Reason Roundup

Trump Gets None of His Demands in the Spending Bill but Signs It Into Law Anyway

Plus: Europeans are just as inclined toward "conspiracy thinking" as Americans, D.C. decriminalizes "drug paraphernalia," and more...

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No $2,000 checks or Section 230 repeal in the spending bill. Like so many of President Donald Trump's policy tantrums, his opposition to the new government funding bill turned out to be nothing more than a pointless spectacle. After rightfully objecting to all the fluff packed into the latest omnibus spending and COVID-19 relief measures, wrongfully demanding that the legislation repeal Section 230, and promising to use his veto power, the president has now signed into law the original measure passed by Congress last week.

The COVID-19 measure includes expanded federal unemployment benefits and instructions to give $600 to every American under a certain income threshold. It was attached to a larger spending bill that funds the necessary functions of the governmentand much, much morethrough September 2021.

In a transparent attempt to save face, Trump stated Sunday that his signature on the spending package came with "a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill."

But this is not a real stand against the legislation. It's merely a symbolic move mixed with some nonsense ("redlining" doesn't mean anything in this context, for example). Congress doesn't have to do anything about Trump's post-signature demands andwith him nearly out the dooris not expected to.

"This is a win for congressional leaders, especially Pelosi & Schumer," commented former Politico reporter John Bresnahan. "Trump gets a vote Dems wanted anyway. Section 230 will remain intact. A 'redlined' document from Trump (that's not even a real thing) or his rescissions mean nothing since he's gone on Jan. 20."

In his Sunday statement, Trump noted that the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote today on a measure to raise the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000 (a measure he initially rejected but recently has insisted on). He also claimed that Congress was continuing to take seriously his allegations of voter fraud (it is not) and said that Congress would eventually do his bidding on Section 230 (perhaps, but not as part of this legislation and only because both ruling parties want to destroy this speech-protective law anyway). The White House statement concluded:

Big Tech must not get protections of Section 230! Voter Fraud must be fixed! Much more money is coming. I will never give up my fight for the American people!

Despite the spin he's trying to put on it, however, Trump's deal making here was a dud. He's getting none of what he asked for and signing the bill into law anyway, because he doesn't have enough support to do otherwise.


FREE MINDS

Europeans are just as wacky as us. A new study suggests that "the overall level of conspiracy thinking in Europe is equal to or slightly lower than the United States, contradicting the notion that conspiracy theories is [sic] an especially American phenomenon."

"Conspiracy Thinking in Europe and America: A Comparative Study," published December 16 in the journal Political Studies, looks at conspiracy theory beliefs across nine countries and 11,523 respondents. Researchers also found that "people more inclined to conspiracy thinking position themselves towards the right of the political spectrum, engage in magical thinking, feel distrust towards public officials and reject the political system."

In addition, they found that "the country context in which respondents reside has hardly any effect as predictor of levels of conspiracy thinking or as a moderator of individual-level determinants. Heterogeneity in conspiratorial thinking seems to be largely a function of individual traits."


FREE MARKETS

"Drug paraphernalia" is now decriminalized in Washington, D.C. The Opioid Overdose Treatment and Prevention Omnibus Act of 2018 became law last week, removing criminal penalties for possessing accoutrements for drug use and allowing harm reduction groups to hand out supplies without fearing arrest.

"This legislation will 100% save lives," Queen Adesuyi of the Drug Policy Alliance told ABC7, pointing out that shared or unsanitary supplies were especially dangerous during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What people often forget is that people use drugs in a whole bunch of different ways. I think in a time like now, where we're dealing with a compounded public health crisis, with COVID-19 on top of the increasingly worsening overdose crisis in DC, it's not a better time than now to finally get past stigma.

More here.


QUICK HITS

  • Immigrant detainees are reportedly asking to be deported to avoid catching COVID-19 inside immigrant detention facilities where the virus runs rampant.
  • "Los Angeles police and prosecutors can no longer blanket entire areas of the city with gang injunctions and must instead use them in a more targeted, deliberate way under the terms of a court settlement reached last month," reports KTLA.
  • A Washington Post investigation finds that "over the past five years, the D.C. government has spent millions of dollars settling dozens of police misconduct lawsuits — settlements that, even as officers acknowledge no wrongdoing, document a trail of nonfatal encounters that went painfully wrong."
  • "In a majority decision, the Constitutional Court of Romania has struck down a legislative amendment that effectively banned the subject of gender studies in university education as unconstitutional," reports Jurist.

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  1. Not my president
    #NeverBiden
    Impeach!
    StillWithHim

    1. Hello.

      Questioning anything these days is ‘conspiratorial’ now.

      1. So, Wrongthink?

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      3. Not to mention the so called ‘Canadians’ infecting American political media these days.

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    2. Trump folded like a house of cards!
      What happened to the art of the deal?
      He got NOTHING and signed the bloated bill.

      1. He found out he is eligible for a $600 check.

        1. OK, that was funny. $1200 for his entire household?

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      2. I wonder, what leverage did/does Trump have? Normally a President may have time to work with, but Trump may be out of there in a few days (God forbid, I hope not). They have all the leverage, being able to potentially stuff in a ton more pork with Biden, which I am sure they probably will with the next bill if these lockdowns continue – I think he realized that a protest was the best he could do, and also this article makes no mention of the “Impoundment Control Act of 1974” in which Trump sent the bill back to the legislators “redlining” the areas that he wanted them to look at again, but unfortunately with no teeth. Again, I think he was simply out of leverage at the current time.

        1. You are probably right that he had no leverage, or political capital, or whatever you want to call it.

          It does demonstrate again his impulsive nature. A more mature, competent person would have thought about his response before making it, refrained from tweeting until he decided on his response — then signed it along with releasing clear messaging about his objections.

          1. A more mature, competent person would have vetoed the fucking bill.

            1. A more mature competent person would have been re-elected.

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  2. Trump Gets None of His Demands in the Spending Bill but Signs It Into Law Anyway
    No credit for trying

    1. No. He had Mnuchin on the hill as his negotiator, and during the drafting of the bill was the time for him to negotiate for what he wanted. After the bill was passed is the wrong time to ask for changes.

      1. It’s humor son, lighten up.
        There’s more to life than OMB.

      2. So Molly, you’re a democrat drone. Do you have any issue with all the pork your masters forced into that bill?

  3. No $2,000 checks or Section 230 repeal in the spending bill.

    Oh, methinks there will be plenty of checks with more than two zeroes, just not to any of you unconnected fucks.

    1. My check is all zeroes.

    2. 100% of the stimulus should have been in a form of a (rebate) check to each taxpayer.
      Egypt and the airlines and Pakistani Gender Studies classes can find their own funds.

      1. And how are things in British Columbia? Do you work and pay taxes in the US? Do you vote here? Yet you seem more involved in US politics than your own. You spend your entire day on it. Every day.

        Americans would like to hear updates about politics north of the border.

  4. …because he doesn’t have enough support to do otherwise.
    The media has his back.

    1. Even worse, he had “The Squad” supporting him, which could not have looked good to his base.

      1. Not you though. You were for all the pro and against money going to actual people right? I say that as you appear to be a blind supporter of whatever Pelosi and Co. do.

  5. A new study suggests that “the overall level of conspiracy thinking in Europe is equal to or slightly lower than the United States, contradicting the notion that conspiracy theories is [sic] an especially American phenomenon.”

    Jesse Walker hardest hit.

    1. The quote comes from from “Conspiracy Thinking in Europe and America: A Comparative Study,” published December 16 in the journal Political Studies. It looks at conspiracy theory beliefs across nine countries and 11,523 respondents.

      Also among its findings: “…people more inclined to conspiracy thinking position themselves towards the right of the political spectrum, engage in magical thinking, feel distrust towards public officials and reject the political system.”

      1. Only because you go along with the MSM dismissal of conspiracy theories.

        That post WAS first. And then it was moved lower down. And the evidence has been suppressed.

  6. “Immigrant detainees are reportedly asking to be deported to avoid catching COVID-19 inside immigrant detention facilities where the virus runs rampant.”

    Stay strong, immigrants. Soon President Biden will liberate the concentration camps and #OpenTheBorders. Then you can live in the US and provide highly-skilled labor for Reason.com’s benefactor Charles Koch.

    1. I also would ask to be released from jail after I broke the law.

  7. “Drug paraphernalia” is now decriminalized in Washington, D.C.

    That you people ever accepted that it was made illegal in the first place is to your everlasting shame.

    1. Kitchen scales legal again!

  8. People are buying curated bookcases for their Zoom backgrounds.
    Too stupid to use virtual backgrounds.

    1. Collecting books is kind of a pain in the ass. But I love my books and I didn’t hire some schmuck to curate them for me.

  9. Israel is opening 24/7 vaccination sites. The United States should, too.

    “Mr. President, we cannot allow a Bell’s palsy gap!”

    1. How will that work with 10:00 pm curfews?

  10. Europeans are just as wacky as us.
    Stop with the crazy conspiracies.

  11. Los Angeles police and prosecutors can no longer blanket entire areas of the city with gang injunctions and must instead use them in a more targeted, deliberate way under the terms of a court settlement reached last month…

    The harshest punishment you can they ever hand out for law enforcement: making them do police work.

  12. “Trump Gets None of His Demands in the Spending Bill but Signs It Into Law Anyway”

    In exchange for Trump signing the bill, congressional leaders promised to hold a vote on a separate bill (today) to increase the direct payment to $2,000.

    The alternative to signing was withholding unemployment benefits for millions of Americans–something I would approve of doing under normal circumstances. Dying on that hill wouldn’t make much sense considering that Biden would give the Democrats more than they’re getting in this bill. Meanwhile, Trump’s deranged critics would have criticized him for standing on principle, too.

    It should be noted, however, that the difference between Trump winning and Biden winning are already making a big difference in policy. If Trump had been reelected, there probably wouldn’t be any stimulus bill at all. Because Biden was elected, this stimulus bill is the best of a bad alternative. Libertarians who voted to enable this situation by voting for Jorgensen should all be ashamed of themselves.

    This is the bed you made. Too bad you’re not the only ones who have to sleep in it.

    1. “The president also said he expects Congress to vote on separate legislation to increase direct payments to $2,000. The House was already planning to vote on such a bill on Monday. Mr. Trump said the Senate will “start the process” to vote on legislation to increase the direct payments, as well as roll back Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and investigate alleged voter fraud.”

      —-WSJ

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-signs-covid-19-aid-bill-averting-government-shutdown-11609117841?

      The senate won’t be back in session until Tuesday. Once they’re back in session, It’s unlikely that senate Republicans will vote to increase the direct payments to $2,000, but I wouldn’t bet against them voting to repeal Section 230. Of course, whether they should repeal Section 230 is another question entirely.

    2. Looks like you and the MSM agree about something. Us libertarians are the worst!

      1. Oh, no. Principled libertarians aren’t the worst.

        But there isn’t anything principled about Libertarians in purple states inflicting Medicare for All, a war on our gun rights, and the Green New Deal on us–all in the name of libertarianism.

        That’s just stupid.

        Meanwhile, if they’d voted for Trump, we probably wouldn’t be looking at this stimulus bill at all. It would probably be as dead in the water as it was before the election.

        1. Ken, if they’d voted for him instead of Jo, nothing would have changed. The number of votes conjured out of thin air would merely have to be a few thousand greater, that’s all.

          1. Trump and the senate Republicans killed the stimulus deal entirely before the election, and the pressure to pass the stimulus before the election was even greater than it is now. After all, we’re in a recession and the way to get elected isn’t usually to refuse to spend money in the weeks before an election by killing a stimulus deal.

            The thing that changed was that Joe Biden is now taking over the White House in January. If Donald Trump were still the one in the White House come 2021, the same conditions that prevailed before the election–that killed the stimulus dead–would have prevailed after the election. The reason we have a stimulus now is the same reason we have another Republican on the Supreme Court.

            They’re doing the stimulus now because the stimulus they’re getting now (sans a bailout of state and local government, for instance) is far better than what they can expect to get when the person they’re negotiating with is Joe Biden.

            Having a president from your party in the White House is like having possession of the ball in a football game. Sure, it’s possible to score points on defense, but having a quarterback in the game who can complete forward passes means you’re more likely to score on offense.

            The Republicans just gave up the ball on downs. They’re punting. They were the reason the stimulus was nothing. Now Trump is leaving the field. Maybe the Republicans will hold the Democrats and stop them from scoring any points, but expecting them to shut out the Democrats with only a razor thin margin in the senate is probably unreasonable. And for all we know, the Democrats may win control of the senate, too. If they do, they’ll send more than $900 billion to the states. The House Democrats passed a $1 trillion bail out of state and local government back in May.

            Why pretend there’s no difference in the outcomes when there clearly is?

            1. P.S. Just in case you were wondering, Real Clear Politics has the Republicans and Democrats in the Georgia runoff in a dead heat.

              Loeffler (R) 48.8% vs. Warnock (D) 48.8%

              https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/senate/ga/georgia_senate_special_election_runoff_loeffler_vs_warnock-7318.html

              Perdue (R) 49.0% vs. Ossoff (D) 48.8%

              —-Link Below

              How good do you feel about the senate Republicans saving us now?

              1. How good do you feel about the senate Republicans saving us now?

                They were never going to save us in the first place.

                1. If you don’t know that policy outcomes are different depending on whether the Republicans or the Democrats control both the White House and the senate, then you’re a fucking idiot.

                  1. It’s Jeff, so obviously he’s a fucking idiot.

                  2. If you are looking for a 51/49 Senate to save you, then you are beyond hope. They are not interested in saving you. They are only saving themselves.

                    1. He’s right though, you are cognitively challenged.

                2. Hey, welcome back, chemjeff. Mother’s Lament spent the whole weekend arguing with you (via your supposed sock puppets) even though you were not around.

                  1. Well I’m not surprised. I wasn’t around because I was too busy creating 7,398,471 sockpuppet accounts!

                    1. Well I’m not surprised. I wasn’t around because I was too busy creating 7,398,471 sockpuppet accounts! mail in ballots!

              2. I already said at the time that the GOP was silly to think the Senate would save them. I’m surprised they hung on in NC, to be honest.

                None of what you wrote has anything to do with the point that the Libertarian vote that might have broken for Trump instead, was likely a rounding error in the amount of the overall fraud. Yeah, it was dumb to vote for Jo in a swing state when Trump or Biden were your choices. It just didn’t matter.

        2. But there isn’t anything principled about Libertarians in purple states inflicting Medicare for All, a war on our gun rights, and the Green New Deal on us–all in the name of libertarianism.

          “It’s fine to be principled – just not in this election, or any election ever where Democrats might win” – Ken Shultz

          1. I know, right?
            When will the Republicans masquerading as libertarians, like Ken here, ever give us their blessing for voting for actual libertarians?
            There is ALWAYS some issue on the horizon that can be dramatized as so scary that it DEMANDS that we vote for either Team Red or Team Blue in order to stop the Republic-destroying disaster that is sure to come.
            Remember 2004? If we didn’t vote for Bush, “the terrorists would win”. Right?
            Remember 2008? If we didn’t vote for Obama, the national economy would collapse. Right?
            And now the bogeyman is Medicare For All (which Biden isn’t even proposing). If we don’t vote for Trump in 2020, then we will all be enslaved to government-run health care!

            What makes people like Ken nothing more than Republican toadies, rather than libertarians who happen to like the occasional Republican, is because people like Ken continue to play footsie with the two-party duopoly. When will Ken stop falling for this demagogic fearmongering that both tribes engage in? They do it only to scare people into voting for them because they cannot earn votes the right way, by persuasion.

            Ken, stop playing footsie with Team DeRp.

            1. Ooh! Now do democrats masquerading as libertarians. You actually have personal experience doing that.

          2. Are you being willfully dishonest, or do you need to work on your reading comprehension?

            “There isn’t anything principled about Libertarians in purple states inflicting Medicare for All, a war on our gun rights, and the Green New Deal on us–all in the name of libertarianism.”

            —-Ken Shultz

            If you wouldn’t save us from the Democrats ravaging capitalism and our constitutional rights if it means voting for Donald Trump, then you’re not a principled libertarian. You either did something stupid or you’re a phony libertarian. At best those “Libertarians” are temporarily confused cultists who need to be shocked out of their stupor. There isn’t anything libertarian or capitalist about enabling socialists and authoritarians to come to power–especially when they’re promising to violate our gun rights and institute socialism by way of the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

            Being principled certainly doesn’t mean refusing to do anything in defense of your principles if it makes you uncomfortable. Being a principled libertarian capitalist means standing up for libertarian capitalism even when it’s hard–not that voting for a president that refused to bail out state and local government, negotiated a full withdrawal from Afghanistan, and opposed both Medicare for All and the Green New Deal was hard.

            1. Are you being willfully dishonest, or do you need to work on your reading comprehension?

              I’m pretty sure it’s yes to both.

            2. “Vote for Team Red/Blue otherwise Team Blue/Red will Destroy the Republic!”

              There’s a lot of us who are just tired of the fearmongering nonsense.

              Maybe if Team Red hadn’t spent the last several decades with sky-is-falling bullshit trying to scare people into voting for them, when the sky actually wasn’t falling and all they were doing is securing power for themselves, then maybe more people wouldn’t be as turned off by this crap.

              1. Also, Team Red could propose some policies of their own beyond kissing Trump’s hind end and tearing down the Democrats’ policies.

                1. “Also, Team Red could propose some policies of their own beyond kissing Trump’s hind end and tearing down the Democrats’ policies.”

                  If TDS-infected shits bothered to check with that thing called ‘reality’, they would notice two things:
                  1) We don’t need “new policies”, we need fewer of them. Tearing down those delivered by the left is a feature to those not being shits infected with TDS.
                  2) “Kissing Trump’s ass” is your fantasy, TDS-infected shit.

                  1. Baloney. You cannot simply repeal Obamacare without replacing it with some kind of legal framework for healthcare. It would be an act of nihilistic destruction.

                    1. Really? Health coverage worked a lot better when there was nothing. In fact, getting government further out of health coverage after eliminating Obamacare would be even better.

                    2. It has been a long time since there was literally nothing. What, the 1950s or early 1960s.

              2. “Vote for Team Red/Blue otherwise Team Blue/Red will Destroy the Republic!”

                Tell us about slobbering Joe’s green new deal, Jeff. Further, tell us about your inability to separate your lefty-shit fantasies from reality.

                1. Sevo did the only time you did blow you feel “addled?” It’s probably because it was meth because you live in a rural shithole.

              3. Huh? Which team has specialized in hysterical end-of-the world/democracy/human species predictions and demands for power in order to save us?

                1. Both major parties are pretty good at that.

                  With Team Blue, it’s the environment collapsing. With Team Red, it is the anti-Christian heathens taking over. Choose your end-of-the-world scenario to obsess over.

                  1. Team Red wants me to kill other people. Team Blue wants me to kill myself.

    3. If Trump had been reelected, there probably wouldn’t be any stimulus bill at all.

      Nor does a stimulus bill matter because fiscal policy is no longer relevant. The US is in a world where only asset bubbles matter to keep the economy going – and asset bubbles depend entirely on monetary policy. Interest rates will continue to be subsidized just as they have been for the last 30 years. Those individuals who are subsidized by that policy will continue to believe that a)they aren’t being subsidized at all and b)if they are being subsidized, they will convince themselves that it is because that is how free markets and financial capitalism work.

      1. The idea that spending $900 billion doesn’t matter because of asset bubbles is ridiculous. Asset bubbles are a fundamental feature of the economy–a function of uncertainty. Because the Fed exacerbates that problem doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t exist–even without the Fed. The government shouldn’t be spending (and taxing) so much regardless of asset bubbles. There isn’t anything about asset bubbles that makes the destructive force of overspending and over taxation less destructive.

        1. “The idea that spending $900 billion doesn’t matter because of asset bubbles is ridiculous…”

          That bullshit is from JFree; one of the lefty shits famous for posting ludicrous claims.

          1. I think some people post in a dream state.

            We’re all like an inner voice to them.

          2. Sevo did the only time you did blow you feel “addled?” It’s probably because it was meth because you live in a rural shithole.

            Pussy

            1. Given that you were born retarded it must all be so confusing to you. Anyway, aren’t you late for services at your local Mormon temple?

        2. You just don’t understand economics. The ONLY difference between incurring debt to spend money on something in fiscal legislation v incurring debt to spend money on some new loan issued by a bank is – POSSIBLY a different initial recipient of that money.

          That possibility is the source of 100% of the rationale for Keynesian or cyclical/fiscal stimulus. The notion that the ‘normal’ mechanism for intermediating savings and investments is ‘broken’ and thus a different mechanism has to intermediate for awhile at least.

          What 2020 proved is that:
          a)there is no longer the remotest consciousness that economic growth is anything else but keeping asset bubbles afloat and
          b)fiscal legislation is drafted almost entirely for the purpose of benefiting the same group of people who benefit from the distortions of monetary policy. And that latter is the source of the asset bubbles

          1. “What 2020 proved is that:..”

            JFree is full of shit.

    4. Republicans who voted to enable this situation by voting for Trump instead of Jorgensen should all be ashamed of themselves.

      There, fixed it for ya Ken

      1. Lol, Jojo may have had proggy impulses, but nowhere near enough for you.

        1. Who did you vote for, again?

          Oh, that’s right. You are a Canadian, who cannot vote in American elections, yet you are such a Trump fan boy that you spent your entire weekend here arguing with chemjeff when he wasn’t even present.

          You are the equivalent of a crazy person walking around a Canadian sidewalk muttering to himself.

          1. Your continued, tired, bigotry is noted bigot.

            1. Oooh, I hate them Canadians!!! Hate ‘em! Hate ‘em!

          2. Except them there SCTV guys! Gosh, they was so funny!

          3. What’s hilarious here is White Excrement’s complaint that a Canadian comments so frequently on American politics.

            Apparently White Excrement doesn’t realize that Canadians have been posting on this site about American politics for years. cytotoxic, for example, was a long-time Canadian poster who was adamant that Hillary was going to win the 2016 election, and then vanished off the board when that didn’t happen.

            1. True. The difference is cytotoxic could be tremendously entertaining at times.

              1. No, there’s no difference.

            2. And even more ironic is that Jeff IS Cytotoxic, and hence also Canadian.

    5. In exchange for Trump signing the bill, congressional leaders promised to hold a vote on a separate bill ”
      We’ve seen that lie before going back at least to Reagan when congress made promises to pay on Tuesday for a hamburgers today

      1. Yeah, I don’t necessarily think he’s planning on that passing.

        Like I said, considering that the bill lacks some really important things that he refused to sign before the election makes it about the best bill they can realistically get–considering that Biden is about to move into the White House.

        The bill takes $427 billion out of Biden’s hands. He gets to screw Biden out of that $427 billion by signing the bill–making it that much harder for Biden to bail out California, New York, etc. It cuts the new costs of the bill from $900 billion to $473 billion. If the best thing you can do is punt, then that sucks but you should punt.

    6. Anyone who voted for Trump, should now be regretting their vote since it is now plainly revealed that he is working hard to undermine American democracy to salve his sore loser ego.

      1. I’ll bite.
        How so?

  13. I rarely link to Brookings. But this time they have (unintentionally?) highlighted the major flaw with the Drumpf economy.

    Amazon and Walmart have raked in billions in additional profits during the pandemic, and shared almost none of it with their workers

    “Since March, the fortune of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (the richest person on the planet) has increased by $75.6 billion … The wealth of Alice, Jim, and Rob Walton (billionaire heirs to the Walmart fortune and the country’s richest family) has grown by $40.7 billion …”

    Notice what’s missing? There’s nothing about Reason.com’s benefactor Charles Koch. Because his net worth has actually decreased this year! That’s why Koch / Reason libertarianism isn’t satisfied with an economy in which only a few billionaires prosper. We strive to create an economy in which all billionaires prosper.

    #BillionairesKnowBest

    1. SleepyJoe will redistribute the billionaire’s money . It’s only fair.

      1. Didn’t he already redistribute $500 million from Zuck?

  14. …over the past five years, the D.C. government has spent millions of dollars settling dozens of police misconduct lawsuits — settlements that, even as officers acknowledge no wrongdoing, document a trail of nonfatal encounters that went painfully wrong.

    Take it out of their pension fund instead of taxpayers’ wallets and see how quickly these encounters dwindle.

    1. pension fund = taxpayers’ wallets

  15. People are buying curated bookcases for their Zoom backgrounds.

    Sell your Zoom stock before January 20.

  16. In a majority decision, the Constitutional Court of Romania has struck down a legislative amendment that effectively banned the subject of gender studies in university education as unconstitutional…

    Romania needs baristas, too, apparently.

  17. Every politician everywhere: you have to know when to hold them, and when to fold them.

  18. He’s getting none of what he asked for and signing the bill into law anyway, because he doesn’t have enough support to do otherwise.
    He could have just vetoed the bill. Remember when presidents vetoed things?

    1. Veto proof bill.

      1. Then prove it. Better than looking like a chump now, and a chump^2 when the Senate GOP tells him to go fuck himself on the 2K checks and repealing 230.

        My guess? He got an ‘LBJ at the end of 1968, deal he couldn’t refuse.’ I expect Trump will shuffle up to obscurity now: his family unharmed, his property unlevied, and he can live out the five to ten or so years he has left, on the right side of prison bars, or of the grass. He isn’t starting a new party, or new media network.

        1. So he did make a good deal after all!

  19. “people more inclined to conspiracy thinking position themselves towards the right of the political spectrum, engage in magical thinking, feel distrust towards public officials and reject the political system.”

    Sounds like AGW alarmists. But their conspiracy to silence skeptics and deniers by not counting AGW as a conspiracy has obviously skewed the survey results.

    1. ” feel distrust towards public officials”

      There’s nothing conspiratorial about this on so many levels I can’t believe an editor allowed it to be written.

      Public officials can rot in hell for what they’ve done in 2020.

      1. It was a supposed conspiracy theory that creeping socialism in the government and medicine would lead to forced labor and death panels. Then 2020 brought us essential workers and COVID lockdowns that proved it.

    2. Our constitution was designed on the basis of distrust of government. its not a conspiracy it iss a truth that should be remembered and taught not treated as if it is wrong to not trust.

      1. You can totally trust SleepyJoe. He made himself a multi millionaire with only a civil servants paycheck his whole life.

  20. California is still locked in a contest with New York to see which of them will come out on top as the stupidest state in the country for 2020. California just upped their bid for the title.

    “Default tip amount slashed following introduction of California’s new employment rules.

    . . . .

    California-based workers for food delivery app Grubhub have reacted angrily to changes to the platform which they say discourage tipping, saying they would wipe out the supposed benefits of new gig worker rules in the state.

    . . . .

    A study by University of California, Santa Cruz, in May determined that “delivery workers are particularly dependent on tips, which account for 30 percent of their estimated earnings.”

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/12/grubhub-gig-workers-react-angrily-to-change-in-tipping-policy/

    Unsatisfied with devastating the restaurant industry with lockdown orders, California is now determined to destroy the incentive for gig economy drivers to deliver food for restaurants, too.

    1. If you discourage people from eating, they will loose weight. No fatties allowed in California.

      1. The stand out point here, from my perspective, is that this should help kill the justification for bailing out state and local government.

        Premise 1) California has willfully insisted on destroying its restaurant industry (among others) over the course of the last year–with lockdown orders and increased regulation.

        Premise 2) The restaurant industry–and other industries devastated by lockdowns and regulation–are an important revenue stream for state and local government in the form of sales taxes, property taxes, corporate taxes, and income taxes.

        Conclusion) California has willfully and purposely destroyed its own revenue stream over the past year, and when they willfully chose to do that, they willfully chose to accept the negative consequences.

        There is no good reason why federal taxpayers who live in states that willfully didn’t subject their tax base to such severe and lengthy lockdowns and willfully didn’t heap regulation on their states’ businesses–because they wanted to avoid the negative consequences to their tax base–should be forced to bail out California.

        No federal bailouts for state and local government!

        California can solve its own problems by cutting its spending and deregulating.

        1. SleepyJoe will bail them out on day one. Why do you suppose they propped him up for the job?

          1. Well, one of the things the Republicans managed to get in the bill was that they clawed back that $427 billion in unspent money from the Fed. Biden can’t get his hands on that now.

            They’ll need to pass another bill anyway, and if they manage to accomplish that, it won’t be without political repercussions. If anything is more unpopular with average swing state voters than being forced to bail out Wall Street with their future paychecks, it may only be bailing out California.

            TARP was bipartisan, which is why the Tea Party rose up outside of both parties. The Republicans were only able to subsume the Tea Party by letting the Tea Party ravage establishment Republicans in the primaries. If Biden and the Democrats manage to bail out state and local government, it won’t be bipartisan. It will belong to the Democrats entirely. There may be a Republican in the senate or two who support them, but it won’t be in any way a bipartisan issues–and 2022 will be a banner year for the Republicans.

            Here’s to hoping the Republicans sweep in Georgia and it doesn’t come to that.

            1. It has been predetermined. SleepyJoe will bail them out, lockdowns will be lifted, SleepyJoe will die/retire a hero, Crazyma Harris will take the blame.

    2. The sooner California craters out and all the soy-sipping bozos leave, the sooner libertarians can take back the state and make it worthwhile.

      1. Shit no, we don’t want them to leave and come here!

        1. Just for the record, the overwhelming majority of Californians who are leaving the state are leaving because they hate the states’ politics. Check the numbers.

          “What set the Berkeley poll apart is that it also asked residents their party affiliation and how they characterized themselves politically—revealing a sharp divide. Conservatives and moderates are the most unhappy with the state and most anxious to leave. Liberals, by contrast, are mostly staying put, and some think life in California is just great. Only 38 percent of Democrats said that they were considering leaving, compared with 55 percent of independents and 71 percent of Republicans. Similarly, those characterizing themselves as “somewhat liberal” were least likely to say that they want to go—fewer than four in ten are considering leaving. But 53 percent of moderates, 66 percent of the “somewhat conservative,” and 74 percent of the “very conservative” would like to migrate. Political affiliation, in fact, was more of a predictor of who wants to go or stay than other demographic information”

          —-City Journal, Winter 2020

          https://www.city-journal.org/california-migration-politics

          One of the issues with California Republicans when they go to other states is that they still look like hipsters to the locals.

          Because a Californian looks like a hipster, eats hipster food, drives a hipster car, and dresses like a hipster is no indication of what he thinks about gun rights, taxes, spending, Trump, or anything else. In other parts of the country, you can often tell what someone thinks about these issues by looking at the way they dress, etc. Some of the most conservative people in California look like hipsters to the conservatives elsewhere in the country. It’s an illusion.

          Most Californians aren’t moving to Arizona, Idaho, South Carolina, Texas, or Utah because they progressive. They’re trying to escape that shit. They just have different aesthetics. It’s sort of like when the outlaw country guys had long hair. Conservative country music people thought Charlie Daniels, David Allen Coe, Johnny Paycheck, and Waylon Jennings were hippies because they had long hair. They were rednecks!

          1. So, moral of the story, don’t blame Californians for your state turning blue.

            Blame the women in your suburbs.

            Calling them “Karens” is the first time I think I’ve ever seen them get blamed for anything, but they’re ultimately to blame for a lot: the Drug War, SUV sales, white flight, attacks on gun rights, . . . the list goes on.

            1. Women have skewed left in national elections too. Without the female vote, the more conservative candidate always wins.

          2. They could be asymptomatic carriers.

          3. I’m gonna need a cite that they truly support gun rights.

            1. Or any ‘conservative’ or ‘libertarian’ rights at all. Most of the cars I see in Houston with CA plates are parked in front of houses with Biden/Harris signs or down race Democratic candidates’ signs. The cars usually have some variant of the “Coexist” (and not the one made out of gun companies’ logos either), ‘well-behaved women never make history’, yellow equal signs, and the like.

              In short, I disagree with Ken. They didn’t move here because they were pissed about the politics. They moved here because their job moved them here, and their job moved because their employer got tired of dealing with California’s bullshit. When they move here, they vote for most of the same stupid shit that ruined California.

              1. Because the anecdotal progressives you see with California plates are progressives doesn’t mean there isn’t an army of ex-Californians with Texas license plates surrounding them.

              2. Oh, and the overwhelming majority of people aren’t moving to Texas (or these other states) because their company is moving to these other states. It’s that when they lose their job in California, they start looking for a job in another state rather than looking for another job in California. People who lost their factory jobs in the rust belt back in the 80s and 90s stayed in the rust belt anyway, and there isn’t anything about California that makes that especially different. In fact, the unemployment benefits in California now are probably better than they were for the unemployed of the rust belt back in the ’80s and ’90s.

            2. Republicans in California are more or less like Republicans everywhere.

              There isn’t anything about Republicans being in the minority that makes them different from Republicans elsewhere in the country on any particular issue. Californian Republicans probably aren’t as big on issues like prayer in public school as you’d find in the Bible belt, but that’s a function of there being fewer evangelicals. Gun rights, taxes, Trump, etc., those issues aren’t like that. If you’re suggesting that Republicans are different on issues like gun rights because of where they live in the country, the burden of proof is on you. Evangelicals in California are more or less like evangelicals elsewhere in the country, too–even if there are fewer of them in California.

  21. A libertarian magazine would be writing about the wasteful spending of a Congress out of control. But since this isn’t that magazine, we’ll make pithy and somewhat obvious observations about how the president doesn’t control spending and can either sign or not sign a bill.

    Meanwhile a citizen journalist in China was sentenced to several years for reporting on the Wuhan China virus that the communists released into the world. And reason remains silent on that particular topic unless it’s to criticize the administration for something. Note the irony that they will hammer Trump and remain silent on the Chicoms.

    1. Meanwhile a citizen journalist in China was sentenced to several years for reporting on the Wuhan China virus that the communists released into the world.
      No, she was picking fights and causing trouble. This is a charge that will be utilized by the SleepyJoe regime.

    2. https://www.newser.com/story/300562/citizen-journo-accused-of-picking-quarrels-gets-4-years.html

      She got disappeared in May and they just found out that she was arrested, tried, and convicted.

  22. This is just sad.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2020/12/27/fox-news-viewers-switch-to-newsmax/

    It’s obvious that these people are watching Fox not because they want to be informed. They are watching Fox because they want to have their feelings and biases reinforced. So when Fox reports something that is obviously true – like, say, Biden winning Arizona – but makes their viewers sad, their viewers jump ship for media outlets that have even less pretensions about offering actual news vs narrative.

    Fox isn’t the only one guilty of this, of course, but it is the largest.

    I don’t know how we move on from here. I guess there just isn’t that much market interest in reporting of actual news, vs. feelings-reinforcing narratives.

    1. “We prefer truth over facts”.

    2. “Fox isn’t the only one guilty of this, of course, but it is the largest.”

      Jeff has obviously not been in the dentist’s waiting room with Clinton News Network’s actors and actresses lying on the screen.

      1. “What are the most-watched news networks? As of June 2020, Fox News was the most-watched cable news network in the United States and continues to do well in terms of its primetime audience, with around 3.97 million primetime viewers in that month.”

        https://www.statista.com/statistics/373814/cable-news-network-viewership-usa/

        As I said, Sevo: Fox News isn’t the only one that does this – present narratives in the guise of news – but they are the largest.

    3. Newsmax, MSNBC, CBS…what’s the difference?

      At least with Newsmax, like FOX, you know what you’re getting and they don’t hide their conservatism.

      The others pretend lying to be ‘objective’.

      Fucken liars. All of them. Media and politicians. Liars.

      1. …and the lying part is getting terrifying because it’s deliberate, purposeful and coordinated.

        It’s not a matter of different interpretations and viewpoints anymore, or even eliding certain facts to craft a narrative. Instead they’re now straight out telling falsehoods and manufacturing incidents that never happened.

        Even the Soviets and the Nazis weren’t as brazen in their propaganda as with what the NYT or CNN have been pulling. Walter Duranty would blush.
        And yet they don’t even seem to care that people know that they’re lying. It’s almost like they think that they can craft a new reality by saying it.

        1. Totes true.

          Just look at how they’re ‘reporting’ on Covid. It’s a CRIME.

        2. Well, Fauci is basically doing that and he manages to hold a job. The WHO has quietly said naturally herd immunity isn’t real and the only way to achieve it is through vaccines.

          But keep swallowing this TDS madness.

          I can’t even anymore.

        3. …and the lying part is getting terrifying because it’s deliberate, purposeful and coordinated.

          Are you describing CBS, or Fox News?

          It’s almost like they think that they can craft a new reality by saying it.

          What exactly do you think this whole “Stop the Steal” nonsense is?

        4. Please provide examples of pure lies that NYT and CNN has published.

          1. versus an un-pure lie?

            1. I meant as opposed to things they post that may have small errors or they are calling fake just because they don’t like it.

        5. it’s almost as if you and the other ‘Canadian’ can craft a policy and reality for the USA.

          Is this your full time job or do you have another?

    4. I have been told many times there is no right-wing media. Conservatives are only the victims of the media.

    5. “I don’t know how we move on from here”

      By ‘we’ you mean your fellow Canadians, right?

  23. I’ve decided I’m gonna spend my stimulus money on a M4 pistol kit. Ghost gun. Muahahahahahha!

    1. For me it’s going in the bank, just like the last check did. Too much uncertainty right now for me to justify big purchases.

      1. I’ve got a few months’ worth of expenses in the bank and a very secure job, so for me this is an opportunity to get something I wouldn’t otherwise buy.

      2. Too much uncertainty right now
        When was there not?

    2. All into BTC for me, again.

      They are determined to crash the dollar, it seems.

  24. “ Queen Adesuyi of the Drug Policy Alliance” ffs

  25. When stupidity, and bias, and bad faith all collide in one paragraph:

    “No $2,000 checks or Section 230 repeal in the spending bill. Like so many of President Donald Trump’s policy tantrums, his opposition to the new government funding bill turned out to be nothing more than a pointless spectacle. After rightfully objecting to all the fluff packed into the latest omnibus spending and COVID-19 relief measures, wrongfully demanding that the legislation repeal Section 230, and promising to use his veto power, the president has now signed into law the original measure passed by Congress last week.”

    Try and defend that hackery, White Knight. Even a student in a high school journalism class would get an “F” for that hot take.

    1. Kinda judgemental, but all fair points. OK for a morning blog entry for people to read with their coffee.

      Would only be offensive to a Trump fan boy.

  26. Like so many of President Donald Trump’s policy tantrums,”

    so now trying to get more more to people and eliminate pork spending is now a tantrum when it used to be good governence. Reason used to be libertarian about spending

    1. Seriously. Reason could classify his demands to not go to war as being a ‘tantrum’.

      He’s asking for more money for people and wants social media to account!

      GET HIM!

  27. If this little stunt doesn’t convince you that Trump is a fraud, then I don’t think anything will. So if you still believe, then don’t forget to send him money lots of money, to fight fraud and get elected in 2024. Trump’s work is not done if you have not yet sent him you last dollar.

    1. Our only hope is placing an old man with obvious mental decline in office.

      1. No, we voted him out in November and will have a new President in January.

        1. Yeah, the old guy with dementia. SleepyJoe.

      2. “Our only hope is placing an old man with obvious mental decline in office.”

        First time that has happened.

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  29. Of course he signed the bill! At what point in the past four years has he ever hinted at being fiscally conservative?!?!

    Trump signing a crony spending bill is like a dog licking its balls. It’s what he does.

    1. “Of course he signed the bill! At what point in the past four years has he ever hinted at being fiscally conservative?!?!”

      Well, there was the time he fought to cut $772 billion from Medicaid.

      https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

      And there was the time he chose no stimulus rather than a stimulus package that bailed out state and local government.

      Also, he just vetoed the $741 billion National Defense Authorization Act defense-policy bill, on a number of grounds–the amount of foreign aid it contained being one of them. The House is voting on whether to override Trump’s veto later today.

      That’s three times right off the top of my head.

      Sometimes, your views seem to . . . um . . . lack the influence of facts. That happens to a lot of otherwise reasonable people when the issue involved President Trump. There’s actually a word for the condition!

      1. He “prefers truth over facts”.

  30. Researchers also found that “people more inclined to conspiracy thinking position themselves towards the right of the political spectrum, engage in magical thinking, feel distrust towards public officials and reject the political system.”

    So what about all the leftists who believe in the Green New Deal and hate Trump?

    1. Yeah, I suspect the researchers defined “conspiracy” in a way that filters out a lot of the left-wing nuts.

  31. He’s getting none of what he asked for and signing the bill into law anyway, because he doesn’t have enough support to do otherwise.

    Trump has plenty of support, but not from anybody that matters. They’re going to matter soon, and all your bullshit excuses aren’t going to save you from the rope. The same people who voted for Obama’s Hope and Change voted for Trump’s Make America Great Again, and they got shit on both times. You think they’ve resigned themselves to getting shit on? Or do you think the lockdowns and the forced closure of their businesses and their loss of freedom and their loss of jobs, the loss of their homes and their livelihoods, might leave them in the desperate position of having nothing left to lose? Like a cornered rat, a man with nothing left to lose is a dangerous animal. Keep pushing him and you’re going to find out.

    1. “A deranged madman suddenly snapped for no reason.”

      Remember that headline – I think you’re going to be seeing it a lot.

      1. What is the future of industrial society?

        1. A bunch of self-creating, semi-autonomous, weak AI mechanical entities, making goods for a small elite that live better than the Greeks thought their Gods did?

          Along the way, we get to find out what a Universe 25 population crash looked like. From the inside.

  32. The art of Trump’s deal
    is just bluster followed by
    capitulation

    1. Well put.

      I would add that most deals are negotiated by someone else, just like his books are written by someone else.

      1. So , don’t blame trump?

      2. So you’re blaming Trump for the terms of a deal forced by the people you blindly support? Makes sense, this follows the same pattern I see from every progressive I know.

  33. What a fucking pussy Trump is for signing that bill.

    it’s really true, both fucking sides. good grief

  34. U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday signed into law a $2.3 trillion US COVID-19 aid and government-funding bill, restoring unemployment benefits to millions in the United States and averting a partial federal government shutdown.
    https://worldabcnews.com/trump-signs-covid-19-relief-bill-averts-u-s-government-shutdown/

  35. As Zuzu would put it about my latest, most favorite Holiday gift:

    “Every time a Hamilton Beach Breakfast Muffin Maker makes a man a sandwich,
    A victimologist Rad-Fem screams: ‘Son of a bitch!'”

  36. “Trump Gets None of His Demands in the Spending Bill but Signs It Into Law Anyway”

    —ENB

    Despite ENB’s ingenious headline, the House just voted to up the direct payment from $600 to $2,000 in line with Trumps’ demands.

    1. Fantastic. That was probably going to happen anyway, so long as the pork stayed in.

      Now do the Senate, which has been saying for awhile that they won’t pass a ‘2k checks bill’ with the pork.

      We’re fucked either way.

    2. Trumps demands.

      Ken you are over the top. You have jumped the shark.

      In line with Sanders, Pelosi, every prog demands. Trump has forsaken the Republicans. Turned on you like you always knew he would.

      I have no love for the democrats but you Trumpists have screwed me over more than I have seen in my life.

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