Steve Bannon

Wall Funding Scandal Exposes Steve Bannon's False Populism

Bannon, who says he stands for the little guy, was just charged with stealing over $1 million from donors who thought they were helping to build a border wall.

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Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to President Donald Trump, has been charged with defrauding donors to We Build the Wall, a private fundraising effort partially spearheaded by Bannon that collected donations in order to pay for portions of a U.S.-Mexico border barrier. Bannon built his public persona by amplifying anti-immigrant and pro-populist sentiments, first on Breitbart News, and then as Trump's right-hand man during the 2016 campaign. Prosecutors now allege he fleeced his fellow America Firsters out of more than $1 million, which he then used to pay one of his co-conspirators and to cover his own personal expenses "unrelated to We Build the Wall."

Bannon was indicted Thursday on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

As the executive chairman of Breitbart News following the death of site founder Andrew Breitbart, Bannon shaped the outfit's nativist stance—with stories on things like "scary descriptions of refugees"—and called it "the platform for the alt-right" in a 2016 interview. He would go on to become one of the architects of Trump's travel ban aimed at Muslim-majority countries. And though the Trump administration has said on various occasions that it supports a legal immigration program, Bannon called legal immigration "the real beating heart of [the] problem."

In addition to encouraging nativist discontent, Bannon has branded himself as one of America's most prominent populists, bucking the establishment, in theory, to assist the Little Guy. The indictment against Bannon calls into question his dedication to advancing his goals, considering he allegedly deceived his fellow patriots for the sake of financing a lavish personal life.

Bannon, who was found and arrested Thursday morning on a $35 million yacht belonging to a close associate, has already called the indictment a "political hit job." A few figures on the right have followed suit, including Fox News host Lou Dobbs, who characterized it as a "deep state plot," and Jenna Ellis, a Trump 2020 campaign adviser, who tweeted it was "yet another malicious political prosecution," referring to the growing list of close Trump aides who have faced criminal charges.

Yet the indictment describes an ornate plot set in motion by Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, Timothy Shea, and Bannon, who used the fundraising ruse to regularly siphon large sums of money from people who believed that 100 percent of their donations would go toward construction and that the campaign organizers indicted this week were volunteering their time and resources without payment. The project raised a total of $25 million and, according to the campaign's website, 100 miles are "ready to be built." Though under five miles of border fencing has actually been erected, the site reads "Promises Made, Promises Kept."

Bannon claimed this week that the prosecution was motivated by politics. "This entire fiasco is to stop people who want to build the wall," he said as he left the federal courthouse in Manhattan on Thursday, though Bannon himself was one of the primary obstacles standing in the way of his project's success.

If convicted, Bannon faces up to 40 years in prison, but his actual sentence will likely not come close to that statutory maximum penalty. The average federal sentence for wire fraud in 2019 was around two years, a range that's stayed relatively consistent over the last decade. For money laundering, the average sentence falls around 75 months or a little over six years.

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  1. I maintain that the timing of this arrest is highly suspicious, and anybody who is inclined to take what the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York says at face value should probably keep in mind the public musings of one Preet Bahara–and what he did to and said about what was happening at Reason not so long ago.

    1. Isn’t this pretty much the exact same charge they’re going after the NRA on?

      1. Well, the difference is Bannon, et al, said that *all* the money would be going to the ‘build the wall’ crap and then spent it on unrelated things.

        The NRA has spent lavishly on its senior executives and while you could argue what level of spending on suits is or is not acceptable, it was all still ‘on mission’. No one used the money to, as a possible example, buy themselves a house.

        1. “Well, the difference is Bannon, et al, said that *all* the money would be going to the ‘build the wall’ crap and then spent it on unrelated things.”

          Allegedly.

          After seeing the horseshit Preet Bahara said about Woodchipper Nation here at Reason, when he was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, I don’t see any reason to assume that the U.S. Attorney’s presentation of events is necessarily accurate. People covet that office in the Southern District of New York to make a political career for themselves. Isn’t that the office Roy Cohn used to make a name for himself? That’s definitely the office Rudy Giuliani used to make himself a national figure.

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          2. Huh. This is a new low of argumentation from you, Ken.

            So, because one SDNY US Attorney was a horrible human being, therefore, every SDNY US Attorney is a lying liar who lies?

            What happened to evaluating the evidence on its own merits?

            1. .00000000034/10

                1. I thought he was being generous.

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            2. No, as you always claim, his take is more nuanced. He isn’t saying Bannon isn’t guilty or that the Prosecutor doesn’t have a case, he is saying based on the prosecutors precious actions, he is skeptical.

              1. He is not even arguing based on what this particular prosecutor may or may not have done in the past. He is arguing that because someone who held the same office in the past was a garbage human being, that the current prosecutor should be regarded as such as well. It is a ridiculous guilt by association. Furthermore it has nothing to do with the merits (or lack thereof) of the case itself. It is pure ad-hominem and it just goes to show how far Ken has devolved down into Team Red boosterism.

                1. Whatever. You can try to twist it however you want. What I see is your not granting Ken the same consideration that you believe you deserve.

                  1. Oh, so now instead of trying to argue the merits (or lack thereof) of Ken’s claim, you’re going to try to make it a personal issue about me. It’s ad-hominems all the way down, I suppose.

                    1. Well, consider your response to Ken Schultz was full of ad hominems….

                    2. No, it wasn’t. I wasn’t calling Ken names. I was criticizing his argumentation. Learn the difference.

                    3. You stated it was a new low, that is by definition an insult. It implies he is a person of low quality and has gone even lower. You do this all the time, try to be sly about an insult and then when called on it try and deny it was an insult.

                    4. No, you are reaching and trying to stretch my words into what you imagined them to be. I believe many of Ken’s recent arguments have been of poor quality lately, yes. This one is a new low for him. It’s not a personal insult of Ken. It’s a criticism of his arguments. Stop digging. You’re wrong here and your pride and utter hatred of me refuses to let you admit it.

                    5. “It’s ad-hominems all the way down, I suppose.” This is also an ad hominem as was the entire post that contained this sentence. You don’t have to directly call someone a name to conduct an ad hominem. Just use insulting language or demeaning language, or imply your debate opponent lacks morals, is less intelligent or is disingenuous. Since you do this all the time, especially with me, I don’t think you out to get on your high horse about ad hominems.

                    6. Well, if I were to try to explain what an ad hominem argument actually was, you’d just think it was me being mendacious and smug again. Trying to explain concepts to people is obvious proof of my haughty smugness, isn’t it? Why don’t I just let people wallow in their ignorance instead of pointing out when they’re wrong?

                    7. ad hominem attack is an attack on the character of the target.” This seems to cover implying that I hate you, and that Ken is a low character and that all I ever do is ad hominems. Gee, please explain it to me. Because this is the definition of an ad hominem and it applies to everything I pointed out about your statements.

                    8. And this is where you are just going to respond angrily to whatever I write, isn’t it?

                    9. “I don’t hate you, I hate your attitude.”

                      I do.

                      Jeff’s a mendacious piece of shit who spends most of his time shilling or dishonestly twisting peoples words in order to try and score cheap rhetorical points.
                      And yes, this is totally ad hominem, but the lying fuck deserves it.

                    10. Hey, Jeff. I totally get where you’re coming from. But please try giving soldiermedic76 a break. He is being quite civil. I’ve got a feeling his is as tired of all the bullshit behavior here as we are.

                      Ken’s OK, too.

                      (And, no, Tulpa don’t even try to claim you are the one saying this.)

                    11. Thank you White Knight, for establishing Ken as an acceptable person to have discourse with. While I am a good friend of Jeff’s, and think his argument with Ken is in good faith, I feel it’s important to establish him as someone worthy of debate.

                    12. Umm, your welcome?

                    13. *you’re, white knight.
                      It’s “you’re welcome” as in “you are welcome”

                    14. Clearly that was Tulpa spoofing White Knight making that grammar error to make him look stupid.

                    15. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                      I was also the one saying nice things and telling myself not to claim it.

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                  2. And now comes the time when soldiermedic76 will argue against whatever I say, because he hates my guts and will publicly oppose anything I write even if I’m right.

                    1. No, I argue against you because you are mendacious and smug. Yes, ad hominem but also accurate. I mean your first sentence in response to Ken was an ad hominem, “a new low”… That is an ad hominem, so sauce for the gander and all that.

                    2. No, I argue against you because you are mendacious and smug.

                      Right, so because you think I am mendacious and smug, you’re going to argue against everything I say even if I’m right. Because I’m mendacious and smug. Not based on the quality of my argument. You hate me personally and argue against everything I say.

                    3. I don’t hate you, I hate your attitude. And I’ve rarely seen you right. And when I did, like yesterday, I admitted I was wrong, but instead of being gracious, you insulted me further and rubbed my nose is my being mistaken. Don’t act the wounded party here.

                    4. Yeah I did rub your nose in it because frankly I’ve taken more than my fair share of bullshit from you. Stop letting your pride and your hatred dictate your reactions to me and maybe we can have a productive conversation. Oh wait that’s just me being smug again, don’t want to lecture you on what you ought to do! Then go ahead and carry on as you were.

                    5. You’ve taken plenty of shit from me? No more than you given to me. You have implied I am less intelligent than you, or brainwashed or incapable of thinking outside my partisan leanings and of being gullible more often than I can count.

                    6. No, you have this habit of misreading my words to mean something that they didn’t mean, reading in to them implications that aren’t there, and then getting huffy and defensive and outraged by your assumed implied meaning and then taking it out on me. Calling me “mendacious and smug” because I don’t submit to your erroneous interpretation of my words. I’m “mendacious” because I don’t agree with your interpretation, and I’m “smug” because I dare to defend myself against your false accusations. Stop trying to insert your biases into my statements and start actually reading what I write for a change.

                    7. And for a guy who claims not to read right-wing news sources, you sure do seem to fall for the right-wing spin on lots of issues. FFS yesterday you were convinced that there were two guys who pled guilty to lying on the FISA warrants and that therefore that meant the entire investigation was a fraud and a sham. I was the one who had to point out to you that there was only one guy, and the lie that he made was on an email that was unrelated to the material basis of the investigation itself. My conclusion from that was that you got your information on that news event from some right-wing source pushing the right-wing version of events.

                    8. I am not the only one who reads into your words. You’ve been told the same thing by multiple posters. Maybe you should re-examine your debate style. And as for right wing news sites, again I read from all. I said I misread it to mean a second one had been indicted. And as for all my talking points sounding like right wing, I would say the same about yours all sounding like left wing. In fact you rarely ever post citations that aren’t from left of center websites/news sites. This is what I mean, you are as guilty of what you accuse me of, as you state I am guilty. Basically, I think you lack some self awareness.
                      And I don’t call you mendacious and smug because you disagree with me, but because of exactly the actions you take in your response I am replying to.
                      “Calling me “mendacious and smug” because I don’t submit to your erroneous interpretation of my words. I’m “mendacious” because I don’t agree with your interpretation” this is smug and mendacious. It implies you are more level headed and better informed than I am. And more thoughtful.
                      “And this is where you are just going to respond angrily to whatever I write, isn’t it?” And this is smug and mendacious.
                      As is this “Oh, so now instead of trying to argue the merits (or lack thereof) of Ken’s claim, you’re going to try to make it a personal issue about me. It’s ad-hominems all the way down, I suppose.”
                      And this “Oh give it up. You are just arguing against me for the sake of arguing against me. You have literally responded to every single comment that I have made in this thread with some petty objection of one type or another”. Also, for someone accusing me of anger posting this sounds an awful lot like an ager post.
                      I suggest that you allow for the chance that you come off as smug to a lot of people and ask yourself why?
                      Hell, I know I am smug at times. Don’t deny it. Hell, I admit I insult people too. And I tend to defend the right because mostly my friends and family are what you and Buttplug would call the right, so when he calls them gullible, yes it is personal. And it is bigotry. Especially when he insults an entire religion (actually he insults every religion).

                    9. “Why don’t I just let people wallow in their ignorance instead of pointing out when they’re wrong?”

                      I dunno? Maybe it’s that “radical individualist” in you? Haha.

                2. I agree with Jeff on this one. Questioning the timing of this arrest a few months before the election is completely unwarranted.

                  1. Are we supposed to believe it’s unwarranted because your mother says your opinions are special–or is it unwarranted for some other reason?

                3. These prosecutors are notoriously left biased, and see Bannon as a political enemy to be taken out. Ken is wise to be skeptical.

            3. “So, because one SDNY US Attorney was a horrible human being, therefore, every SDNY US Attorney is a lying liar who lies?”

              I didn’t say that.

              If that’s the way you read it, then you’re a fucking idiot.

              1. This is you, Ken:

                anybody who is inclined to take what the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York says at face value should probably keep in mind the public musings of one Preet Bahara–and what he did to and said about what was happening at Reason not so long ago.

                So the current SDNY US Attorney should not be believed because Preet Bharara is a garbage human being, and once occupied the same position. That is your argument Ken. It’s a ridiculous argument resting on guilt by association and ad hominem assertion. If you object to what this current US attorney is doing, then argue against it on the merits. But arguing against the current action because Bharara was a horrible person is a ridiculously stupid argument and, frankly, just carrying water for Steve Bannon at this point.

                1. No his argument is that the South New York district attorney has long been a position coveted by those looking to make a name for themselves in politics. He literally said as much in the second to last sentence and in his conclusion sentence.

                  1. Oh give it up. You are just arguing against me for the sake of arguing against me. You have literally responded to every single comment that I have made in this thread with some petty objection of one type or another.

                    1. No, I am pointing out you are wrong. The u give up routine is because you can’t admit you are ever wrong. I’ve never seen you do it once. Or if you have, it is so rarely that no one can remember it. And rather than admit you are wrong, you try to lay blame on the person who proved you wrong by insinuating they are being intractable.

                    2. I am just tired of this nonsense.

                      You didn’t even respond to the argument that I made. But you just HAD to post something in opposition to me, so you copied some other part of Ken’s argument that isn’t even a part of the current discussion. I never questioned or doubted that the SDNY US Attorney’s position is highly coveted. Of course it is. That isn’t the basis of my criticism of Ken’s argument. But evidently you think that is some sort of gotcha killer response because you are intent on objecting to everything that I write.

                    3. I did respond to your charge. You just don’t agree that my argument is valid. I pointed out that he stated that his argument is about the history of the position being covered by people who use it for political gain and that is why he distrusts this position. You want to narrowly focus on his reference to the previous position holder, while I am looking at the totality of his statement.

                    4. And yet you were intent on objecting to everything that Ken wrote whether it made sense or not, you disingenuous dirt bag.

                      Your hypocrisy is staggering.

                    5. Arguing for the sake of arguing. Unless you have proof, why should I believe you that a prosecutor in SDNY is being political?

                    6. He’s pointing out you’re because, as usual, you’re wrong

            4. I agree with my buddy Jeff, as usual. Who the fuck is Ken to question a federal prosecutor? Trump and his crew are the antithesis of libertarianism, so when a federal prosecutor goes after them, we should take them at face value and support their efforts.

            5. Please, meet a woodchipper in person. Feet first.

            6. every SDNY US Attorney is a lying liar who lies because that’s the kind of person the position attracts

              There, FTFY.

              Decent human beings have better things to do with their lives.

        2. “*all* the money would be going to the ‘build the wall’”
          Not quite – it was
          “100% of the funds raised…will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose,”

          While it’s probably hard to justify a boat, golf, and home renovations as part of the “mission and purpose”; Its by far not out of the normal for charities to swamp up cash and claim there $1M office chair helps the businesses “mission and purpose” so must be a company tax write off… If the $1M is all the “over-head” taken; in the scope of $25M (4% overhead) it would actually qualify as an efficient charity amazingly.

          1. All we’ve heard is the prosecutor’s side of the story.

            The prosecutor is making her best case to the media in the midst of a hotly contested reelection campaign, and she’s probably putting her best foot forward.

            When the evidence is presented in court, we’ll see what’s really going on, and by the time this gets to court, Trump may have been elected and someone else may have been confirmed by the Senate.

            Take it all with a grain of salt. We don’t need to refute everything she says because we don’t need to assume that everything she says will be found by a jury to be exactly the way the prosecutor characterizes it.

            1. Yeah Bannon’s personal role in the alleged fraud at this point is far from proven. He may be guilty of everything charged but until it’s proven I don’t see the phony populism thing as relevant. But Binnion doesn’t have a reputation for being circumspect. Got the TDS ya know.

              1. It’s all about getting rid of Trump in their minds.

                If electing Biden meant staying in Afghanistan forever, spending trillions of dollars on the Green New Deal, and Medicare for All, they would care–so long as Trump were no longer president.

                But yeah, we’re faced with a lot of uncertainty in regards to the prosecution. It’s possible Bannon is guilty is charged. It’s possible he’s completely innocent. It’s possible there are political considerations going into this prosecution, and the fact that they’re going after Bannon in the home stretch of the election and the night of Biden’s acceptance speech, that the timing is just a wild coincidence. That last part doesn’t seem very likely to me, but it’s possible.

                There’s this thing called uncertainty, and because Bannon has been arrested doesn’t prove anything but that Bannon has been arrested.

                1. You people are amazing. It’s clear to anyone looking at this from a neutral POV, like me, that Trump and all of his associates are crooked con-men and the only reason he ran for president is so that he could leverage his position to make themselves all wealthy.

                  1. “You people are amazing. It’s clear to anyone looking at this from a neutral POV, like me, that Trump and all of his associates are crooked con-men . . .

                    Do you really not see yourself in what you’ve written here, or are you being ironic?

                    1. Not sure, but think it might be Tulpa. Or a parody.

                    2. Stop trying to detect me, you’re terrible at it.

                      That isn’t me.

                    3. It is Tulpa. Parodying Mike Larsen.

                  2. Good to see you again, Mike!
                    Nice to have a truthful perspective…

                    1. Thank you. I gave up on trying to be a neutral commentator on this page, but then I got word that White Knight was fixing everything by reporting mean comments and handle stealing, so I decided to come back.

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          1. Thank goodness you posted. We’ve been missing you at Shoprite for the last several days and were starting to get worried.

            If it’s true about your new employment, please contact Tammy in HR – she has some paperwork for you to fill out so that we can send you your final paycheck and pay you for your remaining vacation days.

            It might also be a good idea to contact Doug in facilities and operations as well, so he can cancel the missing persons report.

    2. The timing is no doubt political, but, man oh man, some of the things Bannon and Kolfage are accused of are blatant grifting. (All caveats acknowledged about allegations only being allegations until there is a trial.)

      1. Bannon was one of the first reasons I decided I couldn’t vote Republican for the first time in my life at the Presidential level (I had voted Democrat once or twice at the state level, and even libertarian at the Senate level in 2008 because Begich was a piece of shit and so was Uncle Ted). Hell, I even held my nose and voted for McCain and Romney, but Bannon as his chief strategist really made me question Trump’s judgement, as well as his border wall (not opposed to it, just think it’s a waste of money) and his lack of decorum. And some of his policies (not a fan of his proposed Muslim ban but the actual policy wasn’t as bad as the media made it out, not great but wasn’t a true ban on Muslims).

        1. I never paid much attention to him before, but he sounds like a grifter.

          Oh, well, thanks for engaging in civil conversation with me for a couple of days now. Hopefully, this site could turn around and there can be real conversations again.

          1. This is how I normally try to engage people. Just lately I’ve gotten fed up with certain posters and their style. Especially when they demonstrate a total lack of tolerance for any viewpoint other than theirs and then accuse others of being narrow-minded.

          2. “Oh, well, thanks for engaging in civil conversation with me for a couple of days now. Hopefully, this site could turn around and there can be real conversations again.”

            You should realize saying pretentious, hypocritical shit like this is one reason why people rightfully disrespect you

            1. I’m having a decent conversation with soldiermedic76. A glimmer of hope for the commentariat, which has become a shithole. Seems like a positive development to me, so why not try some positivity and civil discussion and see if this place can return to its former glory.

              1. Because you’re untrustworthy?

                1. I don’t think this is particularly helpful. I believe we should engage people in good merit (even if they were offensive in the past, people change) until they prove us otherwise. But then again, I tend to be sometimes overtrusting and over empathetic and forgive fairly easily. I have a hot temper but rarely hold onto grudges for long.

                  1. “I don’t think this is particularly helpful”

                    Don’t care.

                    “until they prove us otherwise”

                    Because I’m saying he’s untrustworthy for no reason herp derp

                    1. I didn’t ask if you cared. And hero derp to you for missing my point.

                    2. I didn’t ask if you thought it helped either.

                      And final form derp to you for thnking you had a point.

                    3. Really? Okay. I disagree with you once and this is how you react? R

                    4. soldiermedic76
                      August.22.2020 at 12:11 am
                      I didn’t ask if you cared. And hero derp to you for missing my point

                      No worse than how you reacted to being told that I didn’t care about your unsolicited opinion.

                  2. You’re being overly generous, but it’s your choice.

              2. Agreed. This thread is the way forward for this comments section. The White Knight is providing a shining example of how everyone should behave to get along in the appropriate way.

          3. “Hopefully, this site could turn around and there can be real conversations again”

            As soon as you stop impersonating people maybe.

            1. In case you haven’t noticed, I stopped doing that five weeks ago, after doing it for about three days. I stopped as soon as I got someone to join me in asking Reason IT in fix the spoofing bug that Tulpa had been exploiting to spoof my handle.

              I won’t apologize for it. There are so many people who have been complacent about Tulpa because he only attacks people who say critical things about Trump.

              1. “In case you haven’t noticed, I stopped doing that five weeks ago”

                Uh huh.

                1. He had a change of heart 5 weeks ago. Although he didn’t actually apologize for his behavior, he explained his good reason for doing it and stopped. As far as I’m concerned, this puts him on a moral high ground.

                  1. “He had a change of heart 5 weeks ago”

                    Uh huh.

                    1. His behavior was not something I would normally approve of, but it was for the greater good, so I’ll agree with it.

                    2. Uh huh.

                    3. Look, people, the above “ RabbiHarveyWeinstein” is STILL the Tulpa-asshole spoofing the REAL “RabbiHarveyWeinstein” by putting a hair-space (ultra-thin space character) at the lead (left). Left-click your mouse and drag it slowly over the post-in name, and you can see the hair-space at the far left. Reason.com IT has STILL not fixed the loophole by which Tulpa-asshole commits identity theft!

                      Libertarians for identity theft! Fuck that! How about libertarians for slowly shoving a red-hot poker up Tulpa’s asshole?!?!

                    4. I’m for ‘Libertarians for Squirrelly committing suicide’.

                    5. Shitsy Shitler, drinking Shitsy Kool-Aid in a spiraling vortex of darkness, cannot or will not see the Light… It’s a VERY sad song! Kinda like this…

                      He’s a real Kool-Aid Man,
                      Sitting in his Kool-Aid Land,
                      Playing with his Kool-Aid Gland,
                      Has no thoughts that help the people,
                      He wants to turn them all to sheeple!
                      On the sheeple, his Master would feast,
                      Master? A disaster! Just the nastiest Beast!
                      Kool-Aid man, please listen,
                      You don’t know, what you’re missin’,
                      Kool-Aid man, better thoughts are at hand,
                      The Beast, to LEAVE, you must COMMAND!

                      A helpful book is to be found here: M. Scott Peck, Glimpses of the Devil
                      https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1439167265/reasonmagazinea-20/

                      Hey Shitsy Shitler…
                      If EVERYONE who makes you look bad, by being smarter and better-looking than you, killed themselves, per your wishes, then there would be NO ONE left!
                      Who would feed you? Who’s tits would you suck at, to make a living? WHO would change your perpetually-smelly DIAPERS?!!?
                      You’d better come up with a better plan, Stan!

        2. I understand voting against Obama, because his shittiness was obvious from the moment he started running, but how you can unfavorably compare Trump and Bannon to the absolute evil that was John McCain is beyond me

          1. I was younger and more tribalist and partisan, and bought into the two party duopoly.

            1. Oh I totally get that, and am not nor will not condemn it.
              I’m talking about your statement regarding 2016 and now

              1. I don’t like Trump, but Montana isn’t going Democrat so it doesn’t matter. So I can vote for Johnson and now Jorgenson (though I also have my reservations about both of them, and if I found a perfect candidate, it would probably scare me into not voting for them because I can be an opinionated asshole and narrow-minded at times like anyone) without having to worry about someone I like even less than Trump winning.

                1. Jorgensen is awful. I assume you’re doing this to support the LP and not Jorgensen in particular.

              2. And just FYI, I do now believe (and I did in 2016) that McCain was worse. And more self serving. I didn’t want him to be the nominee for these very reasons. But felt resigned to voting for him.

                1. The same with Romney. And both I consider(ed) unprincipled and opportunists. In 2012 I supported Herman Cain, even though I didn’t agree with him on everything. I liked his tax plan and I liked his social security reform proposition.

                  1. Cain was pretty good.
                    And he got taken down by bullshit.
                    I’m glad McCain lost, and since it led to Trump I’m glad Romney took a dive.
                    Conflict is necessary. Had either of them won, we’d just keep sitting in that pot of water until it boiled.

                    1. I did wonder what happened to those women he allegedly assaulted. They seemed to vanish right after he dropped out.

                    2. That the way it works.

            2. I’ve since come to realize in just about every state I’ve lived in, it isn’t competitive and therefore I can vote my conscience. Also, I still somewhat supporter the war in Iraq at the time, and supported the war in Afghanistan, while believing both were being poorly ran.
              To this day, I am not opposed to Afghanistan, so much as realized we fucked up from the start and there’s no way to save it.

              1. I am in the same boat, since I live in The People’s Republic of NJ = I’ve since come to realize in just about every state I’ve lived in, it isn’t competitive and therefore I can vote my conscience.

                That is why I will vote Jorgensen. The Donald just has no chance, and now with mail-in ballots….forget it. The mail-in ballot was never about screwing POTUS Trump. That mail-in ballot executive order by Phailing Phil Murphy is all about the down ballot candidates. Watch what happens…NJ will become a one-party state. It will be a wipe-out. And we are about to witness a miracle here….the resurrection of thousands of people who will vote November 3 and then just disappear. Truly a NJ phenomenon. 🙂

                Now I will say that I am voting Team R for the House and Senate. That is because I want to vote out that son of a bitch democrat Andy Kim in NJ-3, and my district is highly competitive. There is no Libertarian Party candidate for the House. As for Booker, what can I say? I would rather have a vacant Senate seat than have Booker. Dr. Rik Mehta (Team R guy opposing Spartacus) is light years superior to Booker; sadly, the Libertarian Party is not even running a candidate (so no third party alternative that comes close to my beliefs).

        3. I’ve never been a big fan of Bannon – but the timing and the charges and where they come from all make me skeptical.

          1. Yeah, skepticism is warranted.

      2. Is the timing really political or just coincidental? Yes it is right before an election but so was the Anthony Weiner investigation that revived the Clinton email scandal. I am not a lawyer, but this is a white collar crime and most cases like this take time to develop so the timing is not unusual. I am not sure how you avoid or time something so you avoid the question of the investigation being political.

        1. I’m not making any absolute claims about the veracity of these charges either way.

          It seems to me that they tried to frame OJ Simpson. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t guilty. Maybe they tried to frame a guilty man!

          What I’m saying here is that this prosecution is highly suspicious. We won’t know whether he’s guilty until after the election is over. In the meantime, I don’t think it’s safe to assume he’s guilty of anything–certainly not just because the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York says so.

          Now look at the headline of this article.

          Do you think the accusations alone justify assuming he’s guilty of something?

    3. “U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York”
      You mean the DNC surrogate of New York?

    4. Agreed that we should reserve judgement. But I’m skeptical that there’s nothing here. These are the kinds of charges that are pretty cut and dried. The donations can be followed.

      1. Neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton ever denied that the RTC funds meant to bail out the widows and orphans who kept their deposits in Madison Guaranty somehow ended up in Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign fund. They simply claimed they had no idea how that money got there.

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  2. Why does Binion list things about Bannon that he doesn’t like as if that were proof fo a criminal act. Is it becasue of the similarity in names or does Binion believe that if he doesn’t like something about someone then they are a criminal?
    This more than likely is a political move in line with NY trying to outlaw the NRA and will be dropped the day after the election.

    1. This is the worst Binion article I’ve ever read.

    2. More postmodernist Marxist Reason in action.

      Lots of smear, hit job, and innuendo. Light on facts. Now shilling for DeepState political prosecutions. Another “Libertarian Moment” at Reason.

      “from people who believed that 100 percent of their donations would go toward construction”

      Conspicuously missing in the article is documentation that Bannon or the We Build The Wall ever claimed 100 percent of donations would go toward construction.

      I wonder why.

      They’ve raised 25mil in donations and pledges. 1mil spent on salaries and costs for themselves would make them a 96% efficient charity, a zillion times better than most.

      1. Well sure. Right-wing grifting is fine, as long as they mean well.

        1. This post is nothing but an ad hominem. It is meant as an insult without actually calling someone a name.

      2. And it’s due to idiots like you that the grifters get to keep their grifts going.

        1. Here you don’t even pretend to not be name calling, you flat out call him an idiot.

          1. He most certainly is an idiot.

            1. Ad hominem. Keep it up. You just keep proving my point about you.

              1. What is your point? That I’m not above ad hominems? No, I’m not. buybuy here is a nativist xenophobic idiot who deserves to have the immigration rules inflicted upon him so that he can suffer through what an insane and ridiculous joke that they are. He doesn’t deserve anything but contempt and suffering.

                1. You are defending you ad hominems by pointing out you disagree with him and implying he is evil. You claimed to be above ad hominems, but here you are using ad hominems and even applying evil intent because someone has policy views that you disagree with.

                2. And you are implying he deserves to be insulted because you disagree with his policy views.

                  1. Whatever man. Just whatever. Everything I say is a target of your wrath. Every single fucking thing. It just gets old.

                    1. When you are being hypocritical and tribalist, and narrow minded yes you are correct.

            2. I doubt at this point even White Knight will defend you in this thread.

              1. Yeah, Jeff is being kind of rude lately. I do get where it is coming from, though, as he was mistreated for a long, long time while. As was I.

                1. I would say in my case, his attacks were mostly not retaliation, but rather unprovoked. He loved to use the backhanded compliment and imply I was a Trump supporter. The backhanded compliments is what pissed me off and made me stop giving him the benefit of the doubt. There is very little more disingenuous in my book than a back handed compliment.

                  1. I also admit I am naturally sarcastic and sometimes it comes through.

                2. This is why I came back, to support you. I was also mistreated, repeatedly called a liar. But the only reason I lied all the time was because all the Drumpf supporters were so mean.

                3. I was accused of being Hihn by Tupla as the first response to my first post here. Somehow, I survived.

              2. Bigger picture of what I’m saying is, he is basically a respectful person and I’m sure he’d come back around to being polite in all his comments if treated politely, and not subjected to more immature debate tactics like claiming he and a bunch of other commenters here are all sock puppets of each other.

                1. He has often used backhanded compliments when addressing me, as well as implying I was less informed than he was and that I was brainwashed by right wing media, long before I started acting rude to him. Forgive me if I give him less benefit of the doubt then you do.

                  1. You are far more pite to both of them than they deserve, but you do you

                    1. And by “pite” I mean “polite”, since that’s an actual word

                    2. I don’t know, White Knight and I’ve had some decent conversations the past couple of days.

                    3. That was actually me.

                    4. It was actually NOT Tulpa who was handing polite conversations with you.

                    5. The way I have been conversing with you, soldiermedic76, is the way I normally interact with people.

                    6. I tend to be something of a peacemaker most of the time. Though I have a pretty fiery temper (and am not afraid to admit I was diagnosed recently with what used to be termed Asperger’s syndrome but is now called high functioning autism spectrum disorder). I also have a very high intelligence (not bragging just stating what has been proven multiple times through testing), tend to prefer logic and rationality over emotions, and expect others to do the same, and like most Asperger’s, tend to value accuracy.

                    7. “decent conversations”

                      You can see there that it couldn’t have been you.

                      Slinking back here after your Quora failure must have been shitty huh?

                    8. “soldiermedic76
                      August.21.2020 at 10:55 pm
                      I don’t know, White Knight and I’ve had some decent conversations the past couple of days.”

                      Sociopaths are natural manipulators. You’re willing to cede ground and talk about how you dislike Trump, so he puts on a false front to encourage you to do so. He uses it to give his passive aggressive approach legitimacy.
                      Make no mistake: white knight is pathologically malicious and fundamentally untruthful. Interact with him how you wish, but be aware that he’s trying to play you.

                    9. Maybe.

                    10. Don’t want to say too much personal, because it might be turned against me, but we have mild Asperger’s in the family. (No, not me. I can hear the snide remarks already.)

                    11. Is the Asperger’s what made you impersonate people then?

                    12. The way I have been conversing with you, soldiermedic76, is the way I normally interact with people.

                      Behind a fake identity because you polluted your real one?

  3. For those of you who weren’t around or may have forgotten what the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has done to Reason and Reason commenters in the past, here’s Matt Welch writing on the topic:

    “Not only did such comments lead to the government forcing Reason to divulge identifying information about our readers (given the wide-ranging authority of federal grand juries, the chances of successfully resisting were virtually nil), the feds two days later prohibited the magazine from even acknowledging the existence of the original subpoena, let alone the shiny new gag order.

    Imagine the fun: A libertarian magazine, which has been criticizing the drug war and government overreach for 47 years while fighting constantly to expand the parameters of free speech, legally barred from talking about an egregious free-speech clampdown in its own lap.”

    —-Matt Welch

    “Op-Ed: There’s a special place for those who quash hyperbole in online comments”

    Los Angeles Times

    https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-welch-reason-magazine-gag-order-20150628-story.html

    These are the kinds of spotlight seeking people who are bringing charges against Bannon during the final stretch of the presidential campaign–on the day of Biden’s acceptance speech at the DNC.

    The appropriate response to this arrest is skepticism.

    1. I’m just curious, is this episode why wood chippers have a special place here?

      1. We didn’t take what the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said at face value when they were talking about us. In fact, we know they were full of shit. Why should we assume the facts are just as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York says when they’re focused on a high profile associate of President Trump’s in the final stretch of President Trump’s reelection campaign?

        Innocent until proven guilty isn’t an entirely unreasonable assumption–especially when the accusations are coming from an office that’s typically trying to get their names in the headlines and when they’re targeting Trump associates in the final stretch of President Trump’s reelection campaign?

        Color me skeptical until there’s more evidence than just the word of what may be a glory seeking prosecutor.

      2. We should do a donation drive to get Preet his own woodchipper.

    2. Billy was probably still in diapers at the time.

      What is he? 12?

  4. If Bannon defrauded donors, that’s shitty and he should face consequences.

    Now I just can’t wait for Reason’s investigation into the billions of dollars poured into BLM…

    1. I don’t think reason has ever done articles on routine embezzlement on the left, from the Southern Poverty Law Center to many gay rights groups and events. No one else does either. https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/750-000-Reported-Stolen-at-Gay-March-in-D-C-2760385.php

    2. Absolutely. Stealing from ANY donors is a criminal offense.
      Reason should be equally vigilant when/if that happens.

    3. There are no “BLM” donations you insufferable imbecile.

      I used a right wing source (Washington Times) to look up BLM donors and found this:

      Black Lives Matter cashes in with $100 million from liberal foundations

      For all its talk of being a street uprising, Black Lives Matter is increasingly awash in cash, raking in pledges of more than $100 million from liberal foundations and others eager to contribute to what has become the grant-making cause du jour.

      The Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy recently announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund [BLMF], a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition.

      Whoa! So BLM gets nothing?

      This Borealis Philanthropy and BLMF get the donations?

      Hold on, maybe they don’t have “Marxist” founders?

      Wait, the whole bullshit wingnut meme falls apart then!

      1. Your quote doesn’t prove your thesis. It says BLM is awash in donations and the Ford Foundation established a not for profit to help them handle these donations. Did you need an IEP in school for reading?

        1. No, the BLMF/Borealis gets the money. BLM gets nothing.

          You need to learn to read.

          1. The BLMF is used to fund BLM activities. That isn’t not getting nothing. Yes learn to read.

            1. Bullshit.

              Source?

              1. “raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition.” It’s right there in your fucking quote.

                1. That’s not BLM!

                  1. According to Google it is, it is an umbrella group of 50 organizations, including the Black Lives Matter Movement.

                    1. No. The Ford Foundation and Borealis are NOT in the same universe as BLM.

                    2. Nice try. I referred to the coalition for black lives, which is being funded by the Ford Foundation. Which just happens to be the parent organization for the Black Lives Matter Movement.

            2. You’ve never even heard of BLMF/Borealis until now.

              1. Really? And you know this how?

      2. Is there such a thing as negative IQ?

  5. He’s been charged. Let it play out and then make your call. Maybe did do these things. Maybe he didn’t.

    BUT, when I saw Southern District of NY it kinda raised a red flag as there has to be a political angle here. Something along the lines of ‘Bannon was in Trump’s WH and he thinks like Trump ergo Orange Man Bad’.

    1. The U.S. Attorney who brought this case was the assistant to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman–the one that President Trump fired two months ago.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/20/nyregion/trump-geoffrey-berman-fired-sdny.html

      The obvious accusation is that this is some form of retaliation in addition to grandstanding.

      If we’re looking for another motive, we might point out that she is only the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on an interim basis since the firing of Berman. She hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate. If President Trump loses, she probably won’t be appointed or considered by the Senate. If she makes Trump associates look bad in the run-up to the election and Biden wins, she may be exactly the kind of person they’re looking for in that position. The FBI did that kind of thing for the Obama administration. Maybe they need someone to things like this for Biden and Harris?

      1. Or maybe Bannon is another Trump Con Man and Grifter like the other minions and there never was going to be a goddamn wall like you rubes believed.

        1. Bannon, who Trump fired in 2017 and then insulted?

  6. The timing is peculiar, and considering the FBI’s partisan and non-partisan track record, and the US attorney’s office track record, it sure smells fishy. But Bannon himself was always just yapping click-bait, and this case at least has specific charges, so it should unravel quicker than Russiagate.

    1. Just like all that IRS harassment of the tea party that happened just before an election.

      1. Lois Lerner got fired for that.

        You nutcases can’t find anything better than that?

        BENGHAZI!!!!!! DERP!! BLOOP! BEN GHA ZI !!!!!!!!!! BLLLPPP!

        1. And Bannon was fired in 2017, so if we apply your logic to this case, you can’t blame Trump for Bannon’s actions.

          1. Especially as those actions occurred after Trump fired him.

    2. If Bannon is guilty, I hope he goes to prison. With that aside, ABC News radio’s headline on this included the phrase “… The timing on this couldn’t have been worse for a struggling Trump campaign”.

      1. They aren’t even hiding it anymore.

  7. Can you imagine the shitshow if US Attorneys had targeted any of Obama’s cronies? Oh wait that would never happen because the so called deep state bureaucrats are against anyone who wants limited government or isn’t part of their little club.

    Anyway given the timing of this announcement call me skeptical. And I expect more of this as we draw closer to the election. Fortunately for Trump he’s nearly immune to this bullshit. His poll numbers don’t drop on these kinds of attacks. There will be no October surprise because they don’t work.

    1. Obama’s “cronies” weren’t con men criminals – you stupid redneck.

      1. Obama was a criminal for his spying scam.

        He’s also a scum bag.

        1. There was no “spying scam”, you gullible moron.

          The Dotard runs the DOJ with his butt-boy Attorney General. They can’t produce a shred of evidence much less a case.

          1. Other than the conviction they already got and the IG report that reported multiple cases of malfeasance and illegal activity, which resulted in the FISA courts ordering the DoJ to undertake 40 reforms before they’ll hear more FISA warrant applications? Other than that, yeah no evidence.

            1. No evidence implicating Obama.

              After all that is what you want so desperately.

              Were there people in the FBI who hated Putin’s splooge mop Trump? Of course there were and are.

              1. More than there was that Trump colluded with the Russians. And before you link to the latest NYT article, let’s discuss it. The article states that manafort had ties to Russia, which is why Trump fired him in the first place. Also, the other big piece of evidence was that Stone tried to find out from WikiLeaks if there was going to be more data dumps. Not from the Russians, but from WikiLeaks. Gee, a political operative trying to find dirt on their opponents, from a source that already had leaked dirt on their opponents.
                As for Obama, time will only tell. Durham has just started his prosecutions of the cases and hasn’t released his report yet. You may be right Obama is innocent, but we can’t know that yet and we can’t conclude that they haven’t found anything (rumor is it will drop in September, which is probably politically driven).

                1. More than there was that Trump colluded with the Russians.

                  Oh for crying out loud. Trump MET with the Russians in Trump Tower to discuss campaign strategy vs Hil-Dog. No one denies that fact.

                  1. No, he met with them because they offered information, not to discuss strategy. Keep your facts straight.

    2. WHATABOUTOBAMA AMIRITE HUH???

      1. It’s pretty fucking revealing that you bitch “whataboutism” when the worst abuse of State power in this nation’s history is mentioned

        1. I have seen Trump’s tweets claiming that Obamacare is the worst political scandal in this nation’s history. I don’t know how he can say that when he is old enough to have lived through Watergate.

          Do you seriously believe it is the worst abuse of state power ever?

          1. Yes.
            Watergate wasn’t 1% as bad as what the Obama administration did.
            You won’t admit that because you don’t actually give a shit about anything but your pretense to class and moral superiority.
            Trump is an existential threat to people like you, who can only succeed in a system that coddles sociopathy and prohibits dealing directly with you parasites

            1. I’m not sure why this is about me, whom you don’t even know.

              The Watergate scandal involved a burglary of the Democratic Headquarters, and, it came out a few years after Nixon resigned, a kidnapping. An actual kidnapping. That’s pretty scandalous.

              1. You are unimportant, but you are a symptom and you are transparent.

                Yes, Watergate was quite the scandal – and pales in comparison to the totalitarianism of today’s deep state/left

          2. No.

            These fucking lockdowns and governors crowning themselves kings, however…

            1. There are a lot of examples of governors going too far, but there are good intentions behind it. They are trying to protect public health.

              1. Quisling.

        2. Believe it or not, it is possible to judge individuals and actions on their own merits without having to constantly engage in these cheap whataboutist tactics.

          And if you actually think “Obamagate”, whatever you imagine that to be, to be the “worst abuse of State power in this nation’s history”, then there are a whole lot of Native Americans, Japanese-Americans, Chinese immigrants, and dead slaves, who would like to have a word with you.

          1. Repeat that shibboleth, boy.

            1. So you think “ObamaGate” is a worse abuse of state power than slavery, or Japanese internment, or the Trail of Tears. Interesting.

            2. Gotta agree with Jeff. Slavery, slaughtering of native Americans have got to win when it comes to all-time worst abuses of state power.

              Above, Nardz used the words, “worst abuse of State power in this nation’s history”, but I actually responded to the wording Trump used in his tweets, “the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR”, which is why I nominated Watergate. But Watergate doesn’t compare to slavery and extermination of the Indians if we are talking about worst abuses of state power.

              1. Only if we are relegating ourselves to US government. And while the US governments policies in regards to Indians was bad, the Indians were hardly blameless either. As for slavery, it could be argued the US government inherited that problem and didn’t create it. And it wasn’t an official state policy, they just recognized it existed and at the founding, hoped it would die a natural death.

                1. The natives were conquered by European colonists. It’s how the world works.
                  Slavery was an established socioeconomic system as old as conquest, and was established long before the US government existed.
                  Whatever moral objections we might have to them now, it’s an apples and oranges comparison. We should also note that those issues were resolved by war.

                  Would you like to resolve the issue of leftists trying to destroy our representative constitutional system to institute totalitarian dominion over us through war?
                  Ok then.

                  Trump’s election was our attempt to deal with you peacefully.

                  1. “You” not referring to soldiermedic, but to white knight and his masters.

                  2. See, Nardz, this is why people call you a racist. EVEN IF we are going to assume that “ObamaGate” was some type of attempted coup – guess what, there was no body count to this ‘coup’. You literally handwaved away the torture and murder of millions of people, enforced by the state and sometimes by the direct hand of the state, and you say that this is not as bad as some lawyers in DC abusing their power. It’s because that those victims of state power were “other people” that you don’t give a shit about. It’s disgusting.

                    1. Except people don’t call me racist.
                      Probably because I don’t say racist shit, nor judge people by skin color.
                      Unlike you.

                      It’s not handwaving to note that your equivocation is false because things not undertaken by the state aren’t undertaken by the state.
                      The proper, valid counterpoint would be Japanese internment during WWII.
                      But you’ll do anything you can to justify your own racism and support for totalitarianism.
                      You have a most despicable character.

  8. Bannon is typical Trump Trash like the other cons like Gates, Manaport, Cohen, Papadopolous, Stone and soon to be Uday and Qusay Trump.

    Their rubes love them though. They would send Bannon even more money for that wall Mexico was supposed to pay for if they could.

    We have a lot of their useful idiots here like the new one – Art Kumquat.

    1. All of those people are people Trump fired for their actions. You defend the IRS scandal by pointing out Lerner was fired. Well, Trump fired Bannon, and Manafort and Stone and Gates etc. But I guess consistency, along with critical thinking skills, tolerance and reading abilities is something you also lack. Keep it up bigot.

      1. Trump was doing pretty good at CLEANING THE SWAMP! 🙂

        1. Trump cleaning his own swamp?

          Hilarious.

          1. Which is a Million times better than any other President we’ve had.

        2. Not only did Trump fail to “drain the swamp”, he managed to swampify the entire country, turning the whole thing into a raging swamp of pestilence.

          1. And he didn’t have a hand in this from “the resistance” and those identify themselves as “Antifa”? From what I can see, they have at least as much culpability, people like the Rev and Tony and Buttplug have at least as much guilt in dividing this country as Trump does.

            1. Wait, I thought you were not shy on criticizing Trump. Now you pull a whataboutist argument?

              1. How is this a whataboutism? I am not stating Trump isn’t guilty, I am saying he isn’t solely guilty. Big fucking difference. That isn’t whataboutism. Nowhere did I defend his actions by pointing out others bad actions. I pointed out others are just as guilty as he is. Nowhere did I excuse his behavior. Nor did I deny his behavior was responsible, I mean I admitted as much in the first sentence when I asked if he didn’t have help from the groups i listed. And notice I said as much culpability, which means I am assigning guilt to Trump and them both.

            2. “And he didn’t have a hand in this from “the resistance””
              Redirect to Sarah Palin’s Buttplug….

              What’s even more hilarious than Trump cleaning up the DC swamp under his administration is trying to blame Trump for the leftist mobs coming out of Democratically controlled cities.

              PROJECTION RULES!!! 🙂 = “What we liberals ([WE] foundation) do is all Trumps fault.”

          2. Haha. They you go again, being all “radical” and “individualist”!

            Everything is so terrible and unfair.

      2. Lerner wasn’t fired. She realized the jig was up and retired with her full pension. The keystone FBI couldn’t find any evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Just like the prosecutor who couldn’t find any criminal intent with Chicago States attorney who let Smollett slide.

      3. Remember when he said he would only hire the ‘best and brightest’? At what point do you finally admit he’s a moron and should never be allowed to hire anyone again?

  9. Lots of grifting on both the left and the right. It’s just too easy to monetize outrage nowadays. It is sad proof that demagoguery works, and works very well. What will it take to get back to a state where people reject demagoguery as the cheap emotional manipulation tactic that it is?

    1. I’m not sure that time ever existed.

      1. I think there was a time when demagoguery wasn’t as powerful as it is today. Surely demagoguery has always been around, but there were also many leaders who took the high road and didn’t submit to these crass displays of demagoguery as their main campaign tactic.

        1. Maybe Washington, but read about the Jefferson Adams campaigns some time.

        2. demagoguery ( a new word for me today ) = from Greek, a leader of a mob, a leader who gains popularity in a DEMOCRACY ….. by exploiting passions of the crowd (Socialist) and shutting down reasoned deliberation…

          Seems Democratic Socialism is bound to be almost equivalent to demagoguery. I still hold that the USA will go south at the exact same level we and our politicians ignore the US Constitution and our original foundation.

          1. It’s also hard to compare today’s politicians to 19th century politicians. During most of the 19th century it was considered bad form to campaign for yourself, so you stayed home while your picked surrogates went out and attacked your opponents on your behalf. You also pretended that you weren’t involved, but about the only one it appears that actually lived by this principle was Garfield, who didn’t even want to be nominated and tried to turn it down and argued for another nominee.

            1. Garfield wasn’t perfect, but he was certainly fairly principled and a fairly interesting person.

          2. by exploiting passions of the crowd (Socialist)

            Why do you think that exploiting the passions of the crowd is somehow connected to socialism? It is not.

            1. But it is one of their more favored tools.

            2. Socialism defined – a theory or system of social organization where ownership and control is vested in community (?crowd?) rules.
              dictionary-dot-com

              What do you think it means?

              In a Republic where >INDIVIDUAL< rights, justice and freedoms are well established (i.e. Constitution) there is no "passions of the crowd" ruling the nation.

              1. …Just to add more; This is the failure of democracy. If a community want’s to build a crowd to “help” those in need they are INDIVIDUALLY free to do so and work together as a “crowd”. What that “crowd” shouldn’t be allowed to do is run around with loaded guns and steal from other individuals.

                And that is the KEY evil to Democrats – all their “helping” plans insist on using GOVERNMENT – – guns (which is criminal). What is a “plan” without guns? It’s a co-op or voluntary initiative – it doesn’t require the FORCE of loaded guns (GOV).

                GOV is FORCE by loaded guns. Without loaded guns GOV would have no ability to FORCE.

                1. last part better worded as, “enforce the rule of law”

    2. No, the grifting is far more pervasive on the right.

      After all you have a large sample of gullible people who already believe huge lies like Pizzagate, QAnon, Jade Helm, AGW is made up, and some dead Jew from 2000 years ago is going to spring to life someday and save their sorry asses from a perpetual dirt nap.

      1. Do you jerk off to your bigotry?

        1. Why do you always get so defensive when someone points out that there are some terrible people on the right? Not everyone on the right are terrible people, but some are. Why so defensive about it? If you’re not a terrible person then he’s not talking about you.

          1. He didn’t say some he said all. And then insulted all Christians. Why do you automatically defend a bigot?

            1. “a large sample of gullible people” is not the same as “all”.

              Again you are getting defensive whenever *some* on the right are insulted. You have a habit of doing this – criticism of *some* people on the right rankles you. And I don’t buy the whole “I don’t like bigotry” argument. Do you ever get upset whenever wide swaths of people to the left of Ted Cruz are denounced as Marxists or worse?

              1. Depends on the person and I am left of Cruz. More a Paul style Republican if I still identified as a Republican. Hell, Paul was my first choice in 2016.
                A large swaths is not the same as some, it implies either a majority or at least a plurality. Either way, this doesn’t disprove my thesis. Also, his last sentence, in regards to Christians, sums up the belief system of every Christian, right, center or left. He insulted all Christians and implied they were stupid and gullible for their beliefs.

                1. “large sample”, “plurality”, “wide swaths”, “majority” – none of these terms are synonymous with “all”.

                  1. Which I didn’t deny, if I said all, I misstated. But Buttplug pretty much admits a couple responses down that he did mean all Christians, maybe not all on the right.

                    1. “far more pervasive on the right” – direct quote and it’s full of sh*t.
                      As-if the entire DNC platform itself wasn’t about stealing money compulsively to “help” those criminals who want to steal it.

                    2. Yeah but ChemJeff is right he didn’t say all. He just implied it.

                    3. *Note I am referring to Buttplug saying it not ChemJeff. Just to be clear.

                    4. Nothing is more demagogic than the Left’s, and chemjeff’s if I may repeat myself, entire philosophy.

                      Did chemjeff ever answer my challenge to his belief in “anti-ra ism”?
                      I’ll have to check that thread again, but as of this afternoon both he and white knight had declined to and run away

                    5. What a petty thing to say, from a petty little man. Believe it or not, I have things to do other than to hang out here all day responding to everyone’s demands to reply to their comments.

                    6. Chemjeff and white knight spent hours making pro “anti”-racism comments, only to go completely silent as more and more people destroyed their position.

                      But whatever, it’s unimportant.
                      So here’s a second chance:

                      A challenge for Jeff and white knight:
                      Is anti-racism, as you choose to perceive and promote it, compatible with ignoring or not acknowledging race?
                      For example, if I am out with 2 of my friends – Aaron is black, Brett is white – and encounter someone who says to one of them “nice shoes, boy”: should I respond differently depending on whether he says it to Aaron or Brett?
                      Should I be actively “anti-racist” if he says it to Aaron? If so, what should I do if he says it to Brett?
                      Should I be actively “anti-racist” if it’s a white guy but not if it’s a black guy?

                      In what way is “anti-racism” opposed to racism if it is a perspective dependent upon, and interpreting the world through, race?

                    7. Is anti-racism, as you choose to perceive and promote it, compatible with ignoring or not acknowledging race?

                      From my perspective – no. Anti-racism is not the same as color-blindness. Color-blindness is okay – it is better than outright bigotry – but IMO it is insufficient. We do have to recognize that, while we would like everyone to be treated equally, the reality is, people are not treated equally, the origin of this unequal treatment is, too often, a person’s race, and to simply take a color-blind approach to it is to sweep these problems under the rug and not acknowledge the reality of others’ lived experiences. It is better than actively contributing to the problem, but ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away either.

                    8. while we would like everyone to be treated equally, the reality is, people are not treated equally, the origin of this unequal treatment is, too often, a person’s race, and to simply take a color-blind approach to it is to sweep these problems under the rug

                      Treating people equally is not a solution to people being treated unequally.

                      I’m not making it up or paraphrasing, you actually said that.

                    9. ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away either

                      Being color blind isn’t ingoring the problem of racism, it is expressly rejecting it and refusing to engage in it.

                      Your doublespeak is insufferable.

                    10. “We do have to recognize that, while we would like everyone to be treated equally, the reality is, people are not treated equally, the origin of this unequal treatment is, too often, a person’s race, and to simply take a color-blind approach to it is to sweep these problems under the rug and not acknowledge the reality of others’ lived experiences”

                      This is psychotic.
                      If you think people should be treated equally, treat them equally.
                      If you think people should be treated according to the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, do so.
                      You’re saying that to be anti-racist one must be racist – which is my point about “anti-racism”.

                      Kudos for answering though.
                      Now maybe examine how viewing people as products of their pigment and units of an immutable identity class is fundamentally racist.

                    11. Nardz,
                      Here is the problem with your approach.

                      Let’s suppose there are two identical twins separated at birth, Bob and Tom.

                      Bob is taken to foster parents that beat him, underfeed him, lock him in a closet, and treat him cruelly.

                      Tom is taken to foster parents that love him and give him every advantage that they can.

                      When Bob and Tom show up to school, they are given a test. Predictably, Tom scores much higher on the test than Bob does. And if the teacher is to treat Bob and Tom equally, then the teacher should not take into consideration the much worse treatment that Bob received in his development compared to Tom. The teacher should only look at the objective results from this test, right? So if the teacher comes back and says “Bob, you failed and therefore you should be held back in school for a year”, that is holding Bob responsible for circumstances that were largely beyond his control. But it would be the “color-blind” approach to interpreting the results of this test. That is the big drawback to the color-blind approach. It makes permanent the existing inequities and pretends that everyone is now starting on a level playing field when that is not the case, so that a 1-to-1 comparison of Bob’s performance and Tom’s performance is considered “fair”.

                      In my view, an antiracist approach is to take a deeper look at the inequities that exist due to race, and seeing what can be done about them. Of course if one is going to take a look at race-based inequities, one has to first acknowledge that people are of different races, and even though race is a baloney concept in terms of biology, it is a very relevant concept in the real world, whether we would like it to be or not, in terms of interpersonal interactions. I don’t believe it is racist to simply *observe* that people are of different races, and to simply *observe* that, as a matter of statistics, people of different races tend to be treated differently based on race. It would be racist, IMO, to blame people for disparate outcomes based on skin color alone.

                      And the problem, from the libertarian view, and frankly from the point of view of most people right of center, is that the conversation about “what to do about racial inequities in the system” is completely dominated by left-wing views, because those from the right side just refuse to engage in the conversation. They either take the color-blind approach, which as I said is functionally equivalent to ignoring the problem, or they rail on and on about “SJW lunatics” or “race hustlers” or “Marxist BLM agitators”. None of that is helping, and none of that does anything to solve any problem. We really need a libertarian voice in the conversation, so that in the Bob and Tom example, we don’t just get proposed ‘solutions’ like “let Bob pass the test anyway” or “tear down Tom and shame him for his privilege”, that is the left-wing approach. We need a liberty-focused approach, one that works to abolish the chains that hold people back so that each individual can thrive, without tearing anyone else down in the process.

          2. No, the grifting is far more pervasive on the right.

            “After all you have a large sample of gullible people who already believe huge lies like Pizzagate, QAnon, Jade Helm, AGW is made up, and some dead Jew from 2000 years ago is going to spring to life someday and save their sorry asses from a perpetual dirt nap.”
            How is this him saying some people on the right and not insulting every Christian, and most every person on the right? And yes, bigotry pisses me off. Also, you notice I have admitted Bannon is an asshole multiple times in this comment section. Note Bannon is on the right.

          3. I’ve also called Trump an asshole multiple times, even when discussing with you. What I object to is labeling all people on the right as guilty by association and anti-Christian bigotry like Buttplug did in the last sentence of his post that I objected to. I am pretty sure if Jesse or someone said something similar about Muslims you would agree it was bigotry, wouldn’t you?

            1. How is it bigotry to reject your religion?

              1. You don’t reject it, you insult it and imply all who believe in it are stupid. And you are smarter than them by extension. That is bigotry.

                1. But Christians/Islamists insist on making government subordinate to your religion. I have to insult (pr tear down) your belief system in order to create more liberty.

                  Classic liberalism or libertarianism is secular. You should know that before you visit our board.

                  1. No, not all Christians, and not even all Muslims insist on government being subordinate to our religion. Hell, the majority of Christians would reject this description. Yes, some do, but not all.
                    Chem Jeff please show me how this is not implying all Christians and all Muslims want to subjugate government.

                  2. I’m an atheist myself, but I do have to agree that your comment mocked all Christians.

        2. You ask an interesting question.

          Am I a bigot? bigot
          [ˈbiɡət]
          NOUN
          a person who is obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, especially one who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.

          I am a rationalist and I very much dislike religion (especially Islam).

          Am I prejudiced against a “person”? No, I treat everyone as I would like to be treated (Kant 2)

          Am I prejudiced against a belief system? Absolutely.

          1. And anyone who believes in those. I mean you just insulted all Christians. That pretty much is the definition of bigotry.

            1. But when I denigrate Islam you’re okay with that?

              Look, I grade religions based on how well they treat other people. Muslims get the worst grade. Christians are second but nowhere nearly as bad.

              I have never seen a violent Unitarian. Maybe you can correct me on that.

              1. No, I think you’re a bigot then too. Like some atheists, you are bigoted against theist and feel the need to insult them. I’ve known a lot of atheist and agnostics who respected theists and don’t insult them.

                1. Don’t you believe us rationalists are wrong?

                  If so you are a bigot like me.

                  1. No, I accept you might be right, and don’t hate you or insult you because you believe differently than I do. Believe what you want, I won’t insult you for it. Or imply you are stupid or gullible, either.

                    1. And I don’t hate you in the least.

                      Actually tonight I have developed a begrudging respect for you because you argue in good faith. I don’t agree with you but I respect you.

                    2. Now try and not insult all Christians because some act bad. Or any theist for that matter.

                  2. A “rationalist” cannot reject the existence of a or any God.
                    The purely rational position is agnosticism.
                    To deny the existence of God or gods is as much a leap of faith as to affirm it.
                    Indeed, denying the existence of god(s) really a far greater leap of faith since you’re implying with such a position that all things are knowable… which is about as irrational an idea as there is

                    1. This is true. I have made this argument multiple times. This is also the most scientifically defenisible position. The existence of God is an untestable hypothesis. And no, I can’t prove he exists. I accept this. I also won’t claim I don’t have doubts at times (like when my brother died). And yes, you can’t prove a negative (i.e. it’s impossible to prove God doesn’t exist). I am not asking anyone to prove a negative. Nor will I state my faith is scientifically defenisible. But neither is atheism. Agnosticism is the most scientifically defenisible position to take. Both Atheism and Theism take faith. The atheist has faith that God doesn’t exist, and the theist has faith God exists.
                      I also reject the idea that Theism and science are incompatible, just because a few Christians reject some forms of science, and a small minority are young Earthers (which is actually a fairly new belief in Christianities 2000 year history, not having come about until the mid 19th century). And I know polling says 40% of American Christians believe that God, rather than evolution, is how modern life came about, but if people read the polls they would realize that the polls were badly (deliberately?) worded, and gave only two options. Do you believe in evolution and that God didn’t create modern life or do you believe God rather than evolution explains modern life? If forced I would probably choose the latter, but it isn’t close to what I actually believe. I accept the scientific theory of evolution, and that Darwin was mostly correct (albeit, we do know now that he was wrong about some things, because, everyone is no matter how smart they are) but I believe God used the mechanisms of evolution to achieve his desired outcome. I don’t discount the science, not reject it. In fact I embrace it, and it actually makes my faith stronger, as I see the beauty of God’s plan in every new scientific discovery.

                    2. Whether or not god(s) exists, the belief in god(s) is an evolutionary biological development, and an inherently rational conclusion.
                      The details is where rationality gets corrupted.

                      Atheism is a bit of a weasel word, since strictly defined (without belief in god) it includes both the agnostic position as well as the belief that there is no god(s). Thus anti-theists can accurately refer to themselves as atheists, and motte-bailey style switch between the defensible absence of belief in god(s) and the indefensible belief in the absence of god(s).

                      I’m going to stop here.

      2. No, the grifting is far more pervasive on the right.

        The grifting on the left is much of government spending: most of the civil service, teachers, professors, university administrators, librarians, green energy, public sector unions, private sector unions, much of Wall St., hedge funds, doctors, lawyers, etc.

        The military grift is split between the left and the right.

        There is grift on the right, but it doesn’t even remotely come close to that.

  10. “exposes Steve Bannons false application of populism”. There, I fixed it for you.

  11. I don’t know any “little guys” that own a yacht, let alone any “little guys” with a neighbor that owns a yacht! What an asshole!

    1. Yes, even most Trump supporters would agree Bannon is an asshole. Hell, even Trump would probably agree, as that is one of the reasons Trump fired him. And then Bannon lied about being fired and Trump stated “he lost his head when I fired him”.

      1. It appears that we may be getting a little closer to possibly having a beer one day but I’m going to have to disagree. Trump knew damn well what kind of person Bannon is!

        1. I am sure he did, Trump used him until he wasn’t useful and then fired him, for the reason Bannon was an asshole, he just was no longer and asset.

  12. Didn’t Trump fire Bannon because Bannon wouldn’t follow the rules? And didn’t Bannon lie about being fired and try to imply he resigned?

    1. I might not have the story straight, but my understanding is that it was a fairly standard matter of Bannon’s being asked to turn in his resignation. The kind of thing that happens to, say, CEOs.

      1. This was one story, but Bannon had been going off the rails for several months before. And even in this interpretation, it was one of those deals were he could resign or be fired. His choice. I still consider that being fired.

    2. And, if I recall correctly, he made face-covering exclude that it was always his plan to resign after one year in the White House.

      1. Yes he did. And Trump stated no, he lost his head when he was informed he could either resign or be fired.

  13. Trump’s big mistake was in not firing anyone appointed by the Obama Administration. Their only goal is to attack him.

    1. I would say his first mistake, well your example was also a mistake, was in hiring Manafort, Bannon and Stone. Their personalities, paired with his, just have given ammunition to his opponents.

      1. Junkyard dogs. The sort he used throughout his business career. Then just kick them to the curb.

    2. Another big mistake Trump has made is in bad mouthing so many people after they leave his administration. It’s another example of how he shoots himself in the foot, often, by being a jerk.

      At this point, nearly four years in, he is having trouble finding good people willing to work on his staff. He even had to resort to bringing on John Bolton.

    3. I don’t know, Do you fire everyone when you change administrations normally? Seems like that would leave a big gap and take time to replace people.

      It probably would have been the correct thing to do in retrospect.

  14. Also, Interesting that Reason assumes that accusation equals guilt, especially when the Southern District of New York is making the accusation.

    1. This applies to often, see the Covington kid, the accusations against Flynn, the Russian Collusion narrative, the nomination and accusations against Gorsuch, the Michael Brown shootings (or any police shooting) etc. Yes they did offer mea culpas of sorts in almost every one of these cases, but the initial hot take was to assume guilt.

      1. On the Covington one, I clearly recall Reason being very fair in their coverage. Went back and looked, and this is one of the first articles they wrote:

        https://reason.com/2019/01/22/nick-sandmann-covington-catholic-racism/

        “If You Still Think Nick Sandmann’s Smile Is Proof of Racism, You’re Seeing What You Want to See”

        1. One of their first, but not their first. As I stated above, they did offer some mea culpas, and in covington fairly quickly. But it wasn’t their first take.

          1. Robby’s been good about some of these things, like the UVA rape story in Rolling Stone. I think he was one of the first, if not the first, to debunk that.

            1. Yes Robby is one of the more fair writers.

  15. Bannon is looking a little more tanned and coiffed than the last time I recall him being in the news regularly!

    1. One of the accusations is that funds were spent on cosmetic surgery. It would be interesting to know who had what done.

      1. I am betting it is someone who has double X chromosomes and now has double did breasts.

        1. Double D’s. Fucking autocorrect. I hate when it fucks up the punchline.

  16. Take that, private citizen who isn’t involved in government! Reason writer rebukes you!

    Because forget about Reason’s mission, writers gotta get their licks in.

  17. wowee this thread could really use a safe space and a time-out zone for a certain coupla fellas.

    Reason, I’m formally lobbying you for a designated safe space for the victim(s) here, a designated time-out zone or “chill-out” zone for commenter(s) who need to step away from the keys and just cool off for a minute, and also a thread-czar to monitor thread activity and make sure everyone is civil and on topic under penalty of law.

    THANKS

    1. Less helpful than just about any comment today.

      1. dang and that’s a high bar too.

        was sarcasm btw

        1. was just tryna add a little humor, like 60% of this thread was reading the transcript from a high school girls lunch table.

          1. For the record, I thought your comment was funny.

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  19. You know, this whole thing this is awfully peculiar. I am not saying it is a wrongful prosecution. It just seems to have a lot of unusual circumstance. That said, if Mr. Bannon is guilty of a crime, then he pays the price for that. I have different questions.

    First question…Did AG Barr know this was coming, or was he completely blind-sided?

    Second question…What was Mr. Bannon doing on the yacht of a Chinese businessman?

    Third question…Exactly what evidence predicated the original investigation by SD-NY?

  20. Bannon, who was found and arrested Thursday morning on a $35 million yacht belonging to a close associate, has already called the indictment a “political hit job.”

    I have zero doubt that it is, insomuch as the favored would be getting away with similar misdeeds and the timing of the arrest was dictated by political considerations. But the guy seems as sleazy as the rest of them.

    1. Does he seem sleazy because he was on a $35 million yacht?

      Why was that even included in the piece?

      Are we supposed to be rooting against him because he was on a $35 million yacht?

      That shouldn’t even enter into the discussion. It’s just class envy.

      1. I noticed the same thing. That was a ridiculous thing to put in an article.

        Would you say “Bannon was arrested after stepping off of a $68 million Delta aircraft”? Or how about “Bannon was arrested in the $2.4 billion Goldman Sachs office building where he was attending a seminar on gold investments”?

  21. Many of the comments look at the Bannon indictment and see politics. What the article talks about and I agree is that in any movement there are those seeking to take advantage of people. Look at Bannon as the equivalent of a looter at the BLM protests. Both are taking advantage of the people with good intentions.

    1. You can’t look at the office where they originate and not be suspicious as to motive and veracity.

      1. That being said… .just because the prosecution is politically motivated, it doesn’t mean the aren’t also guilty.

    2. What the article talks about and I agree is that in any movement there are those seeking to take advantage of people. Look at Bannon as the equivalent of a looter at the BLM protests. Both are taking advantage of the people with good intentions.

      So far, it’s unclear whether Bannon has committed a crime at all. If he has, he hasn’t forced anybody to do anything against their will and he hasn’t committed any violence.

      How is that in any way equivalent to people who commit violence and destroy private property of completely uninvolved strangers?

  22. Bannon says he loves a fight.

    Let’s see how much he loves pummeling a shower room wall with his nose and mouth. Paunchy old white guys with a big mouth and a record of bigotry do great in prison, right?

    1. Did you see that on Netflix, little punkin?

      1. No need. This trajectory is predictable and obvious. I expect Bannon to be pardoned by Trump and then to commit suicide when the state charges progress to the point at which he recognizes he would spend his 70s in prison.

        Might make a decent Netflix documentary, after the funeral.

    2. Feminists go on and on about ‘rape culture’, but no one actually advocates that rape is a good thing – except for people like you who seem to fantasize or fetishize that it should be done to men in prison.

      What the fuck is wrong with you?

    3. Bannon says he loves a fight. Let’s see how much he loves pummeling a shower room wall with his nose and mouth. Paunchy old white guys with a big mouth and a record of bigotry do great in prison, right?

      That’s the kind of glee we expect from a progressive like you, Kirkland. It’s totally befitting the kind of racist, bigoted authoritarian that you are.

  23. Reason has become the swamp. That goes for The Libertarian Party too. The article came from a desk jockey who probably has never seen the wall.

    1. I know, right? Why isn’t Reason standing up for that libertarian paragon, Steve Bannon?

      1. How about standing up for that principle of innocent until proven guilty?

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  25. It’s barely news anymore. Another Trump crime family member indicted for ripping off Trump true believer dumbasses.

  26. As a comparison, I followed the first link for “Peta charity overhead” from google to find out these numbers:

    56% for consultants and salaries. That’s the category Bannon supposedly got paid from.

    22% to media and promotional

    10% to Rent and office operating expenses

    4% to Donations to Other NGO’s

    and

    8% for Other.

    I remember that when the “report on charitable fundraising” thing first started, charities with greater than 90% of their budget spent on fundraising activities were common. It looks like they still are.

  27. Wall Funding Scandal Exposes Steve Bannon’s False Populism. Bannon, who says he stands for the little guy, was just charged with stealing over $1 million from donors who thought they were helping to build a border wall.

    And according to Reason, when a leftist AG charges anyone with a dubious charge of wrongly using funds donated to a charity, they are guilty and should be locked up for life! Because that’s the kind of “libertarian” magazine Reason is!

  28. It is a shame they can’t bring these charges against Bannon in Saudi Arabia. Rather than parole after 12 months he’d lose both hands.

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  30. I see this as good news, regardless if it’s a malicious prosecution by SDNY, or actual fraud by Bannon. Bannon can afford a defense, and ironically he’d be justified in using donated funds to defend himself if he’s innocent (I’ve no idea if this is legal, but it seems reasonable).

    If Bannon is innocent, it will blow back on the prosecutors, and Trump would then have good reason to replace them (he does have the authority regardless); thus, senate Democrats won’t have good reason to complain about it and allege Trump is corrupt. If Bannon is guilty (he might be AFAIK) then that will make all the other people defrauding non-profits to fatten their wallets very nervous, especially the Democrat ones, given the precedent set in SDNY.

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