Reason Roundup

Rand Paul Says Trump Is Backing Surveillance Reform

Plus: Who's using Clearview AI?, court rules against Joe Arpaio, and more...

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The legal provisions that let the feds secretly spy on digital communications are set to expire soon. Attorney General Bill Barr wants a blanket reauthorization ASAP. But yesterday the president suggested that he may disagree.

"Good talk with @realDonaldTrump yesterday and I'm pleased he is urging FISA reform NOW—and not a reauthorization of the current Patriot Act," tweeted Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) on Thursday morning. That afternoon, the Kentucky senator followed up:

The decision whether to renew the USA Freedom Act as is rests with Congress, of course. But Trump's support for reforms could make a big difference to some Republicans there.

Both Republicans and Democrats have enthusiastically renewed these provisions in the past, and they appear poised to do so again, despite longstanding complaints about abuse of the process. Lawmakers now have until March 15 to decide whether to renew without reforms or pick from several reform proposals.

"In January, a bipartisan pack of privacy-minded lawmakers introduced a bill that would formally end the bulk collection of Americans' records and introduce other reforms to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment (FISA) Court to provide some more transparency and better protect Americans from unwarranted surveillance," Reason's Scott Shackford wrote yesterday. Alas,

congressional leaders just want to push through a quick temporary renewal with some less modest fixes. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D–N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (D–Calif.), chairs of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, put together a reform bill of their own that would extend the USA Freedom Act until 2023.

Nadler and Schiff's bill would end the bulk data collection program but would extend the part of Section 215 of the Patriot Act that lets the FBI secretly collect business records it deems relevant to terrorism investigations. So the feds will be able to easily collect your data when it's in the hands of a third party—and these days, that means most of your data.

Four provisions are set to expire; Lawfare has more details.

Barr has said he wants a "clean" renewal of the act with no reforms, promising that any problems can be fixed through administrative procedure. ("That's the worst possible outcome," argues Shackford, "because it would give Barr the power to decide—in secret—whose privacy rights are protected and whose are not.") But Trump may be breaking with his top cop on the matter.

In addition to the discussion he reportedly had with Paul, Trump yesterday retweeted a post from Rep. Jim Jordan (R–Ohio) that said, "We can't simply reauthorize the system that allowed those lies and omissions to happen." Trump also quote-tweeted with his own comment:

"The three surveillance tools on the verge of lapsing are [FISA] provisions…that broaden the FBI's authority to wiretap certain targets and request key documents. They are separate from the tools that the FBI used on [former Trump campaign advisor Carter] Page," CNN points out. But the FBI did use FISA warrants in investigating Page. Trump and some Republicans seem to have latched on to that as a reason to reform the provisions under question now. Weird, but whatever works!


QUICK HITS

  • "Thousands of government entities and private businesses around the world [are] listed as clients of the controversial facial recognition startup" Clearview AI, reports Buzzfeed. Customers include U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), "the Drug Enforcement Administration (about 2,000 searches); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (more than 2,100 searches); and the FBI (5,700 searches across at least 20 different field offices)," in addition to more than 200 companies.
  • The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is refusing to let Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio get a misdemeanor contempt of court charge vacated.
  • Unions are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon.
  • A Virginia bill would expand the definition of prostitution to include accepting money for touching "the intimate parts of another with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify."

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  1. Good talk with @realDonaldTrump yesterday and I’m pleased he is urging FISA reform NOW—and not a reauthorization of the current Patriot Act…

    Until a deep stater gets in his head and reverses this.

    1. Hello.

      Didn’t they (meaning media and people infected with TDS alike) laugh at Trump when he first claimed they were spying on him?

      He’s also proving right about China. Right now…Turkey, Iran and China. Watch out. They’re all cruisin’ for love.

      Each of those are more dangerous than Russia. But what do the lefties squawk about? Why Russia of course!

    2. “Spoke with @realDonaldTrump . He agrees that the secret FISA court (intended to be used on foreign spies) should be forbidden from ever spying on or investigating Americans, and that Congress should act NOW to make sure of that! ”

      This #LibertarianMoment brought to you by Orange Man and the Deplorables who supported him, over the hysterical pants shitting opposition of @Reason.

      You’re welcome.

  2. Bernie Sanders in 1985:

    “Sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is because people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing. In other countries, people don’t line up for food, the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

    1. But a Fix review of more than 10 hours of Sanders appearances over the past three decades reveals how Sanders has often been quick to downplay abuses of authoritarian regimes, instead focusing on aspects and programs he admired. During his two presidential bids, Sanders has at times appeared to contradict or try to explain away his earlier views on authoritarian regimes, examples of which you can watch in the video above.

      In 1985, Sanders praised Cuban dictator Fidel Castro for his education and health-care programs. In 1986, he recalled being “very excited” by Castro’s revolution. And after he returned from a trip to Cuba in 1989, the Rutland Daily Herald paraphrased Sanders as calling Cuba a “model of what a society could be” for Latin America.

      At the time, Castro’s human rights abuses had been documented in media reports and by Congress.

      1. Steve Scalise

        @SteveScalise
        ???? BREAKING → Dems have moved so far left and are so afraid of their socialist base that they can’t even condemn a murderous communist regime anymore.

        They just voted down @MarioDB’s resolution condemning Bernie Sanders’ praise of Fidel Castro’s dictatorship.

        Shameful.

        1. Of course, the Democrats cannot condemn murderous groups.

          The Party of slavery fought for slavery, started the KKK, and pushed segregation in the Jim Crowe South.

          1. “The Party of slavery fought for slavery, started the KKK, and pushed segregation in the Jim Crowe South.”

            Aren’t you a white conservative rural southerner? I’ll assume you’re saying this reverently since you’re talking about kin.

            1. You do realize that the White South was largely democratic and remained so until the mid 90s right?

                1. So your comment had no point to it. Okay.

                  1. You actually helped me make my point silly.

                    LC rails against the evils of post Jim Crow Democrats never realizing that they are his ideological (and literal) forbears. He probably grew up in a yellow-dog home. Further, they had as much in common with their northern peers as the blue-blood Republicans did with their southern counterparts.

                    1. Your ignorant post assumes there is no familial movements from state to state in this country. You also ignorantly assume politics is passed down from one generation to the next. You also ignore the studies that showed the South grew less racial as the older generations moved or died off.

                      Basically you still have no point other than to demonstrate basic ignorance of generational mechanics.

                    2. If LC were in urban Atlanta you’d have a point. But Georgia peanut farmers aren’t exactly a mobile demographic are they? I’m right and you know it.

                    3. No, yours, Eric is a blank condemnation of anyone who is rural and white with no evidence to support your assertions except historical 3vidwnxd from decades ago. It requires one to believe that there is no generational differences and that to be rural and white equals racism. BTW, Carter is a rural, white peanut farmer from Georgia, ergo he must be a racist by your logic.bl

                    4. LC1789 is the one who brought up Democrats as being the party of slavery. If he does not want to acknowledge the party shifts in the last 150 years, then he opens himself to valid counter points. For instance, that he is a southern conservative who is the ideological and probably literal descendant of southern jim crow Democrats.

                    5. Your ignorant post assumes there is no familial movements from state to state in this country.

                      Excellent point. It reminds me of the bit of idiocy about the racists “switching parties due to the Southern Strategy”. The topic has been researched. Southern Republican voting mostly grew out of suburban districts and precincts that had little or no history of being hotbeds for racist activity. What those districts and precincts did have a history of is being the destination of Northern transplants who moved to the South as part of the Sunbelt Migration.

                    6. DOL valid by whose judgement? You too are making the fallacious assumption that southern conservatives are necessarily racist and political ideologues with the Jim Crow Democrats. It is basically an ad hominem attack, but you try to justify it by acting as if it is a foregone conclusion.

                    7. I’m not going to argue with you about whether or not Southern Conservatives are historically racist. That would be ridiculous. For you. It’s not ad hominem, it’s history.

                    8. Because no one is arguing historically we are arguing about currently. See the difference? Because I repeatedly stated you can’t use historical evidence to support the supposition that current southern conservatives are racist. You aren’t very strong in reading comprehension. You just made yourself look completely foolish while trying to imply I was the foolish one.

                    9. Soldier, go back to the Lc1789’s comment and Eric’s response.

                      Lc1789:
                      “Of course, the Democrats cannot condemn murderous groups.

                      The Party of slavery fought for slavery, started the KKK, and pushed segregation in the Jim Crowe South.”

                      My take is that this conversation is exactly about historical political positions of the south.

                    10. Partially, but Eric then implied that southern conservatives are the racist ones and ideologically alligned with the old Jim Crow south. An assertion you seemed to try and justify, despite there being little to no evidence to support that. Also, LC was stating that the Democratic party, while claiming to have changed, hasn’t really. They just changed their tactics.

                    11. And any reading of my previous statement makes it clear that my protests were aimed at Eric’s assertion, not the idea that decades ago conservatives in the south were racist.

                    12. “but Eric then implied that southern conservatives are the racist ones“

                      Where did I imply that?

                    13. “Aren’t you a white conservative rural southerner? I’ll assume you’re saying this reverently since you’re talking about kin.”

                    14. “But Georgia peanut farmers aren’t exactly a mobile demographic are they? I’m right and you know it.

                    15. “LC rails against the evils of post Jim Crow Democrats never realizing that they are his ideological (and literal) forbears. He probably grew up in a yellow-dog home. Further, they had as much in common with their northern peers as the blue-blood Republicans did with their southern counterparts.”

                    16. Eric, just stop. You haven’t had credibility here………. ever.

                    17. Hi Shitty. I’ve missed you handsome.

        2. They also voted down consideration of a bill to have doctors take care of babies born alive from a failed abortion attempt.

          No real morals on that side of the aisle.

          1. So true. Your team is where the Moral Majority sit. Say…you lot should start using that term again.

            1. Give me an example that is equivalent.

              1. I’m agreeing with you. Sheesh. But if you force me to dig deep…

                Shitlord?

                1. You have no morality. I consider it likely you’re at least a borderline sociopath. Progressivism attracts that, as it is against any kind of fixed morals or values. Hence no real objection to physician assisted infanticide.

                  1. Hi sexy. You know I can’t resist your charms 😉

            2. Providing basic medical care to a baby born alive should never be controversial. But please indicate how you can defend the opposite.v

              1. Lol. Strawman fallacy. Try again.

                1. How is it a straw man fallacy when we are discussing a law that would require doctors to provide basic medical care to arborted babies who are born alive? Do you even know what a straw man is?
                  Literal quote from Jesse that your reply was to ”They also voted down consideration of a bill to have doctors take care of babies born alive from a failed abortion attempt.”

                  1. Show me where I’m defending the lack of assisting partially aborted babies, and ill recant my strawman statement.

                    1. “true. Your team is where the Moral Majority sit. Say…you lot should start using that term again.”

                      This wasn’t a snide remark in reply to his post about providing medical care for infants? Because he sure sounds like one to me.

                    2. It was in response to the “no real morals on that side of the isle” part. Those of us not starry-eyed for either side of the isle realize how naive this comment is.
                      Get some perspective Mr I-Didn’t-Vote-for-Trump.

                    3. Well, I didn’t. So what is your reason for using that nickname sarcastically? Do you think it makes you appear open minded? Intelligent?
                      On this issue the Republicans really are the moral ones.

                    4. I think you are using the assertion that you didn’t vote for Trump to virtue signal your intellectual independence. But your default stance appears to be to support him as well as advocate for Republican tribalism at any and every turn, which is especially strange for an independent mind. One would think you’d avoid groupthink as opposed to espouse it.

                    5. That is the pot calling the kettle black. No, what I have done is not default supported Trump except when I think he is right. I have spoken against extrajudicial judgement and abuse of the judicial system and impeachment to remove him, the same as I would for a democrat who was receiving the same treatment. I have also criticizes Trump and his sycophants.

                    6. A large part of progressivism is based on not having any traditions meal values. Everything is on a sliding scale and ethics are situational. Which is why I frequently point out how the progressive movement is so attractive to sociopaths. As sociopaths have no conscience, and no real morality.

          2. Aren’t you the guys who dismiss all the valid reasons for abortions as being minor %’s of abortions performed?

            I think we can likewise dismiss your concern over aborted fetuses who live through the procedure.

            “Brandi, of Physicians for Reproductive Health, said she had never heard of a case of a child born after a failed attempt at an abortion. ‘This is a part of the false narrative around this bill and abortion later in pregnancy,’ she said.”

            Also, didn’t you (rightly) condemn the anti-lynching bill for being political grandstanding to re-criminalize something that was already criminal? This is the exact same scenario (it is already illegal to , but this time your tribe failed to advance their show issue, so you reversed your opinion.

            Careful, your tribalism is showing again.

            1. There literally was one at the fucking state of the union last month. Fucking Brandi is full of shit.

              1. Uh huh. One. Seems like a small enough percentage that we can just dismiss it, since anti abortionists like to dismiss medically necessary abortions as insignificant enough to be overlooked. And those occur in the hundreds of thousands annually.

                And murder is already illegal. Remember Gosnell? Gosnell who will never get out of prison, Gosnell?

                And ‘Brandi’ is an OBGYN on the Board of Physicians for Reproductive Health, so it’s safe to say she is far more knowledgeable than you on this topic, no offense.

                1. I am not aware of a single conservative who doesn’t allow for medically necessary abortions. Their argument is that the number is small enough that that shouldn’t be the only reason to make late term abortions legal for everyone. You are arguing a straw man in your analogy. You are misrepresenting what the Republicans are stating and why they are stating it.

                  1. Conservatives who want women to go before government boards and file paperwork to justify their medically necessary abortions? Conservatives who try to put up every bureaucratic roadblock they can between people and reproductive health treatment in general?

                    Yeah, I’m sure they are A-OK with people aborting their Trisomy 18 doomed fetuses. It’s just that every single action they take communicates the opposite. Also see: no exceptions for rape or incest in several states.

                    To quote the “conservatives” on similar matters: Forgive my skepticism, but …something something …death panels.

                    1. There are and to imply otherwise is disingenuous. And to imply that restricting medical abortions to being totally against them is a huge difference. Opposing the abortion of a down syndrome is debatable as to the medical necessity. Trisomy 13 is not immediately life threatening but does require supportive care. So does blindness and deafness and autism, but I doubt you would label those as medical necessity as justification to abort.
                      What you are arguing about is a difference of opinion as to what is medical necessity. That isn’t the same as opposing medically necessary abortions.

                  2. Oh, and there are several opinion pieces online you can find by anti abortionists claiming there is no such thing as a medically necessary abortion. Funny that.

                    The party that routinely denies science….denies science. There’s a headline for you, almost as good as this one:

                    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/abortion-is-never-medically-necessary

                    1. Again they aren’t arguing that continuing the pregnancy is the best answer. The 1000 physicians, who the piece are referring to, instead state inducing labor or a C-section is safer and a better treatment. The author, who is conservative, isn’t making that argument he is quoting 1000 physicians who specializes in ob-gyn as making that statement and presenting their argument.

                    2. “The party that routinely denies science….denies science.”

                      FWIW, that applies to both major parties, whenever it suits their preconceived notions.

            2. Well shit! Of ‘Brandi’ hasn’t heard of it, it must never have happened, ever.

              FFS Pedo Jeffy, that’s even worse than your usual idiotic drivel.

    2. Bernie Sanders’ argument that even bad people may occasionally do something good might carry a little weight if he’d ever once said anything good about the United States. But not even a begrudging acknowledgement that there’s something to be said for a country that will allow America-hating evil morons like himself and Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib and AOC to hold elective office rather than just beating them to death and displaying their heads on pikes.

      1. meh. Wearing the flag on one’s lapel means nothing. Or were you moved when Trump literally hugged the flag.

        1. I don’t know that I’d say I was moved, but my stomach did turn. And that’s got nothing to do with Bernie promising a fundamental transformation because he hates everything America stands for.

          1. Trump doesn’t love anything America stands for either. He doesn’t even understand it, or certainly didn’t before 2016. But since he fakes it really well, and the yokels lap it up he gets a pass right?
            Not really arguing with you…just opining on the state of theatrics in politics.

            1. So you are able to read Trump’s mind? Because the only way you can make that statement is to be able to read his mind.

              1. Tell me one instance where Trump sacrificed anything for his country. Just one. Just one instance where he did something undeniably patriotic with no benefit to himself.

                He had ample opportunity to demonstrate patriotism from ’65 to ’75, and instead used his daddy’s connections to weasel out of his responsibility as a male American citizen.

                1. He is serving as President without pay.

                  1. The tax-code changes he implemented are going to increase his personal wealth more then the presidential pay would have, so no, not really.

                    1. This assumption requires a lot of postulation to condemn his current sacrifices. First you have to postulate he wants to return to his former occupation, second you have to postulate he is going to be able to, third you have to postulate he will be successful, etc. Yours is begging facts not in evidence.

                    2. Actually, his net wealth has decreased since he’s been in office, so try again.

                      You leftist turds really are a despicable lot. Maybe we should go with Jerryskids’ suggestion of displaying your heads on pikes rather than letting you wander freely among decent folk.

                    3. … who’s talking about the future?

                      The tax-code changes he has already made have already rewarded him.

                    4. “The tax-code changes he implemented are going to increase his personal wealth more then the presidential pay would have, so no, not really”
                      Who is talking about the future, it appears you are. Notice the words going to in your statement. His tax codes have also benefitted my personal wealth and the majority of Americans. And as UCCrawford pointed out his personal wealth has actually decreased. So you can’t even state they have benefitted him, unless you are arguing he would have lost even more wealth, which again is an argument of facts not in evidence.

                  2. Sure. Trump will fade away, with the knowledge that he served his country, seeking no further gratitude nor self enrichment for he and his. A man of no avarice nor pride, such as he is.

                    1. Calling for evidence not present. He asked for an example, I gave one, your response was to postulate on his future actions.

                    2. I’m betting it’s more than you’ve ever done for this country. And that you’d never work a job for free…if you were employable and could keep a job.

                    3. “ I’m betting it’s more than you’ve ever done for this country.”

                      Lol. Only by the measurement of those that think one can only “serve” by joining the military or being a Republican President.

                    4. Eric, garbage like you has no concept of patriotism. So just stop. You’re vile trash. Deep down you know that.

                  3. His properties have taken in some hundreds of millions from his golf trips.

                    1. Actually, the majority of the money on his golf trips are mandated for security reasons. And that doesn’t dispute the fact that he is serving for free.

                    2. It absolutely disputes it. He is profitting directly from his position as president. “Security” expense just means those are rooms and food that secret service has to purchase. Purchase from Trump!

                      It’s is textbook corruption. Red Hats’ failure to acknowledge that is one of the clearest, inarguable instances of classic corruption from Trump and their hypocrisy toward him in general.

                    3. It isn’t corruption, because the same expenses were paid by previous president’s as part of the security. The biggest difference is Trump owns the golf resorts. And if he is benefitting from it, he isn’t doing so well because his personal wealth has continued to decrease as President. Bush vacationed at his ranch and had to have the same security procedures. Are Presidents not allowed to visit their own property while serving?

                    4. ‘Hundreds of millions’………paid to his resorts by the government, just for his trips. In three short years.

                      Goddamn you’re fucking stupid.

                2. He can’t. But the dopamine and oxytocin rush his brain gets whenever he thinks of Trump are directed into a desire to justify the mans actions and defend him from all foes. It’s called tribalism and it’s endemic to human psychology. But he’ll tell you it’s called principles because he’s convinced himself of the silly trope that conservatives base their opinions in logic and reason. And if that’s not true, then everything else he tells himself might be suspect. And that’s just not possible is it Soldier?

                  1. I just gave a fucking example dipshit. Also, as I have stated multiple times, I didn’t vote for Trump.

                    1. Your example was weak as hell and you know it.

                    2. our example was weak as hell and you know it.

                      Not nearly as weak as literally everything you’ve crapped onto this page and called writing.

                      The pike idea is sounding better and better for you progtards.

                    3. He asked for one example. He didn’t specify how strong or weak. And your declaring it weak hardly makes it so. Others may disagree with your opinion. I am neither saying it is strong or weak just an example. Do you understand? Or do I need to simplify it for your sophomoric attempt at dehate?;

                    4. UCrawford’s brain-stem is acting up. Someone give him a kitten to strangle please before he calls for more genocide.

                    5. Yeah, the violent fantasies being voiced by the brown shirts, oops, red hats is getting over the top. I’m pretty sure they are completely unaware of how hard life can get if they choose to go full insurgency.

                      Hey Trumpettes, you are probably not going to be able to get a charge for your rascal or pallets of mountain dew once the civil war starts, mmkay?

                    6. DOL for someone who supposedly doesn’t demonize others and us opposed to tyranny you sure like to demonize anyone who disagrees with you, and you sure sound like you are willing to use violence to enforce your will on those who disagrees with you. UCCrawford made a joke, albeit it a bad one.

                    7. I seem like someone to use violence? I have in the past, but on uncle sam’s dime and direction.

                      I don’t think I’ve ever alluded to a willingness to use violence around here, and certainly never on my fellow Americans (unless they steal my parking spot, or something equally egregious).

                      And I’m serious in that I don’t want to offend you or talk shit. I apologize if I do/did.

                    8. Pedo Jeffy, if a civil war does start, you will marvel at the astounding speed that your kind are wiped off the fucking map. Good thing for you that you are a Canadian in Toronto. Far removed from America.

                      Which is a real shame. I imagine the look of terror on your smug face as realization of your fate dawned upon you would be truly priceless.

                  2. Soldier is genuine and earnest, so I hate to speak badly of him. But he is naive, and unaware of bias.

                    1. Evidence for this? Because I disagree with your assertions?;

                    2. Pedo Jeffy, you’re too stupid to be capable of any kind of cognitive analysis. You are demonstrably inferior to all of us.

                      We all laugh at you and find you annoying. And you’re not even honest. Additionally your stolen valor where this sock claims military service is despicable.

                      Make things right. Go drink that Drano.

                3. Draft dodging is pretty fucking libertarian, dude.

                  Fuck forced conscription, I’ll never fault someone for opting out if they can. That I ever had to sign up for the Selective Service is a fucking travesty.

                  1. Trump was fine with others dying in his place. Trump was too good to die in Vietnam for his country, but he had no problem with letting another man take his place.

                    Trump isn’t a libertarian, and he didn’t dodge Vietnam for his principles. He never spoke out against the war, until questioned on his draft dodging on a radio show decades after the war. He never used any of his ample wealth or free time to protest the war or move policy.

                    What he did choose to speak out about politically prior to becoming president is very telling, however: lynch the “Central Park 5” (now proven innocent), and Obama is a Kenyan Muslim.

                    Hmmm, what do those two issues have in common, hmmmmmmmmmmmm?

                    1. Trump didn’t send any of those other people off to war, the US Government did and Trump was powerless to do anything about it. The only thing he could’ve done is sign up to get shot along side them, which would’ve been pointless. I’m not sure why you think that line of logic has any validity at all, but OK.

                      One could support the war in Vietnam and not support the draft, those positions are not mutually exclusive. “I don’t know enough about the war to have an opinion but I know I don’t wanna get shot at” is also a completely valid and logical viewpoint.

                      And nice work bringing a completely unrelated race angle into it, I get that I’ve put you in a tough spot in that you’re forced to defend the draft because you hate Trump, but you could try to stay on topic.

                    2. I’m not defending the draft, I’m attacking Trump’s transparent fake patriotism.

                      The man has never expressed being anti selective service, even though he is the president now. So I think your little scenario is way overly generous to Trump.

                      And I gave examples of him being politically active to show that he does have political opinions, and he does voice them, and he has spent money on making those opinions public. And what interesting topics he chooses to use that voice on. Not the draft, or the Vietnam war. Hmm, what curious silence for such an outspoken patriot

                    3. Replying here since it won’t let me reply to your follow up.

                      I’m not ascribing any libertarian ideals or any particular political philosophy to Trump when he decided to dodge the draft. It’s entirely possible it was 100% due to cowardice, and that really wouldn’t matter at all since dodging the draft is the right decision regardless of how you got to it. If you have libertarian ideals, you don’t criticize people for dodging the draft because the draft is deeply immoral and no one should be subjected to it, regardless of how orange they are or how distasteful you find their politics.

                      Is there no way for a man to be patriotic in your book other than volunteering to get shot at? You’re implying that his draft dodging makes him unpatriotic, does that mean that libertarian ideals are inherently unpatriotic?

            2. Trump stands for the basic principles of American self-government, government of, by, and for the people, in clear distinction to Reason’s government of, by, and for the US ruling class and foreigners.

              #AmericaFirst.

              1. No no no. Trump stands for Truth, Justice and the American Way, you silly goose.

                #HisOrangeHoliness

                1. Trump is the best President in US history.

    3. Those “other countries” are generally socialist shitholes that Bernie cheered on.

      Meanwhile, in capitalist countries, the poor have so much food they’re obese.

  3. Barr has said he wants a “clean” renewal of the act with no reforms, promising that any problems can be fixed through administrative procedure.

    Hopefully Barr becomes Trump’s Sessions 2.0 and the president wants to stick it to him every chance.

    1. I’ve been saying it a long time – at some point people are going to have to be reminded that Barr was Bush’s AG and he’s as Deep State/GOPe as the rest of them. My guess is that point will come when the “bombshell” Durham report turns out to be the same fizzle as all the rest of them – mistakes were made but no reasonable prosecutor blah blah blah, sternly written letters and severe finger-wags all around and let’s move on.

      1. Unfortunately, you’re not wrong with this

      2. that’s what I figure. I could see the case, if this stuff goes as far as I think it does, where even Trump might not want to unleash what could very well be the “nuclear option”. If this shit goes all the way up to Obama, and includes other big names like Clinton or Biden, it doesn’t matter if we have video evidence on a silver platter of them literally murdering someone (and we won’t, it will probably be convoluted as hell). In this environment, half the nation will see it as just another political attack, and it won’t matter what the Democrats did.

      3. “at some point people are going to have to be reminded that Barr was Bush’s AG and he’s as Deep State/GOPe as the rest of them.”

        Very possible. Much like the Left is strung along with endless promises of a Coup Any Day Now, the Right is strung along with Justice Against the Coup Day Now.

        Still, while Trump has been slowed by the endless Coups, we’ve seen accelerating progress toward his campaign promises. And if you listen to speeches from Barr, he does seem old school Law and Order. Go listen to his Federalist speech. The most anti Deep State speech I’ve heard from anyone in government.

        Once upon a time Americans actually believed in self-government over Deep State rule. Barr at least often sounds like that.

        Much like it was unclear if Trump would instantly sell out his supporters to the Deep State, it’s unclear if Barr will too. Trump didn’t. Barr may not either. At least he’s a “may not”, instead of a “certainly will”. That’s an improvement.

  4. Share via email Print
    There’s a lot of discussion about the “oppo” that is coming down the mountain for Bernie Sanders if he’s the Democratic nominee. Most of this focuses on the gap in knowledge between his socialist sympathies and voter attitudes on socialism.

    But Sanders has also avoided the scrutiny on more niche issues that Trump and the conservative media specialize in elevating but are saving for later, thanks to his Favored Opponent Status.

    One such subject (that was used sporadically by Clinton allies in 2016) is currently being featured in an ad running in South Carolina by the anti-Sanders Super PAC “Big Tent Project.” It’s about Sanders dumping waste in a poor Latino community in Texas.

    The ad is potent and, should Sanders be the nominee, will be the perfect successor to the “super-predators” ads the Trump campaign used to tamp down African-American support for Clinton in 2016. So before you hear about it from your Ingraham Angle watching aunt this summer, here’s the phrase that is certain to become very familiar in conservative households: Sierra Blanca.

    Podcast episode cover image
    PODCAST · FEBRUARY 26 2020
    David Priess on the Debate, the DNI, and Coronavirus
    On today’s Bulwark Podcast, David Priess joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss Tuesday’s South Carolina Democratic debate,…
    First, the basics.

    (1) In 1998, then-Rep. Sanders cosponsored a bill that would allow Vermont and Maine to dump their nuclear waste in a poor and largely Latino town in Texas called Sierra Blanca.

    (2) A Texas Observer article in 1998 covered protestors from Sierra Blanca confronting Rep. Sanders and being given the stiff arm. The story’s headline was “Sanders to Sierra Blanca: Drop Dead.” Sanders even rebuffed an offer to visit Sierra Blanca, telling its residents, “Absolutely not. I’m gonna be running for re-election in the state of Vermont.”

    (3) Liberal hero Paul Wellstone—an actual progressive Democrat—gave a speech on the Senate floor calling this dump “environmental racism.” Former Texas Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes called Sanders actions “insanely callous.”

    (4) After Congress approved the proposal, environmental regulators rejected the Sierra Blanca site. But a different site in Andrews County, Texas gained approval a few years later and Vermont/Texas maintain an interstate waste agreement.

    (5) In 2016, Sanders’ tax returns revealed that as of 2014 Jane Sanders was still drawing a small salary as an alternate commissioner for the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission as part of the agreement with Vermont that her husband pushed.

    1. #5 there is just cartoonish levels of corruption. I expect it from all politicians, particularly socialists, but I’d expect one who has been at it as long as Bernie has to be a little better at hiding it.

      1. There is also valid charges that Sanders has used his political campaigns to enrich him and his family through questionable moves. While we can state this as politics as usual, Sanders biggest draw is his “authenticity” if you chip away at that (especially among surburban upper middle class whites) the only argument is his policies. His policies are far less popular, especially among people who will be having to pay for them. Run an ad on his campaign shenninigans and his promise that we will all have to have our taxes raised to payv orball his goodies.

        1. Old Town Media…just wait until that story breaks and hits Fox (the most watched news network on TV).

          It certainly won’t dissuade the hardcore Bernie bros, but it will keep his veneer of authenticity with anyone even remotely on the fence. And once he gets actual follow-up questions and challenges on his policies (which Trump will absolutely do in the debates), Bernie will do exactly what he did in his debates with Ted Cruz and display how little he knows about anything…as he turns into a gibbering, hand-waving mess.

  5. Washington (CNN)Mike Bloomberg has vowed as a Democratic candidate for president to “strengthen entitlement programs.” But when he was mayor of New York City, Bloomberg twice compared Social Security to a “Ponzi scheme” and repeatedly said cuts to that program as well as Medicare and Medicaid had to be part of any serious solution to reducing the federal deficit.

    The comments come from Bloomberg’s weekly appearances as mayor on the radio program “Live from City Hall,” which was reviewed by CNN’s KFile.
    “I don’t know if Bernie Madoff got his idea from there, but if there’s ever a Ponzi scheme, people say Madoff was the biggest? Wrong. Social Security is, far and away,” Bloomberg said in a January 2009 appearance, referencing the imprisoned former investment adviser who committed billions in fraud.
    Madoff was arrested in December 2008 and later pleaded guilty to running a massive Ponzi scheme, a type of fraud where existing investors are paid with funds from new investors.

    1. He’s a Democrat now. He has to embrace SS.

      “What I meant to say is it’s a FONZI scheme. Remember Fonzi? I loved Fonzi. Always wanted to be like Fonzi. Anyway, to me, SS is like Fonzi. Cool. Aieeee!”

      /Fonzi thumbs up.

      1. Just jump the fucking shark already Bloomberg.

      2. But what he said was true – it is a Ponzi scheme and the only way you’re going to strengthen the system is to raise the withholding rate and cut the payout rate. The best thing to do would be just to admit that SS has never been a retirement investment plan, admit that it’s always just been welfare for old folks and go ahead and start means-testing the program like any other welfare program.

        And fuck your “but it’s my money!” bullshit – the government lied to you and stole your money with a promise that when you got to retirement age they’d lie to your grandkids and steal their money. Pretending you don’t know the government is sending you a monthly check out of money they stole from your grandkids makes you a lying piece of shit accomplice to their thievery. Stop being a lying piece of shit, you lying piece of shit.

        1. Better yet, means test it AND turn it into a voluntary defined contribution program in phases. After 20 years or something it will basically be an IRA with payments collected directly at payroll, but that you can opt out of.

          And let’s do something similar with Medicare while we’re at it.

  6. Not much news today.

    See ya Monday.

      1. Buy in May this year?

        1. I’m not sure. I sold everything (not alot or anything) last year and watched it go up every fing day afterwards so what the hell do I know.

          1. “so what the hell do I know.”

            You should really apply that line of thinking to more of the subjects you comment about.

      2. LOL–the last thing you balloonheads should be hoping for is a recession. As least right now you can bleat “Orange Man Baa-aaa-aaa-aaa-d” and still pay your bills.

  7. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is refusing to let Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio get a misdemeanor contempt of court charge vacated.

    Fit him for a pink jumpsuit.

    1. Can’t wait until he’s fitted for a shroud.

  8. A Virginia bill would expand the definition of prostitution to include accepting money for touching “the intimate parts of another with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify.”

    That sounds more like human trafficking. Way to be soft on crime, Virginia.

    1. First they won’t ban all the guns, now they’re pro human trafficking, might as well still be in the Confederacy!

    2. “It was standing up when he got here and I was just trying to get the swelling to go back down.”

    3. “the intimate parts of another with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify.”

      Between trannies and neo-Victorians it sounds like earlobes, nape of the neck, and back of the knees are right out. For Others indeed.

    4. No more lap dances.

  9. Ukraine court forces probe into Biden role in firing of prosecutor Viktor Shokin

    Poor Joe Biden. Never be President AND have all the corrupt shit exposed publicly.

    1. If everything the Democrats did with Mueller and impeachment (and all the scandals in between) was indeed fabricated and they knew it all along, I find it hard to believe people hurt by this along the way wouldn’t wait for their moment to hit back.

    2. Let’s say I can write a claim to the SBI that I think aliens stole my car,” she continued. “And the SBI obviously will not open [a case] as there is not evidence of a crime. But then I can go to court and make the SBI open it, through a court decision. So this case looks to me like that.”

      1. If there’s one thing we know for sure: we have to wait until the investigation is over.

      2. Do you have the alien on tape talking about stealing your car?

        1. Wasn’t that the plot to Dude, Where’s my car?

  10. “The Republican Party of Mitt Romney,” Kirk began, to loud boos from the audience.

    “Correct answer, by the way. Correct,” Kirk said. “Every time his name is mentioned, you should respond that way. Because he lied to every single person in this room that knocked on doors for him, that made phone calls for him, that donated to his campaign. Because we thought that he was going to be a crusader against the Marxist president that preceded Donald Trump. And now he asks and he begs for the endorsement of Donald Trump for the Senate in Utah, and then he goes and votes for that sham unconstitutional impeachment.”

  11. Reform is pointless if nobody is ever held to account for breaking the law.

    The problem is the lack of enforcement for violations of the law. Tacking on more regulations, more administrative hurdles, and more “oversight” isn’t going to achieve dick if people aren’t prosecuted when they break the law.

  12. In light of a bunch of Iran’s top officials contracting coronavirus, it has made me wonder what it would be like if our government officials contracted it. (to paraphrase an old Dave Barry article…”but there might be some drawbacks”)

    Seriously though, with the high mortality rate among the elderly… we could be left with only AOC and that should be enough to scare even Reason writers into endorsing at least some temporary travel restrictions.

    1. Members of Congress aren’t part of the succession plan, except for the Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tempore. AOC would have to be literally the last person alive in DC. Long before that, other succession plans would have been set in motion.

    2. There could literally be groups of armed militias across the southern border who have expressed an intention to murder Americans, and Reason would still be against any travel restrictions.

    3. Is this the new plot for a Fox fall TV series? A combination of The Last Man on Earth and Designated Survivor.

    1. So Andy Rooney with lipstick and a body count

      1. Martha and Snoop Dogg with more crimes and fewer convictions.

    2. The failed 2016 presidential candidate is also looking to Howard Stern’s show for inspiration. Clinton appeared on the show late last year and reportedly fell in love with its style.

      “And now I’d like to welcome my very special guest, Huma Abedin!”

      1. Would have been nice if Stern had booked her alongside a porn star who sat nude on the couch beside her.

        1. Wow…how pissed off would Bill be that it wasn’t him instead of Hillary in that interview?

  13. Instead of teaching your kids Math, Science, and other silly topics, the LGBT community has pushed a law forcing indoctrination of students in those subjects instead. Only in Jersey for now.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/27/new-jersey-public-schools-to-teach-lgbt-ideology-in-every-subject/

    1. The existence of every person is proof of the union of what is uniquely male and uniquely female.

      Now, that’s just crazy talk from a hater.

    2. Not gonna lie, lesbian math sound a lot more interesting that regular old white, hetero math.

      1. The number 69 alone could be better studied from all sides.

      2. This really depends on the specific lesbians. I’m all for people doing what makes them happy, but I’d definitely rather do calculus than watch some of those manatees give each other friction burns.

    3. 1. A board of education shall include instruction on the
      9 political, economic, and social contributions of persons with
      10 disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, in an
      11 appropriate place in the curriculum of middle school and high
      12 school students as part of the district’s implementation of the
      1
      13 [Core Curriculum Content Standards] New Jersey Student
      Learning Standards1

      2
      [in Social Studies]
      2

      Hey maaaan, just let people identify and be who they are, it doesn’t affect you at all maaaan.

      1. Hey maaaan, just let people identify and be who they are, it doesn’t affect you at all maaaan.

        There is no agenda. No other shoes are going to drop. Only bigoted kooks think that.

        1. This slope is not slippery

      2. Hey! Hold up! Why are they throwing those with disabilities in with the homos and trannies? They’re not close to being similar.

  14. The FBI will investigate the death of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower who was found dead in California last Friday.

    Philip Haney, who spoke out against his own agency during the Obama administration, was found in a park and ride area near Plymouth, California, with what the Amador County Sheriff’s Office initially said appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    However, those initial reports have been described as “misinformation” and have been walked back in a statement from the sheriff’s office, which also confirmed the FBI will be assisting the investigation.

    1. Yep. He was a few miles away from his house, and the area he was in was in the middle of nowhere. From what I could tell, he lived alone, but according to the Blaze, he was engaged and was going to rejoin the DHS soon, so not exactly the profile of a guy wanting to commit suicide. Him dying out in the middle of nowhere instead of his house makes more sense if someone didn’t want witnesses hearing shots… This whole thing reeks to me.

      And yeah, there’s been a lot of misinformation, but the local sheriff’s department don’t seem too keen on just calling it a suicide and then calling it a day.

      1. *engaged as in he was going to marry someone soon, not “engaged in life”.

      2. In the end, nothing will ever come from this.

    2. It was a total accident. He fell down an elevator shaft… Onto some bullets

      1. On a related subject, Jeffrey Epstein didn’t commit suicide .

    3. Park and Ride? Near Plymouth? Plymouth, CA is in the middle of nowhere, up in the Sierra Foothills. Rural as all get out.

      It’s an hour drive from Sacramento, and that only if the traffic is good. Not half bad wineries in the area though.

      Wonder what led him all the way up there?

      1. Yeah – I, a lifelong resident of CA (and not a young man) had never heard of Plymouth, so I just looked it up.

        Not just not anywhere in particular, but not even on the way to anywhere in particular.

        Curious.

    4. Who would have an interest in silencing this guy in 2020 for something that happened in 2015? Clearly a Clinton style hit but I’m not seeing the connection.

    5. Somebody Mr. Haney swindled back in the day finally got even.

  15. “The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is refusing to let Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio get a misdemeanor contempt of court charge vacated.”

    This seems a bit disingenuous. Apparently the original judge was trying to undo what a pardon represents:

    “The Court gave us exactly what we asked for, which is a finding that the judge’s guilty verdict is legally meaningless,” Arpaio lawyer Jack Wilenchik said in a statement. “The judge had found the opposite in her final order; she said that the guilty verdict may, or even should, be considered in future proceedings.”

    So the ninth actually undid the original judge’s intentions.

  16. Academic institutions are openly maintaining a blacklist of scientists who push the wrong climate narrative.

    https://issuesinsights.com/2020/02/28/the-academic-blacklist-climate-alarmists-dont-want-you-to-know-about/

    1. This has been going on for decades.

    2. Not surprised to see Matt Ridley on that list, but what he said about greenhouse gasses and global warming was really very mild. Basically, that it existed, but was pretty much what even Arrhenius predicted back in the 19th century, and much milder than the IPCC’s overblown projections.

      I guess only complete belief in the creed gets you employed.

      1. Bjorn Lomborg was essentially blacklisted for agreeing that the world is doomed due to GHGs, but not agreeing that taxing carbon is the solution. Oreskes’ famous ‘CONSENSUS!” essay is literally framed as a rhetorical attack on Lomborg (and makes no effort to actually demonstrate consensus – it just declares that there is one and that the opinions of people who don’t agree with it don’t count).

  17. accepting money for touching “the intimate parts of another with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify.”

    Apparently no one in Virginia has ever been on a heterosexual date or been married.

    1. Weird to call out hets here. Can y’all not get dates without hiring a prostitute?

      1. I think it’s mostly just commentary that dating and prostitution aren’t as different as a lot of people would like them to be.

        If I take a girl out to dinner and drinks with the hopes that the night ends with her “touching my intimate parts with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify”, haven’t I exchanged money for that? I guess the only difference is there’s no guarantee I’m gonna get lucky and there’s a layer of abstraction between the money and the sex, but if anything that’s only making the case for direct prostitution.

  18. Clearview AI is getting sued for violating the Illinois facial recognition law that prevents it. Just like I said it would. Facebook settled the same violation for a hefty sum. I don’t see how Clearview is going to survive the lawsuit.

    1. Why is Clearview getting sued? Clearview makes the tool, but the agency uses it. That’s sounds a bit like suing gun manufacturers for a gun crime.

      1. Clearview is getting sued for using facial recognition on the citizens of Illinois. It’s against the law in that state to do it. Up to 1-5K fine for each time it was done it seems. (They scanned 50 pics of one person? 1-5K each photo) FB settled for over 500 million a few weeks ago and the Clearview database appears to be larger because FB was just limited to FB and IG data.

        That gun argument doesn’t quite apply to tech. When a gun manufacturer sells the gun to a store they have no control over it. Same with the store. It’s in an end-user’s possession after that. With Tech the end-user never owns the product so the tech company never loses its control over the product. The end-user is moreso the product. It’s known that guns can kill people. However, 2A. If a tech product is being used to harm the company can make changes to prevent it. 1A does not apply at all to private tech companies. The only reason liability doesn’t exist is because of 26 words.

  19. There have been rumblings about Trump pushing for FISA reform for a long time. Nothing like being abused by the system to show why we need reform. I’d hate to be serving at the president’s pleasure and say that the system doesn’t need to be reformed after what the FBI and the FISA court did to him.

    1. If he dials back the surveillance state, his enemies will find a way to hate him for it even though liberals are firmly in the camp of anti-surveillance. It’ll be fun to watch that.

    2. But there’s the problem – it wasn’t the FBI and a few rogue agents that launched this coup attempt, it was more an institutional thing involving the DoJ, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI and who knows how many other intelligence agencies from who knows how many other countries with a finger in the pie. My guess is that it wasn’t Comey heading this thing, it was Brennan. Why isn’t Brennan in jail right beside Clapper and Comey and half of Obama’s cabinet?

      And yet Trump appoints Brennan’s sidekick Gina Haspel to head the CIA, knowing that Brennan and Clapper and Comey all signed off on a letter praising her as the best pick for the job. Why? And where are the Trump-supporting whistleblowers, even just the Constitutional rule of law supporting whistleblowers, on this? As far as I know, Mike Rogers was the only one willing to stick his neck out to warn anybody of the shady goings-on. Where are the rest of the “good cops” here? There aren’t any – the whole system is rotten and yet Trump doesn’t seem to believe this particular patch of swamp needs drained. Hell, just look at how long it took him to start to clean house at the NSC when those people were the most blatant members of the #Resistance. I’m really not hopeful that Trump is going to do a damn thing to rein in the surveillance state.

      As further evidence, where does Trump stand on the issue of end-to-end encryption? Remember when he suggested we should be boycotting Apple for refusing to obey the FBI’s demands that they design a tool to hack into unhackable phones? Sounds to me like Trump’s quite comfortable with the intelligence community – as long as he thinks he’s the one running the show and there’s not much you can say to convince him that he is not in fact the one calling the shots.

  20. What about touching the intimate parts of another with intent to get a $40 tip? That’s still cool, right?

  21. So the ATF’s Facebook page put up a post remembering the 4 agents killed at Waco (today’s the anniversary). Check it out if you want some fun reading, the comment section is tearing them apart

  22. Congratulations to Matt “Welchie Boy” Welch on finally achieving his lifelong childhood dream of getting published in the Washington Post.

    Hopefully, with any luck at all, this means he’ll be leaving for bigger and better things in the very near future. (Please, for the love of God, hits his monkey ass Bezos so he can be where he belongs!)

  23. Lawmakers now have until March 15 to decide whether to renew without reforms or pick from several reform proposals.

    And what should be the clear winner – let it die!

    1. Unfortunately for the rest of us, “Why don’t we just do nothing?” is not an option the government considers very often.

  24. Stop Re-Authorization “USA Freedom Act”
    https://www.chooseliberty.org/spying-postcard-to-nancy-mitch/

    28 Feb 2020 – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have issued marching orders to RAM through emergency spending in response to the Coronavirus.

    Long-time Deep State apologist McConnell (R-KY) declared yesterday he wants it done “in the next two weeks.”

    Conveniently for the Deep State, that’s just when the so-called “USA Freedom Act” (the phony reform Congress replaced Section 215 of the “PATRIOT Act” with in 2015) is set to expire.

    Inside sources tell us Pelosi and McConnell are scheming to slip renewal of the USA Freedom Act into a bill funding the efforts to ward off the Coronavirus.

    Please sign your Post Card DEMANDING Congress reject this Deep State spying scheme and any others that renew the so-called “USA Freedom Act” and the domestic spying powers they’ve proven they’ll abuse.

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