed pigs, raised 10 to a pen and pumped full of antibiotics (the pigs, that is).

      Other awkward truths? There is more than a whiff of the police state about the fact that Danish policeman refuse to display ID numbers and can refuse to give their names.

      1. I once saw a danish cop give a beat down to a dude on a train to Helsingør for not paying his fare. I offered to pay it for him while the cop had the guy in a head lock, and I think the cop told me to fuck off in Danish.

        1. Cops in Europe are nastier than American cops by a good margin.

          1. If you can’t have a gun better be good with a stick

          2. “Don’t fuck with the Polizei.”

            Really don’t drink and drive over there either.

            1. The legal limit in Sweden is .02

              1. I’ve heard its like $8.00 for a lite beer so who can afford to get drunk in the first place

        2. Good to see that Protecting and Serving are values that cops all over the world share.

      2. “According to the World Cancer Research Fund, the Danes have the highest cancer rates on the planet.”

        In a world with Chinese pollution and Gujarati shipbreakers, I’ll feel free to call bullshit on that one.

    2. +10000

  11. Well, I think the biggest conception—misconception—is that I’m not passionate. I get that I’m kind of level, some say unflappable.

    IS THAT A EUPHEMISM FOR SOMETHING

    1. Not fappable.

  12. “This is all by way of Yglesias debunking a popular chart purporting to show ‘why people feel financially stressed in a booming economy.'”

    “Booming economy”?! LOL

    I hear enough of that nonsense from my Drumpf-supporting brother in law. He thinks that just because his investments are gaining value, it means the entire economy is healthy. I learned in college that’s a logical fallacy called CHERRY PICKING.

    In reality — and as AOC has eloquently explained — the Drumpf economy is so terrible, everyone needs 2 or 3 jobs to survive.

    #DrumpfRecession

    1. Just how bad is the economy?

      Reason.com’s benefactor Charles Koch has lost almost $4 billion this year.

      That’s a heartbreaking illustration of the suffering caused by high-tariff / low-immigration policies.

      #VoteDemocratToHelpCharlesKoch

  13. “backdoor to a backdoor”

    IS THAT A EUPHEMISM FOR SOMETHING

    1. A front door man?

    2. The men don’t know but the little girls understand.

    3. It’s a euphemism for a euphemism! It’s euphemisms all the way down.

  14. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, officials want to ban “swingers clubs” and give cops the right to randomly inspect strip clubs.

    The Fort Wayne police lobby at work.

    1. Many respectable police officers said that they weren’t going to stand for this — partly because it was a debasement of society, but mostly because they didn’t get invited to those sort of parties.

      1. +2 pair of teleported underwear

      2. Can’t stand for it like I couldn’t stand in math class thanks to Miss Cutler’s low-cut top.

    2. And we would have gotten away with it, except for that pesky Fourth Amendment.

      1. Owners probably got fed up with the 4 visits a week and excessive pat downs, so they had to codify their right to inspect.

  15. Today, we’re voting on final passage for Sen.@ssurovell’s SB246 to allow people to “choose between ‘male,’ ‘female,’ or ‘non-binary.'”

    Cool – they should do this with sports too. Have a men’s team, a women’s team, and an “other” team. That way the boys aren’t playing on the girl’s team, which has to be about the dumbest thing ever allowed.

    1. First they came for the cis women and I did nothing, because… well, because finally after 50 years the fucking feminists have finally persuaded me that women are equal to men in every way. So suck it! I hope you choke on your equality stew.

      1. But they will always have the millennia of oppression victim status to draw on, forever. It’s a win win [for them] by design.

      2. Fun watching feminists who claim women can do anything men can do squawking when it’s proved they apparently can’t.

        1. Not true; the women’s professional soccer team can play almost as well as the average men’s college team – – – – –

  16. Virginia’s Senate approved a change to gender designations on state drivers licenses…

    Virginia is for others.

    1. Beautiful.

      “Gaydar Detectors Illegal.”

      1. I’m going to remember that comment every time I cross the American Legion Bridge into VA. Forever.

    2. Going to be fun when the progs get overthrown, they reverse the law, and judges tell them it’s discrimination not to allow ‘others’.

  17. “It’s worth considering the possibility that both the Trump and Sanders phenomena are more or less about what their leaders say they are about,” writes Matt Yglesias at Vox.

    How does this asshole get do much print space at Reason? He openly admits to gaslighting his readers such as with the tax cuts.

    1. It’s worth considering anything he writes about Trump is a result of his disease.

      1. His Down’s Syndrome?

        1. How dare you!

    2. Sure, Yglesias is openly dishonest. But, he makes up for it by showing amazing ignorance about a huge variety of subjects and being unable to write a coherent sentence or follow the rules of grammar and spelling. So he has that going for him.

      1. Very true. I just don’t get why this site quotes him or links to him so much. Is he Vox’s hiring manager?

        1. I think he gives the writers here hope.

    3. “as is Trump’s basic point that the nature of American society is changing. ”

      Not even a minor Trump point. It’s not *any* kind of point at all.

      Showing yet again that one of the main functions of #FakeNews is to *avoid* communicating #WrongThink as much as pushing #TheNarrative.

      The basic Trump point – US government policy should be in the interests of the American people. Trade, immigration, national defense. America First. Drain the Swamp.

  18. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/09/05/bernie_sanders_abortion_and_population_control_are_important_parts_of_addressing_climate_change.html

    Bernie all about abortion and “population control”. He doesn’t think he will have to murder people. If everything goes as planned and everyone does exactly what they are told to do, that shouldn’t be necessary. But if the wreckers and the saboteurs get in the way or counter revolutionaries start making trouble, Bernie will have to start sticking people in ovens for the greater good. He doesn’t want to murder you but he feels like he owes it to you.

    1. He wants America to pay for abortions in other countries, as a trump supporting racist I may be in favor of aborting people in other countries but as a libertarian let them pay for their own abortions.

      Does Bernie’s support of abortions in other countries make him a racist as well?

    2. The road to Utopia is always paved with the bones of its supporters.

    3. Are those ovens carbon neutral?

      1. Yes, if they are just putting back what they took out, that’s neutral

        1. They will use your ashes to fertilize the trees they plant as part of the carbon offset.

  19. KLOBUCHAR: The biggest misconception is that I’m boring, because I’m not.

    Just ask any of the host of legislative assistants who quit working for her because she’s an asshole, or had to watch her eat a salad with a comb.

    1. Prove it. Preferably through a sex tape.

      Klobuchar, Warren and Sanders in….

      1. Klobuchar and Williamson, who doesn’t love some MILF lesbian action?

        1. Mayor Pete?

      2. Nobody cares what the sex tape is called as long as it’s a snuff film.

        1. Snuff. Heh. Is that still a thing? I remember it being all the rage in the 80s. Real or myth? Wasn’t the film 8mm about that sort of thing?

          1. About a bunch of old ladies snorting tobacco powder?

            Nope. Don’t remember that film.

          2. Faces Of Death? Now you can just go to YouTube and watch videos of Mexican cartels sawing people in half with a chainsaw while they’re alive. Sick fucking world.

    2. How bad of a boss do you have to be to get a legislative aide—some of the most craven, socially climbing people outside a movie studio’s publicity department—to quit? And while working for a Senator!

      These people would normally take abuse that would put Japanese game show contestants to shame, if it meant they could burnish their CV a hair better towards a K Street lobbying job.

      1. How bad of a boss do you have to be to be known as a bad boss in Congress? In a collection of the most notorious and abusive assholes in the world, she managed to distinguish herself.

    3. The #PleaseClap of the 2020 campaign.

  20. “What’s white, male and 5 feet wide? Bay Area’s bike lanes”
    […]
    “When it comes to exclusivity, one would be hard-pressed to beat San Francisco’s bike lanes, where most regular riders are male, affluent, white “bike bros,” with 1 in 4 making $250,000 or more a year, according to the most recent U.S. census data.
    And it’s not just in San Francisco.
    “Bicycle commuting is mostly the province of wealthier white men all across the Bay Area,” Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman John Goodwin said…”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/philmatier/article/One-place-where-white-men-still-reign-supreme-15084274.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    He left out “smug” and “self-righteous”. Oh, and “assholes”.

    1. people who work for a living don’t have time to ride bikes and already get the exercise they need from their job

      1. side note I’ve also noticed while the husbands ride their bikes to work they not only have a car at home and at the office but the wife also has a car and does all the transporting of kids to all their events and the shopping. the wife gets fat doing all the work while the husband spends hours each day riding bikes with his fellow self absorbed friends

    2. Traffic signals? What traffic signals?

      Also Bicycle Guy: “You have to give me space on the roads!!! I’m a vehicle too!!!”

      1. ^this

        And fuck cyclists for cutting the line of traffic at a red light. You want to be respected as a vehicle, act like a vehicle

    3. I’m a bike commuter where I live and even I hate the stupid bike lanes. They make everything worse for everyone.

    4. “He left out “smug” and “self-righteous”. Oh, and “assholes”.”

      That was all implied with “white male”

    5. Did anyone believe San Francisco’s population wasn’t significantly white? 48% White, 33% Asian. And we know race baiting progs can’t tell the difference between White and Asian. What did they think their bike trails were going to look like?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_San_Francisco

    6. Government of, by, and for the ruling class.

  21. a whole lot of shouting about doing math.

    Those who can’t do, shout.

    1. Right. A long ago Charlie Brown strip had Lucy teaching Linus “If you can’t be right, be wrong at the top of your voice”.

  22. When you are debating non-nonsensical chaotic policies what else could ensue?

  23. “WARREN: When I was 21 years old, I got my first job as a special education teacher. I loved that job. And by the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant. The principal wished me luck and gave my job to someone else.”

    If Warren doesn’t do well on March 3rd, and chances are she won’t, she’s basically out of the contest.

    I wouldn’t trust her under normal circumstance, especially when she’s claiming to be victim of discrimination, because of the BS she spouted about her Native American heritage–but especially under these circumstances, when she’s in make or break mode, no one should trust her any further than they can throw her.

    I’m sure someone if fact checking this, and her campaign may have been editing her Wiki page to include it even as she was saying it last night.

      1. Why am I not surprised?

        I’d guess that she was counting on people questioning her story–to get a little attention–but that may be giving her too much credit.

        Occam’s razor says she’s just full of shit.

        Victimhood is to progressives is so important.

        You know what she is?

        Liz Warren is the white Jessie Smollett!

        If she staged herself getting beaten up by MAGA hat wearing thugs, it wouldn’t surprise me.

      2. I thought her story had been debunked, and relatively quickly.

    1. What’s shocking is that some male gender person actually had sex with Warren.

      1. It happened when she was like 20, so it’s possible she was better looking then. It’s also possible that she just met a 20 year old dude, and they’ll put their dick just about anywhere.

        1. “Fat-Bottomed Girls”, “Whole Lotta Rosie”, “Big Women”

          Big women
          I like the size
          Big women
          Flabby thighs
          Big women
          Big women
          Big women
          They fill my eyes!

          Skinny wenches will not do. . .

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80mxJ8Suinc

          Some great rock and roll songs about this.

          I think the Scorpions’ “Blackout” is also about an encounter with a whale.

          There’s this thing called “beer”, and when it starts getting late, . . .

          1. +1 ‘A 2 at 10 becomes a 10 at 2.’

          2. Big bottoms, big bottoms,
            talk about mud flaps,
            my girl’s got ’em.

      2. Have you seen him? He makes an appearance in that ‘I’m gonna get me a beer’ debacle.

        1. He looks like the male version of Elizabeth Warren.
          It’s eerie

    2. Her first job at 21, I had my first job at 13 like most of my friends

      1. Employment was down on the reservation.

  24. Might add that Warren’s campaign may be a proxy for the health of social justice warrior tactics in the political arena.

    Warren accused Sanders of social justice thought crimes head of New Hampshire–he won and she lost spectacularly.

    Warren accused Bloomberg of using terms like “horse-faced lesbians” ahead of New Hampshire, and she failed spectacularly.

    Now that Warren is accusing Bloomberg of telling pregnant women to get an abortion, I don’t know if that making these obnoxious accusations will hurt Bloomberg, but I suspect it makes her even more unpopular–and not just with swing voters.

    Almost everybody’s sick of that shit.

    1. Yeah, people make a lot of noise about that shit on Twitter but when it comes time to vote it seems like it doesn’t matter as much.

      And I don’t see what she’s so up in arms about, everyone on that stage loves abortions, Mike was just being pro-choice in the real world.

      1. It may be that people used to care more about it than they do.

        I think people may just be getting bored with it now.

        Trump may be the cause of some of that, too. They threw everything at him including the kitchen sink, and it didn’t phase him. He won anyway, in no small part, because so many people were sick of that crap. That must have been the beginning of the end of this stuff.

        This kind of social justice warrior stuff may go the way of calling people out as communists. Whether it was true probably wasn’t as important as that it became boring. The social justice warriors calling someone out again may become boring like warning about reds under the bed became boring.

        After Trump, they jumped the shark. Some people will keep watching it, but the best comedy show in the world can only stay on for so long without boring people to tears with it eventually.

        1. They threw everything at him including the kitchen sink, and it didn’t phase him. He won anyway, in no small part, because so many people were sick of that crap. That must have been the beginning of the end of this stuff.

          Again, also didn’t help that the diverse alternatives were Sanders, Biden, and Bill Clinton’s Wife.

          1. It didn’t help, but then why are we this deep into the election cycle without more diversity?

            Why couldn’t Kamala Harris raise enough funds to keep fighting?

            I think the age of social justice outrage is ebbing.

    2. Almost everybody’s sick of that shit.

      At least when perpetrated by an old white lady who didn’t get her first job until 21.

      TBD whether they’re tired of AOC or Ilhan Omar playing the victim SJW hierarchy card(s).

  25. Emily Halnon: My boyfriend’s wedding dress unveiled my own shortcomings over masculinity. “Those feelings illuminated some unanticipated boundaries of where I define attractiveness in men and when I still crave traditional masculinity. I realized I wanted less dress and more flannel shirts, trucker hats and sandstone Carhartts. . . . My boyfriend’s wedding dress pushed me to perform a scrupulous inventory of my deepest ideas about masculinity and helped me identify my shortfalls as a woman who wants to help rewrite gender norms. As I went through this exercise, I chatted with a handful of girlfriends about it, who could all identify their own small hang-ups with masculinity: their need for men who are bigger and taller than they are, or who are better than them at sports, or who don’t cry in front of them.”

    1. I would say that her boyfriend is a queer but that would be an insult to queers. What the hell is wrong with these people? How do you get to the point that you make it your personal identity to be a freak?

      1. I also don’t understand how it gets to the point where your boyfriend is buying a dress before you go “hmm, maybe he isn’t masculine enough for me”.

        And how we got here I think actually says a lot about how prosperous our society is. These people have no actual problems, so they can focus on things like “wanting to help rewrite gender norms”.

        1. An average lesbian would be more masculine than this clown. If her thing is women, then she needs to go find one.

          My guess is she stays with him for the same reason parents convince themselves and tragically their children that their child is “transgender”. They don’t give a crap about the child or the child’s welfare. They just want to virtue signal to their peers how fashionable and tolerant they are for having a transgender child.

          I doubt this woman gives a crap about her fiance. She is marrying him so she can virtue signal about how tolerant she is and how committed she is to ending gender norms. In fairness, he likely doesn’t care about her either. It is virtue signaling and narcissism all the way down. I can’t see that ending well for anyone.

          1. Either that, or she like being the giver. I’m not sure why she’d be surprised that those things are a package deal though…..

          2. I think you pegged him perfectly, but he’s probably used to that by now.

            And yeah, I don’t see that relationship going well. It seems to be founded on what everyone else thinks of the relationship rather than what the 2 people in the relationship actually want.

            I have a feeling this dude is going to find out that the court system very much adheres to gender norms, hope he can afford to lose half his shit.

            1. “I think you pegged him perfectly, but he’s probably used to that by now”

              Zing

      2. How do you get to the point that you make it your personal identity to be a freak?

        Good place to start is listening to Frank Zappa.

      3. Ever seen Ricky Gervais do comedy in drag? Dude is anything but queer. And totally hilarious.

        1. But he doesn’t dress that way when he’s not working.

        2. Eddie Izzard, but yeah, he’s hilarious. ‘Death or cake’ is great.

          “You’re lucky we’re Church of England…”

          I feel for the woman in the letter. She wants the dude with the truck and ‘Salt Life’ sticker, who opens doors and kills bugs for her. It’s her fucked up social strata and conditioning that makes her feel guilty for wanting those things.

          That said, you chose to marry the guy, sweetheart. No whining.

          1. Eddie Izzard, but yeah, he’s hilarious. ‘Death or cake’ is great.

            “You’re lucky we’re Church of England…”

            Disagree. Gervais is better. Tim Curry in/out of drag is better too. Izzard was modestly funny and the further down the trans/ideology spectrum he’s tumbled, predictably, the less funny he’s gotten. He very much seemed like a victim of the Overton window opening faster than he could adapt. As Ken suggests below pioneer of a fad that just looks tired now that the fad is tired.

            1. As Ken suggests below pioneer of a fad that just looks tired now that the fad is tired.

              Plenty of comedians (British or other) did hilarious cross dressing bits. Izzard’s problem is/was, to borrow an idiom, he went ‘full trans.’

              1. Oh? I hadn’t realized he went nuts with gender issues. Been a few years since I saw a comedy special of his.

                Too bad.

                1. I hadn’t realized he went nuts with gender issues.

                  I freely admit that this is pretty cherry picked (the clip is 8 min. of a ~3 hr. show), but it’s pretty clear from this that he’s bought into the trans ideology, even more specifically a pro-MtF trans-ideology (his deliberate dismissal of women and virtual non-conception of FtM is telling), and is willing to engage in some anti-science/false narrative/historical revisionism to support it. He consistently laments about ‘false progress’ and how we were better off before and then turns around, admits he doesn’t have all the answers but insists that we need to make the progress he recommends. It was just a quintessential moment of the shallow thinking behind the movement to me.

                  Don’t get me wrong, he has some funny lines and anecdotes in the rest of the interview but nothing that balances out the pro-MtF trans-ideology he spouted. Did he get woke and go broke or go broke and get woke? Don’t care.

        3. So where the guys in Monty Python. But this guy doesn’t do it as an act.

          1. point taken

      4. How do you get to the point that you make it your personal identity to be a freak?

        And not the ’23-time gold medalist’, ‘887 wins, 2 losses’, or ‘wizard of wall street’ kind of freak, either.

    2. If they’re that concerned about gender norms, why get married at all . . . especially from the groom’s perspective?

      1. If he is so concerned about gender norms, why isn’t he having sex with both genders? I bet anything this guy is totally straight. It is all about ending gender norms except that he only likes women. He likes them so much he derives sexual pleasure from pretending to be one.

        I would have more respect for him if he were just an honest pervert instead of lying and pretending he is doing something more than just indulging his kinks.

        1. It’s just a fashion statement.

          Saying shit like that is supposed to make you fashionable in some circles.

          It’s like growing your hair long and carrying pictures of Chairman Mao back in the 60s. That made you cool with a certain group of people.

          They’re basically fashion victims. They fell for a fad–just as it was going out. They’re sporting polyester leisure suits because they spend so much time in the disco at night, they don’t know disco is dying.

  26. http://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/key-witness-dr-barbara-ziv-221302233.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=fb

    Key witness in Weinstein case run down by car. When you consider the likelihood of his conviction being overturned and there being a retrial, this does look suspicious. Weinstein is basically a mobster.

    1. Well he is friends with the Clintons…

      1. Speaking of…. did we cover that purported whistle blower who “committed suicide” in a park the other day? Not sure what to make of that story since I first heard of it from a noted kook.

        1. No. I am as skeptical of conspiracy theories as anyone. I find it hard to believe the Clintons or the Democrats have people murdered. But my God, the trail of dead bodies is just enormous. I don’t know how you can explain it in any reasonable way.

        2. That shit sounds shad as hell. He was active working on his 2 d book and was also working with washington examiner reporters. They all say he was in good spirits and looking forward to the new release.

          Plus who the hell kills themselves with a gun shot to the body?

          1. And his upcoming wedding.

          2. “Plus who the hell kills themselves with a gun shot to the body?”

            Women will, if they’re vain about their face and how they’ll look at their funeral. For the very small percentage of female suicides that use a firearm.

            There was an NFL guy or two that did it, to preserve their brain for CTE examination.

            I guess it can fall into the ‘hesitation shot’ category. Jerk the gun enough when pulling the trigger and maybe you pull the muzzle into the body. Then the wound is too damaging to enable you to shoot yourself in the head. All I got.

            A whole lot of people manage to wind up dead when they might embarrass the Democratic Party. Weights falling on people when they work out. Armed robberies where nothing is taken. Plane crashes. Suicides in a 24 hour watched jail cell.

            Their contractors put Mafia button men to shame with their skill.

    2. Totes not a coincidence.

      It’s worth noting L’il Mike Bloomberg freely hung out with Weinstein.

      And then there’s the figment of ever progressive’s imagination….the ‘classy’ Michelle. He said this about Harvey:

      “I want to start by thanking Harvey Weinstein for organizing this amazing day,” then-first lady said Michelle Obama at an awards ceremony organized by Weinstein in 2013. “Harvey. This is possible because of Harvey. He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse. And the fact that he and his team took the time to make this happen for all of you should say something not about me or about this place, but about you.”

      The Obamas are ruthless gold diggers and celebrity chasers.

      A hollow pair.

      1. I’m actually pretty impressed that Obama has refused to even acknowledge Biden as Biden keeps dropping his name. I don’t know what Biden did to the Obamas, but they are obviously not golf buddies.

        1. I never got the impression that Barack actually liked Creepy Uncle Joe, he tolerated him because he understood that if he wanted to win he needed a mostly inoffensive white dude as a running mate.

          Besides, Barack has nothing to gain by endorsing him right now, and he has something to lose if Joe’s senility makes him say something really regrettable.

  27. BTW, in the photo, Steyer looks like he had that smile surgically implanted.

    1. the rest can’t smile because their dentures will fly out

    2. I just want know how many hookers Steyer has killed.

  28. Ultimately, “the workshop will allow Barr to claim he’s getting tough on CSAM without actually doing anything about it—while also laying the groundwork for legislation that would essentially allow him to ban encryption,” they suggest.

    OK, Reason, what’s the play? Do we now need a section 231 to be the section 230 of encryption and a section 232 to be the section 230 for CSAM? How many layers of legislation and bureaucracy do we bury the 1A under before we acknowledge that all it has done is make it so that petty bureaucrats and technocrats could ignore the totality, that is *both* the protection of free speech and the right to petition, of the 1A?

    1. An AG circumventing the 1A would be a Consitutional violation but an AG circumventing section 230 is just selectively enforcing the law, same as any other AG or Kim Davis-esque bureaucrat.

    2. What we need is a first amendment.

      1. A first amendment and some actual fucking libertarians (or others, not picky) who give two shits about it in a socially responsible/cultural context would be better.

    3. Banning encryption is extremely unlikely. It would be like trying to enforce the war on drugs–except instead the people who suffered the most from it wouldn’t be impoverished minorities in our inner cities. They would be the largest and most important companies in the country. Every company in this country needs to use encryption for their communications.

      Oh, and there’s no time like the present for us to familiarize ourselves with how to protect our own data and communications to whatever extent we can.

      Use Signal for SMS and use it for phone calls and free video chats. Not only is it encrypted, but it’s set up in such a way that Signal itself can’t identify which user is which. Even if they complied with a subpoena on you, they wouldn’t be able to identify which encrypted data stream is yours. They have nothing to give.

      When you’re looking at email and dropbox like services, look at companies that are based outside the the 14 eyes countries.

      https://restoreprivacy.com/5-eyes-9-eyes-14-eyes/

      Protonmail has a system where you can use their plug in for various email programs to encrypt your mail, but if you use their phone app and their email service online, the message never leaves Switzerland as far as I can tell. It logs you into the server in Switzerland, where you write your email, and when the recipient receives it, it logs them into the server in Switzerland. How does the U.S. enforce an encryption ban on a service in Switzerland?

      pCloud is a dropbox like service that’s also based in Switzerland–and they used to give people more space than dropbox for free.

      Both Signal’s and Protonmail’s phone apps are fantastic–superior to other options in terms of convenience, I’ve found. And, I guess what I’m trying to say is that people who are concerned about losing the ability to encrypt their communications and data should also be using encryption regularly. Meanwhile, if you pick your encryption services carefully and intelligently, we may find that we’re less concerned about the U.S. being able to enforce an encryption ban.

      Meanwhile, the financial industry–industry wide–not to mention every corporation with a network will be adamantly against encryption bans, not just for themselves but for their customers, too. Barr may want to do that, but he would get so much resistance if he actually did that, it would be amazing.

      1. Protonmail has a system where you can use their plug in for various email programs to encrypt your mail, but if you use their phone app and their email service online, the message never leaves Switzerland as far as I can tell. It logs you into the server in Switzerland, where you write your email, and when the recipient receives it, it logs them into the server in Switzerland. How does the U.S. enforce an encryption ban on a service in Switzerland?

        But Ken, Switzerland has no Section 230 nor even a guaranteed right to free speech (Genocide/Holocaust Denial is illegal, Anti-LGBT Speech is illegal) , how can the internet possibly exist there, let alone exist in a more secure and free state?

        1. You do have a right to privacy in Switzerland under article 13 of the Swiss Constitution, and Swiss courts do not comply with the U.S. subpoenas by way of any treaty over private communications. (Banking regulations are different). In order for a Swiss court to grant a subpoena for your records, there must be evidence of a crime committed in Switzerland.

          Protonmail doesn’t generally log IP address. They take a temporary log of high volume accounts to combat spammers using their service, but they’re not logging your IP address otherwise. Protonmail doesn’t have access to the encryption keys in your messages.

          I understand pCloud is similar–being in Switzerland. Furthermore, you can encrypt files with a third party program before you place them on pCloud’s encrypted service. Even if someone could get a subpoena for your files, all they could give them was an encrypted file inside another encrypted file.

          Signal doesn’t have access to the encryption keys on their service. Not only do they not know who you are, they don’t have access to your keys.

          Regardless, the point isn’t that these solutions are perfect. The perfect solution fallacy is the idea that you shouldn’t bother to protect yourself 99% because 100% perfect protection isn’t possible. If you use these services, your privacy is fairly well protected. If you go outside the 14 eyes countries, especially, Robert Barr isn’t in charge of your data. You can choose to put your data in country where Robert Barr doesn’t have any authority.

          Your choices, that’s what matters. If you choose NOT to protect your data, that’s your choice. Anybody who thinks we need to change the laws because they’re too goddamn lazy to make choices for themselves should go fuck themselves. People who hate their own or other people’s freedom because they’re lazy or don’t want to make tough choices–they’re the problem.

          1. In order for a Swiss court to grant a subpoena for your records, there must be evidence of a crime committed in Switzerland.

            So a crime like denying the holocaust could generate a subpoena and, without a section 230 to protect it, a tidal wave of subpoenas and allegations of holocaust denial could bring down any one of these services tomorrow, no? Are you not concerned? Why?

            1. That is a serious consideration that people should take into account–when they decide not to subject themselves to the authority of Barr.

      2. The odd part is that this is in a discussion about CDA 230 and encryption has nothing to do with CDA 230 unless you include what a tech blogger claimed about the draft of a bill. The mention of encryption wasn’t in the draft.

        Logically, banning encryption won’t catch anyone because once people know there is a backdoor they’ll use Protonmail’s VPN which doesn’t log any data. They’ll see what’s being sent, but not by who.

        “the message never leaves Switzerland as far as I can tell”

        For their email, yes. They have great privacy laws there. (Maybe the best) VPN’s? If you used the VPN to use a US-based service it won’t matter.

        This is where it gets fun:

        The only reason encryption is being talked about in regards to CDA 230 is because some dude said Barr could use the Earn IT act to ban it. The Earn IT act talks about implementing age restrictions. That means user verification.

        If a guy gets busted police can get a warrant, get login credentials through a site like FB, see everything he sent and received, and all users will be verified. No guess work. The communications will be as anonymous as Verizon Wireless accounts.

        Encryption talk as of now is useless and just pure speculation. End of anonymity is the goal otherwise banning encryption won’t matter.

        1. Even if the reporting on the story was off, Section 230 is interesting because it’s emblematic of problems associated with the government solving our problems for us. I’m someone who happens to think Section 230 is a good thing, but I’m by no means in the majority with that opinion. Even I admit that it’s rare for government solutions to address a problem and get something right.

          That’s one of the reasons I’m skeptical of anybody trying to solve our privacy problems through legislation. Zuckerberg is going around now begging Congress to regulate speech online–it’s basically rent seeking. Meanwhile, our intelligence services keep fighting for back doors and the politicians who listen to them are usually wary of being accused of making the internet safe for racists, terrorists, and people who hurt children. If anything came out of that clusterfuck of the Justice Department, Congress, and Facebook and Google that was primarily directed at protecting my privacy, it would only be by accident. The only thing they all agree on is that my privacy should drawn, quartered, and displayed on the walls of four different social media platforms.

          That is why my first defense is to center my privacy in parts of the world that aren’t under their control. I understand what you’re saying about anonymity. I’m not sure how that will impact my ability to log into services in other countries. I’m not sure how that will impact services like Mastodon and MeWe. I’m leery of any promises that politicians will solve our privacy problems for us, and I think anyone who’s calling for legislation to do so is carrying wood for the people who are building the gallows with which to hang our privacy.

          I find it especially irksome when I hear complaints about privacy from people who are too damn lazy to make the choice to use the free services that are available to them now to address those issues. It’s like they’ve tried nothing and they’re all out of ideas–so they’ll trust the Justice Department and the shitstains in Congress to do it for them. Those are the people we want to protect our privacy from! Letting them write the rules is letting the foxes guard the chicken house.

  29. SANDERS: Misconception—and you’re hearing it here tonight, is that the ideas I’m talking about are radical. They’re not. In one form or another, they exist in countries all over the world.

    Sanders… that’s not a good metric for implementing something here.

    1. Sanders’ ideas have a long history going back to 1789 and have been implemented in places as diverse as post Revolutionary France, 1930s Germany, Russia, China and even developing nations such as Cambodia in the mid 1970s.

      So, Sanders isn’t lying here.

      1. If these debate moderators had any stones at all that’s how it would’ve gone. “OK Senator Sanders, let’s expound upon where and when these ideas have been tried…”

        1. If Sanders wins the nomination, he will end up in a debate with Trump and Trump will say something like that and Sanders will lose his mind. If you watch Sanders in these debates you can tell how thin skinned and volatile he is. He comes close to losing even when confronted with the “isn’t the real problem with socialism that it just tries too hard to do good?” sorts of questions.

          I said the other day that Sanders has made his entire career out of being the true believer. No one has ever taken him to task or done anything but reward him for saying crazy and stupid things. If you ever knew how to moderate himself or handle criticism, he has almost certainly forgotten how. He is going to blow up one of these times and it is going to be epic.

        2. Again, Trump praises Duterte’s harsh treatment of drug dealers, Sanders praises Pol Pot’s literacy programs.

    2. If everybody else thought jumping off a cliff was a good idea, would you do it, too?

  30. Apropos of nothing in particular, I just hope Reason’s staff is enjoying all those ads Elizabeth Warren has been running here as much as I am.

    1. I am sure they enjoy cashing her checks.

      1. Ooh, burn.

    2. D.A. Ridgely… D.A. Ridgely… *things* Man, you’re from the OLD days of Reason.

  31. If the other candidates aren’t asleep at the switch they’ll attack Bernie’s comment that his ideas aren’t radical because they’re present in other countries. Taken alone as policies that’s true. But what are the trade-offs required? Bernie’s favorite democratic socialist countries do not have all that free stuff without enormous tax rates on the middle class. He ain’t getting there just by taxes on the wealthy, and everyone knows it. The math doesn’t work. His opponents should be all over that. You’ll never convince his base to vote for someone else. But others can be convinced.

    1. The entire party is on the “make the rich pay for it” bandwagon, they can’t start lobbing stones on that subject without torpedoing their own campaigns. No one on that stage benefits from people actually doing the math.

  32. ENB, the draft is available online for the EARN IT act. At no point does it mention encryption in the draft. Not even close. You’re piggy-backing off of journalism that piggy-backed off of a tech blogger. If you look at what it does contain you’ll see that it doesn’t have to touch encryption.

    It mentions age restrictions.

    You can only have age restrictions that work if you verify the identity of every user. If you verify the identity of every user you can access the accounts of someone with a warrant, look and see who they communicated with, and know exactly who each person is. That’s more powerful and useful than banning encryption since just because you can read it doesn’t mean you know who is involved. Encrypted or not you can still access their accounts with a warrant. The identity verification then leads to a perfect roadmap of who is involved.

    I’d say the part in the draft that could lead to the end of anonymity would be something more useful to write about than something that’s not even in it like you did.

    1. Wasn’t the blogger commenting on what was said at a DOJ workshop, not what is in the actual text of the EARN IT act? Perhaps your handle is well earned.

  33. The draft and the workshop are two different things. The draft was before the workshop and the blogger that originally started the “encryption fiasco” simply said Barr could do something like that. Barr could also require a name attached to each dick pic sent on your service. So…

    Best to stick with what the draft of the bill contains, don’t ya think? Otherwise you’re just writing for clicks.

  34. I refuse to watch any joint press conference called a debate, but am curious; did anyone ask Bernie to discuss the China single payer system, and how the response to the virus outbreak included locking people in their homes and then they starved to death?

  35. Who the hell is the “other Biden”? I want to vote for that guy or girl…once Joe can explain who it is…

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